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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 296252 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #1080 on: June 29, 2009, 11:27:08 AM »

Quote
I do not know their views on mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. But if they wrote somewhere that the currently existing theory of biological evolution must be wrong because of these and these and these Scriptural reasons - then I would have to be very sorry to conclude that they all were as much weirdoes and wacos as Fr. Seraphim was.

yes, the Saints are weirdos bc they don't agree with you. that sounds so Orthodox.
No less Orthodox than your assertion that the Saints are infallible. Wink

i made no such assertion. i have referenced ancient and modern Saints, church hymns, icons, canons, Scripture, and the Church calendar. ya'll have provided 3 Patristic quotes and some modern scientists.
The truth of one's convictions are not measured by number of "supporters".

actually, yes, thats how it works in the Church. Tradition is that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. A new belief that popped up 200 years ago due to the outside influence of non-Orthodox scientists hardly passes that test.
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« Reply #1081 on: June 29, 2009, 11:31:56 AM »

haha i never said the Fathers commented on evolution! that doesnt mean their work is totally irrelevant though.

I think it IS totally irrelevant, because they could not possibly have the first clue about what the biological evolution is.

who cares? they understand Scripture. go back and read the OP ....

Quote
Because the science of Biology is not the subject of the Scriptures, nor is it a subject that the ECF knew about.  How could they have any relevant comment upon something of which they knew nothing? 

the question at hand is how to interpret Genesis. i have very little interest in diving into science.

Quote
As a theological work that tells that God created the Universe, but doesn't tell us the nuts-and-bolts process?

youre right, the Fathers tell us not to try to get into "how" God created because that is beyond us as an act of God. How does God "speak" and out comes creation? I have no clue how to fathom that. But the Church is able to tell us what the Scriptures mean by "day" and She is able to tell us that Adam and Eve  were literal people and She is able to tell us that no death of any kind occurred before sin. i have never attempted to say "how" God creates and I have never said that the Church tells us that. on the other hand, theistic evolutionists DO try to tell us the "how" and in doing so they come into conflict with Tradition, by saying death existed even before sin, Adam and Eve aren't literal, the days aren't literal, etc.

Quote
so St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, and others like Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, and Elder Cleopa arent Saints in your eyes. You know darn well I've already mentioned and quoted them several times. You're just choosing to ignore that.

Quote
One might suggest that they are counted as saints due to their theology or devotion or humility or other things.  But none of them were apparently learned in biology.

they were illumined by God, thus I will give credence to their teachings on Scripture over those of scientists.


Quote
I haven't come across any paleontologists or geologists teaching on Scripture.  The ones I've read have been on the fossils, the data and the methods used.  Have you found some who say that they are "teaching in Scripture" or is that your idea that they are and you are conflating religion and science?

 

theistic evolutionists believe the days weren't literal, they usually believe Adam and Eve aren't literal, they believe death existed in the world even before sin and thus there was no Paradisiacal earth, etc. there is nothing in the Church that tells them to believe these things -- these beliefs about Scripture come solely from evolutionary science. that is what i mean.
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« Reply #1082 on: June 29, 2009, 12:01:54 PM »

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I do not know their views on mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. But if they wrote somewhere that the currently existing theory of biological evolution must be wrong because of these and these and these Scriptural reasons - then I would have to be very sorry to conclude that they all were as much weirdoes and wacos as Fr. Seraphim was.

yes, the Saints are weirdos bc they don't agree with you. that sounds so Orthodox.
No less Orthodox than your assertion that the Saints are infallible. Wink

i made no such assertion. i have referenced ancient and modern Saints, church hymns, icons, canons, Scripture, and the Church calendar. ya'll have provided 3 Patristic quotes and some modern scientists.
The truth of one's convictions are not measured by number of "supporters".

actually, yes, thats how it works in the Church. Tradition is that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. A new belief that popped up 200 years ago due to the outside influence of non-Orthodox scientists hardly passes that test.


No, PtA is right, that's not how it works.  Tradition does not mean having the most number of supporters, otherwise St. Athanasius was in the wrong.  Remember, he "woke up and found the world Arian".  Considering the support the iconoclasts had in their own time, I would probably go so far as to say that iconoclasm had the most number of supporters before the Ecumenical Council that condemned it as heresy. 

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« Reply #1083 on: June 29, 2009, 12:04:18 PM »

Considering the support the iconoclasts had in their own time, I would probably go so far as to say that iconoclasm had the most number of supporters before the Ecumenical Council that condemned it as heresy. 

Even after the 7th Ecumenical Council there was needed another council to condemn Iconoclasm.
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« Reply #1084 on: June 29, 2009, 12:35:58 PM »

Quote
I do not know their views on mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. But if they wrote somewhere that the currently existing theory of biological evolution must be wrong because of these and these and these Scriptural reasons - then I would have to be very sorry to conclude that they all were as much weirdoes and wacos as Fr. Seraphim was.

yes, the Saints are weirdos bc they don't agree with you. that sounds so Orthodox.
No less Orthodox than your assertion that the Saints are infallible. Wink

i made no such assertion. i have referenced ancient and modern Saints, church hymns, icons, canons, Scripture, and the Church calendar. ya'll have provided 3 Patristic quotes and some modern scientists.
The truth of one's convictions are not measured by number of "supporters".

actually, yes, thats how it works in the Church. Tradition is that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. A new belief that popped up 200 years ago due to the outside influence of non-Orthodox scientists hardly passes that test.


No, PtA is right, that's not how it works.  Tradition does not mean having the most number of supporters, otherwise St. Athanasius was in the wrong.  Remember, he "woke up and found the world Arian".  Considering the support the iconoclasts had in their own time, I would probably go so far as to say that iconoclasm had the most number of supporters before the Ecumenical Council that condemned it as heresy. 


And there's also the famous words of St. Maximos the Confessor when the emperor tried to persuade him to embrace monotheletism.  [My paraphrase]  "I don't care if the whole Church embraces this heresy.  I will remain Orthodox."  St. Maximos won when monotheletism was condemned by the Sixth Ecumenical Council.
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« Reply #1085 on: June 29, 2009, 12:39:46 PM »

Quote
I do not know their views on mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. But if they wrote somewhere that the currently existing theory of biological evolution must be wrong because of these and these and these Scriptural reasons - then I would have to be very sorry to conclude that they all were as much weirdoes and wacos as Fr. Seraphim was.

yes, the Saints are weirdos bc they don't agree with you. that sounds so Orthodox.
No less Orthodox than your assertion that the Saints are infallible. Wink

i made no such assertion. i have referenced ancient and modern Saints, church hymns, icons, canons, Scripture, and the Church calendar. ya'll have provided 3 Patristic quotes and some modern scientists.
The truth of one's convictions are not measured by number of "supporters".

actually, yes, thats how it works in the Church. Tradition is that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. A new belief that popped up 200 years ago due to the outside influence of non-Orthodox scientists hardly passes that test.
And how recently did the modern-day creationist dogma you're spouting here pop up?  The Fathers may have spoken individually and in disparate contexts regarding their understandings of Scripture and creation, but it's only been within the past 100 or so years that Christians have developed their specific dogmas of Creationism and compiled proof texts from the Scriptures and/or the Fathers for support.  I would venture to say that the Fathers were by and large NOT creationists as we define this term today.
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« Reply #1086 on: June 29, 2009, 10:40:14 PM »

Quote
I do not know their views on mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. But if they wrote somewhere that the currently existing theory of biological evolution must be wrong because of these and these and these Scriptural reasons - then I would have to be very sorry to conclude that they all were as much weirdoes and wacos as Fr. Seraphim was.

yes, the Saints are weirdos bc they don't agree with you. that sounds so Orthodox.
No less Orthodox than your assertion that the Saints are infallible. Wink

i made no such assertion. i have referenced ancient and modern Saints, church hymns, icons, canons, Scripture, and the Church calendar. ya'll have provided 3 Patristic quotes and some modern scientists.
The truth of one's convictions are not measured by number of "supporters".

actually, yes, thats how it works in the Church. Tradition is that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. A new belief that popped up 200 years ago due to the outside influence of non-Orthodox scientists hardly passes that test.


No, PtA is right, that's not how it works.  Tradition does not mean having the most number of supporters, otherwise St. Athanasius was in the wrong.  Remember, he "woke up and found the world Arian".  Considering the support the iconoclasts had in their own time, I would probably go so far as to say that iconoclasm had the most number of supporters before the Ecumenical Council that condemned it as heresy. 



im talking about looking at the whole picture ... of course there can be any number of heresies with many supporters at any one time, but overall the gates of Hades don't prevail of course. I had in mind St. Vincent's statement that Tradition is that which is believed, everywhere, always, by all.

and your argument works just as easily against you .... Arianism and Iconoclasm lasted well over 100 years -- so the fact that Evolution is the current trend in science, and is starting to leak into theology, doesnt mean its true. The fact that theistic evolutionist views on Genesis are so new to the Church should be a sign that they dont belong to the Church.
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« Reply #1087 on: June 29, 2009, 10:42:03 PM »

Quote
I do not know their views on mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. But if they wrote somewhere that the currently existing theory of biological evolution must be wrong because of these and these and these Scriptural reasons - then I would have to be very sorry to conclude that they all were as much weirdoes and wacos as Fr. Seraphim was.

yes, the Saints are weirdos bc they don't agree with you. that sounds so Orthodox.
No less Orthodox than your assertion that the Saints are infallible. Wink

i made no such assertion. i have referenced ancient and modern Saints, church hymns, icons, canons, Scripture, and the Church calendar. ya'll have provided 3 Patristic quotes and some modern scientists.
The truth of one's convictions are not measured by number of "supporters".

actually, yes, thats how it works in the Church. Tradition is that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. A new belief that popped up 200 years ago due to the outside influence of non-Orthodox scientists hardly passes that test.
And how recently did the modern-day creationist dogma you're spouting here pop up?  The Fathers may have spoken individually and in disparate contexts regarding their understandings of Scripture and creation, but it's only been within the past 100 or so years that Christians have developed their specific dogmas of Creationism and compiled proof texts from the Scriptures and/or the Fathers for support.  I would venture to say that the Fathers were by and large NOT creationists as we define this term today.

i think youre quite wrong. the Church unanimously has taught that the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old (even Origen said that!), that death only came into the world with sin, that God's creative act of each day was instantaneous, that Adam and Eve are literal people, etc

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« Reply #1088 on: June 29, 2009, 11:11:54 PM »

i think youre quite wrong. the Church unanimously has taught that the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old (even Origen said that!), that death only came into the world with sin, that God's creative act of each day was instantaneous, that Adam and Eve are literal people, etc

Good idea.  Just keep putting your hands on your ears and shouting " LA LA LA I CAN"T HEAR YOU! I CAN"T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA" to anyone with a compelling argument that you might, just possibly have to consider.  Then, when they don't answer you because they see that you will not even consider that you might (however minute the possibility) be even just a little off track, you can rejoice in knowing that you are "right".   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #1089 on: June 29, 2009, 11:57:37 PM »

i think youre quite wrong. the Church unanimously has taught that the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old....

That's your opinion.  I think that this belief effectively marginalises you and people like you and makes it hard for others to take you seriously.   (Others have already explained how the Fathers believed in the best science that they had available to them at the time, and that they were not scientists, etc. etc., so I will not entertain the possibility of  rehashing this argument over and over again  in the way that you seem to favour.)  By the way, I also believe that evolutionary theists are in error.

Forgive me, but I find this entire discussion extremely tiring and trying.   But dare I ask you this: what possible concern should it be of yours, exactly, about how old the earth really is, when it comes to your salvation?  Do you really believe that this matters to your salvation and to others posting here?  Why?  What we have to believe is that God created in a manner most wondrous that is ultimately beyond our understanding.  Do we have to agree about what a day means to God in the language of the Bible?  What a day means to the Source of all Being, the only true Being, who Himself created time in a manner beyond all human comprehension, Who utterly transcends beyond anything we can conceive or or express in our puny language or equally limited thought processes anything to do with time?  Why?  WHY?

I do understand about how it is important to oppose evolutionary theism, but so do other posters here who believe in evolution, but not  evolutionary theism.  Do you not see this?  Does the concept of  "nuance" have no importance for you at all, or indeed, do you even acknowledge that sometimes things are not black and white?

I also see how it might be important to insist that Adam and Eve are real people.  Why do you insist that we must swallow the entire canon of creationist belief, hook, line and sinker?  Do you not realise that good scientists and good theologians are in agreement insofar as they know that the human mind can only conceive of the wonders of this universe up to a certain point, and that beyond that point is only an apophatic mystery?
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« Reply #1090 on: June 30, 2009, 01:44:30 AM »

i think youre quite wrong. the Church unanimously has taught that the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old (even Origen said that!), that death only came into the world with sin, that God's creative act of each day was instantaneous, that Adam and Eve are literal people, etc
But you have yet to prove any of this to my satisfaction or to the satisfaction of your detractors on this thread.  Until you can do this, I see no reason to continue this argument with you, since you are holding so incorrigibly to your point of view.
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« Reply #1091 on: June 30, 2009, 09:34:32 AM »

A new problem arouse in my mind lately. If evolutionary process and natural selection require mortal being and death, how was there no death before the Fall?
Some say that immortality only began after becoming in the image of God (homo sapiens?). So, can we say that God allowed death etc. until Man was created in His Image?
Elder Paisios once said that carnivorous animals used to eat dead animals only before the Fall. Therefore, this could completely fix the issue concerning animals, but I'm not sure about humans yet.
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« Reply #1092 on: June 30, 2009, 09:53:21 AM »

A new problem arouse in my mind lately. If evolutionary process and natural selection require mortal being and death, how was there no death before the Fall?
Have you not been reading the last 1000 posts? The Law of Natural Selection is based on observations of the world as we see it now, and describes the process of speciation as we see it now. To assume that what is happening now has always occurred is not only unscientific and illogical, it's ignorant, deceptive, and just plain asinine. Please, please go back and read what knowledgeable people have said about one of our scientific laws, and quit trying to fit an anachronism into your literal interpretation of ancient literature.
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« Reply #1093 on: June 30, 2009, 01:28:36 PM »

Elder Paisios once said that carnivorous animals used to eat dead animals only before the Fall. Therefore, this could completely fix the issue concerning animals, but I'm not sure about humans yet.
But how did the dead animals die in the first place?
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« Reply #1094 on: June 30, 2009, 02:06:25 PM »

Elder Paisios once said that carnivorous animals used to eat dead animals only before the Fall. Therefore, this could completely fix the issue concerning animals, but I'm not sure about humans yet.
But how did the dead animals die in the first place?

Death: when did it appear?

Some people draw the conclusion from the Bible’s account of Adam and Eve that, before the fall of the first man, neither death nor decay existed in nature: life all over Earth flowed smoothly without storms or cataclysms, animals of prey fed on grass, and neither insects, fish, nor animals died, but rather all of them enjoyed immortality together with man. This idealization of the primitive world has no basis.

The very concept of death is full of human tragedy. Do we really have the right to apply the word death in the same sense to the plant or animal world? The departure of animals is not a death similar to the departure from life of Godlike man, who was made to be immortal. The division of a living cell, the loss of bacteria or an insect, or the halting of physiological processes in an ape is not the same thing as the demise of a human. Animals were not promised immortality, and they do not die because they broke the commandment. On the contrary, their death is just as natural a process as their birth. From the appearance of the first living cell in the world up until the creation of Adam, birth and death flowed in an uninterrupted stream. If it had been otherwise, the world would have become overpopulated with animals with nothing to feed upon soon after its creation. Only death and decay could pave the way for the birth of new creatures.

Adam was made to be immortal, not by his nature, but rather, conditionally, insofar as he was given access to the Tree of Life as a reward for fulfilling the commandment. In warning Adam about the danger of death, the Maker did not have in mind physical so much as spiritual death — that he would be deprived of the life-giving grace of the Holy Spirit. However, theoretically, Adam could have prolonged his physical life if he had eaten from the fruit of the Tree of Life after the Fall, too. It is specifically because God denied Adam access to the Tree of Life that he was doomed to physical death. Saint Gregory the Theologian explains that God fixed things so that the moral "evil [which entered Adam] did not become immortal." The fact that Adam was created outside of Eden already tells us that he must have been acquainted with death in the animal kingdom.

It may be assume that before the Fall of Adam there were no predators within the limits of Eden and only herbivores and harmless animals lived there. But beyond the limits of Eden, life flowed in its primordial rhythm. We know from paleontology that long before the birth of man there were predators even more fierce than today’s. From the very beginning, life and death alternated on all levels of existence — from microorganisms to the very largest animals. Just look at the skeleton of the prehistoric tyrannosaurus, whose teeth, sharp as a knife, reached lengths of 15 centimeters (6 inches). He certainly didn’t feed on grass!

Paleontology has counted about ten cases of relatively short periods from 500 to 65 million years ago during which massive extinctions of an enormous quantity of animal and plant species occurred. Perhaps the most grandiose massive extinction took place about 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, when 50 to 90 percent of the species inhabiting Earth, or about 200 of 400 known families, were wiped off the face of the Earth. Another massive extinction of apocalyptic proportions occurred at the end of the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago, which led to the death of all dinosaurs and ammonites.

But in that case, how are we to interpret the words of the Apostle Paul: "For the earnest expectation of the creature eagerly awaits for the revealing of the sons of God... For the creature was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;.. because the creature itself also wall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Rom. Chapter 8:19-21)?

Is the Apostle not indicating here that death and decay in the world were the result of the Fall of Adam? It seems to us that here he is talking not about the past, but about the future. The Apostle’s basic idea is that nature is imperfect and perishable because man, the crown of creation, was expected to perfect himself spiritually. But since man fell morally, nature remained perishable and imperfect without reaching the ideal state it was destined for. When the faithful part of mankind is honored with immortality after the universal resurrection from the dead, then the rest of the physical world will be transformed into new heavens and a new earth (see II Pet. 3:13). On the "day" after the universal resurrection, all of nature will be renewed, and the lowest creature, together with man, will be free from the laws of decay and destruction. What will nature look like then, and will it still have the plants and animals we know? The Apostle does not answer these questions. There are hints in the Bible that there will be something similar in the new world to what we see here (Is. 11:6-9, Is. 65:17-25; Rev. ch. 21-22). However, it is useless to try to imagine now what that spiritual world will look like, because time itself, space, and all the laws of nature will have completely new substance.

We have already cursorily mentioned the misunderstanding concerning Earth’s position in the galaxy. Since Moses describes everything from the point of view of an observer on earth, the impression is created that Earth is the center of the universe. Roman Catholic theologians defended this view with much pathos: "It is not fitting for the Earth, to which the Lord had to descend, to spin around in space like a child’s top." Fortunately, with time good sense triumphed and now no one can seriously repeat the old error about the universe’s rotation around Earth. This case vividly illustrates the problem that a biased understanding of some expressions in the Bible can cause when one is unaware of or ignores basic scientific data.
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« Reply #1095 on: June 30, 2009, 09:10:09 PM »

i think youre quite wrong. the Church unanimously has taught that the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old (even Origen said that!), that death only came into the world with sin, that God's creative act of each day was instantaneous, that Adam and Eve are literal people, etc

Good idea.  Just keep putting your hands on your ears and shouting " LA LA LA I CAN"T HEAR YOU! I CAN"T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA" to anyone with a compelling argument that you might, just possibly have to consider.  Then, when they don't answer you because they see that you will not even consider that you might (however minute the possibility) be even just a little off track, you can rejoice in knowing that you are "right".   Roll Eyes


no one has posted any contrary view on Genesis from any authoritative source within the Church ... im not sure where you're getting that idea.
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« Reply #1096 on: June 30, 2009, 09:10:48 PM »

i think youre quite wrong. the Church unanimously has taught that the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old (even Origen said that!), that death only came into the world with sin, that God's creative act of each day was instantaneous, that Adam and Eve are literal people, etc
But you have yet to prove any of this to my satisfaction or to the satisfaction of your detractors on this thread.  Until you can do this, I see no reason to continue this argument with you, since you are holding so incorrigibly to your point of view.

ditto. i already said last page this argument can't go anywhere else. as i said then all i can do is post more and more quotes from the Church but that somehow isnt getting us anywhere.
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« Reply #1097 on: June 30, 2009, 09:11:42 PM »

A new problem arouse in my mind lately. If evolutionary process and natural selection require mortal being and death, how was there no death before the Fall?
Have you not been reading the last 1000 posts? The Law of Natural Selection is based on observations of the world as we see it now, and describes the process of speciation as we see it now. To assume that what is happening now has always occurred is not only unscientific and illogical, it's ignorant, deceptive, and just plain asinine. Please, please go back and read what knowledgeable people have said about one of our scientific laws, and quit trying to fit an anachronism into your literal interpretation of ancient literature.

so youre saying uniformitarianism is a baseless assumption then?
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« Reply #1098 on: July 01, 2009, 12:43:52 AM »

so youre saying uniformitarianism is a baseless assumption then?

Hardly baseless.  Looking at the present for keys to the past is a major part of scientific thought.  Start with current fact and work/reason backwards.  What else can we do?  Just come up with some fantastic/unbelievable hypothesis and claim it is true with absolutely zero theoretical or observational backing? 

It is just another application of Ockham's razor.
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« Reply #1099 on: July 01, 2009, 02:22:08 AM »

i think youre quite wrong. the Church unanimously has taught that the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old (even Origen said that!), that death only came into the world with sin, that God's creative act of each day was instantaneous, that Adam and Eve are literal people, etc

Good idea.  Just keep putting your hands on your ears and shouting " LA LA LA I CAN"T HEAR YOU! I CAN"T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA" to anyone with a compelling argument that you might, just possibly have to consider.  Then, when they don't answer you because they see that you will not even consider that you might (however minute the possibility) be even just a little off track, you can rejoice in knowing that you are "right".   Roll Eyes


no one has posted any contrary view on Genesis from any authoritative source within the Church ... im not sure where you're getting that idea.

Yet so far you have used in your defense, St. Augustine; who did not believe in a 6-day Genesis and  St. Clement who proclaimed creation was an "infinite and dateless production"....
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« Reply #1100 on: July 01, 2009, 03:07:48 AM »

Please note that I have now added the "cheval mort" (dead horse) tag to this thread to connect it with all the other threads wherein someone has decided to continue beating the horse well after it has died.

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« Reply #1101 on: July 01, 2009, 09:43:54 AM »

A new problem arouse in my mind lately. If evolutionary process and natural selection require mortal being and death, how was there no death before the Fall?
Have you not been reading the last 1000 posts? The Law of Natural Selection is based on observations of the world as we see it now, and describes the process of speciation as we see it now. To assume that what is happening now has always occurred is not only unscientific and illogical, it's ignorant, deceptive, and just plain asinine. Please, please go back and read what knowledgeable people have said about one of our scientific laws, and quit trying to fit an anachronism into your literal interpretation of ancient literature.

so youre saying uniformitarianism is a baseless assumption then?
You are confusing uniformitarianism with anachronism. The principle of uniformitarianism states that what is happening now is most likely going to continue in a similar manner in the future. It does not say that the writer of a 6000-year-old document should have had in mind the scientific theories of the 19th century: That is called anachronism.
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« Reply #1102 on: July 03, 2009, 04:59:01 PM »

so youre saying uniformitarianism is a baseless assumption then?

Hardly baseless.  Looking at the present for keys to the past is a major part of scientific thought.  Start with current fact and work/reason backwards.  What else can we do?  Just come up with some fantastic/unbelievable hypothesis and claim it is true with absolutely zero theoretical or observational backing? 

It is just another application of Ockham's razor.

the other thing we could do is admit that science just cant really know the past as well as it thinks bc their hypotheses are based on assumptions.
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« Reply #1103 on: July 03, 2009, 05:04:10 PM »

i think youre quite wrong. the Church unanimously has taught that the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old (even Origen said that!), that death only came into the world with sin, that God's creative act of each day was instantaneous, that Adam and Eve are literal people, etc

Good idea.  Just keep putting your hands on your ears and shouting " LA LA LA I CAN"T HEAR YOU! I CAN"T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA" to anyone with a compelling argument that you might, just possibly have to consider.  Then, when they don't answer you because they see that you will not even consider that you might (however minute the possibility) be even just a little off track, you can rejoice in knowing that you are "right".   Roll Eyes


no one has posted any contrary view on Genesis from any authoritative source within the Church ... im not sure where you're getting that idea.

Yet so far you have used in your defense, St. Augustine; who did not believe in a 6-day Genesis and  St. Clement who proclaimed creation was an "infinite and dateless production"....

you keep refusing to look at the bigger picture. St. Augustine believed Adam and Eve were literal people and that they wouldn't have died physically unless they sinned. He also said anyone who accepts a timeline other than that given in Scripture should be mocked -- his timeline only differs by 5 days from that of those who read the days as literal -- not the billions of years difference that theistic evolutionists try to put in.

and St. Clement also said (speaking more clearly than the somewhat confusing quote you cling to):

The Stromata Book 4, chapter 25
Quote
Whence He commands them not to touch dead bodies, or approach the dead; not that the body was polluted, but that sin and disobedience were incarnate, and embodied, and dead, and therefore abominable. It was only, then, when a father and mother, a son and daughter died, that the priest was allowed to enter, because these were related only by flesh and seed, to whom the priest was indebted for the immediate cause of his entrance into life. And they purify themselves seven days, the period in which Creation was consummated. For on the seventh day the rest is celebrated; and on the eighth he brings a propitiation, as is written in Ezekiel, according to which propitiation the promise is to be received.

but dont worry, i already know you'll continue to ignore that.

he also said:

the Stromata Book 2, chapter 19
Quote
But nobility is itself exhibited in choosing and practising what is best. For what benefit to Adam was such a nobility as he had? No mortal was his father; for he himself was father of men that are born.

no mortal was his father .... thus he wasn't born .... thus he isn't a product of evolution but rather a unique creation of God .... and he is the father of all men .... its almost like .... he was the first man .... or something? but i'm sure you have a way of fitting that into evolution too ...


and i dont think i quoted all of these, but lets not forget St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus, St. Basil, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. John Chrysostom, St. John of Damascus, St. Gregory of Sinai, Tertullian, St. Maximos the Confessor, St. Gregory Palamas, St. Dorotheos of Gaza, St. Isaac the Syrian, St. Ignatius Brianchanninov, St. Macarius, St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, Fr. Seraphim Rose, Elder Cleopa, Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Elder Ephraim, Vladimir Lossky, Fr. Schmemann, St. Theophilos of Antioch, St. Athanasius, St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. Ambrose, St. Barnabas, St. Jerome, St. Methodios .... and im sure there's plenty of others who are slipping my mind right now ... who all believed in a literal Genesis.
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« Reply #1104 on: July 04, 2009, 04:20:54 AM »

i think youre quite wrong. the Church unanimously has taught that the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old (even Origen said that!), that death only came into the world with sin, that God's creative act of each day was instantaneous, that Adam and Eve are literal people, etc

Good idea.  Just keep putting your hands on your ears and shouting " LA LA LA I CAN"T HEAR YOU! I CAN"T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA" to anyone with a compelling argument that you might, just possibly have to consider.  Then, when they don't answer you because they see that you will not even consider that you might (however minute the possibility) be even just a little off track, you can rejoice in knowing that you are "right".   Roll Eyes


no one has posted any contrary view on Genesis from any authoritative source within the Church ... im not sure where you're getting that idea.

Yet so far you have used in your defense, St. Augustine; who did not believe in a 6-day Genesis and  St. Clement who proclaimed creation was an "infinite and dateless production"....

you keep refusing to look at the bigger picture. St. Augustine believed Adam and Eve were literal people and that they wouldn't have died physically unless they sinned. He also said anyone who accepts a timeline other than that given in Scripture should be mocked -- his timeline only differs by 5 days from that of those who read the days as literal -- not the billions of years difference that theistic evolutionists try to put in.

and St. Clement also said (speaking more clearly than the somewhat confusing quote you cling to):

The Stromata Book 4, chapter 25
Quote
Whence He commands them not to touch dead bodies, or approach the dead; not that the body was polluted, but that sin and disobedience were incarnate, and embodied, and dead, and therefore abominable. It was only, then, when a father and mother, a son and daughter died, that the priest was allowed to enter, because these were related only by flesh and seed, to whom the priest was indebted for the immediate cause of his entrance into life. And they purify themselves seven days, the period in which Creation was consummated. For on the seventh day the rest is celebrated; and on the eighth he brings a propitiation, as is written in Ezekiel, according to which propitiation the promise is to be received.

but dont worry, i already know you'll continue to ignore that.

he also said:

the Stromata Book 2, chapter 19
Quote
But nobility is itself exhibited in choosing and practising what is best. For what benefit to Adam was such a nobility as he had? No mortal was his father; for he himself was father of men that are born.

no mortal was his father .... thus he wasn't born .... thus he isn't a product of evolution but rather a unique creation of God .... and he is the father of all men .... its almost like .... he was the first man .... or something? but i'm sure you have a way of fitting that into evolution too ...


and i dont think i quoted all of these, but lets not forget St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus, St. Basil, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. John Chrysostom, St. John of Damascus, St. Gregory of Sinai, Tertullian, St. Maximos the Confessor, St. Gregory Palamas, St. Dorotheos of Gaza, St. Isaac the Syrian, St. Ignatius Brianchanninov, St. Macarius, St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, Fr. Seraphim Rose, Elder Cleopa, Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Elder Ephraim, Vladimir Lossky, Fr. Schmemann, St. Theophilos of Antioch, St. Athanasius, St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. Ambrose, St. Barnabas, St. Jerome, St. Methodios .... and im sure there's plenty of others who are slipping my mind right now ... who all believed in a literal Genesis.


I agree with every thing you written here....Some people get a little knowledge and they think they know everthing  .....As the Holy Fathers preached it and  believed it, i  Believe....
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« Reply #1105 on: July 04, 2009, 08:38:10 AM »

the other thing we could do is admit that science just cant really know the past as well as it thinks bc their hypotheses are based on assumptions.

Do you have any training in a science?  Your sentence makes it sound as though scientists make wild guesses and put forth ideas or hypotheses that aren't based on real data.   That's not how it works.
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« Reply #1106 on: July 05, 2009, 10:12:21 AM »

But how did the dead animals die in the first place?
They were too old?

Ukiemeister, thanks for covering everything up.

Jckstraw72, they all probably believed in a literal Genesis, because there was no evidence about how old the universe was. Today, Christians choose to reject an old universe because it's a view supposedly held by atheists exclusively.
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« Reply #1107 on: July 05, 2009, 03:44:18 PM »

But how did the dead animals die in the first place?
They were too old?

Ukiemeister, thanks for covering everything up.

Jckstraw72, they all probably believed in a literal Genesis, because there was no evidence about how old the universe was. Today, Christians choose to reject an old universe because it's a view supposedly held by atheists exclusively.
Speak for yourself and the brand of Christians you represent. Angry  As you can see, many of us Orthodox are quite willing to accept the concept of a universe that is 12-15 billion years old.
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« Reply #1108 on: July 05, 2009, 03:46:24 PM »

i think youre quite wrong. the Church unanimously has taught that the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old (even Origen said that!), that death only came into the world with sin, that God's creative act of each day was instantaneous, that Adam and Eve are literal people, etc

Good idea.  Just keep putting your hands on your ears and shouting " LA LA LA I CAN"T HEAR YOU! I CAN"T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA" to anyone with a compelling argument that you might, just possibly have to consider.  Then, when they don't answer you because they see that you will not even consider that you might (however minute the possibility) be even just a little off track, you can rejoice in knowing that you are "right".   Roll Eyes


no one has posted any contrary view on Genesis from any authoritative source within the Church ... im not sure where you're getting that idea.

Yet so far you have used in your defense, St. Augustine; who did not believe in a 6-day Genesis and  St. Clement who proclaimed creation was an "infinite and dateless production"....

you keep refusing to look at the bigger picture. St. Augustine believed Adam and Eve were literal people and that they wouldn't have died physically unless they sinned. He also said anyone who accepts a timeline other than that given in Scripture should be mocked -- his timeline only differs by 5 days from that of those who read the days as literal -- not the billions of years difference that theistic evolutionists try to put in.

and St. Clement also said (speaking more clearly than the somewhat confusing quote you cling to):

The Stromata Book 4, chapter 25
Quote
Whence He commands them not to touch dead bodies, or approach the dead; not that the body was polluted, but that sin and disobedience were incarnate, and embodied, and dead, and therefore abominable. It was only, then, when a father and mother, a son and daughter died, that the priest was allowed to enter, because these were related only by flesh and seed, to whom the priest was indebted for the immediate cause of his entrance into life. And they purify themselves seven days, the period in which Creation was consummated. For on the seventh day the rest is celebrated; and on the eighth he brings a propitiation, as is written in Ezekiel, according to which propitiation the promise is to be received.

but dont worry, i already know you'll continue to ignore that.

he also said:

the Stromata Book 2, chapter 19
Quote
But nobility is itself exhibited in choosing and practising what is best. For what benefit to Adam was such a nobility as he had? No mortal was his father; for he himself was father of men that are born.

no mortal was his father .... thus he wasn't born .... thus he isn't a product of evolution but rather a unique creation of God .... and he is the father of all men .... its almost like .... he was the first man .... or something? but i'm sure you have a way of fitting that into evolution too ...


and i dont think i quoted all of these, but lets not forget St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus, St. Basil, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. John Chrysostom, St. John of Damascus, St. Gregory of Sinai, Tertullian, St. Maximos the Confessor, St. Gregory Palamas, St. Dorotheos of Gaza, St. Isaac the Syrian, St. Ignatius Brianchanninov, St. Macarius, St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, Fr. Seraphim Rose, Elder Cleopa, Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Elder Ephraim, Vladimir Lossky, Fr. Schmemann, St. Theophilos of Antioch, St. Athanasius, St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. Ambrose, St. Barnabas, St. Jerome, St. Methodios .... and im sure there's plenty of others who are slipping my mind right now ... who all believed in a literal Genesis.


I agree with every thing you written here....Some people get a little knowledge and they think they know everthing  .....As the Holy Fathers preached it and  believed it, i  Believe....


thank you for your support Stashko!
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« Reply #1109 on: July 05, 2009, 03:48:49 PM »

But how did the dead animals die in the first place?
They were too old?

Ukiemeister, thanks for covering everything up.

Jckstraw72, they all probably believed in a literal Genesis, because there was no evidence about how old the universe was. Today, Christians choose to reject an old universe because it's a view supposedly held by atheists exclusively.


what reason do you have to believe that the Fathers interpreted Genesis according to their science of their day rather than according to divine illumination? im honestly curious about this. are there other instances where such a uniform teaching is questioned on this basis or a similar basis?
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« Reply #1110 on: July 05, 2009, 03:55:08 PM »

the other thing we could do is admit that science just cant really know the past as well as it thinks bc their hypotheses are based on assumptions.

Do you have any training in a science?  Your sentence makes it sound as though scientists make wild guesses and put forth ideas or hypotheses that aren't based on real data.   That's not how it works.

i know they dont just make wild guesses. if you accept their foundational assumptions then the rest of their work makes perfect sense. its the beginning assumptions that are guesses with which i disagree, and thus i do not accept the interpretations of the evidence that stem from those assumptions. i understand that without the assumption of uniformitarianism dating and such things would be nearly impossible, but that doesnt make it true. if the world is supposedly 4 billion years old, and scientists have been doing evolutionary research for the past 200 years or so then theres only been such observations for .00000005 of the earth's existence, and yet were supposed to know that the incredibly small amount of time is representative of the earth's entire existence?
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« Reply #1111 on: July 06, 2009, 10:45:26 AM »

Speak for yourself and the brand of Christians you represent. Angry  As you can see, many of us Orthodox are quite willing to accept the concept of a universe that is 12-15 billion years old.
Hahaha! Why does everybody think I am an young-Earth-cretionist?! I just had some questions, that's all...
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« Reply #1112 on: July 06, 2009, 10:59:46 AM »

what reason do you have to believe that the Fathers interpreted Genesis according to their science of their day rather than according to divine illumination? im honestly curious about this. are there other instances where such a uniform teaching is questioned on this basis or a similar basis?
I can easily spot mistakes in the Bible. The first thing that comes to my mind is Joshua's story, where 'the Sun stood above the Earth'. Some may say that this is just an artistic view, I say it's an anti-heliocentric one. Of course, I didn't expect people in Ancient Israel to be aware of Heliocentrism.
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« Reply #1113 on: July 06, 2009, 11:01:47 AM »

Speak for yourself and the brand of Christians you represent. Angry  As you can see, many of us Orthodox are quite willing to accept the concept of a universe that is 12-15 billion years old.
Hahaha! Why does everybody think I am an young-Earth-cretionist?! I just had some questions, that's all...
Because of the subtext of your questions. Boiled down, your question becomes "If the theory of evolution is true, then how does it fit in with a literal interpretation of Genesis?" Only a young-earth creationist would even ask such a question.
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« Reply #1114 on: July 06, 2009, 12:14:28 PM »

the other thing we could do is admit that science just cant really know the past as well as it thinks bc their hypotheses are based on assumptions.

Do you have any training in a science?  Your sentence makes it sound as though scientists make wild guesses and put forth ideas or hypotheses that aren't based on real data.   That's not how it works.

i know they dont just make wild guesses. if you accept their foundational assumptions then the rest of their work makes perfect sense. its the beginning assumptions that are guesses with which i disagree, and thus i do not accept the interpretations of the evidence that stem from those assumptions.

"Beginning assumptions"?  Sometimes in scientific work, something new is discovered, where the reaction might be "Wow, what is *that*?" or "That was weird. Why did that happen?"  or to use a vernacular "Cool!  Look at that!  What else can we find out?"    Some of the basics of genetics came from the work of the Christian priest Gregor Mendel working with plants.  He noticed things and then carefully experimented. What "assumptions" do you think he had? 

Other times scientists get new results that they don't expect or that don't fit their hypothesis. Good science doesn't ignore it or throw it out if it doesn't "fit their assumptions".

On what information do you base your idea that science has an "assumption of uniformatarianism" please?


Ebor
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« Reply #1115 on: July 06, 2009, 04:24:40 PM »

what reason do you have to believe that the Fathers interpreted Genesis according to their science of their day rather than according to divine illumination? im honestly curious about this. are there other instances where such a uniform teaching is questioned on this basis or a similar basis?
I can easily spot mistakes in the Bible. The first thing that comes to my mind is Joshua's story, where 'the Sun stood above the Earth'. Some may say that this is just an artistic view, I say it's an anti-heliocentric one. Of course, I didn't expect people in Ancient Israel to be aware of Heliocentrism.

i think your last sentence makes a crucial point -- the story in Joshua is from Joshua's POV and for all he knew the sun was standing still. But God was the only observer of creation, and Genesis is what he told Moses to write, thus its not from a human POV but rather from God's absolute POV.
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« Reply #1116 on: July 06, 2009, 04:28:14 PM »

the other thing we could do is admit that science just cant really know the past as well as it thinks bc their hypotheses are based on assumptions.

Do you have any training in a science?  Your sentence makes it sound as though scientists make wild guesses and put forth ideas or hypotheses that aren't based on real data.   That's not how it works.

i know they dont just make wild guesses. if you accept their foundational assumptions then the rest of their work makes perfect sense. its the beginning assumptions that are guesses with which i disagree, and thus i do not accept the interpretations of the evidence that stem from those assumptions.

"Beginning assumptions"?  Sometimes in scientific work, something new is discovered, where the reaction might be "Wow, what is *that*?" or "That was weird. Why did that happen?"  or to use a vernacular "Cool!  Look at that!  What else can we find out?"    Some of the basics of genetics came from the work of the Christian priest Gregor Mendel working with plants.  He noticed things and then carefully experimented. What "assumptions" do you think he had? 

Other times scientists get new results that they don't expect or that don't fit their hypothesis. Good science doesn't ignore it or throw it out if it doesn't "fit their assumptions".

On what information do you base your idea that science has an "assumption of uniformatarianism" please?


Ebor

i know wikipedia isnt always the most reliable source, but here's the page on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism_(science)

and youre the only person ive ever encountered that questioned if science has that assumption -- the other people (plenty of science majors and what not) have admitted the use of uniformitarianism but have sought to prove its not an assumption or sought to justify the assumption.
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« Reply #1117 on: July 06, 2009, 07:51:53 PM »

A lot of misunderstandings...

Basically, the Genesis, as we know even from the Psalms of David(he says a day for God is like -for example- a thousand years to us), should not be taken and interpreted literally.
Second, Clement was a remarkable -former Platonic philosopher- Christian author and apologist, but he is not a saint by any means, as is, for example, St. Justin.

Creationism, as well as "Intelligent design", are typical Protestant, and, to be more specific, north american Protestant theories, that do not comply with what Fathers such as saint Maxim the Confessor, St. Basil of Caesarea the Great, saint Gregory of Nyssa and others taught.

I assume, that you already know, that the two latter, and Saint Ambrosius of Milan have got "special" works upon this specific matter, which is the Six days of Creation of Moses.  Smiley
 
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« Reply #1118 on: July 06, 2009, 08:40:49 PM »

A lot of misunderstandings...

Basically, the Genesis, as we know even from the Psalms of David(he says a day for God is like -for example- a thousand years to us), should not be taken and interpreted literally.
Second, Clement was a remarkable -former Platonic philosopher- Christian author and apologist, but he is not a saint by any means, as is, for example, St. Justin.
Actually, the subject of whether the Church glorifies Clement of Alexandria as a saint has been debated on this forum, with many believing that the Church has so glorified him.  Therefore, you may need to defend your assertion, since it will likely be scrutinized in the light of our previous debates.

Creationism, as well as "Intelligent design", are typical Protestant, and, to be more specific, north american Protestant theories, that do not comply with what Fathers such as saint Maxim the Confessor, St. Basil of Caesarea the Great, saint Gregory of Nyssa and others taught.

I assume, that you already know, that the two latter, and Saint Ambrosius of Milan have got "special" works upon this specific matter, which is the Six days of Creation of Moses.  Smiley
 
Your attempts to give us specific quotes to support your statements above may benefit our discussion greatly, so I encourage you to do so. Wink
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« Reply #1119 on: July 06, 2009, 08:47:23 PM »

what reason do you have to believe that the Fathers interpreted Genesis according to their science of their day rather than according to divine illumination? im honestly curious about this. are there other instances where such a uniform teaching is questioned on this basis or a similar basis?
I can easily spot mistakes in the Bible. The first thing that comes to my mind is Joshua's story, where 'the Sun stood above the Earth'. Some may say that this is just an artistic view, I say it's an anti-heliocentric one. Of course, I didn't expect people in Ancient Israel to be aware of Heliocentrism.

i think your last sentence makes a crucial point -- the story in Joshua is from Joshua's POV and for all he knew the sun was standing still. But God was the only observer of creation, and Genesis is what he told Moses to write, thus its not from a human POV but rather from God's absolute POV.
I understand that Genesis was borne out of a tradition that had been passed on orally within the Hebrew peoples as they inherited it from Abraham's ancestors.  To say that it's based on what God told Moses to write may be quite misleading--much like the intrinsic belief among many Protestants that the Scriptures were uttered orally by God to the biblical authors (both Old and New Testament) and that these authors therefore made no real participation in what they wrote.  In fact, this argument is often made against the truth of any concept of "Tradition".
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« Reply #1120 on: July 06, 2009, 08:47:53 PM »

the other thing we could do is admit that science just cant really know the past as well as it thinks bc their hypotheses are based on assumptions.

Do you have any training in a science?  Your sentence makes it sound as though scientists make wild guesses and put forth ideas or hypotheses that aren't based on real data.   That's not how it works.

i know they dont just make wild guesses. if you accept their foundational assumptions then the rest of their work makes perfect sense. its the beginning assumptions that are guesses with which i disagree, and thus i do not accept the interpretations of the evidence that stem from those assumptions.

"Beginning assumptions"?  Sometimes in scientific work, something new is discovered, where the reaction might be "Wow, what is *that*?" or "That was weird. Why did that happen?"  or to use a vernacular "Cool!  Look at that!  What else can we find out?"    Some of the basics of genetics came from the work of the Christian priest Gregor Mendel working with plants.  He noticed things and then carefully experimented. What "assumptions" do you think he had? 

Other times scientists get new results that they don't expect or that don't fit their hypothesis. Good science doesn't ignore it or throw it out if it doesn't "fit their assumptions".

On what information do you base your idea that science has an "assumption of uniformatarianism" please?


Ebor

i know wikipedia isnt always the most reliable source, but here's the page on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism_(science)

and youre the only person ive ever encountered that questioned if science has that assumption -- the other people (plenty of science majors and what not) have admitted the use of uniformitarianism but have sought to prove its not an assumption or sought to justify the assumption.

What does uniformitarianism assume?
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« Reply #1121 on: July 07, 2009, 04:17:40 PM »

A lot of misunderstandings...

Basically, the Genesis, as we know even from the Psalms of David(he says a day for God is like -for example- a thousand years to us), should not be taken and interpreted literally.

i dont see any reason from within the Church to agree with you here ....

Quote
Second, Clement was a remarkable -former Platonic philosopher- Christian author and apologist, but he is not a saint by any means, as is, for example, St. Justin.

yeah im aware of his sorta-Saint status. ive seen him called Saint and ive seen it written that he's not officially a Saint, but the point remains that he interpreted Genesis literally (same story with Tertullian -- in his excellent pre-heretical writings he interprets Genesis literally).

Quote
Creationism, as well as "Intelligent design", are typical Protestant, and, to be more specific, north american Protestant theories, that do not comply with what Fathers such as saint Maxim the Confessor, St. Basil of Caesarea the Great, saint Gregory of Nyssa and others taught.

hmmm i really cant agree. these Fathers taught that the creation act of each day was instantaneous, Adam and Eve were literal people who would not have physically died before sin, that the body and soul were created simultaneously, that there was life before the sun, that there is no change from one "kind" to another, etc etc.
 
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« Reply #1122 on: July 07, 2009, 04:22:18 PM »

what reason do you have to believe that the Fathers interpreted Genesis according to their science of their day rather than according to divine illumination? im honestly curious about this. are there other instances where such a uniform teaching is questioned on this basis or a similar basis?
I can easily spot mistakes in the Bible. The first thing that comes to my mind is Joshua's story, where 'the Sun stood above the Earth'. Some may say that this is just an artistic view, I say it's an anti-heliocentric one. Of course, I didn't expect people in Ancient Israel to be aware of Heliocentrism.

i think your last sentence makes a crucial point -- the story in Joshua is from Joshua's POV and for all he knew the sun was standing still. But God was the only observer of creation, and Genesis is what he told Moses to write, thus its not from a human POV but rather from God's absolute POV.
I understand that Genesis was borne out of a tradition that had been passed on orally within the Hebrew peoples as they inherited it from Abraham's ancestors.  To say that it's based on what God told Moses to write may be quite misleading--much like the intrinsic belief among many Protestants that the Scriptures were uttered orally by God to the biblical authors (both Old and New Testament) and that these authors therefore made no real participation in what they wrote.  In fact, this argument is often made against the truth of any concept of "Tradition".

im thinking along these lines:

St. Ambrose writes:

Quote
Moses "spoke to God the Most High, not in a vision nor in dreams, but mouth to mouth" (Numbers 12:6-8). Plainly and clearly, not by figures nor by riddles, there was bestowed on him the gift of the Divine presence. And so Moses opened his mouth and uttered what the Lord spoke within him, according to the promise He made to him when He directed him to go to King Pharaoh: "Go therefore and I will open thy mouth and instruct thee what thou shouldest speak" (Ex. 4:12). For, if he had already accepted from God what he should say concerning the liberation of the people, how much more should you accept what He should say concerning heaven? Therefore, "not in the persuasive words of wisdom," not in philosophical fallacies, "but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power" (1 Cor. 2:4), he has ventured to say as if he were a witness of the Divine work: "In the beginning God created heaven and earth."

In a similar vein, St. Basil writes at the very beginning of his Hexaemeron:

Quote
This man, who is made equal to the angels, being considered worthy of the sight of God face to face, reports to us those things which he heard from God.

St. John Chrysostom says that, just as St. John the Theologian was a prophet of things of the fu-ture, Moses was a prophet of things of the past. He says the following:

Quote
All the other prophets spoke either of what was to occur after a long time or of what was about to happen then; but he, the blessed (Moses), who lived many generations after (the creation of the world), was vouchsafed by the guidance of the right hand of the Most High to utter what had been done by the Lord before his own birth. It is for this reason that he begins to speak thus: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," as if calling out to us all with a loud voice: it is not by the instruction of men that I say this; He Who called them (heaven and earth) out of non-being into being - it is He Who has roused my tongue to relate of them. And therefore I entreat you, let us pay heed to these words as if we heard not Moses but the very Lord of the universe Who speaks through the tongue of Moses, and let us take leave for good of our own opinions.

In his commentary on the Fifth Day of Creation, St. John Chrysostom emphasizes the preciseness and accurateness of the order in which the creation is described.

Quote
The blessed Moses, instructed by the Spirit of God, teaches us with such detail ... so that we might clearly know both the order and the way of the creation of each thing. If God had not been concerned for our salvation and had not guided the tongue of the Prophet, it would have been sufficient to say that God created the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and living creatures, without indicating either the order of the days or what was created earlier and what later.... But he distinguishes so clearly both the order of creation and the number of days, and instructs us about everything with great condescension, in order that we, coming to know the whole truth, would no longer heed the false teachings of those who speak of everything according to their own reasonings, but might comprehend the unutterable power of our Creator.
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« Reply #1123 on: July 07, 2009, 04:27:57 PM »

what reason do you have to believe that the Fathers interpreted Genesis according to their science of their day rather than according to divine illumination? im honestly curious about this. are there other instances where such a uniform teaching is questioned on this basis or a similar basis?
I can easily spot mistakes in the Bible. The first thing that comes to my mind is Joshua's story, where 'the Sun stood above the Earth'. Some may say that this is just an artistic view, I say it's an anti-heliocentric one. Of course, I didn't expect people in Ancient Israel to be aware of Heliocentrism.

i think your last sentence makes a crucial point -- the story in Joshua is from Joshua's POV and for all he knew the sun was standing still. But God was the only observer of creation, and Genesis is what he told Moses to write, thus its not from a human POV but rather from God's absolute POV.
I understand that Genesis was borne out of a tradition that had been passed on orally within the Hebrew peoples as they inherited it from Abraham's ancestors.  To say that it's based on what God told Moses to write may be quite misleading--much like the intrinsic belief among many Protestants that the Scriptures were uttered orally by God to the biblical authors (both Old and New Testament) and that these authors therefore made no real participation in what they wrote.  In fact, this argument is often made against the truth of any concept of "Tradition".

im thinking along these lines:

St. Ambrose writes:

Quote
Moses "spoke to God the Most High, not in a vision nor in dreams, but mouth to mouth" (Numbers 12:6-8). Plainly and clearly, not by figures nor by riddles, there was bestowed on him the gift of the Divine presence. And so Moses opened his mouth and uttered what the Lord spoke within him, according to the promise He made to him when He directed him to go to King Pharaoh: "Go therefore and I will open thy mouth and instruct thee what thou shouldest speak" (Ex. 4:12). For, if he had already accepted from God what he should say concerning the liberation of the people, how much more should you accept what He should say concerning heaven? Therefore, "not in the persuasive words of wisdom," not in philosophical fallacies, "but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power" (1 Cor. 2:4), he has ventured to say as if he were a witness of the Divine work: "In the beginning God created heaven and earth."

In a similar vein, St. Basil writes at the very beginning of his Hexaemeron:

Quote
This man, who is made equal to the angels, being considered worthy of the sight of God face to face, reports to us those things which he heard from God.

St. John Chrysostom says that, just as St. John the Theologian was a prophet of things of the fu-ture, Moses was a prophet of things of the past. He says the following:

Quote
All the other prophets spoke either of what was to occur after a long time or of what was about to happen then; but he, the blessed (Moses), who lived many generations after (the creation of the world), was vouchsafed by the guidance of the right hand of the Most High to utter what had been done by the Lord before his own birth. It is for this reason that he begins to speak thus: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," as if calling out to us all with a loud voice: it is not by the instruction of men that I say this; He Who called them (heaven and earth) out of non-being into being - it is He Who has roused my tongue to relate of them. And therefore I entreat you, let us pay heed to these words as if we heard not Moses but the very Lord of the universe Who speaks through the tongue of Moses, and let us take leave for good of our own opinions.

In his commentary on the Fifth Day of Creation, St. John Chrysostom emphasizes the preciseness and accurateness of the order in which the creation is described.

Quote
The blessed Moses, instructed by the Spirit of God, teaches us with such detail ... so that we might clearly know both the order and the way of the creation of each thing. If God had not been concerned for our salvation and had not guided the tongue of the Prophet, it would have been sufficient to say that God created the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and living creatures, without indicating either the order of the days or what was created earlier and what later.... But he distinguishes so clearly both the order of creation and the number of days, and instructs us about everything with great condescension, in order that we, coming to know the whole truth, would no longer heed the false teachings of those who speak of everything according to their own reasonings, but might comprehend the unutterable power of our Creator.

And all this is related to the reality of biological evolution, or of the quarks, or of the electromagnetic field... how?
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« Reply #1124 on: July 07, 2009, 04:35:43 PM »

the other thing we could do is admit that science just cant really know the past as well as it thinks bc their hypotheses are based on assumptions.

Do you have any training in a science?  Your sentence makes it sound as though scientists make wild guesses and put forth ideas or hypotheses that aren't based on real data.   That's not how it works.

i know they dont just make wild guesses. if you accept their foundational assumptions then the rest of their work makes perfect sense. its the beginning assumptions that are guesses with which i disagree, and thus i do not accept the interpretations of the evidence that stem from those assumptions.

"Beginning assumptions"?  Sometimes in scientific work, something new is discovered, where the reaction might be "Wow, what is *that*?" or "That was weird. Why did that happen?"  or to use a vernacular "Cool!  Look at that!  What else can we find out?"    Some of the basics of genetics came from the work of the Christian priest Gregor Mendel working with plants.  He noticed things and then carefully experimented. What "assumptions" do you think he had? 

Other times scientists get new results that they don't expect or that don't fit their hypothesis. Good science doesn't ignore it or throw it out if it doesn't "fit their assumptions".

On what information do you base your idea that science has an "assumption of uniformatarianism" please?


Ebor

i know wikipedia isnt always the most reliable source, but here's the page on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism_(science)

and youre the only person ive ever encountered that questioned if science has that assumption -- the other people (plenty of science majors and what not) have admitted the use of uniformitarianism but have sought to prove its not an assumption or sought to justify the assumption.

What does uniformitarianism assume?

1) That the rate of decay has been constant throughout time.
2). That the isotope abundances in the specimen dated have not been altered during its history by addition or removal of either parent or daughter isotopes
3) That when the rock first formed it contained a known amount of daughter material

there's also the assumption that given enough time microevolutionary changes will compound into macroevolution (a fruitfly will not only be a variant fruitfly but something other than a fruitfly).
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