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

Demetrios G.

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PeterTheAleut said:
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.
Speak for yourself, buddy.  You certainly don't speak for me.
Science is a concrete fact. A theory isn't science until it's proven.


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.
It's called a mistake in my book.
 

Demetrios G.

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greekischristian said:
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? ::)

Meteor? Where'd you get that from? Guess you didn't pay attention in Astronomy or Astrophysics either.
I'm guilt, I slept through all of Astronomy. It's ironic that Pluto is rite inside the meteor belt. ;)

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'.
Exactly. Once a better understanding of evolution is put foward than it can be refined. This is exactly why it isn't a science yet. Because there are no proofs.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Exactly. Once a better understanding of evolution is put foward than it can be refined. This is exactly why it isn't a science yet. Because there are no proofs.
It's the one place where I tend to be agnostic (i.e. waiting for further evidence)...  ;D
 

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ignatius said:
Grace and Peace,

Could you 'flesh-out' what you mean by mythos and logos, Brother/Sister?
The wikipedia definitions aren't too bad: Mythos and Logos.  The definition of myth is a bit weak.  Perhaps the best analogy would be giving your children something from Tolkien or Lewis to teach them some of the basics of Christianity. 
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Science is a concrete fact. A theory isn't science until it's proven.
You might find this primer on what science (that is, the scientific method) is somewhat informative.


From Frank Wolfs, University of Rochester (http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/AppendixE/AppendixE.html) :

Introduction to the Scientific Method

The scientific method is the process by which scientists, collectively and over time, endeavor to construct an accurate (that is, reliable, consistent and non-arbitrary) representation of the world.

Recognizing that personal and cultural beliefs influence both our perceptions and our interpretations of natural phenomena, we aim through the use of standard procedures and criteria to minimize those influences when developing a theory. As a famous scientist once said, "Smart people (like smart lawyers) can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view." In summary, the scientific method attempts to minimize the influence of bias or prejudice in the experimenter when testing an hypothesis or a theory.

I. The scientific method has four steps

1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.

3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.

4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature (more on the concepts of hypothesis, model, theory and law below). If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified. What is key in the description of the scientific method just given is the predictive power (the ability to get more out of the theory than you put in; see Barrow, 1991) of the hypothesis or theory, as tested by experiment. It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory.

emphasis mine
 

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If I may add my $.02 to this ever-so-enlightning discussion...

Obviously Genesis does not include the ENTIRETY of creation.  If it did, then it would name each animal and plant individually, correct?  It includes that which God felt was important for us to know in order to achieve salvation.  This is often my response to people who reject God on the basis that the dinosaurs are not included in the Genesis narrative-- it is not essential to our salvation to know how and when the dinosaurs were created and went extinct...

If this is true, that Genesis does not include the entirety of creation, but only what we need to know, then couldn't it be "theorized" that evolution is simply filling in the gaps?  It is good for us to understand HOW God created (this is evolution), but not necessary for us to know to achieve salvation.  *NOTE: I use the term "theory" loosely, so as not to ignite a semantic discussion over the definition of "theory"  If it were necessary for us to understand HOW God created everything, then it could be presumed that we will be condemned for misinterpreting God's version of a "day," or for getting the whole Pluto thing wrong.  I doubt that God will condemn us for these things (of course I have been wrong before).  So what, then, is  important for us to know to achieve salvation?  Here's my humble opinion:

As far as Adam and Eve and the whole "coming from apes" thing goes... I'm not really going to try and figure this one out.  All I know (and all I need to know, I think) is this:  what separates us from the apes that we may or may not have evolved from is the BREATH OF LIFE that God breathed into us.  Could Adam and Eve have been the first humans as we recognize humans in our current form, including the Breath of life?  I don't know.  All I know is that Adam and Eve, whether descended from apes or not, were blessed with the breath of life from the Creator.  If they were descended from apes, then I think it's safe to say that the apes did not have the Breath of life.  The importance is NOT whether Adam and Eve were "first" or whether they evolved.  The importance is that they, and only they (thus we, obviously) were created in God's image and likeness and had the blessing of the Breath of life from God.

I tend to agree that God's day may have been a LOT longer than our day, so any evolution that has taken place in between could fall into the area of "we don't need to know this in order to achieve salvation."  Thus: evolved from apes? Maybe.  Maybe the millions of years of evolution into Adam was just God modeling the clay, so to speak.  Adam was the finished product, made in God's image and likeness, with the Breath of life.  That is what is important to me.

BTW, for what it's worth (and I don't want to ignite another argument here), Fr. Stanley Harakas, in his book The Orthodox Church: 455 Questions and Answers makes reference to a statement released by HCHC, which stated that the only kind of evolutionary theory that is heretical is one that ignores or rejects God as the Creator.  The statement said that most theologians agreed with a belief in theistic evolution.  I saw that mentioned previously in this thread, but haven't really seen a concensus on the matter.  Anyone want to comment?  Anyone out there seen the statement from HCHC, or know where I can find it (short of asking one of my friends there to go to the library and look it up and send it to me)?

Call me a heretic if you want.  You may be right.  But if you do, then pray for me... 
God's blessings
 

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What a wise post from our humble brother GreekChef.    Bravo!!

Juliana :)
 

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jlerms said:
What a wise post from our humble brother GreekChef.    Bravo!!

Juliana :)
Thank you...

With no offence intended (or taken, for that matter)... May I please correct: it's sister.  ;D
 

Demetrios G.

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PeterTheAleut said:
4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.
Isn't this physical proof? Or am I missing something.
 

greekischristian

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Demetrios G. said:
Science is a concrete fact. A theory isn't science until it's proven.
Looks like you slept through your introduction to proofs in theoretical mathematics as well. Science cannot be 'proven' it's theoretically impossible. Granted, Mathematical Physics has used mathematical rigour to advance the field (the only field of the sciences, save computer science which is essentially a field of mathematics, to apply mathematical rigour); but even that relies upon axioms that are debated by various theoretical physicists as to whether they accurately represent the physical universe. The bottom line is that you cannot prove the validity of observation and thus you cannot 'prove' anything in the sciences. It's all 'theory', be it the theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, atomic theory, electromagnetic theory, the theory of gravity, etc.

So while I'll give you that it has not (and cannot) been proven to mathematical standards, the theory of evolution is at least as true as the theories that proclaim the existence of gravity, atoms, and electricity.
 

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Hello Peter,

It is difficult to converse with someone in this way because so many comments and arguments intervene between posts.  I would like to answer some of your questions.

Are we talking the death of ALL animals or just human death?
 

While Paul doesn't specify the answer to this question in Romans 5:12, I believe he makes it more clear elsewhere.  Romans 8:19-21, for example, describes how "the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed," and how "creation was subjected to frustration" by God (it not being frustrated before).  And he adds that "the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."

If we add to this the promise that one day there will be no more death (indeed, the lion will lie down with the lamb), and that this state will be something like life before sin, it just seems to me like God wants us to believe that death itself (whether of animal or of man) was not part of His original creation (which He called "very good"). 

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.
I'm sorry, but I don't know what IIRC is.  But I suppose some of our Holy Fathers believed, as we sometimes do ourselves, things which are not true.  There must be some Holy Father somewhere who believed that death was not the rule in God's very good creation.

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.
To be honest Peter, I don't know.  I'm not really protesting anything, so I don't think of myself as a Protestant.  I don't believe that the Bishop of Rome was supposed to be the head over the entire Church, so I'm not a Roman Catholic.  I worship God and share communion in a non-denominational church which most people would call Protestant, but I have broken bread with Catholic monks, Anglicans, and Lutherans. 

Since I am not a Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox, you may prefer to call me Protestant.  I wish you wouldn't, since it does not accurately describe anything about me.  It might be like someone calling you a Baptist simply because you believe in baptism.

Yes, Christ is my jurisdiction.  But this does not mean that I do not submit to the leadership and guidance of church leaders.  But like the noble Bereans of Acts 17:11, I test everything a leader says against the scriptures. 

I honestly do put a lot of faith in those who have gone before me, so I do read and learn from the Holy Fathers.  When they teach something which does not contradict the scriptures, I am ready to give it fair consideration. 

So let me sum up:
  • I think not even animals died before Adam sinned.
  • I am a Christian informed and led by the richness, wisdom, and beauty of Christ as found in His Word and among His people.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Grace and peace to you.
 

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Νεκτάριος said:
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)? 
Oh, so I take it we are all born pristine with no innate inclination to sin, but we all end up sinning anyway, like Pelagius said? Or perhaps God arbitrarily gives us our fallen humanity?

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.
Yes, I agree, the Gospels are theological works. But they are also history. I don't know the context of this remark, but Fr. Behr may be reading too much Jesus Seminar material.

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 only "father," from the great patristic Alexandrian school or otherwise, I have seen that comes even close to your understanding of the creation account is Origen, and he could hold Adam and Eve to represent the whole of humanity because he believed humanity fell in preexistence. Is that your position? I think I'll stick with Sts. John Chrysostom, Basil, Ambrose, Ephrem etc.

Alexius said:
I have a question: Is it patristic to view Adam and Eve as humanity and not the first two individuals? Do any Church Fathers back this view?
Aside from Origen (and we don't regard him as a Church Father), I don't see any.
 

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GreekChef said:
As far as Adam and Eve and the whole "coming from apes" thing goes... I'm not really going to try and figure this one out.  All I know (and all I need to know, I think) is this:  what separates us from the apes that we may or may not have evolved from is the BREATH OF LIFE that God breathed into us.  Could Adam and Eve have been the first humans as we recognize humans in our current form, including the Breath of life?  I don't know.  All I know is that Adam and Eve, whether descended from apes or not, were blessed with the breath of life from the Creator.  If they were descended from apes, then I think it's safe to say that the apes did not have the Breath of life.  The importance is NOT whether Adam and Eve were "first" or whether they evolved.  The importance is that they, and only they (thus we, obviously) were created in God's image and likeness and had the blessing of the Breath of life from God.

I tend to agree that God's day may have been a LOT longer than our day, so any evolution that has taken place in between could fall into the area of "we don't need to know this in order to achieve salvation."  Thus: evolved from apes? Maybe.  Maybe the millions of years of evolution into Adam was just God modeling the clay, so to speak.  Adam was the finished product, made in God's image and likeness, with the Breath of life.  That is what is important to me.
This is what I was hinting at earlier, and what George and Nektarios seem to be missing in their juxtaposition of "first man" and evolution.
 

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Hello GreekisChristian,

I wanted to thank you too for responding to my post.  If you don't mind, I'd like to reply to yours.

You said...
...if the Bible's view of science is taken as anything other than allegory we must simply conclude that it is plain wrong.
I'm not sure what you mean by the "Bible's view of science."  It sounds like you are referring to the Bible's view of nature.  The Bible's view of "science," meaning human knowledge, is not very high.  

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
1 Timothy 6:20  Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,

One translation of 1 Timothy 6:20 actually translates gnoseos as "science."

But I think you are talking about the Bible's portrayal of nature and its origin, right?
I can see you do not share the Holy Fathers' high view of scripture.  
What about Jesus?  Do you think He got it wrong too?

Jesus believed in the creation of Adam and Eve.    Matthew 19:4    Mark 10:6
Jesus believed in the Cain and Abel story.  Matt. 23:35    Luke 11:51
Jesus believed in Noah's flood.       Matt. 24:37-38    Luke 17:26
Jesus believed in Sodom and Gomorah.   Matt. 10:14-15

As I said before, thanks to the advent of gene sequencing, computational biology, and molecular biology it's pretty much a closed case.
I don't know gene sequencing, computational biology, or molecular biology, but judging from all the debate going on in the world today about this question, I would have to say that all the impirical evidence stands against the notion that this is a closed case.

My concern, however, is with Christian response to scripture.  I hope that you and others like you will soon return to a love of and trust in the word of God.  Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that procedes from the mouth of God.

Thanks again for reading my thoughts and sharing yours.

Grace and peace

 

Demetrios G.

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greekischristian said:
Looks like you slept through your introduction to proofs in theoretical mathematics as well. Science cannot be 'proven' it's theoretically impossible. Granted, Mathematical Physics has used mathematical rigour to advance the field (the only field of the sciences, save computer science which is essentially a field of mathematics, to apply mathematical rigour); but even that relies upon axioms that are debated by various theoretical physicists as to whether they accurately represent the physical universe. The bottom line is that you cannot prove the validity of observation and thus you cannot 'prove' anything in the sciences. It's all 'theory', be it the theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, atomic theory, electromagnetic theory, the theory of gravity, etc.

So while I'll give you that it has not (and cannot) been proven to mathematical standards, the theory of evolution is at least as true as the theories that proclaim the existence of gravity, atoms, and electricity.
Drop an apple and you prove that gravity exists, Split an atom and you have an atom bomb, move electrons and you can create light, Create a life form and you have life. All I am asking for is Proof? Create a life form. It's that simple. A theory will always remain a theory until proven.

Francis Crick couldn't prove it so he resorted to claims that life is extraterrestrial. What a joke.
 
Until it's proven all the theory of evolution is. Is a periodic table of biological elements.
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Drop an apple and you prove that gravity exists, Split an atom and you have an atom bomb, move electrons and you can create light, Create a life form and you have life. All I am asking for is Proof? Create a life form. It's that simple. A theory will always remain a theory until proven.
No, you haven't proven anything with your examples.  Even in all of those cases, all you have done is provided more evidence is support of the relevant theories, but they remain theories.  How about this, since you demand that theories be proven, and won't rely on them until they are, stay off of bridges, okay?  After all, they're only based on theories from physics and those haven't been proven.  Oh, and don't use a plane, either, since that too relies on theories.  Oops, better shut down your internet, as well, since, once again, you've got that little theory thing in the way.
 

Demetrios G.

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Veniamin said:
No, you haven't proven anything with your examples.  Even in all of those cases, all you have done is provided more evidence is support of the relevant theories, but they remain theories.  How about this, since you demand that theories be proven, and won't rely on them until they are, stay off of bridges, okay?  After all, they're only based on theories from physics and those haven't been proven.  Oh, and don't use a plane, either, since that too relies on theories.  Oops, better shut down your internet, as well, since, once again, you've got that little theory thing in the way.
If a bridge exists and has proven that it can support my weight. That is the proof. What are you saying?
 

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Demetrios G. said:
If a bridge exists and has proven that it can support my weight. That is the proof. What are you saying?
That it's not proof!
 

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Dear All,

I am sorry that I stopped following this debate at some point - I am trying to observe the fast and not to be argumentative or overly emotional, and debates like this one always make me emotional or even angry.

I just wanted to (1) thank all, and especially sister Greek Chef, for their wisdom, and (2) say that it is up to professional biologists to judge the theory of biological evolution, and they have already made their judgment that it is a valid scientific theory (and we know empirical "things" from such theories rather than from random opinions, even if the latter are voiced by scientists). Of course, any non-biologist can also "judge" the theory of biological evolution and say that it is untrue because of this, and this, and that - just like I can "judge" the theory of relativity or like a specialist in accounting or Lebanese music can "judge" Niels Kai Jerne's theory of idiotypic network. I think we all need to have some healthy shame and stop doing this sort of "judging."

I will not participate in this thread anymore, and again, thank you all, and have a great Nativity fast.

George

 

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Grace and Peace,

Ancient Faith Radio has a Podcast "God and Science - Part 2: Is Evolution A Fact?"

I encourage everyone to hear what Clark Carlton has to say on the matter...
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Than what is it? A figment of my imagination.
No, it's only evidence in support of the theory.  As has been pointed out to you over and over again, it is impossible to prove a theory.  Ever.  Under any circumstances.

Demetrios G. said:
That's all I need.
And this just goes to show that you're deliberately cherry-picking people's statements to find support for what you want to hear.  GiC himself stated that it's impossible to prove anything in the sciences, which radically alters the substance of what he later said.  His statement was essentially, "no theory, including this one, can ever be proven because of their very nature" which you misrepresented as "this theory has not been proven because there's not evidence for it."
 

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Veniamin said:
No, it's only evidence in support of the theory.  As has been pointed out to you over and over again, it is impossible to prove a theory.  Ever.  Under any circumstances.

And this just goes to show that you're deliberately cherry-picking people's statements to find support for what you want to hear.  GiC himself stated that it's impossible to prove anything in the sciences, which radically alters the substance of what he later said.  His statement was essentially, "no theory, including this one, can ever be proven because of their very nature" which you misrepresented as "this theory has not been proven because there's not evidence for it."
And what is evidence if not proof?
 

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Demetrios G. said:
Drop an apple and you prove that gravity exists,
Nope, you've just demonstrated that the apple travels in a certain direction and (if you measure it) at a certain acceleration when dropped. You have proven nothing about the attraction of masses, about the existence of a force called gravity, about the universal applicability of said principle to all massive bodies. Yes, it's evidence for a theory (and rather weak evidence, at that), but it's not even close to a 'proof' which even escapes Mathematical Physics.

Split an atom and you have an atom bomb, move electrons and you can create light, Create a life form and you have life. All I am asking for is Proof? Create a life form. It's that simple. A theory will always remain a theory until proven.
May be sooner than you think, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2499119.stm

But with that said, while this is a great advancement in synthetic DNA, I really don't see how this advancement is relevant to the theory of common ancestry?

Until it's proven all the theory of evolution is. Is a periodic table of biological elements.
As is gravity, atoms, electricity, etc., etc.
 

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Caedmon said:
I don't know gene sequencing, computational biology, or molecular biology, but judging from all the debate going on in the world today about this question, I would have to say that all the impirical evidence stands against the notion that this is a closed case.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but it's not debated; perhaps George will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see how it would even be possible to work as a researcher in biology without accepting the theory of evolution, it's a prerequisite to modern biology.

And not to put too fine of a point on it, but the only people I ever see contesting this well-established scientific theory are those with a religious agenda and those ignorant of the field of biology; and they're almost always both.
 

Demetrios G.

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What new life form. They are using a preexisting cell.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2499119.stm


The research will use a single-celled organism called Mycoplasma genitalium as a "template" for the new lifeform.
 

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I hesitate to jump into this ever-so-interesting discussion because I have failed, due to time constraints and health issues, to follow it from the beginning.  So, I beg forgiveness and forebearance in advance as what I have to say and ask may already have been discussed and answered.

First of all I want to admit/acknowledge to all for whom this is important that I slept very soundly throughout much of my paltry education (oh, and how so very refreshing it was, too! ;)), most especially those subjects that had anything to do with that dreaded word "science".  So, please feel free to discount my profound ignorance (and in all seriousness, my ignorance is profound), and move on to the next post.

Now, having said all of that, my understanding of "evolution", at least as generally discussed by many people as poorly educated as myself, is that it has something to do with one (or more) species changing over a relatively long period of time into another species.  My question is this--is there conclusive, irrefutable, concrete, demonstrable evidence that this has happened?  Another question, if I may--have scientists ever been able to replicate that process of one species changing into another species?  If the answer to either of those questions is yes, could you please provide references, links, etc. that an educationally impoverished struggling sinner such as myself would be able to understand?

In spite of my somewhat sarcastic remarks above, I ask this in all seriousness and sincerity.  You see, I am beginning to finally awaken from my long slumber and truely wish to learn as much as my old, decaying remaining 1/2 brain cell is capable of absorbing.

Thanks to all for your patience and understanding.  Please pray for me, a miserable sinner.

In Christ,
Jeff
 

greekischristian

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Demetrios G. said:
What new life form. They are using a preexisting cell.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2499119.stm
We have the same type of cells as a dog; so are we the same life form? ::)

Where do you come up with this stuff ???
 

Demetrios G.

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greekischristian said:
We have the same type of cells as a dog; so are we the same life form? ::)

Where do you come up with this stuff ???
Using a preexisting cell doesn't mean that it's a new creation. It's easy to grow a tree horizontally if one leverages the branches in a horizontal direction. Same principle.
 

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Hello GreekisChristian,

I am curious about your tag, cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex.

Is this something like, Law itself restrains by the restraining rule of law.

Would you help me understand what you mean by this?

Thanks
 

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Caedmon said:
Hello GreekisChristian,

I am curious about your tag, cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex.

Is this something like, Law itself restrains by the restraining rule of law.

Would you help me understand what you mean by this?

Thanks
Would you like to start a new thread to ask this off-topic question?  That might be better than potentially hijacking this thread with the type of tangential discussions greekischristian loves.
 
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God bless !

Orthodox Christians can not accept the Evolution theory ( it is only a theorie not a fact) or Evolution Philosophy !

I think the Fathers of the church understood the Book of Genesis in a literal and allegorical sense.

And we should not forget that Adam was created immortal, he had a different nature than we yet. I think also the animals and the whole creature was different, only after the fall the nature of man changed. Paradise still exists.

In CHRIST
 

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Christodoulos said:
Orthodox Christians can not accept the Evolution theory ( it is only a theorie not a fact) or Evolution Philosophy !
If you can find a synod of bishops that has deposed or excommunicated someone for believing in evolutionary biology then by all means, I'd believe you. 
 

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Christodoulos said:
God bless !

Orthodox Christians can not accept the Evolution theory ( it is only a theorie not a fact) or Evolution Philosophy !

I think the Fathers of the church understood the Book of Genesis in a literal and allegorical sense.

And we should not forget that Adam was created immortal, he had a different nature than we yet. I think also the animals and the whole creature was different, only after the fall the nature of man changed. Paradise still exists.

In CHRIST
Can you cite the dogmatic authority (other than you) that declared this?  Agreeing with Νεκτάριος, I'm not aware that any dogmatic office of the Church has ever proclaimed this to be THE authoritative interpretation of the Bible and the Holy Fathers, such that those who disagree are anathema.
 

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Caedmon said:
I'm sorry, but I don't know what IIRC is.
IIRC - Internet acronym for "If I Recall/Remember Correctly"

Bishop of Rome was supposed to be the head over the entire Church, so I'm not a Roman Catholic.  I worship God and share communion in a non-denominational church which most people would call Protestant, but I have broken bread with Catholic monks, Anglicans, and Lutherans. 

Since I am not a Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox, you may prefer to call me Protestant.  I wish you wouldn't, since it does not accurately describe anything about me.  It might be like someone calling you a Baptist simply because you believe in baptism.

Yes, Christ is my jurisdiction.  But this does not mean that I do not submit to the leadership and guidance of church leaders.  But like the noble Bereans of Acts 17:11, I test everything a leader says against the scriptures. 

I honestly do put a lot of faith in those who have gone before me, so I do read and learn from the Holy Fathers.  When they teach something which does not contradict the scriptures, I am ready to give it fair consideration. 

So let me sum up:
  • I think not even animals died before Adam sinned.
  • I am a Christian informed and led by the richness, wisdom, and beauty of Christ as found in His Word and among His people.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Grace and peace to you.
I was going to draft a response to your "I'm not Protestant, I'm just Christian" claim, and I still might, but for right now I think my best response is to direct you to this thread where we recently discussed the subject.

"I'm not Protestant - I'm just Christian"
 

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Dear George, I really appreciate your kind guidance on the issue with the priest and the Bishop.

On whether one should follow some Bishop's "modern" guidance promoting evolution over the Church fathers' teachings, I'm hesitant to share this with you and Pravoslavbob, since I do not want to offend you on your journey to understanding; and although I cannot currently see faults in my reasoning, I know that I may also have blind spots that you might be able to help me understand along this line; but if I may, can I ask you to reconsider your secondary Orthodox understanding on modern evolutionary theories based on the following possible thoughts?

If I may, I will offer thoughts based upon the Russian entomologist Iuri'i Filipchenko evolutionary distinctive words  "macroevolution" and "microevolution" and Polish professor of Genetics presentation in the following article http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v17/i3/genetics.asp . Professor Maciej Giertych, M.A.(Oxford), Ph.D.(Toronto), D.Sc.(Poznan), is head of the Genetics Department of the Polish Academy of Sciences at the Institute of Dendrology in Kornik, Poland.  As you read in the article, observable science and Holy Tradition are not at odds. What you as a scientist can observe are changes within kinds and can enjoy studying and observing God's working through "microevolution", but that is very different than what has gripped many branches of the protestants and Roman catholics western liberal higher critics, since they want us all to make the "leap of faith" from microevolution to macroevolution.

Stephen Jay Gould, Christopher Hitchens, and a host of modern day "metaphysical teachers" under the guise of "science" are clearly following Darwin's original thesis and promoting as "science" that which is taking away the faith of Millions on our planet from God their Creator. I cannot tell you how many times in talks with intellectuals, professors and scholars at major universities, they barrage our students with the antichristian polemics based upon this "leap of faith" into the religion of macroevolutionary "theory". They say that "macroevolution is fact", although they know we are missing millions of "transitionary fossils" that should have been found by paleontologists years ago.

While at MIT bookstore 22+ years ago, I found an enlightening book written by a noncreationist paleontologist, who laid out the case against evolutionary "theory" based on only the real scientific observable fossil records and showed us that all the "missing links" are still missing and that "scientists" desperate to prove a failed "theory" have gone so far as to lead the world astray for periods of 20-40 years at a stretch, by even physically manipulating the data (actual fossils were sawed and "shaped" to try to prove some fossils as "missing link" fossils). This scientist was so concerned over how easily 50 debates between evolutionists and creationist scientists had easily been won by creationists, that if the scientific community does not join together to stop evolutionary dogmatic fantasies as "science" that obviously did not meet the paleontological evidence, that the creationists would have the only viable scientific option on hand, so he wanted to have us to start promoting new theories of creation before it was too late, since obviously macroevolution was factually problematic for the observable scientist.

Atheists say that they trust evolution as fact while knowing that we have no "observable empirical scientific evidence" for randomly created mutations which lead to increase in information.  For one scientific note dealing with Richard Dawkins' premise, read this Phd's writings at http://trueorigin.org/dawkinfo.asp . The author Dr. Royal Truman has his Ph.D., specializing in organic chemistry and works in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

For a more thorough discussions on the topic, Phd Sarfati from Australia, who has earned honors in condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, physical and inorganic chemistry, in his book  reviewed and contributed by phd in plant physiology, Don Batten, Phd John Baumgardner, geophysicist and plate tectonic modeler, tenured astronomy professor, phd Danny Faulkner, Robert Newton, Phd in astroPhysics, Russell Humphreys, Phd in Nuclear Physics, joined biologist and geologist, John Woodmorappe, and a host of other scientists, to present the scientific evidence for an alternate viewpoint to macroevolutionary theories. There are other science websites run by phds, like www.answersingenesis.org and www.drdino.com which present the scientific rebuttals to many of our scientific questions, but unfortunately those scientists do not often understand the Orthodox Holy Tradition, but Father Seraphim Rose obviously did and wrote a monumental modern book presenting our Orthodox Tradition on the modern "theory" attacking our faith. I wish not only western scientists led on these discussions refuting macroevolutionary theories , since the Orthodox church holds a much stronger basis for our beliefs and understanding of the Word of God than the modern minipopes of the west. I hesitate to bring their websites up, but the links are there incase you might be open to other possibilities on basic scientific "answers" presented by only one side in many of our campuses and textbooks.

I have talked with numerous "theistic evolutionists" from various universities, who finally moved to their logical conclusion of living apart from faith in God, just because they finally accepted the false premise of evolution as not just "metaphysical" but scientific "fact" and understood that with their professors' theories, "creation does not need a Creator"; and now sadly, accept by "faith" in "science" that randomly generated beneficial changes started abiogenetically to form modern day complex carbon based lifeforms. They now live as atheists even while going through the motions of faith within various church traditions, while others are diligently working to subvert the Orthodox faith from the planet completely.

Romans 5:12-21 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


These former believers have come to understand if there was no "first Adam and Eve", there cannot be a 'second Adam who delivered us from our sins (Romans 5), nor a second Eve, The Theotokos (Justin Martyr). They understand if sin did not enter the world through the first "Adam", then death did not come as the result of his "sinful choices" and man did not need a Savior to deliver us from the devil's grip of death. They know that if we can hyper-spiritualize interpretation of scriptures away from almost all of our Church Fathers' clear teachings, then it's very easy to simply discard the Holy Word completely and not allow it to guide and transform our lives during liturgy. While we often believe in deeper meaning of Holy Scriptures, obviously we do not do totally away with its primary meaning. We know there was a literal second Adam, Christ our God, just as there was a literal first Saints Adam and Eve. The Patriarchs Noah, Abraham, Jospeh, and hosts of ancient saints are not just figures of spiritual understanding, but all Church Fathers of the Orthodox Churches have taught a literal understanding of real historical men like St. David and Solomon, and none of these were just symbols of the divine Christ.

St. Athanasius, in his monumental message on the most important "On the Incarnation" of our LORD and its effectual power for our lives, starts his wonderful message by First addressing 3 "scientific" theories of creation of his days with the following words:

" In regard to the making of the universe and the creation of all things there have been various opinions, and each person has propounded the theory that suited his own taste.

• For instance, some say that all things are self-originated and, so to speak, haphazard.
• …Others take the view expressed by Plato, that giant among the Greeks. He said that God had made all things out of pre-existent and uncreated matter, just as the carpenter makes things only out of wood that already exists.
• …Then, again, there is the theory of the Gnostics, who have invented for themselves an Artificer of all things other than the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… they get a creation independent of the Father…"

St. Athanasius answers the first "scientific theory" of evolutionary abiogenesis atheistic spontaneous generation system of his day with the following words:

"…some say that all things are self-originated and, so to speak, haphazard. The Epicureans are among these; they deny that there is any Mind behind the universe at all. This view is contrary to all the facts of experience, their own existence included. For if all things had come into being in this automatic fashion, instead of being the outcome of Mind, though they existed, they would all be uniform and without distinction. In the universe everything would be sun or moon or whatever it was, and in the human body the whole would be hand or eye or foot. But in point of fact the sun and the moon and the earth are all different things, and even within the human body there are different members, such as foot and hand and head. This distinctness of things argues not a spontaneous generation but a prevenient Cause; and from that Cause we can apprehend God, the Designer and Maker of all."


For the second "scientific theory" of evolutionary like matter and life came from previous matter and life, as inspired by Plato, St. Athanasius answers:
"He [Plato] said that God had made all things out of pre-existent and uncreated matter, just as the carpenter makes things only out of wood that already exists. But those who hold this view do not realize that to deny that God is Himself the Cause of matter is to impute limitation to Him, just as it is undoubtedly a limitation on the part of the carpenter that he can make nothing unless he has the wood. How could God be called Maker and Artificer if His ability to make depended on some other cause, namely on matter itself? If He only worked up existing matter and did not Himself bring matter into being, He would be not the Creator but only a craftsman.
The 3rd theory does not seem to enter the discussion rooms these days yet, so I'll limit my words somewhat by not quoting St. Athanasius here.

But to all "scientific theories" of creation, our Church father provides the following holy Tradition to help us correctly understand Genesis and God's Word against our modern day theories:

" Such are the notions which men put forward. But the impiety of their foolish talk is plainly declared by the divine teaching of the Christian faith. From it we know that, because there is Mind behind the universe, it did not originate itself; because God is infinite, not finite, it was not made from pre-existent matter, but out of nothing and out of non-existence absolute and utter God brought it into being through the Word. He says as much in Genesis: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth;44Gen. i. 1 and again through that most helpful book The Shepherd, "Believe thou first and foremost that there is One God Who created and arranged all things and brought them out of non-existence into being."55The Shepherd of Hermas, Book II. I

Paul also indicates the same thing when he says, "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which we see now did not come into being out of things which had previously appeared."66Heb. xi. 3 For God is good—or rather, of all goodness He is Fountainhead, and it is impossible for one who is good to be mean or grudging about anything. Grudging existence to none therefore, He made all things out of nothing through His own Word, our Lord Jesus Christ and of all these His earthly creatures He reserved especial mercy for the race of men.

Upon them, therefore, upon men who, as animals, were essentially impermanent, He bestowed a grace which other creatures lacked—namely the impress of His own Image, a share in the reasonable being of the very Word Himself, so that, reflecting Him and themselves becoming reasonable and expressing the Mind of God even as He does, though in limited degree they might continue for ever in the blessed and only true life of the saints in paradise. But since the will of man could turn either way, God secured this grace that He had given by making it conditional from the first upon two things—namely, a law and a place. He set them in His own paradise, and laid upon them a single prohibition. If they guarded the grace and retained the loveliness of their original innocence, then the life of paradise should be theirs, without sorrow, pain or care, and after it the assurance of immortality in heaven. But if they went astray and became vile, throwing away their birthright of beauty, then they would come under the natural law of death and live no longer in paradise, but, dying outside of it, continue in death and in corruption. This is what Holy Scripture tells us, proclaiming the command of God, "Of every tree that is in the garden thou shalt surely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ye shall not eat, but in the day that ye do eat, ye shall surely die."77Gen. ii. 16 f. "Ye shall surely die"—not just die only, but remain in the state of death and of corruption"

St. Athanasius is not our Orthodox Pope, but I only quoted from him to show you my dear brothers, that our Orthodox Church fathers have always had to contend for the faith in the midst of "scientific theories" that contradicted the Word of God as understood by the Holy Spirit guiding our Holy Tradition of rightly understanding theopneustos, God's inspired Word. Macroevolution like materialism and long age theories have been around for 1000s of years, but the Church has not every given in to them that I know of, and infact have spoken specifically against their "faith".

When I had completed my minor degrees in Physics and Computer Engineering many years ago. I simply was a "theistic evolutoinist" until one day by providential guidance, I found some powerful writings by modern scientists who showed me that "true science" not only did not support macroevolution, but infact, the scientific facts pointed us away from the ex-protestant turned atheist, Charles Darwin and his evolutionary "theory".

St. Athanasius provides the following possible light on why the subject was important to our church fathers and it wasn't simply a nontopic for theology and right worship of God:

" You may be wondering why we are discussing the origin of men when we set out to talk about the Word's becoming Man. The former subject is relevant to the latter for this reason: it was our sorry case that caused the Word to come down, our transgression that called out His love for us, so that He made haste to help us and to appear among us. It is we who were the cause of His taking human form, and for our salvation that in His great love He was both born and manifested in a human body. For God had made man thus (that is, as an embodied spirit), and had willed that he should remain in incorruption. But men, having turned from the contemplation of God to evil of their own devising, had come inevitably under the law of death. Instead of remaining in the state in which God had created them, they were in process of becoming corrupted entirely, and death had them completely under its dominion. For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again. The presence and love of the Word had called them into being; inevitably, therefore when they lost the knowledge of God, they lost existence with it; for it is God alone Who exists, evil is non-being, the negation and antithesis of good. By nature, of course, man is mortal, since he was made from nothing; but he bears also the Likeness of Him Who is, and if he preserves that Likeness through constant contemplation, then his nature is deprived of its power and he remains incorrupt. So is it affirmed in Wisdom: "The keeping of His laws is the assurance of incorruption."88Wisdom vi. 18 And being incorrupt, he would be henceforth as God, as Holy Scripture says, "I have said, Ye are gods and sons of the Highest all of you: but ye die as men and fall as one of the princes."99Psalm lxxxii. 6 f.
(5) This, then, was the plight of men. God had not only made them out of nothing, but had also graciously bestowed on them His own life by the grace of the Word. Then, turning from eternal things to things corruptible, by counsel of the devil, they had become the cause of their own corruption in death; for, as I said before, though they were by nature subject to corruption, the grace of their union with the Word made them capable of escaping from the natural law, provided that they retained the beauty of innocence with which they were created. That is to say, the presence of the Word with them shielded them even from natural corruption, as also Wisdom says: "God created man for incorruption and as an image of His own eternity; but by envy of the devil death entered into the world."1010Wisdom ii. 23 f. When this happened, men began to die, and corruption ran riot among them and held sway over them to an even more than natural degree, because it was the penalty of which God had forewarned them for transgressing the commandment. Indeed, they had in their sinning surpassed all limits; for, having invented wickedness in the beginning and so involved themselves in death and corruption, they had gone on gradually from bad to worse, not stopping at any one kind of evil, but continually, as with insatiable appetite, devising new kinds of sins. Adulteries and thefts were everywhere, murder and rapine filled the earth, law was disregarded in corruption and injustice, all kinds of iniquities were perpetrated by all, both singly and in common. Cities were warring with cities, nations were rising against nations, and the whole earth was rent with factions and battles, while each strove to outdo the other in wickedness. Even crimes contrary to nature were not unknown, but as the martyr-apostle of Christ says: "Their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature; and the men also, leaving the natural use of the woman, flamed out in lust towards each other, perpetrating shameless acts with their own sex, and receiving in their own persons the due recompense of their pervertedness."1111Rom. i. 26 f.
"


If you would like, you can read the full wonderful message of St. Athanasius at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.ii.html .

Metaphysical sciences are obviously not "empirical science", so this is no threat to real scientific research and study. Just sets boundaries for science to keep its understanding to what it can observe and correctly infer, but not try to read into the actual facts metaphysical and spiritual inferences that are not provable by any sort of real observable science.  Now, if we have someone enter a time machine and observe the past different than what God has told us clearly in His Word and through Holy Tradition in His Church, then maybe we can put that account against our only eyewitness account, The Holy Trinity :D and choose whom to believe and follow for our lives.
 
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