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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 326798 times) Average Rating: 0
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sohma_hatori
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« Reply #90 on: September 02, 2007, 12:50:09 AM »

I think both the Scripture and Darwin's Theory are realated..

I just think that all these facts that scientist brought up, like the world being formed in a span of Millions of years.. Who knows, maybe what the book of Genesis refers to as The Seven Days when God created the world, would actually be translated as many millions of years going by, but for the Almighty it felt like only Seven Days...

Since in the scripture it is written that Man was created in 6th day, maybe that "day" was a day for God's time, but for a human to actually BE on that 6th day meant travelling Millions of years that would translate as Darwin's Theory of Evolution...

Thus I believe, that Evolution explain Creationism and that they are inseparable...

God bless...
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« Reply #91 on: September 02, 2007, 01:20:11 AM »

Here's an interesting hypothesis someone shared on an MSN thread I frequented several moons ago.  According to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, as one approaches the speed of light, one's own time slows down relative to the time outside of his unit of transportation.  This basically means that if I were to travel at 3/4 the speed of light to a star system 100 light years away, upon my return to earth, I would find that an earth calendar reads 2207, and everyone I knew before my departure has long been dead, yet I would have experienced time as if I had only been in space for a year or two.

Now, let us look at how this affects the universe's experience of its own expansion since the Big Bang.  The Big Bang theory postulates that for the first few billion years (as we humans reckon time) the universe had been expanding at nearly the speed of light.  In universal time, this might actually come out to be only the First Day.  Eventually over the next few billion years (again in human time) as the universe's expansion slows, galaxies form, and within them stars take their form, some together with planets--in universal time, according to Einsteinian theory, this all equates to just the Second Day.  During the next few billion years the earliest forms of life, primarily vegetation, make their first appearance on this rocky planet we call earth, but the universe experiences this as just the Third Day because of the continued speed of her expansion.  I could go on like this through all of the Seven Days of creation, but I figure three is enough for you to get the gist of what I'm saying.  I recognize that this is merely speculation based on my understanding of Einstein's theories of relativity, but don't you see the wisdom in not limiting our doctrines of creation to our limited understanding of time?
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« Reply #92 on: September 02, 2007, 04:26:19 AM »

Dear Mina,

We are speaking of an event that occured thousands/millions/billions/whatever years ago; I am a little perplexed as to how what happened back then can appear as observable fact to us in the present. Anastasios brought up the issue of microevolution, and I was under impression that such is the type of evolution that we factually observe today; if macroevolution is occuring in the present, and as such factually observable, I would love to know.

It seems to me that St Basil's point is that we are dealing with an incident according to which it is necessary and sufficient for us to simply consult the very account of the Creator himself--the One personally involved in that very act of Creation, rather than in human wisdom (and it doesn't seem to me like the issue of what "types" of human wisdom were prevalent in his day are relevant).
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« Reply #93 on: September 02, 2007, 11:17:56 AM »

Creationism and Evolution are both linked together. Creationism is a loving act that gave us life. Trying to understand this or explain it will only limit god in doing so. For those that put a biological understanding to it will only confuse the situation further. A biological explaination to creation has a zero chance at ever happening on it's own. If this were true than life would still be coming about out of nothing. And since the same material substances still exist today. Why doesn't it still happen?
 Evolution on the other hand is the false life that we fell into after the fall. Evolution is the curse witch is linked to death because life as it should have bin wasn't biological. It was immortal. The false life has become biological and the by product is death.
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« Reply #94 on: September 02, 2007, 12:14:42 PM »

Dear Mina,

We are speaking of an event that occured thousands/millions/billions/whatever years ago; I am a little perplexed as to how what happened back then can appear as observable fact to us in the present.

You're still in school, arn't you? Perhaps you should take some upper division biology courses. But ultimately, the theory is sound because it can and has and continues to be used to make numerous predictions that are later verified by experiment. Most significant of these examples is comparing closely related species (e.g. different types of yeast or mammals) and being able to mathematically determine, based on the assumption of common ancestry, the most important elements of the genome and the distinguishing features between the species, and in some cases even the function of individual genes. If the assumption of common ancestry can allow us to make accurate predictions that have, time and time again, been verified by experimental evidence, we can only reasonably conclude that the theory is accurate. I'm sure George (Heorhij) could provide us with even better examples if he wished.

Quote
Anastasios brought up the issue of microevolution, and I was under impression that such is the type of evolution that we factually observe today; if macroevolution is occuring in the present, and as such factually observable, I would love to know.

This is a false dichotomy, ALL evolution is 'micro-evolution'...fish don't just grow legs and fur overnight and start walking on the ground. But with enough changes, for various reasons determined by natural selection, over a long enough period of time, and this can occur. We've only been observing these things for about 150 years, we'd have to observe for something on the order of tens of millions of years if you want to see so-called 'macro-evolution'.
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« Reply #95 on: September 02, 2007, 01:13:33 PM »

I am looking forward to seeing my great1000 grandchildren.  It's possible that they might even resemble Kevin Costner in Waterworld.  I will love them no matter what.





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« Reply #96 on: September 02, 2007, 02:02:14 PM »

This is a false dichotomy, ALL evolution is 'micro-evolution'...fish don't just grow legs and fur overnight and start walking on the ground. But with enough changes, for various reasons determined by natural selection, over a long enough period of time, and this can occur. We've only been observing these things for about 150 years, we'd have to observe for something on the order of tens of millions of years if you want to see so-called 'macro-evolution'.

Yes, I agree. Sometimes biologists use the term "microevolution" to specify that they are talking about evolution of populations, leaving out evolution of bigger taxonomic groups (species, genera, etc.). But we have to bear in mind that the mechanisms leading to the evolution of a population are esentially the same as the mechanisms that make higher taxonomic groups evolve; these mechanisms are genetic mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, migrations ("gene flow"), etc. Moreover, how can we put a firm boundary distinguishing two independently evolving populations that are still belonging to the same species, from two independent species? Speciation is a process, it's not a momentary event; the above "boundary" is not, actually, observable, we do not see speciation as such, but only the *results* of the process of speciation (or, sadly, of its opposite - extinction).
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« Reply #97 on: September 02, 2007, 06:46:42 PM »

GiC,

Yes, I am still a university student, but that is besides the point since science is not, nor will it ever be, a field of study of mine (I am a Laws/Arts--that's a double degree--student and I am majoring in Theology and Studies of Religion in the latter) nor do I pretend to be any sort of expert in science. I wasn't raising any sort of challenge, I was making a genuine inquiry, so there's no need to get smart.

Nevertheless, my main point still stands viz. that it appears that Saints like Basil the Great and John Chrysostom drew the various views on creation that they did strictly upon consideration of the intent of the Scriptures. If they erred, they erred in their capacity as Scriptural exegetes, not as scientists. As I suggested when I first raised this concern, I am more than happy to be corrected.
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« Reply #98 on: September 02, 2007, 06:51:45 PM »

a question I get from creationists a lot is "If evolution is true why is there still fish in the water or apes?" implying wouldnt they all have evolved. What would be a good answer to this?
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« Reply #99 on: September 02, 2007, 07:06:01 PM »

a question I get from creationists a lot is "If evolution is true why is there still fish in the water or apes?" implying wouldnt they all have evolved. What would be a good answer to this?

It's like saying the existence of Australians or Americans relies on the extinction of the British.  "If Americans and Australians came from the British, why are there still British people?"

God bless.
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« Reply #100 on: September 02, 2007, 07:18:04 PM »

Dear EA,

I'm still not quite getting your point.  Are you saying that if St. Basil believed let's say in a geocentric view (keeping flat-earthism aside for the moment), that it is based not on science but on his interpretation of the Bible, and if he was found wrong, he should be proven scripturally that he was wrong, and not on scientific grounds?

Perhaps fathers like Sts. Basil and John Chrysostom try so hard to keep the Bible accurate, to which I would disagree with such an endeavor, the reason is of the scientific developments in our present time.  And yet, I do understand St. John Chrysostom at one point taking some exceptions, whereas St. Basil likewise collected with St. Gregory favorite passages of Origen that seem to show Origen didn't take things like the Trees of Life or Knowledge as literal trees.  But then don't we have other fathers that believed in a literal tree to begin with?

With this in mind, I have to say that while you may want to limit yourself to St. Basil, there's a whole list of fathers who have different views on interpreting Genesis.  If we can look at the big picture here, we find that no two fathers might have held exactly the same view of Scriptural exegesis of Genesis 1.  What does that tell us?  It certainly tells me that Genesis 1 is not something that is of high authority to view as important for a unifying exegesis than say John 1 or Psalm 23.

I for one like to see a thesis on all the various interpretations of Genesis in Church history.

God bless.
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« Reply #101 on: September 02, 2007, 08:07:55 PM »

minasoliman 2 things:

1. Thank you for giving me the answer to my almost stupidly simplistic question.
2. Are we to argue about the geocentric view of the universe when it has been literally seen and I believe fathers held these certain view because of the times (thats obvious) but I think that there simple minds (scientifically speaking) is an enlightening thing that tells us that we should not be taken by "intellectual" endevours and that is not what Orthodoxy is about.
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« Reply #102 on: September 03, 2007, 01:26:25 AM »

Yes, I am still a university student, but that is besides the point since science is not, nor will it ever be, a field of study of mine (I am a Laws/Arts--that's a double degree--student and I am majoring in Theology and Studies of Religion in the latter) nor do I pretend to be any sort of expert in science. I wasn't raising any sort of challenge, I was making a genuine inquiry, so there's no need to get smart.

I did not mean to be 'smart' with you, sorry if it came across that way...half of it was regret that I did not take upper division biology classes in undergraduate school, I mostly limited myself to the more mathematical and theoretical sciences. I personally believe everyone should take advanced classes in both the humanities and sciences...but it's a bit late for me to correct my personal mistakes now. Wink
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« Reply #103 on: September 03, 2007, 01:55:59 AM »

Mina,

I am really only trying to specifically engage with those who would suggest that Fathers like St Basil and John Chrysostom were seriously concerned with anything other than the authority of the Scriptures in the process of formulating their cosmological beliefs. I am not trying to suggest anything with respect to how their testimony should be treated, and i'm certainly not trying to suggest anything with respect to how to properly interpret Genesis. I am simply questioning (in an inquisitive sense) the response from Orthodox Christian evolutionists, which I have often heard repeated, that patristic testimony should be discarded on the basis that the Fathers were using the science of their day, which, in that day, was woefully underdeveloped (relative to the situation today at least). If science was not seriously an element of their Scriptural hermeneutics (and I am not saying it definitely wasn't, I am simply asking for evidence that it was, in addition to a response to the quoted passage from St Basil which suggests that, for him at least, it wasn't), then Orthodox Christian evolutionists should discontinue such a response in their well-intentioned attempt to defend the integrity of the Fathers.
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« Reply #104 on: September 03, 2007, 01:58:30 AM »

I did not mean to be 'smart' with you, sorry if it came across that way...half of it was regret that I did not take upper division biology classes in undergraduate school, I mostly limited myself to the more mathematical and theoretical sciences. I personally believe everyone should take advanced classes in both the humanities and sciences...but it's a bit late for me to correct my personal mistakes now. Wink

I apologise for assuming a negative tone to your response; that was hasty of me.

Thanks for the information in that response, by the way. It was helpful and it certainly made much sense.
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« Reply #105 on: September 03, 2007, 01:27:24 PM »

Mina,

I am really only trying to specifically engage with those who would suggest that Fathers like St Basil and John Chrysostom were seriously concerned with anything other than the authority of the Scriptures in the process of formulating their cosmological beliefs. I am not trying to suggest anything with respect to how their testimony should be treated, and i'm certainly not trying to suggest anything with respect to how to properly interpret Genesis. I am simply questioning (in an inquisitive sense) the response from Orthodox Christian evolutionists, which I have often heard repeated, that patristic testimony should be discarded on the basis that the Fathers were using the science of their day, which, in that day, was woefully underdeveloped (relative to the situation today at least). If science was not seriously an element of their Scriptural hermeneutics (and I am not saying it definitely wasn't, I am simply asking for evidence that it was, in addition to a response to the quoted passage from St Basil which suggests that, for him at least, it wasn't), then Orthodox Christian evolutionists should discontinue such a response in their well-intentioned attempt to defend the integrity of the Fathers.

Alright.  Hopefully, this time I understand you correctly.  You're suggesting that St. Basil is not concerned of nor did he use the science of his day to interpret Scripture.  In this case, then we would have to assume that he developed, for example, a geocentric view based solely on Scripture, ignoring whatever scientific ideas were around him (even if these ideas were also geocentric).

One question that comes to mind, is he right in ignoring the science of his days?  The answer to this depends on how we define "science" now versus defining "science" then, which I did earlier.

Another question that comes to my mind, since he solely used the Scriptures to contemplate on the world around us, how does this interpretation apply today?  And if this interpretation contradicts what we believe today, can we protect his integrity?

Am I asking the right questions so far?

God bless.
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« Reply #106 on: September 03, 2007, 01:38:24 PM »

minasoliman 2 things:

1. Thank you for giving me the answer to my almost stupidly simplistic question.
2. Are we to argue about the geocentric view of the universe when it has been literally seen and I believe fathers held these certain view because of the times (thats obvious) but I think that there simple minds (scientifically speaking) is an enlightening thing that tells us that we should not be taken by "intellectual" endevours and that is not what Orthodoxy is about.

Dear Prodromas,

I think someone once said that he wished he was like Dita (Arabic word for Grandma) who had the simplest faith in Christ, and lived an awesome spiritual life.  I wish to be like my Dita too, but I can't.  Perhaps, in the Islamic world, but when it comes to the world I live in, where I am bombarded by intellectuals, philosophers, pluralists, atheists, and agnostics, my shell needs to develop into something more akin to the environment around me.  An albino skin can no longer live in an equatorial region; I need a much darker and harsher skin.  This is where it is necessary for me to reach the level of those around me to be better equipped to spread the gospel.  Perhaps, you can consider intellectual endeavors as a "necessary evil" in this day in age.

I'm sorry if I made you feel that was stupid and simple question.  I didn't mean to offend you.  I understand this was a common question among those who might not understand evolution, and putting it with a simple analogy sorta helps understand easily what evolutionists believe.

God bless.
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« Reply #107 on: September 03, 2007, 03:11:35 PM »

Mina, great story about the "Dita." BTW, it reminded me of Louis Pasteur. This great scientist used to say that as far as the Christian faith is concerned, his ideal is the faith of a simple, un-educated, illiterate Breton peasant. Shortly before his death, when he was already a world-famous professor, somebody asked him, was his ideal still the faith of a Breton peasant, and Pasteur said, "no, actually, I think my real ideal is the faith of the WIFE of a Breton peasant." Pasteur refused to understand, why would people make complicated theories about God instead of simply believing.

Yet, Pasteur was an honest scientist and, as such, would never say something like, eh, if the Bible says that it is the evil spirits who cause disease, then forget about those microorganisms. That's what these so-called "creationists" say.
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« Reply #108 on: September 03, 2007, 04:50:15 PM »

Sort of related to this topic...

I am reading a book right now about the history of Islam in Central Asia and the author makes some interesting points.  Osama Bin Laden was/is a civil engineer (and trained to be so) and Mohamed Atta was a trained Architect.  The list goes on of Islamic fundamentalists who are trained in the hard sciences and engineering.  An interesting point in and of itself that really questions the idea that simply educating people will get rid of fundamentalism and other ideas.  But, the point that was made is that all religion has a certain mythos to it.  Understanding the spiritual value from mythos, is far different than the approach one would take to read a science textbook.  The sharp rise in Islamic fundamentalism (and for that matter, Christian fundamentalism) can really be traced to highly educated individuals using their backgrounds in the hard sciences and applying that methodology to religion.

As for the question of St. Basil accepting Genesis as being historically accurate, what reason would he have had to not do so?  So I don't know if that is the best approach to take.  Rather, I'd ask why are the spiritual values of Genesis pegged only to it being historically accurate in your view? 

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« Reply #109 on: September 04, 2007, 02:52:10 PM »

I do not have a slightest problem reconciling the Creator and evolution. I just don't think in antropomorphic (man-shaped) terms. When I read that God "made" the heavens and the earth, I am trying to avoid imagining an old man with a gray beard who is "making" something with the help of his two hands. Same thing, when I read that God "made" Adam from clay, I am trying to avoid imagining that same old gramps taking literal red-colored mud in his hands and sculpturing a doll.

Sorry if this is too wild. I come from a totally secular humanist background, and I never received any religious education/indoctrination whatsoever. I hope my thought has not offended you, please forgive me if it has.

George

It's not wild at all it seems to me.  I also find no difficulty in the idea that God in His making the Universe used evolution.  Also, it took me a while to find the quote, but it came to my mind while reading your posts on this subject:

From Lee DeRaud

"Any deity worthy of a graven image can cobble up a working universe complete with fake fossils in under a week - hey, if you're not omnipotent, there's no real point in being a god. But to start with a big ball of elementary particles and end up with the duckbill platypus without constant twiddling requires a degree of subtlety and the ability to Think Things Through: exactly the qualities I'm looking for when I'm shopping for a Supreme Being."

 Wink

Ebor
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« Reply #110 on: September 04, 2007, 02:53:13 PM »

It's like saying the existence of Australians or Americans relies on the extinction of the British.  "If Americans and Australians came from the British, why are there still British people?"

I *like* this one.  Very good indeed, Mina!

 Smiley

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« Reply #111 on: September 04, 2007, 03:22:11 PM »

Sort of related to this topic...

I am reading a book right now about the history of Islam in Central Asia and the author makes some interesting points.  Osama Bin Laden was/is a civil engineer (and trained to be so) and Mohamed Atta was a trained Architect.  The list goes on of Islamic fundamentalists who are trained in the hard sciences and engineering.  An interesting point in and of itself that really questions the idea that simply educating people will get rid of fundamentalism and other ideas.  But, the point that was made is that all religion has a certain mythos to it.  Understanding the spiritual value from mythos, is far different than the approach one would take to read a science textbook.  The sharp rise in Islamic fundamentalism (and for that matter, Christian fundamentalism) can really be traced to highly educated individuals using their backgrounds in the hard sciences and applying that methodology to religion.

I do believe that secular education can help diminish the influence of fundamentalism, sure the leaders of fundamentalist movements are educated but they have another, greater, motivating factor: power. The masses from whom they derive their power, however, tend to be rather uneducated. Many (most?) people are willing to suspend knowledge, reason, and truth in the pursuit of power; but the number of those willing to suspend the aforementioned qualities to give power to another is much smaller.
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« Reply #112 on: December 17, 2007, 02:28:54 PM »

Grace and Peace,

As I have looked over Orthodox materials I get the impression that one can be a Creationist and be very firmly Orthodox.

Does this continue to be true or has most if not all theologians embrace Evolutionary Theory? What are you personal takes on the Creationist/Evolutionist discussions.

Thank you and God Bless.


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« Reply #113 on: December 17, 2007, 03:40:12 PM »

You should check out these threads, as well.   Smiley

Evolutionist, ID, or Creationist? Cast Your Vote!

Creationism vs Evolution

Darwinian Evolution: The Beginning of Heresy

My opinion article on Intelligent Design

Some are years old, but they are interesting reads on the subject.
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« Reply #114 on: December 17, 2007, 04:07:31 PM »

Dear Ignatius,

As far as I know, of modern Orthodox theologians only Fr. Seraphim Rose said something to the effect of "Darwinism being a heresy," while other remained remarkably quiet.

Personally, I find the entire talk about "evolutionism vs. creationism" being pointless and silly. There exists a scientific theory of biological evolution, much like there exists a scientific theory of electromagnetism or atomic-molecular structure of substance. It's not a matter of personal opinions, philosophies, theologies etc. Debating whether a good Orthodox should "believe in evolution" (or quarks, electromagnetic field, Geisenberg's uncertainty principle, etc.) is plain ridiculous, IMO.

Other than that, as Friul said, do read those old threads.

Best wishes,

George
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« Reply #115 on: December 17, 2007, 05:57:06 PM »

I think at a bare minimum, one should believe in a literal Adam and Eve. Saying otherwise undermines our Orthodox theology, and our salvation. Some people are fine with that, I guess.
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« Reply #116 on: December 17, 2007, 06:27:58 PM »

I think at a bare minimum, one should believe in a literal Adam and Eve. Saying otherwise undermines our Orthodox theology, and our salvation. Some people are fine with that, I guess.

Several Orthodox Schools of Thought got along just fine for centuries with an allegorical interpretation of Genesis. Quite frankly, the entire idea of two original 'full' humans is not even reasonable in the light of modern genetic knowledge.
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« Reply #117 on: December 17, 2007, 06:41:45 PM »

God made a mistake. He unwittingly created a defective universe if you accept current evolutionary thinking.
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« Reply #118 on: December 17, 2007, 06:42:26 PM »

I think at a bare minimum, one should believe in a literal Adam and Eve. Saying otherwise undermines our Orthodox theology, and our salvation. Some people are fine with that, I guess.

Symeon, sorry, if you are right, then I have to side with those who "undermine our Orthodox theology." I can believe that there existed the "first humans" (literally) no more than I can believe that the literal human heart with its atria and ventricles is the literal location of human thoughts. I am from the country where in 1948 geneticists were tortured and shot because they refused to agree, for the sake of an ideology, that genes are fantasies of "bourgeous pseudo-scientists" and that genetics is a "whore of American imperialism." For me, a scientist familiar with population genetics and biological evolution, it is only possible to believe in metaphoric, allegorical Adam and Eve.
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« Reply #119 on: December 17, 2007, 06:56:32 PM »

Several Orthodox Schools of Thought got along just fine for centuries with an allegorical interpretation of Genesis. Quite frankly, the entire idea of two original 'full' humans is not even reasonable in the light of modern genetic knowledge.

And those schools would be...? Even Origen held to a literal Adam and Eve. The allegorical complemented the literal, it didn't replace it.
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« Reply #120 on: December 17, 2007, 07:07:16 PM »

I believe in theistic evolution, but I disagree with fellow evolutionists who regard creationists as ignorant just because they disagree.
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« Reply #121 on: December 17, 2007, 07:08:04 PM »

Symeon, sorry, if you are right, then I have to side with those who "undermine our Orthodox theology." I can believe that there existed the "first humans" (literally) no more than I can believe that the literal human heart with its atria and ventricles is the literal location of human thoughts. I am from the country where in 1948 geneticists were tortured and shot because they refused to agree, for the sake of an ideology, that genes are fantasies of "bourgeous pseudo-scientists" and that genetics is a "whore of American imperialism." For me, a scientist familiar with population genetics and biological evolution, it is only possible to believe in metaphoric, allegorical Adam and Eve.

I'm sorry, but Christ didn't save us from a metaphor or an allegory.

Anyway, I think you are too caught up on "first humans." I didn't say this terminology was essential, only a literal Adam and Eve. See this article by the late Bishop Alexander.
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« Reply #122 on: December 17, 2007, 07:45:32 PM »

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I don't believe I said anything about heresy. I simply was looking in the back of my Old Believer's Prayer Book and saw that it indicates that the earth is like 7000 years old or something and wanted to know if such was still held?

When did this opinion change?
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« Reply #123 on: December 17, 2007, 08:25:54 PM »

When did this opinion change?

In a way, this "opinion" never existed. The counting of the years "since the creation of the world" was simply a matter of convenience, and not intended to be a scientific calculation of how old the Earth is. By "convenience", I mean the Jewish Diaspora and the early Church had to have a way of counting the years before Christ since they found themselves in Gentile lands and had to calculate events based on Gentile calendars (eg, the Olympiads, the years since the Foundation of Rome, the Babylonian Calendars, etc.).
From early times, the Church has understood that the terms "generation" and "day" meant much longer epochs than what we understand them to be in common parlance. For example, the Church speaks of the "Eighth Day" of Creation as being the Second Coming, meaning that she understands us to still be in the "Seventh Day" of Creation. So if the "Seventh Day" has lasted from the First Creation until now, then how long were each of the other "Six Days" ("Hexameron") of Creation?
We cannot even use the geneaologies of the Scriptures to calculate the age of the Earth, because "begat" and "son of" does not necessarily mean that someone is the direct fruit of someone's loins. For example, Christ is called "The son of David", but that doesn't mean that David was his direct father. Similarly, the Jews in Christ's time told him "we have Abraham for our father", but Abraham did not sire them with their mothers. There may be many, many generations between a Biblical figure and those he or she "begat".
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« Reply #124 on: December 17, 2007, 11:09:11 PM »

I believe in theistic evolution, but I disagree with fellow evolutionists who regard creationists as ignorant just because they disagree.

But evolution cannot be "believed" in. Do you believe that opposite charges attract? We know that biological evolution (defined as a change in the genetic makeup of populations) takes place. A sound scientific theory posits that biological evolution diversifies life on our planet. What in the world does the term "creationists" mean, I simply do not know. Something similar to "anti-oppositechargesattractionists?" Smiley
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« Reply #125 on: December 17, 2007, 11:27:15 PM »

But evolution cannot be "believed" in.

Think of it as applying to the "theistic" part. You know: evolution with God as opposed to atheistic evolution. God is believed in.

Quote
What in the world does the term "creationists" mean, I simply do not know. Something similar to "anti-oppositechargesattractionists?" Smiley

Now, to be fair, creationists do accept magnetism to be real  laugh
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« Reply #126 on: December 17, 2007, 11:32:17 PM »

Honestly, I am not quite comfortable even with "believing in theistic evolution." I believe in God. As for biological evolution, I know that it takes place.
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« Reply #127 on: December 17, 2007, 11:35:47 PM »

I agree with the theory of evolution as long as it doesn't try and explain our origins. I believe Adam and Eve were the first humans created by God and that the fall led humanity to the biological life. A life not in Christ.
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« Reply #128 on: December 17, 2007, 11:50:39 PM »

But evolution cannot be "believed" in. Do you believe that opposite charges attract? We know that biological evolution (defined as a change in the genetic makeup of populations) takes place. A sound scientific theory posits that biological evolution diversifies life on our planet. What in the world does the term "creationists" mean, I simply do not know. Something similar to "anti-oppositechargesattractionists?" Smiley

Well, I don't think anyone denies "change in the genetic makeup of populations." Who can disagree with this broad definition? But that isn't what most people think of when they hear "biological evolution," is it? This appears to be a word game.
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« Reply #129 on: December 18, 2007, 12:15:58 AM »

Grace and Peace,

As I have looked over Orthodox materials I get the impression that one can be a Creationist and be very firmly Orthodox.

Does this continue to be true or has most if not all theologians embrace Evolutionary Theory? What are you personal takes on the Creationist/Evolutionist discussions.

Thank you and God Bless.

To get a proper perspective of Orthodoxy and Creationism/Evolution I would suggest reading "Orthodoxy and Creationism" by Father Deacon Andrey Kuraev. His take on this subject is most objective and shows how Creationism can live side by side with Evolution.   A must read:

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/evolution_kuraev.htm
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« Reply #130 on: December 18, 2007, 01:36:56 AM »

Well, I don't think anyone denies "change in the genetic makeup of populations." Who can disagree with this broad definition? But that isn't what most people think of when they hear "biological evolution," is it? This appears to be a word game.

Well, that's really all that evolution is; the remainder of the conclusions are simply logical consequences of this axiom supported by clear biological evidence. George is right, there's really nothing to debate about evolution, it's a simple fact that it occured, the genetic and molecular biological data makes it obvious that all biological lifeforms on earth share a common ancestry. The only real debate is purely philosophical, does religious belief negate the validity of science or not? In the end, 'creationism' and 'anti-oppositechargesattractionism' are the same thing, they dismiss obvious scientific evidence for some random religious belief.
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« Reply #131 on: December 18, 2007, 01:37:44 AM »

Symeon, sorry, if you are right, then I have to side with those who "undermine our Orthodox theology." I can believe that there existed the "first humans" (literally) no more than I can believe that the literal human heart with its atria and ventricles is the literal location of human thoughts. I am from the country where in 1948 geneticists were tortured and shot because they refused to agree, for the sake of an ideology, that genes are fantasies of "bourgeous pseudo-scientists" and that genetics is a "whore of American imperialism." For me, a scientist familiar with population genetics and biological evolution, it is only possible to believe in metaphoric, allegorical Adam and Eve.

Hear, hear!

Thanks for putting things in perspective.
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« Reply #132 on: December 18, 2007, 01:43:44 AM »

Not another debate on evolution....  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #133 on: December 18, 2007, 01:52:23 AM »

Is it possible to believe in a flat earth and be Orthodox?  What do the modern theologians say opposed to Old Believers?
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« Reply #134 on: December 18, 2007, 02:07:22 AM »

Is there a theologian today that dealt with and wrote about the "Adam and Eve" question in a theological perspective that is quite compatible with the science of evolution?
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