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Poll
Question: What would best describe your beliefs about how the universe and man came to be?
Young Earth Creationism (e.g., earth is less than 10,000 years old) - 12 (14.6%)
Other Creationism (e.g., the "days" in Genesis could each signify very long periods) - 19 (23.2%)
Theistic Intelligent Design (e.g., we were created by a God, and I *know* which God) - 6 (7.3%)
Deistic Intelligent Design (e.g., the universe was created by God, though I'm not sure which version of God most accurately describes Him) - 0 (0%)
Vanilla Intelligent Design (e.g., there was some type of designer, though I don't know if it was a supernatural entity) - 1 (1.2%)
Neo-Darwinian Gradualistic Evolution - 8 (9.8%)
Other Evolutionary Theories - 0 (0%)
None of These - 2 (2.4%)
A Mixture of These - 8 (9.8%)
Theistic Evolution - 20 (24.4%)
Not Sure - 6 (7.3%)
Total Voters: 82

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Author Topic: Evolutionist, ID, or Creationist? Cast Your Vote!  (Read 20450 times) Average Rating: 0
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Asteriktos
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« on: April 09, 2006, 11:13:43 AM »

I know that there are tons of evolution threads (including one currently), so this thread is mostly just for the above poll. I did not include a poll option for theistic evolution, since that is exactly what (theistic) intelligent design is supposed to be (ie. ID theory is evolution, with the difference being that God replaces natural selection [and other mechanisms])
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2006, 11:22:47 AM »

I don't think Intelligent Design is equivalent to Evolution otherwise we wouldn't be having this raging debate between the two sides in the US. I think ID is saying pretty much the same thing as creationism except on a lower level. ID is trying to establish that there are aspects of creation that could not possibly have evolved and hence were spontaneously created; a theory which is very different to the gradual development of evolution. Therefore, I think intelligent design and theistic evolution should be two different categories.
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2006, 11:37:49 AM »

Well I haven't read every intelligent design book, but I have read half a dozen, and think that the way I stated it is pretty much what they're shooting for Wink  The controversy is because of two things: 1) ID dares to suggest that a supernatural entity be a potential part of a scientific theory, which naturalistic/materialistic evolutionists cannot accept; and 2) at least some in the ID movement do seem to have some underlying motives that they aren't being completely forthright about (ie. they would like to use ID as an evangelism tool). Basically, people are making a big deal out of it because they see ID as attempting to place God in contexts that they don't believe he belongs (e.g., science). Also, ID theory does not try to argue that things did not evolve, in fact people like Behe go on and on (alas, to no avail) explaining that they do believe in evolution.

The issue that ID has with Darwinian evolution is the idea that random mutations and modifications down through the billions of years could have produced, well, us (or the other intricate parts of the universe). Apart from a few peripheral thoughts, all ID does is take out natural selection (and other similar mechanisms), and replace it with an Intelligent Designer's guiding hand. If an IDer didn't believe in evolution, then he wouldn't be an IDer, he'd be a young earth creatonist (or perhaps another variety). It is exactly ID's adherence to an evolutionary model (albeit, almost always theistic) that most seperates ID from Young Earth Creationism. Now, as to whether some IDers (in spite of being evolutionists) say that things like irreducible complexity requires that the intelligent designer create certain aspects of the creation whole, I don't know, though there is no reason to go even that far, as a designer can add one piece at a time just as easily as create the whole system at once, if he has the end goal in mind.

However, I'm willing to accept that I might be wrong, so I would modify the poll if I was able to, so that a "Theistic Evolution" option was available. I don't seem to have the power to modify polls though, I'll contact the moderator...
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2006, 12:48:26 PM »

Awww, no choice for I could care less? Wink

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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2006, 02:20:10 PM »

I could care less!?  Wha? You must be in one of those ultra-modernist, ecumenical jurisdictions!  Tongue

On a more serious note though, I take back what I said in my last post--at least to some extent. I went back and went through some ID books, and found Behe to be in agreement with what I said (though I probably shouldn't have said that he went "on and on"), and Johnson to be generally in agreement but a bit less firm in his belief in evolution. However, when I came to Dembski, I found that he actually seemed to have a somewhat different position. I decided not to go any further though as just in these three I saw enough variation to realise that I had overstated my position in my last post.

PS. I believe that "Theistic Evolution" will be added as an option for the poll soon, and I left the option open to change your vote when I originally posted the poll, for anyone who would like to change it.
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2006, 05:36:07 PM »

Hello All

I would personally say that I do accept the idea of evolution (or intellegent design).  However, if this is how God did create man, that leaves open the question of how the original sin came into the world (and thus, the reason for the incarnation).  Any thoughts on how Orthodox theologians who accept the idea of evolution place the idea of the originial sin within their theories?

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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2006, 09:16:13 PM »

I voted mixture:

Theistic ID
Neo-Darwinian Gradualistic Evolution

However, I don't like how you added "gradualistic."  "Neo-Darwinian" I believe is not gradualistic like Darwin himself, unless I'm wrong.  The popular belief is that the rate of evolution changes depending on environmental changes like disasters, in which case the rate of evolution increases.

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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2006, 12:19:29 AM »

If an IDer didn't believe in evolution, then he wouldn't be an IDer, he'd be a young earth creatonist (or perhaps another variety). It is exactly ID's adherence to an evolutionary model (albeit, almost always theistic) that most seperates ID from Young Earth Creationism. Now, as to whether some IDers (in spite of being evolutionists) say that things like irreducible complexity requires that the intelligent designer create certain aspects of the creation whole, I don't know, though there is no reason to go even that far, as a designer can add one piece at a time just as easily as create the whole system at once, if he has the end goal in mind.

I respect what you're trying to say here, but I can't exactly say that I believe in evolution just because I believe in ID.  I call myself ID because I reject young-earth and other theories of creationism as fundamentalist misuses and misinterpretations of Scripture.  I believe that God created the heavens and the earth, and all things visible and invisible, to include all other forms of life.  I just don't profess to have any clear idea how from a scientific POV that makes room for supernatural explanations.  I actually do have serious problems with believing in evolution, though.
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2006, 03:10:18 AM »

My position is day-age creationism because it serves as a balance between what we read in Scripture and what we observe in the natural world.

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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2006, 12:11:43 PM »

I do apologize for the bad wording of the options. I was trying to fit all the beliefs into less than a dozen selections, but probably could have worded things better. With Neo-Darwinism for example I was trying to give one field, and let modified versions like Puncuated Equilibrium in the Other Evolution field. If a poll like this is ever posted again, hopefully people will be able to avoid my mistakes Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2006, 12:43:02 PM »

Any thoughts on how Orthodox theologians who accept the idea of evolution place the idea of the originial sin within their theories?

Richard Swinburne, eminent philosopher of religion and Orthodox Christian, argues in his book Responsibility and Atonement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989) that the notion of the Fall can be perfectly reconcialed with evolution if we understand Adam as the first hominid with free will, from whom many are descended, who consciously rejected God.
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2006, 01:07:57 PM »

But how does one reconcile the Orthodox belief that death entered the world only as a result of Adam's sin with evolutionary theories that imply that death has always been present in the Universe?
And a hominid is hardly the perfect Adam created by God and presented as such both in the Holy Scriptures and in the himnography of the Church.
Reading the liturgical texts of the "Sunday of Adam's Expusion from Paradise" might throw some light as to the traditional Orthodox understanding of the first Man.l
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2006, 01:28:44 PM »

But how does one reconcile the Orthodox belief that death entered the world only as a result of Adam's sin with evolutionary theories that imply that death has always been present in the Universe?

Simple, one understands the introduction of Death here as death of the soul (i.e. eternal afterlife apart from God), not death of the body. Many theologians have written on this this.
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2006, 03:15:41 PM »

May I add that St. Athanasius believed that death of man's soul included man leaving Paradise and "entering the world."

It would be interesting to see that sin entered "man's world" not the physical world, since the physical world went through normal physical death the whole time anyway.

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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2006, 07:02:21 PM »

Though I acknowledge that evolution is the best scientific explanation so far, I don't see why it's necessary to mix it with theology. If God's foolishness really is wiser than man's wisdom, then I'm comfortable in being a "creationist".
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2006, 08:09:01 PM »

Simple, one understands the introduction of Death here as death of the soul (i.e. eternal afterlife apart from God), not death of the body. Many theologians have written on this this.

Of course, but then physical death was a dispensation of the Creator so that we would not be eternally stuck in sin. So, we're back to square one.
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2006, 08:12:02 PM »

And a hominid is hardly the perfect Adam created by God and presented as such both in the Holy Scriptures and in the himnography of the Church.

Adam was created without sin, yes, but he was not created completely mature and knowledgeable.
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2006, 08:46:28 PM »

Though I acknowledge that evolution is the best scientific explanation so far, I don't see why it's necessary to mix it with theology. If God's foolishness really is wiser than man's wisdom, then I'm comfortable in being a "creationist".

To add to this comment, science should not question anything concerning God or spirituality and theology and spirituality should not question anything scientific or experimentally/observationally obvious, and both subjects should not contradict one another, but have harmony.

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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2006, 08:49:20 PM »

May I add that St. Athanasius believed that death of man's soul included man leaving Paradise and "entering the world."

It would be interesting to see that sin entered "man's world" not the physical world, since the physical world went through normal physical death the whole time anyway.

Yes, St. Basil explains that point better in his "Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" (Book II, Chapter 30)

"This man He placed in Paradise, a home that was alike spiritual and sensible.  For he lived in the body on the earth in the realm of sense, while he dwelt in the spirit among the angels, cultivating divine thoughts, and being supported by them"

Also, is there any saint that holds death was around before the fall, and if so, for what reason?
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2006, 09:30:16 PM »

St. Athanasius also gives his own clarification.  All creation is essentially/naturally corrupt, but man ALONE was bestowed a grace "different from other animals of the world", the GRACE of incorruption, coming from the inscribed Image in man reflecting the Image of the Logos.

So, yes, man was both sensible and spiritual, in communion with the angels and at the same time with the world.  However, being that they disobeyed, they solely stayed in the world, going through the natural processes the rest of the world is going through, and going even from bad to worse.

Fr. Deacon Andrey Kuraev writes a great thought-provoking article that is in the late Bishop Alexander Mileant's website:

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/evolution_kuraev.htm

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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2006, 09:34:17 PM »

Most of the time, I prefer to be ambiguous on what I actually believe on this subject rather than get into an argument.

Peace.
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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2006, 10:02:56 PM »

May I add, the late Bishop Alexander Mileant wrote two articles himself (long and short respectively):

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/creation_man_a_mileant_e.htm

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/bible2_creation_e.htm

The former article I didn't read the whole thing, but it does stress that Darwinian evolution does not contradict the Bible, and that there is lots of symbolism as well in the Genesis chapters.

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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2006, 10:08:01 PM »

Darwinian evolution does contradict Scripture. Charles Darwin intended to provide an inherently non-theistic explanation for the origin of species and did so before finding compelling evidence in support. I don't think we should be hostile to the scientific community but it is not necessary to break from tradition on this matter.

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« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2006, 10:18:18 PM »

St. Athanasius also gives his own clarification.  All creation is essentially/naturally corrupt, but man ALONE was bestowed a grace "different from other animals of the world", the GRACE of incorruption, coming from the inscribed Image in man reflecting the Image of the Logos.

Can I get a reference for that?
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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2006, 10:36:42 PM »

Such are the notions which men put forward. But the impiety of their foolish talk is plainly declared by the divine teaching of the Christian faith. From it we know that, because there is Mind behind the universe, it did not originate itself; because God is infinite, not finite, it was not made from pre-existent matter, but out of nothing and out of non-existence absolute and utter God brought it into being through the Word. He says as much in Genesis: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"; and again through that most helpful book The Shepherd, "Believe thou first and foremost that there is One God Who created and arranged all things and brought them out of non-existence into being." Paul also indicates the same thing when he says, "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which we see now did not come into being out of things which had previously appeared." For God is good—or rather, of all goodness He is Fountainhead, and it is impossible for one who is good to be mean or grudging about anything. Grudging existence to none therefore, He made all things out of nothing through His own Word, our Lord Jesus Christ and of all these His earthly creatures He reserved especial mercy for the race of men. Upon them, therefore, upon men who, as animals, were essentially impermanent, He bestowed a grace which other creatures lacked—namely the impress of His own Image, a share in the reasonable being of the very Word Himself, so that, reflecting Him and themselves becoming reasonable and expressing the Mind of God even as He does, though in limited degree they might continue for ever in the blessed and only true life of the saints in paradise. But since the will of man could turn either way, God secured this grace that He had given by making it conditional from the first upon two things—namely, a law and a place. He set them in His own paradise, and laid upon them a single prohibition. If they guarded the grace and retained the loveliness of their original innocence, then the life of paradise should be theirs, without sorrow, pain or care, and after it the assurance of immortality in heaven. But if they went astray and became vile, throwing away their birthright of beauty, then they would come under the natural law of death and live no longer in paradise, but, dying outside of it, continue in death and in corruption. This is what Holy Scripture tells us, proclaiming the command of God, "Of every tree that is in the garden thou shalt surely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ye shall not eat, but in the day that ye do eat, ye shall surely die." "Ye shall surely die"—not just die only, but remain in the state of death and of corruption.

Part 3 of Chapter 1 of "On the Incarnation"

God bless.

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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2006, 10:50:11 PM »

Ah, so now the context is revealed Smiley

This is hardly saying creation was corrupt because it was without grace. Rather, it is not speaking of the Fall at all, but of the Creation itself: God's image in man.
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2006, 11:12:16 PM »

Ah, so now the context is revealed Smiley

This is hardly saying creation was corrupt because it was without grace. Rather, it is not speaking of the Fall at all, but of the Creation itself: God's image in man.

I agree. The Bible says God saw His creation and 'it was GOOD'.
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« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2006, 12:25:20 AM »

Quote
I agree. The Bible says God saw His creation and 'it was GOOD'

Yeah, he did say that, didn't he?. It's almost enough to make one become a supporter of the open view... cause boy was he wrong! Wink
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« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2006, 12:38:31 AM »

Ummm...

Yes...He did create everything good.  What is good and natural for animals is not necessarily good and natural for human beings.  You missed the part where St. Athanasius says that man was "essentially impermanent."  And St. Athanasius also said that after they disobeyed God and did what was prohibited, they went subject to the "natural law of death" and died "outside of Paradise."  In other words, the world was not Paradise.  What happened in the Garden of Eden did not happen to the rest of the world.  And the fact that St. Athanasius calls the law of death "natural" means that it was natural for the world outside the Paradise, the Garden of Eden to live under the laws of death and "corruption."

I don't know how more clear can this get.  Please read the articles provided by Bishop Alexander Mileant, who is a very conservative Orthodox (would also call me a heretic), which provides clarification of proper Scriptural interpretation.

God bless.

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« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2006, 12:42:24 AM »

Oftentimes, it seems that Christians accept Darwinian evolution out of fear of embaressment, that they would be considered backward in the eyes of the world otherwise. Still others seem to be creationists out of resentment toward the scientific community. But I would prefer not to think of myself as an "evolutionist" or a "creationist" because both are thoroughly Western terms. Can't I be an Orthodox Christian who believes the patristic tradition on Genesis and leave it at that? Part of the mystery of faith is not being able to explain every detail of God's creative work.
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« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2006, 12:50:02 AM »

Oftentimes, it seems that Christians accept Darwinian evolution out of fear of embaressment, that they would be considered backward in the eyes of the world otherwise. Still others seem to be creationists out of resentment toward the scientific community. But I would prefer not to think of myself as an "evolutionist" or a "creationist" because both are thoroughly Western terms. Can't I be an Orthodox Christian who believes the patristic tradition on Genesis and leave it at that? Part of the mystery of faith is not being able to explain every detail of God's creative work.

Well, I like to think of myself as a scientist, and studying science, especially medicine, I tend to think and believe that God leaves us experimental and observational means to learn from the world, and to use this knowledge for the praise and glory of God.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2006, 01:06:30 AM »

Fr. Seraphim Rose demonstrates that it is unorthodox to say that death, in absolute any form, existed even before the Fall. Bodily death is nothing but a reflection of spiritual death and, at the same time a God chosen  means of putting an end to sin.
The Earth was cursed because of Adam's Fall; ant the same Earth (the entire irrational creation) is to be freed from the slavery of death, at the end of time, along with the rational creatures.
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« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2006, 01:12:08 AM »

Fr. Seraphim Rose's beliefs are attacked by the late Bishop Alexander Mileant and Fr. Deacon Andrey Kuraev.  He also seems to contradict the language of St. Athanasius.  Like I said, man was put under the "natural" law of death.  That means that it was natural, and not a curse, for the world to have death.  Only man's world, his personal world was corrupted, for God made it unnatural for man to be under the Earth's natural law of death.

God bless.

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« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2006, 01:21:34 AM »

Now, I don't have Fr. Seraphim's book at hand, but, as I recall, there are plenty of patristic quotations there that proove his points.
Death is by no means natural. The Holy Scriptures call it "the last ennemy" to be destroyed by Christ; St. Paul, in Romans, shows clearly, how the fate of the Earth is linked to the fate of mankind.
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« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2006, 01:30:09 AM »

Yeah, he did say that, didn't he?. It's almost enough to make one become a supporter of the open view... cause boy was he wrong!
God was right. Always has been. It is man that chose to be wrong, bringing sin into the world.
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« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2006, 01:31:08 AM »

Oftentimes, it seems that Christians accept Darwinian evolution out of fear of embaressment, that they would be considered backward in the eyes of the world otherwise. Still others seem to be creationists out of resentment toward the scientific community. But I would prefer not to think of myself as an "evolutionist" or a "creationist" because both are thoroughly Western terms. Can't I be an Orthodox Christian who believes the patristic tradition on Genesis and leave it at that? Part of the mystery of faith is not being able to explain every detail of God's creative work.

I'm with you 100% on that!
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« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2006, 01:34:50 AM »

“Long ago (in the 4th century!) one of the Church's teachers Vasilius the Great wrote about this. He advised the Orthodox Christians neither to rely upon the scientific data in order to provide foundation for their faith in Christ, nor to try to disprove them, because “the scientists permanently disprove themselves.”

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/age-of-earth.htm



“No on should think that the Creation of Six Days is an allegory” said St Ephraim the Syrian

 

St. Basil the Great in his Hexatemeron says “Therefore, let it be understood as it has been written.”
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« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2006, 01:37:34 AM »

Now, I don't have Fr. Seraphim's book at hand, but, as I recall, there are plenty of patristic quotations there that proove his points.
Death is by no means natural. The Holy Scriptures call it "the last ennemy" to be destroyed by Christ; St. Paul, in Romans, shows clearly, how the fate of the Earth is linked to the fate of mankind.
Fr Seraphim Rose said this about Genesis “Some Protestant fundamentalists tell us it is all (or virtually all) 'literal.” But such a view places us in some impossible difficulties: quite apart form our literal or non-literal interpretation of various passages, the very nature of the reality which is described in the first chapters of genesis the very creation of all things) makes it quite impossible for everything to be understood 'literally'; we don't even have words, for example, to describe 'literally' how something can come from nothing. How does God “speak”? - does He make a noise which resounds in an atmosphere that doesn't yet exist?” (Genesis Creation and Early Man, p69).



“Undoubtedly, one of the most important causes of heresy is the failure to understand the exact nature of the human situation described by the Old and New Testaments, to which the historical events of the birth, teachings, death, resurrection and second coming of Christ are the only remedy. The failure to understand this automatically implies a perverted understanding of what it is that Christ did and continues to do for us, and what our subsequent relation is to Christ and neighbour within the realm of salvation. The importance of a correct definition of original sin and its consequences can never be exaggerated. Any attempt to minimize its importance or alter its significance automatically entails either a weakening or even a complete misunderstanding of the nature of the Church, sacraments and human destiny.” http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frjr_sin.htm. Thus, it is meaningless, or worse still utterly wrong to downplay the relationships established in Genesis. It is the beginning of the story of Man, and the story of Man's sin. Without it, why would Jesus come to us?

This is not a novel approach to reading Genesis, in fact it is the allegorical approach that is novel! Countless Christian thinkers have throughout the centuries held to the literal truth...

 

St.Macarius the Great of Egypt in commenting on Genesis 3:24 said “This is a passage which many of us might have expected to have only a mystical meaning, but this great seer of Divine things assures us that is is also true “just as it is written” for those capable of seeing it.” (pp85-6 Seraphim Rose “Genesis, Creation and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision)


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« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2006, 01:40:42 AM »

The Patristics Fr. Seraphim Rose used, although not taken out of context literally, but rather taken out of context culturally or generationally.  In that age, science and philosophies were not that advanced, at least in most cultures.  The Holy Fathers never rejected observational and scientific research at the time it was given them.  Please read this part:

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/creation_man_a_mileant_e.htm#_Toc67449479

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2006, 01:56:15 AM »

I don't know why this is such a polarized debate.  As someone who is something of an ecologist and an Orthodox Christian as well, this is very frustrating and baffling to me.  First of all, I think that scientists and so-called theologians who say that God can't possibly be involved in creation, because the randomness of natural selection "proves" this are unbelievably and shockingly juvenile in their outlook.  Secondly, I think that people who say that the earth was created only a few thousand years ago because that is what the Bible says about the matter are just as out to lunch.  It's a real tempest in a teapot.  This is all the product of the Western Church agreeing to meet Galileo and others on their own "playing field", (the playing field of sceintific rationalism).  Of course the earth goes around the sun in its orbit: what of it?  The Western Church has basically been struggling to justify itself in the light of scientific rationalism ever since, because we all know that nothing is more important,ultimately, than rationalism, isn't that right?  Tongue  Okay, here's something to think about,kids: just because something is not rational, doesn't mean that it is automatically irrational.  Here's a concept for you: the  supra-rational.  Wow.  You mean that something can be beyond the rational?  Scientific heresy!  To believe such a thing you must be scorned and ridiculed!

On the other  side of the ledger........It is so obvious that evolution happened and is continuuing to happen.  The exact way in which it happened is not clear.  But this is all.  The evidence is simply far too strong to deny.  (Evidence from reputable sources, I mean.)  

I have no problem with saying that God is creating through evolution, even though it looks "random" to our puny human minds.  (However, I don't subscribe to pseudo-scientific theories of ID, either.)  

This is where I am coming from.  I ask forgiveness from any I may have offended for expressing this POV.  Ultimately, we are brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what we believe about this matter, and that is what is important.
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« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2006, 02:03:14 AM »

This is not a novel approach to reading Genesis, in fact it is the allegorical approach that is novel! Countless Christian thinkers have throughout the centuries held to the literal truth...

Neither approach is "novel"!  I guess it depends on whether you are more Alexandrian or Antiochian in your thinking.  Countless Christian thinkers throughout the centuries have also held to the allegorical truth.  So what?
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« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2006, 02:10:04 AM »

My sole concern with accepting any of the evolutionary theories s that they would make death something as old as God's creation, present therein even from the first moment of it. And, in my understanding this is plainly unorthodox.
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« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2006, 03:33:02 AM »

The Patristics Fr. Seraphim Rose used, although not taken out of context literally, but rather taken out of context culturally or generationally.  In that age, science and philosophies were not that advanced, at least in most cultures.  The Holy Fathers never rejected observational and scientific research at the time it was given them.  Please read this part:

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/creation_man_a_mileant_e.htm#_Toc67449479

God bless.

Mina

Which means that you can question all of the Fathers based on the possibility that one day science might prove them 'wrong'.
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« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2006, 07:42:43 AM »

montalban

Quote
Vasilius the Great...

Do you have any idea who Vasilius is, or do you just cut and paste anything that seems to support your position and take it on faith that it's true?

Quote
God was right. Always has been. It is man that chose to be wrong, bringing sin into the world.

My point, which was half meant in jest, was that if God was truly all-knowing, then he couldn't possibly have said that things were good, because he would be able to see the hell on earth that would surely dominate his creation (so much so that he would need a flood to destroy everything except 8 people... and then after the flood the wickedness would just continue on as though nothing happened). An omniscient God saying that things were "good" in that case would be like someone expressing satisfaction that they had finally tuned a radio station in, in spite of the fact that they could plainly see that they would unavoidably soon fall off a cliff. It's just humorous to take such a story so seriously.
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« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2006, 08:03:34 AM »

montalban

Do you have any idea who Vasilius is,
As far as I'm aware he's the guy I quoted.   Grin
An Orthodox saint. Didn't you read the web-page?
or do you just cut and paste anything that seems to support your position and take it on faith that it's true?
If it supports my case then I would accept it to be true. Are you saying
a) he didn't say what I said he said
or
b) something else?
My point, which was half meant in jest, was that if God was truly all-knowing, then he couldn't possibly have said that things were good, because he would be able to see the hell on earth that would surely dominate his creation
And your half-jest misses the point. When He created the world IT WAS GOOD. Anything 'bad' came later.
(so much so that he would need a flood to destroy everything except 8 people... and then after the flood the wickedness would just continue on as though nothing happened).
Which happened after the creation
An omniscient God saying that things were "good" in that case would be like someone expressing satisfaction that they had finally tuned a radio station in, in spite of the fact that they could plainly see that they would unavoidably soon fall off a cliff. It's just humorous to take such a story so seriously.
Okay, I'll take your posts less seriously in future.
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« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2006, 11:14:55 AM »

Which means that you can question all of the Fathers based on the possibility that one day science might prove them 'wrong'.

I'm saying that the Fathers themselves will question their own scientific writings if science gives us a different observation and conclusion.  I'm saying that the Fathers used the science and philosophy of their times in harmony to the spirituality and theology.  I would also contend that these same Fathers would use the science and philosophy of this age to harmonize spirituality and theology as well, not contradict it.

Evolution never contradicted the Bible (to an extent, there are allegorical areas, such as the rib taking, that shouldn't be taken literally).  We are still from the "dust" (or so to speak, from the ape which is eventually from the "dust") and we were the pinnacle of creation.  What science cannot prove, although evidence of intellect remains, is the spirituality we have, the Image of God in us that all other creatures lacked, and what is eventually the fulfillment of what Adam and Eve had and better, that is our present impermanency with the world to be incorruption in the Judgment Day.  The fact that we will be "better" than Adam and Eve's nature shows that we also will evolve Christocentricly.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2006, 12:06:18 PM »

Here's some interesting research done on St. Augustine's approach in interpreting Genesis:

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Bible-Science/PSCF3-88Young.html

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #47 on: April 11, 2006, 02:37:22 PM »

The Holy Fathers never rejected observational and scientific research at the time it was given them.

The Fathers did reject the materialistic cosmogonies of their time with the words of Scripture. St. John Crysostom stated that while St. John the Evangelist was the prophet of the end of time, Moses prophesied the beginning of time. Both spheres of knowledge natural science would not be able to touch.
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« Reply #48 on: April 11, 2006, 02:41:30 PM »

Well, I like to think of myself as a scientist, and studying science, especially medicine, I tend to think and believe that God leaves us experimental and observational means to learn from the world, and to use this knowledge for the praise and glory of God.

Is the resurrection of Christ scientifically explicable? If not, why the creation of man?

Peace.
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« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2006, 02:48:27 PM »

Evolution never contradicted the Bible (to an extent, there are allegorical areas, such as the rib taking, that shouldn't be taken literally).

Who dictates what should and should not be taken literally?

The fact that we will be "better" than Adam and Eve's nature shows that we also will evolve Christocentricly.

What need is there to mix evolution with theology? Is Teilhardism the new Orthodoxy? From time to time, I have attempted to reinterpret patristic theology through the lense of Darwinian evolution. But ultimately, there is no point to this in that it no better helps the individual to understand God nor His creative work.

Peace.
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« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2006, 03:19:31 PM »

Ummm...

Yes...He did create everything good.  What is good and natural for animals is not necessarily good and natural for human beings.  You missed the part where St. Athanasius says that man was "essentially impermanent."  And St. Athanasius also said that after they disobeyed God and did what was prohibited, they went subject to the "natural law of death" and died "outside of Paradise."  In other words, the world was not Paradise.  What happened in the Garden of Eden did not happen to the rest of the world.  And the fact that St. Athanasius calls the law of death "natural" means that it was natural for the world outside the Paradise, the Garden of Eden to live under the laws of death and "corruption."

I don't know how more clear can this get.  Please read the articles provided by Bishop Alexander Mileant, who is a very conservative Orthodox (would also call me a heretic), which provides clarification of proper Scriptural interpretation.

God bless.

Mina

The problem is you are equating Eden and paradise here. Athanasius is referring to paradise as the state of mind. Further, you say that what happened in Eden was different than what happened outside. That would mean God had to different creation, one natural and one not, and that all the animals, and Adam and Eve, we not part of the natural creation, therefore contradicting more Fathers and verses than I can reasonably count. Finally, the law of death was natural in the sense that it was the natural course of sin, a position which is supported by the scriptures.
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« Reply #51 on: April 11, 2006, 03:25:53 PM »

Like several church fathers, I do not believe that the days of Genesis represent literal 24-hour periods of time. While Eden may have been a perfect Paradise, that does not mean that the world outside of Eden was so. Animal death existed for millions of years before the creation of man.
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« Reply #52 on: April 11, 2006, 03:36:40 PM »

Now, I don't have Fr. Seraphim's book at hand, but, as I recall, there are plenty of patristic quotations there that proove his points.
Death is by no means natural. The Holy Scriptures call it "the last ennemy" to be destroyed by Christ; St. Paul, in Romans, shows clearly, how the fate of the Earth is linked to the fate of mankind.

IMO, Fr. Seraphim Rose represents a tendency that is common to a lot of traditions of dogmatic theology, his ROCOR tradition being one of these.  This tendency is to take one thread of the Patristic Tradition on a particular subject, see this to be the consensus of Patristic Tradition, and proclaim this thread as official Orthodox dogma on the subject.  Such teachers will even quote those Fathers who support their own point of view and use this as proof for their assertions.

The problem with this approach is that those who follow this tendency focus only on this thread, isolating it from and ignoring the rest of the Patristic Tradition that contradicts their own limited understanding.  For instance, I know of no Patristic consensus that Adam and Eve did not enjoy sexual relations in Paradise and that sexual relations are purely a concession to human weakness after the Fall.  St. Ireneaus of Lyons seems to disagree: "and thus 'they were not ashamed', kissing and embracing each other in holiness as children."  (On the Apostolic Preaching)

Now let's not get off the track of this thread by pursuing my assertion on human sexuality.  That subject is better left to another thread.
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« Reply #53 on: April 11, 2006, 03:37:40 PM »

Quote
Animal death existed for millions of years before the creation of man.
St Paul shows that nature was subjected to corruption because of Man's fall.
From St. John Chrysostom's "Homilies on Romans":
Ver. 19, 20. "For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth," he says, "for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope."

And the meaning is something of this kind. The creation itself is in the midst of its pangs, waiting for and expecting these good things whereof we have just now spoken. For "earnest expectation" apokaradokia, looking out) implies expecting intensely. And so his discourse becomes more emphatic, and he personifies this whole world as the prophets also do, when they introduce the floods clapping their hands, and little hills leaping, and mountains skipping, not that we are to fancy them alive, or ascribe any reasoning power to them, but that we may learn The greatness of the blessings, so great as to reach even to things without sense also. The very same thing they do many times also in the case of afflicting things, since they bring in the vine lamenting, and the wine too, and the mountains, and the boardings of the Temple howling, and in this case too it is that we may understand the extremity of the evils. It is then in imitation of these that the Apostle makes a living person of the creature here, and says that it groaneth and travaileth: not that he heard any groan conveyed from the earth and heaven to him, but that he might show the exceeding greatness of the good things to come; and the desire of freedom from the ills which now pervaded them. "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same." What is the meaning of, "the creation was made subject to vanity?" Why that it became corruptible. For what cause, and on what account? On account of thee, O man. For since thou hast taken a body mortal and liable to suffering, the earth too hath received a curse, and brought forth thorns and thistles. But that the heaven, when it is waxen old along with the earth, is to change afterwards to a better portion lhxin v. p. 384) hear from the Prophet in his words; "Thou, O Lord, from the beginning hast founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment, and as a cloak shall Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed." (Ps. cii. 25, 26.) Isaiah too declares the same, when he says, "Look to the heaven above, and upon the earth beneath, for the heavens are as a firmament of smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall perish in like manner. (Is. li. 6.). Now you see in what sense the creation is "in bondage to vanity" and how it is to be freed from the ruined state. For the one says, "Thou shalt fold them up as a garment, and they shall be changed;" and Isaiah says, "and they that dwell therein shall perish in like manner," not of course meaning an utter perishing. For neither do they that dwell therein, mankind, that is, undergo such an one, but a temporary one, and through it they are changed into an incorruptible (1 Cor. xv. 53) state, and so therefore will the creature be. And all this he showed by the way, by his saying "in like manner" (2 Pet. iii. 13), which Paul also says farther on. At present, however, he speaks about the bondage itself, and shows for what reason it became such, and gives ourselves as the cause of it. What then? Was it harshly treated on another's account? By no means, for it was on my account that it was made. What wrong then is done it, which was made for my sake, when it suffereth these things for my correction? Or, indeed, one has no need to moot the question of right and wrong at all in the case of things void of soul and feeling. But Paul, since he had made it a living person, makes use of none of these topics I have mentioned, but another kind of language, as desiring to comfort the hearer with the utmost advantage. And of what kind is this? What have you to say? he means. It was evil intreated for thy sake, and became corruptible; yet it has had no wrong done it. For incorruptible will it he for thy sake again. This then is the meaning of "in hope." But when he says, it was "not willingly" that it was made subject, it is not to show that it is possessed of judgment that he says so, but that you may learn that the whole is brought about by Christ's care. and this is no achievement of its own. And now say in what hope?

Ver. 21. "That the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption."

Now what is this creation? Not thyself alone, but that also which is thy inferior, and partaketh not of reason or sense, this too shall be a sharer in thy blessings. For "it shall be freed," he says, "from the bondage of corruption," that is, it shall no longer be corruptible, but shall go along with the beauty given to thy body; just as when this became corruptible, that became corruptible also; so now it is made incorruptible, that also shall follow it too. And to show this he proceeds. eis "Into the glorious liberty of the children of God." That is, because of their liberty. For as a nurse who is bringing up a king's child, when he has come to his father's power, does herself enjoy the good things along with him, thus also is the creation, he means. You see how in all respects man takes the lead, and that it is for his sake that all things are made. See how he solaces the struggler, and shows the unspeakable love of God toward man. For why, lie would say, dost thou fret at thy temptations? thou art suffering for thyself, the creation for thee. Nor does he solace only, but also shows what he says to be trustworthy. For if the creation which was made entirely for thee is "in hope," much more oughtest thou to be, through whom the creation is to come to the enjoyment of those good things. Thus men (3 Mss. fathers) also when a son is to appear at his coining to a dignity, clothe even the servants with a brighter garment, to the glory of the son; so will God also clothe the Creature with incorruption for the glorious liberty of the children.
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« Reply #54 on: April 11, 2006, 03:41:24 PM »

This tendency is to take one thread of the Patristic Tradition on a particular subject, see this to be the consensus of Patristic Tradition, and proclaim this thread as official Orthodox dogma on the subject.

While the church fathers may have disagreed on the slight details, such as the length of the creation days, did they not agree on the creation of man?
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« Reply #55 on: April 11, 2006, 03:55:44 PM »

While the church fathers may have disagreed on the slight details, such as the length of the creation days, did they not agree on the creation of man?

The direct creation, yes. As St. Basil says when responding to those who say God was "indirectly involved":

" "In the beginning," he says "God created."  He does not say "God worked," "God formed," but" God created." "

He also says:

"Thus then, if it is said, "In the beginning God created," it is to teach us that at the will of God the world arose in less than an instant, and it is to convey this meaning more clearly that other interpreters have said"

(From Homily I, Hexaemeron)
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« Reply #56 on: April 11, 2006, 09:38:58 PM »

I'm saying that the Fathers themselves will question their own scientific writings if science gives us a different observation and conclusion.

How do you know? What science writings by what Father are you talking about?

I'm saying that the Fathers used the science and philosophy of their times in harmony to the spirituality and theology.  I would also contend that these same Fathers would use the science and philosophy of this age to harmonize spirituality and theology as well, not contradict it.

Over-all we believe that the Church is infalible, not going by any one writer. I'm not aware of an 'over-all' opinion by Fathers OTHER THAN to accept creation.


Evolution never contradicted the Bible (to an extent, there are allegorical areas, such as the rib taking, that shouldn't be taken literally).  We are still from the "dust" (or so to speak, from the ape which is eventually from the "dust") and we were the pinnacle of creation.

Let's get one thing clear. Evolution is a naturalistic approach. Naturalism is by its nature anti-supernatural. Scientists believe that we evolved 'naturally', we came into being 'naturally' etc. God has no room in this scheme. The evolution that most people are taught is one that removes God.



They don't deny God per se, but have pushed God's role back.
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« Reply #57 on: April 11, 2006, 09:40:49 PM »

IMO, Fr. Seraphim Rose represents a tendency that is common to a lot of traditions of dogmatic theology, his ROCOR tradition being one of these.  This tendency is to take one thread of the Patristic Tradition on a particular subject, see this to be the consensus of Patristic Tradition, and proclaim this thread as official Orthodox dogma on the subject.  Such teachers will even quote those Fathers who support their own point of view and use this as proof for their assertions.
Plenty of people have cited a list of Fathers who agree with Creation.

We say this in the Nicene Creed too, in case you weren't aware
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« Reply #58 on: April 11, 2006, 09:47:01 PM »

IMO, Fr. Seraphim Rose represents a tendency that is common to a lot of traditions of dogmatic theology, his ROCOR tradition being one of these.  This tendency is to take one thread of the Patristic Tradition on a particular subject, see this to be the consensus of Patristic Tradition, and proclaim this thread as official Orthodox dogma on the subject.  Such teachers will even quote those Fathers who support their own point of view and use this as proof for their assertions.
So what you're saying is Fr. Seraphim Rose's problem is that he quotes those that support his position.

How very strange of him!  Grin
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« Reply #59 on: April 11, 2006, 10:08:20 PM »

Mont,

I was just curious if you knew who you were quoting... apparently you didn't realise that you quoted the same guy twice in one post but used two different names. Wink Maybe if you read more and cut and pasted less... just a thought.

CCEL
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« Reply #60 on: April 11, 2006, 10:15:44 PM »

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I was just curious if you knew who you were quoting... apparently you didn't realise that you quoted the same guy twice in one post but used two different names.

May the prayers of St. Kyrillos I and St. Cyril I, prevent this from ever happening again. Their prayers are unstoppable, especially combined.
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« Reply #61 on: April 11, 2006, 10:21:29 PM »

The point was that he just quotes things randomly, as long as they seem to support his position. He really has no clue who he is posting, nor what the context is behind the quote he is pasting. This is not honest discussion.
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« Reply #62 on: April 11, 2006, 10:30:02 PM »

I have not yet concluded upon any position on this issue. It is something I have started looking into however. The Argument of Intelligent Design is one that has been discussed in my Philosophy of Religion class, and one that I have chosen to study as the basis of my primary essay. My study of the issue so far has required me to also delve into evolution, since I have to evaluate whether or not the Argument is a truly abductive one i.e. whether or not the notion of a supreme intelligent designer is truly the most probable (according to the "suprise principle") explanation, and hence whether or not it is more probable than competing theories explaining the functional complexity of organisms, of which Darwinian Evolution seems to be the most prominent and cogent. ÂÂ

I am approaching this issue fairly openly (nonetheless from an Orthodox Christian perspective) i.e. i have no presuppositions or biases towards one view over and above another, as long as all options are consistent with the Orthodox understanding of the nature of man and the Fall. Assuming that they all are, then I will simply adopt whichever position is more plausible scientifically (it shouldn't stretch the limits of Biblical interpretation into the realm of absurdity either...though allegorical interpretation per se does not bother me).
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« Reply #63 on: April 11, 2006, 10:31:46 PM »

Asteriktos,

I got your point, believe me. Give him some time; he's still learning.
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« Reply #64 on: April 11, 2006, 11:11:35 PM »

Mont,

I was just curious if you knew who you were quoting... apparently you didn't realise that you quoted the same guy twice in one post but used two different names. Wink Maybe if you read more and cut and pasted less... just a thought.

CCEL

So you don't have a point then. Note one name "St Valsillius" is in a quote, so the site I cited uses that name as that's part of the quote. But then not having a point's not stopped you posting now has it. But let's not let this fact get in the way of an otherwise interesting debate, even if you're now content on speculating about honesty etc.

It's even hillarious that you criticise the fact that I use quotes to support my case. How dare I use evidence that actually agrees with me!  Grin
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« Reply #65 on: April 11, 2006, 11:14:55 PM »

May the prayers of St. Kyrillos I and St. Cyril I, prevent this from ever happening again. Their prayers are unstoppable, especially combined.
Yes, I see you entering into this debate in an attempt to point score too.

If I quote something used "St. Kyrillos" and actually cite it with quotation marks then this might well confuse you.
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« Reply #66 on: April 11, 2006, 11:20:38 PM »

Like several church fathers, I do not believe that the days of Genesis represent literal 24-hour periods of time. While Eden may have been a perfect Paradise, that does not mean that the world outside of Eden was so. Animal death existed for millions of years before the creation of man.

I too agree with the 24-hour period for 'day' in Genesis. I think Augustine might have speculated that creation happened 'all at once'; in an instantaneous action. I'm not sure if he ever retracted this (as he did retract some of his statements)
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« Reply #67 on: April 11, 2006, 11:29:52 PM »

Here's some interesting research done on St. Augustine's approach in interpreting Genesis:

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Bible-Science/PSCF3-88Young.html

God bless.

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I think Augustine may have changed his mind on the simultaneous creation of everything. I can't find any of his retractions though.
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« Reply #68 on: April 11, 2006, 11:33:53 PM »

One thing I found on Augustine is...
"Though creation has been widely discussed, the length of the six days of creation, as held throughout the ages of church history, was generally agreed: they were ordinary or sidereal days. There were few exceptions to this: Clement, Origin and Augustine being the main ones. Clement and Origin, of course, followed an allegorical method of interpretation and denied the historicity of much of the Bible. Augustine's statements, on the other hand, are unclear but it seems that he believed that God actually created the world all at once (i.e., in an instant of time, the six days being repetitions of the one day of creation) but related the story of a six-day creation to us to accommodate our limited understanding. To be sure, there is much in the Bible that is difficult (if not impossible) for our finite minds to grasp, but in this case one must wonder how a six-day account would be any easier to comprehend than an instantaneous creation. In any case, the non-literal views of the days of creation were uncommon and not highly regarded"
http://stjohnsrcus.inetnebr.com/page23.htm
Whilst it talks about the 'difficulty' of understanding, I think Augustine meant we should still believe it when he said...
 "Where, however, the ambiguity cannot be cleared up, either by the rule of faith or by the context, there is nothing to hinder us to point the sentence according to any method we choose of those that suggest themselves."
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jod/augustine/ddc3.html
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« Reply #69 on: April 11, 2006, 11:43:22 PM »

Dear Matthew,

Quote
The Fathers did reject the materialistic cosmogonies of their time with the words of Scripture. St. John Crysostom stated that while St. John the Evangelist was the prophet of the end of time, Moses prophesied the beginning of time. Both spheres of knowledge natural science would not be able to touch.

I don't know what that proves.  Besides, young age creationism was perhaps widely acceptable in the early days of Fathers as a science, but not necessarily as a dogma.

Quote
Is the resurrection of Christ scientifically explicable? If not, why the creation of man?

No!  It is something I have faith in, and it cannot be explained.  Only what I see, the proofs and evidence before me provided to me by the creation of God is what I use to make my case.

Quote
Who dictates what should and should not be taken literally?

The Alexandrian approach to Scripture (started by Philo of Alexandria) was always to look at Scripture as spiritual and allegorical, a way to understand man's relationship with God, where we should not place emphasis on scientific or historical accuracy.  Some of the things the prophets may have written may be wrong.  And if some Fathers have not taken the 7 days literally, then why should one take anything else written literally?  Does God have a right hand?  Does God have a body or eyes?

Therefore, we should try our best to look at everything in a spiritual manner, and perhaps prophetic.  For example, the situation with Adam's rib being Eve may not be true scientifically, but spiritually and prophetically, it has a beautiful significance, for that also symbolizes that the Church was made and purchased by the water and blood coming out of the side of Christ.  The fact that Moses wrote that, whether or not it is literally correct, shows us the profound spiritual and prophetic significance of this verse.

If one reads the beginning of St. Athanasius' "On the Incarnation," he rejects three creationist theories, atheism, Platonic pre-existent matter beliefs, and some Gnosticism (two God theory).  Evolution is not any one of these.  Only some may put evolution into these categories, but I can safely be a theistic evolutionist.

Quote
What need is there to mix evolution with theology?

There is no need.  It is simply an interest, a theologomenoun.

Dear Mont,

Quote
The problem is you are equating Eden and paradise here. Athanasius is referring to paradise as the state of mind.

Yes, I am equating them, and there is no problem.  In fact, St. Athanasius did not believe "Paradise" to be just a state of mind, but also a place.  Again, read St. Athanasius' part 3 that I've provided:

Quote
But since the will of man could turn either way, God secured this grace that He had given by making it conditional from the first upon two things—namely, a law and a place. He set them in His own paradise, and laid upon them a single prohibition. If they guarded the grace and retained the loveliness of their original innocence, then the life of paradise should be theirs, without sorrow, pain or care, and after it the assurance of immortality in heaven. But if they went astray and became vile, throwing away their birthright of beauty, then they would come under the natural law of death and live no longer in paradise, but, dying outside of it, continue in death and in corruption.

You can't get any clearer than that.  A law and a place, the law being the prohibition, the place he calls "Paradise."  God "SET" them there, and not just gave it to them.  They would no longer live in it after their disobedience, and dye outside of it.  I think though that the fact that he calls Paradise a "place" is irrefutable.

Quote
That would mean God had to different creation, one natural and one not, and that all the animals, and Adam and Eve, we not part of the natural creation, therefore contradicting more Fathers and verses than I can reasonably count. Finally, the law of death was natural in the sense that it was the natural course of sin, a position which is supported by the scriptures.

Both are natural, one with death natural, and one with immortality as natural.  I don't know how much more clearer St. Athanasius can get.  That says it all my friend.  The fact that we enter into the laws of the world means that St. Athanasius believed, unlike other Fathers, that animals did die before corruption.  The type of corruption that enter the world was sin, and sin is not with anaimals but in the human world.

Quote
How do you know? What science writings by what Father are you talking about?

According to Bishop Alexander Mileant, the scientific information available to the Fathers were not as advanced as today, so many would use some logic to whether one could believe in one scientific theory over another.  For example, the idea of a flat earth was accepted by many fathers, like Augustine, Ambrose, Diodore of Tarsus, Basil, and perhaps Cyril of Jerusalem.  St. John Chrysostom even held very strongly that the view of the earth being round would contradict Scripture.  One wonders then why the Roman Church was so hard on Galileo, and we as Orthodox do not wonder if we would have probably done the same (except perhaps Egypt, since in Alexandria for centuries it was believed that the world was round).

Sooo, if some of these Fathers were given proof that the world was round, they would believe it and change their writings.  St. Augustine have written that if he has written any mistakes, may God and the Christians forgive him.  And St. Basil even gave his dislikes on St. Dionysius of Alexandria's writings.  You can't blindly quote the Holy Fathers, but you yourself have to find yourself in agreement with the Orthodox faith and with them.  Many people have denounced St. Augustine for many possible heretical issues.  If something scientifically wrong was written by the Fathers, why should one choose the Fathers' wrong observations over correct research?

Quote
Over-all we believe that the Church is infalible, not going by any one writer. I'm not aware of an 'over-all' opinion by Fathers OTHER THAN to accept creation.

Yes, evolution IS creation.  The Church is infallible over spirituality and doctrines, not science.

Quote
Let's get one thing clear. Evolution is a naturalistic approach. Naturalism is by its nature anti-supernatural. Scientists believe that we evolved 'naturally', we came into being 'naturally' etc. God has no room in this scheme. The evolution that most people are taught is one that removes God.

Any science only talks about what is indeed natural, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Science cannot prove God's existence, and spirituality has no room in science.  To mix both, one must harmonize both, not putting science as a part of spirituality.  And the evolution that most people are taught does not remove God, it simply does not include Him.  I have no problem in including Him, and evolution has no way of disproving Him or His existence.

Quote
They don't deny God per se, but have pushed God's role back.

Actually, to me, this makes His role all the more greater.  Evolution and the laws of science affirms a diversity found only with God's existence.  Without God, as St. Athanasius believed, the world would perhaps be not diverse and complicated, but very simple, or in his terms, the whole body would be "hand, foot, or eye" or there would be only sun, or moon, and not both.  The diversity of laws and the complicated laws of evolution all the more praises God's amazingness.

For the third time, please read the articles provided by the late Bishop Alexander Mileant, who was also ROCOR.  They contain all the arguments used by Orthodox Christian theistic evolutionists.

God bless you.

Mina
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« Reply #70 on: April 12, 2006, 12:18:50 AM »

Yes, evolution IS creation.  The Church is infallible over spirituality and doctrines, not science.

God bless you.

Mina
Why an Orthodox Christian cannot be an evolutionist"
http://www.creatio.orthodoxy.ru/sbornik/sbufeev_whynot_english.html
 
"Thirdly, some of the major hypotheses of science, such as the evolution of man from the apes, are no less empirically unverifiable statements of faith than the Chrlstian dogmas--with the important difference that, unlike the Christian dogmas, they have no basis in Divine Revelation."
http://www.roca.org/OA/137/137g.htm
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« Reply #71 on: April 12, 2006, 12:22:12 AM »

Why an Orthodox Christian cannot be an evolutionist"
http://www.creatio.orthodoxy.ru/sbornik/sbufeev_whynot_english.html
 
"Thirdly, some of the major hypotheses of science, such as the evolution of man from the apes, are no less empirically unverifiable statements of faith than the Chrlstian dogmas--with the important difference that, unlike the Christian dogmas, they have no basis in Divine Revelation."
http://www.roca.org/OA/137/137g.htm


http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/evolution_kuraev.htm
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/creation_man_a_mileant_e.htm
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/bible2_creation_e.htm

God bless.

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« Reply #72 on: April 12, 2006, 12:42:40 AM »

God bless.

Mina
You don't have any particular points there you wanted to highlight? Oh well. I didn't want this to seem like a 'web-site citations' war, but I just point out that as well as your Russian Orthodox site, I've my own. That plus the Holy Fathers beats your one site; even if you find three different pages on it that say something for your side  Grin
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« Reply #73 on: April 12, 2006, 12:45:32 AM »

From your own site...
""Evolutionists" believe that the origin of life and its development on earth — from simple microbes to modern man — can be explained completely by physical processes. The Creator’s work is ignored, if not directly denied."
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/creation_man_a_mileant_e.htm

thus 'evolution' as it is understood by many denies God's place (or pushes it out of the way)

Anyway, as St. Basil said we can't base our faith on science as science is always changing
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« Reply #74 on: April 12, 2006, 12:53:17 AM »

Returning to the biblical description of the world, we see that in its general form it confirms what current scientific theory has to say on this issue.
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/bible2_creation_e.htm

That's actually false. The Genesis account has things happening out of a rational order (somethign Fr. Seraphim Rose recognised), because in Genesis 1:11-13 God creates the plants, and after, in Genesis 1:14-19 he created the light in the firmament (i.e. the sun), so plants are older than the sun. In science we're taught that it's the other way around
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« Reply #75 on: April 12, 2006, 01:12:29 AM »

Dear Montalban,

When Bishop Alexander began with that fact, he only wanted to show two pov's, the other being those who take the extreme of young earth creationism against atheistic evolutionists.  Bishop Alexander continues:

Quote
Clearly, the truth lies somewhere between the above-mentioned extreme concepts. However, attempts to reconcile scientific data with religious views often suffer from bias and a lack of real knowledge, and sometimes do more to confuse us than to resolve seeming contradictions.

In this work we will attempt to shed some light on fundamental issues concerning faith and reason, religion and science, creation and evolution, in order to help the reader understand the argument between extreme concepts about the beginning and development of life on earth. We will show that there is no true conflict between the Bible and pure science. In fact, the two sources of truth complement one another.

Therefore, his primary purpose is to refute both extremes and to show that both evolution and Orthodoxy as harmonious.

Quote
Returning to the biblical description of the world, we see that in its general form it confirms what current scientific theory has to say on this issue.
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/bible2_creation_e.htm

That's actually false. The Genesis account has things happening out of a rational order (somethign Fr. Seraphim Rose recognised), because in Genesis 1:11-13 God creates the plants, and after, in Genesis 1:14-19 he created the light in the firmament (i.e. the sun), so plants are older than the sun. In science we're taught that it's the other way around

Actually, some Bibliologists will tell us that the Hebrew word used for "made" there (bara) is different from the other words of the other days used (asah).  However, whether or not it is true that Moses believed that the sun was actually made after plants, I would personally affirm what is clearly observationally true, and would look at the passage for something spiritually edifying.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #76 on: April 12, 2006, 01:39:50 AM »

Dear Montalban,

When Bishop Alexander began with that fact, he only wanted to show two pov's, the other being those who take the extreme of young earth creationism against atheistic evolutionists. ÂÂ
I understand that is what he is trying to do, hence I couched the words in terms of what most people understand. And that's an approach that's devoid of God.
Bishop Alexander continues:

Therefore, his primary purpose is to refute both extremes and to show that both evolution and Orthodoxy as harmonious.
I don't deny that one can have a 'theory of evolution' that involves God - that's what ID-theorists try to make. However 'the' theory of evolution is a naturalistic explanation; devoid of God. Talkorigins is quite happy, for instance in you believing in God as well as their godless theory. Just don't include God in any of the processes.

It probably would help then if we define what 'the' theory of evolution means
Actually, some Bibliologists will tell us that the Hebrew word used for "made" there (bara) is different from the other words of the other days used (asah).  However, whether or not it is true that Moses believed that the sun was actually made after plants, I would personally affirm what is clearly observationally true, and would look at the passage for something spiritually edifying.

God bless.

Mina
I have no problem with understanding Moses' meaning. As Fr. Seraphim Rose points out, the reason it doesn't follow a 'logical' order is because the whole process is a mystery; but we believe it to be. Science says it's not a mystery/miracle.
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« Reply #77 on: April 12, 2006, 02:39:39 AM »

I don't know what that proves.  Besides, young age creationism was perhaps widely acceptable in the early days of Fathers as a science, but not necessarily as a dogma.

Never in this thread have I endorsed young earth creationism. Instead, I've pointed to church fathers who understood the Hexaemeron to represent "non-literal" days.

"Perhaps one who loves to speak from his own wisdom here also will not allow that the rivers are actually rivers, nor that the waters are precisely waters, but will instill in those who allow themselves to listen to them, that they (under the names of rivers and waters) represented something else. But I entreat you, let us not pay heed to these people, let us stop up our hearing against them, and let us believe the Divine Scripture, and following what is written in it, let us strive to preserve in our souls sound dogmas." (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis, XIII, 4)
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/evolution_frseraphim_kalomiros.aspx

It seems that the church fathers considered God's creative work to be a theological concept, not a scientific one.
 
Only what I see, the proofs and evidence before me provided to me by the creation of God is what I use to make my case.

In the present, are you able to observe anything like the transition from fish to amphibian? Does the fossil record substantiate the transitions that we'd expect if Darwinian evolution were true? Do oscillations in finch beak size and drug resistant bacteria demonstrate enough plasticity in living things as to make grandscale evolution possible?
I'd consider the belief that God created the species in a "sequential" order over a period of millions of years to be more plausible than naturalistic evolution. What I observe in the natural world is purpose, complexity and order. What I observe in humanity is our inherent uniqueness compared to other species.

The Alexandrian approach to Scripture (started by Philo of Alexandria) was always to look at Scripture as spiritual and allegorical, a way to understand man's relationship with God, where we should not place emphasis on scientific or historical accuracy.

Is the resurrection of Christ a historical event? If not, for what purpose is our faith? If we cannot trust Genesis, neither can we trust the genealogy of Christ.

There is a difference between recognizing the various meanings of the Hebrew "Yom" and discarding Genesis as a historical account.

Please consider the following...

Justin Martyr
"For as Adam was told that in the day he ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not complete a thousand years [Gen. 5:5]. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression ‘The day of the Lord is a thousand years’ [Ps. 90:4] is connected with this subject" (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 81 [A.D. 155]).

Irenaeus
"And there are some, again, who relegate the death of Adam to the thousandth year; for since ‘a day of the Lord is a thousand years,’ he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them, thus bearing out the sentence of his sin" (Against Heresies 5:23:2 [A.D. 189]).

Clement of Alexandria
"And how could creation take place in time, seeing time was born along with things which exist? . . . That, then, we may be taught that the world was originated and not suppose that God made it in time, prophecy adds: ‘This is the book of the generation, also of the things in them, when they were created in the day that God made heaven and earth’ [Gen. 2:4]. For the expression ‘when they were created’ intimates an indefinite and dateless production. But the expression ‘in the day that God made them,’ that is, in and by which God made ‘all things,’ and ‘without which not even one thing was made,’ points out the activity exerted by the Son" (Miscellanies 6:16 [A.D. 208]).

Origen
"For who that has understanding will suppose that the first and second and third day existed without a sun and moon and stars and that the first day was, as it were, also without a sky? . . . I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indicate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance and not literally" (The Fundamental Doctrines 4:1:16 [A.D. 225]).

"The text said that ‘there was evening and there was morning’; it did not say ‘the first day,’ but said ‘one day.’ It is because there was not yet time before the world existed. But time begins to exist with the following days" (Homilies on Genesis [A.D. 234]).

"And since he [the pagan Celsus] makes the statements about the ‘days of creation’ ground of accusation—as if he understood them clearly and correctly, some of which elapsed before the creation of light and heaven, the sun and moon and stars, and some of them after the creation of these we shall only make this observation, that Moses must have forgotten that he had said a little before ‘that in six days the creation of the world had been finished’ and that in consequence of this act of forgetfulness he subjoins to these words the following: ‘This is the book of the creation of man in the day when God made the heaven and the earth [Gen. 2:4]’" (Against Celsus 6:51 [A.D. 248]).

"And with regard to the creation of the light upon the first day . . . and of the [great] lights and stars upon the fourth . . . we have treated to the best of our ability in our notes upon Genesis, as well as in the foregoing pages, when we found fault with those who, taking the words in their apparent signification, said that the time of six days was occupied in the creation of the world" (ibid., 6:60).

"For he [the pagan Celsus] knows nothing of the day of the Sabbath and rest of God, which follows the completion of the world’s creation, and which lasts during the duration of the world, and in which all those will keep the festival with God who have done all their work in their six days" (ibid., 6:61).

Cyprian
"The first seven days in the divine arrangement contain seven thousand years" (Treatises 11:11 [A.D. 250])

Augustine
"It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation" (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 1:19—20 [A.D. 408]).

"With the scriptures it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason, as I have noted repeatedly, if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about these matters [about the physical universe] in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of the scriptures. In short, it must be said that our authors knew the truth about the nature of the skies, but it was not the intention of the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, to teach men anything that would not be of use to them for their salvation" (ibid., 2:9).

"Seven days by our reckoning, after the model of the days of creation, make up a week. By the passage of such weeks time rolls on, and in these weeks one day is constituted by the course of the sun from its rising to its setting; but we must bear in mind that these days indeed recall the days of creation, but without in any way being really similar to them" (ibid., 4:27).

"[A]t least we know that it [the Genesis creation day] is different from the ordinary day with which we are familiar" (ibid., 5:2).

"For in these days [of creation] the morning and evening are counted until, on the sixth day, all things which God then made were finished, and on the seventh the rest of God was mysteriously and sublimely signalized. What kind of days these were is extremely difficult or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!" (The City of God 11:6 [A.D. 419]).

"We see that our ordinary days have no evening but by the setting [of the sun] and no morning but by the rising of the sun, but the first three days of all were passed without sun, since it is reported to have been made on the fourth day. And first of all, indeed, light was made by the word of God, and God, we read, separated it from the darkness and called the light ‘day’ and the darkness ‘night’; but what kind of light that was, and by what periodic movement it made evening and morning, is beyond the reach of our senses; neither can we understand how it was and yet must unhesitatingly believe it" (ibid., 11:7).

Of these church fathers, how many would deny that Eve was created from Adam's rib and mothered all humanity? If they lived today, how can you be certain that they'd find the evidences for Darwinian evolution compelling? I doubt that they'd find the scientific evidences for a self-created universe compelling either.

Peace.
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« Reply #78 on: April 12, 2006, 02:55:50 AM »

Further to what Mathew777 said...

“The sin committed by our progenitors in paradise, with all its consequences, passed and passes from them to all their posterity. What the first people became after the Fall, such also till now are their descendants in the world. “Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image” (Genesis 5:3, KJV). Estrangement from God, the loss of grace, the distortion of God's image, the perversion and weakening of the bodily organism, which ends with death - here is Adam's sad legacy, received by each of us at our very appearance in the world. “As from an infected source there naturally flows an infected stream,” teaches the Orthodox catechism, “so from an ancestor infected with sin, and hence mortal, there naturally proceeds a posterity infected with sin, and hence mortal.” http://www.stjohndc.org/Homilies/9609a.htm




“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men (Romans 5:12 ).” By refusing communion with God, Adam cut himself off from the Source of Life. Having separated himself from God, Adam, in a sense, starved his nature from the gifts of God. Because man was given dominion over all creation, St. Paul insists that all of creation has fallen as well.(Original Sin, p 2 as quoted on http://www.akins.org/matthew/paul.html#tthFtNtACH

 

“Undoubtedly, one of the most important causes of heresy is the failure to understand the exact nature of the human situation described by the Old and New Testaments, to which the historical events of the birth, teachings, death, resurrection and second coming of Christ are the only remedy. The failure to understand this automatically implies a perverted understanding of what it is that Christ did and continues to do for us, and what our subsequent relation is to Christ and neighbour within the realm of salvation. The importance of a correct definition of original sin and its consequences can never be exaggerated. Any attempt to minimize its importance or alter its significance automatically entails either a weakening or even a complete misunderstanding of the nature of the Church, sacraments and human destiny.” http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frjr_sin.htm

. Thus, it is meaningless, or worse still utterly wrong to downplay the relationships established in Genesis. It is the beginning of the story of Man, and the story of Man's sin. Without it, why would Jesus come to us?


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« Reply #79 on: April 12, 2006, 03:01:06 AM »

I wouldn't say that the sin of Adam caused the death of animals. Neither do I see why God would punish other species for our sins. What we observe in the fossil record is other species living and dying for millions of years before the appearance of man.

Peace.
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« Reply #80 on: April 12, 2006, 03:10:53 AM »

I wouldn't say that the sin of Adam caused the death of animals. Neither do I see why God would punish other species for our sins. What we observe in the fossil record is other species living and dying for millions of years before the appearance of man.

Peace.

If man had dominion over creation and sinned and let sin into creation would this not affect animals too?

Personally I have no opinion on this matter.
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« Reply #81 on: April 12, 2006, 11:00:39 AM »

Dear Montalban,

Does that mean you have no problem with theistic evolutionists, but with atheistic evolutionists?

Dear Matthew,

Do you deny there were still a few fathers who held to the Young Earth, Day-Age Creationism:

Quote
"And the evening and the morning were the first day." Evening is then the boundary common to day and night; and in the same way morning constitutes the approach of night to day. It was to give day the privileges of seniority that Scripture put the end of the first day before that of the first night, because night follows day: for, before the creation of light, the world was not in night, but in darkness. It is the opposite of day which was called night, and it did not receive its name until after day. Thus were created the evening and the morning. Scripture means the space of a day and a night, and afterwards no more says day and night, but calls them both under the name of the more important: a custom which you will find throughout Scripture. Everywhere the measure of time is counted by days, without mention of nights. "The days of our years," says the Psalmist. "Few and evil have the days of the years of my life been," said Jacob, and elsewhere "all the days of my life." Thus under the form of history the law is laid down for what is to follow.And the evening and the morning were one day. Why does Scripture say "one day the first day"? Before speaking to us of the second, the third, and the fourth days, would it not have been more natural to call that one the first which began the series? If it therefore says "one day," it is from a wish to determine the measure of day and night, and to combine the time that they contain. Now twenty-four hours fill up the space of one day-we mean of a day and of a night; and if, at the time of the solstices, they have not both an equal length, the time marked byScripture does not the less circumscribe their duration. It is as though it said: twenty-four hours measure the space of a day, or that, in reality a day is the time that the heavens starting from one point take to return there. Thus, every time that, in the revolution of the sun, evening and morning occupy the world, their periodical succession never exceeds the space of one day. (Homily 2:8 )

St. Basil believes in 24-hour days and he also believes that the day requires that the sun revolves.  It is clear here that St. Basil's geocentric view is scientifically rejected.  If St. Basil believed in the geocentric view, am I obliged to believe it?

It is also known that the Jew Josephus the Historian believed in 24-hour days.

Quote
Is the resurrection of Christ a historical event? If not, for what purpose is our faith? If we cannot trust Genesis, neither can we trust the genealogy of Christ.

There is a difference between recognizing the various meanings of the Hebrew "Yom" and discarding Genesis as a historical account.

...

Of these church fathers, how many would deny that Eve was created from Adam's rib and mothered all humanity? If they lived today, how can you be certain that they'd find the evidences for Darwinian evolution compelling? I doubt that they'd find the scientific evidences for a self-created universe compelling either.

Let's also look at Genesis 1:

"So the evening and morning were the ... day" (5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).  Now, it seems to me that some fathers took this literally, as St. Basil shows, and some fathers like St. Augustine had to take this spiritually, refusing to see this as a literal "evening" and "morning."  It also makes sense for the Jews that the creation is seven days, for the seventh since God rested, so does the people of God on the Sabbath.  Now, if it wasn't seven literal days the world was created, then what is the point of the Sabbath day being holy?  

If you think that it has to be necessary to believe that Eve was literally made from Adam's rib in order for Christ's bleeding and watering side to make the Church, then it must also be necessary that there be seven literal days so that the seventh day may be a weekly remembrance of the day of Godly rest.

However, I believe that merely writing it with its spiritual significance is quite enough, although some element of historical truth is contained.  Now does that mean that Adam or Noah may have never existed?  No, I don't believe that.  I believe that such persons did exist, that the geneology of Christ was indeed true to prove not only the full humanity of Christ, but the Judaic and Davidic succession of Christ.

In addition, the first two chapters of Genesis contradict one another.  We already know a father (Origen) who did not deny contradictions within the gospels, but looked at contradictions not as weaknesses, but different stressings of spirituality.  Likewise, we may look at Genesis the same way as well.  We see that both chapters also were written differently, which means that perhaps they were written by different authors.  Textual criticism as well as comparative criticism leads me to believe in a spiritual interpretation.

Do I believe all fathers could have easily changed their beliefs?  I don't believe so.  I do have a certainty that people like Origen, Clement, or Augustine could have changed their beliefs, since they were very open to interpretations and symbolisms, with special significance on Augustine, since he was clear that we shouldn't make a fool of ourselves for trying to make a big deal in contradicting scientific facts.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #82 on: April 12, 2006, 11:09:13 AM »

By the way, I do believe in the salvific death and resurrection of Christ, literally.

I also find nothing wrong in believing in a "pro-creating" universe.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #83 on: April 12, 2006, 01:58:00 PM »

IMO, Fr. Seraphim Rose represents a tendency that is common to a lot of traditions of dogmatic theology, his ROCOR tradition being one of these.  This tendency is to take one thread of the Patristic Tradition on a particular subject, see this to be the consensus of Patristic Tradition, and proclaim this thread as official Orthodox dogma on the subject.  Such teachers will even quote those Fathers who support their own point of view and use this as proof for their assertions.

Plenty of people have cited a list of Fathers who agree with Creation.

We say this in the Nicene Creed too, in case you weren't aware

Did you even read my post in the context I provided and in the context of this whole thread?  Where do you see anything about the doctrine of Creation in my post?  What I did was make a statement that is so general that it clearly cannot apply to ALL specific scenarios.

I do recognize that there is very clear Patristic consensus on some issues such as the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, the Virgin birth of Christ, Creation ex nihilo, etc.  There are many other issues, though, on which the Fathers did not speak with a unanimous voice.  It is on these issues where I see the tendency to dogmatize particularly specific threads of the larger Patristic Tradition.  

I don't see this as a flaw in Fr. Seraphim's scholarship, since he never really intended to provide a purely scholarly interpretation of the Fathers.  He sought to deliberately profess the Russian dogmatic tradition that he was taught, believing this to be the whole of the Orthodox Patristic Tradition.  Judging from what the Hieromonk Damascene wrote about him, Fr. Seraphim actually sought to enter fully into the Russian tradition by accepting without question what the "living links" to this tradition taught him.  Therefore, I don't see any fault in him being thoroughly indoctrinated in its tendency to ignore contradictory threads of the larger Tradition.  He probably wasn't even aware of this deficiency in the Russian dogmatic tradition.
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« Reply #84 on: April 12, 2006, 02:57:47 PM »

If man had dominion over creation and sinned and let sin into creation would this not affect animals too?

Perhaps, perhaps. But it does not follow that human sin caused animal death if animals were dying for millions of years before our appearance.

Peace.
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« Reply #85 on: April 12, 2006, 02:59:06 PM »

Do you deny there were still a few fathers who held to the Young Earth, Day-Age Creationism:

My point is that there was never a consensus among the church fathers on the length of the creation days. But when it came to how humankind came into being, they did agree.

Peace.
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« Reply #86 on: April 12, 2006, 03:07:11 PM »

If you think that it has to be necessary to believe that Eve was literally made from Adam's rib in order for Christ's bleeding and watering side to make the Church, then it must also be necessary that there be seven literal days so that the seventh day may be a weekly remembrance of the day of Godly rest.

[Refering to God's Sabbath analogy in Exodus 20:10-11:]

By no means does this demonstrate that 24-hour intervals were involved in the first six 'days,' any more than the eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles proves that the wilderness wanderings under Moses occupied only eight days.
Source: Book - Archer G., "A Response to the Trustworthiness of Scripture in Areas Relating to Natural Science,", in Radmacher E.D., & Preus R.D., "Hermeneutics, Inerrancy, and the Bible", Academic Books, Grand Rapids MI, 1986, p329
http://www.geocities.com/vr_junkie/NotableOldEarthCreatinists.htm

In addition, the first two chapters of Genesis contradict one another. ÂÂ

"There is no contradiction between Genesis 1 and 2.  Genesis 1 is a detailed explanation of the six days of creation, day by day.  Genesis two is a recap and a more detailed explanation of the sixth day, the day that Adam and Eve were made.  The recap is stated in Gen. 2:4, "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven." Then, Moses goes on to detail the creation of Adam and Eve as is seen in verses 7 thru 24 of Gen. 2.  Proof that it is not a creative account is found in the fact that animals aren't even mentioned until after the creation of Adam.  Why?  Probably because their purpose was designated by Adam.  They didn't need to be mentioned until after Adam was created."
http://www.carm.org/diff/Gen_1.htm

As for the authorship of the Scriptures, I'd trust the church fathers over modern secular scholars.
 ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚Â
I do have a certainty that people like Origen, Clement, or Augustine could have changed their beliefs, since they were very open to interpretations and symbolisms, with special significance on Augustine, since he was clear that we shouldn't make a fool of ourselves for trying to make a big deal in contradicting scientific facts.

How can you be certain if they rejected the secular cosmogonies of their own time? Furthermore, how has Darwinian evolution been established as a scientific fact?

Remember that if Adam never existed, the genealogy of Christ is a fraud. Furthermore, from what I've read, the Hebrew words that translate as "evening" and "morning" can also mean "beginning" and "ending."

Peace.
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« Reply #87 on: April 12, 2006, 03:09:09 PM »

I also find nothing wrong in believing in a "pro-creating" universe.

Do you believe that the universe is eternal and self-existent? If so, then who is God? Do you believe that the universe arose on its own? If so, what need is there for a Creator?

Peace.
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« Reply #88 on: April 12, 2006, 04:39:31 PM »

Fossil connects human evolution dots

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The latest fossil unearthed from a human ancestral hot spot in Africa allows scientists to link together the most complete chain of human evolution so far.

The 4.2 million-year-old fossil discovered in northeastern Ethiopia helps scientists fill in the gaps of how human ancestors made the giant leap from one species to another.

That's because the newest fossil, the species Australopithecus anamensis, was found in the region of the Middle Awash -- where seven other human-like species spanning nearly 6 million years and three major phases of human development were previously discovered.

"We just found the chain of evolution, the continuity through time," study co-author and Ethiopian anthropologist Berhane Asfaw said in a phone interview from Addis Ababa. "One form evolved to another. This is evidence of evolution in one place through time."

The findings were reported Thursday in the scientific journal Nature.

The species anamensis is not new, but its location is what helps explain the shift from one early phase of human-like development to the next, scientists say. All eight species were within an easy day's walk of each other.

Until now, what scientists had were snapshots of human evolution scattered around the world. Finding everything all in one general area makes those snapshots more of a mini home movie of evolution.

"It's like 12 frames of a home movie, but a home movie covering 6 million years," said study lead author Tim White, co-director of Human Evolution Research Center at University of California at Berkeley.

"The key here is the sequences," White said. "It's about a mile thickness of rocks in the Middle Awash and in it we can see all three phases of human evolution."

Modern man belongs to the genus Homo, which is a subgroup in the family of hominids. What evolved into Homo was likely the genus Australopithecus (once called "man-ape"), which includes the famed 3.2 million-year-old "Lucy" fossil found three decades ago.

A key candidate for the genus that evolved into Australopithecus is called Ardipithecus. And Thursday's finding is important in bridging -- but not completely -- the gap between Australopithecus and Ardipithecus.

In 1994, a 4.4 million-year-old partial skeleton of the species Ardipithecus ramidus -- the most recent Ardipithecus species -- was found about six miles from the latest discovery.

"This appears to be the link between Australopithecus and Ardipithecus as two different species," White said. The major noticeable difference between the phases of man can be seen in Australopithecus' bigger chewing teeth to eat harder food, he said.

While it's looking more likely, it is not a sure thing that Ardipithecus evolved into Australopithecus, he said. The finding does not completely rule out Ardipithecus dying off as a genus and Australopithecus developing independently.

The connections between Ardipithecus and Australopithecus have been theorized since an anamensis fossil was first found in Kenya 11 years ago. This draws the lines better, said Alan Walker of Penn State University, who found the first anamensis and is not part of White's team.

Rick Potts, director of the Smithsonian's Human Origins Program, agreed: "For those people who are tied up in doing the whole human family tree, being able to connect the branches is a very important thing to do."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
   
Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/04/12/fossil.evolution.ap/index.html  
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« Reply #89 on: April 12, 2006, 06:29:53 PM »

Dear Matthew,

Quote
My point is that there was never a consensus among the church fathers on the length of the creation days. But when it came to how humankind came into being, they did agree.

If that is your point, then one shouldn't exclude evolution either from acceptance.

Quote
[Refering to God's Sabbath analogy in Exodus 20:10-11:]

By no means does this demonstrate that 24-hour intervals were involved in the first six 'days,' any more than the eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles proves that the wilderness wanderings under Moses occupied only eight days.
Source: Book - Archer G., "A Response to the Trustworthiness of Scripture in Areas Relating to Natural Science,", in Radmacher E.D., & Preus R.D., "Hermeneutics, Inerrancy, and the Bible", Academic Books, Grand Rapids MI, 1986, p329
http://www.geocities.com/vr_junkie/NotableOldEarthCreatinists.htm

My point is that if you expect LITERAL consistency between ribs and Christ's side, then you must also expect literal consistency between a seventh literal day and a Sabbath day.  But if it's seven "stages" then the "ribs" may not be literal after all.  The word "yom" means "day."  You can't escape the word "yom."  We may say that to God a "yom" to Him is a thousand to us, but you can't expect that's what Moses or any other believed.  The possibility stood that people believed in 24-hour days.  Therefore, we can't expect to force to take many other things literal either (and it's interesting that St. Basil took it in Greek as "evening" and "morning").

Quote
"There is no contradiction between Genesis 1 and 2. � Genesis 1 is a detailed explanation of the six days of creation, day by day. � Genesis two is a recap and a more detailed explanation of the sixth day, the day that Adam and Eve were made. � The recap is stated in Gen. 2:4, "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven." Then, Moses goes on to detail the creation of Adam and Eve as is seen in verses 7 thru 24 of Gen. 2. � Proof that it is not a creative account is found in the fact that animals aren't even mentioned until after the creation of Adam. � Why? � Probably because their purpose was designated by Adam. � They didn't need to be mentioned until after Adam was created."
http://www.carm.org/diff/Gen_1.htm

In Genesis chapter 1, both man and woman were created after the rest of the animals.  In Genesis 2, Adam was created before animals, and after the animals were created, Eve was created.  The contradiction is very clear.  This is one reason why both parts cannot be written by the same author.  

St. Athanasius by the way makes it very clear that Adam was placed in God's "Paradise," and that he calls it a "place."  We already see therefore the fruits of allegory, even though the Bible said this was a garden somewhere in Assyria in the middle of four rivers.

Quote
As for the authorship of the Scriptures, I'd trust the church fathers over modern secular scholars.

As one Greek priest told me, you wouldn't make it through seminary, especially the ones you lately showed interest in.

Quote
How can you be certain if they rejected the secular cosmogonies of their own time?

The cosmogonies they rejected had something to do with several heresies that either disassociated God from created or decreased the greatness of God's role tremendously.  Evolution need not be associated with such cosmogonies.  Therefore, I'm certain that if one uses evolution in the praise and glory of God, making Him all the more greater, I don't see how it is impossible that some fathers may have accepted it.

But suppose they don't.  Are you telling me therefore that if one told St. Basil that the sun doesn't revolve around the earth, and that St. Basil rejected it, should I accept St. Basil's beliefs?

Quote
Furthermore, how has Darwinian evolution been established as a scientific fact?

If you want to debate on whether evolution is a fact or not, we can, but I believe the center of the debate is whether it's plausible to accept evolution while still being Christian.  I do however believe that you can never really escape evolution as a fact.  It indeed has survived the test of animosity and the more growing molecular evidence all the more affirms Darwin's essential conclusions.

Quote
Do you believe that the universe is eternal and self-existent? If so, then who is God? Do you believe that the universe arose on its own? If so, what need is there for a Creator?

If God gave man and woman the power to pro-create children, does that mean man and woman are eternal and self-existent?  Do you think I believe that man and woman arose on its own?  Is God's role decreased by doing so, or is there any need for a Creator if the Creator gave man and woman this power?

I never believed in whatever you asked.  The way you confront and misconstrue what I said actually frustrates me.

God bless you.

Mina
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« Reply #90 on: April 12, 2006, 06:36:36 PM »

Quote
Remember that if Adam never existed, the genealogy of Christ is a fraud.

I agree.  I never said Adam never existed.  I said that before.  You seem to read my posts quickly and make assumptions about what I believe.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #91 on: April 12, 2006, 09:21:37 PM »

Dear Montalban,

Does that mean you have no problem with theistic evolutionists, but with atheistic evolutionists?
God bless.

Mina
In principle I only have problems with evolution as it is taught; through the philosophy of materialism
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« Reply #92 on: April 12, 2006, 09:48:55 PM »

In principle I only have problems with evolution as it is taught; through the philosophy of materialism

Then is there a point in debating if we both agree in what is essential for our salvation, that God is the Pantrocrator, and that evolution should NEVER diminish his role?
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« Reply #93 on: April 12, 2006, 11:02:37 PM »

Then is there a point in debating if we both agree in what is essential for our salvation, that God is the Pantrocrator, and that evolution should NEVER diminish his role?
Evolution does diminish His role. As it is taught it is a purely materialistic means that got us to where we are today. They removed God from creation. They removed God from Man's inception.
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« Reply #94 on: April 12, 2006, 11:15:07 PM »

Evolution does diminish His role. As it is taught it is a purely materialistic means that got us to where we are today. They removed God from creation. They removed God from Man's inception.

But I'm an evolutionist, and I am not removing God from creation, and I claim that by doing this I make His role greater.  What you are talking about is evolutionists who are non-believers, anti-theists, or atheists.

If I teach evolution, I would not teach it the same way atheists may teach it for example.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #95 on: April 13, 2006, 12:21:34 AM »

But I'm an evolutionist,
Cool
and I am not removing God from creation, and I claim that by doing this I make His role greater.  What you are talking about is evolutionists who are non-believers, anti-theists, or atheists.
No, what I'm talking about is evolution as it is taught. Talkorigins, for example go to great lengths to say that there are many Christians who believe in evolution, which is all fine and dandy, but that's not to say that God is a part of the evoltuionary process. Science can't know God (according to them)
If I teach evolution, I would not teach it the same way atheists may teach it for example.
God bless.

Mina
How would you go about doing this?
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« Reply #96 on: April 13, 2006, 12:36:15 AM »

Very simple.  I don't exclude God, but confess that God established the laws of universe ex nihilo, including the laws of physics and the laws of evolution.

I oppose those who would use evolution to exclude God.  Their arguments do not really disprove God's existence; it is only their personal interpretation.

In a science class, I will teach evolution just as I would teach anatomy.  I would talk about the processes, and I would not exclude God neither would I necessarily include it unless I'm pushed to do so.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #97 on: April 13, 2006, 01:02:44 AM »

Very simple.  I don't exclude God, but confess that God established the laws of universe ex nihilo, including the laws of physics and the laws of evolution.
The problem with that approach is that science is always changing. An example is Neptunism. This was a theory that the continents came into being through the forces of giant seas. This theory has been replaced by vulcanism, and continental drift.

So imagine you were in class a long while ago saying "God created the world, by making the earth covered with giant seas, that laid down the layers of sediments we see evident in some places around the world". And after telling them this a student challenges your explanation with the new theory.

Scientists continually chnage their minds. As per evolution, when I studied it at university a long while ago (1986) we were taught four mutually exclusive ideas of how man evolved. Now there's several other theories. Tying God to such seems rather awkward. Back then you couldn't even say "God made man evolve by 'x' pathway" as their were four different and mutually exclusive pathways then being taught as possibles; all based on 'the evidence'.

I oppose those who would use evolution to exclude God.  Their arguments do not really disprove God's existence; it is only their personal interpretation.

In a science class, I will teach evolution just as I would teach anatomy.  I would talk about the processes, and I would not exclude God neither would I necessarily include it unless I'm pushed to do so.

God bless.

Mina
I think the National Academy of Sciences would fight you on that
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« Reply #98 on: April 13, 2006, 01:14:35 AM »

If that is your point, then one shouldn't exclude evolution either from acceptance.

Could you please name a church father who taught anything resembling Darwinian evolution?

My point is that if you expect LITERAL consistency between ribs and Christ's side, then you must also expect literal consistency between a seventh literal day and a Sabbath day. ÂÂ

Word Study — Yom   ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  

By Greg Neyman

© 2006, Old Earth Ministries

Published 16 March 2005

The Hebrew word for “day” is the word “Yom.” ÂÂ Young earth creationists have always argued that the word used for the days of creation can only mean a 24-hour day. ÂÂ In this article, we will examine the uses of Yom in the Old Testament, and show that it can mean a wide variety of time periods.

First, one must understand that the Hebrew language is not nearly is diverse as our English language.  Whereas we have millions of words, the Hebrew source for the Old Testament only consists of slightly less than 8,700 words...and many of these could be considered duplicates with only slight differences.  Thus, words which contain multiple meanings are common.  Such is the case with the word Yom...
http://www.answersincreation.org/word_study_yom.htm

In Genesis chapter 1, both man and woman were created after the rest of the animals.  In Genesis 2, Adam was created before animals, and after the animals were created, Eve was created.  The contradiction is very clear.  This is one reason why both parts cannot be written by the same author. ÂÂ

As explained previously, there is no contradiction in Genesis 2 but only the Creation of man in closer detail. As agreed by the church fathers, Moses is the author of Genesis. I'd rather take their word than modern secular scholarship.

We already see therefore the fruits of allegory

Who is modern man to say what parts of Scripture are allegorical?

The cosmogonies they rejected had something to do with several heresies that either disassociated God from created or decreased the greatness of God's role tremendously.

Darwin's understanding of evolution certainly does this, which was his point from the beginning.

But suppose they don't.  Are you telling me therefore that if one told St. Basil that the sun doesn't revolve around the earth, and that St. Basil rejected it, should I accept St. Basil's beliefs?

While it is obvious now that the earth revolves around the sun, it is not as apparent that all species arose through a process of descent with modification without the involvement of a Creator God. As noted earlier, we haven't observed enough plasticity in living things as to make such grandscale evolution plausible.

If you want to debate on whether evolution is a fact or not, we can, but I believe the center of the debate is whether it's plausible to accept evolution while still being Christian. ÂÂ

You can be a Christian while accepting evolution but not one who upholds patristic tradition and the general trustworthiness of Scripture.

 Do you think I believe that man and woman arose on its own? ÂÂ

Modern science is intent on proving that the universe is a closed system with no need for a higher power to bring forth its existence.
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« Reply #99 on: April 13, 2006, 01:16:14 AM »

Very simple.  I don't exclude God, but confess that God established the laws of universe ex nihilo, including the laws of physics and the laws of evolution.

What is the purpose in attempting to reconcile theism and determinism?  
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« Reply #100 on: April 13, 2006, 01:48:32 AM »

I rarely find "Intelligent Design" books compelling but one that I truly would recommend, no matter your persuasion, is Darwin's God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil by Cornelius Hunter.

From Publishers Weekly
Biophysicist Hunter brings rare depth and originality to this analysis of an often-neglected stream of Darwin's thought, illuminating not only the original debates surrounding The Origin of Species, but also contemporary questions about evolution and religion. Hunter's main argument is that most interpreters of evolution have misjudged Darwin's metaphysical motives. Rather than an assault upon God's existence, evolution was for Darwin and many of his contemporaries a defense of God's goodness, a strategy for disassociating God from the often unsavory details of nature by introducing a blind process of natural selection. Hunter attributes the early enthusiasm for evolution to the pervasive but shallow "modern theology" of many educated Victorians, whose offense at the violence and inefficiency of nature was compounded by their expectation that God's dealings with the world must always be benevolent and clearly discernable as such. Still more fascinating is the way Hunter traces similar metaphysical arguments in evolutionary rhetoric from Darwin to the present day, suggesting that theological attitudes from the na‹ve summit of the "modern" era continue to color perceptions of evolution and creation, often to the detriment of both. This book falls outside the standard niches of the evolution-and-religion literature, and readers who strongly identify with either side of creation-evolution debates will find grounds for disagreeing with some of Hunter's assertions; but the cogency of his central argument should attract readers of both persuasions.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1587430533/qid=1144907177/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-6213918-7423359?v=glance&s=books
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« Reply #101 on: April 13, 2006, 01:54:45 AM »

Rarely, if ever do I buy books recommended by Debate Forum, but this one's going into the shopping basket.
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« Reply #102 on: April 13, 2006, 01:57:04 AM »

I wouldn't recommend that you purchase the book but find it at your local library.
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« Reply #103 on: April 13, 2006, 02:44:38 AM »

Dear Montalban,

If science changes, then so be it.  Whatever else they bring to the table, I'll be open to it, so long as it stays off trying to prove anything or disprove anything in the spiritual realm.  I highly doubt however at this moment things will change.  Experimentation and Observations has now been so advanced and accurate than before, there's very little room for error when doing things right.

Dear Matthew,

Quote
Modern science is intent on proving that the universe is a closed system with no need for a higher power to bring forth its existence.

That is their perception, but they have no way of proving or disproving it.

Quote
yom

Okay, uncle.  I would assume the word "yom" as only day, considering that I don't know of any other use for this same word that is used in Arabic.

Quote
As explained previously, there is no contradiction in Genesis 2 but only the Creation of man in closer detail. As agreed by the church fathers, Moses is the author of Genesis. I'd rather take their word than modern secular scholarship.

Well, I disagree.  It not only explains man in "greater detail," but puts his creation before beasts.  Origen had no problem affirming contradictions between gospels.

And sure you can take the Father's word over modern scholarship.  I wouldn't condemn you for doing so.  I would only merely disagree with you.  If the Fathers overall didn't even agree on the interpretation of Genesis, then I believe it is open for interpretation.

Quote
Who is modern man to say what parts of Scripture are allegorical?

Every since Philo of Alexandria using it, and then later St. Clement and Origen (and perhaps St. Augustine in the other extreme), and the school of Alexandria itself, which seems to me to make sense, since Alexandria was the center of intellectual and philosophical thinking.  Who is modern man to say that God does not literally have a right hand or eyes.

Quote
Darwin's understanding of evolution certainly does this, which was his point from the beginning.

I was under the impression that Darwin believed in Intelligent Design when he wrote "On the Origin of Species", even though he lost faith in Christianity due to Protestant interpretations of a wrathful God and a literal 6-day creationism and Biblical inerrancy, which lead him to being agnostic.  He had a devotion to science only because science deals with the five senses.  For Darwin, like the Christians, there was no way in harmonizing Christianity with evolution, and the Protestants chose the former while he the latter.

Quote
While it is obvious now that the earth revolves around the sun, it is not as apparent that all species arose through a process of descent with modification without the involvement of a Creator God. As noted earlier, we haven't observed enough plasticity in living things as to make such grandscale evolution plausible.

I'm trying my best to understand what you mean when you say "without the involvement of a Creator God."  For one thing, I have never excluded God, for I believe God created the laws of the universe, which leads to the centripetal force and gravital pull between the sun and the earth for earth's revolution.  Is God the one moving the Earth?  Perhaps not, and I don't mind not involving God there, but God is involved insomuch that HE MADE the laws to move the Earth, "for He commanded and they were created." (Ps. 148:5)

So, does it matter whether you believe evolution is true or not?  No!  But does it matter in issues of Christianity?  I believe not either, and thus this discussion would be futile, unless you believe otherwise.

Why do I think evolution is true?  Well, not only are there anatomical evidences, but molecular and histological evidences as well, and perhaps embryological.  Not only that, but as we experience microevolution daily, we slowly see macroevolution around us as well.  Case in point: canines.

In addition, if one compares the DNA between a human and a chimpanzee, you cannot help but notice that God willed to make us so strikingly similar to apes, so much so that a simple translocation and a decrease in chromosomal number can lead to a whole new species.

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You can be a Christian while accepting evolution but not one who upholds patristic tradition and the general trustworthiness of Scripture.

Well, according to St. Augustine, I seem to be allowed some openness in interpretation, and not rejecting science totally.  And I do trust in Scripture for its spiritual infallibility, not primarily for historical or scientific information.

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Modern science is intent on proving that the universe is a closed system with no need for a higher power to bring forth its existence.

Well, I haven't received that impression from all modern scientists.  You seem to limit your spite on a few that likes not only doesn't mention God, but emphatically excludes God.

Quote
What is the purpose in attempting to reconcile theism and determinism?

It serves a personal purpose.  I'm not solely determinist however.  I believe God may intervene.  It actually affirms a synergy, if you will, between nature and God, and it teaches us to live in synergy with God as well.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #104 on: April 13, 2006, 03:15:51 AM »

I wouldn't recommend that you purchase the book but find it at your local library.
You don't know about libraries here  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #105 on: April 13, 2006, 03:29:10 AM »

Dear Montalban,

If science changes, then so be it.  Whatever else they bring to the table, I'll be open to it, so long as it stays off trying to prove anything or disprove anything in the spiritual realm.  I highly doubt however at this moment things will change.  
God bless.

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Let me state that I'm not anti-science. I accept science changes. Tying God to a changing science is silly. The whole concept of Orthodoxy is that the whole truth was given to all the Apostles at the time of Pentecost. That's why Orthodoxy doesn't change. Science is always changing. The truth of Orthodoxy is absolute. I believe it before I believe anything else. If science disagrees with Orthodoxy, I believe Orthodoxy BECAUSE I know that science 'truth' is true only on a more limited level.

Experimentation and Observations has now been so advanced and accurate than before, there's very little room for error when doing things right.
Your faith in science is unfounded. There's many a time people aren't even aware of how they affect experiments.
James Gleick in “Chaos” talks of a hypothetical about a scientist who is studying a micro-organism. The scientist describes what he sees under the microscope. Other scientists around the world, with the same organism, can make the same observations, and all concur that organism 'x' behaves in a particular way. Such repeatable observations make their way into the textbooks. It becomes established as 'fact'.

Yet no one realises that when they are observing this organism, in fact, in order to observe it, they shine a light onto the subject. What if the organism reacts with light. How it 'behaves' when it is observed is only how it behaves 'when' it is observed.

 

What is a repeatable experiment is made meaningless.

Darwin himself was a product of his own era. He postulated that females are ''coy,'' mating rarely and choosing their mates carefully, presumably betting their odds on the males with the best genes to contribute to their offspring. For their part, males are ''ardent'' and promiscuous, and fight amongst themselves for female partners. Later theories added that males are promiscuous because they have less to lose by making babies - unlike eggs, sperm are plentiful and small. Plus, females usually do most of the work to raise the offspring”
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-02/su-sag021003.php

See also

http://www.stanford.edu/dept/news/report/news/2003/february19/aaassocialselection219.html

 

“In the mid-nineteenth century, social Darwinists invoked evolutionary biology to argue that a woman was a man whose evolution - both physical and mental - had been arrested in a primitive stage. In this same period, doctors used their authority as scientists to discourage women's attempts to gain access to higher education. Women's intellectual development, it was argued, would proceed only at great cost to reproductive development. As the brain developed, so the logic went, the ovaries shrivel. In the twentieth century, scientists have given modern dress to these prejudices. Arguments for women's different (and inferior) nature have been based on hormonal research, brain lateralization, and socio-biology.?

Londa Schiebinger, “History and Philosophy”, in Sex and Scientific Inquiry, eds. Sandra Harding and Jean F. O'Barr, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), p. 26-27.

Quoted at: http://www.dean.sbc.edu/bart.html

And they found the evidences that confirmed their deep-seeded biases. You might want to address some articles on bias and science.

My favourite author says in the chapter "That it is madness to judge the true and the false from our own capacities"
"When we read in Bouchet about miracles associated with the relics of Saint Hilary we can shrug it off: His right to be believed is not great enough to take away our freedom to challenge him. But to go on from there and condemn all similar accounts seems to me to be impudent in the extreme. Such a great saint as Augustine swears that he saw: a blind child restored to sight by the relics of Saint Gervaise and Saint Protasius at Milan; a woman in Carthage cured of a cancer by the sign of the cross made by a woman who had just been baptised; his close friend Hesperius driving off devils (who were infesting his house) by using a little soil taken from the sepulchre of our Lord, and that same soil, borne into the Church, suddenly curing a paralytic; a woman who, having touched the reliquary of Saint Stephen with a posy of flowers during a procession, rubbed her eyes with them afterwards and recovered her sight which she had recently lost... What are we to accuse him of - hum and the two holy bishops, Aurelius and Maximinus, whom he calls on as witnesses? Is it of ignorance, simple-mindedness, credulity, deliberate deception or imposture? .... 'Qui, ut rationem mullan afferent, ipsa auhtoritate me frangerent (Why, even if they gave no reasons, they would convince me by their very authority)
Michel de Montaigne (1993), "The Essays: A Selection", Penguin Classics



Thus the very authority of the Church is enough for me, even if what they say seemed illogical. That is, anyway, why I am Orthodox - because I know that it is the church founded by Jesus, and as a whole never has erred
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« Reply #106 on: April 13, 2006, 03:44:56 AM »

Evolution does diminish His role. As it is taught it is a purely materialistic means that got us to where we are today. They removed God from creation. They removed God from Man's inception.

What nonsense. Evolution teaches that the development of Man occurred through natural processes, but it still leaves the question of what is behind the natural processes. It's like saying that the law of gravity diminishes His role.
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« Reply #107 on: April 13, 2006, 06:33:21 AM »

What nonsense. Evolution teaches that the development of Man occurred through natural processes, but it still leaves the question of what is behind the natural processes. It's like saying that the law of gravity diminishes His role.
At no stage does evolution assign a role for God. None at all. I've already noted that one can believe in God and evolution - but with God pushed back from what science has already assigned happens without super-natural means. Thus in the way evolution is taught God 'might' have started the ball rolling, but it's so far back in time as to be removed from the active and hands on method we know He has acted as through the Church Fathers.

Though not directly related to evolution, science tells us that life came into being through material means. That the planets formed through material means and that the very universe itself came into being through material means. Where is God in this? (as according to science).

What you're suggesting is that man evolved through natural means with no hint* of God, but God just is there somewhere.

Anyway, you believe what you want to believe. I believe the Church Fathers - who, as far as I'm aware didn't comment on gravity, but they did on creation.

*-none discernable by science.
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« Reply #108 on: April 13, 2006, 06:34:34 AM »

What nonsense. Evolution teaches that the development of Man occurred through natural processes, but it still leaves the question of what is behind the natural processes. It's like saying that the law of gravity diminishes His role.

Where is God in this scheme of things?
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« Reply #109 on: April 13, 2006, 08:47:43 AM »

Thus in the way evolution is taught God 'might' have started the ball rolling, but it's so far back in time as to be removed from the active and hands on method we know He has acted as through the Church Fathers.

Since God sees eternity as a single instant, starting the ball rolling in the beginning is the same as an active and hands on method.
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« Reply #110 on: April 13, 2006, 08:51:22 AM »

Since God sees eternity as a single instant, starting the ball rolling in the beginning is the same as an active and hands on method.
Since God continually involves Himself in His creation - not just at creation, but through the entire OT*, then I don't know what your point is, except to diminish God's prescence to something at the peripheral


*You know, the Old Testament; God continually talking to people, saving them, etc. Your version of God is one that mysteriously manages to avoid the spot-light of science.
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« Reply #111 on: April 13, 2006, 09:07:50 AM »

What nonsense. Evolution teaches that the development of Man occurred through natural processes, but it still leaves the question of what is behind the natural processes.
What is behind the natural process? Nature! That's the materialist answer. True science can never prove God's not there somewhere, but they can say that He's nowhere that they've detected

Your version of history lessens God's role in it. The inherently materialistic nature of the theory of evolution (as taught today) has no need of God. Sure, you can believe in God, but only in those areas not already explained away by science. Thus the evolution of species is covered by materialistic means. The rise of man is covered there too. God may there invisibly working nature, it is true. But God wouldn't have to be; that's the very essence of materialism (as manifested in Darwinian evolution).

The origins of the universe is covered by materialism (though this is out of the purview of evolutionary science). And what of miracles? We have professors now speculating on Jesus walking on ice, instead of water - the philosophy of materialism making inroads at all parts of the Bible because miraculous events such as man's creation have already disappeared off the radar of respectability, and conferred to superstition.

And what this God popping up into history, saving Joseph, helping His people leave Egypt and so on? Why is He intervening then, and not at the beginning? And when He does intervene, it's in a manner so as not to be detectable by science!

Sure, God may have conferred some ape-like creature with a soul thus creating 'man' (in a Christian sense), but this simply creates more theological questions - why'd God pick this particular ape-like creature? When did this creature first 'sin'? (for one of them had to have done so for Jesus' came here to correct that).
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« Reply #112 on: April 13, 2006, 09:13:39 AM »

2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

More questions are raised. Why'd God have just about everyone (including all the Church Fathers) believe in a 'real' creation, only for it to turn out to be allegorical (if you believe in evolution). Is God deceiving people?
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« Reply #113 on: April 13, 2006, 09:36:40 AM »

Dear Montalban,

Just curious, but what do you do for a living?  Forgive me for the weirdness of the question, but I feel that perhaps I may understand who I am talking to rather than continue on in what seems to me a futile discussion that will simply not go anywhere.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #114 on: April 13, 2006, 10:48:45 AM »

Dear Montalban,

Just curious, but what do you do for a living?  Forgive me for the weirdness of the question, but I feel that perhaps I may understand who I am talking to rather than continue on in what seems to me a futile discussion that will simply not go anywhere.

Just my guess, but I doubt it has anything to do with physics, geology, biology, or biochemistry...those fields require tangable results, results that are simply not possible without an understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms behind the world.

It is true that every society has their own creation story and perhaps it could be argued that evolution is simply another such creation story, a neo-religious story to satisfy people, the new opium of the masses; however, it should be noted that unlike past creation stories, which served little purpose beyond being intellectual opiates, evolution has the added claim that it has actually created tangable results in many scientific fields, leading to real improvements in our lives.
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« Reply #115 on: April 13, 2006, 01:57:58 PM »

ÂÂ
Okay, uncle.  I would assume the word "yom" as only day, considering that I don't know of any other use for this same word that is used in Arabic.

"Literal translations of the Hebrew word, yom, like our English word "day," can refer to a 24 hour day, sunrise to sunset (12 hours), or a long, unspecified period of time (as in "the day of the dinosaurs"). The Hebrew word ereb, translated evening also means "sunset," "night" or "ending of the day." The Hebrew word boqer, translated morning, also means "sunrise," "coming of light," "beginning of the day," or "dawning," with possible metaphoric usage (1). Our English expression: "The dawning of an age" serves to illustrate this point. This expression in Hebrew could use the word, boqer, for dawning, which, in Genesis 1, is often translated morning...

Specific biblical examples of evidence for long creation days include:

The "Day of the Lord" refers to a seven year period of time.
Genesis 2:4 refers to all 6 days of creation as one day, "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven."
The seventh day of Genesis is not closed. In all other days, "there is the evening and the morning, the n day."
In the book of Hebrews, the author tells us to labor to enter into God's seventh day of rest. By any calculation, God's seventh day of rest has been at least 6,000 years long: ÂÂ
For He has thus said somewhere concerning the seventh day, "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works"... Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:4-11)
The psalmist (Moses, the author of Genesis) says "For a thousand years in Thy sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night." (Psalms 90:4).
The apostle Peter tells us with God "A thousand years is as one day" 2 Peter 3:8..."
http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/longdays.html

Furthermore, Biblical Hebrew is not Arabic.

I was under the impression that Darwin believed in Intelligent Design when he wrote "On the Origin of Species", even though he lost faith in Christianity due to Protestant interpretations of a wrathful God and a literal 6-day creationism and Biblical inerrancy, which lead him to being agnostic.

Darwin began as a theist attempting to distance God from the Creation as to solve the problem of evil. When the sufferings of life became intolerable for Darwin, he discarded theism entirely. Both in his own day and now, the evidences for Darwinian gradualism are only compelling when coupled with religious arguments against special creation.
Basically, the argument ultimately boils down to "How can you believe that God directly designed the human eye for us to see but not the AIDS to infect and kill children?" If the fall of humanity is mentioned, it is immediately rejected as a theological construct even though the anti-design argument itself is inherently religious.

If science changes, then so be it.

In an area of knowledge as crucial as the origin of man, which is important for understanding who we are and where we are going, I'd rather trust the changeless truth of God rather than the tentative discoveries of science. A question we must ask ourselves is where we are to draw the line. When science makes the ultimate conclusion that God is unnecessary for the origin of the universe, are we to take heed and believe?

Why do I think evolution is true?  Well, not only are there anatomical evidences, but molecular and histological evidences as well, and perhaps embryological.  Not only that, but as we experience microevolution daily, we slowly see macroevolution around us as well.  Case in point: canines.

An anatomical relationship is not automatically an evolutionary relationship. What's attributed to common descent could equally be understood as common design. Embryological similarities, furthermore, are more superficial than one would hope. The oscillations of finch beak size and the shades of peppered moths that we observe in the present world don't demonstrate that living things are capable of such a grandscale transition as reptile to bird. What we can extrapolate into the future is not what we can verify in the moment.
As for genetics, that is the one line of evidence for common descent that is hard to refute. But then I am reminded of Mitochondrial Eve and her potential implications.

In addition, if one compares the DNA between a human and a chimpanzee, you cannot help but notice that God willed to make us so strikingly similar to apes, so much so that a simple translocation and a decrease in chromosomal number can lead to a whole new species.

Don't we share 90% of our DNA with mice, 60% with the fruit fly and 50% with bananas? Clouds and watermelons are composed mostly of water but neither are related. Certain church fathers taught that whatever features we share with animals, whether psychological or physical, are due to our fall.

Well, according to St. Augustine, I seem to be allowed some openness in interpretation, and not rejecting science totally.  And I do trust in Scripture for its spiritual infallibility, not primarily for historical or scientific information.

This seems like a slippery slope. At what point do we tell the secular world that its gone to far? When we are told to deny the historicity of Christ?

I have nothing against biological evolution but for me, it does not serve a personal purpose. It actually, at least for me, makes adhering to Biblical morality and Church tradition more difficult.

Peace.

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« Reply #116 on: April 13, 2006, 03:29:33 PM »

Quote
yom

Ummm...I did say "uncle" Wink  Feel free to write more about the word "yom" though.

Quote
Darwin began as a theist attempting to distance God from the Creation as to solve the problem of evil. When the sufferings of life became intolerable for Darwin, he discarded theism entirely. Both in his own day and now, the evidences for Darwinian gradualism are only compelling when coupled with religious arguments against special creation.
Basically, the argument ultimately boils down to "How can you believe that God directly designed the human eye for us to see but not the AIDS to infect and kill children?" If the fall of humanity is mentioned, it is immediately rejected as a theological construct even though the anti-design argument itself is inherently religious.

Well, one can understand why Darwin tried to solve the problem of evil, so that he can hope to still believe in God.  But Protestant theology taught at the time that God "punished" men to corruption and death, not as a natural outcome of our own sins.  I believe if Darwin read St. Athanasius, he could have perhaps thought more deeply.  Gradually, Darwin would do what any natural Protestant scientist is inclined to do, is to be lead further astray into agnosticism.  He still stuck to theism for a while even though he wasn't a Christian, and incorporated this into "On the Origin of Species."  

One other striking thing that got him to leave Christianity is the belief in eternal punishment, as if somehow it was against their free will.

Another modern case point is Bart D. Ehrman, who grew up around a Protestant background that believed in complete inerrancy of the Scriptures.  He was a devout Christian until he became a scholar testing the inerrancy, being sorely disappointed, and leading him outside Christianity.  If he was in the Orthodox Church, I don't think he would have had the same problem.

Quote
In an area of knowledge as crucial as the origin of man, which is important for understanding who we are and where we are going

Very true.  It is the most important to know.  However, at the same time, what I do for a living requires me to think of other important things, so I do these other important things for the glory of God.  If I am to heal a human, I must know the anatomy, although it is not necessary for salvation, it is important for me personally.  God gave us tools to use, and not just sit and pray and contemplate, but to be productive around us.

Quote
I'd rather trust the changeless truth of God rather than the tentative discoveries of science.

And the truth of God resides in our spirituality, in who we are and where we are going as you say, of which science does not get into.  This is the changeless truth of God, for God does not care in what science we study or what computers we build, but what we do with our lives, and to be united in love with Him acknowledging your need for Him who created all things.

Quote
A question we must ask ourselves is where we are to draw the line.

When my spiritual relationship with God is touched.

Quote
When science makes the ultimate conclusion that God is unnecessary for the origin of the universe, are we to take heed and believe?

Science will never make that conclusion, and has NO business making it.  It only tests what is sensible to our senses, but has nothing to do with spirituality.  If science makes that conclusion, it is not science anymore.

On that note, there is no point in continuing this discussion if you still hold that science can somehow disprove or prove God.  Beyond what we can observe and experiment, it is only speculation or philosophizing.  Darwin is actually a good example, since he ended up an agnostic, NOT an atheist.  He only could for certainty go with science as priority, and not his spiritual feelings, but did not remove the belief of God either.

Quote
This seems like a slippery slope. At what point do we tell the secular world that its gone to far? When we are told to deny the historicity of Christ?

Anathema to those who hold such views.  I believe in the geneology of Christ and in Christ Himself coming, suffering, being tempted, experiencing all things human, including death, without sin, and rose from the dead on the third day.  I believe in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and that those who don't hold such views are not even Christian.  It crosses the line if such peoples didn't exist, but it doesn't cross the line if certain events did not happen exactly as it says.

There should be a spirit of discernment when it comes to Scriptural interpretation.  Reading up on Origen, you will find that these ideas are not new, but have always been held, especially by the school of Alexandria.  Consider this quote:

Quote
The Bible, as we have seen, is a book of books, a collection or library of sacred writings. The books contained in Holy Scripture were written, edited and compiled at various times, in various places and by various authors; but the Orthodox Church regards this collection of writings as an authentic and authoritative (that is, "canonical") revelation of truth concerning the relationships between God, man and the universe. The Bible is the written Word of God, "the supreme expression of God's revelation to man."8

The books of the Bible were written by men — that is, by Old and New Testament saints — who were guided in their writing by divine inspiration. From the standpoint of the Orthodox Church, "the entire Bible is inspired by God," and this means that it "contains no formal errors or inner contradictions concerning the relationship between God and the world."9 The overall message of the Bible, that mankind has fallen under satanic bondage and that God has graciously acted in and through Christ to save us from that bondage, is infallibly true. According to the Orthodox doctrine of infallibility, the Church as a whole is the guardian of "the eternal spiritual and doctrinal message of God"10 and is protected from error by the Holy Spirit. The Bible, therefore, as a testimony and proclamation of the Church concerning God's revealed plan of salvation, is without error in its central theological themes and affirmations.

It is not necessary, however, for the Orthodox Christian to insist upon the literal truth of every statement contained in Holy Scripture. Many Orthodox scholars believe that the Bible may contain "incidental inaccuracies of a non-essential character."11 For example, the author of the book of Daniel describes Belshazzar as the "king" of Babylon and as the son of Nebuchadnezzar (r. 605-562 B.C.); but, in fact, Belshazzar was the son of King Nabonidus (r. 556-539 B.C.), and never became king himself, although he did serve as viceroy during his father's absences (see Dn 5:1-31). For another example, many scholars think that the story of God's creation of the world in the first chapter of Genesis assumes that "the universe [is] enwrapped in waters held back by a solid bell-shaped barrier called the firmament"12 — and such an assumption is certainly at odds with what modern science has to say about the cosmos. But these kinds of historical and scientific inaccuracies do not undermine the coherence and validity of the essential theological message of Holy Scripture. The Orthodox Church, in affirming the divine inspiration and infallibility of the Holy Bible, does not exclude the possibility that the Bible might contain some minor errors of fact, but she insists upon the absolute truth of scripture's overall message of salvation.

from http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/bible_cronk_1.htm#_Toc526159494

Now, the question stands, do you want to believe in the literal truth of every sentence of the Bible, be my guest, but there is nothing wrong in the realm of Orthodoxy in not accepting everything literally true.  Even the Holy Fathers, who are filled with the same inspiration of the Holy Spirit can make mistakes, like St. Basil's geocentric views.

Quote
I have nothing against biological evolution but for me, it does not serve a personal purpose. It actually, at least for me, makes adhering to Biblical morality and Church tradition more difficult.

Well, that is your personal purpose, but don't expect this from EO seminaries that you wish to attend.  But if you have nothing against evolution, then what is the point of discussion?

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #117 on: April 13, 2006, 03:53:20 PM »

Hi, I haven't been able to read all of this thread, so I won't comment, but I just wanted to post a link in case anyone is interested:

http://coptichymns.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sermons&file=index&q=f&f=%2FEnglish%2F_Fr_Athanasius_Iskander%2FScience_Creation_Bangs_and_Booms

This is a series of sermons (mp3 audio format) by Heg. Fr. Athanasius Iskander (Coptic Orthodox) on science in faith.  He spends a long time arguing why evolution is a theory with holes in it.  He was an MD before he was a priest.

(If the link doesn't work, go to copichymns.net , click coptic hymns and media under site navigation on the right, sermons, english, Fr. Athanasius, science creation... )

There are also some very good spiritual sermons one folder up http://coptichymns.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sermons&file=index&q=f&f=%2FEnglish%2F_Fr_Athanasius_Iskander , especially presumptuous sins.
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« Reply #118 on: April 13, 2006, 07:31:55 PM »

Just my guess, but I doubt it has anything to do with physics, geology, biology, or biochemistry...those fields require tangable results, results that are simply not possible without an understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms behind the world.

I'll ignore irrelevant questions, comments; speculation regarding me personally.
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« Reply #119 on: April 13, 2006, 07:33:02 PM »

Dear Montalban,

Just curious, but what do you do for a living?  Forgive me for the weirdness of the question, but I feel that perhaps I may understand who I am talking to rather than continue on in what seems to me a futile discussion that will simply not go anywhere.

God bless.

Mina
If you've given up discussion (and I note your lack of scholarship regarding the Church Fathers on this matter) then so be it.
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« Reply #120 on: April 13, 2006, 07:35:14 PM »

Hi, I haven't been able to read all of this thread, so I won't comment, but I just wanted to post a link in case anyone is interested:
Thanks for the link. Could you tell me which of the sermons it is?

Fr. Seraphim Rose's book on "Genesis Creation and Early Man" also points out several problems with evolution.

I remain unapologetic in believing what my church teaches on this matter.
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« Reply #121 on: April 13, 2006, 07:40:10 PM »

It is not necessary, however, for the Orthodox Christian to insist upon the literal truth of every statement contained in Holy Scripture. Many Orthodox scholars believe that the Bible may contain "incidental inaccuracies of a non-essential character."11 For example, the author of the book of Daniel describes Belshazzar as the "king" of Babylon and as the son of Nebuchadnezzar (r. 605-562 B.C.); but, in fact, Belshazzar was the son of King Nabonidus (r. 556-539 B.C.), and never became king himself, although he did serve as viceroy during his father's absences (see Dn 5:1-31). For another example, many scholars think that the story of God's creation of the world in the first chapter of Genesis assumes that "the universe [is] enwrapped in waters held back by a solid bell-shaped barrier called the firmament"12 — and such an assumption is certainly at odds with what modern science has to say about the cosmos. But these kinds of historical and scientific inaccuracies do not undermine the coherence and validity of the essential theological message of Holy Scripture. The Orthodox Church, in affirming the divine inspiration and infallibility of the Holy Bible, does not exclude the possibility that the Bible might contain some minor errors of fact, but she insists upon the absolute truth of scripture's overall message of salvation.

from http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/bible_cronk_1.htm#_Toc526159494
God bless.

Mina

I'd already noted that Fr. Seraphim Rose makes comment about being 'literalistic' as Protestants do. I'll show it again...
Fr Seraphim Rose said this about Genesis “Some Protestant fundamentalists tell us it is all (or virtually all) 'literal.” But such a view places us in some impossible difficulties: quite apart form our literal or non-literal interpretation of various passages, the very nature of the reality which is described in the first chapters of genesis the very creation of all things) makes it quite impossible for everything to be understood 'literally'; we don't even have words, for example, to describe 'literally' how something can come from nothing. How does God "speak"? - does He make a noise which resounds in an atmosphere that doesn't yet exist?” (Genesis Creation and Early Man, p69).

However we are still meant to believe it happened, even if we don't understand how.
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« Reply #122 on: April 13, 2006, 10:39:43 PM »

If you've given up discussion (and I note your lack of scholarship regarding the Church Fathers on this matter) then so be it.

Actually Montalban, I've tried to be very respectful, but you seem to have a close-minded view on things, unfortunately, which lead me to wonder if you are even close to the field of science.  In addition, I did show some interesting views on Holy Fathers, with St. Athanasius who I agree with and St. Basil who says wrong scientific things.  I've given websites, which has much more info than I offer, and all I do is repeat myself, and you repeat yourself.  Therefore, it's not lack of scholarship, but rather lack of understanding, and I'm sorry it has ended on this note.

God bless you.

Mina
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« Reply #123 on: April 13, 2006, 11:00:48 PM »

The Greek Liturgy of St. Basil states:

Quote
For having made man by taking dust from the earth, and having honored him with Your own image, 0 God, You placed him in a garden of delight, promising him eternal life and the enjoyment of everlasting blessings in the observance of Your commandments. But when he disobeyed You, the true God who had created him, and was led astray by the deception of the serpent becoming subject to death through his own transgressions, You, 0 God, in Your righteous judgment, expelled him from paradise into this world, returning him to the earth from which he was taken, yet providing for him the salvation of regeneration in Your Christ.

This is very similar to what St. Athanasius believed.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #124 on: April 14, 2006, 01:10:04 AM »

Actually Montalban, I've tried to be very respectful, but you seem to have a close-minded view on things, unfortunately, which lead me to wonder if you are even close to the field of science.
By this you mean because I've not had an epiphany and seen the errors of my argument and joined you in singing the praises of evolution.
What you're doing is moving towards ad hom territory from a feeling of incredulity. i.e. that surely I just don't 'understand' because of ignorance, because you've been so very patient in explaining everything up to this point.

To which I note I believe the Church Fathers REGARDLESS of science.

In addition, I did show some interesting views on Holy Fathers, with St. Athanasius who I agree with and St. Basil who says wrong scientific things.  I've given websites, which has much more info than I offer, and all I do is repeat myself, and you repeat yourself.  Therefore, it's not lack of scholarship, but rather lack of understanding, and I'm sorry it has ended on this note.

God bless you.

Mina
You've given some web-sites that I've addressed already; they make general comments about evolution, how one can believe in it if it doesn't minimise God, and it does; the heart of evolution does this. The heart of evolution as it is presented (see Academy of Sciences) is materialistic.

I'm sorry if the very fact I don't agree with you appears to you as pig-headed stubbornness, or ignorance, or if you think it's because I'm a science illiterate
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« Reply #125 on: April 14, 2006, 01:11:25 AM »

The Greek Liturgy of St. Basil states:
For having made man by taking dust from the earth, and having honored him with Your own image, 0 God, You placed him in a garden of delight, promising him eternal life and the enjoyment of everlasting blessings in the observance of Your commandments. But when he disobeyed You, the true God who had created him, and was led astray by the deception of the serpent becoming subject to death through his own transgressions, You, 0 God, in Your righteous judgment, expelled him from paradise into this world, returning him to the earth from which he was taken, yet providing for him the salvation of regeneration in Your Christ.
This is very similar to what St. Athanasius believed.

God bless.

Mina
Indeed I accept that God made man. Evolution (or rather abiogensis) says otherwise.
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« Reply #126 on: April 14, 2006, 01:21:04 AM »

George Cronk's message states "the primary purpose of Genesis 1-11 is not to insist upon the truth of any particular scientific description of the origins and development of the world, but to proclaim that God is the Creator of the world and of mankind, that the human race has sinfully separated itself from the presence of God and that to be saved from the powers of sin and death man must return to God in a spirit of love and obedience."

http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/bible_cronk_1.htm#_Toc526159496

Again I note that this is as Fr. Seraphim Rose pointed out. We don't treat Genesis in the overly-literal fashion that Protestants might, but we must accept it that it did happen. And God creation of mankind is at odds with evolution which doesn't recognise God at all.

Where your web-site goes into error is that it calls suspect whether real people existed such as Adam. It quotes no Church Fathers to suspect such. We've already gone over your lack of evidence on this and Matthew777 was good enough to list a number of quotes on this issue.

Adam, God's first-formed man, transgressed: could He[God] not at once have brought death upon him? But see what the Lord does, in His great love towards man. He casts him out from Paradise, for because of sin he was unworthy to live there; but He puts him to dwell over against Paradise: that seeing whence he had fallen, and from what and into what a state he was brought down, he might afterwards be saved by repentance. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 2 no. 7)

Adam, before the fall ... participated in ... divine illumination and resplendence, and because he was truly clothed in a garment of glory he was not naked, nor was he unseemly by reason of his nakedness. He was far more richly adorned than those who now deck themselves out with diadems of gold and brightly sparkling jewels.

St. Paul calls this divine illumination and grace our celestial dwelling when he says, 'For this we sigh, yearning to be clothed in our heavenly habitation, since clothed we will not be found naked' (2 Cor. 5:2). St. Gregory Palamas (Topics of Natural and Theological Science no. 67, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 377)

But Adam did not wish to say, "I sinned," but said rather the contrary of this and placed the blame for the transgression upon God Who created everything "very good," saying to Him, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate." And after him she also placed the blame upon the serpent, and they did not wish at all to repent and, falling down before the Lord God, beg forgiveness of Him. For this, God banished them from Paradise, as from a royal palace, to live in this world as exiles. At that time also He decreed that a flaming sword should be turned and should guard the entrance into Paradise. And God did not curse Paradise, since it was the image of the future unending life of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. If it were not for this reason, it would have been fitting to curse it most of all, since within it was performed the transgression of Adam. But God did not do this, but cursed only the whole rest of the earth, which also was corrupt and brought forth everything by itself; and this was in order that Adam might not have any longer a life free from exhausting labors and sweat... Abba Isidore of Skete

God did not bless Adam in Paradise, because that place and all that is in it is blessed. But God blessed him on the earth first so that by that blessing without which His grace blessed beforehand, the curse of the earth, which was about to be cursed by His justice, might thus be diminished. But even though the blessing was one of promise, in that it was fulfilled after his expulsion from Paradise, His grace, nevertheless, was of actuality, for on that same day, God set Adam in the garden to dwell, clothed him with glory and made him ruler of all the trees of Paradise. St. Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Genesis
all cited at http://www.orthodox.net/gleanings/adam.html

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« Reply #127 on: April 14, 2006, 03:20:36 PM »

If you say that the websites have nothing from the Holy Fathers, then that proves that you really haven't read the websites I've given you.

I've told you and Matthew many times that evolution does not disapprove of God's role in not only the creation of man, but all of creation.  If we cannnot get through this statement, then having a debate with you is pointless and a waste of time.

God bless you.

Mina

PS Starting tomorrow, to get ready for Holy Pascha, I will stop posting.
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« Reply #128 on: April 14, 2006, 05:24:42 PM »

Science is not inherently atheistic, but far too many scientists insist that the universe is eternal or self-existent. What began as distancing God from living things has banished Him from the universe entirely.
As for a book on both the science, philosophy and theology behind Darwinian theory, I'd recommend Darwin's God by biophysicist Cornelius Hunter. If you are a scientist, I'd assume you'd find this book particularly interesting. It may not change your mind, and may not be entirely correct, but at least it could peak your interest. I do not plan on entering an Orthodox seminary any time soon, I wouldn't join the priesthood until married, if that is what God calls me to do. I'd assume that there are many priests and seminarians who continue adhering to the patristic tradition on Creation. Sure, that fathers may not have agreed on everything but that is why tradition is about what they did agree upon.

Instead of arguing over this issue over and over again, I will repost this entry from my blog:

Here's the deal, there is a difference between what I personally believe and what I regard as scientific. The very methodology of science prevents it from theorizing on a supernatural origin of the species. Biological evolution is the best natural explanation for what we observe in the natural world. Science is not, however, infallible. Even if all species share a common ancestor through descent with modification, that does not prove that all arose without the Providence of God. Orthodox Christianity has no problem with scientific fact, when it is able to show itself as factual, but it does not accept materialism in any form. Evolution itself is not inherently materialistic, it is not the majority of scientists who have intended it to be that way.

When it comes to what I personally think, irregardless of the opinions of scientists and theologians but my own personal opinion, I would subscribe to some form of the "day-age" theory. Genesis is rather clear that man was created from the dust of the ground and that Eve is the mother of all humanity. Sure, this may be entirely allegorical but then why make such specific of claims in an allegorical account? Then again, it is not clear that the "days" of Genesis refer to six 24-hour periods of time. Why would there be 24-hour days before the Creation of the sun?

From how I understand it, day-age theory is the balance between what we read in Scripture and what we observe in the material world. Is it scientific? Probably not. Is it an infallible and unquestionable explanation? Definitely not. But it is something I would feel more comfortable to believe than either young earth creationism or "materialistic evolution." Either way, regardless of His mechanism, it is important to recognize that God is the loving Creator of all.

Look out your own window. Just by the stars, we can see that the universe is billions of years old. By insisting on a young universe, a young earth, we lie to ourselves and begin to hate the very Creation of God for not agreeing with our narrow worldview. God is not bound by our perception of time and it takes a mature faith to realize that.

"A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest form of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying to others and to yourself." Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Peace.
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« Reply #129 on: April 14, 2006, 08:34:18 PM »

If you say that the websites have nothing from the Holy Fathers, then that proves that you really haven't read the websites I've given you.
Perhaps I phrased this poorly. Your web sites don't directly quote Holy Fathers. Matthew777 and myself have laboured to post a large number of citations from Holy Fathers. Plus, I also note that you keep on with 'evolution' as if everyone shares the same theory as you. I've been at pains to point out 'the' theory of evolution as is taught in schools, universities etc, under the shadows of the National Academy of Sciences and other such networks teach evolution that is inherrently materialistic in its outlook.

If you can work out for yourself your own version of evolution that doesn't diminish God, that's all fine and dandy, but it's not THE theory of evolution. It's A theory of evolution

I recognise that there are many other attempts to come up with theories involving God (or a 'designer) and evolution, such as ID-theory. However you must know that such theories are derrided by others as not being 'the' theory of evolution.

We are therefore for a large part talking past each other whilst you defend your version of evolution as THE theory of evolution.
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« Reply #130 on: April 14, 2006, 10:24:17 PM »

I having nothing against evolution as a scientific theory, I just don't find it helpful to my faith in Christ.

Peace.
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« Reply #131 on: April 14, 2006, 10:27:31 PM »

I having nothing against evolution as a scientific theory, I just don't find it helpful to my faith in Christ.

Peace.
I agree. However I would go further to say that those materialists who want to deny the super-natural have hijacked evolution so that they've made their own philosophy of science to be synonomous with science.
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« Reply #132 on: April 14, 2006, 11:34:38 PM »

I don't see this as a flaw in Fr. Seraphim's scholarship, since he never really intended to provide a purely scholarly interpretation of the Fathers.  He sought to deliberately profess the Russian dogmatic tradition that he was taught, believing this to be the whole of the Orthodox Patristic Tradition.  Judging from what the Hieromonk Damascene wrote about him, Fr. Seraphim actually sought to enter fully into the Russian tradition by accepting without question what the "living links" to this tradition taught him.  Therefore, I don't see any fault in him being thoroughly indoctrinated in its tendency to ignore contradictory threads of the larger Tradition.  He probably wasn't even aware of this deficiency in the Russian dogmatic tradition.

Come on, Peter.  In all fairness, you can't sit on the fence here.  Either you think Fr.  Seraphim's scholarship is shoddy or good.  If you truly believe that it is not thorough at all, then you would have to place it on the "shoddy" side of the ledger.
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« Reply #133 on: April 15, 2006, 12:03:09 AM »

Fr. Seraphim rocked. I've got several of his books, including Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future which suggests 'aliens' are demons.
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« Reply #134 on: April 15, 2006, 12:04:21 AM »

Quote
Science is not inherently atheistic, but far too many scientists insist that the universe is eternal or self-existent.

If there was a time when the universe did not exist, then scientists make the universe itself God.  If you push atheists' stubborn minds to the edge, I think it makes sense that the universe could not have existed on its own, and that to call it eternal would be pushing it, while they have no way to prove it.  It's easier for one to be agnostic than to be an atheist.

Anyway, I believe that the Holy Fathers were not infallible in scientific matters, but definately in spiritual authority I submit.

Since both of you find nothing wrong with theistic evolution for others, but only for yourselves, then there is no point in debating this.

However, I have to make a comment on your comments on "materialism."  As I explained before, and perhaps the National Academy of Sciences would agree, neither theist nor atheist can make comments on God when teaching science (except if it was a philosophy class).  If I was to teach physics, I would not force my students to tell them, "God who made gravity, which pushes us down," I would simply say "there is a force called gravity that pushes us down" (at the same time, an atheist has no right to say "gravity pushes us down, not God.")

Thus, in science classes, what teachers are obliged to teach is nothing more than what we observe with our five senses.  I would teach anatomy without saying something like "see how God binds the tissues together in one organ," and I am not allowed to say "see how tissues are bound together in one organ without the use of a god," but I am obliged to say "see how tissues are bound together in one organ."

Thus, if one thinks science is "materialistic" in that sense, then yes, because the world around us and what we study is materialistic.  Personally, however, in my own personal contemplation, I would sit and be amazed at the diversities of laws God gave to create this world.  However, if one assumes science is so materialistic that it tries to exclude God at all costs, then one becomes ignorant to only stereotype science to a bunch of atheists who like to add philosophy or ideology to science.  It's like stereotyping a whole white nation as "white trash" because of a few vociferous people.

One of the things I disagree completely with the Holy Fathers is that death entered into Earth to all creation after man's fall.  But we have fossil evidence of a whole age of animals who died 56 million years ago.  Already, science itself, CLEAR scientific observation, an observation that is as clear as the nose of your face, disproved many of the Fathers' scientific beliefs (unless you have proof that exponential decay tests are faulty).  And like you said, we cannot live a lie.  Thus, if something the Fathers said in science is wrong, and if we believe that science does indeed change, then the Fathers' science is no more infallible than present science, and thus I live what is truthful than a lie.

If my own Father of Confession was St. Basil, and I found him irrefutable proof that the sun doesn't revolve around the Earth, I would have no problem disagreeing with St. Basil's geocentric beliefs.

Therefore, personally, believing in Young Earth and Animal deaths after Adam's fall would also to me living a lie, and out of the question.  That just takes me two steps closer to evolution.

God bless.

Mina

Have a blessed Pascha.
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« Reply #135 on: April 15, 2006, 12:48:20 AM »

Come on, Peter.  In all fairness, you can't sit on the fence here.  Either you think Fr.  Seraphim's scholarship is shoddy or good.  If you truly believe that it is not thorough at all, then you would have to place it on the "shoddy" side of the ledger.

I guess I'm trying to cover for what I perceive to be the deficiencies in Fr. Seraphim's scholarship.  I respect him as a great proponent of the Russian dogmatic tradition; I just don't respect very highly the scholarship of this dogmatic tradition that he represents.
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« Reply #136 on: April 15, 2006, 01:05:06 AM »

Anyway, I believe that the Holy Fathers were not infallible in scientific matters, but definately in spiritual authority I submit.

Creation itself is not a scientific concept but a spiritual one whose truth lies above and beyond the realm of science. That is why I'd rather trust patristic tradition the best I can than Western thought.

Since both of you find nothing wrong with theistic evolution for others, but only for yourselves, then there is no point in debating this.

Theistic evolution is the addition of theism to a scientific theory whose evidence isn't compelling enough on its own. It's not evil nor something that I'd have antagonism toward but it doesn't strike me as either good science or good theology.

Thus, in science classes, what teachers are obliged to teach is nothing more than what we observe with our five senses.

Which is exactly why evidences for evolution which aren't really evidences at all should not be presented. Oscillations in finch beak size and the shades of peppered moths do not substantiate the greater theory of evolution, that living things are capable of such grandscale transitions as fish to amphibian, amphibian to reptile, reptile to bird, etc. While I would not favor the teaching of "Intelligent Design" or any other form of creationism in the classroom, I wouldn't mind allowing the disclaimer that certain schools have added to biology textbooks.

Therefore, personally, believing in Young Earth and Animal deaths after Adam's fall would also to me living a lie, and out of the question.  That just takes me two steps closer to evolution.

Have you ever considered what some would term "old earth creationism" or "day-age theory"?
I also wish you a blessed Pascha. I still recommend that you check out Darwin's God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil. There are good parts, there are bad parts, but at least it will give you something to think about.

www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1587430533?v=glance

Peace.
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« Reply #137 on: April 15, 2006, 02:28:59 AM »

I guess I'm trying to cover for what I perceive to be the deficiencies in Fr. Seraphim's scholarship.  I respect him as a great proponent of the Russian dogmatic tradition; I just don't respect very highly the scholarship of this dogmatic tradition that he represents.
What specifically do you have a problem with?
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« Reply #138 on: April 15, 2006, 02:30:44 AM »

If there was a time when the universe did not exist, then scientists make the universe itself God.  If you push atheists' stubborn minds to the edge, I think it makes sense that the universe could not have existed on its own, and that to call it eternal would be pushing it, while they have no way to prove it.  It's easier for one to be agnostic than to be an atheist.

Anyway, I believe that the Holy Fathers were not infallible in scientific matters, but definately in spiritual authority I submit.
And they said that God created man. Evolution says otherwise.
Since both of you find nothing wrong with theistic evolution for others, but only for yourselves, then there is no point in debating this.
I thought you'd already given up debating this. But no per se evolution as you believe it, it is fine. However I note again what you believe and what is the theory of evolution are different.
However, I have to make a comment on your comments on "materialism."  As I explained before, and perhaps the National Academy of Sciences would agree, neither theist nor atheist can make comments on God when teaching science (except if it was a philosophy class).  If I was to teach physics, I would not force my students to tell them, "God who made gravity, which pushes us down," I would simply say "there is a force called gravity that pushes us down" (at the same time, an atheist has no right to say "gravity pushes us down, not God.")
Already gone over this too with regard how they don't care if you believe in God, so long as you don't in fields they've already attributed to materialism. And no Church Father makes comments about gravity; as far as I'm aware. They do about creation. Evolution (as it is understood by others than yourself) denies Gods creation.
Thus, in science classes, what teachers are obliged to teach is nothing more than what we observe with our five senses.
Science is not just about what we can see with our five senses we also speculate; for instance there's a field in science called exobiology.
Thus, if one thinks science is "materialistic" in that sense, then yes, because the world around us and what we study is materialistic.
There are some sciences that delve in non-materialistic ways, such as Pure Maths.
Personally, however, in my own personal contemplation, I would sit and be amazed at the diversities of laws God gave to create this world.  However, if one assumes science is so materialistic that it tries to exclude God at all costs, then one becomes ignorant to only stereotype science to a bunch of atheists who like to add philosophy or ideology to science.  It's like stereotyping a whole white nation as "white trash" because of a few vociferous people.

One of the things I disagree completely with the Holy Fathers is that death entered into Earth to all creation after man's fall.
Ah, pride.
But we have fossil evidence of a whole age of animals who died 56 million years ago.  Already, science itself, CLEAR scientific observation, an observation that is as clear as the nose of your face, disproved many of the Fathers' scientific beliefs (unless you have proof that exponential decay tests are faulty).  And like you said, we cannot live a lie.  Thus, if something the Fathers said in science is wrong, and if we believe that science does indeed change, then the Fathers' science is no more infallible than present science, and thus I live what is truthful than a lie.
Ah, here I finally understand. You believe the compelling evidence from science as opposed to the compelling evidence from the Church Fathers. You belive a form of understanding that is continually in flux, over the never-changing truth of the Church.

If my own Father of Confession was St. Basil, and I found him irrefutable proof that the sun doesn't revolve around the Earth, I would have no problem disagreeing with St. Basil's geocentric beliefs.
If all the Fathers taught it and the church had always understood it to be so, I'd believe the Fathers.
Therefore, personally, believing in Young Earth and Animal deaths after Adam's fall would also to me living a lie, and out of the question.  That just takes me two steps closer to evolution.
To me, such a stance is to have chosen man over God, in the same way Thomas doubted.

Some thoughts on epistemology of science...
Gender bias can be the cause of error, or of not immediately recognising truths. 1

 

What is chosen as science, is based on engendered notions...

“Presently, curriculum designers around the world may differ in their views about topics to include in the science curriculum. However, they almost all would include the nature of science in science curriculum (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1989; Hazen & Trefil, 1991; Lederman, 1992; and Rutherford & Ahlgren, 1990).”2

 

Feminist science claims to be more pluralistic, and more aware of gendered a priori notions 3. Such gender bias is part of the very language used by scientists, it is inescapable. “Narrative conventions form part of scientific description. These are forms of words that are typical of a particular thought process. Haraway (1989) uses the tools of literary theory to demonstrate how hypotheses in primatology and evolutionary theory depend on narrative conventions (for example, casting the transition from ape to hominid as a heroic drama) and tropes (for example, casting primates as mirrors of human nature).”4 This means that in the male-dominated western idea of evolution, male-dominated forms of description are used (conventions) to convey evolutionary theory. What you may believe to be valueless; science, is in fact riddled with values.

 

Back to Darwin. Many of his ilk believed that women were naturally meek, mild and home-orientated. They attributed 'essentialist' ideas to women, and to evolution the cause of women being as they 'are'. And of course, they found the science to prove these gendered biased notions.

 

Further errors may present themselves with the advent of 'big science'; “ the organization of large numbers of scientists bringing different bodies of expertise to a common research project.”5

Hardwig in 1985 published research on the 'big science' project. He suggests that because a project becomes so large, no one scientist is an expert on all matters of the project; therefore there is a reliance upon the expertise of others in the project. “This leads Hardwig to ask two questions, one about the evidential status of testimony, and one about the nature of the knowing subject in these cases. With respect to the latter, Hardwig says that either the group as a whole, but no single member, knows or it is possible to know vicariously. Neither of these is palatable to him. Talking about the group or the community knowing smacks of superorganisms and transcendent entities and Hardwig shrinks from that solution. Vicarious knowledge, knowing without oneself possessing the evidence for the truth of what one knows, requires, according to Hardwig, too much of a departure from our ordinary concepts of knowledge.” 6

A knowledge of these concepts is essential before blind faith is placed in evolutionary theory. One needs to know the men* behind the theory and an understanding as to what drives them. Many scientists themselves are unaware of their own a priori biases when dealing with evidences, because science itself is supposed to be about objectivity, and proofs, not on faith. The inquiry of scientists is said to be 'value-laden' that is, full of the values that the scientists bring with them to any experiment. Much of evolutionary theory is couched in the values of materialism.**

There is also a need to undermine traditional Christian values. One of the ways of doing this is to ridicule Christianity, to undermine its position as a source of authority. Usually, without consciously realising this, the mind of evolutionary scientists switches to stock-standard forms of attack...

“In other words, it is the same old Scopes Trial stereotypes, which are considered great fun and an endless source of amusement amongst the “intelligent folks,” but which accomplish little towards the end of advancing intelligent, fruitful discussion on the vexed scientific/philosophical issue of origins. The Galileo incident is used in exactly the same sense. What Scopes is to fundamentalist Protestantism, Galileo is to Catholicism (in the eyes of those who love to cite -- and distort for their own ends -- these incidents).” 7

Without insight into their own thought processes, evolutionary scientists react with these automatic arguments.

 

Evolutionary theory has come to replace religion for many, as it can be applied to all manner of social behaviours; politics, marriage/sex attraction, economics etc.

 

Evolutionary science goes unchecked, and uncriticised as it is accepted by a plethora of well-meaning people who simply (want to?) believe that the science as presented is rational, objective, and valueless.

 

* I said men, because still most western scientists are men

** Materialism is a philosophy. The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.

The theory or attitude that physical well-being and worldly possessions constitute the greatest good and highest value in life.

A great or excessive regard for worldly concerns. 8

 

References

1 “In all of these cases, gender bias is represented as a cause of error, or at least delay in recognizing the truth.”

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-epistemology/

 2 http://www.balfakih.net/epistemology.htm

3 . “Most advocates of feminist science argue, in this vein, that scientific inquiries informed by feminist values are based on legitimate, generative limiting biases. They argue not that feminist sciences should exclude other ways of doing science, but that feminist sciences should be included as among the legitimate choices available to investigators.”

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-epistemology/

 4 Ibid

5 http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-knowledge-social/

6 Ibid

7 http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ355.HTM

8 http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=materialism



Thus in summary the truths of science are skewered by the actors own biases. You choose to ignore these by putting your faith in the truth of science. If you'd have been born in a Marxist country you'd have been taught a Marxist slant on science. In the west you're taught a male-dominated, capitalistic orientated science.
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« Reply #139 on: April 15, 2006, 07:41:09 PM »

I don't want to be someone who follows tradition merely for tradition's sake but I can't help but point out that Darwinian evolution is a thoroughly Western idea. If any of the fathers had taught anything resembling the theory, please show me.

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« Reply #140 on: April 16, 2006, 04:04:48 AM »

I don't want to be someone who follows tradition merely for tradition's sake but I can't help but point out that Darwinian evolution is a thoroughly Western idea. If any of the fathers had taught anything resembling the theory, please show me.

Peace.
If we're talking about traditions as meaning dogma, then I will follow it for its own sake. But in general I agree with you
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« Reply #141 on: April 24, 2006, 12:45:07 PM »

Christ is risen!

Forgive me for carrying this debate on longer, but just to answer a few remarks.

Quote
And they said that God created man. Evolution says otherwise.

No it doesn't say otherwise.  Prove it.

Quote
I thought you'd already given up debating this. But no per se evolution as you believe it, it is fine. However I note again what you believe and what is the theory of evolution are different.

Prove it again.  My study and an atheist's study in evolution is no way different.  The difference is what we add to it.

Quote
Already gone over this too with regard how they don't care if you believe in God, so long as you don't in fields they've already attributed to materialism.

And I refuted it what you already "gone over."  Show me where evolutionists say that it is scientifically proven God doesn't exist.

Quote
And no Church Father makes comments about gravity; as far as I'm aware. They do about creation. Evolution (as it is understood by others than yourself) denies Gods creation.

I was giving an example in which you like to dismiss as something the Holy Fathers did not talk about.  Like I've told you before St. Basil believed in a geocentric view.  Does that mean he was right?

If you want to debate something on a scientific basis, you use scientific research and interpret it.  The Bible and the Holy Fathers help us in spirituality, not science.

Quote
Science is not just about what we can see with our five senses we also speculate; for instance there's a field in science called exobiology.

This is only speculation, a hypothesis that they have yet to push to make it into a theory.  Thus, this is not an area that's scientific truth.  And yes, exobiology does come from our five senses.  It stems from the fact that one can manipulate or clone genomes to make living things.

Quote
There are some sciences that delve in non-materialistic ways, such as Pure Maths.

Math has its own special "materialism" if you will.  Both atheists and theists use it at their pleasure for trying to disbelieve or believe in God.  Not to mention, math is quite inseparable from the material world when one wants to use it on data or how to describe the world around us in a mathematical way, and in no way helps or not help God's existence, like evolution.

Quote
Ah, pride.

Tell me.  So you believe that physical death did not exist before man's existence, let alone his fall?  I think Matthew would agree with me on this one, that physical death did exist, not on account of pride, but on account of clear irrefutable evidence.

And do you think it's prideful to disagree with St. Basil's geocentric view?

You accuse me of being rude to you, but I find this response not only unintellectual, but also quite rude on your behalf.

Quote
Ah, here I finally understand. You believe the compelling evidence from science as opposed to the compelling evidence from the Church Fathers. You belive a form of understanding that is continually in flux, over the never-changing truth of the Church.

As I've explained, science is never opposed to the truth of the Church.  The Church contains within her spiritual truth, which never changes.  Science, our observations of the world, contains physical truth, when one is dealing with scientific facts.  It is a scientific fact that animals died millions of years ago, let alone that it is a scientific fact that the earth existed millions of years ago.

Quote
If all the Fathers taught it and the church had always understood it to be so, I'd believe the Fathers.

Well, you go right ahead.  Meanwhile, I will agree with some fathers that wrote disagreements towards one another.

Quote
To me, such a stance is to have chosen man over God, in the same way Thomas doubted.

I can't help but notice however that Christ used physical proof to help St. Thomas' disbelief, unless you're telling me what Christ did was wrong.

At the same time, it's not uncommon for fathers to disagree even with saints:

Quote
St. Basil the Great speaks thus of Holy Martyr Dionysius of Alexandria (commemorated on Oct. 5, old calendar): "I am not delighted by all that is written by this man; and there are some things that I do not approve of in the least. For, perhaps, it was he… who first spread the seeds … of anomeic impiety. I think that the reason for this is not misdirection of the soul, but the burning desire to oppose Savelius."

from http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/creation_man_a_mileant_e.htm#_Toc67449479

Finally, a word from the late Bishop Alexander Mileant on interpreting scientific data:

Quote
Religious people treat the findings of fossilized remains of man’s "intermediate links" in different ways. Here are some opinions:

  • Scholars have misinterpreted the fossilized remains that have been found: there were no humanlike animals: there were just different ape species that have nothing in common with man.
  • The remains found of humanlike beings are not really that old: some of them belong to different primate species, and some might be ancient people, but they are people who suffered from various physical defects and therefore look like intermediate links between man and ape.
  • In prehistoric times there might have been humanlike beings, but they all died without leaving offspring. The body of Adam, from whom we are all descended, was created directly by God.
  • God used the creative powers of nature to gradually perfect the human body. Ancient humanlike beings were highly developed animals that did not yet have the human soul. Adam was the creature that received a soul from the Creator and became the man from whom we are all descended.

Which of the above-mentioned speculations is most feasible?

We categorically deny the banal materialistic point of view that man in the aggregate of his characteristics "came from monkeys," since the soul, which is the highest aspect of the human being, could not have grown out of any kind of evolutionary processes. The next chapter is devoted to this theme.

The first opinion, namely that there are no intermediate links, is increasingly difficult to defend because it forces one to deny the achievements of several branches of science — geology, paleontology, comparative anatomy, genetics, embryology… which confirm and supplement one another. Besides which, there is no united "plot" among scholars to undermine religion or the Bible’s authority. There are many sincerely religious people among them who acknowledge God our Creator. As they compete with each other to refine facts and develop various theories, scholars gradually eliminate fallacious interpretations and inaccuracies and are always prepared to expose any attempts to forge or manipulate the facts. That is the wonderful thing about science — it is self-correcting.

It is difficult to doubt that the fossilized remains really are ancient, because there are many independent methods of establishing the age of geological eras that generally check and qualify each other. It has been established that the branch of creatures that began to display the anatomical features of later man (for example, the ability to walk on two feet, a change in the form of the skull and teeth) began about five million years ago. Over time, the descendents of these creatures began to obtain more obvious features of modern man. With the large quantity of fossilized remains that have been found, the likelihood that they were all crippled or deformed is extremely low.

The speculation that all humanlike creatures became extinct without leaving descendents presents another predicament: if everything was made by our Creator, then why did He make anthropoids if they were all going to die out later anyway? Or was the Lord experimenting with different variations on man, trying to determine which one would be best?

The view that God set the creative powers of nature forth to form man does not, in our view, decrease His Wisdom or His Creative omnipotence. For the laws of nature had to work together with our Creator to accomplish an ultimate goal: the creation of man.

"Do you really accept the evolutionists’ side, which asserts that man is descended from the ape?" the reader may ask.

No! Man did not come from the ape; his body was made from the dust of the ground, and he got his soul from God, as the Bible teaches.

But the formation of his body should not necessarily be understood as an instantaneous act. If God wanted to use His laws to perfect man’s body, then it was His holy will to do so. It might be that a more ancient ancestor existed from which both modern primates and anthropoids descended. Both are from "the earth," but our Maker showed special care in the formation of man’s body, which is why the Psalmist is right when he says, "Thy hands have made me and fashioned me" (Ps. 119:73).

We can understand the feeling of disappointment that a believer might feel upon learning that he is "a relative of the ape." It would naturally be more pleasant if the Lord had created us independently of the lower creatures. But who dares tell the Creator what He should do? "Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? (Is. 45:9).

 We ought to see the Creator’s great wisdom in His gradual creation of man’s body with nature’s participation: He put us on Earth not as foreigners, creatures alien to it, like extraterrestrials, but marvelously adapted us to the sharply-changing conditions of the surrounding environment. Our instincts, immunity, senses and physical qualities harmonize ideally with a world filled with dangers and surprises. Like the children of wealthy parents, we inherited everything that nature had perfected for millions of years. What’s more, since we have something in common with the lower creatures, we are able to better understand and pity our "subjects," contributing to their good. Here there is also cause for humility: "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," the Lord reminded Adam when the latter wanted to compare himself to God in presumptuous impertinence (Gen. 3:19).

  • Note: In light of the interpretation offered here that Adam was made in the distant past, when humanlike beings like the Neanderthals still existed, Cain’s fear for his life is understandable. As we know from the book of Genesis, when Cain killed his younger brother Abel, the Lord ordered him to leave the company of his parents and roam the earth. In fear of being killed, Cain tells God, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, Thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from Thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me" (Gen. 4:13-14). Here it is clear that, after he became a murderer, he feared suffering the same fate as his brother. But one wonders who could have killed Cain if there were no other people who lived close by besides his immediate siblings. It is natural to assume that Cain knew from his father’s stories about the existence of other "people" — strong and skilled hunters like the Neanderthals.
[/size]

The speculation mentioned here that man’s body was formed gradually by the Creator together with the powers of nature, we do not call a proven fact, but rather propose as a valid possibility that, in our opinion, harmonizes the story of the Bible with modern scientific discoveries better than any other. It goes without saying that the reader is allowed to interpret Biblical and scientific data in his own way — on the condition that his opinion does not contradict the dogmas of our faith, specifically:

  • That God, not blind chance, created man,
  • That man has a godly and immortal soul, which he received from the Creator,
  • That all modern people come from one ancestor — the Biblical Adam, and inherited not only a soul from him, but his original sin, also.

If one adheres to these truths, then the details about how the world and life on it evolved, or whether man’s body was formed instantly or gradually, are of secondary importance and do not undermine faith in any way.

Professor V. V. Bolotov wrote about the permissibility of private opinion on issues not defined by the Church’s dogma: "No one has the power to forbid me to hold to a teologumen expressed by at least one of the Church’s fathers as my private theological view, as long as it is not proven that a competent church trial has already pronounced the view sinful. But on the other hand, no one has the power to demand of me that I, as my private theological view, follow a teologumen expressed by several fathers of the Church, if that teologumen does not soon captivate me with its sublime theological beauty, and does not conquer me with its argumentation’s majestic strength, which must be accessible to my comprehension."

 Reconciling scientific data with religious conviction is far from an abstract exercise — particularly for parents who are believers. In these times, youths sooner or later become acquainted with various evolutionary theories and they begin to question how to reconcile these theories with what they have been taught in classes about the Law of God.

Here it is counterproductive for parents to simply dismiss the discoveries of modern science and assert without confirmation that they were all made up. Both non-religious evolutionists and creationist extremists want to thrust their conceptions on the growing generation, passing them off as facts — the former, by saying that everything originated in and of itself, and the Bible is a collection of myths; and the latter by insisting on a literal interpretation of every word of the Bible and teaching that everything was created instantly in its final form. Youths will feel like they are caught in a cross-fire that forces them to choose between the Bible and science.

Meanwhile, both extremes — evolutionism and creationism — rely not so much upon objective data (of science or the Bible) as upon their own specific suppositions. The evolutionist worldview suffers from a lack of spirituality, shortsightedness and haughty pretensions that in the end, science can explain everything exhaustively. It sometimes repels people with its anti-religious fanaticism. Creationism is notable for its narrow literalism. Not having any positive data in science, it limits itself mainly to a criticism of Darwinism. In spite of astronomy, geology, paleontology, atomic physics and other sciences, creationism insists that the earth is young and disputes obvious facts. However, as everyone knows, facts are "stubborn things."

As for detriment to faith, it is hard to say which of these extreme worldviews is more harmful: the first in that it eliminates our Creator, or the second, in that it creates an artificial conflict between Divine revelation and science.

Fortunately, there is in fact no fundamental conflict between religion and objective scientific data, and there is no need to choose between science and religion, because the two spheres of knowledge complement one another and discuss different sides of the same coin. God is the First Cause and author of all that exists — regardless of how He achieved His goals.

The beginning and the development of life on earth contain many mysteries that, we are convinced, science will never be able to solve exhaustively. And that is because only the final results of complex processes are revealed to us; no traces have been left in nature of precisely which "buttons were pushed" by our Maker or when He did so. In essence, our powers of cognition are not much better than those of "insects on an interplanetary ship."

God has honored me with being the witness of true miracles. Many times in my life I felt the Hand of God, which has led me, delivered me from hardship and given me more than I could dream of. As I look back, I see that all of my life has been woven of insignificant accidents that later turned out to have great consequences for me. But how do I "prove" to others that the merciful Lord has helped me during my life, and it was not coincidence?

We must say in conclusion that in principle no scientific hypothesis, including the theory of evolution in its different variations, threatens faith in God our Creator. Indeed, any theory, in order to be scientific, must remain within the bounds of cognizable and accessible experience. Everything that goes beyond the strict limits of physics falls into the realm of assumptions, metaphysics, and philosophy… But religion is mainly about the other, invisible world — about what is not subject to physical analysis, but is perceived through Divine revelation. The sphere of faith is accessible only to the soul that is able to communicate directly with God.

Therefore, one need not fear pure science. One must simply learn to discern facts from hypotheses. History knows many cases when representatives of both religion and science made mistakes. And the source of these problems has always been not facts, but their interpretation. Whenever a conflict arises between faith and knowledge, it is safest to take a wait-and-see position, believing that, in time, everything will fall into place and the truth will triumph.

Dear Matthew,

Quote
If any of the fathers had taught anything resembling the theory, please show me.

That's like asking if the Fathers taught that the islets of Langerhans secrete insulin to help regulate blood sugar, then I'll believe you.

However, I consider that when something is formed from the dust or from the earth, it seems to me to have an evolutionary ring to it.  Does it mean it was a direct formation from dust to man?  To me it doesn't.

And if one can find the Fathers say that physical death did not come into the world until Adam's fall, and that we find ourselves in disagreement with them, it is quite naive to ask if the Fathers taught evolution to affirm whether or not evolution is true.

God bless.

Xrictoc anecti!

Mina
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« Reply #142 on: April 24, 2006, 01:38:52 PM »

What specifically do you have a problem with?

Let me answer this question by referring you back to the post earlier in this thread where I state my analysis of the scholarship of the Russian dogmatic tradition.

Click HERE.
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« Reply #143 on: April 25, 2006, 12:30:21 AM »

Does it mean it was a direct formation from dust to man?  To me it doesn't.

Then you've neglected the teachings of patristic tradition. That does not, however, make you a bad person. I'd rather trust the church fathers on this matter than 19th century Western naturalism.  

Peace.
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« Reply #144 on: April 25, 2006, 12:38:33 AM »

Then you've neglected the teachings of patristic tradition. That does not, however, make you a bad person. I'd rather trust the church fathers on this matter than 19th century Western naturalism.  

Peace.

But wouldn't your rejection of pre-fall death also mean "rejection of patristic tradition"?
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« Reply #145 on: April 25, 2006, 04:45:20 AM »

Christ is risen!

Forgive me for carrying this debate on longer, but just to answer a few remarks.

No it doesn't say otherwise.  Prove it.
Evolution says man was created through wholly materialistic means. I thought you'd know that.
Prove it again.  My study and an atheist's study in evolution is no way different.  The difference is what we add to it.
I agree. That's the whole point you've missed. Evolution accounts for everything about man through wholly materialistic means. If you want to accept God is somewhere there in the process, that's fine and entirely up to you, excepting you've got to reduce God's role to one somewhere undefined, because the whole process of man's rising is already attributed by evolution through entirely explainable means (and by this I mean through scientific, materialistic, naturalistic, and entirely non-supernatural means).

That's the very heart of this matter which you've hit upon, without (so it seems) realising the very implications of what you've said. That is why technically evolutionists will 'allow' you to believe in God - just not in any process that they've already established (for themselves) that happened in wholly non-supernatural ways.

Let me try a different angle... where do you think God was involved in man's 'evolution'?
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« Reply #146 on: April 25, 2006, 04:47:32 AM »

Let me answer this question by referring you back to the post earlier in this thread where I state my analysis of the scholarship of the Russian dogmatic tradition.

Click HERE.
I think calling your opinion an analysis is too rich. All you did back then was offer your opinion Fr. Seraphim was wrong, based as it was on your opinion that he's wrong.
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« Reply #147 on: April 25, 2006, 07:12:09 AM »

Actually I'd like any one here who believes in evolution and God to cite any scientific work that allows for God, and where God acts in the chain of evolutionary events.

If some might think that this is a false test because no such paper would ever exist, then you've proved the point that evolution does not really allow for God - sure you can believe God is there 'somewhere' but not in any sense that is 'real' as far as science is concerned because we already have scientific explanations of the whole process of evolution.

Evolution therefore denies God any real presence.
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« Reply #148 on: April 25, 2006, 07:51:41 AM »

I'll try also another way of putting this...
Imagine for a moment, if you would that you drive a car. The textbooks tell you that the car runs my known causes. These can be tested scientifically. Science tells you that the car is made of particular stuff. It goes at a particular speed. It has a certain stopping power, etc. All these aspects science can know and are explained by materialistic causes.

But one day you are driving along and you feel God's presence; your car mysteriously breaks down just as a truck flies past you, missing you and thus your life is spared. The issue of you believing that God took some actions in the way you drove is up to you, but it will never enter into the textbooks on car mechanics because it lies outside the realm of car mechanics. The science behind the car excludes God from all aspects of your car, it excludes it to a point where it will say "You can believe what you want about God, but we know why the car works, etc.). In fact science will attempt to explain why the car broke down, even if it seems inexplicable to you; having been something it's never done, and of course when it did happen, it just happens to be highly advantageous.

If you continue to believe that God saved your life, that is a matter for your own faith. Science however has excluded God from the process.
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« Reply #149 on: April 25, 2006, 10:28:45 AM »

Dear Montalban,

Xrictoc anecti!

Quote
Let me try a different angle... where do you think God was involved in man's 'evolution'?

Well, tell me a science that you enjoyed learning.  Physics, chemistry, embryology?  If we take physics for example, we see the laws of physics, such as gravitation, torque, hydraulics, etc. all have some sort of force.  That is as much as science can go.  Or the wavelike properties of light, and how light acts in certain mediums, or the speed of light or the speed of sound in certain mediums.  These are all established laws and facts.  And that is all science can go.

I agree with you that this alone is materialistic, and that is where science should end.  If one believes solely in science, like the atheists, then there is an empty void, a vanity in science itself.  To believe solely in science is a philosophy, not a science.  Philosophy, which you can call the "science of the intellect" forces man's intellect to think deeply concerning things.  Atheists refuse to think deeply, therefore they are no different from animals in their vanity.  But one can ask the question, where did the laws of gravitation, torque, hydraulics, etc. come from?  Why does light have wavelike properties or why does light and sound behave differently and have different speeds in different mediums?  Why is light that fast in a vacuum?  Or how was protons, nuetrons, and electrons made for atoms?  Where did the Big Bang come from?

These questions scientists have no answer.  The best answer they can come up with is that "it just is."  And even if they can some up with an answer, one begs the question of where that answer comes from or why that answer is, and scientists, based solely on science will say "it just is."

But let's take a philosophical route.  Now, I'm saying it's okay for science textbooks to base themselves solely on materialism.  You may have issues with that, but I don't.  But suppose you want to add God into the picture, such as the car breakdown accident you referred.  Then that's where philosophy textbooks come in, where one can argue whether or not God is involved, where one can argue ethics and morality, where one can argue religion and theologies, and even intertwining science with religion.

Yes, you will not find any scientific work that says "God made it that way," but rather "it is just that way," and that's okay.  That's science's job, not to cross the line to make any philosophical or theological statements.  Like I said before science is neither atheistic or theistic, and that includes evolution.  You can prove that science is materialistic, but you cannot prove that scienctists disprove God scientifically, simply because that is philosophy's job, not science.

So, why do I feel fine in believing in evolution and God?  Just as one attributes the creation of the laws of the universe to God, and not something "just is," so is evolution.  The laws of evolution did not come  by chance or haphazardly like that, but it came because God created the world that way. Even in Genesis, it says "let the earth bring forth."  "He commanded and they were created." (Psalm 148:5)  That's how I connect the two.  I repeat, connected the two (theism and evolution, or any science for that matter) is NOT SCIENTIFIC, but philosophical.

God bless you.

Mina
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« Reply #150 on: April 25, 2006, 10:31:54 AM »

One thing that I must add is that we must thank God in all things, praising God in everything we do even as simply as Psalm 127 (or 126 LXX) says:

"Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it."

Something as simply as building the house can be credited to the builders which is materialistic, and that's analagous to science, but here, the Psalm teaches us all credit is due to God, and that's theology/philosophy.

That's how I feel about evolution as well.  Without God, it is vanity.  If you read my signature, it says "vain existence can never exist."

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #151 on: April 26, 2006, 12:19:10 AM »

But wouldn't your rejection of pre-fall death also mean "rejection of patristic tradition"?

As I've previously stated, plants and animals were dying for millions of years before the appearance of man. It is human death that began with the fall. Now, if you could name a church father who claims that Adam was descended from a previous creature, rather than created from the dust of the ground, please do so.

Peace.
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« Reply #152 on: April 26, 2006, 01:24:25 AM »

I don't know about that Matthew, but quite a few Fathers did believe that all of creation was suffering because of Adam's sin, until the coming of Christ, but now is in the process of (or at least capable of) being transfigured. If animal activity was not caused by the fall of man, but was the original intention of God in his divine plan (and foreknowledge), then one must ask how animals who kill their kids or mates could be considered "good". I mean, why would God make animals like that on purpose? especially if we are supposed to use nature as evidence that God exists, as Paul clearly said in Romans 1 and 2?
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« Reply #153 on: April 26, 2006, 01:31:32 AM »

If animal activity was not caused by the fall of man, but was the original intention of God in his divine plan (and foreknowledge), then one must ask how animals who kill their kids or mates could be considered "good".

No Death Before the Fall - A Young Earth Heresy
by Rich Deem

Most Young earth creationists claim that there was no death before the fall of mankind in the garden of Eden. The doctrine is primarily tied to two passages - Genesis 1:29-30 in the Old Testament and Romans 5:12 in the New Testament. Out of context, without the consideration of the remainder of the Bible, the verses seem to support the doctrine. Genesis 1:29-301 says that God created plants with seed and fruit and gave it to the animals for food. Romans 5:122 says that sin entered the world through Adam and death through sin...
http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/death.html

Peace.
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« Reply #154 on: April 26, 2006, 01:37:26 AM »

Nevermind, I'm tired
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« Reply #155 on: April 26, 2006, 07:53:13 AM »

Well, tell me a science that you enjoyed learning.  Physics, chemistry, embryology?
I take it you're after what I've read/studied on the subject, asking in an oblique fashion, that is.
I did some Pre-History at university. It wasn't 'science'. Our text book was Poirier, F E, “In Search of Ourselves: An Introduction to Physical Anthropology”. I still continue to read the odd work on the matter, most recently Wolpoff, M & Caspari, R, (1997) "Race and Human Evolution: A Fatal Attraction" and
Stringer, C., & McKie, R., (1996) "African Exodus: The Origins of Modern Humanity", (Henry Holt Books; New York). As well as a number of anti-materialist evolutionary books, including

"Refuting Evolution: A Handbook for Students, Parents, and Teachers Countering the Latest Arguments for Evolution" by Jonathan Sarfati, Ken Ham

"Genesis, Creation and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision" by Fr. Seraphim Rose

"Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing" William A. Dembski (Editor)

"Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution" by Michael J. Behe

"Evolution : A Theory In Crisis" by Michael Denton

"Nature's Destiny : How the Laws of Biology reveal Purpose in the Universe" by Michael Denton

"Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe (Proceedings of the Wethersfield Institute)" Michael J. Behe (Editor)

"Shattering the Myths of Darwinism" by Richard Milton

"The Design Revolution: Answering The Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design" by William A. Dembski

"The Privileged Planet : How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery" by Guillermo Gonzalez

"Darwin on Trial" by Johnson, P. E.

"Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds" by Johnson, P. E.

"Wedge of Truth" by Johnson, P. E.

Whether you think that this qualifies me to speak on 'science' and/or 'evolution' is up to you.

If we take physics for example, we see the laws of physics, such as gravitation, torque, hydraulics, etc. all have some sort of force.  That is as much as science can go.  Or the wavelike properties of light, and how light acts in certain mediums, or the speed of light or the speed of sound in certain mediums.  These are all established laws and facts.  And that is all science can go.
Indeed.
I agree with you that this alone is materialistic, and that is where science should end.  If one believes solely in science, like the atheists, then there is an empty void, a vanity in science itself.
If you mean 'scientism' then yes I agree. No where do I disagree that there must be more to the world than what science can account for.
To believe solely in science is a philosophy, not a science.  Philosophy, which you can call the "science of the intellect" forces man's intellect to think deeply concerning things.  Atheists refuse to think deeply, therefore they are no different from animals in their vanity.  But one can ask the question, where did the laws of gravitation, torque, hydraulics, etc. come from?  Why does light have wavelike properties or why does light and sound behave differently and have different speeds in different mediums?  Why is light that fast in a vacuum?  Or how was protons, neutrons, and electrons made for atoms?  Where did the Big Bang come from?

These questions scientists have no answer.  The best answer they can come up with is that "it just is."  And even if they can some up with an answer, one begs the question of where that answer comes from or why that answer is, and scientists, based solely on science will say "it just is."
So far I agree. Even though you've not answered my question directly.
But let's take a philosophical route.  Now, I'm saying it's okay for science textbooks to base themselves solely on materialism.  You may have issues with that, but I don't.  But suppose you want to add God into the picture, such as the car breakdown accident you referred.  Then that's where philosophy textbooks come in, where one can argue whether or not God is involved, where one can argue ethics and morality, where one can argue religion and theologies, and even intertwining science with religion.
I agree, but again (and forgive me if I now sound patronising), that is again the point by which I argue and which your don't seem to realise. The beliefs you have are IN ADDITION TO SCIENCE. They are perfectly valid from my own point of view, but not by how science is used. The atheists would argue that your beliefs are not part of science, and they are correct. They exclude your beliefs from science. And to a degree they are still correct, which is the point I make when I say that science excludes God. If you have any beliefs in God they are above and beyond that of science. Your beliefs in evolution are based in science, with the add-on of another set of beliefs outside of science. Some scientists (such as atheist apologists at Talkorigins.org) may 'grant' you the right to believe in what you want to believe above and beyond the realm of materialistic science, but the moment your beliefs intrude into science they would shout you down. And then we're back to dealing with evolution - it is a process they believe to be wholly materialistic. It is taught that way. To argue that it isn't is to be arguing about how you feel science should be taught, not how it is. The National Academy of Sciences don't want God being discussed in the science class.

I do believe that this is where you don't see the distinctions I'm making. I agree with your beliefs in God. I believe in God. I believe that God created man, however and I recognise that this is not an easy fit within the framework of evolution as it is preached by scientists. Your beliefs in science and God I applaud but you can't say that they are not exclusive of each other when science is taught without reference to God. Science has explained why man evolved. Where you fit God into this picture, you've yet to show me to prove that they are not exclusive of each other.

Evolution has no need for God. If you believe in God, that is, again I must say, a fine thing to do. But evolution (as it is taught) doesn't involved God. I'm also not arguing that the two can't be reconciled, but the forms of evolution that involve God (such as ID-theory) are shouted down by the majority as non-science for the very reason that it is a theory that involves God (and other arguments as well).

Indeed He is Risen!
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« Reply #156 on: April 26, 2006, 11:28:33 AM »

Dear Matthew,

Did not Fr. Seraphim Rose make the case that there were Holy Fathers that indeed believed in "no death before fall"?  And you call it a heresy?  Isn't that going a bit too far?  I don't call what you believe in heresy, because it only deals with science.  You have to give the possibility that even St. Paul may have believed in the same thing simply because there were a lot of Church fathers who did afterwards.

You avoided the question at hand, and instead went on to pick and choose what the Holy Fathers say that you agree with and what you don't agree with, such as no animal death before the Fall, and you go far to call that heresy.

Meanwhile, I can say, that although I cannot find Fathers that say we've descended from other animals, I can find fathers that say we have two natures, an animalistic nature and an angelic nature.  To me, it is sufficient to find this type of confession, along with the fact that both us and animals that share the same nature and the same dust (there were fathers that did not believe animals descended from one another, let alone humans descending from an animal), is enough for me to show that there is a glimpse of scientific belief that confirms this (not to mention, St. Augustine's belief in that we should not contradict scientific beliefs, but conform it to the Bible).

What I do believe is that we as humans received an added nature, a different grace than all other animals, although after the fall, we joined the animals in corruption and disease.  And although we may not have been created directly from dust, we sure are of dust.

Again, I tell you, animal death before the fall and an old earth is just two steps closer to evolution (not to mention early fossil evidence of homo sapiens date much more than 10,000 years ago).  You're simply pushing it to the edge to appease somewhat your personal conscience in what you learned in science with the Holy Fathers' scientific beliefs.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #157 on: April 26, 2006, 11:55:53 AM »

Dear Montalban,

Quote
Whether you think that this qualifies me to speak on 'science' and/or 'evolution' is up to you.

Most of these books, if not all, seem to be anti-evolution books.  This is not impressive to me.  This is only your choice of books so that you can further your own position.  Just by reading the titles, you are not showing qualification of what you know about evolution, but qualification of refuting evolution.

I know you are offended by the question that I keep on asking you, but believe me, I mean no offense.  Is there a science that you enjoyed learning, dating back to high school?  By answering this, maybe, just maybe, we can move the discussion to a good direction, rather than go in circles.

Quote
The atheists would argue that your beliefs are not part of science, and they are correct.

Not only atheists, but theists.  Atheists believe solely in science which leads them to be atheists.

Quote
The National Academy of Sciences don't want God being discussed in the science class.

Are you saying this is wrong?  At the same time, the National Academny of Sciences don't want "anti-God" to be discussed either.

Quote
Science has explained why man evolved. Where you fit God into this picture, you've yet to show me to prove that they are not exclusive of each other.

Science has NOT explained why man evolved, but only HOW.  The "why" is where science has no answer.  The "why" is where philosophy classes debate.  I've showed you countless times, my friend.

Quote
Evolution has no need for God.

You can't prove that, neither can you disprove that scientifically.  In fact, it is ILLEGAL for science to claim that.  This is where philosophy classes come in.

Quote
I'm also not arguing that the two can't be reconciled, but the forms of evolution that involve God (such as ID-theory) are shouted down by the majority as non-science for the very reason that it is a theory that involves God (and other arguments as well).

Of course it's non-science.  It's philosophical to believe in ID-theory, but not scientific.  At the same time, atheists are equally shot down for trying to teach anti-God in science classes, because this also is non-science, but again, philosophical.

God bless.  Christ is risen!

Mina
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« Reply #158 on: April 26, 2006, 02:00:09 PM »

A quick comment on the standards of science, if you're proposing an hypothesis that it is impossible to prove or disprove (e.g. God exists, God guided evolution, God created the world to look evolved, which he can do because he's omnipotent...or the opposite, that God does not exist, God was not involved in evolution, etc.) then it's NOT science and has no place in a science classroom, a philosophy classroom yes, but not a science class room. Science works with that which can be demonstrated using scientific methodology not with philosophical notions of truth. A useful distinction may be one from one of my favourite Indiana Jones lines, 'Archaeology is the search for fact... not truth. If it's truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall.' Science looks for observable and verifiable fact, notions of absolute truth are irrelevant to the subject.
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« Reply #159 on: April 26, 2006, 04:45:53 PM »

A quick comment on the standards of science, if you're proposing an hypothesis that it is impossible to prove or disprove (e.g. God exists, God guided evolution, God created the world to look evolved, which he can do because he's omnipotent...or the opposite, that God does not exist, God was not involved in evolution, etc.) then it's NOT science and has no place in a science classroom, a philosophy classroom yes, but not a science class room. Science works with that which can be demonstrated using scientific methodology not with philosophical notions of truth. A useful distinction may be one from one of my favourite Indiana Jones lines, 'Archaeology is the search for fact... not truth. If it's truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall.' Science looks for observable and verifiable fact, notions of absolute truth are irrelevant to the subject.

THANK YOU!

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« Reply #160 on: April 27, 2006, 08:17:07 PM »

Rather than continuing with this discussion, I again recommend that everyone please read Darwin's God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil by biophysicist Cornelius Hunter.

Peace.
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« Reply #161 on: April 28, 2006, 05:25:33 AM »

Dear Montalban,

Most of these books, if not all, seem to be anti-evolution books.  This is not impressive to me.
Why do people state something I've already admitted? I said as much when I gave a large list of anti-evolutionary books stating that they weren't pro-evolution to boot. Suddenly you've 'uncovered' a reason for my irrational dislike of science; cleverly announcing the discovery of this, a clue which I've already stated! Kepow!
This is only your choice of books so that you can further your own position.  Just by reading the titles, you are not showing qualification of what you know about evolution, but qualification of refuting evolution.
Then you have ceased in offering honest debate, whether intentionally or not. I have stated my position is not pro-materialistic in its take on evolution. I cite a majority of books that I have read to this effect. I have also stated that I still continue to read evolutionary books and cited them. In fact I've quoted one in arguments on this thread. You've responded by 'revealing' what I've already said (re: types of and numbers of books on each subject) and then re-interpreted this to fit a strange set of parameters which is that I would agree with evolution if only I read more books  on evolution. I read books on evolution long before I read books on creationism. Whether you realise it or not you've simply attempting to rob me of having any rational reason for believing in what I believe. So, after discerning this 'fact' (which I've already stated) you seek to uncover more facts to determine why I don't simply adopt your view - you want to examine motive. And here it goes...
I know you are offended by the question that I keep on asking you, but believe me, I mean no offense.  Is there a science that you enjoyed learning, dating back to high school?  By answering this, maybe, just maybe, we can move the discussion to a good direction, rather than go in circles.
It is irrelevant. You are determined to find ulterior motives for me not taking up the mantle of evolution as you have. You just can't see why someone wouldn't. For you, they simply must have some other reason; perhaps I was bitten by a rabid scientist as a child :-) and have been afraid to go back into the lab ever since.
Not only atheists, but theists.  Atheists believe solely in science which leads them to be atheists.
Are you saying this is wrong?  At the same time, the National Academy of Sciences don't want "anti-God" to be discussed either.
Science has NOT explained why man evolved, but only HOW.  The "why" is where science has no answer.  The "why" is where philosophy classes debate.  I've showed you countless times, my friend.
Science has said why. Why is because it happened naturalistically, a freakish collection of circumstances that have allowed a primordial soup to coalesce, be struck by an energy source and gone on from there. You' not stated where God fits into the process AT ALL, my friend.
You can't prove that, neither can you disprove that scientifically.  In fact, it is ILLEGAL for science to claim that.  This is where philosophy classes come in.
I've also noted a half-dozen times already that science allows you to believe in God that is outside the realm of science. I'm not sure if you're reading all that I have written - perhaps not because you can't simply believe that I can hold a reasonable position that is different from yours - whereas I applaud you for still believing in God - I simply want to know where God fits into the evolution of man. You suppose God gave us 'purpose'. How? Did God create man in his image by conferring a soul upon the most advanced ape-like creature?
Of course it's non-science.  It's philosophical to believe in ID-theory, but not scientific.
You're attachment to materialistic philosophy would incline you to believe that.
 At the same time, atheists are equally shot down for trying to teach anti-God in science classes, because this also is non-science, but again, philosophical.
God bless.  Christ is risen!

Mina

So in summary you can't believe that I have a rational reason for rejecting materialistic evolution. It is perhaps because I just never liked science, or that I just happen to read all the wrong books. Let's avoid answering my questions about fitting God into the picture, and let's entirely drop arguing from Church Fathers altogether. It's much easier to just pigeon-hole someone as a crack-pot and then you don't need to hold up a reasoned argument any more.

I'd stick with the rabid hatred of science idea, myself.
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« Reply #162 on: April 28, 2006, 10:04:19 AM »

Dear Montalban,

You are truly ignorant and stubborn.  I have no ulterior motives to ask you of your favorite science, and I only wanted to further the discussion, not to show how much "ignorant" you are.  Your ignorance is not proven by the lack of scientific knowledge (which you probably have anyway, considering that you hesitate to answer the question), but by the lack of understanding both in the biological field and in science in general.  One of the proofs of your ignorance is that you believe no animal died before Adam's fall.  I even showed you that Matthew himself disagrees with this.  He seems to understand more about science than you, and is not debating based on the elementary issues that we are debating.

One thing you will never be convinced of is that science never explained the "why."  You proceed to give the "why" that atheists do.  I tell you that science is not allowed to give "why."  You tell me it does, and I continue to tell you it doesn't.  If you will not understand that, then all this book reading you have done is of no avail.

God bless you and forgive me for my offences.

Mina
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« Reply #163 on: April 28, 2006, 01:30:30 PM »

Science has said why. Why is because it happened naturalistically, a freakish collection of circumstances that have allowed a primordial soup to coalesce, be struck by an energy source and gone on from there.

This is not an explanation of WHY we supposedly evolved, this is an explanation of HOW.  What you've presented is nothing but a naked chain of cause-and-effect events, which is the essence of HOW things happen.  WHY has more to do with the end result that this chain of events is supposed to achieve.
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« Reply #164 on: April 28, 2006, 01:47:26 PM »

One thing you will never be convinced of is that science never explained the "why."  You proceed to give the "why" that atheists do.  I tell you that science is not allowed to give "why."  You tell me it does, and I continue to tell you it doesn't.  If you will not understand that, then all this book reading you have done is of no avail.

Um. Montalban actually made a perfectly legitimate and interesting point: That science, by the very nature of its methodology, makes certain unproven and presumptive "truth" claims that, in the end, at least imply answers to "why" questions.

Science pursues naturalistic explanations, but on what basis does it know that naturalistic explanations are legitimate? How does it justify its foundational principle? This is an interesting question, especially since society (and scientists) sometimes give so much weight to scientific knowledge without realizing its limitations -- both in terms of presupposition, evidentiary content and form of argument. To fully justify such naturalistic presuppositions, one must resort to questions of epistemology, yet, scientists consistently claim that such inquiry is automatically out-of-bounds, irrelevant or invalid since it is not "scientific," but philosophical. By bifurcating knowledge in such a way and defining away basic questions, scientific arguments often suffer from different kinds of petitio princippii.
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« Reply #165 on: April 28, 2006, 09:07:17 PM »

Dear Montalban,

You are truly ignorant and stubborn.
You have no reason to say the first other than I continue to disagree with you. The later, I am indeed, I uphold the teachings of the church no matter how much fleeing materialistic doctrine you wish to throw around. As I noted you're thoroughly convinced of your own position and that any opposition to this must be based on some irrational reason. You show no introspection in this regards, continually revealing things that I've already commented upon beforehand.
I have no ulterior motives to ask you of your favorite science, and I only wanted to further the discussion, not to show how much "ignorant" you are.
That's simply not borne out by your change in direction to discussing things. You've done nothing now for some days to actually address any of the evidences from Church Fathers - for that is not your intent. I already foresaw this in my previous posting. You've thrown out evidence for personal motivations. You've given up on the Church Father's teachings and pegged your beliefs on the 'rational' of science being superior and when science says something, well it just must be true. Anyone who disagrees is either stubborn, or they just haven't understood, or haven't read enough science.
Your ignorance is not proven by the lack of scientific knowledge (which you probably have anyway, considering that you hesitate to answer the question), but by the lack of understanding both in the biological field and in science in general.
Now you refute me based on an opinion that it is so. You were going to make this assumption regardless of my response because for you, if I only just understood science as you would then I must, if I were a reasonable being come to the same conclusion you have. I have mentioned this thought process earlier too, but your lack of introspection in this regards is disappointing.
One of the proofs of your ignorance is that you believe no animal died before Adam's fall.
I don't believe I made any such comment about animals dying before the fall at all.*
I even showed you that Matthew himself disagrees with this.  He seems to understand more about science than you, and is not debating based on the elementary issues that we are debating.
I don't recall making the argument you say that I am making. You are also now trying another tactic; one based on peer-pressure; that 'everyone disagrees with me' on some matter. Again you have thrown away evidentiary argument in favour of emotive ones.
One thing you will never be convinced of is that science never explained the "why."  You proceed to give the "why" that atheists do.
No, I stated the 'why' as scientists do.
I tell you that science is not allowed to give "why."
Who forbids this? Another just-so statement.
You tell me it does, and I continue to tell you it doesn't.  If you will not understand that, then all this book reading you have done is of no avail.
Another thing I've pointed out is your inability to comprehend that someone could have a REASONABLE notion that disagrees with yours.
God bless you and forgive me for my offences.

Mina
Incredibly ironic considering what you just said. More lack of introspection - if one just parrots off the same words "Please forgive me" but is insulting it shows a lack of understanding.

In summary you've thrown off the yoke of evidentiary discussion - without recourse to what the Church Fathers believe. That was too hard, you prefer to be insulting based on the idea that anyone who disagrees with you must be ignorant of science, etc.

You try emotive arguments; appealing to join the 'many' on this thread. And I'm sure you genuinely believe that if only I had read the books you had, and understood them, as you have, I'd have come to the same conclusions that you have. Thus you're probably not even aware that you're arguing insultingly the way you do.

You repeat a 'just-so' regarding the 'why?' question of existence, and still avoid answering my questions as to where God fits into this - I asked how does He confer a soul upon an evolving creature (and addendum to my previous question- did He pick one species of evolving ape-like being, or many?) But you won't answer this directly, preferring to fall back on the condescending and emotive arguments you now give.

Despite your lack of introspection and insults, I would still like to continue to discuss this with you. But you not answering my questions because you've taken a moral high-ground approach that I am ignorant and stubborn, so they'd be no point is rather disappointing - but it sure beats answering my questions or coming up with something more than a just-so rebuttal.

I would like you to stop dealing with motives - so I don't need to analyise your 'style' in response. If you want to deal with the facts, please do so. I note you still haven't addressed any of the points from post #105, in fact your first response was "What do you do for a living?" (post #113).



* The only time I recall responding to animal deaths is after you said
Therefore, personally, believing in Young Earth and Animal deaths after Adam's fall would also to me living a lie, and out of the question.  That just takes me two steps closer to evolution.
Which is to do with deaths of animals 'after Adam's fall', perhaps you intended on saying 'before'.
But here I think you assume that the earth is very old, and that Adam came about much later, and as we have 'evidence' that fossils date millions of years this must have happened before Adam came about therefore animals died before the fall - your assumption here being that the earth is old. I have made no comment (I don't believe I have) on the age of the earth.

The next closest I can see in respects to this issue was in post #126 where I quoted Church Fathers with regards a literal Adam. Your retort to this was a 'just-so' that I simply musn't have read your site properly (I should have (in retrospect) have spotted the development of your argument then and there).
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« Reply #166 on: April 28, 2006, 09:11:17 PM »

This is not an explanation of WHY we supposedly evolved, this is an explanation of HOW.  What you've presented is nothing but a naked chain of cause-and-effect events, which is the essence of HOW things happen.  WHY has more to do with the end result that this chain of events is supposed to achieve.
No, the 'Why?' is the same as the 'How?' in materialism, because there is nothing more than material. Why you fall in love is because of chemicals in your brain firing certain receptors upon certain stimuli

"How?" is exactly the same. They are the same BECAUSE of the nature of materialism. Why do you think materialism involves non-material process is beyond me. But then you might have some references to scientific studies that deal with this.
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« Reply #167 on: April 29, 2006, 12:29:57 PM »

Montalban,

Please don't say that someone has ceased in "honest debate": that is implicitly calling them a liar.

Minasoliman,

Please do not call people ignorant.  Just make your point without recourse to adjectives to describe someone.

Thanks

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« Reply #168 on: April 29, 2006, 07:55:10 PM »

My apologies for such a suggestion
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« Reply #169 on: April 29, 2006, 07:56:26 PM »

Naturalism is not an inherent part of science. Science often endeavours to discern intelligence, such as in cryptography, the search for intelligence in outer-space (SETI), in coronial examinations (to determine if someone died 'naturally' or not). Some concepts of maths are near philosophical.

And as to materialism, some aspects of medicine deal with non-material things, such as in behavioural science.

Only those enslaved by modernist notions that there are no absolute truths reject the Church. They accept the materialism of science and hold science's relative truths to be greater than those of the Church
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« Reply #170 on: April 30, 2006, 01:57:25 PM »

Quote
And as to materialism, some aspects of medicine deal with non-material things, such as in behavioural science.

Which doesn't have anything to do with disproving philosophical materialism, as behavioral abnormalities can can be explained by very material things: genetics, chemical imbalences, brain damage etc.

Quote
Only those enslaved by modernist notions that there are no absolute truths reject the Church.

There are plenty of people that reject (at least passively so) Orthodoxy (what I assume you mean by "the Church") yet still hold a belief in absolute truth - Catholics, Muslims etc.

Quote
They accept the materialism of science and hold science's relative truths to be greater than those of the Church

What would be an example of holding a relative truth of science to be greater than a truth of the Church?  I don't understand what you mean by the phrase "science's relative truths".
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« Reply #171 on: April 30, 2006, 08:56:05 PM »

No, the 'Why?' is the same as the 'How?' in materialism, because there is nothing more than material. Why you fall in love is because of chemicals in your brain firing certain receptors upon certain stimuli

"How?" is exactly the same. They are the same BECAUSE of the nature of materialism. Why do you think materialism involves non-material process is beyond me. But then you might have some references to scientific studies that deal with this.

Well, I guess according to your assessment of materialism, it is accurate to say that materialists have explained WHY life began.  I was speaking more from my non-materialist pov, which makes a distinction between HOW and WHY.
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« Reply #172 on: April 30, 2006, 10:52:00 PM »

Well, I guess according to your assessment of materialism, it is accurate to say that materialists have explained WHY life began.  I was speaking more from my non-materialist pov, which makes a distinction between HOW and WHY.
And this is the stance minasoliman also takes, I appreciate that you can and do believe in God in ADDITION to evolutionary science. However as far as evoultion is concerned - as it is taught - the 'why' is answsered by the 'how' because there is no 'why' beyond the material. This is the point I was trying to make. As far as evolution is concerned, there is no place for God - God has been excluded from all that there is that it has already explained in evolutionary terms.

I would like to know if people believe that God conferred a soul upon some ape-like creature and made him man.
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« Reply #173 on: April 30, 2006, 11:08:00 PM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8688.msg118193#msg118193 date=1146419845]
Which doesn't have anything to do with disproving philosophical materialism, as behavioral abnormalities can can be explained by very material things: genetics, chemical imbalances, brain damage etc. [/quote]
And non-material social causes such as peer pressure affecting self-esteem. I am not here to disprove materialism. I am here to suggest that some aspects of scientific study already deal with non-material issues. It is true that often one might apply a material to solve the issue; and the over-prescription of drugs by doctors is being recognised.

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8688.msg118193#msg118193 date=1146419845]
There are plenty of people that reject (at least passively so) Orthodoxy (what I assume you mean by "the Church") yet still hold a belief in absolute truth - Catholics, Muslims etc. [/quote]
For me THE CHURCH is synonymous with The Orthodox Church. I don’t understand the rest of the point you were making.
[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8688.msg118193#msg118193 date=1146419845]
What would be an example of holding a relative truth of science to be greater than a truth of the Church?  I don't understand what you mean by the phrase "science's relative truths".
[/quote]

Firstly an absolute truth is something that is true, for all time. An example is when God said of Himself “I am”. He always is.
Science has truths for a while. They are relative (based often) to the best understanding of observable facts/reasonable and educated estimates etc. They are true until disproved. Some are held true based on preconceived ideas and bias.

The idea that the earth was the centre of the solar system was once ‘the truth’.

Your question “What would be an example of holding a relative truth of science to be greater than a truth of the Church?” is one I don’t understand. Whom is doing what with what?


I include the following purely out of amusing some…
“I imagine this story being told to  me by Jorge Luis Borges one evening in a Buenos  Airescafe.
His voice dry and infinitely ironic,  the ageing, nearly blind literary master observes that “the Ulysses,” mistakenly  attributed to the Irishman James Joyce, is in fact derived from “the  Quixote”.
I raise my eyebrows.
Borges pauses to sip discreetly at  the bitter coffee our waiter has placed in front of him, guiding his hands to  the saucer.
“The details of the remarkable  series off events in question may be found at the  Universityof Leiden,” he says. “They were conveyed to  me by the Freemason Alejandro Ferri in Montevideo.”
Borges wipes his thin lips  with a linen handkerchief that he has withdrawn from his breast  pocket.
“As you know”, he continues, “the  original handwritten text of the Quixote was given to an order of French  Cistercians in the autumn of 1576.”
I hold up my hand to signify to our  waiter that no further services is needed.
“Curiously enough, for none of the  brothers could read Spanish, the Order was charged by the Papal Nuncio, Hoyo dos  Monterrey (a man of great refinement and implacable will), with the  responsibility for copying he Quixote, the printing press having then gained no  currency in the wilderness of what is now the department of Auvergne. Unable to  speak or read Spanish, a language they not unreasonably detested, the brothers  copied the Quixote over and over again, re-creating the text but, of course,  compromising it as well, and so inadvertently discovering the true nature of  authorship. Thus they created Fernando Lor's Los Hombres d'Estado in 1585 by  means of a singular series of copying errors, and then in 1654 Juan Luis  Samorza's remarkable  epistolary novel Por Favor by the same means; and  then in 1685, the errors having accumulated sufficiently to change Spanish into  French, Moliere's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme; their copying continuous and  indefatigable, the work handed down from generation to generation as a sacred  but secret trust, so that in time the brothers of the monastery, known only to  members of the Bourbon house, and rumor has it, the Englishman and psychic Conan  Doyle, copied into creation Stendhal's The Red and the Black and Flaubert's  Madame Bovary; and then as a result of a particularly significant series of  errors, in which French changed into Russian, Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Illych  and Anna Karenina. Late in the last decade of the 19th century there suddenly  emerged, in English, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and then the  brothers, their numbers reduced by an infections disease of mysterious origin,  finally copied the Ulysses into creation in 1902, the manuscript lying neglected  for almost thirteen years and then mysteriously making its way to Paris in 1915,  just months before the British attack on the Somme, a circumstance whose  significance remains to be determined.”
I sit there, amazed at what Borges  has recounted. “Is it your understanding, then,” I ask, “that every novel in the  West was created in this way?”
“Of course,” replies Borges imperturbably.  Then he adds: “Although every novel is derived directly from another novel,  there is really only one novel, the Quixote.”
David Berlinski; “The Deniable  Darwin” in Dembski, W. A. (ed) “Uncommon  Dissent: Intellectuals who Find Darwinism Unconvincing”, pp281-282
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« Reply #174 on: April 30, 2006, 11:56:16 PM »

Quote
The idea that the earth was the centre of the solar system was once ‘the truth’.

And still is.  And mind you, not just the center of the solar system.  

Here's the cross-sectional view of the known universe.

http://mcp1.anu.edu.au/~TDFgg/Public/Pics/2dFGRS_top_view.gif

Guess who's in the middle.

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« Reply #175 on: May 01, 2006, 01:49:34 AM »

And still is.  And mind you, not just the center of the solar system. ÂÂ

Here's the cross-sectional view of the known universe.

http://mcp1.anu.edu.au/~TDFgg/Public/Pics/2dFGRS_top_view.gif

Guess who's in the middle.

Of course Earth is the centre of the universe and solar system, then again the sun is too, as it mars, as is the next galaxy over, etc., etc....It's called the Theory of Relativity, there is no 'absolute centre,' every point is just as central as every other.
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« Reply #176 on: May 01, 2006, 04:50:54 AM »

Of course Earth is the centre of the universe and solar system, then again the sun is too, as it mars, as is the next galaxy over, etc., etc....It's called the Theory of Relativity, there is no 'absolute centre,' every point is just as central as every other.
Cool! My mum used to tell me that I was the centre.
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« Reply #177 on: May 01, 2006, 06:11:29 AM »

"The sin committed by our progenitors in paradise, with all its consequences, passed and passes from them to all their posterity. What the first people became after the Fall, such also till now are their descendants in the world. "Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image" (Genesis 5:3, KJV). Estrangement from God, the loss of grace, the distortion of God's image, the perversion and weakening of the bodily organism, which ends with death - here is Adam's sad legacy, received by each of us at our very appearance in the world. "As from an infected source there naturally flows an infected stream," teaches the Orthodox catechism, "so from an ancestor infected with sin, and hence mortal, there naturally proceeds a posterity infected with sin, and hence mortal." http://www.stjohndc.org/Homilies/9609a.htm

"And behold, as you see, the sentence of God remains forever as an eternal chastisement...For this reason the Almighty Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, came so as to humble Himself in place of Adam." (St. Symeon the New Theologian "The First-Created Man", p44).

Who then is "Adam" for (theistic) evolutionists? Did God look at the various ape-like beings and decide that one had evolved long enough for it to have a soul? (assuming that animals have no soul, or a different soul, to humans).

The role of Adam is essential to Christianity; for Jesus to have come to restore us there first must have been a 'fall'.
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« Reply #178 on: May 01, 2006, 06:20:19 AM »

"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men (Romans 5:12 )." By refusing communion with God, Adam cut himself off from the Source of Life. Having separated himself from God, Adam, in a sense, starved his nature from the gifts of God. Because man was given dominion over all creation, St. Paul insists that all of creation has fallen as well.(Original Sin, p 2 as quoted on http://www.akins.org/matthew/paul.html#tthFtNtACH)

"Undoubtedly, one of the most important causes of heresy is the failure to understand the exact nature of the human situation described by the Old and New Testaments, to which the historical events of the birth, teachings, death, resurrection and second coming of Christ are the only remedy. The failure to understand this automatically implies a perverted understanding of what it is that Christ did and continues to do for us, and what our subsequent relation is to Christ and neighbor within the realm of salvation. The importance of a correct definition of original sin and its consequences can never be exaggerated. Any attempt to minimize its importance or alter its significance automatically entails either a weakening or even a complete misunderstanding of the nature of the Church, sacraments and human destiny." http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frjr_sin.htm. Thus, it is meaningless, or worse still utterly wrong to downplay the relationships established in Genesis. It is the beginning of the story of Man, and the story of Man's sin. Without it, why would Jesus come to us?

So, when did Ape become Adam?
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« Reply #179 on: May 01, 2006, 07:02:50 AM »

IF MAN EVOLVED FROM THE APES, WHY ARE THERE STILL APES?

JoeS

Mitigated Evolution:  If, that is IF Man came from the apes, it is at this transition point that God made Himself known and bestowed an immortal soul capable of receiving grace.
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« Reply #180 on: May 01, 2006, 07:34:25 AM »

Of course Earth is the centre of the universe and solar system, then again the sun is too, as it mars, as is the next galaxy over, etc., etc....It's called the Theory of Relativity, there is no 'absolute centre,' every point is just as central as every other.

No.  I am talking about Geocentrism.
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montalban
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« Reply #181 on: May 01, 2006, 07:36:12 AM »

IF MAN EVOLVED FROM THE APES, WHY ARE THERE STILL APES?

JoeS

Mitigated Evolution:  If, that is IF Man came from the apes, it is at this transition point that God made Himself known and bestowed an immortal soul capable of receiving grace.

Whilst I don't agree with the premise of the first statement, the second is important to those that believe in God. When did God confer a soul upon a creature. Or, perhaps the soul evolved too?
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« Reply #182 on: May 01, 2006, 10:06:57 AM »

Dear Montalban,

What lead me to think you believe in "pre-fall non-deathism" is your reply #138.  When I said:

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One of the things I disagree completely with the Holy Fathers is that death entered into Earth to all creation after man's fall.

You reply:

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Ah, pride.

And then when I said:

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But we have fossil evidence of a whole age of animals who died 56 million years ago.  Already, science itself, CLEAR scientific observation, an observation that is as clear as the nose of your face, disproved many of the Fathers' scientific beliefs (unless you have proof that exponential decay tests are faulty).  And like you said, we cannot live a lie.  Thus, if something the Fathers said in science is wrong, and if we believe that science does indeed change, then the Fathers' science is no more infallible than present science, and thus I live what is truthful than a lie.

You replied:

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Ah, here I finally understand. You believe the compelling evidence from science as opposed to the compelling evidence from the Church Fathers. You belive a form of understanding that is continually in flux, over the never-changing truth of the Church.

Thus, if you have good reason that you did not believe in what I accused you of, then how is it that you replied to me with such quotes?  Did not Fr. Seraphim Rose believe in the same, and irrefutably gives quotes from the Fathers?  Are you not a big fan of Fr. Seraphim?  Or do you just like to agree with "some" things that Fr. Seraphim believed?

You also continued to make the comment that if all the Fathers had a concensus in believing in geocentricism, you would believe them over science.  Thus, you find yourself automatically agreeing with anything the Fathers say over experimentation and testing.  How then are you not uneducated of science, apart from the books you read, (which I highly doubt really taught you anything about science)?

And your continual refusal to answer a simple question about your likes shows perhaps how much you understand the state of your own education of things scientific.

Let us put it another way.  If you are to have a debate with an atheist, how will you prove a theistic evolutionist (who doesn't necessarily have to be Christian) that evolution is wrong?  Are you going to give him Bible and Holy Fathers (which he may not believe) or are you going to use his own language (science) to disprove what he believes?

God bless you.

Mina
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« Reply #183 on: May 01, 2006, 06:54:18 PM »

And this is the stance minasoliman also takes, I appreciate that you can and do believe in God in ADDITION to evolutionary science. However as far as evoultion is concerned - as it is taught - the 'why' is answsered by the 'how' because there is no 'why' beyond the material. This is the point I was trying to make. As far as evolution is concerned, there is no place for God - God has been excluded from all that there is that it has already explained in evolutionary terms.

For the record, I don't believe in evolutionary science as it is taught today.  My fundamental belief is that God created all living things, and I don't take seriously any scientific theory that denies this, which explains my disdain for today's materialistic Darwinian evolutionary theory.  However, I don't know enough of anything to presume to know exactly HOW God created Man.  Did He just speak, and POOF! Man came to be, as one could conclude from a strictly literal interpretation of the first of the Genesis myths?  Did He guide the evolution of Man as some theistic evolutionists believe?  I don't know, and I don't know that it's possible for me to proclaim in any dogmatic way what the Fathers have to say about the specifics of how God created Man.  All I can say is that I believe God created Man from the dust of the earth, whatever this means.

I do have a great respect for the role science can fulfill in a life based on Orthodox Faith, though.  I understand that many of the great scientists of past centuries (i.e., Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, etc.) were also God-fearing men who saw the heavens and the earth as God's creation.  These men saw science as a means to observing and understanding the creation God made and as a means to knowing God through the laws of His creation, in keeping with what St. Paul stated in his Epistle to the Romans: "Ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature, namely, His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made." (Romans 1:20)  Sadly, much of what passes for science today has been divorced from the reverence for God and His creation that marks the work of the great scientists of the past and has become quite materialistic.

This naturally brings up the question: Must science oppose Christian Faith, and must Christian Faith oppose science?  I don't think so.  Seeing how the two were united in the past, I'm sure we can bring them back together.
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