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

PeterTheAleut

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Christodoulos said:
I don't know if it breaks the forum rules, but it is funny to call others superficial when you are only concentrated on acclamation marks and some spelling mistakes and base your argumentation on these mistakes. Why didn't you tell me via PM that I made a mistake ?
Is it just me, or does anyone else see the hypocrisy of replying to a request from Νεκτάριος that you take your grievance with him to the PM system by telling him publicly that he should have told you of your spelling mistakes via PM?

Or was it only to discredite my post?
If what you preach here is true and Orthodox, why do you feel you have to fight so hard to defend your personal credibility?  Shouldn't your message stand or fall on its own merit and not depend on your own authority to teach it?
 
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God bless !

But why, why? What does the first have to do with the second? I don't imagine that there were literally the first two humans and no other humans, because that would be totally incompatible with the theory of biological evolution. So, do I HAVE to leap from that into the conclusion that Christ did not literally exist or was not literally God incarnate? I don't see any real logic, sorry, just a circular quasi-"logic" and forcing of the language of theology into the language of natural sciences.
That's exact the point, orthodox doctrine is totally incompatible with the theory of biological evolution ! It is VERY important how you understand the "first Adam" because it will affect your understanding of the second. And I think the Holy Fathers did not believe in poly-genism, but when there was poly-genism did all fell in committing the same sin ? Christ did come to save Adam - so it is important to know the first created one.

There are many other problems - how can evolution explain paradise, the immortal nature of Adam, the incorrupt state of Nature, of animals, plants, trees,....I think no one answered the questions how it is possible that Adam received his incorrupt state from lower creatures ? How can evolution explain plants and vegetation being first without the sun,

And also when evolution can explain the fallen state of Nature - how can it explain the state before ?

Creation is a mystery and we can not explain it with the laws of the fallen Nature !

I have given some quotes before, also St. John of Damascus wrote:

The body and the soul were formed together at the same time-not one before and the other afterwards, as the ravings of origenes would have it. ( it is a heresy )

From Blessed Seraphim Rose:

The idea of the "evolution" of man from a lower animal cannot be harmonized with the Patristic and Scriptural view of man's creation, but requires a sharp break with it: If man "evolves" solely according to the laws of nature, then his rational nature, his soul, the image of God, differs not qualitatively but only quantitatively from the beasts; he is then a creature only of the earth, and there is no room for the patristic view that he is partly of the earth and partly of heaven, a "mixture" of the two worlds, to use the phrase of St. Gregory the Theologian. But if, to escape such earthly thinking, a Christian evolutionist admits a Divine creation of man's soul - "when his body was ready for it," as some say- then he not only parts company with scientific thinkers, who will not admit "Divine" acts into their conceptual frameworks, but he also presents no consistent Christian outlook, mixing scientific speculations with "revealed" knowledge in a most haphazard way. In the Patristic-Scriptural view, the entire Six Days of Creation is a series of Divine acts; in the uniformitarian scientific view, the origins of things ( as far back scientists think they can be traced) are nothing but natural processes. These two views are as opposed as any two views can be, and any mixture of the two must be purely arbitrary and fanciful.

St. Basil the great:

"Let the earth bring forth herbs." And in the briefest moment of time the earth, beginning with germination in order that it might keep the laws of the Creator, passing through every form of increase, immediately brought the shoots to perfection. ........And every herb and every kind of vegetables and whatever shrubs and legumes there were, rose from the earth at that time in all profusion....
And the fruit tree that bears fruit containing seed of its own kind and of its own likeness on the earth.....all came into existence in a moment of time, although they were not previously upon the earth, each one with its own peculiar nature.

St. Ephraim

The herbs, at the time of their creation, were the production of a single instant, but in appearance they appeared the productions of months.Likewise the trees, at the time of their creation, were the productions of a single day, but in their perfection and fruits, which weighed down branches, they appeared the productions of years.

In CHRIST
 
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PeterTheAleut said:
Is it just me, or does anyone else see the hypocrisy of replying to a request from Νεκτάριος that you take your grievance with him to the PM system by telling him publicly that he should have told you of your spelling mistakes via PM?
If what you preach here is true and Orthodox, why do you feel you have to fight so hard to defend your personal credibility?  Shouldn't your message stand or fall on its own merit and not depend on your own authority to teach it?
God bless !

You really never gave up the "old style". It is not hypocrisy because he also told me publicly (it is nice to blame one for making a spelling mistake) that I made a mistake ! So I told him also publicly.

I do not "fight" but truth is truth.

In CHRIST
 

DerekMK

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Christodoulos said:
God Christodoulos bless !
Perhaps you know better ones in english - please tell me, I will try to get and read them !
Those are the most popular titles that I know of.  This whole appeal to other languages here is odd.  English is the main language for scientific publication.  Russian and German would probably be the only two other contenders.  As far as I can tell this debate simply doesn't exist in German and considering the ideological constraints under which so much Russian scientific material was published its value is questionable (i.e as has already been talked about in this thread is that many Soviet scientists were forbidden to publish about genetics).

I don't know if it breaks the forum rules, but it is funny to call others superficial when you are only concentrated on acclamation marks and some spelling mistakes and base your argumentation on these mistakes. Why didn't you tell me via PM that I made a mistake ? Or was it only to discredite my post ?
Since you won't give up on this... I pointed out that when you were using exclamation marks with verbs in the imperative mood it comes across as very rude.  IIRC, you had said "Tell me your jurisdiction!".  In Anglophone culture demanding for personal information like that is rather unusual.  I pointed this out because I assumed that you did not wish to appear rude.  But subsequent posts have shown otherwise.  I believe that that was one post out of many to you in which I have taken the time to actually discuss your methodology and approach to Orthodox theology.  If you are hung up over such a trivial matter that consists of such a minor amount of my total correspondence to you on this forum, that is your problem, not mine. 

In CHRIST
Maybe you should pick Buddha or somebody more on the mellow side.  Rastafarianism perhaps?
 

Heorhij

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Christodoulos said:
God bless !


That's exact the point, orthodox doctrine is totally incompatible with the theory of biological evolution !
If you are right, then I am not Orthodox.


Christodoulos said:
From Blessed Seraphim Rose:
From what I read of his ignorant meanderings re. evolution, he is a total idiot. Sorry. Hier stehe ich. Etc.

 

PeterTheAleut

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Christodoulos said:
There are many other problems - how can evolution explain paradise, the immortal nature of Adam, the incorrupt state of Nature, of animals, plants, trees,....I think no one answered the questions how it is possible that Adam received his incorrupt state from lower creatures ? How can evolution explain plants and vegetation being first without the sun,

And also when evolution can explain the fallen state of Nature - how can it explain the state before ?
Precisely because evolutionary theory is built on nature as we can observe and understand it now (since the fall?), any true proponent of evolution will tell you that the theory is not equipped to address such supernaturally revealed metaphysical "truths" as paradise, the immortal nature of Adam, or the incorrupt state of nature.  Nor does evolution have the frame of reference to be able to explain how Adam received his incorrupt state from lower creatures.  What is at issue is the boundaries of the scientific method and of scientific theory.  Based as science is on what we can observe in nature, science cannot speak on the realm of the supernatural.  This is not a failing of science in general, or of evolutionary theory in specific.  To expect evolutionary theory to explain the supernatural Logos within the laws of nature, or to discredit the theory because it cannot explain this Logos, is to misunderstand science altogether.
 

Heorhij

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PeterTheAleut said:
Precisely because evolutionary theory is built on nature as we can observe and understand it now (since the fall?), any true proponent of evolution will tell you that the theory is not equipped to address such supernaturally revealed metaphysical "truths" as paradise, the immortal nature of Adam, or the incorrupt state of nature.  Nor does evolution have the frame of reference to be able to explain how Adam received his incorrupt state from lower creatures.  What is at issue is the boundaries of the scientific method and of scientific theory.  Based as science is on what we can observe in nature, science cannot speak on the realm of the supernatural.  This is not a failing of science in general, or of evolutionary theory in specific.  To expect evolutionary theory to explain the supernatural Logos within the laws of nature, or to discredit the theory because it cannot explain this Logos, is to misunderstand science altogether.
And maybe also to misunderstand theology altogether...
 
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God bless !

I would never stroke the word God or refus his blessing. Do you not need God's blessing ?

Those are the most popular titles that I know of.  This whole appeal to other languages here is odd.  English is the main language for scientific publication.  Russian and German would probably be the only two other contenders.  As far as I can tell this debate simply doesn't exist in German and considering the ideological constraints under which so much Russian scientific material was published its value is questionable (i.e as has already been talked about in this thread is that many Soviet scientists were forbidden to publish about genetics)
.

And that was the reason I put them on the "little list", so you would present the same ? But there are others (also in English) and the four books can not answer all questions. It is more to start with ( I think). And I can tell you this debate exist in germany and this debate is increasing more and more ( and other european countries for example france).

Since you won't give up on this... I pointed out that when you were using exclamation marks with verbs in the imperative mood it comes across as very rude.  IIRC, you had said "Tell me your jurisdiction!".  In Anglophone culture demanding for personal information like that is rather unusual.  I pointed this out because I assumed that you did not wish to appear rude.  But subsequent posts have shown otherwise.  I believe that that was one post out of many to you in which I have taken the time to actually discuss your methodology and approach to Orthodox theology.  If you are hung up over such a trivial matter that consists of such a minor amount of my total correspondence to you on this forum, that is your problem, not mine.
 

Why are you so concerned if I appear rude, I think some of your posts are more rude than mine ( only think about anti-semitism,......) and why should it be unusual to ask you of your juristiction, when you call me and Vladyka Mark "Branch theorists" why should I not know yours ?

You discussed my methodology - I think you did not really discuss - you wrote some incorrect statements with some accusings -nothing more. You were more concerned on grammar than on orthodox theology.

Maybe you should pick Buddha or somebody more on the mellow side.  Rastafarianism perhaps?
Or perhpas Nektarianism ?

In CHRIST
 
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Heorhij said:
If you are right, then I am not Orthodox.

From what I read of his ignorant meanderings re. evolution, he is a total idiot. Sorry. Hier stehe ich. Etc.
God bless !

It is hard to read - but when you think about Blessed Seraphim this way - ok you are a modern biologist !

In CHRIST
 
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PeterTheAleut said:
Precisely because evolutionary theory is built on nature as we can observe and understand it now (since the fall?), any true proponent of evolution will tell you that the theory is not equipped to address such supernaturally revealed metaphysical "truths" as paradise, the immortal nature of Adam, or the incorrupt state of nature.  Nor does evolution have the frame of reference to be able to explain how Adam received his incorrupt state from lower creatures.  What is at issue is the boundaries of the scientific method and of scientific theory.  Based as science is on what we can observe in nature, science cannot speak on the realm of the supernatural.  This is not a failing of science in general, or of evolutionary theory in specific.  To expect evolutionary theory to explain the supernatural Logos within the laws of nature, or to discredit the theory because it cannot explain this Logos, is to misunderstand science altogether.
God bless !

That's exact my point-thank you ! You can not explain the Mystery of Creation by the Laws of fallen Nature.

But is this post not contradicting to your post before when you tried to interprete Genesis and creation with evolution ?

In CHRIST
 

Heorhij

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Christodoulos said:
God bless !

It is hard to read - but when you think about Blessed Seraphim this way - ok.

In CHRIST
No, dear Christodoulos, it's not OK. I do really, seriously believe that he is an idiot, and I do really, very seriously believe that I am Orthodox. So, there must be some arbitration betwen him and me.
 

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Heorhij said:
From what I read of his ignorant meanderings re. evolution, he is a total idiot. Sorry. Hier stehe ich. Etc.
Seeing as how Fr. Seraphim Rose will probably be glorified as a Saint in the not-so-distant future, I think some more respect is in order. Or at least refrain from such outbursts. "If you can't say anything nice..."
 

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Christodoulos said:
And that was the reason I put them on the "little list", so you present the same ? But there are others
(also in English) and the four books can not answer all questions. It is more to start with ( I think). And I can tell you this debate exist in germany and this debate is increasing more and more ( and other european countries for example france).
If you want to link some German and French sources, fine.  But, as far as I can tell the debate is nowhere near as mainstream as it is among religious zealots in the US.  So I highly doubt you are going to find many actual biologists dissenting in Europe. 

only think about anti-semitism
I posted about my own experiences during the few months I spent on Mt. Athos.  That is not rude.  Because of my experiences I am skeptical; I hope that your experiences have been more positive.  Honestly, if you want to discuss me please take it to the PM system.  Since you keep making public statements like this, I feel that I am justified in responding in public - but I'd appreciate it if you would not do so in the future.   

You were more concerned on grammar than on orthodox theology.
Most posters here seem to simply ignore you.  I have spent more time responding to your posts and their substance than many have.  You are the one who seems to constantly bring it back up apropos of nothing. 

Or perhpas Nektarianism ?
Don't temp me.
 

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Heorhij said:
From what I read of his ignorant meanderings re. evolution, he is a total idiot. Sorry. Hier stehe ich. Etc.
Hier stehen wir.  I don't know why Seraphim Rose is such a sacred cow.  Every single person or group that differed from his narrow opinions in the slightest manner were deemed by him to be in prelest or to be completely non-Orthodox.  He got it wrong on evolution.  He went too far on toll-houses.  He believed in UFOs.  He called a great many other Christians satanists.  Is that whom we should emulate? 

Here is a true hero of American Orthodoxy, rather than some eccentric holed up in the wilderness and babbling in paranoia:
 
 

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It seems that everybody's made the points that they wish to, and that some have come close to personal attacks (if they haven't already done so).  I'm going to temporarily lock the thread, and will unlock it after an amount of time has passed, to allow those who have become agitated to cool off, and allow those who haven't been agitated time to focus on other things.

- Cleveland, Global Moderator
 

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I merged the post above from a new thread in Faith Issues, pending moderatorial review.
Veniamin, FFA Moderator
 

Heorhij

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Dear members of the forum,

I am sorry for using a derogatory word when writing (yesterday evening) about Fr. Seraphim Rose. While I do absolutely and very passionately consider him dead wrong and harming many people by his writings on evolution, I still should not have used bad, rude, insulting language.

I am truly sorry, please forgive me. Please pray for me.

I hope the evolution thread will be re-opened soon (or maybe some other similar thread), and I will try to express my thoughts in a more charitable manner, whatever these thoughts are.

George
 

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George,

Your apology is very thoughtful.  My lock of the thread was only intended to be for about a day, to allow folks to cool if needed and give folks a bit of a break.  I have merged your post into this thread.
 

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I'm always intrigued by what the topic of Creation vs. Evolution seems to reveal about people.  The topic is normally driven by two camps, on the one hand, those that call themselves "creationists" who not only believe the creation story as written, but extrapolate on what is written to extremes in order to combat "evolution" and its consequences.  Then on the other hand, you have the "evolutionists" who consider anybody that doesn't believe in evolutionary science as ignorant at best, deceptive at worst of the facts.  I believe both sides get so heated because the discussion reveals deep seated conflicts of faith.  On the creationist side,  they want things of faith to be black and white, not up for discussion, ignoring the fact that issues of faith will always be debated because it is men who put God's word to paper so to speak and men who interpret.  That is why even the Holy Fathers never spoke alone, it was always under the guidance of the bible, the Church and tradition, etc.  On the "evolutionist" side, its seems that deep down their belief in evolution can often keep within them a deep crisis of faith, and when the topic comes up their own internal turmoil is revealed, thus nonbelievers of evolution are quickly labeled as "ignorant" or "deceptive" or "untruthful".

Personally, I think "creationists" read too much into Genesis and you end up with people like Creation Research Institute who really do teach blatantly unscientific teachings, and I think "evolutionists" often ignore huge questions in evolutionary logic because evolution is the only theory that fits what facts they do have, and also that science can never allow the supernatural or spiritual to enter into scientific theory, and rightfully so.

In my opinion, it all comes down to the moment of nothingness.  Whether you are a "creationist" or an "evolutionist" we all would agree there was time in the distant past where life was either "nothingness" or a mass of matter as close to "nothingness" as you can get.  You either believe some force outside nature "god" caused this nothingness to become life, or believe this nothingness due to some natural evolutionary process exploded and evolved into living, breathing human beings with free will and a conscious.  Everything that happened between then and the appearence of "Adam and Eve", while interesting, I'm not sure is important.

In my view, if God did turn nothingness into "life", however he did it is unimportant.  Interesting, but as far as my walk to deification, unimportant.  So in that spirit I would advise both "creationists" and "evolutionists" that when you let emotions dictate your reactions in this discussion, you have already lost the battle.

And finally, a bit of contradiction.  Done in an edifying way, I do really enjoy the whole creation vs. evolution discussion.  It's an interesting topic that a lot of believers struggle with, and done with some discretion and mutual respect, is probably worth discussing.
 
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