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Kolbe Report 5/22/21

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Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,

Christ is ascended into Heaven!

In these days when so many Church leaders speak of ecology and sins against the environment in the context of theistic evolution, it is worth taking a few minutes to examine whether the molecules-to-man evolutionary framework actually makes sense as a way to understand the Earth’s ecology.  Environmentalists often speak of the importance of an ecological perspective and of the need to keep endangered species of plants or animals from becoming extinct, because of their role in the complex web of the environment.   Yet evolution-believing environmentalists necessarily believe that the whole array of different kinds of plants and animals never existed together with each other or with mankind and that microbe-to-man evolution took place over hundreds of millions of years during which huge numbers of species came into existence one after the other through a process of mutation and natural selection.

Ironically, God’s account of His work of creation is much more ecological and holistic than the evolutionary myth of microbe-to-man evolution.  According to the sacred history of Genesis, God created all of the different kinds of creatures—the inanimate and the animate; plants, animals and humans—in rapid succession, so that they existed together in perfect harmony, with man and for man, from the beginning of creation.  St. Thomas Aquinas sums up the teaching of all of the Fathers of the Church when he writes of “the first perfection of the universe” which he describes “as the completeness of the universe at its first founding.”   In this “first perfection,” all of the different kinds of creatures existed together, each one perfect according to its nature, all existing, with man and for man, from the beginning of creation, in perfect harmony.  St. Bonaventure uses the term “machina mundi” to describe the finished state of the universe after the creation of Adam and Eve.  Just as a machine, like an automobile, may have useable parts as it goes through a factory on a conveyor belt, but will not run on its own—as an automobile—until it has received all of its parts and rolls off the assembly line, so, according to St. Bonaventure, the machine of the world did not function on its own with relative autonomy until it had received all of its parts on the sixth day of creation.

Theistic and atheistic evolutionists flatly contradict this fundamental tenet of the traditional doctrine of creation.  The former try to reconcile their evolutionary views with the traditional doctrine by arguing that all of the diversity of the biosphere was contained in the first matter produced in the Big Bang, just as the diversity of cellular structures in a human body are contained (potentially) in the fertilized ovum of a human mother.  But this is a very poor analogy.  The fertilized egg is a complete human being with a body and soul.  As the “form of the body,” (as defined by the Council of Vienne in 1312) the soul organizes and animates all of the organs and systems of the developing human body from conception until death.  This kind of development bears no resemblance whatsoever to the alleged “cosmic evolution” of Big Bang cosmology.

The matter allegedly created by God at the moment of the Big Bang could not possibly develop through a natural process into the extant diversity of living things.  In the first place, none of that original matter was alive, so it had no potential to become a living thing.  In the second place, the hydrogen, helium and lithium that allegedly came into existence “in the beginning” could only produce a very limited number of chemicals through their interaction and certainly nothing even remotely resembling the “building blocks of life.”  Thus, the claim that the matter produced at the moment of the Big Bang can be likened to a fertilized ovum is as false as it could be.  There is certainly nothing grand or even remotely plausible about the claim that matter produced at the moment of the Big Bang could naturally develop into the universe that we see, analogously to the way that a human embryo develops into a fully-developed human being.

Evolution is Eco-logical Nonsense

It is amusing to think of how many times I have seen Catholic intellectuals dismiss the traditional reading of Genesis in the light of the science of evolution when the scientific data fit so much more logically—and ecologically—into the traditional Biblical framework.  For example, according to evolutionary mythology, insects evolved 480 million years ago; but birds did not evolve until 150 million years ago.  According to this science fiction fantasy, insects ranged over the Earth for 330 million years with no birds to keep them in check!  While it is true that some insects eat other insects—like dragonflies and lady bugs—it would be quite a stretch to imagine that insects could exist for 330 million years without birds or mammals to keep them in check!  In a recent publication in The Science of Nature, a team of scientists calculated that:

Birds around the world eat 400 to 500 million metric tonnes of beetles, flies, ants, moths, aphids, grasshoppers, crickets and other anthropods per year. These numbers have been calculated in a study led by Martin Nyffeler of the University of Basel in Switzerland. The research, published in Springer’s journal The Science of Nature, highlights the important role birds play in keeping plant-eating insect populations under control.

Nyffeler and his colleagues based their figures on 103 studies that highlighted the volume of prey that insect-eating birds consume in seven of the world’s major ecological communities known as biomes. According to their estimations, this amounts to between 400 and 500 million tonnes of insects per year but is most likely to be on the lower end of the range. Their calculations are supported by a large number of experimental studies conducted by many different research teams in a variety of habitats in different parts of the world.

These hard facts indicate that 330 days without birds would be enough time for insects to turn the whole green Earth into a desert.  Yet we allow most of our children and grandchildren to be taught that insects existed on Earth without birds or mammals for 330 million years!

Ecological Zonation and the Flood

The evolutionary misinterpretation of the fossil record reveals another serious ecological blind spot.  According to the microbe-to-man evolution myth, the remains of the different kinds of organisms buried in the sedimentary rocks all over the Earth succeeded each other over hundreds of millions of years, as one kind of creature evolved into another, with new organs and systems of the body being generated by a process of mutation and natural selection.  Since sedimentological research has revealed that the sedimentary rock layers all over the Earth were laid down rapidly; and cutting edge genetics has established that mutations do not produce any new functional genetic information; and since there is no evidence in the fossil record that one kind of organism has ever evolved into a different kind of organism, with different organs and bodily systems, it makes much more sense to see the fossil record as a reflection of the ecology of the Earth at the time of the watery global cataclysm of Noah’s Flood than as a record of hundreds of millions of years of evolution.  Kolbe scientists discuss this concept in the DVD series “Foundations Restored” under the heading of “ecological zonation.” As the Teacher’s Guide explains:

Ecological Zonation” refers to the presence of different types of animal and plant life at different elevations or vertical zones on land and in water.  The presence of ecological zones means that during a global Flood, the plant and animal life would have tended to be buried in a manner that more or less reflects the elevation and ecological zone in which that plant and animal life was most commonly found, especially if the species was not very mobile.

Based on this concept, one would expect that the first types of fossils to be found in the record established by the flood would be bottom-dwelling marine life, and this is what is found. Geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling explains:

In the lowermost fossiliferous strata (Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian), the contained fossils are almost exclusively shallow-water marine invertebrates, with fish and amphibian fossils only appearing in progressively greater numbers in the higher strata. The first fish fossils are found in Ordovician strata, and in Devonian strata are found amphibians and the first evidence of continental type flora. It is not until the Carboniferous (Mississippian and Pennsylvanian) and Permian strata higher in the geologic record that the first traces of land animals are encountered.

The Teacher’s Guide goes on to explain how, working with ecological zonation would be a factor called “differential escape.”   The Guide explains:

This refers to the reaction and mobility of animals to rising waters during the flood.  Animals who sensed the need to escape and who were relatively mobile would move to higher ground as the flood waters rose.  This concept is confirmed in areas such as the Grand Canyon where footprints of amphibians and reptiles are seen at lower levels of the geologic column, yet their fossils appear at higher strata.  Even higher are the dinosaurs and mammals.

Traditional Creation Theology Supports Sound Ecology

We have seen some of the ways that the empirical data harmonize much better with the sacred history of Genesis than with the myth of molecules-to-man evolution.  But there is another reason why the traditional doctrine of the first perfection of the universe acts as a safeguard against evolutionary pantheism.  In the sacred history of Genesis God reveals Himself to be completely transcendent.  He is able to make a complete and harmonious universe out of nothing, but He Himself exists above and beyond His finished work of creation—even as He holds it in existence with His infinite triune love.  As soon as one denies the first perfection of the universe and sees the universe as incomplete, and only “on its way” to the “omega point” of perfection, it becomes necessary to divinize the universe or to identify God with His creation, as that is the only way to explain how an incomplete, imperfect, and disordered universe can “evolve” to a more highly-ordered state of completion and perfection.

This is exactly what Bishops and theologians do who embrace Fr. Teilhard de Chardin’s evolution-based pantheism.  Because they have not received the doctrine of creation as it was handed down from the Apostles, with its clear teaching on the “first perfection of the universe,” they must grant to the universe itself a divine power to produce new and higher kinds of organisms so as to attain that perfection which (in their distorted view) never existed “in the beginning.”  Here we can see the absolute necessity of heeding Pope Pius XII’s exhortation in Humani generis to bring the traditional metaphysical principles of Catholic philosophy to bear on any examination of the evolutionary hypothesis.

As Fr. Chad Ripperger has demonstrated, when we apply these principles to the molecules-to-man evolution mythology, we see that the ENVIRONMENT cannot make inanimate matter come alive or change a tree-dwelling creature into a land-dwelling one—no matter how many mythical millions of years one wants to assign to these fabulous processes—because “the effect can never be greater than the cause.”  Only the traditional doctrine of creation explains how a transcendent Creator could bring a complete and harmonious universe into existence out of nothing with all its parts, so that the machina mundi could function with relative autonomy, yet remain a creature, totally dependent for its existence upon its transcendent Creator.

It is high time that Church leaders who have embraced the evolution-based Teilhardian cult of the environment stepped back and re-evaluated the scientific basis for their view.  Then they will see that the only account of the origins of man and the universe that makes sense, logically and ecologically, is the one revealed by God Himself in the sacred history of Genesis.

Yours in Christ through the Immaculata in union with St. Joseph,

Hugh Owen

P.S.  I will be speaking at Mater Dei Latin Mass Parish in Irving, Texas, on Sunday, May 23; at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Covington, Louisiana, on Monday evening, May 24; and at St. Mary of Sorrows Church in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday, evening, May 25.  Please see the Kolbe Events Page for details.

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