Tielhard de Chardin on Evolution and Bad Theology

On the perils of bad theology to human prospering:

Although we too often forget this, what we call evolution develops only in virtue of a certain internal preference for survival (or, if you prefer to put it so, self-survival) which in man takes on a markedly psychic appearance, in the form of a zest for life. Ultimately, it is that and that alone which underlies and supports the whole complex of biophysical energies whose operation, acting experimentally, conditions anthropogenesis.

In view of that fact, what would happen if one day we should see that the universe is so hermetically closed in upon itself that there is no possible way of our emerging from it — either because we are forced indefinitely to go round and round inside it, or (which comes to the same thing) because we are doomed to a total death? Immediately and without further ado, I believe — just like miners who find that the gallery is blocked ahead of them — we would lose the heart to act, and man’s impetus would be radically checked and ‘deflated’ forever, by this fundamental discouragement and loss of zest.

Pierre Tielhard de Chardin

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