Author Topic: Thomistic Evolution  (Read 18775 times)

Offline LouisIX

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Re: Thomistic Evolution
« Reply #240 on: April 30, 2017, 01:53:56 PM »
The world is, by nature, imperfect. It is defectible. The only thing which is indefectible by nature is God. I'm not sure why God's permission of imperfection is an evil. Perfection is not due to creation.

It simply has to be true because it simply has to be true, evolution or no, and obviously is.  Do you imagine God working a continuous set of miracles pre-Fall?  That would be contrary to the nature of God.  The physical universe, and animals, are, by nature, defectible creatures.

This is the faulty reasoning that St. Thomas uses, following Aristotle's idea that the heavenly bodies are made of incorruptible matter, and everything below made of corruptible matter.
There is no reason why God could not preserve the lives of animals and plants indefinitely. Yes, only God is incorruptible in Himself, but we know that the resurrected body will have incorruptibility infused into it. There is no reason why incorruptibility could not be given to all living species. Many of the Church fathers believed that this was the case, and it's the most obvious sense of sacred scripture. It would not be a "continuous set of miracles"; in fact, it would not be any miracle at all. God would simply infuse incorruptibility into His original creation, and then take it away at the Fall. No miracle takes place. "In our experience, living species are corruptible, therefore living species are corruptible by their very nature", is false reasoning and a lack of imagination.
When LouisIX says that the world is, by nature (and not by the Fall), imperfect, he almost directly contradicts scripture and the Church fathers, which describe the original creation as being "very good".

I did not say that they were evil in the moral sense. I am not a Gnostic. I said that they were imperfect in the ontological sense. I'm unaware of any Church Father who disagrees. This is the entire premise upon which the radical contingency of the world upon God for its being is based.

It sounds like you're mistaking what St. Thomas is saying when he speaks about the imperfection of nature. It is not self-subsistent nor is it the source of its own good. It relies upon another and is thus imperfect. (Similarly, he calls the family an imperfect society while he calls the State a perfect society; this is not because He does not recognize the supreme goodness of the family, but because it is not self-sufficient).

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Offline INPEFESS

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Re: Thomistic Evolution
« Reply #241 on: May 11, 2017, 07:37:15 PM »
John, as I recall, St. Thomas argues for the carnivorous nature of Tigers (for example) based upon their dental, digestive, muscular, and skeletal physiology. As St. Thomas argues, it is preposterous to suppose that God would have changed their entire physical design after the Fall. If he did, then the post-Fall tiger wouldn't even be the same physical form as the pre-Fall tiger, given that the entire design of the post-Fall tiger would have been purposeless (and would have even inhibited floral assimilation) pre-Fall.
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Thomistic Evolution
« Reply #242 on: May 12, 2017, 12:14:51 AM »
John, as I recall, St. Thomas argues for the carnivorous nature of Tigers (for example) based upon their dental, digestive, muscular, and skeletal physiology. As St. Thomas argues, it is preposterous to suppose that God would have changed their entire physical design after the Fall. If he did, then the post-Fall tiger wouldn't even be the same physical form as the pre-Fall tiger, given that the entire design of the post-Fall tiger would have been purposeless (and would have even inhibited floral assimilation) pre-Fall.

Yet, there are animals which have "carnivorous" features and are entirely "vegetarian" and others which are omnivores and do not need meat. So the argument of features doesn't really follow by what we know from more in depth study of various species and their habits.
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Offline rbjmartin

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Re: Thomistic Evolution
« Reply #243 on: May 12, 2017, 01:22:56 PM »
John, as I recall, St. Thomas argues for the carnivorous nature of Tigers (for example) based upon their dental, digestive, muscular, and skeletal physiology. As St. Thomas argues, it is preposterous to suppose that God would have changed their entire physical design after the Fall. If he did, then the post-Fall tiger wouldn't even be the same physical form as the pre-Fall tiger, given that the entire design of the post-Fall tiger would have been purposeless (and would have even inhibited floral assimilation) pre-Fall.

Yet, there are animals which have "carnivorous" features and are entirely "vegetarian" and others which are omnivores and do not need meat. So the argument of features doesn't really follow by what we know from more in depth study of various species and their habits.

Fascinating. Can you provide examples of such animals? I would be interested to learn more.
 

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Re: Thomistic Evolution
« Reply #244 on: May 12, 2017, 02:05:51 PM »
John, as I recall, St. Thomas argues for the carnivorous nature of Tigers (for example) based upon their dental, digestive, muscular, and skeletal physiology. As St. Thomas argues, it is preposterous to suppose that God would have changed their entire physical design after the Fall. If he did, then the post-Fall tiger wouldn't even be the same physical form as the pre-Fall tiger, given that the entire design of the post-Fall tiger would have been purposeless (and would have even inhibited floral assimilation) pre-Fall.

Yet, there are animals which have "carnivorous" features and are entirely "vegetarian" and others which are omnivores and do not need meat. So the argument of features doesn't really follow by what we know from more in depth study of various species and their habits.

Fascinating. Can you provide examples of such animals? I would be interested to learn more.

---

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The mosquitoes comprise the first group of interest. It appears that only the females of certain mosquito species actually consume blood. The reason blood is needed is because


‘females, at emergence, have only partly developed ovaries. This requires a source of nitrogen to complete ovarian development and reach maturity.’36

Mosquitoes that do not draw blood find nutrition by feeding on plant nectar.37 So it seems that only a portion of mosquitoes use blood, and it is only mammalian blood. This amount would not include males since they do not consume blood. Nor would it include those few species where the females use nectar. So the percentage needing blood is under 50% of the total mosquito population. This could suggest that at some point in history a change took place that caused only some female mosquitoes to use blood as food.


Quote
The second group is the reptile family. Robert Sprackland claims that of the seventeen different lizard families, the Varanidae, is the only group that is strictly meat eating.38,39,40 The other sixteen families are mostly herbivores, with some being insectivores. There has also been a recent discovery of a monitor lizard that is a fruitivore.41 This is most unusual, since the large monitor lizard eats a great quantity of meat. The lizard group possesses very sharp teeth similar to those of the meat-eating dinosaurs.


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The next group is that of the Canidae or dog family. It is important to observe that most of the smaller canidae are not carnivorous. Yet some of the small canidae who do eat meat survive well on a mixed diet of meat and plants. An interesting point to observe is that most of the coyote diet is fruit.42 Even the diet of the domestic dog is mostly meal. A large portion of the dry dog food purchased has cereal as its base. The coyote and other dogs, like the lizards, have teeth that appear to be designed to rip into flesh. Yet much of the diet of the wild coyote is fruit, with the domestic dog existing on a cereal base food.


Quote
The bat is another interesting creature. Most bats, although they have teeth that can cut flesh, are either insectivores or fruitivores.43 We often think of bats as ‘blood thirsty’ creatures similar to those pictured in horror movies. But, the Vampire Bat is the only species which is mainly a blood drinker. The American Leaf Bat, thought to be a close relative, is predominantly insectivorous. The entire bat group has very sharp and ferocious looking teeth. Yet they use their teeth in a manner inconsistent with their appearance.

Quote
Biologists call the bear family omnivores: this means they will eat anything they might happen to come across in the wild. Bears are very well known for their eating fish and other animals, including man. Yet they can survive well on just a diet of fruit, berries, nuts, and honey. There is one bear-like creature that is a classification problem for the biologist, the Panda. Until recently this animal was classified with the raccoons, but are now in a family all by themselves.44 The design of the Panda’s teeth are specifically for eating bamboo shoots. The Panda has flattened teeth that are large in diameter when compared to the jaw. Yet the teeth and jaw structure of the Panda are very similar to the brown bear.45 Although it eats only bamboo, the teeth and jaw structure of the Panda, like the other bears, appear to be designed for eating meat. It seems, then, that the bear group can thrive on a vegetarian or meat diet.

Quote
Many believe that lions can survive only on a diet made from the flesh of animals. Yet there is a documented case of a vegetarian lion. The lion’s mother seriously injured it just after its birth, and so a human family raised it. They document, that the lion cub, at ten weeks, would take one sniff of a bone. Then ‘she immediately regurgitated all the food she held in her stomach’.46 Even at four years old, the lion could not be trained to eat meat.

All from: https://answersingenesis.org/animal-behavior/what-animals-eat/creations-original-diet-and-the-changes-at-the-fall/

Some other examples here:

https://answersingenesis.org/animal-behavior/what-animals-eat/unexpectedly-vegetarian-animals-what-does-it-mean/

It's simply unnecessary that canine teeth = meat, or that claws = taking down prey/defense.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 02:07:48 PM by Gardener »
"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 
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Offline INPEFESS

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Re: Thomistic Evolution
« Reply #245 on: May 13, 2017, 11:10:38 AM »
Ok, carnivorous animals are a bad example. But the exception proves the rule. That's the point. It isn't that exceptions prove that it couldn't be the case. It is that animals in which this is impossible is an argument for their physiology to have been the same pre-Fall. Take for example those creatures that could not survive other than how they designedly do, e.g. the whale straining plankton, the praying mantis eating bugs, the python eating the rat, or the pelican eating fish. These animals can't survive without these food sources without essential changes of their very design, and each example resupposes the death of another creature for its own survival. It wouldn't make much sense to me to think that God would create some forms He would have to completely alter post-Fall but then create other forms where this would not be necessary. Why? Why create any forms that would need to be changed at all? Did He lack foreknowledge of the Fall?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 11:18:47 AM by INPEFESS »
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Re: Thomistic Evolution
« Reply #246 on: May 13, 2017, 11:51:05 AM »
Shall Lion and Lamb who shall lay down together undergo a formal change?



"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 

Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: Thomistic Evolution
« Reply #247 on: May 13, 2017, 01:02:18 PM »
John, as I recall, St. Thomas argues for the carnivorous nature of Tigers (for example) based upon their dental, digestive, muscular, and skeletal physiology. As St. Thomas argues, it is preposterous to suppose that God would have changed their entire physical design after the Fall. If he did, then the post-Fall tiger wouldn't even be the same physical form as the pre-Fall tiger, given that the entire design of the post-Fall tiger would have been purposeless (and would have even inhibited floral assimilation) pre-Fall.

Yet, there are animals which have "carnivorous" features and are entirely "vegetarian" and others which are omnivores and do not need meat. So the argument of features doesn't really follow by what we know from more in depth study of various species and their habits.

Indeed, so we are to conclude from this that God changed pre-Fall designs into post-Fall designs which included completely superfluous and useless carnivorous features for herbivores and omnivores?