Kolbe Report 10/28/23

The Typical Response Outside the Smithsonian

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Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I would like to thank all of you who remembered us in your prayers as we proclaimed the Gospel of Creation, Redemption and Sanctification in the shadow of the Smithsonian's "temple of evolution" in Washington, D.C. last Sunday, October 22.  It seems that many faithful Catholics are now afraid to enter our nation’s capital, after all of the acts of violence that have been perpetrated against Christians in public spaces.  In the past, we were able to muster two dozen or more volunteers, and, as some of you may recall, we were even able to invite a gorilla to join in our demonstration!

Smithsonian Outreach 2019

On that memorable occasion, the gorilla assured the passersby that even a gorilla knows that the ENVIRONMENT cannot change a tree-dwelling creature into a land-dwelling one - no matter how many mythical millions of years one wants to assign to this fabulous process. He also encouraged them to think for themselves and to look at the evidence - both the evidence for the supernatural creation of the human body and the evidence for the supernatural resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the God-Man, as recorded in the Holy Shroud of Turin.

This last Sunday, there were only five of us, but we were still able to reach out to many of the passersby.  Not surprisingly, the most common response to our efforts was not hostility or violence, but indifference—the same response that Our Lord Himself receives so much of the time, especially in His Sacrament of Love in most of the tabernacles of the world.  It would seem that many of our brothers and sisters have lost even the motivation to pursue the ultimate Truth; it is all they can do to maintain some semblance of equilibrium in this valley of tears.  It is simply too overwhelming for many of them to think of questioning the accepted account of the origins of man and the universe.

Nevertheless, we thank God for those who were willing to look at the beautiful displays on the evidence for creation, on the miraculous character of the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and on the forensic evidence from the Holy Shroud that identifies it as the burial sheet of Our Lord Jesus Christ and a witness to His Glorious Resurrection. We hope and pray that Our Lord will use these exhibits to turn the thoughts of those who saw them away from the distractions of this present life - to God and to eternity.

Did “Humans Evolve in Response to a Changing World”?

In the rest of this newsletter, I would like to recall some of the principal errors that are inculcated in the minds of the millions of visitors who come from all over the world to view the exhibits at the Natural History Museum.

One of the saddest aspects of the evolutionary world view is that its chief advocates tend to hold theology and philosophy in contempt, believing, as most of them do, that empirical science is the only reliable source of truth. No matter how intelligent a person may be, if he accepts this framework, he creates a prison for himself from which it is very difficult to escape. Even if he is asked to identify the empirical experiment that proved that empirical science is the only reliable source of truth, he is likely to dismiss such a question as mere sophistry in the face of the "obvious" fact that repeatable experiments with things that can be measured and quantified are self-evidently more reliable than conclusions that are the result of some process of abstract reasoning. Thus, it is the rare visitor to the Natural History Museum who would dream of questioning the absurd heading that introduced him to one of its recent exhibits on human evolution: "Humans Evolved in Response to a Changing World."

And yet it does not take much of an acquaintance with sound philosophy to realize that something is seriously wrong with that heading. In his encyclical Fides et Ratio Pope St. John Paul II echoed the exhortation of his predecessor Pope Pius XII to the Bishops and theologians of the Church in his encyclical Humani generis to use the traditional metaphysical principles of traditional Catholic philosophy in their examination of the evolutionary hypothesis. As Fr. Chad Ripperger has pointed out in his excellent book The Metaphysics of Evolutionone of these fundamental principles of common sense is that "no effect is greater than its cause." According to Pope Pius XII and Pope St. John Paul II, then, any system of thought that violates this principle is bogus - and one would be wasting his time to give it any further attention. With this in mind, let us look again at that heading from the recent exhibit at the Natural History Museum: "Humans Evolved in Response to a Changing World."

What does this actually mean?

As we shall see, it means that the ENVIRONMENT of sub-Saharan Africa was able to change the body of a sub-human primate into the body of a human being! That this is precisely what the heading is claiming will become clear as we take a closer look at the exhibit. But let us take a moment to think about this before we go any further.

Without knowing anything about the details of ape physiology as compared with human physiology, we can see that there are some very significant differences - for example, between an ape hand and a human hand; between ape fur and human skin; between ape posture and human posture. With all due respect for the Environment, we may be pardoned for asking how it managed to engineer the 24 facial muscles that are present in humans but not in gorillas, or the Broca's Area and Wenicke's area in the brain that play such an active role in human speech. With just these differences in mind, is there anything concrete that we can point to in the environment of Sub-Saharan Africa that could be a plausible "cause" of the distinctive features of a human, as opposed to a simian, body? To ask the question is to answer it - because the answer is obvious. The "effect"—engineering the distinctive features of a human body—is much greater than the "cause"—the environment of Sub-Saharan Africa—with all of its flora and fauna, even in an imaginary aeon of millions of years before the appearance of human beings.

At this point, it may be helpful to make an analogy. Imagine that you enter a building with an interior temperature that is almost the same as the temperature out of doors. Imagine, then, that the outside temperature drops precipitously, and that, all of a sudden, an internal heating system begins to pump hot air through the building. Would anyone in his right mind suppose that the change in climate - the environment - produced the heating system within the house? Even a child would know that the drastic drop in temperature had merely activated a heating system that had previously been installed in the house. The effect—the heating of air and the pumping of hot air around the house—was caused not by a change in temperature, but by a heating system designed, engineered, and installed in the building before any change in the environment activated the system. Similarly, who would imagine that a house without a heating system, placed in any environment on Earth, would gradually acquire one through the influence of the environment on the house over millions of years? We can be quite sure that if a tree-dwelling creature turned into a land-dwelling, walking, bi-pedal creature, the ability to walk on the ground would have to be engineered in the tree-dweller before he came down from the trees. No change in the environment could endow a body adapted to swinging from the trees with the ability to live and walk on the ground. The "effect," in that case, would be "much, much greater than the cause."

Sadly, it is not only atheistic evolutionists who make this mistake.  Theistic evolutionists do, too.  One of our members recently sent us a video of a Catholic theologian who argued that the appearance of a new function in a certain organism was sound evidence for the truth of the microbe-to-man evolutionary hypothesis.  What the theologian failed to consider was that the new function was actually a pre-programmed response to environmental changes, mediated by the so-called “non-coding DNA,” which switches genetic programs on and off in response to changes in the environment.  Ironically, the same theologian accuses Catholics who defend the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation of believing in a “god of the gaps” whom we invoke whenever there is not an obvious natural explanation for a natural phenomenon.  In reality, the traditional doctrine of creation has no “gaps.”  It holds that God in His transcendent genius created every kind of plant and animal—and human beings—with the genetic potential to adapt to changes in their environments.  And that is exactly what we observe in the real world.  What we do not observe is new functional biological information coming into existence through an organism’s interaction with the environment—yet that ought to be observed everywhere if the evolutionary hypothesis is true.

It must also be pointed out that the Smithsonian's evolution exhibit is not only philosophically absurd. It is also dishonest. In spite of the fact that most evolution-believing scientists admit that the infamous “Lucy” was not an ancestor of humans but an australopithecine ape, a recent human evolution exhibit at the Smithsonian gave visitors the impression that Lucy was a human ancestor. The unstated assumption behind this claim is that, given enough time, the environment can transform the body of a knuckle-dragging ape into the body of an upright human. But, once again, reality not only clashes with this claim; it is diametrically opposed to it. In the world of genomes, as in the world of physics, time is the enemy, not the friend, of self-organization. As plant geneticist Dr. John Sanford has demonstrated in his masterpiece Genetic Entropyeach generation of humans is more mutant than the previous one, so that, if the Smithsonian's fantastic time-scale were true, long before three million mythical years had gone by, Lucy's descendants would have become so mutant that they would have been incapable of reproducing themselves!

“Exchanging the Truth for a Lie”

In the first chapter of his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul describes what happens to people who deny the truth about creation. He says that as they "exchange the truth for a lie" they will begin to worship the creature rather than the Creator. For example, they will attribute to the "environment" - a created entity - the power to produce what only the Creator Himself can bring into existence. He goes on to say that those who deny the Creator and His true relationship to nature will begin to act against their own natures, using their bodies in ways that directly contradict His design, and reaping the deadly consequences in time and eternity. Please pray that our outreach to souls last Sunday, within a stone's throw of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, "the Temple of Evolution," in Washington, D.C., will bear fruit for the Kingdom of God, in time and in eternity.

Yours in Christ through the Immaculata, in union with St. Joseph,

Hugh Owen

P.S.  I will be leaving for Rome tomorrow to participate in LifeSite’s Rome Forum.  Please pray that the forum will be successful in uniting pro-life leaders from all over the world and giving them a clear understanding of the roots of the current crisis so that, by God’s grace, they can build a true culture of life.  Please also pray for me that in the panel discussions in which I participate, I will be able to demonstrate that entire global anti-culture of death flows from faith in evolution and that the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation provides the only firm foundation for a culture of life.

P.P.S.  I would like to thank everyone who has been participating in our Novena to St. Philomena for the expansion of our spiritual and financial base of support for the Kolbe Center.  The Novena concludes tomorrow, but please continue to pray for this intention, and if you have not donated to support our mission, please prayerfully consider becoming a regular or one-time donor by going to our donation page via this link.


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