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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 333412 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #5085 on: June 27, 2013, 07:03:33 PM »

The amount of misconception about evolution on here is rather depressing.  It is one thing to disagree with the current scientific understanding of it, but to put up continual strawmen just to knock them down shows no real desire in understanding the framework by which scientists operate.
Is this another "you don't understand" or "you aren't educated properly"?  Cause that's gotten pretty lame.  The theory is broken, it doesn't work, if it did I wouldn't disagree.  Very simple.
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« Reply #5086 on: July 09, 2013, 12:47:27 AM »

The amount of misconception about evolution on here is rather depressing.  It is one thing to disagree with the current scientific understanding of it, but to put up continual strawmen just to knock them down shows no real desire in understanding the framework by which scientists operate.
Is this another "you don't understand" or "you aren't educated properly"?  Cause that's gotten pretty lame.  The theory is broken, it doesn't work, if it did I wouldn't disagree.  Very simple.

+1


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« Reply #5087 on: July 09, 2013, 02:07:56 AM »

My problem with evolution is how do we reconcile its presupposition of death with Orthodox doctrine that death wasn't introduced into the world until after the fall of man? Man didn't come until relatively later in history, so if you accept evolution, you have to accept that death existed before mankind came into existence.
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« Reply #5088 on: July 09, 2013, 03:28:13 AM »

I have recently posted on my blog some of my thoughts on these topics:

http://romanianorthodoxyinenglish.blogspot.ro/2013/06/intelligent-design-can-be-science.html
http://romanianorthodoxyinenglish.blogspot.ro/2013/06/the-big-question-of-evolution.html
http://romanianorthodoxyinenglish.blogspot.ro/2013/06/scientific-fact-is-misleading-term.html
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« Reply #5089 on: July 09, 2013, 08:56:54 AM »

My problem with evolution is how do we reconcile its presupposition of death with Orthodox doctrine that death wasn't introduced into the world until after the fall of man? Man didn't come until relatively later in history, so if you accept evolution, you have to accept that death existed before mankind came into existence.
I'm don't know what the Church's position is, but here is my thought process.  Stuff had to die before the fall even if you believe in a literal 7 day creation time period. Bacteria and microbes reproduce at an incredible rate, so if they didn't die, you would have The Blob taking over the world rather quickly.


You can't have reproduction and growth without a "release valve" on the other end.  If no animal ever died, but all kept reproducing, the world would be packed with organisms shoulder to shoulder.  Not a very sustainable or well thought out system in my mind.

Scripture states:

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.

Yet, we know that Adam and Eve did not die the same day that they ate of the fruit.

I believe people/things could "die" physically but still be in perfect communion with God.  It would just be a transition of one type of life to another.  When sin entered into the world, the communion with God was severed and that is the death that is spoken of.  When we say that Christ conquered death by death, we are not saying that people don't die anymore, we are saying that death no longer separates us from God.

Perhaps someone with much more theological knowledge will come along and tell me all of my errors here, but this is how I understand it in my mind.
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« Reply #5090 on: July 09, 2013, 07:22:34 PM »

My problem with evolution is how do we reconcile its presupposition of death with Orthodox doctrine that death wasn't introduced into the world until after the fall of man? Man didn't come until relatively later in history, so if you accept evolution, you have to accept that death existed before mankind came into existence.
I'm don't know what the Church's position is, but here is my thought process.  Stuff had to die before the fall even if you believe in a literal 7 day creation time period. Bacteria and microbes reproduce at an incredible rate, so if they didn't die, you would have The Blob taking over the world rather quickly.


You can't have reproduction and growth without a "release valve" on the other end.  If no animal ever died, but all kept reproducing, the world would be packed with organisms shoulder to shoulder.  Not a very sustainable or well thought out system in my mind.

Scripture states:

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.

Yet, we know that Adam and Eve did not die the same day that they ate of the fruit.

I believe people/things could "die" physically but still be in perfect communion with God.  It would just be a transition of one type of life to another.  When sin entered into the world, the communion with God was severed and that is the death that is spoken of.  When we say that Christ conquered death by death, we are not saying that people don't die anymore, we are saying that death no longer separates us from God.

Perhaps someone with much more theological knowledge will come along and tell me all of my errors here, but this is how I understand it in my mind.

I think it's quite a theological stretch to equate the "death" of plants to the death of human life.


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« Reply #5091 on: July 09, 2013, 09:40:50 PM »

My problem with evolution is how do we reconcile its presupposition of death with Orthodox doctrine that death wasn't introduced into the world until after the fall of man? Man didn't come until relatively later in history, so if you accept evolution, you have to accept that death existed before mankind came into existence.
I'm don't know what the Church's position is, but here is my thought process.  Stuff had to die before the fall even if you believe in a literal 7 day creation time period. Bacteria and microbes reproduce at an incredible rate, so if they didn't die, you would have The Blob taking over the world rather quickly.


You can't have reproduction and growth without a "release valve" on the other end.  If no animal ever died, but all kept reproducing, the world would be packed with organisms shoulder to shoulder.  Not a very sustainable or well thought out system in my mind.

Scripture states:

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.

Yet, we know that Adam and Eve did not die the same day that they ate of the fruit.

I believe people/things could "die" physically but still be in perfect communion with God.  It would just be a transition of one type of life to another.  When sin entered into the world, the communion with God was severed and that is the death that is spoken of.  When we say that Christ conquered death by death, we are not saying that people don't die anymore, we are saying that death no longer separates us from God.

Perhaps someone with much more theological knowledge will come along and tell me all of my errors here, but this is how I understand it in my mind.

I think it's quite a theological stretch to equate the "death" of plants to the death of human life.


Selam
Huh I never said plants.  I was referencing animals, from the smallest microbes to the blue whale. So unless you are contending that animal physical death was possible but not human physical death before the fall, then my comment still stands.
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« Reply #5092 on: July 09, 2013, 10:15:28 PM »

I do not believe there is any relevance to animal death before the fall of man as the importance of our existence is just that, OUR existence.  Other than not to waste and be good stewards, there really isn’t much outside our relationship with God we are really too worried about (in a general sense).  This means, animals died or lived, not important.  Man dies or lives, pretty important as we have a destination awaiting us.  Could animals have been born and died prior to the fall of man?  Sure, I suppose.  Is it important in relation to our creation and existence?  Not so much.

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Yet, we know that Adam and Eve did not die the same day that they ate of the fruit.

Yep, exactly what Satan was getting at when he deceived them.  They didn’t die THAT DAY, but they did in fact die where they would not have before.

The question, before all others, between Creationists and Evolutionists should be, “Was Adam and Eve real people?”  If they disagree, no other discussion is even worth wasting time over.
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« Reply #5093 on: July 09, 2013, 11:23:04 PM »

My problem with evolution is how do we reconcile its presupposition of death with Orthodox doctrine that death wasn't introduced into the world until after the fall of man? Man didn't come until relatively later in history, so if you accept evolution, you have to accept that death existed before mankind came into existence.
I'm don't know what the Church's position is, but here is my thought process.  Stuff had to die before the fall even if you believe in a literal 7 day creation time period. Bacteria and microbes reproduce at an incredible rate, so if they didn't die, you would have The Blob taking over the world rather quickly.


You can't have reproduction and growth without a "release valve" on the other end.  If no animal ever died, but all kept reproducing, the world would be packed with organisms shoulder to shoulder.  Not a very sustainable or well thought out system in my mind.

Scripture states:

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.

Yet, we know that Adam and Eve did not die the same day that they ate of the fruit.

I believe people/things could "die" physically but still be in perfect communion with God.  It would just be a transition of one type of life to another.  When sin entered into the world, the communion with God was severed and that is the death that is spoken of.  When we say that Christ conquered death by death, we are not saying that people don't die anymore, we are saying that death no longer separates us from God.

Perhaps someone with much more theological knowledge will come along and tell me all of my errors here, but this is how I understand it in my mind.

I do not know precisely what you want.

There was a thread on Death that starts to get into this when Jetavan enters the conversation:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23362.msg356818.html#msg356818

In this thread, this issue comes up in Feb 2010:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4959.msg412790.html#msg412790

It comes up again in Dec 2010:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4959.msg502811.html#msg502811

And it comes up with some frequency thereafter, for example this past February.
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« Reply #5094 on: July 10, 2013, 12:57:27 AM »

The amount of misconception about evolution on here is rather depressing.  It is one thing to disagree with the current scientific understanding of it, but to put up continual strawmen just to knock them down shows no real desire in understanding the framework by which scientists operate.
Is this another "you don't understand" or "you aren't educated properly"?  Cause that's gotten pretty lame.  The theory is broken, it doesn't work, if it did I wouldn't disagree.  Very simple.
You're displaying remarkable arrogance.
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« Reply #5095 on: July 10, 2013, 12:58:51 AM »

The amount of misconception about evolution on here is rather depressing.  It is one thing to disagree with the current scientific understanding of it, but to put up continual strawmen just to knock them down shows no real desire in understanding the framework by which scientists operate.
Is this another "you don't understand" or "you aren't educated properly"?  Cause that's gotten pretty lame.  The theory is broken, it doesn't work, if it did I wouldn't disagree.  Very simple.
You're displaying remarkable arrogance.

I am sorry you feel this way.
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« Reply #5096 on: July 10, 2013, 08:34:23 AM »

I do not believe there is any relevance to animal death before the fall of man as the importance of our existence is just that, OUR existence.  Other than not to waste and be good stewards, there really isn’t much outside our relationship with God we are really too worried about (in a general sense).  This means, animals died or lived, not important.  Man dies or lives, pretty important as we have a destination awaiting us.  Could animals have been born and died prior to the fall of man?  Sure, I suppose.  Is it important in relation to our creation and existence?  Not so much.

Quote
Yet, we know that Adam and Eve did not die the same day that they ate of the fruit.

Yep, exactly what Satan was getting at when he deceived them.  They didn’t die THAT DAY, but they did in fact die where they would not have before.

The question, before all others, between Creationists and Evolutionists should be, “Was Adam and Eve real people?”  If they disagree, no other discussion is even worth wasting time over.

I don't see whether Adam and Eve were real people as been necessarily crucial to the debate.  I believe they were real people, but if I found out that they were not, it would not shatter my faith. Assuming that they were real, I think that there were others on the earth at the same time that they were, but those were sub-human individuals without souls (Neanderthals or pre-human species?). These would be the individuals that Cain was fearful of when he was sent out.  My personal thoughts are that Adam and Eve are the first people that God revealed Himself to and we can therefore say they are the first fully human people on earth. I'm not really dogmatic about any of that, but it is what makes the most sense in my mind...
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« Reply #5097 on: July 10, 2013, 09:35:25 AM »

I do not believe there is any relevance to animal death before the fall of man as the importance of our existence is just that, OUR existence.  Other than not to waste and be good stewards, there really isn’t much outside our relationship with God we are really too worried about (in a general sense).  This means, animals died or lived, not important.  Man dies or lives, pretty important as we have a destination awaiting us.  Could animals have been born and died prior to the fall of man?  Sure, I suppose.  Is it important in relation to our creation and existence?  Not so much.

Quote
Yet, we know that Adam and Eve did not die the same day that they ate of the fruit.

Yep, exactly what Satan was getting at when he deceived them.  They didn’t die THAT DAY, but they did in fact die where they would not have before.

The question, before all others, between Creationists and Evolutionists should be, “Was Adam and Eve real people?”  If they disagree, no other discussion is even worth wasting time over.

I don't see whether Adam and Eve were real people as been necessarily crucial to the debate. 

I will try to explain.

If Adam and Eve were real, specific individual, people, God created them as they were…Creation.

If Adam and Eve were not real (or, any other postulation), there was no creation as we think of it…evolution.  Nothing left to talk about.
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« Reply #5098 on: July 10, 2013, 09:43:07 AM »

I do not believe there is any relevance to animal death before the fall of man as the importance of our existence is just that, OUR existence.  Other than not to waste and be good stewards, there really isn’t much outside our relationship with God we are really too worried about (in a general sense).  This means, animals died or lived, not important.  Man dies or lives, pretty important as we have a destination awaiting us.  Could animals have been born and died prior to the fall of man?  Sure, I suppose.  Is it important in relation to our creation and existence?  Not so much.

Quote
Yet, we know that Adam and Eve did not die the same day that they ate of the fruit.

Yep, exactly what Satan was getting at when he deceived them.  They didn’t die THAT DAY, but they did in fact die where they would not have before.

The question, before all others, between Creationists and Evolutionists should be, “Was Adam and Eve real people?”  If they disagree, no other discussion is even worth wasting time over.

I don't see whether Adam and Eve were real people as been necessarily crucial to the debate. 

I will try to explain.

If Adam and Eve were real, specific individual, people, God created them as they were…Creation.

If Adam and Eve were not real (or, any other postulation), there was no creation as we think of it…evolution.  Nothing left to talk about.


I understand the point your trying to make, but what I'm saying is if they were allegory or pious legend, it doesn't affect what Christ did on the cross. Note that I'm not arguing that they were that, I'm just saying if we are able to invent a time machine that takes us to 4004BC or what ever date they supposedly lived, and we find that they never existed, it isn't going to cause Christianity to come crashing down. If, as I stated earlier, they were the pinnacle of the evolutionary process whereby they were the first two people to be granted souls and the first two that God revealed Himself to, that doesn't negate that God ruled over the creation process, it just means that the book of Genesis was not written to be a history book.
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« Reply #5099 on: July 10, 2013, 09:54:00 AM »

I understand the point your trying to make, but what I'm saying is if they were allegory or pious legend, it doesn't affect what Christ did on the cross. Note that I'm not arguing that they were that, I'm just saying if we are able to invent a time machine that takes us to 4004BC or what ever date they supposedly lived, and we find that they never existed, it isn't going to cause Christianity to come crashing down. If, as I stated earlier, they were the pinnacle of the evolutionary process whereby they were the first two people to be granted souls and the first two that God revealed Himself to, that doesn't negate that God ruled over the creation process, it just means that the book of Genesis was not written to be a history book.

I agree with you. I'm not going to put anything else in this thread because I don't like playing with dynamite. But I agree; it doesn't bother me at all whether or not the first human beings were "Adam" and "Eve". The book of Genesis is not - and was not intended to be - a science textbook.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5100 on: July 10, 2013, 10:08:53 AM »

I do not believe there is any relevance to animal death before the fall of man as the importance of our existence is just that, OUR existence.  Other than not to waste and be good stewards, there really isn’t much outside our relationship with God we are really too worried about (in a general sense).  This means, animals died or lived, not important.  Man dies or lives, pretty important as we have a destination awaiting us.  Could animals have been born and died prior to the fall of man?  Sure, I suppose.  Is it important in relation to our creation and existence?  Not so much.

Quote
Yet, we know that Adam and Eve did not die the same day that they ate of the fruit.

Yep, exactly what Satan was getting at when he deceived them.  They didn’t die THAT DAY, but they did in fact die where they would not have before.

The question, before all others, between Creationists and Evolutionists should be, “Was Adam and Eve real people?”  If they disagree, no other discussion is even worth wasting time over.

I don't see whether Adam and Eve were real people as been necessarily crucial to the debate.

I will try to explain.

If Adam and Eve were real, specific individual, people, God created them as they were…Creation.

If Adam and Eve were not real (or, any other postulation), there was no creation as we think of it…evolution.  Nothing left to talk about.


I understand the point your trying to make, but what I'm saying is if they were allegory or pious legend, it doesn't affect what Christ did on the cross. Note that I'm not arguing that they were that, I'm just saying if we are able to invent a time machine that takes us to 4004BC or what ever date they supposedly lived, and we find that they never existed, it isn't going to cause Christianity to come crashing down. If, as I stated earlier, they were the pinnacle of the evolutionary process whereby they were the first two people to be granted souls and the first two that God revealed Himself to, that doesn't negate that God ruled over the creation process, it just means that the book of Genesis was not written to be a history book.

I understand and agree to a point by saying Genesis is not to be used as a history document (nor are most any other documents including the Gospels), but the underlying premise is if Genesis is wrong in the way it describes Creation then everything we have been taught since the beginning is (or very easily could be) wrong.  This makes a God a liar and if He is a liar, He is unworthy of worship.  This nullifies anything which may (or may not have) occurred later in history.  It’s an either/or scenario.  It also opens the door (which I already pointed out) anything can be questioned within Christianity and changed to fit what we think it should be (i.e., Protestantism…Pandora’s box has been opened).  

Have you ever wondered why Christianity is losing so much ground so quickly?  Why people don’t just disagree with Christianity, but actually hate it and people who proclaim their faith in Christianity?  Why we have so many “Christian” groups all teaching something different?  Why there is an overabundance of lukewarmness in Christianity today?  I don’t because I know why and this is one of those reasons.  Granted, there are many more, but this IMO is a core issue and much of what we see now are the symptoms of the sickness we have ignored within the Church.  

We can rationalize all we want.  We can attempt to explain and clarify everything all day.  We can explain away things which have been held as truth since the beginning of the Church so it will fit neatly (or not so neatly) in modern philosophy and “enlightenment”.  The Catholics have been doing it for centuries (legalism).  And if we do accept these modern twists on our faith, it puts everything the Church has ever taught into question.  If they could have been wrong for 2000 years and at least 4000 before that just on this one topic, what else did they screw up?  What you may think as trivial really isn’t.  
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« Reply #5101 on: July 10, 2013, 10:18:05 AM »

I understand the point your trying to make, but what I'm saying is if they were allegory or pious legend, it doesn't affect what Christ did on the cross. Note that I'm not arguing that they were that, I'm just saying if we are able to invent a time machine that takes us to 4004BC or what ever date they supposedly lived, and we find that they never existed, it isn't going to cause Christianity to come crashing down. If, as I stated earlier, they were the pinnacle of the evolutionary process whereby they were the first two people to be granted souls and the first two that God revealed Himself to, that doesn't negate that God ruled over the creation process, it just means that the book of Genesis was not written to be a history book.

I agree with you. I'm not going to put anything else in this thread because I don't like playing with dynamite. But I agree; it doesn't bother me at all whether or not the first human beings were "Adam" and "Eve". The book of Genesis is not - and was not intended to be - a science textbook.  Roll Eyes

I will never understand why people say this sort of thing.  It is no different, IMO, to walking up to the author of a history book and telling him it isn’t a science book, or the other way around.  Well, it should kind be understood without having to be said.  It's Holy Scripture, not a college text book.  It’s slightly more important than a text book.
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« Reply #5102 on: July 10, 2013, 11:04:12 AM »

I will never understand why people say this sort of thing.  It is no different, IMO, to walking up to the author of a history book and telling him it isn’t a science book, or the other way around.  Well, it should kind be understood without having to be said.  It's Holy Scripture, not a college text book.  It’s slightly more important than a text book.

I say this sort of thing because it's what I think, and I have a right to my opinion, just as you do.

And I did not say that the Scriptures are not important. But you know what? No matter what I say now, I'm a heretic and a scoffer so my opinion won't matter. So goodbye, I'm off to breakfast.  Cool
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« Reply #5103 on: July 10, 2013, 11:09:59 AM »

I will never understand why people say this sort of thing.  It is no different, IMO, to walking up to the author of a history book and telling him it isn’t a science book, or the other way around.  Well, it should kind be understood without having to be said.  It's Holy Scripture, not a college text book.  It’s slightly more important than a text book.

I say this sort of thing because it's what I think, and I have a right to my opinion, just as you do.
I never said you shouldn't have an opinion.  I just said I don't understand it.
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« Reply #5104 on: July 10, 2013, 01:04:10 PM »

I understand and agree to a point by saying Genesis is not to be used as a history document (nor are most any other documents including the Gospels), but the underlying premise is if Genesis is wrong in the way it describes Creation then everything we have been taught since the beginning is (or very easily could be) wrong.  This makes a God a liar and if He is a liar, He is unworthy of worship.  This nullifies anything which may (or may not have) occurred later in history.  It’s an either/or scenario.  It also opens the door (which I already pointed out) anything can be questioned within Christianity and changed to fit what we think it should be (i.e., Protestantism…Pandora’s box has been opened).  

Have you ever wondered why Christianity is losing so much ground so quickly?  Why people don’t just disagree with Christianity, but actually hate it and people who proclaim their faith in Christianity?  Why we have so many “Christian” groups all teaching something different?  Why there is an overabundance of lukewarmness in Christianity today?  I don’t because I know why and this is one of those reasons.  Granted, there are many more, but this IMO is a core issue and much of what we see now are the symptoms of the sickness we have ignored within the Church.  

We can rationalize all we want.  We can attempt to explain and clarify everything all day.  We can explain away things which have been held as truth since the beginning of the Church so it will fit neatly (or not so neatly) in modern philosophy and “enlightenment”.  The Catholics have been doing it for centuries (legalism).  And if we do accept these modern twists on our faith, it puts everything the Church has ever taught into question.  If they could have been wrong for 2000 years and at least 4000 before that just on this one topic, what else did they screw up?  What you may think as trivial really isn’t.  


You are using a false dilemma.  There are not only the two options of accepting it as literal historical events or God is a liar.  Genesis is not "wrong", it just may be teaching something different than what you believe it to be teaching.  You want to use it as a tool to satisfy your curiousity on what happened at the beginning of time.  I don't happen to believe that that was the intent of the author or of God.  God doesn't lie to us, but He also doesn't always give us the full set of facts; He isn't obligated to do that.

In regards to why Christianity is losing ground, I can guarantee you it isn't because we don't all believe in a literal understanding of Genesis.  When I moved towards agnosticism, it was because I didn't see Christians practicing what Christ taught and because I saw it as a group of individuals who abandoned all sense of logic and sensory understanding for a set of beliefs.  I have studied biology and evolutionary theory quite a bit as a hobby.  I was once a staunch 6 day creationist, but after reading books from both sides and looking at as much evidence as I was able to examine, I could no longer hold that position in good concience.  If you are intellectually honest about it and look at the evidence with an open mind, it is very difficult to dismiss the theory of evolution.  The old arguments that creationists use from the 1950s just don't hold water.
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« Reply #5105 on: July 10, 2013, 01:26:35 PM »

I think that there were others on the earth at the same time that they were, but those were sub-human individuals without souls (Neanderthals or pre-human species?).
Your ears and nose will not stop growing as you age.  It is very likely that what is mistaken to be a Neanderthal was actually a 900 year old human.
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« Reply #5106 on: July 10, 2013, 01:54:20 PM »

I think that there were others on the earth at the same time that they were, but those were sub-human individuals without souls (Neanderthals or pre-human species?).
Your ears and nose will not stop growing as you age.  It is very likely that what is mistaken to be a Neanderthal was actually a 900 year old human.

Your ears and nose are made of cartilage which is why they continue to have the ability to grow. Old age has nothing to do with the differences in skeletal structure and DNA.  DNA is made of nucleotides, modern humans have about 16,500 pairs. Neanderthal have a variance of around 200 pairs.  As a comparison, chimpanzees have a variance of around 1400 pairs.  Other human or subhuman species have been found with variances in between the Neanderthal and chimp variance levels.
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« Reply #5107 on: July 10, 2013, 06:25:00 PM »

I will never understand why people say this sort of thing.  It is no different, IMO, to walking up to the author of a history book and telling him it isn’t a science book, or the other way around.  Well, it should kind be understood without having to be said.  It's Holy Scripture, not a college text book.  It’s slightly more important than a text book.

I say this sort of thing because it's what I think, and I have a right to my opinion, just as you do.

And I did not say that the Scriptures are not important. But you know what? No matter what I say now, I'm a heretic and a scoffer so my opinion won't matter. So goodbye, I'm off to breakfast.  Cool
For what it's worth, we are all sharing our opinions.
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« Reply #5108 on: July 10, 2013, 07:06:08 PM »

The amount of misconception about evolution on here is rather depressing.  It is one thing to disagree with the current scientific understanding of it, but to put up continual strawmen just to knock them down shows no real desire in understanding the framework by which scientists operate.
The theory is broken, it doesn't work, if it did I wouldn't disagree.  Very simple.

Oh, it works. Quite well. You've yet to demonstrate any plausible alternatives with supporting evidence (sorry... Bible doesn't count).
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« Reply #5109 on: July 10, 2013, 07:08:23 PM »

If Adam and Eve were real, specific individual, people, God created them as they were…Creation.

If Adam and Eve were not real (or, any other postulation), there was no creation as we think of it…evolution.  Nothing left to talk about.

Evolution is real. And yet, here we are, talking, talking, talking... Smiley
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« Reply #5110 on: July 10, 2013, 07:17:13 PM »

I understand and agree to a point by saying Genesis is not to be used as a history document (nor are most any other documents including the Gospels), but the underlying premise is if Genesis is wrong in the way it describes Creation then everything we have been taught since the beginning is (or very easily could be) wrong.  This makes a God a liar and if He is a liar, He is unworthy of worship.  This nullifies anything which may (or may not have) occurred later in history.  It’s an either/or scenario.  It also opens the door (which I already pointed out) anything can be questioned within Christianity and changed to fit what we think it should be (i.e., Protestantism…Pandora’s box has been opened).  

Have you ever wondered why Christianity is losing so much ground so quickly?  Why people don’t just disagree with Christianity, but actually hate it and people who proclaim their faith in Christianity?  Why we have so many “Christian” groups all teaching something different?  Why there is an overabundance of lukewarmness in Christianity today?  I don’t because I know why and this is one of those reasons.  Granted, there are many more, but this IMO is a core issue and much of what we see now are the symptoms of the sickness we have ignored within the Church.  

We can rationalize all we want.  We can attempt to explain and clarify everything all day.  We can explain away things which have been held as truth since the beginning of the Church so it will fit neatly (or not so neatly) in modern philosophy and “enlightenment”.  The Catholics have been doing it for centuries (legalism).  And if we do accept these modern twists on our faith, it puts everything the Church has ever taught into question.  If they could have been wrong for 2000 years and at least 4000 before that just on this one topic, what else did they screw up?  What you may think as trivial really isn’t.  


You are using a false dilemma.  There are not only the two options of accepting it as literal historical events or God is a liar.  Genesis is not "wrong", it just may be teaching something different than what you believe it to be teaching.  You want to use it as a tool to satisfy your curiousity on what happened at the beginning of time.  I don't happen to believe that that was the intent of the author or of God.  God doesn't lie to us, but He also doesn't always give us the full set of facts; He isn't obligated to do that.

In regards to why Christianity is losing ground, I can guarantee you it isn't because we don't all believe in a literal understanding of Genesis.  When I moved towards agnosticism, it was because I didn't see Christians practicing what Christ taught and because I saw it as a group of individuals who abandoned all sense of logic and sensory understanding for a set of beliefs.  I have studied biology and evolutionary theory quite a bit as a hobby.  I was once a staunch 6 day creationist, but after reading books from both sides and looking at as much evidence as I was able to examine, I could no longer hold that position in good concience.  If you are intellectually honest about it and look at the evidence with an open mind, it is very difficult to dismiss the theory of evolution.  The old arguments that creationists use from the 1950s just don't hold water.

I appreciate your take on this issue, Trisagion. I agree that there is a false dilemma that people create that needn't hamper the faith and practice of a Christian. It's caused by a pretty common hang up, actually: Either/Or. Scripture is not either/or when we are talking things like creation mythology. Some books of the Bible require more subtlety of thought when reflecting on their symbolism. Genesis is "true", but to take it literally without even considering the plethora of contradictory evidence is, well... dishonest. Just as you said.
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« Reply #5111 on: July 10, 2013, 07:28:33 PM »

For what it's worth, I have found 'Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution' by the famous anarchist Peter Kropotkin to be a neglected ace in the arsenal of the creationists which is also an outstanding social and historical analysis (reguardless of whether or not Kropotkin himself adheres to biological evolution).

Basically, Kropotkin was a nineteenth century Russian prince of the Rurikid dynasty whose father owned many slaves.  The court disgusted him, and he went to Siberia on an investigation of science and nature under the guise of a military expedition.  He renounced his title and inheritance and joined the followers of Bakunin - albeit of the pacifist branch and was subsequently exiled to western Europe.  

Kropotkin argues that Darwin's central tenet of natural selection or survival of the fittest has no evidence in animal behavior, human history, or modern society.  Kropotkin says that societies survive and prosper through cooperation - not competition.  Kropotkin repudiates precisely the aspect of Darwin's theory which Huxley used to discredit Richard Owen, Darwin's chief opponent.  Incidentally, I understand that Darwin himself in fact did himself conceive the idea of "survival of the fittest." He got this concept from Alfred Russell Wallace.  Be that as it may, it is not surprising that the "survival of the fittest" doctrine was conceived and adopted by well-to-do upper class members of a capitalist society.

Kropotkin's book is also a rebuttal of both capitalism and social Darwinism.  I perceive Kropotkin's anarchist economics are also distributist and come closer than any modern system I know toward the society of Old Christian Russia.  Incidentally, his 1899 book 'Fields, Factories, and Workshops' advocates distributism of property and means of production (as opposed to accumulation in the hands of a few).  It likely directly influenced Hilaire Belloc's 1911 magnum opus 'The Servile State' which also advocated distributism and the view that capitalism paves the way to slavery.  Belloc was a leader of the catholic land rights movement and G.K. Chesterton's best friend.

Kropotkin was also a friend of Lenin although he was critical of the Bolshevik revolution.

'Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution'
By Peter Kropotkin
http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/mutaidcontents.html  

I am not an expert on this topic, but since the Book of the Song of Solomon 1:6 contains the statement "Look not upon me because I am black because the sun hath looked upon me...", I take it that skin, hair, and eye colour are heavily conditioned by environmental factors.  This approach therefore has both biblical and scientific foundations.  Hippocratic medicine (followed today by Muslims in the form of Unani medicine and earlier generations of eastern Christians) even has this down to a science which is very interesting and from which the egotistical modern geneticists could learn a thing or two.)  Although I literally believe the story of Noah and his three sons, I consider it certain that neither Ham nor Canaan changed colour when Noah pronounced a curse on Canaan for his father's sin.  To ascribe the skin colour difference to that biblical difference is a false racial theory which I understand has its origin in the Talmud.  
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« Reply #5112 on: July 10, 2013, 07:40:57 PM »

For what it's worth, I have found 'Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution' by the famous anarchist Peter Kropotkin to be a neglected ace in the arsenal of the creationists which is also an outstanding social and historical analysis (reguardless of whether or not Kropotkin himself adheres to biological evolution).

Basically, Kropotkin was a nineteenth century Russian prince of the Rurikid dynasty whose father owned many slaves.  The court disgusted him, and he went to Siberia on an investigation of science and nature under the guise of a military expedition.  He renounced his title and inheritance and joined the followers of Bakunin - albeit of the pacifist branch and was subsequently exiled to western Europe.  

Kropotkin argues that Darwin's central tenet of natural selection or survival of the fittest has no evidence in animal behavior, human history, or modern society.  Kropotkin says that societies survive and prosper through cooperation - not competition.  Kropotkin repudiates precisely the aspect of Darwin's theory which Huxley used to discredit Richard Owen, Darwin's chief opponent.  Incidentally, I understand that Darwin himself in fact did himself conceive the idea of "survival of the fittest." He got this concept from Alfred Russell Wallace.  Be that as it may, it is not surprising that the "survival of the fittest" doctrine was conceived and adopted by well-to-do upper class members of a capitalist society.

Kropotkin's book is also a rebuttal of both capitalism and social Darwinism.  I perceive Kropotkin's anarchist economics are also distributist and come closer than any modern system I know toward the society of Old Christian Russia.  Incidentally, his 1899 book 'Fields, Factories, and Workshops' advocates distributism of property and means of production (as opposed to accumulation in the hands of a few).  It likely directly influenced Hilaire Belloc's 1911 magnum opus 'The Servile State' which also advocated distributism and the view that capitalism paves the way to slavery.  Belloc was a leader of the catholic land rights movement and G.K. Chesterton's best friend.

Kropotkin was also a friend of Lenin although he was critical of the Bolshevik revolution.

'Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution'
By Peter Kropotkin
http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/mutaidcontents.html  

I am not an expert on this topic, but since the Book of the Song of Solomon 1:6 contains the statement "Look not upon me because I am black because the sun hath looked upon me...", I take it that skin, hair, and eye colour are heavily conditioned by environmental factors.  This approach therefore has both biblical and scientific foundations.  Hippocratic medicine (followed today by Muslims in the form of Unani medicine and earlier generations of eastern Christians) even has this down to a science which is very interesting and from which the egotistical modern geneticists could learn a thing or two.)  Although I literally believe the story of Noah and his three sons, I consider it certain that neither Ham nor Canaan changed colour when Noah pronounced a curse on Canaan for his father's sin.  To ascribe the skin colour difference to that biblical difference is a false racial theory which I understand has its origin in the Talmud.  
I have not read the book you reference, but I cannot see how cooperation can be used in the larger context.  Cooperation is only beneficial if you are using it as an advantage to be a more "fit" species.  For example, ants, which are acknowledged to be a most cooperative specie still compete with other insects for resources, often resulting in quite violent altercations. Humans are a cooperative species, but we are also super-predators which have a tendency to destroy any other species we are in competition with.  There are a few species which are able to form symbiotic relationships for the benefit of both species, but not many and often even in those relationships, they are again competing against a third species.  At the top of the chain, it always comes back to competition.
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« Reply #5113 on: July 10, 2013, 07:44:06 PM »

The amount of misconception about evolution on here is rather depressing.  It is one thing to disagree with the current scientific understanding of it, but to put up continual strawmen just to knock them down shows no real desire in understanding the framework by which scientists operate.
The theory is broken, it doesn't work, if it did I wouldn't disagree.  Very simple.

Oh, it works. Quite well. You've yet to demonstrate any plausible alternatives with supporting evidence (sorry... Bible doesn't count).
How is what you just stated any different then what you claim I am doing?  It sure makes it easy to support your opinion if you don't allow any other views to be entered.  I'm not supporting anything here, only showing the vast amount of concerns with the idea of evolution.  As a Christian, one should entertain Christian teaching.  Otherwise, church is little more than a social group.
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« Reply #5114 on: July 10, 2013, 07:49:50 PM »

If Adam and Eve were real, specific individual, people, God created them as they were…Creation.

If Adam and Eve were not real (or, any other postulation), there was no creation as we think of it…evolution.  Nothing left to talk about.

Evolution is real. And yet, here we are, talking, talking, talking... Smiley

Biblical Creation is real. And yet, here we are, talking, talking, talking.

Wow, it really is easy to make claims without needing to actually prove them.  But as I stated, I'm not attempting to prove Creation.  I simply want to be convinced evolution is in fact, real.  So far, nothing presented has done this.
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« Reply #5115 on: July 10, 2013, 07:52:20 PM »

The amount of misconception about evolution on here is rather depressing.  It is one thing to disagree with the current scientific understanding of it, but to put up continual strawmen just to knock them down shows no real desire in understanding the framework by which scientists operate.
The theory is broken, it doesn't work, if it did I wouldn't disagree.  Very simple.

Oh, it works. Quite well. You've yet to demonstrate any plausible alternatives with supporting evidence (sorry... Bible doesn't count).
How is what you just stated any different then what you claim I am doing?  It sure makes it easy to support your opinion if you don't allow any other views to be entered.  I'm not supporting anything here, only showing the vast amount of concerns with the idea of evolution.  As a Christian, one should entertain Christian teaching.  Otherwise, church is little more than a social group.
LOL, I did think it was a bit funny that he countered your unsupported opinion with an unsupported opinion of his own.  laugh

I don't think there IS a Christian teaching on science, just like there isn't a Christian teaching on algebra or spelling or any other number of subjects.  You can feel comfortable believing how the world works from studying evidence without discarding the overarching mindset that God is and was the master architect and put everything in motion to allow everything to exist.  One does not need to study evidence to confirm or deny that fact.
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« Reply #5116 on: July 10, 2013, 07:59:34 PM »

If Adam and Eve were real, specific individual, people, God created them as they were…Creation.

If Adam and Eve were not real (or, any other postulation), there was no creation as we think of it…evolution.  Nothing left to talk about.

Evolution is real. And yet, here we are, talking, talking, talking... Smiley

Biblical Creation is real. And yet, here we are, talking, talking, talking.

Wow, it really is easy to make claims without needing to actually prove them.  But as I stated, I'm not attempting to prove Creation.  I simply want to be convinced evolution is in fact, real.  So far, nothing presented has done this.
I would never try to "prove" evolution to someone.  I literally studied both sides of it for years before coming to the conclusion that it makes the most sense.  There is no way that I or anyone else could through out a paragraph or two on an internet forum to convince you of anything.  In a way, I think it is similar to Orthodoxy.  They are very deep and a lot to them, but you have to be willing to approach them with an open mind rather than preconceived notions, whether that be a belief that Orthodoxy = idolatry or the belief that evolution = exclusion of God from the creation process.
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« Reply #5117 on: July 10, 2013, 08:13:50 PM »

It sure makes it easy to support your opinion if you don't allow any other views to be entered.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

I'm not supporting anything here, only showing the vast amount of concerns with the idea of evolution.  As a Christian, one should entertain Christian teaching.  Otherwise, church is little more than a social group.

Christian teaching is good. But if it enters into the spheres of science or history, and there bumps up against contradictory facts, one or the other has to give. As has been pointed out repeatedly throughout this thread, the Orthodox Church does not hold to a dogmatic stance regarding biological evolution. Literal belief in the creation account of Genesis does not a Christian make.
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« Reply #5118 on: July 10, 2013, 08:25:48 PM »

If Adam and Eve were real, specific individual, people, God created them as they were…Creation.

If Adam and Eve were not real (or, any other postulation), there was no creation as we think of it…evolution.  Nothing left to talk about.

Evolution is real. And yet, here we are, talking, talking, talking... Smiley

Biblical Creation is real. And yet, here we are, talking, talking, talking.

Wow, it really is easy to make claims without needing to actually prove them.  But as I stated, I'm not attempting to prove Creation.  I simply want to be convinced evolution is in fact, real.  So far, nothing presented has done this.
I would never try to "prove" evolution to someone.  I literally studied both sides of it for years before coming to the conclusion that it makes the most sense.  There is no way that I or anyone else could through out a paragraph or two on an internet forum to convince you of anything.  In a way, I think it is similar to Orthodoxy.  They are very deep and a lot to them, but you have to be willing to approach them with an open mind rather than preconceived notions, whether that be a belief that Orthodoxy = idolatry or the belief that evolution = exclusion of God from the creation process.
And I have no issue with your views.  I actually used to believe evolution and went the opposite direction you have taken.  The difference between two mature adults discussing something is they can accept the other is convinced as a result of good reason and be open to at least understand the opposing view.  What I have seen a lot in this tread is angry reaction.  "What?  You don't evolution?  What kind of imbecile are you?"  That's the mentality I find in abundance here.  People can't except what evolution has provided isn't enough for some folks.  Then they lash out.  I don't get it, but that's ok.
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« Reply #5119 on: July 10, 2013, 08:28:37 PM »

It sure makes it easy to support your opinion if you don't allow any other views to be entered.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

I'm not supporting anything here, only showing the vast amount of concerns with the idea of evolution.  As a Christian, one should entertain Christian teaching.  Otherwise, church is little more than a social group.

Christian teaching is good. But if it enters into the spheres of science or history, and there bumps up against contradictory facts, one or the other has to give. As has been pointed out repeatedly throughout this thread, the Orthodox Church does not hold to a dogmatic stance regarding biological evolution. Literal belief in the creation account of Genesis does not a Christian make.

Tell you what, you believe in evolution.  I'll believe in something bigger.
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« Reply #5120 on: July 10, 2013, 08:33:55 PM »

It sure makes it easy to support your opinion if you don't allow any other views to be entered.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

I'm not supporting anything here, only showing the vast amount of concerns with the idea of evolution.  As a Christian, one should entertain Christian teaching.  Otherwise, church is little more than a social group.

Christian teaching is good. But if it enters into the spheres of science or history, and there bumps up against contradictory facts, one or the other has to give. As has been pointed out repeatedly throughout this thread, the Orthodox Church does not hold to a dogmatic stance regarding biological evolution. Literal belief in the creation account of Genesis does not a Christian make.

Tell you what, you believe in evolution.  I'll believe in something bigger.

This is the either/or thing I was talking about. I believe in evolution ('cause it's a fact) AND something bigger!
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« Reply #5121 on: July 10, 2013, 08:42:29 PM »

It sure makes it easy to support your opinion if you don't allow any other views to be entered.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

I'm not supporting anything here, only showing the vast amount of concerns with the idea of evolution.  As a Christian, one should entertain Christian teaching.  Otherwise, church is little more than a social group.

Christian teaching is good. But if it enters into the spheres of science or history, and there bumps up against contradictory facts, one or the other has to give. As has been pointed out repeatedly throughout this thread, the Orthodox Church does not hold to a dogmatic stance regarding biological evolution. Literal belief in the creation account of Genesis does not a Christian make.

Tell you what, you believe in evolution.  I'll believe in something bigger.

This is the either/or thing I was talking about. I believe in evolution ('cause it's a fact) AND something bigger!
Okay.

I believe in God.
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« Reply #5122 on: July 10, 2013, 08:48:09 PM »

It sure makes it easy to support your opinion if you don't allow any other views to be entered.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

I'm not supporting anything here, only showing the vast amount of concerns with the idea of evolution.  As a Christian, one should entertain Christian teaching.  Otherwise, church is little more than a social group.

Christian teaching is good. But if it enters into the spheres of science or history, and there bumps up against contradictory facts, one or the other has to give. As has been pointed out repeatedly throughout this thread, the Orthodox Church does not hold to a dogmatic stance regarding biological evolution. Literal belief in the creation account of Genesis does not a Christian make.

Tell you what, you believe in evolution.  I'll believe in something bigger.

This is the either/or thing I was talking about. I believe in evolution ('cause it's a fact) AND something bigger!
Okay.

I believe in God.

Yep. Me, too.
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« Reply #5123 on: July 10, 2013, 08:52:57 PM »

Me three!

Well, most of the time.  Lord, help my unbelief!
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« Reply #5124 on: July 10, 2013, 10:41:44 PM »

...be open to at least understand the opposing view.  What I have seen a lot in this tread is angry reaction.  "What?  You don't evolution?  What kind of imbecile are you?"  That's the mentality I find in abundance here.
Welcome to the club.  I caught the same flack for my steadfast belief that the earth is flat.
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« Reply #5125 on: July 10, 2013, 10:52:52 PM »

be open to at least understand the opposing view.  What I have seen a lot in this tread is angry reaction.  "What?  You don't evolution?  What kind of imbecile are you?"  That's the mentality I find in abundance here.
Some of the stuff I have read in this thread is what I would expect an Atheist to say.
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« Reply #5126 on: July 10, 2013, 11:57:45 PM »

...be open to at least understand the opposing view.  What I have seen a lot in this tread is angry reaction.  "What?  You don't evolution?  What kind of imbecile are you?"  That's the mentality I find in abundance here.
Welcome to the club.  I caught the same flack for my steadfast belief that the earth is flat.

Yes, that would be an incredibly hard sell. I did appreciate your post about Peter Kropotkin above.
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« Reply #5127 on: July 11, 2013, 12:02:06 AM »

Some of the stuff I have read in this thread is what I would expect an Atheist to say.

I have long believed that the alleged inaccuracy of the old Julian calendar which constitutes the Gregorian calendar's excuse for existence is in fact a brazen lie and demonstrably false.  One way to test the difference is to clock the length of time the sun is in the sky on the solstices of the two calendars.  For the record, the winter solstice according to Christian tradition is and always will be 25 December according to the Julian Calendar.***  If such a simple test shows that 7 January N.S. (i.e. 25 Decembre O.S.) is actually a shorter day than 21 Decembre N.S., then the entire Gregorian calendar is proved to be mathematically, astronomically, and physically false.  

I once had an argument with an atheist about this issue and cornered him into this falsifiable test, and he made this remarkable confession:
"I realize that I am shooting myself in the foot here, but I have faith that the scientific community is not lying to us about basic astronomical data."
however, I have found that facts pertaining to modern astronomy brought to light especially in books of the American astronomer Charles Lane Poor suggest precisely that.  

During an all night vigil in Katounakia in Mount Athos a few years back, a monk to whom I had previously mentioned this matter took a few moments to look up sunrise and sunset times for Mount Athos in an older liturgical book.  He did not find them for that time of year, but he did find a footnote regarding western Pascha which ended by asserting that the Gregorian calendar was devised "by the atheist astronomers of the pope."

*** 'An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith' Book II, Chapter 7 "Concerning Heaven" by Saint John of Damascus enunciates the dates upon which the seasons begin:

25 Dec - Winter Solstice - Birth of the Christ (same Day)
24 Jun - Summer Solstice - Birth of Forerunner (same Day)
http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/exactii.html#BOOK_II_CHAPTER_VII

This symbolizes that Jesus Christ is the light of the world.  From the moment of His birth, light began to increase.
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« Reply #5128 on: July 11, 2013, 12:40:57 AM »

Okay.

I believe in God.

Is it your assertion that one cannot believe in God *and* accept evolution as a scientific fact?
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« Reply #5129 on: July 11, 2013, 01:20:42 AM »

be open to at least understand the opposing view.  What I have seen a lot in this tread is angry reaction.  "What?  You don't evolution?  What kind of imbecile are you?"  That's the mentality I find in abundance here.
Some of the stuff I have read in this thread is what I would expect an Atheist to say.

Me too
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