OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 29, 2014, 10:31:16 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Poll
Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
Yes - 53 (15.7%)
No - 129 (38.3%)
both metaphorically and literally - 155 (46%)
Total Voters: 337

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 »   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 323885 times) Average Rating: 0
Gebre Menfes Kidus and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
CBGardner
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 618


Ask w/ tears, seek w/ obedience, knock w/ patience


« Reply #2880 on: February 23, 2011, 04:38:32 PM »

Personally I'm of the opinion that the whole Creation vs Evolution debate is quite meaningless. I vehemently believe that at the very very beginning whatever was created, was created by God. Whether something else become what we see today, or as the exact narrative in the book of Genesis, if it all starts with God I don't see a point other than conversation (usually arguing really). If a person denies God then creation vs evolution doesn't matter does it? The true debate is God vs. no God.
 I believe the Genesis story because it fits better than evolution. As a person I am markedly different than an animal (ie having a soul and a corruptible nature) so I don't see how I evolved from an animal. God set us apart and put us as the rulers of animals. Plus I acknowledge how horridly huge is effect sin has on life and on earth. I believe the earth created in Genesis looked and acted much different than our current earth. We live in the shadow of what earth was like before sin ravaged it. Sin is literally death and it has destroyed our world to the point we can not recognize it as the same world found in Genesis. I believe in the flood and happen to think that also drastically changed our planet. My real question is to a Christian that believes in evolution. How do you believe in the mystery of the sacraments yet reject mystery in other places? As much as we may like to, we can't think and theorize ourselves back to the moments of creation. It behooves us to practice trust in God in as many ways as possible.

good post. you'll prolly get ignored or maligned though, just saying.

Why do you feel the need to poison the well?

I'm unsure if this was pointed at my post or the response to my post, but either way I don't understand. How/why did I poison the well? I apologize if I sound daft.

It was not directed at your post. It was directed at the attempt to pre-emptively cast any replies to your post as "maligning."
I appreciate your clarification  Smiley
Logged

Authentic zeal is not directed towards anything but union in Christ, or against anything but our own fallenness.

"Beardliness is next to Godliness."- Asteriktos
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2881 on: February 23, 2011, 04:46:51 PM »

the Orthodox Fathers never founded dogmas on the allegorical level of Scripture - that was used to supplement and edify. dogmas are always derived from the literal level of Scripture. to found dogmas on the allegorical level began in the west in 13th Century.

Examples?

Quote
you are correct, the literal and allegorical go hand-in-hand, they are not mutually exclusive. even the most exalted mystics such as St. Isaac and St. Symeon, and even the Alexandrian fathers who are well known for their allegories accepted the literal level of Genesis. this was true of the ancient east and west. Both Sts. Augustine and the Venerable Bede explicitly state that allegory is ok, as long as its not used to deny the historical truth of Scripture. St. John of Kronstadt says that every person and event in Scripture is true, and to deny that is to deny the whole of Scripture.

Can you provide examples from the Alexandrian Fathers? So far, every Patristic quotation I have heard on the necessity of a literal interpretation of Genesis has come from representatives of the school of Antioch and their followers in Byzantium. Antioch's school was essentially founded on the principle of the (re?)-establishment of the primacy of literal interpretation--what rabbinical tradition calls Pashat.

You speak as if the literal interpretation of Genesis is still a theologumen, i.e. something on which different schools of thought exist and have always existed, and on which difference in opinion is permitted. However, the evidence, when you review the whole consensus of the Fathers, points to the literal interpretation as dogmatic, i.e. there is no difference of opinion among the Fathers. Take the following passage from St Gregory Palamas, who represents the understanding of the Church long after the resolution of the "debates" between Alexandria and Antioch (from Fr Seraphim's article):

Quote
He writes that Barlaam and others

    do not see that Maximus, wise in Divine matters, has called the Light of the Lord's Transfiguration a symbol of theology only by analogy and in a spiritual sense. In fact, in a theology which is analogical and intended to elevate us, objects which have an existence of their own become themselves, in fact and in words, symbols by homonymy; it is in this sense that Maximus calls this Light a symbol.... Similarly, Gregory the Theologian has called the tree of knowledge of good and evil contemplation, having in his contemplation considered it as a symbol of this contemplation which is intended to elevate us; but it does not follow that what is involved is an illusion or a symbol without existence of its own. For the divine Maximus also makes Moses the symbol of judgment, and Elijah the symbol of foresight! Are they too then supposed not to have really existed, but to have been invented symbolically? And could not Peter, for one who would wish to elevate himself in contemplation, become a symbol of faith, James of hope, and John of love? (Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, Triad II, 3:21-22.)

This interestingly ties into what jckstraw was saying about the provenance of exclusively allegorical interpretations in Western, i.e. heretical theological circles.

If purely allegorical interpretation is permitted, how then do you explain St Gregory Palamas' clearly opposite opinion? Do you know the Fathers better than him?
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #2882 on: February 23, 2011, 04:47:05 PM »

it was not an attempt to pre-emptively characterize anyone's posts, i was simply stating the way this thread goes. i have been mocked several times for daring to place the authority of the Church above that of Darwin and his lil' buddies.
Logged
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #2883 on: February 23, 2011, 04:56:32 PM »

As I have now said many times, the unambiguous trend we see for organized complexity to degenerate into disorganized simplicity is on its own irrefutable proof that evolutionary models, which depend on disorganization spontaneously transforming into organization, are false on the grounds of violating known scientific universals. To me this entails that the burden of proof is on the evolutionists to prove their case, by means of some overwhelming evidence that the current laws of entropy have not always applied. Since I am not satisfied with the evidence they have presented, there is no longer an a priori cause for believing in a very old universe. Without a very old universe, the case for evolution in turn becomes even weaker.

Let's actually think about what you say about entropy. If I leave a glass of hot water saturated with some kind of salt ( an open system, like the earth), as it evaporates, the salt will deposit to form crystals. Some salts will form very nice crystals. The dissolved salt changed to a higher state of organization, and it did it spontaneously. There was no ordering mechanism involved. No external force guided this development. There was certainly no spiritual intervention. It just happened. Notably, the entropy of the closed system--the universe--increased due to the evaporation of the water. But the entropy of the open system--the glass--decreased as the ionic solute crystallized. It's the same thing with the earth and the Sun. The earth and the Sun essentially make a closed system. Any increase in complexity on earth is more than compensated for by energy dissipation from the Sun.
Logged
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #2884 on: February 23, 2011, 04:57:59 PM »

it was not an attempt to pre-emptively characterize anyone's posts, i was simply stating the way this thread goes. i have been mocked several times for daring to place the authority of the Church above that of Darwin and his lil' buddies.

You guys are guilty of your own fair share of mocking. No self-victimization allowed.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #2885 on: February 23, 2011, 04:59:12 PM »

the Orthodox Fathers never founded dogmas on the allegorical level of Scripture - that was used to supplement and edify. dogmas are always derived from the literal level of Scripture. to found dogmas on the allegorical level began in the west in 13th Century.

Examples?

this is what we covered just yesterday in my class on hermeneutics at St. Tikhon's. Hermeneutics used to be an entire course but unfortunately it was cut, and so now the professor, Dr. Mary Ford, presents an overview of the material in some of Bp. Michael's classes -- so anyways, we get the overview without as much detail. She gave one example, that it was said that the creation of the sun and moon as greater and lesser lights and the two swords of the Apostles are signs that political gov’t is inferior to ecclesial gov’t -- i forget who exactly said this, but IIRC it was a Pope. anyways, she mentioned that this was going on around the time of Thomas Aquinas and he actually rejected this practice of dogmatizing allegories and insisted on returning to the literal level of Genesis.

Quote
Quote
you are correct, the literal and allegorical go hand-in-hand, they are not mutually exclusive. even the most exalted mystics such as St. Isaac and St. Symeon, and even the Alexandrian fathers who are well known for their allegories accepted the literal level of Genesis. this was true of the ancient east and west. Both Sts. Augustine and the Venerable Bede explicitly state that allegory is ok, as long as its not used to deny the historical truth of Scripture. St. John of Kronstadt says that every person and event in Scripture is true, and to deny that is to deny the whole of Scripture.

Can you provide examples from the Alexandrian Fathers? So far, every Patristic quotation I have heard on the necessity of a literal interpretation of Genesis has come from representatives of the school of Antioch and their followers in Byzantium. Antioch's school was essentially founded on the principle of the (re?)-establishment of the primacy of literal interpretation--what rabbinical tradition calls Pashat.

at my blog here i have compiled quotes of the Fathers into various topics relating to evolution. there's at least a few Alexandrian authorities included http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/ . also this page on the Byzantine Creation Era calendar (adopted by the Church which puts us in the 8th millennium from creation) shows that it was the Alexandrian calendar that served as its predecessor - the Alexandrians accepted the timeline of Genesis as it was written http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/Byzantine_Creation_Era . even Origen, whose allegories concerning Genesis are well-known to be problematic, believed in a young earth.

and in line with the St. Gregory Palamas quote provided above, Fr. Seraphim points out the exact same approach to Genesis in St. Macarius the Great of Egypt:

Quote
St. Macarius the Great of Egypt, a Saint of the most exalted mystical life and whom one certainly cannot suspect of overly literal views of Scripture, writes on Genesis 3:24: "That Paradise was closed and that a Cherubim was commanded to prevent man from entering it by a flaming sword: of this we believe that in visible fashion it was indeed just as it is written, and at the same time we find that this occurs mystically in every soul." This is a passage which many of us might have expected to have only a mystical meaning, but this great seer of Divine things assures us that it is also true "just as it is written" - for those capable of seeing it.

found here http://www.creatio.orthodoxy.ru/english/rose_genesis/chapter1.html
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 05:06:22 PM by jckstraw72 » Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #2886 on: February 23, 2011, 05:01:40 PM »

it was not an attempt to pre-emptively characterize anyone's posts, i was simply stating the way this thread goes. i have been mocked several times for daring to place the authority of the Church above that of Darwin and his lil' buddies.

You guys are guilty of your own fair share of mocking. No self-victimization allowed.

i know im tooting my own horn here, forgive me, but i have not resorted to deriding fellow Orthodox Christians on this forum, as has routinely happened to those who reject evolution. but there's really no need to continue discussing this, i wasnt complaining, i could really care less, i was just attempting to show support for a fellow Patristic Creationist
Logged
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2887 on: February 23, 2011, 05:05:58 PM »

As I have now said many times, the unambiguous trend we see for organized complexity to degenerate into disorganized simplicity is on its own irrefutable proof that evolutionary models, which depend on disorganization spontaneously transforming into organization, are false on the grounds of violating known scientific universals. To me this entails that the burden of proof is on the evolutionists to prove their case, by means of some overwhelming evidence that the current laws of entropy have not always applied. Since I am not satisfied with the evidence they have presented, there is no longer an a priori cause for believing in a very old universe. Without a very old universe, the case for evolution in turn becomes even weaker.

Let's actually think about what you say about entropy. If I leave a glass of hot water saturated with some kind of salt ( an open system, like the earth), as it evaporates, the salt will deposit to form crystals. Some salts will form very nice crystals. The dissolved salt changed to a higher state of organization, and it did it spontaneously. There was no ordering mechanism involved. No external force guided this development. There was certainly no spiritual intervention. It just happened. Notably, the entropy of the closed system--the universe--increased due to the evaporation of the water. But the entropy of the open system--the glass--decreased as the ionic solute crystallized. It's the same thing with the earth and the Sun. The earth and the Sun essentially make a closed system. Any increase in complexity on earth is more than compensated for by energy dissipation from the Sun.

You are confusing order and organization. It requires more energy for the salt molecules to remain in solution above a certain concentration than to settle into simple, repetitive crystalline patterns. Thus, crystals do not require an energy conservation mechanism to remain in their state, i.e. they are dead, not alive. The molecules of living organisms, on the other hand, require more energy to remain in their complex, organized state than not, hence the need for mechanisms to conserve and convert energy to the work of maintaining life.

The Wallace article on thermodynamics lays it all out, so I'll provide the link again for your convenience:

http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 6,928


"My god is greater."


« Reply #2888 on: February 23, 2011, 05:07:47 PM »

I think the more secularly inclined here have a materialistic conception of what "literal" means- that by "literal", it means in the reductionistic, carnal sense that flows from an empiricist conception of the world. (To be fair, many "fundamentalists" think of it this way too). What is really literal, though, is spiritual reality. The changing, corruptible material world is not literal- it is a window to contemplation, a symbol and a matrix of symbols. It's not taking Genesis literally that's the problem- it's taking the material world literally. When we do so, we not only fail to perceive the spiritual truths represented in creation, we misunderstand the creation itself. Hence St. Nikolai Velimirovich compares these material literalists to someone studying letters of the alphabet and words on a page, without being able to read them and discern their meaning.  
Is your name Plato?

He is indeed extremely Platonic.

No more Platonic than St. Maximus or St. Nikolai. Plato's cosmology has much more to offer the Christian than that of Descartes or Bacon.

Quote
This sort of thinking seems to view the material world as an emanation or shadow of Plato's "noetic hypostases," which is not an indefensible position, and certainly has a strong element of truth to it--to an extent, I even agree with it, semi-gnostic as it is--but to dismiss everything we know about ancient history, paleontology, biology, geology, astrophysics, and linguistics on the basis that they don't accurately represent reality I find absurd. It's quite a coincidence that all these disciplines lead to the same conclusion, isn't it?

Since they all use the same methodology/ philosophy, it isn't terrible surprising, nor impressive. Several travellers using the same wrong map to arrive at the same wrong location doesn't make the map correct.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake

Quote from: Byron
Just ignore iconotools delusions. He is the biggest multiculturalist globalist there is due to his unfortunate background.
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #2889 on: February 23, 2011, 05:13:01 PM »

You speak as if the literal interpretation of Genesis is still a theologumen, i.e. something on which different schools of thought exist and have always existed, and on which difference in opinion is permitted. However, the evidence, when you review the whole consensus of the Fathers, points to the literal interpretation as dogmatic, i.e. there is no difference of opinion among the Fathers. Take the following passage from St Gregory Palamas, who represents the understanding of the Church long after the resolution of the "debates" between Alexandria and Antioch (from Fr Seraphim's article):

Quote
He writes that Barlaam and others

    do not see that Maximus, wise in Divine matters, has called the Light of the Lord's Transfiguration a symbol of theology only by analogy and in a spiritual sense. In fact, in a theology which is analogical and intended to elevate us, objects which have an existence of their own become themselves, in fact and in words, symbols by homonymy; it is in this sense that Maximus calls this Light a symbol.... Similarly, Gregory the Theologian has called the tree of knowledge of good and evil contemplation, having in his contemplation considered it as a symbol of this contemplation which is intended to elevate us; but it does not follow that what is involved is an illusion or a symbol without existence of its own. For the divine Maximus also makes Moses the symbol of judgment, and Elijah the symbol of foresight! Are they too then supposed not to have really existed, but to have been invented symbolically? And could not Peter, for one who would wish to elevate himself in contemplation, become a symbol of faith, James of hope, and John of love? (Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, Triad II, 3:21-22.)

This interestingly ties into what jckstraw was saying about the provenance of exclusively allegorical interpretations in Western, i.e. heretical theological circles.

If purely allegorical interpretation is permitted, how then do you explain St Gregory Palamas' clearly opposite opinion? Do you know the Fathers better than him?

I highly doubt that Barlaam though that the light of the Transfiguration was just a written metaphor. Barlaam believed that that the light was perfectly real in the everyday sense of the word. But he said that this light was just a symbol of the Divine Vision. St. Gregory is saying that it is, in fact, the actual Divine Vision itself. Barlaam's position would be analogous to saying that the Tree of Life was just a tree that symbolized contemplation, rather than contemplation itself.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #2890 on: February 23, 2011, 05:13:26 PM »

interesting quote from St. Maximus that i literally just came across:
Quote
Today man in his actions is possessed by the irrational imagination of the passions, deceived by concupiscence, or pre-occupied either by the contrivances of science because of his needs, or by the desire to learn the principles of nature according to its laws. None of these compulsions existed for man originally, since he was above everything. For thus man must have been in the beginning: in no way distracted by what was beneath him or around him or near him, and desiring perfection in nothing except irresistible movement, with all the strength of love towards the One who was above him, i.e., God. --- Amb. col. 1353, c. as quoted in Fr. John Meyendorff's "Christ in Eastern Christian Thought, pg. 138
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 05:17:32 PM by jckstraw72 » Logged
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #2891 on: February 23, 2011, 05:17:24 PM »

As I have now said many times, the unambiguous trend we see for organized complexity to degenerate into disorganized simplicity is on its own irrefutable proof that evolutionary models, which depend on disorganization spontaneously transforming into organization, are false on the grounds of violating known scientific universals. To me this entails that the burden of proof is on the evolutionists to prove their case, by means of some overwhelming evidence that the current laws of entropy have not always applied. Since I am not satisfied with the evidence they have presented, there is no longer an a priori cause for believing in a very old universe. Without a very old universe, the case for evolution in turn becomes even weaker.

Let's actually think about what you say about entropy. If I leave a glass of hot water saturated with some kind of salt ( an open system, like the earth), as it evaporates, the salt will deposit to form crystals. Some salts will form very nice crystals. The dissolved salt changed to a higher state of organization, and it did it spontaneously. There was no ordering mechanism involved. No external force guided this development. There was certainly no spiritual intervention. It just happened. Notably, the entropy of the closed system--the universe--increased due to the evaporation of the water. But the entropy of the open system--the glass--decreased as the ionic solute crystallized. It's the same thing with the earth and the Sun. The earth and the Sun essentially make a closed system. Any increase in complexity on earth is more than compensated for by energy dissipation from the Sun.

You are confusing order and organization. It requires more energy for the salt molecules to remain in solution above a certain concentration than to settle into simple, repetitive crystalline patterns. Thus, crystals do not require an energy conservation mechanism to remain in their state, i.e. they are dead, not alive. The molecules of living organisms, on the other hand, require more energy to remain in their complex, organized state than not, hence the need for mechanisms to conserve and convert energy to the work of maintaining life.

The Wallace article on thermodynamics lays it all out, so I'll provide the link again for your convenience:

http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp

Correct, living organisms need a constant replenishment of energy to survive, and would need a surplus of energy to grow, reproduce, or, theoretically, evolve. That surplus of energy would be the Sun. The second law of thermodynamics does not disprove evolution, just as much as it does not disprove reproducing and growing up.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #2892 on: February 23, 2011, 05:18:30 PM »

You speak as if the literal interpretation of Genesis is still a theologumen, i.e. something on which different schools of thought exist and have always existed, and on which difference in opinion is permitted. However, the evidence, when you review the whole consensus of the Fathers, points to the literal interpretation as dogmatic, i.e. there is no difference of opinion among the Fathers. Take the following passage from St Gregory Palamas, who represents the understanding of the Church long after the resolution of the "debates" between Alexandria and Antioch (from Fr Seraphim's article):

Quote
He writes that Barlaam and others

    do not see that Maximus, wise in Divine matters, has called the Light of the Lord's Transfiguration a symbol of theology only by analogy and in a spiritual sense. In fact, in a theology which is analogical and intended to elevate us, objects which have an existence of their own become themselves, in fact and in words, symbols by homonymy; it is in this sense that Maximus calls this Light a symbol.... Similarly, Gregory the Theologian has called the tree of knowledge of good and evil contemplation, having in his contemplation considered it as a symbol of this contemplation which is intended to elevate us; but it does not follow that what is involved is an illusion or a symbol without existence of its own. For the divine Maximus also makes Moses the symbol of judgment, and Elijah the symbol of foresight! Are they too then supposed not to have really existed, but to have been invented symbolically? And could not Peter, for one who would wish to elevate himself in contemplation, become a symbol of faith, James of hope, and John of love? (Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, Triad II, 3:21-22.)

This interestingly ties into what jckstraw was saying about the provenance of exclusively allegorical interpretations in Western, i.e. heretical theological circles.

If purely allegorical interpretation is permitted, how then do you explain St Gregory Palamas' clearly opposite opinion? Do you know the Fathers better than him?

I highly doubt that Barlaam though that the light of the Transfiguration was just a written metaphor. Barlaam believed that that the light was perfectly real in the everyday sense of the word. But he said that this light was just a symbol of the Divine Vision. St. Gregory is saying that it is, in fact, the actual Divine Vision itself. Barlaam's position would be analogous to saying that the Tree of Life was just a tree that symbolized contemplation, rather than contemplation itself.

the point remains the same - for the Fathers, allegory is not used to the exclusion of literality.
Logged
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2893 on: February 23, 2011, 05:18:48 PM »

You speak as if the literal interpretation of Genesis is still a theologumen, i.e. something on which different schools of thought exist and have always existed, and on which difference in opinion is permitted. However, the evidence, when you review the whole consensus of the Fathers, points to the literal interpretation as dogmatic, i.e. there is no difference of opinion among the Fathers. Take the following passage from St Gregory Palamas, who represents the understanding of the Church long after the resolution of the "debates" between Alexandria and Antioch (from Fr Seraphim's article):

Quote
He writes that Barlaam and others

    do not see that Maximus, wise in Divine matters, has called the Light of the Lord's Transfiguration a symbol of theology only by analogy and in a spiritual sense. In fact, in a theology which is analogical and intended to elevate us, objects which have an existence of their own become themselves, in fact and in words, symbols by homonymy; it is in this sense that Maximus calls this Light a symbol.... Similarly, Gregory the Theologian has called the tree of knowledge of good and evil contemplation, having in his contemplation considered it as a symbol of this contemplation which is intended to elevate us; but it does not follow that what is involved is an illusion or a symbol without existence of its own. For the divine Maximus also makes Moses the symbol of judgment, and Elijah the symbol of foresight! Are they too then supposed not to have really existed, but to have been invented symbolically? And could not Peter, for one who would wish to elevate himself in contemplation, become a symbol of faith, James of hope, and John of love? (Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, Triad II, 3:21-22.)

This interestingly ties into what jckstraw was saying about the provenance of exclusively allegorical interpretations in Western, i.e. heretical theological circles.

If purely allegorical interpretation is permitted, how then do you explain St Gregory Palamas' clearly opposite opinion? Do you know the Fathers better than him?

I highly doubt that Barlaam though that the light of the Transfiguration was just a written metaphor. Barlaam believed that that the light was perfectly real in the everyday sense of the word. But he said that this light was just a symbol of the Divine Vision. St. Gregory is saying that it is, in fact, the actual Divine Vision itself. Barlaam's position would be analogous to saying that the Tree of Life was just a tree that symbolized contemplation, rather than contemplation itself.

I think you are deliberately changing the subject. The point here is not what Barlaam did or did not believe (although I would certainly be inclined to trust St Gregory Palamas on the subject rather than some modern revisionist theory), but that St Gregory Palamas in his arguments shows that the literal interpretation of Scripture is in conformity with Orthodox Patristic dogma, while purely allegorical interpretations are not.
Logged
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #2894 on: February 23, 2011, 05:23:11 PM »

You are confusing order and organization. It requires more energy for the salt molecules to remain in solution above a certain concentration than to settle into simple, repetitive crystalline patterns.

You are confusing entropy with negative enthalpy. As long as the change in free energy of the (closed or open) system is negative, the process will be spontaneous. dG=H-TdS.

Quote

Yes, I read it.
Logged
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2895 on: February 23, 2011, 05:23:28 PM »

As I have now said many times, the unambiguous trend we see for organized complexity to degenerate into disorganized simplicity is on its own irrefutable proof that evolutionary models, which depend on disorganization spontaneously transforming into organization, are false on the grounds of violating known scientific universals. To me this entails that the burden of proof is on the evolutionists to prove their case, by means of some overwhelming evidence that the current laws of entropy have not always applied. Since I am not satisfied with the evidence they have presented, there is no longer an a priori cause for believing in a very old universe. Without a very old universe, the case for evolution in turn becomes even weaker.

Let's actually think about what you say about entropy. If I leave a glass of hot water saturated with some kind of salt ( an open system, like the earth), as it evaporates, the salt will deposit to form crystals. Some salts will form very nice crystals. The dissolved salt changed to a higher state of organization, and it did it spontaneously. There was no ordering mechanism involved. No external force guided this development. There was certainly no spiritual intervention. It just happened. Notably, the entropy of the closed system--the universe--increased due to the evaporation of the water. But the entropy of the open system--the glass--decreased as the ionic solute crystallized. It's the same thing with the earth and the Sun. The earth and the Sun essentially make a closed system. Any increase in complexity on earth is more than compensated for by energy dissipation from the Sun.

You are confusing order and organization. It requires more energy for the salt molecules to remain in solution above a certain concentration than to settle into simple, repetitive crystalline patterns. Thus, crystals do not require an energy conservation mechanism to remain in their state, i.e. they are dead, not alive. The molecules of living organisms, on the other hand, require more energy to remain in their complex, organized state than not, hence the need for mechanisms to conserve and convert energy to the work of maintaining life.

The Wallace article on thermodynamics lays it all out, so I'll provide the link again for your convenience:

http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp

Correct, living organisms need a constant replenishment of energy to survive, and would need a surplus of energy to grow, reproduce, or, theoretically, evolve. That surplus of energy would be the Sun. The second law of thermodynamics does not disprove evolution, just as much as it does not disprove reproducing and growing up.

But those energy conservation mechanisms must already be in place to take advantage of the Sun's energy (or energy from other sources, like volcanic vents). It is not remotely plausible that such complex conservation mechanisms will spontaneously assemble themselves out of disorganized, inanimate matter. In the absence of such mechanisms, we observe entropy to apply also in the presence of the Sun's energy, e.g. in the degrading chemical reactions that cause paint to peel and disintegrate. This is an example of entropy in action, but it is triggered by solar energy.
Logged
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2896 on: February 23, 2011, 05:25:08 PM »

You are confusing order and organization. It requires more energy for the salt molecules to remain in solution above a certain concentration than to settle into simple, repetitive crystalline patterns.

You are confusing entropy with negative enthalpy. As long as the change in free energy of the (closed or open) system is negative, the process will be spontaneous. dG=H-TdS.

Quote

Yes, I read it.

Given that your example of crystallization does not prove spontaneous organization, what other examples do you have from observed chemical processes?
Logged
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #2897 on: February 23, 2011, 05:25:50 PM »

You speak as if the literal interpretation of Genesis is still a theologumen, i.e. something on which different schools of thought exist and have always existed, and on which difference in opinion is permitted. However, the evidence, when you review the whole consensus of the Fathers, points to the literal interpretation as dogmatic, i.e. there is no difference of opinion among the Fathers. Take the following passage from St Gregory Palamas, who represents the understanding of the Church long after the resolution of the "debates" between Alexandria and Antioch (from Fr Seraphim's article):

Quote
He writes that Barlaam and others

    do not see that Maximus, wise in Divine matters, has called the Light of the Lord's Transfiguration a symbol of theology only by analogy and in a spiritual sense. In fact, in a theology which is analogical and intended to elevate us, objects which have an existence of their own become themselves, in fact and in words, symbols by homonymy; it is in this sense that Maximus calls this Light a symbol.... Similarly, Gregory the Theologian has called the tree of knowledge of good and evil contemplation, having in his contemplation considered it as a symbol of this contemplation which is intended to elevate us; but it does not follow that what is involved is an illusion or a symbol without existence of its own. For the divine Maximus also makes Moses the symbol of judgment, and Elijah the symbol of foresight! Are they too then supposed not to have really existed, but to have been invented symbolically? And could not Peter, for one who would wish to elevate himself in contemplation, become a symbol of faith, James of hope, and John of love? (Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, Triad II, 3:21-22.)

This interestingly ties into what jckstraw was saying about the provenance of exclusively allegorical interpretations in Western, i.e. heretical theological circles.

If purely allegorical interpretation is permitted, how then do you explain St Gregory Palamas' clearly opposite opinion? Do you know the Fathers better than him?

I highly doubt that Barlaam though that the light of the Transfiguration was just a written metaphor. Barlaam believed that that the light was perfectly real in the everyday sense of the word. But he said that this light was just a symbol of the Divine Vision. St. Gregory is saying that it is, in fact, the actual Divine Vision itself. Barlaam's position would be analogous to saying that the Tree of Life was just a tree that symbolized contemplation, rather than contemplation itself.

I think you are deliberately changing the subject. The point here is not what Barlaam did or did not believe (although I would certainly be inclined to trust St Gregory Palamas on the subject rather than some modern revisionist theory), but that St Gregory Palamas in his arguments shows that the literal interpretation of Scripture is in conformity with Orthodox Patristic dogma, while purely allegorical interpretations are not.

Pure allegory was not even discussed in the Palamite Controversy. It had nothing to do with it.
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,024


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #2898 on: February 23, 2011, 05:28:09 PM »

I think we have been talking at cross purposes. I certainly agree that there are inbuilt mechanisms for adapting to new environments,

You mistake my language.  I'm not talking about adaptations.  People who become immune to HIV is not an adaptation but a mutation.  Adaptation is when your skin becomes darker in the sun.  Mutation is when a group of people have a propensity to have high HDL levels, a trait that might fair well in the future of humanity in this country.

Quote
which do not involve entropic degradation of genetic information.

What do you mean "do not involve"?  They avoid entropy, but all creation is always involved in entropy.  Creation fights against entropy, that's the whole idea.

Quote
But these are all part of the inherent design of organisms, and do not reflect change from one kind of organism to another.

Yes it does.  We have the HIV prone organisms, and we have the HIV non-prone organisms.  When these mutations add up over time, over a very very long time, you might end up with a whole different species.

Quote
To get Darwinian evolution, you need mutations that cause fundamental alterations in the genetic code,

What do you mean fundamental?  Darwinian evolution is one that causes alterations overtime.  Eventually, after 10s of thousands of years perhaps, we might see some very fundamental changes.

Quote
which ALSO must introduce greater overall complexity, in order to get multi-celled organisms out of bacteria,

There is no "one gene" that causes multicellularity.  But we do know using cancer research which genes being affected become so (the use of basement membrane, the use of intercellular communications, etc.), where a cell that is part of a unit all of a sudden becomes its own independent organism attacking your own body.  An entropy if you will from what you are to unicellular parasites that bear mutations of your genes.  What's amazing is that a lot of these genes seem to have been duplicated and altered from what the cell already had, such as the cell's cytoskeleton.  A lot of the genetic markers where cell independence is lost are being found, and have a surprising consistency with the theory of evolution.  Therefore, a competent oncologist has to accept evolution in his research for better cancer treatment.  One can imagine that one of the traits of cancer disease is a tissue's inability to maintain its multicellular state (entropy).  This can prove that we evolved into multicellularity (growth, complexity, etc.)

Now let's see what Anderson says:

Quote
Evolutionists frequently point to the development of antibiotic resistance by bacteria as a demonstration of evolutionary change.  However, molecular analysis of the genetic events that lead to antibiotic resistance do not support this common assumption.  Many bacteria become resistant by acquiring genes from plasmids or transposons via horizontal gene transfer.  Horizontal transfer, though, does not account for the origin of resistance genes, only their spread among bacteria.

Correct, he doesn't account for the origin of these, which is usually a mutation in a lucky bacteria that has a sex pillus, which would speed up the evolution of a species of bacteria.  Very dangerous in the clinic.

But we also have other examples of mutations, such as duplication of gene in hospital acquired Pneumonia:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20966089
The acquiring of a new gene synthesizing carbapenem drugs (some by plasmids and others by clonal selection):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21144429
We have mutations that create pumps to pump out the drug faster, mutations that alter the cell wall slightly for the same strength and function with better protection against antiobiotics, mutations that involve enzymes that metabolize the drug, all of which have a variety of mechanisms of mutations, and not "consistently" horizontal transfer.


Quote
Mutations, on the other hand, can potentially account for the origin of antibiotic resistance within the bacterial world, but involve mutational processes that are contrary to the predictions of evolution.

On the contrary, due to the study of mechanisms of bacterial resistance, things are getting a lot more predictable now, and has shown us to better understand the mechanism of evolution.

Quote
Instead, such mutations consistently reduce or eliminate the function of transport proteins or porins, protein binding affinities, enzyme activities, the proton motive force, or regulatory control systems.

Consistently is incorrect.  There's a variety of changes, those that reduce function, eliminate function, add or strengthen function, or add new information.  We have plenty of studies on this, and the variety of this causes a big problem for us in the health field trying to find ways to treat evolved bacteria.

Quote
While such mutations can be regarded as “beneficial,” in that they increase the survival rate of bacteria in the presence of the antibiotic, they involve mutational processes that do not provide a genetic mechanism for common “descent with modification.”  Also, some “relative fitness” cost is often associated with such mutations, although reversion mutations may eventually recover most, if not all, of this cost for some bacteria.  A true biological cost does occur, however, in the loss of pre-existing cellular systems or functions.  Such loss of cellular activity cannot legitimately be offered as a genetic means of demonstrating evolution.

When there is a biological cost, if it does harm to the bacteria, the bacteria will die.  But not all bacteria that evolve do so at a biological cost.

The fact that I only read this abstract by this author and I find very erroneous and misleading information shows how much I cannot take these websites seriously anymore.  How would you like it, as a knowledgeable theologian perhaps, if you read someone debunking Orthodoxy by spreading misleading information?  That's how I feel right now about this man's so-called "science," where it's all disproven.

Quote
For the most part, these mutations are harmful, but even where occasionally they happen to be beneficial, they do not represent increased complexity.

I've presented the case otherwise before.  We have proof of increased information, beneficial mutations, and gene duplication studies that eventually would lead to new and exciting genes.  And for the most part, mutations are neither harmful nor harmless.  As I mentioned before, if you ever really pay attention to what I write, since most of our genome is silent, most of the mutations are silent.

Quote
But entropy-avoidance does not extend to increasing the complexity of the organism beyond its original design. I could imagine over hundreds of millions of years a human lineage degrading into bacteria, but not bacteria evolving into human beings.

That's like saying I would expect a human being going from adult to infancy, not the other way around.  This argument is a fallacy.  You continue to ignore your own argument in how one avoids entropy for growth and reproduction, and somehow, with some misconstrued understanding of science you don't find that courtesy extending to evolution.

I'm not sure if you'll understand anything I wrote, but if you didn't, then it shows you have a lot to learn than from some fool who lies about scientific discoveries.

And just for the record, if you couldn't imagine how a bacteria can evolve in a human species, that's actually understandable.  But we can indeed imagine our evolution from an ape species due to astounding similarities in our DNA, where we can even detect where exactly our differences lie genetically and how they occurred.  I can personally imagine that.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 05:42:38 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,024


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #2899 on: February 23, 2011, 05:30:26 PM »

How do you believe in the mystery of the sacraments yet reject mystery in other places?

What makes you think a Christian does not see mystery and awe in other places, even in science, even in evolution?

All I'm saying is why embrace in one area and not the other. You embrace the mystery of science, yet not the greatest scientific action ever, the creation of our world?

What makes you think I don't embrace the creation of our world, and see the mystery in her Creator?
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #2900 on: February 23, 2011, 05:33:24 PM »

But those energy conservation mechanisms must already be in place to take advantage of the Sun's energy (or energy from other sources, like volcanic vents). It is not remotely plausible that such complex conservation mechanisms will spontaneously assemble themselves out of disorganized, inanimate matter. In the absence of such mechanisms, we observe entropy to apply also in the presence of the Sun's energy, e.g. in the degrading chemical reactions that cause paint to peel and disintegrate. This is an example of entropy in action, but it is triggered by solar energy.

Which means:
a) God made an energy conservation mechanism, or
b) an energy conservation mechanism appeared by chance.

The second option would be the Holy Grail of atheists if it could be demonstrable. It's certainly not impossible given enough time, nor would it disprove that God created life. That's the main reason I fail to understand the attempts that certain people make to pit God and science against each other. I don't like dichotomies like that. Evolution does not disprove the creation of life by God.
Logged
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2901 on: February 23, 2011, 05:39:26 PM »

But those energy conservation mechanisms must already be in place to take advantage of the Sun's energy (or energy from other sources, like volcanic vents). It is not remotely plausible that such complex conservation mechanisms will spontaneously assemble themselves out of disorganized, inanimate matter. In the absence of such mechanisms, we observe entropy to apply also in the presence of the Sun's energy, e.g. in the degrading chemical reactions that cause paint to peel and disintegrate. This is an example of entropy in action, but it is triggered by solar energy.

Which means:
a) God made an energy conservation mechanism, or
b) an energy conservation mechanism appeared by chance.

The second option would be the Holy Grail of atheists if it could be demonstrable. It's certainly not impossible given enough time, nor would it disprove that God created life. That's the main reason I fail to understand the attempts that certain people make to pit God and science against each other. I don't like dichotomies like that. Evolution does not disprove the creation of life by God.

I would be inclined to say it is impossible under any length of time, because spontaneous organization is just not observed in inanimate chemical processes. On paper yes you speak of it being theoretically possible, though so remotely improbable we would never actually see it happen, just like the theoretical possibility of standing water at room temperature and atmospheric pressure spontaneously boiling. But I think a little common sense is also allowed here: if we don't see it happen in nature now, it is not reasonable to expect it to have occurred in the past (without some miraculous intervention).
Logged
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2902 on: February 23, 2011, 05:43:06 PM »

You speak as if the literal interpretation of Genesis is still a theologumen, i.e. something on which different schools of thought exist and have always existed, and on which difference in opinion is permitted. However, the evidence, when you review the whole consensus of the Fathers, points to the literal interpretation as dogmatic, i.e. there is no difference of opinion among the Fathers. Take the following passage from St Gregory Palamas, who represents the understanding of the Church long after the resolution of the "debates" between Alexandria and Antioch (from Fr Seraphim's article):

Quote
He writes that Barlaam and others

    do not see that Maximus, wise in Divine matters, has called the Light of the Lord's Transfiguration a symbol of theology only by analogy and in a spiritual sense. In fact, in a theology which is analogical and intended to elevate us, objects which have an existence of their own become themselves, in fact and in words, symbols by homonymy; it is in this sense that Maximus calls this Light a symbol.... Similarly, Gregory the Theologian has called the tree of knowledge of good and evil contemplation, having in his contemplation considered it as a symbol of this contemplation which is intended to elevate us; but it does not follow that what is involved is an illusion or a symbol without existence of its own. For the divine Maximus also makes Moses the symbol of judgment, and Elijah the symbol of foresight! Are they too then supposed not to have really existed, but to have been invented symbolically? And could not Peter, for one who would wish to elevate himself in contemplation, become a symbol of faith, James of hope, and John of love? (Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, Triad II, 3:21-22.)

This interestingly ties into what jckstraw was saying about the provenance of exclusively allegorical interpretations in Western, i.e. heretical theological circles.

If purely allegorical interpretation is permitted, how then do you explain St Gregory Palamas' clearly opposite opinion? Do you know the Fathers better than him?

I highly doubt that Barlaam though that the light of the Transfiguration was just a written metaphor. Barlaam believed that that the light was perfectly real in the everyday sense of the word. But he said that this light was just a symbol of the Divine Vision. St. Gregory is saying that it is, in fact, the actual Divine Vision itself. Barlaam's position would be analogous to saying that the Tree of Life was just a tree that symbolized contemplation, rather than contemplation itself.

I think you are deliberately changing the subject. The point here is not what Barlaam did or did not believe (although I would certainly be inclined to trust St Gregory Palamas on the subject rather than some modern revisionist theory), but that St Gregory Palamas in his arguments shows that the literal interpretation of Scripture is in conformity with Orthodox Patristic dogma, while purely allegorical interpretations are not.

Pure allegory was not even discussed in the Palamite Controversy. It had nothing to do with it.

Again, utterly beside the point. This is an example of how the Holy Fathers thought about Scripture. They did not completely allegorize it, as you are so eager to do.
Logged
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #2903 on: February 23, 2011, 05:56:57 PM »

You speak as if the literal interpretation of Genesis is still a theologumen, i.e. something on which different schools of thought exist and have always existed, and on which difference in opinion is permitted. However, the evidence, when you review the whole consensus of the Fathers, points to the literal interpretation as dogmatic, i.e. there is no difference of opinion among the Fathers. Take the following passage from St Gregory Palamas, who represents the understanding of the Church long after the resolution of the "debates" between Alexandria and Antioch (from Fr Seraphim's article):

Quote
He writes that Barlaam and others

    do not see that Maximus, wise in Divine matters, has called the Light of the Lord's Transfiguration a symbol of theology only by analogy and in a spiritual sense. In fact, in a theology which is analogical and intended to elevate us, objects which have an existence of their own become themselves, in fact and in words, symbols by homonymy; it is in this sense that Maximus calls this Light a symbol.... Similarly, Gregory the Theologian has called the tree of knowledge of good and evil contemplation, having in his contemplation considered it as a symbol of this contemplation which is intended to elevate us; but it does not follow that what is involved is an illusion or a symbol without existence of its own. For the divine Maximus also makes Moses the symbol of judgment, and Elijah the symbol of foresight! Are they too then supposed not to have really existed, but to have been invented symbolically? And could not Peter, for one who would wish to elevate himself in contemplation, become a symbol of faith, James of hope, and John of love? (Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, Triad II, 3:21-22.)

This interestingly ties into what jckstraw was saying about the provenance of exclusively allegorical interpretations in Western, i.e. heretical theological circles.

If purely allegorical interpretation is permitted, how then do you explain St Gregory Palamas' clearly opposite opinion? Do you know the Fathers better than him?

I highly doubt that Barlaam though that the light of the Transfiguration was just a written metaphor. Barlaam believed that that the light was perfectly real in the everyday sense of the word. But he said that this light was just a symbol of the Divine Vision. St. Gregory is saying that it is, in fact, the actual Divine Vision itself. Barlaam's position would be analogous to saying that the Tree of Life was just a tree that symbolized contemplation, rather than contemplation itself.

I think you are deliberately changing the subject. The point here is not what Barlaam did or did not believe (although I would certainly be inclined to trust St Gregory Palamas on the subject rather than some modern revisionist theory), but that St Gregory Palamas in his arguments shows that the literal interpretation of Scripture is in conformity with Orthodox Patristic dogma, while purely allegorical interpretations are not.

Pure allegory was not even discussed in the Palamite Controversy. It had nothing to do with it.

Again, utterly beside the point. This is an example of how the Holy Fathers thought about Scripture. They did not completely allegorize it, as you are so eager to do.

Well, they must have allegorized it to some extent, otherwise they would have believed that God was walking in the garden!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 05:57:32 PM by Rufus » Logged
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2904 on: February 23, 2011, 05:59:49 PM »

@Mina:

The examples you brought up of mutations for antibiotic resistance in bacteria reveal your own misunderstanding, rather than mine. All the examples of apparently enhanced function in the resistant bacteria, such as the MAR efflux "pumps" that expel the drug from the organism, are dealt with in the body of Anderson's article. It is unreasonable to attack only his abstract, without addressing the meat of the evidence he provides. Pumps, for example, occur when a repressor gene is lost, enabling the over-production of the proteins required to build the pump:

Quote
Several bacteria, including Escherichia coli, construct a mulitiple-antibiotic-resistance (MAR) efflux pump that provides the bacterium with resistance to multiple types of antibiotics, including erythromycin, tetracycline, ampicillin, and nalidixic acid.  This pump expels the antibiotic from the cell’s cytoplasm, helping to maintain the intracellular levels below a lethal concentration (Grkovic et al., 2002; Okusu et al., 1996) (Figure 3).  The MAR pump is composed of the proteins MarA and MarB, whose synthesis is inhibited by the regulatory protein, MarR (Alekshun and Levy, 1999; Poole, 2000) (Figure 3).  Mutations that reduce or eliminate the repression control of MarR result in over-production of the MarAB efflux pump, which enables the cell to expel higher concentrations of antibiotics or other antibacterial agents (Oethinger et al., 1998; Poole, 2000; Zarantonelli et al., 1999).

All these mutations, when examined closely, turn out to be information-losing. This applies also to cases of gene duplication: although duplication and mutation of one copy results in two different genes, neither of the genes has gained information.

Nobody is lying here, Mina. The only deception taking place is your own self-deception.
Logged
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2905 on: February 23, 2011, 06:03:21 PM »

You speak as if the literal interpretation of Genesis is still a theologumen, i.e. something on which different schools of thought exist and have always existed, and on which difference in opinion is permitted. However, the evidence, when you review the whole consensus of the Fathers, points to the literal interpretation as dogmatic, i.e. there is no difference of opinion among the Fathers. Take the following passage from St Gregory Palamas, who represents the understanding of the Church long after the resolution of the "debates" between Alexandria and Antioch (from Fr Seraphim's article):

Quote
He writes that Barlaam and others

    do not see that Maximus, wise in Divine matters, has called the Light of the Lord's Transfiguration a symbol of theology only by analogy and in a spiritual sense. In fact, in a theology which is analogical and intended to elevate us, objects which have an existence of their own become themselves, in fact and in words, symbols by homonymy; it is in this sense that Maximus calls this Light a symbol.... Similarly, Gregory the Theologian has called the tree of knowledge of good and evil contemplation, having in his contemplation considered it as a symbol of this contemplation which is intended to elevate us; but it does not follow that what is involved is an illusion or a symbol without existence of its own. For the divine Maximus also makes Moses the symbol of judgment, and Elijah the symbol of foresight! Are they too then supposed not to have really existed, but to have been invented symbolically? And could not Peter, for one who would wish to elevate himself in contemplation, become a symbol of faith, James of hope, and John of love? (Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, Triad II, 3:21-22.)

This interestingly ties into what jckstraw was saying about the provenance of exclusively allegorical interpretations in Western, i.e. heretical theological circles.

If purely allegorical interpretation is permitted, how then do you explain St Gregory Palamas' clearly opposite opinion? Do you know the Fathers better than him?

I highly doubt that Barlaam though that the light of the Transfiguration was just a written metaphor. Barlaam believed that that the light was perfectly real in the everyday sense of the word. But he said that this light was just a symbol of the Divine Vision. St. Gregory is saying that it is, in fact, the actual Divine Vision itself. Barlaam's position would be analogous to saying that the Tree of Life was just a tree that symbolized contemplation, rather than contemplation itself.

I think you are deliberately changing the subject. The point here is not what Barlaam did or did not believe (although I would certainly be inclined to trust St Gregory Palamas on the subject rather than some modern revisionist theory), but that St Gregory Palamas in his arguments shows that the literal interpretation of Scripture is in conformity with Orthodox Patristic dogma, while purely allegorical interpretations are not.

Pure allegory was not even discussed in the Palamite Controversy. It had nothing to do with it.

Again, utterly beside the point. This is an example of how the Holy Fathers thought about Scripture. They did not completely allegorize it, as you are so eager to do.

Well, they must have allegorized it to some extent, otherwise they would have believed that God was walking in the garden!

True, that is considered symbolic. The Six Days are not. QED.
Logged
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #2906 on: February 23, 2011, 06:25:48 PM »

You speak as if the literal interpretation of Genesis is still a theologumen, i.e. something on which different schools of thought exist and have always existed, and on which difference in opinion is permitted. However, the evidence, when you review the whole consensus of the Fathers, points to the literal interpretation as dogmatic, i.e. there is no difference of opinion among the Fathers. Take the following passage from St Gregory Palamas, who represents the understanding of the Church long after the resolution of the "debates" between Alexandria and Antioch (from Fr Seraphim's article):

Quote
He writes that Barlaam and others

    do not see that Maximus, wise in Divine matters, has called the Light of the Lord's Transfiguration a symbol of theology only by analogy and in a spiritual sense. In fact, in a theology which is analogical and intended to elevate us, objects which have an existence of their own become themselves, in fact and in words, symbols by homonymy; it is in this sense that Maximus calls this Light a symbol.... Similarly, Gregory the Theologian has called the tree of knowledge of good and evil contemplation, having in his contemplation considered it as a symbol of this contemplation which is intended to elevate us; but it does not follow that what is involved is an illusion or a symbol without existence of its own. For the divine Maximus also makes Moses the symbol of judgment, and Elijah the symbol of foresight! Are they too then supposed not to have really existed, but to have been invented symbolically? And could not Peter, for one who would wish to elevate himself in contemplation, become a symbol of faith, James of hope, and John of love? (Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, Triad II, 3:21-22.)

This interestingly ties into what jckstraw was saying about the provenance of exclusively allegorical interpretations in Western, i.e. heretical theological circles.

If purely allegorical interpretation is permitted, how then do you explain St Gregory Palamas' clearly opposite opinion? Do you know the Fathers better than him?

I highly doubt that Barlaam though that the light of the Transfiguration was just a written metaphor. Barlaam believed that that the light was perfectly real in the everyday sense of the word. But he said that this light was just a symbol of the Divine Vision. St. Gregory is saying that it is, in fact, the actual Divine Vision itself. Barlaam's position would be analogous to saying that the Tree of Life was just a tree that symbolized contemplation, rather than contemplation itself.

I think you are deliberately changing the subject. The point here is not what Barlaam did or did not believe (although I would certainly be inclined to trust St Gregory Palamas on the subject rather than some modern revisionist theory), but that St Gregory Palamas in his arguments shows that the literal interpretation of Scripture is in conformity with Orthodox Patristic dogma, while purely allegorical interpretations are not.

Pure allegory was not even discussed in the Palamite Controversy. It had nothing to do with it.

Again, utterly beside the point. This is an example of how the Holy Fathers thought about Scripture. They did not completely allegorize it, as you are so eager to do.

Well, they must have allegorized it to some extent, otherwise they would have believed that God was walking in the garden!

True, that is considered symbolic. The Six Days are not. QED.

We'll see about that! Wink Grin
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,024


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #2907 on: February 23, 2011, 06:45:42 PM »

@Mina:

The examples you brought up of mutations for antibiotic resistance in bacteria reveal your own misunderstanding, rather than mine. All the examples of apparently enhanced function in the resistant bacteria, such as the MAR efflux "pumps" that expel the drug from the organism, are dealt with in the body of Anderson's article. It is unreasonable to attack only his abstract, without addressing the meat of the evidence he provides. Pumps, for example, occur when a repressor gene is lost, enabling the over-production of the proteins required to build the pump:

Quote
Several bacteria, including Escherichia coli, construct a mulitiple-antibiotic-resistance (MAR) efflux pump that provides the bacterium with resistance to multiple types of antibiotics, including erythromycin, tetracycline, ampicillin, and nalidixic acid.  This pump expels the antibiotic from the cell’s cytoplasm, helping to maintain the intracellular levels below a lethal concentration (Grkovic et al., 2002; Okusu et al., 1996) (Figure 3).  The MAR pump is composed of the proteins MarA and MarB, whose synthesis is inhibited by the regulatory protein, MarR (Alekshun and Levy, 1999; Poole, 2000) (Figure 3).  Mutations that reduce or eliminate the repression control of MarR result in over-production of the MarAB efflux pump, which enables the cell to expel higher concentrations of antibiotics or other antibacterial agents (Oethinger et al., 1998; Poole, 2000; Zarantonelli et al., 1999).

All these mutations, when examined closely, turn out to be information-losing. This applies also to cases of gene duplication: although duplication and mutation of one copy results in two different genes, neither of the genes has gained information.

Nobody is lying here, Mina. The only deception taking place is your own self-deception.

I just debunked the abstract alone with sufficient information, and you still use his stupidity of an article, and the proof of an efflux pump, which is proof of one aspect of mutations.  I'm sorry, but you seemed to have not understood or paid any attention to any thing I wrote.  An abstract is supposed to provide provide some information that is built upon recent discoveries.  The fact that the abstract alone contradicts recent discoveries puts the whole paper at a complete fail.

Only improperly or under-educated people will fall into Anderson's deception.  Not even Behe pays attention to this garbage.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 06:46:44 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2908 on: February 23, 2011, 07:02:28 PM »

@Mina:

The examples you brought up of mutations for antibiotic resistance in bacteria reveal your own misunderstanding, rather than mine. All the examples of apparently enhanced function in the resistant bacteria, such as the MAR efflux "pumps" that expel the drug from the organism, are dealt with in the body of Anderson's article. It is unreasonable to attack only his abstract, without addressing the meat of the evidence he provides. Pumps, for example, occur when a repressor gene is lost, enabling the over-production of the proteins required to build the pump:

Quote
Several bacteria, including Escherichia coli, construct a mulitiple-antibiotic-resistance (MAR) efflux pump that provides the bacterium with resistance to multiple types of antibiotics, including erythromycin, tetracycline, ampicillin, and nalidixic acid.  This pump expels the antibiotic from the cell’s cytoplasm, helping to maintain the intracellular levels below a lethal concentration (Grkovic et al., 2002; Okusu et al., 1996) (Figure 3).  The MAR pump is composed of the proteins MarA and MarB, whose synthesis is inhibited by the regulatory protein, MarR (Alekshun and Levy, 1999; Poole, 2000) (Figure 3).  Mutations that reduce or eliminate the repression control of MarR result in over-production of the MarAB efflux pump, which enables the cell to expel higher concentrations of antibiotics or other antibacterial agents (Oethinger et al., 1998; Poole, 2000; Zarantonelli et al., 1999).

All these mutations, when examined closely, turn out to be information-losing. This applies also to cases of gene duplication: although duplication and mutation of one copy results in two different genes, neither of the genes has gained information.

Nobody is lying here, Mina. The only deception taking place is your own self-deception.

I just debunked the abstract alone with sufficient information, and you still use his stupidity of an article, and the proof of an efflux pump, which is proof of one aspect of mutations.  I'm sorry, but you seemed to have not understood or paid any attention to any thing I wrote.  An abstract is supposed to provide provide some information that is built upon recent discoveries.  The fact that the abstract alone contradicts recent discoveries puts the whole paper at a complete fail.

Only improperly or under-educated people will fall into Anderson's deception.  Not even Behe pays attention to this garbage.

And your incoherent grammar shows that you are letting your emotions get the better of you in this case. I paid attention to what you wrote, and I didn't see any evidence that contradicts what Anderson said. For instance, you brought up efflux pumps in your previous reply as if they contradicted Anderson's argument, when in fact, as he shows, they confirm it, if only you take the trouble to examine the actual chemical process underlying that mutation. An enhanced function arising from mutation may appear to reflect gain in information, but in fact an increase in a certain function owing to the loss of some gene regulating that function.

You insist that there are abundant examples of information-gaining mutations, but the examples you have so far provided do not support your case.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #2909 on: February 23, 2011, 07:52:12 PM »

You speak as if the literal interpretation of Genesis is still a theologumen, i.e. something on which different schools of thought exist and have always existed, and on which difference in opinion is permitted. However, the evidence, when you review the whole consensus of the Fathers, points to the literal interpretation as dogmatic, i.e. there is no difference of opinion among the Fathers. Take the following passage from St Gregory Palamas, who represents the understanding of the Church long after the resolution of the "debates" between Alexandria and Antioch (from Fr Seraphim's article):

Quote
He writes that Barlaam and others

    do not see that Maximus, wise in Divine matters, has called the Light of the Lord's Transfiguration a symbol of theology only by analogy and in a spiritual sense. In fact, in a theology which is analogical and intended to elevate us, objects which have an existence of their own become themselves, in fact and in words, symbols by homonymy; it is in this sense that Maximus calls this Light a symbol.... Similarly, Gregory the Theologian has called the tree of knowledge of good and evil contemplation, having in his contemplation considered it as a symbol of this contemplation which is intended to elevate us; but it does not follow that what is involved is an illusion or a symbol without existence of its own. For the divine Maximus also makes Moses the symbol of judgment, and Elijah the symbol of foresight! Are they too then supposed not to have really existed, but to have been invented symbolically? And could not Peter, for one who would wish to elevate himself in contemplation, become a symbol of faith, James of hope, and John of love? (Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, Triad II, 3:21-22.)

This interestingly ties into what jckstraw was saying about the provenance of exclusively allegorical interpretations in Western, i.e. heretical theological circles.

If purely allegorical interpretation is permitted, how then do you explain St Gregory Palamas' clearly opposite opinion? Do you know the Fathers better than him?

I highly doubt that Barlaam though that the light of the Transfiguration was just a written metaphor. Barlaam believed that that the light was perfectly real in the everyday sense of the word. But he said that this light was just a symbol of the Divine Vision. St. Gregory is saying that it is, in fact, the actual Divine Vision itself. Barlaam's position would be analogous to saying that the Tree of Life was just a tree that symbolized contemplation, rather than contemplation itself.

I think you are deliberately changing the subject. The point here is not what Barlaam did or did not believe (although I would certainly be inclined to trust St Gregory Palamas on the subject rather than some modern revisionist theory), but that St Gregory Palamas in his arguments shows that the literal interpretation of Scripture is in conformity with Orthodox Patristic dogma, while purely allegorical interpretations are not.

Pure allegory was not even discussed in the Palamite Controversy. It had nothing to do with it.

St. Gregory specifically said that although other Fathers have applied spiritual meanings to certain things, that in no way denies that the literal reading of the Scripture is also true. thats exactly what Jonathan and I are saying.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #2910 on: February 23, 2011, 07:54:09 PM »

You speak as if the literal interpretation of Genesis is still a theologumen, i.e. something on which different schools of thought exist and have always existed, and on which difference in opinion is permitted. However, the evidence, when you review the whole consensus of the Fathers, points to the literal interpretation as dogmatic, i.e. there is no difference of opinion among the Fathers. Take the following passage from St Gregory Palamas, who represents the understanding of the Church long after the resolution of the "debates" between Alexandria and Antioch (from Fr Seraphim's article):

Quote
He writes that Barlaam and others

    do not see that Maximus, wise in Divine matters, has called the Light of the Lord's Transfiguration a symbol of theology only by analogy and in a spiritual sense. In fact, in a theology which is analogical and intended to elevate us, objects which have an existence of their own become themselves, in fact and in words, symbols by homonymy; it is in this sense that Maximus calls this Light a symbol.... Similarly, Gregory the Theologian has called the tree of knowledge of good and evil contemplation, having in his contemplation considered it as a symbol of this contemplation which is intended to elevate us; but it does not follow that what is involved is an illusion or a symbol without existence of its own. For the divine Maximus also makes Moses the symbol of judgment, and Elijah the symbol of foresight! Are they too then supposed not to have really existed, but to have been invented symbolically? And could not Peter, for one who would wish to elevate himself in contemplation, become a symbol of faith, James of hope, and John of love? (Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, Triad II, 3:21-22.)

This interestingly ties into what jckstraw was saying about the provenance of exclusively allegorical interpretations in Western, i.e. heretical theological circles.

If purely allegorical interpretation is permitted, how then do you explain St Gregory Palamas' clearly opposite opinion? Do you know the Fathers better than him?

I highly doubt that Barlaam though that the light of the Transfiguration was just a written metaphor. Barlaam believed that that the light was perfectly real in the everyday sense of the word. But he said that this light was just a symbol of the Divine Vision. St. Gregory is saying that it is, in fact, the actual Divine Vision itself. Barlaam's position would be analogous to saying that the Tree of Life was just a tree that symbolized contemplation, rather than contemplation itself.

I think you are deliberately changing the subject. The point here is not what Barlaam did or did not believe (although I would certainly be inclined to trust St Gregory Palamas on the subject rather than some modern revisionist theory), but that St Gregory Palamas in his arguments shows that the literal interpretation of Scripture is in conformity with Orthodox Patristic dogma, while purely allegorical interpretations are not.

Pure allegory was not even discussed in the Palamite Controversy. It had nothing to do with it.

Again, utterly beside the point. This is an example of how the Holy Fathers thought about Scripture. They did not completely allegorize it, as you are so eager to do.

Well, they must have allegorized it to some extent, otherwise they would have believed that God was walking in the garden!

yes, Fr. Seraphim specifically addresses this issue. He says that the Fathers are quite clear that many statements about God are anthropomorphisms. but they are also quite explicit that the days are literal, that death literally did not exist before sin, that each kind reproduces its own kind, etc
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #2911 on: February 23, 2011, 07:55:26 PM »

@Mina:

The examples you brought up of mutations for antibiotic resistance in bacteria reveal your own misunderstanding, rather than mine. All the examples of apparently enhanced function in the resistant bacteria, such as the MAR efflux "pumps" that expel the drug from the organism, are dealt with in the body of Anderson's article. It is unreasonable to attack only his abstract, without addressing the meat of the evidence he provides. Pumps, for example, occur when a repressor gene is lost, enabling the over-production of the proteins required to build the pump:

Quote
Several bacteria, including Escherichia coli, construct a mulitiple-antibiotic-resistance (MAR) efflux pump that provides the bacterium with resistance to multiple types of antibiotics, including erythromycin, tetracycline, ampicillin, and nalidixic acid.  This pump expels the antibiotic from the cell’s cytoplasm, helping to maintain the intracellular levels below a lethal concentration (Grkovic et al., 2002; Okusu et al., 1996) (Figure 3).  The MAR pump is composed of the proteins MarA and MarB, whose synthesis is inhibited by the regulatory protein, MarR (Alekshun and Levy, 1999; Poole, 2000) (Figure 3).  Mutations that reduce or eliminate the repression control of MarR result in over-production of the MarAB efflux pump, which enables the cell to expel higher concentrations of antibiotics or other antibacterial agents (Oethinger et al., 1998; Poole, 2000; Zarantonelli et al., 1999).

All these mutations, when examined closely, turn out to be information-losing. This applies also to cases of gene duplication: although duplication and mutation of one copy results in two different genes, neither of the genes has gained information.

Nobody is lying here, Mina. The only deception taking place is your own self-deception.

I just debunked the abstract alone with sufficient information, and you still use his stupidity of an article, and the proof of an efflux pump, which is proof of one aspect of mutations.  I'm sorry, but you seemed to have not understood or paid any attention to any thing I wrote.  An abstract is supposed to provide provide some information that is built upon recent discoveries.  The fact that the abstract alone contradicts recent discoveries puts the whole paper at a complete fail.

Only improperly or under-educated people will fall into Anderson's deception.  Not even Behe pays attention to this garbage.

maybe you should restrict yourself to threads where you're able to maintain self-control.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #2912 on: February 23, 2011, 07:57:32 PM »

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

“The Holy Scriptures speak more truly and more clearly of the world than the world itself or the arrangement of the earthly strata; the scriptures of nature within it, being dead and voiceless, cannot express anything definite. “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Were you with God when He created the universe? “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counseller, hath taught Him?” And yet you geologists boast that you have understood the mind of the Lord, in the arrangement of strata, and maintained it in spite of Holy Writ! You believe more in the dead letters of the earthly strata, in the soulless earth, than in the Divinely-inspired words of the great prophet Moses, who saw God.”


My Life in Christ, pg. 269 (1971)

God is inexhaustible in His gifts to men. During already 7403 years He abundantly feeds all creatures.


My Life in Christ, pg. 70

When you doubt the truth of any person or event described in Holy Scripture, then remember that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” as the Apostle says and is therefore true, and does not contain any imaginary persons, fables, and tales, although it includes parables, which everyone can see are not true narratives, but are written in figurative language. The whole of the word of God is single, entire, indivisible truth; and if you admit that any narrative, sentence, or word is untrue, then you sin against the truth of the whole of Holy Scripture and its primordial truth, which is God Himself. “I am the truth,” said the Lord; “Thy word is truth,” said Jesus Christ to God the Father. Thus, consider the whole of the Holy Scripture as truth; everything that is said in it has either taken place or takes place.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #2913 on: February 23, 2011, 08:02:06 PM »

St. Theophan the Recluse
"The positive teaching of the Church serves to know whether a concept is from the Truth. This is a litmus test for all teachings. Whatever agrees with it, you should accept it, whatever does not- - reject. One can do it without further deliberations" [1]. "Science goes forward fast, let it do so. But if they infer something inconsistent with the Divine Revelation, they are definitely off the right path in life, do not follow them" [2]. "Believers have the right to measure the material things with spiritual ones, when materialists get into the realm of the spiritual without a slightest scruple... We have wisdom as our partner, while theirs is foolishness. Material things can be neither the power nor the purpose. They are just the means and the field of activity of spiritual powers by the action of the spiritual beginning of all things (Creator)"

-- from St Feofan Zatvornik, Nastavleniya v duhovnoi zhisni. - Pskov-Pechery Monastery of Holy Dormition: Mosc. Patriarchate Publ., 1994.  And 2. St Feofan Zatvornik, Sozertsanie I razmyshlenie. - Moscow, Pravilo very, 1998.
http://creatio.orthodoxy.ru/sbornik/sbufeev_whynot_english.html
Logged
CBGardner
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 618


Ask w/ tears, seek w/ obedience, knock w/ patience


« Reply #2914 on: February 23, 2011, 08:04:55 PM »

How do you believe in the mystery of the sacraments yet reject mystery in other places?

What makes you think a Christian does not see mystery and awe in other places, even in science, even in evolution?

All I'm saying is why embrace in one area and not the other. You embrace the mystery of science, yet not the greatest scientific action ever, the creation of our world?

What makes you think I don't embrace the creation of our world, and see the mystery in her Creator?

The original statement was about Christian evolutionists in general and was never directed at you. "My real question is to a Christian that believes in evolution. How do you believe in the mystery of the sacraments yet reject mystery in other places?" I equate a Christian trying to explain every aspect of creation via science with the Roman Catholics trying to explain the mysteries via science. Yes it is simulating and fun perhaps to theorize, however, I believe that fantasies and theorization are where demons attack us most. If you embrace the mystical wonderful creation of our world then praise God! His hands have created and it is good. But through prayer and communion with God we gain true knowledge, spiritual knowledge, which sometimes may be incompatible to science even though both come from above.
My main point was that I see evo vs creation to destroy more than it builds. I see pride swell up in this argument all the time. One side thinks they have found some knowledge greater than the Bible and enjoy asserting to others how they haven't been duped like the rest of em because they know science. Often the other side feels superior spiritually because they have 'more' trust or something like that. Many are guilty of being on one or both sides. So again, my main point is that I see evo vs creation destroying more than it builds.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 08:10:44 PM by CBGardner » Logged

Authentic zeal is not directed towards anything but union in Christ, or against anything but our own fallenness.

"Beardliness is next to Godliness."- Asteriktos
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,024


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #2915 on: February 23, 2011, 08:53:40 PM »

I'm not getting emotional.  Imagine a calm voice talking to you and saying that Anderson's article is rubbish and filled with stupidity.  Plain and simple.  I'm not raising my voice, I'm only stating the obvious.  It's just as calm as anyone who call my beliefs demonic.

The particular efflux pump is an example of only one kind of evolution that take place at a biological price.  But there are others that don't, such as the ones I've provided in my last post that keeps getting ignored.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,024


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #2916 on: February 23, 2011, 09:06:35 PM »

How do you believe in the mystery of the sacraments yet reject mystery in other places?

What makes you think a Christian does not see mystery and awe in other places, even in science, even in evolution?

All I'm saying is why embrace in one area and not the other. You embrace the mystery of science, yet not the greatest scientific action ever, the creation of our world?

What makes you think I don't embrace the creation of our world, and see the mystery in her Creator?

The original statement was about Christian evolutionists in general and was never directed at you.

Okay, so in general, I'm one these you speak of.  So technically, you are directing it at me along with others.

You're implying that by studying the world, the universe, organisms, and their interactions and how they work that we are destroying the sacredness of creation.  When it comes to sacraments, no one dares to explain them with science, but with divine revelation.  You see, in a liturgical setting, you have every right to criticize anyone who tries to scientifically explain what goes on.  But outside a liturgical setting, we treat nature (or should treat) nature with the uttermost sanctity it has by asking nature and (for us religious folks) asking God to reveal to us how He commanded nature to create us.  God has revealed to us how these things happen through tools of the world to understand the world.

We don't treat cancer as a mystery that we cannot continue to study, but we pray that we may understand more about cancer that we may treat it.  Perhaps, we may not know every aspect of creation, but for any aspect that we can know, we are not lazy sitting down and just let that knowledge slip away.  God blessed us to study and understand all that is around us, and gave us the power to name all things that we study.

Quote
But through prayer and communion with God we gain true knowledge, spiritual knowledge, which sometimes may be incompatible to science even though both come from above.

Through prayer and communion, we gain divine revelation.  Through prayer and communion alone however, and not the movement of my free will to act upon the grace of God does not guarantee that I gain the knowledge.  God gives and I move towards His giving.

Likewise with studying nature.  God provides us with nature all around us, and I move to subdue and command it with all charity and awe.

Quote
My main point was that I see evo vs creation to destroy more than it builds. I see pride swell up in this argument all the time. One side thinks they have found some knowledge greater than the Bible and enjoy asserting to others how they haven't been duped like the rest of em because they know science. Often the other side feels superior spiritually because they have 'more' trust or something like that. Many are guilty of being on one or both sides. So again, my main point is that I see evo vs creation destroying more than it builds.

I do not see scientific knowledge greater than the Bible.  The Bible gives us spiritual knowledge, and nature gives us physical knowledge.  Our prayers and meditations and unity with God unite these two aspects into one very important indivisible understanding.  I feel however inclined to fight anyone who contradicts science by Scripture, for they become a laughing stock to the scientific community, and not a serious debater of such issues.  They've extended dogmas in the Church to many more heresies, like the heresy of the sun being created before plants, a heresy to them, but to me a fact, and not see the spirituality in these passages.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 09:08:45 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2917 on: February 23, 2011, 09:44:04 PM »

I'm not getting emotional.  Imagine a calm voice talking to you and saying that Anderson's article is rubbish and filled with stupidity.  Plain and simple.  I'm not raising my voice, I'm only stating the obvious.  It's just as calm as anyone who call my beliefs demonic.

The particular efflux pump is an example of only one kind of evolution that take place at a biological price.  But there are others that don't, such as the ones I've provided in my last post that keeps getting ignored.

It might help if you explained for me and perhaps others which studies in particular show genetic mutations that involve unambiguous complications of the genetic code, because I wasn't able to discover them on reading the abstracts you submitted. This could well be that I don't understand the technical language, although I did try to read them as closely as I could. For instance, here is the one on the gene duplication case:

Quote
In a collection of 110 clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae, a single strain, Kp593, was found to exhibit a mutator phenotype with a rifampicin mutation frequency 100-fold higher than the modal value for this species. Complementation experiments with the wild-type MutL, one of the main components of the methyl-directed mismatch repair system, allowed the mutator phenotype to be reversed. Sequencing revealed substitution of the conserved residue Lys307 to Arg and site-directed mutagenesis followed by complementation experiments confirmed the critical role of this mutation. The patient infected with Kp593 relapsed a month later and the strain isolated then, Kp869, was identical to Kp593, as verified by PFGE analysis. Phenotypically, Kp869 colonies were more mucoid than those of Kp593, probably due to increased capsule synthesis as shown by electron microscopy. In addition, Kp869 exhibited a 16-fold higher amoxicillin resistance level related to a 36.4 kb tandem duplication encompassing the chromosomal bla(SHV-11) gene, which was unstable in vitro. These data suggest that the mutator phenotype found in Kp593/Kp869 is associated with beneficial mutations conferring a selective advantage, such as increased virulence factor production and antibiotic resistance. The latter was due to resistance gene duplication, an event rarely described in natural isolates. This is the first description of the in vivo occurrence of gene duplication in a mutator background.

Now to me, the non-expert, this looks a lot like the case that Anderson described in his article (the similarity of the terms rifampin and rifampicin at least suggest this to me):

Quote
Bacterial resistance to the antibiotic, rifampin, can result from a commonly occurring spontaneous mutation.  Rifampin inhibits bacterial transcription by interfering with normal RNA polymerase activity (Gale et al., 1981; Levin and Hatfull, 1993).  Bacteria can acquire resistance by a point mutation of the ß-subunit of RNA polymerase, which is encoded by the rpoB gene (Enright et al., 1998; Taniguchi et al., 1996; Wang et al., 2001; Williams et al., 1998).  This mutation sufficiently alters the structure of the ß-subunit so that it loses specificity for the rifampin molecule.  As a result, the RNA polymerase no longer has an affinity for rifampin, and is no longer affected by the inhibitory effect of the antibiotic.

In fact, the level of rifampin resistance that a bacterium can spontaneously acquire can be extremely high.  In my laboratory, we routinely obtain mutant strains with a resistance level that is orders of magnitude greater than that of the wild-type strain.  When rifampin is present, this mutation provides a decided advantage for survival compared with those cells lacking these specific mutations.  But, each of these mutations eliminates binding affinity of RNA polymerase for the rifampin.  As such, these mutations do not provide a mechanism accounting for the origin of that binding affinity, only its loss.

It could be the cases are unrelated. I don't know and I hope you can tell us. In any case, the rifampin-resistance case that Anderson describes concerns a kind of mutation that destroys specificity for the rifampin molecule. Loss of specificity is, of course, a kind of information loss, but one that is beneficial in this instance.

Is the rifampicin study of a different order? Is the relevant mutation a clear example of information gain? I could not find that out on reading the abstract. Something about the mutator phenotype being "reversed", however, suggests to me a process mentioned later in Anderson's article:

Quote
While mutations that provide resistance to an antibiotic can be considered “beneficial,” they often come with a physiological cost (Andersson and Levin, 1999; Maisnier-Patin et al., 2002).  In fact, Björkman et al. (2000) conclude that most types of antibiotic resistance will impart some biological cost to the organism.  For example, rifampin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Billington et al., 1999), E. coli (Reynolds, 2000), and Staphylococcus aureus (Wichelhaus et al., 2002) resulted from mutations to the RNA polymerase that also reduced the relative fitness of most of the mutant strains.  Although the biological cost reported by these researchers was generally not severe, it was measurable.

Mutations resulting in clarithromycin resistance in Helicobacter pylori reduce the relative fitness of the organism (Björkholm et al., 2001).  Resistance to high levels of fluroquinolone by Salmonella enterica involves mutations that impart a high fitness cost to the organism (Giraud et al., 2003).  And, fusA mutations that provide fusidic acid resistance to Staphylococcus sp. impose a significant loss of “relative fitness” (Gustafsson et al., 2003; MacVanin et al., 2000).  Resistance to actinonin by S. aureus also accompanies a dramatic loss of “fitness” resulting in significant growth impairment (Margolis et al., 2000).  E. coli resistance to streptomycin may dramatically reduce the rate of protein biosynthesis (Zengel et al., 1977).  And, some bacteria suspend cell division to minimize their sensitivity to ampicillin (Miller et al., 2004), which clearly reduces the overall fitness of the organism.

This cost of “relative fitness” appears to vary considerably depending on both the organism and the antibiotic. Many of the resistant mutants that have been studied, however, including some of those mentioned above, can subsequently eliminate some or much of the fitness cost by reversion or suppression mutations, which also stabilizes the mutation (Andersson and Levin, 1999; Lenski, 1998; Massey et al., 2001).  The degree that a reversion mutation restores fitness probably depends on the location of the mutation and whether a single mutation is able to restore some or all of the wild-type “fitness.”

Clearly the fitness of some mutant strains is permanently reduced (sometimes dramatically), and evolutionists have typically ignored such affects in their rush to promote antibiotic resistance as “evolution in the Petri dish.”  In fact, they often test relative fitness of these mutants under very narrow cultivation parameters, which minimizes the detectable loss of fitness for a given mutation. On the other hand, the fitness loss of some mutants is negligible (esp. following reversion mutations).  So, the effect of spontaneous resistance on bacterial fitness appears to vary from mutant to mutant.  Thus, creationists have probably tended to over-stress the significance of reduced “fitness” in antibiotic resistant bacteria by applying the concept to all such mutants.

Resistant mutations do impose a biological cost, though, in the loss of pre-existing biological systems and activities.  Such biological cost is not compensated by reversion or suppression mutations.  Even though such mutations may not always result in detectable levels of reduced “fitness,” they stand as the antithesis of common “descent with modification.”

Reversion mutations restore information, but they don't add information that wasn't there to begin with, before the first mutation occurred. Is the rifampicin case different? If so, how?
Logged
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #2918 on: February 23, 2011, 11:40:28 PM »

I apologize for the immense post. Here it is:

Quote
But as if, in all the instances of this covering (i.e., of this history), the logical connection and order of the law had been preserved, we would not certainly believe, when thus possessing the meaning of Scripture in a continuous series, that anything else was contained in it save what was indicated on the surface; so for that reason divine wisdom took care that certain stumbling-blocks, or interruptions, to the historical meaning should take place, by the intro­duction into the midst (of the narrative) of certain impossibilities and incongruities; that in this way the very interruption of the narrative might, as by the interposition of a bolt, present an obstacle to the reader, whereby he might refuse to acknowledge the way which conducts to the ordinary meaning; and being thus excluded and debarred from it, we might be recalled to the beginning of another way, in order that, by entering upon a narrow path, and passing to a loftier and more sublime road, he might lay open the immense breadth of divine wisdom. This, however, must not be unnoted by us, that as the chief object of the Holy Spirit is to preserve the coherence of the spiritual meaning, either in those things which ought to be done or which have been already performed, if He anywhere finds that those events which, according to the history, took place, can be adapted to a spiritual meaning, He composed a texture of both kinds in one style of narration, always concealing the hidden meaning more deeply; but where the historical narrative could not be made appropriate to the spiritual coherence of the occur­rences, He inserted sometimes certain things which either did not take place or could not take place; sometimes also what might happen, but what did not: and He does this at one time in a few words, which, taken in their "bodily" meaning, seem inca­pable of containing truth, and at another by the in­sertion of many. And this we find frequently to be the case in the legislative portions, where there are many things manifestly useful among the "bodily" precepts, but a very great number also in which no principle of utility is at all discernible, and some­times even things which are judged to be impossi­bilities. Now all this, as we have remarked, was done by the Holy Spirit in order that, seeing those events which lie on the surface can be neither true nor useful, we may be led to the investigation of that truth which is more deeply concealed, and to the ascertaining of a meaning worthy of God in those Scriptures which we believe to be inspired by Him.

It was not only, however, with the (Scriptures composed) before the advent (of Christ) that the Spirit thus dealt; but as being the same Spirit, and (proceeding) from the one God, He did the same thing both with the evangelists and the apostles—as even these do not contain through­out a pure history of events, which are in­terwoven indeed according to the letter, but which did not actually occur. Nor even do the law and the commandments wholly convey what is agreeable to reason. For who that has understanding will sup­pose that the first, and second, and third day, and the evening and the morning, ex­isted without a sun, and moon, and stars? And that the first day was, as it were, also without a sky? And who is so foolish as to suppose that God, after the manner of a husbandman, planted a paradise in Eden, towards the east, and placed in it a tree of life, visible and palpable, so that one tasting of the fruit by the bodily teeth obtained life? And again, that one was a partaker of good and evil by masticating what was taken from the tree? And if God is said to walk in the paradise in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indi­cate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not literally. Cain also, when going forth from the presence of God, certainly appears to thoughtful men as likely to lead the reader to inquire what is the presence of God, and what is the meaning of going out from Him. And what need is there to say more, since those who are not altogether blind can collect countless instances of a similar kind recorded as having occurred, but which did not literally take place? Nay, the Gospels themselves are filled with the same kind of narratives; e.g., the devil leading Jesus up into a high moun­tain, in order to show him from thence the kingdoms of the whole world, and the glory of them. For who is there among those who do not read such accounts carelessly, that would not condemn those who think that with the eye of the body­— which requires a lofty height in order that the parts lying (immediately) under and adjacent may be seen— the kingdoms of the Persians, and Scythians, and Indians, and Parthians, were beheld, and the manner in which their princes are glorified among men? And the attentive reader may no­tice in the Gospels innumerable other pas­sages like these, so that he will be convinced that in the histories that are literally re­corded, circumstances that did not occur are inserted. (Origen, De Principiis IV, 15, 16)
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/04124.htm

This entire passage was included in the Philokalia of Origen, compiled by St. Gragory Nazianzen and St. Basil! Even though St. Basil believed in the literal meaning, he and Gregory clearly didn't have much of a problem with allegorization!

St. Augustine believed in a young earth (what else could he have believed in?), but he had this to say as well:
Quote
It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation. (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 1:19–20, Chapt. 19 [AD 408])

Quote
With the scriptures it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason, as I have noted repeatedly, if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about these matters [about the physical universe] in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of the scriptures. In short, it must be said that our authors knew the truth about the nature of the skies, but it was not the intention of the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, to teach men anything that would not be of use to them for their salvation. (ibid, 2:9)

On our ability to conceive what is meant by "day":
Quote
But simultaneously with time the world was made, if in the world's creation change and motion were created, as seems evident from the order of the first six or seven days. For in these days the morning and evening are counted, until, on the sixth day, all things which God then made were finished, and on the seventh the rest of God was mysteriously and sublimely signalized. What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say! (City of God, Book 11: Chapt. 6).

On the shape of the earth:
Quote
It is also frequently asked what our belief must be about the form and shape of heaven according to Sacred Scripture. Many scholars engage in lengthy discussions on these matters, but the sacred writers with their deeper wisdom have omitted them.   Such subjects are of no profit for those who seek beatitude, and, what is worse, they take up very precious time that ought to be given to what is spiritually beneficial.

What concern is it of mine whether heaven is like a sphere and the earth is enclosed by it and suspended in the middle of the universe, or whether heaven like a disk above the earth covers it over on one side?

But the credibility of Scripture is at stake, and as I have indicated more than once, there is danger that a man uninstructed in divine revelation, discovering something in Scripture or hearing from it something that seems to be at variance with the knowledge he has acquired, may resolutely withhold his assent in other matters where Scripture presents useful admonitions, narratives, or declarations.  Hence, I must say briefly that in the matter of the shape of heaven the sacred writers knew the truth, but that the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, did not wish to teach men these facts that would be of no avail for their salvation.

But someone may ask: "Is not Scripture opposed to those who hold that heaven is spherical, when it says, 'who stretches out heaven like a skin?' " Let it be opposed indeed if their statement is false.  The truth is rather in what God reveals than in what groping men surmise.  But if they are able to establish their doctrine with proofs that cannot be denied, we must show that this statement of Scripture about the skin is not opposed to the truth of their conclusions.  If it were, it would be opposed also to Sacred Scripture itself in another passage where it says that heaven is suspended like a vault.

For what can be so different and contradictory as a skin stretched out flat and the curved shape of a vault?  But if it is necessary, as it surely is, to interpret these two passages so that they are shown not to be contradictory but to be reconcilable, it is also necessary that both of these passages should not contradict the theories that may be supported by true evidence, by which heaven is said to be curved on all sides in the shape of a sphere, provided only that this is proved.

Our picture of heaven as a vault, even when taken in a literal sense, does not contradict the theory that heaven is a sphere.  We may well believe that in speaking of the shape of heaven Scripture wished to describe that part which is over our heads. If, therefore, it is not a sphere, it is a vault on that side on which it covers the earth; but if it is a sphere, it is a vault all around.

But the image of the skin presents a more serious difficulty: we must show that it is reconcilable not with the sphere (for that may be only a man-made theory) but with the vault of Holy Scripture.

My allegorical interpretation of this passage can be found in the thirteenth book of my Confessions. Whether the description of heaven stretched out like a skin is to be taken as I have interpreted it there or in some other way, here I must take into account the doggedly literal-minded interpreters and say what I think is obvious to everyone from the testimony of the senses.

Both the skin and the vault perhaps can be taken as figurative expressions; but how they are to be understood in a literal sense must be explained. If a vault can be not only curved but also flat, a skin surely can be stretched out not only on a flat plane but also in a spherical shape.  Thus, for instance, a leather bottle and an inflated ball are both made of skin.
http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/saintaugustine.htm

Since the plain meaning of the Bible says the Earth is flat, I would be interested to see if people could garner sufficient evidence from the Fathers to warrant allegorization and belief in a round Earth!

Particularly note that Augustine explicitly rejected an interpretation of the six days of creation as ordinary solar days, as this article explains, quoting him at length:
Quote
Augustine repeatedly stresses that the six days are not six successive ordinary days. They have nothing to do with time. For him, this is unequivocally the case for the first three days before the making of the sun, but he is equally inclined to say the same of the last three days. The days are repeatedly claimed to be arranged according to causes, order, and logic. For example: "These seven days of our time, although like the same days of creation in name and in numbering, follow one another in succession and mark off the division of time, but those first six days occurred in a form unfamiliar to us as intrinsic principles within things created" (p. 125). The days of creation "are beyond the experience and knowledge of us mortal earthbound men ... we must bear in mind that these days indeed recall the days of creation but without in any way being really similar to them" (p. 135). Further, "we should not think of those days as solar days.... He made that which gave time its beginning, as He made all things together, disposing them in an order based not on intervals of time but on causal connections" (p. 154). And finally, "But in the beginning He created all things together and completed the whole in six days, when six times he brought the 'day' which he made before the things which He made, not in a succession of periods of time but in a plan made known according to causes" (pp. 175-176). Why does the narrative employ the device of the six days? "The reason is that those who cannot understand the meaning of the text, He created all things together, cannot arrive at the meaning of Scripture unless the narrative proceeds slowly step by step" (p. 142).
Link to the whole article: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1988/PSCF3-88Young.html

So no, the Fathers did not think that allegorization was anathema. Barely any of the fathers discussed the question at all. As far as most of the fathers were concerned, particularly the Alexandrians, what really mattered was the meaning behind the narratives, not whether they literally transpired or not. If St. Basil, despite believing in the literal sense, thought Origen's opinion was worth perpetuating, perhaps even promoting, in the Philokalia, and if St. Gregory Nazianzen thought the same thing, and if St. Augustine was willing to readily reject what he thought to be ridiculous, then I think we have a right to disagree with other Fathers who, even if they made up a majority, do not speak for all the Fathers, and are diminished in no way by one slightly wrong idea.
Logged
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #2919 on: February 23, 2011, 11:48:14 PM »

yes, Fr. Seraphim specifically addresses this issue. He says that the Fathers are quite clear that many statements about God are anthropomorphisms. but they are also quite explicit that the days are literal, that death literally did not exist before sin, that each kind reproduces its own kind, etc

But now you have put yourself on a slippery slope. How exactly do I judge what aspects of a narrative are literal? If it's physically impossible to fit millions of animals into an ark, then can I just say the boat is an allegory while the flood really happened?

There's a degree of self-indictment here on my part, because, like you, I am picking which parts of Scripture I think can be interpreted in a fully allegorical way. However, I am primarily concerned with the meaning of Scripture, not with what physically happened, so what's literal and what's not isn't really an issue for me.
Logged
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2920 on: February 24, 2011, 01:04:11 AM »

The issue here is not the permissibility of allegorical interpretations. The issue is the permissibility of rejecting the literal meaning entirely. On reading the extensive and varied quotations from the Fathers on the subject compiled by Fr Seraphim, I am convinced that the consensus patrum indeed requires us to accept the scriptural account of Creation literally, even as allegorical interpretations of the spiritual significance of the account are also enjoined in various places.

I think also you misunderstand the concept of consensus patrum. The disagreement on some detail of one or two Fathers does not negate a consensus, or render it open to just any question. For instance, St Augustine disagrees with those like St Ephraim the Syrian on the temporal significance of the Six Days. However, nothing in those passages of Augustine suggest this is because he believed in million-year epochs of gradual evolution (as you yourself concede). Rather, he believed that time began only after God had finished His creative work, so that the Six Days could not have had temporal significance in our sense, but only causal significance (in a similar way to the mystery of the Holy Trinity, in which the Son is begotten and the Holy Spirit proceeds, but not in time). The opinion I believe can be found also in other Fathers, like St Gregory of Nyssa, that Creation occurred in an instant, not over six temporal days. The majority, however, believe in six literal, temporal days. Yet whether you believe in instantaneous creation, or creation over six days, you are still dealing with creation, not evolution. None of the Fathers taught the latter.

Or take Origen. Notwithstanding the fact that he does not enjoy the same authority as the canonical Fathers like St Basil or St Gregory, I think I would agree with you that the latter two would not have published any work that contained actual heresy. But what is Origen actually saying here? He is mainly attacking literal interpretations of anthropomorphisms in Scriptural language about God, a point that Fr Seraphim addresses. We only need to look to St John Chrysostom for similar counsel:

Quote
When you hear, beloved, that God planted Paradise in Eden in the east, understand the word 'planted' befittingly of God: that is, that He commanded; but concerning the words that follow, believe precisely that paradise was created and in that very place where the Scripture has assigned it.(Homilies on Genesis, XIII, 3)

In the rest of that quotation, Origen is criticizing purely literal interpretations of the Law, a point common to many Fathers, and constituting one of the principal patristic criticisms of Rabbinical (Pharisaic) Judaism.

Finally, we should address the useful point made by St Augustine on the need to respect genuine discoveries in science, and not insist on literal interpretations of Scripture that conflict with known facts. The issue he is concerned with is the question of whether the heavens are spherical or flat, a question to which there is indeed no dogmatic significance. The rub comes on the question of death, however. The Davis Young article you link to tries to argue that St Augustine did not believe the Fall caused death and corruption in the rest of Creation. I don't believe the quotations he provides actually indicate such a thing. However, even if he did (for which I would need access to the full book by Augustine), I don't think St Augustine's personal opinion on this matter undermines the clear consensus of the other Fathers that death is a result of the Fall, and not part of God's Creation from the beginning.

Thus St Gregory of Sinai:

Quote
The presently-existing creation was not originally created corruptible; but afterwards it fell under corruption, being made subject to vanity, according to the Scripture, not willingly, but by reason of him, Adam, who hath subjected it in hope of the renewal of Adam who had become subject to corruption. (Rm. 8:20) He who renewed and sanctified Adam has renewed the creation also, but He has not yet delivered it from corruption. (Chapters on Commandments and Dogmas, 11)

St Macarius the Great:

Quote
Adam was placed as the lord and king of all creatures.... But after his captivity, there was taken captive together with him the creation which served him and submitted to him, because through him death came to reign over every soul. (Homily 11)

St John Chrysostom:

Quote
Just as the creature became corruptible when your body became corruptible, so also when your body will be incorrupt, the creature also will follow after it and become corresponding to it. (Homilies on Romans, XIV, 5)

After all this, you might still argue thus: "Even if the consensus of the Fathers teaches that the world was without death and corruption before the Fall, science unambiguously teaches us that there was death and corruption before the Fall, and so Scripture cannot be taken literally on this matter, and all patristic interpretations to the contrary must be rejected." If science did indeed provide such unambiguous evidence, I would have to concede. But science does not provide this evidence. That has been the purpose of my recent posts.

The whole evolutionary mindset proceeds from the need to account for Creation without reference to a Creator. For true believers in materialism, this need trumps the need for sticking to theories that account for observed facts. Thus, although we never see organization spontaneously arising from disorganization, we put this simple observation aside for the sake of a theory of origins that has the necessary virtue, from the materialistic standpoint, of making no reference to God. Since we need immense amounts of time for this theory to work (Time has become our new God), we simply accept only such geological and astronomical evidence as can be made to fit with this theory, and reject the rest. Thus, we conveniently assume constant rates of radioactive decay to prove that certain crystals are over a billion years old, but happily ignore the fact that the concentration of helium is far above that which is predicted for the same lapse of time, given current known rates of diffusion. Rather than allow for the possibility of accelerated radioactive decay, a phenomenon for which there is independent evidence, we assume that somehow extra helium was introduced into the crystals, despite the absence of any plausible source or diffusive mechanism. And so on and so forth.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2011, 01:19:26 AM by Jonathan Gress » Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #2921 on: February 24, 2011, 01:21:10 AM »

well i think Jonathan's reply was quite excellent, so i wont add much. just about St. Augustine: i think the passage that Young quotes shows the exact opposite of what he is attempting to prove. St. Augustine plainly says that before the Fall nature was not harmful to man, and afterwards it was. thats a major shift.

also, regarding the bodies of Adam and Eve, he shows that St. Augustine believes they were created in an in-between state, as do many Fathers. however, St. Augustine clearly says that they had the ability NOT to die, which we do not have. their bodies were thus obvioulsy different than ours - but it remained to be seen if they would sin or not. however, the condition they were created in did not include death because it did not yet include sin. in the City of God, St. Augustine says:

Quote
City of God, Book XIII.XII
When, therefore, it is asked what death it was with which God threatened our first parents if they should transgress the commandment they had received from Him, and should fail to preserve their obedience,—whether it was the death of soul, or of body, or of the whole man, or that which is called second death,—we must answer, It is all. For the first consists of two; the second is the complete death, which consists of all. For, as the whole earth consists of many lands, and the Church universal of many churches, so death universal consists of all deaths.

and here he tells us that the belief that death is a result of sin is a part of the catholic faith:

Quote
City of God Book XIII.XV
For the body would not return to the earth from which it was made, save only by the death proper to itself, which occurs when it is forsaken of the soul, its life. And therefore it is agreed among all Christians who truthfully hold the catholic faith, that we are subject to the death of the body, not by the law of nature, by which God ordained no death for man, but by His righteous infliction on account of sin; for God, taking vengeance on sin, said to the man, in whom we all then were, "Dust you are, and unto dust shall you return."


and while we're on St. Augustine, here's what he has to say about allegory:

Quote
City of God, Book XIII.XXI
On this account some allegorize all that concerns Paradise itself, where the first men, the parents of the human race, are, according to the truth of holy Scripture, recorded to have been; and they understand all its trees and fruit-bearing plants as virtues and habits of life, ...as if they had no existence in the external world, but were only so spoken of or related for the sake of spiritual meanings. As if there could not be a real terrestrial Paradise! As if there never existed these two women, Sarah and Hagar, nor the two sons who were born to Abraham, the one of the bond woman, the other of the free, because the apostle says that in them the two covenants were prefigured; or as if water never flowed from the rock when Moses struck it, because therein Christ can be seen in a figure, as the same apostle says, "Now that rock was Christ!" No one, then, denies that Paradise may signify the life of the blessed; its four rivers, the four virtues, prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice; its trees, all useful knowledge; its fruits, the customs of the godly; its tree of life, wisdom herself, the mother of all good; and the tree of the knowledge of good ...and evil, the experience of a broken commandment. The punishment which God appointed was in itself, a just, and therefore a good thing; but man's experience of it is not good.. . .These and similar allegorical interpretations may be suitably put upon Paradise without giving offence to any one, while yet we believe the strict truth of the history, confirmed by its circumstantial narrative of facts.

(emphasis added) here he explicitly refers to the literal level of Genesis as the "truth of holy Scripture"
Logged
CBGardner
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 618


Ask w/ tears, seek w/ obedience, knock w/ patience


« Reply #2922 on: February 24, 2011, 12:22:55 PM »

well i think Jonathan's reply was quite excellent, so i wont add much. just about St. Augustine: i think the passage that Young quotes shows the exact opposite of what he is attempting to prove. St. Augustine plainly says that before the Fall nature was not harmful to man, and afterwards it was. thats a major shift.

also, regarding the bodies of Adam and Eve, he shows that St. Augustine believes they were created in an in-between state, as do many Fathers. however, St. Augustine clearly says that they had the ability NOT to die, which we do not have. their bodies were thus obvioulsy different than ours - but it remained to be seen if they would sin or not. however, the condition they were created in did not include death because it did not yet include sin. in the City of God, St. Augustine says:

Quote
City of God, Book XIII.XII
When, therefore, it is asked what death it was with which God threatened our first parents if they should transgress the commandment they had received from Him, and should fail to preserve their obedience,—whether it was the death of soul, or of body, or of the whole man, or that which is called second death,—we must answer, It is all. For the first consists of two; the second is the complete death, which consists of all. For, as the whole earth consists of many lands, and the Church universal of many churches, so death universal consists of all deaths.

and here he tells us that the belief that death is a result of sin is a part of the catholic faith:

Quote
City of God Book XIII.XV
For the body would not return to the earth from which it was made, save only by the death proper to itself, which occurs when it is forsaken of the soul, its life. And therefore it is agreed among all Christians who truthfully hold the catholic faith, that we are subject to the death of the body, not by the law of nature, by which God ordained no death for man, but by His righteous infliction on account of sin; for God, taking vengeance on sin, said to the man, in whom we all then were, "Dust you are, and unto dust shall you return."


and while we're on St. Augustine, here's what he has to say about allegory:

Quote
City of God, Book XIII.XXI
On this account some allegorize all that concerns Paradise itself, where the first men, the parents of the human race, are, according to the truth of holy Scripture, recorded to have been; and they understand all its trees and fruit-bearing plants as virtues and habits of life, ...as if they had no existence in the external world, but were only so spoken of or related for the sake of spiritual meanings. As if there could not be a real terrestrial Paradise! As if there never existed these two women, Sarah and Hagar, nor the two sons who were born to Abraham, the one of the bond woman, the other of the free, because the apostle says that in them the two covenants were prefigured; or as if water never flowed from the rock when Moses struck it, because therein Christ can be seen in a figure, as the same apostle says, "Now that rock was Christ!" No one, then, denies that Paradise may signify the life of the blessed; its four rivers, the four virtues, prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice; its trees, all useful knowledge; its fruits, the customs of the godly; its tree of life, wisdom herself, the mother of all good; and the tree of the knowledge of good ...and evil, the experience of a broken commandment. The punishment which God appointed was in itself, a just, and therefore a good thing; but man's experience of it is not good.. . .These and similar allegorical interpretations may be suitably put upon Paradise without giving offence to any one, while yet we believe the strict truth of the history, confirmed by its circumstantial narrative of facts.

(emphasis added) here he explicitly refers to the literal level of Genesis as the "truth of holy Scripture"

I would agree that our bodies were different yet not due to evolution but because sin had yet to be loosed on the earth. Sin is literally death.
Logged

Authentic zeal is not directed towards anything but union in Christ, or against anything but our own fallenness.

"Beardliness is next to Godliness."- Asteriktos
Opus118
Site Supporter
OC.net guru
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,494



« Reply #2923 on: February 24, 2011, 01:06:37 PM »

I'm not getting emotional.  Imagine a calm voice talking to you and saying that Anderson's article is rubbish and filled with stupidity.  Plain and simple.  I'm not raising my voice, I'm only stating the obvious.  It's just as calm as anyone who call my beliefs demonic.

The particular efflux pump is an example of only one kind of evolution that take place at a biological price.  But there are others that don't, such as the ones I've provided in my last post that keeps getting ignored.

It might help if you explained for me and perhaps others which studies in particular show genetic mutations that involve unambiguous complications of the genetic code, because I wasn't able to discover them on reading the abstracts you submitted. This could well be that I don't understand the technical language, although I did try to read them as closely as I could. For instance, here is the one on the gene duplication case:

Quote
In a collection of 110 clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae, a single strain, Kp593, was found to exhibit a mutator phenotype with a rifampicin mutation frequency 100-fold higher than the modal value for this species. Complementation experiments with the wild-type MutL, one of the main components of the methyl-directed mismatch repair system, allowed the mutator phenotype to be reversed. Sequencing revealed substitution of the conserved residue Lys307 to Arg and site-directed mutagenesis followed by complementation experiments confirmed the critical role of this mutation. The patient infected with Kp593 relapsed a month later and the strain isolated then, Kp869, was identical to Kp593, as verified by PFGE analysis. Phenotypically, Kp869 colonies were more mucoid than those of Kp593, probably due to increased capsule synthesis as shown by electron microscopy. In addition, Kp869 exhibited a 16-fold higher amoxicillin resistance level related to a 36.4 kb tandem duplication encompassing the chromosomal bla(SHV-11) gene, which was unstable in vitro. These data suggest that the mutator phenotype found in Kp593/Kp869 is associated with beneficial mutations conferring a selective advantage, such as increased virulence factor production and antibiotic resistance. The latter was due to resistance gene duplication, an event rarely described in natural isolates. This is the first description of the in vivo occurrence of gene duplication in a mutator background.

Now to me, the non-expert, this looks a lot like the case that Anderson described in his article (the similarity of the terms rifampin and rifampicin at least suggest this to me):

Quote
Bacterial resistance to the antibiotic, rifampin, can result from a commonly occurring spontaneous mutation.  Rifampin inhibits bacterial transcription by interfering with normal RNA polymerase activity (Gale et al., 1981; Levin and Hatfull, 1993).  Bacteria can acquire resistance by a point mutation of the ß-subunit of RNA polymerase, which is encoded by the rpoB gene (Enright et al., 1998; Taniguchi et al., 1996; Wang et al., 2001; Williams et al., 1998).  This mutation sufficiently alters the structure of the ß-subunit so that it loses specificity for the rifampin molecule.  As a result, the RNA polymerase no longer has an affinity for rifampin, and is no longer affected by the inhibitory effect of the antibiotic.

In fact, the level of rifampin resistance that a bacterium can spontaneously acquire can be extremely high.  In my laboratory, we routinely obtain mutant strains with a resistance level that is orders of magnitude greater than that of the wild-type strain.  When rifampin is present, this mutation provides a decided advantage for survival compared with those cells lacking these specific mutations.  But, each of these mutations eliminates binding affinity of RNA polymerase for the rifampin.  As such, these mutations do not provide a mechanism accounting for the origin of that binding affinity, only its loss.

It could be the cases are unrelated. I don't know and I hope you can tell us. In any case, the rifampin-resistance case that Anderson describes concerns a kind of mutation that destroys specificity for the rifampin molecule. Loss of specificity is, of course, a kind of information loss, but one that is beneficial in this instance.

Is the rifampicin study of a different order? Is the relevant mutation a clear example of information gain? I could not find that out on reading the abstract. Something about the mutator phenotype being "reversed", however, suggests to me a process mentioned later in Anderson's article:

Quote
While mutations that provide resistance to an antibiotic can be considered “beneficial,” they often come with a physiological cost (Andersson and Levin, 1999; Maisnier-Patin et al., 2002).  In fact, Björkman et al. (2000) conclude that most types of antibiotic resistance will impart some biological cost to the organism.  For example, rifampin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Billington et al., 1999), E. coli (Reynolds, 2000), and Staphylococcus aureus (Wichelhaus et al., 2002) resulted from mutations to the RNA polymerase that also reduced the relative fitness of most of the mutant strains.  Although the biological cost reported by these researchers was generally not severe, it was measurable.

Mutations resulting in clarithromycin resistance in Helicobacter pylori reduce the relative fitness of the organism (Björkholm et al., 2001).  Resistance to high levels of fluroquinolone by Salmonella enterica involves mutations that impart a high fitness cost to the organism (Giraud et al., 2003).  And, fusA mutations that provide fusidic acid resistance to Staphylococcus sp. impose a significant loss of “relative fitness” (Gustafsson et al., 2003; MacVanin et al., 2000).  Resistance to actinonin by S. aureus also accompanies a dramatic loss of “fitness” resulting in significant growth impairment (Margolis et al., 2000).  E. coli resistance to streptomycin may dramatically reduce the rate of protein biosynthesis (Zengel et al., 1977).  And, some bacteria suspend cell division to minimize their sensitivity to ampicillin (Miller et al., 2004), which clearly reduces the overall fitness of the organism.

This cost of “relative fitness” appears to vary considerably depending on both the organism and the antibiotic. Many of the resistant mutants that have been studied, however, including some of those mentioned above, can subsequently eliminate some or much of the fitness cost by reversion or suppression mutations, which also stabilizes the mutation (Andersson and Levin, 1999; Lenski, 1998; Massey et al., 2001).  The degree that a reversion mutation restores fitness probably depends on the location of the mutation and whether a single mutation is able to restore some or all of the wild-type “fitness.”

Clearly the fitness of some mutant strains is permanently reduced (sometimes dramatically), and evolutionists have typically ignored such affects in their rush to promote antibiotic resistance as “evolution in the Petri dish.”  In fact, they often test relative fitness of these mutants under very narrow cultivation parameters, which minimizes the detectable loss of fitness for a given mutation. On the other hand, the fitness loss of some mutants is negligible (esp. following reversion mutations).  So, the effect of spontaneous resistance on bacterial fitness appears to vary from mutant to mutant.  Thus, creationists have probably tended to over-stress the significance of reduced “fitness” in antibiotic resistant bacteria by applying the concept to all such mutants.

Resistant mutations do impose a biological cost, though, in the loss of pre-existing biological systems and activities.  Such biological cost is not compensated by reversion or suppression mutations.  Even though such mutations may not always result in detectable levels of reduced “fitness,” they stand as the antithesis of common “descent with modification.”

Reversion mutations restore information, but they don't add information that wasn't there to begin with, before the first mutation occurred. Is the rifampicin case different? If so, how?

I am not going to get into this debate, at least until the weekend, but I can provide some quick answers to your questions since I am fairly knowledgeable about rifampicin. Rifampin and rifampicin are chemically modified derivatives of rifamycin, which is made by the actinobacteria Amycolatopsis rifamycinica. I was struck by this sentence in the quote you cited: "When rifampin is present, this mutation provides a decided advantage for survival compared with those cells lacking these specific mutations.  But, each of these mutations eliminates binding affinity of RNA polymerase for the rifampin.  As such, these mutations do not provide a mechanism accounting for the origin of that binding affinity, only its loss." The author obviously know the answer to this question but is not telling. The origin, is that synthesis of rifamycin is turned on in the Amycolatopsis bacterium under conditions of limiting nutrients to kill off or slow the growth of competing bacteria - there is a big selective advantage to making this compound when needed. The very high affinity of rifampicin/rifampin for binding to RNA polymerase, of which RpoB is a subunit, derives from the desire of organic chemists to save lives.

The are a number of amino acid positions encoded in RpoB, that when mutated lead to varying degrees of rifampicn resistance. They can lead to both small and large defects in RNA polymerase. If the selective pressure of rifampicin remains, second site mutations will eventually arise that  partially of completely ameliorates the defect of the original mutation. It is restoring competitive advantage (especially against Amycolatopsis, which has already gone through this process), but it does so by redesigning the protein in a way that did not exist previously: new bonds between amino acids in the protein are formed or old ones are disrupted that are no longer fully compatible with the mutated amino acid that provided resistance.

As an aside, gain of function mutations are pretty common and often unwanted by molecular geneticists who are trying to discover more interesting things. These are Promoter-Up mutations. They increase the affinity of RNA polymerase and thereby make more of that particular gene's RNA transcript. Depending on the gene, this can lead to antibiotic resistance, ameliorate the defect of a mutation in another gene, more efficiently metabolize a new nutrient source, etc.
Logged
Jonathan Gress
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA
Posts: 3,072


« Reply #2924 on: February 24, 2011, 03:13:54 PM »

Thank you, Opus. So, if I understand you right, there are mutations that restore fitness that also do not belong to the class of "reversion" mutations that Anderson talks about. I am guessing that is what you mean by "Promoter-Up" mutations. The key claim here, I think, is that you have supposedly random mutations that not only increase fitness (a necessarily contingent quality and not absolutely dependent on increased complexity), but more importantly increase informational complexity beyond the originally observed state of complexity, something that could support Darwinian theory, even though it contradicts the predictions of the generalized second law of thermodynamics. I think we already established in this discussion that terms like "gain of function" are not probative, because, as Anderson showed, gains in function can arise from loss of information, where events like loss of repressor genes are concerned, which result in increased performance of a certain function already encoded in the genetic design. But I take it you are speaking of gain of information, not just gain of function.

When you get a chance, could you take a look at this article about Darwinism and the deterioration of the genome?

http://www.trueorigin.org/mutations01.asp

He makes some interesting claims, such as the fact that mutations are not entirely random, and that the structure of the genome does not fit with the hypothesis that the whole genome is the product of random change. Also, he insists on the extreme rarity of beneficial mutations, with several citations to support his claim. Perhaps you and Mina disagree with the author's conclusion, however, in which case we should certainly discuss this further:

Quote
All of the beneficial mutations located in my search of the literature involving almost 20 million references were loss mutations and mutations such as sickle cell anemia that have a beneficial effect only in very special circumstances.  In most situations they have a decidedly negative effect on the organism’s health.  Not a single clear example of an information-gaining mutation was located.  It was concluded that molecular biology research shows that information-gaining mutations have not yet been documented.  While such negative findings do not in and of themselves prove creation, they support the conclusion that an Intelligent Designer formed the original genomes of each created kind.

One alternative way of looking at this problem is the following: if we start by assuming beneficial, information-gaining mutations are sufficiently frequent, why did e.g. Dobzhansky's fruitfly experiments completely fail to reveal any? After deliberately increasing the mutation rate by application of radiation, and after many generations, the only mutations that occurred were deleterious, e.g. loss of wings. And even if you argue that such mutations could be beneficial in certain environments, e.g. a windy island where a winged fly could be easily blown out to sea, they are clearly information-losing mutations, not information-gaining. I see problems with Darwinian predictions whichever aspect of biology you look at.

And notwithstanding whatever scientific evidence for Darwinism there may be, the dogmatic problems remain. A God who created death is simply not the God of the Christians. A universe that arose out of cycles of destruction and spontaneous creation would seem on the contrary to support pagan theories of the Deity, like the three aspects of the Hindu god Shiva.
Logged
Tags: science Theory of Evolution evolution creationism cheval mort 
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 »   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.297 seconds with 75 queries.