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Download this document as a Link to PDF PDF

On the rorate-caeli blogsite Fr Thomas Crean O.P. recommends to the attention of readers a DVD series promoted by the Kolbe Center for Creation Studies “which offers theological and empirical arguments against the ‘Darwinian mentality’…”  He supports the Center’s rejection of the thinking underlying science’s view that the universe may be explained without recourse to a creator.   On its face the project is an admirable one, but there is a devil in the detail.


   The Kolbe Center’s principals have persistently failed to recognise the need for a distinction between scientific discoveries and the materialist philosophy to which science has recourse in explaining them.  They assume that this materialism, and its accompanying atheism, taints the discoveries.  It does not.  It only taints the scientists’ interpretation.


   Fr Crean refrains from expressing the Center’s philosophy explicitly but he reveals his sympathy for its thinking when, obliquely, he contrasts an “old” universe with a “young” universe.  The distinction has been coined by the creation science movement to advance the conception, taken from a literal reading of the Old Testament, that the universe is not much more than 6,000 years old.  Their “young” universe is to be contrasted with that implicit in discoveries over the last 150 years, covering a vast range of science’s sub-disciplines, that puts it in the vicinity of thirteen billion years!


   Behind the Center’s approach is a subjectivism that rivals that of the proponents of the materialism and atheism they criticise.  It is driven by the preconception that the Bible is to be treated as a textbook; that it must be taken literally.  Its principals pretend that their approach is that of the Catholic Church or, at best, that it is not inconsistent with that of the Catholic Church, but neither is the case.  Pope Pius XII warned specifically against treating Sacred Scripture as a scientific text.  The Kolbe Center’s approach puts belief in God at odds with scientific discovery.  This is, literally, a scandal for it places a stumbling block in the path of the intending believer.


   Anyone who is tempted to adopt the Center’s simplistic analyses should study the criticism of its stand by Australian theologian Fr Peter Joseph, Genesis & Literalism, reproduced on this website at[1]  We are duty bound to warn those who buy the Center’s DVDs that without a critical faculty capable of analysing objectively the reasons its principals advance, they are likely to be misled on this important question of the interplay between science and belief.


Michael Baker

August 17th, 2020

[1]  There are two other criticisms of the Kolbe Center’s stance on the website.  The first is Creation Rediscovered at ; the second is The Schismatic Tendency in ‘Creation Science’ at