I ran into a couple of articles recently that I think are just great. So, I’d like to share them with a few comments. One’s about the Church and Evolution. The other’s about masturbation. And there might be a connection.
I’m several months behind on this first one, and I’m not sure how I missed it back in February, but I’m glad I’ve see it now. Apparently the Vatican is now suggesting that mean ol’ Chuck Darwin could actually be “saved.” Can you believe it? It might actually be that the pesky idea of evolution can actually be reconciled with the great Abrahamic faiths. Well, it’s good to know that Rome is on board with centuries and centuries of biblical commentators and interpreters. In this article, it even seems that the Vatican thinks some of Christianity’s most important early fathers might have been easily on board with the whole evolution train – at least from a theistic point of view of course. I personally wouldn’t doubt at all that men such as Augustine and Aquinas had a more “liberal” understanding of the earliest parts of scripture than do so many today. Given that even the Bible itself makes rather clear that its account of creation should not be understood as taking place over six literal 24-hour periods, I don’t think we should expect those two men – and many more I’m sure – to have had trouble reconciling an idea of evolution with their religious faith. And even beyond the indicators the Bible gives us, the philosophical prowess of a man such as Aquinas – especially given all he probably learned from the Rambam – must certainly have been able to understand the first chapter of Genesis as, for instance, retelling the process of creation from an entirely different perspective than we could ever have, making it essentially impossible for any discovery within creation itself to contradict the biblical account. Whatever Augustine and Aquinas thought, I’d like to say, “Welcome to The Club, Rome.” We’re all glad you could join us. (In reality though, I suspect you’ve been a secret member for quite a long time.)
But what about the implications? I suspect we might see some environmental benefit from this because when Josh McDowell publishes his next redundant book, he can probably save the paper and ink for the sections where he explains how all those crazy animals fit on Noah’s Ark and where he explains away that annoying fossil record. Maybe when they print new copies for his “Evangelism 6-Packs” they’ll just remove those sections too, so we can get a jump on this. Trees around the world must be letting out a sigh of relief. Now, there is a potential negative to come from this as well. If this place goes out of business, I will be very sad indeed – my VHS of Jurassic Park is wearing out.
Well, that’s some pretty darn good news…unless you don’t want kids…or if you’re one of those liars.
Here’s a nice piece on the subject that makes the prof-life case for masturbation.
I must say I’ve never understood the revulsion surrounding things like masturbation – male or female. I can respect the consistency of the Vatican’s position on it though. But here’s the thing, in light of the news above on evolution and the Church, it’s worth drawing the connection between the benefits of consistent masturbation and evolution. It seems that those species that have evolved beyond others must be those that have produced the most and healthiest offspring. Well, it seems reasonable to conclude then that if masturbation will improve fertility and sperm DNA issues, that those species (or individuals) that masturbated the most throughout time would be those that produced the most and healthiest offspring. Although unscientific, it seems reasonable to loosely conclude that religions that condemn things that result in frequency of ejaculation (i.e. wanking it or having sex without the intention of procreation), are condemning their adherents to be lost to time as other groups of people enjoy not just the beauty of the pleasures God created, but also the evolutionary benefits that result in more and healthier offspring? (Of course, the rise of various contraceptives could be God’s ingenious way of leveling the playing field.) Also, could it be that the nocturnal emission is an evolutionary reaction to such moral regulation? Is such a spontaneous midnight occurrence the species trying to save itself from overreaching moral regulation?
PERSONAL NOTE: There seems to me to be no reason to single out the Roman Catholic Church as a subject for these issues. I’m sure many faith groups in many different faiths would apply to this just as easily. My guess is that the hierarchy and history of the Roman Church plus the clarity of its Catechism, etc. simply make it easier for the press to cover, and thus easier to blog about.