AD2000 - a journal of religious opinionAD Books
Ask a Question
View Cart
Search AD2000: author: full text:  
AD2000 - a journal of religious opinion
Find a Book:

AD2000 Home
Article Index
About AD2000
Contact Us
Email Updates


Add Me
Remove Me

Subscriber Access:

Enter the Internet Access Key from your mailing label here for full access!


Old or young earth?

Bookmark and Share

 Contents - Oct 2011AD2000 October 2011 - Buy a copy now
Angelus Message: Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7) - Pope Benedict XVI
Episcopacy: Cardinal Pell: the responsibilities of Church leadership - Cardinal George Pell
World Youth Day 2011, Madrid: Australia's participation - Br Barry Coldrey
News: The Church Around the World
Pastoral care: One of the Catholic Church's best kept secrets - Marie Mason
Pro-life: Signs of hope from the United States - Babette Francis
Planetary spirituality: what next! - Frank Mobbs
History: Lepanto, history's most decisive naval battle - Bob Denahy
Catholic Schools: Saint Mary MacKillop Colleges, Wagga Wagga: progress report - Sr Mary Augustine OP
Letters: Anglican Ordinariate - Bishop Harry Entwhistle
Letters: World Youth Day - Arnold Jago
Letters: Bishop Morris - Michael Smith
Letters: One-sided - Charles M. Shann
Letters: Old or young earth? - Fr Brian Harrison OS
Letters: Cart before horse - John Young
Letters: Genesis debate - Anne Lastman
Letters: Pre-Vatican II - Kevin McManus
Letters: Same sex 'marriage' - Richard Congram
Letters: Invalid concept - Robert Prinzen-Wood
Letters: Sermons - Rev. Fr. J. Conway
Books: BENEDICT XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Tracey Rowland - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: ROME AND THE EASTERN CHURCHES: A Study in Schism (2nd ed), Aidan Nichols OP - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: MEDJUGORJE REVISITED: 30 Years of Visions or Religious Fraud? - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Donations: 2011 Fighting Fund contributions
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Benedict XVI's Final Mass homily for World Youth Day - Pope Benedict XVI

Not all scientists are as convinced as John Young is ("Genesis on creation and fall", August 2011) that the age of the earth is to be measured in billions, rather than thousands, of years. (To see some significant, though 'politically incorrect', arguments for a young earth based on up-to-date science, visit www.creation. com and

Also, there are plenty of erudite biblical scholars - including liberals and unbelievers uninhibited by any felt need to defend the Bible's truthfulness - who see no justification whatever in literary or exegetical science for claiming that "day", as used in Genesis 1, was intended by the ancient Hebrew author to mean an indefinite period of time, or that the ages of the patriarchs in Genesis 5 were meant to be understood as "symbolic" rather than historical. (What on earth is supposed to be "symbolised" by numbers such as 895, 727 or 969?)

Nevertheless, Mr Young is quite right that the Church's magisterium, in its present state, leaves it open for Catholics to freely debate the scientific and exegetical pros and cons of the above issues; and in general his little article does quite a good job of setting out which features of the Genesis creation accounts the Church does require us to accept as historically true.

However, he omits one of these features: the non-evolutionary and directly supernatural formation of Eve from the side of Adam. Pope Leo XIII, teaching about the revealed origin of marriage in the 1880 encyclical Arcanum, declared that this is a certain truth - "known to all [Catholics] and doubtful to no one". And in 1909 the Pontifical Biblical Commission listed this among those teachings of Genesis that "touch the foundations of the Christian religion", and whose "literal and historical sense ... cannot be called in question". (Indeed, St Paul, writing under divine inspiration in I Cor. 11:8, 12, clearly interprets the Genesis teaching of woman's derivation from man as historical, not 'symbolic' or 'metaphorical'.)

I invite interested readers to take a look at my 60-page article arguing that the literal and historical formation of Eve from the adult Adam's side is an infallibly proposed doctrine of the Church's ordinary magisterium: "Did Woman Evolve From the Beasts?", Faith & Reason, Vol. XXIX, Nos. 2-4, Summer-Winter 2004, pp. 207-267 (accessible online in two parts, at html and 98. html ).

In this article I offer a rebuttal of every objection to my position that I have so far come across based on science, Scripture or theology. The 'bottom line' here is that the Church's magisterium permits Catholics to hold for an evolutionary origin of the human body as such (i.e., Adam's body), but not for Eve's body.

St Louis, Missouri, USA

Bookmark and Share

Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 24 No 9 (October 2011), p. 14

Page design and automation by
Umbria Associates Pty Ltd © 2001-2004