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

PeterTheAleut

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The issue of macro evolution is one of the many reasons why I am so grateful to belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Our Fathers have taught that according to Scriptural chronology (derived most notably from the Book of Jubilees, which is part of our canon) the earth is only about 7,000 years old. This time frame precludes any possibility for the process of macro evolution. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, I embrace the apostolic Faith and Teaching of my Church; and therefore I don't have to worry about being deceived by the vagaries and vicissitudes of secular science.
But why must we define science as something secular, oppose it to the "sacred" content of the Church, and thereby justify our efforts to dismiss the findings of scientific observation altogether?
 

Rastaman

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Views of the Holy Fathers and Scientific Discoveries

Adherents of a literal interpretation of every word in the Bible about the creation of the world often cite the Church’s Holy Fathers to defend their position. In doing so, they do not justify the correctness of their own views so much as they unwittingly "see the nakedness of the father" (Gen. 9:22). Indeed, although many Holy Fathers were highly educated people, neither theology nor the natural sciences of their time had yet reached full maturity. Therefore one ought not to take every thought expressed by one Holy Father or another to be the Church’s teaching — especially in questions of science, which was then at a rudimentary stage. The Church is only error-free in its catholic conscientiousness, its concillarity.

St. Barsanuphius the Great expressed the Church’s treatment of the problem of inaccurate or erroneous opinions of individual Church Fathers most clearly. In response to a monk’s question about the teachings of St. Gregory of Nyssa about the complete rehabilitation of all sinners (including demons) damned to fiery Gehhenna, St. Barsanuphius wrote:

Do not think that people, even the saints, can completely comprehend all the profundities of God; for the Apostle says: ‘For we know in part, and we prophesy in part’ (1 Cor. 13:9)… Saints who have become teachers, whether by themselves or compelled by others, have been rather successful, surpassed their own teachers and, with approval from above, set forth new teaching, but at the same time maintained that which they received from their former teachers, that is, incorrect instruction. When they were subsequently successful and became spiritual teachers, they did not pray to God that He would make revelations to them concerning their first teachers: whether what they were taught was inspired by the Holy Spirit, but, considering them wise and intelligent, they did not question their words; and thus their teachers’ opinions were mixed with their own instruction, and these Saints sometimes said that which they had learned from their own teachers, and sometimes that which they had perceived with their own minds.

If you say, "Why did God in His grace not prevent them from being in error for the good of others who would later read their writings?" then you can say about any sinner, "Why didn’t God in His grace prevent him from sinning, when He knew that he would tempt many with his sins, and many would come to harm through him?" In such case all of human life would no longer be free, but subject to force. Why, are there not maxims in Scripture that are a stumbling block to those ignorant of the spiritual meaning? So, must we say, Why did God not reveal the spiritual meaning of the Scripture to everyone so that people would not come to harm, but gave the Saints, who lived in different times, the task of explaining everything necessary? That is exactly what the teachers and interpreters were ordained for, as the Apostle says (1 Cor. 12:28-30)… As the Lord showed us the path of life through the Prophets and Apostles, though every one of them spoke from himself, and God did not prophesy through any of them exclusively, but allowed what one had left out by Divine will to be said by another, thus did God do with the Saints who came after them: what some of them say unclearly is expounded by those who follow them, so that God is always glorified by His Saints.


Other Holy Fathers treat this question similarly. Venerable John Cassian the Roman, in his discussion of Blessed Augustine’s books, notes, "Even quite learned men have something that may be called into question and examined."

Holy Patriarch Photius also gives an Orthodox assessment of the erroneous opinions found among the Holy Fathers: "How often did difficult predicaments compel some Fathers to express themselves imprecisely, some to speak in adaptation to circumstances under enemy attack, and some to speak in human ignorance, to which they, too, succumbed? If some spoke imprecisely, or for reasons unknown to us even deviated from the upright path, but there was no investigation and no one called upon them to prove the truth, then we leave them among the ranks of fathers, exactly as if they had not spoken such, partly because of their life’s eminence and virtuous reputation, and partly because of the purity of their faith otherwise; but we shall not follow their words where they have sinned."

Blessed Augustine himself, in the conclusion of his book "On the Trinity," wrote, "Lord, God the Single, God the Trinity, may what I said in this book from You be received as Your own; but if I did say anything from myself, may You and Your people forgive me."

St. Mark of Ephesus wrote: "There is a big difference between what is said in the canonical writings and the traditions of the Church, and what is written by the individual teacher unofficially or even taught by him; the first, given by God, we must believe… but the second we should not believe unconditionally or accept without question. For it is possible for someone to be a teacher, but not speak completely correctly. For what need would there be for Fathers in the Ecumenical Councils if none of them were able to deviate from the truth at all? To some measure Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, and Gregory the Wonderworker slipped in this; though one of them bore a martyr’s crown and the other’s name itself dominates for praise."

St. Basil the Great speaks thus of Holy Martyr Dionysius of Alexandria (commemorated on Oct. 5, old calendar): "I am not delighted by all that is written by this man; and there are some things that I do not approve of in the least. For, perhaps, it was he… who first spread the seeds … of anomeic impiety. I think that the reason for this is not misdirection of the soul, but the burning desire to oppose Savelius."

The Orthodox Church teaches completely unambiguously that when the Holy Fathers have discordant opinions, we must check our views with those of not just one or several respected Fathers, but with the council teaching of the Church. If we ought not to blindly accept all the opinions of the Holy Fathers individually concerning dogmatic questions -- that is, questions unconditionally important for our salvation -- then we certainly do not have the right to raise to the rank of truth information now outdated but widely accepted in ancient times about geography, medicine and the natural sciences, only on the basis that it was stated by a Holy Father. For the Holy Fathers used the scientific data of their time not for the sake of confirming or rejecting them, but to lead people with their help to contemplate God, His qualities and His deeds in the world, to thereby to edify the people. "I have one goal — to convert everything to the edification of the Church," wrote St. Basil the Great (Discourse on the Six Days, tome 1, p. 132). "Investigation of the essence of every being, whether falling under our speculation or subject to our feelings… [will serve the edification of the Church not a little"] (pp. 13-14).

It is completely natural that the Holy Fathers might have made mistakes when using the natural science of their time. For example, the same St. Basil the Great says in his Discourse on the Six Days: "Some have even noted that felled and burnt pines have turned into oaks" (p. 88); "Who can doubt that the air is not fiery, and not incandescent?" (p. 53); "What would prevent the Red Sea from flooding all of Egypt, which is a dent in comparison?… Egypt is lower than the Black Sea…" (pp. 65-66); "Fire… jointly occupied all of the overhead space" (pp. 67-68); "Every element, as a result of general quality, unites with the element adjacent to it, and as a result of contact, unites with the opposite element, too. For example, the earth, being dry and cold, unites with water by relationship of their coldness, and through water joins with air, because water, posed in the middle between the earth and air… touches… with coldness to the earth, and with humidity to the air" (71). St. John of Damascus, describing scientific data in his Exact Exposition of Orthodox Faith, usually anticipates them with the words, "they say that …" However, he also asserts that "the comets are a sign announcing the death of the king" (p. 62 [134]); "there are twelve winds" (p. 66 [138]). He also accepts Aristotle’s teachings about the four elements. Naturally, no one these days shares these views.

St. Gregory of Nyssa’s explanation of the physiology of the dream is also erroneous. No one now would say seriously that "when food boils on the inside from natural heat, vapors… gather in volumes of the head like smoke seeping through cracks of a wall. That is why, evaporating from there through the channels of the senses, they spread through the body, while unavoidably the sense stops, pressed back by the passage of these vapors" (St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Making of Man, St. Petersburg, 1995, p. 40).

And, certainly, one must not demand that a Christian reading the Holy Fathers declare the Phoenix real, about which the prominent Church Father of the I-II centuries, Holy Martyr Clement of Rome, says: "Near Arabia there is a bird called the Phoenix. It is born alone only and lives for 500 years. As it approaches its death, it… makes itself a nest into which, when its time comes, it enters and dies. From the decaying body a worm is born that, feeding on the moisture of the dead animal, becomes fledged" (1st Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter XXV. Works of the Apostolic Fathers, Riga, 1994, p. 128). Tertullian speaks of the same bird.

One could cite other erroneous views that have sometimes been held by the Holy Fathers. But what has been mentioned here will suffice, because our objective is not to undermine their authority, but merely to establish the necessity of taking a sensible approach when citing their private opinions. Taking this into account, for the sake of fairness it must be said that sometimes one Church Father or another was ahead of the scientific knowledge of his time by many centuries in his views. In this respect Bishop Nathaniel’s (L’vov) article about St. Basil the Great, in which he compiles many striking thoughts about the great saint, is very valuable. See Bishop Nathanail’s "Discussions of Faith" at the address: http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/russian/ apolog_nathanail.htm .

Of great significance in the Holy Fathers’ experience is that they never opposed contemporary scientific data with their views. And here they left us a valuable lesson: it is reasonable to use the revelations of science — insofar as they may help us to gain a deeper understand of some facets of the universe. But one should do so with caution, taking into account the limits of the human intellect and the instability of scientific theories.

The idea of nature’s participation in the steps of creation is justifiably inadmissible to Orthodox thought only if the hypothesis of an evolutionary development of living things, from the simple to the more sophisticated, detracts from the Creator. The unsubstantiated statement that "the Bible teaches — but you say…" holds no weight. Orthodox tradition in particular knows how complex, unobvious and different can be interpretations of some parts of the Holy Scripture.

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/creation_man_a_mileant_e.htm#_Toc67449471
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The issue of macro evolution is one of the many reasons why I am so grateful to belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Our Fathers have taught that according to Scriptural chronology (derived most notably from the Book of Jubilees, which is part of our canon) the earth is only about 7,000 years old. This time frame precludes any possibility for the process of macro evolution. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, I embrace the apostolic Faith and Teaching of my Church; and therefore I don't have to worry about being deceived by the vagaries and vicissitudes of secular science.
But why must we define science as something secular, oppose it to the "sacred" content of the Church, and thereby justify our efforts to dismiss the findings of scientific observation altogether?
I didn't and don't define science as "secular." I am careful to make a distinction between legitimate science and secular science. Secular science is capable of ascertaining truth about the laws and principles of creation; but when it arrogates to itself the sole authority to interpret and discover truth about the natural world, then it operates essentially like the leaders of a cult (i.e. the secular scientists are the "experts," and the rest of us ignorant sheep must blindly agree with whatever they tell us).

There is no contradiction between legitimate science and Christian Truth; there is often a contradiction between pseudo-science and Christian truth. I define "pseudo-science" as that which operates from an atheistic presuppostion.

Also, as I have pointed out on other posts, the theory of macro evolution does have moral and theolgical consequences. For example, the Bible says that God "created" man and woman. This clearly indicates a past tense event, not an ongoing process. Thus, if macro evolutionary theory is correct, then human beings are still evolving. The logical implication of this would be that we are not yet "fully human," thus respect for human life is severly undermined. If macro evolutionary theory is correct, then who decides who and what is "fully human?" Darwinism has led to the insidious ideas that Africans are less human than Caucasions, that Jews are less human than Arians, and that the unborn are less human than the rest of us.

As I said earlier, I thank God for the clear Teaching of my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

Selam
 

Rastaman

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The issue of macro evolution is one of the many reasons why I am so grateful to belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Our Fathers have taught that according to Scriptural chronology (derived most notably from the Book of Jubilees, which is part of our canon) the earth is only about 7,000 years old. This time frame precludes any possibility for the process of macro evolution. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, I embrace the apostolic Faith and Teaching of my Church; and therefore I don't have to worry about being deceived by the vagaries and vicissitudes of secular science.
But why must we define science as something secular, oppose it to the "sacred" content of the Church, and thereby justify our efforts to dismiss the findings of scientific observation altogether?
I didn't and don't define science as "secular." I am careful to make a distinction between legitimate science and secular science. Secular science is capable of ascertaining truth about the laws and principles of creation; but when it arrogates to itself the sole authority to interpret and discover truth about the natural world, then it operates essentially like the leaders of a cult (i.e. the secular scientists are the "experts," and the rest of us ignorant sheep must blindly agree with whatever they tell us).

There is no contradiction between legitimate science and Christian Truth; there is often contradiction between pseudo-science and Christian truth. I define "pseudo-science" as that which operates from an atheistic presuppostion.

Selam
"Atheistic presupposition." What about the presupposition that acknowledging the role of evolution in biological and other natural processes must necessarily be atheistic?
 

PeterTheAleut

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The issue of macro evolution is one of the many reasons why I am so grateful to belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Our Fathers have taught that according to Scriptural chronology (derived most notably from the Book of Jubilees, which is part of our canon) the earth is only about 7,000 years old. This time frame precludes any possibility for the process of macro evolution. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, I embrace the apostolic Faith and Teaching of my Church; and therefore I don't have to worry about being deceived by the vagaries and vicissitudes of secular science.
But why must we define science as something secular, oppose it to the "sacred" content of the Church, and thereby justify our efforts to dismiss the findings of scientific observation altogether?
I didn't and don't define science as "secular." I am careful to make a distinction between legitimate science and secular science.
But what is legitimate science, and why is it legitimate?

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Secular science is capable of ascertaining truth about the laws and principles of creation; but when it arrogates to itself the sole authority to interpret and discover truth about the natural world, then it operates essentially like the leaders of a cult (i.e. the secular scientists are the "experts," and the rest of us ignorant sheep must blindly agree with whatever they tell us).
Do you see "secular" science arrogating to itself sole authority to discover truth about the natural world?  Even if it is, how are our "secular" scientists proclaiming themselves "experts" that we ignorant sheep must follow blindly?

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
There is no contradiction between legitimate science and Christian Truth; there is often contradiction between pseudo-science and Christian truth. I define "pseudo-science" as that which operates from an atheistic presuppostion.
So science must be based on a [Christian] theistic presupposition to be legitimate?  What is this "atheistic presupposition" you see as the foundation of what you call [illegitimate] "secular science"?
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Ukiemeister said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The issue of macro evolution is one of the many reasons why I am so grateful to belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Our Fathers have taught that according to Scriptural chronology (derived most notably from the Book of Jubilees, which is part of our canon) the earth is only about 7,000 years old. This time frame precludes any possibility for the process of macro evolution. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, I embrace the apostolic Faith and Teaching of my Church; and therefore I don't have to worry about being deceived by the vagaries and vicissitudes of secular science.
But why must we define science as something secular, oppose it to the "sacred" content of the Church, and thereby justify our efforts to dismiss the findings of scientific observation altogether?
I didn't and don't define science as "secular." I am careful to make a distinction between legitimate science and secular science. Secular science is capable of ascertaining truth about the laws and principles of creation; but when it arrogates to itself the sole authority to interpret and discover truth about the natural world, then it operates essentially like the leaders of a cult (i.e. the secular scientists are the "experts," and the rest of us ignorant sheep must blindly agree with whatever they tell us).

There is no contradiction between legitimate science and Christian Truth; there is often contradiction between pseudo-science and Christian truth. I define "pseudo-science" as that which operates from an atheistic presuppostion.

Selam
"Atheistic presupposition." What about the presupposition that acknowledging the role of evolution in biological and other natural processes must necessarily be atheistic?
Theistic evolution is the most untenable position out of the three posssibilities of a) Creation/Intelligent Design, b) Atheistic Evolution, c) Theistic Evolution. This is because the ostensible evidence for macro evolution only has merit within the framework of atheism. To allow for the existence of God is to allow for the possibility of an alternative to macro evolution. Therefore, in the light of a competing theory, the proposed evidence for the theory of Darwinian evolution is found to be sorely lacking.

Theistic evolution is a nice sounding compromise, but it is roundly rejected by leading proponents of macro evolution within the scientific community. Only by assuming an atheistic presupposition will their Darwinian theory have a chance of holding up in the light of intense scrutiny.

Christians are free to believe in theistic evolution if they want to. But it is a scientifically naive and ignorant position to hold.

Selam 
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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My repsonses are as follows in red:

PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The issue of macro evolution is one of the many reasons why I am so grateful to belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Our Fathers have taught that according to Scriptural chronology (derived most notably from the Book of Jubilees, which is part of our canon) the earth is only about 7,000 years old. This time frame precludes any possibility for the process of macro evolution. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, I embrace the apostolic Faith and Teaching of my Church; and therefore I don't have to worry about being deceived by the vagaries and vicissitudes of secular science.
But why must we define science as something secular, oppose it to the "sacred" content of the Church, and thereby justify our efforts to dismiss the findings of scientific observation altogether?
I didn't and don't define science as "secular." I am careful to make a distinction between legitimate science and secular science.
But what is legitimate science, and why is it legitimate?

Legitimate science is that which adheres to the rigid criteria of the scientific method. If you want to know what the criteria of this method are, then I refer you to Karl Hempel's book, The Philosophy of Natural Science.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Secular science is capable of ascertaining truth about the laws and principles of creation; but when it arrogates to itself the sole authority to interpret and discover truth about the natural world, then it operates essentially like the leaders of a cult (i.e. the secular scientists are the "experts," and the rest of us ignorant sheep must blindly agree with whatever they tell us).
Do you see "secular" science arrogating to itself sole authority to discover truth about the natural world?  Even if it is, how are our "secular" scientists proclaiming themselves "experts" that we ignorant sheep must follow blindly?

By rejecting prima facie the possibility for the existence of God. By refusing to allow Intelligent Design into the debate. By posturing themselves as authorities on "facts" while relegating religion to the realm of "values."  

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
There is no contradiction between legitimate science and Christian Truth; there is often contradiction between pseudo-science and Christian truth. I define "pseudo-science" as that which operates from an atheistic presuppostion.
So science must be based on a [Christian] theistic presupposition to be legitimate?  What is this "atheistic presupposition" you see as the foundation of what you call [illegitimate] "secular science"?
As I stated above, legitimate science is based on the rigid criteria of the scientific method.


Selam
 

Rastaman

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Theistic evolution is the most untenable position out of the three possibilities of a) Creation/Intelligent Design, b) Atheistic Evolution, c) Theistic Evolution.
Proof?

This is because the ostensible evidence for macro evolution only has merit within the framework of atheism.
Proof?

Darwinian evolution
Who mentioned Darwin??

Theistic evolution is a nice sounding compromise, but it is roundly rejected by leading proponents of macro evolution within the scientific community.
Those "leading proponents" are welcome to take their concerns up with God.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Ukiemeister said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Theistic evolution is the most untenable position out of the three possibilities of a) Creation/Intelligent Design, b) Atheistic Evolution, c) Theistic Evolution.
Proof?

This is because the ostensible evidence for macro evolution only has merit within the framework of atheism.
Proof?

Darwinian evolution
Who mentioned Darwin??

Theistic evolution is a nice sounding compromise, but it is roundly rejected by leading proponents of macro evolution within the scientific community.
Those "leading proponents" are welcome to take their concerns up with God.
The burden of proof is on the macro evolutionists. I accept the teachings of my Church by Faith.

But my description of the scientific community regarding the issue is accurate. Just ask them whether or not they consider theistic evolution a viable theory. You will discover that they don't.

Macro evolution is essentially synonymous with Darwinian evolution, that's why I used the term.

Selam
 

PeterTheAleut

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
My repsonses are as follows in red:

PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The issue of macro evolution is one of the many reasons why I am so grateful to belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Our Fathers have taught that according to Scriptural chronology (derived most notably from the Book of Jubilees, which is part of our canon) the earth is only about 7,000 years old. This time frame precludes any possibility for the process of macro evolution. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, I embrace the apostolic Faith and Teaching of my Church; and therefore I don't have to worry about being deceived by the vagaries and vicissitudes of secular science.
But why must we define science as something secular, oppose it to the "sacred" content of the Church, and thereby justify our efforts to dismiss the findings of scientific observation altogether?
I didn't and don't define science as "secular." I am careful to make a distinction between legitimate science and secular science.
But what is legitimate science, and why is it legitimate?

Legitimate science is that which adheres to the rigid criteria of the scientific method. If you want to know what the criteria of this method are, then I refer you to Karl Hempel's book, The Philosophy of Natural Science.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Secular science is capable of ascertaining truth about the laws and principles of creation; but when it arrogates to itself the sole authority to interpret and discover truth about the natural world, then it operates essentially like the leaders of a cult (i.e. the secular scientists are the "experts," and the rest of us ignorant sheep must blindly agree with whatever they tell us).
Do you see "secular" science arrogating to itself sole authority to discover truth about the natural world?  Even if it is, how are our "secular" scientists proclaiming themselves "experts" that we ignorant sheep must follow blindly?

By rejecting prima facie the possibility for the existence of God. By refusing to allow Intelligent Design into the debate. By posturing themselves as authorities on "facts" while relegating religion to the realm of "values."  

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
There is no contradiction between legitimate science and Christian Truth; there is often contradiction between pseudo-science and Christian truth. I define "pseudo-science" as that which operates from an atheistic presuppostion.
So science must be based on a [Christian] theistic presupposition to be legitimate?  What is this "atheistic presupposition" you see as the foundation of what you call [illegitimate] "secular science"?
As I stated above, legitimate science is based on the rigid criteria of the scientific method.


Selam
As regards Intelligent Design, why should that be allowed into the debate?  I'm familiar with Michael Behe, having read his book, Darwin's Black Box, and heard him speak live.  I'm still not convinced that Intelligent Design should be accepted as science, though.  It might make for excellent philosophy, but I don't see how it can be truly recognized as consistent with the scientific method and therefore worthy of being called science.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
By posturing themselves as authorities on "facts" while relegating religion to the realm of "values."
This argument is in fact just a rephrasing of the very statement I asked you to explain.  It therefore does not answer my question.

PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
There is no contradiction between legitimate science and Christian Truth; there is often contradiction between pseudo-science and Christian truth. I define "pseudo-science" as that which operates from an atheistic presuppostion.
So science must be based on a [Christian] theistic presupposition to be legitimate?  What is this "atheistic presupposition" you see as the foundation of what you call [illegitimate] "secular science"?

As I stated above, legitimate science is based on the rigid criteria of the scientific method.
This doesn't answer the question immediately preceding, Gebre.  What is the "atheistic presupposition" you see as the foundation of illegitimate pseudo-science?

If this "atheistic presupposition" (whatever it is) is indeed the definition of pseudo-science, then it follows logically that the opposite, true science, is defined by a foundation that is not atheistic--that is to say, theistic.  I'm not aware that Carl Hempel's naturalistic philosophy and definition of the scientific method would permit such a theistic foundation.  How, then, can you say legitimate science is defined only by strict adherence to the scientific method defined by Hempel, if it must also have a theistic foundation?  It seems contradictory to me to assert (implicitly) that science must have a theistic foundation to be legit, even though Hempel's scientific method, which you assert to be the definition of legit science, doesn't make allowance for the existence of the metaphysical (i.e., God).
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The burden of proof is on the macro evolutionists. I accept the teachings of my Church by Faith.

But my description of the scientific community regarding the issue is accurate. Just ask them whether or not they consider theistic evolution a viable theory. You will discover that they don't.

Macro evolution is essentially synonymous with Darwinian evolution, that's why I used the term.

Selam
Sometimes I think I'm the only who reads my posts.
 

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Ukiemeister said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The burden of proof is on the macro evolutionists. I accept the teachings of my Church by Faith.

But my description of the scientific community regarding the issue is accurate. Just ask them whether or not they consider theistic evolution a viable theory. You will discover that they don't.

Macro evolution is essentially synonymous with Darwinian evolution, that's why I used the term.

Selam
Sometimes I think I'm the only who reads my posts.
:laugh: :laugh:
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
My repsonses are as follows in red:

PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The issue of macro evolution is one of the many reasons why I am so grateful to belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Our Fathers have taught that according to Scriptural chronology (derived most notably from the Book of Jubilees, which is part of our canon) the earth is only about 7,000 years old. This time frame precludes any possibility for the process of macro evolution. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, I embrace the apostolic Faith and Teaching of my Church; and therefore I don't have to worry about being deceived by the vagaries and vicissitudes of secular science.
But why must we define science as something secular, oppose it to the "sacred" content of the Church, and thereby justify our efforts to dismiss the findings of scientific observation altogether?
I didn't and don't define science as "secular." I am careful to make a distinction between legitimate science and secular science.
But what is legitimate science, and why is it legitimate?

Legitimate science is that which adheres to the rigid criteria of the scientific method. If you want to know what the criteria of this method are, then I refer you to Karl Hempel's book, The Philosophy of Natural Science.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Secular science is capable of ascertaining truth about the laws and principles of creation; but when it arrogates to itself the sole authority to interpret and discover truth about the natural world, then it operates essentially like the leaders of a cult (i.e. the secular scientists are the "experts," and the rest of us ignorant sheep must blindly agree with whatever they tell us).
Do you see "secular" science arrogating to itself sole authority to discover truth about the natural world?  Even if it is, how are our "secular" scientists proclaiming themselves "experts" that we ignorant sheep must follow blindly?

By rejecting prima facie the possibility for the existence of God. By refusing to allow Intelligent Design into the debate. By posturing themselves as authorities on "facts" while relegating religion to the realm of "values."  

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
There is no contradiction between legitimate science and Christian Truth; there is often contradiction between pseudo-science and Christian truth. I define "pseudo-science" as that which operates from an atheistic presuppostion.
So science must be based on a [Christian] theistic presupposition to be legitimate?  What is this "atheistic presupposition" you see as the foundation of what you call [illegitimate] "secular science"?
As I stated above, legitimate science is based on the rigid criteria of the scientific method.


Selam
As regards Intelligent Design, why should that be allowed into the debate?  I'm familiar with Michael Behe, having read his book, Darwin's Black Box, and heard him speak live.  I'm still not convinced that Intelligent Design should be accepted as science, though.  It might make for excellent philosophy, but I don't see how it can be truly recognized as consistent with the scientific method and therefore worthy of being called science.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
By posturing themselves as authorities on "facts" while relegating religion to the realm of "values."
This argument is in fact just a rephrasing of the very statement I asked you to explain.  It therefore does not answer my question.

PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
There is no contradiction between legitimate science and Christian Truth; there is often contradiction between pseudo-science and Christian truth. I define "pseudo-science" as that which operates from an atheistic presuppostion.
So science must be based on a [Christian] theistic presupposition to be legitimate?  What is this "atheistic presupposition" you see as the foundation of what you call [illegitimate] "secular science"?

As I stated above, legitimate science is based on the rigid criteria of the scientific method.
This doesn't answer the question immediately preceding, Gebre.  What is the "atheistic presupposition" you see as the foundation of illegitimate pseudo-science?

If this "atheistic presupposition" (whatever it is) is indeed the definition of pseudo-science, then it follows logically that the opposite, true science, is defined by a foundation that is not atheistic--that is to say, theistic.  I'm not aware that Carl Hempel's naturalistic philosophy and definition of the scientific method would permit such a theistic foundation.  How, then, can you say legitimate science is defined only by strict adherence to the scientific method defined by Hempel, if it must also have a theistic foundation?  It seems contradictory to me to assert (implicitly) that science must have a theistic foundation to be legit, even though Hempel's scientific method, which you assert to be the definition of legit science, doesn't make allowance for the existence of the metaphysical (i.e., God).
I won't discuss this further with you unless you stop making non sequiturs in regards to my statements. My statements are clear, and you need to interpret them at face value.

Do some more research on the concensus of the scientific community regarding atheistic evolution, and then get back to me.

Selam

 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Ukiemeister said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The burden of proof is on the macro evolutionists. I accept the teachings of my Church by Faith.

But my description of the scientific community regarding the issue is accurate. Just ask them whether or not they consider theistic evolution a viable theory. You will discover that they don't.

Macro evolution is essentially synonymous with Darwinian evolution, that's why I used the term.

Selam
Sometimes I think I'm the only who reads my posts.
Clarification please?

If you are making fun of me, at least let me know why. ???

Forgive me, but I really don't have time to read through 32 pages of this debate. As I've stated earlier, I accept the teachings of my Church by Faith. I have also pointed out the logical doubts I have about macro evolution, as well as the moral problems that the theory produces. But no one has addressed these things; so I really must move on now unless my points are fairly addressed. I'm not trying to be rude. Free will means feedom of belief, so believe whatever you want. You all are still my brothers and sisters. :)



Selam
 

AlexanderOfBergamo

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I think he means "environment" in its largest meaning as "environmental conditions", such as weather, geographical area, involved ecosystems cohabiting the same area, "social" life within a species and with other species, etc.
 

AlexanderOfBergamo

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Dear Gebre,
you are so lucky your church gives a definitive approach to the matter. It is difficult to co-exist with an infinity ways to believe in the origins of life, especially when they offer different theological conclusions on our existence. It's unlucky you Ethiopian Orthodox aren't Dyophysite, I would have been a member of yours in a while.

In Christ,  Alex
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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AlexanderOfBergamo said:
Dear Gebre,
you are so lucky your church gives a definitive approach to the matter. It is difficult to co-exist with an infinity ways to believe in the origins of life, especially when they offer different theological conclusions on our existence. It's unlucky you Ethiopian Orthodox aren't Dyophysite, I would have been a member of yours in a while.

In Christ,   Alex
The good news is that I think we are coming closer and closer to reconciling our Christological doctrines. It appears to be more a matter of semantics than a real theological difference. Let's keep praying for unity! :)

Selam
 

AlexanderOfBergamo

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
AlexanderOfBergamo said:
Dear Gebre,
you are so lucky your church gives a definitive approach to the matter. It is difficult to co-exist with an infinity ways to believe in the origins of life, especially when they offer different theological conclusions on our existence. It's unlucky you Ethiopian Orthodox aren't Dyophysite, I would have been a member of yours in a while.

In Christ,   Alex
The good news is that I think we are coming closer and closer to reconciling our Christological doctrines. It appears to be more a matter of semantics than a real theological difference. Let's keep praying for unity! :)

Selam
Indeed! Let's pray for this, as Jesus did: Ut unum sint!
 

AlexanderOfBergamo

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Now I have a little question for you, brother...
you wrote in a previous post that the Ethiopian Orthodox say that the world was created 7000 years ago, due to the chronology of some of your Ethiopian-specific books (as the Book of Jubilees), so I wonder: which OT chronology does your Book of Genesis contain? Is it like the LXX (which puts creation further in the past) or as in the Massoretic Text (which would agree with Jubilees)? does your Genesis version list Cainan, son of Arphacsad and father of Selah, as the LXX, Jubilees and st. Luke do, or is he omitted? I know this risks to go a little bit off topic, but the matter of genealogies has always been interesting in my personal studies on the textual history of the Scriptures.

In Christ,   Alex
 

Heorhij

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jnorm888 said:
As far as falsification goes, I will have to roll with Imre Lakatos, and Paul Feyerabend.
That seems a bit self-contradicting because Lakatos did not completely deny the role of falcification in science, while Feyerabend did. Lakatos's main idea is that in a particular period of the development of science, "research programs" form, each of them having a "hard core" (central hypothesis) and a "protective belt" (supplementary assumptions). An individual scientist can make a choice to question the "hard core," but then he/she becomes actually affiliated to another research program. Lakatos called this "negative heuristics" and used the example of Tycho Brahe who excluded himself from the Copernican research program by questioning its "hard core" - the idea that the planets orbit the Sun and that the planet Earth also orbits the sun. On the other hand, questioning, testing, falsifying the "protective belt" is "positive heuristics" that benefits any research program. For example, Kepler falsified the idea that planetary orbits are circular, introducing ellyptic orbits instead. 

Feyerabend viewed scientific falsification as yet another sort of "trickery and propaganda," sticking to his main point that all science is an anarchistic, voluntaristic, subjective pursuit.
 
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