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

Jibrail Almuhajir

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PeterTheAleut said:
Maybe not, as I implied earlier, but a biologist can at least offer a scientific viewpoint on the origins of life, even if it is nothing more than speculation.
People don't need speculations though, do they?

PeterTheAleut said:
However, if one is going to use scientific concepts to pontificate on the science of a particular point of view, then that person had better know what he's talking about.
'Cause you're here to swiftly administer justice, huh Peter?

PeterTheAleut said:
There's nothing ad hominem about this.
If you say so, Peter.
 

PeterTheAleut

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GabrieltheCelt said:
People don't need speculations though, do they?
But maybe a biologist could at least define for us what evolutionary theory is qualified to say about the origins of life and what evolutionary theory is NOT qualified to say, as opposed to this accusation leveled against evolutionists:

Demetrios G. said:
The current theory in fashion is that somehow, in the primordial soup, a bolt of lightning struck a bunch of oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and a few sulfur atoms... and they magically combined randomly to form amino acids.

...

So, I admire the evolutionists. Their faith is every bit as powerful as the believers!  ;)
 

greekischristian

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Αριστοκλής said:
Seems more cosmology to me.
Which is generally regarded as a subfield of astrophysics or at least that's the opinion of all the astrophysicists I've known. However, the one Mathematical Physicist I knew thought it to be a sub-field of Mathematical Physics, but he ultimately thought this of all the hard sciences from Physics to Chemistry to Biology to Ecology...so go figure.
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

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PeterTheAleut said:
But maybe a biologist could at least define for us what evolutionary theory is qualified to say about the origins of life and what evolutionary theory is NOT qualified to say, as opposed to this accusation leveled against evolutionists:
I think the accusation leveled might hold up against some evolutionists because I doubt the word 'evolutionist' is recognized by scientists because it seems to be a word with political connotations as it's usually prefaced with 'theistic' or 'atheistic'.  This would seem to help make my point that this whole topic is pointless.  So, to put my money where my mouth is, I'll have no more to say on this thread.
 

greekischristian

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GabrieltheCelt said:
I think the accusation leveled might hold up against some evolutionists because I doubt the word 'evolutionist' is recognized by scientists because it seems to be a word with political connotations as it's usually prefaced with 'theistic' or 'atheistic'.  This would seem to help make my point that this whole topic is pointless.  So, to put my money where my mouth is, I'll have no more to say on this thread.
No, most scientists wouldn't call themselves 'evolutionists' just as they wouldn't call themselves 'electromagneticists'...it's expected that a scientist would accept evolution just as they would accept electromagnetic theory, failure to do so without presenting overwhelming and groundbreaking never before published evidence to the contrary would simply demonstrate their incompetence and lack of qualification for their position. In science, the ability to objectively evaluate evidence and arrive at a rational conclusion based on the objective evidence is pretty much the most fundamental of required qualifications.
 

Tzimis

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PeterTheAleut said:
Another excellent source from the man who conceived the inflationary paradigm:

So, how does inflationary theory solve the horizon problem?  Inflationary theory allows the universe to have been much smaller than the classic Big Bang theory postulates, allowing the universe to achieve thermal isotropy (homogeneity) very easily before its phase of most rapid expansion made further heat transfer from one side to the other impossible.
Actually this is just one of many theories. This happens to be the predominant one. 
 

Tzimis

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PeterTheAleut said:
But maybe a biologist could at least define for us what evolutionary theory is qualified to say about the origins of life and what evolutionary theory is NOT qualified to say, as opposed to this accusation leveled against evolutionists:
Origins of life are from god or not from god. The battle will wage on until the answer is given.

Scientists aren't the problem. Everybody wants to be sure of everything. The only thing sure is death and taxes. ;)
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Actually this is just one of many theories. This happens to be the predominant one. 
Probably because it has the most evidence to support it. ;)  One of the marks of a good scientific theory is that you can make predictions from the theory and the predicted phenomena actually occur as predicted.

Demetrios G. said:
Scientists aren't the problem. Everybody wants to be sure of everything. The only thing sure is death and taxes. ;)
And even of death we can't be sure. ;)
 

Tzimis

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PeterTheAleut said:
Probably because it has the most evidence to support it. ;)  One of the marks of a good scientific theory is that you can make predictions from the theory and the predicted phenomena actually occur as predicted.
Theorizing is, for all intense and purposes. Guessing. ::)

And even of death we can't be sure. ;)
I would say it's the latter that one can't be sure of. ;)
 

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greekischristian said:
No, most scientists wouldn't call themselves 'evolutionists' just as they wouldn't call themselves 'electromagneticists'...it's expected that a scientist would accept evolution just as they would accept electromagnetic theory, failure to do so without presenting overwhelming and groundbreaking never before published evidence to the contrary would simply demonstrate their incompetence and lack of qualification for their position. In science, the ability to objectively evaluate evidence and arrive at a rational conclusion based on the objective evidence is pretty much the most fundamental of required qualifications.
Post of the Month nominee for an outstanding, well-reasoned, easily understandable, and badly needed definition.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Theorizing is, for all intense and purposes. Guessing. ::)
"Guessing"?  It's not "guessing" to take something that is known, real data about something, and make a hypothesis that might fit with what is known.  Guessing doesn't have to have any true information or reality behind it; it can be a 'flight of fancy'.  In the sciences a hypothesis is tested, there are experiments and the collection of more data, more real information about what happens, what results, what works and can it be repeated. 

Ebor 
 

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GabrieltheCelt said:
People don't need speculations though, do they?
We don't?  Speculation, the making and testing of hypothesis have had some wonderful results and advances for Humanity.  It was speculation on Edward Jenner's part as to why milkmaids didn't get smallpox that led him to try vaccination.  Thanks to that and the multitude of people who've worked with finding vaccines for other diseases it has improved, protected and prolonged the lives of millions upon millions of people. 

That's just one example.  So yes, for my part, People DO need speculations.

Ebor
 

Tzimis

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Ebor said:
"Guessing"?  It's not "guessing" to take something that is known, real data about something, and make a hypothesis that might fit with what is known.  Guessing doesn't have to have any true information or reality behind it; it can be a 'flight of fancy'.  In the sciences a hypothesis is tested, there are experiments and the collection of more data, more real information about what happens, what results, what works and can it be repeated. 

Ebor 
Show me the observable data and I will agree with you hands down. :-X
 

ytterbiumanalyst

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Demetrios G. said:
Show me the observable data and I will agree with you hands down. :-X
Here it is, direct from a scientist who observed it. Enjoy.

Available in a free ebook download here: http://ebooksdownloads.blogspot.com/2007/10/origin-of-species.html
 

Tzimis

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ytterbiumanalyst said:
Here it is, direct from a scientist who observed it. Enjoy.
He observed the change from ape too man. Interesting, But not true. All he observed was birds that changed colors. Wooa, we have a winner. ;)
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Show me the observable data and I will agree with you hands down.
Endogenous retroviruses.  No explanation I've heard makes sense except evolution.  Nothing else explains their patterns.  (To me, anyway -- But I'm always open to a new hypothesis.)
 
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"If God wants to use lightning on amino acids to create the universe, and explain it to the Israelites as "dust," He has the power to do that."

Excuse me, where did God get His Lightning if He needed it to kick start the Universe? 

Did our Lord make mud eyeballs for the blind man born without eyeballs or did He simply heal what was already there?  I would think that if the former, the choice to explain "dust" to the Israelites was adequate, since mud balls can become eyeballs, but if the latter is true...

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What is ultimately bizarre about evolution is there is both overwhelming evidence against it, and overwhelming evidence for it. Since that sentence probably made no sense to you, I would personally conclude that evolution is a developing theory that at present, has many flaws. To my understanding, the 7 day creation can be both interpreted metaphorically, or literally (in the Orthodox Church), depending on the individual, but whichever is right, it is irrelevant to the faith. It is more of scientific argument than a theological one, and the church shouldn't try to get involved in science, since ecclesiastical involvement is a blatant integration of rationalism and theology.

I've spent most of my life in a hard core Protestant school, which was big on Creationism vs. Evolution, and that anything else besides the literal interpretation was heresy. Although I didn't realize it, it was the result of trying to turn the Bible into a science textbook. I remember being taught that dinosaurs were actually not extinct, and somehow that disproved evolution.
 

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I had responded to this post before the Great Crash of '08, but it's been lost. I will attempt to re-reply.

Demetrios G. said:
He observed the change from ape too man. Interesting, But not true. All he observed was birds that changed colors. Wooa, we have a winner. ;)
Of course he didn't see that particular change, but it doesn't matter. He did observe evolution in action--by observing populations of birds adapting to a changing environment. But you'll never see that as long as you remain convinced that because Darwin's theory does not fit into your preconceived idea of how the world was created, he must have been completely wrong. This blatant anti-intellectualism is only going to serve to alienate thinking people from Christianity. Academic folk do not become atheists because Christianity is unreasonable; they give up religion because Christians are unreasonable and cannot admit that they do not know everything.
 

Pravoslavbob

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ytterbiumanalyst said:
I had responded to this post before the Great Crash of '08, but it's been lost. I will attempt to re-reply.
Of course he didn't see that particular change, but it doesn't matter. He did observe evolution in action--by observing populations of birds adapting to a changing environment. But you'll never see that as long as you remain convinced that because Darwin's theory does not fit into your preconceived idea of how the world was created, he must have been completely wrong. This blatant anti-intellectualism is only going to serve to alienate thinking people from Christianity. Academic folk do not become atheists because Christianity is unreasonable; they give up religion because Christians are unreasonable and cannot admit that they do not know everything.
IMHO, the best post on this thread in weeks! 
 
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He did observe evolution in action  Of course anyone having read Gould on Darwin knows that Darwin denied observing evoultion in action.
 

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zoarthegleaner said:
Of course anyone having read Gould on Darwin knows that Darwin denied observing evoultion in action.
Here is a letter I wrote to the editor.  I am very sure it was not published.

INCIPIT  Instead of teaching what evolution is not (as Amy Binder and John Evans propose in “Teach what evolution is not:  A model for morality,” RG, August 3, 2008), it is much better to teach what it is:  a result of  inductive logic, i.e., an attempt to reason from particular details to universal laws.  If this theory is divested of a certain religious aura and presented as a creature of inductive reasoning, there is no reason that it cannot be taught without controversy in the most obscurantist classrooms.  FINITUR

If I were to write it now, I would refer readers to 19th century Jesuit manuals of logic for clarification on inductive or material logic.
DanM
 

Tzimis

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Breaking news. The mega machine, "Hadron Collider" that was built to prove or disprove a deity. Is now on line. http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2008/PR08.08E.html
We should know if god exists in a about a year or so.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Breaking news. The mega machine, "Hadron Collider" that was built to prove or disprove a deity. Is now on line. http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2008/PR08.08E.html
We should know if god exists in a about a year or so.
Yeah, we know.  We're currently discussing this event here:  LHC Initial Success.

Now, what this has to do with evolution is anybody's guess.
 

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If God created Adam in a state of maturity, He could have done the same for the universe.
When Jesus turned water into wine, it had the appearance of grapes grown to maturation, squashed into grape juice, and fermented into alcohol. This He did in an instant. Those who were unaware of this miracle believed that it was normal wine, just as those who don't believe in a literal understanding of Genesis believe the earth is much older than what it says. While I don't believe that a young earth belief is required by Scripture or Christian faith, there are possible alternative explanations for scientific discoveries that conflict with the traditional understanding of Genesis.
 

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Acolyte said:
If God created Adam in a state of maturity, He could have done the same for the universe.
When Jesus turned water into wine, it had the appearance of grapes grown to maturation, squashed into grape juice, and fermented into alcohol. This He did in an instant.
Acknowledged.  However, these examples miss an important point.  If we had photographs of Adam as a young boy, if we had his grade school report cards, and if we had his childhood immunization records from the hospital, then we would quite rightly say "Hey, this is inconsistent with the view that he was created instantly as a mature man with no history."  And if the wine at the wedding had been served in bottles marked "Vintage A.D. 24", then likewise we would be right in wondering whether the wine did, in fact, have a history.

This is exactly the situation with the universe.  We have photographs of a universe from before there was a universe.  So we ponder the inconsistency and try to address it.
 

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chrevbel said:
Acolyte said:
If God created Adam in a state of maturity, He could have done the same for the universe.
When Jesus turned water into wine, it had the appearance of grapes grown to maturation, squashed into grape juice, and fermented into alcohol. This He did in an instant.
Acknowledged.  However, these examples miss an important point.  If we had photographs of Adam as a young boy, if we had his grade school report cards, and if we had his childhood immunization records from the hospital, then we would quite rightly say "Hey, this is inconsistent with the view that he was created instantly as a mature man with no history."  And if the wine at the wedding had been served in bottles marked "Vintage A.D. 24", then likewise we would be right in wondering whether the wine did, in fact, have a history.

This is exactly the situation with the universe.  We have photographs of a universe from before there was a universe.  So we ponder the inconsistency and try to address it.
I know that all photographs in space are of space long ago (because of light speed) but photographs are you talking about that are "before there was a universe."

Btw, since A.D. was invented until over 4 centuries past the wedding at Cana, I'd look elsewhere to fraud.
 

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ialmisry said:
I'd look elsewhere to fraud.
Wow.  I intentionally worded my examples to preclude the possibility of anyone taking them literally.  I meant them only to illustrate a point.  Even so, I guess my point remained too subtle.  My apologies.  Forget it.
 

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chrevbel said:
ialmisry said:
I'd look elsewhere to fraud.
Wow.  I intentionally worded my examples to preclude the possibility of anyone taking them literally.  I meant them only to illustrate a point.  Even so, I guess my point remained too subtle.  My apologies.  Forget it.
LOL.  My, aren't we the sensitive type.

I teach history, and it amazes me how commonly no one sees the immediate anachronism of anything being B.C. having a B.C. date.
 

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methinks the ECF's are the best place to look for a proper understanding of Genesis. Their concensus is that Genesis is indeed literal. The Church even uses a calendar that says that we are now in the 8th millennium from the creation of the world. Also, there is a canon from the Council of Carthage which was later ratified by the 7th Ecumenical Council (I think  7th) that basically says that if you dont believe in a literal Adam and Eve you are to be anathematized. Since evolution supposedly happens in populations there could not have been only 2 humans so Adam and Eve must be seen as allegorical for all of mankind.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Since evolution supposedly happens in populations there could not have been only 2 humans so Adam and Eve must be seen as allegorical for all of mankind.
Not necessarily. Depending upon how one defines "human", it is possible that within a population of pre-humans, the first one or two "true humans" were born.
 

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Jetavan said:
Not necessarily. Depending upon how one defines "human", it is possible that within a population of pre-humans, the first one or two "true humans" were born.
how would you define human to make this possible? im not exactly sure what you're saying by that.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Jetavan said:
Not necessarily. Depending upon how one defines "human", it is possible that within a population of pre-humans, the first one or two "true humans" were born.
how would you define human to make this possible? im not exactly sure what you're saying by that.
Me too. From the point of view of pure biology, "first humans," "first oaks," "first amoebas," etc. is nonsense. The evolution of life simply doesn't work that way. Two divergently evolving populations become two truly separate biological species very slowly and inconspicuously, so that there is no single "defining moment" when the new species (including Homo sapiens) is "born."
 

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Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
Jetavan said:
Not necessarily. Depending upon how one defines "human", it is possible that within a population of pre-humans, the first one or two "true humans" were born.
how would you define human to make this possible? im not exactly sure what you're saying by that.
Me too. From the point of view of pure biology, "first humans," "first oaks," "first amoebas," etc. is nonsense. The evolution of life simply doesn't work that way. Two divergently evolving populations become two truly separate biological species very slowly and inconspicuously, so that there is no single "defining moment" when the new species (including Homo sapiens) is "born."

so then the image of God is something that can be slowly evolved into, and then presumably slowly evolved out of? so there will be creatures out there or were creatures out there who are only partially the image of God?
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
Jetavan said:
Not necessarily. Depending upon how one defines "human", it is possible that within a population of pre-humans, the first one or two "true humans" were born.
how would you define human to make this possible? im not exactly sure what you're saying by that.
Me too. From the point of view of pure biology, "first humans," "first oaks," "first amoebas," etc. is nonsense. The evolution of life simply doesn't work that way. Two divergently evolving populations become two truly separate biological species very slowly and inconspicuously, so that there is no single "defining moment" when the new species (including Homo sapiens) is "born."

so then the image of God is something that can be slowly evolved into, and then presumably slowly evolved out of? so there will be creatures out there or were creatures out there who are only partially the image of God?
The image of God has nothing to do with the biological part of us. Biologically speaking, we are beasts.
 

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Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
Jetavan said:
Not necessarily. Depending upon how one defines "human", it is possible that within a population of pre-humans, the first one or two "true humans" were born.
how would you define human to make this possible? im not exactly sure what you're saying by that.
Me too. From the point of view of pure biology, "first humans," "first oaks," "first amoebas," etc. is nonsense. The evolution of life simply doesn't work that way. Two divergently evolving populations become two truly separate biological species very slowly and inconspicuously, so that there is no single "defining moment" when the new species (including Homo sapiens) is "born."

so then the image of God is something that can be slowly evolved into, and then presumably slowly evolved out of? so there will be creatures out there or were creatures out there who are only partially the image of God?
The image of God has nothing to do with the biological part of us. Biologically speaking, we are beasts.
The image of God is about the whole man........not just the soul. And even now, we are more than just mere beasts. We are not mini machines looking back at itself (the universe).

We are self aware in a way that is different from other biological creatures on the planet.






JNORM888
 

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Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
Jetavan said:
Not necessarily. Depending upon how one defines "human", it is possible that within a population of pre-humans, the first one or two "true humans" were born.
how would you define human to make this possible? im not exactly sure what you're saying by that.
Me too. From the point of view of pure biology, "first humans," "first oaks," "first amoebas," etc. is nonsense. The evolution of life simply doesn't work that way. Two divergently evolving populations become two truly separate biological species very slowly and inconspicuously, so that there is no single "defining moment" when the new species (including Homo sapiens) is "born."
If that was the case then how can all humans wordwide procreate with one another? There has to be "first humans" somewhere or else we all would be different in the sense of pro-creation.

Also you seem very dogmatic about something you "can't" observe. Yes we evolve slowly as human beings. Religion evolves slowly too, but Christianity will never evolve into Islam, and Islam will never evolve into Buddhism.

To assume that humans worldwide evolved from different monkeys worldwide is a belief you shouldn't be dogmatic about. For how can all humans pro-create if we all came from different monkeys?

And how can we all pro-create if "evolution" is mindless? In school we were forced fed that evolution was progressive, but why can't it be regressive? why can't we believe in "devolution"? Why can't evolution be "relative" according to the observer? For what may be evolution to you might be devolution to somone else.





JNORM888
 

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Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
Jetavan said:
Not necessarily. Depending upon how one defines "human", it is possible that within a population of pre-humans, the first one or two "true humans" were born.
how would you define human to make this possible? im not exactly sure what you're saying by that.
Me too. From the point of view of pure biology, "first humans," "first oaks," "first amoebas," etc. is nonsense. The evolution of life simply doesn't work that way. Two divergently evolving populations become two truly separate biological species very slowly and inconspicuously, so that there is no single "defining moment" when the new species (including Homo sapiens) is "born."
Again, that depends upon how one defines what Homo sapiens is. One could define sapiens as possessing a particular genetic profile. Such a definition would involve a degree of arbitrariness, true, but it would be one possible definition.
 
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