Philosophy of Evolution: Survey of Literature

Neo-Scholastics in France

North America
South America

Some of the best Neo-Scholastic thought about the Philosophy of Evolution came from French thinkers or those who spoke the French language.

Joseph Marchal (1922).28 Marchal was born in 1878 in Charleroi, Belgium. He was a Neo-Scholastic philosopher at the Higher Institute of Philosophy at the University of Leuven (Louvain) in Belgium. He began his career in 1922. He attempted to reply systematically to Immanuel Kant. Kant held that God was an empty, unverifiable concept. When Marchal had a somewhat sympathetic reading of Kant in volume three of Marchal’s The Starting Point of The Metaphysics, conservatives labeled him as Kantian as a reproach. Conservatives at the time watched for any deviant speculative innovation. In the 1920s Kant’s works were still on the index of forbidden books. Loyal Catholic intellectuals were expected to obey and to defend some form of Thomism, according to the encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, Aeterni Patris. In the fifth volume of his work, Marchal argued that it was just this Thomistic theory of knowledge that anticipates the problems raised by Kant and demonstrates the invalidity of the Kantian attempt to reduce the idea of God to an empty, unverifiable philosophic concept. Marchal founded a school of thought called Transcendental Thomism, which attempted to merge the philosophical and theological thought of St. Thomas Aquinas with the thought of Immanuel Kant. Marchal died at age 66 in 1944.

In the twentieth century, Thomism was not an entirely univocal concept. One line of Thomism arose from Marchal and extended through De Finance and Lonergan at the Gregorian University, and also Karl Rahner in Germany. Lonergan and Rahner were perhaps the major Neo-Scholastic philosophers of the twentieth century. Lonergan’s generalized empirical method, in which human knowing is divided into experience, understanding, and judgment, stresses the objectivity of knowledge more than Kant had done, and develops a Thomistic vision of Being as the goal of the dynamic openness of the human spirit. This method of Lonergan belongs to the movement inspired by Marchal. The other branch of Thomism was led by Etienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain. Gilson notes, at the end of The Unity of Philosophical Experience, that the failure of metaphysics is bound up with the temptation to make thought the false first principle involved in all representations, not being. In The Degrees of Knowledge Maritan cites Marchal three times, but only in relation to spirituality and mystical contemplation, rather than metaphysical method.

Eduardus Hugon (1927).29 Hugon was a Neo-Scholastic and French Dominican priest who wrote, in Latin, a course of Thomistic philosophy for students. He notes that he not only follows the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas, but also the teaching method. Pope St. Pius X wrote a letter to Hugon praising the presentation due to old principles applied to new problems. The books are very clear, well argued, and with footnotes citing Aristotle, Aquinas, and modern French authors.

Hugon has a very good treatment on evolution. Like later authors, for example Marcozzi and La Vecchia, Hugon defends the Principle of Finality (omne agens agit propter finem) which was denied by the evolutionist view of the role of chance in natural selection. Concerning the goal of nature, he maintains that the ultimate goal is the extrinsic glory of God, while the proximate goal is the perfection of the creature, and mainly the beatitude of man. Hugon argues that, since the proximate goal of nature is the perfection of the creature, this implies progress. Progress means that the creature evolves more and more. Nevertheless, progress is not infinite, especially in man, because then man would evolve beyond his species, and the human species as such would perish.

Hugon opposes monistic Materialism. Thus, he opposes Haeckel and Spencer as Materialists. Hugon sees three theories about the origin of species. First, Creationism, or rather Productionism, in which God immediately educes species, the more perfect from the less perfect, from preexisting material (held by Linnaeus saying there are as many species as God created in the beginning: Tot sunt species quot Deus in principio creavit.). Hugon maintains that this opinion, whereby species are immediately produced by God, is philosophically more probable. Second, passive evolution under the influx of God, by using lower species as secondary causes to generate higher species (held by A. Gaudry). Hugon affirms the possibility of passive evolution. In favor of this second theory, one can argue that it is fitting that God would not destroy species, but modify them by raising them to a superior form. Third, active evolution in which God creates all species in the beginning, not in their present form, but virtually and like a seed. In favor of this theory is that God only immediately produces what only God can do; but the production of species can be done by secondary causes, through evolution of primitive species in which the higher species would be contained virtually. Hugon notes that this third opinion is held by not a few modern Catholics, and it attributed to St. Augustine. St. Thomas (Aquinas Summa Theologiae 1. 66. 4) did not think that the theory was without merit, and it did not displease Suarez.

Hugon notes that even if evolution were proved as a fact, this would not exclude divine intervention in the world. Accordingly, Hugon would definitely exclude passive evolution without any divine influence. Further, Hugon maintains that divine intervention would be necessary for the first beginning of life, so he excludes doctrine of abiogenesis of the Evolutionists, such as Moleschott, Bchner, and Haeckel. However, Hugon’s argument is that abiogenesis, in whatever form it is proposed, is contrary to scientific fact. Hugon notes that the inception of life by divine intervention is explained in different ways, either God immediately produced living species from inorganic matter, or God immediately created one or a few species and infused in them some active power (activam virtutem) by which they would be able themselves to evolve toward higher forms. Hugon thinks the first opinion, immediate production of species by God from inorganic matter, is more probable.

Jacques Maritain (1932).30 Maritain was a French Catholic layman and Neo-Scholastic philosopher, who wrote more than fifty books and countless articles. He was born in Paris and raised in Liberal Protestantism. He attended the Sorbonne, where he fell under the spell of empiricism and claimed that science alone could provide all the answers to the problems of man. At the Sorbonne, he met Raissa Oumansoff, a young Russian Jewish student whom he later married. They collaborated on several books. They both discovered Henri Bergson who liberated them from the disillusionment of Scientism and led them to search for the Absolute. Through the influence of Leon Bloy, Maritain and his wife discovered God and were converted to the Roman Catholic faith in 1906. Maritain obtained his doctorate in philosophy, and then studied embryology and Neo-Vitalism with Hans Driesch (cited five times in The Degrees of Knowledge) in Heidelberg. In 1914 Maritain was appointed to the chair of modern philosophy at the Catholic Institute in Paris. He taught at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Princeton University, and the University of Notre Dame. In 1945 Maritain was appointed French ambassador to the Vatican. He became a close friend of Monsignor Martini, later to become Pope Paul VI. The pope frequently admitted his indebtedness to the thought of Maritain. An international center for the study of Maritain has been founded in Rome; at the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, a Maritain Center was founded in 1958 for the purpose of encouraging research along the lines of his philosophy. Because of Maritain’s nationwide influence, the American Maritain Association was formed in May 1977; Le Cercle d’Etudes Jacques et Raissa Maritain in Kolbsheim, France, is planning a definitive edition of Maritain’s works. Maritain died on 28 April 1973. He left a long list of contributions to philosophical and theological thought, most of which are available in English translation in The Collected Works of Jacques Maritain, published by the Jacques Maritain Center though the University of Notre Dame Press.

Maritain’s life and work centered around the task of interpreting the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas in our times. Maritain confronted the philosophical, artistic, social, and theological questions of the contemporary world, including the philosophy of nature, by summoning the wisdom of Aristotle and Aquinas. He helped deepen the concept of esse (to be) and treated the repercussions that forgetting that concept caused in the history of Thomistic school. Further, his dialogue with Existentialism raised the importance of the metaphysical concept of esse (to be) as well as the most important distinction, in creatures, between essence and existence. Not only is this distinction important for philosophy of nature, but Maritain has a section entitled "The Anti-Mechanist Reaction in Biology" in The Degrees of Knowledge. His success with the application of Thomistic principles to contemporary problems has led to his evaluation as one of the most influential intellectuals of the twentieth century. Maritain was admired even by those of different philosophial conviction. He had a zeal for truth, a commitment to human freedom, which combined with a humble personality endeared him to many.

Maritain called for a deep renovation of philosophy of nature. He maintained that there was an essential distinction between philosophy and science. Scientific measurement (empiromtrique) was only a medium (scientia media) between pure mathematics and natural philosophy, while modern descriptive science (emperioschmatique) only rose to the level of mobile being. Accordingly, if descriptive sciences would be as superficial and hypothetical as Maritain thought, they would not be sciences at all, but only dialectical preparations for science. The better opinion is that of Aristotle, who held that natural philosophy and empirical science are one, since both treat mobile being and each is a part of the other. The Aristotelian position is also the position of Mondin at the Urbaniana University, Selvaggi at the Gregorian University and the Dominican priests at the Aquinas Institute in River Forest, Illinois, near Chicago. The Aquinas Institute is also the location of the Albertus Magnus Lyceum, dedicated to the working dialogue between Neo-Scholastic Thomism and empircal science.

Maritain confronted the problems of cosmic and biological evolution his whole life, first in relation to Darwin, then considering Teilhard de Chardin. He started with the analysis of Evolutionism by Bergson, and set out to recapture the critical realism of St. Thomas’ structures for the evaluation of scientific doctrine. His first article "German Neo-Vitalism and Darwin" was published in 1910, and the last on this problematic area was "On Animal Instinct" for the Little Brothers of Jesus in Tolosa on 12 January 1973. Maritain learned from Bergson that Evolutionism did not have to exclude finalism. Maritain overcame the implicit immanentism of final causality by finding in St. Thomas an ontology of transcendence. Maritain concluded that man was born "in" evolution, but not "of" evolution, because each intelligible soul is created by God.

Yves Congar (1937).31 Yves Marie Joseph Cardinal Congar (1904-1995) was a French Neo-Scholastic Dominican priest and theologian. He was born in Sedan in north-east Fance in 1904 and his home was occupied by the German army during World War II. He kept diaries of the occupation, as he was to keep diaries later during the Second Vatican Council. In his early 20s, Congar spent three years in a Carmelite monastery, where he encountered Thomistic philosophy through the works of Jacques Maritain. He spent some time with the Benedictine Order, but eventually joined the Dominicans for a novitiate in 1925. He studied theology at the seminary of Le Saulchoir in Etiblles near Paris, with a strong emphasis on historical theology. He was ordained a priest in 1930. His thesis for the lectorate in theology was: The Unity of the Church. After ordination, he taught at Le Saulchoir for eight years. He was drafted into the French army in World War II and taken prisoner. In the mid-1950s there were a number of Dominican scholars who were breaking new ground in theology but were dismissed or under sanctions from Rome, including the Dominican theologian Marie Dominique Chenu. Other scholars who had continued influence on Congar were Etienne Gilson, Jacques Maritain, and the Russian mystic Nicholas Berdyaeve. Congar rethought the relation between scripture, tradition, and the Church. He was not only very active in the Ecumenical Movement, but the first Catholic thinker to seriously contribute to the ecumenical discussion. He was removed from teaching for a time under Pope Pius XII. In 1955, Congar was sent to Blackfriars, Oxford, England, but he was not allowed to teach or to write. He continued to have a deep loyalty to the Church and the Dominican Order. He was exonerated and was one of the most influential theologians at the Second Vatican Council. At the Second Vatican Council, documents that bear his influence are: Divine Revelation, the Church, Ecumenism, Missionary Activity, Life and Ministry of Priests, and Religious Freedom. After much private pain and public humiliation, Congar was made a cardinal, shortly before his death, in 1994 by Pope John Paul II.

Etienne Gilson (1937).32 Gilson is a French Catholic layman and Neo-Scholastic born in Paris in 1884. He became professor of medieval philosophy at the Sorbonne in 1921, and from 1932 until his retirement in 1951 he held a similar chair at the College de France. He was invited to Harvard University in the United States in 1926, and returned again in 1927 and 1928 to teach in the fall semesters. From 1929 until his death he was associated with the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. Gilson was the director of studies at the Institute, and he designed the curriculum to cover the range of disciplines relating to the Middle Ages, including history, paleography, liturgy, theology, literature, canon law, and philosophy. He died in 1978.

Gilson published The Unity of the Philosophical Experience in 1937. It contained the usual ecclesiastical approval for publication. The book was intended as a compilation of the William James Lectures, which Gilson gave at the 300th anniversary of the founding of Harvard University. The lectures were given in 1936, and the book published the next year. The book is accessible to the educated layman, but generations of students have also encountered philosophy through this work. Gilson does not write a history of philosophy in this book, but uses the resources of history to study different intellectual experiments philosophers have undertaken. Gilson infers that there has been a continual temptation across the centuries for outstanding thinkers to make a similar mistake: to reform philosophy according to the method and structure of some other science. In the controversies over epistemology in the 1930s among Neo-Scholastics, Gilson argued that we begin our intellectual life by the sense and intellectual experience of things, rather than reflection on knowledge. It is here that Gilson, and Maritain, diverge from Marchal. Gilson is useful for this dissertation in his opposition to Antifinalism, Mechanicism, and Materialism, as seen below.

Gilson did treat evolution, but was most interested in the social implications of Darwinism, which is also useful to this dissertation. He notes that Karl Marx understood the material order of nature to have a history, following a Darwinian evolution, whose law was essentially the same as Hegel’s dialectics. In fact, Gilson notes that Hegel’s dialectic is the ideological reflection of the Darwinian class struggle. The problem with this Marxist inheritance of class struggle is that there has to be two classes to struggle, and in order to bring the antagonism to a halt, one class has to be sublated (aufgehoben). Although common absorption into a new totality for social peace, eventually the struggle ends in dictatorship of one of the classes. This is the reason Neo-Hegelianism had become the philosophy of Fascism. Marx also drew on the philosophy of Materialsim espoused by Feuerbach, but then the conclusion for society is social Darwinism, whose only law is natural selection and where survival of the fittest will settle all theoretical discussions. The problem for society is to determine the group that is the most fit; and when all historic materialism is stripped of purposiveness and providential plans, society cannot support either socialism or any other practical orientation of human life, as Benedetto Croce noted.

Gilson does treat empirical science. The liberal philosophers, espousing Pragmatism, Neo-Realism, and Behaviorism, are all shades of agnosticism, philosophical descendants of Hume. Since the followers of both Hume and Kant lost faith in the validity of metaphysical knowledge, they had nothing whatever to oppose the progressive encroachments of science on the field of human facts. Gilson maintains that the source of modern agnosticism is the fear of scientific determinism, and so, for example, Bergson attacked the determinism of Spencer and Mechanicism of Darwin. One result was that William James elaborated Pragmatism, where ideas were not true, but became true in proportion to their practical verification. An ultimate result, espoused by P. Duhem, a Catholic and a physicist of good repute, thought it necessary to revive the nominalistic interpretation of science and to pit William of Ockham once more against St. Thomas Aquinas.

F.-X. Maquart (1937).33 Maquart was a French priest Neo-Scholastic professor in the seminary at Rheims. After fifteen years of teaching, he wrote three volumes of elements of philosophy in Latin for clerical students in thesis form. His presentation includes an introduction to philosophy and a treatment of logic in the first volume, philosophy of nature in the second volume, and metaphysics in the third volume. He follows the principles and doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas. Very helpful to students is the feature that each chapter ends in a summary by way of a descriptive synoptic table. His treatment is traditional, but he applies scholastic principles to modern problems, such as Darwin’s evolution and Durkheim’s social philosophy. His concern for students is not to give information alone, but to form the students in scholastic method. The orientation of his philosophy can be understood by the philosophers that he thankfully cites as helpful: Boyer, Hoenen, Siwek, at the Gregorian University; also Gredt, Hugon, Marchal, Maritain, and Gardeil.

Maquart treats evolution. He holds that universal evolution is not scientifically proved, even if it does not exceed the demands of reason, and so only restricted evolution can be proved, which is called Fixism. Fixism holds that variations that occur and are passed on by generation are within "formal" types, that is only within species and genera. However, universal evolution does not contradict the demands of reason, provided there is exclusion of the origin of the human body, evolution is not a purely mechanistic process, and not excluding divine intervention not only concurrent with the action of nature, but also divine intervention educing the substantial forms of the new species form the potency of the material. Maquart is opposed to Darwinism, Lemarckism, and to Haeckel. Maquart explains hlyelmorphism, and that the form is educed from the potency of the material. He accordingly holds that individuation, and species, have their radical principle in the potency of signate material (substance already formed of act and potency and in further potency to determining factors). He notes that the sensitive soul of animals is educed from the potency of matter. The human soul is immediately created by God, and is immortal.

Henri de Lubac (1938).34 Henri Cardinal de Lubac (1896-1991) was a French Jesuit Neo-Scholastic born in Cambrai of a noble ancient family. He was a born aristocrat. He joined the Society of Jesus in Lyon in 1913. Since there was no Jesuit scholasticate for religious training in France due to persecution of the religious order, he trained in England. He fought in the trenches in World War I, and was severely wounded on his head. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1927, and was a professor at the Institut Catholique de Lyon from 1929 to 1961, except during World War II when he went underground with the French Resistance. In 1941, he created a series of bilingual editions of early Christian texts and the writings of the Fathers of the Church. This revolutionized the study of those early Christian texts (Sacred Tradition) and the study of the Church Fathers (Patristics). He also did a pioneering study of the interpretation of Medieval texts (ExgPse Mdivale) which revived the spiritual exegesis of the Bible, and helped Roman Catholic ecumenical theology. His innovative approach to the relationship between nature and grace was stopped by the Holy See. He was rehabilitated by Pope John XXIII, who named him to the preparatory commissions of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Paul VI made him a peritus (theological expert and consultant) at the council where his influence was enormous, especially in the fields of ecclesiology and patristics. The new theology of Henri de Lubac, Yves Congar, and Karl Rahner soon became dominant among the Council Fathers. The council texts owe much to De Lubacdue to his peaceful demeanor, his encyclopedic knowledge, his clear thinking, and his elegant latinity. After the council, he was disappointed by the ensuing disorder, and he continued to write explaining the teaching of the council. In 1969, Pope Paul VI proposed that he be made a Cardinal, but he demurred because since the time of Pope John XXIII, from 1962, all Cardinals were required to be ordained bishops. In 1963, Pope Paul II offered the cardinalate to De Lubac again, with a dispensation from the requirement of episcopal ordination. At 87 years of age, De Lubac accepted and was created a Cardinal at the Vatican.

H. D. Gardeil (1953).35 Gardeil is a French Dominican Neo-Scholastic who wrote a class text on cosmology as an introduction to the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. He has a series of other books in philosophy, including logic, psychology, and metaphysics. The original language of Gardeil’s books is French. He is an Aristotelian as well as a Thomist, and his work is rich in forty-four pages of texts from both these thinkers. The whole book is keyed to the works of Aristotle (Aristotle Physics with some additions to Aristotle Metaphysics). Gardeil notes the need to modernize the traditional philosophy of nature, but this was not Gardeil’s purpose, and he remarks that such a task is yet to be done in the mid-twentieth century. Gardeil is useful for this dissertation because he endorses finality, and the proof for the existence of God from the "first way" of St. Thomas (Aquinas Summa Contra Gentiles 1.13 and Aquinas Summa Theologiae 1. 2. 3).

Gardeil clarifies the structure of courses in philosophy. Some Neo-Scholastics, like Gardeil and Calcagno, treat the object of cosmology as exclusively mobile inorganic being. Some other Neo-Scholastics, like Donat, treat the object of cosmology as all mobile being, inorganic and organic, except for the soul of man, which is treated in rational psychology. It was Christian Wolff (1679-1754) whose influence made it fashionable to speak of "cosmology" instead of "philosophy of nature." Wolff also popularized the term "psychology" for the treatment of organic life. This is not just a question of the use of words, but a sharp cleavage developed between cosmology and psychology. In Aristotle, there is an orderly continuation between the treatment of inorganic things and the treatment of organic life. Gardeil chooses to treat only inorganic mobile being in his cosmology (or philosophy of nature). Gardeil believes that treating the preliminary notions of life in cosmology (or philosophy of nature) would have the effect, in the study of man, to isolate the intellectual part of man (soul) from the physiological part of man (living body).

Gardeil is very important for the explanation of how the philosophy of nature differs from the empirical sciences. This is one of the dividing points among Neo-Scholastics during the last century. Maritain teaches that there is a basic and irreducible difference between natural philosophy and the empirical sciences. This means that they constitute specifically distinct sciences. The opposite view is that natural philosophy and the empirical sciences are not essentially distinct, but rather the modern empirical sciences are a dialectical extension of natural philosophy. This is the view of William H. Kane, O.P., Charles De Koninck, Raymond Nogar, James A. Weisheipl, and the Albertus Magnus Lyceum in River Forest, Illinois. This is also the recent view, in 1999, of Battista Mondin at the Urbaniana University in Rome. The author of this dissertation was trained at River Forest, and takes their more unitive view of the philosophy of nature and the empirical sciences.

Edward Schillebeeckx (1959).36 Schillebeeckx was a Beligan Neo-Scholastic philosopher and theologian, who has written extensively, and contributed to the Second Vatican Council. He is a Dominican priest. He was born in Antwerp in 1914. He was educated by the Jesuits at Turnhout, and entered the Dominican Order in 1934. He studied philosophy and theology at Louvain, and was ordained in 1941. From 1943 to 1945, he taught Thomism at the University of Louvain. From 1945 to 1947, he studied at the Dominican center of Le Saulchoir, near Paris. His teachers there were Marie-Dominique Chenu and Yves Congar, who introduced him to modern theology. He also attended the Sorbonne, and in 1952 he defended and published his doctoral thesis: The Redeeming Economy of the Sacraments. From 1958, he was a professor at the Catholic University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. In his inaugural lecture, he introduced the Dutch theologians to Nouvelle Thologie founded by Marie-Dominique Chenu, Yves Congar, Hans Urs von Balthasar and others. He was not granted the status of peritus (theological expert and consultant) at the Second Vatican Council by the Dutch bishops, but his articles and his influence were far greater. In 1965, together with Chenu, Congar, Karl Rahner, and Hans Kng,

he founded a new theological journal Concilium, which promoted reformist thought. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Schillebeeckx turned to exegesis of Scripture. He debated the position of priests and the obligation of celibacy. He was an influential participant in the Dutch National Pastoral Council held between 1968 and 1970. By then Schillebeeckx was known as the leading Dutch speaking Modernist theologian. He had written some books on Jesus, with wide readership, which seemed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith to deny the resurrection of Jesus as an objective fact of the faith. He had to go to Rome to explain his views. After his retirement, Schillebeeckx continued to publish.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1964).37 Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) was a Neo-Scholastic and French Jesuit priest trained as a philosopher and paleontologist, and was present at the discovery of the Peking Man. He was born in Orcines, close to Clermont-Ferrand, France, the fourth child of a large family. The appellation de Chardin was the vestige of a French aristocratic title. He was formally known as Pierre Teilhard, which is the name on his headstone in the Jesuit cemetery in Hyde Park, New York. His father was an amateur naturalist, who had a geological and plant collection and who promoted the observation of nature. The mother of Teilhard de Chardin awakened his spirituality. At eleven years of age, he went to the Jesuit College at Mongr, in Villefrance-sur-Sone where he completed baccalaureates in philosophy and mathematics. In 1899, Teilhard de Chardin entered the Jesuit novitiate at Aix-en-Province where he began his career in philosophy, theology, and spirituality. In the Summer of 1901, the Waldeck-Rousseau laws took control of Jesuit property, and forced the Jesuits into exile on the island of Jersey, United Kingdom. Later, Teilhard earned a licentiate in literature from the University of Caen in 1902.

Teilhard de Chardin was destined to be involved with science. From 1905 to 1908, he taught physics and chemistry in Cairo, Egypt, at the Jesuit College of the Holy Family. From 1908 to 1912, he studied theology at Hastings, Sussex, England. He was influenced by Henri Bergson’s L’volution Cratrice and synthesized his scientific, philosophical, and theological knowledge in the light of evolution. He was also inspired by the evolutionary biologist, Theodosius Dobzhansky, who wrote, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Teilhard de Chardin was ordained a Catholic priest in 1911 at thirty years of age. From 1912 to 1914, he worked on mammals of the middle Tertiary in the paleontology laboratory of the Muse National d’Histoire Naturelle. Professor Marcellin Boulle, a specialist in Neanderthal studies, gradually guided him to human paleontology. In 1913 Henri Breuil took him to study the painted caves of Castello, Spain. His career was interrupted by war service in World War I in which he was stretcher bearer, and received the Mdaille Militaire for valor and the Legion of Honor. He kept diaries and also wrote letters to his cousin, Marguerite Teillard-Chambon about the war. He took solemn vows as a Jesuit in 1918. He did write a number of essays between 1016 and 1919. He obtained three unit degrees in natural science (geology, botany, and zoology) at the Sorbonne, in Paris. In 1920, he lectured in geology at the Catholic Institute of Paris. In 1922, he won his doctorate, and became assistant professor.

Teilhard de Chardin began his mature career in 1923. He traveled to China with Father Emile Licent. He returned to the Catholic Institute, and then in 1926 he went back to China. Between 1926 and 1927, he wrote Le Milieu Divin and began to write The Phenomenon of Man. In December 1929, he had a part in the discovery of the Peking Man. Henri Breuil and Teilhard discovered that Peking Man was a faber, a worker of stones and a controller of fire. Teilhard de Chardin traveled to Central Asia, the Pamir Mountains, and then to the south of China in 1934. He traveled the world, including the United States, India, and Java. He died on 10 April 1955 in New York City at St. Ignatius Loyola Church, Park Avenue. Teilhard de Chardin had a great influence on popular culture, influencing the motion picture The Exorcist, and the novel The Celestine Prophecy.

Teilhard de Chardin had a serious controversy with officials of the Catholic Church. In 1925, he was told to leave teaching. In 1962, there was a Monitum (warning) against some of his mimeographed writing circulating privately. The Roman Curia worried that Teilhard de Chardin undermined the doctrine of original sin as developed by St. Augustine. The literary work of Teilhard de Chardin was denied publication during his lifetime by the Roman Holy Office.

Teilhard de Chardin wrote The Phenomenon of Man to show the evolutionary unfolding of the material cosmos from creation to the noosphere (collective thought and communication) in the present, to his vision of the Omega Point (culmination of human history into Christ) in the future. Note that a number of scholars have appreciated his Omega Point for Finalism and for Theism. The leading proposal of Teilhard de Chardin was orthogenesis: that evolution occurs toward a directional goal in a driven way. This is not Intelligent Design, but a teleological theory with evolutionary processes themselves accounting for the complexity of life. The theological problem concerned the perfection of man by himself, to which Teilhard de Chardin answered in the affirmative, because the culmination of human history in the Omega Point would represent an actual Chirstogenesis (birth in Christ).

Anne Dambricourt (2005).38 Anne Dambricourt Malass is a French Non-Darwinian evolutionist, paleoanthropologist philosopher at the Institute of Human Paleontology in Paris. She writes in French. She holds that chance and natural selection are not the only factors directing evolution. She belongs to the French evolutionary School of Finality (rather than the School of Auto-organization) and is most interested in the internal logic of the process of evolution. Is Anne Dambricourt a Neo-Scholastic? There are three reasons for an affirmative reply. She did participate in the Neo-Scholastic international congress on evolution, in Rome between 23 and 24 April 2002, at the Regina Apostolourm Atheneum. Further, her contributions to the conference are congruent to the Neo-Scholastic position about God, ethics and finality. Finally, she is the General Secretary of the Teilhard de Chardin Foundation.

Anne Dambricourt is a working paleontologist as the Research Director of the National Museum of Natural History and the National Advisory Board of French Universities. She has revealed a process unfolding over millions of years which cannot be strictly explained by chance or by natural selection. Her research in human paleontology, done between 1988 and 1993, noted the evolutionary process internal to the species and the embryonic memory of the dynamic of the process. A transformation was observed in embryogenesis in the tissue that became bone at the base of the cranium. In primates, during the first seven to eight weeks of existence, this base, initially flat in form, bends progressively until it assumes an angle proper to the species. In each species there is a reproducible memory of this bend; in this bend and this angle the jump from one species to another can be verified. She has contributed to develop a new interpretation of general evolution. Her work was reviewed on French television, and has been a source of vast debate. She has been accused of being a paleontologist, not a geneticist.

Anne Dambricourt is not a Darwinian. Her research data show a directional and discontinous phenotype variation that may be a key element for the human vertical position to walk upright. Her research does not seem compatible with the Darwinian random (non-directional), gradual (discontinuous) genetic variations selected by the environment (natural selection). Therefore, the research data show a Non-Darwinian process. Anne Dambricourt maintains that life, where reproduction and evolution are inside a continnum of logical phenomena, which follow the first and universal law which Teilhard de Chardin noted as complexity and consciousness crossing. So the Adamic revelation, described by Dambricourt, then involves an existential response to an intimate presence of God.

Anne Dambricourt also reversed the common opinion of the French Paleoanthropological School. This school is represented by Jean Piveteau, a student of Teilhard de Chardin. The origin of the human species is a process that was slow, a process, an hominization. The ancestor of Homo sapiens acquired locomotion slowly and contingent on ecological variations. The mechanism for evolution was locomotor adaptation, as the ancestor of man moved from the forest (climbing) to the savannah (walking upright), which theory has its roots in Lamarck. Now recent discoveries reversed that theory. First, fossils appear to have complete locomotion. Second, Anne Dambricourt notes that skeleton architecture is directly linked to the process of embryogenesis. There are units of levels of embryonic organization arranged along the dorsal cord, but since the split with the Great Apes, the memory is unstable, either evolve or abort.

Anne Dambricourt has opponents. Can the model of evolution proposed by Darwinism explain the directional and discontinuous phenotypic variations? Jean Staune and Richard Dawkins would reply that "apparently directional" can be explained by cumulative changes. The "apparently discontinuous" phenotypic variations can be explained by cooperative model.

Pierre Perrier (2005).39 Perrier is a French professor. He is a member of the Acadmie des Sciences, Paris and also Acadmie des Technologies, Paris. He participated in the international congress on evolution at the Pontifical Atheneum Regina Apostolorum between 23 and 24 April 2002 in Rome. He delivered a paper on numerical simulation of micro and macro evolution.

Pierre Perrier has studied evolution mathematically. He transformed the genetic message of a species into computer bits (basic units of information). He discovered, against the Darwinians, that there is no continuity in evolution between species. Evolution is possible only within the species itself. Numerical simulation indicates that there is no macro-evolution of species because there is no law of emergence or general tendency toward complexity of species. Pierre Perrier notes that the jumps between species would be scientifically inexplicable: numerical simulation only confirms the micro-evolution of species, that is evolution only within the species.

Pierre Perrier has some other data useful for this dissertation. He gives definitions in his presentation, for example, the definition of life as autonomous, self-regulating, capable of reproduction, and capacity for individuation. He endorses finality, noting that behind all life there is an objective plan. He endorses metaphysics. He notes that metaphysics can uncover a creator of life. He notes the special place that man occupies in the universe, man’s specific individuality, his irreducible human value. It is this human value that permits exchange both socially and with God. God is discovered by observation of the world. God made the world favorable to man, under God’s fatherly care.

Jean Staune (2005).40 Jean Staune a French professor at the Interdisciplinary University in Paris attended the international conference on evolution at the Pontifical Atheneum Regina Apostolorum from 23 to 24 April 2002 in Rome. If not in fact, he is Neo-Scholastic in sympathy. His presentation touched evolutionary finality. He is a Non-Darwinian. He also hopes that a new understanding of Non-Darwinian biology will be able to conquer ideology and enable dialogue. He notes that Non-Darwinian biology will be the evolutionary theme of the twenty-first century. He writes in French, but his footnotes were in French, English and Italian, appropriate to her text.

Jean Staune asks if a scientist can be a Darwininan and a Christian. Straune notes that there are a diversity of theories of evolution. He cites papal teaching about openness to new knowledge in the search for truth. He is most helpful in giving the divisions of two great contemporary Non-Darwinian schools. The two main Non-Darwinian schools are the Auto-Organizers and and the Finalists (divided into three subdivisions).

Jean Staune notes that the Auto-Orgianizers are Brian Goodwin, Mae-Wan Ho, Stuart Kauffman, and Francisco Varela. They are currently, and mainly, Pantheist or Animist. Some of these authors seek a Christian conception of "emergence" following a Process Theology inspired by Whitehead.

Jean Staune explains that the second Non-Darwinian school is the Finalists. The School of Finality with regard to evolution can be divided into three currents: Internal Logic, Repeatability, and Unknown Factors. The first current of the Finalist School is the philosophers who are interested in the internal logic of the process of evolution, such as Anne Dambricourt. The second current of the Finalist School is the philosophers who believe in the reproducibility of evolution, such as Christian de Duve and Michael Denton; so evolution can attain the same result twice, which is also held by Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould. The third current is the philosophers who explain macroevolution by appealing to unknown factors, such as Remy Chauvin, Roberto Fondi, and Giuseppi Sermonti.

Jean Staune wants to explain the systems, arguments, and interpretations. Staune wants to show that the theory of evolution does not necessarily have to be Darwinism. Nevertheless, Staune maintains that Darwin’s theory continues to be the dominant paradigm even today.

CONCLUSION: The conclusion for the French Neo-Scholastic philosophers brings to light a number of similarities and differences from philosophers in Rome. First, all the French philosopher were more or less involved in education. This included Marchal, Hugon, Congar, Maritain, De Lubac, Gilson, Gardeil, Maquart, Teilhard de Chardin, Perrier and Schillebeeckx. Some ever acted as advisors to the Second Ecumenical Council, such as Congar, De Lubac, and (without title of peritus) Schillebeeckx. Second, the unusual factor in the French group is the number of activists, such a s Congar, De Lubac, and Schillebeeckx. These same three were disciplined by some offices of the Church, but eventually Congar and De Lubac were invited to the cardinalate. Teilhard de Chardin was disciplined by the Church, but was not truly an activist. Third, there is still a strong emphasis on the importance of metaphysics, which was promoted by Maritain, Hugon, Gilson, Gardeil, Schillebeeckx, and Perrier. Fourth, concerning general evolution, Perrier affirms evolution only within species; Maritain affirms man "in" evolution but not "of" evolution, so that he seems to reject general evolution of species; Hugon affirms only Productionism, or a possible evolution by God by means of eduction; Maquart only states Fixism with a need of God for evolution does not go against reason; and Teilhard approves evolution up to the body of man inclusive, and a continued spiritual evolution to the Omega Point with Christ. Fifth, finality is endorsed by Hugon, Gilson, Gardeil, Teilhard de Chardin, Dambricourt, and Perrier. Sixth, explict treatment of the evolution of the body of man is given by Teilhard. Seventh, the immortality of the soul is affirmed by Maquart, Hugon, and Perrier. Seventh, abiogenesis is rejected by Hugon and Maquart. Eighth, theism is affirmed by Hugon, Maquart, Maratain, Gilson, Gardeil (as Prime Mover), Teilhard de Chardin, Dambricourt, and Perrier both from metaphysics and from observation. Nineth, liberty is affirmed by Gilson against determinism, and Maquart affirms liberty of exercise but not liberty of specification. Tenth, a serious concern about science is found in Gilson, Teilhard de Chardin, and Maritain. Eleventh, Gradeil noted the break between two views of philosophy of nature: one incorporating science (William H. Kane, O.P.) and the other with an essential difference between the philosophy of nature and the empirical sciences (Maritain). Twelfth, there was a break among the Neo-Scholastics in favor of Transcendental Thomism (Marchal) and historical Thomism (Maritain and Gilson). Thirteenth, Dambricourt maintains an Adamic revelation where, following the ideas of Teilhard de Chardin, consciousness and complexity cross, which is expression of the immanent action of God. Fourteenth, Perrier maintains that a fatherly God cares for man and made the world for man, which is an expression of the Anthorpic Principle without using the technical phrase.

Author:  John Edward Mulvihill, S.T.D., D.Min., Ph.D.
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