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February 13, 2009

Grolar Bears and Theistic Evolution

First there was Judy's post yesterday about bears; then there was the TV shows last night called Morphed on the National Geographic Channel that got me thinking about God, creation, and evolution!

First, I have to say as a Catholic-Christian I firmly believe that we are monogenesis people, that we are descendants of one set of parents, in accordance to the Catholic Faith. I firmly believe that we were made in the image of God and that we are not descendants of any ape-type creature; again in accordance to the Catholic Faith. There is no questions or doubts in my mind regarding those things.

With that said, I don't dismiss evolution as something that does not or could not happen. I do believe that creatures evolve to adapt to their environment. I even belief that people have evolved to adapt to their environment.

We have NOT evolved from one creature into another, we have NOT come from apes, but we have changed (evolved) to meet the needs of our environment. Hair color, skin color, height, and weight are examples of those changes, those adaptations, that we have done. Just look at the average height and weight changes that have taken place in the last 500 years. Some will say it's because we have gotten lazy and have better food choices. I argue it's evolution based on laziness and better food choices. Even the way we have communicate with people have evolved has change and still is changing. We are always evolving. It's just NOT always measured in our physical appearances.

I also believe that animals have evolved and have changed over the years. Unlike human, I believe that it's possible that they could have gone from one species to another. This is because they are NOT made in the image of God. So for me it's not unrealistic to believe that a dinosaur became a bird, or a 4 legged creature that walked on land became a whale. I DO NOT believe that all animals can be explain that way, but I do believe that it's possible.

There is a name for my beliefs. It's called Theistic Evolution. Theistic Evolution is a general term and the beliefs within Theistic Evolution is very wide to say the least, but my personal beliefs do fall within that category yet they are NOT against the Catholic Faith.

Science and Religion; God and Science do not conflict and the more we learn the better we are able to understand our creator. So what does this have to do with Grolar Bears?? And what are Grolar Bears??

Grolar Bears are a NEW species of bears that are being discovered. They are a cross between Polar Bear and a Grizzly Bear. There has been at least ONE confirmed case of this in the WILD! Why are these to species interbreeding? Some will argue that it's the caused of global warming, and that the Polar Bears are being forced to be more inland. However, before we just drop the ax down on global warming it should be noted that Grizzly's are moving more north. So it's really is a combination of Poplar bears moving more inland and off the ice and Grizzly's moving more north that are causing these two different animals to breed in the wild. Are they interbreeding to survive? Are they evolving?

What does these have to do with homeschooling my kids? Well they are learning about our Catholic Faith from me and they are learning that science and religion are NOT at odds with each other that it is possible to believe in God, believe that Adam and Eve are REAL people, and that some forms of evolution can happen, because of the necessity to survive. The Polar Bears and the Grizzly Bears cross-breeding are prime examples of that!


  1. Great post...thought-provoking...thanks!

    I would add that two different species interbreeding to produce a third species would not be considered evolving...it would merely be a "new breed"...for evolution in the scientific term to have taken place, the Polar Bear itself would have to change (without ANY interbreeding) into something else...and, as yet, there has never been evidence of this happening. PLENTY of evidence of "change" WITHIN a species...but no evidence of one species turning into something else.

    I LOVE that Science and Faith go hand-in-hand! So wonderful that we have the opportunity to express that in our homeschooling, isn't it?


  2. The main mechanisms for producing evolutionary change are natural selection, genetic drift, and gene flow.

    Gene flow-is the exchange of genes between populations, which are usually of the same species.

    Depending on how far two species have diverged since their most recent common ancestor, it may still be possible for them to produce offspring, as with horses and donkeys mating to produce mules. (Or in this case Polar Bears and Grizzly Bears mating to produce Grolar Bears)

    The importance of hybridization in creating new species of animals is unclear...


  3. Great post - Have just found your blog - I see it is going to be thought provoking! Hadn't heard about Grolar bears - am off to investigate (don't you love homeschooling!!).

  4. Hi! I just found your post while doing a search for theistic evolution curriculum. I seem to be in the minority among homeschoolers in my area. Do you use a science curriculum with a theistic evolution approach? We are not Catholic - we are kind of a mutt (Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc.) - so if knowledge of the Catholic faith is assumed with your curriculum, I may not quite undertstand it all.

    My dd will be in 1st grade next year, so a recommendation along the 6-8 yr old range would be appreciated.


  5. Anonymous (K)-The curriculum I use is primary Catholic based, although I think that it could easily be used by non-Catholic Christians such as yourself.

    I did a post recently about the curriculum I'm going to use for the 2009-2010 school year see here:

    http://tinyurl.com/cpfn7n (you will have to copy and paste that link) In that post I made a list of the books we are going to be using for the 2009-2010 year, however 2 of the books listed Science 2 and Science Easy 1-2-3. I have used this year as well. They both came from CHC and a link to CHC is provided in the post as well.

    So you may want to check that out. Hope that helps! Thanks for your input and questions. SAHMinIL

  6. Thank you so much! - - K


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