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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 348340 times) Average Rating: 0
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Marc1152
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« Reply #2340 on: November 20, 2010, 11:56:02 AM »

Some gaps in genetic evolutionary theory:

One of the greatest arguments for the lack of observation of the birth of new species from old ones is that evolution takes millions of years. Yet, every second you have "one million years" being completed. In fact, you can count as many millions as you want having as maximum, the first emergence of life in the planet. *Therefore*, there should be not many, but at least an observable number of complex new species being born, if not before our eyes, at least in the track record of human history.

Yet, every observable mutation is still negative instead of positive. Even considering all humanity, in all its history, with all the labs and scienties that observe complex species, there is no record of a complex species being born out of an old one.

For all the evidence *for* evolution - and there is a lot, I find this absence of the phenomenum itself most disturbing.


While I like where you're going with this, it's not so much that mutation is negative, as that can be construed incorrectly. ^^

It's that mutation doesn't add any new information. It changes information (i.e. how it's read, in what order, if read at all), which results in minor to massive physical changes, but new information has never been added.

VISUAL: It's "A dog went to the park." <Mutate> "To the park, a dog went." or "To park went the a" (termination) or "A dog".  It's never "A dog went to the zoo." (exception: if "zoo" was in an adjacent genome, it could be traded) or "A dog went to the park and high-five'd Moses."
Mutations aren't the only things that help drive evolution. There is also recombination of genes, and gene duplication: "A dog went to the park" recombines with "A cat ate the food", producing "A dog ate the food" and "A cat went to the park". Hey, that's new information. "A dog went to the park" could also be duplicated, resulting in a copy that says the same thing ("A dog went to the park") and a copy that can now freely mutate ("A dog went to the pack").

One theory is that evolutionary jumps are borne of necessity.

I mentioned this.

Many people try to settle the theory through the concept of gradual evolution, however, recent studies are showing this to not be supported by the observable evidence, either.
Quote
"Matthew discovered and clearly stated the idea of natural selection, applied it to the origin of species, and placed it in the context of a geologic record marked by catastrophic mass extinctions followed by relatively rapid adaptations," says Rampino, whose research on catastrophic events includes studies on volcano eruptions and asteroid impacts. "In light of the recent acceptance of the importance of catastrophic mass extinctions in the history of life, it may be time to reconsider the evolutionary views of Patrick Matthew as much more in line with present ideas regarding biological evolution than the Darwin view."
Darwin's theory of gradual evolution not supported by geological history, scientist concludes

For example, an ice age coming upon primitive humans could have forced them to select for alternative genetic features in order to survive. I think what is very clear is the evolution of Humaniods from one species to the next more advanced version.

Without denying your example, you're using theory to support theory.

When I was young, there was no such thing as  animals communicating to us with language. But, under stress, Apes can now use sign language and communicate their thoughts and desires. Perhaps they will teach their offspring.

That's not evolution. The experiment just hadn't been tried. The Gorilla already had that capability.

We have the fossil remains of Primitive Humans. We can see how they changed and adapted. We can see the influence of things like climate change. We can trace their migrations and we have found their settlements. So the physical evidence for evolution is certainly there. If it's not enough for you personally, then God Bless. It is for me.

Apes have the physical capability for manipulating their fingers and hands and the brain capacity to learn sign language.
This learning occurred when they came into contact with a more advanced creature, us. They can now express themselves, They turn out to have complex thoughts, desires and a certain self awareness. That is how evolution works. Something changes in the environment. The weather changes, food sources disappear or appear, or there is contact with other creatures that they learn something from. If the new skill is useful it is then passed on and refined. We now have talking Apes.... Go figure.

Marc, the apes learning sign language thing is operant conditioning, I can teach a pigeon to play the piano like Skinner did (or bowling, soccer, play chess, etc.) doesn't mean they understand. All they understand is "if I move my hand this way I get a banana, if I do it twice this other way I get 2 bananas".

"Climate change"...I suggest you look up what "Maunder minimum" was and how sun spots correlate with climate change to see it's not as simple as some say. I have not formed an opinion on this yet.

Quote
If a platypus is 82% genetically similar to a human (which I am sure is wrong--we are biologically almost identical to a platypus, since most of the genome accounts for microscopic traits only), then there is no way we are 97% similar to a bacterium.

I don't think they mapped out the entire platypus Genome, just what they found is so far 82% similar. Maybe that's what they meant. I also read we are roughly 45% algae somewhere else

apes are not pigeons. They are in a far far higher order of life, perhaps more ready and able to take an evolutionary step forward.

and it turns out that they are not just mechanically moving a finger or making a sign to get something they want, though that is part of it for sure.
It turns out that they have self awareness. They have dreams. They hope for things and long for things lost. They have actual conversations, not just monkey see monkey do gestures to get a banana. We are witnessing what could be an evolutionary step forward by a species under great stress due to the dominance of Humans on Earth.
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« Reply #2341 on: November 20, 2010, 12:16:55 PM »

Mutations aren't the only things that help drive evolution. There is also recombination of genes, and gene duplication: "A dog went to the park" recombines with "A cat ate the food", producing "A dog ate the food" and "A cat went to the park". Hey, that's new information. "A dog went to the park" could also be duplicated, resulting in a copy that says the same thing ("A dog went to the park") and a copy that can now freely mutate ("A dog went to the pack").

True. And also there exist the so-called homeotic mutations, which are changes in the sequence of special genes that control pattern formation in embryos. Even one point mutation in a homeotic gene can result in the appearance of progeny that has features very radically different from its ancestor.

Besides mutations and natural selection, there exist such mechanisms of evolution as the genetic drift, the gene flow, and the non-random sexual reproduction. The genetic drift attracts a lot of attention within recent years, because it is thought to be even more powerful driving force of evolution than the natural selection. It is thought to account, partially, for the "jumps" in evolution.
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« Reply #2342 on: November 20, 2010, 12:18:42 PM »

It turns out that they have self awareness. They have dreams. They hope for things and long for things lost.
This is probably true for many other animals, as well.
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« Reply #2343 on: November 20, 2010, 12:21:56 PM »

The process of the theory of evolution isn't formalized, either. Much of the theory is based on constructs that fit the evidence/situation, but not truly dependent of physical representation.

But what IS a species? To observe emergence of a new species, one has first to establish some very exhaustive criteria that separate species A from species B. But this is very difficult to do. In the world of asexually reproducing microorganisms, for example, it is next to impossible. I stopped telling my students, for example, about what species are included into the genus Salmonella, because, depending on what your subjective take on the concept of species is, this number varies from 2 to more than 200. Strictly speaking, methycillin- or vancomycin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus can be characterized as new species that emerged within the last 10 years or so. Serovar E. coli O157:H7 is still described in all microbiology textbooks as belonging to the species Escherichia coli, but in fact it has some proteins that make it much closer to a species in the genus Shigella. Some 20 or 30 years ago, E. coli O157:H7 might have not existed... In large organisms, too, the concept of species is not all that crystal clear. There are, for example, populations of birds (let's call them population X and population Y), which look absolutely identical, and yet do not cross-breed. Formally, one CAN call them species X and species Y. And it well may be that within a population of, say, swallows or sparrows right now, as I type these words, a population W and a population Z are about to form, which do not interbreed and yet look identical. So who can guarantee that a species "sparrow W" and a species "sparrow Z" aren't forming right now?

Many people try to settle the theory through the concept of gradual evolution, however, recent studies are showing this to not be supported by the observable evidence, either.
Quote
"Matthew discovered and clearly stated the idea of natural selection, applied it to the origin of species, and placed it in the context of a geologic record marked by catastrophic mass extinctions followed by relatively rapid adaptations," says Rampino, whose research on catastrophic events includes studies on volcano eruptions and asteroid impacts. "In light of the recent acceptance of the importance of catastrophic mass extinctions in the history of life, it may be time to reconsider the evolutionary views of Patrick Matthew as much more in line with present ideas regarding biological evolution than the Darwin view."
Darwin's theory of gradual evolution not supported by geological history, scientist concludes

Darwin lived when genetics was not yet born. He could not possibly have known such things as homeotic mutations and the genetic drift. We know about these things now, so we have no problem admitting that evolution may be non-gradual at times.
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« Reply #2344 on: November 20, 2010, 01:45:22 PM »

I believe Genesis should be interpreted literally. That is, the author described the cosmos as understood by ancient Middle Easterners (e.g., with a dome-like firmament, above which another region of water existed, the source of rains). The days are 24-hour days. The cosmology presented was the 'scientific' cosmology of the time period. But the author embedded in Genesis a set of symbols, metaphors, and meanings, that transform this cosmology into a cosmology that reveals the purposes of God.
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« Reply #2345 on: November 20, 2010, 01:58:42 PM »

It turns out that they have self awareness. They have dreams. They hope for things and long for things lost.
This is probably true for many other animals, as well.

Dolphins for sure.....................  And Lassie
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« Reply #2346 on: November 20, 2010, 02:27:15 PM »

I believe Genesis should be interpreted literally. That is, the author described the cosmos as understood by ancient Middle Easterners (e.g., with a dome-like firmament, above which another region of water existed, the source of rains). The days are 24-hour days. The cosmology presented was the 'scientific' cosmology of the time period. But the author embedded in Genesis a set of symbols, metaphors, and meanings, that transform this cosmology into a cosmology that reveals the purposes of God.

absolutely, Genesis has deeper, spiritual meanings. im just not sure why that has to mean the literal level is not true....


am i the only one that thinks its strange that a thread about Scripture is focused on science rather than the teaching of the Church ...?
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« Reply #2347 on: November 20, 2010, 02:42:44 PM »

I believe Genesis should be interpreted literally. That is, the author described the cosmos as understood by ancient Middle Easterners (e.g., with a dome-like firmament, above which another region of water existed, the source of rains). The days are 24-hour days. The cosmology presented was the 'scientific' cosmology of the time period. But the author embedded in Genesis a set of symbols, metaphors, and meanings, that transform this cosmology into a cosmology that reveals the purposes of God.

Of course, this all raises the question, why aren't people on this forum trying to defend the dome-shaped universe? Why shouldn't that be taken literally?
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« Reply #2348 on: November 20, 2010, 02:43:37 PM »

I believe Genesis should be interpreted literally. That is, the author described the cosmos as understood by ancient Middle Easterners (e.g., with a dome-like firmament, above which another region of water existed, the source of rains). The days are 24-hour days. The cosmology presented was the 'scientific' cosmology of the time period. But the author embedded in Genesis a set of symbols, metaphors, and meanings, that transform this cosmology into a cosmology that reveals the purposes of God.

absolutely, Genesis has deeper, spiritual meanings. im just not sure why that has to mean the literal level is not true....
The literal level is true...from the perspective of ancient Middle Eastern cosmology.
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« Reply #2349 on: November 20, 2010, 02:47:52 PM »

I believe Genesis should be interpreted literally. That is, the author described the cosmos as understood by ancient Middle Easterners (e.g., with a dome-like firmament, above which another region of water existed, the source of rains). The days are 24-hour days. The cosmology presented was the 'scientific' cosmology of the time period. But the author embedded in Genesis a set of symbols, metaphors, and meanings, that transform this cosmology into a cosmology that reveals the purposes of God.

absolutely, Genesis has deeper, spiritual meanings. im just not sure why that has to mean the literal level is not true....
The literal level is true...from the perspective of ancient Middle Eastern cosmology.

Jetavan, this is a very, very interesting way of looking at Genesis. I will have to re-think some things. As usual, you are very deep!
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« Reply #2350 on: November 20, 2010, 03:51:47 PM »

Well, we know how DNA is created and transmitted, so isn't it established fact that we share a common ancestor with primates, considering our DNA is over a 98% match, having the same sequences, skips, jumps and loops that have been copied from one generation to another?  I really don't think that aspect of it is debatable any longer, but if anyone has some counter-data I'd be willing to look into it.

This, as well as other genetic oddities such as endogenous retrovirus (ERV) remnants that show a history of virus infection which are in the exact same location in the humans as well as other higher primates. Common descent between humans other higher primates can be shown conclusively by DNA evidence alone.

This never crossed my mind. Thanks.  The retention of retroviral remnants (their 5' and 3' long terminal repeats) at the same chromosomal location among primates is a very strong argument for evolution and it deserves some backup citations as well:
http://preview.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10773466
http://preview.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10468595

It is also kind of neat how you can generate phylogenetic trees from the mutation rate of these remnants

 
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« Reply #2351 on: November 20, 2010, 04:37:53 PM »

I believe Genesis should be interpreted literally. That is, the author described the cosmos as understood by ancient Middle Easterners (e.g., with a dome-like firmament, above which another region of water existed, the source of rains). The days are 24-hour days. The cosmology presented was the 'scientific' cosmology of the time period. But the author embedded in Genesis a set of symbols, metaphors, and meanings, that transform this cosmology into a cosmology that reveals the purposes of God.

absolutely, Genesis has deeper, spiritual meanings. im just not sure why that has to mean the literal level is not true....
The literal level is true...from the perspective of ancient Middle Eastern cosmology.

this assumes that Moses' writing, and the interpretation of the Fathers is based solely in the prevailing understanding of their day, rather than in divine revelation. Moses is a prophet of the past - God actually showed him these events, and several other Saints have actually visited Paradise, and several others, well, they were just tight with God.
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« Reply #2352 on: November 20, 2010, 05:00:17 PM »

Well, we know how DNA is created and transmitted, so isn't it established fact that we share a common ancestor with primates, considering our DNA is over a 98% match, having the same sequences, skips, jumps and loops that have been copied from one generation to another?  I really don't think that aspect of it is debatable any longer, but if anyone has some counter-data I'd be willing to look into it.

This, as well as other genetic oddities such as endogenous retrovirus (ERV) remnants that show a history of virus infection which are in the exact same location in the humans as well as other higher primates. Common descent between humans other higher primates can be shown conclusively by DNA evidence alone.

This never crossed my mind. Thanks.  The retention of retroviral remnants (their 5' and 3' long terminal repeats) at the same chromosomal location among primates is a very strong argument for evolution and it deserves some backup citations as well:
http://preview.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10773466
http://preview.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10468595

It is also kind of neat how you can generate phylogenetic trees from the mutation rate of these remnants

 

Yes, indeed, thanks for the citations.

Also, there is pseudogene GLO:

"Guinea pigs and primates, including humans, get sick unless they consume ascorbic acid in their diet. For humans and guinea pigs, ascorbic acid is thus a vitamin (vitamin C), while most other species can synthesize their own ascorbic acid and thus do not require this molecule in their diet. The reason humans and guinea pigs cannot manufacture their own ascorbic acid is that they lack a functional gene encoding the enzyme protein known as L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase (GLO), which is required for synthesizing ascorbic acid. In most mammals functional GLO genes are present, inherited - according to the evolutionary hypothesis - from a functional GLO gene in a common ancestor of mammals. According to this view, GLO gene copies in the human and guinea pig lineages were inactivated by mutations. Presumably this occurred separately in guinea pig and primate ancestors whose natural diets were so rich in ascorbic acid that the absence of GLO enzyme activity was not a disadvantage--it did not cause selective pressure against the defective gene.

Molecular geneticists who examine DNA sequences from an evolutionary perspective know that large gene deletions are rare, so scientists expected that non-functional mutant GLO gene copies--known as "pseudogenes"--might still be present in primates and guinea pigs as relics of the functional ancestral gene. In contrast, Creationists believe that humans and guinea pigs were each created independently of all other species and must have been "designed" to function without GLO. If this were true, these two species would not be expected to carry a defective copy of the GLO gene. In fact, GLO pseudogenes have been detected in both guinea pigs and humans (Nishikimi et al. J Biol Chem 267: 21967, 1992; Nishikimi et al. J Biol Chem 269:13685, 1994), consistent with the evolutionary view; presumably, related pseudogenes also exist in non-human primates that require dietary vitamin C. The kinds of mutations found in the human and guinea pig pseudogenes are typical of the ones seen in genetic diseases like those mentioned earlier. In this essay I call the human and guinea pig GLO DNA sequences "unitary pseudogenes" to distinguish them from two other kinds of pseudogene occurring in a species that also possesses a functional copy of the same gene (see below). Readers should note that the term "unitary pseudogene" is used here for convenience; there is no standard nomenclature to describe this rare type of pseudogene."

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/molgen/
 
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« Reply #2353 on: November 20, 2010, 05:01:50 PM »

I believe Genesis should be interpreted literally. That is, the author described the cosmos as understood by ancient Middle Easterners (e.g., with a dome-like firmament, above which another region of water existed, the source of rains). The days are 24-hour days. The cosmology presented was the 'scientific' cosmology of the time period. But the author embedded in Genesis a set of symbols, metaphors, and meanings, that transform this cosmology into a cosmology that reveals the purposes of God.

absolutely, Genesis has deeper, spiritual meanings. im just not sure why that has to mean the literal level is not true....
The literal level is true...from the perspective of ancient Middle Eastern cosmology.

Can you expand on this idea a bit?
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« Reply #2354 on: November 20, 2010, 07:00:11 PM »


this assumes that Moses' writing, and the interpretation of the Fathers is based solely in the prevailing understanding of their day, rather than in divine revelation. Moses is a prophet of the past - God actually showed him these events, and several other Saints have actually visited Paradise, and several others, well, they were just tight with God.

I believe Genesis should be interpreted literally. That is, the author described the cosmos as understood by ancient Middle Easterners (e.g., with a dome-like firmament, above which another region of water existed, the source of rains). The days are 24-hour days. The cosmology presented was the 'scientific' cosmology of the time period. But the author embedded in Genesis a set of symbols, metaphors, and meanings, that transform this cosmology into a cosmology that reveals the purposes of God.

absolutely, Genesis has deeper, spiritual meanings. im just not sure why that has to mean the literal level is not true....
The literal level is true...from the perspective of ancient Middle Eastern cosmology.

Can you expand on this idea a bit?
God works with what we have right now, and uses that to bring us closer to Him. God worked with the ancient Middle Eastern cosmology of the Hebrews. He didn't reveal to them Big Bang theories, or natural selection, because that's not what they had, and they didn't even have a context in which to understand it even if God had revealed those things to them. And, last but not least, belief in the Big Bang and natural selection are not necessary for salvation and theosis. I think there's a reason God did not reveal all that He could have revealed: He knew we needed to find out some of that stuff for ourselves, via critical thinking, determined effort, via mathematics, science, and technology: all this gives us something to do, it sharpens our minds, and shows us how much we don't know. And that whole process of intellectual inquiry can ultimately lead to a sense of humility, to a sense of something existing even beyond the five senses, even beyond captivity to replicable, laboratory experimentation, beyond human control.

Ancient Middle Eastern cosmology (AMEC) itself was a product of ancient Middle Eastern thinking that tried to make sense of the world. AMEC was the result of a type of 'scientific' thinking that tried to explain the world in a sensible way. The AMEC, I would argue, was not a 'revelation' from divinity: it was a perspective the humans of that era and area concluded was logical and useful, a perspective that had evolved over time, by means of observation and rationality. So, in some sense, Genesis is a 'scientific', 'literal' account -- but it refers to a different 'science', a different 'literalness'. God could then use that AMEC, use what the Hebrews already possessed, use Hebraic 'science', and transform the AMEC into something that could reflect God's purposes and intentions.

So, in order to more deeply appreciate Genesis, one might want to look at the world from the AMEC perspective: the sky as a hard dome, with waters above the dome, stars as objects affixed to the dome, e.g. The AMEC itself has an indirect connection to modern cosmology, or evolutionary theory, though the AMEC knew nothing about a Big Bang, or biological descent with modification. But God is so Great that He was able to use a model of the universe that lacked those two major aspects, and still communicate His purposes behind creation.
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« Reply #2355 on: November 20, 2010, 09:21:42 PM »

thanks, very informative.
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« Reply #2356 on: November 20, 2010, 09:38:48 PM »

It warms my heart to know that the memory of Matthew777 is living on through the squabbling in this thread  Grin Cheesy

It is fitting. I do not know how to quote from defunct older threads:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9986.msg135691.html#msg135691

Quote from: Matthew777 on October 20, 2006, 03:13:33 AM
The topic of evolutionary theory has been discussed many times before, but rarely its theological implications.

Quote from: ozgeorge on October 20, 2006, 09:07:28 AM
Oh balderdash Matthew!
You have started more threads about evolution on this forum which discuss it's theological implications than I've had CornFlakes for breakfast.
Why does this happen every Friday? It seems every Friday evening Australian time, I log on to the forum to find yet another thread started by you flogging yet another dead horse. Washington is currently 16 hours behind us, so what exactly are you doing at midnight on Thursdays that makes you want to post this stuff?

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« Reply #2357 on: November 20, 2010, 10:05:42 PM »

Evolutionists often talk of Archeopteryx as the first bird, to avance the ridiculous notion that chickens are descended from dinosaurs. Witness the fraud of Archaeopteryx :

 

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Quote
If dinosaurs (or, as other evolutionists assert, reptiles) evolved into birds, thousands of types of animals should have been more birdlike than dinosaurs and yet more dinosaur-like than birds. Evolutionists claim that Archaeopteryx (ark-ee-OP-ta-riks) is a feathered dinosaur, a transition between dinosaurs (or reptiles) and birds. Of the relatively few claimed intermediate fossils, Archaeopteryx is the one most frequently cited by evolutionists and shown in most biology textbooks. Some say the six Archaeopteryx fossils are the most famous fossils in the world.

Archaeopteryx means ancient (archae) wing (pteryx). But the story behind this alleged half-dinosaur, half-bird is much more interesting than its fancy, scientific-sounding name or the details of its bones. If Archaeopteryx were shown to be a fraud, the result would be devastating for the evolution theory.

Since the early 1980s, several prominent scientists have charged that the two Archaeopteryx fossils with clearly visible feathers are forgeries.1 Allegedly, thin layers of cement were spread on two fossils of a chicken-size dinosaur, called Compsognathus (komp sog NAY thus). Bird feathers were then imprinted into the wet cement.

If Archaeopteryx did not have a few perfectly formed, modern feathers, clearly visible on two of the six known specimens,3 Archaeopteryx would be considered Compsognathus.4 The skeletal features of Archaeopteryx are certainly not suitable for flight, because no specimen shows a sternum (breast bone), which all birds and bats must have to anchor their large flight muscles. But why would Archaeopteryx have modern, aerodynamically perfect feathers if it could not fly?5 Finally, Archaeopteryx should not be classified as a bird.6

The two fossils with feathers were “found” and sold for high prices by Karl Häberlein (in 1861 for 700 pounds) and his son, Ernst (in 1877 for 20,000 gold marks), just as Darwin’s theory and book, The Origin of Species (1859), were gaining popularity. While some German experts thought that the new (1861) fossil was a forgery, the British Museum (Natural History) bought it sight unseen. (In the preceding century, fossil forgeries from limestone quarries were common in that region of Germany.7)

Evidence of an Archaeopteryx forgery includes instances where the supposedly mating faces of the fossil (the main slab and counterslab) do not mate. The feather impressions are primarily on the main slab, while the counterslab in several places has raised areas with no corresponding indentation on the main slab. These raised areas, nicknamed “chewing gum blobs,” are made of the same fine-grained material that is found only under the feather impressions. The rest of the fossil is composed of a coarse-grained limestone.  [See Figure 190.]  

Some might claim that Archaeopteryx has a wishbone, or furcula—a unique feature of birds. It would be more accurate to say that only the British Museum specimen has a visible furcula. It is a strange furcula, “relatively the largest known in any bird.”8 Furthermore, it is upside down, a point acknowledged by two giants of the evolutionist movement—T. H. Huxley (Darwin’s so-called bulldog) and Gavin deBeer. As Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe stated,

It was somewhat unwise for the forgers to endow Compsognathus with a furcula, because a cavity had to be cut in the counterslab, with at least some semblance to providing a fit to the added bone. This would have to be done crudely with a chisel, which could not produce a degree of smoothness in cutting the rock similar to a true sedimentation cavity.9  [See Figure 191.]

Feather imprints show what have been called “double strike” impressions. Evidently, feather impressions were made twice in a slightly displaced position as the slab and counterslab were pressed together.  [See Figure 192.]

Honest disagreement as to whether Archaeopteryx was or was not a forgery was possible until 1986, when a definitive test was performed. An x-ray resonance spectrograph of the British Museum fossil showed that the finer-grained material containing the feather impressions differed significantly from the rest of the coarser-grained fossil slab. The chemistry of this “amorphous paste” also differed from the crystalline rock in the famous fossil quarry in Bavaria, Germany, where Archaeopteryx supposedly was found.10 Few responses have been made to this latest, and probably conclusive, evidence.11

Fossilized feathers are almost unknown,12 and several complete, flat feathers that just happened to be at the slab/counterslab interface are even more remarkable. Had a feathered Archaeopteryx been buried in mud or a limestone paste, its feathers would have had a three-dimensional shape, typical of the curved feathers we have all held. Indeed, the only way to flatten a feather is to press it between two flat slabs. Flattened feathers, alone, raise suspicions.

Also, there has been no convincing explanation for how to fossilize (actually encase) a bird in the 80% pure, Solnhofen limestone. One difficulty, which will be appreciated after reading about liquefaction on pages 172–183, is the low density of bird carcasses. Another is that limestone is primarily precipitated from seawater, as explained on pages 226–231. Therefore, to be buried in limestone, the animal must lie on the seafloor—unusual for a dead bird. Other problems with evolving birds are described in Endnote i on page 65.

Significantly, two modern birds have been discovered in rock strata dated by evolutionists as much older than Archaeopteryx.13 In Argentina, many birdlike footprints have been found which evolutionists say preceded Archaeopteryx by at least 55 million years.14 Therefore, according to evolutionary dating methods, Archaeopteryx could not be ancestral to modern birds. True fossilized birds have been found that evolutionists believe lived shortly after Archaeopteryx.15 This has forced some to conclude that the distinctly different Archaeopteryx was not ancestral to modern birds.16

When the media popularize an evolutionist claim that is later shown to be false, retractions are seldom made. One refreshing exception is provided by National Geographic, which originally, and incorrectly, reported the discovery in China of “a true missing link in the complex chain that connects dinosaurs to birds.” (Actually, the fossil was a composite of a bird’s body and a dinosaur’s tail, faked for financial gain.)17 Details were explained on a few back pages of National Geographic by an independent investigator at the request of National Geographic’s editor. The report was summarized as follows:

It’s a tale of misguided secrecy and misplaced confidence, of rampant egos clashing, self-aggrandizement, wishful thinking, naive assumptions, human error, stubbornness, manipulation, backbiting, lying, corruption, and, most of all, abysmal communication.18

Such fiascoes are common among those seeking rewards and prestige for finding fossils of missing links. The media that popularize these stories mislead the public.

Archaeopteryx’s fame seems assured, not as a transitional fossil between dinosaurs (or reptiles) and birds, but as a forgery. Unlike the Piltdown hoax, which fooled leading scientists for more than 40 years, the Archaeopteryx hoax has lasted for 125 years. [See “Ape-Men?” on page 13.] Because the apparent motive for the Archaeopteryx deception was money, Archaeopteryx should be labeled as a fraud. The British Museum (Natural History) gave life to both deceptions and must assume much of the blame. Those scientists who were too willing to fit Archaeopteryx into their evolutionary framework also helped spread the deception. Piltdown man may soon be replaced as the most famous hoax in all of science.



Quote
Compsognathus. While most dinosaurs were large, this one, Compsognathus longipes, was small—about the size of a domestic cat. The German scientist who discovered Compsognathus, Andreas Wagner, “recognized from the description [of Archaeopteryx] what seemed to be his Compsognathus but with feathers! He was extremely suspicious ...”2 Compsognathus and Archaeopteryx have many similarities. Compsognathus fossils are also found at the same site in Germany where Archaeopteryx was found.

most famous hoax will be the lucy ape they taught as the earliest human which nows turns out to not be so...
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« Reply #2358 on: November 21, 2010, 03:05:36 AM »


most famous hoax will be the lucy ape they taught as the earliest human which nows turns out to not be so...

I'm sorry, but no one ever claimed that Lucy was the earliest human. This is a blatant strawman argument.
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« Reply #2359 on: November 21, 2010, 04:05:50 AM »

I am still wondering how believing that an ape gave birth to another ape, and then another and another, all changing a little bit into a human, all mortal apes with mortal soul and no Divine breath in them (again it was Man that received the Breath of Life not the ape or a prokaryotic cell which turned into an amoeba then a fish or whatever until an ape then a person) can not violate the canon I cited...


and didn't evolutionists claim that Lucy was the great ancestor Ape ? Lucy the ape is dead :



the first "Adam" seems quite mortal to me. Learn a lesson- satan loves to mock. Symbolic sacraments, archangel Michael being God (JWs), etc.
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« Reply #2360 on: November 21, 2010, 07:20:51 AM »

Lucy the ape is dead :


And J.R.R. Tolkien, another great ape, is also dead. What does being dead have to do with anything?  Huh
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« Reply #2361 on: November 21, 2010, 04:16:47 PM »

Basically, with regards to evolution, I have come to the conclusion that 1 of these options are possible:

A) God is tricking us (or "testing our faith")  
B) Satan planted all the evidence for evolution (including manipulating our DNA)
C) Evolution is true, deal with it.

Of course, there are an unlimited other possibilities, such as God lost a bet with Michael the Archangel and Michael thought it would be fun to make us believe that we evolved from monkeys. I refuse to believe that God would allow or directly mislead or trick us by giving us brains and the ability of reason and then 'planting' overwhelming evidence in our bodies and in this world that shows we all have a common ancestor and did indeed evolve to where we are today. That is not the kind of God that I believe exists. The second option is merely ridiculous, and if you want to debate this I guess we can. That leaves us with the third option, which merely requires that we set aside our 'infallible' human interpretation of what we think our holy text reads and see it in a new light.
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« Reply #2362 on: November 21, 2010, 04:44:50 PM »

most famous hoax will be the lucy ape they taught as the earliest human which nows turns out to not be so...
I'm sorry, but no one ever claimed that Lucy was the earliest human. This is a blatant strawman argument.
Cat, you have missed tenet #1 of creationist reasoning:  In order to argue against any particular scientific argument, theory, thesis, or hypothesis, there is absolutely no requirement to understand it first.

Realizing this is critical to putting something like 88.6% of their statements into proper context.
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« Reply #2363 on: November 21, 2010, 05:55:15 PM »

Basically, with regards to evolution, I have come to the conclusion that 1 of these options are possible:

A) God is tricking us (or "testing our faith")  
B) Satan planted all the evidence for evolution (including manipulating our DNA)
C) Evolution is true, deal with it.

Of course, there are an unlimited other possibilities, such as God lost a bet with Michael the Archangel and Michael thought it would be fun to make us believe that we evolved from monkeys. I refuse to believe that God would allow or directly mislead or trick us by giving us brains and the ability of reason and then 'planting' overwhelming evidence in our bodies and in this world that shows we all have a common ancestor and did indeed evolve to where we are today. That is not the kind of God that I believe exists. The second option is merely ridiculous, and if you want to debate this I guess we can. That leaves us with the third option, which merely requires that we set aside our 'infallible' human interpretation of what we think our holy text reads and see it in a new light.

God isnt tricking anyone. He gave us the Scriptures and the Church to illuminate Creation for us, so evolutionists trick themselves by clinging to secular knowledge and unfounded assumptions rather than trusting what God has told us.
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« Reply #2364 on: November 21, 2010, 07:04:37 PM »

Basically, with regards to evolution, I have come to the conclusion that 1 of these options are possible:

A) God is tricking us (or "testing our faith")  
B) Satan planted all the evidence for evolution (including manipulating our DNA)
C) Evolution is true, deal with it.

D) The Omphalos hypothesis
E) Romans 8:19-22. The creation was corrupted by man's Fall; our examination of the creation today is therefore not a trustworthy guide to the creation before the Fall.
F)"Therefore, every literal reading of nature leads finally to idolatry... This is the true picture of idol worshippers, of both the scientific and the unscientific, on one side, and the enlightened Christians on the other. The first cleave with their senses and spirits to the symbols of nature, and the others see with their senses the symbols, but with the spirit they read in the spirit, i.e., the spiritual message in the symbols." - St. Nikolai Velimirovich (emphasis mine)

I think D) is intriguing but E) and F) are most reasonable.
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« Reply #2365 on: November 21, 2010, 07:07:29 PM »

Basically, with regards to evolution, I have come to the conclusion that 1 of these options are possible:

A) God is tricking us (or "testing our faith")  
B) Satan planted all the evidence for evolution (including manipulating our DNA)
C) Evolution is true, deal with it.

D) The Omphalos hypothesis
E) Romans 8:19-22. The creation was corrupted by man's Fall; our examination of the creation today is therefore not a trustworthy guide to the creation before the Fall.
F)"Therefore, every literal reading of nature leads finally to idolatry... This is the true picture of idol worshippers, of both the scientific and the unscientific, on one side, and the enlightened Christians on the other. The first cleave with their senses and spirits to the symbols of nature, and the others see with their senses the symbols, but with the spirit they read in the spirit, i.e., the spiritual message in the symbols." - St. Nikolai Velimirovich (emphasis mine)

I think D) is intriguing but E) and F) are most reasonable.

Great response!  Thank you!
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« Reply #2366 on: November 21, 2010, 07:24:42 PM »

Quote
"Therefore, every literal reading of nature leads finally to idolatry...

May he who present another Gospel be accursed Forever (Galatians 1:9). Such is the case for those who claim we should not interpret scripture literally (don't know if this is what this person was trying to say). You shall never ever take a possible allegorical meaning without accepting the literal meaning first, that is actually part of the Gospel delivered to us when Christ said :


"If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things ?"

- John 3:12


Interpretation of the scripture is divided into several levels ( the P'shat, Remez, Derash ,and Sod or Mystical HEAVENLY level). In Eastern tradition you don't jump from one level without accepting the other first.
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« Reply #2367 on: November 21, 2010, 07:30:44 PM »

Rafa, St. Nikolai talks about a literal reading of nature, not scripture...

But I suspected that this insight would not compute with "creationists" any more than it does with the Darwinists. The idea that the creation is chiefly symbolic of heavenly realities, that the visible and invisible worlds interpenetrate so thoroughly, is just too philosophically alien to those who are steeped in dualism.
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« Reply #2368 on: November 21, 2010, 07:33:33 PM »

Oh ok, sorry bro I misunderstood. In that case I I agree with St. Nikolai Velimirovich, that is almost assuredly taught by scriptures.
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« Reply #2369 on: November 21, 2010, 07:56:43 PM »

I believe Genesis should be interpreted literally. That is, the author described the cosmos as understood by ancient Middle Easterners (e.g., with a dome-like firmament, above which another region of water existed, the source of rains). The days are 24-hour days. The cosmology presented was the 'scientific' cosmology of the time period. But the author embedded in Genesis a set of symbols, metaphors, and meanings, that transform this cosmology into a cosmology that reveals the purposes of God.

absolutely, Genesis has deeper, spiritual meanings. im just not sure why that has to mean the literal level is not true....


am i the only one that thinks its strange that a thread about Scripture is focused on science rather than the teaching of the Church ...?

The opposite may be true. Those who reject evolution may be viewing the teachings of the Church through the lens of Western Style Rationalism. They believe the mechanics of how the World was created is what is being discussed in Genesis rather than Why the World was created. They have confused poetry for some sort of hard factual analysis.

And it's not like the Poetry is "untrue" either. We adhere to the Poetic imagery up to and including making the Seventh Day a day of rest, etc.
It's not a choice between one or the other.

We are not supposed to substitute this for hard science. We are to sit back and say: "Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful. Now I understand"

--------------
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
 
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

 6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

 9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
 
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

 24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
 
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
   in the image of God he created them;
   male and female he created them.

 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
 
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
 
 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.



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« Reply #2370 on: November 21, 2010, 08:48:01 PM »

Rafa, St. Nikolai talks about a literal reading of nature, not scripture...

But I suspected that this insight would not compute with "creationists" any more than it does with the Darwinists. The idea that the creation is chiefly symbolic of heavenly realities, that the visible and invisible worlds interpenetrate so thoroughly, is just too philosophically alien to those who are steeped in dualism.

What heavenly realities would fossils symbolize?

Also, please do not characterize me as a Darwinist. Darwin was philosophically so anti-Christian that it is hard to imagine why you would slap that label on your brethren.
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« Reply #2371 on: November 21, 2010, 10:14:18 PM »

Rafa, St. Nikolai talks about a literal reading of nature, not scripture...

But I suspected that this insight would not compute with "creationists" any more than it does with the Darwinists. The idea that the creation is chiefly symbolic of heavenly realities, that the visible and invisible worlds interpenetrate so thoroughly, is just too philosophically alien to those who are steeped in dualism.

are you saying that St. Nikolai's idea is incompatible with creationism, cause i dont see why it would be. i havent really understood your purpose in bringing in the Universe as Signs and Symbols.
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« Reply #2372 on: November 21, 2010, 10:27:00 PM »

Rafa, St. Nikolai talks about a literal reading of nature, not scripture...

But I suspected that this insight would not compute with "creationists" any more than it does with the Darwinists. The idea that the creation is chiefly symbolic of heavenly realities, that the visible and invisible worlds interpenetrate so thoroughly, is just too philosophically alien to those who are steeped in dualism.

are you saying that St. Nikolai's idea is incompatible with creationism, cause i dont see why it would be. i havent really understood your purpose in bringing in the Universe as Signs and Symbols.


Yes, on closer look St. Nikolai supports creationism since this is what the creationists say, that nothing is random in creation but intelligently designed with a purpose and symbolism behind it.
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« Reply #2373 on: November 22, 2010, 09:33:44 AM »

The opposite may be true. Those who reject evolution may be viewing the teachings of the Church through the lens of Western Style Rationalism.


Since modern natural philosophy ("modern science") and its various theories are themselves the direct product of "Western Style Rationalism," this is an odd criticism to level. At the same time, I think you have a point in that many anti-evolutionists still fundamentally adhere to the epistemology of Bacon, Newton, etc. and attempt to prove their case using this epistemology.

Quote
They believe the mechanics of how the World was created is what is being discussed in Genesis rather than Why the World was created. They have confused poetry for some sort of hard factual analysis.

But why restrict your poetic understanding to the scriptures? The Christian way of understanding the material creation is based on poetry, not "hard factual analysis." 

Quote
And it's not like the Poetry is "untrue" either.
 

I agree, but not only is poetry not "untrue", it is a higher and truer understanding than empiricism can ever produce. Maybe the worst aspect of these evolution vs. creation debates is the lack of poetry and poetic consciousness on all sides.
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« Reply #2374 on: November 22, 2010, 09:40:09 AM »

Rafa, St. Nikolai talks about a literal reading of nature, not scripture...

But I suspected that this insight would not compute with "creationists" any more than it does with the Darwinists. The idea that the creation is chiefly symbolic of heavenly realities, that the visible and invisible worlds interpenetrate so thoroughly, is just too philosophically alien to those who are steeped in dualism.

What heavenly realities would fossils symbolize?

I don't know. I can make some guesses:

"...[C]ursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee." (Genesis 3:17-18)

"'It is clear from this that whoever reads the natural without knowing the spiritual content and significance of what he has read, reads death, sees death, appropriates death." - St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Quote
Also, please do not characterize me as a Darwinist. Darwin was philosophically so anti-Christian that it is hard to imagine why you would slap that label on your brethren.

I just find it strange that someone would rail against Darwin's anti-Christian philosophy whilst adopting uncritically his epistemology.

 
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« Reply #2375 on: November 22, 2010, 09:49:54 AM »

Rafa, St. Nikolai talks about a literal reading of nature, not scripture...

But I suspected that this insight would not compute with "creationists" any more than it does with the Darwinists. The idea that the creation is chiefly symbolic of heavenly realities, that the visible and invisible worlds interpenetrate so thoroughly, is just too philosophically alien to those who are steeped in dualism.

are you saying that St. Nikolai's idea is incompatible with creationism, cause i dont see why it would be. i havent really understood your purpose in bringing in the Universe as Signs and Symbols.

St. Nikolai upholds the traditional understanding that the world was created. If this is enough to make him a creationist, then I suppose he is one, as am I. However, what I see from many of the "creationists" here is an attempt to prove Christian cosmology using the strain of natural philosophy represented by Bacon, Newton, etc, which we call "modern science" and which shares its fundamental epistemology with Epicurus. So the creation vs. evolution debates tend to really be between two parties upholding the same ideology but debating as to who follows it more rigorously. All of the polemicizing about particular theories, findings, etc., without considering the philosophical problems underlying them, strikes me as re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
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« Reply #2376 on: November 22, 2010, 11:07:29 AM »

Are we supposed to place our trust in the Fathers when it comes to scientific understanding?  I didn't realize that was a tenet of Orthodoxy.

im saying we should trust the Fathers to tell us about the works of God and Scripture - the Scriptures tell us about Paradise, so why would I ask Chucky Darwin about it when it belongs to the Church?

That's quite reasonable, I would not ask Darwin about Paradise, but did Darwin ever have a slaightest intention to tell someone about Paradise? I thought Darwin just made a brilliant observation that animal and plant populations evolve because the natural selection favors those genetically determined individuals in these populations who have a reproductive success under the ever-changing conditions of the environment. This observation serves as one of the principal postulates of the modern scientific theory of biological evolution...

It would be quite a stretch to link those genetic shifts that are observed through environmental changes and link them with a genetic shift outside of there own species. The environment just doesn't change that drastically. Even though there are models in scientific labs that have manipulated genes. There is no reason to believe that they could ever occur naturally since the environment is actually quite stable. Now if they were to state that genes change randomly without the environment involved. Similar to how cancer forms. Than I would question the ability of science to link a random occurrence to a set, principal of known theories. Random occurrences are basically mysteries. While evolution does have some catalyst for change it most certainly doesn't show us without a doubt that it can transform species if the theory is entirely based on environmental impact.
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« Reply #2377 on: November 22, 2010, 11:50:30 AM »

Basically, with regards to evolution, I have come to the conclusion that 1 of these options are possible:

A) God is tricking us (or "testing our faith")  
B) Satan planted all the evidence for evolution (including manipulating our DNA)
C) Evolution is true, deal with it.

Is arithmetic true? Then evolution (if defined as a change in the genetic makeup of biological populations over time) is also true. Just like you can take two matches and add two other matches and count them and see that 2+2=4, similarly you can compare frequencies of alleles and genotypes in various populations and see that these frequencies change.
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« Reply #2378 on: November 22, 2010, 11:55:57 AM »

Are we supposed to place our trust in the Fathers when it comes to scientific understanding?  I didn't realize that was a tenet of Orthodoxy.

im saying we should trust the Fathers to tell us about the works of God and Scripture - the Scriptures tell us about Paradise, so why would I ask Chucky Darwin about it when it belongs to the Church?

That's quite reasonable, I would not ask Darwin about Paradise, but did Darwin ever have a slaightest intention to tell someone about Paradise? I thought Darwin just made a brilliant observation that animal and plant populations evolve because the natural selection favors those genetically determined individuals in these populations who have a reproductive success under the ever-changing conditions of the environment. This observation serves as one of the principal postulates of the modern scientific theory of biological evolution...

It would be quite a stretch to link those genetic shifts that are observed through environmental changes and link them with a genetic shift outside of there own species. The environment just doesn't change that drastically. Even though there are models in scientific labs that have manipulated genes. There is no reason to believe that they could ever occur naturally since the environment is actually quite stable. Now if they were to state that genes change randomly without the environment involved. Similar to how cancer forms. Than I would question the ability of science to link a random occurrence to a set, principal of known theories. Random occurrences are basically mysteries. While evolution does have some catalyst for change it most certainly doesn't show us without a doubt that it can transform species if the theory is entirely based on environmental impact.

Genes change (mutate) all the time. On average, there is approximately one mutation in a billion nucleotides per one generation of cells that divide. If we recall that in higher organisms one billion nucleotides are located in a total of 10-100 cells only, and that some cells divide every 10-12 hours - that's a lot of mutations. Are mutations caused by the environment? Yes, although the factors that cause tham are not what we usually associate with the term "environment" (temperature, precipitation, winds, etc.). The main causative agent of mutations is perhaps the so-called cosmic radiation. Other agents that cause mutations are ultraviolet, gamma rays, and some chemicals (benzpyrene, methylcholanthrene erc.). Very importantly, some mutations affect the so-called homeotic genes, and therefore may cause a very dramatic change in the phenotype.
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« Reply #2379 on: November 22, 2010, 01:26:58 PM »

Is arithmetic true?

Well that's quite the philosophical problem you're asking about, now isn't it? I would answer such a question with skepticism. If asked "Do you know 2+2 to equal 4?" I would answer "no". If asked "Does 2+2 equal 4?" I would answer "I don't know". If asked "For everyday, practical purposes, do you assume that 2+2 equals 4?" I would answer "yes". But I suppose this is probably an issue for another thread.  angel
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« Reply #2380 on: November 22, 2010, 02:29:17 PM »

Is arithmetic true?

Well that's quite the philosophical problem you're asking about, now isn't it? I would answer such a question with skepticism. If asked "Do you know 2+2 to equal 4?" I would answer "no". If asked "Does 2+2 equal 4?" I would answer "I don't know". If asked "For everyday, practical purposes, do you assume that 2+2 equals 4?" I would answer "yes". But I suppose this is probably an issue for another thread.  angel


I know what you mean, brother!

Well, likewise, "for everyday, practical purposes, I assume that if the frequency of an allele "a" in a population X was 0.15 seven years ago and is 0.43 today, then pupolations evolve."

But the point you made is really, really very good. We have a very faint idea about what "knowledge" actually is. Some very prominent scientists and philosophers of science, for example Ernst Mach, were always skeptical about expressions like "now we know what REAL atoms look like," or "now we know how electrons ACTUALLY move." Mach founded a school of thought known as "scientific anti-realism." He believed that at least some, or maybe even all, of the so-called "realities" of the physical world that are thought to exist at a level that cannot be directly observed, may be fictitious. In other world, it's not like "Rutherford thought that atoms are like planetary systems and Bohr came up with a more realistic description of atoms that have electron shells." Rather, it's like "Rutherford used a planetary model and Bohr used a shell model to illustrate their theoretical deductions and exprimental findings; they both used an abstract term "atom" in their illustrations."
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« Reply #2381 on: November 22, 2010, 03:57:00 PM »

I believe Genesis should be interpreted literally. That is, the author described the cosmos as understood by ancient Middle Easterners (e.g., with a dome-like firmament, above which another region of water existed, the source of rains). The days are 24-hour days. The cosmology presented was the 'scientific' cosmology of the time period. But the author embedded in Genesis a set of symbols, metaphors, and meanings, that transform this cosmology into a cosmology that reveals the purposes of God.

absolutely, Genesis has deeper, spiritual meanings. im just not sure why that has to mean the literal level is not true....


am i the only one that thinks its strange that a thread about Scripture is focused on science rather than the teaching of the Church ...?

The opposite may be true. Those who reject evolution may be viewing the teachings of the Church through the lens of Western Style Rationalism. They believe the mechanics of how the World was created is what is being discussed in Genesis rather than Why the World was created. They have confused poetry for some sort of hard factual analysis.
On the other hand, to say that the creation narratives are "poetry", I think, too easily dismisses the signs that the Genesis creation narratives reflected the scientific/cosmological understandings of the time period. The "firmament", or dome, was not a poetic description of the expanding, 14-billion-year-old universe. It was understood to be a literal dome stretching across the earth, supported by the "pillars", or mountains of the earth's edges. Creationists, I would argue, are reading Genesis as 'scientific' textbook -- because Genesis creation narratives were indeed the 'scientific' texts of the time (though given spiritual meaning), that is, they were describing the commonly understood perspective on the structure of the cosmos.

Perhaps if the scientific structure of Genesis is acknowledged, then the acquiring of more scientific knowledge (expanding universe, mutational change, quantum mechanics, etc.) can be seen as supplementing, rather than replacing, Genesis. If 'science' is seen as part of the biblical scripture, then the advancement of science then becomes a 'biblical' project.
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« Reply #2382 on: November 22, 2010, 05:26:35 PM »

Rafa, St. Nikolai talks about a literal reading of nature, not scripture...

But I suspected that this insight would not compute with "creationists" any more than it does with the Darwinists. The idea that the creation is chiefly symbolic of heavenly realities, that the visible and invisible worlds interpenetrate so thoroughly, is just too philosophically alien to those who are steeped in dualism.

What heavenly realities would fossils symbolize?

I don't know. I can make some guesses:

"...[C]ursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee." (Genesis 3:17-18)

"'It is clear from this that whoever reads the natural without knowing the spiritual content and significance of what he has read, reads death, sees death, appropriates death." - St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Well, I could keep on asking questions like "What does it mean that we can see stars billions of lightyears away," but we wouldn't get very far that way, would we? This discussion needs to come down to a more fundamental level.

Quote
Quote
Also, please do not characterize me as a Darwinist. Darwin was philosophically so anti-Christian that it is hard to imagine why you would slap that label on your brethren.

I just find it strange that someone would rail against Darwin's anti-Christian philosophy whilst adopting uncritically his epistemology.
[/quote]

I could turn the tables and say you uncritically reject his epistemology. Of course, since you once believed in evolution, I know that's not true, and since I once seriously considered the possibility of a literal interpretation of Genesis, you cannot say that I am being uncritically accepting either.

By the way, you may get a kick out of this article about one of my ancestors: http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/uu_addenda/Minot-Judson-Savage.php

Quote
Rafa, St. Nikolai talks about a literal reading of nature, not scripture...

But I suspected that this insight would not compute with "creationists" any more than it does with the Darwinists. The idea that the creation is chiefly symbolic of heavenly realities, that the visible and invisible worlds interpenetrate so thoroughly, is just too philosophically alien to those who are steeped in dualism.

are you saying that St. Nikolai's idea is incompatible with creationism, cause i dont see why it would be. i havent really understood your purpose in bringing in the Universe as Signs and Symbols.

St. Nikolai upholds the traditional understanding that the world was created. If this is enough to make him a creationist, then I suppose he is one, as am I.

Hey, that makes me a creationist too!

Quote
However, what I see from many of the "creationists" here is an attempt to prove Christian cosmology using the strain of natural philosophy represented by Bacon, Newton, etc, which we call "modern science" and which shares its fundamental epistemology with Epicurus. So the creation vs. evolution debates tend to really be between two parties upholding the same ideology but debating as to who follows it more rigorously. All of the polemicizing about particular theories, findings, etc., without considering the philosophical problems underlying them, strikes me as re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Now we are getting to the point! I think that there is no question that if we interpret the physical world "literally," as you say, then there is no hope for a literal interpretation of scripture. But you are saying something I find very original, and I am not yet sure what to make of it.

If I may point out a couple of things that will help this discussion:
1. I refuse to assign any philosophical meaning to evolution. Scripture is my sole source of philosophical meaning. I think we agree here.

2. Robert Boyle believed that there was an element called Phlogiston in the atmosphere, which, when entrapped in solid materials, caused them to burn, and if inhaled, made people angry. He believed this was the cause of war, and that the secret of phlogiston was being guarded by the Roman Catholic priesthood as a conspiracy. Boyle made it his life's mission to discover a way to destroy all the phogiston in the atmosphere and thereby bring about world peace. Using the empirical method, he happened to make the discoveries necessary for the formulation of the Ideal Gas Law, PV=nRT.

So having the wrong philosophy does not preclude getting the right results.

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« Reply #2383 on: November 22, 2010, 06:23:14 PM »

I believe Genesis should be interpreted literally. That is, the author described the cosmos as understood by ancient Middle Easterners (e.g., with a dome-like firmament, above which another region of water existed, the source of rains). The days are 24-hour days. The cosmology presented was the 'scientific' cosmology of the time period. But the author embedded in Genesis a set of symbols, metaphors, and meanings, that transform this cosmology into a cosmology that reveals the purposes of God.

absolutely, Genesis has deeper, spiritual meanings. im just not sure why that has to mean the literal level is not true....


am i the only one that thinks its strange that a thread about Scripture is focused on science rather than the teaching of the Church ...?

The opposite may be true. Those who reject evolution may be viewing the teachings of the Church through the lens of Western Style Rationalism. They believe the mechanics of how the World was created is what is being discussed in Genesis rather than Why the World was created. They have confused poetry for some sort of hard factual analysis.
On the other hand, to say that the creation narratives are "poetry", I think, too easily dismisses the signs that the Genesis creation narratives reflected the scientific/cosmological understandings of the time period. The "firmament", or dome, was not a poetic description of the expanding, 14-billion-year-old universe. It was understood to be a literal dome stretching across the earth, supported by the "pillars", or mountains of the earth's edges. Creationists, I would argue, are reading Genesis as 'scientific' textbook -- because Genesis creation narratives were indeed the 'scientific' texts of the time (though given spiritual meaning), that is, they were describing the commonly understood perspective on the structure of the cosmos.

Perhaps if the scientific structure of Genesis is acknowledged, then the acquiring of more scientific knowledge (expanding universe, mutational change, quantum mechanics, etc.) can be seen as supplementing, rather than replacing, Genesis. If 'science' is seen as part of the biblical scripture, then the advancement of science then becomes a 'biblical' project.

Your point is valid. But you could say that this understanding of the Cosmos is "Pre-Science". If they had "Science" that would be their understanding of things. I think the Scenitific method came along later. No?  ( <----------  Government and Politics Major).

You could also say the Fathers thought that if you got the Flu you should be bled with leaches. If they were alive today with access to modern Science, they would drop that idea along with the notion that the World is only 10,000 years old.....etc. Being smart guys all.   
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« Reply #2384 on: November 27, 2010, 02:43:36 PM »

Basically, with regards to evolution, I have come to the conclusion that 1 of these options are possible:

A) God is tricking us (or "testing our faith")  
B) Satan planted all the evidence for evolution (including manipulating our DNA)
C) Evolution is true, deal with it.

D) The Omphalos hypothesis
E) Romans 8:19-22. The creation was corrupted by man's Fall; our examination of the creation today is therefore not a trustworthy guide to the creation before the Fall.
F)"Therefore, every literal reading of nature leads finally to idolatry... This is the true picture of idol worshippers, of both the scientific and the unscientific, on one side, and the enlightened Christians on the other. The first cleave with their senses and spirits to the symbols of nature, and the others see with their senses the symbols, but with the spirit they read in the spirit, i.e., the spiritual message in the symbols." - St. Nikolai Velimirovich (emphasis mine)

I think D) is intriguing but E) and F) are most reasonable.

I was about to reply to a question made much earlier that no one answered that I thought I can give a shot, but then I read this, and I thought that is would be a nice segway to what I want to say.  D and E actually sound very similar to A and B in a functional sense.  D mentions things are created in an orderly fashion and sometimes it means that some things are older than it seems.  Well, that's A then, because since things are older than it seems, it goes without question that the orderly fashion God creates also brings deception and limitation to God.  Is God so limited that He couldn't give us a means by which He can prove that creation is really less than 10,000 years old?  D, just make God not only a deceiver, but actually quite non-omnipotent at all.

E is similar to B in a sense that since the Fall occurred through the deception of Satan, Satan also deceives us through creation.  This would make sense if we add the deception of a talking animal (serpent) representing Satan as the actual literal thing that happened in a garden in Eden (not really the spiritual Paradise).

However, I actually like F, and I don't think it contradicts theistic evolutionists, and here's why:

So, because I was raised with a liberal and non-religious atheistic background, for most of my life I have simply taken the truth of the standard Theory of Evolution for granted.

When I started becoming serious about exploring Christianity, I did not give the matter all that much thought, as I had mostly seen sources which stated that the Faith is not incompatible with belief in said theory.

However, recently I have come to become more and more skeptical of the means of evolution, particularly the survival of the fittest usually to the detriment of those weaker and less adaptive than them. To me the system whereby the fit animals develop through selfish monopolizing of resources in contrast to sacrifice or even simply sharing seems very much like a fallen way for things to operate. As such, I am beginning to wonder more and more if the Darwinian process of "natural selection" is in fact a consequence of the Fall. Maybe if it is, it would still be possible that some other process of evolution operated before the Fall; I don't know.

Can anyone address this? I'm particularly interested to hear explanations from those who defend Darwinian evolution as intended by God.

Since things done in nature are revealed in such a manner so as to take the spiritual meaning behind it, think of it in many ways.  One thing is that indeed the world is a cruel place.  It's not peaceful and it's all about struggle and survival.  Christ taught this for us.  Is it part of a Fall?  St. Athanasius believed that man fell into the world of death, not creating the world of death through man (he also implied that the world actually went from bad to worse through man, which is also true in so many ways).

Also, with the issue of survival of the "fittest", understand process of evolution as survival of all who can bear viable fruit.  Taking the parable of the Vine and Vinedresser Christ gave, Nature is the vinedresser, the earth is the vine.  If every branch does not bear fruit, Nature takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit, Nature prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  So even those who are fit are still challenged.  The Father does this with us in a spiritual manner.  He allows challenge for our betterment.  Many of us scream why must we suffer, but a true Christian says, thank you for strengthening me in times of suffering.  It made me truly stronger.  Suffering is a means of growth and character making.  Because of suffering, Nature gave birth to ape-like series of creatures, up to a perfect point where God finally thought, now I can give creation my Image and Likeness through this Crown of creation.  While suffering stinks, it's a means of salvation.  We must struggle in order to grow, but God will not leave one person behind nevertheless.

He cursed the fig tree because it didn't bear fruit.  Therefore, like nature, we must also be fit not merely to be made worthy, but truly for the betterment of ourselves.  If we don't bear fruit, we are pretty much lazy creatures and we put ourselves to death.

But also think of it as indeed a sacrifice.  That the old creature must die, so that a new creature might be born.  The ultimate story of salvation.  Christ is the one who is the highest point of the evolutionary tree, the most perfect, who was not an old creature, but in fact, a new, both creature and uncreated One, Who died that instead of a few new creatures to be born and live, that ALL may be reborn and live.  For a mere creature cannot save all through its death for it has room for growth, but in Christ the highest point of growth lies in Him, as He is Infinite, and so giving room for all finite creatures to be saved.

Therefore, if anything, evolution seems to confirm Christian beliefs, not contradict it if we are to look for its allegory as St. Nikolai teaches.

So back to Iconodule, I think C and F are quite complimentary.
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