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Darwinism in Croatia between science and ideology

Josip Balabanić

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 400 Kb

str. 373-404

preuzimanja: 1.631



Te article talks about ideological moments in the history of reception and introduction of Darwinism in Croatia. It analytically presents the chronology of the struggle between liberal Darwinists and conservative creationists, thus finding elements of ideologization on both sides. Te reception of Darwinism is being followed in written records showing how some liberal atheists or materialistic monists had used Darwin’s theories to attack religion, thus ideologizing science. On the other hand, it shows how some theologically educated anti-Darwinists had ideologized Christian religion by defending Biblical literalism, fixism, the philosophy of essentialism and the traditional picture of the world and those views, which were added to faith as being conservative beliefs, are in the article marked as the ideologization of the Christian faith. Te fact of the matter is that after Darwin’s theories appeared (1859) and soon after in Croatia too, a greater number of theistic evolutionists, amongst the Catholic clergy and laics who more or less abandoned some traditional frame of belief on God’s creation appeared which was seen as a non-ideologizied approach to faith. The reception of Darwinism in Croatia is followed from the 1860s through to the
present in three significant stages: a) in the first stage (1859-1869) there are only signs of ideological disaccord between the supporters of Darwin’s theories and his opponents in the question of man’s place in nature (the time of Darwin’s latent presence in Croatia), b) in the second stage (1869-1900), Darwinism is present as a working hypothesis amongst Croatian scientists. Besides biblical literalists who reject evolution, there are also but a few theistic evolutionists. Croatian natural scientists didn’t significantly fall for the challenges of the ideologization of Darwinian theories and within science great results were achieved, especially in the area of the paleonthology of molluscs, reptiles and also in paleoanthropology, c) in the third stage (1900-1980-ies), according to this periodization, there is a continuation of a non-ideologized approach amongst the majority of scientists, however, because of the instrumentalization of Darwinism for ideological purposes, especially in promoting atheism with the spreading of the idea of communism, throughout the entire 20th century there were no theistic evolutionists until the 1960s when a philosopher and theologian Vjekoslav Bajsić (1924 – 1994) appeared with his very important studies on philosophical and theological questions connected to hominization and the theory of natural selection. Te general conclusion is that there can be no talk about confict between science and (Christian) religion in Croatia, but about the confict between ideologized Christians who equated traditional forms of belief with the Christi who used the theory of evolution for their Communism, materialism and atheism.

Ključne riječi

Croatia, Darwinism, ideologization, religion, science

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