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

JamesR

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To be honest, I think that you are all full of poop in this regard. I don't find any of this pseudo-science Protestant stuff very convincing, and I also don't have much respect for these evolution-is-100%-compatible-with-Orthodoxy moderndox people. If someone seriously examines it, they will see that evolution and theology do in fact conflict to some extent. The way I see it is like this; if you can accept that bread and wine becomes God in a mystical way that we can't quite understand and that God is 3 yet 1, why can't you accept that there is some Divine, mystical mystery to Creation that we can't quite understand? I at least find this much more sincere than the pseudo science that Creationists rely on.
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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JamesR said:
To be honest, I think that you are all full of poop in this regard. I don't find any of this pseudo-science Protestant stuff very convincing, and I also don't have much respect for these evolution-is-100%-compatible-with-Orthodoxy moderndox people. If someone seriously examines it, they will see that evolution and theology do in fact conflict to some extent. The way I see it is like this; if you can accept that bread and wine becomes God in a mystical way that we can't quite understand and that God is 3 yet 1, why can't you accept that there is some Divine, mystical mystery to Creation that we can't quite understand? I at least find this much more sincere than the pseudo science that Creationists rely on.
I posted the same analogy with the Eucharist a few million posts ago.  :)
 

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JamesR said:
To be honest, I think that you are all full of poop in this regard. I don't find any of this pseudo-science Protestant stuff very convincing, and I also don't have much respect for these evolution-is-100%-compatible-with-Orthodoxy moderndox people. If someone seriously examines it, they will see that evolution and theology do in fact conflict to some extent. The way I see it is like this; if you can accept that bread and wine becomes God in a mystical way that we can't quite understand and that God is 3 yet 1, why can't you accept that there is some Divine, mystical mystery to Creation that we can't quite understand? I at least find this much more sincere than the pseudo science that Creationists rely on.
Works for me, JamesR. Well said.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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JamesR said:
To be honest, I think that you are all full of poop in this regard. I don't find any of this pseudo-science Protestant stuff very convincing, and I also don't have much respect for these evolution-is-100%-compatible-with-Orthodoxy moderndox people. If someone seriously examines it, they will see that evolution and theology do in fact conflict to some extent. The way I see it is like this; if you can accept that bread and wine becomes God in a mystical way that we can't quite understand and that God is 3 yet 1, why can't you accept that there is some Divine, mystical mystery to Creation that we can't quite understand? I at least find this much more sincere than the pseudo science that Creationists rely on.
Not sure who you are addressing here. I certainly have never advocated "Creationist science." I am 100% in favor of science. I object to  philosophy that masquerades as science, and there are evolutionists and creationists who are guilty of this. My main concern is upholding Orthodox theology. And to make God - rather than sin - responsible for death is blasphemous. I'm with you completely that the origin of life is a divinely authored mystery. Let's allow science to explain what it can while acknowledging that science has limits. Philosophical plausibility does not equal scientific reality. Evolutionists conflate the two.


Selam
 

Opus118

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
JamesR said:
To be honest, I think that you are all full of poop in this regard. I don't find any of this pseudo-science Protestant stuff very convincing, and I also don't have much respect for these evolution-is-100%-compatible-with-Orthodoxy moderndox people. If someone seriously examines it, they will see that evolution and theology do in fact conflict to some extent. The way I see it is like this; if you can accept that bread and wine becomes God in a mystical way that we can't quite understand and that God is 3 yet 1, why can't you accept that there is some Divine, mystical mystery to Creation that we can't quite understand? I at least find this much more sincere than the pseudo science that Creationists rely on.
Not sure who you are addressing here. I certainly have never advocated "Creationist science." I am 100% in favor of science. I object to  philosophy that masquerades as science, and there are evolutionists and creationists who are guilty of this. My main concern is upholding Orthodox theology. And to make God - rather than sin - responsible for death is blasphemous. I'm with you completely that the origin of life is a divinely authored mystery. Let's allow science to explain what it can while acknowledging that science has limits. Philosophical plausibility does not equal scientific reality. Evolutionists conflate the two.


Selam
I hope it is not addressed to you as well.

When we discuss this issue you should know that I have never taken an evolutionary biology course nor an ecology course. I possibly will not be able to answer particular questions in these fields. What I do know is how evolution occurs.

 

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TheTrisagion said:
tetepet said:
TheTrisagion said:
tetepet said:
With all the things I saw and the rituals I took apart in while I was a pagan, plus what lead to me becoming an Orthodox Christian I can not not believe in God.
This may be true, but it doesn't have anything to do with creationism vs evolution.  Evolution does not eliminate the possibility of God.
Does it not do that by replacing creator with chance?
No. It states that inherited characteristics of biological populations can change as time goes on.  It does not say anything about the origin of organisms.

Ohh. I see. Good to know
 

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Does the narrative of the Serpent in Genesis communicate something about the role of snakes in the evolution of primate vision?

"Oct. 28, 2013 — Was the evolution of high-quality vision in our ancestors driven by the threat of snakes? Work by neuroscientists in Japan and Brazil is supporting the theory originally put forward by Lynne Isbell, professor of anthropology at the University of California, Davis.
....
Isbell originally published her hypothesis in 2006, following up with a book, The Fruit, the Tree and the Serpent (Harvard University Press, 2009) in which she argued that our primate ancestors evolved good, close-range vision primarily to spot and avoid dangerous snakes."

____________

This might have some relevance to the current practice of snake-handling among some Pentecostals.
 

TheTrisagion

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My guess would be no.  I think any attempt to ascertain scientific theory from Scripture does a disservice to both science and our faith. The title of her book alone demonstrates what is so wrong with much of today's scientific community.  They do not wish religion to enter science, but then turn around and attempt to squeeze their worldviews into faith circles (i.e. placing "cute" titles on their books referencing religious narratives).  It is contemptable.
 

Jetavan

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TheTrisagion said:
My guess would be no.  I think any attempt to ascertain scientific theory from Scripture does a disservice to both science and our faith. The title of her book alone demonstrates what is so wrong with much of today's scientific community.  They do not wish religion to enter science, but then turn around and attempt to squeeze their worldviews into faith circles (i.e. placing "cute" titles on their books referencing religious narratives).  It is contemptable.
I should point out that Isbell didn't make the connection with Genesis (or, if she did, she was not being serious about it); rather, I made the connection.

If Scripture does communicate something about reality -- without being a scientific text-book -- then would it be impossible for Scripture to confirm certain ideas also confirmed by science? For instance, the narrative of Genesis chapter 1 to chapter 2 verse 3, need not be understood as a scientific description of how the cosmos formed, but there are basic ideas in that narrative (the appearance of animal life in the water before on the land; or the relatively late appearance of humans) that are consistent with modern science. Perhaps the Serpent narrative is an example of an intuitive or revelatory symbol that touches upon something empirically verifiable.

It is interesting that Adam and Eve's "eyes" were "opened" as a result of contact with the Serpent.
 

TheTrisagion

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Jetavan said:
TheTrisagion said:
My guess would be no.  I think any attempt to ascertain scientific theory from Scripture does a disservice to both science and our faith. The title of her book alone demonstrates what is so wrong with much of today's scientific community.  They do not wish religion to enter science, but then turn around and attempt to squeeze their worldviews into faith circles (i.e. placing "cute" titles on their books referencing religious narratives).  It is contemptable.
I should point out that Isbell didn't make the connection with Genesis (or, if she did, she was not being serious about it); rather, I made the connection.
The title of her book is a clear allusion to the Genesis story.

If Scripture does communicate something about reality -- without being a scientific text-book -- then would it be impossible for Scripture to confirm certain ideas also confirmed by science? For instance, the narrative of Genesis chapter 1 to chapter 2 verse 3, need not be understood as a scientific description of how the cosmos formed, but there are basic ideas in that narrative (the appearance of animal life in the water before on the land; or the relatively late appearance of humans) that are consistent with modern science. Perhaps the Serpent narrative is an example of an intuitive or revelatory symbol that touches upon something empirically verifiable.

It is interesting that Adam and Eve's "eyes" were "opened" as a result of contact with the Serpent.
Scripture does communicate something about reality, but not necessarily physical reality.  It is like an icon.  We don't think that all the saints just stood around with scrolls in their hand making the sign of the cross while their head had a halo around it. It is an image of "the beyond".  Scripture's intent is to convey information about the "beyond".  There are historical accounts in it, but even those are not intended for us to study history from, it is so that we might learn a spiritual lesson from.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
All I know is God did it. I don't really care how, and it's not for me to know anyway. The same thing with the Eucharist.
+1

I enjoyed very much a recent talk by Fr. Thomas Hopko on "The Slippery Slope", and in it, he does mention the Bible is interpreted incorrectly by those who wish to contradict the faith with the science of evolution, which to him is a non-issue:

www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/the_slippery_slope

 

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minasoliman said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
All I know is God did it. I don't really care how, and it's not for me to know anyway. The same thing with the Eucharist.
+1

I enjoyed very much a recent talk by Fr. Thomas Hopko on "The Slippery Slope", and in it, he does mention the Bible is interpreted incorrectly by those who wish to contradict the faith with the science of evolution, which to him is a non-issue:

www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/the_slippery_slope
You're all wrong. Scientific revolutions are always an issue.
 

Jetavan

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TheTrisagion said:
The title of her book is a clear allusion to the Genesis story.
True, but she didn't seriously propose that Genesis is able to communicate an empirical truth due to divine inspiration. For her, it was more of a good guess arising from the observations of an ancient writer.

Scripture does communicate something about reality, but not necessarily physical reality.  It is like an icon.  We don't think that all the saints just stood around with scrolls in their hand making the sign of the cross while their head had a halo around it. It is an image of "the beyond".  Scripture's intent is to convey information about the "beyond".  There are historical accounts in it, but even those are not intended for us to study history from, it is so that we might learn a spiritual lesson from.
Are you saying that the 'halo' around saints is purely an image constructed by the icon-writer?
 

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Jetavan said:
Are you saying that the 'halo' around saints is purely an image constructed by the icon-writer?
I'd say so. Being so close to the Lord, I'd imagine that the saints wouldn't simply shine from their heads but from their entire bodies They are more likely to have a mandorla than a simple halo.

Not that it would be right to depict them as such. Best to leave that motif to Christ alone.
 

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Hawkeye said:
Jetavan said:
Are you saying that the 'halo' around saints is purely an image constructed by the icon-writer?
I'd say so. Being so close to the Lord, I'd imagine that the saints wouldn't simply shine from their heads but from their entire bodies....
Well, the face of Moses did shine (Exodus 34:35).
 

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Jetavan said:
Does the narrative of the Serpent in Genesis communicate something about the role of snakes in the evolution of primate vision?

"Oct. 28, 2013 — Was the evolution of high-quality vision in our ancestors driven by the threat of snakes? Work by neuroscientists in Japan and Brazil is supporting the theory originally put forward by Lynne Isbell, professor of anthropology at the University of California, Davis.
....
Isbell originally published her hypothesis in 2006, following up with a book, The Fruit, the Tree and the Serpent (Harvard University Press, 2009) in which she argued that our primate ancestors evolved good, close-range vision primarily to spot and avoid dangerous snakes."

____________

This might have some relevance to the current practice of snake-handling among some Pentecostals.
Some saint wrote that the snake was man's closest friend before the Fall.
 

Shanghaiski

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TheTrisagion said:
My guess would be no.  I think any attempt to ascertain scientific theory from Scripture does a disservice to both science and our faith. The title of her book alone demonstrates what is so wrong with much of today's scientific community.  They do not wish religion to enter science, but then turn around and attempt to squeeze their worldviews into faith circles (i.e. placing "cute" titles on their books referencing religious narratives).  It is contemptable.
Indeed.
 

minasoliman

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William said:
Jetavan said:
Does the narrative of the Serpent in Genesis communicate something about the role of snakes in the evolution of primate vision?

"Oct. 28, 2013 — Was the evolution of high-quality vision in our ancestors driven by the threat of snakes? Work by neuroscientists in Japan and Brazil is supporting the theory originally put forward by Lynne Isbell, professor of anthropology at the University of California, Davis.
....
Isbell originally published her hypothesis in 2006, following up with a book, The Fruit, the Tree and the Serpent (Harvard University Press, 2009) in which she argued that our primate ancestors evolved good, close-range vision primarily to spot and avoid dangerous snakes."

____________

This might have some relevance to the current practice of snake-handling among some Pentecostals.
Some saint wrote that the snake was man's closest friend before the Fall.
In the Coptic Church, we have a famous medieval saint, St. Barsoum the Naked, who lived in a cave where a large snake/serpent (supposedly big enough for people to be scared and stay away) lived.  Legend has it, by his prayers, the serpent was tame, and it became for St. Barsoum not just a pet, but a loyal servant, even trying to protect St. Barsoum from persecution.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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minasoliman said:
William said:
Jetavan said:
Does the narrative of the Serpent in Genesis communicate something about the role of snakes in the evolution of primate vision?

"Oct. 28, 2013 — Was the evolution of high-quality vision in our ancestors driven by the threat of snakes? Work by neuroscientists in Japan and Brazil is supporting the theory originally put forward by Lynne Isbell, professor of anthropology at the University of California, Davis.
....
Isbell originally published her hypothesis in 2006, following up with a book, The Fruit, the Tree and the Serpent (Harvard University Press, 2009) in which she argued that our primate ancestors evolved good, close-range vision primarily to spot and avoid dangerous snakes."

____________

This might have some relevance to the current practice of snake-handling among some Pentecostals.
Some saint wrote that the snake was man's closest friend before the Fall.
In the Coptic Church, we have a famous medieval saint, St. Barsoum the Naked, who lived in a cave where a large snake/serpent (supposedly big enough for people to be scared and stay away) lived.  Legend has it, by his prayers, the serpent was tame, and it became for St. Barsoum not just a pet, but a loyal servant, even trying to protect St. Barsoum from persecution.
This reminds me of our Ethiopian Saint, Abuna Aregawi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abuna_Aregawi
http://ethiopiatours.eu/debre-damo-monastery/






Selam
 

minasoliman

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
minasoliman said:
William said:
Jetavan said:
Does the narrative of the Serpent in Genesis communicate something about the role of snakes in the evolution of primate vision?

"Oct. 28, 2013 — Was the evolution of high-quality vision in our ancestors driven by the threat of snakes? Work by neuroscientists in Japan and Brazil is supporting the theory originally put forward by Lynne Isbell, professor of anthropology at the University of California, Davis.
....
Isbell originally published her hypothesis in 2006, following up with a book, The Fruit, the Tree and the Serpent (Harvard University Press, 2009) in which she argued that our primate ancestors evolved good, close-range vision primarily to spot and avoid dangerous snakes."

____________

This might have some relevance to the current practice of snake-handling among some Pentecostals.
Some saint wrote that the snake was man's closest friend before the Fall.
In the Coptic Church, we have a famous medieval saint, St. Barsoum the Naked, who lived in a cave where a large snake/serpent (supposedly big enough for people to be scared and stay away) lived.  Legend has it, by his prayers, the serpent was tame, and it became for St. Barsoum not just a pet, but a loyal servant, even trying to protect St. Barsoum from persecution.
This reminds me of our Ethiopian Saint, Abuna Aregawi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abuna_Aregawi
http://ethiopiatours.eu/debre-damo-monastery/






Selam
I find it fascinating how Ethiopian remote places of monasticism usually require dangerously climbing to them.  Makes it very hard for visitors to come...probably the point since monks are trying to be separate from the world.  In Egypt, though in the middle of dangerous deserts, car roads are made for pilgrims to easily get to.
 

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tetepet said:
I see all you guys are saying is under the assumption that the evolution theory is fact.
It doesn't affect me one way or another if its fact or not. Neither will it affect my faith.

Creationism is not an article of faith, contrary to how the Baptists act.

PP
 

minasoliman

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primuspilus said:
tetepet said:
I see all you guys are saying is under the assumption that the evolution theory is fact.
It doesn't affect me one way or another if its fact or not. Neither will it affect my faith.

Creationism is not an article of faith, contrary to how the Baptists act.

PP
+1

This is the essence of spiritual maturity.
 

primuspilus

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minasoliman said:
primuspilus said:
tetepet said:
I see all you guys are saying is under the assumption that the evolution theory is fact.
It doesn't affect me one way or another if its fact or not. Neither will it affect my faith.

Creationism is not an article of faith, contrary to how the Baptists act.

PP
+1

This is the essence of spiritual maturity.
No, no, no..I am not spiritually mature. Its kind of like the the kid who always tracks dirt in the house everyday remembers one time to take his shoes off before entering the house ONCE....the next day he's back at it.....


PP
 

minasoliman

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primuspilus said:
minasoliman said:
primuspilus said:
tetepet said:
I see all you guys are saying is under the assumption that the evolution theory is fact.
It doesn't affect me one way or another if its fact or not. Neither will it affect my faith.

Creationism is not an article of faith, contrary to how the Baptists act.

PP
+1

This is the essence of spiritual maturity.
No, no, no..I am not spiritually mature. Its kind of like the the kid who always tracks dirt in the house everyday remembers one time to take his shoes off before entering the house ONCE....the next day he's back at it.....


PP
lol!

For this issue, you are.  Knowing that you are well-rooted in the Orthodox faith, and neither Creationist nor Evolution views matter to your faith is a sign of a strong and mature faith.  As for taking off your shoes, let's pray we all do that here in this thread before we walk around this household.
 

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primuspilus said:
tetepet said:
I see all you guys are saying is under the assumption that the evolution theory is fact.
It doesn't affect me one way or another if its fact or not. Neither will it affect my faith.

Creationism is not an article of faith, contrary to how the Baptists act.

PP
+1

Well said.
 

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What evolutionary advantage, if any, was there in human feet sweating so much (as opposed to, say, the knee)?
 

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primuspilus said:
tetepet said:
I see all you guys are saying is under the assumption that the evolution theory is fact.
It doesn't affect me one way or another if its fact or not. Neither will it affect my faith.

Creationism is not an article of faith, contrary to how the Baptists act.

PP
Seen
 

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Asteriktos said:
What evolutionary advantage, if any, was there in human feet sweating so much (as opposed to, say, the knee)?
Sweat from the feet would mark one's territory as belonging to you.
 

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Asteriktos said:
What evolutionary advantage, if any, was there in human feet sweating so much (as opposed to, say, the knee)?
The evolutionary advantage is this:

1.  Assuming "normal=non-sweaty feet" (which I don't know personally, but just for fun), somewhere along the lineage of humans, a mutation occurred, where you get sweaty feet.
2.  You didn't die prematurely
3.  You grew up and lived a normal life
4.  You're wearing socks and shoes, so it makes no difference between you and the non-sweaty feet humans
5.  A mate chose you despite your sweaty feet, and you reproduced more children, some with sweaty feet, some without (maybe)
6.  You're fit in an environment that allows sweaty feet humans to strive along with non-sweaty feet humans
7.  If perhaps a debilitating virus with no treatment and 100% mortality comes and can ONLY recognize non-sweaty feet humans, sweaty feet humans become the epitome of "survival of the fittest".
8.  If perhaps in extremely hot climates, non-sweaty feet will have burning, uncomfortable feet, that could make them unattractive to their mates due to their inability to walk, sweaty feet are necessary for a cooling effect, even though the caveat would be smelly feet, at least they can walk and bear kids.

Congrats, you may now look at the bright side and enjoy your sweaty feet  ;)
 

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Thanks, I was just curious is all. I was watching a TV show a while back and it talked about this parasite that (after going through some processes like growing inside an insect) waits on the ground for a human host. Then when a bare-footed human walks on it it attaches itself and burrows into the new host/human. Anyway, that just got me to wondering about why we have feet like we do, as opposed to very hard feet. How I got sidetracked to sweat I don't recall now.  :D
 

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Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
What evolutionary advantage, if any, was there in human feet sweating so much (as opposed to, say, the knee)?
Sweat from the feet would mark one's territory as belonging to you.
I usually do something different, but I guess that'd work!  8)
 

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Asteriktos said:
Thanks, I was just curious is all. I was watching a TV show a while back and it talked about this parasite that (after going through some processes like growing inside an insect) waits on the ground for a human host. Then when a bare-footed human walks on it it attaches itself and burrows into the new host/human. Anyway, that just got me to wondering about why we have feet like we do, as opposed to very hard feet. How I got sidetracked to sweat I don't recall now.   :D
We do not have hard feet because we tend to pamper them in socks and shoes.  My brother moved to Thailand for a year or two a while back and decided to go 100% barefoot while he lived there.  When he came back, the soles of his feet were rock hard. That is probably TMI, but if we walked around fully barefoot, our feet would be just like a monkeys.
 
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Personally, I think that the supernatural nature of creation casts doubt on the truth of scientific theories related to the evolution of man and the age and genesis of the Earth and universe. Science is the investigation of natural phenomena, but the creation of the universe and life were supernatural events. If one investigates a supernatural event with the presumption that is natural, who knows what he will come up with? As has been mentioned in the thread before, if Adam were created an adult, he still had the age of an infant. If one looked at him with the presumption that his birth was natural, they would come to a conclusion regarding his age that would be incorrect. The observable data would yield an incorrect understanding because the issue at hand was approached improperly. I think something similar is occurring with science and evolution, etc. Scientists are looking at the result of supernatural events and then trying to reconstruct the natural chains of events which brought them about, which do not exist. Of course, within the process of science alone, these theories will be valid, as there is not a way to scientifically demonstrate that the events in question are supernatural. But that of course does not mean that said theories are true, due to the reasons I stated. Likewise I do not see the evidence used to support them to be a compelling reason to accept them.
 

JamesR

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I think it may be important to note that in regards to this whole Christianity/Evolution thing, many people often confuse Evolution with Abiogenesis--which is a different field of scientific study. Evolution shows how one form of life evolves into another--how we get biodiversity--Abiogenesis is the study of where life came from and how it all started, which is still in its infancy. I think that Christianity's issue is not so much with evolution, but it is more so with abiogenesis and the origin of man.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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FormerCalvinist said:
Personally, I think that the supernatural nature of creation casts doubt on the truth of scientific theories related to the evolution of man and the age and genesis of the Earth and universe. Science is the investigation of natural phenomena, but the creation of the universe and life were supernatural events. If one investigates a supernatural event with the presumption that is natural, who knows what he will come up with? As has been mentioned in the thread before, if Adam were created an adult, he still had the age of an infant. If one looked at him with the presumption that his birth was natural, they would come to a conclusion regarding his age that would be incorrect. The observable data would yield an incorrect understanding because the issue at hand was approached improperly. I think something similar is occurring with science and evolution, etc. Scientists are looking at the result of supernatural events and then trying to reconstruct the natural chains of events which brought them about, which do not exist. Of course, within the process of science alone, these theories will be valid, as there is not a way to scientifically demonstrate that the events in question are supernatural. But that of course does not mean that said theories are true, due to the reasons I stated. Likewise I do not see the evidence used to support them to be a compelling reason to accept them.
Excellent points.


Selam
 
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