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

Rowan

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I believe in theistic evolution, but I disagree with fellow evolutionists who regard creationists as ignorant just because they disagree.
 

Symeon

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Heorhij said:
Symeon, sorry, if you are right, then I have to side with those who "undermine our Orthodox theology." I can believe that there existed the "first humans" (literally) no more than I can believe that the literal human heart with its atria and ventricles is the literal location of human thoughts. I am from the country where in 1948 geneticists were tortured and shot because they refused to agree, for the sake of an ideology, that genes are fantasies of "bourgeous pseudo-scientists" and that genetics is a "whore of American imperialism." For me, a scientist familiar with population genetics and biological evolution, it is only possible to believe in metaphoric, allegorical Adam and Eve.
I'm sorry, but Christ didn't save us from a metaphor or an allegory.

Anyway, I think you are too caught up on "first humans." I didn't say this terminology was essential, only a literal Adam and Eve. See this article by the late Bishop Alexander.
 

ignatius

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

I don't believe I said anything about heresy. I simply was looking in the back of my Old Believer's Prayer Book and saw that it indicates that the earth is like 7000 years old or something and wanted to know if such was still held?

When did this opinion change?
 

ozgeorge

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ignatius said:
When did this opinion change?
In a way, this "opinion" never existed. The counting of the years "since the creation of the world" was simply a matter of convenience, and not intended to be a scientific calculation of how old the Earth is. By "convenience", I mean the Jewish Diaspora and the early Church had to have a way of counting the years before Christ since they found themselves in Gentile lands and had to calculate events based on Gentile calendars (eg, the Olympiads, the years since the Foundation of Rome, the Babylonian Calendars, etc.).
From early times, the Church has understood that the terms "generation" and "day" meant much longer epochs than what we understand them to be in common parlance. For example, the Church speaks of the "Eighth Day" of Creation as being the Second Coming, meaning that she understands us to still be in the "Seventh Day" of Creation. So if the "Seventh Day" has lasted from the First Creation until now, then how long were each of the other "Six Days" ("Hexameron") of Creation?
We cannot even use the geneaologies of the Scriptures to calculate the age of the Earth, because "begat" and "son of" does not necessarily mean that someone is the direct fruit of someone's loins. For example, Christ is called "The son of David", but that doesn't mean that David was his direct father. Similarly, the Jews in Christ's time told him "we have Abraham for our father", but Abraham did not sire them with their mothers. There may be many, many generations between a Biblical figure and those he or she "begat".
 

Heorhij

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Rowan said:
I believe in theistic evolution, but I disagree with fellow evolutionists who regard creationists as ignorant just because they disagree.
But evolution cannot be "believed" in. Do you believe that opposite charges attract? We know that biological evolution (defined as a change in the genetic makeup of populations) takes place. A sound scientific theory posits that biological evolution diversifies life on our planet. What in the world does the term "creationists" mean, I simply do not know. Something similar to "anti-oppositechargesattractionists?" :)
 

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Heorhij said:
But evolution cannot be "believed" in.
Think of it as applying to the "theistic" part. You know: evolution with God as opposed to atheistic evolution. God is believed in.

What in the world does the term "creationists" mean, I simply do not know. Something similar to "anti-oppositechargesattractionists?" :)
Now, to be fair, creationists do accept magnetism to be real  :laugh:
 

Tzimis

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I agree with the theory of evolution as long as it doesn't try and explain our origins. I believe Adam and Eve were the first humans created by God and that the fall led humanity to the biological life. A life not in Christ.
 

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Heorhij said:
But evolution cannot be "believed" in. Do you believe that opposite charges attract? We know that biological evolution (defined as a change in the genetic makeup of populations) takes place. A sound scientific theory posits that biological evolution diversifies life on our planet. What in the world does the term "creationists" mean, I simply do not know. Something similar to "anti-oppositechargesattractionists?" :)
Well, I don't think anyone denies "change in the genetic makeup of populations." Who can disagree with this broad definition? But that isn't what most people think of when they hear "biological evolution," is it? This appears to be a word game.
 

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ignatius said:
Grace and Peace,

As I have looked over Orthodox materials I get the impression that one can be a Creationist and be very firmly Orthodox.

Does this continue to be true or has most if not all theologians embrace Evolutionary Theory? What are you personal takes on the Creationist/Evolutionist discussions.

Thank you and God Bless.
To get a proper perspective of Orthodoxy and Creationism/Evolution I would suggest reading "Orthodoxy and Creationism" by Father Deacon Andrey Kuraev. His take on this subject is most objective and shows how Creationism can live side by side with Evolution.  A must read:

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/evolution_kuraev.htm
 

greekischristian

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Symeon said:
Well, I don't think anyone denies "change in the genetic makeup of populations." Who can disagree with this broad definition? But that isn't what most people think of when they hear "biological evolution," is it? This appears to be a word game.
Well, that's really all that evolution is; the remainder of the conclusions are simply logical consequences of this axiom supported by clear biological evidence. George is right, there's really nothing to debate about evolution, it's a simple fact that it occured, the genetic and molecular biological data makes it obvious that all biological lifeforms on earth share a common ancestry. The only real debate is purely philosophical, does religious belief negate the validity of science or not? In the end, 'creationism' and 'anti-oppositechargesattractionism' are the same thing, they dismiss obvious scientific evidence for some random religious belief.
 

greekischristian

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Heorhij said:
Symeon, sorry, if you are right, then I have to side with those who "undermine our Orthodox theology." I can believe that there existed the "first humans" (literally) no more than I can believe that the literal human heart with its atria and ventricles is the literal location of human thoughts. I am from the country where in 1948 geneticists were tortured and shot because they refused to agree, for the sake of an ideology, that genes are fantasies of "bourgeous pseudo-scientists" and that genetics is a "whore of American imperialism." For me, a scientist familiar with population genetics and biological evolution, it is only possible to believe in metaphoric, allegorical Adam and Eve.
Hear, hear!

Thanks for putting things in perspective.
 

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Not another debate on evolution....  ::)
 

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Is it possible to believe in a flat earth and be Orthodox?  What do the modern theologians say opposed to Old Believers?
 

minasoliman

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Is there a theologian today that dealt with and wrote about the "Adam and Eve" question in a theological perspective that is quite compatible with the science of evolution?
 

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minasoliman said:
Is there a theologian today that dealt with and wrote about the "Adam and Eve" question in a theological perspective that is quite compatible with the science of evolution?
The late Alexander Kalimeros wrote quite an interesting article on the subject. I can't remember the name, but a quick google search should sort you out.
 

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Well, here is my observation. I find it important to understand the definition of "evolution:" Are we speaking of micro-evolution? I'm sorry, but this can be proven at a lab, so you might as well deny the existence of China...When it comes to macro-evolution, many questions arise (or should) for me: In what way is evolution biblical? It can be if we apply an allegorical interpretation to Genesis. How about Adam and Eve? To me, this is important, because in order for Adam and Eve to be our first parents, they must be the beginning of humanity. We are saved from the mortality introduced by them, so to say that Adam and Eve represent humans, we must deny them the origin of sin and its consequences. If that happens, then in what way do the other humans become mortal? Who sinned? Who passed on the consequences? Secondly, did Adam and Eve (supposing they are literally two human beings) evolve from apes? This need not be dismissed outright, but relies on an answer to question one. I think the major problems I have with evolution is that 1) it is not truth like Scripture is (it is probable that there are many flaws), 2) it is still a theory, 3) it can indeed be a philosophical and even religious ideal, and 4) it usually denies a Creator (especially when matched with the Big Bang--another theory) and therefore presents a religious view. My opinion--I don't have one, nor do I care. For me, creation can remain a mystery. That God made everything, sustains everything, works through everything, and saved us from sin, death and the curse is Truth. According to these same scientists, it is not true because it cannot be proven. Hence we have the teaching that all religions are equal (that is equally stupid). I would also add that it seems foolish for a Christian to worry about how God did something we know he did. Is this not a ploy by Satan to turn us from being closer to God and one another to fighting amongst each other and forgetting about our Creator and Savior? For atheistic evolutionists: I wonder why they care so much to find out about life if life is just an accident. Who cares? There is no purpose for our lives! Do whatever you want? Have fun! Perhaps the knowledge of right from wrong is inconsequential in their minds...How foolish they shall feel on judgment day. I pray that they find God through science...
 

greekischristian

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Alexius said:
Well, here is my observation. I find it important to understand the definition of "evolution:" Are we speaking of micro-evolution? I'm sorry, but this can be proven at a lab, so you might as well deny the existence of China...When it comes to macro-evolution, many questions arise (or should) for me:
Ummm, there is no difference between 'micro-evolution' and 'macro-evolution'; it's all the same, it all happens by the same methods, whether we're talking about the evolution of human beings from lesser life-forms or the mutation of the AIDS virus in a victim's body it's all just evolution. Furthermore, it's all supported by strong scientific evidence, it's all supported by molecular biology and genetics, on a larger scale it's also supported by such fields as geology and paleontology, but it's all based on firm science.

In what way is evolution biblical? It can be if we apply an allegorical interpretation to Genesis. How about Adam and Eve?................................
So when you accept so much of evolution as having been decided by science, why do you all of a sudden ignore science and ignore the logical conclusions of the theory you initially espouse? All we're doing is expanding on a sound scientific theory that you accept and all of a sudden you jump into matter of philosophy and religion to decide the matter? Forgive me, but that simply doesn't make any sense. If science so well gives the answers to so-called 'micro-evolution' why do you, all of a sudden, abandon it? The only 'science' demonstrated by the religious and philosophical questions you are pushing would be the world view of those who initially authored such texts. If our theology is based on more than the opinion of ancient authors, if it is based on 'truth' itself, shouldn't it also be consonant with science? Shouldn't we be able to continue to follow the truths about our world that have been revealed to us by science and arrive at our true theology? And if, by some strange twist, our theology comes in conflict with the obvious truths of science, what does this say about the ground on which we stand?
 

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Heorhij said:
But evolution cannot be "believed" in. Do you believe that opposite charges attract? We know that biological evolution (defined as a change in the genetic makeup of populations) takes place. A sound scientific theory posits that biological evolution diversifies life on our planet. What in the world does the term "creationists" mean, I simply do not know. Something similar to "anti-oppositechargesattractionists?" :)
Grace and Peace Heorhij,

But we have no evidence that species change on the macro level. We have micro level changes within species but no evidence that species actually change into new species right? You appear to believe that we have proof of evolution when, as far as I know, we don't.

I get the impression that this is a 'hot-button' issue with you so don't go wild on me. I'm just asking.
 

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Symeon said:
Well, I don't think anyone denies "change in the genetic makeup of populations." Who can disagree with this broad definition? But that isn't what most people think of when they hear "biological evolution," is it? This appears to be a word game.
No, I don't think that "word game" is the problem, it's a lack of knowledge of biology.
 

Heorhij

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ignatius said:
Grace and Peace Heorhij,

But we have no evidence that species change on the macro level. We have micro level changes within species but no evidence that species actually change into new species right? You appear to believe that we have proof of evolution when, as far as I know, we don't.

I get the impression that this is a 'hot-button' issue with you so don't go wild on me. I'm just asking.
No, I won't "go wild." What you are saying is a very typical misunderstanding. Scientific theories do not need (and actually cannot) be "proven." When you are looking at a picture in a textbook that shows the molecule of water consisting of two little balls that represent atoms of hydrogen and one bigger (and differently colored) ball representing an atom of oxygen, you are also looking at deductions made from an "unproven" atomic-molecular theory of the structure of matter. We "know" about these two kinds of atoms joining together in the 2H:1O proportion because such an idea is consistent with many observations. Same thing biological evolution. We don't literally see speciation, but we know it happens because it is consistent with myriads of observations made by scores of independently working scientists.
 

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greekischristian said:
Ummm, there is no difference between 'micro-evolution' and 'macro-evolution'; it's all the same, it all happens by the same methods, whether we're talking about the evolution of human beings from lesser life-forms or the mutation of the AIDS virus in a victim's body it's all just evolution. Furthermore, it's all supported by strong scientific evidence, it's all supported by molecular biology and genetics, on a larger scale it's also supported by such fields as geology and paleontology, but it's all based on firm science.
The changes that accur to viruses or human beings don't necessarily prove that they can alter into something other than what they are.  It can't be proven that a race or virus can step out of it's boundaries and become something other than what it is.  All though viruses can change they are still bound to being viruses. Same goes for humans. When does a virus ever stop being a virus? This part of the genetics science is just a theory. It falls short of proving Genesis since it doesn't have substantial prove that a species can alter into something else. It can't rule out creation as fiction. Your making it sound as if it has.

 

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Demetrios G. said:
The changes that accur to viruses or human beings don't necessarily prove that they can alter into something other than what they are.  It can't be proven that a race or virus can step out of it's boundaries and become something other than what it is.  All though viruses can change they are still bound to being viruses. Same goes for humans. When does a virus ever stop being a virus? This part of the genetics science is just a theory. It falls short of proving Genesis since it doesn't have substantial prove that a species can alter into something else. It can't rule out creation as fiction. Your making it sound as if it has.
Yep, this is what I understand. I even have atheist friends who admit this...
 

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Demetrios G. said:
The changes that accur to viruses or human beings don't necessarily prove that they can alter into something other than what they are.  It can't be proven that a race or virus can step out of it's boundaries and become something other than what it is.  All though viruses can change they are still bound to being viruses. Same goes for humans. When does a virus ever stop being a virus? This part of the genetics science is just a theory. It falls short of proving Genesis since it doesn't have substantial prove that a species can alter into something else. It can't rule out creation as fiction. Your making it sound as if it has.
But biological evolution does not pertain to individuals. A virus never stops to be a virus, and a monkey never stops to be a monkey; but POPULATIONS of viruses or monkeys do change into something else (evolve).
 

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Heorhij said:
No, I won't "go wild." What you are saying is a very typical misunderstanding. Scientific theories do not need (and actually cannot) be "proven." When you are looking at a picture in a textbook that shows the molecule of water consisting of two little balls that represent atoms of hydrogen and one bigger (and differently colored) ball representing an atom of oxygen, you are also looking at deductions made from an "unproven" atomic-molecular theory of the structure of matter. We "know" about these two kinds of atoms joining together in the 2H:1O proportion because such an idea is consistent with many observations. Same thing biological evolution. We don't literally see speciation, but we know it happens because it is consistent with myriads of observations made by scores of independently working scientists.
Your correct, but. When we see two actual species such as man and ape we are not looking at paper. We are looking at actuality. We see no other species between the two that can be called a mutation.(Praxis) These mutation would have still bin in existence if one is formed from the other. Creating a multitude of subspecies.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
The changes that accur to viruses or human beings don't necessarily prove that they can alter into something other than what they are.  It can't be proven that a race or virus can step out of it's boundaries and become something other than what it is.  All though viruses can change they are still bound to being viruses. Same goes for humans. When does a virus ever stop being a virus? This part of the genetics science is just a theory. It falls short of proving Genesis since it doesn't have substantial prove that a species can alter into something else. It can't rule out creation as fiction. Your making it sound as if it has.
Practically, the biggest clinical problem we have is the super fast evolution of certain viruses like Influenza and HIV as well as bacteria due to our overuse of antibiotics.  There has been in fact an evolving population into "new species" if you will, species that are "antiobiotic resistant" or new strands that might be more severe (or even kill, as happened in WW I era).  The dramatic change of these genetics makes it very hard for scientists to develop vaccines.  That's why there's an annual "update" of the influenza vaccine, which will try to protect you from most of the new strands developed throughout the year, as much as we can fathom.

So clinically, evolution has been proven.

God bless.
 

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minasoliman said:
Practically, the biggest clinical problem we have is the super fast evolution of certain viruses like Influenza and HIV as well as bacteria due to our overuse of antibiotics.  There has been in fact an evolving population into "new species" if you will, species that are "antiobiotic resistant" or new strands that might be more severe (or even kill, as happened in WW I era).  The dramatic change of these genetics makes it very hard for scientists to develop vaccines.  That's why there's an annual "update" of the influenza vaccine, which will try to protect you from most of the new strands developed throughout the year, as much as we can fathom.

So clinically, evolution has been proven.

God bless.
I don't disagree with you. When does Influenza stop being Influenza?
 

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Heorhij said:
But biological evolution does not pertain to individuals. A virus never stops to be a virus, and a monkey never stops to be a monkey; but POPULATIONS of viruses or monkeys do change into something else (evolve).
I agree that there is a certain amount of evolution within a species, but when does a species become something else? It doesn't. Man is adapting to his environment everyday. he builds immunity from disease and adapts to his environment. these are natural cases of evolution.
  I'm sure that with mans intervention mutation can happen through science. That doesn't mean that when nature is left to itself that these sudden and harsh changes can happen on there own. If the environment was the same. man therefore was the same. No matter how far back we go.
 

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greekischristian said:
Ummm, there is no difference between 'micro-evolution' and 'macro-evolution'; it's all the same, it all happens by the same methods, whether we're talking about the evolution of human beings from lesser life-forms or the mutation of the AIDS virus in a victim's body it's all just evolution. Furthermore, it's all supported by strong scientific evidence, it's all supported by molecular biology and genetics, on a larger scale it's also supported by such fields as geology and paleontology, but it's all based on firm science.

So when you accept so much of evolution as having been decided by science, why do you all of a sudden ignore science and ignore the logical conclusions of the theory you initially espouse? All we're doing is expanding on a sound scientific theory that you accept and all of a sudden you jump into matter of philosophy and religion to decide the matter? Forgive me, but that simply doesn't make any sense. If science so well gives the answers to so-called 'micro-evolution' why do you, all of a sudden, abandon it? The only 'science' demonstrated by the religious and philosophical questions you are pushing would be the world view of those who initially authored such texts. If our theology is based on more than the opinion of ancient authors, if it is based on 'truth' itself, shouldn't it also be consonant with science? Shouldn't we be able to continue to follow the truths about our world that have been revealed to us by science and arrive at our true theology? And if, by some strange twist, our theology comes in conflict with the obvious truths of science, what does this say about the ground on which we stand?
Actually, when it comes down to specifics, micro-evolution and macro-evolution are two different things. Micro-evolution, for instance, can be proven in a lab usings insects. There is physical proof. Macro-evolution is based on speculation and has no physical evidence to date. You seem to mistake my questions for all out rejection of evolution. Indeed, I am opposed to certain ideas within it, but not evolution in its entirety. It is still speculation, though, and I refuse to accept it as part and parcel of Christ's Truth, which is not subject to change and speculation. Science is constantly changing its theories as it finds itself incorrect. Can you say that of Christ, or of His Church. I hope not. I believe that many of the early fathers used the science of their day to interpret Genesis, but evolution is unlike the beliefs of old. My concerns with macro-evolution are many and I think they are valid. If God infact created a mutant ape-like man, science suggests that this ape did not know right from wrong. Is he still in the image of God? If he did infact evolve from apes, then how does this correspond to 1) man created out of dust (this can be subject to interpretation), but more importantly, 2) how do you apply Original or Ancestral Sin and the need for salvation? If man evolved from apes, then how is he separate from animals and thereby give immortal soul (which, by the way, cannot be proven)?
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Your correct, but. When we see two actual species such as man and ape we are not looking at paper. We are looking at actuality. We see no other species between the two that can be called a mutation.(Praxis) These mutation would have still bin in existence if one is formed from the other. Creating a multitude of subspecies.
But "ape" is not a species - there are dozens if not hundreds of species of apes, and probably (ask a zoologist) there is no consensus of how many precisely because there is no clear line separating all these species. In birds, there are populations that look exactly the same, sing exactly the same, and yet do not cross-mate - so, technically, they are different species. The currently existing humans all belong to one species, Homo sapiens, but there is evidence that there existed other species (Homo erectus, Homo habilis), which are now extinct.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
I don't disagree with you. When does Influenza stop being Influenza?
Influenza is not a virus, it is a disease. There are two known species of influenza virus - influenza virus A and influenza virus B. Both do not really exist - they are our human "idealizations," our attempt to simplify what we see in nature. In fact, there are thousands of different strains of both I.v. A and I.v. B, with no clear border between them.

Myriads of new species are being formed right now, as you read these lines, and myriads of "old" species are becoming extinct.
 

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Alexius said:
Actually, when it comes down to specifics, micro-evolution and macro-evolution are two different things. Micro-evolution, for instance, can be proven in a lab usings insects. There is physical proof. Macro-evolution is based on speculation and has no physical evidence to date. You seem to mistake my questions for all out rejection of evolution. Indeed, I am opposed to certain ideas within it, but not evolution in its entirety. It is still speculation, though, and I refuse to accept it as part and parcel of Christ's Truth, which is not subject to change and speculation. Science is constantly changing its theories as it finds itself incorrect. Can you say that of Christ, or of His Church. I hope not. I believe that many of the early fathers used the science of their day to interpret Genesis, but evolution is unlike the beliefs of old. My concerns with macro-evolution are many and I think they are valid. If God infact created a mutant ape-like man, science suggests that this ape did not know right from wrong. Is he still in the image of God? If he did infact evolve from apes, then how does this correspond to 1) man created out of dust (this can be subject to interpretation), but more importantly, 2) how do you apply Original or Ancestral Sin and the need for salvation? If man evolved from apes, then how is he separate from animals and thereby give immortal soul (which, by the way, cannot be proven)?
There is no difference between micro- and macroevolution as far as the mechanisms of these two phenomena are concerned. The only difference is that the so-called microevolution concerns populations that are still interbreeding, while mactoevolution concerns populations that have diverged far enough to not be able to interbreed.
 

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Heorhij said:
But "ape" is not a species - there are dozens if not hundreds of species of apes, and probably (ask a zoologist) there is no consensus of how many precisely because there is no clear line separating all these species. In birds, there are populations that look exactly the same, sing exactly the same, and yet do not cross-mate - so, technically, they are different species. The currently existing humans all belong to one species, Homo sapiens, but there is evidence that there existed other species (Homo erectus, Homo habilis), which are now extinct.
This is the old parlor trick. Use the "weak definition" of species and of course speciation has occurred. Poodles and pit bulls are different "species" of dog, they don't typically interbreed but you can still artificially impregnate a poodle with pit bull semen. So it is with various "species" of birds, apes, etc. i.e. "there is no clear line separating all these species." Use the "strong definition" (the bird species, the dog species, the ape species), which is what people are actually getting after when they ask for speciation, and you have nothing.
 

greekischristian

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Alexius said:
Actually, when it comes down to specifics, micro-evolution and macro-evolution are two different things. Micro-evolution, for instance, can be proven in a lab usings insects. There is physical proof. Macro-evolution is based on speculation and has no physical evidence to date.
It seems that your information is out of date; over the last few years data from gene sequencing of various species has been gathered and analyzed by computational biologists to predict the functions of various alleles shared by several species. These predictions have been verified in the lab by molecular biologists. This demonstrates that a hypothesis was presented (common ancestry), a test based on the expected predictions was devised, the test was successful, and useful information was obtained from the assumption that was independently verified. The common ancestry of various mammals, including humans, has been mathematically and experimentally demonstrated in the lab with at least the level of confidence that we have in atomic theory.
 

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Symeon said:
This is the old parlor trick. Use the "weak definition" of species and of course speciation has occurred. Poodles and pit bulls are differen't "species" of dog, they don't typically interbreed but you can still artificially impregnate a poodle with pit bull semen. So it is with various "species" of birds, apes, etc. i.e. "there is no clear line separating all these species." Use the "strong definition" (the bird species, the dog species, the ape species), which is what people are actually getting after when they ask for speciation, and you have nothing.
No, it's not me who get nothing, it's those people who ask questions while not being open to answers that do not fit their pre-conceived notions. The existence of numerous species with NO clear border between them is as much a fact as the existence of numerous species WITh a clear border between them.
 

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Heorhij said:
No, it's not me who get nothing, it's those people who ask questions while not being open to answers that do not fit their pre-conceived notions. The existence of numerous species with NO clear border between them is as much a fact as the existence of numerous species WITh a clear border between them.
If the answer does not actually address the question asked, but is rather a bait and switch, why should anyone be "open" to it? The fact that you still speak of different "species" of apes says it all. The ape is the overall category, the strong definition of species, the clear border, with in which there is variation. These apes might be "reproductively isolated," but interbreeding is still possible. These "species" with "no clear border" actually do have a border, and the border is the species "ape."
 

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Symeon said:
If the answer does not actually address the question asked, but is rather a bait and switch, why should anyone be "open" to it? The fact that you still speak of different "species" of apes says it all. The ape is the overall category, the strong definition of species, the clear border, with in which there is variation. These apes might be "reproductively isolated," but interbreeding is still possible. These "species" with "no clear border" actually do have a border, and the border is the species "ape."
But then, why not extend your understanding of species even further? Merge apes with monkeys, monkeys with lemours, lemours with rats... :)
 

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Heorhij said:
But then, why not extend your understanding of species even further? Merge apes with monkeys, monkeys with lemours, lemours with rats... :)
We share the same biological foundations.  We are animals. All of creation must certainly be linked in some way. Otherwise it wouldn't be in harmony. The difference between man and animal is not what is common. The difference is that Man has freedom, which the rest of material Creation does not.
  An animal, even the more advanced kind, possesses the ability to adapt to the environment, to the existing world, to Creation. However, it will never consider denying its environment, annihilating it and then creating its own world.  An animal cannot create a world of its own; only Man has this tendency.
 

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From a theological perspective, I still don't understand why Adam and Eve cannot be allegorical for all of humanity.  Has not each and every one of us fallen and in need of a Savior?  Doesn't adam mean human in the same sense of homo, ανθρωπος, человек etc.?  In the 13 century debates among the scholastics the idea of whether the incarnation would have occurred regardless of whether or not Adam and Eve had fallen was brought up.  I think the general consensus was that yes, it still would have as redemption is more than simply forgiveness of sin - it is that God became man so that man might become god. 
 

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Heorhij said:
But then, why not extend your understanding of species even further? Merge apes with monkeys, monkeys with lemours, lemours with rats... :)
Um, because those are physiologically incapable of interbreeding.  I'm using Dobzhansky's strong definition of species here: "That stage of evolutionary progress at which the once actually or potentially interbreeding array of forms becomes segregated into two or more arrays which are physiologically incapable of interbreeding." Apes are physiologically capable of interbreeding, ergo, same species. ::)
 
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