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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
Yes - 53 (15.8%)
No - 129 (38.4%)
both metaphorically and literally - 154 (45.8%)
Total Voters: 336

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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 318459 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #1215 on: July 23, 2009, 06:26:35 PM »

and you therefore dont care what they have to say about Genesis either, do you?
Oh, I want to hear what they have to say about Genesis, as I consider the Saints reputable authorities on matters of faith. But unless they have another qualification in an additional area, I consider faith their only area of expertise.
It is true, that the Saints, and according to the spiritual charisma they had, were receiving internal information from God for a great deal of other matters. For example, Elder Porphyrius, was able to conduct charismatic diagnosis, and therefore correct the errors of several doctors who judged superficially at times.
Of course, we are not sure which of the views of the Saints were actually from God and which of them were simple views at topics that were "theologoumena"... And it is true that most Saints had charisma of dicretion of spirits, and, so, they knew which thoughts were from God and which from their own soul and personality, and which from the demonic spirits......  Smiley

we can know what is truly the mind of the Church as opposed to theologumena when the teaching appears similarly in all Fathers who comment on the subject and in all areas of the Church's teachings.
Where can we find this teaching (i.e., the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church") in the doctrines of the Fathers?

St. Basil's Hexaemeron, St. Ephrem's Hexaemeron, St. Ambrose's Hexaemeron, St. Augustine's the City of God, St. John Chrysostom's homilies on Genesis, and lots of other places. References to Genesis are scattered all throughout the ECF's writings. They reference Genesis on many subjects.
You totally missed my point.  I asked you where you can find in the Fathers the teaching that the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church".

ah si si. well ive never heard this notion questioned before ... if i recall correctly its in Ware's the Orthodox Church, its mentioned here on this wiki page : http://orthodoxwiki.org/Church_Fathers, its mentioned in this article http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/st_ch5.aspx, also see here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/rose_mind1.aspx

St. Gregory Palamas says: "if one of the Fathers says the same thing as do those from without, the concordance is only verbal, the thought being quite different.  The former, in fact, have, according to Paul, "the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16) Triad 1:11

... as far as i know, having the mind of Christ is the same as having the mind of the Church.


is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.
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« Reply #1216 on: July 23, 2009, 06:47:32 PM »

is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.
Consensus of the Fathers disregarded on the issue of evolution?  No, I don't see anyone disregarding an established consensus Patrum here.  What I do see is someone asserting that a consensus exists where I doubt there ever was one, and with little more than a smattering of proof texts.  You can go ahead and hit us with all the proof texts you want, but this still may not be enough to prove that the Fathers spoke with near unanimity on this issue, for unanimity or consensus is a connection that exists, if it exists at all, between and above the doctrines of each individual Father.  A similar issue where I've seen or heard someone debunk the asserted existence of a Patristic consensus is the belief that Adam and Eve did not have sex before the Fall.

You see, jckstraw72, the problem I have with the assertion of a consensus Patrum on a point of doctrine is that such consensus is so easily manufactured.  All you need to do is disregard the teaching of any Father who disagrees with the "consensus" you want to prove, so that you end up with the very circular logic of "this teaching has the 100% support of every Father who supports this teaching."  In the field of logic, this manipulation of data is known as "stacking the deck".
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« Reply #1217 on: July 23, 2009, 07:05:23 PM »

is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.
Consensus of the Fathers disregarded on the issue of evolution?  No, I don't see anyone disregarding an established consensus Patrum here.  What I do see is someone asserting that a consensus exists where I doubt there ever was one, and with little more than a smattering of proof texts.  You can go ahead and hit us with all the proof texts you want, but this still may not be enough to prove that the Fathers spoke with near unanimity on this issue, for unanimity or consensus is a connection that exists, if it exists at all, between and above the doctrines of each individual Father.  A similar issue where I've seen or heard someone debunk the asserted existence of a Patristic consensus is the belief that Adam and Eve did not have sex before the Fall.

You see, jckstraw72, the problem I have with the assertion of a consensus Patrum on a point of doctrine is that such consensus is so easily manufactured.  All you need to do is disregard the teaching of any Father who disagrees with the "consensus" you want to prove, so that you end up with the very circular logic of "this teaching has the 100% support of every Father who supports this teaching."  In the field of logic, this manipulation of data is known as "stacking the deck".

im not talking about a concensus on evoultion!! please read my actual argument. im talking about a concensus on GENESIS. of course the Fathers werent commenting on a theory that came about over a millennium later. this discussion is going nowhere because we can't even talk about the actual issue, i have to keep repeating that the important question for an Orthodox Christian is how to understand Scripture, not the theory of evolution. if you want to understand evolution thats fine, but that is a separate issue from understanding Scripture, for which we look to the Church. Concerning looking to secular sources to understand our faith, St. Gregory Palamas says: "we absolutely forbid to expect any precision whatever in the knowledge of Divine things; for it is not possible to draw from it any certain teaching on the subject of God. For "God hath made it foolish." (Triad 1:12).  The Holy Fathers tell us that the 6 days were a period wholly unlike anything we know in the post-Fall world, and thus we can only know about it what God tells us about it -- secular studies are completely incapable of learning about this period.

regarding the question of sex before the Fall -- im not talking about someone demonstrating that there isnt actually a concensus, im talking about just outright disregarding a concensus.

and if quoting the Fathers to demonstrate their belief doesnt demonstrate a concensus, then what would you ever accept, on any question, to demonstrate a concensus? i believe your side is the one using prooftexts. you keep falling back on 3 or 4 quotes that deal only with the length of the days to try to disprove an overall literal interpretation of Genensis, when I have demonstrated with multiple quotes that all those same Fathers you quote actually held quite literal views of Genesis, which are in no way compatible with evolution.

I can give you evidence from well over 50 Saints and modern holy elders demonstrating that they interpreted Genesis literally, in a manner incompatible with evolution. I am not prepared to do this now, and it would take some time to type them all up, but it would be quite possible.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 07:22:05 PM by jckstraw72 » Logged
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« Reply #1218 on: July 23, 2009, 07:50:38 PM »

and you therefore dont care what they have to say about Genesis either, do you?
Oh, I want to hear what they have to say about Genesis, as I consider the Saints reputable authorities on matters of faith. But unless they have another qualification in an additional area, I consider faith their only area of expertise.
It is true, that the Saints, and according to the spiritual charisma they had, were receiving internal information from God for a great deal of other matters. For example, Elder Porphyrius, was able to conduct charismatic diagnosis, and therefore correct the errors of several doctors who judged superficially at times.
Of course, we are not sure which of the views of the Saints were actually from God and which of them were simple views at topics that were "theologoumena"... And it is true that most Saints had charisma of dicretion of spirits, and, so, they knew which thoughts were from God and which from their own soul and personality, and which from the demonic spirits......  Smiley

we can know what is truly the mind of the Church as opposed to theologumena when the teaching appears similarly in all Fathers who comment on the subject and in all areas of the Church's teachings.
Where can we find this teaching (i.e., the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church") in the doctrines of the Fathers?

St. Basil's Hexaemeron, St. Ephrem's Hexaemeron, St. Ambrose's Hexaemeron, St. Augustine's the City of God, St. John Chrysostom's homilies on Genesis, and lots of other places. References to Genesis are scattered all throughout the ECF's writings. They reference Genesis on many subjects.
You totally missed my point.  I asked you where you can find in the Fathers the teaching that the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church".

ah si si. well ive never heard this notion questioned before ... if i recall correctly its in Ware's the Orthodox Church, its mentioned here on this wiki page : http://orthodoxwiki.org/Church_Fathers, its mentioned in this article http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/st_ch5.aspx, also see here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/rose_mind1.aspx

St. Gregory Palamas says: "if one of the Fathers says the same thing as do those from without, the concordance is only verbal, the thought being quite different.  The former, in fact, have, according to Paul, "the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16) Triad 1:11

... as far as i know, having the mind of Christ is the same as having the mind of the Church.


is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.

The Fathers aren't disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a theological point. They are disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a scientific point. And we do not, nor should anyone insist that we should, allow their lack of erudition on the subject to restrict our search for knowledge of the universe in which we live.
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« Reply #1219 on: July 23, 2009, 08:12:11 PM »

and you therefore dont care what they have to say about Genesis either, do you?
Oh, I want to hear what they have to say about Genesis, as I consider the Saints reputable authorities on matters of faith. But unless they have another qualification in an additional area, I consider faith their only area of expertise.
It is true, that the Saints, and according to the spiritual charisma they had, were receiving internal information from God for a great deal of other matters. For example, Elder Porphyrius, was able to conduct charismatic diagnosis, and therefore correct the errors of several doctors who judged superficially at times.
Of course, we are not sure which of the views of the Saints were actually from God and which of them were simple views at topics that were "theologoumena"... And it is true that most Saints had charisma of dicretion of spirits, and, so, they knew which thoughts were from God and which from their own soul and personality, and which from the demonic spirits......  Smiley

we can know what is truly the mind of the Church as opposed to theologumena when the teaching appears similarly in all Fathers who comment on the subject and in all areas of the Church's teachings.
Where can we find this teaching (i.e., the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church") in the doctrines of the Fathers?

St. Basil's Hexaemeron, St. Ephrem's Hexaemeron, St. Ambrose's Hexaemeron, St. Augustine's the City of God, St. John Chrysostom's homilies on Genesis, and lots of other places. References to Genesis are scattered all throughout the ECF's writings. They reference Genesis on many subjects.
You totally missed my point.  I asked you where you can find in the Fathers the teaching that the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church".

ah si si. well ive never heard this notion questioned before ... if i recall correctly its in Ware's the Orthodox Church, its mentioned here on this wiki page : http://orthodoxwiki.org/Church_Fathers, its mentioned in this article http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/st_ch5.aspx, also see here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/rose_mind1.aspx

St. Gregory Palamas says: "if one of the Fathers says the same thing as do those from without, the concordance is only verbal, the thought being quite different.  The former, in fact, have, according to Paul, "the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16) Triad 1:11

... as far as i know, having the mind of Christ is the same as having the mind of the Church.


is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.

The Fathers aren't disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a theological point. They are disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a scientific point. And we do not, nor should anyone insist that we should, allow their lack of erudition on the subject to restrict our search for knowledge of the universe in which we live.


so you see things like their insistence that God's creative acts of each day being instantaneous, no death of any kind before the fall because the whole creation is created for and connected to man (thus God is not the author of death), the body and the soul were created simultaneously (thus no dualism), Adam and Eve were literal people with a literal fall and thus we literally need redemption including a bodily resurrection ... as being points of science rather than theology, and thus you can ignore them?!
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« Reply #1220 on: July 23, 2009, 08:23:10 PM »

and you therefore dont care what they have to say about Genesis either, do you?
Oh, I want to hear what they have to say about Genesis, as I consider the Saints reputable authorities on matters of faith. But unless they have another qualification in an additional area, I consider faith their only area of expertise.
It is true, that the Saints, and according to the spiritual charisma they had, were receiving internal information from God for a great deal of other matters. For example, Elder Porphyrius, was able to conduct charismatic diagnosis, and therefore correct the errors of several doctors who judged superficially at times.
Of course, we are not sure which of the views of the Saints were actually from God and which of them were simple views at topics that were "theologoumena"... And it is true that most Saints had charisma of dicretion of spirits, and, so, they knew which thoughts were from God and which from their own soul and personality, and which from the demonic spirits......  Smiley

we can know what is truly the mind of the Church as opposed to theologumena when the teaching appears similarly in all Fathers who comment on the subject and in all areas of the Church's teachings.
Where can we find this teaching (i.e., the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church") in the doctrines of the Fathers?

St. Basil's Hexaemeron, St. Ephrem's Hexaemeron, St. Ambrose's Hexaemeron, St. Augustine's the City of God, St. John Chrysostom's homilies on Genesis, and lots of other places. References to Genesis are scattered all throughout the ECF's writings. They reference Genesis on many subjects.
You totally missed my point.  I asked you where you can find in the Fathers the teaching that the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church".

ah si si. well ive never heard this notion questioned before ... if i recall correctly its in Ware's the Orthodox Church, its mentioned here on this wiki page : http://orthodoxwiki.org/Church_Fathers, its mentioned in this article http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/st_ch5.aspx, also see here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/rose_mind1.aspx

St. Gregory Palamas says: "if one of the Fathers says the same thing as do those from without, the concordance is only verbal, the thought being quite different.  The former, in fact, have, according to Paul, "the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16) Triad 1:11

... as far as i know, having the mind of Christ is the same as having the mind of the Church.


is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.

The Fathers aren't disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a theological point. They are disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a scientific point. And we do not, nor should anyone insist that we should, allow their lack of erudition on the subject to restrict our search for knowledge of the universe in which we live.


so you see things like their insistence that God's creative acts of each day being instantaneous, no death of any kind before the fall because the whole creation is created for and connected to man (thus God is not the author of death), the body and the soul were created simultaneously (thus no dualism), Adam and Eve were literal people with a literal fall and thus we literally need redemption including a bodily resurrection ... as being points of science rather than theology, and thus you can ignore them?!

 Huh Somehow you have managed to do some strange convolutions, there. No, I see their explanations regarding man and his need for salvation as theology; not science. I don't take Genesis literally, just as I don't take the parable of the Prodigal Son literally. Though, they aren't historical accounts of events, still I see the theological truths imbedded in the stories. Our theology is based on those truths not the scientific impossibility of Genesis being a literal account of the timing and the manner in which God created the universe. Genesis doesn't explain the how, we are discovering such things through our God-given ability to conduct scientific investigation, not scripture.
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Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
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« Reply #1221 on: July 23, 2009, 08:35:53 PM »

and you therefore dont care what they have to say about Genesis either, do you?
Oh, I want to hear what they have to say about Genesis, as I consider the Saints reputable authorities on matters of faith. But unless they have another qualification in an additional area, I consider faith their only area of expertise.
It is true, that the Saints, and according to the spiritual charisma they had, were receiving internal information from God for a great deal of other matters. For example, Elder Porphyrius, was able to conduct charismatic diagnosis, and therefore correct the errors of several doctors who judged superficially at times.
Of course, we are not sure which of the views of the Saints were actually from God and which of them were simple views at topics that were "theologoumena"... And it is true that most Saints had charisma of dicretion of spirits, and, so, they knew which thoughts were from God and which from their own soul and personality, and which from the demonic spirits......  Smiley

we can know what is truly the mind of the Church as opposed to theologumena when the teaching appears similarly in all Fathers who comment on the subject and in all areas of the Church's teachings.
Where can we find this teaching (i.e., the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church") in the doctrines of the Fathers?

St. Basil's Hexaemeron, St. Ephrem's Hexaemeron, St. Ambrose's Hexaemeron, St. Augustine's the City of God, St. John Chrysostom's homilies on Genesis, and lots of other places. References to Genesis are scattered all throughout the ECF's writings. They reference Genesis on many subjects.
You totally missed my point.  I asked you where you can find in the Fathers the teaching that the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church".

ah si si. well ive never heard this notion questioned before ... if i recall correctly its in Ware's the Orthodox Church, its mentioned here on this wiki page : http://orthodoxwiki.org/Church_Fathers, its mentioned in this article http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/st_ch5.aspx, also see here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/rose_mind1.aspx

St. Gregory Palamas says: "if one of the Fathers says the same thing as do those from without, the concordance is only verbal, the thought being quite different.  The former, in fact, have, according to Paul, "the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16) Triad 1:11

... as far as i know, having the mind of Christ is the same as having the mind of the Church.


is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.

The Fathers aren't disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a theological point. They are disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a scientific point. And we do not, nor should anyone insist that we should, allow their lack of erudition on the subject to restrict our search for knowledge of the universe in which we live.


so you see things like their insistence that God's creative acts of each day being instantaneous, no death of any kind before the fall because the whole creation is created for and connected to man (thus God is not the author of death), the body and the soul were created simultaneously (thus no dualism), Adam and Eve were literal people with a literal fall and thus we literally need redemption including a bodily resurrection ... as being points of science rather than theology, and thus you can ignore them?!

 Huh Somehow you have managed to do some strange convolutions, there. No, I see their explanations regarding man and his need for salvation as theology; not science. I don't take Genesis literally, just as I don't take the parable of the Prodigal Son literally. Though, they aren't historical accounts of events, still I see the theological truths imbedded in the stories. Our theology is based on those truths not the scientific impossibility of Genesis being a literal account of the timing and the manner is which God created the universe. Genesis doesn't explain the how, we are discovering such things through our God-given ability to conduct scientific investigation, not scripture.

but if you insist on placing evolution upon the Genesis account you can no longer hold those theological positions. If man is the result of the process of evolution then quite obviously death existed before man fell since death is inherent in the process of evolution. This makes God the author of death, and since all that God created is good, death must be good. But then the question arises-- why did Christ defeat death if its good? This also means there was never truly a Paradise if there was always death. In Orthodoxy man has fallen, but in evolution man is rising up from the beasts. If evolution is true then the body of human beings pre-existed the soul which easily lends to dualism and is an idea that St. Gregory of Nyssa explicitly condemns. If evolution is true then there are not 6 distinct creative acts of God, but rather than is only one creation of life which eventually developed into more complex forms of life. This takes away the unique manner in which Adam and Eve are created which the Fathers saw as a clear sign of the uniqueness and kingship of man over creation. If evolution is true then Adam and Eve were just born like every other creature before and after them. The Fathers also tell us that the period of the 6 days is completely unique in that in that time God was creating everything, including the physical properties and processes, which were altered at the fall of man, and thus secular pursuits can tell us nothing of this time as it bears little resemblance to our time. Thus we must look to the Church as the key to the 6 days. And furthermore, if you deny the literal meaning of Genesis in favor of an allegorical one, then how do you know which parts of the story to continue to accept and which to throw out, since you have no ecclesiastical basis for interpreting in such an allegorical way? of course the Prodigal Son is not literal -- we know it is a parable. Genesis, on the other hand, has always been interpreted literally.
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« Reply #1222 on: July 23, 2009, 08:57:21 PM »

and you therefore dont care what they have to say about Genesis either, do you?
Oh, I want to hear what they have to say about Genesis, as I consider the Saints reputable authorities on matters of faith. But unless they have another qualification in an additional area, I consider faith their only area of expertise.
It is true, that the Saints, and according to the spiritual charisma they had, were receiving internal information from God for a great deal of other matters. For example, Elder Porphyrius, was able to conduct charismatic diagnosis, and therefore correct the errors of several doctors who judged superficially at times.
Of course, we are not sure which of the views of the Saints were actually from God and which of them were simple views at topics that were "theologoumena"... And it is true that most Saints had charisma of dicretion of spirits, and, so, they knew which thoughts were from God and which from their own soul and personality, and which from the demonic spirits......  Smiley

we can know what is truly the mind of the Church as opposed to theologumena when the teaching appears similarly in all Fathers who comment on the subject and in all areas of the Church's teachings.
Where can we find this teaching (i.e., the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church") in the doctrines of the Fathers?

St. Basil's Hexaemeron, St. Ephrem's Hexaemeron, St. Ambrose's Hexaemeron, St. Augustine's the City of God, St. John Chrysostom's homilies on Genesis, and lots of other places. References to Genesis are scattered all throughout the ECF's writings. They reference Genesis on many subjects.
You totally missed my point.  I asked you where you can find in the Fathers the teaching that the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church".

ah si si. well ive never heard this notion questioned before ... if i recall correctly its in Ware's the Orthodox Church, its mentioned here on this wiki page : http://orthodoxwiki.org/Church_Fathers, its mentioned in this article http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/st_ch5.aspx, also see here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/rose_mind1.aspx

St. Gregory Palamas says: "if one of the Fathers says the same thing as do those from without, the concordance is only verbal, the thought being quite different.  The former, in fact, have, according to Paul, "the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16) Triad 1:11

... as far as i know, having the mind of Christ is the same as having the mind of the Church.


is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.

The Fathers aren't disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a theological point. They are disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a scientific point. And we do not, nor should anyone insist that we should, allow their lack of erudition on the subject to restrict our search for knowledge of the universe in which we live.


so you see things like their insistence that God's creative acts of each day being instantaneous, no death of any kind before the fall because the whole creation is created for and connected to man (thus God is not the author of death), the body and the soul were created simultaneously (thus no dualism), Adam and Eve were literal people with a literal fall and thus we literally need redemption including a bodily resurrection ... as being points of science rather than theology, and thus you can ignore them?!

 Huh Somehow you have managed to do some strange convolutions, there. No, I see their explanations regarding man and his need for salvation as theology; not science. I don't take Genesis literally, just as I don't take the parable of the Prodigal Son literally. Though, they aren't historical accounts of events, still I see the theological truths imbedded in the stories. Our theology is based on those truths not the scientific impossibility of Genesis being a literal account of the timing and the manner is which God created the universe. Genesis doesn't explain the how, we are discovering such things through our God-given ability to conduct scientific investigation, not scripture.

but if you insist on placing evolution upon the Genesis account you can no longer hold those theological positions.

Says who? Bishop Kallistos and many other Orthodox and Non-Orthodox theologians have no problem in doing so.

Quote
If man is the result of the process of evolution then quite obviously death existed before man fell since death is inherent in the process of evolution. This makes God the author of death, and since all that God created is good, death must be good. But then the question arises-- why did Christ defeat death if its good? This also means there was never truly a Paradise if there was always death. In Orthodoxy man has fallen, but in evolution man is rising up from the beasts. If evolution is true then the body of human beings pre-existed the soul which easily lends to dualism and is an idea that St. Gregory of Nyssa explicitly condemns. If evolution is true then there are not 6 distinct creative acts of God, but rather than is only one creation of life which eventually developed into more complex forms of life. This takes away the unique manner in which Adam and Eve are created which the Fathers saw as a clear sign of the uniqueness and kingship of man over creation. If evolution is true then Adam and Eve were just born like every other creature before and after them. The Fathers also tell us that the period of the 6 days is completely unique in that in that time God was creating everything, including the physical properties and processes, which were altered at the fall of man, and thus secular pursuits can tell us nothing of this time as it bears little resemblance to our time. Thus we must look to the Church as the key to the 6 days. And furthermore, if you deny the literal meaning of Genesis in favor of an allegorical one, then how do you know which parts of the story to continue to accept and which to throw out, since you have no ecclesiastical basis for interpreting in such an allegorical way? of course the Prodigal Son is not literal -- we know it is a parable. Genesis, on the other hand, has always been interpreted literally.

We disagree. Bottom line, jcstraw.... what's the big deal? Why must I, or anyone else for that matter, see this issue only from your point of view?


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Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
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« Reply #1223 on: July 23, 2009, 11:28:41 PM »

is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.
Consensus of the Fathers disregarded on the issue of evolution?  No, I don't see anyone disregarding an established consensus Patrum here.  What I do see is someone asserting that a consensus exists where I doubt there ever was one, and with little more than a smattering of proof texts.  You can go ahead and hit us with all the proof texts you want, but this still may not be enough to prove that the Fathers spoke with near unanimity on this issue, for unanimity or consensus is a connection that exists, if it exists at all, between and above the doctrines of each individual Father.  A similar issue where I've seen or heard someone debunk the asserted existence of a Patristic consensus is the belief that Adam and Eve did not have sex before the Fall.

You see, jckstraw72, the problem I have with the assertion of a consensus Patrum on a point of doctrine is that such consensus is so easily manufactured.  All you need to do is disregard the teaching of any Father who disagrees with the "consensus" you want to prove, so that you end up with the very circular logic of "this teaching has the 100% support of every Father who supports this teaching."  In the field of logic, this manipulation of data is known as "stacking the deck".

im not talking about a concensus on evoultion!! please read my actual argument. im talking about a concensus on GENESIS. of course the Fathers werent commenting on a theory that came about over a millennium later.
Whether we're talking about a "consensus" against evolution or a "consensus" on how to interpret Genesis, my point is still the same.  You're still trying to prove to us a consensus many here doubt ever existed.

this discussion is going nowhere because we can't even talk about the actual issue, i have to keep repeating that the important question for an Orthodox Christian is how to understand Scripture, not the theory of evolution. if you want to understand evolution thats fine, but that is a separate issue from understanding Scripture, for which we look to the Church.
Not a separate issue at all when one stops to see that you're trying to establish a Patristic approach to reading Genesis precisely so you can have a foundation for later attacking the theory of evolution.

Concerning looking to secular sources to understand our faith, St. Gregory Palamas says: "we absolutely forbid to expect any precision whatever in the knowledge of Divine things; for it is not possible to draw from it any certain teaching on the subject of God. For "God hath made it foolish." (Triad 1:12).  The Holy Fathers tell us that the 6 days were a period wholly unlike anything we know in the post-Fall world, and thus we can only know about it what God tells us about it -- secular studies are completely incapable of learning about this period.

regarding the question of sex before the Fall -- im not talking about someone demonstrating that there isnt actually a concensus, im talking about just outright disregarding a concensus.

and if quoting the Fathers to demonstrate their belief doesnt demonstrate a concensus, then what would you ever accept, on any question, to demonstrate a concensus?
I don't know that you or I ever could short of citing the decree of an Ecumenical Council or other council of universal authority.

i believe your side is the one using prooftexts. you keep falling back on 3 or 4 quotes that deal only with the length of the days to try to disprove an overall literal interpretation of Genensis, when I have demonstrated with multiple quotes that all those same Fathers you quote actually held quite literal views of Genesis, which are in no way compatible with evolution.
You say...  We say... Undecided  As long as both sides keep posting the same proof texts from the Fathers to prove his/her particular pov, along with tips on how to interpret those proof texts, it will ever remain your word against your opponents', and we'll never know who's right.  In this debate, the prize does not go to whoever can speak the loudest.  For the record, Riddikulus is arguing her own point of view, with which I claim neither agreement nor disagreement, and for which I claim no responsibility.

I can give you evidence from well over 50 Saints and modern holy elders demonstrating that they interpreted Genesis literally, in a manner incompatible with evolution. I am not prepared to do this now, and it would take some time to type them all up, but it would be quite possible.
You can certainly offer evidence to suggest that these well over 50 saints interpreted Genesis literally, but when others offer evidence that some of these same saints did NOT interpret Genesis literally, the only thing I'm left to see is that you and your opponents can't even agree on how to interpret the Fathers.  Additionally, for the benefit of my argument, well over 50 Fathers do not a consensus make.
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« Reply #1224 on: July 24, 2009, 02:33:46 AM »

is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.
Consensus of the Fathers disregarded on the issue of evolution?  No, I don't see anyone disregarding an established consensus Patrum here.  What I do see is someone asserting that a consensus exists where I doubt there ever was one, and with little more than a smattering of proof texts.  You can go ahead and hit us with all the proof texts you want, but this still may not be enough to prove that the Fathers spoke with near unanimity on this issue, for unanimity or consensus is a connection that exists, if it exists at all, between and above the doctrines of each individual Father.  A similar issue where I've seen or heard someone debunk the asserted existence of a Patristic consensus is the belief that Adam and Eve did not have sex before the Fall.

You see, jckstraw72, the problem I have with the assertion of a consensus Patrum on a point of doctrine is that such consensus is so easily manufactured.  All you need to do is disregard the teaching of any Father who disagrees with the "consensus" you want to prove, so that you end up with the very circular logic of "this teaching has the 100% support of every Father who supports this teaching."  In the field of logic, this manipulation of data is known as "stacking the deck".

im not talking about a concensus on evoultion!! please read my actual argument. im talking about a concensus on GENESIS. of course the Fathers werent commenting on a theory that came about over a millennium later. this discussion is going nowhere because we can't even talk about the actual issue, i have to keep repeating that the important question for an Orthodox Christian is how to understand Scripture, not the theory of evolution. if you want to understand evolution thats fine, but that is a separate issue from understanding Scripture, for which we look to the Church. Concerning looking to secular sources to understand our faith, St. Gregory Palamas says: "we absolutely forbid to expect any precision whatever in the knowledge of Divine things; for it is not possible to draw from it any certain teaching on the subject of God. For "God hath made it foolish." (Triad 1:12).  The Holy Fathers tell us that the 6 days were a period wholly unlike anything we know in the post-Fall world, and thus we can only know about it what God tells us about it -- secular studies are completely incapable of learning about this period.

regarding the question of sex before the Fall -- im not talking about someone demonstrating that there isnt actually a concensus, im talking about just outright disregarding a concensus.

and if quoting the Fathers to demonstrate their belief doesnt demonstrate a concensus, then what would you ever accept, on any question, to demonstrate a concensus? i believe your side is the one using prooftexts. you keep falling back on 3 or 4 quotes that deal only with the length of the days to try to disprove an overall literal interpretation of Genensis, when I have demonstrated with multiple quotes that all those same Fathers you quote actually held quite literal views of Genesis, which are in no way compatible with evolution.

I can give you evidence from well over 50 Saints and modern holy elders demonstrating that they interpreted Genesis literally, in a manner incompatible with evolution. I am not prepared to do this now, and it would take some time to type them all up, but it would be quite possible.

All this still begs the question. How do you know that the Ancient Fathers would have interpreted Genesis literally, if they had the information at their fingertips that we have, today? Isn't it somewhat presumptuous to automatically assume that they would have rejected evolution as valid science, when modern Orthodox theologians do not?
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« Reply #1225 on: July 24, 2009, 01:02:41 PM »

is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.
Consensus of the Fathers disregarded on the issue of evolution?  No, I don't see anyone disregarding an established consensus Patrum here.  What I do see is someone asserting that a consensus exists where I doubt there ever was one, and with little more than a smattering of proof texts.  You can go ahead and hit us with all the proof texts you want, but this still may not be enough to prove that the Fathers spoke with near unanimity on this issue, for unanimity or consensus is a connection that exists, if it exists at all, between and above the doctrines of each individual Father.  A similar issue where I've seen or heard someone debunk the asserted existence of a Patristic consensus is the belief that Adam and Eve did not have sex before the Fall.

You see, jckstraw72, the problem I have with the assertion of a consensus Patrum on a point of doctrine is that such consensus is so easily manufactured.  All you need to do is disregard the teaching of any Father who disagrees with the "consensus" you want to prove, so that you end up with the very circular logic of "this teaching has the 100% support of every Father who supports this teaching."  In the field of logic, this manipulation of data is known as "stacking the deck".

im not talking about a concensus on evoultion!! please read my actual argument. im talking about a concensus on GENESIS. of course the Fathers werent commenting on a theory that came about over a millennium later. this discussion is going nowhere because we can't even talk about the actual issue, i have to keep repeating that the important question for an Orthodox Christian is how to understand Scripture, not the theory of evolution. if you want to understand evolution thats fine, but that is a separate issue from understanding Scripture, for which we look to the Church. Concerning looking to secular sources to understand our faith, St. Gregory Palamas says: "we absolutely forbid to expect any precision whatever in the knowledge of Divine things; for it is not possible to draw from it any certain teaching on the subject of God. For "God hath made it foolish." (Triad 1:12).  The Holy Fathers tell us that the 6 days were a period wholly unlike anything we know in the post-Fall world, and thus we can only know about it what God tells us about it -- secular studies are completely incapable of learning about this period.

regarding the question of sex before the Fall -- im not talking about someone demonstrating that there isnt actually a concensus, im talking about just outright disregarding a concensus.

and if quoting the Fathers to demonstrate their belief doesnt demonstrate a concensus, then what would you ever accept, on any question, to demonstrate a concensus? i believe your side is the one using prooftexts. you keep falling back on 3 or 4 quotes that deal only with the length of the days to try to disprove an overall literal interpretation of Genensis, when I have demonstrated with multiple quotes that all those same Fathers you quote actually held quite literal views of Genesis, which are in no way compatible with evolution.

I can give you evidence from well over 50 Saints and modern holy elders demonstrating that they interpreted Genesis literally, in a manner incompatible with evolution. I am not prepared to do this now, and it would take some time to type them all up, but it would be quite possible.

All this still begs the question. How do you know that the Ancient Fathers would have interpreted Genesis literally, if they had the information at their fingertips that we have, today? Isn't it somewhat presumptuous to automatically assume that they would have rejected evolution as valid science, when modern Orthodox theologians do not?


1. many Orthodox theologians DO contest evolution
2. the Holy Fathers were illumined by God! Their interpretation of Scripture had nothing to do with worldly wisdom, and I have already provided a quote from St. Gregory Palamas to this affect. You are assuming that the Fathers were giving mere opinions on Genesis based on scientific ideas of their day, rather than on the movement of the Holy Spirit. On what other issue do we so boldly make this claim for every major Church Father? Can we really be so proud as to think that the Fathers had no greater source of wisdom than what you and I have (we have the same source available to us but they were more in tune with it than the regular joe ...), despite the fact that we claim them to be illumined and holy men? You don't see that as a greater source of knowlege than secular scientists? I can't even begin to fathom how that is harmonious with Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #1226 on: July 24, 2009, 01:06:45 PM »

and you therefore dont care what they have to say about Genesis either, do you?
Oh, I want to hear what they have to say about Genesis, as I consider the Saints reputable authorities on matters of faith. But unless they have another qualification in an additional area, I consider faith their only area of expertise.
It is true, that the Saints, and according to the spiritual charisma they had, were receiving internal information from God for a great deal of other matters. For example, Elder Porphyrius, was able to conduct charismatic diagnosis, and therefore correct the errors of several doctors who judged superficially at times.
Of course, we are not sure which of the views of the Saints were actually from God and which of them were simple views at topics that were "theologoumena"... And it is true that most Saints had charisma of dicretion of spirits, and, so, they knew which thoughts were from God and which from their own soul and personality, and which from the demonic spirits......  Smiley

we can know what is truly the mind of the Church as opposed to theologumena when the teaching appears similarly in all Fathers who comment on the subject and in all areas of the Church's teachings.
Where can we find this teaching (i.e., the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church") in the doctrines of the Fathers?

St. Basil's Hexaemeron, St. Ephrem's Hexaemeron, St. Ambrose's Hexaemeron, St. Augustine's the City of God, St. John Chrysostom's homilies on Genesis, and lots of other places. References to Genesis are scattered all throughout the ECF's writings. They reference Genesis on many subjects.
You totally missed my point.  I asked you where you can find in the Fathers the teaching that the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church".

ah si si. well ive never heard this notion questioned before ... if i recall correctly its in Ware's the Orthodox Church, its mentioned here on this wiki page : http://orthodoxwiki.org/Church_Fathers, its mentioned in this article http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/st_ch5.aspx, also see here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/rose_mind1.aspx

St. Gregory Palamas says: "if one of the Fathers says the same thing as do those from without, the concordance is only verbal, the thought being quite different.  The former, in fact, have, according to Paul, "the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16) Triad 1:11

... as far as i know, having the mind of Christ is the same as having the mind of the Church.


is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.

The Fathers aren't disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a theological point. They are disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a scientific point. And we do not, nor should anyone insist that we should, allow their lack of erudition on the subject to restrict our search for knowledge of the universe in which we live.


so you see things like their insistence that God's creative acts of each day being instantaneous, no death of any kind before the fall because the whole creation is created for and connected to man (thus God is not the author of death), the body and the soul were created simultaneously (thus no dualism), Adam and Eve were literal people with a literal fall and thus we literally need redemption including a bodily resurrection ... as being points of science rather than theology, and thus you can ignore them?!

 Huh Somehow you have managed to do some strange convolutions, there. No, I see their explanations regarding man and his need for salvation as theology; not science. I don't take Genesis literally, just as I don't take the parable of the Prodigal Son literally. Though, they aren't historical accounts of events, still I see the theological truths imbedded in the stories. Our theology is based on those truths not the scientific impossibility of Genesis being a literal account of the timing and the manner is which God created the universe. Genesis doesn't explain the how, we are discovering such things through our God-given ability to conduct scientific investigation, not scripture.

but if you insist on placing evolution upon the Genesis account you can no longer hold those theological positions.

Says who? Bishop Kallistos and many other Orthodox and Non-Orthodox theologians have no problem in doing so.

Quote
If man is the result of the process of evolution then quite obviously death existed before man fell since death is inherent in the process of evolution. This makes God the author of death, and since all that God created is good, death must be good. But then the question arises-- why did Christ defeat death if its good? This also means there was never truly a Paradise if there was always death. In Orthodoxy man has fallen, but in evolution man is rising up from the beasts. If evolution is true then the body of human beings pre-existed the soul which easily lends to dualism and is an idea that St. Gregory of Nyssa explicitly condemns. If evolution is true then there are not 6 distinct creative acts of God, but rather than is only one creation of life which eventually developed into more complex forms of life. This takes away the unique manner in which Adam and Eve are created which the Fathers saw as a clear sign of the uniqueness and kingship of man over creation. If evolution is true then Adam and Eve were just born like every other creature before and after them. The Fathers also tell us that the period of the 6 days is completely unique in that in that time God was creating everything, including the physical properties and processes, which were altered at the fall of man, and thus secular pursuits can tell us nothing of this time as it bears little resemblance to our time. Thus we must look to the Church as the key to the 6 days. And furthermore, if you deny the literal meaning of Genesis in favor of an allegorical one, then how do you know which parts of the story to continue to accept and which to throw out, since you have no ecclesiastical basis for interpreting in such an allegorical way? of course the Prodigal Son is not literal -- we know it is a parable. Genesis, on the other hand, has always been interpreted literally.

We disagree. Bottom line, jcstraw.... what's the big deal? Why must I, or anyone else for that matter, see this issue only from your point of view?




please  explain to me how evolution does NOT have those theological implications. so many ppl want to just slap a new theory onto the Scripture and assume everything else will remain the same -- but have you all really spent time contemplating the implications? its easy to just say oh well i disagree, but on what basis do you disagree? how do you propose a theory that inherently involves death, but at the same time believe that death is only a result of sin? how could you possibly harmonize those two?
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« Reply #1227 on: July 24, 2009, 01:11:21 PM »

Not a separate issue at all when one stops to see that you're trying to establish a Patristic approach to reading Genesis precisely so you can have a foundation for later attacking the theory of evolution.

and thats quite simple to do since the Fathers tell us its impermissible to interpret GEnesis so allegorically that we do away with the literal history (St. John of Damascus, St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom, the Venerable Bede, St. Augustine, etc)

Quote

I don't know that you or I ever could short of citing the decree of an Ecumenical Council or other council of universal authority.

so you honestly believe Orthodoxy only has a concensus stance on the nature of the Trinity and Christ, and on icons? Everything else is up for grabs in your eyes?

Quote
You say...  We say... Undecided  As long as both sides keep posting the same proof texts from the Fathers to prove his/her particular pov, along with tips on how to interpret those proof texts, it will ever remain your word against your opponents', and we'll never know who's right.  In this debate, the prize does not go to whoever can speak the loudest.  For the record, Riddikulus is arguing her own point of view, with which I claim neither agreement nor disagreement, and for which I claim no responsibility.

your side posts one quote each from a few Fathers. that is certainly proof texting. I am attempting to demonstrate those same Fathers overall attitude to the Scriptures. I have given you St. Augustine's overall approach when he says that allegories are OK as long as you don't ignore the historical level, but your side just clings to that one single little quote. That's all your position has. One quote is a prooftext, but when you begin to read more of what they said you can have a clearer understanding of the overall picture. how is that prooftexting?

Quote
You can certainly offer evidence to suggest that these well over 50 saints interpreted Genesis literally, but when others offer evidence that some of these same saints did NOT interpret Genesis literally, the only thing I'm left to see is that you and your opponents can't even agree on how to interpret the Fathers.  Additionally, for the benefit of my argument, well over 50 Fathers do not a consensus make.

No one has offered a single shred of evidence that suggests that even a single Father interpreted Genesis allegoricall to the exclusion of the literal level. Do you see the important distinction there? Even if they give an allegorical interpretation of the days (and that is of course the only issue your side is able to present on) that doesnt necessarily exclude the literal level as you presume. we know this because many Fathers, including those you quote tell us that allegory is fine as long as you dont deny the literal level.

and if every Saint ever who commented on Genesis doesnt make a concensus then dear God, what DOES make a concensus?! Every major Church Father and many other Saints, plus the Church's services, canons, and icons and calendar doesn't show a concensus to you? Do you realy believe the Church has one mind, bc you seem to be attacking the very foundation of the Church's claim to consistency. earlier you said the notion of a Patristic concensus is dubious bc you can just ignore those who (supposedly) disagree -- then why should i have joined the Orthodox Church as the Church that consistently traces itself back to the Apostles? You are attempting to completely eschew that foundation that has brought thousands into the Church!
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« Reply #1228 on: July 24, 2009, 02:17:18 PM »

Not a separate issue at all when one stops to see that you're trying to establish a Patristic approach to reading Genesis precisely so you can have a foundation for later attacking the theory of evolution.

and thats quite simple to do since the Fathers tell us its impermissible to interpret GEnesis so allegorically that we do away with the literal history (St. John of Damascus, St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom, the Venerable Bede, St. Augustine, etc)

MANY Fathers do, no doubt, but can you prove that the consensus of the Fathers does, that all the Fathers speak with one mind on this?  Additionally, it does appear that you've just conceded my point that your argument has everything to do with evolution, as much as you frame it within the context of how we are to read Genesis.

Quote

I don't know that you or I ever could short of citing the decree of an Ecumenical Council or other council of universal authority.

so you honestly believe Orthodoxy only has a concensus stance on the nature of the Trinity and Christ, and on icons? Everything else is up for grabs in your eyes?
No, that's not what I said.  I said that it's almost impossible to PROVE a consensus Patrum, even if I believe one DOES exist on some issues, outside of the Ecumenical Councils and other councils of general authority.

Quote
You say...  We say... Undecided  As long as both sides keep posting the same proof texts from the Fathers to prove his/her particular pov, along with tips on how to interpret those proof texts, it will ever remain your word against your opponents', and we'll never know who's right.  In this debate, the prize does not go to whoever can speak the loudest.  For the record, Riddikulus is arguing her own point of view, with which I claim neither agreement nor disagreement, and for which I claim no responsibility.

your side posts one quote each from a few Fathers. that is certainly proof texting. I am attempting to demonstrate those same Fathers overall attitude to the Scriptures. I have given you St. Augustine's overall approach when he says that allegories are OK as long as you don't ignore the historical level, but your side just clings to that one single little quote. That's all your position has.
Criticize Riddikulus's point of view all you want, but you really need to put more effort into seeing that my position is fundamentally different and cannot be so easily connected to hers.

One quote is a prooftext, but when you begin to read more of what they said you can have a clearer understanding of the overall picture. how is that prooftexting?
It doesn't look any different from anyone else's attempts at prooftexting.  You're in a debate.  You've asserted a particular point of view.  You're trying to prove the truth of this point of view by throwing in quotes from selected Fathers who support your point of view.  When pressed, you repeatedly fall back onto the Patristic references you already gave us or throw in even more isolated quotes from selected Fathers.  How is this NOT prooftexting?  It certainly looks like prooftexting to me.

Quote
You can certainly offer evidence to suggest that these well over 50 saints interpreted Genesis literally, but when others offer evidence that some of these same saints did NOT interpret Genesis literally, the only thing I'm left to see is that you and your opponents can't even agree on how to interpret the Fathers.  Additionally, for the benefit of my argument, well over 50 Fathers do not a consensus make.

No one has offered a single shred of evidence that suggests that even a single Father interpreted Genesis allegoricall to the exclusion of the literal level. Do you see the important distinction there?
I'm not asserting that there is NO consensus Patrum on how to read Genesis, so I have nothing to prove.  You, however, are making positive assertions of a Patristic consensus on this issue; therefore, the rules of debate put the burden of proof on you to offer evidence to convince me of the strength of your thesis.  So far, you haven't.

Even if they give an allegorical interpretation of the days (and that is of course the only issue your side is able to present on) that doesnt necessarily exclude the literal level as you presume. we know this because many Fathers, including those you quote tell us that allegory is fine as long as you dont deny the literal level.
I have, for the most part, refrained from quoting Fathers on this thread, since that does nothing to prove my point.

and if every Saint ever who commented on Genesis doesnt make a concensus then dear God, what DOES make a concensus?! Every major Church Father and many other Saints, plus the Church's services, canons, and icons and calendar doesn't show a concensus to you?
Yes, that would show a consensus to me.  What you have done thus far on this thread does not.

Do you realy believe the Church has one mind, bc you seem to be attacking the very foundation of the Church's claim to consistency. earlier you said the notion of a Patristic concensus is dubious bc you can just ignore those who (supposedly) disagree -- then why should i have joined the Orthodox Church as the Church that consistently traces itself back to the Apostles? You are attempting to completely eschew that foundation that has brought thousands into the Church!
No, I said the way many try to prove a Patristic consensus is dubious, because it's so easy to manipulate the data to make a consensus appear where there never was one.  I have no problem with the concept of a consensus Patrum in and of itself.


jckstraw72, what I'm about to say I WANT you to take very personally.  My problem is NOT with the Fathers nor with the concept of consensus Patrum, behind both of which you so love to hide--I am not consciously attacking the Faith of the Church in any way.  My problem is solely with your rhetorical approach on this thread:  the way YOU have used the Fathers and continue to use the Fathers to try to win this debate, the way YOU have kept arguing your point with the same material without ever really introducing any new ways of seeing your argument, the way YOU hide behind the Fathers to absolve yourself of all responsibility for what you assert in this debate.  It's all about YOU.

I could go on, but I don't have the time right now.  Maybe you and everyone else here--but especially you--should just recognize that we're beating a dead horse and that it's time to finally bury the horse and move on to other conversations.
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« Reply #1229 on: July 24, 2009, 07:58:16 PM »

is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.
Consensus of the Fathers disregarded on the issue of evolution?  No, I don't see anyone disregarding an established consensus Patrum here.  What I do see is someone asserting that a consensus exists where I doubt there ever was one, and with little more than a smattering of proof texts.  You can go ahead and hit us with all the proof texts you want, but this still may not be enough to prove that the Fathers spoke with near unanimity on this issue, for unanimity or consensus is a connection that exists, if it exists at all, between and above the doctrines of each individual Father.  A similar issue where I've seen or heard someone debunk the asserted existence of a Patristic consensus is the belief that Adam and Eve did not have sex before the Fall.

You see, jckstraw72, the problem I have with the assertion of a consensus Patrum on a point of doctrine is that such consensus is so easily manufactured.  All you need to do is disregard the teaching of any Father who disagrees with the "consensus" you want to prove, so that you end up with the very circular logic of "this teaching has the 100% support of every Father who supports this teaching."  In the field of logic, this manipulation of data is known as "stacking the deck".

im not talking about a concensus on evoultion!! please read my actual argument. im talking about a concensus on GENESIS. of course the Fathers werent commenting on a theory that came about over a millennium later. this discussion is going nowhere because we can't even talk about the actual issue, i have to keep repeating that the important question for an Orthodox Christian is how to understand Scripture, not the theory of evolution. if you want to understand evolution thats fine, but that is a separate issue from understanding Scripture, for which we look to the Church. Concerning looking to secular sources to understand our faith, St. Gregory Palamas says: "we absolutely forbid to expect any precision whatever in the knowledge of Divine things; for it is not possible to draw from it any certain teaching on the subject of God. For "God hath made it foolish." (Triad 1:12).  The Holy Fathers tell us that the 6 days were a period wholly unlike anything we know in the post-Fall world, and thus we can only know about it what God tells us about it -- secular studies are completely incapable of learning about this period.

regarding the question of sex before the Fall -- im not talking about someone demonstrating that there isnt actually a concensus, im talking about just outright disregarding a concensus.

and if quoting the Fathers to demonstrate their belief doesnt demonstrate a concensus, then what would you ever accept, on any question, to demonstrate a concensus? i believe your side is the one using prooftexts. you keep falling back on 3 or 4 quotes that deal only with the length of the days to try to disprove an overall literal interpretation of Genensis, when I have demonstrated with multiple quotes that all those same Fathers you quote actually held quite literal views of Genesis, which are in no way compatible with evolution.

I can give you evidence from well over 50 Saints and modern holy elders demonstrating that they interpreted Genesis literally, in a manner incompatible with evolution. I am not prepared to do this now, and it would take some time to type them all up, but it would be quite possible.

All this still begs the question. How do you know that the Ancient Fathers would have interpreted Genesis literally, if they had the information at their fingertips that we have, today? Isn't it somewhat presumptuous to automatically assume that they would have rejected evolution as valid science, when modern Orthodox theologians do not?


1. many Orthodox theologians DO contest evolution

Doesn't answer my question. As I said, many Orthodox theologians do not contest evolution, so isn't it somewhat presumptuous to automatically assume that the ECF would have rejected evolution as valid science?

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2. the Holy Fathers were illumined by God!

Indeed they were, but I contest that they were illumined by God as far as being infallible authorities regarding natural science and were naturally influenced by the science of their day.

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Their interpretation of Scripture had nothing to do with worldly wisdom, and I have already provided a quote from St. Gregory Palamas to this affect. You are assuming that the Fathers were giving mere opinions on Genesis based on scientific ideas of their day, rather than on the movement of the Holy Spirit.

Again, if they were inspired by the Holy Spirit with regard to knowledge regarding natural science, there's that geocentric thing they were unanimously wrong about.

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On what other issue do we so boldly make this claim for every major Church Father?

Geocentricism.

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an we really be so proud as to think that the Fathers had no greater source of wisdom than what you and I have (we have the same source available to us but they were more in tune with it than the regular joe ...), despite the fact that we claim them to be illumined and holy men?

Again, I'm going to point to geocentricism. The Fathers, despite this *greater source of widsom* that you claim trumphs them in an argument with natural science, were wrong!

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You don't see that as a greater source of knowlege than secular scientists?

If this *greater source of wisdom* extends to natural science..... you know what I'm going to say, don't you..... that little thing called geocentricism. Smiley

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I can't even begin to fathom how that is harmonious with Orthodoxy.

It seems fine from where I'm standing. Of course, we could ask notable Orthodox theologians, such as Bishop Kallistos (Ware), how it is that they feel it harmonious with Orthodoxy.  Wink
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« Reply #1230 on: July 24, 2009, 09:02:04 PM »

and you therefore dont care what they have to say about Genesis either, do you?
Oh, I want to hear what they have to say about Genesis, as I consider the Saints reputable authorities on matters of faith. But unless they have another qualification in an additional area, I consider faith their only area of expertise.
It is true, that the Saints, and according to the spiritual charisma they had, were receiving internal information from God for a great deal of other matters. For example, Elder Porphyrius, was able to conduct charismatic diagnosis, and therefore correct the errors of several doctors who judged superficially at times.
Of course, we are not sure which of the views of the Saints were actually from God and which of them were simple views at topics that were "theologoumena"... And it is true that most Saints had charisma of dicretion of spirits, and, so, they knew which thoughts were from God and which from their own soul and personality, and which from the demonic spirits......  Smiley

we can know what is truly the mind of the Church as opposed to theologumena when the teaching appears similarly in all Fathers who comment on the subject and in all areas of the Church's teachings.
Where can we find this teaching (i.e., the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church") in the doctrines of the Fathers?

St. Basil's Hexaemeron, St. Ephrem's Hexaemeron, St. Ambrose's Hexaemeron, St. Augustine's the City of God, St. John Chrysostom's homilies on Genesis, and lots of other places. References to Genesis are scattered all throughout the ECF's writings. They reference Genesis on many subjects.
You totally missed my point.  I asked you where you can find in the Fathers the teaching that the Fathers, when speaking in consensus, constitute the "mind of the Church".

ah si si. well ive never heard this notion questioned before ... if i recall correctly its in Ware's the Orthodox Church, its mentioned here on this wiki page : http://orthodoxwiki.org/Church_Fathers, its mentioned in this article http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/st_ch5.aspx, also see here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/rose_mind1.aspx

St. Gregory Palamas says: "if one of the Fathers says the same thing as do those from without, the concordance is only verbal, the thought being quite different.  The former, in fact, have, according to Paul, "the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16) Triad 1:11

... as far as i know, having the mind of Christ is the same as having the mind of the Church.


is there another theological point on which the concensus of the Fathers is disregarded? ive never heard of this phenomenon other than on this one issue.

The Fathers aren't disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a theological point. They are disregarded in their opinions on Genesis as a scientific point. And we do not, nor should anyone insist that we should, allow their lack of erudition on the subject to restrict our search for knowledge of the universe in which we live.


so you see things like their insistence that God's creative acts of each day being instantaneous, no death of any kind before the fall because the whole creation is created for and connected to man (thus God is not the author of death), the body and the soul were created simultaneously (thus no dualism), Adam and Eve were literal people with a literal fall and thus we literally need redemption including a bodily resurrection ... as being points of science rather than theology, and thus you can ignore them?!

 Huh Somehow you have managed to do some strange convolutions, there. No, I see their explanations regarding man and his need for salvation as theology; not science. I don't take Genesis literally, just as I don't take the parable of the Prodigal Son literally. Though, they aren't historical accounts of events, still I see the theological truths imbedded in the stories. Our theology is based on those truths not the scientific impossibility of Genesis being a literal account of the timing and the manner is which God created the universe. Genesis doesn't explain the how, we are discovering such things through our God-given ability to conduct scientific investigation, not scripture.

but if you insist on placing evolution upon the Genesis account you can no longer hold those theological positions.

Says who? Bishop Kallistos and many other Orthodox and Non-Orthodox theologians have no problem in doing so.

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If man is the result of the process of evolution then quite obviously death existed before man fell since death is inherent in the process of evolution. This makes God the author of death, and since all that God created is good, death must be good. But then the question arises-- why did Christ defeat death if its good? This also means there was never truly a Paradise if there was always death. In Orthodoxy man has fallen, but in evolution man is rising up from the beasts. If evolution is true then the body of human beings pre-existed the soul which easily lends to dualism and is an idea that St. Gregory of Nyssa explicitly condemns. If evolution is true then there are not 6 distinct creative acts of God, but rather than is only one creation of life which eventually developed into more complex forms of life. This takes away the unique manner in which Adam and Eve are created which the Fathers saw as a clear sign of the uniqueness and kingship of man over creation. If evolution is true then Adam and Eve were just born like every other creature before and after them. The Fathers also tell us that the period of the 6 days is completely unique in that in that time God was creating everything, including the physical properties and processes, which were altered at the fall of man, and thus secular pursuits can tell us nothing of this time as it bears little resemblance to our time. Thus we must look to the Church as the key to the 6 days. And furthermore, if you deny the literal meaning of Genesis in favor of an allegorical one, then how do you know which parts of the story to continue to accept and which to throw out, since you have no ecclesiastical basis for interpreting in such an allegorical way? of course the Prodigal Son is not literal -- we know it is a parable. Genesis, on the other hand, has always been interpreted literally.

We disagree. Bottom line, jcstraw.... what's the big deal? Why must I, or anyone else for that matter, see this issue only from your point of view?


please  explain to me how evolution does NOT have those theological implications. so many ppl want to just slap a new theory onto the Scripture and assume everything else will remain the same -- but have you all really spent time contemplating the implications? its easy to just say oh well i disagree, but on what basis do you disagree? how do you propose a theory that inherently involves death, but at the same time believe that death is only a result of sin? how could you possibly harmonize those two?

jckstraw72,

These questions have been answered so many times on this thread, that I feel irked that you wish me to repeat them. I'm not going to spend time going over the theological implications when they have already been discussed; or given to you as sources to peruse on your own time. You are clearly not reading, nor considering opposing views. Because of your "literal" expectations I don't believe that any explanation will satisfy you, but here goes, yet again - and for the last time...

I, along with many other Orthodox and Non-Orthodox believers, see the Genesis account of creation as a kind of parable. And as far as I can see a parable would be the only way of getting the necessary truths over to ancient man. God could hardly sit ancient man down and explain natural science to him. Genetics would be a bit of a stumbling block, I'm sure.  Wink

Take a look how parables work. While the settings might be important, it's the message in the plot or theme that makes the impact and reveals truth. If we take my earlier example of the Prodigal son: I'm sure you have seen icons of such a person in his *historical* setting. You have heard sermons about him being an ungrateful youth who squanders all that his father has given to him. The Church has a whole Sunday dedicated to this story. But have you ever heard a priest begin his sermon by telling us that the gospel reading we just heard is not literal? Has he ever felt the need to belabour the point that Christ's story is about a ficitonal character? No, he focuses on the theme and  brings out the theological truths.

Leave aside for the moment that you are about to insist that the ECFs saw Genesis as a literal account of creation; but didn't see the Parable of the Prodigal Son the same way. Most modern believers are going to disagree with the ECFs on this aspect. While the ECFs saw the setting of Genesis as literal and historical, we don't because such a view isn't viable anymore. Facts that are planted in nature make this impossible. Therefore, modern theologians have decided that Genesis is more valuable as a theological *parable*; they pick theological truths out of the theme of the story and leave the setting to be defined by science. The prevailing truth of Genesis is that man needs help to bring him into reconciliation with God. That is the undeniable truth of the account. The literal fall of one human couple isn't important to that issue.

But getting back to the Parable of the Prodigal Son; the truth is that when we meditate on that story, do we even think of it as merely a story, or are we thinking about the repentance, the return from spiritual estrangement to the open and loving arms of the Father who waits so patiently for our return to him and truth.

I, as do many Orthodox and Non-Orthodox believers, see the Genesis account of creation in the same light. There is no need for it to be an historical account; no need for it to be literal; and actually there probably is no need for us to even think of it as either fact or fiction, because the point is about God and his relationship with his Creatures. God brought everything we see into existence and ancient man didn't have a clue on how any of it happened. We do have some clue, not a fraction of what we need or would like, but ultimately we are fortunate to live in a time when we are seeing glimpses of how that all happened through science. Through science we are getting a better understanding of what God has done. For those of us who appreciate natural science, this is a marvel!
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« Reply #1231 on: July 24, 2009, 09:07:11 PM »

I could go on, but I don't have the time right now.  Maybe you and everyone else here--but especially you--should just recognize that we're beating a dead horse and that it's time to finally bury the horse and move on to other conversations.

I agree. I've posted all I can on this thread and I've ordered the digger.  laugh
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« Reply #1232 on: July 25, 2009, 09:49:27 AM »

Excellent posts, Riddikulus. Very good job.
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« Reply #1233 on: July 25, 2009, 03:34:24 PM »

Quote
Again, if they were inspired by the Holy Spirit with regard to knowledge regarding natural science, there's that geocentric thing they were unanimously wrong about.
When you say geocentrism, you mean, that they wrote -according to the scientific "knowledge" of their time, which was not as sophisticated as ours- that Earth is the center of the Universe or our galaxy? The mass center? Which of all these? Keep in mind, that I have read most of the material of Hexameron of Saint Basil the Great, and St. Basil doesn't make such convictions. Instead, he rejects the scientific notion of his age as fallacy, that Earth was based upon something, and, as a result it is "stable" and doesn't "fall" to some kind of chaos or sth.   Smiley

Oh, speaking of Hexaemeron, at the beginning Saint Basil claims, that the material to follow is simple thoughts of his about the issue/topic. However, it's true, that certain Orthodox University professors of our time have managed to prove that Hexaemeron is consistent with what we know today through scientific ways.   The same that Ampere had said about Genesis some time earlier...  Smiley
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« Reply #1234 on: July 27, 2009, 04:10:29 PM »

im not sure how using the Fathers is a bad thing since they kinda, you know, expound the faith for us ... you can call it hiding behind the Fathers but thats absurd. you could perhaps demonstrate from those Fathers that i am reading them wrongly, but to actually object to looking to the Fathers to understand Genesis is absurd.

and the word "concensus" does not have to mean 100% -- there is such a thing as a majority concensus. so even though 3 or 4 Fathers interpreted the days allegorically, that does not disrupt the concensus that exists on the entirety of Genesis.

it should be noted that those Fathers who interpreted the days allegorically did so bc of Scripture! they applied the statement that a day is as 1000 yrs to the Lord to Genesis. they never looked to secular sources to explain the Scriptures to them. So a few Fathers seeing the length of days as allegorical bc of other Scriptural passages is not justification for making the days into billions of years bc scientists date rocks and trees to be really old.


its rather apparent that we have little to no common ground here to work from. I look only to the Church to understand Scripture. If science agrees, fine, if it obviously contradicts then there is a problem with the science, not the Church. that is the principle i go by, and if that principle is ever proven wrong that i will have no more reason to be Orthodox since it will then be just another fallacious Church. so i dont know if this conversation can go anywhere else (as i said several pages ago) since we can't even agree upon a common ground to begin looking at this issue on.
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« Reply #1235 on: July 27, 2009, 04:11:44 PM »

Quote
Again, if they were inspired by the Holy Spirit with regard to knowledge regarding natural science, there's that geocentric thing they were unanimously wrong about.
When you say geocentrism, you mean, that they wrote -according to the scientific "knowledge" of their time, which was not as sophisticated as ours- that Earth is the center of the Universe or our galaxy? The mass center? Which of all these? Keep in mind, that I have read most of the material of Hexameron of Saint Basil the Great, and St. Basil doesn't make such convictions. Instead, he rejects the scientific notion of his age as fallacy, that Earth was based upon something, and, as a result it is "stable" and doesn't "fall" to some kind of chaos or sth.   Smiley

Oh, speaking of Hexaemeron, at the beginning Saint Basil claims, that the material to follow is simple thoughts of his about the issue/topic. However, it's true, that certain Orthodox University professors of our time have managed to prove that Hexaemeron is consistent with what we know today through scientific ways.   The same that Ampere had said about Genesis some time earlier...  Smiley

thank you. the Fathers were not hampered by the imprecise science of their day because they weren't looking to science to make their interpretations. they were illumined by God. that trumps any scientific theory.
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« Reply #1236 on: July 27, 2009, 05:06:39 PM »

im not sure how using the Fathers is a bad thing since they kinda, you know, expound the faith for us ... you can call it hiding behind the Fathers but thats absurd. you could perhaps demonstrate from those Fathers that i am reading them wrongly, but to actually object to looking to the Fathers to understand Genesis is absurd.

and the word "concensus" does not have to mean 100% -- there is such a thing as a majority concensus. so even though 3 or 4 Fathers interpreted the days allegorically, that does not disrupt the concensus that exists on the entirety of Genesis.

it should be noted that those Fathers who interpreted the days allegorically did so bc of Scripture! they applied the statement that a day is as 1000 yrs to the Lord to Genesis. they never looked to secular sources to explain the Scriptures to them. So a few Fathers seeing the length of days as allegorical bc of other Scriptural passages is not justification for making the days into billions of years bc scientists date rocks and trees to be really old.


its rather apparent that we have little to no common ground here to work from. I look only to the Church to understand Scripture. If science agrees, fine, if it obviously contradicts then there is a problem with the science, not the Church. that is the principle i go by, and if that principle is ever proven wrong that i will have no more reason to be Orthodox since it will then be just another fallacious Church. so i dont know if this conversation can go anywhere else (as i said several pages ago) since we can't even agree upon a common ground to begin looking at this issue on.
But you're still trying to win this debate after so many weeks of arguing that has changed nobody's minds.  Do you not take responsibility for this?  That's the whole point of my criticism in Reply #1226.
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« Reply #1237 on: July 28, 2009, 12:58:44 AM »

Quote
Again, if they were inspired by the Holy Spirit with regard to knowledge regarding natural science, there's that geocentric thing they were unanimously wrong about.
When you say geocentrism, you mean, that they wrote -according to the scientific "knowledge" of their time, which was not as sophisticated as ours- that Earth is the center of the Universe or our galaxy? The mass center? Which of all these? Keep in mind, that I have read most of the material of Hexameron of Saint Basil the Great, and St. Basil doesn't make such convictions. Instead, he rejects the scientific notion of his age as fallacy, that Earth was based upon something, and, as a result it is "stable" and doesn't "fall" to some kind of chaos or sth.   Smiley

Oh, speaking of Hexaemeron, at the beginning Saint Basil claims, that the material to follow is simple thoughts of his about the issue/topic. However, it's true, that certain Orthodox University professors of our time have managed to prove that Hexaemeron is consistent with what we know today through scientific ways.   The same that Ampere had said about Genesis some time earlier...  Smiley

thank you. the Fathers were not hampered by the imprecise science of their day because they weren't looking to science to make their interpretations. they were illumined by God. that trumps any scientific theory.

Huh 
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« Reply #1238 on: July 28, 2009, 01:26:58 AM »

Quote
Again, if they were inspired by the Holy Spirit with regard to knowledge regarding natural science, there's that geocentric thing they were unanimously wrong about.
When you say geocentrism, you mean, that they wrote -according to the scientific "knowledge" of their time, which was not as sophisticated as ours- that Earth is the center of the Universe or our galaxy? The mass center? Which of all these? Keep in mind, that I have read most of the material of Hexameron of Saint Basil the Great, and St. Basil doesn't make such convictions. Instead, he rejects the scientific notion of his age as fallacy, that Earth was based upon something, and, as a result it is "stable" and doesn't "fall" to some kind of chaos or sth.   Smiley

Oh, speaking of Hexaemeron, at the beginning Saint Basil claims, that the material to follow is simple thoughts of his about the issue/topic. However, it's true, that certain Orthodox University professors of our time have managed to prove that Hexaemeron is consistent with what we know today through scientific ways.   The same that Ampere had said about Genesis some time earlier...  Smiley

I had thought that I had made my lost post on this thread, however...

Yes, philaletheOO, that is my point, that the ECFs were speaking according to the scientific "knowledge" of their time and were geocentric in their view of the cosmos; St Basil included. St Basil doesn't deny the scientific notions of the earth being the centre of the cosmos as they knew it at his time. He simply speaks against the desire of the scientists of his day to propound naturalistic, pagan or whatever (I'm not sure which from reading the passage) reasons for such a phenomenon. He dismisses their propositions for the reason of the accepted fact as frivolous, because He focuses on God being Creator and requires nothing more than that. As far as St Basil is concerned there is no reason to look for answers in nature for why the earth "occupies the centre of the universe" when all the answers he needs are in scripture. It is all so by the wisdom of God, he states.

10. There are inquirers into nature who with a great display of words give reasons for the immobility of the earth. Placed, they say, in the middle of the universe and not being able to incline more to one side than the other because its centre is everywhere the same distance from the surface, it necessarily rests upon itself; since a weight which is everywhere equal cannot lean to either side. It is not, they go on, without reason or by chance that the earth occupies the centre of the universe. It is its natural and necessary position. As the celestial body occupies the higher extremity of space all heavy bodies, they argue, that we may suppose to have fallen from these high regions, will be carried from all directions to the centre, and the point towards which the parts are tending will evidently be the one to which the whole mass will be thrust together. If stones, wood, all terrestrial bodies, fall from above downwards, this must be the proper and natural place of the whole earth. If, on the contrary, a light body is separated from the centre, it is evident that it will ascend towards the higher regions. Thus heavy bodies move from the top to the bottom, and following this reasoning, the bottom is none other than the centre of the world. Do not then be surprised that the world never falls: it occupies the centre of the universe, its natural place. By necessity it is obliged to remain in its place, unless a movement contrary to nature should displace it. If there is anything in this system which might appear probable to you, keep your admiration for the source of such perfect order, for the wisdom of God. Grand phenomena do not strike us the less when we have discovered something of their wonderful mechanism. Is it otherwise here? At all events let us prefer the simplicity of faith to the demonstrations of reason.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/32011.htm - Hexaemeron (Homily 1)
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« Reply #1239 on: July 28, 2009, 02:00:55 AM »

im not sure how using the Fathers is a bad thing since they kinda, you know, expound the faith for us ... you can call it hiding behind the Fathers but thats absurd. you could perhaps demonstrate from those Fathers that i am reading them wrongly, but to actually object to looking to the Fathers to understand Genesis is absurd.

and the word "concensus" does not have to mean 100% -- there is such a thing as a majority concensus. so even though 3 or 4 Fathers interpreted the days allegorically, that does not disrupt the concensus that exists on the entirety of Genesis.

it should be noted that those Fathers who interpreted the days allegorically did so bc of Scripture! they applied the statement that a day is as 1000 yrs to the Lord to Genesis. they never looked to secular sources to explain the Scriptures to them. So a few Fathers seeing the length of days as allegorical bc of other Scriptural passages is not justification for making the days into billions of years bc scientists date rocks and trees to be really old.


its rather apparent that we have little to no common ground here to work from. I look only to the Church to understand Scripture. If science agrees, fine, if it obviously contradicts then there is a problem with the science, not the Church. that is the principle i go by, and if that principle is ever proven wrong that i will have no more reason to be Orthodox since it will then be just another fallacious Church. so i dont know if this conversation can go anywhere else (as i said several pages ago) since we can't even agree upon a common ground to begin looking at this issue on.

You continue to insist that we must uphold the literal understanding of the ECFs on Creation; and in consequence the theory of evolution must be denied. And yet you don't seem to be willing to accept that the same rule applies for the ECFs literal understanding on geocentrism. Clearly their understanding of a geocentric cosmos was predicated on their understanding of Scripture; just as it was in the case of Creation. If they were illuminated by the Holy Spirit to "trump any scientific theory", you must be consistant and insist that we uphold the literal understanding of the Fathers on geocentrism. In consequence we must deny all evidence to the contrary.

What kind of credibility would anyone have if they came out and insisted that geocentrism is correct! Can you not see how dangerously ridiculous such a proposal would be? Can you not see that you have painted yourself (and the ECFs along with you) into a corner?
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« Reply #1240 on: July 31, 2009, 09:27:39 AM »

I look only to the Church to understand Scripture. If science agrees, fine, if it obviously contradicts then there is a problem with the science, not the Church. that is the principle i go by, and if that principle is ever proven wrong that i will have no more reason to be Orthodox since it will then be just another fallacious Church. so i dont know if this conversation can go anywhere else (as i said several pages ago) since we can't even agree upon a common ground to begin looking at this issue on.
Our Church has only claimed infallibility concerning the Ecumenical Synods and the Scripture is infallible only in terms of Salvation. The Saints and the Father can be largely incorrect on many points, but still be venerated.
So there's no reason for you not to be an Orthodox, even if out Church had been wrong concerning Creation. Wink
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« Reply #1241 on: July 31, 2009, 10:34:19 PM »

I look only to the Church to understand Scripture. If science agrees, fine, if it obviously contradicts then there is a problem with the science, not the Church. that is the principle i go by, and if that principle is ever proven wrong that i will have no more reason to be Orthodox since it will then be just another fallacious Church. so i dont know if this conversation can go anywhere else (as i said several pages ago) since we can't even agree upon a common ground to begin looking at this issue on.
Our Church has only claimed infallibility concerning the Ecumenical Synods and the Scripture is infallible only in terms of Salvation. The Saints and the Father can be largely incorrect on many points, but still be venerated.
So there's no reason for you not to be an Orthodox, even if out Church had been wrong concerning Creation. Wink

well, i disagree.

but anyways, forgive me if i have offended anyone in this thread.
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« Reply #1242 on: July 31, 2009, 11:01:01 PM »

 I am coming into this discussion late, but regarding the OP. .

This issue is not essential for salvation, so I don't get too worked up. This is how I feel about it all. . It's an incredibly unimportant debate, in my opinion, because the argument cannot change what has happened already. The only way it can have importance is if I am an ideologue of some kind who has put some huge stake in evolution being either correct or false; however if that is the case then I submit holding to either a pro- or anti- evolutionary ideology is a bigger problem in itself than whether said ideology is right or not. You will by now no doubt have picked up on my aversion of ideologies (whether secular or religious). I believe it is the resistance to the dehumanizing nature of ideologies - and their ability to drive a man to cognative dissonance and madness - that is important. I would say, the teachings of the Orthodox Church and "evolution" are not at loggerheads with each other. I take Genesis seriously, and I would argue that all Christians should. However to take a piece of writing seriously is not the same as to take it literally, of course; in some cases to take a piece of writing literally would be the least serious and considered way to read it. Thi is my understanding: The idea that the Church should make a definite pronouncement on the issue is to totally misunderstand what the Church's role, in my opinion. There is no imperative for the Church to make definitive statements about either scientific theories or philisophies. Evolution is not a subject for doctrines, dogma, or canon law. Neither should the Church make any pronouncement from the Scriptural aspect: i.e. by saying either Genesis Ch. 1 must be taken literally, or that it must not. Again, to think that she should is to mistake what the Church is, and who she has always been. The Church's primary role is not to offer strict interpretations of the Bible. No exposition of the Orthodox Faith starts with "Genesis means this..." and ends with "Revelation means that...."; the Scriptures are part of the deposit of the Faith, not its foundation: the foundation is the person of Christ. And so, Orthodox Expositions of the Faith proceed logically by answering the questions: Who is God? Who is man? How are we saved? Who is Christ? What is the Church? and so on. Scripture is drawn upon to answer these questions, and this is precisely how Holy Scripture should be read - as a revelation in answer to the pertinent questions. Dogmatic definitions on the meaning of individual books, chapters, or verses of the Bible thus restricts its proper reading. The only time when specific readings should be insisted upon is where a contrary interpretation would lead to a specific heresy. A literal reading of Genesis does not lead to a heretical view of God, but nor does a non-literal reading. Thus no definitive statement is needed.

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« Reply #1243 on: August 13, 2009, 09:00:07 AM »

Quote
Again, if they were inspired by the Holy Spirit with regard to knowledge regarding natural science, there's that geocentric thing they were unanimously wrong about.
When you say geocentrism, you mean, that they wrote -according to the scientific "knowledge" of their time, which was not as sophisticated as ours- that Earth is the center of the Universe or our galaxy? The mass center? Which of all these? Keep in mind, that I have read most of the material of Hexameron of Saint Basil the Great, and St. Basil doesn't make such convictions. Instead, he rejects the scientific notion of his age as fallacy, that Earth was based upon something, and, as a result it is "stable" and doesn't "fall" to some kind of chaos or sth.   Smiley

Oh, speaking of Hexaemeron, at the beginning Saint Basil claims, that the material to follow is simple thoughts of his about the issue/topic. However, it's true, that certain Orthodox University professors of our time have managed to prove that Hexaemeron is consistent with what we know today through scientific ways.   The same that Ampere had said about Genesis some time earlier...  Smiley

I had thought that I had made my lost post on this thread, however...

Yes, philaletheOO, that is my point, that the ECFs were speaking according to the scientific "knowledge" of their time and were geocentric in their view of the cosmos; St Basil included. St Basil doesn't deny the scientific notions of the earth being the centre of the cosmos as they knew it at his time. He simply speaks against the desire of the scientists of his day to propound naturalistic, pagan or whatever (I'm not sure which from reading the passage) reasons for such a phenomenon. He dismisses their propositions for the reason of the accepted fact as frivolous, because He focuses on God being Creator and requires nothing more than that. As far as St Basil is concerned there is no reason to look for answers in nature for why the earth "occupies the centre of the universe" when all the answers he needs are in scripture. It is all so by the wisdom of God, he states.

10. There are inquirers into nature who with a great display of words give reasons for the immobility of the earth. Placed, they say, in the middle of the universe and not being able to incline more to one side than the other because its centre is everywhere the same distance from the surface, it necessarily rests upon itself; since a weight which is everywhere equal cannot lean to either side. It is not, they go on, without reason or by chance that the earth occupies the centre of the universe. It is its natural and necessary position. As the celestial body occupies the higher extremity of space all heavy bodies, they argue, that we may suppose to have fallen from these high regions, will be carried from all directions to the centre, and the point towards which the parts are tending will evidently be the one to which the whole mass will be thrust together. If stones, wood, all terrestrial bodies, fall from above downwards, this must be the proper and natural place of the whole earth. If, on the contrary, a light body is separated from the centre, it is evident that it will ascend towards the higher regions. Thus heavy bodies move from the top to the bottom, and following this reasoning, the bottom is none other than the centre of the world. Do not then be surprised that the world never falls: it occupies the centre of the universe, its natural place. By necessity it is obliged to remain in its place, unless a movement contrary to nature should displace it. If there is anything in this system which might appear probable to you, keep your admiration for the source of such perfect order, for the wisdom of God. Grand phenomena do not strike us the less when we have discovered something of their wonderful mechanism. Is it otherwise here? At all events let us prefer the simplicity of faith to the demonstrations of reason.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/32011.htm - Hexaemeron (Homily 1)

Thank you for the complete answer, at first.  Smiley

I admit that I have not understood why St. Basil accepts, in Hexaemeron at least, the geocentric model. Unless, that is, that you mean that he simply does not deny it in order, let's say, to grant a higher scientific, cosmologic truth.   Smiley And I am really not sure if the Scriptures accept some kind of geocentrism. In (contemporary) physics, there is the notion of relative movement, and if you're interested in and focused on a certain object of the universe, then it is natural, that you'll use the corrresponding language. Moreover, let me note, that it is standard, that we Orthodox Christians know that Scriptures are neither a scientific book or infallible(this is a Protestant doctrine).

And there is sth final that is very important: darwinism is not ...infallible.  Cheesy  I 'm sorry if it seems a little strange noting this, but we shouldn't as Orthodox go to other extreme of protestant or evangelical or calvinist or whatever interpretation of Genesis. I happen to have read about Darwin's life and theory and its "mutations". It is (merely) a scientifically acceptable theory. But, in science, the same data can be explained by a few or even several different theoretical constructions. Thus, we have to be cautious. The way a person presents his data is crucial at times. And this is why Fr. Seraphim Rose, who had been a very great scholar himself, was able, a few decades ago, to strongly argue against some darwinist theses, I mean in a very demystifying and discrediting manner.( For example, he said, that all the evidence for the theory aren't over the size of a coffin. )
Thank you for the important discussion...!  Smiley



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« Reply #1244 on: August 13, 2009, 11:45:02 AM »

I happen to have read about Darwin's life and theory and its "mutations". It is (merely) a scientifically acceptable theory. But, in science, the same data can be explained by a few or even several different theoretical constructions.
Then let's hear them, and the evidence for them. Any scientist should be willing to hear a reasonable alternative, provided that there is sufficient evidence to support it.

Quote
And this is why Fr. Seraphim Rose, who had been a very great scholar himself, was able, a few decades ago, to strongly argue against some darwinist theses, I mean in a very demystifying and discrediting manner.( For example, he said, that all the evidence for the theory aren't over the size of a coffin. )
Did he argue for an alternative theory? If he did, I'd like to know what his theory is and how he came to that conclusion. If not, then no matter his oratorical skill, his presentation was scientifically useless.
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« Reply #1245 on: August 13, 2009, 11:54:03 AM »

I happen to have read about Darwin's life and theory and its "mutations". It is (merely) a scientifically acceptable theory. But, in science, the same data can be explained by a few or even several different theoretical constructions.
Then let's hear them, and the evidence for them. Any scientist should be willing to hear a reasonable alternative, provided that there is sufficient evidence to support it.

Quote
And this is why Fr. Seraphim Rose, who had been a very great scholar himself, was able, a few decades ago, to strongly argue against some darwinist theses, I mean in a very demystifying and discrediting manner.( For example, he said, that all the evidence for the theory aren't over the size of a coffin. )
Did he argue for an alternative theory? If he did, I'd like to know what his theory is and how he came to that conclusion. If not, then no matter his oratorical skill, his presentation was scientifically useless.

Good comments, Mr.Y.! I am happy for your students, they are in good hands. Smiley
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« Reply #1246 on: August 13, 2009, 04:47:48 PM »

Quote
Then let's hear them, and the evidence for them. Any scientist should be willing to hear a reasonable alternative, provided that there is sufficient evidence to support it.
That's right, this is actually a very very basic scientific moral standard. I'd said in a previous post, that there are some (two) acceptable versions of neodarwinism and the punctuated equilibria theory(evolutionary biologist S. J. Gould held it, e.g. ) . These that I'm referring to are all evolutionary, but, for example, the latter one teaches us a view of macroevolution that is very very close to creational intervention of God, for example at the place in time that is defined by mitochondrial Eve.

And it is important that some very important people, as Christian scientists, claim "openly", that the majority of scientific community is not darwinist, or at least was not some 10 years ago.

Thus, I've already mentioned a scientific paradigm that does not comply with the teachings of an ideologized darwinism or, even, maybe paleodarwinism.

Quote
Did he argue for an alternative theory? If he did, I'd like to know what his theory is and how he came to that conclusion. If not, then no matter his oratorical skill, his presentation was scientifically useless.
I disagree with Fr. Seraphim on this, but he insisted, that we should look into the Fathers' work for our answers on this matter. It's impressing, however, that he was so "open-minded" regarding the manmade religions, such as Taoism... Anyway, I'd only read an article with a synopsis of his views in greek, written by an Orthodox Christian who has devoted his activity in the Internet, in order to persuade us about the theological and scientific truth of Evolutionary Creation. Fr. Seraphim had written a whole book about the issue, if I am not mistaken:Genesis, Creation and Early Man. Thus, this is the place to look for what he taught.  Smiley
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« Reply #1247 on: August 13, 2009, 05:30:57 PM »

I happen to have read about Darwin's life and theory and its "mutations". It is (merely) a scientifically acceptable theory. But, in science, the same data can be explained by a few or even several different theoretical constructions.
Then let's hear them, and the evidence for them. Any scientist should be willing to hear a reasonable alternative, provided that there is sufficient evidence to support it.

Quote
And this is why Fr. Seraphim Rose, who had been a very great scholar himself, was able, a few decades ago, to strongly argue against some darwinist theses, I mean in a very demystifying and discrediting manner.( For example, he said, that all the evidence for the theory aren't over the size of a coffin. )
Did he argue for an alternative theory? If he did, I'd like to know what his theory is and how he came to that conclusion. If not, then no matter his oratorical skill, his presentation was scientifically useless.


his purpose wasnt to propose an alternative scientific theory -- he viewed the interpretation of Scripture as a matter for the Church. its not scientifically useless bc he didnt propose an alternative theory though -- you can sufficiently show the many problems with evolution that may cause people to rethink it, either scientifically or from a religious perspective. rethinking evolution doesnt require another model to suddenly jump to -- perhaps the rethinking of evolution could spur someone on to developing an alternative.
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« Reply #1248 on: August 13, 2009, 05:32:00 PM »

Quote
Then let's hear them, and the evidence for them. Any scientist should be willing to hear a reasonable alternative, provided that there is sufficient evidence to support it.
That's right, this is actually a very very basic scientific moral standard. I'd said in a previous post, that there are some (two) acceptable versions of neodarwinism and the punctuated equilibria theory(evolutionary biologist S. J. Gould held it, e.g. ) . These that I'm referring to are all evolutionary, but, for example, the latter one teaches us a view of macroevolution that is very very close to creational intervention of God, for example at the place in time that is defined by mitochondrial Eve.

And it is important that some very important people, as Christian scientists, claim "openly", that the majority of scientific community is not darwinist, or at least was not some 10 years ago.

Thus, I've already mentioned a scientific paradigm that does not comply with the teachings of an ideologized darwinism or, even, maybe paleodarwinism.

But what in the world do ideologies have to do with scientific theories? A biologist cannot be any (other) "-ist..."

And isn't "macroevolution" a term to refer to something that happens to taxons (which are a SUBJECTIVE thing, not an objective reality)?  

Quote
Did he argue for an alternative theory? If he did, I'd like to know what his theory is and how he came to that conclusion. If not, then no matter his oratorical skill, his presentation was scientifically useless.
I disagree with Fr. Seraphim on this, but he insisted, that we should look into the Fathers' work for our answers on this matter.

But we shouldn't. Fathers had no clue about modern science, biology. Looking into the Fathers to make up our minds about biological evolution is the same as looking into Fathers for the explanation of the work of the internal combustion engine or an electron microscope...
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« Reply #1249 on: August 13, 2009, 08:03:22 PM »

When a Church Father *truly* solves an NP-Complete problem without entering superpolynomial time, I'll take their opinion in the sciences to heart.   laugh

About evolution, this is not some dead theory.  It is constantly evolving (haha, I know), being worked upon, retooled, rethought, etc.  One only has to look at a scientific journal to see the constant tweaks, additions and subtractions being made to our views on life.  Darwin started something absolutely amazing, and it is our jobs, as his successors in science to continue his pursuits, and find the absolute truths for which he strived for in our world.  It is merely a matter of time.
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« Reply #1250 on: August 13, 2009, 08:08:15 PM »

When a Church Father *truly* solves an NP-Complete problem without entering superpolynomial time, I'll take their opinion in the sciences to heart.   laugh

About evolution, this is not some dead theory.  It is constantly evolving (haha, I know), being worked upon, retooled, rethought, etc.  One only has to look at a scientific journal to see the constant tweaks, additions and subtractions being made to our views on life.  Darwin started something absolutely amazing, and it is our jobs, as his successors in science to continue his pursuits, and find the absolute truths for which he strived for in our world.  It is merely a matter of time.

Hear, Hear!
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« Reply #1251 on: August 13, 2009, 08:39:04 PM »

Quote
Then let's hear them, and the evidence for them. Any scientist should be willing to hear a reasonable alternative, provided that there is sufficient evidence to support it.
That's right, this is actually a very very basic scientific moral standard. I'd said in a previous post, that there are some (two) acceptable versions of neodarwinism and the punctuated equilibria theory(evolutionary biologist S. J. Gould held it, e.g. ) . These that I'm referring to are all evolutionary, but, for example, the latter one teaches us a view of macroevolution that is very very close to creational intervention of God, for example at the place in time that is defined by mitochondrial Eve.

And it is important that some very important people, as Christian scientists, claim "openly", that the majority of scientific community is not darwinist, or at least was not some 10 years ago.

Thus, I've already mentioned a scientific paradigm that does not comply with the teachings of an ideologized darwinism or, even, maybe paleodarwinism.

But what in the world do ideologies have to do with scientific theories? A biologist cannot be any (other) "-ist..."

And isn't "macroevolution" a term to refer to something that happens to taxons (which are a SUBJECTIVE thing, not an objective reality)?  

Quote
Did he argue for an alternative theory? If he did, I'd like to know what his theory is and how he came to that conclusion. If not, then no matter his oratorical skill, his presentation was scientifically useless.
I disagree with Fr. Seraphim on this, but he insisted, that we should look into the Fathers' work for our answers on this matter.

But we shouldn't. Fathers had no clue about modern science, biology. Looking into the Fathers to make up our minds about biological evolution is the same as looking into Fathers for the explanation of the work of the internal combustion engine or an electron microscope...


the idea is to look to the Fathers for the question of origins and understanding of Genesis.
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« Reply #1252 on: August 13, 2009, 09:00:06 PM »

Quote
Then let's hear them, and the evidence for them. Any scientist should be willing to hear a reasonable alternative, provided that there is sufficient evidence to support it.
That's right, this is actually a very very basic scientific moral standard. I'd said in a previous post, that there are some (two) acceptable versions of neodarwinism and the punctuated equilibria theory(evolutionary biologist S. J. Gould held it, e.g. ) . These that I'm referring to are all evolutionary, but, for example, the latter one teaches us a view of macroevolution that is very very close to creational intervention of God, for example at the place in time that is defined by mitochondrial Eve.

And it is important that some very important people, as Christian scientists, claim "openly", that the majority of scientific community is not darwinist, or at least was not some 10 years ago.

Thus, I've already mentioned a scientific paradigm that does not comply with the teachings of an ideologized darwinism or, even, maybe paleodarwinism.

But what in the world do ideologies have to do with scientific theories? A biologist cannot be any (other) "-ist..."

And isn't "macroevolution" a term to refer to something that happens to taxons (which are a SUBJECTIVE thing, not an objective reality)?  

Quote
Did he argue for an alternative theory? If he did, I'd like to know what his theory is and how he came to that conclusion. If not, then no matter his oratorical skill, his presentation was scientifically useless.
I disagree with Fr. Seraphim on this, but he insisted, that we should look into the Fathers' work for our answers on this matter.

But we shouldn't. Fathers had no clue about modern science, biology. Looking into the Fathers to make up our minds about biological evolution is the same as looking into Fathers for the explanation of the work of the internal combustion engine or an electron microscope...


the idea is to look to the Fathers for the question of origins and understanding of Genesis.

The theory of biological evolution does NOT address any "origins."
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« Reply #1253 on: August 13, 2009, 10:16:32 PM »

The theory of biological evolution does NOT address any "origins."

How many times in this thread have you had to say that now? Tongue  To think, that Abiogenesis and Evolution are actually different things...
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« Reply #1254 on: August 14, 2009, 02:00:19 PM »


But what in the world do ideologies have to do with scientific theories? A biologist cannot be any (other) "-ist..."
I totally agree! But, sadly, the facts show us that scientific theories sometimes become ideologies or sth like a religion. And there are always people like R. Dawkins who think that an ideologised scientific theory could even present a 'mental express-train towards atheism'.  Roll Eyes Smiley

Quote
And isn't "macroevolution" a term to refer to something that happens to taxons (which are a SUBJECTIVE thing, not an objective reality)?  
A difficult thing to define, similar to inflation  Cheesy . I'd personally say that it is evolution in the long-term or the "large image" of species. There is, moreover, the cladogenesis problem and several notions that imply and involve macroevolution.

But we shouldn't. Fathers had no clue about modern science, biology. Looking into the Fathers to make up our minds about biological evolution is the same as looking into Fathers for the explanation of the work of the internal combustion engine or an electron microscope...
This is true, BUT we shoudn't forget that Saints have always known things, and scientific truths, from "internal "information" through the Holy Spirit. For example, Elder Paisios the Athonite used to say to his visitors that "I don't read newspapers, I learn these from elsewhere"(social and political accurate information). And another example is when Elder Porphyrius prayed in order for God to reveal to him whether there were alien creatures or not and He actually did.  Wink Smiley

Still, I agree with you, brother H., that the knowledge of the Created, science that is, is basically acquired though use of the brain and "mind".  Smiley
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« Reply #1255 on: August 14, 2009, 10:25:12 PM »

And another example is when Elder Porphyrius prayed in order for God to reveal to him whether there were alien creatures or not and He actually did.  Wink Smiley
What did God reveal? Inquiring minds want to know. Shocked
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« Reply #1256 on: August 15, 2009, 12:09:29 PM »

Quote
Then let's hear them, and the evidence for them. Any scientist should be willing to hear a reasonable alternative, provided that there is sufficient evidence to support it.
That's right, this is actually a very very basic scientific moral standard. I'd said in a previous post, that there are some (two) acceptable versions of neodarwinism and the punctuated equilibria theory(evolutionary biologist S. J. Gould held it, e.g. ) . These that I'm referring to are all evolutionary, but, for example, the latter one teaches us a view of macroevolution that is very very close to creational intervention of God, for example at the place in time that is defined by mitochondrial Eve.

And it is important that some very important people, as Christian scientists, claim "openly", that the majority of scientific community is not darwinist, or at least was not some 10 years ago.

Thus, I've already mentioned a scientific paradigm that does not comply with the teachings of an ideologized darwinism or, even, maybe paleodarwinism.

But what in the world do ideologies have to do with scientific theories? A biologist cannot be any (other) "-ist..."

And isn't "macroevolution" a term to refer to something that happens to taxons (which are a SUBJECTIVE thing, not an objective reality)?  

Quote
Did he argue for an alternative theory? If he did, I'd like to know what his theory is and how he came to that conclusion. If not, then no matter his oratorical skill, his presentation was scientifically useless.
I disagree with Fr. Seraphim on this, but he insisted, that we should look into the Fathers' work for our answers on this matter.

But we shouldn't. Fathers had no clue about modern science, biology. Looking into the Fathers to make up our minds about biological evolution is the same as looking into Fathers for the explanation of the work of the internal combustion engine or an electron microscope...


the idea is to look to the Fathers for the question of origins and understanding of Genesis.

The theory of biological evolution does NOT address any "origins."

obviously it seeks to explain where all life we see now came from -- from that one common ancestor. It proposes to tell us the origins of man (evolving from a common ancestor with an ape), which is one of the major issues here.
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« Reply #1257 on: August 15, 2009, 12:10:48 PM »


But what in the world do ideologies have to do with scientific theories? A biologist cannot be any (other) "-ist..."
I totally agree! But, sadly, the facts show us that scientific theories sometimes become ideologies or sth like a religion. And there are always people like R. Dawkins who think that an ideologised scientific theory could even present a 'mental express-train towards atheism'.  Roll Eyes Smiley

Quote
And isn't "macroevolution" a term to refer to something that happens to taxons (which are a SUBJECTIVE thing, not an objective reality)?  
A difficult thing to define, similar to inflation  Cheesy . I'd personally say that it is evolution in the long-term or the "large image" of species. There is, moreover, the cladogenesis problem and several notions that imply and involve macroevolution.

But we shouldn't. Fathers had no clue about modern science, biology. Looking into the Fathers to make up our minds about biological evolution is the same as looking into Fathers for the explanation of the work of the internal combustion engine or an electron microscope...
This is true, BUT we shoudn't forget that Saints have always known things, and scientific truths, from "internal "information" through the Holy Spirit. For example, Elder Paisios the Athonite used to say to his visitors that "I don't read newspapers, I learn these from elsewhere"(social and political accurate information). And another example is when Elder Porphyrius prayed in order for God to reveal to him whether there were alien creatures or not and He actually did.  Wink Smiley

Still, I agree with you, brother H., that the knowledge of the Created, science that is, is basically acquired though use of the brain and "mind".  Smiley

thank God someone else has recognized the illumination of our Saints. The Church is not bound by the wisdom of this world -- we have the Spirit.
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« Reply #1258 on: August 15, 2009, 04:08:37 PM »

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Then let's hear them, and the evidence for them. Any scientist should be willing to hear a reasonable alternative, provided that there is sufficient evidence to support it.
That's right, this is actually a very very basic scientific moral standard. I'd said in a previous post, that there are some (two) acceptable versions of neodarwinism and the punctuated equilibria theory(evolutionary biologist S. J. Gould held it, e.g. ) . These that I'm referring to are all evolutionary, but, for example, the latter one teaches us a view of macroevolution that is very very close to creational intervention of God, for example at the place in time that is defined by mitochondrial Eve.

And it is important that some very important people, as Christian scientists, claim "openly", that the majority of scientific community is not darwinist, or at least was not some 10 years ago.

Thus, I've already mentioned a scientific paradigm that does not comply with the teachings of an ideologized darwinism or, even, maybe paleodarwinism.

But what in the world do ideologies have to do with scientific theories? A biologist cannot be any (other) "-ist..."

And isn't "macroevolution" a term to refer to something that happens to taxons (which are a SUBJECTIVE thing, not an objective reality)?  

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Did he argue for an alternative theory? If he did, I'd like to know what his theory is and how he came to that conclusion. If not, then no matter his oratorical skill, his presentation was scientifically useless.
I disagree with Fr. Seraphim on this, but he insisted, that we should look into the Fathers' work for our answers on this matter.

But we shouldn't. Fathers had no clue about modern science, biology. Looking into the Fathers to make up our minds about biological evolution is the same as looking into Fathers for the explanation of the work of the internal combustion engine or an electron microscope...


the idea is to look to the Fathers for the question of origins and understanding of Genesis.

The theory of biological evolution does NOT address any "origins."

obviously it seeks to explain where all life we see now came from -- from that one common ancestor. It proposes to tell us the origins of man (evolving from a common ancestor with an ape), which is one of the major issues here.
Is it really that obvious, or even that simple?
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PeterTheAleut
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Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #1259 on: August 15, 2009, 04:09:50 PM »


But what in the world do ideologies have to do with scientific theories? A biologist cannot be any (other) "-ist..."
I totally agree! But, sadly, the facts show us that scientific theories sometimes become ideologies or sth like a religion. And there are always people like R. Dawkins who think that an ideologised scientific theory could even present a 'mental express-train towards atheism'.  Roll Eyes Smiley

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And isn't "macroevolution" a term to refer to something that happens to taxons (which are a SUBJECTIVE thing, not an objective reality)?  
A difficult thing to define, similar to inflation  Cheesy . I'd personally say that it is evolution in the long-term or the "large image" of species. There is, moreover, the cladogenesis problem and several notions that imply and involve macroevolution.

But we shouldn't. Fathers had no clue about modern science, biology. Looking into the Fathers to make up our minds about biological evolution is the same as looking into Fathers for the explanation of the work of the internal combustion engine or an electron microscope...
This is true, BUT we shoudn't forget that Saints have always known things, and scientific truths, from "internal "information" through the Holy Spirit. For example, Elder Paisios the Athonite used to say to his visitors that "I don't read newspapers, I learn these from elsewhere"(social and political accurate information). And another example is when Elder Porphyrius prayed in order for God to reveal to him whether there were alien creatures or not and He actually did.  Wink Smiley

Still, I agree with you, brother H., that the knowledge of the Created, science that is, is basically acquired though use of the brain and "mind".  Smiley

thank God someone else has recognized the illumination of our Saints. The Church is not bound by the wisdom of this world -- we have the Spirit.
But neither does it reject utterly the wisdom of this world.
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Tags: science Theory of Evolution evolution creationism cheval mort 
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