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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
Yes - 54 (15.7%)
No - 133 (38.6%)
both metaphorically and literally - 158 (45.8%)
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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 344162 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #3330 on: August 01, 2011, 07:41:52 AM »

Evolutionary theory is not scientific law; it is a theory, and a theory that is based primarily upon a presuppositional philosophy rather than empirical evidence.
How do you know this for certain?


Because the theory has yet to be empirically verified. In fact, evolutionary theory is actually neither verifiable nor falsifiable by the rigid criteria of the scientific method. The theory hinges upon certain assumed presuppositions, such as an antiquated age of the earth
As I understand it, the theory of evolution is not based on a belief that the earth is 4.5 billion years old; rather, the theory that the earth is 4.5 billion years old is based on the theory of evolution, the amount of time necessary for evolution to produce the speciation of life that we see today. I know your church teaches that the earth is only 6000-7000 years old, or so you say, but I don't believe that's universal Orthodox dogma, unless you wish to argue that the EO are outside the Church.

and a uniformitarian rate of change.
Which is a sounder assumption than the assumption that a catastrophic event threw everything out of whack. With no evidence in the data to verify the supposition of a catastrophic event, I don't see how assertion of a catastrophic event can even be admissible in the debate over evolution.


You are making my point. The age of the earth cannot be empirically proven, so we have to make certain presuppositions. Uniformitarianism may be quite logical, and I have no problem with it from a scientific standpoint as long as the scientists operating from that presupposition maintain that it is exactly that- a presuppostional starting point. Evolutionary theory tries to prove itself factual by claiming that it is factual. It's like saying, "The best color is blue, because blue is the best color." Say it early and often enough, and people will come to believe it. 1st graders read and hear about the earth being billions of years old, so naturally they never learn to question it. So by the time they get to middle school, they have had a presupposition instilled in their minds as a fact. Evolution thus becomes very palatable, and anyone who questions it is looked upon as an idiot.


Selam


Kind of like what you think of people that believe in evolution?

For the record, if you don't think that evolutionary theory follows empirical evidence then you are a fool, all the evidence points to evolution, you just ignore it.

Gabre are you a troll?
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« Reply #3331 on: August 01, 2011, 07:42:01 AM »

I think Gabre is trolling, he really can't be serious...
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« Reply #3332 on: August 01, 2011, 08:03:24 AM »

Philosophers could hold up this thread as a rather banal exhibit of eternal recurrence.
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« Reply #3333 on: August 01, 2011, 09:02:41 AM »

actually lots of educated people believe that evolution as taught in most institutions is not necessarily accurate.
gebre menfes kidus is not a troll, he is entitled to his opinion.
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« Reply #3334 on: August 01, 2011, 09:09:32 AM »

and asking if he is a troll and saying he surely can't be serious is only proving his point. i, for one, completely agree with him. and yes, im completely serious.
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« Reply #3335 on: August 01, 2011, 09:15:25 AM »

Over 3,000 posts, I would hope he's more than a troll by now!

Gabre, what about the dating of the world do you reject? Or, let's make it easier, something we can observe, such as light from distant galaxies. We know that light can only travel so fast, and that the light from these galaxies could not make it to us in 6,000 years. Wouldn't this give us some evidence that at least the cosmos is billions of years old?
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« Reply #3336 on: August 01, 2011, 09:25:55 AM »

im not Gebre, buuut, the light from those stars could have been reaching earth from their moment of their creation. Adam and Eve were created as adults, although they were literally as young as infants, the trees and other plants were created fully grown although they were literally seconds old, etc, and so the light of the stars could have created already reaching earth, although the stars were only seconds old.
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« Reply #3337 on: August 01, 2011, 09:42:01 AM »

im not Gebre, buuut, the light from those stars could have been reaching earth from their moment of their creation. Adam and Eve were created as adults, although they were literally as young as infants, the trees and other plants were created fully grown although they were literally seconds old, etc, and so the light of the stars could have created already reaching earth, although the stars were only seconds old.

I respect this argument because it does follow a good line of reasoning, but it also seems a bit like special pleading. "Why does everything look old?" Well, because that's just how God created it. End of the debate.

Likewise, when it comes to Jesus turning water into aged wine or Adam and Eve being created as adults, there's also an adjacent natural process that comes along with those things. We also know of the process for children to grow into adulthood. We know of the process of fermenting wine. But with the issue of the cosmos, there is no adjacent natural process, thus the appearance of age seems completely superfluous. There would be no reason to create the universe with the appearance of age unless there were a natural process in place, but this would be contradictory as there is only one universe (that we know of).

Secondly, the answer begs the question. Ultimately, the conclusion that everything simply appeared as is literally described in Genesis is what's being questioned. Thus, you're using the conclusion to support the premises, which is begging the question - there's no way to truly argue against your stance.

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« Reply #3338 on: August 01, 2011, 10:30:22 AM »

I think Gabre is trolling, he really can't be serious...

A bit close to ad hominem. I understand that you two do not agree but "trolling" has a connotation of saying something just to stir things up. I have been following Gebre for a while now and one thing that one cannot accuse him of is "trolling." I call on you, unofficially, to apologize to Gebre and retract your accusations. Thanks, Second Chance
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« Reply #3339 on: August 01, 2011, 02:58:41 PM »

I apologize for using such harsh language I suppose.

But he accuses me of not being able to answer questions he hasnt asked me, in my opinion that's a man just trying to stir up trouble. He's been tip toeing around the argument for sometime now.
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« Reply #3340 on: August 01, 2011, 02:58:42 PM »

Over 3,000 posts, I would hope he's more than a troll by now!

Gabre, what about the dating of the world do you reject? Or, let's make it easier, something we can observe, such as light from distant galaxies. We know that light can only travel so fast, and that the light from these galaxies could not make it to us in 6,000 years. Wouldn't this give us some evidence that at least the cosmos is billions of years old?

I agree, it also explains why we can only see a "portion" of the current universe, because parts of it are too far away and the light has yet to reach us.

I'll stop with Gabre when he brings a decent argument to the table.  Cool All he currently says is "You are all wrong because you contradict my interpretation of Genesis". We have empirical evidence for our scientific beliefs...Gabre does not.
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« Reply #3341 on: August 02, 2011, 01:40:11 AM »

Over 3,000 posts, I would hope he's more than a troll by now!

Gabre, what about the dating of the world do you reject? Or, let's make it easier, something we can observe, such as light from distant galaxies. We know that light can only travel so fast, and that the light from these galaxies could not make it to us in 6,000 years. Wouldn't this give us some evidence that at least the cosmos is billions of years old?

I agree, it also explains why we can only see a "portion" of the current universe, because parts of it are too far away and the light has yet to reach us.

I'll stop with Gabre when he brings a decent argument to the table.  Cool All he currently says is "You are all wrong because you contradict my interpretation of Genesis". We have empirical evidence for our scientific beliefs...Gabre does not.


I've been very clear that Genesis is not a scientific textbook. What I have said is that there are two fundamental issues that make it difficult to reconcile Orthodoxy with theistic evolution. I continue to stick with these two issues without being sidetracked. We can discuss the age of the earth and the empirical evidence for evolution on a separate thread if you wish.


[BTW, I don't know what a "troll" is, but I figure it's not complimentary. Thanks to those of you who defended me against that label.  Smiley]


Selam
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« Reply #3342 on: August 02, 2011, 01:49:16 AM »

I apologize for using such harsh language I suppose.

But he accuses me of not being able to answer questions he hasnt asked me, in my opinion that's a man just trying to stir up trouble. He's been tip toeing around the argument for sometime now.
I wouldn't accept that as an apology, for a true apology seeks not to justify the offensive action as you just did.
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« Reply #3343 on: August 02, 2011, 01:51:01 AM »

I agree, it also explains why we can only see a "portion" of the current universe, because parts of it are too far away and the light has yet to reach us.

I'll stop with Gabre when he brings a decent argument to the table.  Cool All he currently says is "You are all wrong because you contradict my interpretation of Genesis". We have empirical evidence for our scientific beliefs...Gabre does not.

His name is Gebre Menfes Kidus Wink

We can discuss the age of the earth and the empirical evidence for evolution on a separate thread if you wish.

The age of the earth is one thing, but wouldn't a new thread on "the empirical evidence for evolution" simply be merged back into this thread?
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« Reply #3344 on: August 02, 2011, 01:51:28 AM »

Over 3,000 posts, I would hope he's more than a troll by now!

Gabre, what about the dating of the world do you reject? Or, let's make it easier, something we can observe, such as light from distant galaxies. We know that light can only travel so fast, and that the light from these galaxies could not make it to us in 6,000 years. Wouldn't this give us some evidence that at least the cosmos is billions of years old?

I agree, it also explains why we can only see a "portion" of the current universe, because parts of it are too far away and the light has yet to reach us.

I'll stop with Gabre when he brings a decent argument to the table.  Cool All he currently says is "You are all wrong because you contradict my interpretation of Genesis". We have empirical evidence for our scientific beliefs...Gabre does not.


I've been very clear that Genesis is not a scientific textbook. What I have said is that there are two fundamental issues that make it difficult to reconcile Orthodoxy with theistic evolution. I continue to stick with these two issues without being sidetracked. We can discuss the age of the earth and the empirical evidence for evolution on a separate thread if you wish.
What's wrong with discussing them on this thread?
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« Reply #3345 on: August 02, 2011, 01:53:12 AM »

im not Gebre, buuut, the light from those stars could have been reaching earth from their moment of their creation. Adam and Eve were created as adults, although they were literally as young as infants, the trees and other plants were created fully grown although they were literally seconds old, etc, and so the light of the stars could have created already reaching earth, although the stars were only seconds old.

I respect this argument because it does follow a good line of reasoning, but it also seems a bit like special pleading. "Why does everything look old?" Well, because that's just how God created it. End of the debate.

Likewise, when it comes to Jesus turning water into aged wine or Adam and Eve being created as adults, there's also an adjacent natural process that comes along with those things. We also know of the process for children to grow into adulthood. We know of the process of fermenting wine. But with the issue of the cosmos, there is no adjacent natural process, thus the appearance of age seems completely superfluous. There would be no reason to create the universe with the appearance of age unless there were a natural process in place, but this would be contradictory as there is only one universe (that we know of).

Secondly, the answer begs the question. Ultimately, the conclusion that everything simply appeared as is literally described in Genesis is what's being questioned. Thus, you're using the conclusion to support the premises, which is begging the question - there's no way to truly argue against your stance.




^ This is one of the main points I wish to make. Evolutionism and Creationism both hinge upon certain presuppositions. I don't have any problem with the presuppositional starting point of evolutionists, as long as they admit there is no way to prove their presuppositions. It makes perfect sense to assume that the rate of change we observe now is the same rate of change that has always occurred. Fine. No problem, just as long as evolutionists concede that there is an alternative possibility.

Selam

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« Reply #3346 on: August 02, 2011, 01:56:18 AM »


Over 3,000 posts, I would hope he's more than a troll by now!

Gabre, what about the dating of the world do you reject? Or, let's make it easier, something we can observe, such as light from distant galaxies. We know that light can only travel so fast, and that the light from these galaxies could not make it to us in 6,000 years. Wouldn't this give us some evidence that at least the cosmos is billions of years old?

I agree, it also explains why we can only see a "portion" of the current universe, because parts of it are too far away and the light has yet to reach us.

I'll stop with Gabre when he brings a decent argument to the table.  Cool All he currently says is "You are all wrong because you contradict my interpretation of Genesis". We have empirical evidence for our scientific beliefs...Gabre does not.


I've been very clear that Genesis is not a scientific textbook. What I have said is that there are two fundamental issues that make it difficult to reconcile Orthodoxy with theistic evolution. I continue to stick with these two issues without being sidetracked. We can discuss the age of the earth and the empirical evidence for evolution on a separate thread if you wish.
What's wrong with discussing them on this thread?


Nothing wrong with it. This is certainly the thread for it. But before the most recent merger, I was raising two specific issues that I wanted theisitic evolutionists to address. So, for now, I won't allow myself to be sidetracked from those two issues. I'm going to stay on point.


Selam
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« Reply #3347 on: August 02, 2011, 02:34:48 AM »

im not Gebre, buuut, the light from those stars could have been reaching earth from their moment of their creation. Adam and Eve were created as adults, although they were literally as young as infants, the trees and other plants were created fully grown although they were literally seconds old, etc, and so the light of the stars could have created already reaching earth, although the stars were only seconds old.

I respect this argument because it does follow a good line of reasoning, but it also seems a bit like special pleading. "Why does everything look old?" Well, because that's just how God created it. End of the debate.

Likewise, when it comes to Jesus turning water into aged wine or Adam and Eve being created as adults, there's also an adjacent natural process that comes along with those things. We also know of the process for children to grow into adulthood. We know of the process of fermenting wine. But with the issue of the cosmos, there is no adjacent natural process, thus the appearance of age seems completely superfluous. There would be no reason to create the universe with the appearance of age unless there were a natural process in place, but this would be contradictory as there is only one universe (that we know of).

Secondly, the answer begs the question. Ultimately, the conclusion that everything simply appeared as is literally described in Genesis is what's being questioned. Thus, you're using the conclusion to support the premises, which is begging the question - there's no way to truly argue against your stance.




^ This is one of the main points I wish to make. Evolutionism and Creationism both hinge upon certain presuppositions. I don't have any problem with the presuppositional starting point of evolutionists, as long as they admit there is no way to prove their presuppositions. It makes perfect sense to assume that the rate of change we observe now is the same rate of change that has always occurred. Fine. No problem, just as long as evolutionists concede that there is an alternative possibility.
What alternative possibility do you propose?

One of the fundamental guiding principles of science is that theories must be falsifiable. How do you falsify the alternative possibility of a one-time catastrophic event for which we have no evidence?
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« Reply #3348 on: August 02, 2011, 07:40:50 AM »

I don't have any problem with the presuppositional starting point of evolutionists, as long as they admit there is no way to prove their presuppositions.
And by "prove" do you mean, say, "directly observe Homo hablis evolving into Homo erectus"?
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« Reply #3349 on: August 02, 2011, 09:09:44 AM »

im not Gebre, buuut, the light from those stars could have been reaching earth from their moment of their creation. Adam and Eve were created as adults, although they were literally as young as infants, the trees and other plants were created fully grown although they were literally seconds old, etc, and so the light of the stars could have created already reaching earth, although the stars were only seconds old.

I respect this argument because it does follow a good line of reasoning, but it also seems a bit like special pleading. "Why does everything look old?" Well, because that's just how God created it. End of the debate.

Likewise, when it comes to Jesus turning water into aged wine or Adam and Eve being created as adults, there's also an adjacent natural process that comes along with those things. We also know of the process for children to grow into adulthood. We know of the process of fermenting wine. But with the issue of the cosmos, there is no adjacent natural process, thus the appearance of age seems completely superfluous. There would be no reason to create the universe with the appearance of age unless there were a natural process in place, but this would be contradictory as there is only one universe (that we know of).

Secondly, the answer begs the question. Ultimately, the conclusion that everything simply appeared as is literally described in Genesis is what's being questioned. Thus, you're using the conclusion to support the premises, which is begging the question - there's no way to truly argue against your stance.




^ This is one of the main points I wish to make. Evolutionism and Creationism both hinge upon certain presuppositions. I don't have any problem with the presuppositional starting point of evolutionists, as long as they admit there is no way to prove their presuppositions. It makes perfect sense to assume that the rate of change we observe now is the same rate of change that has always occurred. Fine. No problem, just as long as evolutionists concede that there is an alternative possibility.

Selam



Well of course there is an alternative possibility. Of course the earth could have been created in 6 days and we should take Genesis literally on that account. But the evidence we currently have simply doesn't match up.

Anyway, I'm standing by my previous question and I won't start a new thread because:

1) Not to sound rude, but you don't own this thread. It's a sticky at the top so as to not flood the board with creation vs. evolution topics

2) The questions I asked align perfectly with the current thread, so there's no reason to branch off

But you said earlier that Genesis isn't a scientific textbook. I agree, but wouldn't this mean that under such an assumption we're not longer obligated to take Genesis literally? Certainly we take the Resurrection literally due to the literary style and the importance of it being literal. But the Genesis story - with exception to Adam and Eve - isn't written in the same style nor does its literal nature have the same importance. So long as we believe in a literal Adam and Eve, what theological problems exist in believing in evolution?
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« Reply #3350 on: August 02, 2011, 09:35:00 AM »

im not Gebre, buuut, the light from those stars could have been reaching earth from their moment of their creation. Adam and Eve were created as adults, although they were literally as young as infants, the trees and other plants were created fully grown although they were literally seconds old, etc, and so the light of the stars could have created already reaching earth, although the stars were only seconds old.

I respect this argument because it does follow a good line of reasoning, but it also seems a bit like special pleading. "Why does everything look old?" Well, because that's just how God created it. End of the debate.

Likewise, when it comes to Jesus turning water into aged wine or Adam and Eve being created as adults, there's also an adjacent natural process that comes along with those things. We also know of the process for children to grow into adulthood. We know of the process of fermenting wine. But with the issue of the cosmos, there is no adjacent natural process, thus the appearance of age seems completely superfluous. There would be no reason to create the universe with the appearance of age unless there were a natural process in place, but this would be contradictory as there is only one universe (that we know of).

Secondly, the answer begs the question. Ultimately, the conclusion that everything simply appeared as is literally described in Genesis is what's being questioned. Thus, you're using the conclusion to support the premises, which is begging the question - there's no way to truly argue against your stance.




^ This is one of the main points I wish to make. Evolutionism and Creationism both hinge upon certain presuppositions. I don't have any problem with the presuppositional starting point of evolutionists, as long as they admit there is no way to prove their presuppositions. It makes perfect sense to assume that the rate of change we observe now is the same rate of change that has always occurred. Fine. No problem, just as long as evolutionists concede that there is an alternative possibility.

Selam



Well of course there is an alternative possibility. Of course the earth could have been created in 6 days and we should take Genesis literally on that account. But the evidence we currently have simply doesn't match up.



the evidence of evolutionary scientists of course doesn't match up with a literal Genesis, but when trying to understand Genesis its the teaching of the Church that matters. Scripture, of course, does not belong to scientists, but rather to the Church. Thus, the evidence for a literal reading of Genesis is overwhelmingly strong.
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« Reply #3351 on: August 02, 2011, 09:42:33 AM »

im not Gebre, buuut, the light from those stars could have been reaching earth from their moment of their creation. Adam and Eve were created as adults, although they were literally as young as infants, the trees and other plants were created fully grown although they were literally seconds old, etc, and so the light of the stars could have created already reaching earth, although the stars were only seconds old.

Quote
I respect this argument because it does follow a good line of reasoning, but it also seems a bit like special pleading. "Why does everything look old?" Well, because that's just how God created it. End of the debate.

well, everything only looks old if you accept evolutionary presuppositions. I dont accept them, and thus everything does not look old to me. I accept the Scriptures as interpreted by the Saints as the first and highest authority, and thus I do not feel deceived in any way.

Quote
Likewise, when it comes to Jesus turning water into aged wine or Adam and Eve being created as adults, there's also an adjacent natural process that comes along with those things. We also know of the process for children to grow into adulthood. We know of the process of fermenting wine. But with the issue of the cosmos, there is no adjacent natural process, thus the appearance of age seems completely superfluous. There would be no reason to create the universe with the appearance of age unless there were a natural process in place, but this would be contradictory as there is only one universe (that we know of).

im not sure i really understand what point you are making here, but again, there is only an appearance of age if you lend credence first to modern day scientists and only second to the Fathers.

Quote
Secondly, the answer begs the question. Ultimately, the conclusion that everything simply appeared as is literally described in Genesis is what's being questioned. Thus, you're using the conclusion to support the premises, which is begging the question - there's no way to truly argue against your stance.



i've come to the conclusion based on what is there in the Church. the Scriptures, Fathers, icons, canons, hymnography, etc all paint a literal picture of Genesis (of course with deeper spiritual meanings too, but never to the exclusion of the literal level). so thats the framework i would approach your question about stars from. i realize its not a scientific approach, but i dont really have any desire for it to be so. the Fathers also continuously warn us that the pre-fallen world is inaccessible to us by any human efforts and that in these matters we shouldn't try to go beyond what has been given to us in the Church. I believe they are completely right on this, so I do not look to science to give me the answers about creation and the world before the fall, but only to the Church.
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« Reply #3352 on: August 02, 2011, 11:03:54 AM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.
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« Reply #3353 on: August 02, 2011, 11:17:58 AM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.

I suppose it's the dating thing again. Assuming all of the eroded geological features and fossils could have been put down with the flood, why is it that there is a broad correlation between apparent age of geological strata and of the fossils? Of course, there are details that are uncertain, but in general you do have fossils that look hundreds of millions of years old preserved in rocks that look hundreds of millions of years old, and thousand year old remains in thousand year old strata.

I can understand the argument that nature changed after the Fall, so that we can't project back onto Creation what we know about the world now. It's not a falsifiable position, but at least it's internally logical. Since the Flood happened after the Fall, however, it doesn't get off so easy. Whatever the Flood caused should have obeyed the laws of physics as we know them now, so it's much harder to argue that extremely ancient fossils were deposited by an event that occurred only a few thousand years ago.
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« Reply #3354 on: August 02, 2011, 12:29:32 PM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.

Considering that I'm pretty sure Noah's Ark was not a literal account...  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #3355 on: August 02, 2011, 12:29:32 PM »

I've been very clear that Genesis is not a scientific textbook. What I have said is that there are two fundamental issues that make it difficult to reconcile Orthodoxy with theistic evolution. I continue to stick with these two issues without being sidetracked. We can discuss the age of the earth and the empirical evidence for evolution on a separate thread if you wish.

Those two "fundamental" issues that you brought up, one of them is only fundamental in your opinion, the other isn't about evolution in the first place.
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« Reply #3356 on: August 02, 2011, 12:29:33 PM »

This is one of the main points I wish to make. Evolutionism and Creationism both hinge upon certain presuppositions. I don't have any problem with the presuppositional starting point of evolutionists, as long as they admit there is no way to prove their presuppositions. It makes perfect sense to assume that the rate of change we observe now is the same rate of change that has always occurred. Fine. No problem, just as long as evolutionists concede that there is an alternative possibility.

If there was ANY proof of another possibility we would look into it. Science is based on facts, not opinions.
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« Reply #3357 on: August 02, 2011, 01:01:29 PM »

im not Gebre, buuut, the light from those stars could have been reaching earth from their moment of their creation. Adam and Eve were created as adults, although they were literally as young as infants, the trees and other plants were created fully grown although they were literally seconds old, etc, and so the light of the stars could have created already reaching earth, although the stars were only seconds old.

I respect this argument because it does follow a good line of reasoning, but it also seems a bit like special pleading. "Why does everything look old?" Well, because that's just how God created it. End of the debate.

Likewise, when it comes to Jesus turning water into aged wine or Adam and Eve being created as adults, there's also an adjacent natural process that comes along with those things. We also know of the process for children to grow into adulthood. We know of the process of fermenting wine. But with the issue of the cosmos, there is no adjacent natural process, thus the appearance of age seems completely superfluous. There would be no reason to create the universe with the appearance of age unless there were a natural process in place, but this would be contradictory as there is only one universe (that we know of).

Secondly, the answer begs the question. Ultimately, the conclusion that everything simply appeared as is literally described in Genesis is what's being questioned. Thus, you're using the conclusion to support the premises, which is begging the question - there's no way to truly argue against your stance.




^ This is one of the main points I wish to make. Evolutionism and Creationism both hinge upon certain presuppositions. I don't have any problem with the presuppositional starting point of evolutionists, as long as they admit there is no way to prove their presuppositions. It makes perfect sense to assume that the rate of change we observe now is the same rate of change that has always occurred. Fine. No problem, just as long as evolutionists concede that there is an alternative possibility.

Selam



Well of course there is an alternative possibility. Of course the earth could have been created in 6 days and we should take Genesis literally on that account. But the evidence we currently have simply doesn't match up.



the evidence of evolutionary scientists of course doesn't match up with a literal Genesis, but when trying to understand Genesis its the teaching of the Church that matters. Scripture, of course, does not belong to scientists, but rather to the Church. Thus, the evidence for a literal reading of Genesis is overwhelmingly strong.

It's my understanding that the Church has no official teaching on the matter, so I think it's faulty to appeal to the Church's authority on this matter. Rather, it's an area open to disagreement, so certainly looking to science helps.

If you toss out science, however, then what are we left with? You've essentially ended the debate by establishing your own rules without offering a valid reason as to why we shouldn't look to science (again, sans official Church teachings, an appeal to Church authority is quite empty).
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« Reply #3358 on: August 02, 2011, 01:43:44 PM »

You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.)
That's a gross misrepresentation of science. Science starts with the presupposition that we must look first for natural explanations of natural events. It doesn't require any presupposing belief that God is or is not real.
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« Reply #3359 on: August 02, 2011, 01:46:22 PM »

I love evolution, because evolution first loved me. angel
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« Reply #3360 on: August 02, 2011, 01:58:46 PM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years?

Because a 40 day worldwide flood would not produce said major geological effects. Erosion doesn't speed up by millions of years in proportion to the amount of water covering the territory around an object.
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« Reply #3361 on: August 02, 2011, 04:11:45 PM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.

Short answer: no.

If I'm reading the topo map correctly, the area around the Grand Canyon is on the order of half a mile above sea level. OK, well, imagine that flooded; major erosive effects become most intense as the water starts to expose the land. What that amounts to is that there simply isn't enough flow after that to account for the erosion. We know how fast the processes are, and while a canyon being emptied of water is going to erode faster than one with the comparative trickle we have now, the process is not millions of times faster. One must consider that even at the current low flow rate, probably thousands of times more water as flowed through the canyon than could ever flow through it in a few months even if it were always full.
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« Reply #3362 on: August 02, 2011, 04:56:48 PM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.

Short answer: no.

If I'm reading the topo map correctly, the area around the Grand Canyon is on the order of half a mile above sea level. OK, well, imagine that flooded; major erosive effects become most intense as the water starts to expose the land. What that amounts to is that there simply isn't enough flow after that to account for the erosion. We know how fast the processes are, and while a canyon being emptied of water is going to erode faster than one with the comparative trickle we have now, the process is not millions of times faster. One must consider that even at the current low flow rate, probably thousands of times more water as flowed through the canyon than could ever flow through it in a few months even if it were always full.


One could argue that the Flood, being a miraculous event, may well have had more destructive and erosive effects than a similar natural event. Special pleading, of course, but then all accounts of miracles are special pleading, aren't they?
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« Reply #3363 on: August 02, 2011, 05:57:01 PM »

the evidence of evolutionary scientists of course doesn't match up with a literal Genesis, but when trying to understand Genesis its the teaching of the Church that matters. Scripture, of course, does not belong to scientists, but rather to the Church. Thus, the evidence for a literal reading of Genesis is overwhelmingly strong.

The evidence for a non-literal interpretation of Genesis is just as strong.

Saint Augustine, suggested Genesis should not be interpreted literally if it contradicts what we know from science and reason.
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« Reply #3364 on: August 02, 2011, 06:01:50 PM »

the evidence of evolutionary scientists of course doesn't match up with a literal Genesis, but when trying to understand Genesis its the teaching of the Church that matters. Scripture, of course, does not belong to scientists, but rather to the Church. Thus, the evidence for a literal reading of Genesis is overwhelmingly strong.

The evidence for a non-literal interpretation of Genesis is just as strong.

Saint Augustine, suggested Genesis should not be interpreted literally if it contradicts what we know from science and reason.
I suspect that jckstraw likes to posit a patristic consensus where there is none. It's actually very easy to do--just post the contrary evidence.
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« Reply #3365 on: August 02, 2011, 08:27:26 PM »

the evidence of evolutionary scientists of course doesn't match up with a literal Genesis, but when trying to understand Genesis its the teaching of the Church that matters. Scripture, of course, does not belong to scientists, but rather to the Church. Thus, the evidence for a literal reading of Genesis is overwhelmingly strong.

The evidence for a non-literal interpretation of Genesis is just as strong.

Saint Augustine, suggested Genesis should not be interpreted literally if it contradicts what we know from science and reason.

but the question is: would St. Augustine be persuaded by evolution? I see no reason to think he would be. He speaks very strongly against the idea of an old earth. He says that anyone who accepts a timeline other than that given in Scripture deserves to be mocked and not even seriously debated. He also maintains that there was no death before man sinned. he even says that we cannot adequately judge the works of God by what we see:

Quote
City of God, Book XII.XXIV
For we are not to conceive of this work in a carnal fashion, as if God wrought as we commonly see artisans, who use their hands, and material furnished to them, that by their artistic skill they may fashion some material object. God's hand is God's power; and He, working invisibly, effects visible results. But this seems fabulous rather than true to men, who measure by customary and everyday works the power and wisdom of God, whereby He understands and produces without seeds even seeds themselves; and because they cannot understand the things which at the beginning were created, they are sceptical regarding them—as if the very things which they do know about human propagation, conceptions and births, would seem less incredible if told to those who had no experience of them; though these very things, too, are attributed by many rather to physical and natural causes than to the work of the divine mind.


furthermore, I see no reason to believe that St. Augustine would accept the presupposition of uniformitarianism, given what he says about Genesis, and therefore he would not accept the "evidence" that is dependent upon that presupposition.
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« Reply #3366 on: August 02, 2011, 08:28:08 PM »

the evidence of evolutionary scientists of course doesn't match up with a literal Genesis, but when trying to understand Genesis its the teaching of the Church that matters. Scripture, of course, does not belong to scientists, but rather to the Church. Thus, the evidence for a literal reading of Genesis is overwhelmingly strong.

The evidence for a non-literal interpretation of Genesis is just as strong.

Saint Augustine, suggested Genesis should not be interpreted literally if it contradicts what we know from science and reason.
I suspect that jckstraw likes to posit a patristic consensus where there is none. It's actually very easy to do--just post the contrary evidence.

i've been saying all along that people are welcome to post the Patristic evidence to the contrary, but still waiting on that one ...
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« Reply #3367 on: August 02, 2011, 09:08:01 PM »

Don't kill my flood theories! I was raised on Kent Hovind!

But seriously my parents had all the tapes and we would have the neighborhood kids over to watch them with us and my parents taught some class at church on em hahaha.
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« Reply #3368 on: August 02, 2011, 09:20:12 PM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.

Short answer: no.

If I'm reading the topo map correctly, the area around the Grand Canyon is on the order of half a mile above sea level. OK, well, imagine that flooded; major erosive effects become most intense as the water starts to expose the land. What that amounts to is that there simply isn't enough flow after that to account for the erosion. We know how fast the processes are, and while a canyon being emptied of water is going to erode faster than one with the comparative trickle we have now, the process is not millions of times faster. One must consider that even at the current low flow rate, probably thousands of times more water as flowed through the canyon than could ever flow through it in a few months even if it were always full.


One could argue that the Flood, being a miraculous event, may well have had more destructive and erosive effects than a similar natural event. Special pleading, of course, but then all accounts of miracles are special pleading, aren't they?

Well I wouldn't say that all miracles would be a case of special pleading. For instance, when it comes to the Resurrection, St. Paul refers to about 500 witnesses that people could talk to to verify that the resurrection occurred. Likewise, most miracles performed are generally done before witnesses where we can rely on the testimony of people we're hearing. When it comes to the flood we have no witnesses to say, "This was a miracle that caused entropy to occur at an accelerated rate."

While it is possible that the flood would cause erosion, which would give the appearance of age, I just don't see it as plausible. Mostly because, as I noted earlier, most miracles that come with the appearance of age generally mimik a natural cause that is already established and known. With evolution or the age of the earth, there would be no other nature cause to mimik, meaning there would be no need to make the earth look old.
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« Reply #3369 on: August 02, 2011, 11:26:11 PM »

i've been saying all along that people are welcome to post the Patristic evidence to the contrary, but still waiting on that one ...


"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." - "The Literal Interpretation of Genesis" by St. Augustine (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 2:9)


"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" by St. Augustine. (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 1:19–20, Chapt. 19)
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« Reply #3370 on: August 02, 2011, 11:26:13 PM »

i've been saying all along that people are welcome to post the Patristic evidence to the contrary, but still waiting on that one ...

Oh and,

"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." - Origen of Alexandria

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/04124.htm

"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 by St. Augustine
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« Reply #3371 on: August 03, 2011, 05:58:24 AM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.

Short answer: no.

If I'm reading the topo map correctly, the area around the Grand Canyon is on the order of half a mile above sea level. OK, well, imagine that flooded; major erosive effects become most intense as the water starts to expose the land. What that amounts to is that there simply isn't enough flow after that to account for the erosion. We know how fast the processes are, and while a canyon being emptied of water is going to erode faster than one with the comparative trickle we have now, the process is not millions of times faster. One must consider that even at the current low flow rate, probably thousands of times more water as flowed through the canyon than could ever flow through it in a few months even if it were always full.


One could argue that the Flood, being a miraculous event, may well have had more destructive and erosive effects than a similar natural event. Special pleading, of course, but then all accounts of miracles are special pleading, aren't they?

Well I wouldn't say that all miracles would be a case of special pleading. For instance, when it comes to the Resurrection, St. Paul refers to about 500 witnesses that people could talk to to verify that the resurrection occurred. Likewise, most miracles performed are generally done before witnesses where we can rely on the testimony of people we're hearing. When it comes to the flood we have no witnesses to say, "This was a miracle that caused entropy to occur at an accelerated rate."

While it is possible that the flood would cause erosion, which would give the appearance of age, I just don't see it as plausible. Mostly because, as I noted earlier, most miracles that come with the appearance of age generally mimik a natural cause that is already established and known. With evolution or the age of the earth, there would be no other nature cause to mimik, meaning there would be no need to make the earth look old.

I'm not sure what you mean by saying there are or were no witnesses to the Flood. Weren't Noah and his family witnesses? Or do you mean to say that we don't have any written testimonies by Noah or his family members attesting to the Flood? Wouldn't that be the same as the fact that we have no written testimonies of those 500 witnesses of the Resurrection? We only have St Paul's word (not an eyewitness) that these witnesses existed, just as we only have the word of Genesis that the Flood occurred.
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« Reply #3372 on: August 03, 2011, 08:39:51 AM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.


Noah and his family didn't see the entire world flooded. They didn't get a broad view of the world, so their perspective would have been off.

And while we don't have the 500 witnesses, Paul did and so did those he was writing to. The point is, is that at the time there were witnesses one could appeal to, indicating evidence. With Noah, there were no other witnesses one could turn to in order to say, "Yes, it covered the entire earth" rather than a localized area.
Short answer: no.

If I'm reading the topo map correctly, the area around the Grand Canyon is on the order of half a mile above sea level. OK, well, imagine that flooded; major erosive effects become most intense as the water starts to expose the land. What that amounts to is that there simply isn't enough flow after that to account for the erosion. We know how fast the processes are, and while a canyon being emptied of water is going to erode faster than one with the comparative trickle we have now, the process is not millions of times faster. One must consider that even at the current low flow rate, probably thousands of times more water as flowed through the canyon than could ever flow through it in a few months even if it were always full.


One could argue that the Flood, being a miraculous event, may well have had more destructive and erosive effects than a similar natural event. Special pleading, of course, but then all accounts of miracles are special pleading, aren't they?

Well I wouldn't say that all miracles would be a case of special pleading. For instance, when it comes to the Resurrection, St. Paul refers to about 500 witnesses that people could talk to to verify that the resurrection occurred. Likewise, most miracles performed are generally done before witnesses where we can rely on the testimony of people we're hearing. When it comes to the flood we have no witnesses to say, "This was a miracle that caused entropy to occur at an accelerated rate."

While it is possible that the flood would cause erosion, which would give the appearance of age, I just don't see it as plausible. Mostly because, as I noted earlier, most miracles that come with the appearance of age generally mimik a natural cause that is already established and known. With evolution or the age of the earth, there would be no other nature cause to mimik, meaning there would be no need to make the earth look old.

I'm not sure what you mean by saying there are or were no witnesses to the Flood. Weren't Noah and his family witnesses? Or do you mean to say that we don't have any written testimonies by Noah or his family members attesting to the Flood? Wouldn't that be the same as the fact that we have no written testimonies of those 500 witnesses of the Resurrection? We only have St Paul's word (not an eyewitness) that these witnesses existed, just as we only have the word of Genesis that the Flood occurred.

With the 500 witnesses there were people who could verify the Resurrection. They don't exist today, but at one point they did and Paul was confident enough to rely on them. With the Flood we have no witnesses (not even Noah) to say every square inch of the earth was covered. Certainly the earth from Noah's perspective was covered, but to say he circumnavigated the globe in a few months is quite a stretch.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 08:42:07 AM by theo philosopher » Logged

“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus
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« Reply #3373 on: August 03, 2011, 09:07:35 AM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.


Noah and his family didn't see the entire world flooded. They didn't get a broad view of the world, so their perspective would have been off.

And while we don't have the 500 witnesses, Paul did and so did those he was writing to. The point is, is that at the time there were witnesses one could appeal to, indicating evidence. With Noah, there were no other witnesses one could turn to in order to say, "Yes, it covered the entire earth" rather than a localized area.
Short answer: no.

If I'm reading the topo map correctly, the area around the Grand Canyon is on the order of half a mile above sea level. OK, well, imagine that flooded; major erosive effects become most intense as the water starts to expose the land. What that amounts to is that there simply isn't enough flow after that to account for the erosion. We know how fast the processes are, and while a canyon being emptied of water is going to erode faster than one with the comparative trickle we have now, the process is not millions of times faster. One must consider that even at the current low flow rate, probably thousands of times more water as flowed through the canyon than could ever flow through it in a few months even if it were always full.


One could argue that the Flood, being a miraculous event, may well have had more destructive and erosive effects than a similar natural event. Special pleading, of course, but then all accounts of miracles are special pleading, aren't they?

Well I wouldn't say that all miracles would be a case of special pleading. For instance, when it comes to the Resurrection, St. Paul refers to about 500 witnesses that people could talk to to verify that the resurrection occurred. Likewise, most miracles performed are generally done before witnesses where we can rely on the testimony of people we're hearing. When it comes to the flood we have no witnesses to say, "This was a miracle that caused entropy to occur at an accelerated rate."

While it is possible that the flood would cause erosion, which would give the appearance of age, I just don't see it as plausible. Mostly because, as I noted earlier, most miracles that come with the appearance of age generally mimik a natural cause that is already established and known. With evolution or the age of the earth, there would be no other nature cause to mimik, meaning there would be no need to make the earth look old.

I'm not sure what you mean by saying there are or were no witnesses to the Flood. Weren't Noah and his family witnesses? Or do you mean to say that we don't have any written testimonies by Noah or his family members attesting to the Flood? Wouldn't that be the same as the fact that we have no written testimonies of those 500 witnesses of the Resurrection? We only have St Paul's word (not an eyewitness) that these witnesses existed, just as we only have the word of Genesis that the Flood occurred.

With the 500 witnesses there were people who could verify the Resurrection. They don't exist today, but at one point they did and Paul was confident enough to rely on them. With the Flood we have no witnesses (not even Noah) to say every square inch of the earth was covered. Certainly the earth from Noah's perspective was covered, but to say he circumnavigated the globe in a few months is quite a stretch.

If you're going to discount the Flood stories on the grounds that they are a "stretch", I wonder why you don't extend the same skepticism to the other miracle accounts we believe in.

And I thought St Paul relied firstly on his vision on the road to Damascus, rather than the 500 witnesses. These witnesses presumably also existed during the time that he was persecuting the Church, didn't they?
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« Reply #3374 on: August 03, 2011, 09:35:40 AM »

Why do evolutionists seem to discount the flood? If there was a world wide flood (which I believe there was) then wouldn't that have major geological effects? Can canyons and valleys be explained in 40 days rather than 2 million years? We know the world was at first watered by underwater wells, not rain, and those busted open. It seems there is a lot in Genesis that can account for physical, geological change that is just glossed over. You can't look only at science because 99.999% of science starts with the presupposition that God isn't real (and we know thats wrong.) You have to try and synthesize the two.


Noah and his family didn't see the entire world flooded. They didn't get a broad view of the world, so their perspective would have been off.

And while we don't have the 500 witnesses, Paul did and so did those he was writing to. The point is, is that at the time there were witnesses one could appeal to, indicating evidence. With Noah, there were no other witnesses one could turn to in order to say, "Yes, it covered the entire earth" rather than a localized area.
Short answer: no.

If I'm reading the topo map correctly, the area around the Grand Canyon is on the order of half a mile above sea level. OK, well, imagine that flooded; major erosive effects become most intense as the water starts to expose the land. What that amounts to is that there simply isn't enough flow after that to account for the erosion. We know how fast the processes are, and while a canyon being emptied of water is going to erode faster than one with the comparative trickle we have now, the process is not millions of times faster. One must consider that even at the current low flow rate, probably thousands of times more water as flowed through the canyon than could ever flow through it in a few months even if it were always full.


One could argue that the Flood, being a miraculous event, may well have had more destructive and erosive effects than a similar natural event. Special pleading, of course, but then all accounts of miracles are special pleading, aren't they?

Well I wouldn't say that all miracles would be a case of special pleading. For instance, when it comes to the Resurrection, St. Paul refers to about 500 witnesses that people could talk to to verify that the resurrection occurred. Likewise, most miracles performed are generally done before witnesses where we can rely on the testimony of people we're hearing. When it comes to the flood we have no witnesses to say, "This was a miracle that caused entropy to occur at an accelerated rate."

While it is possible that the flood would cause erosion, which would give the appearance of age, I just don't see it as plausible. Mostly because, as I noted earlier, most miracles that come with the appearance of age generally mimik a natural cause that is already established and known. With evolution or the age of the earth, there would be no other nature cause to mimik, meaning there would be no need to make the earth look old.

I'm not sure what you mean by saying there are or were no witnesses to the Flood. Weren't Noah and his family witnesses? Or do you mean to say that we don't have any written testimonies by Noah or his family members attesting to the Flood? Wouldn't that be the same as the fact that we have no written testimonies of those 500 witnesses of the Resurrection? We only have St Paul's word (not an eyewitness) that these witnesses existed, just as we only have the word of Genesis that the Flood occurred.

With the 500 witnesses there were people who could verify the Resurrection. They don't exist today, but at one point they did and Paul was confident enough to rely on them. With the Flood we have no witnesses (not even Noah) to say every square inch of the earth was covered. Certainly the earth from Noah's perspective was covered, but to say he circumnavigated the globe in a few months is quite a stretch.

If you're going to discount the Flood stories on the grounds that they are a "stretch", I wonder why you don't extend the same skepticism to the other miracle accounts we believe in.

And I thought St Paul relied firstly on his vision on the road to Damascus, rather than the 500 witnesses. These witnesses presumably also existed during the time that he was persecuting the Church, didn't they?

I think you're twisting my words and taking everything out of context, because what you're presenting is a straw-man.

I've never said that in order for a miracle to be taken literally it has to have witnesses. I simply used it as an example. For Paul on Damascus, he has a personal experience, one we have no reason to doubt. The flood story, however, we have good reason to doubt. That there is no evidence for it in our geological record, that it was delivered over oral tradition, that Genesis was essentially written to counter some of the pagan myths the early Hebrews encountered, that the first part of Genesis isn't written in as a traditional historical narrative, and so on would seemingly give us enough reason to have legitimate grounds to doubt the literal nature of the work.
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“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus
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