Creation Rediscovered, by Gerard J. Keane

Review by Anthony Nevard, Editor of 'Daylight'

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In the much-acclaimed first edition of his first book, published in 1991, Gerard Keane amassed a great body of disparate evidence to support the view that the concept of Special Creation is both scientifically and theologically superior to the Theory of Evolution.

He has now updated and expanded the text from some 300 to 400 pages, added a comprehensive bibliography, and doubled the index to 17 pages. The new edition has benefited from some reorganisation of material, thorough editing, and the complete re-writing of several chapters.

In addition to the Foreword by distinguished geneticist Professor Maciej Giertych, there is a Preface by Franciscan dogmatic theologian Fr. Peter Fehlner, who affirms the book is "free of errors in faith and morals, and advances sound Origins arguments on the premises of Catholic theology." The basic structure of the work is unchanged.

Part I discusses “the Basic Question” – the philosophical status of science and the study of origins. In comparing the principles of the evolution and creation models, it becomes abundantly clear that the two models are contradictory alternatives, incapable of being logically reconciled. Bible-based Christian beliefs in the unity of mankind from two divinely created perfect parents, the realities of the Fall and the Flood, cannot be predicated upon a naturalistic evolutionary model.

Much emphasis is given to the evidence of order and design in nature, including many notable examples in the remarkable features of the planetary system, which abundantly confound the possibility of their origins by a Big Bang, random chance and natural selection. Recent discoveries and research are adduced in a much-expanded section on the evidence for the Flood, though the writer wisely avoids entering the arguments over controversial claims of the sighting of Noah’s Ark.

The vapour-canopy hypothesis of Joseph Dillow and Walt Brown’s hydroplate theory are discussed, and a strong case made for the great longevity of the biblical Patriarchs. As with other questions of exegesis, Keane adopts the sound Catholic attitude of seriously weighing up the literal as-given meaning of Genesis in the light of modern science, being neither narrowly fundamentalist nor rashly liberal, and admits the tentative nature of many aspects of the Creation model.

His obvious zeal for the cause has not led him to immoderate arguments, still less to intemperate or emotive attacks on those with opposing views, which so often mars the polemics of evolutionists.

Part II reviews the discoveries of science particularly in the areas of the fossil record, genetics and entropy. Extensive references include recent works by Walter ReMine, Michael Behe, Phillip Johnson, Paul Davies and Marvin Lubenow, which further strengthen the case against evolution.

Twenty pages of coloured illustrations, and four useful Tables detailing evidences that refute evolution and affirm creation complement the text.

In Part III, Keane considers the problem of theistic evolution and the Catholic position on the doctrine of creation and the interpretation of scripture. References now include Cardinal Ruffini’s "The Theory of Evolution Judged by Reason and Faith", first published 1941, and the teaching of the new Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), neither of which give any support for discounting traditional Christian beliefs related to origins.

There is a useful discussion of the Galileo case, so often misunderstood by enemies of the church. However, the writer is not swayed by those who would argue for a return to the geocentrist theory. The controversial question of the age of the universe has been expanded upon in both the scientific and scriptural contexts, and is followed by a new chapter on the Progressive creation (long-age creationist) theorists, such as Hugh Ross.

Keane examines a raft of relevant evidences, discusses the range of arguments, and soberly concludes that, since there is no incontrovertible proof of long ages (multi-million years), and evolution is scientifically impossible anyway, both Scripture and Catholic Tradition demand acceptance of Special Creation in six literal days. The onus of proof is on those who argue for long ages: Keane shows that the weight of the facts is heavily against it.

Part IV deals with the influence of evolution on belief system, such as Nazism, Communism, Humanism and Modernist Christianity. Most church scholars this century have imbibed the 19th century presuppositions in favour of evolution that now must be abandoned in the light of the evidence against it.

The errors and influence of Teilhard de Chardin are well known, but many clergy in his wake are losing touch with doctrine and Tradition to the extent that they espouse evolution as opposed to creation: examples cited include Fr Stanley Jaki, Dr Bruce Vawter, Fr Bernhard Philberth and Dr A. Hulsbosch.

Pope St Pius X condemned such modernist errors, yet some of these priests remain not merely uncensured but even hailed as advisors to the Pope.

In Part V, the author draws together aspects of certain modern philosophies to enhance his thesis that the resolution of the question of origins is the only answer to the collapse of faith in the Church, and to the search for meaning in life. Relevant connections are made between evolution and behaviourism, New Age Movement, Jung, Freud, existentialism and phenomenology.

The problem of evil is explored from the Christian perspective, and the negative effects of evolutionism on Catholic belief and practice illustrated. The writer urges that a papal encyclical needs to be issued to reinforce sound traditional teachings on creation. While agreeing that this is highly desirable, it could be said that the New Catechism actually did that, but has made little discernible difference to teaching in the schools.

Without a radical catechetical reform at all levels in the church, targeting Evolution and the errors that have spread from it, and the removal of modernist texts and teachers, a mere encyclical could be as widely “honoured in the breach” as Humanae Vitae has been.

Creation Rediscovered should be read by every Catholic priest, teacher and parent who is still under the delusion that the facts of modern science require a revision of Catholic doctrine relating to the origins of the World and the nature of Man.

Gerry Keane and TAN Books have done an excellent job in publishing this superb and unique book at a most opportune time. The story of creation will always be relevant to the preaching of the gospel.

Anthony Nevard, St. Albans, England, 29th November 1999

To order this book follow these links:

Creation Rediscovered : Evolution & the Importance of the Origins Debate - $14.70, 397 pages - US


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Theotokos Catholic Books - Creation/Evolution Section - www.theotokos.org.uk