Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy

Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?

  • Yes

    Votes: 73 16.8%
  • No

    Votes: 163 37.6%
  • both metaphorically and literally

    Votes: 198 45.6%

  • Total voters
    434

Heorhij

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Jetavan said:
Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
Sleeper said:
Are we supposed to place our trust in the Fathers when it comes to scientific understanding?  I didn't realize that was a tenet of Orthodoxy.
im saying we should trust the Fathers to tell us about the works of God and Scripture - the Scriptures tell us about Paradise, so why would I ask Chucky Darwin about it when it belongs to the Church?
That's quite reasonable, I would not ask Darwin about Paradise, but did Darwin ever have a slaightest intention to tell someone about Paradise? I thought Darwin just made a brilliant observation that animal and plant populations evolve because the natural selection favors those genetically determined individuals in these populations who have a reproductive success under the ever-changing conditions of the environment.
There's more: all living beings have descended from a common ancestor.
That's one of the deductions made from the theory of biological evolution, yes.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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chrevbel said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Father Seraphim Rose has written much more in depth on the issue of evolution, and provided many theological, scientific, and philosophical arguments to refute it- something Bishop Ware has not done.
I am extremely skeptical of anyone's attempts to refute a scientific theory using theological or philosophical arguments.  Why should such an approach hold any credence whatsoever?

And if this is a valid discipline, then why are its efforts seemingly restricted to evolution?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm gravity through theology?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm the reactivity of sulfur using philosophy?  Why is no one trying to verify the value of Pi through prayer?
Evolutionary theory is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verifiable science. Most people who believe in evolution do not understand this distinction. I recommend Karl Hempel's book "The Philosophy of Natural Science."


Selam
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
chrevbel said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Father Seraphim Rose has written much more in depth on the issue of evolution, and provided many theological, scientific, and philosophical arguments to refute it- something Bishop Ware has not done.
I am extremely skeptical of anyone's attempts to refute a scientific theory using theological or philosophical arguments.  Why should such an approach hold any credence whatsoever?

And if this is a valid discipline, then why are its efforts seemingly restricted to evolution?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm gravity through theology?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm the reactivity of sulfur using philosophy?  Why is no one trying to verify the value of Pi through prayer?
Evolutionary theory is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verifiable science. Most people who believe in evolution do not understand this distinction. I recommend Karl Hempel's book "The Philosophy of Natural Science."

Selam
Let's pick a specific example of evolutionary process, say, the evolution of amphibians from fish. It's true that we can't verify this by repeating the process, or by observing it happening. But we can think of ways that we could falsify the idea that amphibians evolved from fish. If we find amphibians in the fossil record prior to the appearance of the first fish, then that would falsify that idea. But, all fossil amphibians appear after fossil fish.

Science works via falsification, not only via verification.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
chrevbel said:
And if this is a valid discipline, then why are its efforts seemingly restricted to evolution?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm the reactivity of sulfur using philosophy?
Evolutionary theory is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verifiable science. Most people who believe in evolution do not understand this distinction.
You've avoided the second part of my post.

Have you actually empirically verified the chemical principles that define and describe how sulfur behaves?  You've seen the electrons?  You've observed the protons and neutrons?
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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chrevbel said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
chrevbel said:
And if this is a valid discipline, then why are its efforts seemingly restricted to evolution?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm the reactivity of sulfur using philosophy?
Evolutionary theory is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verifiable science. Most people who believe in evolution do not understand this distinction.
You've avoided the second part of my post.

Have you actually empirically verified the chemical principles that define and describe how sulfur behaves?  You've seen the electrons?  You've observed the protons and neutrons?
Have you emprically verified that the moon is not made of cheese? Have you emprically falsified that the universe was created by an ominoptent ant?



Selam
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
chrevbel said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
chrevbel said:
And if this is a valid discipline, then why are its efforts seemingly restricted to evolution?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm the reactivity of sulfur using philosophy?
Evolutionary theory is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verifiable science. Most people who believe in evolution do not understand this distinction.
You've avoided the second part of my post.

Have you actually empirically verified the chemical principles that define and describe how sulfur behaves?  You've seen the electrons?  You've observed the protons and neutrons?
Have you emprically verified that the moon is not made of cheese? Have you emprically falsified that the universe was created by an ominoptent ant?



Selam
Exactly. You don't need to verify something in a test tube. If you can, that's good, but there are other forms of evidence. It is not a philosophy to say that the moon is made of rock; neither is evolution.
 

chrevbel

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Have you emprically verified that the moon is not made of cheese?
Yes.  Several samples of moon material have definitively ruled out cheese as a component.
Have you emprically falsified that the universe was created by an ominoptent ant?
No.  Science, even at its ultimate best, has limits, and thus does not address things which are without limits, as your omnipotent insect would be.  The fact that you don't understand this is central to the fact that this discussion will, even after 49 pages, continue to go nowhere.
 

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chrevbel said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Have you emprically verified that the moon is not made of cheese?
Yes.  Several samples of moon material have definitively ruled out cheese as a component.
Have you emprically falsified that the universe was created by an ominoptent ant?
No.  Science, even at its ultimate best, has limits, and thus does not address things which are without limits, as your omnipotent insect would be.  The fact that you don't understand this is central to the fact that this discussion will, even after 49 pages, continue to go nowhere.
If the universe were made by an omnipotent ant, then how would we expect the universe to operate?
 

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Rufus said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
chrevbel said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
chrevbel said:
And if this is a valid discipline, then why are its efforts seemingly restricted to evolution?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm the reactivity of sulfur using philosophy?
Evolutionary theory is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verifiable science. Most people who believe in evolution do not understand this distinction.
You've avoided the second part of my post.

Have you actually empirically verified the chemical principles that define and describe how sulfur behaves?  You've seen the electrons?  You've observed the protons and neutrons?
Have you emprically verified that the moon is not made of cheese? Have you emprically falsified that the universe was created by an ominoptent ant?



Selam
Exactly. You don't need to verify something in a test tube. If you can, that's good, but there are other forms of evidence. It is not a philosophy to say that the moon is made of rock; neither is evolution.
So YOU have verified this yourself?

Selam
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Rufus said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
chrevbel said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
chrevbel said:
And if this is a valid discipline, then why are its efforts seemingly restricted to evolution?  Why is no one trying to refute or affirm the reactivity of sulfur using philosophy?
Evolutionary theory is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verifiable science. Most people who believe in evolution do not understand this distinction.
You've avoided the second part of my post.

Have you actually empirically verified the chemical principles that define and describe how sulfur behaves?  You've seen the electrons?  You've observed the protons and neutrons?
Have you empirically verified that the moon is not made of cheese? Have you empirically falsified that the universe was created by an omnipotent ant?



Selam
Exactly. You don't need to verify something in a test tube. If you can, that's good, but there are other forms of evidence. It is not a philosophy to say that the moon is made of rock; neither is evolution.
So YOU have verified this yourself?

Selam
I have not personally verified evolution in a strict sense, nor have I verified that the moon is not made of cheese. However, given what I do know, the alternative conclusions would not be tenable in my mind. Of course, the theory of evolution, like any theory, is constantly subject to revision, and it has changed a lot since Darwin. This does not discredit the theory in general: atomic theory has been revised substantially over the course of the last hundred years, and it was all done with "invisible" experiments. However, all the pieces fit together so well that no one questioned the existence of atoms.

If we're talking about literal young earth creationism, on the other hand, then evolution is honestly one of the weaker counter-arguments one could present. There are more compelling arguments in history, astronomy, anthropology, archeology, linguistics, geology...
 

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Whomever has done the verification is beside the point, as long as it has been verified by the most rigorous of scientific principles.
 

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android said:
Iconodule said:
rakovsky said:
Likewise, the story of the world's creation is an image. It might have happened that explicit way, or probably a different way that we understand better now. But it was an image of what happened. God made the world in different steps, if not in the explicit way we would read it.
Without disagreeing, I would point out that the Fathers also saw the visible creation itself as an image, a symbol, of heavenly realities... therefore it should not be taken "literally" either.
Do you have some cites/references for this? I read a lot in the Fathers (e.g. St. Symeon) that suggest they thought Eden, Adam and Eve, etc. were literally real, although I'd like to find some more support for your POV.
Hi, Android. I posted a new topic to respond to your question here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,31386.0.html
 

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Sleeper said:
Whomever has done the verification is beside the point, as long as it has been verified by the most rigorous of scientific principles.
In other words, if "they" tell you it's true then you'll believe it.  ::)

The theory of evolution has has not been verified by the most rigorous of scientific principles. That's why I suggested people read Karl Hempel's book "The Philosophy of Natural Science." This book describes the fundamental tenets of the scientific method.


Selam
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Sleeper said:
Whomever has done the verification is beside the point, as long as it has been verified by the most rigorous of scientific principles.
In other words, if "they" tell you it's true then you'll believe it.  ::)

The theory of evolution has has not been verified by the most rigorous of scientific principles. That's why I suggested people read Karl Hempel's book "The Philosophy of Natural Science." This book describes the fundamental tenets of the scientific method.


Selam
There are many different approaches to the issue, just what constitutes a valid scientific theory. (I taught a class called "Philosophy and Science" and a class called "Research Methods," so I have done some homework on this.) There exists a classical "inductivist" (Baconian) approach; a "falcificationist" (Popperian) approach; a theory of paradigm shift (Kuhn), a theory of research programs (Lakatos), an anarchist theory (Feyerabend), and others. Most modern explorers of scientific methodology agree, essentially, that there is no such thing as one universal "scientific method."
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Sleeper said:
Whomever has done the verification is beside the point, as long as it has been verified by the most rigorous of scientific principles.
In other words, if "they" tell you it's true then you'll believe it.  ::)

The theory of evolution has has not been verified by the most rigorous of scientific principles. That's why I suggested people read Karl Hempel's book "The Philosophy of Natural Science." This book describes the fundamental tenets of the scientific method.


Selam
It sounds like "They" told you it wasn't true.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Sleeper said:
Whomever has done the verification is beside the point, as long as it has been verified by the most rigorous of scientific principles.
In other words, if "they" tell you it's true then you'll believe it.  ::)

The theory of evolution has has not been verified by the most rigorous of scientific principles. That's why I suggested people read Karl Hempel's book "The Philosophy of Natural Science." This book describes the fundamental tenets of the scientific method.


Selam
If we can't trust our scientists to impart to us the best and most up-to-date science, who will we then trust? We trust doctors and scientists for modern medicine. I thank science for insulin injection systems and blood glucose readers (I'd be dead without them). I can verify their efficacy! We trust engineers to build safe structures, planes, and bridges. We trust science with everything around us (excepting the spiritual). Why not with biological evolution?

 

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Sleeper said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Sleeper said:
Whomever has done the verification is beside the point, as long as it has been verified by the most rigorous of scientific principles.
In other words, if "they" tell you it's true then you'll believe it.  ::)

The theory of evolution has has not been verified by the most rigorous of scientific principles. That's why I suggested people read Karl Hempel's book "The Philosophy of Natural Science." This book describes the fundamental tenets of the scientific method.


Selam
It sounds like "They" told you it wasn't true.
Indeed, Gebre, let's hold you to your own standard. Can you provide a parsimonious explanation for the vast amounts of information that point to an old earth and, to a lesser extent, evolution?
 

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stavros_388 said:
If we can't trust our scientists to impart to us the best and most up-to-date science, who will we then trust? We trust doctors and scientists for modern medicine. I thank science for insulin injection systems and blood glucose readers (I'd be dead without them). I can verify their efficacy! We trust engineers to build safe structures, planes, and bridges.
Yes, modern science has produced many wonderful tools and toys. If that were the purpose of life, then modern science would be my god. I certainly appreciate many practical aspects of modern science, though one must also consider the novel poisons and illnesses it has introduced, not to mention the means of devastation unparalleled in history. But as modern science journeys out from the practical and earthy, into cosmology, natural history, etc., its fundamental flaws become more apparent.  Modern science seems to "work" so well because the standards by which we are assessing it are already worldly and low-minded. We would prefer an ideology that gives us rudimentary, earthly wealth over a science that gives us spiritual understanding.

We trust science with everything around us
Do you trust them when they genetically engineer your food? Do you trust them when they cut corners or falsify information for the sake of profit? Do you trust them when they invent weapons of mass destruction or devise new ways of proliferating poisons?

(excepting the spiritual).
Dividing the material world from the spiritual one so rigidly is the root of your problem here.

Why not with biological evolution?
Why not with literary theory? Why not with social organization? Why not with music?
 

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Iconodule said:
Yes, modern science has produced many wonderful tools and toys. If that were the purpose of life, then modern science would be my god.
And it certainly is not the purpose of life, and so science is certainly not your (or my) god. So? How is this relevant to the question, how should one treat the theory of biological evolution - as a valid scientific theory or as a fallacy/heresy/lie?

Iconodule said:
I certainly appreciate many practical aspects of modern science, though one must also consider the novel poisons and illnesses it has introduced, not to mention the means of devastation unparalleled in history. But as modern science journeys out from the practical and earthy, into cosmology, natural history, etc., its fundamental flaws become more apparent.  Modern science seems to "work" so well because the standards by which we are assessing it are already worldly and low-minded. We would prefer an ideology that gives us rudimentary, earthly wealth over a science that gives us spiritual understanding.
I think you are narrowing the purpose of science too much. Basic science is actually not about any practical aspects. It is about finding out how the natural, material world works. Its main purpose is to make us, humans, better - more open-minded, more curious, more able to be amazed, to stand in awe, marveling at this huge, incredibly complex and yet so harmonious and organized and structured world. I am teaching biological disciplines, and each semester, as I lecture about, for example, the Krebs cycle or the electron transport chain in living cells, I find myself more and more in awe. I am amazed not only about how this teeny-tiny thing called mitochondrion is organized, but also about how several generations of people, scientists, kept digging, and digging, and digging - observing things, asking questions, formulating hypotheses, making predictions, testing them, - for several decades, between ~1910 and today, building a beautiful, comprehensive model of harvesting energy in cells. By the way, it is not even legitimate to ask, is this model "right" or "wrong," because, like every model, it is constantly, endlessly subject to challenge, modification, even dismissal. This whole process of building models of the natural world, "doing science," is, in fact, very spiritual. People who are far from science do not appreciate its spirituality; I, for example, heard a number of times that I must be a very earthly-minded man because I study these "yucky dirty stinking bacteria." But thse people are wrong, they just don't know what they are talking about. Science is incredibly spiritual and inspired, like any human pursuit where we, humans, rise above our basic daily needs of food, shelter, power over others, etc.

When I was little, I read in one Soviet sci-fi novel (by brothers Arkadiy and Boris Strugatskiy) that there are two ways of spelling the words "human being." As long as a human being says, "I want to eat" - it's "human being." But from the moment when the human being says, "I want to know" - it's a Human Being, with the capital H and capital B.

One American scientist (can't recall the name right now - he was a physicist, an experimenter who worked in the 1940-s - 1960-s) said that (I quote from memory) "basic science has nothing whatsoever to do with (military) defense. But science makes this world, our countries, the humanity worth defending." I agree very strongly.
 

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Heorhij said:
Iconodule said:
Yes, modern science has produced many wonderful tools and toys. If that were the purpose of life, then modern science would be my god.
And it certainly is not the purpose of life, and so science is certainly not your (or my) god./ So? How is this relevant to the question, how should one treat the theory of biological evolution - as a valid scientific theory or as a fallacy/heresy/lie?
The argument was that we should trust modern science with everything else, because it produces such wonderful practical benefits. Mind the context.

I think you are narrowing the purpose of science too much.
No, I'm just pointing out the inherent narrowness of a certain modern ideology called "science." I agree that real science has much higher aspirations.

Basic science is actually not about any practical aspects. It is  about finding out how the natural, material world works. Its main purpose is to make us, humans, better - more open-minded, more curious, more able to be amazed, to stand in awe, marveling at this huge, incredibly complex and yet so harmonious and organized and structured world.
This is just a big, cosmic idol. Our awe should be directed the creator more than the creation and that is the main purpose of studying and admiring the beauty and harmony of the world.The materialist/dualist epistemology of "modern science"  is inimical to this, as it does not acknowledge any spiritual dimension to anything.
Studying the material world in itself, for itself, without rising to spiritual realities, is idolatry.

I am teaching biological disciplines, and each semester, as I lecture about, for example, the Krebs cycle or the electron transport chain in living cells, I find myself more and more in awe. I am amazed not only about how this teeny-tiny thing called mitochondrion is organized, but also about how several generations of people, scientists, kept digging, and digging, and digging - observing things, asking questions, formulating hypotheses, making predictions, testing them, - for several decades, between ~1910 and today, building a beautiful, comprehensive model of harvesting energy in cells. By the way, it is not even legitimate to ask, is this model "right" or "wrong," because, like every model, it is constantly, endlessly subject to challenge, modification, even dismissal. This whole process of building models of the natural world, "doing science," is, in fact, very spiritual.
If it does not raise the mind to God- the true, personal God- it is just the false, lifeless, pantheistic "spirituality" of Carl Sagan. Its best icon is the black hole.

People who are far from science do not appreciate its spirituality; I, for example, heard a number of times that I must be a very earthly-minded man because I study these "yucky dirty stinking bacteria." But thse people are wrong, they just don't know what they are talking about. Science is incredibly spiritual and inspired, like any human pursuit where we, humans, rise above our basic daily needs of food, shelter, power over others, etc.
If we pursue comets and galaxies instead of food, we are just trading little idols for big ones, no better than worshippers of rocks and trees.

One American scientist (can't recall the name right now - he was a physicist, an experimenter who worked in the 1940-s - 1960-s) said that (I quote from memory) "basic science has nothing whatsoever to do with (military) defense. But science makes this world, our countries, the humanity worth defending." I agree very strongly.
Silly me, I thought it had something to do with love of man.
 
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