Philosophy of Evolution: Possibility

Participants in the Dialogue


Participants in the Dialogue about the Possibility of Evolution

Adversaries to the proposal in this chapter are historic and doctrinal. Historically, the ancients thought species perpetual. G. Cuvier, father of paleontology, held perpetual species. His student, D’Orbigny admitted repeated true creations. Doctrinally, the moderns who oppose evolution and embrace the theory of permanence are the Fundamentalists.

Favoring the thesis are Bernoit de Maillet (d. 1732) who clearly proposed evolution. Some idea of transformation was had by Goethe, Oken, and Buffon. Lamarck and Darwin explained the origin of actual living species by asserting transformation of species.8 A number of Neo-Scholastics favor Evolutionism, such as Klubertanz, Hoenen (Gregorian University), Dougherty, Dezza (Gregorian), Renard, and O’Flynn Brennan. Some Neo-Scholastics affirm evolutionary transformism but restrict its extent. Gredt, originally in 1909, argues against monophyletic transformism.9 Donat in 1915, Boyer (Gregorian) in 1939, and Calcagno (Gregorian) in 1953, profess polyphyletic Transformism "within" the limits of species, although this should not be called Transfromism, but moderate or mitigated Transformism.10 La Vecchia, at the Gregorian University in Rome, in 1999, professes transformation "between" species.

Adversaries who reject the proposal make it clear that the thesis proposed is a serious subject for discussion. The thesis proposed and defended as true presents an objective problem worthy of dialogue.

Adversaries who seriously contradict the proposal in this chapter deserve respect. These adversaries have reasons for their position. In every false position there is some truth. In dialogue, every attempt should be made to clarify that truth. In this case, it is not easy to detect substantial change.11 Further, even philosophers such as Heidegger and Sartre have misunderstood the meaning of creation, by trying to make "nothing" into an entity.12 Accordingly, even if our proposal and its proofs demonstrate the adversaries wrong, their position can be understood and respected.


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