Science Affirming Faith

by Laurie Gill

Although we have chosen a high school biology textbook written from a Christian perspective (Apologia Biology), I was not happy with the book’s treatment of creationism. I wanted to be sure that subject was taught from the dimension of the fullness of the Catholic faith. Several resources have helped me very much in this. First, Kolbe Academy publishes a helpful study guide for Humani Generis, the relevant encyclical letter, written by Pope Pius XII. This pamphlet is aimed at producing an understanding of the text of the encyclical, and thus it is a very helpful starting point. Along with The Catechism of the Catholic Church (279-354), and the Holy Father’s 1996 Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, you can get a very good picture of exactly where the Church stands on creation.

But the resource we have enjoyed most is a booklet published by a South Dakota Catholic homeschooler, Mary Daly, called Creator and Creation. Mrs. Daly lays out the two common errors one encounters on this topic: Evolutionism, which contorts the evidence to deny the existence of the Creator, and Creationism, which contorts the evidence to fit a particular and very narrow interpretation of the Scriptures. I think it is important that our children be educated about the problems with both of those errors.

Creator and Creation gives a very clear explanation of Church teaching on this
topic, the teaching of Scripture, the scientific and philosophical issues. The arguments are stated clearly, with loving reverence toward our Father and Creator and toward His Holy Church. Above all, Mary Daly communicates a calm confidence that truth is one, and there can be no fundamental conflict between the discoveries of science and the truths of the Faith. She includes a helpful bibliography and the full text of the Holy Father’s 1996 address to the
Pontifical Academy.

When my daughter finished reading this book, she said, “This is exactly what I believe and now I can put it into words.” There is no better expression of my goals as a teacher than that my child finish every course both understanding and embracing the teachings of the Catholic Church as they pertain to that topic and to life.

Creator and Creation, by Mary O. Daly, is available from Ye Hedge School.

Laurie Gill is a professional writer and mother of six.

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