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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 343978 times) Average Rating: 0
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #315 on: December 28, 2007, 08:19:42 AM »

Besides, there is also the extremely important issue of susceptibility, which would explain why there was a 50% mortality rate of those who actually caught the disease instead of 60%, 70%, or 100% (but now we're getting off topic so I'll leave it at that).  So, perhaps that's not the most appropriate example to use. 

I didn't notice that you had added this bit until this morning. Susceptibility is exactly what we're talking about here. Both the colonists and the native Americans were exposed to smallpox equally due to the disease's high communicability. Therefore, a lower rate of infection in one group as opposed to the other would be evolutionarily derived, just as a lower mortality rate for those who contracted it. Both resistance to a disease and recovery thereof are caused by the presence of antibodies in the blood, which can be obtained genetically. The colonists would have had a higher level of smallpox antibodies due to the collective resistance that evolved in Europeans in the XIV to XVI centuries. The native Americans did not have this collective resistance because their ancestors did not have the same exposure to the disease.

Why do you keep looking for excuses as to why evolution couldn't have occurred?
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« Reply #316 on: December 28, 2007, 09:21:08 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!!

I realise that it is completely anachronistic to imagine the Church Fathers being faced with the mountain of evidence that modern science has produced regarding evolution. However, I'm at a loss in understanding why we should assume that had they had such evidence in their possession they would have been compelled to reject it.

What sound basis can anyone offer for us to believe that our modern Church fathers will ignore the evidence and support a literalist protestant interpretation of the Genesis account of creation? Has objective evaluation become redundant? Are we to opt for obscurantism? Does God mislead us by providing evidence that contradicts a literal interpretation of this passage of scripture?

God be with us all.









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Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
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« Reply #317 on: December 28, 2007, 09:29:49 AM »

However, I'm at a loss in understanding why we should assume that had they had such evidence in their possession they would have been compelled to reject it.

And I as well, but I take it a step further. I'm at a loss in understanding why we should assume they would have been compelled to acknowledge it, either. Evolution is not a philosophical question; it's not up for theological debate. Rather, it is to be examined by scientific experiments. It is like all other theories; if it holds up under experimentation, great. If it does not, revise the theory. This is the scientific method, and as I've said before, the scientific method has nothing to do with theology or philosophy.
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« Reply #318 on: December 28, 2007, 09:57:31 AM »

Religion disconnected from science is mythology.
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« Reply #319 on: December 28, 2007, 11:42:39 AM »

Dear EA,

I remember I also made similar remarks to your conclusions.  The "science" that the Holy Fathers experienced is not the same as the "science" we experience today.  We can't make assumptions on whether the fathers will reject evolution based on what they felt the definition of science was back then, which was nothing but speculation, no different than philosophy (in fact, there was no line drawn between philosophy and science back then, as is the case today).

God bless.
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« Reply #320 on: December 28, 2007, 06:24:10 PM »

I didn't notice that you had added this bit until this morning. Susceptibility is exactly what we're talking about here. Both the colonists and the native Americans were exposed to smallpox equally due to the disease's high communicability. Therefore, a lower rate of infection in one group as opposed to the other would be evolutionarily derived, just as a lower mortality rate for those who contracted it. Both resistance to a disease and recovery thereof are caused by the presence of antibodies in the blood, which can be obtained genetically. The colonists would have had a higher level of smallpox antibodies due to the collective resistance that evolved in Europeans in the XIV to XVI centuries. The native Americans did not have this collective resistance because their ancestors did not have the same exposure to the disease.

Why do you keep looking for excuses as to why evolution couldn't have occurred?

I kind of feel like we are missing each others' points here.  This is not the place to debate immunity and susceptibility, which are, btw, somewhat different, or smallpox which I still believe is not the most adequate example of what you are trying to say.  You haven't really answered my question about macro-/micro-evolution, and it really was a genuine question. 

I am not "looking for excuses as to why evolution couldn't have occurred".  I actually do think it has and does, but I have yet to see compelling evidence for it.  Now, that is really my problem, but I'm not about to undertake college level courses in biology/zoology, etc. in order to be able to talk the talk as others here are able to do.  I have far more pressing and important issues to deal with in my life than that.  There actually is a very good chapter in Fr. Seraphim Rose's bio Not of This World... that addresses the whole issue of evolutionary philosophy from an Orthodox Christian perspective which I shall have to re-visit.  As I recall, he has some very interesting things to say about it. 

So, given all of my own shortcomings, and the fact that this whole discussion seems to be going nowhere, really, I shall bow out of it, at least for now.  Perhaps if and when I rejoin it, I shall have a little more to say of substance, and perhaps a greater understanding of what some of our more scientifically educated members are trying to communicate.  As I said in an earlier post, it all seems to me and my poor little mind to really boil down to a debate more about Otherworldliness vs. Materialism than the title of the thread, and what is more important for the salvation of our souls.  But that's just the unworthy opinion of a simple, struggling sinner.

God bless all of you, and have a Happy New Year!
Jeff
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« Reply #321 on: December 28, 2007, 06:29:34 PM »

God bless !

There are different kinds of KNOWLEDGE, and the knowledge that comes directly from God is quiete distinct from that which proceeds from man's natural powers. St. Isaac the Syrian distinguishes these kinds of KNOWLEDGE in the following way:

Knowledge which is concerned with the visible, or which receives through the senses what comes from the visible, is called natural.

Kowledge which is concerned with the power of the immaterial and the nature of incorporal entities within a man is called spiritual, because perceptions are received by the spirit and not by the senses.

Because of these two origins ( perceptions of the visible and of the spiritual) each kind of knowledge alike comes to the soul from without. But the Knowledge bestowed by Divine power is called supra-natural; it is more unfathomable and is higher than knowledge. Contemplation of this knowledge comes to the soul not from matter, which is outside it .....It manifests and reveals itself in the innermost depths of the soul itself, immaterially, suddenly, spontaneously, and unexpectedly, since according to the words of Christ, " the Kingdom of God is within you" ( Luk 17:21).

So there is a lower "knowledge" and a higher one, the Holy Fathers from the 4th cent. can be wiser than modern scientists because they have a different source of Knowledge- Divine Vision!

IN CHRIST

Our Lord also said that you will know them by their fruits. Religous fundamentalism has brought centuries of ignorance, war, and oppression; science has brought the alleviation of human suffering and improved the plight of the human race. If we are to judge things in the manner Our Lord instructed us to, by the fruits they bear, it would seem that scientific knowledge is, by far, the 'higher' and noble of the two you present from both a practical and theological perspective.
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« Reply #322 on: December 28, 2007, 06:35:51 PM »

I'm really not concerned with the evolution vs. creationism debate per se. I am just concerned with how evolutionists try to uphold the theory of evolution whilst attempting simultaneously to maintain the integrity of the Fathers with arguments like: "Had evolution been the popular scientific explanation of creation at the time, they would have adopted it." All the evidence suggests that consideration of any popular scientific/philosophical idea in their day was subject first and foremost to their conception of the faith of the Church as it was borne out by divine revelation. Given that the Fathers saw their cosmology as being based on such divine revelation, it follows that any cosmological theory opposed to such a cosmology would have been dismissed. Do you acknowledge this? If not, I would hope to see you at least demonstrate your opposing view. If you could begin by engaging with the quotations provided earlier, that would be great.

I agree that some fathers believed their methodologies to somehow transcent their cultural conditioning, though I find them to be either willfully ignorant or outright dishonest in these claims. Of course this is not true of everyone, Clement of Alexandria who I admire beyond most others of the patristic era clearly admits to secular and pagan influence in his thinking. Thinking that is so closely followed by later fathers that they could not have honestly and knowingly believed them to be uniquely Christian. In the end, there are simply too many coincidences where Jewish theology and Pagan philosophy align with Christian thought to dismiss their profound influence; regardless of what these fourth and fifth century personalities thought they were doing.

People are a product of their culture and Christian theology is not above this, no matter how much some wish it to be, it is a result of the culture and thought of the day; a culture and thought that the fathers could not have escaped and overcome even had then been aware of it and no matter how hard they tried: none of us can.
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« Reply #323 on: December 28, 2007, 11:09:28 PM »

You haven't really answered my question about macro-/micro-evolution, and it really was a genuine question. 
I apologize. I actually had to go looking for the question; I must have missed it the first time around.

There is no such thing as "micro-" or "macro-evolution" from a biological standpoint. All evolution occurs on the special level. A population biologically speaking is a group of creatures who all live in the same place. A population may be made up of one species or hundreds; what matters is the ecosystem.

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I am not "looking for excuses as to why evolution couldn't have occurred".  I actually do think it has and does, but I have yet to see compelling evidence for it.
Why? If you truly believe that there is no compelling evidence, why do you believe evolution occurs? This makes no sense at all.

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There actually is a very good chapter in Fr. Seraphim Rose's bio Not of This World... that addresses the whole issue of evolutionary philosophy from an Orthodox Christian perspective which I shall have to re-visit.  As I recall, he has some very interesting things to say about it.
That's just it; the whole point I've been trying to make is that evolution is not a philosophy. It is a scientific theory which explains verifiable facts.

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So, given all of my own shortcomings, and the fact that this whole discussion seems to be going nowhere, really, I shall bow out of it, at least for now.  Perhaps if and when I rejoin it, I shall have a little more to say of substance, and perhaps a greater understanding of what some of our more scientifically educated members are trying to communicate.  As I said in an earlier post, it all seems to me and my poor little mind to really boil down to a debate more about Otherworldliness vs. Materialism than the title of the thread, and what is more important for the salvation of our souls.  But that's just the unworthy opinion of a simple, struggling sinner.
The only way it will go anywhere is if any of us do scientific experimentation based on the principles of this law. It's been my experience that the discussion never bears any fruit because the creationist camp are not interested in the science and the scientific community is not interested in philosophy.
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« Reply #324 on: December 28, 2007, 11:37:27 PM »

That's just it; the whole point I've been trying to make is that evolution is not a philosophy. It is a scientific theory which explains verifiable facts.
Evolution by itself may not be a philosophy, but I see it possible to build a worldly philosophy of limitless human progress on the foundation of evolutionary theory.  I think this is what Fr. Seraphim tried to address.  IMO, this doesn't negate the validity of evolution as a scientific theory, for I see evolutionary philosophy as something separate--one could call it a misuse of scientific theory.
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« Reply #325 on: December 28, 2007, 11:46:36 PM »

Evolution by itself may not be a philosophy, but I see it possible to build a worldly philosophy of limitless human progress on the foundation of evolutionary theory.  I think this is what Fr. Seraphim tried to address.  IMO, this doesn't negate the validity of evolution as a scientific theory, for I see evolutionary philosophy as something separate--one could call it a misuse of scientific theory.

A friend of mine called this philosophy "evolutionism," which is atheistic or deistic at best.  I think people need to see the distinction between the science of evolution and the "belief" in evolutionism.
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« Reply #326 on: December 28, 2007, 11:57:24 PM »


People are a product of their culture and Christian theology is not above this, no matter how much some wish it to be, it is a result of the culture and thought of the day; a culture and thought that the fathers could not have escaped and overcome even had then been aware of it and no matter how hard they tried: none of us can.
I completely agree with this quote.

If and when evolutionists can admit that the first sign of biological life may have bin started by a creator. Than maybe Christianity may somehow be willing to accept the evolution theory. The problem is evolutionists are flat out trying to deny there is a creator.  They link there theory directly with Atheism even thought they can't create anything or explain where biological life came from. By accepting there theory one becomes an Atheist. What Christians on this thread are doing is trying to unite both evolution and creation. This is a hybrid theory.
I myself believe it is a little premature to accept this theory as Christian. Only after there is undeniable evidence can Christianity ever accept it. An if this undeniable evidence does exist as some here say it does. Nobody here has yet to lay it out properly.
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« Reply #327 on: December 29, 2007, 12:02:35 AM »

I completely agree with this quote.

If and when evolutionists can admit that the first sign of biological life may have bin started by a creator. Than maybe Christianity may somehow be willing to accept the evolution theory. The problem is evolutionists are flat out trying to deny there is a creator.  They link there theory directly with Atheism even thought they can't create anything or explain where biological life came from. By accepting there theory one becomes an Atheist. What Christians on this thread are doing is trying to unite both evolution and creation. This is a hybrid theory.
I myself believe it is a little premature to accept this theory as Christian. Only after there is undeniable evidence can Christianity ever accept it. An if this undeniable evidence does exist as some here say it does. Nobody here has yet to lay it out properly.

Like I said before, some of the leading dare-I-say "evolutionists" are Christian and sincere at that.  The Dawkins and Hitchens of this world are nothing but scientist-wanna-bes.

God bless.
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« Reply #328 on: December 29, 2007, 12:08:25 AM »

If and when evolutionists can admit that the first sign of biological life may have bin started by a creator.

Is there a confusion here between Abiogenesis (the origin of life) and Evolutionary biology (the origin of species from a common descent, and descent of species; as well as their change, multiplication, and diversity over time)? I wasn't aware that the theory of Evolution denied the posibility of a divine Creator.

God be with us all.
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Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
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« Reply #329 on: December 29, 2007, 12:10:48 AM »

Is there a confusion here between Abiogenesis (the origin of life) and Evolutionary biology (the origin of species from a common descent, and descent of species; as well as their change, multiplication, and diversity over time)? I wasn't aware that the theory of Evolution denied the posibility of a divine Creator.

God be with us all.

I have to agree.  Some people do confuse the two.  Technically though, abiogenesis only tells us that a few chemicals got together to make the first cell (or partial cell) and then evolution took course.  Technically, abiogenesis still doesn't prove God's inexistence.
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« Reply #330 on: December 29, 2007, 12:16:04 AM »

As with alcohol, one shouldn't mix one's scientific theories.  Grin
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« Reply #331 on: December 29, 2007, 12:32:54 AM »

Liquor before beer...
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« Reply #332 on: December 29, 2007, 12:37:21 AM »

Priordial soup before mutant genes?
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« Reply #333 on: December 29, 2007, 12:38:29 AM »

Never been sicker!
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« Reply #334 on: December 29, 2007, 12:40:42 AM »

LOL!

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« Reply #335 on: December 29, 2007, 01:25:13 AM »

If and when evolutionists can admit that the first sign of biological life may have bin started by a creator. Than maybe Christianity may somehow be willing to accept the evolution theory. The problem is evolutionists are flat out trying to deny there is a creator.  They link there theory directly with Atheism even thought they can't create anything or explain where biological life came from. By accepting there theory one becomes an Atheist. What Christians on this thread are doing is trying to unite both evolution and creation. This is a hybrid theory.
So you reject a valid scientific theory because some of its proponents are atheists?  Most of the evolution proponents you see on this thread, including a biologist, are sincerely devout Christians, and Orthodox at that.  Apparently they are able to recognize the value of evolutionary theory in and of itself, apart from those atheists who would use the theory to advance their own anti-Christian agendas.

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I myself believe it is a little premature to accept this theory as Christian.
No one here is advocating that we call the theory of evolution Christian.  We just hope to reconcile the science of evolution, a fundamentally a-religious pursuit in that it can say nothing of the supernatural, with our Christian belief that God created everything in the heavens and on earth.

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Only after there is undeniable evidence can Christianity ever accept it. An if this undeniable evidence does exist as some here say it does. Nobody here has yet to lay it out properly.
Because there can be no "undeniable evidence" to prove that ANY scientific theory is fact.  How many times do we have to repeat this to you?  There's just a mountain of evidence to support the belief that the theory of evolution is accurate.
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« Reply #336 on: December 29, 2007, 01:49:47 AM »

The Pythagorean Theorem:  that, in a right triangle, a2 + b2 = c2 ?  This is geometry, not scientific theory, so maybe you need a different example.

I'm trying to think of something similar.  Something that had been scientifically proven in the patristic era, but rejected by the Fathers on theological grounds is hard to find.  I think there is some merit to the analogy since the nay-sayers on evolution would seem to say, "well... have you observed every single triangle, if not you can't see the theorem is true."  But I also agree with you that there is some weakness to the analogy, but I can't think of anything else.   Huh
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« Reply #337 on: December 29, 2007, 02:14:05 AM »

I think there is some merit to the analogy since the nay-sayers on evolution would seem to say, "well... have you observed every single triangle, if not you can't see the theorem is true."
Of course, the theorem only works in the two-dimensional (Euclidian) geometry of a plane.  As someone posted today on the Random Postings thread, the three-dimensional geometry of a sphere makes possible a triangle with three right angles.
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« Reply #338 on: December 29, 2007, 03:21:26 AM »

Credo.InDeum

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OK, this seems quite legitimate, except that it does not really tell us anything about what the church Fathers really did think about Genesis 1

Nor is it supposed to. It concerns a different yet nevertheless relevant point.

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If you have the chance to check through the writings of such fathers as saint Augustine you will find that simple literalism was not the norm in reading and interpreting Genesis 1.

I am not arguing for any particular approach to Scripture, and believe the whole literal vs. allegorical question to be reductionist in the first place. My point is that the Fathers were concerned with discerning the skopos of the Scriptures in formulating their cosmological views (since they were on a quest to acquire first-hand information about creation from the Creator Himself), and that in so doing they did not show any inclination to align their Scriptural interpretations to any presuppositions outside the context of the Faith of the Church. The patristic approach to discerning the skopos of the Scriptures was not based on some standard and abstract hermeneutical methodology that demanded either a literal or allegorical approach. The skopos defined the methodology, not the other way around,

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Well, here we have a claim that is not substantiated with evidence.


My post was not intended to provide evidence for anything; it was merely intended to demonstrate that there is a logical flow to the argument I am making, so as to counter the suggestion that my proposition is entirely conjectural. The discussion has not yet progressed to the stage where I need to prove the truth of the argument.

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But before we get too caught up in the details it is worth considering what the Fathers would have had an opportunity to know about biology and evolution otherwise we'll be discussing the topic at cross purposes.
(1)The Fathers had access to ideas and theories about the earth being rather ancient and more a mere 4 or so thousand years old, and we do have some evidence that some of the fathers at least accepted those ideas or theories rather than taking a literalist view of Genesis.

Again, I am not arguing for a literalist view of Genesis. The literal vs. allegory question has nothing to do with anything i'm saying.

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Conclusion B: The theory of evolution would be rejected by the Fathers, even if it constituted the popular scientific view of their day.

This is begging the question…

Not within the context of the entire argument it isn't.

Pravoslavbob,

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But as ytterbiumanalyst has astutely pointed out, the theory of evolution is not a "popular philosophical/scientific idea."  It has been tested by science and so far has passed the test with flying colours.  It is no more a "theory" in the popular sense of the term than the theory of gravity is a "theory".   In fact, it may well have more solid backing than the theory of gravity does at this point in time! 


I'm not going to pretend to be learned enough in the sciences to comment on the strength or lack thereof of the theory of evolution, but I don't think I need to be to acknowledge that scientific theories are far from infallible; the history of science is testimony to that. Nevertheless, even if I were to assume the truth of what you are saying it remains entirely besides the point: The Fathers saw their cosmological views as reflecting the intention of the Scriptures, and they believed that this very intention of the Scriptures was one determined by the Faith of the Church. For them, therefore, to accept the theory of evolution would be tantamount to them admitting that they erred in their understanding of the Faith of the Church and hence in their ability to discern the intent of the Scriptures. Some here seem to suggest that the most they would be conceding to in admitting the theory of evolution is that they erred in their understanding of the science of their day--this is the idea all my posts thus far have been concerned with; any response to anything i've said which is focused on arguing the validity of the theory of evolution, misses the mark.

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Do you really believe that some of the Fathers would have stubbornly clung to a literal interpretation of Genesis (or even an allegorical one that had no room in it for science) if they had been exposed to the overwhelming evidence that modern science conveys concerning evolution?

Like I explained above, this is not about a literal vs. allegorical approach to Scripture. The Fathers' conception of the skopos of the Scriptures (which, within an Orthoodx worldview, is one conditioned by the Faith of the Church as testified to by the Holy Spirit) defined and determined their methodological approach to any given passage or verse of the Scriptures, not the other way around.
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« Reply #339 on: December 29, 2007, 04:05:25 AM »

The Fathers saw their cosmological views as reflecting the intention of the Scriptures, and they believed that this very intention of the Scriptures was one determined by the Faith of the Church. For them, therefore, to accept the theory of evolution would be tantamount to them admitting that they erred in their understanding of the Faith...

With the possible exception of one or two Fathers, I just don't see what you mean.  If the Fathers knew about evolution I believe that they wouldn't have insisited on putting it on the same "playing field" as science, and then challenged it to a football match.  That's the mistake that the Western Church made with Galileo.  Ever since that time, the West has tried to justify its faith in scientific terms, since the earth does indeed revolve around the sun, and not vice-versa.  People have done silly things like analyse consecrated hosts under microscopes to "prove" that they are not really bread (and thus science keeps on "winning"; pure rationalism becomes a faith to some and anything that is not "rational" must by definition be "irrational"). Nowadays, some Jesuits who should know better say that "of course life changes and develops only by chance, evolution has proved that, but we can still see 'God in the gaps' for things that can't be explained by evolution."  Total apostate garbage!  Even though exciting things are happening today in terms of some physicists realising that the spritual has much more to do with how the universe works than they ever really imagined, there is a lot of truth in what ytterbiumanalyst states when he says that science and theology are really very separate things.  You don't think that the Fathers would have seen this and pursued their line of reasoning and not have been disturbed by findings concering evolution?  Perhaps you do acknowledge this, and I am missing something?
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« Reply #340 on: December 29, 2007, 06:23:44 AM »

I am not arguing for any particular approach to Scripture, and believe the whole literal vs. allegorical question to be reductionist in the first place. My point is that the Fathers were concerned with discerning the skopos of the Scriptures in formulating their cosmological views (since they were on a quest to acquire first-hand information about creation from the Creator Himself), and that in so doing they did not show any inclination to align their Scriptural interpretations to any presuppositions outside the context of the Faith of the Church. The patristic approach to discerning the skopos of the Scriptures was not based on some standard and abstract hermeneutical methodology that demanded either a literal or allegorical approach. The skopos defined the methodology, not the other way around,
The fathers had an interest in revelation present in creation as well as revelation in scripture and Church Tradition so their outlook was broad enough to encompass the ideas that arose from direct observation of the creation and contemplation of the order of creation. Biological evolutionary theory is part of the human enterprise of understanding what is revealed in creation for this reason I can see no legitimate reason to presume that the fathers of the past would take a contrary view to the fathers of today regarding biological evolutionary theory. The fathers of today take a positive view of biological evolutionary theory because that theory is a useful tool in understanding God's creation, there's no compelling reason for the fathers of the Church today to reject biological evolution and consequently they do not reject it.
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« Reply #341 on: December 29, 2007, 06:41:20 AM »

With the possible exception of one or two Fathers, I just don't see what you mean.  If the Fathers knew about evolution I believe that they wouldn't have insisited on putting it on the same "playing field" as science, and then challenged it to a football match.  That's the mistake that the Western Church made with Galileo.  Ever since that time, the West has tried to justify its faith in scientific terms, since the earth does indeed revolve around the sun, and not vice-versa.  People have done silly things like analyse consecrated hosts under microscopes to "prove" that they are not really bread (and thus science keeps on "winning"; pure rationalism becomes a faith to some and anything that is not "rational" must by definition be "irrational"). Nowadays, some Jesuits who should know better say that "of course life changes and develops only by chance, evolution has proved that, but we can still see 'God in the gaps' for things that can't be explained by evolution."  Total apostate garbage!  Even though exciting things are happening today in terms of some physicists realising that the spritual has much more to do with how the universe works than they ever really imagined, there is a lot of truth in what ytterbiumanalyst states when he says that science and theology are really very separate things.  You don't think that the Fathers would have seen this and pursued their line of reasoning and not have been disturbed by findings concering evolution?  Perhaps you do acknowledge this, and I am missing something?
Catholic teaching does not imply that the physical or biological sciences can find the body and blood of Christ in the bread and wine of the Holy Eucharist. Quite the contrary, the Catholic teaching is that the substance is changed but that the accidents remain. The terminology used to write about this change is Aristotelian and the terminology is only there as one way of offering an explanation to enquiring minds. It should not be taken as a definition of the faith.
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« Reply #342 on: December 29, 2007, 11:19:16 AM »

God bless !

Evolution is not a "fact" it is only a theory - even when some here want to make it a proven fact - that's not true.

Many ( I think more and more )scientist do not believe in the evolution theory and there are many good books about the "myths of Darwin".

I also know that the Evolution theory was baned from school in romania and serbia, in russia are also many scientists against evolution.

The evolution theory is a contradiction to the teaching of the church and her Tradition, and the Holy Fathers weren't against science but they did not accept anything contrary to Holy Scripture or the Tradition of the Church. ( they were not afraid of being contrary to the science of their time !)

St. Basil the great:

We are proposing to examine the structure of the world and to contemplate the whole universe, not from the wisdom of the world, but from what God taught His servants when he spoke to him in person and without riddles. (there are many others)

"Whoever says Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that, whether he sinned or not, he would have died a bodily death, that is he would have departed from the body, not as a punishment for sin but by necessity of his nature: let him be anathema" (Council of Carthage, 418).

Instead of looking from an orthodox point of view on the whole evolution question, people here are looking from a secular "scientific" point of view on Genesis.

Our "teachers" are the Holy Fathers of old and of course also the modern, and not some atheists, occultists and pseudo scientists.

When you accept the theory of evolution ( or every part of ) you can not accept the teaching of the church and the Holy Fathers ( even when you interprete Genesis allegorical).

The law of Nature we know now is the law of Nature that God gave when Adam fell; that is when God said: "Cursed be the earth for thy sake". We simply cannot project present day laws of nature back into the past and come up with an understanding of creation. Creation is something different: it is the beginning of all this and not the way it is now !

Some books:

Biological Evolutionism by Constantine Cavarnos ( includes a critique of the great St. Nectarios of Pentapolis)

Darwin on Trial by Philipp E Johnson, this book was called the book that makes Evolution "furious".

Scientific Creationism by Henry M Morris

Shattering the Myths of Darwinism by Richard Milton ( molecular biologist) he also calls into question the myths of radiometric dating.

Evolution; A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton

Not by chance ! Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution by Dr. Lee Spencer  an israeli biophysicist.
......and many others...I know some from the University of Paris.....


In CHRIST
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« Reply #343 on: December 29, 2007, 12:04:25 PM »

God bless !

Evolution is not a "fact" it is only a theory - even when some here want to make it a proven fact - that's not true.

Do you understand the Scientific Method and the use of the term "Theory"?  It has to do with testing hypotheses, and when new data/information is found, applying that to them.  If the new data does not agree then the hypothesis is reworked to fit new data.  Real data/facts are not rejected because they do not fit. 

Are you in any of the fields of Biology or Paleontology or Geology?

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I also know that the Evolution theory was baned from school in romania and serbia, in russia are also many scientists against evolution.

Well, one question is "WHY was this theory banned"?  Was it due to political or ideological reasons rather then testable scientific ones?  Such as the rise of the "Lysenkoism" version of Lamarckianism in the 1930's since Stalin did not like the idea of Genetics and executed many serious biologists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism
http://skepdic.com/lysenko.html

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Darwin on Trial by Philipp E Johnson, this book was called the book that makes Evolution "furious".

 Huh  what is the source for this "quote" please?

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Scientific Creationism by Henry M Morris

Have *you* read any Henry Morris?  I have and find his theories dubious.


Ebor
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« Reply #344 on: December 29, 2007, 01:08:50 PM »

Catholic teaching does not imply that the physical or biological sciences can find the body and blood of Christ in the bread and wine of the Holy Eucharist. Quite the contrary, the Catholic teaching is that the substance is changed but that the accidents remain. The terminology used to write about this change is Aristotelian and the terminology is only there as one way of offering an explanation to enquiring minds. It should not be taken as a definition of the faith.

I know this, but it's kind of irrelevant when it comes to the point that I am trying to make.
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« Reply #345 on: December 29, 2007, 01:14:45 PM »

Evolution is not a "fact" it is only a theory - even when some here want to make it a proven fact - that's not true.

(Sigh...)  Come back and post again after you have shown that you have actually read and understood posts made by ytterbiumanlayst, myself, and others that illustrate how "theory" in scientific parlance does not mean the same thing as understood in other disciplines and common speech.  Or maybe you shouldn't, because you're flogging a horse that has been dead for some time and it is getting very tiresome.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #346 on: December 29, 2007, 01:20:27 PM »

In science, a theory is a mathematical or logical explanation, or a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation. It follows from this that for scientists "theory" and "fact" do not necessarily stand in opposition. For example, it is a fact that an apple dropped on earth has been observed to fall towards the center of the planet, and the theories commonly used to describe and explain this behaviour are Newton's theory of universal gravitation, and general relativity.
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« Reply #347 on: December 29, 2007, 03:52:41 PM »

Many ( I think more and more )scientist do not believe in the evolution theory and there are many good books about the "myths of Darwin".
I'm sure many don't, but the idea that this number is increasing I think is only your wishful thinking.  Since theory is a scientific attempt to interpret the factual data observed, I'm sure many scientists will disagree with any theory.  That, however, doesn't change the fact that evolution is generally recognized by the scientific community as the most acceptable explanation, based on the facts we can observe now, of how life as we know it developed.

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The evolution theory is a contradiction to the teaching of the church and her Tradition, and the Holy Fathers weren't against science but they did not accept anything contrary to Holy Scripture or the Tradition of the Church. ( they were not afraid of being contrary to the science of their time !)
That, however, is not the issue today.  The question many here ask is, "How would the Fathers respond to the science of today, since this is, in so many ways, different from the science of their day?"

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St. Basil the great:

We are proposing to examine the structure of the world and to contemplate the whole universe, not from the wisdom of the world, but from what God taught His servants when he spoke to him in person and without riddles.
Very well and good, but what have you to say of this quote from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans?  "Ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature, namely, His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made."  (Romans 1:20)  Cannot the scientific study of creation be another means to knowing the nature of God?

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(there are many others)
Merely saying this with the intent of making your argument sound strong doesn't convince us of anything.

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"Whoever says Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that, whether he sinned or not, he would have died a bodily death, that is he would have departed from the body, not as a punishment for sin but by necessity of his nature: let him be anathema" (Council of Carthage, 418).
Evolutionary theory properly understood, in that it cannot touch upon the supernatural works of a supernatural God, doesn't prohibit God from creating an immortal being via the process of evolution.

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Instead of looking from an orthodox point of view on the whole evolution question, people here are looking from a secular "scientific" point of view on Genesis.
I guess science, like anything truly sacred, can be made secular, but, to my understanding, the pioneers of the modern scientific method were largely Christians who sought to know God better through a study of nature and its workings.  Therefore, you cannot call science a secular pursuit in and of itself.

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Our "teachers" are the Holy Fathers of old and of course also the modern, and not some atheists, occultists and pseudo scientists.
Not all scientists are atheists, occultists, or quacks.  Would you level such a charge against our own poster and resident professor of biology, Heorhij?

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When you accept the theory of evolution ( or every part of ) you can not accept the teaching of the church and the Holy Fathers ( even when you interprete Genesis allegorical).
Says you?

Quote
Some books:

Biological Evolutionism by Constantine Cavarnos ( includes a critique of the great St. Nectarios of Pentapolis)

Darwin on Trial by Philipp E Johnson, this book was called the book that makes Evolution "furious".

Scientific Creationism by Henry M Morris

Shattering the Myths of Darwinism by Richard Milton ( molecular biologist) he also calls into question the myths of radiometric dating.

Evolution; A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton

Not by chance ! Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution by Dr. Lee Spencer  an israeli biophysicist.
......and many others...I know some from the University of Paris.....
The fact that many scientists don't accept evolutionary theory, again, does not invalidate the theory altogether.  The disagreement just goes to prove that evolution is indeed a theory and not established fact.  (Heck, we have scientists who disagree with Einstein's theories of relativity, but that doesn't cast his theories into disrepute.)  Like you, even though I accept evolution as a plausible theory, I recognize evolution as merely a theory, and I bristle when I hear it proclaimed as proven, irrefutable fact.  There are certain aspects of the theory of evolution that I find hard to accept personally, and even for religious reasons, but I certainly don't see creationism or intelligent design theory as valid substitutes--creationism was born out of Protestant Fundamentalist fear-mongering, and intelligent design is really a quasi-religious philosophy that cannot be verified or falsified by the scientific method.
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« Reply #348 on: December 29, 2007, 04:01:35 PM »

(Sigh...)  Come back and post again after you have shown that you have actually read and understood posts made by ytterbiumanlayst, myself, and others that illustrate how "theory" in scientific parlance does not mean the same thing as understood in other disciplines and common speech.  Or maybe you shouldn't, because you're flogging a horse that has been dead for some time and it is getting very tiresome.   Roll Eyes

God bless !

We should not confuse "pure science" with different philosophical theories ( I have written above-you should read again my posts !)  written to explain the facts discovered by science. Facts are one thing
(pure science) and explanations of facts is another ( call it philosphy - when you like this term more).
But I think you do not have a problem with the "term" theory, you have a problem with the fact that evolution philosophy is not a "proven fact". And I think, since you are an orthodox christian and this is an orthodox forum, you should - think and speak and approach such questions as an orthodox christian-that's the most important thing !

The english books above are perhaps not the most actual, there are many others in other languages !

In CHRIST

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« Reply #349 on: December 29, 2007, 04:19:05 PM »

The fact that many scientists don't accept evolutionary theory, again, does not invalidate the theory altogether.

Have you read the books on Christodoulos' little list?  The only one actually written by a scientists is in fact written by a physicist.  His main argument is that the probability of evolution creating what we have todays is so low that evolution can't be true.  The rest use mostly strawman arguments (i.e the piltdown man was a fraud, therefore all paleontology could be a fraud).

I've read the Johnson and Spetner work cover to cover and skimmed some of the other ones.  The fact that Christodoulos couldn't even spell Dr. Spetner's name correctly leads me to believe this is just another one of his copy and paste jobs and hasn't even read the works he cited.
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« Reply #350 on: December 29, 2007, 04:29:57 PM »

God bless !
Are you a priest or bishop that you have the authority to pronounce such a blessing?

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We should not confuse "pure science" with different philosophical theories ( I have written above-you should read again my posts !)  written to explain the facts discovered by science. Facts are one thing
(pure science) and explanations of facts is another ( call it philosphy - when you like this term more).
Maybe you should just follow Pravoslavbob's advice and exit this discussion to return only when you can show that you actually understand what we mean by "science".  Right now you're just redefining science to make it fit your religious philosophy, and you end up talking right past us.

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But I think you do not have a problem with the "term" theory, you have a problem with the fact that evolution philosophy is not a "proven fact".
Where can you show that Pravoslavbob has actually exalted evolution as a "proven fact"?  If you can't show us this, then you're merely projecting onto Pravoslavbob what you want to think he believes.

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And I think, since you are an orthodox christian and this is an orthodox forum, you should - think and speak and approach such questions as an orthodox christian-that's the most important thing !
But he is trying to approach this question as an Orthodox Christian.  Just because he isn't approaching this in a way that satisfies your limited definition of Orthodoxy doesn't make his approach un-Orthodox.
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« Reply #351 on: December 29, 2007, 04:33:14 PM »

Have you read the books on Christodoulos' little list?  The only one actually written by a scientists is in fact written by a physicist.  His main argument is that the probability of evolution creating what we have todays is so low that evolution can't be true.  The rest use mostly strawman arguments (i.e the piltdown man was a fraud, therefore all paleontology could be a fraud).

I've read the Johnson and Spetner work cover to cover and skimmed some of the other ones.  The fact that Christodoulos couldn't even spell Dr. Spetner's name correctly leads me to believe this is just another one of his copy and paste jobs and hasn't even read the works he cited.
Well, if that's the case, then my commentary on his book list doesn't even apply specifically to the list. Wink  I still stand by the general wisdom I stated.
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« Reply #352 on: December 29, 2007, 04:59:14 PM »

Have you read the books on Christodoulos' little list?  The only one actually written by a scientists is in fact written by a physicist.  His main argument is that the probability of evolution creating what we have todays is so low that evolution can't be true.  The rest use mostly strawman arguments (i.e the piltdown man was a fraud, therefore all paleontology could be a fraud).

I've read the Johnson and Spetner work cover to cover and skimmed some of the other ones.  The fact that Christodoulos couldn't even spell Dr. Spetner's name correctly leads me to believe this is just another one of his copy and paste jobs and hasn't even read the works he cited.

God bless !

Everyone should read the books for himself and everyone can make his own conclusions.

On my little list (in truth little) are only some English books - perhaps not the best or most actual -but they deal with some questions about Evolution and when their arguments are in vain everyone will see it.

And it is funny that you accused me so often to be superficial, isn't it superficial to be concentrated on acclamation marks and spelling mistakes ? A high level of argumentation-really- do you never make mistakes in orthography or spelling ?

In CHRIST
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« Reply #353 on: December 29, 2007, 05:10:16 PM »

God bless !

Are you a priest or bishop that you have the authority to pronounce such a blessing?

Should we not ask always for God's blessing ? Do you not know that everytime we start anything we should pray - Lord bless, God bless, God help ?

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Maybe you should just follow Pravoslavbob's advice and exit this discussion to return only when you can show that you actually understand what we mean by "science".  Right now you're just redefining science to make it fit your religious philosophy, and you end up talking right past us.

What you mean by "science"- so you have a special definition of science ?

Quote
But he is trying to approach this question as an Orthodox Christian.  Just because he isn't approaching this in a way that satisfies your limited definition of Orthodoxy doesn't make his approach un-Orthodox.

Oh you returned to your "old style" of posting - I see. Perhaps your definition of orthodoxy is limited ?

In CHRIST


EDIT:  Post edited only to separate my first quote from your reply.  - PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #354 on: December 29, 2007, 05:14:50 PM »

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

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

Let me provide some examples without hopefully sounding judgemental:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hopefully, we can humbly love one another even as we think through our questions of trust in the Holy Spirit's work through the fathers of our faith, while focusing more on loving as they have loved and proclaiming pure Love above all our knowledge (1 Cor 13).

Dear ChristianLove,

I completely, adamantly, passionately disagree with this whole approach that you demonstrate. Just like you cannot judge about the validity/invalidity of the theory of the internal combustion engine based on Acts 17:28 and the exegesis of this verse made by all the Holy Fathers on the world, and just like you cannot judge about the validity/invalidity of the notion that our thoughts are generated in the brain rather than in the atria and ventricles of the heart based on Mark 7:21 and the exegesis of this verse made by all the Holy Fathers on the world, by the same token you simply cannot judge about the validity/invalidity of the theory of biological evolution based on verses from Scripture and their exegesis. It is just wrong, wrong, and wrong.

The absence of the so-called missing links can be very easily explained (and actually IS explained in all contemporary biology textbooks) by the intricacies of fossil formation. The missing of the "links" in no way contradicts the theory of biological evolution because we now know about homeotic mutations (again, all contemporary biology textbooks explain this explicitly and in much, much detail).

Whatever "creationists" achieved in medicine, is ultimately irrelevant to the discussion.

I think people can simply choose to learn biology, or not to. If they choose the first option, they won't participate in "discussions" about the validity of TBE, just like they won't participate in "discussions" about, say, whether or not our flesh is made of the same atoms as the flesh of animals, based on 1 Corinthians 15:39. If they choose the second option, they should trust those who have chosen the first, because otherwise it's plain obscurantism and mockery of both natural sciences and Christian faith.

Sorry for sounding offending, I'm just terribly sensitized by these "issues" as a university biology teacher in the heart of the provincial American Protestantland. Smiley  
« Last Edit: December 29, 2007, 05:27:57 PM by Heorhij » Logged

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« Reply #355 on: December 29, 2007, 05:16:13 PM »

Everyone should read the books for himself and everyone can make his own conclusions.

Something with which I don't disagree.  I don't believe in the restriction of information.  But, accuracy is important, and the books that you presented are not indicative of any sort of debate among biologists regarding evolutionary biology. 

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And it is funny that you accused me so often to be superficial, isn't it superficial to be concentrated on acclamation marks and spelling mistakes ? A high level of argumentation-really- do you never make mistakes in orthography or spelling ?

It has already been mentioned by one of our moderators that if you have some personal grievance against a post that breaks forum rules that you should use the report post function and if you wish to have some personal spat to take it to the forum's PM system.

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In CHRIST

Sure about that?
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« Reply #356 on: December 29, 2007, 05:18:31 PM »

What you mean by "science"- so you have a special definition of science?
No, I try to follow the definition of science generally accepted by scientists.  If anything, you seem to have your own special definition of science.

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Oh you returned to your "old style" of posting - I see.
Returned to my "old style" of posting (as if there's anything wrong with it)?  Heavens no!  I never left it. Grin

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Perhaps your definition of orthodoxy is limited ?
I know it is. Wink  How about yours?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2007, 05:23:16 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #357 on: December 29, 2007, 05:54:44 PM »

Just a couple more things, quickly...


Atheists say that they trust evolution as fact while knowing that we have no "observable empirical scientific evidence" for randomly created mutations which lead to increase in information. 


I don't know about "atheists," but there is no notion of any "increase in information" in the theory of biological evolution. Randomly acquired mutations are the raw material for natural selection and genetic drift. The combined action of mutations, selection, drift and gene flow leads to changes of the genetic makeup of populations (or biological evolution). That's ALL THERE IS to the theory of biological evolution. Speciation is one possible outcome of evolution, as is extinction of the existing species. Taxonomy (i.e. our subjective human classification of "species," "genera," "phyla," etc.) keeps changing continuously because of the processes of continuous speciation and extinction. The talk about "increase in information" is some kind of a woodoo. Smiley


These former believers have come to understand if there was no "first Adam and Eve", there cannot be a 'second Adam who delivered us from our sins (Romans 5), nor a second Eve, The Theotokos (Justin Martyr). They understand if sin did not enter the world through the first "Adam", then death did not come as the result of his "sinful choices" and man did not need a Savior to deliver us from the devil's grip of death.


But why, why? What does the first have to do with the second? I don't imagine that there were literally the first two humans and no other humans, because that would be totally incompatible with the theory of biological evolution. So, do I HAVE to leap from that into the conclusion that Christ did not literally exist or was not literally God incarnate? I don't see any real logic, sorry, just a circular quasi-"logic" and forcing of the language of theology into the language of natural sciences.

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« Reply #358 on: December 29, 2007, 06:12:24 PM »

God bless !

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Something with which I don't disagree.  I don't believe in the restriction of information.  But, accuracy is important, and the books that you presented are not indicative of any sort of debate among biologists regarding evolutionary biology


Perhaps you know better ones in english - please tell me, I will try to get and read them !

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It has already been mentioned by one of our moderators that if you have some per sonal grievance against a post that breaks forum rules that you should use the report post function and if you wish to have some personal spat to take it to the forum's PM system.


I don't know if it breaks the forum rules, but it is funny to call others superficial when you are only concentrated on acclamation marks and some spelling mistakes and base your argumentation on these mistakes. Why didn't you tell me via PM that I made a mistake ? Or was it only to discredite my post ?


In CHRIST
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« Reply #359 on: December 29, 2007, 06:29:33 PM »


Perhaps you know better ones in english - please tell me, I will try to get and read them !



Dear Christodoulos, - any modern biology textbook will do. Trust this biology teacher with ~26 years of experience in science and ~11 years of experience in US teaching universities. Smiley
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