Thomism and Evolution

I’m sharing the good news. My article on the thomistic response to the theory of evolution – that I have been working on for a long time – has been published today in an online version of the coming issue of Theology and Science. you can find link to the article and a pdf of the final draft on my profile on ACADEMIA.EDU and RESEARCHGATE.NET.

The paper is significant for two reasons.

First, I’m bringing in it my discovery of a preliminary definition of natural selection in Aquinas’ commentary on Aristotle’s Physics II, 8 (198b 29-32), that can be found in In Phys. II, lect. 12, par. 253.

Second, in the theological part of the paper I bring Aquinas’ Commentary on Sentences (In I Sent., dist. 44, I, 2, co.) where Thomas — in the context of divine action in the possible perfection of the universe — says explicitly about addition of new species (multae aliae species).

Thomistic Response to the Theory of Evolution: Aquinas on Natural Selection and the Perfection of the Universe

Abstract

Neither Aristotle nor Aquinas assumes the reality of the evolution of species. Their systems of thought, however, remain open to the new data, offering an essential contribution to the ongoing debate between scientific, philosophical, and theological aspects of the theory of evolution. After discussing some key issues of substance metaphysics in its encounter with the theory of evolution (hylomorphism, transformism of species, teleology, chance, the principle of proportionate causation), I present a Thomistic response to its major hypotheses. Concerning the philosophy of Aquinas I trace what might be seen as a preliminary description of natural selection in his commentary on Aristotle’s Physics. Turning toward theology, besides addressing the topics that were referred to in the past—such as: Aquinas’ reading of Genesis, his account of creation as dependence in being, secondary and instrumental causality, and univocal/equivocal predication of God—I bring into discussion Thomas’ concept of the perfection of the universe, which has been virtually unused in this context.

Key Words: Aristotle; Aquinas; Natural selection; Chance; Divine causality; Evolution; Hylomorphism; Perfection of the Universe; Teleology

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From Spinoza to Hegel

I’m publishing another paper that I wrote during the first two years of my studies at the GTU. It will eventually become an important part of one of the chapters of my dissertation.

 
Abstract: In recent years, the concept of panentheism has become one of the most influential  methodological frameworks among authors contributing to the science/theology debate in the Anglo-American context. However, a deep and well-weighed study of its philosophical foundations is still lacking. Moreover, a more critical evaluation of its legitimacy within theological reflection in the context of natural science is needed. The aim of this article is twofold. First, I present an analysis of a critical shift in metaphysics and the philosophy of God: I trace the origin of modern panentheism, the trajectory from Spinoza to Hegel, from substance to subject, from ontologically independent to an evolving God. Secondly, I refer to Barbour, Peacocke and Clayton and try to reveal crucial problems that challenge their versions of panentheism, as well as the one presented by Hegel. I claim that they all fail to express properly God’s transcendence. I argue from the position of classical theism.
View the paper in the PDF file (published on my profile on academia.edu)