Cart before horse

Cart before horse

John Young

In his response to my article on Genesis Dr Frank Mobbs (September AD2000) has put the cart before the horse. He claims I gave a list of Church teachings that were adopted because they are in Genesis. But what I actually did was to interpret statements in Genesis in the light of Church teaching.

To take an example of this misunderstanding. Dr Mobbs says I see the following doctrine as resting on Genesis: "Satan tempted Adam and Eve". He responds: "Satan is not mentioned in Genesis. A snake is mentioned but he is not called Satan." I did not say the doctrine rests on Genesis; I interpreted the obscure text in Genesis in the light of the New Testament (Rev. 12:9), and of Tradition and the Magisterium.

I am rather intrigued by Dr Mobbs' claim that "If human evolution is true, then Genesis is false." Does he think Scripture teaches error? Or does he think we must reject human evolution as incompatible with the Word of God?

Father Brian Harrison OS, in this present issue of AD2000, points out that I omit the "non-evolutionary and directly supernatural formation of Eve from the side of Adam". I agree that Eve was in some way formed from Adam, but Ludwig Ott, quoting the words of St Paul, "The woman is of the man", notes that "the saying is and remains mysterious" ( Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 95).

The suggestion has been made that Adam and Eve were identical twins, and God intervened at the chromosomal level to make Eve female. I've no wish to defend that speculation, but I wouldn't be prepared to say that official Catholic teaching completely rules out the origin of Eve by evolution.

On the question of macroevolution, however, strong scientific evidence exists against evolution, whether of man or animal life in general; evidence ignored by too many theologians and Scripture scholars. Father Harrison is to be commended for his work, over the years, in presenting the case against evolution.

A last point. Father Harrison thinks I am convinced that "the age of the earth is to be measured in billions, rather than thousands, of years." I was much more cautious than that! I merely said there is "scientific evidence that the universe is very old."

Melbourne, Vic

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