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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 331764 times) Average Rating: 0
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #2025 on: February 24, 2010, 08:54:18 PM »

Observable? Who was their to observe it? Wink
Who was their what? Grin

Darwin, for one. All of us can reproduce his observations. Hence, it's science.

Darwin observed finches in the 19th century. who observed the supposed common ancestor?
Of the finches, you mean? I can't say I'm well-versed enough in paleozoology to tell you what that is, let alone when it lived. But thanks to science, I do know the method by which the modern species of finches evolved from it.

You see, some truths can be extrapolated from data. Galileo saw Jupiter's moons orbiting around the planet, and extrapolated that the planets must similarly orbit around the Sun. Darwin saw the offspring of finches having different characteristics based upon their parents' environment, and extrapolated that all species must similarly be suited to their parents' environment. It's sound science.
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« Reply #2026 on: February 24, 2010, 09:22:06 PM »

Observable? Who was their to observe it? Wink
Who was their what? Grin

Darwin, for one. All of us can reproduce his observations. Hence, it's science.

Darwin observed finches in the 19th century. who observed the supposed common ancestor?
Of the finches, you mean? I can't say I'm well-versed enough in paleozoology to tell you what that is, let alone when it lived. But thanks to science, I do know the method by which the modern species of finches evolved from it.

You see, some truths can be extrapolated from data. Galileo saw Jupiter's moons orbiting around the planet, and extrapolated that the planets must similarly orbit around the Sun. Darwin saw the offspring of finches having different characteristics based upon their parents' environment, and extrapolated that all species must similarly be suited to their parents' environment. It's sound science.
Exactly.  Most work now within evolutionary biology is not done by geobiologists (Darwin) nor comparative anatomist (Huxley), but by molecular biologist and geneticist.  Through this study at the molecular level, we can observe the results of mutations, gene flow, genetic drift, etc.
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« Reply #2027 on: February 24, 2010, 10:05:48 PM »

Observable? Who was their to observe it? Wink
Who was their what? Grin

Darwin, for one. All of us can reproduce his observations. Hence, it's science.

Darwin observed finches in the 19th century. who observed the supposed common ancestor?
Of the finches, you mean? I can't say I'm well-versed enough in paleozoology to tell you what that is, let alone when it lived. But thanks to science, I do know the method by which the modern species of finches evolved from it.

You see, some truths can be extrapolated from data. Galileo saw Jupiter's moons orbiting around the planet, and extrapolated that the planets must similarly orbit around the Sun. Darwin saw the offspring of finches having different characteristics based upon their parents' environment, and extrapolated that all species must similarly be suited to their parents' environment. It's sound science.
I would be careful here to adapt a view like that.  That view is based on a particular mechanism that can occur if there is a shift in the environment, similar to a black person living in a closet and turning white from it. This is a false conclusion because the environment has stayed the same for millions of years. What evolutionists believe is that mutations occur in species and that particular mutation then filters into the whole population. It's a series of accidents with no reasoning behind them.
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« Reply #2028 on: February 24, 2010, 10:24:55 PM »

I would be careful here to adapt a view like that.  That view is based on a particular mechanism that can occur if there is a shift in the environment, similar to a black person living in a closet and turning white from it. This is a false conclusion because the environment has stayed the same for millions of years. What evolutionists believe is that mutations occur in species and that particular mutation then filters into the whole population. It's a series of accidents with no reasoning behind them.
Referencing what I've bolded in the above quote:

That claim that the environment has not changed in millions of years is going to require a lot of clarification from you as to what you really mean, since that, at face value, appears to be one of the most ridiculous claims I've ever read.  We've been through ice ages and through ages of global warming.  Local environments have changed with the slow shift of plate tectonics.  We've had catastrophic events that led to mass extinctions.  How can you then claim that the environment has stayed the same for millions of years?
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« Reply #2029 on: February 24, 2010, 10:25:40 PM »

Observable? Who was their to observe it? Wink
Who was their what? Grin

Darwin, for one. All of us can reproduce his observations. Hence, it's science.

Darwin observed finches in the 19th century. who observed the supposed common ancestor?
Of the finches, you mean? I can't say I'm well-versed enough in paleozoology to tell you what that is, let alone when it lived. But thanks to science, I do know the method by which the modern species of finches evolved from it.

You see, some truths can be extrapolated from data. Galileo saw Jupiter's moons orbiting around the planet, and extrapolated that the planets must similarly orbit around the Sun. Darwin saw the offspring of finches having different characteristics based upon their parents' environment, and extrapolated that all species must similarly be suited to their parents' environment. It's sound science.
I would be careful here to adapt a view like that.  That view is based on a particular mechanism that can occur if there is a shift in the environment, similar to a black person living in a closet and turning white from it.
Um...no. Not only is that the weirdest analogy I've ever read, it also betrays a complete lack of understanding of evolutionary theory. Changes do not occur in individuals, they occur in populations.

This is a false conclusion because the environment has stayed the same for millions of years.
This statement is actually even more stupid than your last one. Of course the environment has changed. Among the myriad of obvious examples is that you and I are now here.

What evolutionists believescientists have observed is that mutations occur in species and that particular mutation then filters into the whole population. It's a series of accidents with no reasoning behind them.
I fixed it for you. Look, if you're going to be critical of a widely accepted scientific theory, you ought at the very least to know the first thing about it.
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« Reply #2030 on: February 25, 2010, 01:57:28 PM »


Um...no. Not only is that the weirdest analogy I've ever read, it also betrays a complete lack of understanding of evolutionary theory. Changes do not occur in individuals, they occur in populations.

Your wrong. A change happens in individuals first and through the process reproduction the mutation filters into the population. It's not like one day everybody will grow a unicorn on there heads. It starts out with one person and gradually filters into the whole.

[/quote]
Quote
This statement is actually even more stupid than your last one. Of course the environment has changed. Among the myriad of obvious examples is that you and I are now here.
That isn't a proper understanding of the environment. That is called space and time.  You and I are separated by space and our ancestors by space and time. Unless we live in  different time zones.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 01:57:57 PM by Demetrios G. » Logged

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« Reply #2031 on: February 25, 2010, 02:28:56 PM »

Um...no. Not only is that the weirdest analogy I've ever read, it also betrays a complete lack of understanding of evolutionary theory. Changes do not occur in individuals, they occur in populations.

Your wrong. A change happens in individuals first and through the process reproduction the mutation filters into the population. It's not like one day everybody will grow a unicorn on there heads. It starts out with one person and gradually filters into the whole.
The mutation occurs in the genes of an individual, which is from then on genetically different from the rest of its species, and this difference enhances the individual's ability to survive and reproduce. The mutation is due to the conjunction of this individual's parents, not this individual's prolonged stay in a closet. To say that individuals can change their genes by their behaviour is to betray a lack of understanding of basic biology.

This statement is actually even more stupid than your last one. Of course the environment has changed. Among the myriad of obvious examples is that you and I are now here.
That isn't a proper understanding of the environment. That is called space and time.  You and I are separated by space and our ancestors by space and time. Unless we live in  different time zones.
I see. Can you enlighten me as to what is a proper understanding of the environment?
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« Reply #2032 on: February 25, 2010, 02:37:53 PM »

In honour of this thread, and for a little bit of humour, I present you:

http://www.ianmonroe.com/index.php/portfolio/writing/the-_____-of-_____/
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« Reply #2033 on: February 25, 2010, 02:45:15 PM »

This statement is actually even more stupid than your last one. Of course the environment has changed. Among the myriad of obvious examples is that you and I are now here.
That isn't a proper understanding of the environment. That is called space and time.  You and I are separated by space and our ancestors by space and time. Unless we live in  different time zones.
I see. Can you enlighten me as to what is a proper understanding of the environment?
While you're at it, Demetrios, I'd like you also to address the examples I provided of how the environment has changed over the past few million years.
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« Reply #2034 on: February 25, 2010, 03:01:33 PM »

In honour of this thread, and for a little bit of humour, I present you:

http://www.ianmonroe.com/index.php/portfolio/writing/the-_____-of-_____/

Thank you ________ for this valuable achievement.  Praise the Lord for ________.
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« Reply #2035 on: February 25, 2010, 03:10:06 PM »

In honour of this thread, and for a little bit of humour, I present you:

http://www.ianmonroe.com/index.php/portfolio/writing/the-_____-of-_____/
Great satire!  Gotta love it! Grin
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« Reply #2036 on: February 25, 2010, 03:47:31 PM »


The mutation occurs in the genes of an individual, which is from then on genetically different from the rest of its species, and this difference enhances the individual's ability to survive and reproduce. The mutation is due to the conjunction of this individual's parents, not this individual's prolonged stay in a closet. To say that individuals can change their genes by their behaviour is to betray a lack of understanding of basic biology.

Thank you. Your correction will be noted. Cheesy


Quote
I see. Can you enlighten me as to what is a proper understanding of the environment?

It all depends on if we are looking at it cosmologically, or from where we are stand at this very point. A natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region. The general term, environment refers to the surroundings of an object generally. The cosmic environment has undoubtedly shaped the history of life on earth as an event encompassing all of time and space. Is that clear enough?
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 03:48:19 PM by Demetrios G. » Logged

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« Reply #2037 on: February 25, 2010, 06:47:56 PM »


The mutation occurs in the genes of an individual, which is from then on genetically different from the rest of its species, and this difference enhances the individual's ability to survive and reproduce. The mutation is due to the conjunction of this individual's parents, not this individual's prolonged stay in a closet. To say that individuals can change their genes by their behaviour is to betray a lack of understanding of basic biology.

Thank you. Your correction will be noted. Cheesy
Nope. It's not a correction. Mutations occur in individuals; evolution occurs in populations. I notice, though, that you have still not dealt with the real issue of that paragraph, which is the assertion that neither individuals nor populations can change their genetics by their behaviour. You made just such an assertion earlier. Please provide evidence that anything can change its genetic code by its behaviour, or else withdraw your assertion.


Quote
I see. Can you enlighten me as to what is a proper understanding of the environment?
It all depends on if we are looking at it cosmologically, or from where we are stand at this very point. A natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region. The general term, environment refers to the surroundings of an object generally. The cosmic environment has undoubtedly shaped the history of life on earth as an event encompassing all of time and space. Is that clear enough?
I see. Well it looks like we have a very similar understanding of the environment. How is it, then, that you can say the environment has not changed? What evidence do you have that it has not? There is a vast mountain of evidence showing that environments do change, so you're going to need a similar mountain if you want to prove your case.
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« Reply #2038 on: February 25, 2010, 10:32:31 PM »


Nope. It's not a correction. Mutations occur in individuals; evolution occurs in populations. I notice, though, that you have still not dealt with the real issue of that paragraph, which is the assertion that neither individuals nor populations can change their genetics by their behaviour. You made just such an assertion earlier. Please provide evidence that anything can change its genetic code by its behaviour, or else withdraw your assertion.

UV light is the reason why people are darker that others. Changing the environment to eliminate UV would result in lighter skin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_skin_color



Quote
I see. Well it looks like we have a very similar understanding of the environment. How is it, then, that you can say the environment has not changed? What evidence do you have that it has not? There is a vast mountain of evidence showing that environments do change, so you're going to need a similar mountain if you want to prove your case.

No argument here. Wink
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« Reply #2039 on: February 26, 2010, 01:58:37 PM »


Nope. It's not a correction. Mutations occur in individuals; evolution occurs in populations. I notice, though, that you have still not dealt with the real issue of that paragraph, which is the assertion that neither individuals nor populations can change their genetics by their behaviour. You made just such an assertion earlier. Please provide evidence that anything can change its genetic code by its behaviour, or else withdraw your assertion.

UV light is the reason why people are darker that others. Changing the environment to eliminate UV would result in lighter skin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_skin_color
No, melanin is the reason some people have darker skin than others. From the very article you cited (which, according to Wikipedia itself, has some credibility issues):

Quote
Skin color is determined primarily by the amount and type of melanin, the pigment in the skin. Variation in skin color is largely due to genetics.
The article is correct in this. My skin is naturally light because my ancestors' skin was naturally light. If I spend some time outside, it will get darker, but not because of any change in genetics. Even if I have a very dark tan when one of my children is conceived, their skin would still be light because my wife and I both have genes for light skin.

It is true that if I and my family were to move near the equator, the increased UV radiation there would mean that we would be more likely to contract melanoma. Therefore, our descendants would be more likely to die at a young age, before they could reproduce, and therefore evolution would favour any dark-skinned descendants we may have. However, evolution would not affect me or my family; it would only affect my descendants. Does that make sense to you?

I see. Well it looks like we have a very similar understanding of the environment. How is it, then, that you can say the environment has not changed? What evidence do you have that it has not? There is a vast mountain of evidence showing that environments do change, so you're going to need a similar mountain if you want to prove your case.

No argument here. Wink
Yes, there is an argument here. I repeat: What evidence do you have that the environment has not changed?
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« Reply #2040 on: February 26, 2010, 04:49:44 PM »

Observable? Who was their to observe it? Wink
Who was their what? Grin

Darwin, for one. All of us can reproduce his observations. Hence, it's science.

Darwin observed finches in the 19th century. who observed the supposed common ancestor?
Of the finches, you mean? I can't say I'm well-versed enough in paleozoology to tell you what that is, let alone when it lived. But thanks to science, I do know the method by which the modern species of finches evolved from it.

You see, some truths can be extrapolated from data. Galileo saw Jupiter's moons orbiting around the planet, and extrapolated that the planets must similarly orbit around the Sun. Darwin saw the offspring of finches having different characteristics based upon their parents' environment, and extrapolated that all species must similarly be suited to their parents' environment. It's sound science.

well before you said it was science bc Darwin's actual observations  could be reduced, now youre saying the whole thing abotu common ancestors is not observed, but is rather an presumably accurate extrapolation. its now left the realm of hard science and gone into philosophy based on assumptions/presuppositions.
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« Reply #2041 on: February 26, 2010, 05:24:08 PM »

Observable? Who was their to observe it? Wink
Who was their what? Grin

Darwin, for one. All of us can reproduce his observations. Hence, it's science.

Darwin observed finches in the 19th century. who observed the supposed common ancestor?
Of the finches, you mean? I can't say I'm well-versed enough in paleozoology to tell you what that is, let alone when it lived. But thanks to science, I do know the method by which the modern species of finches evolved from it.

You see, some truths can be extrapolated from data. Galileo saw Jupiter's moons orbiting around the planet, and extrapolated that the planets must similarly orbit around the Sun. Darwin saw the offspring of finches having different characteristics based upon their parents' environment, and extrapolated that all species must similarly be suited to their parents' environment. It's sound science.

well before you said it was science bc Darwin's actual observations  could be reduced, now youre saying the whole thing abotu common ancestors is not observed, but is rather an presumably accurate extrapolation. its now left the realm of hard science and gone into philosophy based on assumptions/presuppositions.
These are two different ideas. You have to realize that science is an ever-changing process. It's not as though scientists hold Darwin's ideas as able to speak for all time. They are actually not quite accurate, based upon scientific data we have discovered since Darwin's time.

The first idea of which I spoke was Darwin's observations of natural selection, which can be and in fact are observed constantly in laboratories and in nature. It is of course easiest to see natural selection in creatures that have short generational spans, such as bacteria or flies. But all creatures undergo the same change, even species whose offspring take decades to mature. It just takes more time in species with a long generational span.

The second idea of which I spoke is a much later revelation, the idea of a common ancestry. Obviously we are unable to see the ancestors of modern species, because they do not live today. However, through the study of genetics we are able to show how genetic traits have been passed down and modified through the ages. I do not have access to such research, but if you go to your local university or Library of Congress repository, they should be able to direct you to peer-reviewed journal articles detailing how the extrapolations were deduced.
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« Reply #2042 on: February 26, 2010, 08:26:59 PM »

Observable? Who was their to observe it? Wink
Who was their what? Grin

Darwin, for one. All of us can reproduce his observations. Hence, it's science.

Darwin observed finches in the 19th century. who observed the supposed common ancestor?
Of the finches, you mean? I can't say I'm well-versed enough in paleozoology to tell you what that is, let alone when it lived. But thanks to science, I do know the method by which the modern species of finches evolved from it.

You see, some truths can be extrapolated from data. Galileo saw Jupiter's moons orbiting around the planet, and extrapolated that the planets must similarly orbit around the Sun. Darwin saw the offspring of finches having different characteristics based upon their parents' environment, and extrapolated that all species must similarly be suited to their parents' environment. It's sound science.

well before you said it was science bc Darwin's actual observations  could be reduced, now youre saying the whole thing abotu common ancestors is not observed, but is rather an presumably accurate extrapolation. its now left the realm of hard science and gone into philosophy based on assumptions/presuppositions.
These are two different ideas. You have to realize that science is an ever-changing process. It's not as though scientists hold Darwin's ideas as able to speak for all time. They are actually not quite accurate, based upon scientific data we have discovered since Darwin's time.

The first idea of which I spoke was Darwin's observations of natural selection, which can be and in fact are observed constantly in laboratories and in nature. It is of course easiest to see natural selection in creatures that have short generational spans, such as bacteria or flies. But all creatures undergo the same change, even species whose offspring take decades to mature. It just takes more time in species with a long generational span.

The second idea of which I spoke is a much later revelation, the idea of a common ancestry. Obviously we are unable to see the ancestors of modern species, because they do not live today. However, through the study of genetics we are able to show how genetic traits have been passed down and modified through the ages. I do not have access to such research, but if you go to your local university or Library of Congress repository, they should be able to direct you to peer-reviewed journal articles detailing how the extrapolations were deduced.

but of course these extrapolations inherently involve certain presuppositions, since this long line of descent was not actually observed by anyone. so concerning matters of the past, i consider the Church to be a more authoritative source than science, so if the presuppositions of these extrapolations conflict with the Church, i dont see any reason why i would accept them. if i dont accept the presuppositions, then i would also see the extrapolations as being inaccurate. i believe that the world was once completely Paradisiacal, and thus literally nothing died. therefore i dont accept uniformitarianism. and since uniformitarianism, with respect to the past, was not actually observed, but rather it is assumed, i am not at odds with science in rejecting it. i am simply at odds with certain presuppositions. i dont deny that which is actually observed (not saying you said i do ... but creationists are often accused of rejecting/denying science)
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« Reply #2043 on: February 27, 2010, 12:52:51 AM »



but of course these extrapolations inherently involve certain presuppositions, since this long line of descent was not actually observed by anyone. so concerning matters of the past, i consider the Church to be a more authoritative source than science, so if the presuppositions of these extrapolations conflict with the Church, i dont see any reason why i would accept them. if i dont accept the presuppositions, then i would also see the extrapolations as being inaccurate. i believe that the world was once completely Paradisiacal, and thus literally nothing died. therefore i dont accept uniformitarianism. and since uniformitarianism, with respect to the past, was not actually observed, but rather it is assumed, i am not at odds with science in rejecting it. i am simply at odds with certain presuppositions. i dont deny that which is actually observed (not saying you said i do ... but creationists are often accused of rejecting/denying science)


Very good points. But I doubt if they will resonate with those who slavishly serve the subjectivity of materialistic science.


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« Reply #2044 on: February 27, 2010, 04:40:20 PM »



but of course these extrapolations inherently involve certain presuppositions, since this long line of descent was not actually observed by anyone. so concerning matters of the past, i consider the Church to be a more authoritative source than science, so if the presuppositions of these extrapolations conflict with the Church, i dont see any reason why i would accept them. if i dont accept the presuppositions, then i would also see the extrapolations as being inaccurate. i believe that the world was once completely Paradisiacal, and thus literally nothing died. therefore i dont accept uniformitarianism. and since uniformitarianism, with respect to the past, was not actually observed, but rather it is assumed, i am not at odds with science in rejecting it. i am simply at odds with certain presuppositions. i dont deny that which is actually observed (not saying you said i do ... but creationists are often accused of rejecting/denying science)


Very good points. But I doubt if they will resonate with those who slavishly serve the subjectivity of materialistic science.


Selam

thank you Gebre. I think Fr. Schmemann's assessment of man's condition, including his science, is spot on (from Great Lent, pg. 94-95):
Quote
The unfathomable tragedy of Adam is that he ate for its own sake. More than that, he ate “apart” from God in order to be independent of Him. And if he did it, it is because he believed that food had life in itself and that he, by partaking of that food, could be like God, i.e., have life in himself. To put it very simply: he believed in food, whereas the only object of belief, of faith, of dependence is God and God alone. World, food, became his gods, the sources and principles of his life. He became their slave. Adam – in Hebrew – means “man.” It is my name, our common name. Man is still Adam, still the slave of “food.” He may claim that he believes in God, but God is not his life, his food, the all-embracing content of his existence. He may claim that he receives his life from God but he doesn’t live in God and for God. His science, his experience, his self-consciousness are all built on that same principle: “by bread alone.” We eat in order to be alive but we are not alive in God. This is the sin of all sins. This is the verdict of death pronounced on our life.”
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« Reply #2045 on: February 27, 2010, 05:10:59 PM »

I highly doubt Fr. Alexander was anti-evolution as you try to make him out to be, or even anti-science.

Medicine is by definition materialistic.  I must rely on the body and on the tools of the materialistic world around me to make diagnoses, to treat the patient, to help the patient.  But unlike atheistic physicians, I personally do medicine for the glory of God, and ask God everyday to help me.

There are many religious evolutionists around, many who I am sure are not merely studying because the subject fascinates them, but they connect also with the way they felt God created, and many pray asking God to bless them to learn more about his ways.

When we eat food today, before we eat we pray to give thanks to God.  Without giving thanks to God, we are simply following a materialistic lifestyle in eating food.

It is perhaps the exclusion of doing anything for the glory of God that Fr. Alexander is criticizing.  I don't think Fr. Alexander would let's say be anti-medicine, or pro-emaciation of the human species.  Many Church fathers have believed that the eating of the tree of knowledge was saved at a particular time when Adam and Eve were mature enough to handle it.  Instead, they forgot about God, and did what they personally wanted to do.  They forgot the glory of God, and they therefore lost that glory.  That's the lesson we learn from Fr. Alexander.

Indeed, let us not live by bread alone, nor medicine alone, nor learning science alone, but also by giving due glory to God.
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« Reply #2046 on: February 27, 2010, 08:22:06 PM »

I highly doubt Fr. Alexander was anti-evolution as you try to make him out to be, or even anti-science.

Medicine is by definition materialistic.  I must rely on the body and on the tools of the materialistic world around me to make diagnoses, to treat the patient, to help the patient.  But unlike atheistic physicians, I personally do medicine for the glory of God, and ask God everyday to help me.

There are many religious evolutionists around, many who I am sure are not merely studying because the subject fascinates them, but they connect also with the way they felt God created, and many pray asking God to bless them to learn more about his ways.

When we eat food today, before we eat we pray to give thanks to God.  Without giving thanks to God, we are simply following a materialistic lifestyle in eating food.

It is perhaps the exclusion of doing anything for the glory of God that Fr. Alexander is criticizing.  I don't think Fr. Alexander would let's say be anti-medicine, or pro-emaciation of the human species.  Many Church fathers have believed that the eating of the tree of knowledge was saved at a particular time when Adam and Eve were mature enough to handle it.  Instead, they forgot about God, and did what they personally wanted to do.  They forgot the glory of God, and they therefore lost that glory.  That's the lesson we learn from Fr. Alexander.

Indeed, let us not live by bread alone, nor medicine alone, nor learning science alone, but also by giving due glory to God.

everything ive read of Fr. Alexander where he mentions Genesis is literal -- he even specifically says that the stories arent just allegories as so many ppl like to make them out to be. ive never seen him specifically comment on evolution, but his theology is pretty incompatible with evolution as far as i can see.

anyhoo, im not saying he's anti-science, but he's obviously recognizing a problem with modern-day science. i doubt he just accidentally put that in his book, he obviously meant something by it, so id have to say that yes, he had a problem with science to some degree.
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« Reply #2047 on: February 27, 2010, 08:38:57 PM »

Interesting....I have to get rid of my stereotypes of St. Vladimir's deans then.
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« Reply #2048 on: February 28, 2010, 06:22:56 AM »

Observable? Who was their to observe it? Wink
Who was their what? Grin

Darwin, for one. All of us can reproduce his observations. Hence, it's science.

Darwin observed finches in the 19th century. who observed the supposed common ancestor?
Of the finches, you mean? I can't say I'm well-versed enough in paleozoology to tell you what that is, let alone when it lived. But thanks to science, I do know the method by which the modern species of finches evolved from it.

You see, some truths can be extrapolated from data. Galileo saw Jupiter's moons orbiting around the planet, and extrapolated that the planets must similarly orbit around the Sun. Darwin saw the offspring of finches having different characteristics based upon their parents' environment, and extrapolated that all species must similarly be suited to their parents' environment. It's sound science.

well before you said it was science bc Darwin's actual observations  could be reduced, now youre saying the whole thing abotu common ancestors is not observed, but is rather an presumably accurate extrapolation. its now left the realm of hard science and gone into philosophy based on assumptions/presuppositions.
These are two different ideas. You have to realize that science is an ever-changing process. It's not as though scientists hold Darwin's ideas as able to speak for all time. They are actually not quite accurate, based upon scientific data we have discovered since Darwin's time.

The first idea of which I spoke was Darwin's observations of natural selection, which can be and in fact are observed constantly in laboratories and in nature. It is of course easiest to see natural selection in creatures that have short generational spans, such as bacteria or flies. But all creatures undergo the same change, even species whose offspring take decades to mature. It just takes more time in species with a long generational span.

The second idea of which I spoke is a much later revelation, the idea of a common ancestry. Obviously we are unable to see the ancestors of modern species, because they do not live today. However, through the study of genetics we are able to show how genetic traits have been passed down and modified through the ages. I do not have access to such research, but if you go to your local university or Library of Congress repository, they should be able to direct you to peer-reviewed journal articles detailing how the extrapolations were deduced.

but of course these extrapolations inherently involve certain presuppositions, since this long line of descent was not actually observed by anyone. so concerning matters of the past, i consider the Church to be a more authoritative source than science, so if the presuppositions of these extrapolations conflict with the Church, i dont see any reason why i would accept them. if i dont accept the presuppositions, then i would also see the extrapolations as being inaccurate. i believe that the world was once completely Paradisiacal, and thus literally nothing died. therefore i dont accept uniformitarianism. and since uniformitarianism, with respect to the past, was not actually observed, but rather it is assumed, i am not at odds with science in rejecting it. i am simply at odds with certain presuppositions. i dont deny that which is actually observed (not saying you said i do ... but creationists are often accused of rejecting/denying science)
Good points. I agree with you for the most part, especially the part about uniformitarianism. I do believe that to be an unproven and unprovable assumption, though I admit I don't have a better idea about how to calculate the things which occur in the natural world.

It should be said, though, that most of what you've said here is not scientific. My beef with most creationists is not with their beliefs, it's that they try to pass off their beliefs as science. To say that God created the world is religion/philosophy, not science. What happens unfortunately with some is that they elevate science to be the only or the primary truth. Philosophy has a lot to teach us as well, and there is such a thing as philosophical truth. That God created the world I believe is a philosophical truth. It can never be proven scientifically, but it doesn't need to be. I think most people would have no problem with creationism if the creationists would simply state their philosophical truth, without trying to make it something it's not. They may disagree with it, and that's just fine in the realm of philosophy, but I think we wouldn't see the reaction to it that we see now.
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« Reply #2049 on: February 28, 2010, 04:24:53 PM »

Observable? Who was their to observe it? Wink
Who was their what? Grin

Darwin, for one. All of us can reproduce his observations. Hence, it's science.

Darwin observed finches in the 19th century. who observed the supposed common ancestor?
Of the finches, you mean? I can't say I'm well-versed enough in paleozoology to tell you what that is, let alone when it lived. But thanks to science, I do know the method by which the modern species of finches evolved from it.

You see, some truths can be extrapolated from data. Galileo saw Jupiter's moons orbiting around the planet, and extrapolated that the planets must similarly orbit around the Sun. Darwin saw the offspring of finches having different characteristics based upon their parents' environment, and extrapolated that all species must similarly be suited to their parents' environment. It's sound science.

well before you said it was science bc Darwin's actual observations  could be reduced, now youre saying the whole thing abotu common ancestors is not observed, but is rather an presumably accurate extrapolation. its now left the realm of hard science and gone into philosophy based on assumptions/presuppositions.
These are two different ideas. You have to realize that science is an ever-changing process. It's not as though scientists hold Darwin's ideas as able to speak for all time. They are actually not quite accurate, based upon scientific data we have discovered since Darwin's time.

The first idea of which I spoke was Darwin's observations of natural selection, which can be and in fact are observed constantly in laboratories and in nature. It is of course easiest to see natural selection in creatures that have short generational spans, such as bacteria or flies. But all creatures undergo the same change, even species whose offspring take decades to mature. It just takes more time in species with a long generational span.

The second idea of which I spoke is a much later revelation, the idea of a common ancestry. Obviously we are unable to see the ancestors of modern species, because they do not live today. However, through the study of genetics we are able to show how genetic traits have been passed down and modified through the ages. I do not have access to such research, but if you go to your local university or Library of Congress repository, they should be able to direct you to peer-reviewed journal articles detailing how the extrapolations were deduced.

but of course these extrapolations inherently involve certain presuppositions, since this long line of descent was not actually observed by anyone. so concerning matters of the past, i consider the Church to be a more authoritative source than science, so if the presuppositions of these extrapolations conflict with the Church, i dont see any reason why i would accept them. if i dont accept the presuppositions, then i would also see the extrapolations as being inaccurate. i believe that the world was once completely Paradisiacal, and thus literally nothing died. therefore i dont accept uniformitarianism. and since uniformitarianism, with respect to the past, was not actually observed, but rather it is assumed, i am not at odds with science in rejecting it. i am simply at odds with certain presuppositions. i dont deny that which is actually observed (not saying you said i do ... but creationists are often accused of rejecting/denying science)
Good points. I agree with you for the most part, especially the part about uniformitarianism. I do believe that to be an unproven and unprovable assumption, though I admit I don't have a better idea about how to calculate the things which occur in the natural world.

It should be said, though, that most of what you've said here is not scientific. My beef with most creationists is not with their beliefs, it's that they try to pass off their beliefs as science. To say that God created the world is religion/philosophy, not science. What happens unfortunately with some is that they elevate science to be the only or the primary truth. Philosophy has a lot to teach us as well, and there is such a thing as philosophical truth. That God created the world I believe is a philosophical truth. It can never be proven scientifically, but it doesn't need to be. I think most people would have no problem with creationism if the creationists would simply state their philosophical truth, without trying to make it something it's not. They may disagree with it, and that's just fine in the realm of philosophy, but I think we wouldn't see the reaction to it that we see now.

Dare I say it....? I actually agree with much of what you say here. As for the highlighted portion above, I have the same beef- except it's with the evolutionists. Wink

Selam
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« Reply #2050 on: February 28, 2010, 04:34:26 PM »

Observable? Who was their to observe it? Wink
Who was their what? Grin

Darwin, for one. All of us can reproduce his observations. Hence, it's science.

Darwin observed finches in the 19th century. who observed the supposed common ancestor?
Of the finches, you mean? I can't say I'm well-versed enough in paleozoology to tell you what that is, let alone when it lived. But thanks to science, I do know the method by which the modern species of finches evolved from it.

You see, some truths can be extrapolated from data. Galileo saw Jupiter's moons orbiting around the planet, and extrapolated that the planets must similarly orbit around the Sun. Darwin saw the offspring of finches having different characteristics based upon their parents' environment, and extrapolated that all species must similarly be suited to their parents' environment. It's sound science.

well before you said it was science bc Darwin's actual observations  could be reduced, now youre saying the whole thing abotu common ancestors is not observed, but is rather an presumably accurate extrapolation. its now left the realm of hard science and gone into philosophy based on assumptions/presuppositions.
These are two different ideas. You have to realize that science is an ever-changing process. It's not as though scientists hold Darwin's ideas as able to speak for all time. They are actually not quite accurate, based upon scientific data we have discovered since Darwin's time.

The first idea of which I spoke was Darwin's observations of natural selection, which can be and in fact are observed constantly in laboratories and in nature. It is of course easiest to see natural selection in creatures that have short generational spans, such as bacteria or flies. But all creatures undergo the same change, even species whose offspring take decades to mature. It just takes more time in species with a long generational span.

The second idea of which I spoke is a much later revelation, the idea of a common ancestry. Obviously we are unable to see the ancestors of modern species, because they do not live today. However, through the study of genetics we are able to show how genetic traits have been passed down and modified through the ages. I do not have access to such research, but if you go to your local university or Library of Congress repository, they should be able to direct you to peer-reviewed journal articles detailing how the extrapolations were deduced.

but of course these extrapolations inherently involve certain presuppositions, since this long line of descent was not actually observed by anyone. so concerning matters of the past, i consider the Church to be a more authoritative source than science, so if the presuppositions of these extrapolations conflict with the Church, i dont see any reason why i would accept them. if i dont accept the presuppositions, then i would also see the extrapolations as being inaccurate. i believe that the world was once completely Paradisiacal, and thus literally nothing died. therefore i dont accept uniformitarianism. and since uniformitarianism, with respect to the past, was not actually observed, but rather it is assumed, i am not at odds with science in rejecting it. i am simply at odds with certain presuppositions. i dont deny that which is actually observed (not saying you said i do ... but creationists are often accused of rejecting/denying science)
Good points. I agree with you for the most part, especially the part about uniformitarianism. I do believe that to be an unproven and unprovable assumption, though I admit I don't have a better idea about how to calculate the things which occur in the natural world.

i agree, if you scrap uniformitarianism then it becomes basically impossible to do science of the past -- but im not convinced that its convenience makes it true. for the present day we can actually observe that things are pretty uniform with ten years ago (or however long specific observations have been going on), so i dont think it proves any hindrance to studying the natural world that we know.

Quote
It should be said, though, that most of what you've said here is not scientific. My beef with most creationists is not with their beliefs, it's that they try to pass off their beliefs as science. To say that God created the world is religion/philosophy, not science. What happens unfortunately with some is that they elevate science to be the only or the primary truth. Philosophy has a lot to teach us as well, and there is such a thing as philosophical truth. That God created the world I believe is a philosophical truth. It can never be proven scientifically, but it doesn't need to be. I think most people would have no problem with creationism if the creationists would simply state their philosophical truth, without trying to make it something it's not. They may disagree with it, and that's just fine in the realm of philosophy, but I think we wouldn't see the reaction to it that we see now.

i agree with you here, its impossible to scientifically prove God, and i could care less about that. but just as the existence of God, and the truth of our Tradition are philisophical truths, and thus perhaps not a solid basis for science, so is uniformitarianism. its unprovable, as you said, and thus its a philisophical truth (or non-truth). Creation science and evolutionary science are on equal footing as far as i can see. they both begin with unprovable presuppositions. ppl just have to choose which presupposition they like better.
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« Reply #2051 on: February 28, 2010, 04:45:12 PM »

Interesting....I have to get rid of my stereotypes of St. Vladimir's deans then.

not sure what your stereotype is, but i hope you dont look negatively upon Fr. Schmemann -- he rocks face! as does Fr. Hopko!
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« Reply #2052 on: February 28, 2010, 04:56:23 PM »

Interesting....I have to get rid of my stereotypes of St. Vladimir's deans then.

not sure what your stereotype is, but i hope you dont look negatively upon Fr. Schmemann -- he rocks face! as does Fr. Hopko!
Huh? Huh  Can you rephrase that in terms us old farts can understand?
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« Reply #2053 on: February 28, 2010, 06:01:50 PM »

How can anyone look at Mt. Rushmore and doubt the existence of God?


Selam
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« Reply #2054 on: February 28, 2010, 06:02:44 PM »

^That was a joke by the way. Wink


Selam
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« Reply #2055 on: February 28, 2010, 08:03:24 PM »

Interesting....I have to get rid of my stereotypes of St. Vladimir's deans then.

not sure what your stereotype is, but i hope you dont look negatively upon Fr. Schmemann -- he rocks face! as does Fr. Hopko!
Huh? Huh  Can you rephrase that in terms us old farts can understand?

haha rocking face is a good thing! i like Fr. Schmemann and Fr. Hopko, theyre pretty awesome.
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« Reply #2056 on: February 28, 2010, 08:48:07 PM »

I have nothing but reverence and respect for Fr. Schmemann and Fr. Hopko.  I find them very refreshing when reading their spiritual and philosophical ideas.  I just assumed St. Vlad's deans were non-literalists when it comes to Scripture, which makes one open to the science of evolution.

Where can I read Fr. Schmemann's interpretation of Genesis?

PS although not a dean, I also do have a respect for Fr. Seraphim Rose, despite my disagreement with his views on evolution
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« Reply #2057 on: February 28, 2010, 08:55:41 PM »

I have nothing but reverence and respect for Fr. Schmemann and Fr. Hopko.  I find them very refreshing when reading their spiritual and philosophical ideas.  I just assumed St. Vlad's deans were non-literalists when it comes to Scripture, which makes one open to the science of evolution.

Where can I read Fr. Schmemann's interpretation of Genesis?

PS although not a dean, I also do have a respect for Fr. Seraphim Rose, despite my disagreement with his views on evolution

i dont know of any place where he just goes into an interpretation of Genesis, but the subject comes up quite a bit in his book Great Lent, and in some other works. here's a few relevant quotes:

Fr. Schmemann, Great Lent, pg. 40
The “continuous reading” of Genesis, Isaiah, and Proverbs has its origin at the time when Lent was still the main pre-baptismal season of the Church and lenten services were predominantly catechetical in their character, i.e., dedicated to the indoctrination of the catechumen. Each of the three books corresponds to one of the three basic aspects of the Old Testament: the history of God’s activity in Creation, prophecy, and the ethical or moral teachings. The Book of Genesis gives, as it were, the “framework” of the Church’s faith. It contains the story of Creation, of the Fall, and finally that of the promise and the beginning of salvation through God’s covenant with his chosen people. It conveys the three fundamental dimensions of the Church’s belief in God as Creator, Judge, and Savior. It reveals the roots of the Christian understanding of man as created in the “image and likeness of God,” as falling away from God, and as remaining the object of divine love, care, and ultimately salvation. It discloses the meaning of history as the history of salvation leading to and fulfilled in Christ. It announces the mystery of the Church through the images and realities of the People of God, Covenant, Ark, etc.

Pg. 64
With a unique art, St. Andrew interwove the great biblical themes – Adam and Eve, Paradise and Fall, the Patriarchs, Noah and the Flood, David, the Promised Land, and ultimately Christ and the Church – with confession of sin and repentance. The events of sacred history are revealed as events of my life, God’s acts in the past as acts aimed at me and my salvation, the tragedy of sin and betrayal as my personal tragedy. My life is shown to me as part of the great and all-embracing fight between God and the powers of darkness which rebel against Him . . . Thus, for four evenings the nine odes of the Canon tell me again and again the spiritual story of the world which is also my story. They challenge me with the decisive events and acts of the past whose meaning and power, however, are eternal because every human soul – unique and irreplaceable – moves, as it were, through the same drama, is faced with the same ultimate choices, discovers the same ultimate reality. Scriptural examples are more than mere “allegories” as many people think, and who therefore find this Canon too “overworked,” too loaded with irrelevant names and episodes. Why speak, they ask, of Cain and Able, of David and Solomon, when it should be so much simpler just to say: “I have sinned”?

Pg. 72-73
Because of sin and betrayal, the joyful day of Creation [Saturday] has become the day of death; for Creation, by “subjecting itself to futility” (Rom. 8:20), has itself become death. But Christ’s Death restores the seventh day, making it the day of re-creation, of the overcoming and destruction of that which made this world a triumph of death. And the ultimate purpose of Lent is to restore in us the “eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” which is the content of the Christian faith, love, and hope.

 pg. 93
It is important, therefore, to discern the uniquely Christian content of fasting. It is first of all revealed to us in the interdependence between two events which we find in the Bible: one at the beginning of the Old Testament and the other at the beginning of the New Testament. The first event is the “breaking of the fast” by Adam in Paradise. He ate of the forbidden fruit. This is how man’s original sin is revealed to us. Christ, the New Adam – and this is the second event – begins by fasting. Adam was tempted and he succumbed to temptation; Christ was tempted and He overcame that temptation. The result of Adam’s failure is expulsion from Paradise and death. The fruits of Christ’s victory are the destruction of death and our return to Paradise.

pg. 94

God, we are told, “created no death.” He is the Giver of Life. How then did life become mortal? Why is death and death alone the only absolute condition of that which exists? The Church answers: because man rejected life as it was offered and given to him by God and preferred a life depending not on God alone but on “bread alone.”

pg. 94-95
The unfathomable tragedy of Adam is that he ate for its own sake. More than that, he ate “apart” from God in order to be independent of Him. And if he did it, it is because he believed that food had life in itself and that he, by partaking of that food, could be like God, i.e., have life in himself. To put it very simply: he believed in food, whereas the only object of belief, of faith, of dependence is God and God alone. World, food, became his gods, the sources and principles of his life. He became their slave. Adam – in Hebrew – means “man.” It is my name, our common name. Man is still Adam, still the slave of “food.” He may claim that he believes in God, but God is not his life, his food, the all-embracing content of his existence. He may claim that he receives his life from God but he doesn’t live in God and for God. His science, his experience, his self-consciousness are all built on that same principle: “by bread alone.” We eat in order to be alive but we are not alive in God. This is the sin of all sins. This is the verdict of death pronounced on our life.”

The Eucharist, pg. 61
Any consecration in the Church is not a creation of “sacred objects,” by their sanctity contraposed to the “profane,” i.e. the unconsecrated, but their referral to their original and at the same time ultimate meaning – God’s conception of them. For the entire world was created as an “altar of God,” as a temple, as a symbol of the kingdom. According to its conception, it is all sacred, and not “profane,” for its essence lies in the divine “very good” of Genesis. The sin of man consists in the fact that he has darkened the “very good” in his very being and as such has torn the world away from God, made it an “end in itself,” and therefore a fall and death.

But God has saved the world. He saved it in that he again revealed its goal: the kingdom of God; its life: to be the path to this kingdom; its meaning: to be in communion with God, and in him with all creation. And therefore,  in contrast to the pagan “sanctification,” which consists in the sacralization of separate parts and objects of the world, the Christian sanctification consists in the restoration to everything in the world of its symbolic nature, its “sacramentality,” in referring everything to the ultimate aim of being. All our worship services therefore are an ascent to the altar and a return back to “this world” for witness to “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Co 2:9).
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« Reply #2058 on: February 28, 2010, 10:30:21 PM »

In the ancient past, science and philosophy was the same thing.  There was no distinction between the two.  Today, there is a huge distinction.

This is only because of the triumph of dualism and materialism, and the metaphysical assumption that science must be free of metaphysical assumptions- not because the character of natural philosophy ("science") has changed. Actually the basic principles of contemporary mainstream science are not far off from what was laid out by Epicurus and his followers.
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« Reply #2059 on: March 01, 2010, 02:52:59 AM »

I have nothing but reverence and respect for Fr. Schmemann and Fr. Hopko.  I find them very refreshing when reading their spiritual and philosophical ideas.  I just assumed St. Vlad's deans were non-literalists when it comes to Scripture, which makes one open to the science of evolution.

Where can I read Fr. Schmemann's interpretation of Genesis?

PS although not a dean, I also do have a respect for Fr. Seraphim Rose, despite my disagreement with his views on evolution

i dont know of any place where he just goes into an interpretation of Genesis, but the subject comes up quite a bit in his book Great Lent, and in some other works. here's a few relevant quotes:

Fr. Schmemann, Great Lent, pg. 40
The “continuous reading” of Genesis, Isaiah, and Proverbs has its origin at the time when Lent was still the main pre-baptismal season of the Church and lenten services were predominantly catechetical in their character, i.e., dedicated to the indoctrination of the catechumen. Each of the three books corresponds to one of the three basic aspects of the Old Testament: the history of God’s activity in Creation, prophecy, and the ethical or moral teachings. The Book of Genesis gives, as it were, the “framework” of the Church’s faith. It contains the story of Creation, of the Fall, and finally that of the promise and the beginning of salvation through God’s covenant with his chosen people. It conveys the three fundamental dimensions of the Church’s belief in God as Creator, Judge, and Savior. It reveals the roots of the Christian understanding of man as created in the “image and likeness of God,” as falling away from God, and as remaining the object of divine love, care, and ultimately salvation. It discloses the meaning of history as the history of salvation leading to and fulfilled in Christ. It announces the mystery of the Church through the images and realities of the People of God, Covenant, Ark, etc.

Pg. 64
With a unique art, St. Andrew interwove the great biblical themes – Adam and Eve, Paradise and Fall, the Patriarchs, Noah and the Flood, David, the Promised Land, and ultimately Christ and the Church – with confession of sin and repentance. The events of sacred history are revealed as events of my life, God’s acts in the past as acts aimed at me and my salvation, the tragedy of sin and betrayal as my personal tragedy. My life is shown to me as part of the great and all-embracing fight between God and the powers of darkness which rebel against Him . . . Thus, for four evenings the nine odes of the Canon tell me again and again the spiritual story of the world which is also my story. They challenge me with the decisive events and acts of the past whose meaning and power, however, are eternal because every human soul – unique and irreplaceable – moves, as it were, through the same drama, is faced with the same ultimate choices, discovers the same ultimate reality. Scriptural examples are more than mere “allegories” as many people think, and who therefore find this Canon too “overworked,” too loaded with irrelevant names and episodes. Why speak, they ask, of Cain and Able, of David and Solomon, when it should be so much simpler just to say: “I have sinned”?

Pg. 72-73
Because of sin and betrayal, the joyful day of Creation [Saturday] has become the day of death; for Creation, by “subjecting itself to futility” (Rom. 8:20), has itself become death. But Christ’s Death restores the seventh day, making it the day of re-creation, of the overcoming and destruction of that which made this world a triumph of death. And the ultimate purpose of Lent is to restore in us the “eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” which is the content of the Christian faith, love, and hope.

 pg. 93
It is important, therefore, to discern the uniquely Christian content of fasting. It is first of all revealed to us in the interdependence between two events which we find in the Bible: one at the beginning of the Old Testament and the other at the beginning of the New Testament. The first event is the “breaking of the fast” by Adam in Paradise. He ate of the forbidden fruit. This is how man’s original sin is revealed to us. Christ, the New Adam – and this is the second event – begins by fasting. Adam was tempted and he succumbed to temptation; Christ was tempted and He overcame that temptation. The result of Adam’s failure is expulsion from Paradise and death. The fruits of Christ’s victory are the destruction of death and our return to Paradise.

pg. 94

God, we are told, “created no death.” He is the Giver of Life. How then did life become mortal? Why is death and death alone the only absolute condition of that which exists? The Church answers: because man rejected life as it was offered and given to him by God and preferred a life depending not on God alone but on “bread alone.”

pg. 94-95
The unfathomable tragedy of Adam is that he ate for its own sake. More than that, he ate “apart” from God in order to be independent of Him. And if he did it, it is because he believed that food had life in itself and that he, by partaking of that food, could be like God, i.e., have life in himself. To put it very simply: he believed in food, whereas the only object of belief, of faith, of dependence is God and God alone. World, food, became his gods, the sources and principles of his life. He became their slave. Adam – in Hebrew – means “man.” It is my name, our common name. Man is still Adam, still the slave of “food.” He may claim that he believes in God, but God is not his life, his food, the all-embracing content of his existence. He may claim that he receives his life from God but he doesn’t live in God and for God. His science, his experience, his self-consciousness are all built on that same principle: “by bread alone.” We eat in order to be alive but we are not alive in God. This is the sin of all sins. This is the verdict of death pronounced on our life.”

The Eucharist, pg. 61
Any consecration in the Church is not a creation of “sacred objects,” by their sanctity contraposed to the “profane,” i.e. the unconsecrated, but their referral to their original and at the same time ultimate meaning – God’s conception of them. For the entire world was created as an “altar of God,” as a temple, as a symbol of the kingdom. According to its conception, it is all sacred, and not “profane,” for its essence lies in the divine “very good” of Genesis. The sin of man consists in the fact that he has darkened the “very good” in his very being and as such has torn the world away from God, made it an “end in itself,” and therefore a fall and death.

But God has saved the world. He saved it in that he again revealed its goal: the kingdom of God; its life: to be the path to this kingdom; its meaning: to be in communion with God, and in him with all creation. And therefore,  in contrast to the pagan “sanctification,” which consists in the sacralization of separate parts and objects of the world, the Christian sanctification consists in the restoration to everything in the world of its symbolic nature, its “sacramentality,” in referring everything to the ultimate aim of being. All our worship services therefore are an ascent to the altar and a return back to “this world” for witness to “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Co 2:9).


I don't find anything that you quoted here to be incompatible in what I believe in.  In fact, I find myself in agreement with every word you quoted here.

God bless.
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« Reply #2060 on: March 01, 2010, 02:57:59 AM »

In the ancient past, science and philosophy was the same thing.  There was no distinction between the two.  Today, there is a huge distinction.

This is only because of the triumph of dualism and materialism, and the metaphysical assumption that science must be free of metaphysical assumptions- not because the character of natural philosophy ("science") has changed. Actually the basic principles of contemporary mainstream science are not far off from what was laid out by Epicurus and his followers.

Epicurus based his idea on the foundation that it is necessary not to believe in a Creator.  Science does not necessitate such a belief but asks that one simply make an observation with the five senses we possess.  It is no different than describing something's color.  Science is just that dry and blatantly as honest as a child in its descriptions of what it observes and finds and discovers.

Epicurus started with a speculation.  In science, as I said in the beginning of this thread, there is no philosophical speculation.  Thanks to science, we now have the understandings of germ theory, theory of evolution in bacteria, the use of best treatments in "evidence-based medicine," the technological advances we take for granted, etc.  I personally thank God for science.
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« Reply #2061 on: March 01, 2010, 09:30:23 PM »

In the ancient past, science and philosophy was the same thing.  There was no distinction between the two.  Today, there is a huge distinction.

This is only because of the triumph of dualism and materialism, and the metaphysical assumption that science must be free of metaphysical assumptions- not because the character of natural philosophy ("science") has changed. Actually the basic principles of contemporary mainstream science are not far off from what was laid out by Epicurus and his followers.

Epicurus based his idea on the foundation that it is necessary not to believe in a Creator.  Science does not necessitate such a belief but asks that one simply make an observation with the five senses we possess. 

Regardless of Epicurus' motivation, they arrive at the same place- empiricism as a method for exploring the visible world. I think it would also be a bit naive to say that many contemporary scientists are not motivated by a need to disprove the existence of a Creator and to ward off fears of death.

To say that one "simply" makes observations using purely raw sensory data and mathematics is already a philosophical presupposition. Man has many other faculties for assessing the world aside from this, but these are suspended in the modern natural philosophy. How do you know that this information is enough to accurately comprehend natural phenomena? Only by assuming that the natural and spiritual worlds are completely separate. This notion is traceable in the history of philosophy to folks like Bacon, Descartes, Galileo, etc. It is hardly a common sense attitude, comparable to a child. What children are empiricists?
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« Reply #2062 on: March 01, 2010, 11:44:46 PM »

Epicurus' motivation is very important.  It is his rejection of God's existence that is condemned by the Church.  St. Athanasius talks about that if there was no Creator, the world would not be diverse (at least that's how I understand when he says "we would be all feet").

Children say what they see.  Out of their mouths come the truth.  They don't shy from the truth.  There's no sense of protocol for the revelation of truth from their mouths.  This is how science works.  It's presentation of facts in its rawest form and the putting together of these facts without any sense of partiality.

Quote
To say that one "simply" makes observations using purely raw sensory data and mathematics is already a philosophical presupposition

Would it make sense to spiritually assess a murder trial?  Science is no different than detective work.  They have to work backwards to put the evidence together to present the truth as best as possible.

Sure, we can probably spiritually try to help the murderer or the family of the murdered, but to look for facts, unless you're a miracle worker, I don't think anyone in their right mind would wait for an angel to tell them who the murderer is.
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« Reply #2063 on: June 03, 2010, 01:03:05 AM »

 Grin LOL

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« Reply #2064 on: June 03, 2010, 01:18:58 AM »

Grin LOL


Thanks for that.  I needed the laugh. laugh laugh laugh
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« Reply #2065 on: August 02, 2010, 11:58:18 AM »

Vladimir De Beer a South African living in the UK, active in the Sourozh diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church as lay representative of the new mission in Belfast.

Quote
It is our contention that the two accounts of the creation of humankind in Genesis refer to the evolutionary descent of Homo sapiens out of hominid ancestors (Genesis 1) and the granting of a God-consciousness, or spiritual soul, to Adam and Eve (Genesis 2). Viewed in this light Adam and Eve were not the first humans, but rather the first to receive a Divine revelation and thus obtain a God-consciousness. We know from the archaeological evidence that both the Cro-Magnon humans and their Neanderthal relatives believed in magic. Their rituals, among others to ensure successful hunting, were probably led by shamans. They buried their dead with offerings, pointing to a belief in an afterlife. This magic-based forerunner of religion, known to us as shamanism, developed in different parts of the world, and still exists in parts of Africa, Asia and Australasia. Although it entailed a much closer link between humans and nature than in so-called civilised societies, there was no inkling of a transcendent God with whom one can enter into a personal relation.

By the time of Adam and Eve, the human species had been living on Earth for approximately two thousand centuries72. They were capable of high levels of socialisation, like their closest animal relatives, the anthropoid primates. Whether they were able to communicate in an articulated language is unknown but it is doubtful, given the absence of any written records before the fourth millennium before Christ. Although non-literate human societies have existed until fairly recently in parts of the world, in many other parts spoken language sooner or later found expression in writing. However, the pre-Adamic humans had not yet risen to the level of a spiritual consciousness.

With the ‘creation’ of Adam and Eve a new dawn broke over Homo sapiens. The Creator of the universe revealed Himself to humankind, and thus for the first time humans were enabled to worship God and invited to enter into a personal relation with Him. Even though Adam and Eve failed in this by choosing an autonomous existence instead of living in obedience to the Divine will, they still retained the spiritual souls that God had blown into them. From Adam and Eve this spiritual consciousness gradually spread from the Near East to other parts of the world inhabited by humans, not only through their offspring but also through a process of spiritual diffusion. This latter process would explain the presence of higher spirituality in early times in countries as far apart as India, China, and Greece, where we do not find evidence of direct contact with the Adamic progeny. Interestingly, the earliest writing systems other than pictographs are represented by Sumerian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyph, both dating from the fourth millennium before Christ and therefore some time after Adam and Eve.

Through the offspring of Adam and Eve the Divine revelation would periodically unfold when the time was ripe....
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« Reply #2066 on: August 02, 2010, 12:26:55 PM »

Theistic Evolution requires God to create by death.
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« Reply #2067 on: August 02, 2010, 12:51:38 PM »

Theistic Evolution requires God to create by death.
True, but theistic evolution does not require God to create by means of spiritual death. Spiritual death comes upon the scene due to the choices of Adam and Eve.
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« Reply #2068 on: August 02, 2010, 02:25:37 PM »

If anyone cares, I sort of have a weird view. It may be heretical. If so, I will drop it.

I believe the Big Bang was not the act of creation, but the event of the Fall. I think creation existed in some kind of archetypal-paradisiacal-mythic-spiritual-physical state prior to the Big Bang/Fall that we can't really imagine. This was "Eden." Archetypal Man/Adam lived in this state until the Fall, and degeneration into primitive life forms was a result of it. So all of history and science as we know it is "Fallen history." Eventually, by God's mercy and grace, human beings were able to evolve into our current state to prepare for the coming of our Lord, and creation's redemption out of the Fall and into the Church. This would explain why we cannot really find a lot of the things on earth mentioned in the first chapters of Genesis.

The difference between my view and a gnostic/neoplatonic view is that I believe the archetypal world prior to the Fall/Big Bang really existed materially, not just spiritually, and our current world is still that world, just fallen. Just like the Kingdom Come will be this world, but glorified and Resurrected.

I understand it may sound like science fiction. Just a weird personal view.
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« Reply #2069 on: August 02, 2010, 04:36:43 PM »

Spiritual death comes upon the scene due to the choices of Adam and Eve.

The wages of sin is death. So physical death existed before sin? I thought the Holy Fathers taught that all of the cosmos was brought into disorder because of the sin of Adam (even if this means all men, the point still holds). Theistic Evolution capitulates to modern narratives and betrays this truth by stating that death was from God all along. How can he trample down death by death? Why do we hope for peace when the lion will lay with the lamb? Won't they still be enemies at the end if he only heals our "spiritual death", and not the physical one as well? How does any of this "spiritualization" of our redemption square with apostolic doctrines like the resurrection of the dead?

Was His resurrection merely spiritual? Is Christ Himself really a constructed spiritual archetype, as you seemingly posit that Adam was?

By the way, I don't have a strong opinion about this, I just don't see how Orthodox dogmatic theology and Theistic Evolution are compatible. I'm not saying that they're not; I just don't see it so far.
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