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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 333388 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #135 on: December 18, 2007, 03:06:13 AM »

Is there a theologian today that dealt with and wrote about the "Adam and Eve" question in a theological perspective that is quite compatible with the science of evolution?

The late Alexander Kalimeros wrote quite an interesting article on the subject. I can't remember the name, but a quick google search should sort you out.
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« Reply #136 on: December 18, 2007, 04:19:09 AM »

Well, here is my observation. I find it important to understand the definition of "evolution:" Are we speaking of micro-evolution? I'm sorry, but this can be proven at a lab, so you might as well deny the existence of China...When it comes to macro-evolution, many questions arise (or should) for me: In what way is evolution biblical? It can be if we apply an allegorical interpretation to Genesis. How about Adam and Eve? To me, this is important, because in order for Adam and Eve to be our first parents, they must be the beginning of humanity. We are saved from the mortality introduced by them, so to say that Adam and Eve represent humans, we must deny them the origin of sin and its consequences. If that happens, then in what way do the other humans become mortal? Who sinned? Who passed on the consequences? Secondly, did Adam and Eve (supposing they are literally two human beings) evolve from apes? This need not be dismissed outright, but relies on an answer to question one. I think the major problems I have with evolution is that 1) it is not truth like Scripture is (it is probable that there are many flaws), 2) it is still a theory, 3) it can indeed be a philosophical and even religious ideal, and 4) it usually denies a Creator (especially when matched with the Big Bang--another theory) and therefore presents a religious view. My opinion--I don't have one, nor do I care. For me, creation can remain a mystery. That God made everything, sustains everything, works through everything, and saved us from sin, death and the curse is Truth. According to these same scientists, it is not true because it cannot be proven. Hence we have the teaching that all religions are equal (that is equally stupid). I would also add that it seems foolish for a Christian to worry about how God did something we know he did. Is this not a ploy by Satan to turn us from being closer to God and one another to fighting amongst each other and forgetting about our Creator and Savior? For atheistic evolutionists: I wonder why they care so much to find out about life if life is just an accident. Who cares? There is no purpose for our lives! Do whatever you want? Have fun! Perhaps the knowledge of right from wrong is inconsequential in their minds...How foolish they shall feel on judgment day. I pray that they find God through science...
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« Reply #137 on: December 18, 2007, 05:46:47 AM »

Well, here is my observation. I find it important to understand the definition of "evolution:" Are we speaking of micro-evolution? I'm sorry, but this can be proven at a lab, so you might as well deny the existence of China...When it comes to macro-evolution, many questions arise (or should) for me:

Ummm, there is no difference between 'micro-evolution' and 'macro-evolution'; it's all the same, it all happens by the same methods, whether we're talking about the evolution of human beings from lesser life-forms or the mutation of the AIDS virus in a victim's body it's all just evolution. Furthermore, it's all supported by strong scientific evidence, it's all supported by molecular biology and genetics, on a larger scale it's also supported by such fields as geology and paleontology, but it's all based on firm science.

Quote
In what way is evolution biblical? It can be if we apply an allegorical interpretation to Genesis. How about Adam and Eve?................................

So when you accept so much of evolution as having been decided by science, why do you all of a sudden ignore science and ignore the logical conclusions of the theory you initially espouse? All we're doing is expanding on a sound scientific theory that you accept and all of a sudden you jump into matter of philosophy and religion to decide the matter? Forgive me, but that simply doesn't make any sense. If science so well gives the answers to so-called 'micro-evolution' why do you, all of a sudden, abandon it? The only 'science' demonstrated by the religious and philosophical questions you are pushing would be the world view of those who initially authored such texts. If our theology is based on more than the opinion of ancient authors, if it is based on 'truth' itself, shouldn't it also be consonant with science? Shouldn't we be able to continue to follow the truths about our world that have been revealed to us by science and arrive at our true theology? And if, by some strange twist, our theology comes in conflict with the obvious truths of science, what does this say about the ground on which we stand?
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« Reply #138 on: December 18, 2007, 09:46:34 AM »

But evolution cannot be "believed" in. Do you believe that opposite charges attract? We know that biological evolution (defined as a change in the genetic makeup of populations) takes place. A sound scientific theory posits that biological evolution diversifies life on our planet. What in the world does the term "creationists" mean, I simply do not know. Something similar to "anti-oppositechargesattractionists?" Smiley

Grace and Peace Heorhij,

But we have no evidence that species change on the macro level. We have micro level changes within species but no evidence that species actually change into new species right? You appear to believe that we have proof of evolution when, as far as I know, we don't.

I get the impression that this is a 'hot-button' issue with you so don't go wild on me. I'm just asking.
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« Reply #139 on: December 18, 2007, 10:11:29 AM »

Well, I don't think anyone denies "change in the genetic makeup of populations." Who can disagree with this broad definition? But that isn't what most people think of when they hear "biological evolution," is it? This appears to be a word game.

No, I don't think that "word game" is the problem, it's a lack of knowledge of biology.
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« Reply #140 on: December 18, 2007, 10:16:18 AM »

Grace and Peace Heorhij,

But we have no evidence that species change on the macro level. We have micro level changes within species but no evidence that species actually change into new species right? You appear to believe that we have proof of evolution when, as far as I know, we don't.

I get the impression that this is a 'hot-button' issue with you so don't go wild on me. I'm just asking.

No, I won't "go wild." What you are saying is a very typical misunderstanding. Scientific theories do not need (and actually cannot) be "proven." When you are looking at a picture in a textbook that shows the molecule of water consisting of two little balls that represent atoms of hydrogen and one bigger (and differently colored) ball representing an atom of oxygen, you are also looking at deductions made from an "unproven" atomic-molecular theory of the structure of matter. We "know" about these two kinds of atoms joining together in the 2H:1O proportion because such an idea is consistent with many observations. Same thing biological evolution. We don't literally see speciation, but we know it happens because it is consistent with myriads of observations made by scores of independently working scientists.
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« Reply #141 on: December 18, 2007, 10:52:08 AM »

Ummm, there is no difference between 'micro-evolution' and 'macro-evolution'; it's all the same, it all happens by the same methods, whether we're talking about the evolution of human beings from lesser life-forms or the mutation of the AIDS virus in a victim's body it's all just evolution. Furthermore, it's all supported by strong scientific evidence, it's all supported by molecular biology and genetics, on a larger scale it's also supported by such fields as geology and paleontology, but it's all based on firm science.

The changes that accur to viruses or human beings don't necessarily prove that they can alter into something other than what they are.  It can't be proven that a race or virus can step out of it's boundaries and become something other than what it is.  All though viruses can change they are still bound to being viruses. Same goes for humans. When does a virus ever stop being a virus? This part of the genetics science is just a theory. It falls short of proving Genesis since it doesn't have substantial prove that a species can alter into something else. It can't rule out creation as fiction. Your making it sound as if it has.

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« Reply #142 on: December 18, 2007, 10:55:34 AM »

The changes that accur to viruses or human beings don't necessarily prove that they can alter into something other than what they are.  It can't be proven that a race or virus can step out of it's boundaries and become something other than what it is.  All though viruses can change they are still bound to being viruses. Same goes for humans. When does a virus ever stop being a virus? This part of the genetics science is just a theory. It falls short of proving Genesis since it doesn't have substantial prove that a species can alter into something else. It can't rule out creation as fiction. Your making it sound as if it has.

Yep, this is what I understand. I even have atheist friends who admit this...
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« Reply #143 on: December 18, 2007, 11:37:25 AM »

The changes that accur to viruses or human beings don't necessarily prove that they can alter into something other than what they are.  It can't be proven that a race or virus can step out of it's boundaries and become something other than what it is.  All though viruses can change they are still bound to being viruses. Same goes for humans. When does a virus ever stop being a virus? This part of the genetics science is just a theory. It falls short of proving Genesis since it doesn't have substantial prove that a species can alter into something else. It can't rule out creation as fiction. Your making it sound as if it has.

But biological evolution does not pertain to individuals. A virus never stops to be a virus, and a monkey never stops to be a monkey; but POPULATIONS of viruses or monkeys do change into something else (evolve).
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« Reply #144 on: December 18, 2007, 11:41:19 AM »

No, I won't "go wild." What you are saying is a very typical misunderstanding. Scientific theories do not need (and actually cannot) be "proven." When you are looking at a picture in a textbook that shows the molecule of water consisting of two little balls that represent atoms of hydrogen and one bigger (and differently colored) ball representing an atom of oxygen, you are also looking at deductions made from an "unproven" atomic-molecular theory of the structure of matter. We "know" about these two kinds of atoms joining together in the 2H:1O proportion because such an idea is consistent with many observations. Same thing biological evolution. We don't literally see speciation, but we know it happens because it is consistent with myriads of observations made by scores of independently working scientists.

Your correct, but. When we see two actual species such as man and ape we are not looking at paper. We are looking at actuality. We see no other species between the two that can be called a mutation.(Praxis) These mutation would have still bin in existence if one is formed from the other. Creating a multitude of subspecies.
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« Reply #145 on: December 18, 2007, 11:46:23 AM »

The changes that accur to viruses or human beings don't necessarily prove that they can alter into something other than what they are.  It can't be proven that a race or virus can step out of it's boundaries and become something other than what it is.  All though viruses can change they are still bound to being viruses. Same goes for humans. When does a virus ever stop being a virus? This part of the genetics science is just a theory. It falls short of proving Genesis since it doesn't have substantial prove that a species can alter into something else. It can't rule out creation as fiction. Your making it sound as if it has.

Practically, the biggest clinical problem we have is the super fast evolution of certain viruses like Influenza and HIV as well as bacteria due to our overuse of antibiotics.  There has been in fact an evolving population into "new species" if you will, species that are "antiobiotic resistant" or new strands that might be more severe (or even kill, as happened in WW I era).  The dramatic change of these genetics makes it very hard for scientists to develop vaccines.  That's why there's an annual "update" of the influenza vaccine, which will try to protect you from most of the new strands developed throughout the year, as much as we can fathom.

So clinically, evolution has been proven.

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« Reply #146 on: December 18, 2007, 11:48:45 AM »

Practically, the biggest clinical problem we have is the super fast evolution of certain viruses like Influenza and HIV as well as bacteria due to our overuse of antibiotics.  There has been in fact an evolving population into "new species" if you will, species that are "antiobiotic resistant" or new strands that might be more severe (or even kill, as happened in WW I era).  The dramatic change of these genetics makes it very hard for scientists to develop vaccines.  That's why there's an annual "update" of the influenza vaccine, which will try to protect you from most of the new strands developed throughout the year, as much as we can fathom.

So clinically, evolution has been proven.

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I don't disagree with you. When does Influenza stop being Influenza?
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« Reply #147 on: December 18, 2007, 12:07:21 PM »

But biological evolution does not pertain to individuals. A virus never stops to be a virus, and a monkey never stops to be a monkey; but POPULATIONS of viruses or monkeys do change into something else (evolve).

I agree that there is a certain amount of evolution within a species, but when does a species become something else? It doesn't. Man is adapting to his environment everyday. he builds immunity from disease and adapts to his environment. these are natural cases of evolution.
   I'm sure that with mans intervention mutation can happen through science. That doesn't mean that when nature is left to itself that these sudden and harsh changes can happen on there own. If the environment was the same. man therefore was the same. No matter how far back we go.
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« Reply #148 on: December 18, 2007, 01:08:38 PM »

Ummm, there is no difference between 'micro-evolution' and 'macro-evolution'; it's all the same, it all happens by the same methods, whether we're talking about the evolution of human beings from lesser life-forms or the mutation of the AIDS virus in a victim's body it's all just evolution. Furthermore, it's all supported by strong scientific evidence, it's all supported by molecular biology and genetics, on a larger scale it's also supported by such fields as geology and paleontology, but it's all based on firm science.

So when you accept so much of evolution as having been decided by science, why do you all of a sudden ignore science and ignore the logical conclusions of the theory you initially espouse? All we're doing is expanding on a sound scientific theory that you accept and all of a sudden you jump into matter of philosophy and religion to decide the matter? Forgive me, but that simply doesn't make any sense. If science so well gives the answers to so-called 'micro-evolution' why do you, all of a sudden, abandon it? The only 'science' demonstrated by the religious and philosophical questions you are pushing would be the world view of those who initially authored such texts. If our theology is based on more than the opinion of ancient authors, if it is based on 'truth' itself, shouldn't it also be consonant with science? Shouldn't we be able to continue to follow the truths about our world that have been revealed to us by science and arrive at our true theology? And if, by some strange twist, our theology comes in conflict with the obvious truths of science, what does this say about the ground on which we stand?

Actually, when it comes down to specifics, micro-evolution and macro-evolution are two different things. Micro-evolution, for instance, can be proven in a lab usings insects. There is physical proof. Macro-evolution is based on speculation and has no physical evidence to date. You seem to mistake my questions for all out rejection of evolution. Indeed, I am opposed to certain ideas within it, but not evolution in its entirety. It is still speculation, though, and I refuse to accept it as part and parcel of Christ's Truth, which is not subject to change and speculation. Science is constantly changing its theories as it finds itself incorrect. Can you say that of Christ, or of His Church. I hope not. I believe that many of the early fathers used the science of their day to interpret Genesis, but evolution is unlike the beliefs of old. My concerns with macro-evolution are many and I think they are valid. If God infact created a mutant ape-like man, science suggests that this ape did not know right from wrong. Is he still in the image of God? If he did infact evolve from apes, then how does this correspond to 1) man created out of dust (this can be subject to interpretation), but more importantly, 2) how do you apply Original or Ancestral Sin and the need for salvation? If man evolved from apes, then how is he separate from animals and thereby give immortal soul (which, by the way, cannot be proven)?
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« Reply #149 on: December 18, 2007, 02:07:05 PM »

Your correct, but. When we see two actual species such as man and ape we are not looking at paper. We are looking at actuality. We see no other species between the two that can be called a mutation.(Praxis) These mutation would have still bin in existence if one is formed from the other. Creating a multitude of subspecies.
But "ape" is not a species - there are dozens if not hundreds of species of apes, and probably (ask a zoologist) there is no consensus of how many precisely because there is no clear line separating all these species. In birds, there are populations that look exactly the same, sing exactly the same, and yet do not cross-mate - so, technically, they are different species. The currently existing humans all belong to one species, Homo sapiens, but there is evidence that there existed other species (Homo erectus, Homo habilis), which are now extinct.
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« Reply #150 on: December 18, 2007, 02:10:14 PM »

I don't disagree with you. When does Influenza stop being Influenza?
Influenza is not a virus, it is a disease. There are two known species of influenza virus - influenza virus A and influenza virus B. Both do not really exist - they are our human "idealizations," our attempt to simplify what we see in nature. In fact, there are thousands of different strains of both I.v. A and I.v. B, with no clear border between them.

Myriads of new species are being formed right now, as you read these lines, and myriads of "old" species are becoming extinct.
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« Reply #151 on: December 18, 2007, 02:13:10 PM »

Actually, when it comes down to specifics, micro-evolution and macro-evolution are two different things. Micro-evolution, for instance, can be proven in a lab usings insects. There is physical proof. Macro-evolution is based on speculation and has no physical evidence to date. You seem to mistake my questions for all out rejection of evolution. Indeed, I am opposed to certain ideas within it, but not evolution in its entirety. It is still speculation, though, and I refuse to accept it as part and parcel of Christ's Truth, which is not subject to change and speculation. Science is constantly changing its theories as it finds itself incorrect. Can you say that of Christ, or of His Church. I hope not. I believe that many of the early fathers used the science of their day to interpret Genesis, but evolution is unlike the beliefs of old. My concerns with macro-evolution are many and I think they are valid. If God infact created a mutant ape-like man, science suggests that this ape did not know right from wrong. Is he still in the image of God? If he did infact evolve from apes, then how does this correspond to 1) man created out of dust (this can be subject to interpretation), but more importantly, 2) how do you apply Original or Ancestral Sin and the need for salvation? If man evolved from apes, then how is he separate from animals and thereby give immortal soul (which, by the way, cannot be proven)?
There is no difference between micro- and macroevolution as far as the mechanisms of these two phenomena are concerned. The only difference is that the so-called microevolution concerns populations that are still interbreeding, while mactoevolution concerns populations that have diverged far enough to not be able to interbreed.
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« Reply #152 on: December 18, 2007, 02:26:14 PM »

But "ape" is not a species - there are dozens if not hundreds of species of apes, and probably (ask a zoologist) there is no consensus of how many precisely because there is no clear line separating all these species. In birds, there are populations that look exactly the same, sing exactly the same, and yet do not cross-mate - so, technically, they are different species. The currently existing humans all belong to one species, Homo sapiens, but there is evidence that there existed other species (Homo erectus, Homo habilis), which are now extinct.

This is the old parlor trick. Use the "weak definition" of species and of course speciation has occurred. Poodles and pit bulls are different "species" of dog, they don't typically interbreed but you can still artificially impregnate a poodle with pit bull semen. So it is with various "species" of birds, apes, etc. i.e. "there is no clear line separating all these species." Use the "strong definition" (the bird species, the dog species, the ape species), which is what people are actually getting after when they ask for speciation, and you have nothing.
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« Reply #153 on: December 18, 2007, 02:32:42 PM »

Actually, when it comes down to specifics, micro-evolution and macro-evolution are two different things. Micro-evolution, for instance, can be proven in a lab usings insects. There is physical proof. Macro-evolution is based on speculation and has no physical evidence to date.

It seems that your information is out of date; over the last few years data from gene sequencing of various species has been gathered and analyzed by computational biologists to predict the functions of various alleles shared by several species. These predictions have been verified in the lab by molecular biologists. This demonstrates that a hypothesis was presented (common ancestry), a test based on the expected predictions was devised, the test was successful, and useful information was obtained from the assumption that was independently verified. The common ancestry of various mammals, including humans, has been mathematically and experimentally demonstrated in the lab with at least the level of confidence that we have in atomic theory.
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« Reply #154 on: December 18, 2007, 02:45:12 PM »

This is the old parlor trick. Use the "weak definition" of species and of course speciation has occurred. Poodles and pit bulls are differen't "species" of dog, they don't typically interbreed but you can still artificially impregnate a poodle with pit bull semen. So it is with various "species" of birds, apes, etc. i.e. "there is no clear line separating all these species." Use the "strong definition" (the bird species, the dog species, the ape species), which is what people are actually getting after when they ask for speciation, and you have nothing.
No, it's not me who get nothing, it's those people who ask questions while not being open to answers that do not fit their pre-conceived notions. The existence of numerous species with NO clear border between them is as much a fact as the existence of numerous species WITh a clear border between them.
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« Reply #155 on: December 18, 2007, 02:55:48 PM »

No, it's not me who get nothing, it's those people who ask questions while not being open to answers that do not fit their pre-conceived notions. The existence of numerous species with NO clear border between them is as much a fact as the existence of numerous species WITh a clear border between them.

If the answer does not actually address the question asked, but is rather a bait and switch, why should anyone be "open" to it? The fact that you still speak of different "species" of apes says it all. The ape is the overall category, the strong definition of species, the clear border, with in which there is variation. These apes might be "reproductively isolated," but interbreeding is still possible. These "species" with "no clear border" actually do have a border, and the border is the species "ape."
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« Reply #156 on: December 18, 2007, 04:12:58 PM »

If the answer does not actually address the question asked, but is rather a bait and switch, why should anyone be "open" to it? The fact that you still speak of different "species" of apes says it all. The ape is the overall category, the strong definition of species, the clear border, with in which there is variation. These apes might be "reproductively isolated," but interbreeding is still possible. These "species" with "no clear border" actually do have a border, and the border is the species "ape."
But then, why not extend your understanding of species even further? Merge apes with monkeys, monkeys with lemours, lemours with rats... Smiley
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« Reply #157 on: December 18, 2007, 04:37:51 PM »

But then, why not extend your understanding of species even further? Merge apes with monkeys, monkeys with lemours, lemours with rats... Smiley

 We share the same biological foundations.  We are animals. All of creation must certainly be linked in some way. Otherwise it wouldn't be in harmony. The difference between man and animal is not what is common. The difference is that Man has freedom, which the rest of material Creation does not.
  An animal, even the more advanced kind, possesses the ability to adapt to the environment, to the existing world, to Creation. However, it will never consider denying its environment, annihilating it and then creating its own world.  An animal cannot create a world of its own; only Man has this tendency.
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« Reply #158 on: December 18, 2007, 04:58:54 PM »

From a theological perspective, I still don't understand why Adam and Eve cannot be allegorical for all of humanity.  Has not each and every one of us fallen and in need of a Savior?  Doesn't adam mean human in the same sense of homo, ανθρωπος, человек etc.?  In the 13 century debates among the scholastics the idea of whether the incarnation would have occurred regardless of whether or not Adam and Eve had fallen was brought up.  I think the general consensus was that yes, it still would have as redemption is more than simply forgiveness of sin - it is that God became man so that man might become god. 
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« Reply #159 on: December 18, 2007, 11:31:16 PM »

But then, why not extend your understanding of species even further? Merge apes with monkeys, monkeys with lemours, lemours with rats... Smiley

Um, because those are physiologically incapable of interbreeding.  I'm using Dobzhansky's strong definition of species here: "That stage of evolutionary progress at which the once actually or potentially interbreeding array of forms becomes segregated into two or more arrays which are physiologically incapable of interbreeding." Apes are physiologically capable of interbreeding, ergo, same species. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #160 on: December 18, 2007, 11:42:44 PM »

From a theological perspective, I still don't understand why Adam and Eve cannot be allegorical for all of humanity.  Has not each and every one of us fallen and in need of a Savior?

Of course, but the question is why? We have all fallen because of Adam and Eve's sin. Do you think God unjustly created us all in our fallen, sin prone state? Or is our state unimpaired, and we all choose to sin anyway? This is only going to lead to Pelagianism.

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I think the general consensus was that yes, it still would have as redemption is more than simply forgiveness of sin - it is that God became man so that man might become god. 

Yes, Christ would have become incarnate to deify us even if there was no Original Sin. But since we obviously are in a fallen, sin prone state, that matter needs to be taken care of.
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« Reply #161 on: December 19, 2007, 12:34:06 AM »

Um, because those are physiologically incapable of interbreeding.  I'm using Dobzhansky's strong definition of species here: "That stage of evolutionary progress at which the once actually or potentially interbreeding array of forms becomes segregated into two or more arrays which are physiologically incapable of interbreeding." Apes are physiologically capable of interbreeding, ergo, same species. Roll Eyes
This brings up an important (IMNSHO) question of just what counts as an ape.  Gorillas are apes.  Chimpanzees are apes.  Orangutans are apes.  But are they capable of interbreeding with each other and producing offspring that can reproduce?
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« Reply #162 on: December 19, 2007, 01:12:56 AM »

What is the point about this debate about species? Genetics has proven that they all have a common ancestry. Haven't you all been reading Nature?
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« Reply #163 on: December 19, 2007, 03:28:37 AM »

Of course, but the question is why? We have all fallen because of Adam and Eve's sin. Do you think God unjustly created us all in our fallen, sin prone state? Or is our state unimpaired, and we all choose to sin anyway? This is only going to lead to Pelagianism.

Well...why should the the entire book of Genesis be taken literally?  A text need not be literal in order to have spiritual merit.  What's more remarkable - God creating a coherent and law governed universe that slowly unfolds over the course of time and He uses the mythology and oral tradition of the Near East to revel the deeper spiritual Truths of Himself to His people or some second rate deity that publishes a self contradicting blueprint? 

Quote
Yes, Christ would have become incarnate to deify us even if there was no Original Sin. But since we obviously are in a fallen, sin prone state, that matter needs to be taken care of.

O certe necessarium Adae peccatum, quod Christi morte deletum est!
O felix culpa, quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem!


We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God through our own doings.  The Orthodox Church does not believe that original sin transmits guilt.  You could almost image in an allegory of God giving a person everything, yet that person rejecting it through disobedience.  The result of that was a life of toil and labor, but it was softened with hope of future redemption.  Sound familiar?  Adam and Eve need not be literal in order for Orthodox sotiriology to make sense. 

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« Reply #164 on: December 19, 2007, 05:30:10 AM »

This brings up an important (IMNSHO) question of just what counts as an ape.  Gorillas are apes.  Chimpanzees are apes.  Orangutans are apes.  But are they capable of interbreeding with each other and producing offspring that can reproduce?

You are correct, ape is a family (which even we humans are included in) rather than the hard category of species. The main point is that virtually all examples of speciation offered up by evolutionists belong to the weak definition, i.e. poodles and pit bulls as separate "species." What the evolutionist will do is take an observed internal split in a species, such that we have different varieties of a species that are capable of interbreeding (such as poodle and pit bull) but stick to their own and call it "speciation" because they are "reproductively isolated."
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« Reply #165 on: December 19, 2007, 05:38:32 AM »

Well...why should the the entire book of Genesis be taken literally?  A text need not be literal in order to have spiritual merit.  What's more remarkable - God creating a coherent and law governed universe that slowly unfolds over the course of time and He uses the mythology and oral tradition of the Near East to revel the deeper spiritual Truths of Himself to His people or some second rate deity that publishes a self contradicting blueprint?

I think we all know your opinion of the Old Testament.

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O certe necessarium Adae peccatum, quod Christi morte deletum est!
O felix culpa, quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem!


We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God through our own doings.  The Orthodox Church does not believe that original sin transmits guilt.  You could almost image in an allegory of God giving a person everything, yet that person rejecting it through disobedience.  The result of that was a life of toil and labor, but it was softened with hope of future redemption.  Sound familiar?  Adam and Eve need not be literal in order for Orthodox sotiriology to make sense.

"Sound familiar?" Yes, it sounds like Pelagianism. The Orthodox Church might believe we don't have the "guilt" of Original Sin ("guilt" defined as personal guilt, which none of the western confessions appear to believe anyway), but the Church does believe that we are born corrupt, with an inborn inclination to sin and subject to death due to the original sin (or ancestral sin, if that term is more to your liking) of Adam and Eve.

But this is rather irrelevant, as belief in evolution isn't even necessarily incompatible with a literal Adam and Eve.
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« Reply #166 on: December 19, 2007, 06:53:33 AM »

I don't disagree with you. When does Influenza stop being Influenza?

That's like asking when does a mammal stop becoming a mammal.  On a microscopic level we're talking about, analogically speaking, tigers and chimps when we talk about the evolving influenza strands that we get.

If we're lucky enough, we will find more fossils that help explain more of the species that were "not fit" enough to move on in earth life.  We've already found many, and with the help of computers brought forth a number of amazing studies to further the understand of the science of evolution.  And computers are the key here.  GiC gave you a glimpse of the use of computers for testing and accuracy.  Let it be known that without computers, it would have taken us a hundred years to record the human genome.  With computers, we also have shown how we are genetically related to our cousins and relatives as well as trace our ancestral genes.  With the same technique, we also have traced the common ancestry we have with all other organisms of different species, from the chimp to the E. Coli.

A quick point on "physiological capability" of mating.  When a horse mates with a donkey to create a mule, that does not prove the horse and donkey are the same species.  When we consider the whole array of canines, there are in fact a physiological incapability at the gross level to mate between a chihuahua and St. Bernard, and, although I'm not too sure, I think they are genetically capable of mating (if the womb can handle the growing fetus).  The idea of speciation when looking at the genetics of a population makes it quite difficult to theoretically pinpoint the drawing line.  The line can start to be clearly drawn as two populations distance themselves from one another for thousands of years.  I think this is why it's hard to say what is considered a different species.  For all we know, it might be possible to interbreed with a chimp after all, but no human is obviously taking that chance, at least those who are in the right mind.  It seems to me that the accepted definition is that which George mentioned earlier.

God bless.
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« Reply #167 on: December 19, 2007, 11:02:08 AM »

What is the point about this debate about species? Genetics has proven that they all have a common ancestry. Haven't you all been reading Nature?

For every yay there is a nay even in science. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6937476.stm
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« Reply #168 on: December 19, 2007, 02:47:16 PM »

I think we all know your opinion of the Old Testament.

My opinion would be the one based upon the great patristic school of Alexandria rather than modern protestant theological trends.

Quote
"Sound familiar?" Yes, it sounds like Pelagianism.

I'm not denying the role of divine grace in redemption. 

Quote
But this is rather irrelevant, as belief in evolution isn't even necessarily incompatible with a literal Adam and Eve.

Well, except of course for the fact that it is.  Perhaps the opinion of the actual biologist posting in this thread and just about every scientist would be a bit more important than some Orthodox fundamentalist. 
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« Reply #169 on: December 19, 2007, 03:45:11 PM »

My opinion would be the one based upon the great patristic school of Alexandria rather than modern protestant theological trends.

The great patristic school of Alexandria didn't deny the literal meaning of the text either.

Quote
I'm not denying the role of divine grace in redemption.

Another aspect of Pelagianism would be the denial of Original Sin and its effects, which your view would appear to entail.

Quote
Well, except of course for the fact that it is.  Perhaps the opinion of the actual biologist posting in this thread and just about every scientist would be a bit more important than some Orthodox fundamentalist. 

Or... you could read the article I posted earlier, not to mention the one posted by JoeS. The actual biologist seems to be hung up on a certain reading of the phrase "first man" which is not essential.
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« Reply #170 on: December 19, 2007, 03:51:05 PM »

A quick point on "physiological capability" of mating.  When a horse mates with a donkey to create a mule, that does not prove the horse and donkey are the same species.  When we consider the whole array of canines, there are in fact a physiological incapability at the gross level to mate between a chihuahua and St. Bernard, and, although I'm not too sure, I think they are genetically capable of mating (if the womb can handle the growing fetus).  The idea of speciation when looking at the genetics of a population makes it quite difficult to theoretically pinpoint the drawing line.  The line can start to be clearly drawn as two populations distance themselves from one another for thousands of years.  I think this is why it's hard to say what is considered a different species.  For all we know, it might be possible to interbreed with a chimp after all, but no human is obviously taking that chance, at least those who are in the right mind.  It seems to me that the accepted definition is that which George mentioned earlier.

God bless.

Yes, the mule would appear to throw a wrench into the man-made category of species wouldn't it? But even then, no one would deny that physiological incapability to mate outside it's own species is without a doubt and any controversy speciation, which has not been observed. The examples of "observed speciation" proffered by evolutionists do not even rise to the level of horse and donkey, but are essentially equivalent to Chihuahua and St. Bernard, if even that.
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« Reply #171 on: December 19, 2007, 04:28:12 PM »

My opinion would be the one based upon the great patristic school of Alexandria rather than modern protestant theological trends.

What Protestant theological trends?
   I'm sure you already know that there is a Orthodox Dogma on Creation. Dogma is something that you must believe in it to be Orthodox.  I'm not saying your not Orthodox, but it's something to think about.
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« Reply #172 on: December 19, 2007, 04:42:55 PM »

For every yay there is a nay even in science. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6937476.stm

That's simply a disagreement about the exact timeline, not the principle of common ancestory which is a proven genetic fact. There's not room for disagreement on this fact anymore, the biological evidence is too strong.
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« Reply #173 on: December 19, 2007, 07:56:06 PM »

That's simply a disagreement about the exact timeline, not the principle of common ancestory which is a proven genetic fact. There's not room for disagreement on this fact anymore, the biological evidence is too strong.

You must have missed this part when skimming through. It basically states that the homo erectus witch is the species that is said, to be ware modern humans have evolved from is actually the descendant of the gorilla. That my friend is physical proof and not a theory.

Quote
The fossil record indicates that modern humans (Homo sapiens) evolved from Homo erectus.

However, to some researchers, the small size of the erectus skull suggests that species may not have been as similar to us as we once thought.

On average, modern humans display a low level of "sexual dimorphism", meaning that males and females do not differ physically as much as they do in other animals.

The scientists compared the small skull to a much larger erectus cranium found previously in Tanzania. If the size difference between the two is indicative of the larger one being from a male and the smaller being from a female, it suggests that erectus displayed a high level of sexual dimorphism - similar to that of modern gorillas.
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« Reply #174 on: December 19, 2007, 08:13:48 PM »

What Protestant theological trends?

Biblical literalism.  The underdeveloped state of Orthodox Theology for what amounts to about the last millennium has made Orthodox people especially susceptible to extremist ideologies (look no further than religious dissidents during the Russian Empire) or outright borrowing of fundamentalist protestant thought.  Good examples of this are found in the anti-Harry Potter craze among Greek monastics.  Most of their tracts were nothing more than recapitulated arguments from US Evangelicals.  Although my personal favorite was one that I saw that cited an article from The Onion as proof of Rowling's Satanism.  Seraphim Rose even admits (and encourages his followers to so so) collaboration with protestant "creation scientists." 

Quote
I'm sure you already know that there is a Orthodox Dogma on Creation. Dogma is something that you must believe in it to be Orthodox.  I'm not saying your not Orthodox, but it's something to think about.

I'll keep that in mind next time I recite the line in the creed about biblical literalism.

And of course the scientific world has demonstrated that evolution is a fact.  I'm not saying you're brainless, but it's something to think about.   
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« Reply #175 on: December 19, 2007, 08:28:37 PM »

You must have missed this part when skimming through. It basically states that the homo erectus witch is the species that is said, to be ware modern humans have evolved from is actually the descendant of the gorilla. That my friend is physical proof and not a theory.
This, my friend is physical proof that you, yourself, did not actually read the article, or if you did, you are mis-quoting it to prove your point.  Nowhere does the article state that homo erectus is "actually the descendant of the gorilla." (your exact words)  The article states, "it suggests that erectus displayed a high level of sexual dimorphism - similar to that of modern gorillas."  Sexual dimorphism may be a trait in gorillas but it is certainly not limited to gorillas.  It is very common in many animals, birds, and insects.
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« Reply #176 on: December 19, 2007, 09:26:58 PM »

Biblical literalism. 

And of course the scientific world has demonstrated that evolution is a fact.  I'm not saying you're brainless, but it's something to think about.   

You're trying to prove that you have the brains of an ape and your calling me brainless. laugh
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« Reply #177 on: December 19, 2007, 09:35:12 PM »

You must have missed this part when skimming through. It basically states that the homo erectus witch is the species that is said, to be ware modern humans have evolved from is actually the descendant of the gorilla. That my friend is physical proof and not a theory.

This, my friend is physical proof that you, yourself, did not actually read the article, or if you did, you are mis-quoting it to prove your point.  Nowhere does the article state that homo erectus is "actually the descendant of the gorilla." (your exact words)  The article states, "it suggests that erectus displayed a high level of sexual dimorphism - similar to that of modern gorillas."  Sexual dimorphism may be a trait in gorillas but it is certainly not limited to gorillas.  It is very common in many animals, birds, and insects.

Thank you.

Furthermore, Demetrios, please address the conclusions I presented earlier from computational biology; if not common ancestry what is your interpretation of the data?
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« Reply #178 on: December 19, 2007, 10:54:52 PM »

Thank you.

Furthermore, Demetrios, please address the conclusions I presented earlier from computational biology; if not common ancestry what is your interpretation of the data?


I believe that created exists, because someone else willed it to exist, and not because it willed its own existence.  “Created” existence is therefore not a free existence.
  I will agree that all of creation is linked in some way.  The data compiled tells me that all biological existence has the same building blocks. Similar to non living matter. That doesn't necessarily mean that it all came from one ancestry or even from one planet. How does one explain how people from over 2000 years ago were smarter than people that exist today. Reverse evolution I suppose. Wink
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« Reply #179 on: December 19, 2007, 11:23:25 PM »

I believe that created exists, because someone else willed it to exist, and not because it willed its own existence.  “Created” existence is therefore not a free existence.
  I will agree that all of creation is linked in some way.  The data compiled tells me that all biological existence has the same building blocks. Similar to non living matter. That doesn't necessarily mean that it all came from one ancestry or even from one planet.

So, basically, you don't care about the scientific evidence; you're going to base your opinions on your personal mythology, completely disregarding the obvious science infront of you?

Quote
How does one explain how people from over 2000 years ago were smarter than people that exist today. Reverse evolution I suppose. Wink

Actually, there are several ways that a decrease in intelligence could be explained, evolution favours survival and procreation and the strongest trait isn't always intelligence.

But with that said, I find the idea that people 2000 years ago were more intelligent than us to be laughable. While there were a handful of advancements in that era they are nothing compared to what we see in the modern world. The human race is far more advanced, far more knowledgable, far more progressive, and far more enlightened than it was 2000 years ago. More likely than not, intelligence has not changed, we have just developed a vastly superior culture; but if it did change it no doubt increased.
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