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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
Yes - 53 (15.8%)
No - 129 (38.4%)
both metaphorically and literally - 154 (45.8%)
Total Voters: 336

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Author Topic: Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy  (Read 316697 times) Average Rating: 0
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Kerdy
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« Reply #5130 on: July 11, 2013, 01:43:32 AM »

Okay.

I believe in God.

Is it your assertion that one cannot believe in God *and* accept evolution as a scientific fact?
My assertion is I believe in God.  This includes what He told man from the beginning.
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« Reply #5131 on: July 11, 2013, 08:04:54 AM »

Okay.

I believe in God.

Is it your assertion that one cannot believe in God *and* accept evolution as a scientific fact?
My assertion is I believe in God.  This includes what He told man from the beginning.
This is a rather suprising evasion from you, Kerdy. Usually you give a very straight up answer when given direct questions.
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« Reply #5132 on: July 11, 2013, 08:14:38 AM »

Okay.

I believe in God.

Is it your assertion that one cannot believe in God *and* accept evolution as a scientific fact?
My assertion is I believe in God.  This includes what He told man from the beginning.
This is a rather suprising evasion from you, Kerdy. Usually you give a very straight up answer when given direct questions.

That was a straight up answer, no evasion.  I said what I meant.  If I meant something else, I would have said something else.  She read too much into my post and made an assumption which was incorrect.  The good part is, she asked instead of responding which is done far too often.  For that, I am grateful to her.
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« Reply #5133 on: July 11, 2013, 08:20:05 AM »

Okay.

I believe in God.

Is it your assertion that one cannot believe in God *and* accept evolution as a scientific fact?
My assertion is I believe in God.  This includes what He told man from the beginning.
This is a rather suprising evasion from you, Kerdy. Usually you give a very straight up answer when given direct questions.

That was a straight up answer, no evasion.  I said what I meant.  If I meant something else, I would have said something else.  She read too much into my post and made an assumption which was incorrect.  The good part is, she asked instead of responding which is done far too often.  For that, I am grateful to her.
Good point, you are correct, you did answer it.  I did not read her phrasing close enough.

So to perhaps rephrase her question: do you believe that one can believe in God *and* accept evolution as a scientific fact or are they diametrically opposite to one another?
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« Reply #5134 on: July 11, 2013, 09:59:07 AM »

His last reply seems to indicate that he believes God has given all people the freedom of will to believe as they choose.

I believe a man can indeed believe in God and simultaneously believe that biological evolution is a scientific fact.
Whether such a belief is true pertains to a different question.   
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Kerdy
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« Reply #5135 on: July 11, 2013, 07:02:59 PM »

Okay.

I believe in God.

Is it your assertion that one cannot believe in God *and* accept evolution as a scientific fact?
My assertion is I believe in God.  This includes what He told man from the beginning.
This is a rather suprising evasion from you, Kerdy. Usually you give a very straight up answer when given direct questions.

That was a straight up answer, no evasion.  I said what I meant.  If I meant something else, I would have said something else.  She read too much into my post and made an assumption which was incorrect.  The good part is, she asked instead of responding which is done far too often.  For that, I am grateful to her.
Good point, you are correct, you did answer it.  I did not read her phrasing close enough.

So to perhaps rephrase her question: do you believe that one can believe in God *and* accept evolution as a scientific fact or are they diametrically opposite to one another?
Of course they can.  Many here do.  I just don't understand how.  To me, they are opposed to one another. 
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« Reply #5136 on: July 11, 2013, 10:05:45 PM »

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.
Appreciate that. 

I understand that Leo Tolstoy was a closer friend of Kropotkin than Lenin and drew much of his pacifist doctrine from him and thence passed it on to Ghandi who was Tolstoy's best friend at the end of his life.  Someone told me the other day that Tolstoy's book of Confessions states that he originally derived his religious interests including his pacifism and traditional dress, etc. through interaction with Russian Old Believers.  I'll have to read Tolstoy's Confessions.

As far as Eastern Orthodoxy and the creation, I like Seraphim Rose's book 'Genesis, Creation, and Early Man':
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1887904255
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« Reply #5137 on: July 12, 2013, 11:21:21 AM »

Here is an absolutely fantastic blogpost that I came across this morning.  It states far more eloquently than I ever could the proper way of reading Scripture and it touches on, albeit briefly, creationism.

http://glory2godforallthings.com/2013/07/11/reading-the-real-bible-and-notes-on-the-real-hell/#comments
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« Reply #5138 on: July 12, 2013, 11:46:06 AM »

Here is an absolutely fantastic blogpost that I came across this morning.  It states far more eloquently than I ever could the proper way of reading Scripture and it touches on, albeit briefly, creationism.

http://glory2godforallthings.com/2013/07/11/reading-the-real-bible-and-notes-on-the-real-hell/#comments

Great share.  Smiley
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« Reply #5139 on: July 12, 2013, 11:49:51 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

Why?  Huh

I'm honestly puzzled at this reaction. Evolution is a scientific theory that has been accepted by most branches of Christianity for quite some time - including, I thought up till now, Orthodoxy.

Am I mistaken? Must one reject the theory of evolution in order to be accepted as a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy? Please clarify.
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« Reply #5140 on: July 12, 2013, 11:57:11 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

Why?  Huh

I'm honestly puzzled at this reaction. Evolution is a scientific theory that has been accepted by most branches of Christianity for quite some time - including, I thought up till now, Orthodoxy.

Am I mistaken? Must one reject the theory of evolution in order to be accepted as a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy? Please clarify.

Perhaps they have heard that atheists have now taken to accepting that God guides the evolutionary process.  That would be a new development indeed.  But if it is so, Glory to God for all things!  Grin
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« Reply #5141 on: July 12, 2013, 08:35:50 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.

Me too

Why?  Huh

I'm honestly puzzled at this reaction. Evolution is a scientific theory that has been accepted by most branches of Christianity for quite some time - including, I thought up till now, Orthodoxy.

Am I mistaken? Must one reject the theory of evolution in order to be accepted as a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy? Please clarify.
With respect, I do not believe I would be able to appropriately eleborate without causing offense to someone and since I apparently (without intention) have been doing this too much of late, I ask forgivness for not responding with a clariying answer.  But I will say, to my knowledge, evolution has nothing to do with becoming Orthodox.
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« Reply #5142 on: July 13, 2013, 12:47:04 PM »

Rejecting evolution is not required to convert to Orthodoxy. There has not yet been a dogmatic definition about evolution, so all opinions among Orthodox are "theologoumena" or private opinions that do not require mutual agreement. However, if you believed that Jesus Christ only had one nature, you would have to reject that to be in communion with Chalcedonian Orthodox, because Jesus Christ's having two natures is a dogma. That being said, there are even modern-day theologians who reject or qualify evolution. Personally, I believe that non-human species could have evolved, but that humans did not evolve from primates, but received their souls from God directly and were created directly.
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« Reply #5143 on: July 13, 2013, 07:57:45 PM »

Personally, I believe that non-human species could have evolved, but that humans did not evolve from primates, but received their souls from God directly and were created directly.
If I ever come to a point where I accept evolution as anything more than an idea, though I doubt this will happen, your view is one I would have to take.  For me, it would be a compromise, which is something I rarely do in these situations, but it would allow acceptance of evolution.  However, this would be an unlikely scenario for me.  Evolution must stand on its own merit. 

I am curious as to why more people do not take your approach, evolution for all life outside humanity.  In truth, more people would likely be swayed to accept evolution on this premise.  I am honestly surprised this is not a more conspicuous presentation to get more people on board to accept evolution, but I am sure it will be in time.
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« Reply #5144 on: July 13, 2013, 08:09:15 PM »

I am curious as to why more people do not take your approach,

Because it'd be both bad science and bad theology; in a word, the worst possible approach. Generally people follow the most practical and sensible way: throw their weight behind either traditional (both patristic and biblical) theology, or behind scientific fact, and then try to deal with, rationalize or ignore the difficulties that result from their choice.
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« Reply #5145 on: July 13, 2013, 08:19:56 PM »

I am curious as to why more people do not take your approach,

Because it'd be both bad science and bad theology; in a word, the worst possible approach. Generally people follow the most practical and sensible way: throw their weight behind either traditional (both patristic and biblical) theology, or behind scientific fact, and then try to deal with, rationalize or ignore the difficulties that result from their choice.

My own approach is to trust the scientific consensus for science and the patristic consensus for theology.

When the Bible or the Fathers express ancient science it should not surprise us because God was not concerned with giving scientific revelation but theological revelation. The Bible HAD to express the ancient science in order to be intelligible to the original audience and we Christians in the 21st century need to get comfortable with the idea that although the Bible was written FOR every generation, it was originally written TO a specific generation.

With this approach both God's Word in Scripture and God's Work in Nature are reconciled and not forced into a false "science vs. religion" dichotomy.
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« Reply #5146 on: July 13, 2013, 10:02:14 PM »

I am curious as to why more people do not take your approach,

Because it'd be both bad science and bad theology; in a word, the worst possible approach. Generally people follow the most practical and sensible way: throw their weight behind either traditional (both patristic and biblical) theology, or behind scientific fact guess work, and then try to deal with, rationalize or ignore the difficulties that result from their choice.

Smart people do, but lets be honest, most people look for something to make them feel good about their place in existance.  Something which works in their minds regardless of whether it is true or false.
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Kerdy
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« Reply #5147 on: July 13, 2013, 10:07:57 PM »

Contrary to popular belief, ancient people were not idiots.  In fact, I would say they were much wiser than we are today.  I have often stated if God wanted people to know we evolved from a different species, He would have told them and they would have not only accepted that, but understood that explanation.  The “incident folks were dumb compared to us” idea is false.  We are still trying to figure out a lot of what they did, how they did it, and how they figured it out with their limitations compared to us with our technology to help.  They were very, very smart and if God wanted them to know he used evolution to create mankind, He would have revealed that to them.  Not only would that have taken place, but they would have seen other forms of humanoids and engaged with them.  It’s an excuse to ignore ancient records and writings.
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« Reply #5148 on: July 13, 2013, 10:14:02 PM »

No one is arguing that they are dumb, it is just merely the fact that they do not have access to all the data we do and all the tools and measuring devices that we have in order to understand the world around us better.
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« Reply #5149 on: July 13, 2013, 10:17:19 PM »

No one is arguing that they are dumb, it is just merely the fact that they do not have access to all the data we do and all the tools and measuring devices that we have in order to understand the world around us better.

But that doesn’t really change much of what I stated.  They were more than knowledgeable enough to understand evolution, if it was true, and God would have instructed them in such a manner rather than the way He did.

EDIT:
Additionally, the problem isn’t creating a false ”science vs. religion” dichotomy, rather a true “scientism vs. religion” dichotomy.
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« Reply #5150 on: July 13, 2013, 10:21:18 PM »

No one is arguing that they are dumb, it is just merely the fact that they do not have access to all the data we do and all the tools and measuring devices that we have in order to understand the world around us better.

But that doesn’t really change much of what I stated.  They were more than knowledgeable enough to understand evolution, if it was true, and God would have instructed them in such a manner rather than the way He did.
One of the main ways we have learned about evolution is through the fossil record and also through comparing species from various points around the world.  The ancients did not have access to either of these, so its not that they couldn't understand it, they didn't have the info to evaluate.  It would be like expecting some tribesman in the Amazon to understand the Church.  He isn't stupid, he just hasn't been given the info by which he can understand.  The point of Genesis was not to help the Israelites learn about how the universe got here, it was to understand the nature of God more.  It does a very good job at that.
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« Reply #5151 on: July 13, 2013, 10:24:41 PM »

No one is arguing that they are dumb, it is just merely the fact that they do not have access to all the data we do and all the tools and measuring devices that we have in order to understand the world around us better.

But that doesn’t really change much of what I stated.  They were more than knowledgeable enough to understand evolution, if it was true, and God would have instructed them in such a manner rather than the way He did.
One of the main ways we have learned about evolution is through the fossil record and also through comparing species from various points around the world.  The ancients did not have access to either of these, so its not that they couldn't understand it, they didn't have the info to evaluate.  It would be like expecting some tribesman in the Amazon to understand the Church.  He isn't stupid, he just hasn't been given the info by which he can understand.  The point of Genesis was not to help the Israelites learn about how the universe got here, it was to understand the nature of God more.  It does a very good job at that.

I’m not going to argue the theory with you.  I stated what I understand to be true.  You are free to disagree with me and make exceptions to the way God conducted His business in every other aspect of life with the ancient civilizations and their people. 

BTW, what evidence would they need when God spoke to them audibly?  It was one on one discussion.  Like me talking with my wife.  That didn’t change for a very, very long time.  If I know a truth and tell you a story which is not true, that makes me a liar.  God simply would not do this.
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« Reply #5152 on: July 13, 2013, 10:29:38 PM »

Contrary to popular belief, ancient people were not idiots.  In fact, I would say they were much wiser than we are today.  I have often stated if God wanted people to know we evolved from a different species, He would have told them and they would have not only accepted that, but understood that explanation.  The “incident folks were dumb compared to us” idea is false.  We are still trying to figure out a lot of what they did, how they did it, and how they figured it out with their limitations compared to us with our technology to help.  They were very, very smart and if God wanted them to know he used evolution to create mankind, He would have revealed that to them.  Not only would that have taken place, but they would have seen other forms of humanoids and engaged with them.  It’s an excuse to ignore ancient records and writings.

It's a free country, Kerdy, so I suppose you can dismiss the scientific consensus in astronomy, geology and biology if you are so inclined (over 99% of all scientists agree on the age of the universe, earth, and evolution).

However, I wish you wouldn't misrepresent my point- I'm not calling the ancients of Biblical times idiots for having a phenomenological view of science before the scientific revolution began in the 15th century A.D.

Nor do I dispute that God could have revealed any science He wanted to but in light of the established facts of modern science He apparently did not care to reveal modern science to the ancients millennia before they would develop the tools needed to verify it for themselves.

Given the worldwide phenomenological science of ancient times and the lack of scientific tools it would have been unverifiable counterintuitive gibberish to them regardless of their intelligence levels.
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« Reply #5153 on: July 13, 2013, 10:30:17 PM »

BTW, what evidence would they need when God spoke to them audibly?  It was one on one discussion.  Like me talking with my wife.  That didn’t change for a very, very long time.  If I know a truth and tell you a story which is not true, that makes me a liar.  God simply would not do this.

What evidence do you have that God spoke to anyone audibly? (Wouldn't that be "hearsay"?)
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« Reply #5154 on: July 13, 2013, 10:33:00 PM »

BTW, what evidence would they need when God spoke to them audibly?  It was one on one discussion.  Like me talking with my wife.  That didn’t change for a very, very long time.  If I know a truth and tell you a story which is not true, that makes me a liar.  God simply would not do this.

What evidence do you have that God spoke to anyone audibly? (Wouldn't that be "hearsay"?)

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« Reply #5155 on: July 13, 2013, 11:09:07 PM »

Contrary to popular belief, ancient people were not idiots.  In fact, I would say they were much wiser than we are today.  I have often stated if God wanted people to know we evolved from a different species, He would have told them and they would have not only accepted that, but understood that explanation.  The “incident folks were dumb compared to us” idea is false.  We are still trying to figure out a lot of what they did, how they did it, and how they figured it out with their limitations compared to us with our technology to help.  They were very, very smart and if God wanted them to know he used evolution to create mankind, He would have revealed that to them.  Not only would that have taken place, but they would have seen other forms of humanoids and engaged with them.  It’s an excuse to ignore ancient records and writings.

It's a free country, Kerdy, ...

It is indeed and I freely choose not to believe in unproven scientism in the face of rejecting thousands of years of Christian, Jewish and Hebrew (biblical), teachings.  You and I have different definitions of what a fact is.  I prefer to stay with the original definition rather than a modern and altered version to fit into scientism.

Why is it so important to so many people to accept evolution and shout down those who know it to be folly?
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« Reply #5156 on: July 13, 2013, 11:36:46 PM »

Contrary to popular belief, ancient people were not idiots.  In fact, I would say they were much wiser than we are today.  I have often stated if God wanted people to know we evolved from a different species, He would have told them and they would have not only accepted that, but understood that explanation.  The “incident folks were dumb compared to us” idea is false.  We are still trying to figure out a lot of what they did, how they did it, and how they figured it out with their limitations compared to us with our technology to help.  They were very, very smart and if God wanted them to know he used evolution to create mankind, He would have revealed that to them.  Not only would that have taken place, but they would have seen other forms of humanoids and engaged with them.  It’s an excuse to ignore ancient records and writings.

It's a free country, Kerdy, ...

It is indeed and I freely choose not to believe in unproven scientism in the face of rejecting thousands of years of Christian, Jewish and Hebrew (biblical), teachings.  You and I have different definitions of what a fact is.  I prefer to stay with the original definition rather than a modern and altered version to fit into scientism.

Why is it so important to so many people to accept evolution and shout down those who know it to be folly?



Scientism is the belief that science alone can render truth about the world and reality. It should be obvious that this is not what I believe since I am an Orthodox Christian.

Accepting the scientific consensus that evolution is a Theory, which is the highest level of certitude in science (e.g. the Theory of Gravity, Germ Theory, etc.), and a term only granted to hypotheses after extremely rigorous standards have been met- is not scientism. It is scientific literacy.

As an Orthodox Christian who loves the Lord and accepts the inspiration of Scripture, scientific literacy is important to me because I want to know what is true and do not want to put potential stumbling blocks in the way of potential converts by making the Faith look unnecessarily foolish as Blessed Augustine warned in his Literal Interpretation of Genesis:

"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 #5157 on: July 13, 2013, 11:51:25 PM »

I am not going to argue.  People can believe what they choose, no matter how wrong it is.

And its LAW of gravity.

Quote
Theory

 A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproven. Basically, if evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, then the hypothesis can become accepted as a good explanation of a phenomenon. One definition of a theory is to say it's an accepted hypothesis.

http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry101/a/lawtheory.htm

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Theories:
1.  The theory of evolution is a theory (as opposed to a hypothesis) because it has very broad applications and explanatory power.   We can explain the entire fossil record and the genetic code of all plants, animals and other forms of life using this theory.  It is the breadth of the theory more than the amount of support which makes it a theory.  In fact, the day it was published (1859 by Darwin) it was already a theory, not just a hypothesis, not because of all the support (the support was still fairly weak at the time) but because of the wide range of things it could explain.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=theory%20law%20hypothesis&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&ved=0CEUQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.grossmont.edu%2Fjohnoakes%2Fs110online%2FNotes%2520on%2520Scientific%2520Laws.doc&ei=ayPiUfXpOIW-kgW7lYHoBw&usg=AFQjCNHe1KkFCySYux1fhLz4BvZkRNxzpA&bvm=bv.48705608,d.dGI

Strange?  Not really.  This is science.  Claiming evolution has been proven is scientism.  
 
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« Reply #5158 on: July 14, 2013, 12:02:19 AM »

I am not going to argue.  People can believe what they choose, not matter how wrong it is.

And its LAW of gravity.

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Theory

 A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproven. Basically, if evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, then the hypothesis can become accepted as a good explanation of a phenomenon. One definition of a theory is to say it's an accepted hypothesis.

http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry101/a/lawtheory.htm

Strange?  Not really.
 


I agree, arguing would not be time well spent.

Concerning gravity: when we are scientifically discussing gravity, we can talk about the law that describes the attraction between two objects, and we can also talk about the theory that describes why the objects attract each other.

The Law tells us how gravity works and the Theory tells us why.

http://thehappyscientist.com/science-experiment/gravity-theory-or-law
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« Reply #5159 on: July 14, 2013, 12:35:28 AM »

Accepting the scientific consensus that evolution is a Theory, which is the highest level of certitude in science (e.g. the Theory of Gravity, Germ Theory, etc.), and a term only granted to hypotheses after extremely rigorous standards have been met- is not scientism. It is scientific literacy.
I beg to differ. 
Leaving aside the legitimacy of Darwin's evolution or Pasteur's germ theories (of which I am convinced are both false), the process you  summarized is the method of Francis Bacon which opened the door to scientism and falsehood.  To the extent that the Baconian method achieved a consensus in Europe and America by the early twentieth century, it is a reign of error. 

Pasteur's False Germ Theory
http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/terrain/lost_history_of_medicine.htm
http://www.greekmedicine.net/history/Medicine_in_the_Modern_Era.html
http://www.whale.to/w/appleton1.html

You effectively acknowledged that Bacon's method is divorced from truth in that it can never achieve certitude.  I would add that it deadens the minds of researchers into truth.  It accomplishes the opposite of what it proclaims.  Bacon's new scientific method is cited as the basis for enlightenment, but it in fact creates pliant zombies.  On that note, Arthur Koestler wrote an irreverent and iconoclastic history of the sacred cow of modern science entitled 'The Sleepwalkers'.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/44301572/ArthurKoestler-TheSleepwalkers 

History bears out that Bacon's method and the science of this elite "consensus" are false and degenerate. 
The old method of Euclid is tried and true from ancient times although neglected by the modern west.  Euclid's stricter methods establish sound laws - not theories.

The European renaissance was by and large the death of ancient truth.
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« Reply #5160 on: July 14, 2013, 12:51:45 AM »

Blessed Augustine warned in his Literal Interpretation of Genesis:

"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]"

This quote is indeed good stuff to bear in mind. 
If you're talking about the shape of the earth, then that is irrelevant to salvation as Saint Basil himself has said.
As far as biological evolution, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not based upon anti-evolutionism. 
However, I believe (as does my Church) that one cannot believe in biological evolution and be Christian. 

It is evident that we have different faiths.
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« Reply #5161 on: July 14, 2013, 01:26:44 AM »

Accepting the scientific consensus that evolution is a Theory, which is the highest level of certitude in science (e.g. the Theory of Gravity, Germ Theory, etc.), and a term only granted to hypotheses after extremely rigorous standards have been met- is not scientism. It is scientific literacy.
I beg to differ.  
Leaving aside the legitimacy of Darwin's evolution or Pasteur's germ theories (of which I am convinced are both false), the process you  summarized is the method of Francis Bacon which opened the door to scientism and falsehood.  To the extent that the Baconian method achieved a consensus in Europe and America by the early twentieth century, it is a reign of error.  

Pasteur's False Germ Theory
http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/terrain/lost_history_of_medicine.htm
http://www.greekmedicine.net/history/Medicine_in_the_Modern_Era.html
http://www.whale.to/w/appleton1.html

You effectively acknowledged that Bacon's method is divorced from truth in that it can never achieve certitude.  I would add that it deadens the minds of researchers into truth.  It accomplishes the opposite of what it proclaims.  Bacon's new scientific method is cited as the basis for enlightenment, but it in fact creates pliant zombies.  On that note, Arthur Koestler wrote an irreverent and iconoclastic history of the sacred cow of modern science entitled 'The Sleepwalkers'.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/44301572/ArthurKoestler-TheSleepwalkers  

History bears out that Bacon's method and the science of this elite "consensus" are false and degenerate.  
The old method of Euclid is tried and true from ancient times although neglected by the modern west.  Euclid's stricter methods establish sound laws - not theories.

The European renaissance was by and large the death of ancient truth.

That's a lot of science to want to overturn, Dionysii. You certainly have your work cut out for you.

 
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« Reply #5162 on: July 14, 2013, 01:42:46 AM »

That's a lot of science to want to overturn, Dionysii. You certainly have your work cut out for you.
True, but several factors run in my favor:

1) I enjoy it.  My interest is the driving force in the first place.
2) A good bit of it is already done. I didn't begin this yesterday.
3) Convincing others is not mandatory.  Satisfying my own thirst is gargantuan enough. 
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« Reply #5163 on: July 14, 2013, 03:37:37 AM »

Dionysii always providing interesting stuff. There's been a few Christians that have posted in this thread that have gained my respect as far as anti-evolution. They aren't willing to tolerate nor back down on certain assertions they believe to be true.

As for me, I'm not really a scientific person. I actually abhor the natural sciences to a certain degree because I think there are implications that cannot be formed without using some form of philosophy. You know whenever Richard Dawkins gets to talking about evolution, there is still a level of philosophy he is operating on in terms of being and the natural world.

But being as I am unscientific, for me evolution still makes a lot of sense. That we have common ancestors/descendants/whatever, ok that's fine. With man it changed. There is a level of disparity between us and the animal kingdom that the natural sciences cannot bridge over such a chasm. But how do we explain this discrepancy and I think Genesis works that out very nicely.

Dionysii, I once asked our ialmisry is he was a compatibilist (one who accepts evolution and the Bible), and he said he was. He might be able to explain much better that evolution is not so much at odds with the Church. You can read a little more here: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Evolution#Compatibilist
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« Reply #5164 on: July 14, 2013, 08:49:49 AM »

BTW, what evidence would they need when God spoke to them audibly?  It was one on one discussion.  Like me talking with my wife.  That didn’t change for a very, very long time.  If I know a truth and tell you a story which is not true, that makes me a liar.  God simply would not do this.

What evidence do you have that God spoke to anyone audibly? (Wouldn't that be "hearsay"?)



It was a serious question which I'm trying to find an answer for right now. Thanks for ridiculing my attempt to bolster my shaky faith. :-(
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« Reply #5165 on: July 14, 2013, 12:15:02 PM »

BTW, what evidence would they need when God spoke to them audibly?  It was one on one discussion.  Like me talking with my wife.  That didn’t change for a very, very long time.  If I know a truth and tell you a story which is not true, that makes me a liar.  God simply would not do this.

What evidence do you have that God spoke to anyone audibly? (Wouldn't that be "hearsay"?)



Such an intelligent and respectful rejoinder to a reasonable question.
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« Reply #5166 on: July 14, 2013, 07:33:41 PM »

BTW, what evidence would they need when God spoke to them audibly?  It was one on one discussion.  Like me talking with my wife.  That didn’t change for a very, very long time.  If I know a truth and tell you a story which is not true, that makes me a liar.  God simply would not do this.

What evidence do you have that God spoke to anyone audibly? (Wouldn't that be "hearsay"?)



It was a serious question which I'm trying to find an answer for right now. Thanks for ridiculing my attempt to bolster my shaky faith. :-(
The same evidence we use to show the existence of Abraham, Lot, the destruction of Sodom and so on.
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« Reply #5167 on: July 14, 2013, 07:34:53 PM »

BTW, what evidence would they need when God spoke to them audibly?  It was one on one discussion.  Like me talking with my wife.  That didn’t change for a very, very long time.  If I know a truth and tell you a story which is not true, that makes me a liar.  God simply would not do this.

What evidence do you have that God spoke to anyone audibly? (Wouldn't that be "hearsay"?)



Such an intelligent and respectful rejoinder to a reasonable question.
As reasonable as asking how we know what Jesus really taught.
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« Reply #5168 on: July 14, 2013, 07:42:33 PM »

As reasonable as asking how we know what Jesus really taught.

Why isn't a reasonable question? How is someone who's outside the Church (or inside but not well-catechized, or inside but going through a period of doubt) supposed to learn the answer, if people like you tell them their questions are "unreasonable" and make fun of them for even daring to ask?  Roll Eyes

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you." 1 Peter 3:15  (Nothing about using a "facepalm")
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« Reply #5169 on: July 14, 2013, 07:56:09 PM »

As reasonable as asking how we know what Jesus really taught.

Why isn't a reasonable question? How is someone who's outside the Church (or inside but not well-catechized, or inside but going through a period of doubt) supposed to learn the answer, if people like you tell them their questions are "unreasonable" and make fun of them for even daring to ask?  Roll Eyes

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you." 1 Peter 3:15  (Nothing about using a "facepalm")
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« Reply #5170 on: July 14, 2013, 09:57:06 PM »

what evidence would they need when God spoke to them audibly?  It was one on one discussion.
What evidence do you have that God spoke to anyone audibly? (Wouldn't that be "hearsay"?)

If this reference to audible speech is about how the authors of the bible understood what to say or write, then I would refer to the first epistle of Peter which says these men "spake as they were moved by the holy spirit."

One might rightly ask what does that mean or exactly how is that done which would be a good question. 

Basically, authentic Christian life (as well as any legitimate pre-Christian spiritual life) involves three spiritual levels:
purification, illumination, and theosis. While purification will be an on going process, it is intended to dominate the period of catechism prior to initiation (i.e. baptism) during which illumination begins to occur.  Theosis is divinization, becoming godlike through Christ.  (I should say that theosis involves unification which an uncreated energy of God rather than the essence of God which is unknowable both in this life and the next. 

Anyway, my point is theosis constitutes the nature of a redeemed man.  It is the objective of Christian life. It begins with the energies of the soul interacting with the energies of God Himself.  Finally, the body is transformed.  This explains the biological phenomenon of holy relics. 

Those in theosis are the saints of the Church.  One must be in a state of theosis to receive revelation from God. 
 
I think the best I can do is refer to others from whom I have learned and who can explain this more clearly and better than I can.
Two Greek writers named Fr. John Romanides and Metropolitan Ierotheos Vlachos have explained this in accordance with Christian tradition. 
Fr. John Romanides is an oecumenist, but he understood and wrote very well on this subject.  His book 'Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine' is where I first read about this theology.  It is also the best historical analysis of western civilization and the most astute refutation of the papacy that I have ever read.
http://www.romanity.org/cont.htm
http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.03.en.franks_romans_feudalism_and_doctrine.01.htm

Fr. John Romanides passed away in 2002. 
Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos was one of his students who wrote an outstanding basic book of about 100 pages entitled 'Orthodox Spirituality'.
OODEGR is a Greek operated website with a lot of Metr. Vlachos's material and plenty other good things on it.
http://www.oodegr.com/english   

The three stages of spiritual life are also explained in depth in the Philokalia by Niketas Stithatos:
http://archive.org/details/Philokalia-TheCompleteText
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« Reply #5171 on: July 14, 2013, 11:58:00 PM »

Adam, Moses, Aaron, in human flesh all those who met Jesus and a believe a few others in between.
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« Reply #5172 on: July 15, 2013, 12:08:35 AM »

what evidence would they need when God spoke to them audibly?  It was one on one discussion.
What evidence do you have that God spoke to anyone audibly? (Wouldn't that be "hearsay"?)

If this reference to audible speech is about how the authors of the bible understood what to say or write, then I would refer to the first epistle of Peter which says these men "spake as they were moved by the holy spirit."

One might rightly ask what does that mean or exactly how is that done which would be a good question. 

Basically, authentic Christian life (as well as any legitimate pre-Christian spiritual life) involves three spiritual levels:
purification, illumination, and theosis. While purification will be an on going process, it is intended to dominate the period of catechism prior to initiation (i.e. baptism) during which illumination begins to occur.  Theosis is divinization, becoming godlike through Christ.  (I should say that theosis involves unification which an uncreated energy of God rather than the essence of God which is unknowable both in this life and the next. 

Anyway, my point is theosis constitutes the nature of a redeemed man.  It is the objective of Christian life. It begins with the energies of the soul interacting with the energies of God Himself.  Finally, the body is transformed.  This explains the biological phenomenon of holy relics. 

Those in theosis are the saints of the Church.  One must be in a state of theosis to receive revelation from God. 
 
I think the best I can do is refer to others from whom I have learned and who can explain this more clearly and better than I can.
Two Greek writers named Fr. John Romanides and Metropolitan Ierotheos Vlachos have explained this in accordance with Christian tradition. 
Fr. John Romanides is an oecumenist, but he understood and wrote very well on this subject.  His book 'Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine' is where I first read about this theology.  It is also the best historical analysis of western civilization and the most astute refutation of the papacy that I have ever read.
http://www.romanity.org/cont.htm
http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.03.en.franks_romans_feudalism_and_doctrine.01.htm

Fr. John Romanides passed away in 2002. 
Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos was one of his students who wrote an outstanding basic book of about 100 pages entitled 'Orthodox Spirituality'.
OODEGR is a Greek operated website with a lot of Metr. Vlachos's material and plenty other good things on it.
http://www.oodegr.com/english   

The three stages of spiritual life are also explained in depth in the Philokalia by Niketas Stithatos:
http://archive.org/details/Philokalia-TheCompleteText

Dionysii, you have an uncommon grasp of knowledge. I have task for you in that regard which will wait.

My question is:
If I give you a precise definition (meaning the description of the mechanism) of how evolution works can you translate it into the Hebrew known to Moses? Did the  Hebrews know of the great apes (chimpanzees, gorilla, baboons). I do not know, maybe you do. It would help me in the description if they did, it they did not it would make the task more difficult, it might just come out as Genesis appears to us.
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« Reply #5173 on: July 15, 2013, 02:00:37 AM »

Did the Hebrews know of the great apes (chimpanzees, gorilla, baboons).
Your research is as good as mine, but I shortly thought of two factors relevant to your question.

1) We can simply apply apes to the relevant category of animals described in the dietary laws of Leviticus 11.
I know this does not specifically answer your question.  Forgive me for stating the obvious, but I would begin by looking up terms like ape, gorilla, and baboon in a bible concordance, and then proceed to the Church Fathers.  I am interested as well, but I cannot promise that I will
have the time to search jewish history high and low for this, but I will let you know if I come across anything.

You question actually signifies an intriguing possibility:
If it can be reasonably shown that no known evidence exists that the ancient Jews were aware of the existence of apes,
then who in the ancient world, if anyone, was aware of the existence of apes?
 
Precisely when and by whom exactly in world history are apes first mentioned in any way?
This leads to my second thought.

2) I have never looked into this and therefore make no claim (yet) as to its veracity, but
several years ago a website of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem (before Irinaeus was under house arrest) contained an article which discussed the possibility that apes were not in fact part of God's original creation.  The article asserted that apes were likely the result of human procreation with animals and what Saint Paul referred to in his Epistle to the Romans about the transformation of the image of God into creeping things of the earth, etc.
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« Reply #5174 on: July 15, 2013, 02:07:06 AM »

The article asserted that apes were likely the result of human procreation with animals and what Saint Paul referred to in his Epistle to the Romans about the transformation of the image of God into creeping things of the earth, etc.

Which animal can a human procreate with to produce apes? Can you provide any evidence of humans and animals procreating together?
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