What do the Holy fathers say about evolution?

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
Is there anyone who has asked God about evolution in prayer among the current holy fathers? what does the holy fathers say about it?


  • the holy fathers of old influence and teach the fathers of the present, so whatever u have read from the earlier fathers of the church is what ur present day fathers would say.  Im not really an expert on what we believe when it comes to evolution, but i know we dont come from monkeys that is the most ignorant science.  The Bible actually says "See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes." Ecclesiastes 7:29

    (this comes from a story but i think it works)
  • Thank you.
  • it is also been said that God created man thru His own image..
  • Thank you.
  • does it matter if we did or did not come from apes as evolution suggests? we are still an image of God regardless of the path to our existence and consciousness
  • I believe it does matter whether we are descended from apes or not.

    If the theory of evolution is true then we got here by chance, or at least God started the ball rolling then went into partial retirement (Deism). This runs clean against our faith which teaches that even a sparrow falling to the ground is known to the Father.

    If anyone can convincingly square the circle i.e. as far as Providence versus Chance is concerned, I would love to hear it
  • I think that circle can be squared because evolution is not a process of chance. Even staunch atheists like Richard Dawkins argue passionately that there is nothing random about evolution - he insists that natural selection is a natural force, like gravity, and pushes in only one direction: from simplicity to complexity. In fact, here's an excerpt from an interview he gave:

    Natural selection is anything but random. Natural selection is a guided process, guided not by any higher power, but simply by which genes survive and which genes don't survive. That's a non-random process. The animals that are best at whatever they do-hunting, flying, fishing, swimming, digging-whatever the species does, the individuals that are best at it are the ones that pass on the genes.

    Evolution does not mean that God created the Earth and then simply hoped that He would get lucky and one of His planets would produce life - evolution means that there is a force built into the universe which causes life to grow more complex with the passage of time.

    And it's not as though God 'pressed the start button' and sat there tapping his watch waiting for us to be 'ready' for His intervention. To God, time is immaterial. He is outside of time itself, and thus it is impossible for Him to have gone into 'retirement' so to speak - that implies that He acted, stopped and waited, and then resumed His action. This describes the behaviour of a being which is bound by time, which God is not. And as I said above, He was not simply trying His luck and hoping that life would turn out like He hoped - He had built the universe in such a way that the laws of physics are conducive to life, of which natural selection is simply one of the mechanisms.

    So that's why I don't really feel that evolution is contradictory to our faith in a God who intelligently designed the universe - it simply means that God created a universe which did not require His intervention until it came to inserting fallen divine, spiritual beings (i.e. us) into it. Which makes sense, because why would God need to demonstrate His power to an empty universe?

    Pray for me

  • Thanks for that comforting explanation. There is a hint of Gaiaism which isn't incompatible with the belief in a transcendant, creator God but fits more comfortably with Indian religions and philosophies.

    Evolution relies on mass death and catastrophe in order to advance. This seems characteristic of the Fall rather than the way God made the universe 'and it was good'.

    Tangentally, there would seem to be a nil chance of humanoid life existing anywhere else in the cosmos since the (to us) random events like asteroid collisions (at the end of the Permian and Cretaceous geological eras)and other, unexplained catastrophes that advance life would seem hardly likely to occur in exactly the same order they did on the Earth.

    We Christians have always been called upon to defend the Providence of God when others were happy to believe in Fate or Chance. The survival of the fittest pits, as it were, biological organisms against a random universe.

    Please keep em coming and pray for me! Richard Dawkins was very scornful of people like me who can hold two contradictory views- in my case Darwinian evolution contra Divine Providence.
  • I am by no means an expert but i'll say what I know.

    Concerning MICROevolution, there seems to be nothing in it that contradicts our faith. This is not to say that it is true, but rather to say that it could have happened.

    Concerning MACROevolution, that's just a bunch of garbage.

    Man is different from all other creatures because man was created in the IMAGE OF GOD. Man was created as a Trinity of body, soul, and spirit. Plants have a body, animals have a body and a soul, but only man has a body, soul, and spirit. God formed man from dust, not from monkeys. It could be that men back then had lots of hair and looked a bit like monkeys but they were HUMANS separate creatures than monkeys.
  • [quote author=aidan link=topic=9462.msg116734#msg116734 date=1279437975]
    If the theory of evolution is true then we got here by chance, or at least God started the ball rolling then went into partial retirement (Deism).

    just because it is not mainstream Christianity, and common of other beliefs, doesn't mean it is one way or another.  who are we to limit God's capabilities and works?    all we can really say is that God created us, and how ever he did it is just another way to show us his awesome and infinite glory.  and studies of this subject just expand that feeling.    we can say "this theory or that theory makes sense to me, and this is what-or part of- i THINK God used, but i will not limit Him".  limiting Him in areas like this, i think is just foolish- i believe we have to open to different theories but not completely adhere to them b/c that would also be foolish b/c of human capabilities and the fact that they are just theories.
  • " A Manichean comes to you and says, matter is uncreated; say to him, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and immediately you have overthrown all his conceit. But he does not believe this statement of scripture, you retort. On these grounds then, shun him and avoid him as you would a mental defective. Anyone who does not believe in God who has manifested Himself, and instead represents truth as falsehood-how does he not patiently demonstrate his madness, his unbelief?" St John Chrysostom (Eight sermons on the book of Genesis p.30)

    Another good book everyone should get is "Genesis, Creation, and Early Man by Blessed Seraphim Rose of Platina. It is a huge book filled with the knowledge of the early church fathers, unfortunately I had to pay about  $170 for it because its no longer in print, even tho there is supposedly a second edition coming out.

  •   There is no way evolution and creation be alike. This is the same as saying a doctor made miracle after a dozen of surgery. Creation is instant but evolution is boring. Jesus did not command the sick to wait even a day. There should not be a process that should take billion years to create a man for an omnipotent God. If Jesus created eyes out of dust then He must have created Adam like wise.
      You know what I think sometimes? I think the devil is the one who really designed this lie of evolution. the devil must be the one who put all these evidences. God allows them to believe in a lie which they strongly wish. All these early bones must be the work of the devil himself. May be this evolution is the pavement of the way to the anti Christ. This must be one of the perilous times mentioned in the Bible.
  • To those interested in this topic, I highly recommend "Everlasting Man" by GK Chesterton.  It was written over a hundred years ago but amazingly still sheds some good light on this topic.

    Also, this is an interesting article regarding the problem of Art and Evolution:
  • I couldn't agree more about Chesterton,(He also wrote a book called 'Orthodoxy'' but not exactly what we mean by the word, its a brilliant defence of Christianity nontheless)

    Here is another interesting book, I think I heard about it on this site; 'These Things We Believe' by Fr Deacon Ezra. I can recommend it.

    I am somewhat worried by Fr Seraphim's book. It didn't really give an intelligent refutation of Darwinism from a Christian viewpoint, it seemed to say that it was nonviable because St Basil said so. I think we have to do better than that hence I recommend 'These Things We Believe' which deals with the origins of man in a Christian way.

    May Our Saviour enlighten me.
  • There are actually many loopholes in the theory of evolution, and unfortunately most scientists are too caught up in bashing creationism that they fail to see them.

    For example, a quote from Darwin's On the Origin of Species:
    "Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory."
  • servant33,

    Your quote above clearly demonstrates that Darwin is washing the readers' brains: he says that his 'theory' is not proven or corroborated by any 'finely graduated organic chain' (resulting from trial and error) of 'obvious and serious' missing links thence it cannot be a scientific theory, is it? nevertheless he still writes and uses the word theory.

    A theory is an well established and scientifically proven rule, versus hypothesis which is mainly based on mental deduction from some observation (a tentative assumption), thus it's not yet entirely proven and awaits further researches to prove or disprove it. So this so called theory is not a scientific fact and in fact it could only be considered as still in the hypothesis step, to the most.

    I'd like to add that this book's full title you quoted from is highly racist and the whole hypothesis regarding human evolution is rooted in racist ideology.

    Scientists and philosophers maintaining it is a fact are hypocrite spirits, and the worse spirits like R. Dawkins who insist and teach that nature has an inherent intelligent force (like e.g. the force of gravity!!) that drives and directs drastic evolutionary changes and causes the sudden construction of millions of advanced purposeful DNA code sequences additions, alterations, redistribution with self replication capability, in order to produce technically advanced functional structures that humans are trying to understand and copy - out of thin air.

    Evolution relying on trial and error cannot occur, as proven by repeatable statistical studies. The correct thing in this hypothesis is the notion of natural selection (but it's only valid within the same species' adaptation aspects and environmental competition/cooperation between species). The hypothesis is clearly a deceit: it wraps false scientific twisted ideas inside a partially described correct scientific notion.

    It has been proven beyond refutation that any meaningful or useful type of code sequence, like RNA or DNA or like a bug free PC programming or like languages we use etc., can only be produced by an highly intelligent, of spiritual nature, wise, knowledgeable, purposeful, autonomous, alive and free willed being (each and all of these attributes must be present).

    Matter present in nature cannot behave according to rules it has set for itself because all these intricately balanced rules must be set and active before any specific matter is formed in order for the elements to follow them from the start, and that elements cannot decide to gather, reproduce or multiply, etc.

    God has created all things and all living creatures in a special purposeful sequence and an optimized balance that will always undermine any possible human wisdom or technique.

    The recent good e-book resource site posted by anba boula has a book with its first chapter discussing evolution from a Genesis perspective (I've not read it all yet):

  • Relative to the stupidity of human conduct, at times, I feel that some have descended from jackasses and not apes.  So I guess, in this unique case, I believe in evolution--eventhough, I am not a Church Father.

    I wonder if this comment will be censored (moderated)?
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