What Does God Really Do in an Evolutionary Change?: Divine Concurrence and Transformism from the Thomastic Perspective

Thursday, April 5th 2018, 7:00pm
Dinner Board Room, Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, 2400 Ridge Road Berkeley, CA 94709

Neither Aristotle nor Aquinas assumes the reality of the evolution of species. Their systems of thought, however, remain open to the new data, offering an essential contribution to the ongoing research concerning scientific, philosophical, and theological aspects of the theory of evolution. Many enthusiasts of theistic evolution willingly accept Aquinas' distinction between primary and secondary, and principal and instrumental causes, to describe theologically "the mechanics" of transformism. Is it right, however, to ascribe all causation in evolution to creatures--acting as secondary causes? Is there any space for a more direct divine action in an evolutionary change? In this lecture, GTU alum Mariusz Tabaczek (PhD, '16) will endeavour to explain the complexity of causal description of the origin of a new species, analyzed in reference to both the immanent and the transcendent orders of causation.

Mariusz Tabaczek, OP, graduated in 2016 from the Graduate Theological Union with a PhD in systematic and philosophical theology. He also holds an STL degree from the University of Poznan, Poland. A member of the Thomistic Institute in Warsaw, Poland, he teaches in the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Cracow, Poland. He specializes in science/theology dialogue, with a special emphasis on the role of philosophy. Areas of expertise include systematic theology, theology of divine action, philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of causation, contemporary metaphysics in analytical tradition, Classical and new Aristotelianism. Dr. Tabaczek has published articles in Theology and Science, Zygon, Scientia et Fides, and the proceedings of the virtual conference on science and religion organized by the University of Constanta, Romania. He co-authored two chapters for the new edition of Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction (ed. by Gary B. Ferngren; 2017). His first book entitled Metaphysics of Emergence: Causes, Absences, and Dispositions is in the process of publication by the University of Notre Dame Press. Dr. Tabaczek was awarded the GTU Newhall Teaching and Research Fellowship (2013), and the CTNS Charles T. Townes Graduate Student Fellowship in Theology and Science in 2014.