That's an interesting point you raised about angels and the idea that they copulated with humans (the "giants" mysteriously referenced in Genesis just before the Flood). I suppose on that particular issue there is no agreement among the Fathers (I don't know if we are supposed to take it as a matter of faith now that angels cannot
copulate with humans, although the consensus of the more recent Fathers seems to support that view; my impression is more that the later Fathers simply saw this idea as irrational, that spirits could copulate with material beings, rather than heretical per se
, but I might be wrong). But I happen to think it's rather different when it comes to the teaching concerning the Six Days, Paradise, the Fall, the Flood, and so forth. I see much more unanimity on that front, at all periods of history. That being said, I also recognize that there doesn't seem to have been any council particularly addressing this issue, not even (as far as I know) among the True Orthodox. There have been a few figures even among the True Orthodox who've supported Darwinism to some degree or other, although I am inherently suspicious of a lot of them because of other questionable theological opinions (e.g. Dr Alexander Kalomiros and his "River of Fire" soteriology, or Fr Michael Azkoul).
I think to be Christian one has to affirm that death came as a consequence of Adam's sin, and to be honest I think that this needs to cover both bodily and spiritual death. So the kinds of reconciliations that e.g. Bp Alexander Mileant came up with, e.g. making it out that it was only spiritual death that was concerned (if I recall his argument rightly), seem to me to be really pushing against what's doctrinally acceptable. I for one do not feel comfortable with that. But having said that, if you can figure out a way of reconciling science and this teaching, then I'm not prepared to be dogmatic about that. I suspect the reason behind the Church's reluctance to address the issue explicitly is because the boundary between what the Church can affirm with certainty, i.e. dogmas, and what lies beyond it's competence, i.e. science, is so fine in this case that the bishops don't want to risk ending up on the wrong side. I'm basing my opinions more on what I see to be the teaching of the Fathers as a whole, including some recent saints who have
spoken out against Darwinism, e.g. St John of Kronstadt, St Nectarios of Aegina. Also, I am in principle really suspicious about rationalizing dogmas that are hard to understand. I think that approach leads too easily into heresy. I think it's wiser simply to acknowledge where difficulties lie, trust the Church, and hope for some reconciliation in the future.
For your own position as a scientist I really understand that you are in a different position from most people. You have to deal with these issues every day, and you may even have to publicly accept the assumptions of Darwinism for the sake of your profession (publishing and so on). That is really a pastoral matter and I'm not qualified to talk about that (especially since you're not even a member of my Church
). I've experience similar difficulties: although linguistics doesn't involve Darwinism directly in most cases, it's still part of a lot of discussions, and if you just declare you don't believe in it you can probably expect not to be taken seriously (though I think there's at least one evangelical Protestant who's also a serious theoretical syntactician, Mark Baker, who also doesn't believe in evolution). Personally, I might be willing to concede at most a kind of Popperian acceptance
of Darwinism as a legitimate scientific theory, without treating it in any way as dogmatic truth, i.e. I wouldn't say I "believe in" Darwinism, but that I accept it as a valid hypothesis. Maybe that's too much of a sellout, I don't know. But as with much of Church teaching, the fact that something is hard to accept or to live up to doesn't make it untrue.