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

HabteSelassie

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

celticfan1888 said:
I was just curious to read about everyone's opinions of evolution. Whether for or against, and I'd like to find out why/why not.

I am an evolutionary biology major, so obviously I do believe in evolution. I  believe that the mechanisms of evolution: Natural Selection, Gene Flow, Biased Mutation, and Genetic Drift easily describe how it works. Also, I do not think that the concept of evolution contradicts Orthodoxy in any way. If anything I think that learning about evolution helps me better understand how God does things.

Looking forward to your opinions.
In the EO conception, I suppose that loosely we could associate the mechanisms of evolution (both cosmic and biological Fundamental Forces of the Cosmos) as being an activity of the Energies of God, and in the OO we could say these are the activity of the Holy Spirit, but we must accept one fundamental truth, the Fathers do not necessarily promote the concept changing God's order, so we have to reform our idea of evolution.  The mechanistic flow we see in our explanations of evolution, to fit with the Church, would have to be seen as eternally part of God's creative Will, and not randomly changing.  The Hindu cosmology of Maya is a good typology for this kind of thinking, the entire of creation is of one essence, Existence, and so even the differing forms and shapes of created things are not permanent so much as just temporal manifestations of the inner essence fitting the circumstances of its environment.  So if we think of our observations of Evolution as not being the result of random mutations or cosmic coincidences, but rather direct, ordered, and precise acts of God, following a designed and eternally cohesive plan, then Evolution as we observe it can be said to fit into Orthodox cosmology.

For example, the Six stages of evolution can easily fit into the first six days of Creation within the Genesis narratives if ones examine both systems conceptually rather than literally.   If we think of the first stage of the creation of Light as being synomous with the first stage of the Big Bang, the initial expansion of the Universe and follow from there we can loosely harmonize the both the Bible and the science theories.  But we must be careful not become Thomas Jefferson deists about it, we must ever embrace Eternally Creating God, hence the term Living God (ie, Life-Giving God).

The fundamental premise of the purely scientific approach to evolution is utterly flawed, heretical, and rightfully condemned, because it does not suggest any sort of Order aside from that of coincidence.  The orders of the Universe according to this model are purely random results of throwing every single dice roll at the same time and seeing what combination sticks, and those which do not cease to exist.  Why is the Universe exactly the way it is today, because the previous versions were natural failures and ceased existing where as the laws and orders of our current system serendipitously worked themselves out like two and two naturally equals four.

This is what the Fathers condemn.  If we rather see each phase and explanation of Evolution as being a shadow revealing the economic activities of an Invisible God, as the Incense smoke reveals the forces of wind, so to do study the orders of Creation reveal the underlying Will and intention of the Creator.  It is the fundamental forces of the universe, gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces which combine in their particular flavors to create the conditions of the Universe as we exist in it today.  The Grace of God could be said to be the underlying force which creates, sustains, and empowers these material forces to shape our world.  How gravity or weak nuclear forces keep atomic structures together to their design rather than chaotic disintegrating into nothingness is the Grace of God, what we see is just the shadow caused by the original force, the feeling of the breeze felt in the wind.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie
 

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Good post, except: "The fundamental premise of the purely scientific approach to evolution is utterly flawed, heretical, and rightfully condemned, because it does not suggest any sort of Order aside from that of coincidence."

That's not the scientific approach to evolution. It's the misapplied epistemological approach to something that loosely resembles evolution.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
LOL! So far, the repsonses from the pro-evolutionist camp are just as I predicted.  ;)


Selam
No need to be snarky.
I'm pretty sure I answered his first question and his second was related to ethics, not biology. XD
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Who and what determines who and what is "fully human"?
I'm pretty sure God determines what is human, not who, because every "who" is a human. As for us determining who is human, I can determine a human as well as you can. Humans have souls and can love.

I'm interested to see if you just blatantly ignore this response as well...
 

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HabteSelassie said:
In the EO conception, I suppose that loosely we could associate the mechanisms of evolution (both cosmic and biological Fundamental Forces of the Cosmos) as being an activity of the Energies of God, and in the OO we could say these are the activity of the Holy Spirit, but we must accept one fundamental truth, the Fathers do not necessarily promote the concept changing God's order, so we have to reform our idea of evolution.  The mechanistic flow we see in our explanations of evolution, to fit with the Church, would have to be seen as eternally part of God's creative Will, and not randomly changing.  The Hindu cosmology of Maya is a good typology for this kind of thinking, the entire of creation is of one essence, Existence, and so even the differing forms and shapes of created things are not permanent so much as just temporal manifestations of the inner essence fitting the circumstances of its environment.  So if we think of our observations of Evolution as not being the result of random mutations or cosmic coincidences, but rather direct, ordered, and precise acts of God, following a designed and eternally cohesive plan, then Evolution as we observe it can be said to fit into Orthodox cosmology.
I agree with you, that's why I believe in only a evolutionary model that follows God's will, not random genetics.

HabteSelassie said:
For example, the Six stages of evolution can easily fit into the first six days of Creation within the Genesis narratives if ones examine both systems conceptually rather than literally.   If we think of the first stage of the creation of Light as being synomous with the first stage of the Big Bang, the initial expansion of the Universe and follow from there we can loosely harmonize the both the Bible and the science theories.  But we must be careful not become Thomas Jefferson deists about it, we must ever embrace Eternally Creating God, hence the term Living God (ie, Life-Giving God).

The fundamental premise of the purely scientific approach to evolution is utterly flawed, heretical, and rightfully condemned, because it does not suggest any sort of Order aside from that of coincidence.  The orders of the Universe according to this model are purely random results of throwing every single dice roll at the same time and seeing what combination sticks, and those which do not cease to exist.  Why is the Universe exactly the way it is today, because the previous versions were natural failures and ceased existing where as the laws and orders of our current system serendipitously worked themselves out like two and two naturally equals four.

This is what the Fathers condemn.  If we rather see each phase and explanation of Evolution as being a shadow revealing the economic activities of an Invisible God, as the Incense smoke reveals the forces of wind, so to do study the orders of Creation reveal the underlying Will and intention of the Creator.  It is the fundamental forces of the universe, gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces which combine in their particular flavors to create the conditions of the Universe as we exist in it today.  The Grace of God could be said to be the underlying force which creates, sustains, and empowers these material forces to shape our world.  How gravity or weak nuclear forces keep atomic structures together to their design rather than chaotic disintegrating into nothingness is the Grace of God, what we see is just the shadow caused by the original force, the feeling of the breeze felt in the wind.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie
I'm pretty sure I agree with you 100%, with the exception of:

[quote author=NicholasMyra]

Good post, except: "The fundamental premise of the purely scientific approach to evolution is utterly flawed, heretical, and rightfully condemned, because it does not suggest any sort of Order aside from that of coincidence."

That's not the scientific approach to evolution. It's the misapplied epistemological approach to something that loosely resembles evolution.[/quote]

What NicholasMyra says is true.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
celticfan1888 said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Well, this issue has been discussed at excruciating length on other threads, but I will briefly address the "theistic evolution" issue:

1. From a purely Orthodox theological standpoint, Darwinian / Macro Evolution is blasphemy, because evolution makes God (rather than sin) the author of death.

2. Darwinian / Macro Evolution has dire moral and social implications that run contrary to the Orthodox Christian worldview. If evolution is true, then who or what decides who and what is "fully human". E.G., was Dred Scott "fully human"? Were 6,000,000 Jews in Nazi Germany "fully human"? Is an unborn child "fully human"?Within the framework of evolution, these questions cannot be objectively answered.

I have yet to encounter any evolutionist that can adequately address either one of these points. Sadly, there are some Orthodox Christians who have fallen prey to the evolution propaganda. But these two issues remain unanswered, and until someone can thoroughly and satisfactorily address these problems, then I will forever reject evolution as a brilliant but demonic hoax.

Please remember: however far this thread digresses, continue to bring the proponents of evolution back to these two basic questions. They will try to intimidate you with scientific jargon and belittle your views because "you aren't a scientist, so you can't intelligently talk about the subject." But keep asking them to address these two basic issues. It will be quite interesting to see the scientific, philosophical, and theological gymanastics to which they resort in order to preserve their pet theory.
1) LOL, care to explain? Because you can believe in evolution perfectly well and know that death for man did not enter the world until the first sin, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned" Romans 5:12. It is referring to death entering the world for man, that doesn't include animals my friend. You can believe that man evolved from ape (through God's will) and that the first humans sinned, causing death for man. Also, you can believe in evolution for animals and that man came into being under the literal process described in Genesis at a certain point of the earth's existance.

2) Because I believe in evolution you are saying that I do not know what a soul is? Humans are special from normal animals as we have human souls. THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EVOLUTION.

Do you know that all evolution is, is the change over time in one or more inherited traits found in populations of organisms.

I do not mean any offense, but your arguments are rather moot.

But nothing you said here actually addresses the questions I raised. Please stay on topic.


Selam
No, because you have a very narrow-minded view of evolution. I just explained how they can co-exist, if you think you can disprove me go ahead and try.

I answered #1, and #2 isn't a question about evolution at all, it's a question about secular views of the soul.

Please don't try to back out of your points now.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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NicholasMyra said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
LOL! So far, the responses from the pro-evolutionist camp are just as I predicted.  ;)


Selam
No need to be snarky.


What is "snarky"? Let me guess, that's the quality resemblent of the intermediary species of a snail evolving into a shark. Sorry, couldn't resist.


Selam
 

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celticfan1888 said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Who and what determines who and what is "fully human"?
I'm pretty sure God determines what is human, not who, because every "who" is a human. As for us determining who is human, I can determine a human as well as you can. Humans have souls and can love.

I'm interested to see if you just blatantly ignore this response as well...

Let's stick with who and what God says is human, not what you or I or evolutionary science says is human. As I asked earlier, was Dred Scott "fully human"? Are unborn children "fully human"? You and I may say, "yes," because of our faith. But if evolution is factual, then we have no scientific basis for determining who and what is "fully human". This pits "facts" against "faith," and reduces our Orthodoxy to mere superstition.

BTW, I am not ignoring your responses; I'm just waiting for you to provide a cogent answer to the two questions I posed at the outset. Of course, you PM'd me with the typical and anticipated response of "you need to read up on evolutionary theory." That seems to be the only argument you guys can come up with.

Selam
 

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NicholasMyra said:
Good post, except: "The fundamental premise of the purely scientific approach to evolution is utterly flawed, heretical, and rightfully condemned, because it does not suggest any sort of Order aside from that of coincidence."

That's not the scientific approach to evolution. It's the misapplied epistemological approach to something that loosely resembles evolution.
But if you despose the existence of God, then naturally you must concede that it is a randomized order of chain of events that brought about human beings. Terms like "natural selection" assumes that we have any insight into the actual order of which that has occured, and presupposes a lack of divine intervention.

Let me ask you this, can evolution be exposed to the scientific method, can we empirically test it in our environment. Or does this leave it in the realm of archeological discoveries and theories?
 

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HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

celticfan1888 said:
I was just curious to read about everyone's opinions of evolution. Whether for or against, and I'd like to find out why/why not.

I am an evolutionary biology major, so obviously I do believe in evolution. I  believe that the mechanisms of evolution: Natural Selection, Gene Flow, Biased Mutation, and Genetic Drift easily describe how it works. Also, I do not think that the concept of evolution contradicts Orthodoxy in any way. If anything I think that learning about evolution helps me better understand how God does things.

Looking forward to your opinions.
In the EO conception, I suppose that loosely we could associate the mechanisms of evolution (both cosmic and biological Fundamental Forces of the Cosmos) as being an activity of the Energies of God, and in the OO we could say these are the activity of the Holy Spirit, but we must accept one fundamental truth, the Fathers do not necessarily promote the concept changing God's order, so we have to reform our idea of evolution.  The mechanistic flow we see in our explanations of evolution, to fit with the Church, would have to be seen as eternally part of God's creative Will, and not randomly changing.  The Hindu cosmology of Maya is a good typology for this kind of thinking, the entire of creation is of one essence, Existence, and so even the differing forms and shapes of created things are not permanent so much as just temporal manifestations of the inner essence fitting the circumstances of its environment.  So if we think of our observations of Evolution as not being the result of random mutations or cosmic coincidences, but rather direct, ordered, and precise acts of God, following a designed and eternally cohesive plan, then Evolution as we observe it can be said to fit into Orthodox cosmology.

For example, the Six stages of evolution can easily fit into the first six days of Creation within the Genesis narratives if ones examine both systems conceptually rather than literally.   If we think of the first stage of the creation of Light as being synomous with the first stage of the Big Bang, the initial expansion of the Universe and follow from there we can loosely harmonize the both the Bible and the science theories.  But we must be careful not become Thomas Jefferson deists about it, we must ever embrace Eternally Creating God, hence the term Living God (ie, Life-Giving God).

The fundamental premise of the purely scientific approach to evolution is utterly flawed, heretical, and rightfully condemned, because it does not suggest any sort of Order aside from that of coincidence.  The orders of the Universe according to this model are purely random results of throwing every single dice roll at the same time and seeing what combination sticks, and those which do not cease to exist.  Why is the Universe exactly the way it is today, because the previous versions were natural failures and ceased existing where as the laws and orders of our current system serendipitously worked themselves out like two and two naturally equals four.

This is what the Fathers condemn.  If we rather see each phase and explanation of Evolution as being a shadow revealing the economic activities of an Invisible God, as the Incense smoke reveals the forces of wind, so to do study the orders of Creation reveal the underlying Will and intention of the Creator.  It is the fundamental forces of the universe, gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces which combine in their particular flavors to create the conditions of the Universe as we exist in it today.  The Grace of God could be said to be the underlying force which creates, sustains, and empowers these material forces to shape our world.  How gravity or weak nuclear forces keep atomic structures together to their design rather than chaotic disintegrating into nothingness is the Grace of God, what we see is just the shadow caused by the original force, the feeling of the breeze felt in the wind.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie

This is an intriguing and well thought out post. However, I must point out that it is still highly speculative. While I admire the sincere desire to allow for a reconciliation of evolution and Orthodoxy, we must be careful not to adopt fanciful theories as theological truth. Such an approach can too easily sow the seeds of heresy.

Our Ethiopian Tewahedo Fathers have taught that the earth is only 7,000 years old. Calculating from the book of Jubilees, Our Fathers have proved that the age of the earth precludes the possibility for Darwinian evolution. Let us not parse their words or try to impose the concensus of post-modern scientific theories upon their Teachings. There is wisdom, truth, and stability in the foundations they have laid for us. Let us not deviate from them, even if the world laughs at us.


Selam
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Let's stick with who and what God says is human, not what you or I or evolutionary science says is human. As I asked earlier, was Dred Scott "fully human"? Are unborn children "fully human"? You and I may say, "yes," because of our faith. But if evolution is factual, then we have no scientific basis for determining who and what is "fully human". This pits "facts" against "faith," and reduces our Orthodoxy to mere superstition.
Precisely this. Can science rationally and logically explain an unborn child as fully human, at what point of conception does it become human? Or can we scientifically verify what it is to be fully human?

If we descended from a primordial soup, for example, what stops me from viewing other human beings as nothing more than evolved primoridal soups born with silver spoons? If we do not know the exact origin of man we will never know how to correctly define them. The Bible tells us that the origin of man was made in the image and likeness of God, and as I said he is something more wonderful than just an evolutionary mechanism from a primate.
 

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celticfan1888 said:
I was just curious to read about everyone's opinions of evolution. Whether for or against, and I'd like to find out why/why not.

I am an evolutionary biology major, so obviously I do believe in evolution. I  believe that the mechanisms of evolution: Natural Selection, Gene Flow, Biased Mutation, and Genetic Drift easily describe how it works. Also, I do not think that the concept of evolution contradicts Orthodoxy in any way. If anything I think that learning about evolution helps me better understand how God does things.

Looking forward to your opinions.
The best place to look for answers to your question: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4959.0.html

In fact, this thread is very likely going to be merged into that Religious Topics sticky.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
celticfan1888 said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Who and what determines who and what is "fully human"?
I'm pretty sure God determines what is human, not who, because every "who" is a human. As for us determining who is human, I can determine a human as well as you can. Humans have souls and can love.

I'm interested to see if you just blatantly ignore this response as well...

Let's stick with who and what God says is human, not what you or I or evolutionary science says is human. As I asked earlier, was Dred Scott "fully human"? Are unborn children "fully human"? You and I may say, "yes," because of our faith. But if evolution is factual, then we have no scientific basis for determining who and what is "fully human". This pits "facts" against "faith," and reduces our Orthodoxy to mere superstition.

BTW, I am not ignoring your responses; I'm just waiting for you to provide a cogent answer to the two questions I posed at the outset. Of course, you PM'd me with the typical and anticipated response of "you need to read up on evolutionary theory." That seems to be the only argument you guys can come up with.

Selam
I did answer your question, I'm sorry you didn't understand my answer. Your first question I did indeed answer. Your second question is has very little to do with evolution.

You aren't comprehending me, science answers only the earthly questions, The Church has the answer to the spiritual questions.

The arguments I made you either A) Ignored or B) Didnt comprehend. Which was it? I think it was B, and the only way you'll ever learn is to read up on something before you try to talk out of your butt and make things up.

If you believe in evolution and Christianity, as I do, then why do I need a scientific base to say who is human? Evolution is not about determining who is human.

No, we don't know exactly how evolution works yet, but we have WAY more proof for it than we do against it.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Our Ethiopian Tewahedo Fathers have taught that the earth is only 7,000 years old. Calculating from the book of Jubilees, Our Fathers have proved that the age of the earth precludes the possibility for Darwinian evolution. Let us not parse their words or try to impose the concensus of post-modern scientific theories upon their Teachings. There is wisdom, truth, and stability in the foundations they have laid for us. Let us not deviate from them, even if the world laughs at us.
Stop saying Darwinian evolution, that's a pretty outdated version of evolution.

No offense, but your "Ethiopian Tewahedo Fathers" are mistaken about the age of the earth.
 

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Aposphet said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Let's stick with who and what God says is human, not what you or I or evolutionary science says is human. As I asked earlier, was Dred Scott "fully human"? Are unborn children "fully human"? You and I may say, "yes," because of our faith. But if evolution is factual, then we have no scientific basis for determining who and what is "fully human". This pits "facts" against "faith," and reduces our Orthodoxy to mere superstition.
Precisely this. Can science rationally and logically explain an unborn child as fully human, at what point of conception does it become human? Or can we scientifically verify what it is to be fully human?

If we descended from a primordial soup, for example, what stops me from viewing other human beings as nothing more than evolved primoridal soups born with silver spoons?
You are entering into the realm of philosophy, not evolution. We are discussing evolution here.  :police:

If we do not know the exact origin of man we will never know how to correctly define them. The Bible tells us that the origin of man was made in the image and likeness of God, and as I said he is something more wonderful than just an evolutionary mechanism from a primate.
But if God used evolution as the mechanism to create man how is that a problem? God does works through natural means as well, think about that.
 

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I'm going to say this to make sure you know from where I am coming, the proof I have that death existed before man was created: Genesis 29-20  And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.

There had to have been death before man, as beasts ate other beasts. There may have also been death during man's existance, and before their fall, when Adam and Eve would've eaten beast (which they were inteded to do).

 

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celticfan1888 said:
There may have also been death during man's existance, and before their fall, when Adam and Eve would've eaten beast (which they were inteded to do).
Adam and Eve were vegetarians.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Well, this issue has been discussed at excruciating length on other threads, but I will briefly address the "theistic evolution" issue:

1. From a purely Orthodox theological standpoint, Darwinian / Macro Evolution is blasphemy, because evolution makes God (rather than sin) the author of death.
Are you willing to believe that there's much about death that you don't know yet?

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
2. Darwinian / Macro Evolution has dire moral and social implications that run contrary to the Orthodox Christian worldview. If evolution is true, then who or what decides who and what is "fully human". E.G., was Dred Scott "fully human"? Were 6,000,000 Jews in Nazi Germany "fully human"? Is an unborn child "fully human"?Within the framework of evolution, these questions cannot be objectively answered.
You do realize that this is the realm of philosophy and that you're expecting science to address philosophical issues, which by its very nature science is not qualified to answer? That doesn't invalidate the science of evolution, however.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I have yet to encounter any evolutionist that can adequately address either one of these points. Sadly, there are some Orthodox Christians who have fallen prey to the evolution propaganda. But these two issues remain unanswered, and until someone can thoroughly and satisfactorily address these problems, then I will forever reject evolution as a brilliant but demonic hoax.
Actually, your problem is that you expect science to answer philosophical and anthropological questions that are far outside the proper scope of science.
 

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celticfan1888 said:
I'm going to say this to make sure you know from where I am coming, the proof I have that death existed before man was created: Genesis 29-20  And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.
I hate to say it, CelticFan, because I recognize at least the plausibility of the theory of evolution, but that passage is not proof at all that beasts ate other beasts. If anything, that passage appears to present a world where ALL animals were vegetarians.
 
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PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I have yet to encounter any evolutionist that can adequately address either one of these points. Sadly, there are some Orthodox Christians who have fallen prey to the evolution propaganda. But these two issues remain unanswered, and until someone can thoroughly and satisfactorily address these problems, then I will forever reject evolution as a brilliant but demonic hoax.
Actually, your problem is that you expect science to answer philosophical and anthropological questions that are far outside the proper scope of science.
This is a trap far too many fall into, including scientists themselves.
 
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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
NicholasMyra said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
LOL! So far, the responses from the pro-evolutionist camp are just as I predicted.  ;)


Selam
No need to be snarky.


What is "snarky"? Let me guess, that's the quality resemblent of the intermediary species of a snail evolving into a shark. Sorry, couldn't resist.


Selam
Snail evolves into Snarky at level 16 and learns watergun.
 

Achronos

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What I was arguing against is "evolutionism" in contrast to scientific evolution. The former involves an unacceptable philosophy or ideology.

Most leading Darwinists today agree that Darwinism cannot be used to support an ethical system. Even Dawkins said he would not want to live in a Darwinian society. Concerning the opinion that says Darwinism is "the only legitimate outlook", such can be maintained by those who have not dealt seriously with the philosophical errors in the Darwinian system, if they are even cognizant of the critical issues involved.

Furthermore, by "evolutionism" I mean Darwinism but obviously not evolution per se, Chesterton said "If evolution simply means that a positive thing called an ape turned very slowly into a positive thing called a man, then it is stingless for the most orthodox." Here he is speaking of a fundamental truth in evolution theory -- common descent and speciation -- but not to the Darwinian explanation of it with its faulty notion of the biological continuum in which all necessary distinctions disappear into a grey flux. To say that the only legitimate outlook is one in which the theory eliminates "things" and the minds ability to know the nature of things is to settle for a radical skepticism and the underming of science itself.

But we should not be surprised at this with the Darwinians as the Copenhagen school of quantum mechanics destroyed also reality and the mind's ability to know with its philosophy or ideology of QM. Neils Bohr finally admitted that in his view we don't know the real world, and that science is only what we say about the world. This degeneration into solipsism is so trendy. I think I will pass on it.
 

Achronos

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BTW there is absolutely no scientific reason or evidence to indicate that death was not a natural process for flora and fauna from the commencement of life on earth. "All" the evidence shows that non-human life was pretty as it is now with generation, reproduction and death as part of God's plan. The fossil record shows micro-organism for instance, that existed eons before man appeared. (Man appeared rather late on the scence). If bacteria, just to take one conclusive example, never died, at the rate at which they multiply, the world would very rapidly have been deluged...and then what?

Carnivorous and omnivorous animals, as we know from the fossil record, also existed long before Homo sapiens. What does one do next, arbitrarily deny any validity to palaeontology, archaeology and other related sciences just to maintain a questionable, personal interpretation of Scripture. Hence, it not from sound reasoning or science that one asserts that death was not a natural process, but the position is derived solely from a faulty interpretation of Scripture.

Ideas consistent with evolution were held by a number of early Christian writers such as St. Gregory of Nyssa and his school, and St. Augustine with the concept of "rationes seminales". St. Augustine stated the following:
"For it is one thing to form and direct the creature from the most profound and ultimate pole of causation, and He Who does this is alone the Creator, God; but it is quite another thing to apply some operation from without in proportion to the power and faculties assigned by Him, so that at this time or that, and in this way or that, the thing created may emerge. All these things, indeed, have originally and primarily already been created in a kind of web of the elements; but they make their appearance when they get the opportunity. For just as mothers are pregnant with their young, so the world is pregnant with things that are to come into being, things which are not created in it, except from the highest essence, where nothing either springs up or dies, has a beginning or an end."

St. Augustine also warned against interpreting the Bible in a way that contradicts what science and philosophy know to be true:
"We must also take heed, in handling the doctrine of Moses. That we altogether avoid saying positively and confidently anything which contradicts manifest experiences and the reasoning of philosophy or the other sciences. For since every truth is in agreement with all other truth, the truth of Holy Writ cannot be contrary to the solid reasons and experiences of human knowledge."

St. Augustine warned against the misuse of Scripture by those Christians in his day who lectured the naturalists on natural phenomena. His warning in the fourth century aptly applies to the current problem of denying what science knows to be fact. Accordingly, St. Augustine stated the following warning:

“It very often happens that there is some question as to the earth and the sky, or the other elements of this world—respecting which one who is not a Christian has knowledge derived from most certain reasoning or observation, and it is very disgraceful and mischievous and of all things to be carefully avoided, that a Christian speaking of such matters as being according to the Christian Scriptures, should be heard by an unbeliever talking such nonsense that the unbeliever perceiving him to be as wide from the mark as east is from west, can hardly restrain himself from laughing.

“And the real evil is not that a man is subjected to derision because of his error, but it is that to profane eyes, our authors (that is to say, the sacred authors) are regarded as having had such thoughts; and are also exposed to blame and scorn upon the score of ignorance, to the greatest possible misfortune of people whom we wish to save. For, in fine, these profane people happen upon a Christian busy making mistakes on the subject which they know perfectly; how, then, will they believe these holy books? How will they believe in the resurrection of the dead and in the hope of life eternal, and in the kingdom of heaven, when, according to an erroneous assumption, these books seem to them to have as their object those very things which they, the profane, know by direct experience or by calculation which admits of no doubt?

“It is impossible to say what vexation and sorrow prudent Christians meet with through these presumptuous and bold spirits who, taken to task one day for their silly and false opinion, and realizing themselves on the point of being convicted by men who are not obedient to the authority of our holy books, wish to defend their so thoughtless, so bold, and so manifestly false. For they then commence to bring forward as a proof precisely our holy books, or again they attribute to them from memory that which seems to support their opinion, and they quote numerous passages, understanding neither the texts they quote, nor the subject about which they are making statement.” http://presentconcerns.blogspot.com/2009_09_01_archive.html

It is not a correct use of terms to equate Darwinism with macroevolution in contrast to microevolution. In evolutionary biology macroevolution is used to refer to any evolutionary change at or above the level of species. Based on the content of the "Origin of the Species", the full title of the book is a misnomer. In regard to macroevolution at the species level, i.e. speciation, we can see conclusive evidence of that in the field. "Ring species" are a good example. If you are familiar with the concept, the European herring gull is living, visible proof of speciation. Evidence for macroevolution at the higher taxonomic levels is thin. Speciation is accepted even by some ID theorists such as Michael Denton, who of course can hardly be called a Darwinian.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Well, this issue has been discussed at excruciating length on other threads, but I will briefly address the "theistic evolution" issue:

1. From a purely Orthodox theological standpoint, Darwinian / Macro Evolution is blasphemy, because evolution makes God (rather than sin) the author of death.
Are you willing to believe that there's much about death that you don't know yet?

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
2. Darwinian / Macro Evolution has dire moral and social implications that run contrary to the Orthodox Christian worldview. If evolution is true, then who or what decides who and what is "fully human". E.G., was Dred Scott "fully human"? Were 6,000,000 Jews in Nazi Germany "fully human"? Is an unborn child "fully human"?Within the framework of evolution, these questions cannot be objectively answered.
You do realize that this is the realm of philosophy and that you're expecting science to address philosophical issues, which by its very nature science is not qualified to answer? That doesn't invalidate the science of evolution, however.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I have yet to encounter any evolutionist that can adequately address either one of these points. Sadly, there are some Orthodox Christians who have fallen prey to the evolution propaganda. But these two issues remain unanswered, and until someone can thoroughly and satisfactorily address these problems, then I will forever reject evolution as a brilliant but demonic hoax.
Actually, your problem is that you expect science to answer philosophical and anthropological questions that are far outside the proper scope of science.

Before this thread was merged, we were specifically addressing the comaptibility of evolution with Orthodoxy. I posed two fundamental questions in that context which have yet to be adequately addressed. I also must explain that I do not buy into the fact/value dichotomy that you are trying to establish here. As Orthodox Christians, we must view all science and philosophy in the light of the Teachings and Traditions of the Church. So, I do not accept the false premise that science deals only with "facts," while religion deals only with faith. True faith is not afraid of legitimate science, and legitimate science does not undermine true faith. As Orthodox Christians, we cannot ignore the philosophical implications of science. And regarding evoltuionary theory, I will continue to point out that it is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verified scientific law.


Selam
 

PeterTheAleut

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Well, this issue has been discussed at excruciating length on other threads, but I will briefly address the "theistic evolution" issue:

1. From a purely Orthodox theological standpoint, Darwinian / Macro Evolution is blasphemy, because evolution makes God (rather than sin) the author of death.
Are you willing to believe that there's much about death that you don't know yet?

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
2. Darwinian / Macro Evolution has dire moral and social implications that run contrary to the Orthodox Christian worldview. If evolution is true, then who or what decides who and what is "fully human". E.G., was Dred Scott "fully human"? Were 6,000,000 Jews in Nazi Germany "fully human"? Is an unborn child "fully human"?Within the framework of evolution, these questions cannot be objectively answered.
You do realize that this is the realm of philosophy and that you're expecting science to address philosophical issues, which by its very nature science is not qualified to answer? That doesn't invalidate the science of evolution, however.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I have yet to encounter any evolutionist that can adequately address either one of these points. Sadly, there are some Orthodox Christians who have fallen prey to the evolution propaganda. But these two issues remain unanswered, and until someone can thoroughly and satisfactorily address these problems, then I will forever reject evolution as a brilliant but demonic hoax.
Actually, your problem is that you expect science to answer philosophical and anthropological questions that are far outside the proper scope of science.

Before this thread was merged, we were specifically addressing the comaptibility of evolution with Orthodoxy. I posed two fundamental questions in that context which have yet to be adequately addressed. I also must explain that I do not buy into the fact/value dichotomy that you are trying to establish here. As Orthodox Christians, we must view all science and philosophy in the light of the Teachings and Traditions of the Church. So, I do not accept the false premise that science deals only with "facts," while religion deals only with faith. True faith is not afraid of legitimate science, and legitimate science does not undermine true faith.
Then why are you so afraid of the legitimate science of evolutionary theory? Because it undermines your false images of what true faith really is?

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
As Orthodox Christians, we cannot ignore the philosophical implications of science. And regarding evoltuionary theory, I will continue to point out that it is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verified scientific law.
Actually, Gebre, evolutionary theory is neither a scientific philosophy nor an empirically verified scientific law.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
celticfan1888 said:
I'm going to say this to make sure you know from where I am coming, the proof I have that death existed before man was created: Genesis 29-20  And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.
I hate to say it, CelticFan, because I recognize at least the plausibility of the theory of evolution, but that passage is not proof at all that beasts ate other beasts. If anything, that passage appears to present a world where ALL animals were vegetarians.
LOLZ, I totally meant to point out that if animals and man ate plants, the plants died.
 

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Aposphet said:
What I was arguing against is "evolutionism" in contrast to scientific evolution. The former involves an unacceptable philosophy or ideology.

Most leading Darwinists today agree that Darwinism cannot be used to support an ethical system. Even Dawkins said he would not want to live in a Darwinian society. Concerning the opinion that says Darwinism is "the only legitimate outlook", such can be maintained by those who have not dealt seriously with the philosophical errors in the Darwinian system, if they are even cognizant of the critical issues involved.

Furthermore, by "evolutionism" I mean Darwinism but obviously not evolution per se, Chesterton said "If evolution simply means that a positive thing called an ape turned very slowly into a positive thing called a man, then it is stingless for the most orthodox." Here he is speaking of a fundamental truth in evolution theory -- common descent and speciation -- but not to the Darwinian explanation of it with its faulty notion of the biological continuum in which all necessary distinctions disappear into a grey flux. To say that the only legitimate outlook is one in which the theory eliminates "things" and the minds ability to know the nature of things is to settle for a radical skepticism and the underming of science itself.

But we should not be surprised at this with the Darwinians as the Copenhagen school of quantum mechanics destroyed also reality and the mind's ability to know with its philosophy or ideology of QM. Neils Bohr finally admitted that in his view we don't know the real world, and that science is only what we say about the world. This degeneration into solipsism is so trendy. I think I will pass on it.
I agree that some ideas of evolution are contradictary of Christianity, but I am not a Darwinist. Darwinism implied that because natural selection was apparently no longer working on "civilized" people, it was possible for "inferior" strains of people (who would normally be filtered out of the gene pool) to overwhelm the "superior" strains, and voluntary corrective measures would be desirable — the foundation of eugenics.
 

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Aposphet said:
BTW there is absolutely no scientific reason or evidence to indicate that death was not a natural process for flora and fauna from the commencement of life on earth. "All" the evidence shows that non-human life was pretty as it is now with generation, reproduction and death as part of God's plan. The fossil record shows micro-organism for instance, that existed eons before man appeared. (Man appeared rather late on the scence). If bacteria, just to take one conclusive example, never died, at the rate at which they multiply, the world would very rapidly have been deluged...and then what?
They did indeed die, but as animals didn't have human souls, I see no issue.

Aposphet said:
Carnivorous and omnivorous animals, as we know from the fossil record, also existed long before Homo sapiens. What does one do next, arbitrarily deny any validity to palaeontology, archaeology and other related sciences just to maintain a questionable, personal interpretation of Scripture. Hence, it not from sound reasoning or science that one asserts that death was not a natural process, but the position is derived solely from a faulty interpretation of Scripture.
When I spoke to my priest about it today, he meantioned that several Orthodox theologians have said that Genesis was meant to tell a story and present it in a poetic light. He also meantioned that Genesis was not written to be taken scientifically, so looking in it and seeing no carnivores does not mean carnivores didn't exist.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
As Orthodox Christians, we must view all science and philosophy in the light of the Teachings and Traditions of the Church. So, I do not accept the false premise that science deals only with "facts," while religion deals only with faith. True faith is not afraid of legitimate science, and legitimate science does not undermine true faith.
True, which is way faith is truth, but there is also truth outside of faith (ie things that are not discussed as faith issues) and that is where science comes in. Yes, science can be used as a tool of satan, but also a tool of learning more about God and how he does things, I'd guess you'd say.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
As Orthodox Christians, we cannot ignore the philosophical implications of science. And regarding evoltuionary theory, I will continue to point out that it is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verified scientific law.
No one ever said it is a varified fact, I believe in evolution, you don't and that's fine. In science you use evidence to come to a theory (i.e. Evolution has a ton of evidence), we don't just make this stuff up you know.

I do not mean to undermine your argument when I tell you to "Read up on it", I just think you can't debate for or against an issue if you do not know about the basics of it.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Then why are you so afraid of the legitimate science of evolutionary theory? Because it undermines your false images of what true faith really is?
I am not at all afraid of legitimate science. I'm just very careful not to confuse philosophical dogma with scientific evidence.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
As Orthodox Christians, we cannot ignore the philosophical implications of science. And regarding evoltuionary theory, I will continue to point out that it is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verified scientific law.
PeterTheAleut said:
Actually, Gebre, evolutionary theory is neither a scientific philosophy nor an empirically verified scientific law.
I beg to differ. Evolutionary theory (i.e. macro evolution) is a scientific philosophy, not empirical fact.

Selam
 
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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Then why are you so afraid of the legitimate science of evolutionary theory? Because it undermines your false images of what true faith really is?
I am not at all afraid of legitimate science. I'm just very careful not to confuse philosophical dogma with scientific evidence.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
As Orthodox Christians, we cannot ignore the philosophical implications of science. And regarding evoltuionary theory, I will continue to point out that it is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verified scientific law.
PeterTheAleut said:
Actually, Gebre, evolutionary theory is neither a scientific philosophy nor an empirically verified scientific law.
I beg to differ. Evolutionary theory (i.e. macro evolution) is a scientific philosophy, not empirical fact.

Selam
I have a lot of sympathy with your position, Gebre, but I think your use of terms is both confused and confusing to others.

In science, all "empirical facts" are "theories" which could be disproven by a single instance of a theory-shattering phenomenon. For example, if I dropped an apple tomorrow in ordinary conditions (ceteris paribus) and, instead of falling to the ground, it simply hovered in the air, the "theory" of gravity (which we pretty much all treat as an "empirical fact" these days) would suffer a massive blow, if not be outright disproven. I mean, tomorrow, the earth could start to rotate in the other direction, throwing all sorts of other "empirical facts" into profound doubt.

I think what you are getting at is that the empirical evidence for macro-evolution is comparatively scant in comparison to other, more well-established scientific theories such as gravity and the basic laws of physics (I think you also have another, better-put-separately point about the near-religious quality evolutionism exhibits in this society -- is that correct?).

I think a lot of good points coming from your side of this debate are lost when the terms are not put right.
 
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akimori makoto said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
NicholasMyra said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
LOL! So far, the responses from the pro-evolutionist camp are just as I predicted.  ;)


Selam
No need to be snarky.


What is "snarky"? Let me guess, that's the quality resemblent of the intermediary species of a snail evolving into a shark. Sorry, couldn't resist.


Selam
Snail evolves into Snarky at level 16 and learns watergun.
Aww, no-one got this??
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Then why are you so afraid of the legitimate science of evolutionary theory? Because it undermines your false images of what true faith really is?
I am not at all afraid of legitimate science. I'm just very careful not to confuse philosophical dogma with scientific evidence.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
As Orthodox Christians, we cannot ignore the philosophical implications of science. And regarding evoltuionary theory, I will continue to point out that it is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verified scientific law.
PeterTheAleut said:
Actually, Gebre, evolutionary theory is neither a scientific philosophy nor an empirically verified scientific law.
I beg to differ. Evolutionary theory (i.e. macro evolution) is a scientific philosophy, not empirical fact.
Actually, Gebre, evolutionary theory is neither a scientific philosophy nor an empirical fact. It is merely a scientific theory proposed to explain what can be observed in the fossil record. Hundreds of years down the road, we may find evidence that disproves the theory of evolution and may thus be forced to propose new theories to explain the new observations, but that hasn't happened yet. Right now, the theory of evolution is the scientific theory that best explains what we can see in the fossil record, and it has not yet been disproved. Now if you wish to build a philosophy on top of that scientific theory so you can have fun tearing that philosophy down, go ahead and knock yourself out. Just don't expect me to join you.
 

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akimori makoto said:
akimori makoto said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
NicholasMyra said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
LOL! So far, the responses from the pro-evolutionist camp are just as I predicted.  ;)


Selam
No need to be snarky.


What is "snarky"? Let me guess, that's the quality resemblent of the intermediary species of a snail evolving into a shark. Sorry, couldn't resist.


Selam
Snail evolves into Snarky at level 16 and learns watergun.
Aww, no-one got this??
Yes.  8)
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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akimori makoto said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Then why are you so afraid of the legitimate science of evolutionary theory? Because it undermines your false images of what true faith really is?
I am not at all afraid of legitimate science. I'm just very careful not to confuse philosophical dogma with scientific evidence.

Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
As Orthodox Christians, we cannot ignore the philosophical implications of science. And regarding evoltuionary theory, I will continue to point out that it is a scientific philosophy, not an empirically verified scientific law.
PeterTheAleut said:
Actually, Gebre, evolutionary theory is neither a scientific philosophy nor an empirically verified scientific law.
I beg to differ. Evolutionary theory (i.e. macro evolution) is a scientific philosophy, not empirical fact.

Selam
I have a lot of sympathy with your position, Gebre, but I think your use of terms is both confused and confusing to others.

In science, all "empirical facts" are "theories" which could be disproven by a single instance of a theory-shattering phenomenon. For example, if I dropped an apple tomorrow in ordinary conditions (ceteris paribus) and, instead of falling to the ground, it simply hovered in the air, the "theory" of gravity (which we pretty much all treat as an "empirical fact" these days) would suffer a massive blow, if not be outright disproven. I mean, tomorrow, the earth could start to rotate in the other direction, throwing all sorts of other "empirical facts" into profound doubt.

I think what you are getting at is that the empirical evidence for macro-evolution is comparatively scant in comparison to other, more well-established scientific theories such as gravity and the basic laws of physics (I think you also have another, better-put-separately point about the near-religious quality evolutionism exhibits in this society -- is that correct?).

I think a lot of good points coming from your side of this debate are lost when the terms are not put right.

Yes, I agree. Empirical evidence is not the same thing as scientific law. Thank you for clarifying this, and I should have been more precise with my wording.

Evolutionary theory is not scientific law; it is a theory, and a theory that is based primarily upon a presuppositional philosophy rather than empirical evidence. The empirical data put forth in support of evolutionary theory can be interpreted in a variety of ways, depending upon the philosophical framework of those who are doing the interpreting.


Selam
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Evolutionary theory is not scientific law; it is a theory, and a theory that is based primarily upon a presuppositional philosophy rather than empirical evidence.
How do you know this for certain?
 
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