Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy

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

  • Yes

    Votes: 74 16.9%
  • No

    Votes: 164 37.4%
  • both metaphorically and literally

    Votes: 200 45.7%

  • Total voters
    438

Heorhij

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Jetavan said:
Heorhij said:
Dan-Romania said:
Darwin was a sick person , who encouraged eugenism.
Actually Charles R. Darwin was a very healthy person, although he did have something like a mild obsessive-compulsive disorder. :)

In his prime years, he was a devout Anglican and a deacon in his church. While traveling on HMS The Beagle, where he was the "Naturalist," he also volunteered to have "spiritual conversations" with the crew. He most certainly knew Scriptures very well, and in his life he was pious and humble. He always stressed that his evolutionary theory has absolutely nothing to do with the alleged removing of God or "robbing" God of His glory.

I think it is very sad when people, not having any grounds whatsoever, insult the memory of great workers like Darwin, of those who labored hard all of their short human life to enrich us with new insights on the way this God's world works. Darwin's name is most definitely in the same glorious file to which belong the names of Aristotle, Mohammed Musa ibn Khorasmi (the inventor of algebra), Roger Bacon, St. Duns Scotus (who was actually the first to outline the concept of separation between theology and natural science), Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Mikhail Lomonosov, Antoin-Laurent LaVoisier, John Dalton, Dmitriy Ivanovich Mendeleev, Nikolay Lobachevskiy, James Clark Maxwell, Nicola Tesla, Max Plank, Albert Einstein, and other "movers and shakers" in the exciting field of natural sciences...
This is an Orthodox site. You must include Theodosius Grygorovych Dobzhansky in any list of scientific notables. 8)
I stand corrected.  :-[
 

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Heorhij said:
Dan-Romania said:
Darwin was a sick person , who encouraged eugenism.
Actually Charles R. Darwin was a very healthy person, although he did have something like a mild obsessive-compulsive disorder. :)

In his prime years, he was a devout Anglican and a deacon in his church. While traveling on HMS The Beagle, where he was the "Naturalist," he also volunteered to have "spiritual conversations" with the crew. He most certainly knew Scriptures very well, and in his life he was pious and humble. He always stressed that his evolutionary theory has absolutely nothing to do with the alleged removing of God or "robbing" God of His glory.

I think it is very sad when people, not having any grounds whatsoever, insult the memory of great workers like Darwin, of those who labored hard all of their short human life to enrich us with new insights on the way this God's world works. Darwin's name is most definitely in the same glorious file to which belong the names of Aristotle, Mohammed Musa ibn Khorasmi (the inventor of algebra), Roger Bacon, St. Duns Scotus (who was actually the first to outline the concept of separation between theology and natural science), Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Mikhail Lomonosov, Antoin-Laurent LaVoisier, John Dalton, Dmitriy Ivanovich Mendeleev, Nikolay Lobachevskiy, James Clark Maxwell, Nicola Tesla, Max Plank, Albert Einstein, and other "movers and shakers" in the exciting field of natural sciences...
I think that a problem here, Heorhij, is that sometimes people do not go to the primary source materials on Science, that is what the researchers themselves wrote or said.  They hear or read something derogatory about someone like Darwin (often in my opinion by someone who does not, in fact, understand what the scientist wrote) and accept that as the "truth". 


 

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Dan-Romania said:
Darwin was a sick person , who encouraged eugenism.
Dan, could you please explain how you mean that Charles Darwin was "sick" and what you have read of him, please?  Not everything written about a famous person is true.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
as for quotes against evolution ... St. Barsanuphius of Optina: "The English philosopher Darwin created an entire system according to which lief is a struggle for existence, a struggle of the strong against the weak, where those that are conquered are doomed to destruction . . . This is already the beginning of a bestial philosophy, and those who come to believe in it wouldn't think twice about killing a man, assaulting a woman, or robbing their closest friend -- and they would do all this calmly, with a full recognition of their right to commit these crimes." From Elder Barsanuphius of Optina, published by St. Herman's
That is not what "survival of the fittest" means.  It is not a matter of 'strong' beating down the 'weak', or of brutality.  It is the idea that a species that 'fits' that is can survive best in a particular situation. The classic case of the different beaks on the Galapagos Islands' finches is an example. Differently shaped beaks were the "fittest" for different food sources.  (Heorhij, please correct me if I have this wrong or am explaining it badly.) 

This article http://orthodoxnorth.net/evolution_new_fundamentalism_pt_1.htm tells us that St. Justin Popovich identified Darnwin's ideas with new age religion
I have looked at this page, but that quote is not 'evidence' from an EO saint.  What exactly did he write or say?  That would be the primary source for information on this idea.  How can a person consider whether St. Justin really understood what Darwin wrote without the real quote?

St. John of Kronstadt:  "The Holy Scriptures speak more truly and more clearly of the world than the world itself or the arrangement of the earthly strata; the scriptures of nature within it, being dead and voiceless, cannot express anything definite. "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" Were you with God when He created the universe? "Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counseller, hath taught Him?" And yet you geologists boast that you have understood the mind of the Lord, in the arrangement of strata, and maintained it in spite of Holy Writ! You believe more in the dead letters of the earthly strata, in the soulless earth, than in the Divinely-inspired words of the great prophet Moses, who saw God." --- My Life in Christ
That's not what any geologists or paleontologists that I've ever read have said.  The study of rocks and fossils isn't to "understand the mind of God" but to find out what is there, to learn more and sometimes the reason is because it's really really neat to find out something new or to learn new information about the universe.  I do not mean any disrespect to St. John, but he doesn't not seem to understand how science is supposed to work.



 

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Alveus Lacuna said:
So I guess the central question is, does Orthodoxy require us to believe that humanity was once perfect?
No. The Fathers say that Adam and Eve were created with the potential to be perfect.
 

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Ebor said:
jckstraw72 said:
as for quotes against evolution ... St. Barsanuphius of Optina: "The English philosopher Darwin created an entire system according to which lief is a struggle for existence, a struggle of the strong against the weak, where those that are conquered are doomed to destruction . . . This is already the beginning of a bestial philosophy, and those who come to believe in it wouldn't think twice about killing a man, assaulting a woman, or robbing their closest friend -- and they would do all this calmly, with a full recognition of their right to commit these crimes." From Elder Barsanuphius of Optina, published by St. Herman's
That is not what "survival of the fittest" means.  It is not a matter of 'strong' beating down the 'weak', or of brutality.  It is the idea that a species that 'fits' that is can survive best in a particular situation. The classic case of the different beaks on the Galapagos Islands' finches is an example. Differently shaped beaks were the "fittest" for different food sources.  (Heorhij, please correct me if I have this wrong or am explaining it badly.) 
No, you explained it very well... The principal idea of Darwin is that there exixts a variation in traits in any biological population. Carriers of certain variants of certain traits are always better fit to a particular environment (and in certain cases those who seem "weaker" in fact happen to fit better). Because of this better fit, these individuals have a better reproductive success (i.e. they simply live longer and have more progeny). So, within any population, there is always a trend for a growth of another population, slightly different from the original one. Given enough time and a certain kind of isolation (geographical, or other), the two populations - the original one and the new one - begin to breed only within themselves, and so a new species forms. That's pretty much all there is to Darwin's theory, and it is supported by a colossal, overwhelming evidence, especially by population genetics studies.
 

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Heorhij said:
Ebor said:
jckstraw72 said:
as for quotes against evolution ... St. Barsanuphius of Optina: "The English philosopher Darwin created an entire system according to which lief is a struggle for existence, a struggle of the strong against the weak, where those that are conquered are doomed to destruction . . . This is already the beginning of a bestial philosophy, and those who come to believe in it wouldn't think twice about killing a man, assaulting a woman, or robbing their closest friend -- and they would do all this calmly, with a full recognition of their right to commit these crimes." From Elder Barsanuphius of Optina, published by St. Herman's
That is not what "survival of the fittest" means.  It is not a matter of 'strong' beating down the 'weak', or of brutality.  It is the idea that a species that 'fits' that is can survive best in a particular situation. The classic case of the different beaks on the Galapagos Islands' finches is an example. Differently shaped beaks were the "fittest" for different food sources.  (Heorhij, please correct me if I have this wrong or am explaining it badly.) 
No, you explained it very well... The principal idea of Darwin is that there exixts a variation in traits in any biological population. Carriers of certain variants of certain traits are always better fit to a particular environment (and in certain cases those who seem "weaker" in fact happen to fit better). Because of this better fit, these individuals have a better reproductive success (i.e. they simply live longer and have more progeny). So, within any population, there is always a trend for a growth of another population, slightly different from the original one. Given enough time and a certain kind of isolation (geographical, or other), the two populations - the original one and the new one - begin to breed only within themselves, and so a new species forms. That's pretty much all there is to Darwin's theory, and it is supported by a colossal, overwhelming evidence, especially by population genetics studies.
Actually, the theory of human evolution has severe problems with population genetics studies.
 

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Ebor said:
jckstraw72 said:
as for quotes against evolution ... St. Barsanuphius of Optina: "The English philosopher Darwin created an entire system according to which lief is a struggle for existence, a struggle of the strong against the weak, where those that are conquered are doomed to destruction . . . This is already the beginning of a bestial philosophy, and those who come to believe in it wouldn't think twice about killing a man, assaulting a woman, or robbing their closest friend -- and they would do all this calmly, with a full recognition of their right to commit these crimes." From Elder Barsanuphius of Optina, published by St. Herman's
That is not what "survival of the fittest" means.  It is not a matter of 'strong' beating down the 'weak', or of brutality.  It is the idea that a species that 'fits' that is can survive best in a particular situation. The classic case of the different beaks on the Galapagos Islands' finches is an example. Differently shaped beaks were the "fittest" for different food sources.  (Heorhij, please correct me if I have this wrong or am explaining it badly.) 

This article http://orthodoxnorth.net/evolution_new_fundamentalism_pt_1.htm tells us that St. Justin Popovich identified Darnwin's ideas with new age religion
I have looked at this page, but that quote is not 'evidence' from an EO saint.  What exactly did he write or say?  That would be the primary source for information on this idea.  How can a person consider whether St. Justin really understood what Darwin wrote without the real quote?

St. John of Kronstadt:  "The Holy Scriptures speak more truly and more clearly of the world than the world itself or the arrangement of the earthly strata; the scriptures of nature within it, being dead and voiceless, cannot express anything definite. "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" Were you with God when He created the universe? "Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counseller, hath taught Him?" And yet you geologists boast that you have understood the mind of the Lord, in the arrangement of strata, and maintained it in spite of Holy Writ! You believe more in the dead letters of the earthly strata, in the soulless earth, than in the Divinely-inspired words of the great prophet Moses, who saw God." --- My Life in Christ
That's not what any geologists or paleontologists that I've ever read have said.  The study of rocks and fossils isn't to "understand the mind of God" but to find out what is there, to learn more and sometimes the reason is because it's really really neat to find out something new or to learn new information about the universe.  I do not mean any disrespect to St. John, but he doesn't not seem to understand how science is supposed to work.
Scientists seem fond of the idea that there work is observation without an observer, not matter how much history shows such is not the case.  Hence the idea that theology must bend to their theories (an old problem: in the ancient times the problem was science's insistence on the eternity of the universe). St. John was spot on.
 

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ialmisry said:
Actually, the theory of human evolution has severe problems with population genetics studies.
When a population lives inside an air-conditioned house, eating food from all over the world and taking medicines that cure otherwise fatal illnesses, that population is no longer subject to the factors that govern the law of natural selection.
 

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ytterbiumanalyst said:
ialmisry said:
Actually, the theory of human evolution has severe problems with population genetics studies.
When a population lives inside an air-conditioned house, eating food from all over the world and taking medicines that cure otherwise fatal illnesses, that population is no longer subject to the factors that govern the law of natural selection.
There's still some natural selection happening, though. Some people might find that air-conditioning does havoc on their sinuses; other people might find the easy access to high-calorie foods more detrimental to their health; and the over-use of antibiotics can lead to disease-resistant microbes.
 

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Ebor said:
Dan-Romania said:
Darwin was a sick person , who encouraged eugenism.
Dan, could you please explain how you mean that Charles Darwin was "sick" and what you have read of him, please?  Not everything written about a famous person is true.
from unofficial sources I know he was a big supporter of eugenism , everyone who thinks in eugenism must be a little "sick". Not to mention his evolutionist theories , only heard of them by rumours , but regarding the fact and the name "evolution" i think it is sick. If he really taught that human being are evolved ape , than he is sick.If he trough his evolutional ideas , says that all the species evolved , from something , i think he has issues.We know how Moses teaches us trough genetics , God created all animals and all species , and the crown of the creation was human being. For whom God took counsellar before creating it , and He said : "Let us make man after Our own image" . Not from an ape.What I dislike this being related with Genetics the bible and Creation , the very name of this topic.This should be called more the scientist view on the diversity of life , or something like that. I can`t understand how christians can be darwinists . If darwin really said what i heard he said about evolution.And much more orthodox christians.
 

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If he really taught birds evolved from reptiles , fish from other i dunno what , for example. Why do we let science tell us fish are birds or things like this ?
 

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Dan-Romania said:
If he really taught birds evolved from reptiles , fish from other i dunno what , for example. Why do we let science tell us fish are birds or things like this ?
Science does not tell you that fish are birds. Again, all science tells you is that life evolves. Several powerful natural sources such as mutation, natural selection, gene flow, genetic drift, and other, produce new forms of life. These things are real.
 

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I think that Darwin does say that , then . Give me examples of the evolved , mutation species .
 

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all i wanted was an example , not the all teaching . name a specie of animal a name , is it that hard?
 

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Dan-Romania said:
all i wanted was an example , not the all teaching . name a specie of animal a name , is it that hard?
Dan, I'm confused.  You constantly rail against evolution yet you're not aware of a single example of what scientists believe evolution produced.  That seems odd to me.  How can you be so certain that evolution is false if you truly haven't even a cursory familiarity with the topic?
 

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yes , thank you . see i am a reasonable person . while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, i tottally reject the idea that reptiles are evolved fish or something like that.
 

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Dan-Romania said:
yes , thank you . see i am a reasonable person . while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, i tottally reject the idea that reptiles are evolved fish or something like that.
And why do you reject this?  Scientific reasons?  Theological reasons?  Emotional reasons?
 

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Dan-Romania said:
yes , thank you . see i am a reasonable person . while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, i tottally reject the idea that reptiles are evolved fish or something like that.
What if I say that I totally reject the idea that the Earth orbits the Sun?
 

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theological reasons and emotional reasons :) , also reject the idea people are evolved from apes.
 

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Heorhij said:
Dan-Romania said:
yes , thank you . see i am a reasonable person . while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, i tottally reject the idea that reptiles are evolved fish or something like that.
What if I say that I totally reject the idea that the Earth orbits the Sun?
It is my current opinion , but I am always prepared to be proven the contradictory . But for theologicall reasons I reject that belief(those beliefs).I hope I didn`t offend you in any way Heorji , I appreciate your knowledge and intelligence , and I must admit I am a little off this subject.But the statements I make I stand for them. Those two regardin humans being evolved from apes , and reptiles being evolved fish,untill proven the contradictory.
 

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Dan-Romania said:
Heorhij said:
Dan-Romania said:
yes , thank you . see i am a reasonable person . while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, i tottally reject the idea that reptiles are evolved fish or something like that.
What if I say that I totally reject the idea that the Earth orbits the Sun?
It is my current opinion , but I am always prepared to be proven the contradictory . But for theologicall reasons I reject that belief(those beliefs).I hope I didn`t offend you in any way Heorji , I appreciate your knowledge and intelligence , and I must admit I am a little off this subject.But the statements I make I stand for them. Those two regardin humans being evolved from apes , and reptiles being evolved fish,untill proven the contradictory.
But what do you mean by "proven?" You see, if you are not aware of certain facts, no one can "prove" you a lot of things. Supose you never heard about telescopes or space flights, and they tell you that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way around. You will just laugh then, and say, hey, look - don't you SEE the Sun going up and down, and don't you SEE that the earth is standing still?

Very much the same way - if you are not familiar with basic concepts of modern biology, genetics, etc. - there is no way a biologist can "prove" you that life evolves.

Thank you for your kind words about me though. I am sorry if I offended you in any way.
 

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thank you ialmisry. it honestly blows my mind that we really think we understand Scripture and an act of God better than 2000 yrs worth of God-bearing Fathers. we can try to nitpick their remarks and say oh, they dont understand science, but when are we going to nitpick the scientists and admit that they don't understand God? which is more important to understand? which is a more reliable source? we shouldnt bend Tradition to fit ever-changing science, we should weed out science that doesn't fit Tradition.

That is not what "survival of the fittest" means.  It is not a matter of 'strong' beating down the 'weak', or of brutality.  It is the idea that a species that 'fits' that is can survive best in a particular situation. The classic case of the different beaks on the Galapagos Islands' finches is an example. Differently shaped beaks were the "fittest" for different food sources.
i know im going to get slammed on this one, but i think Hitler is a good example of what St. Barsanuphius was saying.

I have looked at this page, but that quote is not 'evidence' from an EO saint.  What exactly did he write or say?  That would be the primary source for information on this idea.  How can a person consider whether St. Justin really understood what Darwin wrote without the real quote?
do we consider if Darwin really understood God or the Tradition?

That's not what any geologists or paleontologists that I've ever read have said.  The study of rocks and fossils isn't to "understand the mind of God" but to find out what is there, to learn more and sometimes the reason is because it's really really neat to find out something new or to learn new information about the universe.  I do not mean any disrespect to St. John, but he doesn't not seem to understand how science is supposed to work.
theistic evolutionists believe they can study the earth to explain how God created -- in that sense they believe they have tapped into the mind of God, whether or not they realize that is what they are attempting to do. The Fathers warns us against such things:

St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book II.XVIII
1. Having therefore the truth itself as our rule and the testimony concerning God set clearly before us, we ought not, by running after numerous and diverse answers to questions, to cast away the firm and true knowledge of God.
2. We should leave things of that nature to God who created us, being most properly assured that the Scriptures are indeed perfect, since they were spoken by the Word of God and His Spirit; but we, inasmuch as we are inferior to, and later in existence than, the Word of God and His Spirit, are on that very account destitute of the knowledge of His mysteries. And there is no cause for wonder if this is the case with us as respects things spiritual and heavenly, and such as require to be made known to us by revelation, since many even of those things which lie at our very feet (I mean such as belong to this world, which we handle, and see, and are in close contact with) transcend our knowledge, so that even these we must leave to God.
St. Theophilus, to Autolycus Book II.XVII
But as to what relates to the creation of man, his own creation cannot be explained by man, though it is a succinct account of it which holy Scripture gives.

and I agree with Fr. Seraphim (surprise!) when he says that science is indeed a valid form of knowledge, but that it is a very base form of the simplest kind -- simply through observation, but that the knowledge that comes from divine illumination is the highest form and should above all be sought after. this is why we look to the Fathers and Saints to interpret Scripture for us, not to scientists, who are very often not Orthodox or not even Christian at all.
 

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Dan-Romania said:
yes , thank you . see i am a reasonable person . while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, i tottally reject the idea that reptiles are evolved fish or something like that.
Just to clarify.  No biologist claims that mixing species causes them to give birth to a new species.  A cow will always give birth to a cow.  Evolution is an aspect of a population, not an individual.  Over several generations the population evolves.  If there is a seperation between two populations of a species then they will evolve seperately.  After a period of time, if they are not reintroduced they will be unable to produce offspring even if they are reintroduced and so a new species is born.
 

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Dan-Romania said:
Ebor said:
Dan-Romania said:
Darwin was a sick person , who encouraged eugenism.
Dan, could you please explain how you mean that Charles Darwin was "sick" and what you have read of him, please?  Not everything written about a famous person is true.
from unofficial sources I know he was a big supporter of eugenism , everyone who thinks in eugenism must be a little "sick". Not to mention his evolutionist theories , only heard of them by rumours , but regarding the fact and the name "evolution" i think it is sick. If he really taught that human being are evolved ape , than he is sick.If he trough his evolutional ideas , says that all the species evolved , from something , i think he has issues.We know how Moses teaches us trough genetics , God created all animals and all species , and the crown of the creation was human being. For whom God took counsellar before creating it , and He said : "Let us make man after Our own image" . Not from an ape.What I dislike this being related with Genetics the bible and Creation , the very name of this topic.This should be called more the scientist view on the diversity of life , or something like that. I can`t understand how christians can be darwinists . If darwin really said what i heard he said about evolution.And much more orthodox christians.
I'm sorry, Dan-Romania, but if all the information that you have on Charles Darwin is "from unofficial sources" and from "rumours", and from "what you heard" then you do not have real truthful knowledge of the man or his work.  You say that you "know" that he was a "big supporter of eugenism".  I submit that you do not know that, but that you heard or read someone who stated that.  By "eugenism" do you mean "eugenics"? Another poster has already written that Darwin, in fact, did not support such ideas. 

You say that something is "sick" and that people who believe in it are "sick". How can you say that an idea is 'sick' if you don't know what it really is in fact?  Can you please post what you think these ideas are in your own words?

It would be better and finding out the truth of a situation if you checked to find out what Darwin really said, rather then what you may have heard from someone else, wouldn't it?

With respect,

Ebor
 

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jckstraw72 said:
thank you ialmisry. it honestly blows my mind that we really think we understand Scripture and an act of God better than 2000 yrs worth of God-bearing Fathers.
???  Science isn't about any claim to understand Scripture, it's about observing data, finding new information, working on hypotheses and stating what is found.   

we can try to nitpick their remarks and say oh, they dont understand science, but when are we going to nitpick the scientists and admit that they don't understand God? which is more important to understand? which is a more reliable source? we shouldnt bend Tradition to fit ever-changing science, we should weed out science that doesn't fit Tradition.
One wonders if any human can fully "understand God".  :-\  One might suggest that it is important to learn more about the universe that God created with the intelligence and reason that He gave humanity.  When it comes to solid information on say, what a bacteria does or how genetics work or what fossils are found or some point of physics, the reliable source would be a person who is trained in the field not someone who doesn't know anything about it. Whereas a scriptural scholar would be the "reliable source" for what the Bible says.  Saying "ever-changing science" would seem to suggest that science is not based on fact and true information and that is not the case.  Real science adjusts when new verifiable tested information is discovered;  it does not stay "stuck" in an older pattern ideally, if there is some new discovery that does not fit the older hypothesis.

That is not what "survival of the fittest" means.  It is not a matter of 'strong' beating down the 'weak', or of brutality.  It is the idea that a species that 'fits' that is can survive best in a particular situation. The classic case of the different beaks on the Galapagos Islands' finches is an example. Differently shaped beaks were the "fittest" for different food sources.
i know im going to get slammed on this one, but i think Hitler is a good example of what St. Barsanuphius was saying.
Why do you think you'll get "slammed"?  (aside from another application of Godwin's Law).  While Hitler might fit what St. Barsanuphius wrote, that does not apply to Charles Darwin or his work and it is not what he meant by "survival of the fittest", but I repeat myself. 

I have looked at this page, but that quote is not 'evidence' from an EO saint.  What exactly did he write or say?  That would be the primary source for information on this idea.  How can a person consider whether St. Justin really understood what Darwin wrote without the real quote?
do we consider if Darwin really understood God or the Tradition?
Does the saint really understand Darwin?  I don't know because I do not know what he actually wrote on this subject.  The site asserts that St. Justin said something about Darwin, but does not give the quote or a source.  So I don't know if he really did make the link between a 19th century scientist and the nebulous blob called "New Age religion".  Do you know what passage of writing the site is referring to, please?  Darwin worked at understanding biology, why would he make any claim to understand "Tradition"?

That's not what any geologists or paleontologists that I've ever read have said.  The study of rocks and fossils isn't to "understand the mind of God" but to find out what is there, to learn more and sometimes the reason is because it's really really neat to find out something new or to learn new information about the universe.  I do not mean any disrespect to St. John, but he doesn't not seem to understand how science is supposed to work.
theistic evolutionists believe they can study the earth to explain how God created -- in that sense they believe they have tapped into the mind of God, whether or not they realize that is what they are attempting to do.
Can you give some quotes or names of these "theistic evolutionists" that believe this please?  I haven't seen any such assertions or claims to have "tapped into the mind of God".  Thank you in advance.

and I agree with Fr. Seraphim (surprise!) when he says that science is indeed a valid form of knowledge, but that it is a very base form of the simplest kind -- simply through observation, but that the knowledge that comes from divine illumination is the highest form and should above all be sought after. this is why we look to the Fathers and Saints to interpret Scripture for us, not to scientists, who are very often not Orthodox or not even Christian at all.
I haven't seen any scientists "interpret scripture".  Do you have any examples in mind?  If I want someone to interpret real scientific data, I'll choose a trained scientist, frankly.

Ebor
 

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pensateomnia said:
Alveus Lacuna said:
So I guess the central question is, does Orthodoxy require us to believe that humanity was once perfect?
No. The Fathers say that Adam and Eve were created with the potential to be perfect.
AFAIK, the belief that man was created perfect is a Western concept. As Orthodox, we agree with St Irenaeus, in that Adam "was a child, not yet having his understanding perfected. It was necessary that he should grow and so come to his perfection." In other words, Adam was not created a perfect man but was endowed with the potential for perfection. It is because God created man in His image, that man was created with such potential. God set Adam (humanity) on the road to perfection, but sin interrupted the journey. The Incarnation of the perfect Man, Jesus Christ, has returned that potential to mankind.

The Incarnation of the Word is closely linked to our ultimate deification (In the Image and Likeness of God by Vladimir Lossky). Christ is the first perfect man. Christ is perfect in the potential sense, as Adam was in his innocence before the fall, and in the sense of the completely realized 'likeness'. The Incarnation is not simply a way of undoing the effects of original sin, but it is an essential stage upon man's journey from the divine image to the divine likeness. The true image and likeness of God is Christ himself (The Orthodox Way by Archimandrite Kallis Ware). It is through Christ that man is able to apprehend the Father (On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius). As St. Gregory of Nazianzus said, "The Son is not the Father, because there is only one Father, but He is what the Father is." In other words, the Son is a concise definition of the nature of the Father, for every being that has been begotten is a silent definition of his begetter (In the Image and Likeness of God by Vladimir Lossky). This can best be explained by considering that each human individual is "the picture of his father" by the family characteristics which he has in common with him, not by the personal qualities which distinguish his father.

http://www.stgeorgeserbian.us/darren03.htm
 

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pensateomnia said:
Alveus Lacuna said:
So I guess the central question is, does Orthodoxy require us to believe that humanity was once perfect?
No. The Fathers say that Adam and Eve were created with the potential to be perfect.
Pensateomnia, dear brother, thank you for this.

I think this is a very important point, theologically speaking.

We never have been "perect" or "happy."

"When someone tells me he's happy, it makes my a**cheeks twitch" (Luc in "French Kiiss," http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113117/)

But we used to have the potential...
 

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Ebor said:
Heorhij said:
Dan-Romania said:
Darwin was a sick person , who encouraged eugenism.
Actually Charles R. Darwin was a very healthy person, although he did have something like a mild obsessive-compulsive disorder. :)

In his prime years, he was a devout Anglican and a deacon in his church. While traveling on HMS The Beagle, where he was the "Naturalist," he also volunteered to have "spiritual conversations" with the crew. He most certainly knew Scriptures very well, and in his life he was pious and humble. He always stressed that his evolutionary theory has absolutely nothing to do with the alleged removing of God or "robbing" God of His glory.

I think it is very sad when people, not having any grounds whatsoever, insult the memory of great workers like Darwin, of those who labored hard all of their short human life to enrich us with new insights on the way this God's world works. Darwin's name is most definitely in the same glorious file to which belong the names of Aristotle, Mohammed Musa ibn Khorasmi (the inventor of algebra), Roger Bacon, St. Duns Scotus (who was actually the first to outline the concept of separation between theology and natural science), Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Mikhail Lomonosov, Antoin-Laurent LaVoisier, John Dalton, Dmitriy Ivanovich Mendeleev, Nikolay Lobachevskiy, James Clark Maxwell, Nicola Tesla, Max Plank, Albert Einstein, and other "movers and shakers" in the exciting field of natural sciences...
I think that a problem here, Heorhij, is that sometimes people do not go to the primary source materials on Science, that is what the researchers themselves wrote or said.  They hear or read something derogatory about someone like Darwin (often in my opinion by someone who does not, in fact, understand what the scientist wrote) and accept that as the "truth". 
Ebor,

I fear that too many people find it easier to believe rumours and in consequense disparage someone as if those rumours were the Gospel truth. Afterall, it's hard work to actually know something about a topic and, often it requires understanding where someone is coming from. That requires thinking outside of one's comfort zone and, unfortunately, too many people would rather dogmatise their own ideology for the sake of their own sense of security. In the process, they create an evil where there is none, except in their own minds.
 

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[ Science isn't about any claim to understand Scripture, it's about observing data, finding new information, working on hypotheses and stating what is found. ]

but Genesis is being reinterpreted in order to fit scientific theories.

[One wonders if any human can fully "understand God".  Undecided  One might suggest that it is important to learn more about the universe that God created with the intelligence and reason that He gave humanity.  When it comes to solid information on say, what a bacteria does or how genetics work or what fossils are found or some point of physics, the reliable source would be a person who is trained in the field not someone who doesn't know anything about it. Whereas a scriptural scholar would be the "reliable source" for what the Bible says. ]

i agree with all this. that is why i turn to the Fathers to understand Genesis, not evolutionists.

[Do you know what passage of writing the site is referring to, please?]

no, i only know what that article has stated, but since it falls in line with every other Saint i've read I didn't find it hard to accept.

[Darwin worked at understanding biology, why would he make any claim to understand "Tradition"?]

his work has been used to change the Tradition regarding at least Genesis. if he didn't make any claim to understand Tradition then why are we accepting him over the Fathers and Saints?

[can you give some quotes or names of these "theistic evolutionists" that believe this please?  I haven't seen any such assertions or claims to have "tapped into the mind of God".  Thank you in advance.]

im not sure how this isn't obvious ... theistic evolutionists claim that God created via evolution -- within the 6 "days" evolution was happening. thus they claim to know something about the ways of God that none of the Saints ever figured out.

[I haven't seen any scientists "interpret scripture".  Do you have any examples in mind?  If I want someone to interpret real scientific data, I'll choose a trained scientist, frankly.]

they might not explicitly claim that they are interpreting Scripture, but many look to their observations/experiments etc in order to understand Scripture, but I don't understand how thats a proper Orthodox methodology ...
 

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i have provided plenty of Patristic and other Saints evidence ... does anyone know of any modern Saints that have supported evolution, or any Patristic quotes that exclude a literal interpretation of Genesis? i think that would help the discussion really go somewhere.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
i have provided plenty of Patristic and other Saints evidence
But proof texts don't prove a consensus.

jckstraw72 said:
does anyone know of any modern Saints that have supported evolution, or any Patristic quotes that exclude a literal interpretation of Genesis? i think that would help the discussion really go somewhere.
And even if we can't, you still haven't answered my question of why we even need to see a consensus, even if it's manufactured.

BTW, Riddikulus did much to satisfy your request for Patristic quotes (cf. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5734.msg327633.html#msg327633), but I haven't yet seen you give what I would call a satisfactory response to her contribution.  You spoke of some abstract hypotheses regarding her quote of St. Justin Martyr and you posted another quote from Clement of Alexandria that contradicted her quote enough to raise the question of which one of you two is actually correct here.  But that's all I've seen as a rebuttal from you.  If you are unwilling to address the contrary patristic evidence that has already been provided, why should we humor you by bringing more contrary evidence to this discussion?
 

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jckstraw72 said:
[ Science isn't about any claim to understand Scripture, it's about observing data, finding new information, working on hypotheses and stating what is found. ]

but Genesis is being reinterpreted in order to fit scientific theories.
How is Genesis being reinterpreted when there isn't a consensous on how it was interpretated to begin with? This thread alone shows that the Church Fathers weren't consistant in seeing it as literal.

[One wonders if any human can fully "understand God".   Undecided   One might suggest that it is important to learn more about the universe that God created with the intelligence and reason that He gave humanity.  When it comes to solid information on say, what a bacteria does or how genetics work or what fossils are found or some point of physics, the reliable source would be a person who is trained in the field not someone who doesn't know anything about it. Whereas a scriptural scholar would be the "reliable source" for what the Bible says. ]

i agree with all this. that is why i turn to the Fathers to understand Genesis, not evolutionists.
And yet, in turning to the Fathers, you ignore those who disagree with a non-literal interpretation of Genesis. So aren't you really just picking and choosing which Fathers you deem to be consistent with your view, and discarding those you who aren't?

[Darwin worked at understanding biology, why would he make any claim to understand "Tradition"?]

his work has been used to change the Tradition regarding at least Genesis. if he didn't make any claim to understand Tradition then why are we accepting him over the Fathers and Saints?
So far it would seem that we are hard-pressed to establish any set tradition regarding Genesis. The writings we have haven't gone anywhere to provide a consensous of a literal interpretation. So far we only have everyone agreeing that God created; how He did that and how long He took is questionable. As we have no dogma on the interpretation of Genesis, one is left to follow one's conscience; as clearly the Church Fathers have done. Why is it so important for you to enforce a literal understanding?

[can you give some quotes or names of these "theistic evolutionists" that believe this please?  I haven't seen any such assertions or claims to have "tapped into the mind of God".  Thank you in advance.]

im not sure how this isn't obvious ... theistic evolutionists claim that God created via evolution -- within the 6 "days" evolution was happening. thus they claim to know something about the ways of God that none of the Saints ever figured out.
However, that isn't an answer to the question asked. Can you give some quotes or names of "theistic evolutionists" to support your claims?

[I haven't seen any scientists "interpret scripture".  Do you have any examples in mind?  If I want someone to interpret real scientific data, I'll choose a trained scientist, frankly.]

they might not explicitly claim that they are interpreting Scripture, but many look to their observations/experiments etc in order to understand Scripture, but I don't understand how thats a proper Orthodox methodology ...
So scientists don't interpret scripture, as you first claimed? What exactly are you claiming, then? That scientists who are Christians are content to understand Scripture in the light of scientific evidence? If so, how is this problematic?

 

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Jimmy said:
Dan-Romania said:
while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, ...
Just to clarify.  No biologist claims that mixing species causes them to give birth to a new species.
Exactly.  In fact, if we were ever to observe what Dan is describing here, the theory of evolution would actually be in trouble.  Dan, this isn't what evolutionary theory predicts, nor what it has observed.  Again, you are wanting to disagree with something you have refused to understand.  I'd encourage you to check it out.  You might discover that God's world is even more wonderful and amazing than you'd previously imagined.
 

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chrevbel said:
Jimmy said:
Dan-Romania said:
while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, ...
Just to clarify.  No biologist claims that mixing species causes them to give birth to a new species.
Exactly.  In fact, if we were ever to observe what Dan is describing here, the theory of evolution would actually be in trouble.  Dan, this isn't what evolutionary theory predicts, nor what it has observed.  Again, you are wanting to disagree with something you have refused to understand.  I'd encourage you to check it out.  You might discover that God's world is even more wonderful and amazing than you'd previously imagined.
How well said! I actually always try to tell this to my students, of whom very many are of a strictly literalist Southern Baptist background. And some of them listen, and really make this discovery!
 

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[But proof texts don't prove a consensus.]

how have i proof texted? I posted ECFs specifically saying its impermissible to interpret the days of creation allegorically and more recent Saints who explicitly wrote against evolution, and you call that proof texting?

[And even if we can't, you still haven't answered my question of why we even need to see a consensus, even if it's manufactured.]

what do you suggest as an alternative?

as for Riddikulus' qutoes -- those don't rule out the possibility of a literal interpretation -- I'm asking for Saints who have explicitly denied the literality of Genesis or explicitly favored evolution, just as I provided quotes of Fathers who explicitly taught that the days cannot be allegorical and who explicitly taught against evolution. and the quote from St. Clement didnt actually give any indication of referring to the length of the days, its just assumed that that's what he's referring to, but the quote i provided shows that that cannot be what he is referring to. furthermore, as i have repeatedly said, the length of the days is probably the least important issue -- more importantly is what is the origin of death -- God, or man's sin? and despite a few random quotes from a few early Fathers, the Church adopted a literal timeline for its calendar.

[How is Genesis being reinterpreted when there isn't a consensous on how it was interpretated to begin with? This thread alone shows that the Church Fathers weren't consistant in seeing it as literal.]

im still failing to see how there isnt a majority concensus -- i knooooooow that not every single Father interpreted the days of Genesis as only literal (but we don't see them denying hte literal either ... ).  but there's not instances of Fathers saying Adam and Eve aren't literal or that death existed before sin, and so on. those are the important issues, beacuse even if the days aren't literal that doesn't automatically mean evolution happened. thats a huuuuge leap.

[And yet, in turning to the Fathers, you ignore those who disagree with a non-literal interpretation of Genesis. So aren't you really just picking and choosing which Fathers you deem to be consistent with your view, and discarding those you who aren't?]

which Fathers might those be?

Do you believe in universalism because of St. Gregory of Nyssa? you seem to be saying that if even one or two Fathers says something out of line with the rest that that is enough to justify a new interpretation.

[So far it would seem that we are hard-pressed to establish any set tradition regarding Genesis. The writings we have haven't gone anywhere to provide a consensous of a literal interpretation. So far we only have everyone agreeing that God created; how He did that and how long He took is questionable. As we have no dogma on the interpretation of Genesis, one is left to follow one's conscience; as clearly the Church Fathers have done. Why is it so important for you to enforce a literal understanding?]

because if evolution is true, then God created death, and then death is good, which means it was pointless for Christ to defeat death. Ecumenical canons tell us that this cannot be so:

Canon 109 of African Code, Council of Carthage, ratified at Trullo and Nicea II.
That Adam was not created by God subject to death.
That whosoever says that Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that whether he had sinned or not, he would have died in body—that is, he would have gone forth of the body, not because his sin merited this, but by natural necessity, let him be anathema.
Ancient Epitome of Canon CIX.
Whoso shall assert that the protoplast would have died without sin and through natural necessity, let him be anathema.

and because if we can't trust the Fathers to transmit the faith unadulterated we are Protestants.

[However, that isn't an answer to the question asked. Can you give some quotes or names of "theistic evolutionists" to support your claims?]

youre blowing my mind here. whats not obvious about what i said? if a theistic evolutionist interprets the days of Genesis as billions of years (which no Father ever said) because of science, then they are claiming to understand the creative acts of God better than the Fathers. Deacon Kuraev is one example. Dobhzansky is another.

[So scientists don't interpret scripture, as you first claimed?]

obviously they do. no Father ever said the days were actually billions of years -- that interpretation comes only from science.

[ What exactly are you claiming, then? That scientists who are Christians are content to understand Scripture in the light of scientific evidence? If so, how is this problematic?]

because that scientific "evidence" contradicts our God-bearing Fathers. and its not observable evidence -- its assumptions about supposed billions of years ago based on what is seen now. no one actually observed this whole process of common descent leading to the world we know. its an assumption.
 

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Heorhij said:
chrevbel said:
Jimmy said:
Dan-Romania said:
while i believe in the theory of the mixes between species giving birth to another specie to be true, ...
Just to clarify.  No biologist claims that mixing species causes them to give birth to a new species.
Exactly.  In fact, if we were ever to observe what Dan is describing here, the theory of evolution would actually be in trouble.  Dan, this isn't what evolutionary theory predicts, nor what it has observed.  Again, you are wanting to disagree with something you have refused to understand.  I'd encourage you to check it out.  You might discover that God's world is even more wonderful and amazing than you'd previously imagined.
How well said! I actually always try to tell this to my students, of whom very many are of a strictly literalist Southern Baptist background. And some of them listen, and really make this discovery!
Well said, indeed!
 
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