Poll

Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?

Yes
66 (16.1%)
No
157 (38.4%)
both metaphorically and literally
186 (45.5%)

Total Members Voted: 409

Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 1259134 times)

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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy
« Reply #6255 on: July 26, 2017, 03:50:54 PM »
His whole point is that it's divinely inconsistent.
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Re: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy
« Reply #6256 on: July 27, 2017, 03:19:47 AM »

Just finished reading this...really difficult to muscle this into my brain, and I feel like I have to reread this a couple of times...buuuuttt...

I honestly don't see a point anymore in trying to harmonize evolution with theology.  Theology teaches God is Creator of all things seen and unseen.  Humanity lives in sin if it doesn't seek unity and life-giving relationship with the Father through Christ.  Evolution seeks to explain the the diversity of biological organisms through a consistency of scientific laws.  I tend to see that the assumption of consistency and nature following laws as proof of the intelligible nature of creation that points to the intelligent Logos, but that's it.  It doesn't seek to explain divine purpose.

At the same time, rather than separating the two into "pre-Fall paradisaical" and "post-Fall laws of science", why can't the laws of science be the icon of the Logos?  I find that the weakness in the article continues to create a split dichotomy, where one side has nothing to do with the other.  No!  One depends on the other.  The laws of science, including evolution, still result from the fully active divine in every aspect of our creation.  He doesn't just snap His fingers and doesn't get involved.  I also accept the laws of embryology.  That doesn't mean God didn't create me but a mere sperm/egg fusion.

Sooooo, as someone as accepts evolution at face value, I don't see why there should be a "problem".  It's not like theology depended on the falsity or truth of evolution.  Theology depends on how the world can be related to our understanding of our place and purpose in Christ.  Regardless of what mechanism the formation of the cosmos can be explained, that formation alone only becomes an academic curiosity and technological advancement, but doesn't go far enough to explain TRUE life in Christ.

Neither should we be throwing stones at scientists because of how they "stick" with evolution.  As someone who works in science, I fully sympathize with that position, and I feel most people who are anti-evolution don't really take the time to fully understand the science, but seek ONLY to disprove by ANY MEANS NECESSARY.  Such a life is not real life, but a life filled with fear, a fear non-existent.  With Christ, there's nothing to be afraid of.  Just let the chips fall where they may.  Evolution never changed Orthodox theology.  It's presuppositions that change.

Thanks for your response, Mina. Here's my problem with the theistic evolutionary position (which I've tried to defend before). I just don't see how God could have created an Earth filled with violence and death from the beginning. Sure, as I posted on this thread before,  Fathers and theologians of the Latin tradition such as St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas seem to be less radical when it comes to differentiating the pre-Fall and post-Fall Creation (as opposed to the Eastern Fathers who emphasize the relationship between Man as a microcosm and the rest of Creation), and they give room to the possibility of animal death existing in some form. But still, it's a very minoritary position. And there's still no way around the fact that none of the Fathers (that we know of) believed the Earth to be older than 6.000-7.500 years approximately. Can one dismiss this consensus as being the mere product of their scientific ignorance? Is it just a scientific mistake, or a theological one? If they got that wrong, what else did they get wrong?

Good points, especially the point about God essentially being the author of death if theistic evolution is true. I've raised this question many times and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer.

Another philosophy that theistic evolutionists promote is the radical dichotomy of faith and science, which I thoroughly reject. God is the author of science, and thus to divorce science from faith does violence to both. And this has nothing to do with promoting a literal interpretation of Genesis or promoting the Bible as a scientific textbook. But the Bible, as it is correctly interpreted by the Church, is our essential source of theology. And if we reject the basic theological tenet that death entered the world through sin, and instead attribute death to God, then I think we have committed heresy. And the theistic evolutionists have no clear answer for this. In order to try to reconcile the problem they resort to all manner of hermeneutical and theological gymnastics that seem to defy the clarity of the Gospel.

The other philosophical problem with evolution (which I have also repeatedly pointed out and received no sufficient answer) is who and what determines who and what is fully human? If we are still evolving, then who and what is the authority on determining the definition of "fully human"? Even the theistic evolutionist cannot answer this question apart from mere conjecture. Within an evolutionary framework there simply is no objective basis for defining and determining what is "fully human." And while the atheistic evolutionist may not have a problem with this (e.g. euthanasia, abortion, genocide, slavery, etc. may pose no moral qualms for them), it most certainly poses problems for the theistic evolutionist. And I have yet to hear a solid, objective, scientific answer to this question from the theistic evolutionists.


Selam
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Re: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy
« Reply #6257 on: July 27, 2017, 03:44:53 AM »
people who are to spiritually and intellectually analphabetic to understand that the earth doesnt stand on a turtle.

Of course it doesn't!  The elephants stand on the turtle.  ;)

Well, the irony in this snarky little legend (which seems to be credited to whichever evolution-apologist the teller fancies at the moment) is that in fact it's the materialist explanations of the universe that are forced to rely on "turtles all the way down." What makes the apple fall? Gravity. What's gravity? The attraction of masses. What makes them attractive? Gravity, the warping of space-time. What makes space-time warp? Gravity, perhaps a particle or wave. What makes the particle or wave behave as it does? Gravity. This goes on ad infinitum. Or: What began the universe? A big bang. What caused the big bang? A big compression. What caused the big compression? Reaction to a universal entropy. What instantiated entropy? A big bang. Or even: How did thus and thus happen when it would be contrary to known physical laws? There may be other universes than ours. But what would this tell us about its probability? The universes may be infinite. But how can providing infinite environments make the thing certain (e.g., a quarter won't fall into the sky no matter how often dropped, ceteris parabus)? There are also infinite realities in the infinite universes -- it is realities all the way down. While for the non-materialist all questions end rather quickly in the First Cause.
Good post I must say. Though I would claim and argue that both the materialist view you mentioned here and the First Cause-view are probably not good enough explanations of things . There is a risk in the First Cause way of thinking that can lead to the superficial and pathetic question "Then who made God?", a question that makes a person with any sense of depth sigh.
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Re: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy
« Reply #6258 on: July 27, 2017, 03:54:05 AM »

Just finished reading this...really difficult to muscle this into my brain, and I feel like I have to reread this a couple of times...buuuuttt...

I honestly don't see a point anymore in trying to harmonize evolution with theology.  Theology teaches God is Creator of all things seen and unseen.  Humanity lives in sin if it doesn't seek unity and life-giving relationship with the Father through Christ.  Evolution seeks to explain the the diversity of biological organisms through a consistency of scientific laws.  I tend to see that the assumption of consistency and nature following laws as proof of the intelligible nature of creation that points to the intelligent Logos, but that's it.  It doesn't seek to explain divine purpose.

At the same time, rather than separating the two into "pre-Fall paradisaical" and "post-Fall laws of science", why can't the laws of science be the icon of the Logos?  I find that the weakness in the article continues to create a split dichotomy, where one side has nothing to do with the other.  No!  One depends on the other.  The laws of science, including evolution, still result from the fully active divine in every aspect of our creation.  He doesn't just snap His fingers and doesn't get involved.  I also accept the laws of embryology.  That doesn't mean God didn't create me but a mere sperm/egg fusion.

Sooooo, as someone as accepts evolution at face value, I don't see why there should be a "problem".  It's not like theology depended on the falsity or truth of evolution.  Theology depends on how the world can be related to our understanding of our place and purpose in Christ.  Regardless of what mechanism the formation of the cosmos can be explained, that formation alone only becomes an academic curiosity and technological advancement, but doesn't go far enough to explain TRUE life in Christ.

Neither should we be throwing stones at scientists because of how they "stick" with evolution.  As someone who works in science, I fully sympathize with that position, and I feel most people who are anti-evolution don't really take the time to fully understand the science, but seek ONLY to disprove by ANY MEANS NECESSARY.  Such a life is not real life, but a life filled with fear, a fear non-existent.  With Christ, there's nothing to be afraid of.  Just let the chips fall where they may.  Evolution never changed Orthodox theology.  It's presuppositions that change.

Thanks for your response, Mina. Here's my problem with the theistic evolutionary position (which I've tried to defend before). I just don't see how God could have created an Earth filled with violence and death from the beginning. Sure, as I posted on this thread before,  Fathers and theologians of the Latin tradition such as St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas seem to be less radical when it comes to differentiating the pre-Fall and post-Fall Creation (as opposed to the Eastern Fathers who emphasize the relationship between Man as a microcosm and the rest of Creation), and they give room to the possibility of animal death existing in some form. But still, it's a very minoritary position. And there's still no way around the fact that none of the Fathers (that we know of) believed the Earth to be older than 6.000-7.500 years approximately. Can one dismiss this consensus as being the mere product of their scientific ignorance? Is it just a scientific mistake, or a theological one? If they got that wrong, what else did they get wrong?
Augustine believed the Earth to be older. And he probably had the finest intelligence of the fathers. They got it wrong because of cultural circumstances, probably biased opinions, no interest and knowledge in science(which must not be a bad thing, idolizing science can destroy man's appreciation for myths and poetic expressions of reality) and the fact that they were human beings prone to make "mistakes".

Heaven and hell for example are within us, and all the gods are within us. This is the great realization of the Upanishads of India . All the gods, all the heavens, all the world, are within us in a sense, which doesnt make it less true. They are magnified dreams, and dreams are manifestations in image form of the energies of the body in conflict with each other. That is what myth is. Myth is a manifestation in symbolic images, in metaphorical images, of the energies of the organs of the body in conflict with each other. Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 04:06:57 AM by beebert »
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Offline Opus118

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Re: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy
« Reply #6259 on: July 27, 2017, 11:13:11 AM »

Just finished reading this...really difficult to muscle this into my brain, and I feel like I have to reread this a couple of times...buuuuttt...

I honestly don't see a point anymore in trying to harmonize evolution with theology.  Theology teaches God is Creator of all things seen and unseen.  Humanity lives in sin if it doesn't seek unity and life-giving relationship with the Father through Christ.  Evolution seeks to explain the the diversity of biological organisms through a consistency of scientific laws.  I tend to see that the assumption of consistency and nature following laws as proof of the intelligible nature of creation that points to the intelligent Logos, but that's it.  It doesn't seek to explain divine purpose.

At the same time, rather than separating the two into "pre-Fall paradisaical" and "post-Fall laws of science", why can't the laws of science be the icon of the Logos?  I find that the weakness in the article continues to create a split dichotomy, where one side has nothing to do with the other.  No!  One depends on the other.  The laws of science, including evolution, still result from the fully active divine in every aspect of our creation.  He doesn't just snap His fingers and doesn't get involved.  I also accept the laws of embryology.  That doesn't mean God didn't create me but a mere sperm/egg fusion.

Sooooo, as someone as accepts evolution at face value, I don't see why there should be a "problem".  It's not like theology depended on the falsity or truth of evolution.  Theology depends on how the world can be related to our understanding of our place and purpose in Christ.  Regardless of what mechanism the formation of the cosmos can be explained, that formation alone only becomes an academic curiosity and technological advancement, but doesn't go far enough to explain TRUE life in Christ.

Neither should we be throwing stones at scientists because of how they "stick" with evolution.  As someone who works in science, I fully sympathize with that position, and I feel most people who are anti-evolution don't really take the time to fully understand the science, but seek ONLY to disprove by ANY MEANS NECESSARY.  Such a life is not real life, but a life filled with fear, a fear non-existent.  With Christ, there's nothing to be afraid of.  Just let the chips fall where they may.  Evolution never changed Orthodox theology.  It's presuppositions that change.

Thanks for your response, Mina. Here's my problem with the theistic evolutionary position (which I've tried to defend before). I just don't see how God could have created an Earth filled with violence and death from the beginning. Sure, as I posted on this thread before,  Fathers and theologians of the Latin tradition such as St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas seem to be less radical when it comes to differentiating the pre-Fall and post-Fall Creation (as opposed to the Eastern Fathers who emphasize the relationship between Man as a microcosm and the rest of Creation), and they give room to the possibility of animal death existing in some form. But still, it's a very minoritary position. And there's still no way around the fact that none of the Fathers (that we know of) believed the Earth to be older than 6.000-7.500 years approximately. Can one dismiss this consensus as being the mere product of their scientific ignorance? Is it just a scientific mistake, or a theological one? If they got that wrong, what else did they get wrong?

Good points, especially the point about God essentially being the author of death if theistic evolution is true. I've raised this question many times and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer.

Another philosophy that theistic evolutionists promote is the radical dichotomy of faith and science, which I thoroughly reject. God is the author of science, and thus to divorce science from faith does violence to both. And this has nothing to do with promoting a literal interpretation of Genesis or promoting the Bible as a scientific textbook. But the Bible, as it is correctly interpreted by the Church, is our essential source of theology. And if we reject the basic theological tenet that death entered the world through sin, and instead attribute death to God, then I think we have committed heresy. And the theistic evolutionists have no clear answer for this. In order to try to reconcile the problem they resort to all manner of hermeneutical and theological gymnastics that seem to defy the clarity of the Gospel.

The other philosophical problem with evolution (which I have also repeatedly pointed out and received no sufficient answer) is who and what determines who and what is fully human? If we are still evolving, then who and what is the authority on determining the definition of "fully human"? Even the theistic evolutionist cannot answer this question apart from mere conjecture. Within an evolutionary framework there simply is no objective basis for defining and determining what is "fully human." And while the atheistic evolutionist may not have a problem with this (e.g. euthanasia, abortion, genocide, slavery, etc. may pose no moral qualms for them), it most certainly poses problems for the theistic evolutionist. And I have yet to hear a solid, objective, scientific answer to this question from the theistic evolutionists.


Selam

I may get back to this Gebre, I am leaving for a camping trip soon. I also have questions that have not been answered satisfactorily here. In particular Stasis-World and what is considered alive or not alive.

Fully human is not a genetic term, as far as I know. As long as we evolve together we are always one.  Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and   Homo sapiens sapiens are human. Homo denisovans may also be reclassified as Homo sapiens denisovans.


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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy
« Reply #6260 on: July 27, 2017, 11:26:46 AM »

Just finished reading this...really difficult to muscle this into my brain, and I feel like I have to reread this a couple of times...buuuuttt...

I honestly don't see a point anymore in trying to harmonize evolution with theology.  Theology teaches God is Creator of all things seen and unseen.  Humanity lives in sin if it doesn't seek unity and life-giving relationship with the Father through Christ.  Evolution seeks to explain the the diversity of biological organisms through a consistency of scientific laws.  I tend to see that the assumption of consistency and nature following laws as proof of the intelligible nature of creation that points to the intelligent Logos, but that's it.  It doesn't seek to explain divine purpose.

At the same time, rather than separating the two into "pre-Fall paradisaical" and "post-Fall laws of science", why can't the laws of science be the icon of the Logos?  I find that the weakness in the article continues to create a split dichotomy, where one side has nothing to do with the other.  No!  One depends on the other.  The laws of science, including evolution, still result from the fully active divine in every aspect of our creation.  He doesn't just snap His fingers and doesn't get involved.  I also accept the laws of embryology.  That doesn't mean God didn't create me but a mere sperm/egg fusion.

Sooooo, as someone as accepts evolution at face value, I don't see why there should be a "problem".  It's not like theology depended on the falsity or truth of evolution.  Theology depends on how the world can be related to our understanding of our place and purpose in Christ.  Regardless of what mechanism the formation of the cosmos can be explained, that formation alone only becomes an academic curiosity and technological advancement, but doesn't go far enough to explain TRUE life in Christ.

Neither should we be throwing stones at scientists because of how they "stick" with evolution.  As someone who works in science, I fully sympathize with that position, and I feel most people who are anti-evolution don't really take the time to fully understand the science, but seek ONLY to disprove by ANY MEANS NECESSARY.  Such a life is not real life, but a life filled with fear, a fear non-existent.  With Christ, there's nothing to be afraid of.  Just let the chips fall where they may.  Evolution never changed Orthodox theology.  It's presuppositions that change.

Thanks for your response, Mina. Here's my problem with the theistic evolutionary position (which I've tried to defend before). I just don't see how God could have created an Earth filled with violence and death from the beginning. Sure, as I posted on this thread before,  Fathers and theologians of the Latin tradition such as St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas seem to be less radical when it comes to differentiating the pre-Fall and post-Fall Creation (as opposed to the Eastern Fathers who emphasize the relationship between Man as a microcosm and the rest of Creation), and they give room to the possibility of animal death existing in some form. But still, it's a very minoritary position. And there's still no way around the fact that none of the Fathers (that we know of) believed the Earth to be older than 6.000-7.500 years approximately. Can one dismiss this consensus as being the mere product of their scientific ignorance? Is it just a scientific mistake, or a theological one? If they got that wrong, what else did they get wrong?

Good points, especially the point about God essentially being the author of death if theistic evolution is true. I've raised this question many times and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer.

Another philosophy that theistic evolutionists promote is the radical dichotomy of faith and science, which I thoroughly reject. God is the author of science, and thus to divorce science from faith does violence to both. And this has nothing to do with promoting a literal interpretation of Genesis or promoting the Bible as a scientific textbook. But the Bible, as it is correctly interpreted by the Church, is our essential source of theology. And if we reject the basic theological tenet that death entered the world through sin, and instead attribute death to God, then I think we have committed heresy. And the theistic evolutionists have no clear answer for this. In order to try to reconcile the problem they resort to all manner of hermeneutical and theological gymnastics that seem to defy the clarity of the Gospel.

The other philosophical problem with evolution (which I have also repeatedly pointed out and received no sufficient answer) is who and what determines who and what is fully human? If we are still evolving, then who and what is the authority on determining the definition of "fully human"? Even the theistic evolutionist cannot answer this question apart from mere conjecture. Within an evolutionary framework there simply is no objective basis for defining and determining what is "fully human." And while the atheistic evolutionist may not have a problem with this (e.g. euthanasia, abortion, genocide, slavery, etc. may pose no moral qualms for them), it most certainly poses problems for the theistic evolutionist. And I have yet to hear a solid, objective, scientific answer to this question from the theistic evolutionists.


Selam

I may get back to this Gebre, I am leaving for a camping trip soon. I also have questions that have not been answered satisfactorily here. In particular Stasis-World and what is considered alive or not alive.

Fully human is not a genetic term, as far as I know. As long as we evolve together we are always one.  Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and   Homo sapiens sapiens are human. Homo denisovans may also be reclassified as Homo sapiens denisovans.

You and I may philosophically and theologically agree on this point, but what about those who don't agree with us? What about those who argue that Jews and Africans and unborn children are not "fully human"? What about those who argue that human life doesn't begin until a "fetus" is completely out of the womb? What about those who argue for "ensoulment," such as Muslims who believe that the soul doesn't enter the body until the third trimester (I may not be completely accurate on this point, so I'm open to correction from my Muslim friends)?

It's a wonderful idea to state that we are all "evolving together." But there are many evolutionists who are not interested in such ideals. For them human life is merely a materialistic accident of an accidental cosmos, and thus there is no inherent human sanctity. And they quietly scoff at the theistic evolutionists, who are merely useful idiots in their eyes.

Selam
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 11:28:32 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
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Offline Opus118

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Re: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy
« Reply #6261 on: July 28, 2017, 01:31:17 AM »
You and I may philosophically and theologically agree on this point, but what about those who don't agree with us? What about those who argue that Jews and Africans and unborn children are not "fully human"? What about those who argue that human life doesn't begin until a "fetus" is completely out of the womb? What about those who argue for "ensoulment," such as Muslims who believe that the soul doesn't enter the body until the third trimester (I may not be completely accurate on this point, so I'm open to correction from my Muslim friends)?

It's a wonderful idea to state that we are all "evolving together." But there are many evolutionists who are not interested in such ideals. For them human life is merely a materialistic accident of an accidental cosmos, and thus there is no inherent human sanctity. And they quietly scoff at the theistic evolutionists, who are merely useful idiots in their eyes.

Selam

In regard to the first paragraph, if we put our money where are mouth is, we would (not could) reduce the abortion rate for generations to come. If this nation as a whole was willing to pay to stop this (via taxation)  I could come up with some programs now, you might have better ideas.

My concern is how can one be made in the image of God, if people are born that are incapable of feeling love, charity, compassion. How can that be? It is the only sane thing in this insane world.

In regard to the second paragraph. Scientists are no different than anyone else. they have knee-jerk responses without carefully considering the issue.

I do not remember your thoughts in regard to the 10-20% (and it could be higher) spontaneous miscarriage rate. I think that needs to always be included in any discussion of this sort.

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Re: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy
« Reply #6262 on: July 28, 2017, 06:29:55 PM »
Scientists, theologians ponder if latest biological findings are more compatible with religion

Now, exciting progress in biology in recent decades may be building up a third new phase in the scientific explanation of life, according to thinkers gathered at a University of Oxford conference last week (July 19-22).
....
Genes once thought to be fairly mechanical in influencing human development — leading to the “my genes made me do it” kind of thinking — have been found to be part of complex systems that can act in response to a person’s environment.

Since scientists succeeded in sequencing the genome in the late 1990s, they have found that epigenetic markers that regulate patterns of gene expression can reflect outside influences on a body.

Even simpler living objects such as plants contain a complex internal genetic system that governs their growth according to information they receive from outside.

To theologians who see a “new biology” emerging, this knowledge points to a more holistic system than scientists have traditionally seen, one more open to some divine inspiration for life.
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Re: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy
« Reply #6263 on: August 18, 2017, 08:23:20 PM »
Mystery of how first animals appeared on Earth solved

" "The Earth was frozen over for 50 million years. [The Earth at this time is called "Snowball Earth".] Huge glaciers ground entire mountain ranges to powder that released nutrients, and when the snow melted during an extreme global heating event rivers washed torrents of nutrients into the ocean."

Dr Brocks said the extremely high levels of nutrients in the ocean, and cooling of global temperatures to more hospitable levels, created the perfect conditions for the rapid spread of algae. It was the transition from oceans being dominated by bacteria to a world inhabited by more complex life, he said.

"These large and nutritious organisms at the base of the food web provided the burst of energy required for the evolution of complex ecosystems, where increasingly large and complex animals, including humans, could thrive on Earth," Dr Brocks said.
....
"We immediately knew that we had made a ground-breaking discovery that snowball Earth was directly involved in the evolution of large and complex life." "
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 08:23:49 PM by Jetavan »
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.