One problem I have with accepting evolution as an Orthodox Christian is simply that evolution is an ugly process;
Huh? How? I think it is beautiful and elegant.
being more specific, what about all of those sub-human species that existed before us or around the same time modern humans were rising and went extinct because of evolution? Animals I do not care about, but were these species really animals or closer to humans than we actually think? How could God really just let them die off? How could He really create them knowing that they were basically just lab mice to serve a biological purpose that He knew were going to die in the end? Why favor humans over the rest of them? This is a mystery.
Um, God lets species go extinct all the time even in our modern era. So I don't see the point here.
The issue I have raised that has yet to be satisfactorily addressed is that evolution makes God the Author of death, and therefore the theory is not compatible with an Orthodox worldview. From an Orthodox standpoint, the concept of God using death to create humanity is indeed an "ugly" concept.
Another question I have asked that has yet to be answered is this: If evolution is true, then who or what determines who and what is "fully human"? If we are still evolving, then the sanctity of human life is undermined. We have seen the logical consequence of biological Darwinism, which is social Darwinism. Chattel slavery, the Holocaust, and abortion on demand are the foul fruit of evolutionary theory.
I guess I just take bishops and priests at their word when they say evolution is acceptable, and don't rely on Internet web forums. Also, death is not the mechanism of evolution; differential reproductive success is.
I'm not even going to bother addressing the hackery that is equating evolution with social Darwinism, it is disingenuous and idiotic.
but you dont take Saints at their word when they say that evolution is NOT acceptable ...?!
No. I let my Bishop and priest interpret the Fathers instead of being my own infallible theologian. Had enough of that as a Protestant. I JUST said that, are you not paying attention?
please ask your bishop and/or priest to interpret what St. Theophan is saying here (NOT asking whether or not they agree with him, but simply for their interpretation of his words, since you leave that up to them), and get back to us about it:
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God, trans. Lisa Marie Baranov (2010), pp. 127-128
What ought we to preach? We should cry to all, ‘Sons of the Kingdom [of Heaven]! Don’t run from the Kingdom into bondage and slavery’ – for they are in fact running. Some are captivated by freedom of mind. They say, ‘We don’t want the bonds of faith and the oppression of authority, even Divine authority; we’ll figure things out and make up our minds for ourselves.’ So they have made up their minds. They have built fables in which there is more childishness than in the mythology of the Greeks – and they magnify themselves … Others are enticed by the broad path of the passions. They say, ‘We don’t want to know positive commandments or the demands of conscience – this is all abstract: we need tangible naturalness.’ And they have gone after it. What has come of it? They have bowed down before dumb beasts. Has not the theory that man originated from animals arisen from this moral fall? This is where they have gone! And everyone runs from the Lord, everyone runs …”
The truth of God is simple; can a proud mind study it? Such a mind would rather think up its own thing: sensational things, although empty and as weak as a spider’s web. To see that this is so, look at the current theories of the creation of the world: they are like a somnambulistic or drunken delirium. And yet how good they seem to those who invented them! How much energy and time are wasted on this – and all in vain! The deed was accomplished simply: ‘He spake and they cam to be. He commanded and they were created’ (Ps. 148:5). No one can think up anything better than this solution.
Sozertsaniye i razmyshleniye (Contemplations and Reflections) (1998) p. 146
These days many nihilists of both sexes, naturalists, Darwinists, Spiritists, and Westernizers in general have multiplied among us. All right, you’re thinking – would the Church have been silent, would it not have proferred its voice, would it not have condemned or anathematized them if there had been something new in their teaching? To be sure – a council would have done so without doubt, and all of them, with their teachings, would have been given over to anathema. To the current Rite of Orthodoxy only the following item would have been added: ‘To Büchner, Feuerbach, Darwin, Renan, Kardec, and all their followers – anathema! But there is no need, either for a special council or for any kind of addition. All of their false teachings were anathematized long ago. At the present time, not only in principal cities but in all place and churches the Rite of Orthodoxy ought to be brought in and celebrated, so that all the teachings contrary to the word of God might be collected and that it might be proclaimed to everyone what they must fear and from what teachings they must flee, and all might know. Many are seduced intellectually only through ignorance, and therefore a public condemnation of pernicious teachings would save them from destruction. If the action of an anathema is terrible to someone, then let him avoid the teachings that lead to it. Let him who is afraid of it for the sake of others bring them back to a healthy teaching. If you who are not favorably disposed to this action are Orthodox, then you are going against yourself; and if you have already lost sound teaching, then what business do you have concerning what is done in the Church that supports it? After all, you’ve already separated yourself from the Church and have your own convictions, your own way of looking at things – well, live with them then. It’s all the same whether or not your name and your teaching are uttered under the anathema: you are already under anathema if you philosophize against the Church and persist in this philosophizing.