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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 335446 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #3690 on: September 26, 2011, 05:14:56 PM »

Saints reference the Four Humors of the body. All true Orthodox must believe in Humorism.

And geocentrism.
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« Reply #3691 on: September 26, 2011, 05:25:38 PM »

I simply believe that In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

HOW He did it is up to him.
If He chose to use evolution, fine.
If he chose to use the verbatim account of Genesis and cover up His tracks, ok by me.


Do I believe it was 6,000 years ago? No. I have something in my closet older than that.
Random genetic evolution? No.
We're all just one big accident? Heck no.
He did it on purpose (whatever medium he used)? Yep.

PP
Indeed, with God there is actually no such thing as a random event.

However, a small part of me wishes that when we get to see God and ask Him, he'll just look at us and say, "Young Earth evolution? Heh, no my children.... epic gigantic mice.....thats how I did it......


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« Reply #3692 on: September 26, 2011, 05:33:19 PM »

All true Orthodox must believe in Humorism.

Being one of the best humorists here, I can tell you they don't believe it even though they can see it.

I currently am phlegmatic, literally.
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« Reply #3693 on: September 26, 2011, 05:50:59 PM »

Can somebody, for once, please just tell me why it's not a big deal if God creates humanity through a prolonged process involving death? This is my current hurtle with theistic evolution.

I also want to say that everybody on the "evolution is so obvious" side is coming off as really condescending and obnoxious.
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« Reply #3694 on: September 26, 2011, 06:03:48 PM »

All true Orthodox must believe in Humorism.

Being one of the best humorists here, I can tell you they don't believe it even though they can see it.

I currently am phlegmatic, literally.

You certainly are humerous!  laugh
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« Reply #3695 on: September 26, 2011, 06:14:35 PM »

Can somebody, for once, please just tell me why it's not a big deal if God creates humanity through a prolonged process involving death? This is my current hurtle with theistic evolution.

I also want to say that everybody on the "evolution is so obvious" side is coming off as really condescending and obnoxious.

Sometimes condescension is necessary.

If you want to start a thread where a MOD will make sure we stick to the PROBLEMS of being a Christian and believing in evolution (there are many, just not the ones most of the people, if any, ever bring up here), that would be great.

But it will go nowhere if it goes OT or is spammed by fundamentalists.

There are significant (thus interesting) problems being a Christian who believes in evolution.

There are insignificant (thus uninteresting) problems being a Christian who believe in whatever-they-are-calling-not-evolution-right-now.

I doubt the thread would "answer" any of the problems, but it would interesting to develop them and discuss them.

Even with all the caveats I doubt that is likely being internetz and all.

But with God all things are not impossible.
 
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« Reply #3696 on: September 26, 2011, 06:34:49 PM »

Well maybe you all should make such threads, and politely ask certain people not to post in them. It's not like we haven't had such threads before, where certain groups (Chalcedonians, Catholics, atheists, etc.) were asked not to post.
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« Reply #3697 on: September 26, 2011, 09:03:48 PM »

its also interesting to note that you consider posts by ppl with a different view to be "spam," and that you refer to them as "Fundamentalists" (obviously meant to be a term of derision). however, it is the beliefs of all our great 20th century Saints, such as St. Nikolai, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Justin Popovich, Elder Paisios, Fr. George Calciu, St. Nektarios, etc etc that you are deriding as "Fundamentalist." I'd just like to see some honesty from an evolutionist and see them openly admit that they harbor scorn and derision for the Saints.
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« Reply #3698 on: September 26, 2011, 09:07:23 PM »

Well maybe you all should make such threads, and politely ask certain people not to post in them. It's not like we haven't had such threads before, where certain groups (Chalcedonians, Catholics, atheists, etc.) were asked not to post.

Again, if you want really constructive conversation about something, no point having to wade through the already high noise to signal ratio by folks who have no interest in the discussion.

Now, if they can add a zinger now and then . . .

Otherwise it's just internetz.
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« Reply #3699 on: September 26, 2011, 11:44:46 PM »

its also interesting to note that you consider posts by ppl with a different view to be "spam," and that you refer to them as "Fundamentalists" (obviously meant to be a term of derision). however, it is the beliefs of all our great 20th century Saints, such as St. Nikolai, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Justin Popovich, Elder Paisios, Fr. George Calciu, St. Nektarios, etc etc that you are deriding as "Fundamentalist." I'd just like to see some honesty from an evolutionist and see them openly admit that they harbor scorn and derision for the Saints.

I can think something that someone says is nutty without thinking them a nut. As it relates to the Fathers, though, I don't blame them for getting something wrong when they didn't have access to what I have access to. And that includes the 20th century saints you mention (including my patron saint, Justin Popovich).
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« Reply #3700 on: September 27, 2011, 12:07:24 AM »

Can somebody, for once, please just tell me why it's not a big deal if God creates humanity through a prolonged process involving death? This is my current hurtle with theistic evolution.
It is a big deal, admittedly, but that's because we interpret Genesis 1-2 as a scientific or descriptive text. I would not argue that the ancients did not see Genesis 1-2 as somehow descriptive, or as representing what happened on a physical level; it seems pretty clear that, given the state of scientific knowledge of those times, to the ancients (anyone pre-1890), the descriptions in Genesis 1-2 seemed just as good as any other idea on how the cosmos was created or developed. Genesis 1-2 was written within an ancient middle-eastern cosmological framework (a solid dome stretching over the earth; with waters contained above the dome; firm pillars supporting the earth/dome; etc.).

Where Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 differ, though, is how each relates to 'death' (physical death, specifically). Genesis 1 doesn't seem to find it problematic; Genesis 1 takes a more 'impersonal' view of the cosmos and Elohim: Elohim is a distant creator, quite transcending to the world. I would say Genesis 1 is more compatible with current science, because of its depiction of a very transcending, impersonal deity; whereas Genesis 2 depicts a deity (who is now named "Yahweh Elohim") who is very personal, very immanent, and cares intimately for humanity so much that He creates one person initially (instead of several, as in Genesis 1). The Genesis 2 Yahweh Elohim is someone you can talk to, and someone who seems a bit more 'feminine' in character, because the man who is created is told to tend a garden. So this man has a purpose, and since death would counteract that purpose, the Genesis 2 Adam is not created to physically die.

Contrast that to the Genesis 1 human population, whose purpose is not to tend a garden, but to produce more humans: the production of more humans can continue, even if the older people die, so physical death is not a big deal (and, in fact, may be necessary, in order to provide room for the new children). However, tending a garden is different, being more dependent upon the gardener remaining alive and using his gardening knowledge. And when you garden, it really helps to have help; thus, the appearance of Eve, as someone with whom Adam can be in relationship, someone who can help Adam understand both himself and Yahweh Elohim. The strike of death would disrupt this relationship, and disrupt the tending of the garden.

In short, perhaps Genesis 1 represents a more "materialistic" view of life, in which matter is the foundation, and humans the culmination, and in which death is simply part of the process; and Genesis 2 represents a more "spiritual" view of life, in which spirit/soul (represented by Adam) is the foundation, and the spirit/soul's relationship to another spirit/soul (represented by Eve) is the culmination. In Genesis 1, death is part of the process; in Genesis 2, death disrupts human relationship, and, as a disruptor of human relationship, is not something Yahweh Elohim intended at the beginning.
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« Reply #3701 on: September 27, 2011, 12:18:47 AM »

its also interesting to note that you consider posts by ppl with a different view to be "spam," and that you refer to them as "Fundamentalists" (obviously meant to be a term of derision). however, it is the beliefs of all our great 20th century Saints, such as St. Nikolai, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Justin Popovich, Elder Paisios, Fr. George Calciu, St. Nektarios, etc etc that you are deriding as "Fundamentalist." I'd just like to see some honesty from an evolutionist and see them openly admit that they harbor scorn and derision for the Saints.
I don't hate those saints (and Fr. Calciu and Elder Paisios) for being YEC. I just disagree with them. I think they were either un/misinformed about the findings (which is no crime) or they made the choice to place an exegetical position over the science- a move I can respect even as I think it wrong.
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« Reply #3702 on: September 27, 2011, 12:47:24 AM »

It is a big deal, admittedly, but that's because we interpret Genesis 1-2 as a scientific or descriptive text. I would not argue that the ancients did not see Genesis 1-2 as somehow descriptive, or as representing what happened on a physical level; it seems pretty clear that, given the state of scientific knowledge of those times, to the ancients (anyone pre-1890), the descriptions in Genesis 1-2 seemed just as good as any other idea on how the cosmos was created or developed. Genesis 1-2 was written within an ancient middle-eastern cosmological framework (a solid dome stretching over the earth; with waters contained above the dome; firm pillars supporting the earth/dome; etc.).

Where Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 differ, though, is how each relates to 'death' (physical death, specifically). Genesis 1 doesn't seem to find it problematic; Genesis 1 takes a more 'impersonal' view of the cosmos and Elohim: Elohim is a distant creator, quite transcending to the world. I would say Genesis 1 is more compatible with current science, because of its depiction of a very transcending, impersonal deity; whereas Genesis 2 depicts a deity (who is now named "Yahweh Elohim") who is very personal, very immanent, and cares intimately for humanity so much that He creates one person initially (instead of several, as in Genesis 1). The Genesis 2 Yahweh Elohim is someone you can talk to, and someone who seems a bit more 'feminine' in character, because the man who is created is told to tend a garden. So this man has a purpose, and since death would counteract that purpose, the Genesis 2 Adam is not created to physically die.

Contrast that to the Genesis 1 human population, whose purpose is not to tend a garden, but to produce more humans: the production of more humans can continue, even if the older people die, so physical death is not a big deal (and, in fact, may be necessary, in order to provide room for the new children). However, tending a garden is different, being more dependent upon the gardener remaining alive and using his gardening knowledge. And when you garden, it really helps to have help; thus, the appearance of Eve, as someone with whom Adam can be in relationship, someone who can help Adam understand both himself and Yahweh Elohim. The strike of death would disrupt this relationship, and disrupt the tending of the garden.

In short, perhaps Genesis 1 represents a more "materialistic" view of life, in which matter is the foundation, and humans the culmination, and in which death is simply part of the process; and Genesis 2 represents a more "spiritual" view of life, in which spirit/soul (represented by Adam) is the foundation, and the spirit/soul's relationship to another spirit/soul (represented by Eve) is the culmination. In Genesis 1, death is part of the process; in Genesis 2, death disrupts human relationship, and, as a disruptor of human relationship, is not something Yahweh Elohim intended at the beginning.

I suppose I'm not looking specifically at the Genesis creation mythoi in this, but rather the traditional Christian and Jewish understanding of physical death as the result of the sin of our ancestors and of our own sins. "The wages of sin is death" and all of that. I understand an allegorization of these texts as they lend themselves to that, but the problem seems to be to me that if the problem of sin and thus death is allegorized into the spiritual rather than also the material, we stand to lose the necessity of the physicality of Christ's resurrection. This also has implications for our belief in the resurrection of the dead at the end of the ages, the renewal of the cosmos, et cetera.

I don't claim to have any answers, it just seems to me that robbing the fall of humanity of it's historicity in the Genesis mythoi lends itself to a "mere spiritualization" of the resurrection of Christ and of ourselves à la Borg and Spong. This seems unacceptable to me taking into account St. Paul's strong emphasis of the necessity of the factual truth of Christ's physical resurrection in the Holy Scriptures, as well as our credal confession as Nicene Christians in the resurrection of the dead. So perhaps I'm drawing a false correlation between the two, but to me it seems the level of truths expressed in the Fall/Death and Redemption/Resurrection motifs should at least be matching in their "level" of truth.

I'm still really open about all of this, but I'm not certain that there is a possible synthesis between Christian "biology" and evolutionary biology, or that there needs to be. I also have not yet had the luxury to really dive into the theory surrounding evolution in a thorough way to try and understand it on its own terms. And here I refer to really understanding it, not on a cursory level as most on here seem to express. I just wish I could find an evolutionary narrative that wasn't so obviously mythological in its tone, but was more a mapping out of the main contributing thinkers over the years, and a presentation of the most convincing primary evidence in an orderly and understandable manner. Most people just sort of throw the fossil record in your face and start with the attacks, but some of the examples I've looked at smack of the kind of stretching reminiscent of disciplines formerly considered scientific like alchemy. We look back on that phase of knowledge and tend to laugh at it, but some of this stuff seems so ridiculous to me that I can't see how anyone will look back on it with respect in several hundred years. I'm thinking mainly here of the interpretations of the fossil named "Tiktaalik" as presented in the popular Darwinian apologetic work: Your Inner Fish.

Anyway, here's hoping for a fruitful discussion.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 12:48:53 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #3703 on: September 27, 2011, 08:19:40 AM »

the evolutionists here are assuming that the Fathers understanding of Genesis was merely according to the science of their day, or simply to an ignorance of science. so your entire objection rests on whether or not the Saints were actually looking to secular studies for the answers to sacred Scripture. can anyone prove that the Fathers' interpretations were according to faulty science rather than holiness and divine inspiration? many of the Fathers say that knowledge of the pre-fallen world is completely closed off to human efforts -- so it has nothing to do with science, no matter how updated it is. rather, they say, knowledge of that time can come only from divine revelation. many such statements can be read here: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/knowledge-of-creation-and-paradise-are-beyond-human-effort/ . is anyone else able to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Fathers have said about how to understand creation and the pre-fallen world, the Fathers were actually just limited by primitive science? and just to throw this out there - many of our Saints that have lived since Darwin were in fact very educated, but they continued to look to God for the answers to such questions.
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« Reply #3704 on: September 27, 2011, 08:25:13 AM »

It is a big deal, admittedly, but that's because we interpret Genesis 1-2 as a scientific or descriptive text. I would not argue that the ancients did not see Genesis 1-2 as somehow descriptive, or as representing what happened on a physical level; it seems pretty clear that, given the state of scientific knowledge of those times, to the ancients (anyone pre-1890), the descriptions in Genesis 1-2 seemed just as good as any other idea on how the cosmos was created or developed. Genesis 1-2 was written within an ancient middle-eastern cosmological framework (a solid dome stretching over the earth; with waters contained above the dome; firm pillars supporting the earth/dome; etc.).

Where Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 differ, though, is how each relates to 'death' (physical death, specifically). Genesis 1 doesn't seem to find it problematic; Genesis 1 takes a more 'impersonal' view of the cosmos and Elohim: Elohim is a distant creator, quite transcending to the world. I would say Genesis 1 is more compatible with current science, because of its depiction of a very transcending, impersonal deity; whereas Genesis 2 depicts a deity (who is now named "Yahweh Elohim") who is very personal, very immanent, and cares intimately for humanity so much that He creates one person initially (instead of several, as in Genesis 1). The Genesis 2 Yahweh Elohim is someone you can talk to, and someone who seems a bit more 'feminine' in character, because the man who is created is told to tend a garden. So this man has a purpose, and since death would counteract that purpose, the Genesis 2 Adam is not created to physically die.

Contrast that to the Genesis 1 human population, whose purpose is not to tend a garden, but to produce more humans: the production of more humans can continue, even if the older people die, so physical death is not a big deal (and, in fact, may be necessary, in order to provide room for the new children). However, tending a garden is different, being more dependent upon the gardener remaining alive and using his gardening knowledge. And when you garden, it really helps to have help; thus, the appearance of Eve, as someone with whom Adam can be in relationship, someone who can help Adam understand both himself and Yahweh Elohim. The strike of death would disrupt this relationship, and disrupt the tending of the garden.

In short, perhaps Genesis 1 represents a more "materialistic" view of life, in which matter is the foundation, and humans the culmination, and in which death is simply part of the process; and Genesis 2 represents a more "spiritual" view of life, in which spirit/soul (represented by Adam) is the foundation, and the spirit/soul's relationship to another spirit/soul (represented by Eve) is the culmination. In Genesis 1, death is part of the process; in Genesis 2, death disrupts human relationship, and, as a disruptor of human relationship, is not something Yahweh Elohim intended at the beginning.

I suppose I'm not looking specifically at the Genesis creation mythoi in this, but rather the traditional Christian and Jewish understanding of physical death as the result of the sin of our ancestors and of our own sins. "The wages of sin is death" and all of that. I understand an allegorization of these texts as they lend themselves to that, but the problem seems to be to me that if the problem of sin and thus death is allegorized into the spiritual rather than also the material, we stand to lose the necessity of the physicality of Christ's resurrection. This also has implications for our belief in the resurrection of the dead at the end of the ages, the renewal of the cosmos, et cetera.

I don't claim to have any answers, it just seems to me that robbing the fall of humanity of it's historicity in the Genesis mythoi lends itself to a "mere spiritualization" of the resurrection of Christ and of ourselves à la Borg and Spong. This seems unacceptable to me taking into account St. Paul's strong emphasis of the necessity of the factual truth of Christ's physical resurrection in the Holy Scriptures, as well as our credal confession as Nicene Christians in the resurrection of the dead. So perhaps I'm drawing a false correlation between the two, but to me it seems the level of truths expressed in the Fall/Death and Redemption/Resurrection motifs should at least be matching in their "level" of truth.

I'm still really open about all of this, but I'm not certain that there is a possible synthesis between Christian "biology" and evolutionary biology, or that there needs to be. I also have not yet had the luxury to really dive into the theory surrounding evolution in a thorough way to try and understand it on its own terms. And here I refer to really understanding it, not on a cursory level as most on here seem to express. I just wish I could find an evolutionary narrative that wasn't so obviously mythological in its tone, but was more a mapping out of the main contributing thinkers over the years, and a presentation of the most convincing primary evidence in an orderly and understandable manner. Most people just sort of throw the fossil record in your face and start with the attacks, but some of the examples I've looked at smack of the kind of stretching reminiscent of disciplines formerly considered scientific like alchemy. We look back on that phase of knowledge and tend to laugh at it, but some of this stuff seems so ridiculous to me that I can't see how anyone will look back on it with respect in several hundred years. I'm thinking mainly here of the interpretations of the fossil named "Tiktaalik" as presented in the popular Darwinian apologetic work: Your Inner Fish.

Anyway, here's hoping for a fruitful discussion.

Alveus, your concerns are completely correct. Christ's bodily resurrection was for the purpose of defeating bodily death - this necessitates that bodily death is bad, but since we know that all that God created was good, He obviously didnt create death. Of course we don't even need to theorize this ourselves - Scripture is quite clear on the matter:

Wisdom of Solomon 1:12-16 Do not invite death by the error of your life, or bring on destruction by the works of your hands; because God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and the dominion of Hades is not on earth. For righteousness is immortal. But the ungodly by their words and deeds summoned death; considering him a friend, they pined away and made a covenant with him, because they are fit to belong to his company.

Romans 5:12
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

1 Corinthians 15:21
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

and of course all the Fathers testify that physical death is a result of sin. to allegorize the Genesis account in this way is really to change the entire Orthodox faith. We would essentially have to become dualists where only the spiritual world matters.
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« Reply #3705 on: September 27, 2011, 01:00:15 PM »

I also want to say that everybody on the "evolution is so obvious" side is coming off as really condescending and obnoxious.

That's because the people who try not to be obnoxious had to leave this thread a long time ago.
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« Reply #3706 on: September 27, 2011, 01:29:29 PM »

I also want to say that everybody on the "evolution is so obvious" side is coming off as really condescending and obnoxious.

That's because the people who try not to be obnoxious had to leave this thread a long time ago.

thats a shame, it'd be nice to have them stick around to provide some much-needed balance.
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« Reply #3707 on: September 27, 2011, 01:46:50 PM »

what would be even better would be a thread where "old-earthers" didnt feel the need to judge and mock "young-earthers," especially considering that our Saints from ancient to present times are "young-earthers!"

Too bad. If an opinion is contradicted by objective reality, that opinion should be judged and mocked. There is no right to hold an objectively wrong opinion. No amount of lies (yes, lies) about changes in the speed of light, variable atomic decay rates, and other such nonsense will change reality.

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« Reply #3708 on: September 27, 2011, 01:49:30 PM »

even if the entire mass of our Saints was wrong, would they therefore deserve mocking -- such as being called unreasonable?

Time / Place.

They live in theirs. You live in yours.

Did the Fathers teach the cosmology of OT? (Get back to me.) Do you?

Stop LARPing and live now and where ever you are.

I ain't looking for any big technological achievements to be coming outta Mt. Athos anytime soon.

Should we let all the "elders" write our science down for us?

Nonsense.

And I never called anyone unreasonable. I said some people were reasonable. You would think an Orthodox would understand something about the logic of privatives.

But to make it clear. I AM calling you somewhat unreasonable. In this case, displaying a relative lack of reason. Next time at least get your opponent's words correct.



by calling old-earthers the reasonable people you obviously imply that the young-earthers are unreasonable. so i said it'd be nice to see a thread where the old-earthers didnt devolve into mocking and judging. to make the point stronger i pointed out that you are thereby referring to our Saints (including many Saints who have lived since Darwin) as unreasonable. I like it to be clear just exactly who it is that the old-earthers are aiming their attacks at.

i just find it interesting that old-earthers/evolutionists seem to have a very hard time being civil.

Young-Earthers are unreasonable. Why? Because there is nothing reasonable about denying reality.

I do not respect moon landing hoax believers, I do not respect Holocaust deniers, and I do not respect young earthers. The reason is because nothing about telling untruths in order to cling to a demonstrably false belief is worthy of respect.

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« Reply #3709 on: September 27, 2011, 01:51:40 PM »

There are significant (thus interesting) problems being a Christian who believes in evolution.

Problems that are entirely man-made. This means that they are not problems at all.

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« Reply #3710 on: September 27, 2011, 01:53:50 PM »

the evolutionists here are assuming that the Fathers understanding of Genesis was merely according to the science of their day, or simply to an ignorance of science. so your entire objection rests on whether or not the Saints were actually looking to secular studies for the answers to sacred Scripture. can anyone prove that the Fathers' interpretations were according to faulty science rather than holiness and divine inspiration? many of the Fathers say that knowledge of the pre-fallen world is completely closed off to human efforts -- so it has nothing to do with science, no matter how updated it is. rather, they say, knowledge of that time can come only from divine revelation. many such statements can be read here: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/knowledge-of-creation-and-paradise-are-beyond-human-effort/ . is anyone else able to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Fathers have said about how to understand creation and the pre-fallen world, the Fathers were actually just limited by primitive science? and just to throw this out there - many of our Saints that have lived since Darwin were in fact very educated, but they continued to look to God for the answers to such questions.

This is easy. If the Fathers' interpretations were wrong, they must not have been based on divine inspiration.

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« Reply #3711 on: September 27, 2011, 03:14:29 PM »

NPR: Talk of the Nation: The story of Adam and Eve is a primary belief for many Christians. Some Christian scholars argue that research on the human genome shows that modern humans did not descend from the Biblical couple, and that Christianity must find a way to reconcile modern science and religious beliefs.

Guests

Barbara Bradley Hagerty, religion correspondent, NPR
Daniel Harlow, religion professor, Calvin College
Albert Mohler, president, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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« Reply #3712 on: September 27, 2011, 04:07:14 PM »

what would be even better would be a thread where "old-earthers" didnt feel the need to judge and mock "young-earthers," especially considering that our Saints from ancient to present times are "young-earthers!"

Too bad. If an opinion is contradicted by objective reality, that opinion should be judged and mocked. There is no right to hold an objectively wrong opinion. No amount of lies (yes, lies) about changes in the speed of light, variable atomic decay rates, and other such nonsense will change reality.



All of science is agreed that it is impossible for a virgin to give birth, for water to become wine, for five ordinary loaves of bread to satisfy five hundred hungry men, and for a man to become alive after being dead for three days. Clearly all these cherished Christian beliefs are worthy of mockery.
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« Reply #3713 on: September 27, 2011, 04:12:27 PM »

the evolutionists here are assuming that the Fathers understanding of Genesis was merely according to the science of their day, or simply to an ignorance of science. so your entire objection rests on whether or not the Saints were actually looking to secular studies for the answers to sacred Scripture. can anyone prove that the Fathers' interpretations were according to faulty science rather than holiness and divine inspiration? many of the Fathers say that knowledge of the pre-fallen world is completely closed off to human efforts -- so it has nothing to do with science, no matter how updated it is. rather, they say, knowledge of that time can come only from divine revelation. many such statements can be read here: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/knowledge-of-creation-and-paradise-are-beyond-human-effort/ . is anyone else able to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Fathers have said about how to understand creation and the pre-fallen world, the Fathers were actually just limited by primitive science? and just to throw this out there - many of our Saints that have lived since Darwin were in fact very educated, but they continued to look to God for the answers to such questions.

This is easy. If the Fathers' interpretations were wrong, they must not have been based on divine inspiration.


Is it possible that the pre-fallen cosmos was entirely different from the cosmos we know today and that it obeyed totally different laws of physics? I suppose that it is so possible. However, this belief is totally inadmissible in any scientific approach to the question, since there's no way at all that such a religious belief could ever be proven false. The idea of such an idyllic world that followed a totally different set of laws is indeed completely outside the reach of science, but that doesn't make it a complete fiction. Therefore, you really can't say with any certitude that they're wrong.
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« Reply #3714 on: September 27, 2011, 05:03:53 PM »

even if the entire mass of our Saints was wrong, would they therefore deserve mocking -- such as being called unreasonable?

Time / Place.

They live in theirs. You live in yours.

In ancient philosophy the Epicureans put forward a natural philosophy which is essentially the same in its approach as modern science. The Fathers rejected Epicureanism for a number of reasons but its materialism is certainly a major part of it.

You ask:

Quote
Did the Fathers teach the cosmology of OT? (Get back to me.) Do you?

Of course there is no single all-authoritative cosmology among the several which have been elaborated in the Church. But what OT cosmology and the later Platonically oriented cosmologies have in common is that they are  sacred cosmologies, which understand the creation as not only entirely dependent on God, but reflective of his glory, so that, by contemplating nature, one comes to contemplate God as well. That is the fundamental purpose for studying nature in these cosmologies- not simply asking how it works but what it means which in modern science is an inadmissible and meaningless question. Anyone proposing to study the spiritual realities in nature through the use of the scientific method would be dismissed as a pseudo-scientist, and with good reason, if one honestly accepts the assumptions and goals of modern science. And for this reason I consider dishonest those protestant fundamentalists attempting to use modern science to prove that, say, dinosaurs walked around with Adam. 

Quote
I ain't looking for any big technological achievements to be coming outta Mt. Athos anytime soon.

Neither am I, but that isn't the purpose of science AKA natural philosophy as understood from a Christian perspective.

Modern science has produced a lot of useful, interesting, and life-saving stuff (as well as some really nasty crap), but it does not, can not, serve well as a means of contemplating nature spiritually or opening the truth about creation to us. It's not meant to do that. It necessarily assumes a "two-story universe" as Fr. Stephen Freeman might say, in which the spiritual world is, if not illusory, largely irrelevant to the operations of the material realm.

On the specific question of evolution, not having thoroughly studied the matter, I just assume that evolution is an honest interpretation of the evidence offered by the fossil record and all that stuff, if one studies these with a materialistic lens. I trust the experts that we fallen people, looking at the corrupted creation through a materialistic lens, will find ample evidence to support this theory.

I just think the sacred cosmologies of the Church and other ancient traditions have a lot more to say about the Truth of creation, even if it's not particularly helpful in rapidly producing new cool gadgets.
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« Reply #3715 on: September 27, 2011, 05:35:06 PM »

what would be even better would be a thread where "old-earthers" didnt feel the need to judge and mock "young-earthers," especially considering that our Saints from ancient to present times are "young-earthers!"

Too bad. If an opinion is contradicted by objective reality, that opinion should be judged and mocked. There is no right to hold an objectively wrong opinion. No amount of lies (yes, lies) about changes in the speed of light, variable atomic decay rates, and other such nonsense will change reality.



All of science is agreed that it is impossible for a virgin to give birth, for water to become wine, for five ordinary loaves of bread to satisfy five hundred hungry men, and for a man to become alive after being dead for three days. Clearly all these cherished Christian beliefs are worthy of mockery.

I was not aware that any peer-reviewed paper had addressed any of those claims. Believe it or not, scientists are simply not concerned with proving or disproving anyone's particular religious beliefs.

By the way, virgin births occur in nature all the time. It is called parthenogenesis.
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« Reply #3716 on: September 27, 2011, 05:41:04 PM »

the evolutionists here are assuming that the Fathers understanding of Genesis was merely according to the science of their day, or simply to an ignorance of science. so your entire objection rests on whether or not the Saints were actually looking to secular studies for the answers to sacred Scripture. can anyone prove that the Fathers' interpretations were according to faulty science rather than holiness and divine inspiration? many of the Fathers say that knowledge of the pre-fallen world is completely closed off to human efforts -- so it has nothing to do with science, no matter how updated it is. rather, they say, knowledge of that time can come only from divine revelation. many such statements can be read here: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/knowledge-of-creation-and-paradise-are-beyond-human-effort/ . is anyone else able to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Fathers have said about how to understand creation and the pre-fallen world, the Fathers were actually just limited by primitive science? and just to throw this out there - many of our Saints that have lived since Darwin were in fact very educated, but they continued to look to God for the answers to such questions.

This is easy. If the Fathers' interpretations were wrong, they must not have been based on divine inspiration.


Is it possible that the pre-fallen cosmos was entirely different from the cosmos we know today and that it obeyed totally different laws of physics? I suppose that it is so possible. However, this belief is totally inadmissible in any scientific approach to the question, since there's no way at all that such a religious belief could ever be proven false. The idea of such an idyllic world that followed a totally different set of laws is indeed completely outside the reach of science, but that doesn't make it a complete fiction. Therefore, you really can't say with any certitude that they're wrong.

This logical fallacy is called special pleading.

And yes, I can say it with certitude. The reason is because there is absolutely no evidence (and in fact, cannot be) evidence of any such thing. Is it possible that invisible elephants are marching down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées? I suppose that it is so possible!

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« Reply #3717 on: September 27, 2011, 06:07:07 PM »

the evolutionists here are assuming that the Fathers understanding of Genesis was merely according to the science of their day, or simply to an ignorance of science. so your entire objection rests on whether or not the Saints were actually looking to secular studies for the answers to sacred Scripture. can anyone prove that the Fathers' interpretations were according to faulty science rather than holiness and divine inspiration? many of the Fathers say that knowledge of the pre-fallen world is completely closed off to human efforts -- so it has nothing to do with science, no matter how updated it is. rather, they say, knowledge of that time can come only from divine revelation. many such statements can be read here: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/knowledge-of-creation-and-paradise-are-beyond-human-effort/ . is anyone else able to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Fathers have said about how to understand creation and the pre-fallen world, the Fathers were actually just limited by primitive science? and just to throw this out there - many of our Saints that have lived since Darwin were in fact very educated, but they continued to look to God for the answers to such questions.

You seem to be in agreement with Whitcomb and Morris. When speaking on the age of the earth, in the Genesis Flood, they claim;

Whatever this "setting: was, we may call it the "apparent age" of the earth, but the "true age" of the earth can only be known by means of divine revelation.

So, in essense, what are you suggesting is this. That God created a material world that only very special people could possibly understand and explain and that through spiritual intevention and religious text. Everyone else is deceived by the material evidence; and the material evidence is rigged. On this basis, it would appear that the Creator we pray to is inherently deceitful.

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« Reply #3718 on: September 27, 2011, 06:57:30 PM »

what would be even better would be a thread where "old-earthers" didnt feel the need to judge and mock "young-earthers," especially considering that our Saints from ancient to present times are "young-earthers!"

Too bad. If an opinion is contradicted by objective reality, that opinion should be judged and mocked. There is no right to hold an objectively wrong opinion. No amount of lies (yes, lies) about changes in the speed of light, variable atomic decay rates, and other such nonsense will change reality.



All of science is agreed that it is impossible for a virgin to give birth, for water to become wine, for five ordinary loaves of bread to satisfy five hundred hungry men, and for a man to become alive after being dead for three days. Clearly all these cherished Christian beliefs are worthy of mockery.

I was not aware that any peer-reviewed paper had addressed any of those claims. Believe it or not, scientists are simply not concerned with proving or disproving anyone's particular religious beliefs.

By the way, virgin births occur in nature all the time. It is called parthenogenesis.


A) Clearly some people believe that Creation and the early history of the world as described in Genesis are beliefs we must hold as Christians, and this is a belief explicitly rejected by most scientists. So there are most certainly some religious beliefs that scientists feel entitled to address and disprove. You don't get to arbitrarily decide what counts as religious belief and what doesn't.

B) Virgin births do not occur among humans, which is obviously what I was getting at. See also C).

C) Allow me to quote your response to PtA:

Quote
This logical fallacy is called special pleading.

And yes, I can say it with certitude. The reason is because there is absolutely no evidence (and in fact, cannot be) evidence of any such thing. Is it possible that invisible elephants are marching down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées? I suppose that it is so possible!

There is also absolutely no evidence for human parthenogenesis, spontaneous vinification of water, spontaneous regeneration of inanimate organic matter (such as bread), or spontaneous resuscitation over 30 hours after clinical death (yes, I can use big words, too!). You don't need a peer-reviewed scientific paper to tell you this, and, to be frank, do you really expect me to believe that any paper which did address these claims would find that in fact they occur in nature? And even if they did, wouldn't that undermine their claim to miraculous status just as much as papers that disproved the possibility of such events?

In short, in what way does your belief in the occurrence of all these things (assuming you do believe in them) not constitute special pleading?
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« Reply #3719 on: September 27, 2011, 08:58:36 PM »

A) Clearly some people believe that Creation and the early history of the world as described in Genesis are beliefs we must hold as Christians, and this is a belief explicitly rejected by most scientists. So there are most certainly some religious beliefs that scientists feel entitled to address and disprove. You don't get to arbitrarily decide what counts as religious belief and what doesn't.

Science states no opinion on whether or not the universe was divinely created or not. However, when a geologist is testing the age of rocks, his business is not to address a literal reading of Genesis. He could not care less. If the age of rocks happens to disprove a young earth, that is incidental. It is also a problem for the young earthers and no one else. They don't get to vote on reality.

Quote
B) Virgin births do not occur among humans, which is obviously what I was getting at. See also C).

Thank you for being more precise. So what?

Quote
C) Allow me to quote your response to PtA:
And yes, I can say it with certitude. The reason is because there is absolutely no evidence (and in fact, cannot be) evidence of any such thing. Is it possible that invisible elephants are marching down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées? I suppose that it is so possible!

Thank you for quoting one of my greatest hits!

Quote
There is also absolutely no evidence for human parthenogenesis, spontaneous vinification of water, spontaneous regeneration of inanimate organic matter (such as bread), or spontaneous resuscitation over 30 hours after clinical death (yes, I can use big words, too!). You don't need a peer-reviewed scientific paper to tell you this, and, to be frank, do you really expect me to believe that any paper which did address these claims would find that in fact they occur in nature? And even if they did, wouldn't that undermine their claim to miraculous status just as much as papers that disproved the possibility of such events?

Ok, but so what? The problem you are having is that you don't understand that the story of the loaves and the other events you mention don't attempt to explain physical reality. On the other hand, young earth creationists do attempt to describe physical reality. What is truly offensive is that they lie (yes, lie) in order to do it.

Quote
In short, in what way does your belief in the occurrence of all these things (assuming you do believe in them) not constitute special pleading?

Special pleading does not mean what you seem to think it means. But, see above.

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« Reply #3720 on: September 27, 2011, 09:16:49 PM »

A) Clearly some people believe that Creation and the early history of the world as described in Genesis are beliefs we must hold as Christians, and this is a belief explicitly rejected by most scientists. So there are most certainly some religious beliefs that scientists feel entitled to address and disprove. You don't get to arbitrarily decide what counts as religious belief and what doesn't.

Science states no opinion on whether or not the universe was divinely created or not. However, when a geologist is testing the age of rocks, his business is not to address a literal reading of Genesis. He could not care less. If the age of rocks happens to disprove a young earth, that is incidental. It is also a problem for the young earthers and no one else. They don't get to vote on reality.

You're changing the subject. There's more to it than just whether the universe as a whole was divinely created; there are specific claims that miraculous events did occur which all of our knowledge of natural law predicts should NEVER occur.

Quote
Quote
B) Virgin births do not occur among humans, which is obviously what I was getting at. See also C).

Thank you for being more precise. So what?

So, your point that parthenogenesis occurs in nature is totally irrelevant to the issue I was raising, since I wasn't interested in whether some kind of fish can reproduce asexually, but whether humans can.

Quote
Quote
C) Allow me to quote your response to PtA:
And yes, I can say it with certitude. The reason is because there is absolutely no evidence (and in fact, cannot be) evidence of any such thing. Is it possible that invisible elephants are marching down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées? I suppose that it is so possible!

Thank you for quoting one of my greatest hits!

Your egotism is just so sexy.

Quote
Quote
There is also absolutely no evidence for human parthenogenesis, spontaneous vinification of water, spontaneous regeneration of inanimate organic matter (such as bread), or spontaneous resuscitation over 30 hours after clinical death (yes, I can use big words, too!). You don't need a peer-reviewed scientific paper to tell you this, and, to be frank, do you really expect me to believe that any paper which did address these claims would find that in fact they occur in nature? And even if they did, wouldn't that undermine their claim to miraculous status just as much as papers that disproved the possibility of such events?

Ok, but so what? The problem you are having is that you don't understand that the story of the loaves and the other events you mention don't attempt to explain physical reality. On the other hand, young earth creationists do attempt to describe physical reality. What is truly offensive is that they lie (yes, lie) in order to do it.

I think I'm starting to see what you're getting at. But I'm not yet convinced. The story of the loaves is incompatible with our scientific understanding of physical reality, just as young earth creationism is incompatible. Why is one incompatibility OK but the other not?

Quote
Quote
In short, in what way does your belief in the occurrence of all these things (assuming you do believe in them) not constitute special pleading?

Special pleading does not mean what you seem to think it means. But, see above.



It would help if you just spelled out your reasoning for us. To me it's self-evident that defending miracle claims against the overwhelming predictions of science constitutes special pleading, at least for someone who otherwise rigidly insists on the superiority of scientific prediction over traditional scriptural exegesis.
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« Reply #3721 on: September 27, 2011, 09:25:38 PM »

the evolutionists here are assuming that the Fathers understanding of Genesis was merely according to the science of their day, or simply to an ignorance of science. so your entire objection rests on whether or not the Saints were actually looking to secular studies for the answers to sacred Scripture. can anyone prove that the Fathers' interpretations were according to faulty science rather than holiness and divine inspiration? many of the Fathers say that knowledge of the pre-fallen world is completely closed off to human efforts -- so it has nothing to do with science, no matter how updated it is. rather, they say, knowledge of that time can come only from divine revelation. many such statements can be read here: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/knowledge-of-creation-and-paradise-are-beyond-human-effort/ . is anyone else able to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Fathers have said about how to understand creation and the pre-fallen world, the Fathers were actually just limited by primitive science? and just to throw this out there - many of our Saints that have lived since Darwin were in fact very educated, but they continued to look to God for the answers to such questions.

This is easy. If the Fathers' interpretations were wrong, they must not have been based on divine inspiration.


Is it possible that the pre-fallen cosmos was entirely different from the cosmos we know today and that it obeyed totally different laws of physics? I suppose that it is so possible. However, this belief is totally inadmissible in any scientific approach to the question, since there's no way at all that such a religious belief could ever be proven false. The idea of such an idyllic world that followed a totally different set of laws is indeed completely outside the reach of science, but that doesn't make it a complete fiction. Therefore, you really can't say with any certitude that they're wrong.

it must be getting nigh on the Apocalypse, Peter -- i now agree with you a second time!
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« Reply #3722 on: September 27, 2011, 09:34:20 PM »

the evolutionists here are assuming that the Fathers understanding of Genesis was merely according to the science of their day, or simply to an ignorance of science. so your entire objection rests on whether or not the Saints were actually looking to secular studies for the answers to sacred Scripture. can anyone prove that the Fathers' interpretations were according to faulty science rather than holiness and divine inspiration? many of the Fathers say that knowledge of the pre-fallen world is completely closed off to human efforts -- so it has nothing to do with science, no matter how updated it is. rather, they say, knowledge of that time can come only from divine revelation. many such statements can be read here: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/knowledge-of-creation-and-paradise-are-beyond-human-effort/ . is anyone else able to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Fathers have said about how to understand creation and the pre-fallen world, the Fathers were actually just limited by primitive science? and just to throw this out there - many of our Saints that have lived since Darwin were in fact very educated, but they continued to look to God for the answers to such questions.

You seem to be in agreement with Whitcomb and Morris. When speaking on the age of the earth, in the Genesis Flood, they claim;

Whatever this "setting: was, we may call it the "apparent age" of the earth, but the "true age" of the earth can only be known by means of divine revelation.

So, in essense, what are you suggesting is this. That God created a material world that only very special people could possibly understand and explain and that through spiritual intevention and religious text. Everyone else is deceived by the material evidence; and the material evidence is rigged. On this basis, it would appear that the Creator we pray to is inherently deceitful.



not at all. God is in no way deceptive. God has given us an account of His creative acts in the Scripture and has provided us with a constant interpretation of that account in the Church. Its only by leaving that account and interpretation behind and running after materialistic studies that we become deceived. Evolutionary philosophy deceives us. We deceive ourselves. God in no way deceives us - He's been telling the same story for thousands of years. Holding to the evolutionary position forces you to think that God is deceptive, but the Fathers approached this whole issue from the completely opposite mindset. St. John Chrysostom says in his Commentary on Genesis:

Quote
7.3 The blessed Moses, instructed by the Spirit of God, teaches us with such detail ... so that we might clearly know both the order and the way of the creation of each thing. If God had not been concerned for our salvation and had not guided the tongue of the Prophet, it would have been sufficient to say that God created the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and living creatures, without indicating either the order of the days or what was created earlier and what later.... But he distinguishes so clearly both the order of creation and the number of days, and instructs us about everything with great condescension, in order that we, coming to know the whole truth, would no longer heed the false teachings of those who speak of everything according to their own reasonings, but might comprehend the unutterable power of our Creator. (emphasis added)
but of course the acts of God, and the pre-lapsarian world of which we have no recollection or experience, are only available through divine revelation. How else could you possibly know about them? Science tries to study the past through the remains of the past, but in the pre-lapsarian world there was no corruption and decay so there are no remains from this period -- there are only remains from the world after sin and death were introduced. There is literally no way of studying the pre-fallen world scientifically. The Fathers have been saying this for 2000 yrs.
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« Reply #3723 on: September 27, 2011, 09:46:13 PM »

I wonder about things like the Flood. Let's say you accept the creationist argument that pre-lapsarian nature is simply beyond the scope of modern science. It's special pleading with respect to science, but you can't really fault it on its internal logic, and in any case, calling it special pleading only works if you assume that science's purview should extend indefinitely into the past. Last time I checked, the uniformitarian principle was a working assumption, not revealed dogma.

But the Flood supposedly occurred after the Fall. Shouldn't evidence for the Flood then be judged by the same criteria as evidence for other natural phenomena? Or does the suspension of ordinary natural law continue in some respects after the Fall?
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« Reply #3724 on: September 27, 2011, 09:59:51 PM »

You're changing the subject. There's more to it than just whether the universe as a whole was divinely created; there are specific claims that miraculous events did occur which all of our knowledge of natural law predicts should NEVER occur.

No, I am not changing the subject. What you fail to understand is that as a methodological matter, science cannot accept miracles even if they do happen.

Quote
So, your point that parthenogenesis occurs in nature is totally irrelevant to the issue I was raising, since I wasn't interested in whether some kind of fish can reproduce asexually, but whether humans can.

I was encouraging you to be precise. If you cannot say what you mean, you will never mean what you say. However, you are still not quite correct because parthenogenesis has occurred in humans.

Quote
Your egotism is just so sexy.

I think there are some threads in other forums about how to deal with those urges.

Quote
Quote
Ok, but so what? The problem you are having is that you don't understand that the story of the loaves and the other events you mention don't attempt to explain physical reality. On the other hand, young earth creationists do attempt to describe physical reality. What is truly offensive is that they lie (yes, lie) in order to do it.

I think I'm starting to see what you're getting at. But I'm not yet convinced. The story of the loaves is incompatible with our scientific understanding of physical reality, just as young earth creationism is incompatible. Why is one incompatibility OK but the other not?

You still don't get it. But, I am not trying to convince you. I am trying to convince them.

Quote
It would help if you just spelled out your reasoning for us. To me it's self-evident that defending miracle claims against the overwhelming predictions of science constitutes special pleading, at least for someone who otherwise rigidly insists on the superiority of scientific prediction over traditional scriptural exegesis.

Yeah, that's not what special pleading is.

But, allow me to unravel your misunderstanding: I am not defending miracle claims. I am not trying to use science to shore up my religious beliefs. Young Earthers and creationists do.

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« Reply #3725 on: September 27, 2011, 10:04:23 PM »

I wonder about things like the Flood. Let's say you accept the creationist argument that pre-lapsarian nature is simply beyond the scope of modern science. It's special pleading with respect to science, but you can't really fault it on its internal logic, and in any case, calling it special pleading only works if you assume that science's purview should extend indefinitely into the past. Last time I checked, the uniformitarian principle was a working assumption, not revealed dogma.

But the Flood supposedly occurred after the Fall. Shouldn't evidence for the Flood then be judged by the same criteria as evidence for other natural phenomena? Or does the suspension of ordinary natural law continue in some respects after the Fall?

IIRC some of the Fathers spoke about the Flood being so chaotic that the world was nearly returned to the state it was in on the first day of creation before it was fully formed and all that ... so its certainly possible that the period between the Fall and the Flood is also different than the post-Flood world. Its also possible that the evidence of the Flood is being looked at as if it happened slowly over a long period of time (uniformitarianism), when it fact it happened quickly and catastrophically, and is thus misinterpreted.
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« Reply #3726 on: September 27, 2011, 10:06:16 PM »

the evolutionists here are assuming that the Fathers understanding of Genesis was merely according to the science of their day, or simply to an ignorance of science. so your entire objection rests on whether or not the Saints were actually looking to secular studies for the answers to sacred Scripture. can anyone prove that the Fathers' interpretations were according to faulty science rather than holiness and divine inspiration? many of the Fathers say that knowledge of the pre-fallen world is completely closed off to human efforts -- so it has nothing to do with science, no matter how updated it is. rather, they say, knowledge of that time can come only from divine revelation. many such statements can be read here: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/knowledge-of-creation-and-paradise-are-beyond-human-effort/ . is anyone else able to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Fathers have said about how to understand creation and the pre-fallen world, the Fathers were actually just limited by primitive science? and just to throw this out there - many of our Saints that have lived since Darwin were in fact very educated, but they continued to look to God for the answers to such questions.

You seem to be in agreement with Whitcomb and Morris. When speaking on the age of the earth, in the Genesis Flood, they claim;

Whatever this "setting: was, we may call it the "apparent age" of the earth, but the "true age" of the earth can only be known by means of divine revelation.

So, in essense, what are you suggesting is this. That God created a material world that only very special people could possibly understand and explain and that through spiritual intevention and religious text. Everyone else is deceived by the material evidence; and the material evidence is rigged. On this basis, it would appear that the Creator we pray to is inherently deceitful.



not at all. God is in no way deceptive. God has given us an account of His creative acts in the Scripture and has provided us with a constant interpretation of that account in the Church. Its only by leaving that account and interpretation behind and running after materialistic studies that we become deceived. Evolutionary philosophy deceives us. We deceive ourselves. God in no way deceives us - He's been telling the same story for thousands of years. Holding to the evolutionary position forces you to think that God is deceptive, but the Fathers approached this whole issue from the completely opposite mindset. St. John Chrysostom says in his Commentary on Genesis:


No, it doesn't. It forces me to think that Genesis isn't geological science, but theological mythology. Useful for answering the questions of primitive man regarding his physical surroundings, but nothing whatsoever to do with dating the age of the universe. This particular point has nothing to do with evolutionary philosphy.

If God has created a material world/universe that, for all the evidence, appears to be ancient, then we are being deceived by Him if indeed the New Earth/universe model is correct. We are set up for deception, because only very special people can possibly understand and explain the "truth" through spiritual intervention and religious text. Science is of no use whatsoever in this regard and we must ignore it. How could any reasonable God expect his created beings to continue to ignore the answers they see in his material creation? Is this some kind of warped test of faith?
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« Reply #3727 on: September 27, 2011, 10:13:21 PM »

the evolutionists here are assuming that the Fathers understanding of Genesis was merely according to the science of their day, or simply to an ignorance of science. so your entire objection rests on whether or not the Saints were actually looking to secular studies for the answers to sacred Scripture. can anyone prove that the Fathers' interpretations were according to faulty science rather than holiness and divine inspiration? many of the Fathers say that knowledge of the pre-fallen world is completely closed off to human efforts -- so it has nothing to do with science, no matter how updated it is. rather, they say, knowledge of that time can come only from divine revelation. many such statements can be read here: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/knowledge-of-creation-and-paradise-are-beyond-human-effort/ . is anyone else able to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Fathers have said about how to understand creation and the pre-fallen world, the Fathers were actually just limited by primitive science? and just to throw this out there - many of our Saints that have lived since Darwin were in fact very educated, but they continued to look to God for the answers to such questions.

You seem to be in agreement with Whitcomb and Morris. When speaking on the age of the earth, in the Genesis Flood, they claim;

Whatever this "setting: was, we may call it the "apparent age" of the earth, but the "true age" of the earth can only be known by means of divine revelation.

So, in essense, what are you suggesting is this. That God created a material world that only very special people could possibly understand and explain and that through spiritual intevention and religious text. Everyone else is deceived by the material evidence; and the material evidence is rigged. On this basis, it would appear that the Creator we pray to is inherently deceitful.



not at all. God is in no way deceptive. God has given us an account of His creative acts in the Scripture and has provided us with a constant interpretation of that account in the Church. Its only by leaving that account and interpretation behind and running after materialistic studies that we become deceived. Evolutionary philosophy deceives us. We deceive ourselves. God in no way deceives us - He's been telling the same story for thousands of years. Holding to the evolutionary position forces you to think that God is deceptive, but the Fathers approached this whole issue from the completely opposite mindset. St. John Chrysostom says in his Commentary on Genesis:


No, it doesn't. It forces me to think that Genesis isn't geological science, but theological mythology. Useful for answering the questions of primitive man regarding his physical surroundings, but nothing whatsoever to do with dating the age of the universe. This particular point has nothing to do with evolutionary philosphy.

well thats an interesting idea, but the notion that Genesis is mere mythology is not found in any of the Orthodox commentaries on Genesis. you can certainly hold to that idea, but you can't try to claim that its an Orthodox view of Scripture.

Quote
If God has created a material world/universe that, for all the evidence, appears to be ancient, then we are being deceived by Him if indeed the New Earth/universe model is correct. We are set up for deception, because only very special people can possibly understand and explain the "truth" through spiritual intervention and religious text. Science is of no use whatsoever in this regard and we must ignore it. How could any reasonable God expect his created beings to continue to ignore the answers they see in his material creation? Is this some kind of warped test of faith?

the evidence does not tell you that the world is old - a certain interpretation of the evidence tells you that the world is old. its your choice whether or not to accept that interpretation. i don't, and so there's no deception. the Church teaches that there was a time before sin and death, and since there was no death and decay in that time period there are thus no artifacts or remains from that time period for scientists to examine. thus, as the Fathers point out continuously, the pre-lapsarian world does not belong to science - there's nothing about it that scientists could study. why that simple and traditional idea is so appalling to you I don't understand.
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« Reply #3728 on: September 27, 2011, 10:18:58 PM »

You're changing the subject. There's more to it than just whether the universe as a whole was divinely created; there are specific claims that miraculous events did occur which all of our knowledge of natural law predicts should NEVER occur.

No, I am not changing the subject. What you fail to understand is that as a methodological matter, science cannot accept miracles even if they do happen.

Quote
So, your point that parthenogenesis occurs in nature is totally irrelevant to the issue I was raising, since I wasn't interested in whether some kind of fish can reproduce asexually, but whether humans can.

I was encouraging you to be precise. If you cannot say what you mean, you will never mean what you say. However, you are still not quite correct because parthenogenesis has occurred in humans.

Quote
Your egotism is just so sexy.

I think there are some threads in other forums about how to deal with those urges.

Quote
Quote
Ok, but so what? The problem you are having is that you don't understand that the story of the loaves and the other events you mention don't attempt to explain physical reality. On the other hand, young earth creationists do attempt to describe physical reality. What is truly offensive is that they lie (yes, lie) in order to do it.

I think I'm starting to see what you're getting at. But I'm not yet convinced. The story of the loaves is incompatible with our scientific understanding of physical reality, just as young earth creationism is incompatible. Why is one incompatibility OK but the other not?

You still don't get it. But, I am not trying to convince you. I am trying to convince them.

Quote
It would help if you just spelled out your reasoning for us. To me it's self-evident that defending miracle claims against the overwhelming predictions of science constitutes special pleading, at least for someone who otherwise rigidly insists on the superiority of scientific prediction over traditional scriptural exegesis.

Yeah, that's not what special pleading is.

But, allow me to unravel your misunderstanding: I am not defending miracle claims. I am not trying to use science to shore up my religious beliefs. Young Earthers and creationists do.



OK, I'm going to try to put what I think you're saying into my own words and you can tell me if I got it right.

Miraculous events that last a short time and in a single place, like the feeding of the five hundred, or the virgin birth of Christ, aren't supposed to happen according to natural laws. But if they did, we couldn't really say for sure that they did NOT happen, since they aren't supposed to have any effect on the physical world around them. We don't in fact predict any positive evidence for them; our objection to them would be based only on something like the uniformitarian principle (natural laws are universal and unchanging). Miraculous events that should have affected the whole world, like Noah's flood or a Creation dated just 7500 years ago, are different because we predict them to have left evidence everywhere for us to find. The fact that we can't find such evidence means that we can't accept those miracles, even if we are willing to accept miracles like the wedding at Cana on faith.

Is this what you're getting at, or is it something else?
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« Reply #3729 on: September 27, 2011, 10:21:36 PM »

And at least according to Wikipedia, human parthenogenesis is first attested in a laboratory. In fact, the article also says, "There are no known cases of naturally occurring mammalian parthenogenesis in the wild." In short, you didn't really have a point, you were just trying to sound superior.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #3730 on: September 27, 2011, 10:41:22 PM »

the evolutionists here are assuming that the Fathers understanding of Genesis was merely according to the science of their day, or simply to an ignorance of science. so your entire objection rests on whether or not the Saints were actually looking to secular studies for the answers to sacred Scripture. can anyone prove that the Fathers' interpretations were according to faulty science rather than holiness and divine inspiration? many of the Fathers say that knowledge of the pre-fallen world is completely closed off to human efforts -- so it has nothing to do with science, no matter how updated it is. rather, they say, knowledge of that time can come only from divine revelation. many such statements can be read here: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/knowledge-of-creation-and-paradise-are-beyond-human-effort/ . is anyone else able to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Fathers have said about how to understand creation and the pre-fallen world, the Fathers were actually just limited by primitive science? and just to throw this out there - many of our Saints that have lived since Darwin were in fact very educated, but they continued to look to God for the answers to such questions.

You seem to be in agreement with Whitcomb and Morris. When speaking on the age of the earth, in the Genesis Flood, they claim;

Whatever this "setting: was, we may call it the "apparent age" of the earth, but the "true age" of the earth can only be known by means of divine revelation.

So, in essense, what are you suggesting is this. That God created a material world that only very special people could possibly understand and explain and that through spiritual intevention and religious text. Everyone else is deceived by the material evidence; and the material evidence is rigged. On this basis, it would appear that the Creator we pray to is inherently deceitful.



not at all. God is in no way deceptive. God has given us an account of His creative acts in the Scripture and has provided us with a constant interpretation of that account in the Church. Its only by leaving that account and interpretation behind and running after materialistic studies that we become deceived. Evolutionary philosophy deceives us. We deceive ourselves. God in no way deceives us - He's been telling the same story for thousands of years. Holding to the evolutionary position forces you to think that God is deceptive, but the Fathers approached this whole issue from the completely opposite mindset. St. John Chrysostom says in his Commentary on Genesis:


No, it doesn't. It forces me to think that Genesis isn't geological science, but theological mythology. Useful for answering the questions of primitive man regarding his physical surroundings, but nothing whatsoever to do with dating the age of the universe. This particular point has nothing to do with evolutionary philosphy.

well thats an interesting idea, but the notion that Genesis is mere mythology is not found in any of the Orthodox commentaries on Genesis. you can certainly hold to that idea, but you can't try to claim that its an Orthodox view of Scripture.


First, remove the "mere". Please, don't misconstrue my words. Second, do you understand what mythology is? A myth is merely a traditional story that isn't necessarily predicated on actual historical events - it can include allegory to convey teaching. This position is indeed allowed within the Orthodox view of Genesis. The alternative would be the forcing of a literal view on the Genesis account of Creation and such is not a condition of being Orthodox. Please don't pretend that it is.

Quote
If God has created a material world/universe that, for all the evidence, appears to be ancient, then we are being deceived by Him if indeed the New Earth/universe model is correct. We are set up for deception, because only very special people can possibly understand and explain the "truth" through spiritual intervention and religious text. Science is of no use whatsoever in this regard and we must ignore it. How could any reasonable God expect his created beings to continue to ignore the answers they see in his material creation? Is this some kind of warped test of faith?

the evidence does not tell you that the world is old - a certain interpretation of the evidence tells you that the world is old. its your choice whether or not to accept that interpretation. i don't, and so there's no deception. the Church teaches that there was a time before sin and death, and since there was no death and decay in that time period there are thus no artifacts or remains from that time period for scientists to examine. thus, as the Fathers point out continuously, the pre-lapsarian world does not belong to science - there's nothing about it that scientists could study. why that simple and traditional idea is so appalling to you I don't understand.

Again you miscontrue. Let the record show that I am not appalled, but simply dubious.  Smiley
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« Reply #3731 on: September 27, 2011, 10:53:45 PM »

the evolutionists here are assuming that the Fathers understanding of Genesis was merely according to the science of their day, or simply to an ignorance of science. so your entire objection rests on whether or not the Saints were actually looking to secular studies for the answers to sacred Scripture. can anyone prove that the Fathers' interpretations were according to faulty science rather than holiness and divine inspiration? many of the Fathers say that knowledge of the pre-fallen world is completely closed off to human efforts -- so it has nothing to do with science, no matter how updated it is. rather, they say, knowledge of that time can come only from divine revelation. many such statements can be read here: http://oldbelieving.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/knowledge-of-creation-and-paradise-are-beyond-human-effort/ . is anyone else able to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Fathers have said about how to understand creation and the pre-fallen world, the Fathers were actually just limited by primitive science? and just to throw this out there - many of our Saints that have lived since Darwin were in fact very educated, but they continued to look to God for the answers to such questions.

You seem to be in agreement with Whitcomb and Morris. When speaking on the age of the earth, in the Genesis Flood, they claim;

Whatever this "setting: was, we may call it the "apparent age" of the earth, but the "true age" of the earth can only be known by means of divine revelation.

So, in essense, what are you suggesting is this. That God created a material world that only very special people could possibly understand and explain and that through spiritual intevention and religious text. Everyone else is deceived by the material evidence; and the material evidence is rigged. On this basis, it would appear that the Creator we pray to is inherently deceitful.



not at all. God is in no way deceptive. God has given us an account of His creative acts in the Scripture and has provided us with a constant interpretation of that account in the Church. Its only by leaving that account and interpretation behind and running after materialistic studies that we become deceived. Evolutionary philosophy deceives us. We deceive ourselves. God in no way deceives us - He's been telling the same story for thousands of years. Holding to the evolutionary position forces you to think that God is deceptive, but the Fathers approached this whole issue from the completely opposite mindset. St. John Chrysostom says in his Commentary on Genesis:


No, it doesn't. It forces me to think that Genesis isn't geological science, but theological mythology. Useful for answering the questions of primitive man regarding his physical surroundings, but nothing whatsoever to do with dating the age of the universe. This particular point has nothing to do with evolutionary philosphy.

well thats an interesting idea, but the notion that Genesis is mere mythology is not found in any of the Orthodox commentaries on Genesis. you can certainly hold to that idea, but you can't try to claim that its an Orthodox view of Scripture.


First, remove the "mere". Please, don't misconstrue my words. Second, do you understand what mythology is? A myth is merely a traditional story that isn't necessarily predicated on actual historical events - it can include allegory to convey teaching. This position is indeed allowed within the Orthodox view of Genesis. The alternative would be the forcing of a literal view on the Genesis account of Creation and such is not a condition of being Orthodox. Please don't pretend that it is.

Quote
If God has created a material world/universe that, for all the evidence, appears to be ancient, then we are being deceived by Him if indeed the New Earth/universe model is correct. We are set up for deception, because only very special people can possibly understand and explain the "truth" through spiritual intervention and religious text. Science is of no use whatsoever in this regard and we must ignore it. How could any reasonable God expect his created beings to continue to ignore the answers they see in his material creation? Is this some kind of warped test of faith?

the evidence does not tell you that the world is old - a certain interpretation of the evidence tells you that the world is old. its your choice whether or not to accept that interpretation. i don't, and so there's no deception. the Church teaches that there was a time before sin and death, and since there was no death and decay in that time period there are thus no artifacts or remains from that time period for scientists to examine. thus, as the Fathers point out continuously, the pre-lapsarian world does not belong to science - there's nothing about it that scientists could study. why that simple and traditional idea is so appalling to you I don't understand.

Again you miscontrue. Let the record show that I am not appalled, but simply dubious.  Smiley

what Father do you find denying the historicity of the pre-fallen world? where do you find the notion that allegory is mutually exclusive from literality?

there is at least one Ecumenically ratified Canon that binds us to hold to at least a portion of the Creation account in a literal sense:

Quote
Canon 109 of African Code, (120 of Council of Carthage), ratified at Trullo and Nicea II.
That Adam was not created by God subject to death.

That whosoever says that Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that whether he had sinned or not, he would have died in body—that is, he would have gone forth of the body, not because his sin merited this, but by natural necessity, let him be anathema.

Ancient Epitome of Canon CIX.
Whoso shall assert that the protoplast would have died without sin and through natural necessity, let him be anathema.

here we have the Church ecumenically recognizing the existence of Adam as the first man (not one among many- evolution happens by populations, not individuals), and that his death is the result of  sin, not natural necessity (as the process of evolution would necessitate). notice we're talking anathema here. to deny this teaching is no small matter. so as you can see, im not pretending.
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« Reply #3732 on: September 27, 2011, 11:18:24 PM »

^^ Thanks for your efforts to scare me into your camp, but fear tactics do nothing to dispel my doubts.  Wink
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« Reply #3733 on: September 27, 2011, 11:34:42 PM »

there is at least one Ecumenically ratified Canon that binds us to hold to at least a portion of the Creation account in a literal sense:
Councils are not Roman Popes.

Keep your infallibility to yourself.
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« Reply #3734 on: September 27, 2011, 11:41:19 PM »

there is at least one Ecumenically ratified Canon that binds us to hold to at least a portion of the Creation account in a literal sense:
Councils are not Roman Popes.

Keep your infallibility to yourself.

What? Ecumenical councils are infallible, and local councils that have been accepted by the whole Church. Where we differ from Rome is in not believing any single bishop to be infallible. It's not like we reject the very notion of infallibility.
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