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

jckstraw72

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Ortho_cat said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
I think Met. KALLISTOS Ware addresses this topic quite well here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1088949815257678826#

topic starts at the 1:29.30 mark, evolution is addressed specifically at 1:33.30
i have great respect for Met. KALLISTOS, but i dont understand why he is more authoritative than so many Saints, other than that he agrees with the position you already hold ...

a couple points:

1. he simply stated that he sees no reason why evolution should be a problem for Orthodoxy, but, at least in this video, he made no attempt to demonstrate how they are harmonious. he shows no signs of having considered the various theological questions that arise from evolution. he simply stated, as so many do, that he can accept evolution.
2. he made the same tired statement that there's no reason that his faith should fear science, although no one makes this claim anyways. its a strawman.
3. he actually contradicted himself. he said he accepts the evolutionary picture but cannot believe that man is simply a superior ape, but in the evolutionary picture that is exactly what man is! to make man more than that is to leave science behind. he just accepts more of the science than the Creationists do, but both camps at some point must leave the science behind and acknowledge that Revelation has something to say that is contrary to the theory of evolution.
Do you honestly think that Met. Kallistos has not seriously considered the implication of evolution to his faith or has not thoroughly reviewed what the fathers have to say about the matter of creation? I think he is more than capable of discerning between what Orthodox Tradition, and what tradition is.
im simply saying his answer in that video shows no signs of it. it was just a very brief, shallow answer i thought. not very satisfying at all.
Agree to disagree. I think that in the time alloted he gave a very succint and well rounded answer, perhaps if he had more time to expound he would provide you with the details you are searching for.
true. as i said, i have great respect for him, and im sure he's not ignorant of the Fathers on this matter. i would really like to hear how he harmonizes the two in his mind, because he is often put forth as an Orthodox authority that accepts evolution, but i have never heard/read/seen an explanation from him.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
jckstraw72 said:
Sleeper said:
jckstraw72 said:
he said he accepts the evolutionary picture but cannot believe that man is simply a superior ape, but in the evolutionary picture that is exactly what man is! to make man more than that is to leave science behind. he just accepts more of the science than the Creationists do, but both camps at some point must leave the science behind and acknowledge that Revelation has something to say that is contrary to the theory of evolution.
That's because evolution only seeks to answer the natural explanation of the emergence of man.  Yes, we are simply a superior ape, naturally speaking. But that changed when God breathed His life into man.  It does not leave science behind, it means that science is philosophically neutral and we don't draw philosophical conclusions from it, which is what many, wrongly, do.

You're creating a false dichotomy here.
that works if you say that God's breathing of His life into man had absolutely no biological effects on man's life in any way. but if it did,that would enter into the realm of science, and science would have no way of accounting for that. it would not fit into the naturalistic scheme of evolution. for instance, i think most would still hold that God's breath granted man at least the ability for immortality (had he not sinned). can evolution account for even the possibility of physical immortality?
Again, immortality was granted to man by communion with God via the 'tree of life'. Once this connection was severed, the hopes for immortality was lost. Science has nothing to say about this matter.
and thats the problem -- we confess a biological reality (man being created in a state of immortality) that science is incapable of ascertaining and commenting on, and thus it ends up putting forth the exact opposite. "scientifically" speaking, man dies of natural necessity, because that's just the course of things in evolution, but the 7th Ecumenical Council anathematizes the belief that man dies of natural necessity, and those who confess it.

not to mention that in the scheme of evolution, man is necessarily the descendant of another living being, and is related to all living things, whereas in Orthoodxy, man is uniquely created by God from the dust, without any ancestry. Only man is created by the hands of God, rather than a simple verbal command. Man is not simply another link in the chain, not even biologically speaking. this is two ways in which naturalistic science contradicts our faith.
Here again as others have mentioned we believe you are positing a false dichotomy between strict supernatural creationism and purely naturalistic darwinian evolution. There is a middle ground, called theistic evolution, that accepts divine influence into the natural process, such that science is unable of explaining, and those who espouse such a belief are comfortable with that.
 

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Ortho_cat said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
jckstraw72 said:
Sleeper said:
jckstraw72 said:
he said he accepts the evolutionary picture but cannot believe that man is simply a superior ape, but in the evolutionary picture that is exactly what man is! to make man more than that is to leave science behind. he just accepts more of the science than the Creationists do, but both camps at some point must leave the science behind and acknowledge that Revelation has something to say that is contrary to the theory of evolution.
That's because evolution only seeks to answer the natural explanation of the emergence of man.  Yes, we are simply a superior ape, naturally speaking. But that changed when God breathed His life into man.  It does not leave science behind, it means that science is philosophically neutral and we don't draw philosophical conclusions from it, which is what many, wrongly, do.

You're creating a false dichotomy here.
that works if you say that God's breathing of His life into man had absolutely no biological effects on man's life in any way. but if it did,that would enter into the realm of science, and science would have no way of accounting for that. it would not fit into the naturalistic scheme of evolution. for instance, i think most would still hold that God's breath granted man at least the ability for immortality (had he not sinned). can evolution account for even the possibility of physical immortality?
Again, immortality was granted to man by communion with God via the 'tree of life'. Once this connection was severed, the hopes for immortality was lost. Science has nothing to say about this matter.
and thats the problem -- we confess a biological reality (man being created in a state of immortality) that science is incapable of ascertaining and commenting on, and thus it ends up putting forth the exact opposite. "scientifically" speaking, man dies of natural necessity, because that's just the course of things in evolution, but the 7th Ecumenical Council anathematizes the belief that man dies of natural necessity, and those who confess it.

not to mention that in the scheme of evolution, man is necessarily the descendant of another living being, and is related to all living things, whereas in Orthoodxy, man is uniquely created by God from the dust, without any ancestry. Only man is created by the hands of God, rather than a simple verbal command. Man is not simply another link in the chain, not even biologically speaking. this is two ways in which naturalistic science contradicts our faith.
Here again as others have mentioned we believe you are positing a false dichotomy between strict supernatural creationism and purely naturalistic darwinian evolution. There is a middle ground, called theistic evolution, that accepts divine influence into the natural process, such that science is unable of explaining, and those who espouse such a belief are comfortable with that.
yes, i realize there is theistic evolution -- thats what all of you espouse. i actually have little to no interest in debating against atheistic evolutionists because there is no common ground from which to begin with them. if you're an atheist then it makes perfect sense to be an evolutionist. my point is that TE is an untenable position because in order to believe that man was created apart from the line of descent and that man was created in a state of immortality you can't actually believe fully in the theory of evolution, because evolution professes the exact opposite of these beliefs. so, while TE is touted as being an option that allows you to accept science (whereas Creationism is supposedly a rejection of science), it also must reject "science." it is not simply that science cannot comment on these matters - it does comment, and it does so in contrary to Orthodox Tradition.

so if you believe that man was created uniquely and in a state of immortality then youre not really accepting the scientific theory of evolution, and if you believe that man is simply part of a chain of descent and that he was necessarily bound for physical death then you're not really accepting Orthodox Tradition. this brand of TE is just an amalgam that is put together by individual believers to their own liking, and there's all kinds of variants on this belief. i dont think its very satisfying theologically or scientifically.

of course there are some TE's, and i think there were some a while ago in this thread, who see the contradiction between the theory of evolution and Orthodox Tradition and therefore completely reject the unique creation of man, and that man was meant for even biological immortality. they say that sin brought only spiritual death, and that man was destined to die phsyically, no matter what.
 

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A curious thought, which just came to me, which may or may not have been expressed previously on this thread or elsewhere.

I see interesting parallels between the bloodline of Adam and the bloodline of the Theotokos.

As the bloodline of the Theotokos was nurtured and cultivated over generations to prepare her to bear God the Word, so too I believe was the bloodline of Adam. Both of them arose through previous generations, but each of these generations shaped the next to come, eventually paving the way for God's ultimate purpose. From the humblest of creatures arose man, the crowning glory of God's creation and the father of humanity, Adam, who through succeeding generations, eventually gave rise to the Queen of humanity, the Theotokos.

One was made worthy to bear the image of God, and the other was made worthy to bear God Himself.
 

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Ortho_cat said:
A curious thought, which just came to me, which may or may not have been expressed previously on this thread or elsewhere.

I see interesting parallels between the bloodline of Adam and the bloodline of the Theotokos.

As the bloodline of the Theotokos was nurtured and cultivated over generations to prepare her to bear God the Word, so too I believe the bloodline of Adam. Both of them arose through previous generations, but each of these generations shaped the next to come, eventually paving the way for God's ultimate purpose. From the humblest of creatures arose man, the crowning glory of God's creation and the father of humanity, Adam, who through succeeding generations, eventually gave rise to the Queen of humanity, the Theotokos.

One was made worthy to bear the image of God, and the other was made worthy to bear God Himself.
curious indeed. i wonder if you can find Patristic support for it.
 

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Is that really all you're actually worried about with evolution?

Well, here's a possible solution.  They had to be assured immortality by living a life in accordance with God's command in Paradise.  In other words, the first humans that were born with God's Image can be believed to be taken into Paradise, grew up, and then when they failed, they fell back into mortality.

minasoliman said:
Here's a quote I read from Francis Collin's book, "The Language of God".  I must admit though, I haven't read C.S. Lewis' book where he got this from:

For long centuries, God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. he gave it hands whose thumb could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all of the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated. The creature may have existed in this state for ages before it became man: it may even have been clever enough to make things which a modern archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes were directed to purely material and natural ends. Then, in the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say "I" and "me," which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty and goodness, and which was so far above time that it could perceive time flowing past.... We do not know how many of these creatures God made, nor how long they continued in the Paradisal state. But sooner or later they fell. Someone or something whispered that they could become as gods.... They wanted some corner in this universe of which they could say to God, "This is our business, not yours." But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives. We have no idea in what particular act, or series of acts, the self-contradictory, impossible wish found expression. For all I can see, it might have concerned the literal eating of a fruit, the the question is of no consequence. (C.S. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 68-71)
In some way, C.S. Lewis preserves the idea of "The Fall."  I think this is a very relevant quote, and something that aided me in my belief.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
A curious thought, which just came to me, which may or may not have been expressed previously on this thread or elsewhere.

I see interesting parallels between the bloodline of Adam and the bloodline of the Theotokos.

As the bloodline of the Theotokos was nurtured and cultivated over generations to prepare her to bear God the Word, so too I believe the bloodline of Adam. Both of them arose through previous generations, but each of these generations shaped the next to come, eventually paving the way for God's ultimate purpose. From the humblest of creatures arose man, the crowning glory of God's creation and the father of humanity, Adam, who through succeeding generations, eventually gave rise to the Queen of humanity, the Theotokos.

One was made worthy to bear the image of God, and the other was made worthy to bear God Himself.
curious indeed. i wonder if you can find Patristic support for it.
Perhaps not strictly bloodline, but I think there is plenty of Patristics where man is created last because the Earth needed to be cultivated and prepared for man.  In the spirit of the Fathers, Ortho-Cat seems to follow this line of thought.
 

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minasoliman said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
A curious thought, which just came to me, which may or may not have been expressed previously on this thread or elsewhere.

I see interesting parallels between the bloodline of Adam and the bloodline of the Theotokos.

As the bloodline of the Theotokos was nurtured and cultivated over generations to prepare her to bear God the Word, so too I believe the bloodline of Adam. Both of them arose through previous generations, but each of these generations shaped the next to come, eventually paving the way for God's ultimate purpose. From the humblest of creatures arose man, the crowning glory of God's creation and the father of humanity, Adam, who through succeeding generations, eventually gave rise to the Queen of humanity, the Theotokos.

One was made worthy to bear the image of God, and the other was made worthy to bear God Himself.
curious indeed. i wonder if you can find Patristic support for it.
Perhaps not strictly bloodline, but I think there is plenty of Patristics where man is created last because the Earth needed to be cultivated and prepared for man.  In the spirit of the Fathers, Ortho-Cat seems to follow this line of thought.
if its not a lineage of bloodline then it has nothing to do with biological evolution ....

yes, the kingdom needed to be prepared for the king, but the king is not related to everything living in his kingdom.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
minasoliman said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
A curious thought, which just came to me, which may or may not have been expressed previously on this thread or elsewhere.

I see interesting parallels between the bloodline of Adam and the bloodline of the Theotokos.

As the bloodline of the Theotokos was nurtured and cultivated over generations to prepare her to bear God the Word, so too I believe the bloodline of Adam. Both of them arose through previous generations, but each of these generations shaped the next to come, eventually paving the way for God's ultimate purpose. From the humblest of creatures arose man, the crowning glory of God's creation and the father of humanity, Adam, who through succeeding generations, eventually gave rise to the Queen of humanity, the Theotokos.

One was made worthy to bear the image of God, and the other was made worthy to bear God Himself.
curious indeed. i wonder if you can find Patristic support for it.
Perhaps not strictly bloodline, but I think there is plenty of Patristics where man is created last because the Earth needed to be cultivated and prepared for man.  In the spirit of the Fathers, Ortho-Cat seems to follow this line of thought.
if its not a lineage of bloodline then it has nothing to do with biological evolution ....

yes, the kingdom needed to be prepared for the king, but the king is not related to everything living in his kingdom.
So where did the king come from?
 

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minasoliman said:
Is that really all you're actually worried about with evolution?

Well, here's a possible solution.  They had to be assured immortality by living a life in accordance with God's command in Paradise.  In other words, the first humans that were born with God's Image can be believed to be taken into Paradise, grew up, and then when they failed, they fell back into mortality.

minasoliman said:
Here's a quote I read from Francis Collin's book, "The Language of God".  I must admit though, I haven't read C.S. Lewis' book where he got this from:

For long centuries, God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. he gave it hands whose thumb could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all of the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated. The creature may have existed in this state for ages before it became man: it may even have been clever enough to make things which a modern archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes were directed to purely material and natural ends. Then, in the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say "I" and "me," which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty and goodness, and which was so far above time that it could perceive time flowing past.... We do not know how many of these creatures God made, nor how long they continued in the Paradisal state. But sooner or later they fell. Someone or something whispered that they could become as gods.... They wanted some corner in this universe of which they could say to God, "This is our business, not yours." But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives. We have no idea in what particular act, or series of acts, the self-contradictory, impossible wish found expression. For all I can see, it might have concerned the literal eating of a fruit, the the question is of no consequence. (C.S. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 68-71)
In some way, C.S. Lewis preserves the idea of "The Fall."  I think this is a very relevant quote, and something that aided me in my belief.
i dont know how you can say "is that all?" when our entire faith is about death. death is the last enemy to be overthrown. aah, but not if evolution is true, then death becomes enshrined as a good part of God's creation which logically means it doesn't need to be overthrown which makes Christ's physical Resurrection just a nice show.

and your possible solution is not a solution to harmonizing evolution and Orthodoxy, because the very idea of physical immortality comes from a literal reading of Genesis and has absolutely no place in Genesis. can you find me even one evolutionary scientist who will say "sure, the science of evolution acknowledges the possibility of immortality?" otherwise, you're confessing something that is anti-thetical to evolution.

and death isnt the only issue, its just the biggest in my opinion. the teaching that man is the unique king and crown of creation as evidenced by his unique physical creation is lost because his unique physical creation is tossed aside. anthropology which is so important for our faith is distorted. in general, the interpretive method of the Fathers is questioned and undermined, etc etc. the very beginning of the story is completely changed, and yet its assumed that the rest of the story will somehow remain exactly the same. its silly.
 

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Ortho_cat said:
jckstraw72 said:
minasoliman said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
A curious thought, which just came to me, which may or may not have been expressed previously on this thread or elsewhere.

I see interesting parallels between the bloodline of Adam and the bloodline of the Theotokos.

As the bloodline of the Theotokos was nurtured and cultivated over generations to prepare her to bear God the Word, so too I believe the bloodline of Adam. Both of them arose through previous generations, but each of these generations shaped the next to come, eventually paving the way for God's ultimate purpose. From the humblest of creatures arose man, the crowning glory of God's creation and the father of humanity, Adam, who through succeeding generations, eventually gave rise to the Queen of humanity, the Theotokos.

One was made worthy to bear the image of God, and the other was made worthy to bear God Himself.
curious indeed. i wonder if you can find Patristic support for it.
Perhaps not strictly bloodline, but I think there is plenty of Patristics where man is created last because the Earth needed to be cultivated and prepared for man.  In the spirit of the Fathers, Ortho-Cat seems to follow this line of thought.
if its not a lineage of bloodline then it has nothing to do with biological evolution ....

yes, the kingdom needed to be prepared for the king, but the king is not related to everything living in his kingdom.
So where did the king come from?
God fashioned him instantaneously from the dust of the earth. He did not descend from other lifeforms for billions of years.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
jckstraw72 said:
minasoliman said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
A curious thought, which just came to me, which may or may not have been expressed previously on this thread or elsewhere.

I see interesting parallels between the bloodline of Adam and the bloodline of the Theotokos.

As the bloodline of the Theotokos was nurtured and cultivated over generations to prepare her to bear God the Word, so too I believe the bloodline of Adam. Both of them arose through previous generations, but each of these generations shaped the next to come, eventually paving the way for God's ultimate purpose. From the humblest of creatures arose man, the crowning glory of God's creation and the father of humanity, Adam, who through succeeding generations, eventually gave rise to the Queen of humanity, the Theotokos.

One was made worthy to bear the image of God, and the other was made worthy to bear God Himself.
curious indeed. i wonder if you can find Patristic support for it.
Perhaps not strictly bloodline, but I think there is plenty of Patristics where man is created last because the Earth needed to be cultivated and prepared for man.  In the spirit of the Fathers, Ortho-Cat seems to follow this line of thought.
if its not a lineage of bloodline then it has nothing to do with biological evolution ....

yes, the kingdom needed to be prepared for the king, but the king is not related to everything living in his kingdom.
So where did the king come from?
God fashioned him instantaneously from the dust of the earth. He did not descend from other lifeforms for billions of years.
And I consider dust of the earth to mean the lowest of life-forms. So it the key distinction for you between instantaneous and gradual?
 

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Ortho_cat said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
jckstraw72 said:
minasoliman said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
A curious thought, which just came to me, which may or may not have been expressed previously on this thread or elsewhere.

I see interesting parallels between the bloodline of Adam and the bloodline of the Theotokos.

As the bloodline of the Theotokos was nurtured and cultivated over generations to prepare her to bear God the Word, so too I believe the bloodline of Adam. Both of them arose through previous generations, but each of these generations shaped the next to come, eventually paving the way for God's ultimate purpose. From the humblest of creatures arose man, the crowning glory of God's creation and the father of humanity, Adam, who through succeeding generations, eventually gave rise to the Queen of humanity, the Theotokos.

One was made worthy to bear the image of God, and the other was made worthy to bear God Himself.
curious indeed. i wonder if you can find Patristic support for it.
Perhaps not strictly bloodline, but I think there is plenty of Patristics where man is created last because the Earth needed to be cultivated and prepared for man.  In the spirit of the Fathers, Ortho-Cat seems to follow this line of thought.
if its not a lineage of bloodline then it has nothing to do with biological evolution ....

yes, the kingdom needed to be prepared for the king, but the king is not related to everything living in his kingdom.
So where did the king come from?
God fashioned him instantaneously from the dust of the earth. He did not descend from other lifeforms for billions of years.
And I consider dust of the earth to mean the lowest of life-forms. So it the key distinction for you between instantaneous and gradual?
yes that is at least one distinction. the Fathers are pretty clear about that. Some even directly said that God did not take a long to create for that is not befitting of the the glory of the all-powerful God.

also, Scripture states that God formed man from the dust of the ground on the 6th day. at this point, all other lifeforms were already in existence, so its not as if God called dust up through a line of succession all the way to man. the Tradition is clear that it went from dust to man instantaneously, without biological relation to any other lifeform.

if man was formed in a chain of succession then his coming-into-existence (it wouldnt strictly speaking even be a creation of man in this scenario, but rather a creation of something else that becomes man) wouldnt be unique at all, which would destroy the Patristic teaching that man's unique creation teaches us his place in creation.

also, Scripture, and the Fathers teach that God had several different creative acts of living beings, but if evolution and common descent are true then God really only had one creative act, from which everything else slithered out.

basically every detail of the story has to be dramatically reworked to fit the evolutionary framework.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
jckstraw72 said:
minasoliman said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ortho_cat said:
A curious thought, which just came to me, which may or may not have been expressed previously on this thread or elsewhere.

I see interesting parallels between the bloodline of Adam and the bloodline of the Theotokos.

As the bloodline of the Theotokos was nurtured and cultivated over generations to prepare her to bear God the Word, so too I believe the bloodline of Adam. Both of them arose through previous generations, but each of these generations shaped the next to come, eventually paving the way for God's ultimate purpose. From the humblest of creatures arose man, the crowning glory of God's creation and the father of humanity, Adam, who through succeeding generations, eventually gave rise to the Queen of humanity, the Theotokos.

One was made worthy to bear the image of God, and the other was made worthy to bear God Himself.
curious indeed. i wonder if you can find Patristic support for it.
Perhaps not strictly bloodline, but I think there is plenty of Patristics where man is created last because the Earth needed to be cultivated and prepared for man.  In the spirit of the Fathers, Ortho-Cat seems to follow this line of thought.
if its not a lineage of bloodline then it has nothing to do with biological evolution ....

yes, the kingdom needed to be prepared for the king, but the king is not related to everything living in his kingdom.
So where did the king come from?
God fashioned him instantaneously from the dust of the earth. He did not descend from other lifeforms for billions of years.
And I consider dust of the earth to mean the lowest of life-forms. So it the key distinction for you between instantaneous and gradual?
yes that is at least one distinction. the Fathers are pretty clear about that. Some even directly said that God did not take a long to create for that is not befitting of the the glory of the all-powerful God.
God could have instantaneously created Jesus as a man without bringing him into the world through a human lineage over the process of thousands of years after the fall of man. Does this take away of some of His glory by 'taking so long' to bring his Son into the world?


also, Scripture states that God formed man from the dust of the ground on the 6th day. at this point, all other lifeforms were already in existence, so its not as if God called dust up through a line of succession all the way to man. the Tradition is clear that it went from dust to man instantaneously, without biological relation to any other lifeform.
Scripture says alot of things that if interpreted by the literal word don't make a whole lot of sense. I've also seen Orthodox commentary where they argue that specific cues were purposely placed in scripture so as to lead the reader away from a literal interpretation and towards an allegorical one. It says on the '6th day' God created man, that is Man as we know him, in God's image. The 6th day is the last 'day' of creation, and man in his current state (homo sapiens) is among the last of the modern creatures to have come into existence (from an evolutionary framework). I see no contradiction here. Also, are you arguing that Orthodoxy strictly teaches a literal 6 day creation scheme/young earth as well?


if man was formed in a chain of succession then his coming-into-existence (it wouldnt strictly speaking even be a creation of man in this scenario, but rather a creation of something else that becomes man) wouldnt be unique at all, which would destroy the Patristic teaching that man's unique creation teaches us his place in creation.
I don't think so. Although the Theotokos came from a succession of generations of man, would you say that she is unique among creation, even though she had normal human ancestors? Again, you are ignoring here that theistic evolutionists maintain that once man was adequately prepared to receive God's spirit, the soul, it is then that he became fully human and was deemed fit to partake in communion with the Holy Trinity for eternity.

also, Scripture, and the Fathers teach that God had several different creative acts of living beings, but if evolution and common descent are true then God really only had one creative act, from which everything else slithered out. .
Everyone human is the result of a uniquely creative act, fashioned by God in the womb, when they are granted the gift of a human soul. I rather dislike the usage of 'slithered out' here. I prefer 'triumphally ventured onto land".


basically every detail of the story has to be dramatically reworked to fit the evolutionary framework.
I do not think this is the case at all. Again, agree to disagree.

 

minasoliman

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jckstraw72 said:
minasoliman said:
Is that really all you're actually worried about with evolution?

Well, here's a possible solution.  They had to be assured immortality by living a life in accordance with God's command in Paradise.  In other words, the first humans that were born with God's Image can be believed to be taken into Paradise, grew up, and then when they failed, they fell back into mortality.

minasoliman said:
Here's a quote I read from Francis Collin's book, "The Language of God".  I must admit though, I haven't read C.S. Lewis' book where he got this from:

For long centuries, God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. he gave it hands whose thumb could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all of the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated. The creature may have existed in this state for ages before it became man: it may even have been clever enough to make things which a modern archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes were directed to purely material and natural ends. Then, in the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say "I" and "me," which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty and goodness, and which was so far above time that it could perceive time flowing past.... We do not know how many of these creatures God made, nor how long they continued in the Paradisal state. But sooner or later they fell. Someone or something whispered that they could become as gods.... They wanted some corner in this universe of which they could say to God, "This is our business, not yours." But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives. We have no idea in what particular act, or series of acts, the self-contradictory, impossible wish found expression. For all I can see, it might have concerned the literal eating of a fruit, the the question is of no consequence. (C.S. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 68-71)
In some way, C.S. Lewis preserves the idea of "The Fall."  I think this is a very relevant quote, and something that aided me in my belief.
i dont know how you can say "is that all?" when our entire faith is about death. death is the last enemy to be overthrown. aah, but not if evolution is true, then death becomes enshrined as a good part of God's creation which logically means it doesn't need to be overthrown which makes Christ's physical Resurrection just a nice show.

and your possible solution is not a solution to harmonizing evolution and Orthodoxy, because the very idea of physical immortality comes from a literal reading of Genesis and has absolutely no place in Genesis. can you find me even one evolutionary scientist who will say "sure, the science of evolution acknowledges the possibility of immortality?" otherwise, you're confessing something that is anti-thetical to evolution.

and death isnt the only issue, its just the biggest in my opinion. the teaching that man is the unique king and crown of creation as evidenced by his unique physical creation is lost because his unique physical creation is tossed aside. anthropology which is so important for our faith is distorted. in general, the interpretive method of the Fathers is questioned and undermined, etc etc. the very beginning of the story is completely changed, and yet its assumed that the rest of the story will somehow remain exactly the same. its silly.
I've given you how both can be accepted without compromising the idea that we must fight death.  You seem to not get it.  You want science to find proof for immortality.  For science to do that, the spirit has to be sensible, and this is not what the Church fathers believed.  So I don't see how man's salvation is compromised if all of nature except man was dying.  Christ talked about removing branches and pruning branches, etc.  Christ talked about cutting off anything that is bad and throwing it in the fire for destruction.

God programmed the cosmos to work itself out.  As soon as it came to the apes, when the most perfect ape was about to come, God breathed into it.  God formed all animals in Genesis out of the dust of the Earth, but He didn't give all animals the "grace of immortality."  All creation is impermanent, but only man (and angels) have a share in the Image of God.

Is it really necessary for your salvation that all other creatures had to be immortal before the Fall?
 

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According to some Muslims, Darwinism/evolutionary-theory will only end with the Second Coming of Jesus:

"With the second coming of Jesus (pbuh), THE ALL-OUT PRESSURE OF DARWINIST DICTATORSHIP OVER THE ENTIRE WORLD WILL COME TO A DEFINITE END. When Jesus (pbuh) comes to the world for the second time, he will bring proof from the Qur’an, the New Testament and the Old Testament, and will DESTROY THIS SUPERSTITIOUS SYSTEM. From the hadith we understand that, by Allah’s leave, HAZRAT MAHDI (PBUH) HAS ALREADY APPEARED. Before the return of Jesus (pbuh), Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) will defeat Darwinism and eradicate this deviant religion. When Jesus (pbuh) comes, on the other hand, he will put an end to the deviant dictatorship established by the religion of Darwinism. With the returning of Jesus (pbuh), THE POPE WILL BE RELEASED FROM THE PRESSURE OF THOSE WHO FORCE HIM TO ADVOCATE DARWINISM. Those who advocate Darwin and try to spread atheism to the entire world, like Richard Dawkins, on the other hand, will come to realize the big mistake they have done. Jesus (pbuh), together with Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh), will release all the pressure upon people and destroy all beliefs and ideologies openly denying Allah. In this age called the The Golden Age, people will experience an unprecedented environment of peace, comfort and abundance, and will be free from all superstitious religions and this deviant dictatorship. By Allah’s leave, this period is very close."

 
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