- May 24, 2004
- Reaction score
If I seem to interpret St. Athanasius "in the light of evolutionary philosophy" (I don't even know that that means), then I apologize for having you mistake my intentions.Jonathan Gress said:@ Mina:
Thanks for the info about beneficial mutations. Let's talk about that more when Opus gets back.
Regarding patristics, yes I recall you relied a lot on your particular interpretation of St Athanasius to support your theory that evolutionism is compatible with the Fathers. My main problem with that is that you can definitely show St Athanasius himself believed in literal special creation, like the following (quoted in Fr Seraphim Rose's book Genesis, Creation and Early Man, chapter 1):
So, your reading of evolutionism, and in particular of death before the Fall, into Athanasius is not in fact explicitly made by the saint, but you have attempted to fit his words into your beliefs. Given the consensus among other great Fathers like St Basil and St Chrysostom that the original Creation was entirely incorruptible, this leads me to interpret St Athanasius in the light of them, rather than in the "light" of evolutionary philosophy. The corruptible nature that Man fell into after expulsion from Paradise is still then a consequence of the Fall, as is the fall of all creation into corruption, and St Athanasius' words do not undermine that.Though Adam only was formed out of earth, yet in him was involved succession of the whole race.
The huge fuss over St. Athanasius I believe was whether the death of animals existed before Adam's creation or not. I never debated to show St. Athanasius as an "evolutionist." In fact, I never debated any church father as an evolutionist. In addition, I have quoted parts of St. Athanasius where he makes scientific mistakes to make a point on Church fathers and the understanding of science of their times, if we can properly even call it "science."
Neither have I denied the special creation that is in man. I may disagree at how this may have come about, but I agree with St. Athanasius that only man was made in the image and likeness of God, and that only man was made immortal by grace unlike all other creation in that world.
I would like to know where the quote St. Seraphim used comes from in its full context. Biblically speaking, animals also were formed from the earth as well, so that one sentence doesn't really make any sense. If I'm not mistaken, I believe some Church fathers believed that all animals were formed from the earth. Only man was "breathed" into.