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I was born, I'm currently living, and will eventually die. After that I face my judgment, and we'll talk then.


Monday, August 22, 2011


This summer I completed the last class necessary for my MA in Theology from NDGS (I still need to take my comps and complete my Master's Thesis, which will be fodder for many blog posts, I'm sure). The class was, ironically, the first one in the curriculum: THEO 601 - God the Father. The course, to put it simply, covers the first part of the Apostles Creed (from "I Believe. . ." to "and Earth"); more specifically, the course covers, doctrine and dogma, Revelation, infallibility, the ad intra actions of God (basically how the Trinity works) and the ad extra actions of God (basically God and creation). The creation of the world and God's relationship with the created order formed a central part of the course. The creation of man holds an obvious place of honor in this discussion, and since I'm always interested in intersecting science and theology, I wanted to do something with creation and evolution. My professor suggested I examine the debate over human origins, namely between polygenism and monogenism. I liked the idea, and the more I research, the more obsessed I became with the topic. The result was my paper. I have decided to be merciful and have divided it into parts. That's right, you don't have to read all 15 pages in one sitting.

You can if you want. :D

We begin with an introduction. . .

Man has always pondered his origins. Once the study of philosophers and theologians, the question of human origins has in the last century become the study of scientists. Life on Earth, these scientists say, evolves, morphs, and adapts as needed. Humans are no different, and there remains an ongoing project among scientists of varying disciplines to trace the evolutionary pedigree of humanity. Standing against them are those who believe in a special creation of man as described in the Bible. At stake is nothing less than the sanctity of the human person. If man evolved from an animal, the reasoning goes, he is no different from other animals. On the other hand, if Genesis depicts man’s origins correctly, then man has a more elevated dignity, since God created him in his image and likeness. There have been many attempts over the last hundred years to explain human origins, resulting in the theory of polygenism, or the belief that man has a multitude of ancestors; its opposite is monogenism, or the belief that mankind stemmed from one original pair. Polygenists point to fossils to prove their theories. Monogenic supporters hold fast to the Bible and Catholic Tradition, the two streams of Revelation, and condemn polygenism. Can there be union? Is it possible for science and theology to agree on this matter? Upon examination, it is clear that polygenism, though often incorporating theology and science, is not only wrong but also gravely dangerous to Christian theology. At the same time, there is a way to reconcile monogenism and science, a theory that allows for special creation and evolution in the origins of man.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:57 PM

    was this your masters thesis