Chaberek Michał
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49(2013)1 - Papers

Michał Chaberek

Was St. Augustine a theistic evolutionist?

  • language: Polish


Summary

The article provides an answer to the question as to whether St. Augustine can be regarded as the father of the contemporary Christian interpretation of the doctrine of creation called “theistic evolution”. One example of theistic evolution can be found in “creation’s functional integrity” – a concept developed by the protestant theologian Howard van Till. A vast majority of contemporary Christian evolutionists find the origin of the idea of biological macroevolution in the works of the Bishop of Hippo. As a result, Augustine is supposed to be the first Christian evolutionist and his writings provide justification for contemporary evolutionary opinion amongst Christian scholars. The article shows crucial incompatibilities between the concepts of Augustine and the evolutionists; according to Augustine, only God could create different natures of the living beings. Moreover, all natural species were created simultaneously in the Beginning and their subsequent transformation is not possible. The article shows also how the ancient doctrine of spontaneous generation (present also in Augustine’s writings) has been manipulated to support the concept of chemical and biochemical evolution (abiogenesis). At the end, a brief evaluation of the Augustinian concept of creation, in the light of contemporary scientific knowledge, is presented.