Is Human Nature Still a Well-Defined Concept?
Evolutionary Biology raises many important questions, and in particular can seem to imply that there are “fuzzy boundaries” between species. A conversation between Aquinas’ theory of how the human body “supports” the rational soul, on the one hand, and recent advances in understanding the mechanisms of evolution and recent discoveries about human biological origins, on the other, may be illuminating.
Aquinas may help us make sense of scientific theories about what factors made fully human life possible, and about when and how these factors came together during human evolution. Our investigations will interact with the traditions that the soul of each human being comes directly from God, and that the first human beings enjoyed special divine gifts.
The Director of the Institute is working on a book How Far Did We Fall? Original Sin and Human Dignity, which will incorporate earlier research and touch on some of the relevant issues. He has discussed this work with one of the team of Dominican scholars who have established the Thomistic Evolution Project, [link to https://www.thomisticevolution.org/ ] and future collaboration between the Institute and the Project is planned.