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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 322763 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #900 on: June 09, 2009, 01:21:28 PM »

yes , thank you . see i am a reasonable person . while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, i tottally reject the idea that reptiles are evolved fish or something like that.
And why do you reject this?  Scientific reasons?  Theological reasons?  Emotional reasons?
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« Reply #901 on: June 09, 2009, 01:23:59 PM »

yes , thank you . see i am a reasonable person . while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, i tottally reject the idea that reptiles are evolved fish or something like that.

What if I say that I totally reject the idea that the Earth orbits the Sun?
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« Reply #902 on: June 09, 2009, 01:24:43 PM »

theological reasons and emotional reasons Smiley , also reject the idea people are evolved from apes.
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« Reply #903 on: June 09, 2009, 01:30:50 PM »

yes , thank you . see i am a reasonable person . while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, i tottally reject the idea that reptiles are evolved fish or something like that.

What if I say that I totally reject the idea that the Earth orbits the Sun?

It is my current opinion , but I am always prepared to be proven the contradictory . But for theologicall reasons I reject that belief(those beliefs).I hope I didn`t offend you in any way Heorji , I appreciate your knowledge and intelligence , and I must admit I am a little off this subject.But the statements I make I stand for them. Those two regardin humans being evolved from apes , and reptiles being evolved fish,untill proven the contradictory.
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« Reply #904 on: June 09, 2009, 01:41:27 PM »

yes , thank you . see i am a reasonable person . while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, i tottally reject the idea that reptiles are evolved fish or something like that.

What if I say that I totally reject the idea that the Earth orbits the Sun?

It is my current opinion , but I am always prepared to be proven the contradictory . But for theologicall reasons I reject that belief(those beliefs).I hope I didn`t offend you in any way Heorji , I appreciate your knowledge and intelligence , and I must admit I am a little off this subject.But the statements I make I stand for them. Those two regardin humans being evolved from apes , and reptiles being evolved fish,untill proven the contradictory.

But what do you mean by "proven?" You see, if you are not aware of certain facts, no one can "prove" you a lot of things. Supose you never heard about telescopes or space flights, and they tell you that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way around. You will just laugh then, and say, hey, look - don't you SEE the Sun going up and down, and don't you SEE that the earth is standing still?

Very much the same way - if you are not familiar with basic concepts of modern biology, genetics, etc. - there is no way a biologist can "prove" you that life evolves.

Thank you for your kind words about me though. I am sorry if I offended you in any way.
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« Reply #905 on: June 09, 2009, 03:22:28 PM »

thank you ialmisry. it honestly blows my mind that we really think we understand Scripture and an act of God better than 2000 yrs worth of God-bearing Fathers. we can try to nitpick their remarks and say oh, they dont understand science, but when are we going to nitpick the scientists and admit that they don't understand God? which is more important to understand? which is a more reliable source? we shouldnt bend Tradition to fit ever-changing science, we should weed out science that doesn't fit Tradition.

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That is not what "survival of the fittest" means.  It is not a matter of 'strong' beating down the 'weak', or of brutality.  It is the idea that a species that 'fits' that is can survive best in a particular situation. The classic case of the different beaks on the Galapagos Islands' finches is an example. Differently shaped beaks were the "fittest" for different food sources.

i know im going to get slammed on this one, but i think Hitler is a good example of what St. Barsanuphius was saying.

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I have looked at this page, but that quote is not 'evidence' from an EO saint.  What exactly did he write or say?  That would be the primary source for information on this idea.  How can a person consider whether St. Justin really understood what Darwin wrote without the real quote?

do we consider if Darwin really understood God or the Tradition?

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That's not what any geologists or paleontologists that I've ever read have said.  The study of rocks and fossils isn't to "understand the mind of God" but to find out what is there, to learn more and sometimes the reason is because it's really really neat to find out something new or to learn new information about the universe.  I do not mean any disrespect to St. John, but he doesn't not seem to understand how science is supposed to work.

theistic evolutionists believe they can study the earth to explain how God created -- in that sense they believe they have tapped into the mind of God, whether or not they realize that is what they are attempting to do. The Fathers warns us against such things:

St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book II.XVIII
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1. Having therefore the truth itself as our rule and the testimony concerning God set clearly before us, we ought not, by running after numerous and diverse answers to questions, to cast away the firm and true knowledge of God.
2. We should leave things of that nature to God who created us, being most properly assured that the Scriptures are indeed perfect, since they were spoken by the Word of God and His Spirit; but we, inasmuch as we are inferior to, and later in existence than, the Word of God and His Spirit, are on that very account destitute of the knowledge of His mysteries. And there is no cause for wonder if this is the case with us as respects things spiritual and heavenly, and such as require to be made known to us by revelation, since many even of those things which lie at our very feet (I mean such as belong to this world, which we handle, and see, and are in close contact with) transcend our knowledge, so that even these we must leave to God.

St. Theophilus, to Autolycus Book II.XVII
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But as to what relates to the creation of man, his own creation cannot be explained by man, though it is a succinct account of it which holy Scripture gives.


and I agree with Fr. Seraphim (surprise!) when he says that science is indeed a valid form of knowledge, but that it is a very base form of the simplest kind -- simply through observation, but that the knowledge that comes from divine illumination is the highest form and should above all be sought after. this is why we look to the Fathers and Saints to interpret Scripture for us, not to scientists, who are very often not Orthodox or not even Christian at all.
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« Reply #906 on: June 09, 2009, 03:23:28 PM »

yes , thank you . see i am a reasonable person . while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, i tottally reject the idea that reptiles are evolved fish or something like that.

Just to clarify.  No biologist claims that mixing species causes them to give birth to a new species.  A cow will always give birth to a cow.  Evolution is an aspect of a population, not an individual.  Over several generations the population evolves.  If there is a seperation between two populations of a species then they will evolve seperately.  After a period of time, if they are not reintroduced they will be unable to produce offspring even if they are reintroduced and so a new species is born.
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« Reply #907 on: June 09, 2009, 04:10:11 PM »

Darwin was a sick person , who encouraged eugenism.

Dan, could you please explain how you mean that Charles Darwin was "sick" and what you have read of him, please?  Not everything written about a famous person is true.


from unofficial sources I know he was a big supporter of eugenism , everyone who thinks in eugenism must be a little "sick". Not to mention his evolutionist theories , only heard of them by rumours , but regarding the fact and the name "evolution" i think it is sick. If he really taught that human being are evolved ape , than he is sick.If he trough his evolutional ideas , says that all the species evolved , from something , i think he has issues.We know how Moses teaches us trough genetics , God created all animals and all species , and the crown of the creation was human being. For whom God took counsellar before creating it , and He said : "Let us make man after Our own image" . Not from an ape.What I dislike this being related with Genetics the bible and Creation , the very name of this topic.This should be called more the scientist view on the diversity of life , or something like that. I can`t understand how christians can be darwinists . If darwin really said what i heard he said about evolution.And much more orthodox christians.

I'm sorry, Dan-Romania, but if all the information that you have on Charles Darwin is "from unofficial sources" and from "rumours", and from "what you heard" then you do not have real truthful knowledge of the man or his work.  You say that you "know" that he was a "big supporter of eugenism".  I submit that you do not know that, but that you heard or read someone who stated that.  By "eugenism" do you mean "eugenics"? Another poster has already written that Darwin, in fact, did not support such ideas. 

You say that something is "sick" and that people who believe in it are "sick". How can you say that an idea is 'sick' if you don't know what it really is in fact?  Can you please post what you think these ideas are in your own words?

It would be better and finding out the truth of a situation if you checked to find out what Darwin really said, rather then what you may have heard from someone else, wouldn't it?

With respect,

Ebor
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« Reply #908 on: June 09, 2009, 04:38:48 PM »

thank you ialmisry. it honestly blows my mind that we really think we understand Scripture and an act of God better than 2000 yrs worth of God-bearing Fathers.

Huh  Science isn't about any claim to understand Scripture, it's about observing data, finding new information, working on hypotheses and stating what is found.     

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we can try to nitpick their remarks and say oh, they dont understand science, but when are we going to nitpick the scientists and admit that they don't understand God? which is more important to understand? which is a more reliable source? we shouldnt bend Tradition to fit ever-changing science, we should weed out science that doesn't fit Tradition.

One wonders if any human can fully "understand God".   Undecided   One might suggest that it is important to learn more about the universe that God created with the intelligence and reason that He gave humanity.  When it comes to solid information on say, what a bacteria does or how genetics work or what fossils are found or some point of physics, the reliable source would be a person who is trained in the field not someone who doesn't know anything about it. Whereas a scriptural scholar would be the "reliable source" for what the Bible says.   Saying "ever-changing science" would seem to suggest that science is not based on fact and true information and that is not the case.  Real science adjusts when new verifiable tested information is discovered;  it does not stay "stuck" in an older pattern ideally, if there is some new discovery that does not fit the older hypothesis.

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That is not what "survival of the fittest" means.  It is not a matter of 'strong' beating down the 'weak', or of brutality.  It is the idea that a species that 'fits' that is can survive best in a particular situation. The classic case of the different beaks on the Galapagos Islands' finches is an example. Differently shaped beaks were the "fittest" for different food sources.

i know im going to get slammed on this one, but i think Hitler is a good example of what St. Barsanuphius was saying.

Why do you think you'll get "slammed"?  (aside from another application of Godwin's Law).  While Hitler might fit what St. Barsanuphius wrote, that does not apply to Charles Darwin or his work and it is not what he meant by "survival of the fittest", but I repeat myself. 

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I have looked at this page, but that quote is not 'evidence' from an EO saint.  What exactly did he write or say?  That would be the primary source for information on this idea.  How can a person consider whether St. Justin really understood what Darwin wrote without the real quote?

do we consider if Darwin really understood God or the Tradition?

Does the saint really understand Darwin?  I don't know because I do not know what he actually wrote on this subject.  The site asserts that St. Justin said something about Darwin, but does not give the quote or a source.  So I don't know if he really did make the link between a 19th century scientist and the nebulous blob called "New Age religion".  Do you know what passage of writing the site is referring to, please?   Darwin worked at understanding biology, why would he make any claim to understand "Tradition"?

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That's not what any geologists or paleontologists that I've ever read have said.  The study of rocks and fossils isn't to "understand the mind of God" but to find out what is there, to learn more and sometimes the reason is because it's really really neat to find out something new or to learn new information about the universe.  I do not mean any disrespect to St. John, but he doesn't not seem to understand how science is supposed to work.

theistic evolutionists believe they can study the earth to explain how God created -- in that sense they believe they have tapped into the mind of God, whether or not they realize that is what they are attempting to do.

Can you give some quotes or names of these "theistic evolutionists" that believe this please?  I haven't seen any such assertions or claims to have "tapped into the mind of God".  Thank you in advance.

Quote

and I agree with Fr. Seraphim (surprise!) when he says that science is indeed a valid form of knowledge, but that it is a very base form of the simplest kind -- simply through observation, but that the knowledge that comes from divine illumination is the highest form and should above all be sought after. this is why we look to the Fathers and Saints to interpret Scripture for us, not to scientists, who are very often not Orthodox or not even Christian at all.

I haven't seen any scientists "interpret scripture".  Do you have any examples in mind?  If I want someone to interpret real scientific data, I'll choose a trained scientist, frankly.

Ebor
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« Reply #909 on: June 09, 2009, 07:57:50 PM »

So I guess the central question is, does Orthodoxy require us to believe that humanity was once perfect?

No. The Fathers say that Adam and Eve were created with the potential to be perfect.

AFAIK, the belief that man was created perfect is a Western concept. As Orthodox, we agree with St Irenaeus, in that Adam "was a child, not yet having his understanding perfected. It was necessary that he should grow and so come to his perfection." In other words, Adam was not created a perfect man but was endowed with the potential for perfection. It is because God created man in His image, that man was created with such potential. God set Adam (humanity) on the road to perfection, but sin interrupted the journey. The Incarnation of the perfect Man, Jesus Christ, has returned that potential to mankind.

The Incarnation of the Word is closely linked to our ultimate deification (In the Image and Likeness of God by Vladimir Lossky). Christ is the first perfect man. Christ is perfect in the potential sense, as Adam was in his innocence before the fall, and in the sense of the completely realized 'likeness'. The Incarnation is not simply a way of undoing the effects of original sin, but it is an essential stage upon man's journey from the divine image to the divine likeness. The true image and likeness of God is Christ himself (The Orthodox Way by Archimandrite Kallis Ware). It is through Christ that man is able to apprehend the Father (On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius). As St. Gregory of Nazianzus said, "The Son is not the Father, because there is only one Father, but He is what the Father is." In other words, the Son is a concise definition of the nature of the Father, for every being that has been begotten is a silent definition of his begetter (In the Image and Likeness of God by Vladimir Lossky). This can best be explained by considering that each human individual is "the picture of his father" by the family characteristics which he has in common with him, not by the personal qualities which distinguish his father.

http://www.stgeorgeserbian.us/darren03.htm
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« Reply #910 on: June 09, 2009, 08:42:50 PM »

So I guess the central question is, does Orthodoxy require us to believe that humanity was once perfect?

No. The Fathers say that Adam and Eve were created with the potential to be perfect.

Pensateomnia, dear brother, thank you for this.

I think this is a very important point, theologically speaking.

We never have been "perect" or "happy."

"When someone tells me he's happy, it makes my a**cheeks twitch" (Luc in "French Kiiss," http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113117/)

But we used to have the potential...
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« Reply #911 on: June 09, 2009, 08:54:13 PM »

Darwin was a sick person , who encouraged eugenism.

Actually Charles R. Darwin was a very healthy person, although he did have something like a mild obsessive-compulsive disorder. Smiley

In his prime years, he was a devout Anglican and a deacon in his church. While traveling on HMS The Beagle, where he was the "Naturalist," he also volunteered to have "spiritual conversations" with the crew. He most certainly knew Scriptures very well, and in his life he was pious and humble. He always stressed that his evolutionary theory has absolutely nothing to do with the alleged removing of God or "robbing" God of His glory.

I think it is very sad when people, not having any grounds whatsoever, insult the memory of great workers like Darwin, of those who labored hard all of their short human life to enrich us with new insights on the way this God's world works. Darwin's name is most definitely in the same glorious file to which belong the names of Aristotle, Mohammed Musa ibn Khorasmi (the inventor of algebra), Roger Bacon, St. Duns Scotus (who was actually the first to outline the concept of separation between theology and natural science), Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Mikhail Lomonosov, Antoin-Laurent LaVoisier, John Dalton, Dmitriy Ivanovich Mendeleev, Nikolay Lobachevskiy, James Clark Maxwell, Nicola Tesla, Max Plank, Albert Einstein, and other "movers and shakers" in the exciting field of natural sciences...

I think that a problem here, Heorhij, is that sometimes people do not go to the primary source materials on Science, that is what the researchers themselves wrote or said.  They hear or read something derogatory about someone like Darwin (often in my opinion by someone who does not, in fact, understand what the scientist wrote) and accept that as the "truth". 




Ebor,

I fear that too many people find it easier to believe rumours and in consequense disparage someone as if those rumours were the Gospel truth. Afterall, it's hard work to actually know something about a topic and, often it requires understanding where someone is coming from. That requires thinking outside of one's comfort zone and, unfortunately, too many people would rather dogmatise their own ideology for the sake of their own sense of security. In the process, they create an evil where there is none, except in their own minds.
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« Reply #912 on: June 09, 2009, 10:40:58 PM »

[ Science isn't about any claim to understand Scripture, it's about observing data, finding new information, working on hypotheses and stating what is found. ]

but Genesis is being reinterpreted in order to fit scientific theories.

[One wonders if any human can fully "understand God".   Undecided   One might suggest that it is important to learn more about the universe that God created with the intelligence and reason that He gave humanity.  When it comes to solid information on say, what a bacteria does or how genetics work or what fossils are found or some point of physics, the reliable source would be a person who is trained in the field not someone who doesn't know anything about it. Whereas a scriptural scholar would be the "reliable source" for what the Bible says. ]

i agree with all this. that is why i turn to the Fathers to understand Genesis, not evolutionists.

[Do you know what passage of writing the site is referring to, please?]

no, i only know what that article has stated, but since it falls in line with every other Saint i've read I didn't find it hard to accept.

[Darwin worked at understanding biology, why would he make any claim to understand "Tradition"?]

his work has been used to change the Tradition regarding at least Genesis. if he didn't make any claim to understand Tradition then why are we accepting him over the Fathers and Saints?

[can you give some quotes or names of these "theistic evolutionists" that believe this please?  I haven't seen any such assertions or claims to have "tapped into the mind of God".  Thank you in advance.]

im not sure how this isn't obvious ... theistic evolutionists claim that God created via evolution -- within the 6 "days" evolution was happening. thus they claim to know something about the ways of God that none of the Saints ever figured out.

[I haven't seen any scientists "interpret scripture".  Do you have any examples in mind?  If I want someone to interpret real scientific data, I'll choose a trained scientist, frankly.]

they might not explicitly claim that they are interpreting Scripture, but many look to their observations/experiments etc in order to understand Scripture, but I don't understand how thats a proper Orthodox methodology ...
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« Reply #913 on: June 09, 2009, 10:42:32 PM »

i have provided plenty of Patristic and other Saints evidence ... does anyone know of any modern Saints that have supported evolution, or any Patristic quotes that exclude a literal interpretation of Genesis? i think that would help the discussion really go somewhere.
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« Reply #914 on: June 10, 2009, 02:07:23 AM »

i have provided plenty of Patristic and other Saints evidence
But proof texts don't prove a consensus.

does anyone know of any modern Saints that have supported evolution, or any Patristic quotes that exclude a literal interpretation of Genesis? i think that would help the discussion really go somewhere.
And even if we can't, you still haven't answered my question of why we even need to see a consensus, even if it's manufactured.

BTW, Riddikulus did much to satisfy your request for Patristic quotes (cf. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5734.msg327633.html#msg327633), but I haven't yet seen you give what I would call a satisfactory response to her contribution.  You spoke of some abstract hypotheses regarding her quote of St. Justin Martyr and you posted another quote from Clement of Alexandria that contradicted her quote enough to raise the question of which one of you two is actually correct here.  But that's all I've seen as a rebuttal from you.  If you are unwilling to address the contrary patristic evidence that has already been provided, why should we humor you by bringing more contrary evidence to this discussion?
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« Reply #915 on: June 10, 2009, 04:30:08 AM »

[ Science isn't about any claim to understand Scripture, it's about observing data, finding new information, working on hypotheses and stating what is found. ]

but Genesis is being reinterpreted in order to fit scientific theories.

How is Genesis being reinterpreted when there isn't a consensous on how it was interpretated to begin with? This thread alone shows that the Church Fathers weren't consistant in seeing it as literal.

Quote
[One wonders if any human can fully "understand God".   Undecided   One might suggest that it is important to learn more about the universe that God created with the intelligence and reason that He gave humanity.  When it comes to solid information on say, what a bacteria does or how genetics work or what fossils are found or some point of physics, the reliable source would be a person who is trained in the field not someone who doesn't know anything about it. Whereas a scriptural scholar would be the "reliable source" for what the Bible says. ]

i agree with all this. that is why i turn to the Fathers to understand Genesis, not evolutionists.

And yet, in turning to the Fathers, you ignore those who disagree with a non-literal interpretation of Genesis. So aren't you really just picking and choosing which Fathers you deem to be consistent with your view, and discarding those you who aren't?

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[Darwin worked at understanding biology, why would he make any claim to understand "Tradition"?]

his work has been used to change the Tradition regarding at least Genesis. if he didn't make any claim to understand Tradition then why are we accepting him over the Fathers and Saints?

So far it would seem that we are hard-pressed to establish any set tradition regarding Genesis. The writings we have haven't gone anywhere to provide a consensous of a literal interpretation. So far we only have everyone agreeing that God created; how He did that and how long He took is questionable. As we have no dogma on the interpretation of Genesis, one is left to follow one's conscience; as clearly the Church Fathers have done. Why is it so important for you to enforce a literal understanding?

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[can you give some quotes or names of these "theistic evolutionists" that believe this please?  I haven't seen any such assertions or claims to have "tapped into the mind of God".  Thank you in advance.]

im not sure how this isn't obvious ... theistic evolutionists claim that God created via evolution -- within the 6 "days" evolution was happening. thus they claim to know something about the ways of God that none of the Saints ever figured out.

However, that isn't an answer to the question asked. Can you give some quotes or names of "theistic evolutionists" to support your claims?

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[I haven't seen any scientists "interpret scripture".  Do you have any examples in mind?  If I want someone to interpret real scientific data, I'll choose a trained scientist, frankly.]

they might not explicitly claim that they are interpreting Scripture, but many look to their observations/experiments etc in order to understand Scripture, but I don't understand how thats a proper Orthodox methodology ...

So scientists don't interpret scripture, as you first claimed? What exactly are you claiming, then? That scientists who are Christians are content to understand Scripture in the light of scientific evidence? If so, how is this problematic?

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« Reply #916 on: June 10, 2009, 06:13:04 AM »

while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, ...
Just to clarify.  No biologist claims that mixing species causes them to give birth to a new species.
Exactly.  In fact, if we were ever to observe what Dan is describing here, the theory of evolution would actually be in trouble.  Dan, this isn't what evolutionary theory predicts, nor what it has observed.  Again, you are wanting to disagree with something you have refused to understand.  I'd encourage you to check it out.  You might discover that God's world is even more wonderful and amazing than you'd previously imagined.
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« Reply #917 on: June 10, 2009, 07:47:45 AM »

while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, ...
Just to clarify.  No biologist claims that mixing species causes them to give birth to a new species.
Exactly.  In fact, if we were ever to observe what Dan is describing here, the theory of evolution would actually be in trouble.  Dan, this isn't what evolutionary theory predicts, nor what it has observed.  Again, you are wanting to disagree with something you have refused to understand.  I'd encourage you to check it out.  You might discover that God's world is even more wonderful and amazing than you'd previously imagined.

How well said! I actually always try to tell this to my students, of whom very many are of a strictly literalist Southern Baptist background. And some of them listen, and really make this discovery!
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« Reply #918 on: June 10, 2009, 07:31:04 PM »

[But proof texts don't prove a consensus.]

how have i proof texted? I posted ECFs specifically saying its impermissible to interpret the days of creation allegorically and more recent Saints who explicitly wrote against evolution, and you call that proof texting?

[And even if we can't, you still haven't answered my question of why we even need to see a consensus, even if it's manufactured.]

what do you suggest as an alternative?

as for Riddikulus' qutoes -- those don't rule out the possibility of a literal interpretation -- I'm asking for Saints who have explicitly denied the literality of Genesis or explicitly favored evolution, just as I provided quotes of Fathers who explicitly taught that the days cannot be allegorical and who explicitly taught against evolution. and the quote from St. Clement didnt actually give any indication of referring to the length of the days, its just assumed that that's what he's referring to, but the quote i provided shows that that cannot be what he is referring to. furthermore, as i have repeatedly said, the length of the days is probably the least important issue -- more importantly is what is the origin of death -- God, or man's sin? and despite a few random quotes from a few early Fathers, the Church adopted a literal timeline for its calendar.

[How is Genesis being reinterpreted when there isn't a consensous on how it was interpretated to begin with? This thread alone shows that the Church Fathers weren't consistant in seeing it as literal.]

im still failing to see how there isnt a majority concensus -- i knooooooow that not every single Father interpreted the days of Genesis as only literal (but we don't see them denying hte literal either ... ).  but there's not instances of Fathers saying Adam and Eve aren't literal or that death existed before sin, and so on. those are the important issues, beacuse even if the days aren't literal that doesn't automatically mean evolution happened. thats a huuuuge leap.

[And yet, in turning to the Fathers, you ignore those who disagree with a non-literal interpretation of Genesis. So aren't you really just picking and choosing which Fathers you deem to be consistent with your view, and discarding those you who aren't?]

which Fathers might those be?

Do you believe in universalism because of St. Gregory of Nyssa? you seem to be saying that if even one or two Fathers says something out of line with the rest that that is enough to justify a new interpretation.

[So far it would seem that we are hard-pressed to establish any set tradition regarding Genesis. The writings we have haven't gone anywhere to provide a consensous of a literal interpretation. So far we only have everyone agreeing that God created; how He did that and how long He took is questionable. As we have no dogma on the interpretation of Genesis, one is left to follow one's conscience; as clearly the Church Fathers have done. Why is it so important for you to enforce a literal understanding?]

because if evolution is true, then God created death, and then death is good, which means it was pointless for Christ to defeat death. Ecumenical canons tell us that this cannot be so:

Canon 109 of African Code, 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.

and because if we can't trust the Fathers to transmit the faith unadulterated we are Protestants.

[However, that isn't an answer to the question asked. Can you give some quotes or names of "theistic evolutionists" to support your claims?]

youre blowing my mind here. whats not obvious about what i said? if a theistic evolutionist interprets the days of Genesis as billions of years (which no Father ever said) because of science, then they are claiming to understand the creative acts of God better than the Fathers. Deacon Kuraev is one example. Dobhzansky is another.

[So scientists don't interpret scripture, as you first claimed?]

obviously they do. no Father ever said the days were actually billions of years -- that interpretation comes only from science.

[ What exactly are you claiming, then? That scientists who are Christians are content to understand Scripture in the light of scientific evidence? If so, how is this problematic?]

because that scientific "evidence" contradicts our God-bearing Fathers. and its not observable evidence -- its assumptions about supposed billions of years ago based on what is seen now. no one actually observed this whole process of common descent leading to the world we know. its an assumption.
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« Reply #919 on: June 10, 2009, 08:18:42 PM »

while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, ...
Just to clarify.  No biologist claims that mixing species causes them to give birth to a new species.
Exactly.  In fact, if we were ever to observe what Dan is describing here, the theory of evolution would actually be in trouble.  Dan, this isn't what evolutionary theory predicts, nor what it has observed.  Again, you are wanting to disagree with something you have refused to understand.  I'd encourage you to check it out.  You might discover that God's world is even more wonderful and amazing than you'd previously imagined.

How well said! I actually always try to tell this to my students, of whom very many are of a strictly literalist Southern Baptist background. And some of them listen, and really make this discovery!

Well said, indeed!
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« Reply #920 on: June 10, 2009, 09:04:06 PM »

[But proof texts don't prove a consensus.]

how have i proof texted? I posted ECFs specifically saying its impermissible to interpret the days of creation allegorically and more recent Saints who explicitly wrote against evolution, and you call that proof texting?

[And even if we can't, you still haven't answered my question of why we even need to see a consensus, even if it's manufactured.]

what do you suggest as an alternative?

as for Riddikulus' qutoes -- those don't rule out the possibility of a literal interpretation -- I'm asking for Saints who have explicitly denied the literality of Genesis or explicitly favored evolution, just as I provided quotes of Fathers who explicitly taught that the days cannot be allegorical and who explicitly taught against evolution. and the quote from St. Clement didnt actually give any indication of referring to the length of the days, its just assumed that that's what he's referring to, but the quote i provided shows that that cannot be what he is referring to. furthermore, as i have repeatedly said, the length of the days is probably the least important issue -- more importantly is what is the origin of death -- God, or man's sin? and despite a few random quotes from a few early Fathers, the Church adopted a literal timeline for its calendar.

[How is Genesis being reinterpreted when there isn't a consensous on how it was interpretated to begin with? This thread alone shows that the Church Fathers weren't consistant in seeing it as literal.]

im still failing to see how there isnt a majority concensus -- i knooooooow that not every single Father interpreted the days of Genesis as only literal (but we don't see them denying hte literal either ... ).  but there's not instances of Fathers saying Adam and Eve aren't literal or that death existed before sin, and so on. those are the important issues, beacuse even if the days aren't literal that doesn't automatically mean evolution happened. thats a huuuuge leap.

[And yet, in turning to the Fathers, you ignore those who disagree with a non-literal interpretation of Genesis. So aren't you really just picking and choosing which Fathers you deem to be consistent with your view, and discarding those you who aren't?]

which Fathers might those be?

Do you believe in universalism because of St. Gregory of Nyssa? you seem to be saying that if even one or two Fathers says something out of line with the rest that that is enough to justify a new interpretation.

[So far it would seem that we are hard-pressed to establish any set tradition regarding Genesis. The writings we have haven't gone anywhere to provide a consensous of a literal interpretation. So far we only have everyone agreeing that God created; how He did that and how long He took is questionable. As we have no dogma on the interpretation of Genesis, one is left to follow one's conscience; as clearly the Church Fathers have done. Why is it so important for you to enforce a literal understanding?]

because if evolution is true, then God created death, and then death is good, which means it was pointless for Christ to defeat death. Ecumenical canons tell us that this cannot be so:

Canon 109 of African Code, 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.

and because if we can't trust the Fathers to transmit the faith unadulterated we are Protestants.

[However, that isn't an answer to the question asked. Can you give some quotes or names of "theistic evolutionists" to support your claims?]

youre blowing my mind here. whats not obvious about what i said? if a theistic evolutionist interprets the days of Genesis as billions of years (which no Father ever said) because of science, then they are claiming to understand the creative acts of God better than the Fathers. Deacon Kuraev is one example. Dobhzansky is another.

[So scientists don't interpret scripture, as you first claimed?]

obviously they do. no Father ever said the days were actually billions of years -- that interpretation comes only from science.

[ What exactly are you claiming, then? That scientists who are Christians are content to understand Scripture in the light of scientific evidence? If so, how is this problematic?]

because that scientific "evidence" contradicts our God-bearing Fathers. and its not observable evidence -- its assumptions about supposed billions of years ago based on what is seen now. no one actually observed this whole process of common descent leading to the world we know. its an assumption.


jckstraw72,

Forgive me, but I'm finding your posts a bit awkward to read and unravel, coming in a block as they do with current thoughts mixed with quotes that don't stand out as quotes. Is it possible for you to seek some technical advice on how to post in the manner normally accepted on the forum? That would be appreciated.   Smiley
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« Reply #921 on: June 10, 2009, 10:41:31 PM »

[But proof texts don't prove a consensus.]

how have i proof texted? I posted ECFs specifically saying its impermissible to interpret the days of creation allegorically and more recent Saints who explicitly wrote against evolution, and you call that proof texting?
Has a Council ruled on evolution?

Quote
[And even if we can't, you still haven't answered my question of why we even need to see a consensus, even if it's manufactured.]

what do you suggest as an alternative?
A ruling by a Council would be nice.


Now, I do think that you raise a very interesting question: the role of death in Genesis, and how that role compares to the role of death in evolution.

Is it possible that "death" in Genesis means "spiritual death"?

Genesis 2:17 (KJV): But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Adam and Eve did not physically die the same day they ate the fruit, so perhaps it's spiritual death being referred to here.
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« Reply #922 on: June 11, 2009, 01:09:54 AM »

[However, that isn't an answer to the question asked. Can you give some quotes or names of "theistic evolutionists" to support your claims?]

if a theistic evolutionist interprets the days of Genesis as billions of years (which no Father ever said) because of science, then they are claiming to understand the creative acts of God better than the Fathers.

They aren't claiming any such thing. They are claiming to have a better understanding of the time-frame of the forming of the universe than the Church Fathers who believed in a literal six day creation had.

Quote
What exactly are you claiming, then? That scientists who are Christians are content to understand Scripture in the light of scientific evidence? If so, how is this problematic?]

because that scientific "evidence" contradicts our God-bearing Fathers.

No, it doesn't. Our God-bearing fathers were ignorant of the evidence, (yes, evidence) revealed to us over time by men of science. How many of the Church Fathers were geocentric in their understanding? 

Quote
and its not observable evidence -- its assumptions about supposed billions of years ago based on what is seen now. no one actually observed this whole process of common descent leading to the world we know. its an assumption.

No, it isn't an assumption, it's based on physical evidence; evidence that the Fathers didn't have and wouldn't have had the knowledge to examine, anyway. I've asked this before somewhere, why should we accept the opinions the Church Fathers had on the physical world - limited as they were to their times and knowledge - against the evidence provided to us in the very world that God created? 

Correct me if I am wrong, but the prevailing assumption of your posts is that the standard scientific model of evolution contradicts Orthodox Christian beliefs; that one must accept the literal interpretation of Genesis (even though there is no dogmatic teaching in the Orthodox Church to support this), because the majority (you claim) of the church Fathers held to that viewpoint. If this assessment is correct, such a point of view, would leave no room for scientific growth where humans beings come to better understand their world. One is, therefore, limited to a medieval understanding of the universe. Wouldn't such a situation would render Christianity as laughable ignorance? Perhaps it already has.

Let me quote St Augustine once again...

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]



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« Reply #923 on: June 11, 2009, 03:23:07 AM »

This thread has like 7 pages , I still don`t get it which is the evolutionist belief on Genesis . Maybe someone would like to make it clear.
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« Reply #924 on: June 11, 2009, 03:36:55 AM »

My favourite take on it would still have to be:

"Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology. Only if symbols are construed to mean what they are not intended to mean can there arise imaginary, insoluble conflicts. As pointed out above, the blunder leads to blasphemy: the Creator is accused of systematic deceitfulness.

One of the great thinkers of our age, [Father] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, wrote the following: 'Is evolution a theory, a system, or a hypothesis? It is much more it is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems much henceforward bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of though must follow this is what evolution is.'"

-- Theodosius Dobzhansky, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
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« Reply #925 on: June 11, 2009, 03:44:57 AM »

as for Riddikulus' qutoes -- those don't rule out the possibility of a literal interpretation
I don't think she's trying to rule out the possibility of a literal interpretation of Genesis.  I think she's really trying to show that you can't rule out other interpretations of Genesis, as you clearly have.  In short, she's trying to say that the Church has not formally decided to follow any interpretation of Genesis to the exclusion of all others.
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« Reply #926 on: June 11, 2009, 03:46:37 AM »

This thread has like 7 pages , I still don`t get it which is the evolutionist belief on Genesis . Maybe someone would like to make it clear.
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« Reply #927 on: June 11, 2009, 03:51:26 AM »

This thread has like 7 pages , I still don`t get it which is the evolutionist belief on Genesis . Maybe someone would like to make it clear.

Please be patient, Dan.  It's not like we're ignoring you, so you don't need to reiterate a request you made a mere half-hour ago just to regain our attention. Wink  We're also into the wee hours of the morning, even out here on the Pacific Coast, so I doubt you'll find many knowledgeable posters up right now.
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« Reply #928 on: June 11, 2009, 04:33:33 AM »

This thread has like 7 pages , I still don`t get it which is the evolutionist belief on Genesis . Maybe someone would like to make it clear.

Personally I view it as a story.  Is there truth and importance to the story?  Yes.  Should it be taken literally?  No.  It expresses the truth that God is the Creator and all existence/time was constituted by Him.  Yet, this truth is portrayed in a metaphorical/symbolic story, which was a common means of passing a story down through the generations in antiquity.

I like how Pope Pius XII explained it:

"35. What is the literal sense of a passage is not always as obvious in the speeches and writings of the ancient authors of the East, as it is in the works of our own time. For what they wished to express is not to be determined by the rules of grammar and philology alone, nor solely by the context; the interpreter must, as it were, go back wholly in spirit to those remote centuries of the East and with the aid of history, archaeology, ethnology, and other sciences, accurately determine what modes of writing, so to speak, the authors of that ancient period would be likely to use, and in fact did use.

36. For the ancient peoples of the East, in order to express their ideas, did not always employ those forms or kinds of speech which we use today; but rather those used by the men of their times and countries. What those exactly were the commentator cannot determine as it were in advance, but only after a careful examination of the ancient literature of the East. The investigation, carried out, on this point, during the past forty or fifty years with greater care and diligence than ever before, has more clearly shown what forms of expression were used in those far off times, whether in poetic description or in the formulation of laws and rules of life or in recording the facts and events of history. The same inquiry has also shown the special preeminence of the people of Israel among all the other ancient nations of the East in their mode of compiling history, both by reason of its antiquity and by reasons of the faithful record of the events; qualities which may well be attributed to the gift of divine inspiration and to the peculiar religious purpose of biblical history."

-- Divino Afflante Spiritu
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« Reply #929 on: June 11, 2009, 05:00:37 AM »

This thread has like 7 pages , I still don`t get it which is the evolutionist belief on Genesis . Maybe someone would like to make it clear.

An atheist evolutionist accepts the theory of evolution as a valid explanation for the diversity of life on this planet. The atheist evolutionist would believe that Genesis is a load of rubbish.

A Christian evolutionist accepts the theory of evolution as a valid explanation for the diversity of life on this planet. (Remember, that the theory of evolution doesn't attempt to explain the origins of life; that falls under the discipline of abiogenesis.) The Christian evolutionist believes that God is the Creator, but would see Genesis as a symbolic explanation of the creation process.
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« Reply #930 on: June 11, 2009, 05:41:55 AM »

more explicit , how is the Genetics(beginning) of life and diversity of life in evolutionism ?
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« Reply #931 on: June 11, 2009, 06:37:27 AM »

Quote from: Dan-Romania
This thread has like 7 pages , I still don`t get it which is the evolutionist belief on Genesis . Maybe someone would like to make it clear.
Evolution describes the means.  Genesis provides the meaning.
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« Reply #932 on: June 11, 2009, 07:04:43 AM »

Quote from: Dan-Romania
This thread has like 7 pages , I still don`t get it which is the evolutionist belief on Genesis . Maybe someone would like to make it clear.
Evolution describes the means.  Genesis provides the meaning.

it seems you are avoiding to give an answer , lets not continue this mumbo jumbo , what is the provenience of species and humans from the evolutionist(Darwinist) point of view, that point of view i`m interested into.
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« Reply #933 on: June 11, 2009, 07:08:33 AM »

not the theological point of view , from the bible of that I am aware of . IF you evolutionist are uncapable of giving me an answer tell me so I won`t waste my time with childish things.
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« Reply #934 on: June 11, 2009, 07:20:08 AM »

Quote from: Dan-Romania
This thread has like 7 pages , I still don`t get it which is the evolutionist belief on Genesis . Maybe someone would like to make it clear.
Evolution describes the means.  Genesis provides the meaning.

it seems you are avoiding to give an answer , lets not continue this mumbo jumbo , what is the provenience of species and humans from the evolutionist(Darwinist) point of view, that point of view i`m interested into.

God created the universe, the kosmos, from nothing. But this kosmos initially did not look like it looks now. It was some sort of a nebula, a piece of matter and energy. Then God created natural laws (gravity, electromagnetism, laws of interaction between elementary particles, etc.). Then, according to these laws, life appeared on our planet, and evolved. Humans were conceived by God to be above this natural evolution; yet, they (we), according to their own will and the tricks of Satan, lowered themselves to this merely biological life - became part of the evolving natural world. Nonetheless, we somehow retain a "rememberance" that we are different - not just evolving apes, but heirs of the Heavenly King, Creator of all. 
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« Reply #935 on: June 11, 2009, 09:25:15 AM »

more explicit , how is the Genetics(beginning) of life and diversity of life in evolutionism ?

According to the theory of evolution, all life on Earth is descended from a common ancestor (or a set of ancestors). The theory tries to make sense of observed realities like the fossil record, vestigial organs, etc.

Read this for more info: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/


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« Reply #936 on: June 11, 2009, 09:52:24 AM »

Quote from: Dan-Romania
This thread has like 7 pages , I still don`t get it which is the evolutionist belief on Genesis . Maybe someone would like to make it clear.
Evolution describes the means.  Genesis provides the meaning.

it seems you are avoiding to give an answer , lets not continue this mumbo jumbo , what is the provenience of species and humans from the evolutionist(Darwinist) point of view, that point of view i`m interested into.


God created the universe, the kosmos, from nothing. But this kosmos initially did not look like it looks now. It was some sort of a nebula, a piece of matter and energy. Then God created natural laws (gravity, electromagnetism, laws of interaction between elementary particles, etc.). Then, according to these laws, life appeared on our planet, and evolved. Humans were conceived by God to be above this natural evolution; yet, they (we), according to their own will and the tricks of Satan, lowered themselves to this merely biological life - became part of the evolving natural world. Nonetheless, we somehow retain a "rememberance" that we are different - not just evolving apes, but heirs of the Heavenly King, Creator of all. 

I didn`t ask for your theological explanation , it seems you evolutionist nimbwits avoid to give a decessive answer , and try to explain all vaguely , but than jump on the troat of true believers . Does the evolutionist theory claim , that all animals evolved from something . I`m speaking about the maine species , fish , reptiles , birds . Does it say that at least one of this tree is a consequence of the evolution of a specie and transformation from fish to reptile and  from reptile to birds. How did the evolutionist idea that people came from apes , or are evolved apes come to be? Are this claims of evolution yes or no.Be honest , again I`m not asking for your theological belief but about the theory of evolution , and evolutionist claims.Another question to wich I don`t ask response right now is this : Do you evolutionist are of the opinion that Adam and Eve were in fact many humans and people , and that God created more than two persons in the beggining. I request urgent answer to the evolutionist question.Stop running away from question.
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« Reply #937 on: June 11, 2009, 10:47:13 AM »

This thread has like 7 pages , I still don`t get it which is the evolutionist belief on Genesis . Maybe someone would like to make it clear.
The Theory of Evolution doesn't care about Genesis or any book for that matter.

more explicit , how is the Genetics(beginning) of life and diversity of life in evolutionism ?
It's not. The Theory of Evolution only explains the process of speciation. It's sort of like Newton's Laws of Motion, which explain how objects move, and that an outside force must have acted upon a moving object, but it has nothing to say about what that force actually is. Whether that force be gravity or my hand or Biker Mice from Mars is simply beyond the scope of the theory.

See, the problem here is that the Theory of Evolution is scientific, and Intelligent Design is not. I believe firmly that the universe had a Designer. There is absolutely no scientific proof for this belief, but that does not necessarily disprove the existence of said Designer. In fact, the existence of God cannot be proven or disproven scientifically. Science is just the wrong tool. It's like trying to measure your weight with a hammer. It just can't be done. Faith and science are different tools for different realms of human knowledge. Epistemologically speaking, faith falls under philosophy, which is one of the humanities, which is one of the arts. Arts and sciences are completely different branches of human knowledge, which require different approaches. One is not better than the other, but each is better than the other at discovering certain truths. If, say, I want to know how the human race populates, I turn to science; but if I want to know how I should best relate to other humans, I turn to faith. Understand?
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« Reply #938 on: June 11, 2009, 11:02:30 AM »

I didn`t ask for your theological explanation , it seems you evolutionist nimbwits

That's rude, and uncalled for. I thought we were having a conversation, but why insult each other?

avoid to give a decessive answer , and try to explain all vaguely , but than jump on the troat of true believers . Does the evolutionist theory claim , that all animals evolved from something . I`m speaking about the maine species , fish , reptiles , birds . Does it say that at least one of this tree is a consequence of the evolution

Well, the evolutionary tree is one of the logical conclusions made from the original Darwinian postulate that life is being diversified by the biological evolution. So, yes, the tree, or the lines of descent, is (are) a part of the theory of biological evolution. Species, genera, orders, phyla etc. can be placed into this tree, and there are, of course, scientific grounds for doing that (the degree of similarity in the sequence of nucleotides in the DNA, etc.).

of a specie and transformation from fish to reptile and  from reptile to birds.

Fishes are placed "higher" than reptiles because of several reasons: their fossils are older; they are morphologically and genetically closer to more primitive Chordata. Reptile fossils are less ancient, and the reptiles are farther, morphologically and genetically (DNA-wise), from the primitive Chordata, but closer to birds (for example, some reptiles have a heart that consists of four chambers, like in birds). There are fossils of Archeopterix that look like a form that is intermediate between reptile and birds. Also, there are fishes that resemble Amphibians in that they have gills and lungs (Latimeria or Coelacanth). Therefore, we have evidence strongly suggesting that Amphibia evolved from fishes, then Reptilia from amphibians, and then birds from reptiles.  

How did the evolutionist idea that people came from apes , or are evolved apes come to be?

The sequence of nucleotides in the DNA of Homo sapiens is 97% identical with chimpanzees. There exist multiple fossils that allow us to suggest the existence of forms of life that were intemediate between Homo sapiens and non-human primates.

Are this claims of evolution yes or no.

The theory of biological evolution is a scientific theory. Like any other scientific theory, it is never a revelation given to us once and for all ages. It exists because it has never been scientifically disproved, and there is an overwhelming evidence supporting it. Sort of like before Einstein, there existed this Newtonian mechanics, which stated that any object, unless affected by a force, will keep moving in a straight line at a constant speed without acceleration, etc. That was not any kind of revelation - that was simply a set of statements that, taken together, explain the natural world to the best of the scientists' capacity. Before Newton, there was a different mechanics (Aristotelian), which claimed that without a "cause," there is no movement but rest. Newton's theory dismissed it though, and became accepted because it fit better with the newly acquired evidence. Similarly, before Darwin, there was a special creation theory of Linnaeus. Darwin's evolutionary theory replaced it though - and again, simply because Darwin's theory explains the natural world better, fits with the evidence we have now better than Linnaeus's theory would.

Be honest , again I`m not asking for your theological belief but about the theory of evolution , and evolutionist claims.

There are no "beliefs" in science. We use this term, but it is not, strictly speaking, correct when applied to scientific hypotheses and theories. We (scientists) do not, in fact, "believe" any hypothesis or theory. Science exists and develops because scientists keep proposing various guess-like, tentative explanations of the physical reality.

Another question to wich I don`t ask response right now is this : Do you evolutionist are of the opinion that Adam and Eve were in fact many humans and people , and that God created more than two persons in the beggining.

According to the evolutionary theory, the thing that evolves is a biological POPULATION. So, no, according to the evolutionary theory, it cannot be that from a population of apes, suddenly, in one instant, two "definitely-no-longer-apes-but-most-certainly-humans" appear. The evolutionary theory sees the emergence of new species as a very slow, inconspicuous process that may take millions of years, without strict borders between the ancestor species and the new species.


I request urgent answer to the evolutionist question.Stop running away from question.

Nobody is running anywhere. I am always happy to explain biology to any student who wants to listen.
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« Reply #939 on: June 11, 2009, 12:59:31 PM »

You answer to questions , but again not decessively how I aspect it . You arrogant evolutionists are sort of in disorder with the Bible genetics . You can take your Darwin and eat it. I dunno if you or another person , while I mention that question a page ago , about reptiles , fish and birds said that the evolutionist theory does not claim that.What i wanted to prove is that this theory is dumb and that there is disorder in those who consider it.I stand strongly against the stupidity of this theory wich contradicts genetics  and fouls those who are in need of a bigger faith. This is my last post on this thread.



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« Reply #940 on: June 11, 2009, 01:31:00 PM »

You answer to questions , but again not decessively how I aspect it . You arrogant evolutionist monkey asses is sort of in disorder with the Bible genetics . You can take your Darwin and eat it. I dunno if you or another person , while I mention that question a page ago , about reptiles , fish and birds said that the evolutionist theory does not claim that.What i wanted to prove is that this theory is dumb and that there is disorder in those who consider it.I stand strongly against the stupidity of this theory wich contradicts genetics  and fouls those who are in need of a bigger faith. This is my last post on this thread.

Well, isn't this a good example of how people resort to name-calling and plain rudeness when they do not have any rational arguments and no patience or even desire to listen to those with whom they converse. That's what our Fathers call FALLEN human nature. Smiley All of us have it, unfortunately, but we should at least try to tame it a little...
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« Reply #941 on: June 11, 2009, 03:53:45 PM »

Dan-Roumania, people are trying to give you information.  I know that there is a bit of a language barrier as well.  I'm trying hard to understand what you are trying to say, but sometimes your writing doesn't quite make sense. It looks like you mean to use some other words that are similar in spelling or sound to some of the ones that you're using.  When you use the word "genetics" what does it mean to you?  There could be a different word in English that might get your point across better.  Please be calm; your apparent tension could also be making some mis-spellings which can cloud what you are trying to write.  Did you mean "expect" when you wrote "aspect", and "fool" when you wrote "foul"?  Those words have very different meanings.

I would ask how you can honestly say that a scientific theory is "dumb" when you have plainly admitted that you do not know what it really is since you have not read any of Darwin's real work.  How are people who are trying hard to explain things to you "arrogant"?  They didn't call you names or write that you were "dumb".   Huh  Do you really think it a good thing to call people names and be insulting?

With respect,

Ebor


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« Reply #942 on: June 11, 2009, 04:32:08 PM »

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Now, I do think that you raise a very interesting question: the role of death in Genesis, and how that role compares to the role of death in evolution.

Is it possible that "death" in Genesis means "spiritual death"?

Genesis 2:17 (KJV): But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Adam and Eve did not physically die the same day they ate the fruit, so perhaps it's spiritual death being referred to here.

i think the fact that Christ defeated physical death proves that we are not meant to die. if physical death is in fact good, then why would He defeat it? also there is the canon i quoted earlier:

Canon 109 of African Code, 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.

and as for Church Fathers quotes, there are plenty in Genesis, Creation and Early Man which I don't have on me right now. This website has a helpful chart on it though: http://www.robibrad.demon.co.uk/Chapter4.htm  Be sure to read the 3 points below it though, because even the Fathers who are checked as having believed man was mortal before the Fall didn't actually mean man was always meant to die. The website says that St. Clement of Alexandria believed that, but I'm not sure why he says that -- the citation he gives is only available in Latin so I can't read it, but St. Clement seems to admonish the heretic Valentinian for making God the author of death in The Stromata, book 4.13
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« Reply #943 on: June 11, 2009, 04:33:13 PM »

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jckstraw72,

Forgive me, but I'm finding your posts a bit awkward to read and unravel, coming in a block as they do with current thoughts mixed with quotes that don't stand out as quotes. Is it possible for you to seek some technical advice on how to post in the manner normally accepted on the forum? That would be appreciated.   Smiley

sorry, ill see what i can do.
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« Reply #944 on: June 11, 2009, 04:49:20 PM »

[However, that isn't an answer to the question asked. Can you give some quotes or names of "theistic evolutionists" to support your claims?]

if a theistic evolutionist interprets the days of Genesis as billions of years (which no Father ever said) because of science, then they are claiming to understand the creative acts of God better than the Fathers.

They aren't claiming any such thing. They are claiming to have a better understanding of the time-frame of the forming of the universe than the Church Fathers who believed in a literal six day creation had.

ok, we are in agreement then, just saying it a different way.

Quote
What exactly are you claiming, then? That scientists who are Christians are content to understand Scripture in the light of scientific evidence? If so, how is this problematic?]

because that scientific "evidence" contradicts our God-bearing Fathers.

No, it doesn't. Our God-bearing fathers were ignorant of the evidence, (yes, evidence) revealed to us over time by men of science. How many of the Church Fathers were geocentric in their understanding?

ok, well then you admit that the evidence contradicts the Fathers, you just believe the Fathers were wrong. I believe that studying the Creator is a more accurate approach than studying the creation. as for geocentrism -- did that belief arise from Scriptural interpretation, or did that just tend to be what everyone was believing? because the belief in literal days comes from their interpretation of Scripture, not from borrowing from the then-current ideas of the culture. again ill quote St. John of Kronstadt:
Quote
"The Holy Scriptures speak more truly and more clearly of the world than the world itself or the arrangement of the earthly strata; the scriptures of nature within it, being dead and voiceless, cannot express anything definite. "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" Were you with God when He created the universe? "Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counseller, hath taught Him?" And yet you geologists boast that you have understood the mind of the Lord, in the arrangement of strata, and maintained it in spite of Holy Writ! You believe more in the dead letters of the earthly strata, in the soulless earth, than in the Divinely-inspired words of the great prophet Moses, who saw God."

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and its not observable evidence -- its assumptions about supposed billions of years ago based on what is seen now. no one actually observed this whole process of common descent leading to the world we know. its an assumption.

Quote
No, it isn't an assumption, it's based on physical evidence; evidence that the Fathers didn't have and wouldn't have had the knowledge to examine, anyway. I've asked this before somewhere, why should we accept the opinions the Church Fathers had on the physical world - limited as they were to their times and knowledge - against the evidence provided to us in the very world that God created? 

its not based on observed evidence. scientists observe the world as it is today -- they can only assume that the processes they are observing happened in the same way in the past. theres really no way they can absolutely know that, and i think the fact that the Church teaches that the earth was once a paradise and then fell, and that the world was returned to a chaotic state in the Flood clearly rule out uniformitarianism.

Quote
Correct me if I am wrong, but the prevailing assumption of your posts is that the standard scientific model of evolution contradicts Orthodox Christian beliefs; that one must accept the literal interpretation of Genesis (even though there is no dogmatic teaching in the Orthodox Church to support this), because the majority (you claim) of the church Fathers held to that viewpoint. If this assessment is correct, such a point of view, would leave no room for scientific growth where humans beings come to better understand their world. One is, therefore, limited to a medieval understanding of the universe. Wouldn't such a situation would render Christianity as laughable ignorance? Perhaps it already has.

you are correct in your assessment of my posts. however, i cannot agree that the Church has no dogmatic teaching on this matter. true, there is no Ecumenical Council statement on evolution, but the mind of the Church is not always expressed in a council. claiming that it must be ecumenically pronounced in order to be considered the Church's teaching would mean that the Church didnt teach Jesus as God until 325. Or for another example, which Ecumenical Council teaches that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ? (perhaps one of them did, but not that I know of). however, I did provide one Canon from the 6th and 7th Ecumenical Councils that says that we must believe in a literal Adam who only died because of sin (thus not because of a process of evolution).

and there is of course room for scientific growth. Scientists can observe the world as we see it and make improvements that way. i don't see how speculating about the distant past has anything to do with scientific progress in the here and now.

Quote
Let me quote St Augustine once again...

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]

and despite this caution, he still says:

St. Augustine, City of God, Book XIII.XXI
Quote
On this account some allegorize all that concerns Paradise itself, where the first men, the parents of the human race, are, according to the truth of holy Scripture, recorded to have been; and they understand all its trees and fruit-bearing plants as virtues and habits of life, as if they had no existence in the external world, but were only so spoken of or related for the sake of spiritual meanings. As if there could not be a real terrestrial Paradise! As if there never existed these two women, Sarah and Hagar, nor the two sons who were born to Abraham, the one of the bond woman, the other of the free, because the apostle says that in them the two covenants were prefigured; or as if water never flowed from the rock when Moses struck it, because therein Christ can be seen in a figure, as the same apostle says, "Now that rock was Christ!" No one, then, denies that Paradise may signify the life of the blessed; its four rivers, the four virtues, prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice; its trees, all useful knowledge; its fruits, the customs of the godly; its tree of life, wisdom herself, the mother of all good; and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the experience of a broken commandment. The punishment which God appointed was in itself, a just, and therefore a good thing; but man's experience of it is not good.
. . .These and similar allegorical interpretations may be suitably put upon Paradise without giving offence to any one, while yet we believe the strict truth of the history, confirmed by its circumstantial narrative of facts.

I prefer to look at what St. Augustine actually believed about Genesis, rather than assuming that the other quote accurately applies to creationists (do we actually know St. Augustine would say that about creationists? perhaps he would say that about evolutionists).
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