Orthodox teaching says that human is composed of spirit, soul and body as opposed to animals who are composed of soul and body only. Let me make a little clarification of the terms so that terms don't get on our way. By "soul" I mean that immortal thing that God put in man and that make man man and that make man different from animals. By "spirit" I mean something immaterial that gives every living organism it feature of being alive. Basically let's call "soul" that thing which puts man as a special one in creation.
Now, Orthodox evolutionists adhere to an idea that man was evolved from something non-man. There has to be the very first being (or first beings if such being got souls at the same time on time scale) who received soul. Let's call that one "Lucky" and denote it by letter L. Now my questions are: 1) What was the genetic composition of that first body L that qualified to be called man and that received the soul? Here I don't expect a detailed genetic map but more of an answer if L's genetics was exactly like ours. 2) Certainly, L's parents did not have the soul since L was the first one who got the soul. L's parents would not be much different from L himself since L would have inherited from his parents genetic material same way it is inherited now. There could have been maybe a little bit of point mutations in L's parents gametes but L would still look like their parents like us who look like our mothers and fathers. Why would these unfortunate parents not receive the immortal soul? Weren't they genetically men?
and lastly: 3) Did All-Mighty and Omniscient God wait in time until certain genetic combination would come through evolution before God would impart the immortal soul to such a being? And how did He know that through some random mutations such a combination would be reached at some point of time?
I'd love to know how one can claim to be Orthodox, have answers to these and be also evolutionist.
1.) I don't know
2.) I don't know
3.) I don't know, but I think this is the wrong question to ask; it assumes God is not involved in some aspects of creation. I believe God is involved in all aspects.
I think it's okay to say I don't know for things that which I have no evidence, nor do I think should matter. What I do know is the evidence presented today is undeniable, but more importantly, my faith is God is much more undeniable. I will share with you two quotes in another thread that I think is relevant here:
This first post especially lays down the reason why I think your third question is not appropriate to ask:
Of course not, but then we are at the point where we have to decide just HOW MUCH God played in the world from a scale of minimal poking to full fledged creationism.Yes, but this doesn't take away from the fact that God still loves to engage in full relationship with His creation and blesses everything creation does that He programmed in it. Even if I treat a patient, I ask God and say, "Lord, it is not I who treat, but your divine hands which blesses mine, and your divine mind which illuminates mine. It is You who stimulated me to study and you who kept my arms at skilled with practice. For unless the Lord builds, the laborers labor in vain. Unless you heal Oh Lord, my patients are being cared for in vain." Does not creation pray to God also, seeking for this evolution? You oh Lord evolved the species and You oh Lord formed me from my mother's womb. You Oh Lord implanted me in her womb, and You Oh Lord caused the chemicals to have blood vessels grow and nourish me!
I don't believe in God of the gaps, but God who involves Himself in every molecule of my body, in every enzyme, in every cell, and in everything I do if I seek His will.
And this next post gives you a reason why I remain an evolutionist and an Orthodox Christian, because my faith is that strong, and my reasoning of what I see around me I won't deny, and for anything unanswered, I leave to God:
As for the Scriptures, I'm not going to pretend that that doesn't present problems. There's no way I can answer that question to you sufficiently. But my faith is strong enough to believe the Fall, and believe in Christ, an I also trust in God's consistency in leaving us with hints on how He chose to have the world made. By experience in the lab, I've seen His consistency and te affirmation that evolution is true. By experience in prayer, I trust in the Lord God my Savior, who became man and united us to a life of Godliness. Therefore for questions I cannot answer, I'll just say I don't know, but I trust in God there is a good reason for all of this. Until it has been revealed otherwise, I am unable to deny the clear evidence tha surrounds me, but more importantly, I'm unable to deny the evidence of things unseen in my heart, as well as the essence things hoped for.
In conclusion, I see and accept the evidence as it strengthens the science of evolution, while I do not see this as a reason to weaken my faith in God. If anything, my faith in our Lord Jesus and the traditions of the Church is even stronger, as I pray more, read more, study more. I also understand I'm not going to convince anyone here of my convictions. So I'm not going to try. I can try my best to answer whatever questions you have though. But as an Orthodox Christian, I also learned how to say "I don't know" without any harm to my faith, because more important than evolution, or technology, or anything in this world that will wither away, is my faith in the unwitherable God.