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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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POLYGENISM

The theory that, since evolution is an established fact, all human beings now on earth do not descend from one human pair (Adam and Eve), but from different original human ancestors. This theory is contrary to the official teaching of the Church, e.g., Pope Pius XII, who declared: "It is unintelligible how such an opinion can be squared with what the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Magisterium of the Church teach on original sin, which proceeds from sin actually committed by an individual Adam, and which, passed on to all by way of generation, is in everyone as his own" (Humani Generis, 1950, para. 38). (Etym. Latin poly, many + gen, race + ism.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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