Which is True: Creation, Evolution, or Both?
This session explores the biggest challenge to faith experienced by many people, especially in college. Namely, is Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution compatible with faith in God? Or, does evolution make it possible to be an “intellectually fulfilled atheist” (to quote Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins)? While you may not have personal doubts about God’s role in the evolutionary process, this session will provide valuable information for discussion with those who do.
First, we present the Catholic Church’s teaching that Genesis “symbolically” conveys the story of creation and that the deeper religious principles (not the literal plot) are the truths being conveyed by the story.
Next, this session explores the concept of evolutionary creation or theistic evolution, which many people see as a reasonable balance between faith and science. This includes looking at the four types of causes (primary, secondary, intelligent, natural) in order to better understand how evolution could have been God’s method of creation. In short, God is the primary/intelligent cause of the universe and all within it. However, God prefers to work through secondary/natural causes (such as natural selection acting on genetic mutations) in the development of the universe and the evolution of life on earth.
Then, we look at the prevailing view of evolution common within academia and the scientific establishment, which could be called evolutionary naturalism or atheistic evolution, which is often seen as a direct challenge to faith in God. This will lead to a discussion of materialism and the limits of science.
In closing, we look at how an intelligent cause is a valid explanation for the genetic information found in DNA.
(1) A shorter version (less than an hour) of this multimedia presentation is available for adult faith formation (e.g., RCIA classes), Catholic middle/high school and college students, youth ministry groups, etc. Click here to view/download PowerPoint slides (without videos) for the shorter presentation: Which is True: Creation, Evolution, or Both?
(2) Another short version of this multimedia presentation, which includes Catholic teachings on how to interpret the Genesis creation stories, is available for Catholic middle school students. Click here to view/download PowerPoint slides (without videos) for the middle school presentation: Which is True: Creation, Evolution, or Both?
For more information, please see:
- View/Download PowerPoint Slides (without videos) for the full presentation: Which is True: Creation, Evolution, or Both?