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

Symeon

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Νεκτάριος said:
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?
Of course, but the question is why? We have all fallen because of Adam and Eve's sin. Do you think God unjustly created us all in our fallen, sin prone state? Or is our state unimpaired, and we all choose to sin anyway? This is only going to lead to Pelagianism.

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. 
Yes, Christ would have become incarnate to deify us even if there was no Original Sin. But since we obviously are in a fallen, sin prone state, that matter needs to be taken care of.
 

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Symeon said:
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. ::)
This brings up an important (IMNSHO) question of just what counts as an ape.  Gorillas are apes.  Chimpanzees are apes.  Orangutans are apes.  But are they capable of interbreeding with each other and producing offspring that can reproduce?
 

greekischristian

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What is the point about this debate about species? Genetics has proven that they all have a common ancestry. Haven't you all been reading Nature?
 

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Symeon said:
Of course, but the question is why? We have all fallen because of Adam and Eve's sin. Do you think God unjustly created us all in our fallen, sin prone state? Or is our state unimpaired, and we all choose to sin anyway? This is only going to lead to Pelagianism.
Well...why should the the entire book of Genesis be taken literally?  A text need not be literal in order to have spiritual merit.  What's more remarkable - God creating a coherent and law governed universe that slowly unfolds over the course of time and He uses the mythology and oral tradition of the Near East to revel the deeper spiritual Truths of Himself to His people or some second rate deity that publishes a self contradicting blueprint? 

Yes, Christ would have become incarnate to deify us even if there was no Original Sin. But since we obviously are in a fallen, sin prone state, that matter needs to be taken care of.
O certe necessarium Adae peccatum, quod Christi morte deletum est!
O felix culpa, quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem!


We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God through our own doings.  The Orthodox Church does not believe that original sin transmits guilt.  You could almost image in an allegory of God giving a person everything, yet that person rejecting it through disobedience.  The result of that was a life of toil and labor, but it was softened with hope of future redemption.  Sound familiar?  Adam and Eve need not be literal in order for Orthodox sotiriology to make sense. 

 

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PeterTheAleut said:
This brings up an important (IMNSHO) question of just what counts as an ape.  Gorillas are apes.  Chimpanzees are apes.  Orangutans are apes.  But are they capable of interbreeding with each other and producing offspring that can reproduce?
You are correct, ape is a family (which even we humans are included in) rather than the hard category of species. The main point is that virtually all examples of speciation offered up by evolutionists belong to the weak definition, i.e. poodles and pit bulls as separate "species." What the evolutionist will do is take an observed internal split in a species, such that we have different varieties of a species that are capable of interbreeding (such as poodle and pit bull) but stick to their own and call it "speciation" because they are "reproductively isolated."
 

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Νεκτάριος said:
Well...why should the the entire book of Genesis be taken literally?  A text need not be literal in order to have spiritual merit.  What's more remarkable - God creating a coherent and law governed universe that slowly unfolds over the course of time and He uses the mythology and oral tradition of the Near East to revel the deeper spiritual Truths of Himself to His people or some second rate deity that publishes a self contradicting blueprint?
I think we all know your opinion of the Old Testament.

O certe necessarium Adae peccatum, quod Christi morte deletum est!
O felix culpa, quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem!


We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God through our own doings.  The Orthodox Church does not believe that original sin transmits guilt.  You could almost image in an allegory of God giving a person everything, yet that person rejecting it through disobedience.  The result of that was a life of toil and labor, but it was softened with hope of future redemption.  Sound familiar?  Adam and Eve need not be literal in order for Orthodox sotiriology to make sense.
"Sound familiar?" Yes, it sounds like Pelagianism. The Orthodox Church might believe we don't have the "guilt" of Original Sin ("guilt" defined as personal guilt, which none of the western confessions appear to believe anyway), but the Church does believe that we are born corrupt, with an inborn inclination to sin and subject to death due to the original sin (or ancestral sin, if that term is more to your liking) of Adam and Eve.

But this is rather irrelevant, as belief in evolution isn't even necessarily incompatible with a literal Adam and Eve.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
I don't disagree with you. When does Influenza stop being Influenza?
That's like asking when does a mammal stop becoming a mammal.  On a microscopic level we're talking about, analogically speaking, tigers and chimps when we talk about the evolving influenza strands that we get.

If we're lucky enough, we will find more fossils that help explain more of the species that were "not fit" enough to move on in earth life.  We've already found many, and with the help of computers brought forth a number of amazing studies to further the understand of the science of evolution.  And computers are the key here.  GiC gave you a glimpse of the use of computers for testing and accuracy.  Let it be known that without computers, it would have taken us a hundred years to record the human genome.  With computers, we also have shown how we are genetically related to our cousins and relatives as well as trace our ancestral genes.  With the same technique, we also have traced the common ancestry we have with all other organisms of different species, from the chimp to the E. Coli.

A quick point on "physiological capability" of mating.  When a horse mates with a donkey to create a mule, that does not prove the horse and donkey are the same species.  When we consider the whole array of canines, there are in fact a physiological incapability at the gross level to mate between a chihuahua and St. Bernard, and, although I'm not too sure, I think they are genetically capable of mating (if the womb can handle the growing fetus).  The idea of speciation when looking at the genetics of a population makes it quite difficult to theoretically pinpoint the drawing line.  The line can start to be clearly drawn as two populations distance themselves from one another for thousands of years.  I think this is why it's hard to say what is considered a different species.  For all we know, it might be possible to interbreed with a chimp after all, but no human is obviously taking that chance, at least those who are in the right mind.  It seems to me that the accepted definition is that which George mentioned earlier.

God bless.
 

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greekischristian said:
What is the point about this debate about species? Genetics has proven that they all have a common ancestry. Haven't you all been reading Nature?
For every yay there is a nay even in science. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6937476.stm
 

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Symeon said:
I think we all know your opinion of the Old Testament.
My opinion would be the one based upon the great patristic school of Alexandria rather than modern protestant theological trends.

"Sound familiar?" Yes, it sounds like Pelagianism.
I'm not denying the role of divine grace in redemption. 

But this is rather irrelevant, as belief in evolution isn't even necessarily incompatible with a literal Adam and Eve.
Well, except of course for the fact that it is.  Perhaps the opinion of the actual biologist posting in this thread and just about every scientist would be a bit more important than some Orthodox fundamentalist. 
 

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Νεκτάριος said:
My opinion would be the one based upon the great patristic school of Alexandria rather than modern protestant theological trends.
The great patristic school of Alexandria didn't deny the literal meaning of the text either.

I'm not denying the role of divine grace in redemption.
Another aspect of Pelagianism would be the denial of Original Sin and its effects, which your view would appear to entail.

Well, except of course for the fact that it is.  Perhaps the opinion of the actual biologist posting in this thread and just about every scientist would be a bit more important than some Orthodox fundamentalist. 
Or... you could read the article I posted earlier, not to mention the one posted by JoeS. The actual biologist seems to be hung up on a certain reading of the phrase "first man" which is not essential.
 

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minasoliman said:
A quick point on "physiological capability" of mating.  When a horse mates with a donkey to create a mule, that does not prove the horse and donkey are the same species.  When we consider the whole array of canines, there are in fact a physiological incapability at the gross level to mate between a chihuahua and St. Bernard, and, although I'm not too sure, I think they are genetically capable of mating (if the womb can handle the growing fetus).  The idea of speciation when looking at the genetics of a population makes it quite difficult to theoretically pinpoint the drawing line.  The line can start to be clearly drawn as two populations distance themselves from one another for thousands of years.  I think this is why it's hard to say what is considered a different species.  For all we know, it might be possible to interbreed with a chimp after all, but no human is obviously taking that chance, at least those who are in the right mind.  It seems to me that the accepted definition is that which George mentioned earlier.

God bless.
Yes, the mule would appear to throw a wrench into the man-made category of species wouldn't it? But even then, no one would deny that physiological incapability to mate outside it's own species is without a doubt and any controversy speciation, which has not been observed. The examples of "observed speciation" proffered by evolutionists do not even rise to the level of horse and donkey, but are essentially equivalent to Chihuahua and St. Bernard, if even that.
 

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Νεκτάριος said:
My opinion would be the one based upon the great patristic school of Alexandria rather than modern protestant theological trends.
What Protestant theological trends?
  I'm sure you already know that there is a Orthodox Dogma on Creation. Dogma is something that you must believe in it to be Orthodox.  I'm not saying your not Orthodox, but it's something to think about.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
For every yay there is a nay even in science. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6937476.stm
That's simply a disagreement about the exact timeline, not the principle of common ancestory which is a proven genetic fact. There's not room for disagreement on this fact anymore, the biological evidence is too strong.
 

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greekischristian said:
That's simply a disagreement about the exact timeline, not the principle of common ancestory which is a proven genetic fact. There's not room for disagreement on this fact anymore, the biological evidence is too strong.
You must have missed this part when skimming through. It basically states that the homo erectus witch is the species that is said, to be ware modern humans have evolved from is actually the descendant of the gorilla. That my friend is physical proof and not a theory.

The fossil record indicates that modern humans (Homo sapiens) evolved from Homo erectus.

However, to some researchers, the small size of the erectus skull suggests that species may not have been as similar to us as we once thought.

On average, modern humans display a low level of "sexual dimorphism", meaning that males and females do not differ physically as much as they do in other animals.

The scientists compared the small skull to a much larger erectus cranium found previously in Tanzania. If the size difference between the two is indicative of the larger one being from a male and the smaller being from a female, it suggests that erectus displayed a high level of sexual dimorphism - similar to that of modern gorillas.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
What Protestant theological trends?
Biblical literalism.  The underdeveloped state of Orthodox Theology for what amounts to about the last millennium has made Orthodox people especially susceptible to extremist ideologies (look no further than religious dissidents during the Russian Empire) or outright borrowing of fundamentalist protestant thought.  Good examples of this are found in the anti-Harry Potter craze among Greek monastics.  Most of their tracts were nothing more than recapitulated arguments from US Evangelicals.  Although my personal favorite was one that I saw that cited an article from The Onion as proof of Rowling's Satanism.  Seraphim Rose even admits (and encourages his followers to so so) collaboration with protestant "creation scientists." 

I'm sure you already know that there is a Orthodox Dogma on Creation. Dogma is something that you must believe in it to be Orthodox.  I'm not saying your not Orthodox, but it's something to think about.
I'll keep that in mind next time I recite the line in the creed about biblical literalism.

And of course the scientific world has demonstrated that evolution is a fact.  I'm not saying you're brainless, but it's something to think about. 
 

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Demetrios G. said:
You must have missed this part when skimming through. It basically states that the homo erectus witch is the species that is said, to be ware modern humans have evolved from is actually the descendant of the gorilla. That my friend is physical proof and not a theory.
This, my friend is physical proof that you, yourself, did not actually read the article, or if you did, you are mis-quoting it to prove your point.  Nowhere does the article state that homo erectus is "actually the descendant of the gorilla." (your exact words)  The article states, "it suggests that erectus displayed a high level of sexual dimorphism - similar to that of modern gorillas."  Sexual dimorphism may be a trait in gorillas but it is certainly not limited to gorillas.  It is very common in many animals, birds, and insects.
 

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Νεκτάριος said:
Biblical literalism. 

And of course the scientific world has demonstrated that evolution is a fact.  I'm not saying you're brainless, but it's something to think about. 
You're trying to prove that you have the brains of an ape and your calling me brainless. :laugh:
 

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Demetrios G. said:
You must have missed this part when skimming through. It basically states that the homo erectus witch is the species that is said, to be ware modern humans have evolved from is actually the descendant of the gorilla. That my friend is physical proof and not a theory.
Carpatho Russian said:
This, my friend is physical proof that you, yourself, did not actually read the article, or if you did, you are mis-quoting it to prove your point.  Nowhere does the article state that homo erectus is "actually the descendant of the gorilla." (your exact words)  The article states, "it suggests that erectus displayed a high level of sexual dimorphism - similar to that of modern gorillas."  Sexual dimorphism may be a trait in gorillas but it is certainly not limited to gorillas.  It is very common in many animals, birds, and insects.
Thank you.

Furthermore, Demetrios, please address the conclusions I presented earlier from computational biology; if not common ancestry what is your interpretation of the data?
 

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greekischristian said:
Thank you.

Furthermore, Demetrios, please address the conclusions I presented earlier from computational biology; if not common ancestry what is your interpretation of the data?
I believe that created exists, because someone else willed it to exist, and not because it willed its own existence.  “Created” existence is therefore not a free existence.
  I will agree that all of creation is linked in some way.  The data compiled tells me that all biological existence has the same building blocks. Similar to non living matter. That doesn't necessarily mean that it all came from one ancestry or even from one planet. How does one explain how people from over 2000 years ago were smarter than people that exist today. Reverse evolution I suppose. ;)
 

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Demetrios G. said:
I believe that created exists, because someone else willed it to exist, and not because it willed its own existence.  “Created” existence is therefore not a free existence.
  I will agree that all of creation is linked in some way.  The data compiled tells me that all biological existence has the same building blocks. Similar to non living matter. That doesn't necessarily mean that it all came from one ancestry or even from one planet.
So, basically, you don't care about the scientific evidence; you're going to base your opinions on your personal mythology, completely disregarding the obvious science infront of you?

How does one explain how people from over 2000 years ago were smarter than people that exist today. Reverse evolution I suppose. ;)
Actually, there are several ways that a decrease in intelligence could be explained, evolution favours survival and procreation and the strongest trait isn't always intelligence.

But with that said, I find the idea that people 2000 years ago were more intelligent than us to be laughable. While there were a handful of advancements in that era they are nothing compared to what we see in the modern world. The human race is far more advanced, far more knowledgable, far more progressive, and far more enlightened than it was 2000 years ago. More likely than not, intelligence has not changed, we have just developed a vastly superior culture; but if it did change it no doubt increased.
 

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greekischristian said:
Thank you.

Furthermore, Demetrios, please address the conclusions I presented earlier from computational biology; if not common ancestry what is your interpretation of the data?
Hmm... I think I did see some "conclusions" you drew based on an assertion, but not the actual "data." Maybe I missed something?
 

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Demetrios G. said:
You're trying to prove that you have the brains of an ape and your calling me brainless. :laugh:
Demetrios and Νεκτάριος, this thread is not about who of us here has the brains of an ape or no brains at all, so please don't go there.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
I believe that created exists, because someone else willed it to exist, and not because it willed its own existence.  “Created” existence is therefore not a free existence.
  I will agree that all of creation is linked in some way.  The data compiled tells me that all biological existence has the same building blocks. Similar to non living matter. That doesn't necessarily mean that it all came from one ancestry or even from one planet. How does one explain how people from over 2000 years ago were smarter than people that exist today. Reverse evolution I suppose. ;)
Do you have any data from reputable scientific sources to back up this assertion?
 

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Grace and peace to you,

Please excuse my interruption.  I would like to add something to this conversation if I may.  Obviously the scientific questions are FAR from settled.  I was hoping you might consider the Biblical perspective. 

It seems to me that the traditional macro-evolutionary theory is at odds with what the Bible says.  Paul says in Romans 5:12 that death came into the world through sin.  With many other references a very strong case can be made that the Bible tells us that death is not the natural order of things; it is rather a temporary phenemenon.  Death came into the world through sin, and sin came first through Adam and Eve.  Therefore, Biblically speaking, there can be no death before Adam. 

But according to traditional macro-evolutionary theory, death was a part of the very long process leading up to man.

I have a hard time imagining how both of these stories can both be right at the same time.  It seems as though one of them is wrong.

What do you think?
 

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Caedmon said:
Grace and peace to you,

Please excuse my interruption.  I would like to add something to this conversation if I may.  Obviously the scientific questions are FAR from settled.  I was hoping you might consider the Biblical perspective. 

It seems to me that the traditional macro-evolutionary theory is at odds with what the Bible says.  Paul says in Romans 5:12 that death came into the world through sin.  With many other references a very strong case can be made that the Bible tells us that death is not the natural order of things; it is rather a temporary phenemenon.  Death came into the world through sin, and sin came first through Adam and Eve.  Therefore, Biblically speaking, there can be no death before Adam. 

But according to traditional macro-evolutionary theory, death was a part of the very long process leading up to man.

I have a hard time imagining how both of these stories can both be right at the same time.  It seems as though one of them is wrong.

What do you think?
Are we talking the death of ALL animals or just human death?  IIRC, it seems that some of our Holy Fathers spoke of Adam and Eve as if they were originally created separate from the order of nature where death was already the rule and that their fall via sin was in part a fall into the natural realm of physical death.

BTW, for the sake of this discussion, it might be good if you would share with us what Christian faith background you represent, since your strong reliance on the Scriptures (apart from other witnesses to the truth revealed by God, such as the Holy Fathers and the Church?) and the jurisdiction info under your avatar mark you as possibly Protestant.
 

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greekischristian said:
So, basically, you don't care about the scientific evidence; you're going to base your opinions on your personal mythology, completely disregarding the obvious science infront of you?
If science can't explain the actual moment and way that Genesis occurred. Than it is easily disregarded. Simply because it has no foundation. Reversing into something isn't like starting from the beginning.

Actually, there are several ways that a decrease in intelligence could be explained, evolution favours survival and procreation and the strongest trait isn't always intelligence.

But with that said, I find the idea that people 2000 years ago were more intelligent than us to be laughable. While there were a handful of advancements in that era they are nothing compared to what we see in the modern world. The human race is far more advanced, far more knowledgable, far more progressive, and far more enlightened than it was 2000 years ago. More likely than not, intelligence has not changed, we have just developed a vastly superior culture; but if it did change it no doubt increased.
It would seem that way only because everything was handed down from each generation. Try shutting the lights and see if they can recoupe.
 

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Symeon said:
Hmm... I think I did see some "conclusions" you drew based on an assertion, but not the actual "data." Maybe I missed something?
Well, I referenced Nature in passing, such research has been rather well published in notable Journals so I thought it reasonable to assum at least a basic familarity. There are several articles in Nature and the Journal of Computational Biology, but as for those I can find with online copies I guess we can start with this one, if you actually need me to basic modern biological research:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v434/n7034/pdf/nature03466.pdf
 

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Demetrios G. said:
If science can't explain the actual moment and way that Genesis occurred. Than it is easily disregarded. Simply because it has no foundation. Reversing into something isn't like starting from the beginning.
It's called the big bang, pretty straight forward, gods and the supernatural are purely optional. From that galaxies, solar systems, and planets developed and from their reproducing molicules developed, from there biological life, from there humans.

It would seem that way only because everything was handed down from each generation. Try shutting the lights and see if they can recoupe.
As I said before, 2000 years is a short time, chances are that intelligence hasn't really changed much. (Though I did read an article a while back that argued fairly convincingly that agression in males had decreased substantially over the past thousand years or so and gave viable genetic reasons for this; but that isn't directly related to intelligence, though the more agressive are less likely and capable of exersizing their intelligence.)

As I suggested, it is most likely that we have simply established a superior cuture; we are not biologically superior, we are simply more enlightened and socially superior.
 

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Caedmon said:
Grace and peace to you,

Please excuse my interruption.  I would like to add something to this conversation if I may.  Obviously the scientific questions are FAR from settled.  I was hoping you might consider the Biblical perspective. 
No thanks, if the Bible's view of science is taken as anything other than allegory we must simply conclude that it is plain wrong. Not that there's anything wrong with that, they took the best shot they could considering their time and limited knowledge and understanding of the universe, but in the end, the authors just got it wrong and arn't very reputable sources on these matters.

As I said before, thanks to the advent of gene sequencing, computational biology, and molecular biology it's pretty much a closed case; unless you have some new and groundbreaking research in molecular or computational biology I really don't see what you have to add?
 

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No evolution here. I believe what the bible says - Adam and Eve. It even says, the wise on this earth are fools to God.

I wonder though, how doesn't believing in Evolution effect ones relationship with God?
 

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prayingserb said:
No evolution here. I believe what the bible says - Adam and Eve. It even says, the wise on this earth are fools to God.

I wonder though, how doesn't believing in Evolution effect ones relationship with God?
I don't for even a minute buy into GiC's attempts to make belief in God purely optional in our understanding of creation and the genesis of life.  But how, after reading what others of our resident Orthodox biologists have posted here, can you say that belief in evolution per se is incompatible with Orthodox Christian faith?  How do you justify such a Fundamentalist reading of the Scriptures as you present here?
 

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greekischristian said:
It's called the big bang, pretty straight forward, gods and the supernatural are purely optional. From that galaxies, solar systems, and planets developed and from their reproducing molicules developed, from there biological life, from there humans.
It's obviously not a science if it's a theory. That said. The day I stop attending church is the day that man can create from nihl. I challenge them to show me even one molecule they created. Or just plain prove that they can create anything. Until that moment comes they have no footing to try and convince us of anything.

As I said before, 2000 years is a short time, chances are that intelligence hasn't really changed much. (Though I did read an article a while back that argued fairly convincingly that agression in males had decreased substantially over the past thousand years or so and gave viable genetic reasons for this; but that isn't directly related to intelligence, though the more agressive are less likely and capable of exersizing their intelligence.)

As I suggested, it is most likely that we have simply established a superior culture; we are not biologically superior, we are simply more enlightened and socially superior.
Don't make me laugh. The same society that named a 9th planet and than declassify it as a meteor are superior to people from 2000 years ago? Even with modern optics they lack superior intelligences.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
It's obviously not a science if it's a theory.
Do you even know what science is to make such an ignorant statement as this?  Theory is the very goal of the scientific method! Contrary to what you may believe about science, it is not about proclaiming facts except as these facts are necessary for the articulation of theories to explain these facts.

Until that moment comes they have no footing to try and convince us of anything.
Speak for yourself, buddy.  You certainly don't speak for me.

Don't make me laugh. The same society that named a 9th planet and than declassify it as a meteor are superior to people from 2000 years ago? Even with modern optics they lack superior intelligences.
Naming a 9th planet only to later call it a sub-planetary ball of ice and rock is, if anything, an illustration of how intelligent man is to be able to observe God's creation via scientific means, review new evidence discovered by these means, and change his mind to account for the new evidence.
 

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I plead for civility, Brothers and Sisters!

Where is our charity!  ???
 

minasoliman

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ignatius said:
I plead for civility, Brothers and Sisters!

Where is our charity!  ???
I didn't see anything uncivil about this (except maybe the brainless parts).
 

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minasoliman said:
I didn't see anything uncivil about this (except maybe the brainless parts).
Perhaps I'm reading 'tone' into some of these posts I just believe we could be a bit more chartable in our responses.

If I am wrong may you may Brothers and Sisters pray for me!
 

greekischristian

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Demetrios G. said:
It's obviously not a science if it's a theory. That said. The day I stop attending church is the day that man can create from nihl. I challenge them to show me even one molecule they created. Or just plain prove that they can create anything. Until that moment comes they have no footing to try and convince us of anything.
Well, we know that particles and anti-particles are randomly and spontaneously created in the fabric of space-time, or wern't you paying attention when they went over the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in Quantum Mechanics, you know, the first week of the course? ::)

Don't make me laugh. The same society that named a 9th planet and than declassify it as a meteor are superior to people from 2000 years ago? Even with modern optics they lack superior intelligences.
Meteor? Where'd you get that from? Guess you didn't pay attention in Astronomy or Astrophysics either.

Planets, kind of like species, are rather subjective labels; as we discovered more planetary bodies in the Universe we gained a greater understanding of the phenomena and were able to refine our definition. That is how science works, that is why it's so great, greater than all other human attempts at knowledge and understanding; it is always willing to pursue greater knowledge and understanding, even if such knowledge and understanding would undermine previously held 'dogmas'.
 

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minasoliman said:
I didn't see anything uncivil about this (except maybe the brainless parts).
The sentence where I used the word brainless was a direct quote from Demetrios G. that changed the word Orthodox for brainless.  The results were as I expected: nobody (publicly) expressed displeasure at someone calling another person non-Orthodox simply because that person bases their view of scripture on the patristic tradition rather than modern protestantism, while using the exact same sentence to question someone's intelligence generated a prompt response from a moderator.  My little experiment produced the expected results.

 

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Caedmon said:
But according to traditional macro-evolutionary theory, death was a part of the very long process leading up to man.

I have a hard time imagining how both of these stories can both be right at the same time.  It seems as though one of them is wrong.

What do you think?
It is only a contradiction if Genesis is taken at the most literal level possible.  If death means a spiritual death, a separation from God, then every single man (and "adam" simply means human in Semitic languages) has gone through what is described in Genesis. 

How, then, does this conflict with evolutionary science: God created all, all through their own sinfulness have fallen short of the godly life and redemption has been promised (and then fulfilled in Christ)? 

Fr. John Behr, a respected patristics professor at SVS, makes the claim that even the Gospels are not historical works.  They have already gone through a theological gloss and are theological works.  If that is true of the Gospels, how much more so would that be true of many parts of the Old Testament?  What has been lost today is the strong neo-platonic tradition in scriptural interpretation.  Fr. Andrew Louth in several of his books deals with that topic, really making the point that the allegorical understanding of scriptures is in fact the early Christian and patristic understanding of the scriptures. 

The other deciding factor in what has solidified this approach for me as being the correct Orthodox approach has been my study of 19th century Islamic theological trends.  Several scholars put forth the conclusion that it was applying the new scientific methods to theology that created the modern Islamic fundamentalist movements in the 19th century (an interesting aside is that most of the 9/11 hijackers and the leadership of Al-Qaeda are trained in engineering or hard sciences not in the humanities or even any field of Islamic scholarship).  The same intellectual atmosphere existed in North America and to a lesser extent to Europe to create modern protestant fundamentalist movements.  One book in particular, The Religious History of Central Asia from the Earliest Times to the Present Day by James Thrower, makes the point mythos and logos (and those exact words are used) have been separated from each other in modern theological discourse.  Yet, in both the Golden Age of Islam and the Patristic era of Christianity this was not the case at all.  There was simply no reason why something couldn't be both mythos and logos at the same time.   
 

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Νεκτάριος said:
One book in particular, The Religious History of Central Asia from the Earliest Times to the Present Day by James Thrower, makes the point mythos and logos (and those exact words are used) have been separated from each other in modern theological discourse.  Yet, in both the Golden Age of Islam and the Patristic era of Christianity this was not the case at all.  There was simply no reason why something couldn't be both mythos and logos at the same time.   
Grace and Peace,

Could you 'flesh-out' what you mean by mythos and logos, Brother/Sister?
 
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