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

jckstraw72

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Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
and regarding heliocentrism vs. geocentrism -- i was honestly asking for references to the Fathers because I have not looked into that issue either way. I don't have much time now but I'll take a look at that Catholic's page later. thanks for posting it.
Please also find out what the Fathers thought or wrote about electrons, protons, plasma, electromagnetic field, point mutations, DNA reparation, homeotic mutations, genetic drift, and especially prions.
im gonna guess they didn't have much to say about those things ....
 

Ebor

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PeterTheAleut said:
http://www.scripturecatholic.com/geocentrism.html


Again, note that the author of this essay is citing the unanimous consent of the Fathers (i.e., patristic consensus) as the authority for why we should continue to accept no substitute for the geocentric view of the universe.
This is interesting.  I knew of another RC "geocentric" proponent named Robert Sungenis.  But that there is more then one of this breed is intriguing and frankly a bit boggling.  The former gentleman even has a two volume work Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right on this subject along with other writings of ummm dubious arguments. 

 

Riddikulus

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jckstraw72 said:
1900 yrs of consistent teaching (Scripture, Fathers, Saints, icons, canons, calendar, hymns, etc) is much more reliable, unless ya'll are just willing to say that the Church just didnt really know Genesis until science enlightened us.

Much more reliable for what purpose? Theological or scientific? Though the Fathers may have disagreed on the literal interpretation of Genesis, they certainly saw it within the context of their scientific knowledge - and that would have a great impact on how they interpretated it.

theological. You have yet to demonstrate that a single Father didnt interpret Genesis literally. youre still stuck on the length of the days -- try to deal with the rest of the creation story.
??? If it's more reliable for the purpose of theology, why are you insisting that it be read as a scientific explanation for Creation/Nature? Clearly St Augustine is a single Father who didn't interpret Genesis literally. I've already shown you that St Augustine, who believed in an instantaneous creation, didn't even believe there were any days. And I've moved on from length of days several posts ago, not that I was ever stuck on length of days in the first place.

i dont have my headphones with me now -- ill have to watch the Jaroslav videos later. his son attends my parish, itd be interesting to see what he thinks about all this.
Be sure to let us know.  :)
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Doesn't the Theory of Relativity teach us that there is no 'center point' of the universe, and based upon that orbital centers are arbitrary selections?  Scientists calculate the center of our "solar" system as the sun because of the easier mathematical calculations involved, as well as the fact that the pattern is repeated in other systems.  The sun provides warmth for the planets and has the greatest gravitational pull, but the gravitational field is still interdependent upon the bodies that rotate "with" (not necessarily "around") it.  But any body can be selected as the "center"; the point viewed as not being in motion.  So if we choose a center, then it is simply preference or random.  If that is the case, then is there anything wrong with siding with the patristic consensus on religious grounds (i.e. Biblical cosmology)?

Of course this doesn't help the case for the firmament actually holding back water, but it does show that geocentrism is not obsolete as a model, it is simply one possible model based on personal, relative perception.
 

Heorhij

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jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
and regarding heliocentrism vs. geocentrism -- i was honestly asking for references to the Fathers because I have not looked into that issue either way. I don't have much time now but I'll take a look at that Catholic's page later. thanks for posting it.
Please also find out what the Fathers thought or wrote about electrons, protons, plasma, electromagnetic field, point mutations, DNA reparation, homeotic mutations, genetic drift, and especially prions.
im gonna guess they didn't have much to say about those things ....
And yet you are not guessing they didn't have much to say about evolution. But the reason they didn't is the same.
 

Heorhij

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Doesn't the Theory of Relativity teach us that there is no 'center point' of the universe, and based upon that orbital centers are arbitrary selections?  Scientists calculate the center of our "solar" system as the sun because of the easier mathematical calculations involved, as well as the fact that the pattern is repeated in other systems.  The sun provides warmth for the planets and has the greatest gravitational pull, but the gravitational field is still interdependent upon the bodies that rotate "with" (not necessarily "around") it.  But any body can be selected as the "center"; the point viewed as not being in motion.  So if we choose a center, then it is simply preference or random.  If that is the case, then is there anything wrong with siding with the patristic consensus on religious grounds (i.e. Biblical cosmology)?

Of course this doesn't help the case for the firmament actually holding back water, but it does show that geocentrism is not obsolete as a model, it is simply one possible model based on personal, relative perception.
Right, and so is the creation of the entire kosmos in six literal days, and the special creation of every single known biological species.
 

Ebor

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Doesn't the Theory of Relativity teach us that there is no 'center point' of the universe, and based upon that orbital centers are arbitrary selections?  Scientists calculate the center of our "solar" system as the sun because of the easier mathematical calculations involved, as well as the fact that the pattern is repeated in other systems.  The sun provides warmth for the planets and has the greatest gravitational pull, but the gravitational field is still interdependent upon the bodies that rotate "with" (not necessarily "around") it.  But any body can be selected as the "center"; the point viewed as not being in motion.  So if we choose a center, then it is simply preference or random.  If that is the case, then is there anything wrong with siding with the patristic consensus on religious grounds (i.e. Biblical cosmology)?

Of course this doesn't help the case for the firmament actually holding back water, but it does show that geocentrism is not obsolete as a model, it is simply one possible model based on personal, relative perception.
but that does not appear to be the argument of Robert Sungenis, for example, who says that the Sun and planets all orbit around the Earth while our planet does not rotate.  That is, I think, somewhat different then choosing a center.

Ebor
 

Riddikulus

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Doesn't the Theory of Relativity teach us that there is no 'center point' of the universe, and based upon that orbital centers are arbitrary selections?  Scientists calculate the center of our "solar" system as the sun because of the easier mathematical calculations involved, as well as the fact that the pattern is repeated in other systems.  The sun provides warmth for the planets and has the greatest gravitational pull, but the gravitational field is still interdependent upon the bodies that rotate "with" (not necessarily "around") it.  But any body can be selected as the "center"; the point viewed as not being in motion. 
That's correct, there is no centre point of the universe. Sorry, if I wasn't clear. I'm not advocating acceptance of a heliocentric cosmos, merely that the arguments used on that geocentric url are typical of those used by creationists against the Theory of Evolution, even down to the bad scientific options.

Modern use of geocentric and heliocentric

In modern calculations, the origin and orientation of a coordinate system often have to be selected, for practical reasons, and in such systems the origin in the mass, solar mass or the center of mass of the solar system are frequently selected. However, such selection of coordinates has only practical implications and not philosophical or physical ones.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliocentrism#The_view_of_modern_science

So if we choose a center, then it is simply preference or random.  If that is the case, then is there anything wrong with siding with the patristic consensus on religious grounds (i.e. Biblical cosmology)?

Of course this doesn't help the case for the firmament actually holding back water, but it does show that geocentrism is not obsolete as a model, it is simply one possible model based on personal, relative perception.
You mean for the purposes of Theology? Geocentrism is obsolete as a scientific model. Thanks to men like Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Einstein etc, we have advanced from a geocentric concept of our heavens to an astoundingly, complex, intriguing tapestry of the full cosmos. We don't know it all and we don't intend to throw over the knowledge we have gained to limit science to biblical cosmology. And if one did chose to side with the patristic consensus on theological grounds would anyone sensible advocate the overthrowing of science in favour of it? Somehow, I can't picture the cry going up to teach geocentricism in schools instead of our modern understand of cosmology. ;D

Edited for clarity.... naturally  ::)

 

PeterTheAleut

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jckstraw72 said:
Ukiemeister said:
jckstraw72 said:
so the question is, who in the Orthodox Church bore witness against a literal understanding of Genesis before the influence of evolution came around? Did anyone at all?
St. Augustine, St. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, St. Cyprian of Carthage....

In terms of modern day bishops we have at least Archbishop Lazar (Puhalo), Bishop Alexander (Mileant) of Blessed memory, Archbishop Michael (Mudyugin) of Blessed memory, Bishop Nathanael (L'vov) of Blessed Memory, and Bishop Basil (Rodzyanko)...

Among theologians we have E.M. Andreiev, Protopresbyter Basil Zenkovski, Protopresbyter Nikolai Ivanov, Prof. N.N. Pheoletov, V.S. Solovyov, Protopresbyter Stephan Lyashevski, Prof. lazar Milin, Fr. Dumitru Staniloe....
you shoulda kept up with the thread. i already provided a quote from St. Clement of Alexandria that shows that he believed in literal days. St. Augustine said anyone who puts forth a timeline other than that given in Genesis is to be mocked, and Origen was anathematized for views that concerned Genesis.
Yeah, your word against Ukiemeister's. ::)  Who's right?
 

Rastaman

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jckstraw72 said:
Ukiemeister said:
jckstraw72 said:
so the question is, who in the Orthodox Church bore witness against a literal understanding of Genesis before the influence of evolution came around? Did anyone at all?
St. Augustine, St. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, St. Cyprian of Carthage....

In terms of modern day bishops we have at least Archbishop Lazar (Puhalo), Bishop Alexander (Mileant) of Blessed memory, Archbishop Michael (Mudyugin) of Blessed memory, Bishop Nathanael (L'vov) of Blessed Memory, and Bishop Basil (Rodzyanko)...

Among theologians we have E.M. Andreiev, Protopresbyter Basil Zenkovski, Protopresbyter Nikolai Ivanov, Prof. N.N. Pheoletov, V.S. Solovyov, Protopresbyter Stephan Lyashevski, Prof. lazar Milin, Fr. Dumitru Staniloe....
you shoulda kept up with the thread. i already provided a quote from St. Clement of Alexandria that shows that he believed in literal days. St. Augustine said anyone who puts forth a timeline other than that given in Genesis is to be mocked, and Origen was anathematized for views that concerned Genesis.
“For as Adam was told that in the [d]ay [h]e ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression, 'The day of the Lord is as a thousand years,' is connected with this subject.” - Justin Martyr
(Dialog with Typho the Jew chapter 81 [AD 155])

“As the first seven days in the divine arrangement containing seven thousand of years, as the seven spirits and seven angels which stand and go in and out before the face of God, and the seven-branched lamp in the tabernacle of witness, and the seven golden candlesticks in the Apocalypse, and the seven columns in Solomon upon which Wisdom built her house l so here also the number seven of the brethren, embracing, in the quantity of their number, the seven churches, as likewise in the first book of Kings we read that the barren hath borne seven” - St. Cyprian of Carthage
(Treatises 11:11 [A.D. 250])

“That, then, we may be taught that the world was originated, and not suppose that God made it in time, prophecy adds: "This is the book of the generation: also of the things in them, when they were created in the day that God made heaven and earth." For the expression "when they were created" intimates an indefinite and dateless production. But the expression "in the day that God made," that is, in and by which God made "all things," and "without which not even one thing was made," points out the activity exerted by the Son. As David says, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice in it; " that is, in consequence of the knowledge imparted by Him, let us celebrate the divine festival; for the Word that throws light on things hidden, and by whom each created thing came into life and being, is called day." - St. Clement of Alexandria (Miscellanies 6.16 [208 AD])

"St. Augustine said anyone who puts forth a timeline other than that given in Genesis is to be mocked"

You say this, yet St. Augustine himself believed that creation occurred instantenously.

“It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation.” - St. Augustine
 

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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12605.msg331441.html#msg331441
 

Heorhij

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Heorhij said:
Right, and so is the creation of the entire kosmos in six literal days, and the special creation of every single known biological species.
Wait, what?
Something based on personal, relative perception of people who lived in the pre-scientific times, including many Fathers of the Church. They did not interpret Genesis figuratively and believed in the literal creation of the universe in literal six days, as well in the special creation of the biological species, merely because that was their personal perception - no other one simply entered their minds. People like Origen were, of course, exception; but Origen was a neo-Platonist, i.e. a "semi-Pagan," so no wonder his teachings were anathematized.
 

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I agree, but it's not only that, Dan-Romania.
I think that God's intention was not to inform people* about how He created the world, they just needed someone to rely on, a way out of the hell they were living.


*people who had witnessed massive orgies, human sacrifices and were forced to live as slaves with idolatrous pagans
 

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Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
and regarding heliocentrism vs. geocentrism -- i was honestly asking for references to the Fathers because I have not looked into that issue either way. I don't have much time now but I'll take a look at that Catholic's page later. thanks for posting it.
Please also find out what the Fathers thought or wrote about electrons, protons, plasma, electromagnetic field, point mutations, DNA reparation, homeotic mutations, genetic drift, and especially prions.
im gonna guess they didn't have much to say about those things ....
And yet you are not guessing they didn't have much to say about evolution. But the reason they didn't is the same.
haha i never said the Fathers commented on evolution! that doesnt mean their work is totally irrelevant though. However there are several modern Saints who do comment on evolution ...

i never got to use a scanner so i took pictures of the icons of Adam and Eve and some others in Fr. Seraphim's book, some are blurry but most are good. you can see them here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2877862&id=9316336&l=f1b8199515

as for the Jaroslav Pelikan video: I simply believe he's wrong when he says that most Christians interpreted the days symbolically. I have never seen evidence of that, just seen it asserted. The Church's adoption of the Byzatine Creation Era calendar speaks to the contrary. And again, the length of the days is just the tip of the iceberg in all this, its relatively unimportant, because allegorical days doesnt necessarily mean evolution happened in those days. a lot more must be worked out before we can make that conclusion.

as for the geocentrist page ... theres a clear difference between these quotes and the quotes i have provided, and Fr. Seraphim provides in his book. in the majority of these quotes they are simply pointing to the movements of our solar system as an illustration of another point. a recurring one was glorifying God's majesty in giving us an ordered creation -- thats the main point. they will say something like, "see, the sun moves in its course just the same, every day." thats an illustration of the point, but it would work just as well if they said the earth moves in its course the same every day. or they say how God caused the sun to stand still for Joshua, thus glorifying God for His miracle -- pointing out the power of God is the point -- the point would remain the same if they simply said that God made the day longer (however he woulda done that).

a different example -- St. Clement of Rome points to the phoenix as an illustration of the Resurrection. should we question the Resurrection because he used a faulty illustration? obviously not. so the Fathers are pointing to cosmology as an illustration -- there's no indication in those quotes that  they are speaking dogmatically, as when they say it is impermissible to interpret the days allegorically, or when St. John of Damascus says that an allegorical understanding of Genesis is an Origenist heresy.

also, what doctrine would be affected by a swtich from geocentrism to heliocentrism? i can't think of any.

and from a scientific POV there is an obvious difference here -- scientists can study our solar system in the here and now and see if the earth is moving around the sun, or the sun around the earth -- even if this is done indirectly and from a relative POV, it can still be done today. the descent from a common ancestor was observed by no one. what is observed is remains from the past, not the actual past happening. these remains must be interpreted, and only if the foundational assumptions of those interpretations are correct is the interpretation correct. i used the example of glasses before. I can first-hand observe that glasses correct my vision. there is no question of that. it is actually testable in the here and now, and can be demonstrated to anyone. evolution is obviously not in the same league.

 

Heorhij

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jckstraw72 said:
haha i never said the Fathers commented on evolution! that doesnt mean their work is totally irrelevant though.
I think it IS totally irrelevant, because they could not possibly have the first clue about what the biological evolution is.

jckstraw72 said:
However there are several modern Saints who do comment on evolution ...
Sorry, they aren't saints to me. Just AREN'T. Period. Serafim Rose is an ignoramus and weirdo. He fantasized a lot and his fantasies aren't interesting to me in the least.

jckstraw72 said:
and from a scientific POV there is an obvious difference here -- scientists can study our solar system in the here and now and see if the earth is moving around the sun, or the sun around the earth -- even if this is done indirectly and from a relative POV, it can still be done today. the descent from a common ancestor was observed by no one. what is observed is remains from the past, not the actual past happening. these remains must be interpreted, and only if the foundational assumptions of those interpretations are correct is the interpretation correct. i used the example of glasses before. I can first-hand observe that glasses correct my vision. there is no question of that. it is actually testable in the here and now, and can be demonstrated to anyone. evolution is obviously not in the same league.
But do you see the structure of the atom, or of elementaruy particles? Those things aren't directly observable either.
 

PeterTheAleut

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jckstraw72 said:
as for the geocentrist page ... theres a clear difference between these quotes and the quotes i have provided, and Fr. Seraphim provides in his book. in the majority of these quotes they are simply pointing to the movements of our solar system as an illustration of another point. a recurring one was glorifying God's majesty in giving us an ordered creation -- thats the main point. they will say something like, "see, the sun moves in its course just the same, every day." thats an illustration of the point, but it would work just as well if they said the earth moves in its course the same every day. or they say how God caused the sun to stand still for Joshua, thus glorifying God for His miracle -- pointing out the power of God is the point -- the point would remain the same if they simply said that God made the day longer (however he woulda done that).
Nice dodge. :p  The reason Riddikulus posted the link to the geocentrism page was to show how you and the defender of geocentrism are both using quotes from the Fathers and citing a "universal patristic consensus" to prove a particular point of view that runs totally counter to what we now understand from scientific observation.
 

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Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
haha i never said the Fathers commented on evolution! that doesnt mean their work is totally irrelevant though.
I think it IS totally irrelevant, because they could not possibly have the first clue about what the biological evolution is.
who cares? they understand Scripture. go back and read the OP ....

Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
However there are several modern Saints who do comment on evolution ...
Sorry, they aren't saints to me. Just AREN'T. Period. Serafim Rose is an ignoramus and weirdo. He fantasized a lot and his fantasies aren't interesting to me in the least.
so St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, and others like Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, and Elder Cleopa arent Saints in your eyes. You know darn well I've already mentioned and quoted them several times. You're just choosing to ignore that.

Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
and from a scientific POV there is an obvious difference here -- scientists can study our solar system in the here and now and see if the earth is moving around the sun, or the sun around the earth -- even if this is done indirectly and from a relative POV, it can still be done today. the descent from a common ancestor was observed by no one. what is observed is remains from the past, not the actual past happening. these remains must be interpreted, and only if the foundational assumptions of those interpretations are correct is the interpretation correct. i used the example of glasses before. I can first-hand observe that glasses correct my vision. there is no question of that. it is actually testable in the here and now, and can be demonstrated to anyone. evolution is obviously not in the same league.
But do you see the structure of the atom, or of elementaruy particles? Those things aren't directly observable either.
i don't know how those things are studied, but their impact can be studied in the here and now since those things are still with us. in the case of evolution you can only study remains from the past, the actual process of the past several billion years cannot be observed. huge difference.



Fixed some quote tag issues, nothing more...  -PtA
 
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