Evolutionary theory has raised numerous disputed questions among the Catholic faithful and other Christian believers concerning the relationship between faith and reason and between religion and science.
As a team of Dominican friars and scholars committed to the preaching of the Gospel, we are convinced that the Thomistic intellectual tradition grounded in the philosophical and theological synthesis of our Dominican brother, St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P., who lived nearly 800 years ago, can still provide insightful and compelling responses to these questions.
From our pastoral experience, we have discovered that Catholics and other Christians are frequently surprised by the novelty and brilliance of these Thomistic responses. Often, this is the case because these answers transcend and reconcile the dichotomies – for instance, the oft-cited dichotomy between chance and design – that shape the contemporary science and religion debate. God designs with chance! Unfortunately, the Thomistic responses to these disputed questions in science and religion are neither well known nor well understood.
To remedy this, we have inaugurated this website and its companion book published by Cluny Media, with a series of responses to disputed questions that cover the topics we have encountered most frequently in our conversations with believers. Though they can be read individually, we have intentionally put our answers in an order that systematically reveals the theological vision of our brother, St. Thomas Aquinas.
The image of St. Thomas Aquinas was painted by Carlo Crivelli (c.1435-c.1495) as part of the Demidoff Altarpiece intended for the Church of San Domenico in Ascoli Piceno in Italy. It is currently housed at the National Gallery in London.
It is centered within the Circle of Life, a depiction of the evolutionary phylogenetic tree based on the ribosomal RNA of 3,000 living species, first drawn this way by biologist David Hillis at the University of Texas in Austin.