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Author Topic: The Evolution Thread to End All Evolution Threads  (Read 23564 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: April 06, 2005, 03:38:22 PM »

Hello, everyone. Over the past few months, I have been immersed in the patristic understanding of Genesis and the negative arguments against the purported evidence for evolutionary theory.

I started my journey by reading these Orthodox articles:
Genesis and Early Man
The Orthodox Patristic Understanding
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/evolution_frseraphim_kalomiros.aspx

Why an Orthodox Christian cannot be an evolutionist
S.V.Bufeev
http://www.creatio.orthodoxy.ru/sbornik/sbufeev_whynot_english.html


And then I read St. Basil's Commentary on the Hexaemeron:
http://www.creatio.orthodoxy.ru/english/hexaemeron/index.html

And then I read Darwin on Trial by Phillip E. Johnson:
Darwin on Trial
by Phillip E. Johnson
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0830813241/qid=1112815613/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/102-5863301-8941737

And then finally I read Genesis, Creation and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision by Father Seraphim Rose:
http://www.sainthermanpress.com/catalog/chapter_one/genesis_book.htm



After carefully studying the evidence againt evolutionary theory and the traditional Orthodox teachings on the meaning of Genesis, I am greatly perplexed.

Given that the fathers of the Church interpreted Genesis as a historical account and the purported evidence for Darwinism is very lacking, then why is there such a hostility of American Orthodox Christians toward Creationism? Why are so many Orthodox Christians illiterate of patristic theology?

What meaning is there to the doctrine of ancestral sin if the fall were not a historical event?

Why are Adam and Eve considered saints by the Orthodox Church if they were not historical persons?

If Genesis were not a factual history, then why didn't God reveal this to Jesus Christ, Saint Paul and the fathers of the Church?

If the Orthodox Church has no opinion on natural science, then why did the holy fathers tell us to not allow secular wisdom to influence our interpretation of Scripture?

If Genesis only tells the "why" but not the "how" of God's creative work then why did the fathers of the Church explain the meaning of Genesis as a true historical account?

And finally, given that the fathers of the Church insisted on the historicity of Genesis, Why is there not an official statement of the Church against evolutionism?


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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2005, 03:46:28 PM »

I hope to get some good answers. I have been very confused lately.

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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2005, 05:49:17 PM »

If you want to know how everything was made, then read the bible! yay! questions awnserd!
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2005, 05:51:49 PM »

And dont you think, if God really wanted all to know how and when everything was exactly made then he would have told us? yeah.
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2005, 06:04:42 PM »

Why does this topic deserve yet another thread?

I also thought you weren't going to debate this anymore.
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2005, 08:58:01 PM »

I am not debating. I desire to have questions answered.

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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2005, 09:49:18 PM »

I am not debating. I desire to have questions answered.

You have had your questions consistently answered; you just never seem to like the answers.
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2005, 01:21:02 PM »

I've had people say that Orthodoxy has no opinion on science but has anyone addressed what the fall and ancestral sin mean if we are to accept Darwinism?
Has anyone answered as to why we should compromise our theology for a modern secular idea?
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2005, 02:08:27 PM »

I've had people say that Orthodoxy has no opinion on science but has anyone addressed what the fall and ancestral sin mean if we are to accept Darwinism?

Is that a real question, or merely rhetorical?

Quote
Has anyone answered as to why we should compromise our theology for a modern secular idea?

The thing is, there is any amount of disagreement on how much compromise there actually is, and tere are more than just two positions in the argument. Since this has been moved over to free-for-all, I'm not the least bit hesitant about turning the teacher tone up very high about this.

The bad position is, of course, the "man is the measure of all things" Enlightenment humanism turned up too high version of Darwinian evolution in which utterly random small scale genetic variation is deemed sufficient to power the pattern of development to which the fossil record (among other things) testifies, therefore eliminating the deity from the picture. This position surely overreaches, in the sense that it is making claims about genetic variation which are scientifically at least a bit dubious. It's quite clear that genetic variety equals speciation; it's also clear that survival is a sorting factor. What isn't clear is exactly what is generating that variation. (Discussion of the origin of life is utterly speculative and may be disbelieved at will.)

The problem with the young earth creationist theory, though, is that if one assumes that the physical world testifies accurately to the processes of time, then one must believe that the world is old and that there is a definite progression of form in living creatures as time progresses-- on a scale of millions of years. This evidence is scientifically unassailable, and the creationist attempts to refute it as science are utter failures. The only way to escape is to make an unscientific assertion: that the world was created to look old. This has huge theological implications, none of which I think would prove acceptable to any of us.

YEC is a theological opinion, not a scientific theory. And furthermore, it's an opinion whose authority arises from the interpretive process, not from any text itself. To believe it one must believe that scripture intends to teach about the physical processes of creation, and while we're at it (as far as the fathers are concerned) that it intends to refute any kind of evolutionary theory, not just the atheistic Darwinists.

As far as the church fathers are concerned, they cannot have consciously intended to refute evolution; the idea hadn't been conceived of. The errors of their lifetime were the theories that the material pre-existed and that the divine simply shaped it, and that the material was intrisically "evil" in contrast to the "good" divine. Further back, the competition for the Genesis account involved copulating pantheons and the corpses of slain monsters. As far as science is concerned, all of these are surely wrong-- indeed, one of the striking things about Genesis 1 is how much it resembles the modern secular vision of creation. "Let there be light" leads directly into the Big Bang; the progression through the six days expresses the very much longer progression science sees.

So when you say, in the other thread:

But when men make observations which contradict the revealed truth, we have the right to disagree.

... I don't know about "rights", because rights are very much about being allowed to do things that are wrong. But I do know that this sets up the foundation for atheism. It's important to differentiate between the observational and analytical powers of sciences; it's another when one relies on theology in saying, "you can't believe what you see." This is a principle that can only be pushed so far. It demands the uttermost rigor, something that the YEC crowd conspicuously lacks.

Beyond that, there's the notion that, well, theology is so much more important than, well, science, that theologians don't ahve to be, well, good scientists, or even listen much to scientists. This, folks, is hubris.
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2005, 03:09:17 PM »

St. Ephraim says in his commentary on Genesis:

"No one should think that the Creation of Six Days is an allegory; it is likewise impermissible to say that what seems, according to the account, to have been created in the course of six days, was created in a single instant, and likewise that certain names presented in this account either signify nothing, or signify something else. On the contrary, one must know that just as the heaven and the earth which were created in the beginning are actually the heaven and the earth and not something else understood under the names of heaven and earth, so also everything else that is spoken of as being created and brought into order after the creation of heaven and earth is not empty names, but the very essence of the created natures corresponds to the force of these names. (Commentary on Genesis, ch. I)

St.John Chrysostom says,
Not to believe what is contained in the Divine Scripture, but to introduce something else from one's own mind-this, I believe, subjects those who hazard such a thing to great danger. (Homilies on Genesis, XIII, 3)"
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/evolution_frseraphim_kalomiros.aspx

If one has a uniformitarian presupposition, perhaps the world will "appear" old. However, why should be believe that way?
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2005, 03:41:14 PM »

In the St. Ephraim quote,

First of all, give the context. Taking patristic quotes out of context is just as bad as taking Scriptural quotes out of context and trying to "prove" a point with them.

He's commenting on the issue of saying that "Heaven" and "Earth" in Genesis do not correspond with our real and tangible earth. (Heaven is less tangible to us.) Making the claim that Genesis is not talking about the creation of our real universe is incorrect. But saying that God's time is not our time (as He is above, without, within, and the very source of time) and thereby not dogmatically asserting that the world was made in six of humanity's experience of a day as the earth's rotations around the sun is not what the good Father is speaking about. He's arguing for a sequential creation of the universe, as given in Genesis. Those who claim that not all of Genesis is to be understood literally do not contradict a sequential creation. God's experience and ultimate existence is unknowable to us. Why is it folly to believe that God's creative powers are not totally made known to us through the text of Genesis?

I think you're letting your presuppositions cloud your reading of texts and quotations.

When dealing with patristic teaching, one must also accept the fact that they did not have the scientific knowledge about the world that we have today. Perhaps it is better to look at what the recent Orthodox of the world say and write about correlating our scientific and experiential knowledge about the world with our spiritual knowledge of God's relation to man and the world as explained in Genesis to see what the patristic consensus on creation is..
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2005, 03:59:45 PM »

He's arguing for a sequential creation of the universe, as given in Genesis.

Please read St. Ephrain's words:

"These are still, of course, general principles; let us look now at several specific applications by St. Ephraim of these principles.

Although both the light and the clouds were created in the twinkling of an eye, still both the day and the night of the first day continued for 12 hours each. (Ibid.)


Again:

When in the twinkling of an eye (Adam's) rib was taken out and likewise in an instant the flesh took its place, and the bare rib took on the complete form and all the beauty of a woman, then God led her and presented her to Adam. (Ibid.)"
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/evolution_frseraphim_kalomiros.aspx

Recent fathers of the Church who affirm Orthodox tradition have upheld the patristic understanding of Genesis. This is a matter which science cannot touch. This is about sound theology.
Just as St. John the Evangelist was a prophet of the end of time, Moses was a prophet of the beginning of time.
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2005, 04:16:58 PM »


Sound theology is not affected by a non-literalist Orthodox scriptual interpretation of Genesis. I keep posting because I cannot believe the stuff being discussed, but I believe that discussing anymore on this subject is like beating my head against a brick wall. One cannot have discussion with someone who has made up their mind and determined what the truth is on their own, even when using patristic commentary as "proof" for themselves under the pretext of submitting to Orthodox Tradition. So, I'm going to stop beating my head against the wall and say adios to this type of conversation! Have a blessed Lent.
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2005, 04:27:21 PM »

The fathers of the Church agreed that Genesis is a historical account given by the revelation of God and that is good enough for me. If you could prove otherwise, then please do.

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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2005, 04:27:48 PM »

Matthew777,

*Why* do you have to have non-negotiable iron-clad answers to all those questions? Is your faith dependent upon an Earth that is 10,000 years old or less? Why or why not? Is being agreed with by others somehow proof that you are right?  Why can't there be varied ideas? Why would the church fathers be "infalligble" on everything? It was in the thread on the word "Easter" that someone said that saints are not 100% correct on everything. What damage does it do to you or your faith in Christ Jesus if the universe really is billions of years old and the Earth isn't "young" and the fossils are as old as the dating says they are?

You do not address other people's points, but repeat yourself as though that is an answer or that other people will come around to *your* opinion by being worn down with your (non)points. You do not present your own arguements, but tell others to read books that agree with you and toss of quotes without context. You make assertions about Science without any documentation or supporting evidence. You are not trained in either a science *or* theology but make pronouncements as though you had the authority. Do you *really* think that your posts are convincing of your viewspoint?

If I had a question in EO theology I could ask Anastasios, or Mor or TonyS or others on this forum who are in Seminaries so they have some qualifications. I could also go to an EO priest or two that I am acquainted with, as well as doing reading on my own (reading in context and with discernment, I would hope). You have not shown that your understanding of the church fathers (*all* of them agree with you? I seem to recall that there was a quote posted in another thread that the work it was taken from actually showed that not all the church fathers held to a YE/literal 6 days)

To reiterate:

WHY do you *have* to have all those questions answered? and If answers are given that you don't like will you ignore them?

I apologize for being blunt.

Ebor


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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2005, 04:29:29 PM »

The fathers of the Church agreed that Genesis is a historical account given by the revelation of God and that is good enough for me. If you could prove otherwise, then please do.

You have read *all* of the church fathers and *all* that they wrote on Genesis and you understand it in context and with discernment?  Or have you found clips and exerpts that you like?

Ebor
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« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2005, 04:32:37 PM »

Please provide a father of the Church who did not believe Genesis to be a divinely inspired historical account.
I've read Genesis, Creation and Early Man, which makes great use of patristic quotes but without taking out of context, and St. Basil's Commentary on the Hexaemeron.

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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2005, 06:31:45 PM »

If one has a uniformitarian presupposition, perhaps the world will "appear" old. However, why should be believe that way?

Because science is impossible without it.

Now, you've quoted the same passage from Ephraim the Syrian at least three times, and from what I can see you're getting it from an online copy of at least part of Fr. Rose's book. Which I suppose is OK. But since we're being free-for-all here, I have no reason to take him as an unassailable authority on the interpretation of scripture. Indeed, the conflict between apparent reality and his claims is so great it leads me to discount him.

So your next post is going to accuse me of choosing secular over revealed truth. I don't see it that way. There's nothing secular about looking at the world and seeing it for what it is; it's neither secular nor revealed, but just truth.

As you've guessed by now, quoting the fathers isn't going to do it. For one thing, you're using secondary sources again: you aren't really quoting the fathers, but only Fr. Rose.
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« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2005, 12:59:40 AM »

Why should it matter that science depends on it? True theology should be unchanging. Uniformitarianism teaches that the present is the key to understanding the past while the fathers of the Church taught that the fall of man dramatically altered nature and therefore, we are not able to realize the beginning of the world, the origin of the species and mankind from observing the present.

Even though Fr. Seraphim insisted on upholding patristic tradition, he was rather humble about it. He warned us not to fall into a self-righteous zealotry which he called "super-correctness".

I understand that this is a sensitive subject and there is a great level of mystery involved. I do not have all the answers which is why I choose to believe the patristic understanding of Genesis because I figure that the fathers, in their spiritual wisdom, were closer to true theology than I will ever be.

What is the important though is something broader than the distinction of "literal" vs. "allegorical" interpretation of Genesis:
Do you believe that the universe and everything within it has been designed for a purpose?
Do you believe that human beings have been created in the image of God?
And do you believe that humanity has a fallen nature that must be redeemed by Christ?

We may disagree with the specifics, but these are the absolute essentials when it comes to the doctrine on Creation.   

Please consider this article which addresses the difficulties between YEC vs. OEC. I  believe it dispassionately addresses the crux of the matter without pitting one side against the other:

Probe Ministries
Christian Views of Science and Earth History
Rich Milne and Ray Bohlin
http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/viewscie.html

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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2005, 07:48:11 AM »

Why should it matter that science depends on it? True theology should be unchanging.

Says who? That's just a rationalization for not having to abandon the mistaken theology to which you have committed yourself!

Quote
Uniformitarianism teaches that the present is the key to understanding the past[.]

There's no "uniformitarianism". It's not some deep theory, but only the rather obvious idea that ordinarily the behavior of the universe remains the same.

Quote
[...] while the fathers of the Church taught that the fall of man dramatically altered nature and therefore, we are not able to realize the beginning of the world, the origin of the species and mankind from observing the present.

OK, let's review the course of this argument. Some months back you are ardently against creationism, and you insist that the fathers were against it too. After getting refuted, now you've picked up Fr. Rose's book and made it your oracle, with side helpings from others.

Now, this happens to be one of the side helpings. Fr. Rose commits to the notion that one can see that the evidence of an old earth is not there, and in that he is wrong. The thing is, you're just throwing these arguments around without really thinking about them. Consider the consequences of this one: you're (in effect) saying that the fossils weren't there before the fall, and that the rocks were all "young" before the fall, and that the mountains didn't exist before the fall..... need I go on? And does scripture really teach this? I don't know, but I doubt it.

Quote
What is the important though is something broader than the distinction of "literal" vs. "allegorical" interpretation of Genesis:
Do you believe that the universe and everything within it has been designed for a purpose?
Do you believe that human beings have been created in the image of God?
And do you believe that humanity has a fallen nature that must be redeemed by Christ?

OK, but you've essentially conceded the argument in asking these. I don't think there's a person here who doesn't believe these things.

Quote
Please consider this article which addresses the difficulties between YEC vs. OEC. I  believe it dispassionately addresses the crux of the matter without pitting one side against the other:

You know, I'm not going to read it. Not because it's either good or bad, but because you have a very poor record of picking your authorities.
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« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2005, 07:55:06 AM »

The fathers of the Church agreed that Genesis is a historical account...

That is not the opinion of my Orthodox Priest.
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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2005, 12:39:09 PM »



That is not the opinion of my Orthodox Priest.

Could  he please provides ancient patristic quotes?

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« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2005, 02:34:43 PM »

Quote
Quote
EBOR:  You have read *all* of the church fathers and *all* that they wrote on Genesis and you understand it in context and with discernment?
>>Who has?  What are you trying to say?  Is it unreasonable for Matthew to request even one CF? 
Why try to divert the question w/ lectures on changing positions?  Can you not answer it?

Quote
MATTHEW777:  If one has a uniformitarian presupposition, perhaps the world will "appear" old. However, why should be believe that way?
Quote
KEBLE:  Because science is impossible without it.
>>Not at all.  Rather, men should realise that they are so small and such a pittance compared w/ God's creation (let alone God Himself) - can our feeble science, "great" and "advanced" though it be, detect the origin of life?  Given all the evidence against evolution, what are we to do?  Shall we not bow before God's revelation? 
Let science deal w/ that which we can understand and let us cede the floor to the One Who knows when we do not. 
Not that I expect unbelievers and mockers to do so, but believers should be willing, nay, the first to do so.

Quote
KEBLE:  There's no "uniformitarianism". It's not some deep theory, but only the rather obvious idea that ordinarily the behavior of the universe remains the same.
>>This is another example of what I mean.  We can't see all that well backwards, but want desperately to do so. 

Quote
KEBLE:   Fr. Rose commits to the notion that one can see that the evidence of an old earth is not there, and in that he is wrong. 
>>You sound like a Protestant! 
Oh wait, you are.   Wink

Quote
KEBLE:  you're (in effect) saying that the fossils weren't there before the fall, and that the rocks were all "young" before the fall, and that the mountains didn't exist before the fall..... need I go on? And does scripture really teach this?
>>Consider this: 
Adam is created.  Two minutes later an expert physician examines him.  What will he say?  Will the physician say, "By George, you, sir, are 30 minutes old!"?  On the contrary, he will conclude that Adam is something like 30 yrs old.
Similarly, why not the earth?  It may appear to be billions of yrs old to our puny abilities, but that is not what God's revelation says. 
So God created the Earth w/ the appearance of age and told us about the origin of the Earth and life in His revelation, the Scr.  If you refuse to believe God's revelation, that is your fault.  Will you call God a deceiver for acting according to His good pleasure and telling you what you need to know, if you reject it?  How arrogant and wicked!
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« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2005, 02:40:04 PM »

If Adam and Eve were not historical persons, Why are they considered saints in the Orthodox Church?

What does the doctrine of ancestral sin mean without a historical fall?

These are questions that should be answered.

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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2005, 02:44:30 PM »

Yes, I meant to re-ask that question.
The question about Adam and Eve being saints is highly interesting to me, too.
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« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2005, 02:47:52 PM »

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Given all the evidence against evolution, what are we to do?

Still waitin' on this evidence...
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« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2005, 02:50:33 PM »

Still waitin' on the patristic quotes and answers to other questions too.  Join the club.
What's wrong w/ my scenario of the Appearance of Age of the Earth?
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« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2005, 03:13:43 PM »



Still waitin' on this evidence...

Please read Darwin on Trial, for starters
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« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2005, 03:15:28 PM »

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Please read Darwin on Trial, for starters

Like I said, still waitin' for the evidence...
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« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2005, 03:18:06 PM »



Please read Darwin on Trial, for starters

It's *your* arguement. Why can't you state the view/opinion on your own? If you're read the book yourself, then give us the argument from it. State the facts they present, give links to data. Like GiC wrote, your method is not how debate and argument is done to convince others of your point.

Ebor
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« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2005, 03:21:05 PM »

Not at all. Rather, men should realise that they are so small and such a pittance compared w/ God's creation (let alone God Himself) - can our feeble science, "great" and "advanced" though it be, detect the origin of life? Given all the evidence against evolution, what are we to do? Shall we not bow before God's revelation?

LOUD SIGH

Can we stay on topic here? I've said nothing about any origin of life, and really, scientific thought about this is definitely out in the "highly speculative" zone.

And if I can repeat one more time, I don't "give" that there is any evidence against evolution. When you talk about such evidence, you subject yourself to the ordinary rules for such evidence. I've never seen any such evidence that conforms to those rules, and as I said before, I tired of wasting my time examining it.

Quote
Consider this:
Adam is created. Two minutes later an expert physician examines him. What will he say? Will the physician say, "By George, you, sir, are 30 minutes old!"? On the contrary, he will conclude that Adam is something like 30 yrs old.

Ah, but there ought to be signs that Adam is not thirty years old. Time not only leaves the signs of our normal development; it also leaves the marks of the history of our lives. I have scars and such galore to indicate that I wasn't created yesterday; Adam would not, because none of those things would have happened to him yet.

With respect to the earth the situation is even more stark, because the processes involved are much more like the injuries of Adam than his "normal" development. That the processes of plate tectonics continue to this day is indisputable; we can measure the motion. But not only that-- we can see the scars of millions upon millions of years of this activity all around us. It's not just the presumed history of a grown man presumed to have a childhood; it's a history to which we can assign a chronology of events.

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If you refuse to believe God's revelation, that is your fault.

Who are you to dare to speak for God?
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« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2005, 03:26:47 PM »

I am not debating. One should be able to survey the evidence with an open mind and accept the patristic teachings with the simplicity of the heart.
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« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2005, 03:28:13 PM »

How about the Appearance of Age?
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« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2005, 03:39:19 PM »

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I am not debating.

Then what are you doing?
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« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2005, 03:43:49 PM »

I am not debating. One should be able to survey the evidence with an open mind and accept the patristic teachings with the simplicity of the heart.

Should one? So one is *only* reading with an open mind *if* the result is they agree with you? Any disagreement or pointing out errors is due to a closed mind?  Or is it only "evidence" if you agree with it?

You seem to have a *need* for certainty. Why? No one was at the Creation but God. He hasn't told us how He did it. But he set up a Universe of wonders and order and laws of how things work. People have bit by bit found thngs out.

I have a passage of the Book of Job running through my head at the moment:

1. Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2. Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3. Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6. Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

We probably won't know *everything* about the Creation. But God has given us the curiosity and the intelligence to look and seek and puzzle things out from what He made.

Ebor

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« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2005, 03:47:59 PM »

>>Who has? What are you trying to say? Is it unreasonable for Matthew to request even one CF?

Ummm scholars and professors at seminaries who teach Patristics and other people who want to read them for the sheer love of learning maybe? 

Particularly in EO seminaries, I would suspect that there are people who *have* read all of the fathers of the Church.  Some of the seminarians here on the Forum probably know a good bit about that.

Ebor
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« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2005, 04:00:02 PM »

I don't suppose Fr. Seraphim Rose might be among them, would he?  Or at least among the most widely-read?
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« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2005, 04:02:06 PM »

Please read Darwin on Trial, for starters

Why should I, when there are a plethora of web sites pointing out its errors?

And as far as

Quote
One should be able to survey the evidence with an open mind and accept the patristic teachings with the simplicity of the heart.

You aren't surveying the evidence with an open mind. If you want simplicity of heart, then quit getting a bee in your bonnet about issues such as this.
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« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2005, 04:10:23 PM »

Bee in my bonnet? There is nothing wrong with holding fast to Orthodox tradition. I am sorry if I have offended you.

Please read the book for yourself. Those sources may just be much too biased.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2005, 04:45:03 PM »

Bee in my bonnet? There is nothing wrong with holding fast to Orthodox tradition. I am sorry if I have offended you.

You haven't offended me-- you have annoyed me.

What we have here is not Orthodox tradition, but your tradition, grounded in your reading of Seraphim Rose and your utter refusal to consider any contrary viewpoints. For instance, now you are commending Philip Johnson to us; but when we point at contrary reviews of the book, well, "[they] may be just too biased." Give it a rest! If you are going to complain about us not reading everything you drag out here, how can you dare to say that you will not read critics of the authorities you cite?

It should be obvious to the most casual observer that the church fathers didn't explicitly condemn modern scientific theories about the age of the earth. They couldn't, because in their day there were no such theories. There were theories which talked about the earth forming/being formed from pre-existent matter, but they weren't scientific and in any case modern science also rejects those theories.

As to Orthodox tradition, you aren't reading a broad enough range of material to offer an opinion. Seraphim Rose is offering a case for his own views, and there's no reason to take him as a sufficient expert on Orthodox opinion. You are at least obligated to search out contrary opinions within Orthodox and hear them out. Everything you've cited traces back to the same small set of works, and before you insist that we read more creationist tripe, you need to branch out yourself.
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« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2005, 05:09:54 PM »

Here are some statements from official church websites:

From the UK Deanery of the Antiochian church

From the OCA

From the Atiochian Archdiocese of North America

From the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Isn't that enough?
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« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2005, 05:12:38 PM »



If you cannot answer the questions in my OP, then why are you posting in this thread?

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2005, 06:57:36 PM »

Keble,

I ask you, w/ all due respect, to slow down just a tad.  Your tone is quite aggressive.
1st of all, you are not fair when you deny that there is *any* evidence against evolution.
You want some?  OK - Irreducible complexity, specified complexity, the huge odds against life appearing from non-organic material, the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record.  There's more but that should suffice.

2nd, you have made no headway in the slightest against a view that God created the world w/ the appearance of age.  Obviously, the appearance of age is exactly that - age.  So "scars" and such as you put it, and yes, the signs of tectonic history, would be incorporated in the appearance of age. 

3rd, I presume in no way to speak for God.  Rather, I repeat what the Scr says:
Isaiah 8:20 "To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn" (ESV). 
Let my words be His.  And I didn't mean "YOU" when I said "if you refuse to believe..."  'Twas a more universal "you."  As in, "if one refuses to believe what God has said, that is his/her own fault."
But, just for the record, you do not refuse to believe what God has said, do you, Keble?
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« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2005, 11:33:42 PM »

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OK - Irreducible complexity,

Not a problem for evolution. Behe is a crank.
Quote
specified complexity,

Dependent on IC, which is a non-argument against evolution.
Quote
the huge odds against life appearing from non-organic material,

Has nothing to do with evolution.
Quote
the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record.

There is no lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. Anybody who says otherwise is ignorant or lying.

Quote
2nd, you have made no headway in the slightest against a view that God created the world w/ the appearance of age.  Obviously, the appearance of age is exactly that - age.  So "scars" and such as you put it, and yes, the signs of tectonic history, would be incorporated in the appearance of age.

It's perfectly possible that God created the world with a false appearance of age. It's possible He created it five minutes ago, and us and our memories with it. This is worthless as a scientific theory, though, and would also be the equivalent of God making the Earth out of jello but arranging it so that by any scientific or sensory observation it appears to be made of rock.
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« Reply #44 on: April 09, 2005, 12:42:55 AM »

It is obvious to the critical observer that there are many gaps in the fossil record. Even evolutionary scientists admit this behind closed doors. There is no true naturalistic explanation for the diversity and complexity of life.

Please, end the trivial arguments. Leave any rationalistic considerations behind. Consider the questions I have provided in my original post. If you can provide evolutionist answers then please do. If not, then perhaps you should rethink your position.
There is nothing wrong with leaving rationalism behind and accepting Scripture and patristic teaching with the simplicity of the heart.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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