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Creation, Evolution, and Catholicism
A Discussion for Those Who Believe
Fifteen million Americans have left the Catholic Church since 2000. Survey after survey indicates the young are leaving in droves. The “New Evangelization” needs a really good new idea and this book presents that new idea. One reviewer called this book “fascinating, eye-opening,and often funny.” It is all of that and more.
This is a book for the non-professional, that is, parents, priests, and mature students who have heard of the creation vs. evolution controversy and wonder what it has to do with Catholicism. It is also a book for anyone who has noticed that young Catholics are now leaving the Church in droves and wonders why that is happening. Why now especially? The purpose of the book is to provoke reflection on the effect of belief in evolution on Catholics, especially young Catholics. Molecules-to-man evolution?the origin of man and of all living things (with or without divine assistance) through hundreds of millions of years of the same kinds of material processes going on now?is taught to most students as a scientific fact in public and Catholic schools and by the culture at-large.
Another reviewer observed that:
“Because many mainstream Catholics have adopted the position that there’s ‘no contradiction’ between evolution and Catholic theology, it has become accepted to assume there are no real problems with theistic evolution. Consequently, there is little real discussion about the question, and Catholics who do not find an easy harmony between Scripture and evolution are left with little to go on. It is into this breach that Mr. McFadden steps with his book. Creation, Evolution, and Catholicism is dedicated to examining the concept of evolution – especially theistic but also atheistic – addressing the issue from a point of view of science but also theology. It demonstrates that the fundamental problem is that most Catholics have adopted the premises of naturalism; even when engaging the Faith with an intent to defend it, they often begin with assumptions taken from naturalism. Naturalism has become a kind of monkey on the Church’s back, related directly to a continued loss of faith. McFadden presents some convincing statistics demonstrating the relationship between acceptance of evolution and loss of faith. It is clear that just because theistic evolution “works” for some does not mean it “works” for everyone; in fact, based on the statistics McFadden presents, it does not “work” for the majority of Catholics.”
The book makes three unique contributions to the creation/evolution/Catholicism literature. First, it digs into the encyclical Humani Generis and analyzes its teaching rather than just repeating what others have written about it. Secondly, it explains in great detail through an historical review why 68% of white, non-Hispanic Catholics in the U.S. believe humans evolved from animals with or without God pulling the strings. Thirdly, in a long appendix made available to download it details the “Galileo Case” because the popular narrative of that case has made Catholics tentative about questioning the scientific consensus in areas that are incompatible with Catholic doctrines.