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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 327446 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #225 on: December 21, 2007, 03:58:45 PM »

Drop an apple and you prove that gravity exists,

Nope, you've just demonstrated that the apple travels in a certain direction and (if you measure it) at a certain acceleration when dropped. You have proven nothing about the attraction of masses, about the existence of a force called gravity, about the universal applicability of said principle to all massive bodies. Yes, it's evidence for a theory (and rather weak evidence, at that), but it's not even close to a 'proof' which even escapes Mathematical Physics.

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Split an atom and you have an atom bomb, move electrons and you can create light, Create a life form and you have life. All I am asking for is Proof? Create a life form. It's that simple. A theory will always remain a theory until proven.

May be sooner than you think, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2499119.stm

But with that said, while this is a great advancement in synthetic DNA, I really don't see how this advancement is relevant to the theory of common ancestry?

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Until it's proven all the theory of evolution is. Is a periodic table of biological elements.

As is gravity, atoms, electricity, etc., etc.
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« Reply #226 on: December 21, 2007, 04:01:45 PM »

I don't know gene sequencing, computational biology, or molecular biology, but judging from all the debate going on in the world today about this question, I would have to say that all the impirical evidence stands against the notion that this is a closed case.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it's not debated; perhaps George will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see how it would even be possible to work as a researcher in biology without accepting the theory of evolution, it's a prerequisite to modern biology.

And not to put too fine of a point on it, but the only people I ever see contesting this well-established scientific theory are those with a religious agenda and those ignorant of the field of biology; and they're almost always both.
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« Reply #227 on: December 21, 2007, 04:14:55 PM »

What new life form. They are using a preexisting cell.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2499119.stm


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The research will use a single-celled organism called Mycoplasma genitalium as a "template" for the new lifeform.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #228 on: December 21, 2007, 05:01:36 PM »

I hesitate to jump into this ever-so-interesting discussion because I have failed, due to time constraints and health issues, to follow it from the beginning.  So, I beg forgiveness and forebearance in advance as what I have to say and ask may already have been discussed and answered.

First of all I want to admit/acknowledge to all for whom this is important that I slept very soundly throughout much of my paltry education (oh, and how so very refreshing it was, too! Wink), most especially those subjects that had anything to do with that dreaded word "science".  So, please feel free to discount my profound ignorance (and in all seriousness, my ignorance is profound), and move on to the next post.

Now, having said all of that, my understanding of "evolution", at least as generally discussed by many people as poorly educated as myself, is that it has something to do with one (or more) species changing over a relatively long period of time into another species.  My question is this--is there conclusive, irrefutable, concrete, demonstrable evidence that this has happened?   Another question, if I may--have scientists ever been able to replicate that process of one species changing into another species?  If the answer to either of those questions is yes, could you please provide references, links, etc. that an educationally impoverished struggling sinner such as myself would be able to understand?

In spite of my somewhat sarcastic remarks above, I ask this in all seriousness and sincerity.  You see, I am beginning to finally awaken from my long slumber and truely wish to learn as much as my old, decaying remaining 1/2 brain cell is capable of absorbing.

Thanks to all for your patience and understanding.  Please pray for me, a miserable sinner.

In Christ,
Jeff
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« Reply #229 on: December 21, 2007, 05:06:56 PM »

What new life form. They are using a preexisting cell.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2499119.stm

We have the same type of cells as a dog; so are we the same life form? Roll Eyes

Where do you come up with this stuff Huh
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« Reply #230 on: December 21, 2007, 06:11:31 PM »

We have the same type of cells as a dog; so are we the same life form? Roll Eyes

Where do you come up with this stuff Huh

Using a preexisting cell doesn't mean that it's a new creation. It's easy to grow a tree horizontally if one leverages the branches in a horizontal direction. Same principle.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #231 on: December 22, 2007, 02:51:07 PM »

Hello GreekisChristian,

I am curious about your tag, cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex.

Is this something like, Law itself restrains by the restraining rule of law.

Would you help me understand what you mean by this?

Thanks
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« Reply #232 on: December 22, 2007, 05:24:10 PM »

Hello GreekisChristian,

I am curious about your tag, cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex.

Is this something like, Law itself restrains by the restraining rule of law.

Would you help me understand what you mean by this?

Thanks
Would you like to start a new thread to ask this off-topic question?  That might be better than potentially hijacking this thread with the type of tangential discussions greekischristian loves.
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« Reply #233 on: December 22, 2007, 09:03:45 PM »

Sure.

Tell me the name of the new topic.       Smiley
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« Reply #234 on: December 23, 2007, 12:12:18 AM »

Sure.

Tell me the name of the new topic.       Smiley
That's something I can't decide for you. Wink
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« Reply #235 on: December 23, 2007, 01:32:37 PM »

God bless !

Orthodox Christians can not accept the Evolution theory ( it is only a theorie not a fact) or Evolution Philosophy !

I think the Fathers of the church understood the Book of Genesis in a literal and allegorical sense.

And we should not forget that Adam was created immortal, he had a different nature than we yet. I think also the animals and the whole creature was different, only after the fall the nature of man changed. Paradise still exists.

In CHRIST
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« Reply #236 on: December 23, 2007, 02:37:04 PM »

Orthodox Christians can not accept the Evolution theory ( it is only a theorie not a fact) or Evolution Philosophy !

If you can find a synod of bishops that has deposed or excommunicated someone for believing in evolutionary biology then by all means, I'd believe you. 
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« Reply #237 on: December 23, 2007, 06:12:41 PM »

God bless !

Orthodox Christians can not accept the Evolution theory ( it is only a theorie not a fact) or Evolution Philosophy !

I think the Fathers of the church understood the Book of Genesis in a literal and allegorical sense.

And we should not forget that Adam was created immortal, he had a different nature than we yet. I think also the animals and the whole creature was different, only after the fall the nature of man changed. Paradise still exists.

In CHRIST
Can you cite the dogmatic authority (other than you) that declared this?  Agreeing with Νεκτάριος, I'm not aware that any dogmatic office of the Church has ever proclaimed this to be THE authoritative interpretation of the Bible and the Holy Fathers, such that those who disagree are anathema.
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« Reply #238 on: December 23, 2007, 11:56:13 PM »

I'm sorry, but I don't know what IIRC is.
IIRC - Internet acronym for "If I Recall/Remember Correctly"

Quote
Bishop of Rome was supposed to be the head over the entire Church, so I'm not a Roman Catholic.  I worship God and share communion in a non-denominational church which most people would call Protestant, but I have broken bread with Catholic monks, Anglicans, and Lutherans. 

Since I am not a Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox, you may prefer to call me Protestant.  I wish you wouldn't, since it does not accurately describe anything about me.  It might be like someone calling you a Baptist simply because you believe in baptism.

Yes, Christ is my jurisdiction.  But this does not mean that I do not submit to the leadership and guidance of church leaders.  But like the noble Bereans of Acts 17:11, I test everything a leader says against the scriptures. 

I honestly do put a lot of faith in those who have gone before me, so I do read and learn from the Holy Fathers.  When they teach something which does not contradict the scriptures, I am ready to give it fair consideration. 

So let me sum up:
  • I think not even animals died before Adam sinned.
  • I am a Christian informed and led by the richness, wisdom, and beauty of Christ as found in His Word and among His people.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Grace and peace to you.
I was going to draft a response to your "I'm not Protestant, I'm just Christian" claim, and I still might, but for right now I think my best response is to direct you to this thread where we recently discussed the subject.

"I'm not Protestant - I'm just Christian"
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« Reply #239 on: December 24, 2007, 05:21:08 AM »

Dear George, I really appreciate your kind guidance on the issue with the priest and the Bishop.

On whether one should follow some Bishop's "modern" guidance promoting evolution over the Church fathers' teachings, I'm hesitant to share this with you and Pravoslavbob, since I do not want to offend you on your journey to understanding; and although I cannot currently see faults in my reasoning, I know that I may also have blind spots that you might be able to help me understand along this line; but if I may, can I ask you to reconsider your secondary Orthodox understanding on modern evolutionary theories based on the following possible thoughts?

If I may, I will offer thoughts based upon the Russian entomologist Iuri'i Filipchenko evolutionary distinctive words  "macroevolution" and "microevolution" and Polish professor of Genetics presentation in the following article http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v17/i3/genetics.asp . Professor Maciej Giertych, M.A.(Oxford), Ph.D.(Toronto), D.Sc.(Poznan), is head of the Genetics Department of the Polish Academy of Sciences at the Institute of Dendrology in Kornik, Poland.  As you read in the article, observable science and Holy Tradition are not at odds. What you as a scientist can observe are changes within kinds and can enjoy studying and observing God's working through "microevolution", but that is very different than what has gripped many branches of the protestants and Roman catholics western liberal higher critics, since they want us all to make the "leap of faith" from microevolution to macroevolution.

Stephen Jay Gould, Christopher Hitchens, and a host of modern day "metaphysical teachers" under the guise of "science" are clearly following Darwin's original thesis and promoting as "science" that which is taking away the faith of Millions on our planet from God their Creator. I cannot tell you how many times in talks with intellectuals, professors and scholars at major universities, they barrage our students with the antichristian polemics based upon this "leap of faith" into the religion of macroevolutionary "theory". They say that "macroevolution is fact", although they know we are missing millions of "transitionary fossils" that should have been found by paleontologists years ago.

While at MIT bookstore 22+ years ago, I found an enlightening book written by a noncreationist paleontologist, who laid out the case against evolutionary "theory" based on only the real scientific observable fossil records and showed us that all the "missing links" are still missing and that "scientists" desperate to prove a failed "theory" have gone so far as to lead the world astray for periods of 20-40 years at a stretch, by even physically manipulating the data (actual fossils were sawed and "shaped" to try to prove some fossils as "missing link" fossils). This scientist was so concerned over how easily 50 debates between evolutionists and creationist scientists had easily been won by creationists, that if the scientific community does not join together to stop evolutionary dogmatic fantasies as "science" that obviously did not meet the paleontological evidence, that the creationists would have the only viable scientific option on hand, so he wanted to have us to start promoting new theories of creation before it was too late, since obviously macroevolution was factually problematic for the observable scientist.

Atheists say that they trust evolution as fact while knowing that we have no "observable empirical scientific evidence" for randomly created mutations which lead to increase in information.  For one scientific note dealing with Richard Dawkins' premise, read this Phd's writings at http://trueorigin.org/dawkinfo.asp . The author Dr. Royal Truman has his Ph.D., specializing in organic chemistry and works in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

For a more thorough discussions on the topic, Phd Sarfati from Australia, who has earned honors in condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, physical and inorganic chemistry, in his book  reviewed and contributed by phd in plant physiology, Don Batten, Phd John Baumgardner, geophysicist and plate tectonic modeler, tenured astronomy professor, phd Danny Faulkner, Robert Newton, Phd in astroPhysics, Russell Humphreys, Phd in Nuclear Physics, joined biologist and geologist, John Woodmorappe, and a host of other scientists, to present the scientific evidence for an alternate viewpoint to macroevolutionary theories. There are other science websites run by phds, like www.answersingenesis.org and www.drdino.com which present the scientific rebuttals to many of our scientific questions, but unfortunately those scientists do not often understand the Orthodox Holy Tradition, but Father Seraphim Rose obviously did and wrote a monumental modern book presenting our Orthodox Tradition on the modern "theory" attacking our faith. I wish not only western scientists led on these discussions refuting macroevolutionary theories , since the Orthodox church holds a much stronger basis for our beliefs and understanding of the Word of God than the modern minipopes of the west. I hesitate to bring their websites up, but the links are there incase you might be open to other possibilities on basic scientific "answers" presented by only one side in many of our campuses and textbooks.

I have talked with numerous "theistic evolutionists" from various universities, who finally moved to their logical conclusion of living apart from faith in God, just because they finally accepted the false premise of evolution as not just "metaphysical" but scientific "fact" and understood that with their professors' theories, "creation does not need a Creator"; and now sadly, accept by "faith" in "science" that randomly generated beneficial changes started abiogenetically to form modern day complex carbon based lifeforms. They now live as atheists even while going through the motions of faith within various church traditions, while others are diligently working to subvert the Orthodox faith from the planet completely.

Romans 5:12-21 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


These former believers have come to understand if there was no "first Adam and Eve", there cannot be a 'second Adam who delivered us from our sins (Romans 5), nor a second Eve, The Theotokos (Justin Martyr). They understand if sin did not enter the world through the first "Adam", then death did not come as the result of his "sinful choices" and man did not need a Savior to deliver us from the devil's grip of death. They know that if we can hyper-spiritualize interpretation of scriptures away from almost all of our Church Fathers' clear teachings, then it's very easy to simply discard the Holy Word completely and not allow it to guide and transform our lives during liturgy. While we often believe in deeper meaning of Holy Scriptures, obviously we do not do totally away with its primary meaning. We know there was a literal second Adam, Christ our God, just as there was a literal first Saints Adam and Eve. The Patriarchs Noah, Abraham, Jospeh, and hosts of ancient saints are not just figures of spiritual understanding, but all Church Fathers of the Orthodox Churches have taught a literal understanding of real historical men like St. David and Solomon, and none of these were just symbols of the divine Christ.

St. Athanasius, in his monumental message on the most important "On the Incarnation" of our LORD and its effectual power for our lives, starts his wonderful message by First addressing 3 "scientific" theories of creation of his days with the following words:

" In regard to the making of the universe and the creation of all things there have been various opinions, and each person has propounded the theory that suited his own taste.

•   For instance, some say that all things are self-originated and, so to speak, haphazard.
•   …Others take the view expressed by Plato, that giant among the Greeks. He said that God had made all things out of pre-existent and uncreated matter, just as the carpenter makes things only out of wood that already exists.
•   …Then, again, there is the theory of the Gnostics, who have invented for themselves an Artificer of all things other than the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… they get a creation independent of the Father…"

St. Athanasius answers the first "scientific theory" of evolutionary abiogenesis atheistic spontaneous generation system of his day with the following words:

"…some say that all things are self-originated and, so to speak, haphazard. The Epicureans are among these; they deny that there is any Mind behind the universe at all. This view is contrary to all the facts of experience, their own existence included. For if all things had come into being in this automatic fashion, instead of being the outcome of Mind, though they existed, they would all be uniform and without distinction. In the universe everything would be sun or moon or whatever it was, and in the human body the whole would be hand or eye or foot. But in point of fact the sun and the moon and the earth are all different things, and even within the human body there are different members, such as foot and hand and head. This distinctness of things argues not a spontaneous generation but a prevenient Cause; and from that Cause we can apprehend God, the Designer and Maker of all."


For the second "scientific theory" of evolutionary like matter and life came from previous matter and life, as inspired by Plato, St. Athanasius answers:
"He [Plato] said that God had made all things out of pre-existent and uncreated matter, just as the carpenter makes things only out of wood that already exists. But those who hold this view do not realize that to deny that God is Himself the Cause of matter is to impute limitation to Him, just as it is undoubtedly a limitation on the part of the carpenter that he can make nothing unless he has the wood. How could God be called Maker and Artificer if His ability to make depended on some other cause, namely on matter itself? If He only worked up existing matter and did not Himself bring matter into being, He would be not the Creator but only a craftsman.
The 3rd theory does not seem to enter the discussion rooms these days yet, so I'll limit my words somewhat by not quoting St. Athanasius here.

But to all "scientific theories" of creation, our Church father provides the following holy Tradition to help us correctly understand Genesis and God's Word against our modern day theories:

" Such are the notions which men put forward. But the impiety of their foolish talk is plainly declared by the divine teaching of the Christian faith. From it we know that, because there is Mind behind the universe, it did not originate itself; because God is infinite, not finite, it was not made from pre-existent matter, but out of nothing and out of non-existence absolute and utter God brought it into being through the Word. He says as much in Genesis: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth;44Gen. i. 1 and again through that most helpful book The Shepherd, "Believe thou first and foremost that there is One God Who created and arranged all things and brought them out of non-existence into being."55The Shepherd of Hermas, Book II. I

Paul also indicates the same thing when he says, "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which we see now did not come into being out of things which had previously appeared."66Heb. xi. 3 For God is good—or rather, of all goodness He is Fountainhead, and it is impossible for one who is good to be mean or grudging about anything. Grudging existence to none therefore, He made all things out of nothing through His own Word, our Lord Jesus Christ and of all these His earthly creatures He reserved especial mercy for the race of men.

Upon them, therefore, upon men who, as animals, were essentially impermanent, He bestowed a grace which other creatures lacked—namely the impress of His own Image, a share in the reasonable being of the very Word Himself, so that, reflecting Him and themselves becoming reasonable and expressing the Mind of God even as He does, though in limited degree they might continue for ever in the blessed and only true life of the saints in paradise. But since the will of man could turn either way, God secured this grace that He had given by making it conditional from the first upon two things—namely, a law and a place. He set them in His own paradise, and laid upon them a single prohibition. If they guarded the grace and retained the loveliness of their original innocence, then the life of paradise should be theirs, without sorrow, pain or care, and after it the assurance of immortality in heaven. But if they went astray and became vile, throwing away their birthright of beauty, then they would come under the natural law of death and live no longer in paradise, but, dying outside of it, continue in death and in corruption. This is what Holy Scripture tells us, proclaiming the command of God, "Of every tree that is in the garden thou shalt surely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ye shall not eat, but in the day that ye do eat, ye shall surely die."77Gen. ii. 16 f. "Ye shall surely die"—not just die only, but remain in the state of death and of corruption"

St. Athanasius is not our Orthodox Pope, but I only quoted from him to show you my dear brothers, that our Orthodox Church fathers have always had to contend for the faith in the midst of "scientific theories" that contradicted the Word of God as understood by the Holy Spirit guiding our Holy Tradition of rightly understanding theopneustos, God's inspired Word. Macroevolution like materialism and long age theories have been around for 1000s of years, but the Church has not every given in to them that I know of, and infact have spoken specifically against their "faith".

When I had completed my minor degrees in Physics and Computer Engineering many years ago. I simply was a "theistic evolutoinist" until one day by providential guidance, I found some powerful writings by modern scientists who showed me that "true science" not only did not support macroevolution, but infact, the scientific facts pointed us away from the ex-protestant turned atheist, Charles Darwin and his evolutionary "theory".

St. Athanasius provides the following possible light on why the subject was important to our church fathers and it wasn't simply a nontopic for theology and right worship of God:

" You may be wondering why we are discussing the origin of men when we set out to talk about the Word's becoming Man. The former subject is relevant to the latter for this reason: it was our sorry case that caused the Word to come down, our transgression that called out His love for us, so that He made haste to help us and to appear among us. It is we who were the cause of His taking human form, and for our salvation that in His great love He was both born and manifested in a human body. For God had made man thus (that is, as an embodied spirit), and had willed that he should remain in incorruption. But men, having turned from the contemplation of God to evil of their own devising, had come inevitably under the law of death. Instead of remaining in the state in which God had created them, they were in process of becoming corrupted entirely, and death had them completely under its dominion. For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again. The presence and love of the Word had called them into being; inevitably, therefore when they lost the knowledge of God, they lost existence with it; for it is God alone Who exists, evil is non-being, the negation and antithesis of good. By nature, of course, man is mortal, since he was made from nothing; but he bears also the Likeness of Him Who is, and if he preserves that Likeness through constant contemplation, then his nature is deprived of its power and he remains incorrupt. So is it affirmed in Wisdom: "The keeping of His laws is the assurance of incorruption."88Wisdom vi. 18 And being incorrupt, he would be henceforth as God, as Holy Scripture says, "I have said, Ye are gods and sons of the Highest all of you: but ye die as men and fall as one of the princes."99Psalm lxxxii. 6 f.
(5) This, then, was the plight of men. God had not only made them out of nothing, but had also graciously bestowed on them His own life by the grace of the Word. Then, turning from eternal things to things corruptible, by counsel of the devil, they had become the cause of their own corruption in death; for, as I said before, though they were by nature subject to corruption, the grace of their union with the Word made them capable of escaping from the natural law, provided that they retained the beauty of innocence with which they were created. That is to say, the presence of the Word with them shielded them even from natural corruption, as also Wisdom says: "God created man for incorruption and as an image of His own eternity; but by envy of the devil death entered into the world."1010Wisdom ii. 23 f. When this happened, men began to die, and corruption ran riot among them and held sway over them to an even more than natural degree, because it was the penalty of which God had forewarned them for transgressing the commandment. Indeed, they had in their sinning surpassed all limits; for, having invented wickedness in the beginning and so involved themselves in death and corruption, they had gone on gradually from bad to worse, not stopping at any one kind of evil, but continually, as with insatiable appetite, devising new kinds of sins. Adulteries and thefts were everywhere, murder and rapine filled the earth, law was disregarded in corruption and injustice, all kinds of iniquities were perpetrated by all, both singly and in common. Cities were warring with cities, nations were rising against nations, and the whole earth was rent with factions and battles, while each strove to outdo the other in wickedness. Even crimes contrary to nature were not unknown, but as the martyr-apostle of Christ says: "Their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature; and the men also, leaving the natural use of the woman, flamed out in lust towards each other, perpetrating shameless acts with their own sex, and receiving in their own persons the due recompense of their pervertedness."1111Rom. i. 26 f.
"


If you would like, you can read the full wonderful message of St. Athanasius at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.ii.html .

Metaphysical sciences are obviously not "empirical science", so this is no threat to real scientific research and study. Just sets boundaries for science to keep its understanding to what it can observe and correctly infer, but not try to read into the actual facts metaphysical and spiritual inferences that are not provable by any sort of real observable science.  Now, if we have someone enter a time machine and observe the past different than what God has told us clearly in His Word and through Holy Tradition in His Church, then maybe we can put that account against our only eyewitness account, The Holy Trinity Cheesy and choose whom to believe and follow for our lives.
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« Reply #240 on: December 24, 2007, 06:05:40 AM »

I'd be cautious of citing Giertych for anything that is meant to be taken seriously.  His wikipedia article sums up in English some of his rather strange views.  He is a mix of radical Catholic nationalism (honestly, I about fell out of my chair seeing his name on an Orthodox board and it not being followed by curses - he doesn't really believe Orthodox people in Poland deserve any civil rights), a racist (his theory of Neanderthals still existing has a racial twist to it) and just an old fashioned Polish anti-Semite.  Not really knowing enough to comment on the scientific aspects of it all, but as a Polish-American that follows the politics of Poland, I get the feeling he has about as much respect in the scientific community as an holocaust-denier would have among historians.     
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« Reply #241 on: December 24, 2007, 10:08:36 AM »

Can you cite the dogmatic authority (other than you) that declared this?  Agreeing with Νεκτάριος, I'm not aware that any dogmatic office of the Church has ever proclaimed this to be THE authoritative interpretation of the Bible and the Holy Fathers, such that those who disagree are anathema.

God bless !

There is no "dogmatic authority", I often see this question in your posts, why ? I have told you ( and I think others too) that in the Orthodox Church most parts of the Doctrine are not "DOGMAS". We are not catholics - we have many dogmatic Doctrines -and never were procclaimed as Dogma- but this mean not that we can believe what we want ! Doctrine has authority, Holy Scripture has authority, the Fathers have authority, the Tradition has authority........ ( Theophan was right when he was speaking about the consensus patrum)

When you think you only have to believe the "hard Dogmas" - what faith will you have ? Is not even the Ever-virginity of the Theotokos NOT PROCLAIMED AS DOGMA - or her sinslessness, or her assumption, dormition.......and many other things......DO NOT ALWAYS SEARCH FOR DOGMAS !

Did you read orthodox dogmatic theology and did you see how many things are "dogmatic" but never proclaimed as Dogma. Did not even St. Justin mention the Toll Houses in his Dogmatic Theology ?

In the case of the Evolution theory or evolution philosophy- we have some writings of great Saints and Elders-like St, Nektarios of Aegina, Staretz Ambrosje of Optina........and others.....and they have enough authority.

The evolution theory is a contradiction to Holy Scripture and the Orthodox Doctrine of the Nature of Adam; the first created man. You don't have to believe ME but look for your own ( why should Nektarios believe me- he thinks I am a heretic Branch theorist ).

IN CHRIST
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« Reply #242 on: December 24, 2007, 02:25:38 PM »

God bless !

There is no "dogmatic authority", I often see this question in your posts, why ? I have told you ( and I think others too) that in the Orthodox Church most parts of the Doctrine are not "DOGMAS". We are not catholics - we have many dogmatic Doctrines -and never were procclaimed as Dogma- but this mean not that we can believe what we want ! Doctrine has authority, Holy Scripture has authority, the Fathers have authority, the Tradition has authority........ ( Theophan was right when he was speaking about the consensus patrum)
I'm sorry, but when you say such things as the following:
Orthodox Christians can not accept the Evolution theory ( it is only a theorie not a fact) or Evolution Philosophy !
you are citing a dogmatic authority.  As you yourself even acknowledge, a doctrine doesn't have to be proclaimed DOGMA by an Ecumenical Council to have the same authority as DOGMA.  When you say, though, that Orthodox Christians must accept a doctrine lest one not be Orthodox, you are saying that the doctrine might as well be considered a DOGMA.  (Since you like to argue that you have never said anyone here is not Orthodox, just examine the semantic logic of your statement, "Orthodox Christians cannot accept evolution theory."  Simply following this logical flow, one has to recognize that the statement also makes the converse true: "One who accepts evolution theory cannot be Orthodox.")  What authority do YOU have to say such things, to provide for us the definitive interpretation of the Holy Fathers that we all must follow?

Quote
When you think you only have to believe the "hard Dogmas" - what faith will you have ? Is not even the Ever-virginity of the Theotokos NOT PROCLAIMED AS DOGMA - or her sinslessness, or her assumption, dormition.......and many other things......
For the record, no, these beliefs about the Theotokos are not proclaimed as dogma, in that no one (to my knowledge) has been declared anathema for not adhering to them.  They are very central to our veneration of the Theotokos, as can be seen in our rich hymnographical tradition, so that they truly define our understanding of the Virgin, but no one is required by force of excommunication to believe these things about her.  One is recognized as a heretic only for refusing to grant her the title "Theotokos".

Quote
Did you read orthodox dogmatic theology and did you see how many things are "dogmatic" but never proclaimed as Dogma. Did not even St. Justin mention the Toll Houses in his Dogmatic Theology ?
If reading the works on dogmatic theology by Fr. Pomazansky and Fr. Justin Popovich--excellent works, I'm sure--drives me to judge my Orthodox brothers and sisters, then I would rather not read them.

Quote
In the case of the Evolution theory or evolution philosophy- we have some writings of great Saints and Elders-like St, Nektarios of Aegina, Staretz Ambrosje of Optina........and others.....and they have enough authority.
Maybe so.  I certainly don't deny that these holy men wrote against evolutionary theory and philosophy, and their holiness certainly gives their words great weight for consideration.  But that in itself does not make their teachings binding upon all Orthodox.

Quote
The evolution theory is a contradiction to Holy Scripture and the Orthodox Doctrine of the Nature of Adam; the first created man. You don't have to believe ME but look for your own.
And yet many here, whose wisdom and knowledge of this subject I trust, have said that there is no clearly defined "Orthodox Doctrine of the Nature of Adam."  Yes, many Fathers have written on this subject, but one cannot pick and choose which Fathers to follow and preach in an attempt to build an artificial consensus patrum.


Quote
( why should Nektarios believe me- he thinks I am a heretic Branch theorist )
Such snide remarks as this certainly do not help your cause here.
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« Reply #243 on: December 24, 2007, 02:47:54 PM »

why should Nektarios believe me- he thinks I am a heretic Branch theorist.

Frankly, I don't care whether you or anyone else is a branch theorist.  What I was getting at is that you pick and choose from a troupe of schismatic "saints", renegade "elders", fundamentalist protestant thought with a few actual Orthodox sources thrown in for good measure.  Your "traditionalism" is entirely self-serving and quite often contradictory. 

So put up or shut up - there is either a source from a universally recognized Orthodox authority (i.e a pan-Orthodox synod, an anathema issued by a synod of bishops etc) condemning evolutionary biology or there isn't. 
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« Reply #244 on: December 24, 2007, 02:58:30 PM »

My first thought about a source is whether the science presented lines up with our fathers, but maybe I'm wrong and we should accept others as higher authority in understanding our universe even if their findings come across as empirically flawed?

I do not know the political views of these scientists. Good to know about Poland's political concerns, but I do know that if we stop listening to a scientist because he is an evangelical or a politician even with strong antiIsrael arguments, then we would have major problems with all our sources, since we would have to logically discount all agnostics and atheists as sources as well, since they obviously do not promote a healthy Orthodox world view. Seems to me that none of these scientists are holy saints but the holy saints that I have read thus far all agree with Intelligent Design and the creationists' viewpoints.

Let me provide some examples without hopefully sounding judgemental:

Charles Darwin- Charles Darwin, left his faith in Christ and the Holy Scriptures as taught by his school in favor of an atheistic antichristian mindset and began exploring nature with the eyes of one author's geological understanding. Finally he gave us "Origin of Species" based on very limited data. While many of his writings have been empirically disproven through logical presentations by numerous evolutionary and intelligent design scientists, some have kept his later in life antichristian premise and promoted new materialistic world viewpoints under his name and call it "neodarwinism" probably to simply tag unto a momentous movement among some who deny the faith or for other marketing or nonmarketing reasons.

Stephen Jay Gould, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins- Atheists I talk with regularly tout these modern leaders of the metaphysical sciences on every occasion possible. They are so vehemently trying to tell all their listeners and readers that the reason for all the pains, troubles and suffering of the world, is Christianity and infact all people of all faiths. They foolishly assume as the communists, that if you wipe out religion from the world, you will stop all wars and usher an era of peace based on their brand of "science". Was it not this same brand of atheism that murdered millions of our fellow brothers, sisters, moms and Dads in the former soviet union? Was not this same evolutionary thought process which led Adolph Hitler to consider the Arian race supreme above all other races and use his war machines to try to implement Darwin's "survival of the fittest" under Nazism? For a wonderful video of the debate between the atheist promoter against Christianity and a Roman Catholic defender of Christians' benefit to mankind, feel free to look up http://www.c-spanarchives.org/library/index.php?main_page=product_video_info&products_id=201727-1 . I found Hitchens to have been so soundly defeated based on facts of history that atheists actually have written supportive statement for D'Souza, saying that they need to "update" their knowledge with his presentations in order to find stronger counterarguments. D'Souza uses their systems to show the logical fallacies in their arguments, but that might get too far off topic.

louis Pasteur- He was a creationist who found us some of the most wonderful medical ways of healing the body.

Dr. Henry Morris- whose scientific views seem to be clearly inline with our Orthodox Church fathers, but who also spends some time denying honorable belief in Holy Tradition because of his modern evangelical misunderstandings in regards to our Faith in Christ. Strange for one from an Orthodox worldview, to see him promote many of the same Holy Traditional belief in the Holy Trinity and venerable Scriptures, while denying the work of the men and the Church that the Holy Spirit inspired to bring him the One Faith.

Maybe we should trust our Church Fathers and simply believe that the Holy Trinity who created all of us, and who was the only eyewitness of Creation, has led our saints and inspired them to understand and reveal truth about creation and rightly lead our scientists to first spend worship time in a monastery and be observed for their heart of Love for God and their sincere humble trust in Christ our God, before exposing them to the history of creation science and the modern macroevolutionary turns to them?

Or should we discount all church fathers who almost unanimously agree with the teachings of intelligent design, because they did not have access to some of the latest leaps from microevolutionary theories into macroevolution and simply say they were ignorant of God's Creation and they should not be trusted as source of areas where "modern science" now claims a higher ground than them.

I do not want to wrongly come across as one who has all the answers, because obviously there are wonderful mysteries in Creation. I honestly know that empirical science cannot prove either creation or evolution, but simply present the data in favor of both, and we can decide for ourselves, whether our Orthodox fathers were true in their presentations on Genesis and the history of man or not.

Hopefully, we can humbly love one another even as we think through our questions of trust in the Holy Spirit's work through the fathers of our faith, while focusing more on loving as they have loved and proclaiming pure Love above all our knowledge (1 Cor 13).
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« Reply #245 on: December 24, 2007, 03:19:53 PM »

^ (referring to the above post)

By "Intelligent Design" do you mean the (pseudo?)-scientific system put forward by such men as Michael Behe and William Dembski?  I'm not sure that many of our ascetic fathers would have access to their writings to be able to make an informed judgment of the specifics of their ideas.  I'm sure, though, that they would agree that our universe and all life therein was created by an Intelligent Designer, but Professor Behe himself recognizes--I've personally heard him speak--that his Intelligent Design concepts do not preclude belief in evolution as the means by which the Intelligent Designer chose to create life as we know it.
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« Reply #246 on: December 24, 2007, 04:23:01 PM »

Good question Peter  Smiley What was the Intelligent Design belief of those inspired by the Holy Spirit and in communion with God our Creator and His One Chuch on earth? Maybe Intelligent Design as understood by readings of the church fathers presented in Father Seraphim Rose's 700+ page book on Creation would be a wonderful starting point  Cool

As for "pseudoscience", if I may stick to this reality as the principle "scientific" basis and declare all others as philosophical, metaphysical or "pseudo sciences", maybe we'll all be on holy ground  angel  Smiley :

"...empirical science cannot prove either creation or evolution, but simply present the data in favor of both, and we can decide for ourselves, whether our Orthodox fathers were true in their presentations on Genesis and the history of man or not. "

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« Reply #247 on: December 24, 2007, 06:08:33 PM »

As for "pseudoscience", if I may stick to this reality as the principle "scientific" basis and declare all others as philosophical, metaphysical or "pseudo sciences", maybe we'll all be on holy ground  angel  Smiley :
But then arises the question of what counts as science, and who is qualified to determine this.  Do those who do not actively participate in the sciences as these have been traditionally defined--no, science never was a purely spiritual/religious pursuit, even though many of the pioneers of what we know as modern science were indeed guided by a traditional Christian world view--have the authority to define science to be something that most don't recognize as science?  Do non-scientists have any legitimate authority to declare the scientific method anti-truth per se?  What if scientific observations prove elements of our Christian cosmology and world view wrong, such as Copernicus did to the Roman Catholic insistence on an earth-centered model of the universe?  Do we then discredit the empirical evidence as anti-Christian and stubbornly insist on following our "divinely revealed" view of things?  Such stubbornness, IMHO, only discredits our witness as that of the backward fundamentalists many already think we are.  I'm not suggesting we worship science, as many of today's scientists do; all I ask is that we see science as a means of seeing how Christ, the Divine Logos, has revealed His Father to us via His creation.  Orthodox Christians need not be opposed to the man-made sciences.

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"...empirical science cannot prove either creation or evolution, but simply present the data in favor of both, and we can decide for ourselves, whether our Orthodox fathers were true in their presentations on Genesis and the history of man or not."
I think the above statement (from Fr. Seraphim Rose?) overly simplistic in its implication that the witness of the Holy Fathers and the findings of science are necessarily opposed to each other.  In fact, I would venture to say that the Holy Fathers were not united in their understanding of Genesis and that whoever uttered this statement may have tried to indicate the existence of a patristic consensus that is just imagined and artificial.
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« Reply #248 on: December 25, 2007, 12:00:29 AM »

My first thought about a source is whether the science presented lines up with our fathers, but maybe I'm wrong and we should accept others as higher authority in understanding our universe even if their findings come across as empirically flawed?

Rather than reading the the Fathers in the most literal way possible, look at their methodology.  They had no qualms in resorting to neo-platonic thought and were not in any way anti-intellectuals.  Had modern evolutionary biology existed in their time with the scientific evidence that has today, I don't see what they wouldn't have Christianized it like they did with much other religious and secular philosophy of their day.


Quote
I do not know the political views of these scientists. Good to know about Poland's political concerns, but I do know that if we stop listening to a scientist because he is an evangelical or a politician even with strong antiIsrael arguments, then we would have major problems with all our sources, since we would have to logically discount all agnostics and atheists as sources as well, since they obviously do not promote a healthy Orthodox world view. Seems to me that none of these scientists are holy saints but the holy saints that I have read thus far all agree with Intelligent Design and the creationists' viewpoints.


When someone uses their same methodology to also come up with a belief in the Loch Ness monster and other absurdities, I think it is fair to question his reliability as a scientist.  If only the very fringe of a profession professes a belief and they also profess some very strange beliefs in other issues - might it be worth questioning their conclusions?  And this whole atheism card is getting old.  The poster here, Heohrij is a biologist and an Orthodox Christian.

Quote
Or should we discount all church fathers who almost unanimously agree with the teachings of intelligent design, because they did not have access to some of the latest leaps from microevolutionary theories into macroevolution and simply say they were ignorant of God's Creation and they should not be trusted as source of areas where "modern science" now claims a higher ground than them.

"Intelligent design" is a modern idea and a reaction to evolutionary biology.  To speak of anyone in the patristic era holding to it is anachronistic to say the least.
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« Reply #249 on: December 25, 2007, 11:42:22 AM »

Quote
Charles Darwin- Charles Darwin, left his faith in Christ and the Holy Scriptures as taught by his school in favor of an atheistic antichristian mindset and began exploring nature with the eyes of one author's geological understanding. Finally he gave us "Origin of Species" based on very limited data.

Weird...not that I'm defending Darwin's atheism, but I think his atheism places the blame on the Christians who forced him into atheism, not the scientific findings he made, which he made at the time as a Christian.  In fact, he grew up a very religious man, with a very religious family.  In fact, he was still a believer in God at the time of writing the "Origin of Species."  As his views became more popular (and infamous in Christian circles) and as he received the wrath of Bibliolatry "Christians" at the time, he lost his faith, not able to believe in a God that contradicts scientific research (and some other theological issues, like the overstressing the juridical God that bothered him as well).

I hope we don't distort "atheist" "scientists" as evil men with an agenda to destroy religion, like Darwin.  Darwin was a fluke as I showed.  Dawkins and Hitchins are nothing but atheists with a good literary and philosophical sense, not scientific, which is why they're strong on ideology.  Why don't we listen to the voices of people like Dr. Ken Miller and Dr. Francis Collins, who are devout Christians, the former being a biologist the latter being a leading geneticist, both understanding and accepting the importance of the fact of evolution in their research.

I bet you that none of you here who are posting "anti-evolution" crap are actually biological scientists in your fields.  If you want people here to take you seriously, get a biology degree and then come back with your research.  Until then, here's a very long youtube video that I hope you listen to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

God bless.
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« Reply #250 on: December 25, 2007, 01:54:52 PM »

Mina,

Thank you very much for that link. His graciousness toward those of opposing viewpoints while still making a cogent argument for science, and only science, in science textbooks is just what the scientific community needs. He invites everyone to look at the facts while never stooping to insults or derision. A gentleman and a scholar. I second your invitation for everyone who has posted on this thread to listen to his lecture.
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« Reply #251 on: December 25, 2007, 02:03:12 PM »

So put up or shut up - there is either a source from a universally recognized Orthodox authority (i.e a pan-Orthodox synod, an anathema issued by a synod of bishops etc) condemning evolutionary biology or there isn't. 

Right.  And there isn't one.
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« Reply #252 on: December 25, 2007, 02:04:38 PM »

I bet you that none of you here who are posting "anti-evolution" crap are actually biological scientists in your fields.  If you want people here to take you seriously, get a biology degree and then come back with your research. 

Hear hear!
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« Reply #253 on: December 25, 2007, 02:42:28 PM »

 Why do you even worship a God? If he isn't the reason you exist than why worship him. He hasn't done anything for you. For that matter what is you're idea of salvation? Just curious. If he is powerless to create you than wouldn't he be powerless to resurrect you.

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« Reply #254 on: December 25, 2007, 02:45:48 PM »

Demetrios,

Why do you worship a God who does not hold you to the ground? If He doesn't keep you from floating off into space then why worship Him? He hasn't done anything for you. If He is powerless to keep your feet on the floor, then wouldn't He be powerless to save you?
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« Reply #255 on: December 25, 2007, 02:54:43 PM »

Demetrios,

Why do you worship a God who does not hold you to the ground? If He doesn't keep you from floating off into space then why worship Him? He hasn't done anything for you. If He is powerless to keep your feet on the floor, then wouldn't He be powerless to save you?

Your Idea of salvation is foreign to me. Could you clarify it?
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« Reply #256 on: December 25, 2007, 03:04:00 PM »

Why do you even worship a God? If he isn't the reason you exist than why worship him. He hasn't done anything for you. For that matter what is you're idea of salvation? Just curious. If he is powerless to create you than wouldn't he be powerless to resurrect you.



I fail to see how a belief about the method and time frame involved in creation that doesn't accord with yours somehow automatically means one is not a Christian.  Is your God so small that he can only create in the way you have decided he can?  Is your God so small that he has been created in your image and subject to the limits of your imagination?
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« Reply #257 on: December 25, 2007, 03:12:55 PM »

I fail to see how a belief about the method and time frame involved in creation that doesn't accord with yours somehow automatically means one is not a Christian.  Is your God so small that he can only create in the way you have decided he can?  Is your God so small that he has been created in your image and subject to the limits of your imagination?

I would like to see how your views fit into our theology. That's all. If you are hesitant to explain them. It doesn't say much about them fitting in. Does it?
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« Reply #258 on: December 25, 2007, 03:16:00 PM »

I would like to see how your views fit into our theology. That's all. If you are hesitant to explain them. It doesn't say much about them fitting in. Does it?

Would you care to make an accusation outright instead of stooping to innuendo?  If you are hesitant to publicly accuse us all of having heretical beliefs, it doesn't say much for the substance of the accusation, does it?
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« Reply #259 on: December 25, 2007, 03:23:11 PM »

Why do you even worship a God? If he isn't the reason you exist than why worship him. He hasn't done anything for you. For that matter what is you're idea of salvation? Just curious. If he is powerless to create you than wouldn't he be powerless to resurrect you.

I see more awe and majesty in a God who creates this world with a single spark and the laws of science over the course of billions of years than some second rate deity that creates an arbitrary and ultimately chaotic universe. 

I would like to see how your views fit into our theology. That's all. If you are hesitant to explain them. It doesn't say much about them fitting in. Does it?

How does gravity fit into our theology?  It's not mentioned in the Bible, fathers or any of the councils.
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« Reply #260 on: December 25, 2007, 03:25:46 PM »

Would you care to make an accusation outright instead of stooping to innuendo?  If you are hesitant to publicly accuse us all of having heretical beliefs, it doesn't say much for the substance of the accusation, does it?

No one has accused you of anything. First you stated that you are not created and you believe in the theory of evolution. Now you posted that you are created but it varies from how the church views it. I don't get it. Are you confused?
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« Reply #261 on: December 25, 2007, 03:28:37 PM »

Why do you even worship a God? If he isn't the reason you exist than why worship him. He hasn't done anything for you. For that matter what is you're idea of salvation? Just curious. If he is powerless to create you than wouldn't he be powerless to resurrect you.

My belief that evolution is true has nothing to do with my belief that God causes all to occur.  Nothing is by chance, even though it sometimes appears that way to us.  I believe that God is the reason why I exist.  I believe God created me.  I believe that He will resurrect me too.  I believe that Adam and Eve may well have been real people.  I see no contradiction between this and my ascent to the the evidence pointing to evolution being an accurate scientific finding.  And no, I do not believe in (what I think is) the silly and pseudo-scientific, pseudo-theological "intelligent design" theory.  

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« Reply #262 on: December 25, 2007, 03:35:12 PM »

My belief that evolution is true has nothing to do with my belief that God causes all to occur.  Nothing is by chance, even though it sometimes appears that way to us.   I believe that God is the reason why I exist.  I believe God created me.  I believe that He will resurrect me too.  I believe that Adam and Eve may well have been real people.  I see no contradiction between this and my ascent to the the evidence pointing to evolution being an accurate scientific finding.  And no, I do not believe in (what I think is) the silly and pseudo-scientific, pseudo-theological "intelligent design" theory. 



Please tell me you don't believe that Christ needs to evolve to resurrect? Why would man need to evolve to live as man. You see how silly you are sounding? BTW thanks for at least giving it a try.
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« Reply #263 on: December 25, 2007, 03:40:21 PM »

No one has accused you of anything. First you stated that you are not created and you believe in the theory of evolution. Now you posted that you are created but it varies from how the church views it. I don't get it. Are you confused?

No, and I actually have enough of a spine to say what I think instead of leaving it to sly implication.

Whether God created man in a handful of 24 hour periods and caused him to begin existence fully formed or God slowly created man over a billion years by building one thing and building that into another does absolutely nothing to affect the work that Christ accomplished on the cross.  Whether God created us instantaneously or slowly does nothing to change the fact that God entered his own creation to redeem it from death, and ultimately, I don't particularly care which method it was, because my faith in God won't change based solely on how he created us.  I'm sorry that your god is so fragile that he must either do everything as you have determined or not exist at all.
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« Reply #264 on: December 25, 2007, 04:08:07 PM »

God bless !

1. Like I have written, not every part of Orthodox Doctrine is proclaimed as Dogma, but this mean not that we do not have to believe such Doctrines. Dogmas are often proclaimed AFTER they were denied as Doctrine ! We would have thousends of Dogmas.

2. For me everyone who deny the Evervirginity of the Theotokos is not really orthodox - even when there is no anathema. And there are many things contrary to orthodoxy which are not under anathema ( pews for example, but to everyone it must be clear that they are contrary to orthodoxy, is there a canon against smoking, or video games,.......and so on, would you say these things are OK ?

3.There is a consensus patrum about the Nature of Adam, we have a clear teaching about the first created man. He was immortal with a different Nature - now our Nature is corrupted - we were thrown out from paradise - which still exists...... When you say we do not have an exact teaching of the Nature of Adam it will also have an effect how you understand the second Adam - Christ. So it is important to know the Nature of Adam, it belongs to our understanding of Salvation.

4. Evolution Theory and Evolution Philosophy is a contradiction to Holy Scripture and the Teaching of the Holy Fathers. Science will never be able to explain the Nature of the first created man but the church is able, through the teaching of the Saints and the Fathers.

5.The Fathers used science of their time to explain the Teaching of the Church but they did not follow anything contrary to the Teaching and Doctrine of the Church-there is a Difference. I am not against modern science but I am against any teaching contrary to church.

In CHRIST

And Nektarios, I think you miss the "Infallible Pope", perhaps- we do not believe that Bishops and Patriarchs are infallible ! And to try to make all my sources dubious or schismatic is silly because for us St. Glicherie is not schismatic, perhaps for you and your church. But for you it is the same to try to unite different orthodox jurisdictions and the heretic branch theory and for you monks of mount athos are antisemitic with conspiracy theory and the fathers of the Church are dubious and the Tradition of the Holy Church is "superficial" or " most superficial" and for you pews and stasidions are also the same?Huh
« Last Edit: December 25, 2007, 05:04:10 PM by Christodoulos » Logged
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« Reply #265 on: December 25, 2007, 11:55:06 PM »

Your Idea of salvation is foreign to me. Could you clarify it?
That post was not my idea of salvation, it's yours. I merely substituted the theory of gravity for the theory of evolution. My point was that if you believe that any belief that the theory of evolution is a plausible explanation for our existence automatically denies God any role in the world, then you must also believe that any belief that the theory of gravity is what is holding us to this earth automatically denies God any role in the world as well.

Why is it so hard for you to believe that God works through the natural laws of the universe? Is that any less a miracle than anything else He does?

I see more awe and majesty in a God who creates this world with a single spark and the laws of science over the course of billions of years than some second rate deity that creates an arbitrary and ultimately chaotic universe. 

How does gravity fit into our theology?  It's not mentioned in the Bible, fathers or any of the councils.
Amen! Scientific theories, or the culmination of observation of God's world and reasonings about it, are healthy and good for our salvation. The more we know about the world, the more of God we can see in everyday things.

Science is not compatible with religion, but this does not mean the two are opposed. Suppose an auto mechanic enjoys metaphysical poetry. Would quoting John Donne help him change a tire? Of course not. The two are unrelated. It's not that alliteration is opposed to combustion; it's that they have nothing to do with each other. In the same way, science is not a philosophy or a moral code. Science is not religious, but it is also not anti-religious. It is areligious. Science is concerned with the physical world, what we can observe and empirically know. Religion is concerned with the supernatural world, which we cannot observe and cannot know but by faith. The two are fundamentally different, in the way that Holy Sonnet X and a spark plug are fundamentally different. The questions of science cannot be answered by religion, and the questions of religion cannot be answered by science. Both are necessary to complete the human experience.
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« Reply #266 on: December 26, 2007, 12:41:17 AM »

1. Like I have written, not every part of Orthodox Doctrine is proclaimed as Dogma, but this mean not that we do not have to believe such Doctrines. Dogmas are often proclaimed AFTER they were denied as Doctrine ! We would have thousends of Dogmas.

I'll take that as a "no" to whether you can find any authoritative Orthodox source than condemns evolution.

Quote
2. For me everyone who deny the Evervirginity of the Theotokos is not really orthodox - even when there is no anathema. And there are many things contrary to orthodoxy which are not under anathema ( pews for example, but to everyone it must be clear that they are contrary to orthodoxy, is there a canon against smoking, or video games,.......and so on, would you say these things are OK ?

On the first point there is ample liturgical support for Orthodox belief regarding the Virgin Mary.  As for smoking and video games - I don't think either is a problem if they are done in moderation.  The same principle as alcohol. 

Quote
4. Evolution Theory and Evolution Philosophy is a contradiction to Holy Scripture and the Teaching of the Holy Fathers. Science will never be able to explain the Nature of the first created man but the church is able, through the teaching of the Saints and the Fathers.

You say that they are contradictory.  Yet a large number of faithful, priests and I would even guess bishops accept the validity of evolution.   

Quote
5.The Fathers used science of their time to explain the Teaching of the Church but they did not follow anything contrary to the Teaching and Doctrine of the Church-there is a Difference. I am not against modern science but I am against any teaching contrary to church.

Since modern science did not really exist in the patristic era it is impossible to say that they would have rejected evolution as contrary to the Christian faith.  Based on Justin Martyr who held the Greek philosophers in the same esteem as the Old Testament prophets and the heavy influence of neo-platonic thought on the patristic era in Christianity, I would find it entirely out of place for the fathers to reject something based on empirical evidence and take a reactionary and anti-intellectual stand. 


Quote
And Nektarios, I think you miss the "Infallible Pope", perhaps- we do not believe that Bishops and Patriarchs are infallible !

And I am not sure that you even understand the basics of Orthodox ecclesiology and have instead appointed yourself to be an infallible pope.  The only difference in your methodology than that of the sola scriptura touting fundamentalist is you use a larger textural copora from whence to draw your proof-texts.  In the Orthodox Church the bishops in their entirety are the source of our teaching authority, not Christodoulos from oc.net and his copy and paste jobs from various geocities sites.

Quote
And to try to make all my sources dubious or schismatic is silly because for us St. Glicherie is not schismatic, perhaps for you and your church. But for you it is the same to try to unite different orthodox jurisdictions and the heretic branch theory

Old calendarists and their little pietistic cults and gurus are so few in number that they are statistically insignificant.  But as you judge so shall you too be judged.  I find it curious that you have such animosity towards those whom you condemn as ecumenists, when your archbishop does the exact same thing in a slightly different form.  Glicherie died a schismatic.

Quote
and for you monks of mount athos are antisemitic with conspiracy theory

Yeah, that was my experience. 

Quote
and the fathers of the Church are dubious and the Tradition of the Holy Church is "superficial" or " most superficial"

Nice try.  You and your reading of the fathers is superficial - not the great and holy fathers themselves.  It is sad that these extraordinary thinks, writers, preachers, monastics and shepherds  that were some of the most respected members of their society have been reduced to reactionary drivel by your ilk. 

Quote
and for you pews and stasidions are also the same?Huh

Well... since they serve the same purpose, look relatively similar to one another, I'd have to go out on a limb and -gasp- say they are well.... the same thing. 
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« Reply #267 on: December 26, 2007, 04:21:14 AM »

God bless !

1. Like I have written, ...
So you're the authority on this matter?

Quote
2. For me everyone who deny the Evervirginity of the Theotokos is not really orthodox - even when there is no anathema.
I'm glad you think yourself qualified to judge who is and who is not Orthodox.  Though I do see more than enough evidence from our hymnographical tradition and our sacred lore to convince me of the Ever-Virginity of the Theotokos, I certainly don't see myself qualified to judge anyone as not Orthodox for not believing the evidence as I do.

Quote
And there are many things contrary to orthodoxy which are not under anathema ( pews for example, but to everyone it must be clear that they are contrary to orthodoxy, is there a canon against smoking, or video games,.......and so on, would you say these things are OK ?)
According to what I see here, you seem to think yourself an authority on what is Orthodox and what is not.

Quote
3.There is a consensus patrum about the Nature of Adam, we have a clear teaching about the first created man.
Prove it.  Without citations from the Fathers who make up this consensus patrum, your words mean nothing.  Citing only those Fathers who agree with you and ignoring those who don't also doesn't prove a patristic consensus.

Quote
4. Evolution Theory and Evolution Philosophy is a contradiction to Holy Scripture and the Teaching of the Holy Fathers. Science will never be able to explain the Nature of the first created man but the church is able, through the teaching of the Saints and the Fathers.

5.The Fathers used science of their time to explain the Teaching of the Church but they did not follow anything contrary to the Teaching and Doctrine of the Church-there is a Difference. I am not against modern science but I am against any teaching contrary to church.
Again, I say to you: PROVE IT.  You don't get to cite yourself as an eminent authority here.

Quote
And Nektarios, I think you miss the "Infallible Pope", perhaps- we do not believe that Bishops and Patriarchs are infallible ! And to try to make all my sources dubious or schismatic is silly because for us St. Glicherie is not schismatic, perhaps for you and your church. But for you it is the same to try to unite different orthodox jurisdictions and the heretic branch theory and for you monks of mount athos are antisemitic with conspiracy theory and the fathers of the Church are dubious and the Tradition of the Holy Church is "superficial" or " most superficial" and for you pews and stasidions are also the same?Huh
OBJECTION:  This quote has nothing to do with the subject of creationism vs. evolution.  If you want to carry on this private spat you have with Νεκτάριος, I recommend you take it into the Private Message system and stop polluting these public threads with your off-topic rants against individual OCnet members.
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« Reply #268 on: December 26, 2007, 09:53:04 AM »

No, and I actually have enough of a spine to say what I think instead of leaving it to sly implication.

Whether God created man in a handful of 24 hour periods and caused him to begin existence fully formed or God slowly created man over a billion years by building one thing and building that into another does absolutely nothing to affect the work that Christ accomplished on the cross.  Whether God created us instantaneously or slowly does nothing to change the fact that God entered his own creation to redeem it from death, and ultimately, I don't particularly care which method it was, because my faith in God won't change based solely on how he created us.  I'm sorry that your god is so fragile that he must either do everything as you have determined or not exist at all.
Actually, When we say that man was formed over a billion years, we are implying that man doesn't have a fallen state and his defect is built into him from the beginning. If this was so than theosis would be unattainable.
Lets not limit god to create in a specific way. Lets not put limitations on his power. The point is that God can create out side of material existence. His power isn't limited to preexisting material.
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« Reply #269 on: December 26, 2007, 10:31:35 AM »

Actually, When we say that man was formed over a billion years, we are implying that man doesn't have a fallen state and his defect is built into him from the beginning. If this was so than theosis would be unattainable.

Non sequitur.  The conclusion you draw does not follow from the statements made.  Try again.
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