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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 343803 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #1620 on: October 12, 2009, 04:56:00 PM »

I'm glad we seem to come to an agreement. Smiley
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« Reply #1621 on: October 12, 2009, 05:31:08 PM »

I hope you know that I did not intend to insult you or hurt you with my comments that I believe evolution to be a demonic deception. That in no way was intended to belittle anyone, just as I'm sure that Orthodox Christians who believe in evolution do not mean to disparage those of us who don't when they claim we are ignorant about science. For example, you and others that ascribe to evolution assume that those of us who don't are ignorant. Now that certainly isn't flattering to us, but I don't take it personally. It wouldn't be fair to ask you not to step on my toes by sugar-coating the fact that you think my lack of knowledge of evolutionary biology precludes me from having a valid opinion about the subject. The only time we should take personal offense is if we are personally insulted. Maybe I should have said that I think evolution is a deception rather than a "demonic deception," but I doubt if people would have been any less offended.

The reason I think there is a demonic element behind evolution is because of the social ramifications that have resulted from evolutionary theory. Ideas have consequences, and the theory of Darwinian evolution has unquestionably undermined the sanctity of human life (IMO). That does not mean that Orthodox Christians who hold to theistic evolution don't value human life; but people who believe in evolution without having the moral guidance of the Church will certianly be prone to see human life in a much less sacred light.

...

I appreciate your point that evolutionary theory is in itself "amoral." But so is the theory that gravity does not exist. Now people are free to choose whether or not they believe in gravity and how they act according to that belief. Imagine if the masses in society were promulgated with the theory that gravity did not exist. What if children were taught in schools that gravity did not exist, and even if scientists tried to give evidence to the contrary, they were not allowed by law to teach anything in shcool other than the theory that gravity did not exist. In spite of basic common sense, I assure you that people would still jump off of buildings and kill themselves because of their belief that gravity did not exist. Seems crazy, but it was also crazy to beleive that Jews and Africans were less than human. Seems crazy to believe that an unborn child isn't human. And yet people believe these things, often because of their evolutionary worldview.

Perhaps, the removal of the word "demonic" would have removed part of the insult.  To call it just "deceptive" perhaps, I would be perplexed (it would imply either we are deceptive or we are deceived, but by whom or what?).  To be honest, when one studies the fossil records, the genetic patterns, proteins, even the behavior patterns among species, along with actual evidence of speciation observed, one cannot help but see the obvious.  If that is not evolution, certainly it is nature then that's really deceiving us, and implications of this in my opinion, are terrifying.

On the issue of morality, I believe there are plenty of atheists who have a morality built in them that does not show any sign of doom.  In fact, I'm sure if gravity was "disproved" there would be another explanation of why things fall, no?  Common sense dictates that since things fall, there is no rational reason why people should jump off buildings.  It's only when people deny that things fall that we have to worry (and we don't call them atheists or immoral, we call them psychotic and need medical attention, and atheistic physicians will agree).  But to deny gravity only begs the question:  What causes things to fall if not gravity?  Likewise, the reason why species change, if not evolution then what? 

People have a sense and a rational to inner morality that won't lead others to kill others.  It's already established that logically, we're better off loving one another than hating one another.  Atheists understand this very well, and most of them who have moral sense will not dispute the transcendent teachings of Christ.  They will dispute his existence, let alone God's.  But even Socrates himself taught to love thy enemies.  Even St. Paul teaches that morality is in the heart, which is why Gentiles are not exempt from the "Law."  The Jews may have it written down on paper, but all humanity have it inscribed within their humanity.  In fact, interestingly enough, you talk to most atheists, and their belief in the idea that they cease to exist in death makes them take life much more seriously, leading them to a strong moral sense.  While for us that is vanity, it is amazing how within such a vain perspective, they still have room to do good unto others even if they accept scientific views like evolution.  And when there are scientists that do have a view that leads them to the idea of evolution, it is not because they want to deceive or are deceived or a demon is deceiving them.  They don't even have an ulterior motive.  It is because at it stands, this is what seems to explain how species change.  It is only how one interprets such an objective work that leads to a misuse of scientific knowledge (Dawkins and Soviets), not as a result of the knowledge itself.  As I debated elsewhere, people can misuse religion to commit evil.  Does that mean that Christianity is a deception?  On the next part, I will even show that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was misused, and was not evil in and of itself.

Quote
Thanks for answering my question. It was a beautiful explanation of theosis, and I appreciate how well you articulated it. But with respect, it doesn't really address the question. You see, atheistic evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins are not concerned with theology, thus the idea of theosis will have no bearing on their determination and definition of human life. And what I am trying to understand is when was human life "human?" Was Neanderthal man "human?" Was the amoeba that first spawned life "human?" Is the embryo in a woman's womb "human?" Is a brain dead person on life support "human?" If we are still evolving - and according to evolutionary theory, I don't see any reason to say that we are not - then are we becoming "more human?" Did we used to be "less human?"

As Orthodox Christians, we have the Church to guide us and teach us about the sanctity of human life. So even though some of us may believe in evolution, we don't have to worry about debating the morality of abortion, genocide, euthanasia and such. We accept the teachings of our Church in regards to the sanctity of life. But unfortunately, most people are not Orthodox Christians. And in a world where science is elevated as the sole arbiter of facts and truth, while religion is relegated to the realm of subjective morality, then we can hardly expect for an unChristian world to respect the sanctity of life in light of the theory of macro evolution.

You'd be surprised at how much more moral an atheistic evolutionist can be than so-called "Christians" in some parts of the world.  Sanctity of life though?  Yes, this is an interesting debate.  It's indeed very hard to convince even religious people of an embryo being a person, but I venture to say it has nothing to do with evolution any more than the prevention of jumping off buildings have nothing to do with the theory of gravity (or lack thereof).

As for being "less human," St. Irenaous I recall taught that whether or not Adam would have eaten from the fruit of that tree, the Logos was still planning to be incarnate because the humanity of Adam was an immature humanity.  So "less human" or "immature human" "child-like state" whatever you call it, to me it's all semantics, but this is quite supported by church fathers like this saint and St. Isaac of Nineveh.  They venture to say that the tree of knowledge of good and evil is not evil, but that Adam being in that immature state was not "ready" for it.  This shows a misuse of the tree.  The cause of Adam's death was his disobedience, not the tree, and thus, its misuse lead to death.

Quote
Anyway, I liked your answer, even if it didn't exactly answer my question. It was very interesting, and I especially agree with you about spiritual evolution. No doubt about that. Maybe de Chardin was trying to fuse spiritual evolution with biolgoical evolution. A neat idea, but I'm afraid it's a stretch.

Thanks for the in depth response.

Selam

Either I didn't answer your question, or my question wasn't satisfactorily enough for you to accept.  If the former, I would be more than happy to try to answer your question if you rephrase it.

God bless.

PS I don't think St. Ephraim's quote contradicts anything I believe in.

Excellent points. Thanks.

I don't really know if the social contract theory is something I buy in to. It's a valid debate though. You are absolutely correct that right belief does not always result in a right life. Even some people who correctly recognize the sanctity of unborn life fail to recognize the sanctity of the abortionist's life, and so they kill them.

As far as observing change within species, certainly micro evolution is undeniable. I also agree that from a uniformitarianist standpoint, the rate of change that we observe today would indicate that the earth is perhaps billions of years old. I also understand that unifromitarianism is a more objective approach in determining the rate of change than catastrophism. But science is supposed to account for anomalies, and therefore I think that catastrophism could reasonably account for some things that appear to have taken millions or billions of years to occur. That's kind of the point I was making about the Big Bang theory. That was supposedly a catastrophic momentary occurence that produced a universe which appears to be billions of years old (and theoretically is billions of years old, although I don't believe in the big bang theory). My point is that evolutionary theory seems to reject any ad hoc and auxillary hypotheses that contradict it, while readily embracing ad hoc and auxillary hypotheses that support it. This doesn't seem to be a process of rigid falsification that good science employs in testing theories. If a "Big Bang" could produce a universe that appears to be billions of years old (in other words, immediately following the big bang), then couldn't a universal flood produce effects in the world that appear to have taken millions of years to occur? 

As far as my question about who and what determines who and what "fully human" is, let me ask it this way: leaving religion, morality, and philosophy aside and going strictly by the laws of science, who and what determines and decides who and what is "fully human?" I do want to emphasize that I do not equate "child like" or "immaturity" - be it physical or spiritual - with less fully human. Human beings are unquestionably at different stages of physical and spiritual development; but all human beings from the moment of conception until natural death are the very image of God, even if they have not developed into the likeness of God. Does my question make sense?

OK. Thanks again. I agree with much of what you said above.

Selam
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« Reply #1622 on: October 12, 2009, 05:36:46 PM »

In other words, the effects we observe about moutains, canyons, and such could have been produced by millions of years of time, or they could have been effected by a catastrophic event such as a universal flood. Macro evolutionists reject catastrophism as a viable consideration, and yet ironically they rely on catastrophism to explain the origin of the universe, i.e. the Big Bang theory.
Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?

This is essentially what ytterbiumanalist did when he asked, "A catastrophe within the last 7000 years can explain fossils which are millions of years old? " His question assumes the very issue which is up for debate. That is tautological.
Okay, I'll rephrase. What catastrophe within the last 7000 years can explain fossils which scientists have measured to be millions of years old?

And you still have not said a word about your lie the other day, when you said one of us who defend the theory of evolution called in a full blown fact, when it was in fact you who used that phrase. What have you to say about that?
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« Reply #1623 on: October 12, 2009, 08:16:23 PM »

As far as observing change within species, certainly micro evolution is undeniable. I also agree that from a uniformitarianist standpoint, the rate of change that we observe today would indicate that the earth is perhaps billions of years old. I also understand that unifromitarianism is a more objective approach in determining the rate of change than catastrophism. But science is supposed to account for anomalies, and therefore I think that catastrophism could reasonably account for some things that appear to have taken millions or billions of years to occur. That's kind of the point I was making about the Big Bang theory. That was supposedly a catastrophic momentary occurence that produced a universe which appears to be billions of years old (and theoretically is billions of years old, although I don't believe in the big bang theory). My point is that evolutionary theory seems to reject any ad hoc and auxillary hypotheses that contradict it, while readily embracing ad hoc and auxillary hypotheses that support it. This doesn't seem to be a process of rigid falsification that good science employs in testing theories. If a "Big Bang" could produce a universe that appears to be billions of years old (in other words, immediately following the big bang), then couldn't a universal flood produce effects in the world that appear to have taken millions of years to occur? 

Alright.  Here's a few questions for you.  What is "catastrophism?"  What is the proposed mechanism by which "catastrophism" works?  How can one test for the validity or invalidity of "catastrophism" in the lab?  How can one tell whether fossil records are deceiving us through this idea of "catastrophism"?

Quote
As far as my question about who and what determines who and what "fully human" is, let me ask it this way: leaving religion, morality, and philosophy aside and going strictly by the laws of science, who and what determines and decides who and what is "fully human?" I do want to emphasize that I do not equate "child like" or "immaturity" - be it physical or spiritual - with less fully human. Human beings are unquestionably at different stages of physical and spiritual development; but all human beings from the moment of conception until natural death are the very image of God, even if they have not developed into the likeness of God. Does my question make sense?

Ah, okay.  Hmmmm....where shall I begin.  We have textbooks upon textbooks differentiating between different organs, anatomical structures, psychological/neurobiological studies, and genetics/biochemistry of what makes a human being.  Of course, genetics is the best indicator, but when one does not have genetics, one uses the other standards.  In fact, every animal's skeleton is quite unique to its own, and that alone can help us determine what makes a human (of course, we also leave room for possible pathological conditions).  From all the known data of normal and abnormal human skeleton, as well as studying and comparing other ape-like skeletons, paleontologists are quite professional enough to draw us a picture of what an animal can look like based on the skeleton.  There are very intricate parts of bones that can tell us origins and insertions of muscles, placements of organs, movements of joints, etc.  If we're lucky enough, we might find some preserved DNA to confirm our results, just as DNA confirms our predictions in what we see in the fossil records.

Based on the science alone, if one knows what is normal and abnormal and human anatomy, biochemistry, and neurobiology, one can use that in comparison with other groups.

Does that answer your question?

As for immaturity versus "less human," yes we all have the same Image of God.  But I consider this a semantic issue.  Perhaps, it's better to call what we are now as "human" and what we will be as "super-human."  Consider the prophecy that we will have new bodies in the general resurrection.  What then do we call what we are now compared to what we will be then?  It seems to me something "less," if not less "human."

God bless.
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« Reply #1624 on: October 12, 2009, 08:16:34 PM »

And you still have not said a word about your lie the other day, when you said one of us who defend the theory of evolution called in a full blown fact, when it was in fact you who used that phrase. What have you to say about that?
Actually, I checked Gebre's word on this and found that it was indeed minasoliman who first called evolution a "full-blown fact" (see Reply #1459).  It wasn't until three posts later that Gebre used the term, and then rightly so by attributing its usage to minasoliman.  Gebre did not lie when he pointed this out.

BTW, when you did your search for the term "full-blown fact", you didn't use a hyphen as Mina did, thus missing Mina's use of the phrase.
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« Reply #1625 on: October 12, 2009, 08:22:47 PM »

And you still have not said a word about your lie the other day, when you said one of us who defend the theory of evolution called in a full blown fact, when it was in fact you who used that phrase. What have you to say about that?
Actually, I checked Gebre's word on this and found that it was indeed minasoliman who first called evolution a "full-blown fact" (see Reply #1459).  It wasn't until three posts later that Gebre used the term, and then rightly so by attributing its usage to minasoliman.  Gebre did not lie when he pointed this out.

BTW, when you did your search for the term "full-blown fact", you didn't use a hyphen as Mina did, thus missing Mina's use of the phrase.
I see. A limitation of computer searches. I retract my accusation. What I'm wondering, however, is why Gebre has twice quoted from one of my posts in which I had made this accusation, and had nothing to say about the accusation. It would have been quite easy to clear up the matter, in fact as easy as your post above.
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« Reply #1626 on: October 12, 2009, 08:32:54 PM »

In other words, the effects we observe about moutains, canyons, and such could have been produced by millions of years of time, or they could have been effected by a catastrophic event such as a universal flood. Macro evolutionists reject catastrophism as a viable consideration, and yet ironically they rely on catastrophism to explain the origin of the universe, i.e. the Big Bang theory.
Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?

This is essentially what ytterbiumanalist did when he asked, "A catastrophe within the last 7000 years can explain fossils which are millions of years old? " His question assumes the very issue which is up for debate. That is tautological.
Okay, I'll rephrase. What catastrophe within the last 7000 years can explain fossils which scientists have measured to be millions of years old?

And you still have not said a word about your lie the other day, when you said one of us who defend the theory of evolution called in a full blown fact, when it was in fact you who used that phrase. What have you to say about that?

One answer to your first question could be a universal flood.

Please don't use such harsh word like "lie." I did not lie, and I explained and even gave you the reference for the quote where evolution was called a "FULL-BLOWN FACT" by someone on this thread.  (OK, just saw above where this was acknowledged. Now let's try not to hurl words like "lie" around so casually. For example, you were mistaken in accusing me of lying; but that doesn't mean I should turn around and call you a liar. We all make mistakes.)

Selam
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« Reply #1627 on: October 12, 2009, 08:41:59 PM »

In other words, the effects we observe about moutains, canyons, and such could have been produced by millions of years of time, or they could have been effected by a catastrophic event such as a universal flood. Macro evolutionists reject catastrophism as a viable consideration, and yet ironically they rely on catastrophism to explain the origin of the universe, i.e. the Big Bang theory.
Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?

This is essentially what ytterbiumanalist did when he asked, "A catastrophe within the last 7000 years can explain fossils which are millions of years old? " His question assumes the very issue which is up for debate. That is tautological.
Okay, I'll rephrase. What catastrophe within the last 7000 years can explain fossils which scientists have measured to be millions of years old?

And you still have not said a word about your lie the other day, when you said one of us who defend the theory of evolution called in a full blown fact, when it was in fact you who used that phrase. What have you to say about that?

One answer to your first question could be a universal flood.
Many floods leave behind fossils; not many cause those fossils to appear to be exponentially older than they actually are. What was different about this particular flood?

Quote
Now let's try not to hurl words like "lie" around so casually.
I do not make a practice of using it casually, nor was I doing so in this case. I believed what I wrote, despite that I was in error. I also missed where you had answered my question. I thought I had been thorough in my search; I can see now that I was not as careful as I had thought.
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« Reply #1628 on: October 12, 2009, 09:14:42 PM »

As far as observing change within species, certainly micro evolution is undeniable. I also agree that from a uniformitarianist standpoint, the rate of change that we observe today would indicate that the earth is perhaps billions of years old. I also understand that unifromitarianism is a more objective approach in determining the rate of change than catastrophism. But science is supposed to account for anomalies, and therefore I think that catastrophism could reasonably account for some things that appear to have taken millions or billions of years to occur. That's kind of the point I was making about the Big Bang theory. That was supposedly a catastrophic momentary occurence that produced a universe which appears to be billions of years old (and theoretically is billions of years old, although I don't believe in the big bang theory). My point is that evolutionary theory seems to reject any ad hoc and auxillary hypotheses that contradict it, while readily embracing ad hoc and auxillary hypotheses that support it. This doesn't seem to be a process of rigid falsification that good science employs in testing theories. If a "Big Bang" could produce a universe that appears to be billions of years old (in other words, immediately following the big bang), then couldn't a universal flood produce effects in the world that appear to have taken millions of years to occur? 

Alright.  Here's a few questions for you.  What is "catastrophism?"  What is the proposed mechanism by which "catastrophism" works?  How can one test for the validity or invalidity of "catastrophism" in the lab?  How can one tell whether fossil records are deceiving us through this idea of "catastrophism"?

A good question, but I think I covered this earlier when I conceded that uniformitarianism is a more objective scientific approach for discerning the rate of change and the age of natural phenomena. My point about catastrophism is that it should be considered as a possible alternative. See, if evolutionists said: "Judging by the objective scientific principle of uniformitarianism we deduce that the earth is X number of years old, and thereby this would provide the necessary time to support our theory of macro evolution. But as scientists we have to consider all competing possibilities, and we recognize that catastrophism can and sometimes does account for certain effects that appear to have occurred over long periods of time. Thus to our best estimation, the theory of evolution is the most reasonable explanation for the existence of life. But we cannot state this as a scientific fact." If they promoted their theory in this way, then I could respect their conclusions. But as I said, when they adapt ad hoc and auxillary hypothoses that suport their theory while rejecting ad hoc and auxillary hypotheses that threaten their theory, then I don't see much objectivity.

Also, nature can be very deceptive- even cruely so. That's why the only way we will ever truly understand the natural world is when we view it through the twin lenses of spirituality and science. Man can never truly understand the creation if he denies the Creator. Also, we won't understand the natural world if we don't recognize that the world is fallen. The god of this fallen world (i.e. satan) will lure even the most brilliant of men into thinking that a Utopia on earth can be established by the progress of sciece. But divorce science from sprituality, and even geniuses will fall into deception.


Quote
As far as my question about who and what determines who and what "fully human" is, let me ask it this way: leaving religion, morality, and philosophy aside and going strictly by the laws of science, who and what determines and decides who and what is "fully human?" I do want to emphasize that I do not equate "child like" or "immaturity" - be it physical or spiritual - with less fully human. Human beings are unquestionably at different stages of physical and spiritual development; but all human beings from the moment of conception until natural death are the very image of God, even if they have not developed into the likeness of God. Does my question make sense?

Ah, okay.  Hmmmm....where shall I begin.  We have textbooks upon textbooks differentiating between different organs, anatomical structures, psychological/neurobiological studies, and genetics/biochemistry of what makes a human being.  Of course, genetics is the best indicator, but when one does not have genetics, one uses the other standards.  In fact, every animal's skeleton is quite unique to its own, and that alone can help us determine what makes a human (of course, we also leave room for possible pathological conditions).  From all the known data of normal and abnormal human skeleton, as well as studying and comparing other ape-like skeletons, paleontologists are quite professional enough to draw us a picture of what an animal can look like based on the skeleton.  There are very intricate parts of bones that can tell us origins and insertions of muscles, placements of organs, movements of joints, etc.  If we're lucky enough, we might find some preserved DNA to confirm our results, just as DNA confirms our predictions in what we see in the fossil records.

Based on the science alone, if one knows what is normal and abnormal and human anatomy, biochemistry, and neurobiology, one can use that in comparison with other groups.

Does that answer your question?

You answered the question with a learned and noble effort. But I still don't see any objective point at which human life can be declared to be "fully human" within the evolutionary framework. In support of my contention, I would point to the fact that most atheistic macro evolutionists (e.g. Peter Singer) would not define a human embryo as a "person."

It is often said that science can answer the questions of "how," while religion can answer the question of "why." I agree with this. But I am asking perhaps an even more important question: "Who and What?" In other words, "how" and "why" deal with action and purpose; but the subjects of the action and purpose are what make action and purpose important. We are not merely a part of an evolving universe. No. We are unique amongst all the glories of creation, because we have been (not are being) divinely fashioned in the very image of God. This divine truth must be the foundational point of reference for our understanidng of the natural universe. 


As for immaturity versus "less human," yes we all have the same Image of God.  But I consider this a semantic issue.  Perhaps, it's better to call what we are now as "human" and what we will be as "super-human."  Consider the prophecy that we will have new bodies in the general resurrection.  What then do we call what we are now compared to what we will be then?  It seems to me something "less," if not less "human."
God bless.

I don't think it's semantical, especially when human history demonstrates that the sanctity of human life has often been undermined in the name of scientific rationaliztions. And I respectfully disagree that because we will be perfect in the next life that it logically follows that we are less human in this life. That seems to be a dangerous premise. There are no degrees of humanity, either on earth or in heaven. There are degrees of deification and theosis, but not degrees of humanity.

Anyway, good comments and very thought provoking. Thank you again my brother

Selam.

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« Reply #1629 on: October 12, 2009, 09:19:53 PM »



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Every single law, every single atom of this universe, existed by God's will, and exists as it is for a specific purpose God had planned since the beginning. God in his eternity SUSTAINS the universe according to its laws. If I'm not free to believe this - which is a fundament of Scripture - then we have nothing to share anymore.

In Christ,  Alex
Beautifully stated! I completely agree and , as one who sees evolution as a strong likelihood, I see that process as the form in which God's eternal Will may have unfolded.
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« Reply #1630 on: October 12, 2009, 11:00:04 PM »



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Every single law, every single atom of this universe, existed by God's will, and exists as it is for a specific purpose God had planned since the beginning. God in his eternity SUSTAINS the universe according to its laws. If I'm not free to believe this - which is a fundament of Scripture - then we have nothing to share anymore.

In Christ,  Alex
Beautifully stated! I completely agree and , as one who sees evolution as a strong likelihood, I see that process as the form in which God's eternal Will may have unfolded.

Well, I completely agree with what you have quoted, but Alex's broader message, if I understand him correctly, was that the laws of diversification of life discovered by biologists are NOT scientific laws that deserve to be deemed as reflecting some objective reality... And he never answered me when I asked him, does he have something to share anymore with a student of biology who learned from his tetbook that in virtually all real populations, there happens a shift from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, or, in other words, that all real populations evolve.
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« Reply #1631 on: October 13, 2009, 02:20:10 AM »



I believe in devolution.  Internet forums are proof.  Que the zany, symbol crashing midgets.  Smiley
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« Reply #1632 on: October 13, 2009, 02:32:48 AM »

Science frightens my small Midwestern mind!
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« Reply #1633 on: October 13, 2009, 10:28:08 AM »



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Every single law, every single atom of this universe, existed by God's will, and exists as it is for a specific purpose God had planned since the beginning. God in his eternity SUSTAINS the universe according to its laws. If I'm not free to believe this - which is a fundament of Scripture - then we have nothing to share anymore.

In Christ,  Alex
Beautifully stated! I completely agree and , as one who sees evolution as a strong likelihood, I see that process as the form in which God's eternal Will may have unfolded.
Thanks
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« Reply #1634 on: October 13, 2009, 10:37:09 AM »

Dear Heorhij,
in truth I don't know what you mean by Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, but I think minasoliman and the others must have understood my point: that evolution is God's instrument to create us as we are, and not a random genetic mutation governed by chaos. I never denied that genetic mutations occur in the present: I just don't see how they might be called (at present) "evolution" when most genetic mutations lead to diseases. I am aware that in the past evolution was the response of nature to God's call for producing a self-sustaining ecosystem whose final object was the creation of humanity as we know it. I am also aware that this process was a True Evolution, i.e. a process governed by laws whose end was the formation of more complex and adapted beings, and not just a random process where natural selection alone decided whether a change was good or bad. In other words, as a Christian, I refuse to give much consideration to the "how" of evolution, but I see it, in its theistic evolution form, as a dialogue between the Word of God and Nature, mediated by God's energies, more then a cold series of natural processes with no orientation (i.e. no final target, which is US) in its initial purpose.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #1635 on: October 13, 2009, 11:33:44 AM »

Dear Heorhij,
in truth I don't know what you mean by Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium,

It is a term used to state that based merely on the laws of Mendel, the frequencies of alleles and genotypes in any population remain the same, no matter how much time you observe this population and what would the size of this population become. For eample, if the frequency of allele X is 0.17 today, it will remain 0.17 tomorrow or in five months or in ten years, and it will remain 0.17 if the size of the population expanded from 10,000 to a million or shrank to 1,000. But this is only true if we assume that there are no changes in the genetic makeup of populations (or, in other words, that they do not evolve). However, direct observations of population geneticists indicate that the Hardy-Weinberg equlibrium is violated in all real populations. The frequency of allele X may well go from 0.17 to 0.31 or to 0.09 - sometimes even within a relatively short period of observations, like 15-20 years. It means that all populations DO evolve. The factors contributing into their evolution are thought to be mutations (especially homeotic mutations), natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow, and non-random mating (see biology textbooks for details).

but I think minasoliman and the others must have understood my point: that evolution is God's instrument to create us as we are, and not a random genetic mutation governed by chaos.

Natural selection is not chaotic. Again, mutations are, indeed, random; but the environment selects those mutants that are reproductively successful because they happen to be "better fit."

I never denied that genetic mutations occur in the present: I just don't see how they might be called (at present) "evolution" when most genetic mutations lead to diseases.

No. The majority of mutations are actually "silent" (do not affect the phenotype) because of the redundancy of the genetic code. Among the rest ("replacement mutations"), some are harmful, a large proportion are indifferent, and a small proportion is beneficial in this particular given environment. Again, a human disease called "sickle-cell anemia" is a good example. If a person gets this mutation while living in New York or Firenze, this person will be considered simply ill, anemic, handicapped. But if this same mutation happens in a person who lives in the Amazon basin jungle where the environment is ripe with Plasmodium malariae, that person will be considered lucky because he or she will not get malaria (the plasmodium cannot live in red blood cells filled with the mutant s-hemoglobin). That person will live longer and have more children that those who did not acquite the sickle-cell mutation.

I am aware that in the past evolution was the response of nature to God's call for producing a self-sustaining ecosystem whose final object was the creation of humanity as we know it.

I don't mix theology with biology.Smiley When I am teaching biological disciplines, I am trying to stick to dry scientific facts, like frequencies of alleles and genotypes. Smiley
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« Reply #1636 on: October 13, 2009, 11:50:02 AM »

In other words, the effects we observe about moutains, canyons, and such could have been produced by millions of years of time, or they could have been effected by a catastrophic event such as a universal flood. Macro evolutionists reject catastrophism as a viable consideration, and yet ironically they rely on catastrophism to explain the origin of the universe, i.e. the Big Bang theory.
Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?

This is essentially what ytterbiumanalist did when he asked, "A catastrophe within the last 7000 years can explain fossils which are millions of years old? " His question assumes the very issue which is up for debate. That is tautological.
Okay, I'll rephrase. What catastrophe within the last 7000 years can explain fossils which scientists have measured to be millions of years old?

And you still have not said a word about your lie the other day, when you said one of us who defend the theory of evolution called in a full blown fact, when it was in fact you who used that phrase. What have you to say about that?

One answer to your first question could be a universal flood.

How could a flood cause stars to be seen as billions of years old when they are not really??

Archaeologically speaking, the Flood was far from universal. It would require a leap of Biblical interpretation to claim the Flood covered the entire earth, and another leap to conclude that it had such a large effect on the planet.
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« Reply #1637 on: October 13, 2009, 12:52:56 PM »

Dear Heorhij,
in truth I don't know what you mean by Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium,

It is a term used to state that based merely on the laws of Mendel, the frequencies of alleles and genotypes in any population remain the same, no matter how much time you observe this population and what would the size of this population become. For eample, if the frequency of allele X is 0.17 today, it will remain 0.17 tomorrow or in five months or in ten years, and it will remain 0.17 if the size of the population expanded from 10,000 to a million or shrank to 1,000. But this is only true if we assume that there are no changes in the genetic makeup of populations (or, in other words, that they do not evolve). However, direct observations of population geneticists indicate that the Hardy-Weinberg equlibrium is violated in all real populations. The frequency of allele X may well go from 0.17 to 0.31 or to 0.09 - sometimes even within a relatively short period of observations, like 15-20 years. It means that all populations DO evolve. The factors contributing into their evolution are thought to be mutations (especially homeotic mutations), natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow, and non-random mating (see biology textbooks for details).

but I think minasoliman and the others must have understood my point: that evolution is God's instrument to create us as we are, and not a random genetic mutation governed by chaos.

Natural selection is not chaotic. Again, mutations are, indeed, random; but the environment selects those mutants that are reproductively successful because they happen to be "better fit."

I never denied that genetic mutations occur in the present: I just don't see how they might be called (at present) "evolution" when most genetic mutations lead to diseases.

No. The majority of mutations are actually "silent" (do not affect the phenotype) because of the redundancy of the genetic code. Among the rest ("replacement mutations"), some are harmful, a large proportion are indifferent, and a small proportion is beneficial in this particular given environment. Again, a human disease called "sickle-cell anemia" is a good example. If a person gets this mutation while living in New York or Firenze, this person will be considered simply ill, anemic, handicapped. But if this same mutation happens in a person who lives in the Amazon basin jungle where the environment is ripe with Plasmodium malariae, that person will be considered lucky because he or she will not get malaria (the plasmodium cannot live in red blood cells filled with the mutant s-hemoglobin). That person will live longer and have more children that those who did not acquite the sickle-cell mutation.

I am aware that in the past evolution was the response of nature to God's call for producing a self-sustaining ecosystem whose final object was the creation of humanity as we know it.

I don't mix theology with biology.Smiley When I am teaching biological disciplines, I am trying to stick to dry scientific facts, like frequencies of alleles and genotypes. Smiley


First of all thanks for your biology-for-newbees lesson. Secondly, this is a RELIGIOUS TOPICS thread, so I was keeping the discussion on theology, and not on biology... The primary question was: Is evolution acceptable within Orthodoxy? And my answer is: It is acceptable UNTIL, as Orthodox Christians, we keep in mind that GOD worked THROUGH evolution BY His energies and WITH THE FINAL PURPOSE of creating humanity (this is possibly the most technical definition I can give of my personal opinion on the subject). It is the direction God--->humanity of the evolutionary arrow that interests me from a theological perspective, since THIS is the Biblical perspective which makes the world's procession from the initial Big Bang chaos ('invisible/formless' and 'void/disadorned' are the two expressions of chaos in Genesis 2) to an ordered universe or cosmos ruled over by man under God's guide to be the original plan of God destroyed by sin. Afterall, the mechanisms of evolutionary biology are still too complicated for non-experts and they're not so useful in daily life for the profanes (unlike physics which - at least at an ordinary level - provides some technological results) except maybe for medicine due to the implications in genetics.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #1638 on: October 13, 2009, 01:11:32 PM »

The primary question was: Is evolution acceptable within Orthodoxy? And my answer is: It is acceptable UNTIL, as Orthodox Christians, we keep in mind that GOD worked THROUGH evolution BY His energies and WITH THE FINAL PURPOSE of creating humanity (this is possibly the most technical definition I can give of my personal opinion on the subject).
Would it be Orthodox to entertain the possibility that God programmed within the laws of the cosmos, the ultimate evolution of beings "in His image", without God necessarily "micro-managing" the evolutionary process?
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« Reply #1639 on: October 13, 2009, 02:20:39 PM »

The primary question was: Is evolution acceptable within Orthodoxy? And my answer is: It is acceptable UNTIL, as Orthodox Christians, we keep in mind that GOD worked THROUGH evolution BY His energies and WITH THE FINAL PURPOSE of creating humanity (this is possibly the most technical definition I can give of my personal opinion on the subject).
Would it be Orthodox to entertain the possibility that God programmed within the laws of the cosmos, the ultimate evolution of beings "in His image", without God necessarily "micro-managing" the evolutionary process?
This is one of the possible readings of my definition, but I'd like you explain it better so I can understand. Anyway, I think you hit the target. In truth, I don't believe God "micro-managed" the evolutionary process, but on the contrary that evolution just operates in harmony with God's intent due to the action of the Divine Energies. The Energies of God are, in my opinions, just guides over the process. A process without rules might have created abominations and have made human life (=life in God's image) impossible, but since nature develops "in harmony" with God, then life developped as we know it, with million varieties of creatures and only one creature endowed with God's image and ready to possess a human spirit. That's the "arrow" of evolution that a Christian shouldn't forget... if we admit that the process had no final direction, then God might have created a world without life, or with non-sentient life exclusively... but WE were God's purpose, his final and best creation through a progressive development (call it evolution, if you like, but I still don't like the word) of species over time.

Hope you can understand my vision.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #1640 on: October 13, 2009, 02:54:39 PM »

First of all thanks for your biology-for-newbees lesson.

Oh, you are most welcome, Alex! My pleasure.

Secondly, this is a RELIGIOUS TOPICS thread, so I was keeping the discussion on theology, and not on biology... The primary question was: Is evolution acceptable within Orthodoxy? And my answer is: It is acceptable UNTIL, as Orthodox Christians, we keep in mind that GOD worked THROUGH evolution BY His energies and WITH THE FINAL PURPOSE of creating humanity (this is possibly the most technical definition I can give of my personal opinion on the subject). It is the direction God--->humanity of the evolutionary arrow that interests me from a theological perspective, since THIS is the Biblical perspective which makes the world's procession from the initial Big Bang chaos ('invisible/formless' and 'void/disadorned' are the two expressions of chaos in Genesis 2) to an ordered universe or cosmos ruled over by man under God's guide to be the original plan of God destroyed by sin. Afterall, the mechanisms of evolutionary biology are still too complicated for non-experts and they're not so useful in daily life for the profanes (unlike physics which - at least at an ordinary level - provides some technological results) except maybe for medicine due to the implications in genetics.

Well, yes, of course, as believers in God, we know that He has providence for everything, but I do not talk about God and His wonderful plans in my biology classes. And as far as acceptancy goes, the theory of biological evolution is, so far, the only comprehensive scientific theory in biology, so it not a question for me whether I accept it or not, regardless of me being an Orthodox faithful. Again, no scientific theory ever gives us the whole truth; yet, some scientific theories have been refuted or superseded - but the theory of biological evolution is not one of them. It remains a central working theory in biology, and, as far as I call myself a biologist and a biology teacher at a university, I must accept it or else exclude myself from biological sciences. It would be very much like to reject the atomic theory and remain a chemist. Faith, theology in this case are not what makes you accept of reject the atomic theory or the evolutionary theory.
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« Reply #1641 on: October 13, 2009, 03:25:44 PM »

A good question, but I think I covered this earlier when I conceded that uniformitarianism is a more objective scientific approach...

Can you direct me to where you talked out it earlier?

Quote
Also, nature can be very deceptive- even cruely so. That's why the only way we will ever truly understand the natural world is when we view it through the twin lenses of spirituality and science. Man can never truly understand the creation if he denies the Creator. Also, we won't understand the natural world if we don't recognize that the world is fallen. The god of this fallen world (i.e. satan) will lure even the most brilliant of men into thinking that a Utopia on earth can be established by the progress of sciece. But divorce science from sprituality, and even geniuses will fall into deception.

Brother, it's okay to develop an understanding of nature with both spiritual and scientific knowledge, however no anti-spiritual person can be deceived if he sees that things fall for instance.  The deception I'm talking about is observations and the testing of these observations with consistency.  We observe and calculated fossils' ages, not just with one indicator, but with many indicators, finding consistency in the age of a certain fossil.  If there was no consistency, then we need to seek better tools for calculating the age of something.  This consistency that runs in scientific tests and observations makes it hard to understand how one can believe otherwise.  It's like seeing a red bucket and saying that it's very possible this bucket is not red.

Quote
You answered the question with a learned and noble effort. But I still don't see any objective point at which human life can be declared to be "fully human" within the evolutionary framework. In support of my contention, I would point to the fact that most atheistic macro evolutionists (e.g. Peter Singer) would not define a human embryo as a "person."

I think atheists will agree that an embryo is human. Whether it's person or not, yes, that's another debate for discussion.  But I recommend if you want to read this further this book by Francis Collins "The Language of God" where he talks about evolution, but also has an appendix about other moral issues, one of which is abortion and defining what a person is.  It may not answer your question, but he makes some thought-provoking points.

Quote
we have been (not are being) divinely fashioned in the very image of God

We have been fashioned in the image of God, but the Lord gave us room for growth and change, so we are being fashioned eternally to be like Him.

Quote
There are degrees of deification and theosis, but not degrees of humanity.

I respectfully disagree.  Theosis involves a constant change in humanity, to be closer and closer to God, not only provides a purer, but a stronger human, a better human than we are right now.  It is written in the Scriptures that we will receive a new body that is "spiritualized" or powered by the spirit.  It seems to me that theosis isn't just limited therefore to our own spirit, but also to our flesh.  For now, the spirit is strengthened that it may be ready to receive this new flesh in harmony with it.
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« Reply #1642 on: October 13, 2009, 03:58:17 PM »

First of all thanks for your biology-for-newbees lesson.

Oh, you are most welcome, Alex! My pleasure.

Secondly, this is a RELIGIOUS TOPICS thread, so I was keeping the discussion on theology, and not on biology... The primary question was: Is evolution acceptable within Orthodoxy? And my answer is: It is acceptable UNTIL, as Orthodox Christians, we keep in mind that GOD worked THROUGH evolution BY His energies and WITH THE FINAL PURPOSE of creating humanity (this is possibly the most technical definition I can give of my personal opinion on the subject). It is the direction God--->humanity of the evolutionary arrow that interests me from a theological perspective, since THIS is the Biblical perspective which makes the world's procession from the initial Big Bang chaos ('invisible/formless' and 'void/disadorned' are the two expressions of chaos in Genesis 2) to an ordered universe or cosmos ruled over by man under God's guide to be the original plan of God destroyed by sin. Afterall, the mechanisms of evolutionary biology are still too complicated for non-experts and they're not so useful in daily life for the profanes (unlike physics which - at least at an ordinary level - provides some technological results) except maybe for medicine due to the implications in genetics.

Well, yes, of course, as believers in God, we know that He has providence for everything, but I do not talk about God and His wonderful plans in my biology classes. And as far as acceptancy goes, the theory of biological evolution is, so far, the only comprehensive scientific theory in biology, so it not a question for me whether I accept it or not, regardless of me being an Orthodox faithful. Again, no scientific theory ever gives us the whole truth; yet, some scientific theories have been refuted or superseded - but the theory of biological evolution is not one of them. It remains a central working theory in biology, and, as far as I call myself a biologist and a biology teacher at a university, I must accept it or else exclude myself from biological sciences. It would be very much like to reject the atomic theory and remain a chemist. Faith, theology in this case are not what makes you accept of reject the atomic theory or the evolutionary theory.


Of course, you just CAN'T use theology in your classes, which is obvious. There must be plenty of atheists, buddhists, muslims and so on at biology classes, so using Christian Orthodox theology would sound at least odd enough to cover you of insults. What's important is that WE as Orthodox feel, in our hearts, that God planned this - we don't know how he did this, or better why he planned the world to work in a certain way, but we know the only reason that moved him to create was LOVE, and that we are the ones whom love has been directed to since the beginning of time, even before we existed, in God's omniscience.

I'm glad we overcame, FINALLY, our distances.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #1643 on: October 13, 2009, 10:13:08 PM »

A good question, but I think I covered this earlier when I conceded that uniformitarianism is a more objective scientific approach...

Can you direct me to where you talked out it earlier?

Quote
Also, nature can be very deceptive- even cruely so. That's why the only way we will ever truly understand the natural world is when we view it through the twin lenses of spirituality and science. Man can never truly understand the creation if he denies the Creator. Also, we won't understand the natural world if we don't recognize that the world is fallen. The god of this fallen world (i.e. satan) will lure even the most brilliant of men into thinking that a Utopia on earth can be established by the progress of sciece. But divorce science from sprituality, and even geniuses will fall into deception.

Brother, it's okay to develop an understanding of nature with both spiritual and scientific knowledge, however no anti-spiritual person can be deceived if he sees that things fall for instance.  The deception I'm talking about is observations and the testing of these observations with consistency.  We observe and calculated fossils' ages, not just with one indicator, but with many indicators, finding consistency in the age of a certain fossil.  If there was no consistency, then we need to seek better tools for calculating the age of something.  This consistency that runs in scientific tests and observations makes it hard to understand how one can believe otherwise.  It's like seeing a red bucket and saying that it's very possible this bucket is not red.

I think that we can debate these specific points ad infinitum. I know many biologists that do not believe in evolution that would be able to argue the specifics of the fossil records and other ostensible evidence for evolution. Heorhij believes that to deny evolution would require him to remove himself from the field of biological science. But as I said, I know respected biologists who do not believe in evolution, and their beliefs are shaped by science and not by religion.

I think that as Orthodox Christians we should respect differences of opinion over issues that are peripheral to the Faith. I respect Christians who do believe in evolution, even though I don't. But when adherents of evolution basically accuse the rest of us of believing that the earth is flat, then I will always get defensive. But of course, I said that evolution was a demonic deception, which undoubtedly will make the evolutionsists defensive. The bottom line is that believing in evolution doesn't necessarily make someone less of a Christian, and rejecting evolution doesn't necessarily make someone less intellectual or less informed.




Quote
You answered the question with a learned and noble effort. But I still don't see any objective point at which human life can be declared to be "fully human" within the evolutionary framework. In support of my contention, I would point to the fact that most atheistic macro evolutionists (e.g. Peter Singer) would not define a human embryo as a "person."

I think atheists will agree that an embryo is human. Whether it's person or not, yes, that's another debate for discussion.  But I recommend if you want to read this further this book by Francis Collins "The Language of God" where he talks about evolution, but also has an appendix about other moral issues, one of which is abortion and defining what a person is.  It may not answer your question, but he makes some thought-provoking points.

Quote
we have been (not are being) divinely fashioned in the very image of God

We have been fashioned in the image of God, but the Lord gave us room for growth and change, so we are being fashioned eternally to be like Him.

As I said, we are the "image" of God from the moment of conception, and that does not change. But we can grow and develop in His "likeness."

Quote
There are degrees of deification and theosis, but not degrees of humanity.

I respectfully disagree.  Theosis involves a constant change in humanity, to be closer and closer to God, not only provides a purer, but a stronger human, a better human than we are right now.  It is written in the Scriptures that we will receive a new body that is "spiritualized" or powered by the spirit.  It seems to me that theosis isn't just limited therefore to our own spirit, but also to our flesh.  For now, the spirit is strengthened that it may be ready to receive this new flesh in harmony with it.

Regardless of whether or not people act and behave according to their divinely created purpose, they are still fully human. Once we begin to judge some people as less or more human than others, we have opened the door to treat them as something other than human. Peter Singer even argues that mothers should be able to legally kill their children up to the age of two, and that infants are less worthy of humane treatment than pets.

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« Reply #1644 on: October 14, 2009, 01:28:10 AM »

Basically, catastrophism is an explanatory theory that takes into account the possibility of a single momentary cause that manifests effects which have the appearance of having taken long periods of time to produce. (Sorry for the unartful sentence  Embarrassed) Uniformitarianism asserts that the rate of change which is observable now must be assumed to have aways existed and is to account for the effects we observe today.

In other words, the effects we observe about moutains, canyons, and such could have been produced by millions of years of time, or they could have been effected by a catastrophic event such as a universal flood.

1. ...All the major mountain ranges have been studied in detail, the plate movements that caused them have been mapped, and their histories have been worked out for millions of years in the past. The problem of mountain formation has been solved, and a flood had no part in the solution.

2.The catastrophic formation of mountains and subsequent return of the sea into its basin would have released tremendous amounts of heat and mechanical energy, enough to boil the oceans and metamorphose the minerals in the mountains. No trace of such a catastrophe exists.

3.Formation of mountains during the Flood does not explain why different mountains are different ages. The Appalachians are much older than the Rockies, for example, as one can immediately see just from how the two ranges are differently eroded. 

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH570.html


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« Reply #1645 on: October 14, 2009, 02:38:36 AM »

Basically, catastrophism is an explanatory theory that takes into account the possibility of a single momentary cause that manifests effects which have the appearance of having taken long periods of time to produce. (Sorry for the unartful sentence  Embarrassed) Uniformitarianism asserts that the rate of change which is observable now must be assumed to have aways existed and is to account for the effects we observe today.

In other words, the effects we observe about moutains, canyons, and such could have been produced by millions of years of time, or they could have been effected by a catastrophic event such as a universal flood.

1. ...All the major mountain ranges have been studied in detail, the plate movements that caused them have been mapped, and their histories have been worked out for millions of years in the past. The problem of mountain formation has been solved, and a flood had no part in the solution.

This is may be the predominant opinion, but there are scientists who disagree.

2.The catastrophic formation of mountains and subsequent return of the sea into its basin would have released tremendous amounts of heat and mechanical energy, enough to boil the oceans and metamorphose the minerals in the mountains. No trace of such a catastrophe exists.

I can't debate your point here, but I know others who could.

3.Formation of mountains during the Flood does not explain why different mountains are different ages. The Appalachians are much older than the Rockies, for example, as one can immediately see just from how the two ranges are differently eroded. 

A sincere question: Why does it appear that the Appalachians are older than the Rockies due to erosion? Wouldn't erosion produce less plant life rather than more? The Appalachians are covered with trees, but the Rockies are bare in comparison. So can you explain this more please?

Selam


http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH570.html



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« Reply #1646 on: October 14, 2009, 02:41:20 AM »

Gebre, you do realize that if you say some biologists or some scientists disagree, it's not helpful to the discussion.  Would you like to give us a source of these biologists/scientists, or do know of anyone personally who can enter the discussion for us.  Frankly, I've never met a biologist/scientist that holds views that agrees with yours.

God bless.
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« Reply #1647 on: October 14, 2009, 04:29:25 AM »

Basically, catastrophism is an explanatory theory that takes into account the possibility of a single momentary cause that manifests effects which have the appearance of having taken long periods of time to produce. (Sorry for the unartful sentence  Embarrassed) Uniformitarianism asserts that the rate of change which is observable now must be assumed to have aways existed and is to account for the effects we observe today.

In other words, the effects we observe about moutains, canyons, and such could have been produced by millions of years of time, or they could have been effected by a catastrophic event such as a universal flood.

1. ...All the major mountain ranges have been studied in detail, the plate movements that caused them have been mapped, and their histories have been worked out for millions of years in the past. The problem of mountain formation has been solved, and a flood had no part in the solution.

This is may be the predominant opinion, but there are scientists who disagree.

Perhaps you could name them and quote from their work.

Quote
2.The catastrophic formation of mountains and subsequent return of the sea into its basin would have released tremendous amounts of heat and mechanical energy, enough to boil the oceans and metamorphose the minerals in the mountains. No trace of such a catastrophe exists.

I can't debate your point here, but I know others who could.

See above.

Quote
3.Formation of mountains during the Flood does not explain why different mountains are different ages. The Appalachians are much older than the Rockies, for example, as one can immediately see just from how the two ranges are differently eroded. 

A sincere question: Why does it appear that the Appalachians are older than the Rockies due to erosion? Wouldn't erosion produce less plant life rather than more? The Appalachians are covered with trees, but the Rockies are bare in comparison. So can you explain this more please?

Selam


http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH570.html

The rounded ridges of the Appalachians typify very old mountains ground down by erosion. They are much older than the Himalayas; 480 millions years old and stopped growing around the time the Rockies began to form. 

Gebre, I've had to put my answers in italics because I can't get the quote thingies to work properly. Hope it's not to difficult to follow. Here's an interesting piece on the Appalachians.

http://www.appvoices.org/index.php?/site/voice_stories/uplift_erosion_uplift_erosion_a_compressed_history_of_appalachia/issues/542

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_the_Appalachians


Fixed quote tags...  -PtA
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« Reply #1648 on: October 14, 2009, 05:00:14 AM »

Gebre,

Thought I would add this for you. Problems with a Global Flood - http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html#georecord
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« Reply #1649 on: October 14, 2009, 10:20:00 AM »

Dear Gebre,
on the subject of the Flood, it must be said, there are INNER evidences in the Bible itself that the flood was a local event, and yet I think that it was the only one that was able to destroy an entire branch of humanity (the "sons of God", i.e. adamites) in a while.
If you look into your Bible, the book of Genesis clearly states that the Nephilim survived the Flood. Since the Nephilim are "sons of man" and "sons of God" they are nothing but humans with different characteristics then the "sons of God" themselves, yet they belong in the human race. The Bible clearly states the Nephilim (=giants) were "heroes of old" probably admitting that they inspired the pagan pantheons for the future generations, and there's also written that they survived the Flood, or better is assumed in the words of Moses:
Quote
The Giants were on the earth in those days. And also after that, when the sons of God came to the daughters of men, and they bore sons to them, the same were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
The same David will deal with Giants. Since only eight people were saved on the Ark (Noah and his family); since the Nephilim were not animals but humans, so they couldn't be included in the list of the creatures saved by God; and since a global flood assumes that every single peace of dry land was submersed in water, we must conclude that the flood wasn't global and that the Giants lived outside of the area invaded by the waters.
I also can prove you that one of the earliest exegetes of that biblical passage, Flavius Josephus, who has largely been used by the Church Fathers as a source of information on Jewish history, used to prove the authenticity of the Deluge with a passage from Nicolaus of Damascus dealing with a tradition that some survivors of the flood who found refuge on the mountains encountered a man who saved himself and his family abord an ark.
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There is a great mountain in Armenia, over Minyas, called Baris, upon which it is reported that many who fled at the time of the deluge were saved; and that one who was carried in an ark came on shore upon the top of it; and that the remains of the timber were a great while preserved...

If your problem is the fact that these flood legends are present all around the world, my personal answer (not by authority, but by judgment) is that the Earth was highly damaged by the effects of the last Ice Age, when the ices melt and many local floods destroyed entire civilizations over a period of 3000-4000 years.  All these episodes, connected with each other by the same cause (the melting of the ice and the consequent climatic change) were thus absorbed into the Genesis narrative taking the episode experienced by Noah as a type of all the quasi-simultaneous (well, on a geological scale) megafloods of his time. Although I classify myself as a Biblical literalist (that is I believe in every single episode of the Holy Scriptures as history) I know that God on purpose used a language that can be generalized and allegorized so that we can understand spiritual truths, such as the symbology of the Ark which is a figure for Christ and the Church. Take it like these: there were hundreds of Noah all around the world, nevertheless all human civilizations were wiped out, one after the other, by the same climatic change.

Anyway, if your church - or better your spiritual father - demands from you that you take these episodes as literally as possible, you could and should; nevertheless, there are valid reasons to try and explain the Biblical events (in which, I repeat, I trust) in the light of archeological discoveries.

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #1650 on: October 16, 2009, 06:52:54 PM »

Quote
3.Formation of mountains during the Flood does not explain why different mountains are different ages. The Appalachians are much older than the Rockies, for example, as one can immediately see just from how the two ranges are differently eroded. 

A sincere question: Why does it appear that the Appalachians are older than the Rockies due to erosion? Wouldn't erosion produce less plant life rather than more? The Appalachians are covered with trees, but the Rockies are bare in comparison. So can you explain this more please?

Selam


http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH570.html

The rounded ridges of the Appalachians typify very old mountains ground down by erosion. They are much older than the Himalayas; 480 millions years old and stopped growing around the time the Rockies began to form. 

Gebre, I've had to put my answers in italics because I can't get the quote thingies to work properly. Hope it's not to difficult to follow. Here's an interesting piece on the Appalachians.

http://www.appvoices.org/index.php?/site/voice_stories/uplift_erosion_uplift_erosion_a_compressed_history_of_appalachia/issues/542

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_the_Appalachians


Fixed quote tags...  -PtA


Exactly. The Appalachians don't "appear" older then the Rockies.  They *are* older, much older.  The matter of trees/few/no trees is due to the height and environment. The "Tree Line" or timberline is the elevation above which trees cannot grow.  It has to do with temperature, climate, growing season and other factors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_line
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« Reply #1651 on: October 16, 2009, 07:07:42 PM »

I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
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« Reply #1652 on: October 17, 2009, 07:44:03 AM »

I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"

A young earth creationist would answer: speed of light decay.
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« Reply #1653 on: October 17, 2009, 08:18:07 AM »

I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
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« Reply #1654 on: October 17, 2009, 09:25:32 AM »

Which means that we can't be sure that there are stars behind those photons (why should God create stars when we would never see them, and the light indicating their position is more then sufficient?), or better, that for a YEC what we see isn't stars, but photons created by God. Curiously, this also would imply that God created a beam of photons as long as our history, for example some 7500 light-years long, otherwise we would have received light only for an instant, and not continuously for 7500 years. It is completely absurd. This presumes, in fact, that God created the first photons of starlight directly no further then 24 light-hours from our planet (i.e. only 6 times the distance of the nearest star, Alpha Centauri). I think YEC can't make a cosmogonical theory compatible with the official scientific cosmological model, and so they shouldn't base on it. Why don't you restore the idea that all stars are luminous dots placed over a black dome at the borders of the observable universe? That would make things easier, but also look a little bit less naive then you do. Of course, that would place you on the same level of Flat Earthers, but what matters?

In Christ,  Alex
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« Reply #1655 on: October 17, 2009, 09:27:31 AM »

So this God of the Photons is a trickster?
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« Reply #1656 on: October 17, 2009, 10:18:40 AM »

So this God of the Photons is a trickster?

That is what such a theory could suggest.  And I don't believe that the Creator of all would, in effect, present falsehoods.

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« Reply #1657 on: October 17, 2009, 10:49:07 AM »

So this God of the Photons is a trickster?
Not really. If we were still in the state of pre-Fall humanity, we would clearly see that the universe is only 7000 years old. But, since our intellect has been dulled by suffering and death, due to the ancestral sin, our sciences seem to point to a universe 14 billion years old. It isn't God who is tricking us. The deception is due to the results of our own free will.
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« Reply #1658 on: October 17, 2009, 11:38:32 AM »

So this God of the Photons is a trickster?
Not really. If we were still in the state of pre-Fall humanity, we would clearly see that the universe is only 7000 years old. But, since our intellect has been dulled by suffering and death, due to the ancestral sin, our sciences seem to point to a universe 14 billion years old. It isn't God who is tricking us. The deception is due to the results of our own free will.

So wait, since we're in the Fallen world, we're probably deceived by math.  So 2+2 really isn't 4.  I knew something was fishy with that equation.

On all seriousness, I think some YEC are strictly YE, and not Young Universe.  But I may be wrong.  I'd be interested to hear the reasoning as well, which most probably would sound something like Jetavan's.
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« Reply #1659 on: October 17, 2009, 12:10:09 PM »

I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
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« Reply #1660 on: October 17, 2009, 12:15:24 PM »

I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
God created light photons not only between earth and the star, but between any point in space and the star.
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« Reply #1661 on: October 17, 2009, 12:21:22 PM »

So this God of the Photons is a trickster?
Not really. If we were still in the state of pre-Fall humanity, we would clearly see that the universe is only 7000 years old. But, since our intellect has been dulled by suffering and death, due to the ancestral sin, our sciences seem to point to a universe 14 billion years old. It isn't God who is tricking us. The deception is due to the results of our own free will.

So wait, since we're in the Fallen world, we're probably deceived by math.  So 2+2 really isn't 4.  I knew something was fishy with that equation.

On all seriousness, I think some YEC are strictly YE, and not Young Universe.  But I may be wrong.  I'd be interested to hear the reasoning as well, which most probably would sound something like Jetavan's.
2+2=4 can still be true, because mathematical symbols mean what we define them to mean. If we define 3=2, then 2+3=4 would be true. But it's hard to redefine the age of the universe. However, it is easy to mis-perceive the age of the universe.

Some YEC may be Old Universe Creationists, but they don't make up the bulk of YEC.
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« Reply #1662 on: October 17, 2009, 06:39:59 PM »

Would someone please fetch Ockham's razor. 
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« Reply #1663 on: October 17, 2009, 07:02:15 PM »

I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
God created light photons not only between earth and the star, but between any point in space and the star.
Then how can our satellites which are not on Earth, such as Voyager, see those stars?
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« Reply #1664 on: October 17, 2009, 11:26:24 PM »

I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
God created light photons not only between earth and the star, but between any point in space and the star.
Then how can our satellites which are not on Earth, such as Voyager, see those stars?
At the moment God created Adam, God created photons just about to hit Adam's eyes, and these photons appeared to have come from the star 14 billion light years away. From the photons that were just about to hit Adam's eyes, to the star, God also created numerous photons that all appeared to have come from the star. So when God created each star, he created that star's own God-created web of photons simultaneously, a web that stretched from the star outwards into the universe, such that the photons looked as if they came from that star. So any satellite that Adam, or we, decide to send into space, will encounter photons that are actually part of that God-created web of photons, rather than photons that derive from the star itself. The photons that derive from the star itself, we won't see for 14 billion years.
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