Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Evolution (Cosmic-Terrestrial) and the Natural Order

On Day One of Creation Week, God created and established, for all time, the entire natural order. I call it the Order of Creation, as opposed to the Order of Generation. In this latter Order of Generation, the substantial forms that God created on each of the Six Days, began to function.

Here we must reflect upon the all important distinction between form and function. Form, must of necessity, precede, i.e., come before, function, both chronologically, in time, and metaphysically, transcending time in the nature, both existentially and essentially. A nature cannot function, unless and until its form – its structure is reasonably intact. For example, I eat my meals at table with a black woman who has no legs. Obviously, her form is severely impaired and even when she can no longer function at all, physically, her formal nature, which is existentially and essentially rational (intellect and will), her form remains intact. She is still defined as human. Here I have jumped from the pre-fall, innocent state of nature to the post-fall state of fallen nature, wounded by sin but not corrupted in the Calvinist sense. God’s good creation cannot be destroyed in its essential goodness as in the Order of Creation and the entire natural order, even in the order of generation.

The physical sciences tell us much about this fallen state of nature as they study diseases and genetic mutations. (See Sanford on Genetic Entropy…) Even in the natural order, by our very finitude, we are doomed to extinction – except for the Redeeming Nature of the Supernatural Order of Divine Grace. This latter enters into the Creation Week only on Day Six, with the Creation of Adam and Eve. The Hierarchical Order of the Angels belongs (hypothetically), to Day One. The angels were created in Grace but not confirmed in Grace until after their testing. All of which took place prior to Day Six, since Lucifer, the chief of the fallen angels, for whom God created Hell, was allowed to enter Paradise or the Garden of Eden in order to tempt Adam and Eve. These events demonstrate how very integrated and inter-related are all the truths of faith and of reason.

The Evolutionary World View destroyed the truth about the natural order. And remember, Grace builds on nature; and Faith is necessary for the perfection – but not the Created Goodness – of the natural order which includes reason. We are natural beings before we are raised to the supernatural order of Divine Grace by the sacraments of the church. In the Old Testament times and in Christian times where the words of the gospel have not yet reached, the natural order may yet provide a means of salvation by the operations of Actual Graces. (See St. Thomas on Baptism and on Invincible Ignorance.)

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