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

Heorhij

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AlexanderOfBergamo said:
First of all thanks for your biology-for-newbees lesson.
Oh, you are most welcome, Alex! My pleasure.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
Secondly, this is a RELIGIOUS TOPICS thread, so I was keeping the discussion on theology, and not on biology... The primary question was: Is evolution acceptable within Orthodoxy? And my answer is: It is acceptable UNTIL, as Orthodox Christians, we keep in mind that GOD worked THROUGH evolution BY His energies and WITH THE FINAL PURPOSE of creating humanity (this is possibly the most technical definition I can give of my personal opinion on the subject). It is the direction God--->humanity of the evolutionary arrow that interests me from a theological perspective, since THIS is the Biblical perspective which makes the world's procession from the initial Big Bang chaos ('invisible/formless' and 'void/disadorned' are the two expressions of chaos in Genesis 2) to an ordered universe or cosmos ruled over by man under God's guide to be the original plan of God destroyed by sin. Afterall, the mechanisms of evolutionary biology are still too complicated for non-experts and they're not so useful in daily life for the profanes (unlike physics which - at least at an ordinary level - provides some technological results) except maybe for medicine due to the implications in genetics.
Well, yes, of course, as believers in God, we know that He has providence for everything, but I do not talk about God and His wonderful plans in my biology classes. And as far as acceptancy goes, the theory of biological evolution is, so far, the only comprehensive scientific theory in biology, so it not a question for me whether I accept it or not, regardless of me being an Orthodox faithful. Again, no scientific theory ever gives us the whole truth; yet, some scientific theories have been refuted or superseded - but the theory of biological evolution is not one of them. It remains a central working theory in biology, and, as far as I call myself a biologist and a biology teacher at a university, I must accept it or else exclude myself from biological sciences. It would be very much like to reject the atomic theory and remain a chemist. Faith, theology in this case are not what makes you accept of reject the atomic theory or the evolutionary theory.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
A good question, but I think I covered this earlier when I conceded that uniformitarianism is a more objective scientific approach...
Can you direct me to where you talked out it earlier?

Also, nature can be very deceptive- even cruely so. That's why the only way we will ever truly understand the natural world is when we view it through the twin lenses of spirituality and science. Man can never truly understand the creation if he denies the Creator. Also, we won't understand the natural world if we don't recognize that the world is fallen. The god of this fallen world (i.e. satan) will lure even the most brilliant of men into thinking that a Utopia on earth can be established by the progress of sciece. But divorce science from sprituality, and even geniuses will fall into deception.
Brother, it's okay to develop an understanding of nature with both spiritual and scientific knowledge, however no anti-spiritual person can be deceived if he sees that things fall for instance.  The deception I'm talking about is observations and the testing of these observations with consistency.  We observe and calculated fossils' ages, not just with one indicator, but with many indicators, finding consistency in the age of a certain fossil.  If there was no consistency, then we need to seek better tools for calculating the age of something.  This consistency that runs in scientific tests and observations makes it hard to understand how one can believe otherwise.  It's like seeing a red bucket and saying that it's very possible this bucket is not red.

You answered the question with a learned and noble effort. But I still don't see any objective point at which human life can be declared to be "fully human" within the evolutionary framework. In support of my contention, I would point to the fact that most atheistic macro evolutionists (e.g. Peter Singer) would not define a human embryo as a "person."
I think atheists will agree that an embryo is human. Whether it's person or not, yes, that's another debate for discussion.  But I recommend if you want to read this further this book by Francis Collins "The Language of God" where he talks about evolution, but also has an appendix about other moral issues, one of which is abortion and defining what a person is.  It may not answer your question, but he makes some thought-provoking points.

we have been (not are being) divinely fashioned in the very image of God
We have been fashioned in the image of God, but the Lord gave us room for growth and change, so we are being fashioned eternally to be like Him.

There are degrees of deification and theosis, but not degrees of humanity.
I respectfully disagree.  Theosis involves a constant change in humanity, to be closer and closer to God, not only provides a purer, but a stronger human, a better human than we are right now.  It is written in the Scriptures that we will receive a new body that is "spiritualized" or powered by the spirit.  It seems to me that theosis isn't just limited therefore to our own spirit, but also to our flesh.  For now, the spirit is strengthened that it may be ready to receive this new flesh in harmony with it.
 

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Heorhij said:
AlexanderOfBergamo said:
First of all thanks for your biology-for-newbees lesson.
Oh, you are most welcome, Alex! My pleasure.

AlexanderOfBergamo said:
Secondly, this is a RELIGIOUS TOPICS thread, so I was keeping the discussion on theology, and not on biology... The primary question was: Is evolution acceptable within Orthodoxy? And my answer is: It is acceptable UNTIL, as Orthodox Christians, we keep in mind that GOD worked THROUGH evolution BY His energies and WITH THE FINAL PURPOSE of creating humanity (this is possibly the most technical definition I can give of my personal opinion on the subject). It is the direction God--->humanity of the evolutionary arrow that interests me from a theological perspective, since THIS is the Biblical perspective which makes the world's procession from the initial Big Bang chaos ('invisible/formless' and 'void/disadorned' are the two expressions of chaos in Genesis 2) to an ordered universe or cosmos ruled over by man under God's guide to be the original plan of God destroyed by sin. Afterall, the mechanisms of evolutionary biology are still too complicated for non-experts and they're not so useful in daily life for the profanes (unlike physics which - at least at an ordinary level - provides some technological results) except maybe for medicine due to the implications in genetics.
Well, yes, of course, as believers in God, we know that He has providence for everything, but I do not talk about God and His wonderful plans in my biology classes. And as far as acceptancy goes, the theory of biological evolution is, so far, the only comprehensive scientific theory in biology, so it not a question for me whether I accept it or not, regardless of me being an Orthodox faithful. Again, no scientific theory ever gives us the whole truth; yet, some scientific theories have been refuted or superseded - but the theory of biological evolution is not one of them. It remains a central working theory in biology, and, as far as I call myself a biologist and a biology teacher at a university, I must accept it or else exclude myself from biological sciences. It would be very much like to reject the atomic theory and remain a chemist. Faith, theology in this case are not what makes you accept of reject the atomic theory or the evolutionary theory.
Of course, you just CAN'T use theology in your classes, which is obvious. There must be plenty of atheists, buddhists, muslims and so on at biology classes, so using Christian Orthodox theology would sound at least odd enough to cover you of insults. What's important is that WE as Orthodox feel, in our hearts, that God planned this - we don't know how he did this, or better why he planned the world to work in a certain way, but we know the only reason that moved him to create was LOVE, and that we are the ones whom love has been directed to since the beginning of time, even before we existed, in God's omniscience.

I'm glad we overcame, FINALLY, our distances.

In Christ,  Alex
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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minasoliman said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
A good question, but I think I covered this earlier when I conceded that uniformitarianism is a more objective scientific approach...
Can you direct me to where you talked out it earlier?

Also, nature can be very deceptive- even cruely so. That's why the only way we will ever truly understand the natural world is when we view it through the twin lenses of spirituality and science. Man can never truly understand the creation if he denies the Creator. Also, we won't understand the natural world if we don't recognize that the world is fallen. The god of this fallen world (i.e. satan) will lure even the most brilliant of men into thinking that a Utopia on earth can be established by the progress of sciece. But divorce science from sprituality, and even geniuses will fall into deception.
Brother, it's okay to develop an understanding of nature with both spiritual and scientific knowledge, however no anti-spiritual person can be deceived if he sees that things fall for instance.  The deception I'm talking about is observations and the testing of these observations with consistency.  We observe and calculated fossils' ages, not just with one indicator, but with many indicators, finding consistency in the age of a certain fossil.  If there was no consistency, then we need to seek better tools for calculating the age of something.  This consistency that runs in scientific tests and observations makes it hard to understand how one can believe otherwise.  It's like seeing a red bucket and saying that it's very possible this bucket is not red.

I think that we can debate these specific points ad infinitum. I know many biologists that do not believe in evolution that would be able to argue the specifics of the fossil records and other ostensible evidence for evolution. Heorhij believes that to deny evolution would require him to remove himself from the field of biological science. But as I said, I know respected biologists who do not believe in evolution, and their beliefs are shaped by science and not by religion.

I think that as Orthodox Christians we should respect differences of opinion over issues that are peripheral to the Faith. I respect Christians who do believe in evolution, even though I don't. But when adherents of evolution basically accuse the rest of us of believing that the earth is flat, then I will always get defensive. But of course, I said that evolution was a demonic deception, which undoubtedly will make the evolutionsists defensive. The bottom line is that believing in evolution doesn't necessarily make someone less of a Christian, and rejecting evolution doesn't necessarily make someone less intellectual or less informed.




You answered the question with a learned and noble effort. But I still don't see any objective point at which human life can be declared to be "fully human" within the evolutionary framework. In support of my contention, I would point to the fact that most atheistic macro evolutionists (e.g. Peter Singer) would not define a human embryo as a "person."
I think atheists will agree that an embryo is human. Whether it's person or not, yes, that's another debate for discussion.  But I recommend if you want to read this further this book by Francis Collins "The Language of God" where he talks about evolution, but also has an appendix about other moral issues, one of which is abortion and defining what a person is.  It may not answer your question, but he makes some thought-provoking points.

we have been (not are being) divinely fashioned in the very image of God
We have been fashioned in the image of God, but the Lord gave us room for growth and change, so we are being fashioned eternally to be like Him.

As I said, we are the "image" of God from the moment of conception, and that does not change. But we can grow and develop in His "likeness."

There are degrees of deification and theosis, but not degrees of humanity.
I respectfully disagree.  Theosis involves a constant change in humanity, to be closer and closer to God, not only provides a purer, but a stronger human, a better human than we are right now.  It is written in the Scriptures that we will receive a new body that is "spiritualized" or powered by the spirit.  It seems to me that theosis isn't just limited therefore to our own spirit, but also to our flesh.  For now, the spirit is strengthened that it may be ready to receive this new flesh in harmony with it.

Regardless of whether or not people act and behave according to their divinely created purpose, they are still fully human. Once we begin to judge some people as less or more human than others, we have opened the door to treat them as something other than human. Peter Singer even argues that mothers should be able to legally kill their children up to the age of two, and that infants are less worthy of humane treatment than pets.

Selam
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Basically, catastrophism is an explanatory theory that takes into account the possibility of a single momentary cause that manifests effects which have the appearance of having taken long periods of time to produce. (Sorry for the unartful sentence  :-[) Uniformitarianism asserts that the rate of change which is observable now must be assumed to have aways existed and is to account for the effects we observe today.

In other words, the effects we observe about moutains, canyons, and such could have been produced by millions of years of time, or they could have been effected by a catastrophic event such as a universal flood.
1. ...All the major mountain ranges have been studied in detail, the plate movements that caused them have been mapped, and their histories have been worked out for millions of years in the past. The problem of mountain formation has been solved, and a flood had no part in the solution.

2.The catastrophic formation of mountains and subsequent return of the sea into its basin would have released tremendous amounts of heat and mechanical energy, enough to boil the oceans and metamorphose the minerals in the mountains. No trace of such a catastrophe exists.

3.Formation of mountains during the Flood does not explain why different mountains are different ages. The Appalachians are much older than the Rockies, for example, as one can immediately see just from how the two ranges are differently eroded. 

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH570.html


 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Riddikulus said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Basically, catastrophism is an explanatory theory that takes into account the possibility of a single momentary cause that manifests effects which have the appearance of having taken long periods of time to produce. (Sorry for the unartful sentence  :-[) Uniformitarianism asserts that the rate of change which is observable now must be assumed to have aways existed and is to account for the effects we observe today.

In other words, the effects we observe about moutains, canyons, and such could have been produced by millions of years of time, or they could have been effected by a catastrophic event such as a universal flood.
1. ...All the major mountain ranges have been studied in detail, the plate movements that caused them have been mapped, and their histories have been worked out for millions of years in the past. The problem of mountain formation has been solved, and a flood had no part in the solution.

This is may be the predominant opinion, but there are scientists who disagree.

2.The catastrophic formation of mountains and subsequent return of the sea into its basin would have released tremendous amounts of heat and mechanical energy, enough to boil the oceans and metamorphose the minerals in the mountains. No trace of such a catastrophe exists.

I can't debate your point here, but I know others who could.

3.Formation of mountains during the Flood does not explain why different mountains are different ages. The Appalachians are much older than the Rockies, for example, as one can immediately see just from how the two ranges are differently eroded. 

A sincere question: Why does it appear that the Appalachians are older than the Rockies due to erosion? Wouldn't erosion produce less plant life rather than more? The Appalachians are covered with trees, but the Rockies are bare in comparison. So can you explain this more please?

Selam


http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH570.html
 

minasoliman

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Gebre, you do realize that if you say some biologists or some scientists disagree, it's not helpful to the discussion.  Would you like to give us a source of these biologists/scientists, or do know of anyone personally who can enter the discussion for us.  Frankly, I've never met a biologist/scientist that holds views that agrees with yours.

God bless.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Riddikulus said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Basically, catastrophism is an explanatory theory that takes into account the possibility of a single momentary cause that manifests effects which have the appearance of having taken long periods of time to produce. (Sorry for the unartful sentence  :-[) Uniformitarianism asserts that the rate of change which is observable now must be assumed to have aways existed and is to account for the effects we observe today.

In other words, the effects we observe about moutains, canyons, and such could have been produced by millions of years of time, or they could have been effected by a catastrophic event such as a universal flood.
1. ...All the major mountain ranges have been studied in detail, the plate movements that caused them have been mapped, and their histories have been worked out for millions of years in the past. The problem of mountain formation has been solved, and a flood had no part in the solution.

This is may be the predominant opinion, but there are scientists who disagree.
Perhaps you could name them and quote from their work.

2.The catastrophic formation of mountains and subsequent return of the sea into its basin would have released tremendous amounts of heat and mechanical energy, enough to boil the oceans and metamorphose the minerals in the mountains. No trace of such a catastrophe exists.

I can't debate your point here, but I know others who could.
See above.

3.Formation of mountains during the Flood does not explain why different mountains are different ages. The Appalachians are much older than the Rockies, for example, as one can immediately see just from how the two ranges are differently eroded. 

A sincere question: Why does it appear that the Appalachians are older than the Rockies due to erosion? Wouldn't erosion produce less plant life rather than more? The Appalachians are covered with trees, but the Rockies are bare in comparison. So can you explain this more please?

Selam


http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH570.html
The rounded ridges of the Appalachians typify very old mountains ground down by erosion. They are much older than the Himalayas; 480 millions years old and stopped growing around the time the Rockies began to form. 

Gebre, I've had to put my answers in italics because I can't get the quote thingies to work properly. Hope it's not to difficult to follow. Here's an interesting piece on the Appalachians.

http://www.appvoices.org/index.php?/site/voice_stories/uplift_erosion_uplift_erosion_a_compressed_history_of_appalachia/issues/542

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_the_Appalachians


Fixed quote tags...  -PtA
 

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Dear Gebre,
on the subject of the Flood, it must be said, there are INNER evidences in the Bible itself that the flood was a local event, and yet I think that it was the only one that was able to destroy an entire branch of humanity (the "sons of God", i.e. adamites) in a while.
If you look into your Bible, the book of Genesis clearly states that the Nephilim survived the Flood. Since the Nephilim are "sons of man" and "sons of God" they are nothing but humans with different characteristics then the "sons of God" themselves, yet they belong in the human race. The Bible clearly states the Nephilim (=giants) were "heroes of old" probably admitting that they inspired the pagan pantheons for the future generations, and there's also written that they survived the Flood, or better is assumed in the words of Moses:
The Giants were on the earth in those days. And also after that, when the sons of God came to the daughters of men, and they bore sons to them, the same were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
The same David will deal with Giants. Since only eight people were saved on the Ark (Noah and his family); since the Nephilim were not animals but humans, so they couldn't be included in the list of the creatures saved by God; and since a global flood assumes that every single peace of dry land was submersed in water, we must conclude that the flood wasn't global and that the Giants lived outside of the area invaded by the waters.
I also can prove you that one of the earliest exegetes of that biblical passage, Flavius Josephus, who has largely been used by the Church Fathers as a source of information on Jewish history, used to prove the authenticity of the Deluge with a passage from Nicolaus of Damascus dealing with a tradition that some survivors of the flood who found refuge on the mountains encountered a man who saved himself and his family abord an ark.
There is a great mountain in Armenia, over Minyas, called Baris, upon which it is reported that many who fled at the time of the deluge were saved; and that one who was carried in an ark came on shore upon the top of it; and that the remains of the timber were a great while preserved...
If your problem is the fact that these flood legends are present all around the world, my personal answer (not by authority, but by judgment) is that the Earth was highly damaged by the effects of the last Ice Age, when the ices melt and many local floods destroyed entire civilizations over a period of 3000-4000 years.  All these episodes, connected with each other by the same cause (the melting of the ice and the consequent climatic change) were thus absorbed into the Genesis narrative taking the episode experienced by Noah as a type of all the quasi-simultaneous (well, on a geological scale) megafloods of his time. Although I classify myself as a Biblical literalist (that is I believe in every single episode of the Holy Scriptures as history) I know that God on purpose used a language that can be generalized and allegorized so that we can understand spiritual truths, such as the symbology of the Ark which is a figure for Christ and the Church. Take it like these: there were hundreds of Noah all around the world, nevertheless all human civilizations were wiped out, one after the other, by the same climatic change.

Anyway, if your church - or better your spiritual father - demands from you that you take these episodes as literally as possible, you could and should; nevertheless, there are valid reasons to try and explain the Biblical events (in which, I repeat, I trust) in the light of archeological discoveries.

In Christ,    Alex
 

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Riddikulus said:
3.Formation of mountains during the Flood does not explain why different mountains are different ages. The Appalachians are much older than the Rockies, for example, as one can immediately see just from how the two ranges are differently eroded. 

A sincere question: Why does it appear that the Appalachians are older than the Rockies due to erosion? Wouldn't erosion produce less plant life rather than more? The Appalachians are covered with trees, but the Rockies are bare in comparison. So can you explain this more please?

Selam


http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH570.html
The rounded ridges of the Appalachians typify very old mountains ground down by erosion. They are much older than the Himalayas; 480 millions years old and stopped growing around the time the Rockies began to form. 

Gebre, I've had to put my answers in italics because I can't get the quote thingies to work properly. Hope it's not to difficult to follow. Here's an interesting piece on the Appalachians.

http://www.appvoices.org/index.php?/site/voice_stories/uplift_erosion_uplift_erosion_a_compressed_history_of_appalachia/issues/542

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_the_Appalachians


Fixed quote tags...  -PtA

Exactly. The Appalachians don't "appear" older then the Rockies.  They *are* older, much older.  The matter of trees/few/no trees is due to the height and environment. The "Tree Line" or timberline is the elevation above which trees cannot grow.  It has to do with temperature, climate, growing season and other factors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_line
 

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I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
 

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Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
A young earth creationist would answer: speed of light decay.
 

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Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
 

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Which means that we can't be sure that there are stars behind those photons (why should God create stars when we would never see them, and the light indicating their position is more then sufficient?), or better, that for a YEC what we see isn't stars, but photons created by God. Curiously, this also would imply that God created a beam of photons as long as our history, for example some 7500 light-years long, otherwise we would have received light only for an instant, and not continuously for 7500 years. It is completely absurd. This presumes, in fact, that God created the first photons of starlight directly no further then 24 light-hours from our planet (i.e. only 6 times the distance of the nearest star, Alpha Centauri). I think YEC can't make a cosmogonical theory compatible with the official scientific cosmological model, and so they shouldn't base on it. Why don't you restore the idea that all stars are luminous dots placed over a black dome at the borders of the observable universe? That would make things easier, but also look a little bit less naive then you do. Of course, that would place you on the same level of Flat Earthers, but what matters?

In Christ,  Alex
 

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Riddikulus said:
So this God of the Photons is a trickster?
That is what such a theory could suggest.  And I don't believe that the Creator of all would, in effect, present falsehoods.

 

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Riddikulus said:
So this God of the Photons is a trickster?
Not really. If we were still in the state of pre-Fall humanity, we would clearly see that the universe is only 7000 years old. But, since our intellect has been dulled by suffering and death, due to the ancestral sin, our sciences seem to point to a universe 14 billion years old. It isn't God who is tricking us. The deception is due to the results of our own free will.
 

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Jetavan said:
Riddikulus said:
So this God of the Photons is a trickster?
Not really. If we were still in the state of pre-Fall humanity, we would clearly see that the universe is only 7000 years old. But, since our intellect has been dulled by suffering and death, due to the ancestral sin, our sciences seem to point to a universe 14 billion years old. It isn't God who is tricking us. The deception is due to the results of our own free will.
So wait, since we're in the Fallen world, we're probably deceived by math.  So 2+2 really isn't 4.  I knew something was fishy with that equation.

On all seriousness, I think some YEC are strictly YE, and not Young Universe.  But I may be wrong.  I'd be interested to hear the reasoning as well, which most probably would sound something like Jetavan's.
 

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Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
 

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ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
God created light photons not only between earth and the star, but between any point in space and the star.
 

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minasoliman said:
Jetavan said:
Riddikulus said:
So this God of the Photons is a trickster?
Not really. If we were still in the state of pre-Fall humanity, we would clearly see that the universe is only 7000 years old. But, since our intellect has been dulled by suffering and death, due to the ancestral sin, our sciences seem to point to a universe 14 billion years old. It isn't God who is tricking us. The deception is due to the results of our own free will.
So wait, since we're in the Fallen world, we're probably deceived by math.  So 2+2 really isn't 4.  I knew something was fishy with that equation.

On all seriousness, I think some YEC are strictly YE, and not Young Universe.  But I may be wrong.  I'd be interested to hear the reasoning as well, which most probably would sound something like Jetavan's.
2+2=4 can still be true, because mathematical symbols mean what we define them to mean. If we define 3=2, then 2+3=4 would be true. But it's hard to redefine the age of the universe. However, it is easy to mis-perceive the age of the universe.

Some YEC may be Old Universe Creationists, but they don't make up the bulk of YEC.
 

ytterbiumanalyst

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Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
God created light photons not only between earth and the star, but between any point in space and the star.
Then how can our satellites which are not on Earth, such as Voyager, see those stars?
 

Jetavan

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ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
God created light photons not only between earth and the star, but between any point in space and the star.
Then how can our satellites which are not on Earth, such as Voyager, see those stars?
At the moment God created Adam, God created photons just about to hit Adam's eyes, and these photons appeared to have come from the star 14 billion light years away. From the photons that were just about to hit Adam's eyes, to the star, God also created numerous photons that all appeared to have come from the star. So when God created each star, he created that star's own God-created web of photons simultaneously, a web that stretched from the star outwards into the universe, such that the photons looked as if they came from that star. So any satellite that Adam, or we, decide to send into space, will encounter photons that are actually part of that God-created web of photons, rather than photons that derive from the star itself. The photons that derive from the star itself, we won't see for 14 billion years.
 

minasoliman

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Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
God created light photons not only between earth and the star, but between any point in space and the star.
Then how can our satellites which are not on Earth, such as Voyager, see those stars?
At the moment God created Adam, God created photons just about to hit Adam's eyes, and these photons appeared to have come from the star 14 billion light years away. From the photons that were just about to hit Adam's eyes, to the star, God also created numerous photons that all appeared to have come from the star. So when God created each star, he created that star's own God-created web of photons simultaneously, a web that stretched from the star outwards into the universe, such that the photons looked as if they came from that star. So any satellite that Adam, or we, decide to send into space, will encounter photons that are actually part of that God-created web of photons, rather than photons that derive from the star itself. The photons that derive from the star itself, we won't see for 14 billion years.
Very entertaining explanation.

Remember, there is no spoon!
 

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Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
Your question assumes what it needs to prove.

But anyway, is it possible that these stars were created billions of years before the earth?

Selam
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
Your question assumes what it needs to prove.

But anyway, is it possible that these stars were created billions of years before the earth?

Selam
If you are a literalist YEC you can't believe this. What did God create on the literal Fourth Day of Creation, if stars already existed from billions of years?

Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
God created light photons not only between earth and the star, but between any point in space and the star.
Then how can our satellites which are not on Earth, such as Voyager, see those stars?
At the moment God created Adam, God created photons just about to hit Adam's eyes, and these photons appeared to have come from the star 14 billion light years away. From the photons that were just about to hit Adam's eyes, to the star, God also created numerous photons that all appeared to have come from the star. So when God created each star, he created that star's own God-created web of photons simultaneously, a web that stretched from the star outwards into the universe, such that the photons looked as if they came from that star. So any satellite that Adam, or we, decide to send into space, will encounter photons that are actually part of that God-created web of photons, rather than photons that derive from the star itself. The photons that derive from the star itself, we won't see for 14 billion years.
Since you claim that this YEC position is based on the Church tradition and on the Bible as inerrant, where can you find the "photons-created-on-their-way-to-Earth" theory in Scriptures and in the Church Fathers? It is like assuming that God created the world with an appearance of age, but I can't find any scriptural and traditional proof for that. Even st. Basil, a strict creationist as many other Fathers of the Church, clearly interprets that plants were created in the form of seeds, and not as fully grown plants... and some Father (I can't remember who) believed that Adam was created a child, and not an adult, so the general approach of the "appearance of age" seems to lack any unanimous support from Holy Tradition.

In Christ,      Alex
 

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and some Father (I can't remember who) believed that Adam was created a child, and not an adult
"Now, having made man lord of the earth and all things in it, He secretly appointed him lord also of those who were servants in it. They however were in their perfection; but the lord, that is, man, was (but) small; for he was a child; and it was necessary that he should grow, and so come to (his) perfection. And, that he might have his nourishment and growth with festive and dainty meats, He prepared him a place better than this world; excelling in air, beauty, light, food, plants, fruit, water, and all other necessaries of life, and its name is Paradise. And so fair and good was this Paradise, that the Word of God continually resorted thither, and walked and talked with the man, figuring beforehand the things that should be in the future, (namely) that He should dwell with him and talk with him, and should be with men, teaching them righteousness. But man was a child, not yet having his understanding perfected; wherefore also he was easily led astray by the deceiver." - St. Ireneaus, Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 12

If memory serves, other Church Fathers also put forward this concept. I believe I read about this in Deification in Christ: Orthodox Perspectives on the Nature of the Human Person by Panayiotis Nellas. Unfortunately I sold my copy of this book years ago, and while I have reordered it, the publisher hasn't printed any more copies.
 

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AlexanderOfBergamo said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
Your question assumes what it needs to prove.

But anyway, is it possible that these stars were created billions of years before the earth?

Selam
If you are a literalist YEC you can't believe this. What did God create on the literal Fourth Day of Creation, if stars already existed from billions of years?

Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
God created light photons not only between earth and the star, but between any point in space and the star.
Then how can our satellites which are not on Earth, such as Voyager, see those stars?
At the moment God created Adam, God created photons just about to hit Adam's eyes, and these photons appeared to have come from the star 14 billion light years away. From the photons that were just about to hit Adam's eyes, to the star, God also created numerous photons that all appeared to have come from the star. So when God created each star, he created that star's own God-created web of photons simultaneously, a web that stretched from the star outwards into the universe, such that the photons looked as if they came from that star. So any satellite that Adam, or we, decide to send into space, will encounter photons that are actually part of that God-created web of photons, rather than photons that derive from the star itself. The photons that derive from the star itself, we won't see for 14 billion years.
Since you claim that this YEC position is based on the Church tradition and on the Bible as inerrant, where can you find the "photons-created-on-their-way-to-Earth" theory in Scriptures and in the Church Fathers? It is like assuming that God created the world with an appearance of age, but I can't find any scriptural and traditional proof for that. Even st. Basil, a strict creationist as many other Fathers of the Church, clearly interprets that plants were created in the form of seeds, and not as fully grown plants... and some Father (I can't remember who) believed that Adam was created a child, and not an adult, so the general approach of the "appearance of age" seems to lack any unanimous support from Holy Tradition.

In Christ,      Alex
The above account is typical from a YEC perspective, which itself is usually understood as one of many "Protestant" perspectives. YEC within the context of Orthodoxy, however, would likely involve a slightly different set of ideas, of which I am not very familiar.
 

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Jetavan said:
AlexanderOfBergamo said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
Your question assumes what it needs to prove.

But anyway, is it possible that these stars were created billions of years before the earth?

Selam
If you are a literalist YEC you can't believe this. What did God create on the literal Fourth Day of Creation, if stars already existed from billions of years?

Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
God created light photons not only between earth and the star, but between any point in space and the star.
Then how can our satellites which are not on Earth, such as Voyager, see those stars?
At the moment God created Adam, God created photons just about to hit Adam's eyes, and these photons appeared to have come from the star 14 billion light years away. From the photons that were just about to hit Adam's eyes, to the star, God also created numerous photons that all appeared to have come from the star. So when God created each star, he created that star's own God-created web of photons simultaneously, a web that stretched from the star outwards into the universe, such that the photons looked as if they came from that star. So any satellite that Adam, or we, decide to send into space, will encounter photons that are actually part of that God-created web of photons, rather than photons that derive from the star itself. The photons that derive from the star itself, we won't see for 14 billion years.
Since you claim that this YEC position is based on the Church tradition and on the Bible as inerrant, where can you find the "photons-created-on-their-way-to-Earth" theory in Scriptures and in the Church Fathers? It is like assuming that God created the world with an appearance of age, but I can't find any scriptural and traditional proof for that. Even st. Basil, a strict creationist as many other Fathers of the Church, clearly interprets that plants were created in the form of seeds, and not as fully grown plants... and some Father (I can't remember who) believed that Adam was created a child, and not an adult, so the general approach of the "appearance of age" seems to lack any unanimous support from Holy Tradition.

In Christ,      Alex
The above account is typical from a YEC perspective, which itself is usually understood as one of many "Protestant" perspectives. YEC within the context of Orthodoxy, however, would likely involve a slightly different set of ideas, of which I am not very familiar.
Yeah, but the problem here is that we are discussing the Creationism/Evolutionism controversy from an Orthodox perspective, and those who support a YEC have claimed YEC to be an Orthodox doctrine, including you. If you want to support YEC you have to bring proofs from Tradition of the above statement that light was created on its way to Earth, otherwise it isn't an Orthodox doctrine... it's a Protestant speculation. I don't want to sound rude... I'm a Biblical literalist, so I can understand your efforts... but the evidence that the stars have been lit some billion years ago just can't be dismissed using this kind of speculations: YEC should offer a valid and demonstrable scientific theory to disprove an Old Universe. If Creation Scientists would be more objective, they would see that all data given by science are just more then speculation. I don't understand how a recent human creation would conflict with an older universe, seeing that the Bible clearly uses a symbolic language when the word YOM (hemera) is adopted in the Genesis account of creation.

In Christ,  Alex
 

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I don't think Jetavan is a YEC.  I think he's just presenting what YEC's might believe.
 

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Abstract: Human creation and evolution is often a theological topic that is dominated by Creationism and a literal interpretation of the Bible and the book of Genesis in particular. As an Orthodox Christian, I have for years been dismayed at the lack of clarity within our own Church on this fundamental issue. In response to this problem, this essay is an attempt to reconcile the traditional dichotomy between Darwinism and Creationism. My intention for writing on this topic is twofold. First, using a hybridized hypothetical theory consisting of mainly Darwinism and Patristic theology, I hope to demonstrate that science and faith share a common ground, perhaps a much wider ground than once thought. Second and most importantly I intend that an honest open-minded reading of this essay will leave the reader with more questions than answers on this vital, yet often ignored question: how can Orthodoxy account for human evolution given the current dichotomy between strict Darwinism and literal Creationism of the Genesis account?
 

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Grace and Peace,

There are actually several very good texts on this topic from both the Roman Catholic viewpoint and that of the Orthodox Christian viewpoint. What are after that a trip to the library wouldn't address?
 

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Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Jetavan said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
God created light photons that appeared to have left stars a billion years ago. These photons were created 7000 years ago, 7000 light years from earth, directly between earth and the stars.
Okay, if God created beams of light between earth and the stars, how then can we see those same stars from our satellites that we've sent hurtling through space?
God created light photons not only between earth and the star, but between any point in space and the star.
Then how can our satellites which are not on Earth, such as Voyager, see those stars?
At the moment God created Adam, God created photons just about to hit Adam's eyes, and these photons appeared to have come from the star 14 billion light years away. From the photons that were just about to hit Adam's eyes, to the star, God also created numerous photons that all appeared to have come from the star. So when God created each star, he created that star's own God-created web of photons simultaneously, a web that stretched from the star outwards into the universe, such that the photons looked as if they came from that star. So any satellite that Adam, or we, decide to send into space, will encounter photons that are actually part of that God-created web of photons, rather than photons that derive from the star itself. The photons that derive from the star itself, we won't see for 14 billion years.
Here you contradict yourself. First you say God only put photons between the Earth and a star, and now you say the photons are 360 degrees stretching outward from the star (which is scientifically correct). You can't have it both ways.

And what about the new stars which are born all the time? Does God place a web of photons around each of them as they are formed? What of the stars which die? Does God suddenly snuff out the web of photons? Apply Occam's Razor here and tell me which is more believable: that God in the beginning made the stars to appear old when they are not, and constantly adjusts the universe so that we think it's older than it actually is; or that the universe actually is as old as it appears.
 

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Jetavan said:
Abstract: Human creation and evolution is often a theological topic that is dominated by Creationism and a literal interpretation of the Bible and the book of Genesis in particular. As an Orthodox Christian, I have for years been dismayed at the lack of clarity within our own Church on this fundamental issue. In response to this problem, this essay is an attempt to reconcile the traditional dichotomy between Darwinism and Creationism. My intention for writing on this topic is twofold. First, using a hybridized hypothetical theory consisting of mainly Darwinism and Patristic theology, I hope to demonstrate that science and faith share a common ground, perhaps a much wider ground than once thought. Second and most importantly I intend that an honest open-minded reading of this essay will leave the reader with more questions than answers on this vital, yet often ignored question: how can Orthodoxy account for human evolution given the current dichotomy between strict Darwinism and literal Creationism of the Genesis account?
A very interesting article...

What I like about the article the most is the recognition of what a "spirit" is.  It's interesting that he doesn't limit the definition of the "spirit" as "self-conscious" or "rational," which is something I also personally avoid, since there is a neurobiological definition of these things.  However, I also acknowledge we are the only species living today with these characteristics, which may make it so easy to define our spirit as just that.  But I see the spirit as the gateway to a transcendance of all the "physical" characteristics of humanity.  But I also see the spirit as the spiritual side to self-awareness and rationality, upon which sits in the physical side of the brain.  As soon as humanity was able to develop these characteristics, I find that the spirit becomes their enhancement as well, or what enlivens the physical side.  I think perhaps he needs to write a separate long article on what it means for man to possess a spirit, and connect that as well with talk about the angelic realm, in which according to Church fathers are spirits, while we are in the higher heirarchy of ape-spirits.

He interestingly connects his thought experiments to the moralities of vegetative patients and the zygote.  These in my opinion can still be disputed.  Concerning the zygote:  if man is ever to develop a technique of cloning another man simply by the use of a somatic cell in that body, then defining what a "person" is is not going to be that easy and straightforward, and I've discussed this in another thread in my personal thought experiment.  Concerning patients with vegetative states:  I'm not sure if one can really be sure to define these as "alive" in the spiritual sense.  Maybe?  It's too early to decide.  I've like how my father once told me as a child that we live in a home, and as we age, the home has poorer conditions for the spirit to live in, and one day, the spirit may not find it fit to stay in the home anymore.  It could be possible with the author's definition of a spirit that a vegetative patient's brain is not a home fit for a spirit to stay, but we do not know for sure.

He didn't delve into other parts of the evolutionary theory and theology.  For example, although I know this is just a thought experiment, it would very helpful for him to do a comparison and contrast of Church fathers on their beliefs of origins as well as the scientific ideas of the time, and how their thoughts have developed and changed over the centuries, to prove the "contextual" point of view in Biblical interpretation.  He also didn't delve into the idea of the number of first humans that existed, or how one is to read things like being created out of a rib.

Nevertheless, it's a good start to keep people thinking and discussing, and I commend Mr. Meletis.  I hope he writes more in the future considering my concerns and many others' concerns.  Man would I love to have a conversation with this guy.
 
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