BEITRAG-Pater Erich Wasmann SJ und die Humanevolution. In memoriam Pater Rainer Koltermann SJ († 5. Juli 2009)

Theologie Und Philosophie 85 (1):81 (2010)
Der Biologe Erich Wasmann SJ ging in seinem Buch “Die moderne Biologie und die Entwicklungstheorie” und in seinen Berliner Vorträgen 1907, in denen er sich mit dem Monisten Ernst Haeckel auseinandersetzte, das Problem der Evolution an. In Bezug auf die Entwicklung des Menschen vertrat er in beiden eine offene Position: Er hielt die Entwicklung des Menschen aus dem Tierreich für nicht erwiesen, rechnete jedoch damit, dass sie eines Tages bewiesen werden könnte, und betonte, dass sie nicht prinzipiell der Offenbarung widerspreche. Dies führte zu Klagen in Rom. Der Jesuitengeneral Wernz erklärte, es sei “theologice certum”, dass der Mensch auch dem Leibe nach nicht aus dem Tierreich abstammen könne. Wasmann solle daher in künftigen Neuauflagen seines Buches nur die biologische Seite behandeln und Spekulationen über die prinzipielle Vereinbarkeit einer Humanevolution mit der Offenbarung unterlassen. Dies hatte zur Folge, dass es keine Neuauflage mehr gab.The Jesuit and biologue Erich Wasmann dealt in his book “Die moderne Biologie und die Entwicklunstheorie” and in his Berlin conferences in 1907, dealing with the monist Ernst Haeckel, the problem of evolution. Regarding the evolution of mankind, he defended an open position: he judged that it had not been proved, but reckoned with the possibility that it could be proved one day, and insisted that there would be no contradiction with Christian revelation. That provoked, in the time of the Modernist crisis, complaints to Rome. The Jesuit General Wernz declared that it would be “theologice certum” that mankind could not descend, not even regarding the body, from animal ancestors. Therefore Wasmann should deal, in future editions, only with the biological questions and omit speculations about the theoretical compatibility of human evolution with the revelation. That had the consequence, that no new edition of the book was ever published
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