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The Creeping Pro-test[ant]
  • Greetings of Peace,

    While I have just formally joined the community here at tasbeha, I felt somewhat provoked to finally join the family here after viewing a youtube segment series produced(?) by CYC entitled "Creation and Evolution: Dual Revelation" and would like to make known a few words and links I left behind earlier today in the comment section of this particular video who's link I will leave below. Now I am aware that this issue has been brought up here on tasbeha (we all know what I am speaking of) and other places like Suffice it to say I was drawn, and, now understand that I was called to Orthodox Christianity, and the Coptic Orthodox Church in particular do to the fact that I felt, nay, knew, it was THE true ancient faith of the Christian gentiles and that the Coptic Alexandrian Church was and is, or at least should live up to the fact that the Copts were/are(!) the Orthodox of The Orthodox. With all the ceremonial, theological, metaphysical, and philosophical implications that the statement implies. Now, without wanting to start a flame war or take any jabs at members personal inclinations I do feel a need to at least bring to the attention of Orthodox peoples the grave dangers and Evil (as I, and I assume others see it) of encroaching modernist tendencies and blatant evolutionist "theology". I had reserved myself from engaging in topics like this e.g. "Praise and Worship" and all the "trappings" etc., we all know I'm talking about, the same trappings that actually prevented me, in my younger days, from seeing any sacerdotal validity in Vatican II church I was raised in. Again I'm aware it's been discussed, but for the beauty and ancient sacred inheritance that I see living within the Coptic Church, I had to say a little something. Again I am deeply respectful of certain members who may entertain or fully adhere to this trend, but for the love of Orthodoxy and Tradition I write you now. Please forgive me this possibly heated and contested(?) first post. I do hope we all can bask in the eternal perennial Truths which are not just, "at", but "The" core of the Coptic Church.

    I will cut & paste my youtube post in the following two reply threads, since the thread will not allow me to post a longer thread. 

    In Christ+

    The series in question:

  • Dearest brothers and sisters in Christ,
    As a Coptic Christian, and Orthodox defender, I would ask all viewers of CYC to please supplement your viewing of these "Creation and Evolution" segments with Traditional approaches to understanding that are firmly grounded within a purely Orthodox context. I personally reject evolution on philosophical, metaphysical and religious grounds while at the same time harnessing a deep awareness of the necessity of coming to terms with and penetrating beyond the scope of profane science in relation to the Scientia  Sacra. The Teilhardism that has unfortunately found its way into Orthodox praxis will have dire consequences for our youth if the ramification are not presented in a more Orthodox (and here I use Orthodox in it's more general useage in regards to all believers in God) and succinct manner. The speculations of Teilhard de Chardin and thoses who inadvertently carry his torch, provide a striking example of a theology that has succumbed to microscopes and telescopes, to machines and to their philosophical and social consequences, a 'fall' that would have been unthinkable had there been the slightest direct intellective knowledge of the immaterial realities. The inhuman side of the doctrine in question is highly significant. It is a matter of resacralizing a profane world by giving even the profane its own sacred character. One must understand the evolutionist perspective (Christian or otherwise) as it is, and that is to say...."We" the world as such, and the Cosmos (which in the Orthodox view are the heavens itself) are evolving from matter towards Christ. The reality could not be farther from the Truth. A meditation on Christ's saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” should prove most helpful here. He did not say just, “I am the Omega.”, which is exactly the evolutionary perspective, which is irrespective of the non-temporal and Trancendant Reality/ies. We Orthodox must remember that there is absolutely NOTHING to "Apologize" (read: Apologetics) for! If any parties here are interested in confronting evolutionism on its own terms from creeping into the Orthodox weltanschauung, I offer the following links and book recomendations: {See Below}

  • A lecture by Seyyed Hossein Nasr...A preeminent scholar of religions and metaphysical studies. Though a Muslim, he speaks here and throughout his entire corpus of writings as a defender of Religion/orthodoxy and attacker of anti-Traditional modernist perspectives. The talk is called "In the Beginning Was Consciousness" presented at the Harvard Divinity School the Q&A after having viewed the lecture in it's entirety proves rewarding. (elaborated transcript)

    Arguably the preeminent exposition of the evolutionist fallacies, Douglas Dewar's "The Transformist Illusion" is an absolute must:

    Wolfgang Smith, a practicing Roman Catholic and scientist if the fields of theoretical physics, mathematics, and, unlike many modern scientists and philosophers, he was operating with Cartesian principles, perennial ontology etc. Smith's arguments are a penetrating exposition for the scientific fraudulence and philosophical impossibility that is evolution. His books "Theistic Evolution: The Teilhardian Heresy" "Science & Myth: With a Response to Stephen Hawking's The Grand Design" and "The Wisdom of Ancient Cosmology: Contemporary Science in Light of Tradition" are beacons of light within Traditional studies in regards against the modernist perspective.

    A wonderful interview can be found here:

    Dr. Rupert Sheldrake author of "The Science Delusion" is/was a long standing biochemist and cell biologist and plant physiologist at Cambridge University has worked tirelessly to enlighten us about
    modernist/evolutionist dogmas. Sheldrake was attacked by the TED "scientific advisory" board and had his lecture removed from the TED site for stating that "Modern science rests on ten dogmas which "fall apart" upon examination..."

    "Dispelling the Ten Dogmas of Materialism & Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry"

    And the BANNED(!!!) TED Talk, for daring to speak against the evil of evolution(ism).
  • I also would like to point out that the represented organization that is putting forth the views in the CYC segments, a group by the name of "Reasons To Believe" is profusely littered with Protestant/Luthernan Ideals, again, nothing personal to protestant lurkers, but CYC is an expressed mouthpiece for the Coptic *Orthodox * youth in diaspora. Here is just one of many examples

    In Christ+
  • Further readings into the *theory* of evolution. I found these browsing my old bookmarks and can be found below from prominent scholar of religions and practicing Greek Orthodox Theologian Prof. James S. Cutsinger ,who btw makes annual pilgrimages to Mt. Athos.

    On Earth As It Is In Heaven:

    In response to the article "Russia Church wants end to Darwin school "monopoly"" Cutsinger had this to say:

    Evolution and the “Facts” (Included in the above link as well)

    And I found this quite interesting, what follows is Professor James M. Tours' analysis of the evolution[ist] flaw(s). Prof. Tours is a scientist working on synthetic organic chemist working in fields such as molecular electronic, specializing in nanotechnology:

    James S. Cutsinger response to the Tours article can be read here:

    I'm just throwing these out here as food for thought, for those who would appreciate a more profound understanding of the seeds of evolutionist ideology which is cancerous to a person of a Real and Living Tradition. The seeds of which can be further expounded when one peers into the annals of what has been termed MODERN[ISM].

    Finally to bring it home, well, to Orthodoxy anyway...Father Petroniu Tanase of Mt. Athos:

    In Christ+

  • One last bookmark I ran across (I promise no more!) a short but penetratingly lucid review of Dewar's "The Transformist Illusion" and scathing rebuttal of the modernist outlook here: 

    In Christ+
  • Hi Ousia,

    The ousia of your arguments lack any concrete reality of the situation ;)

    Furthermore, while there is some Tielhard language in the idea, Tielhard tried to speculate and mix the spirituality with evolution.  Whether or not this is correct remains to be seen.  But I would doubt Tielhard denied that Christ was the Alpha.  He is indeed the Alpha and the Omega, absolutely.  He simply wanted to say that our destiny is to "evolve Christocentrically".

    But my main issue is not the "philosophical, metaphysical, and religious grounds" of evolution.  First and foremost, one has to come into grips with the overall consistency of science based on the scientific method given to us.  When one realizes this, one has to also have a degree of confidence that nothing in science, honestly studied, can contradict the Orthodox faith.

    With that said, evolution is in fact an honest and consistent science.  It has been proven time and again against all odds.  There is no underlying philosophy or metaphysics of evolution.  Evolution claims no religion.  It is merely what one can sensually observe and study.  The error is not in evolution, but in the sensual study of things.  Many people take it to the extreme to believe that all that exists is what I can observe with my five senses.  This is materialism in a religious manner.  It is a form of faith.  It is not something I ascribe to, even when I accept the fact of evolution.

    Skipping over to the "Orthodox source" of anti-evolution.  Father Petroniu says "man made himself, that is he came from monkeys".  Already, from this statement is a blatant misconception of evolution.  Already in this statement is the stemming from old polemical comprehension of something that he has no understanding of.  Technically, he is "scientifically" wrong in what he states.  Furthermore, the idea that he puts forth that evolution makes man want to be "akin to animals" is also a sensationalist argument based on emotional and not rational way of answering his objection to evolution. Again, he continues "The universe made itself, it emerged from the bottom of the water, another non-truth".  When did we learn in science that the universe was made from the bottom of the water?

    But I don't appreciate the fact that I would have to say this about a heiromonk, who is an old man, who is probably wiser than me and has a much more closer relationship with Christ than I do, who has a very poor knowledge of science.  But what what this youtube author has done is reveal the nakedness of his father.  He became a Ham to this poor heiromonk.  This is not a reference to good anti-evolution argument, but a reference to how poorly educated in science this holy man is.

    His Grace the late Bishop Alexander Mileant:
    Fr. Dn Andrey Kuraev:

    Finally on CYC, I agree they shouldn't invite this man.  He represents an organization that has Old Earth Creationist views, also anti-evolution, leading the children to ignorance of science.  Creationism can be one of three things:

    1.  It can be a personal philosophy, a religious ideology, a dogma.  In this sense, I too am a creationist.  Famous evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky, who was an Orthodox Christian, famously said "I am an evolutionist and a creationist".
    2.  It can be a scientific theory.  But in order for it to be scientific theory, science must be redefined, doing away with the scientific method.  In this sense, science must include shamanism, naturopathy, witchcraft, creationism, and Darwinism to help people get a broad perspective.  As one can see, if we extend this to new scientific method even to important sciences like medicine, we would also include Jenny McCarthyism and Oprahism on the use of vaccines, and it would be disastrous and stupid and impractical.
    3.  It can be a scientific theory, but this time, the scientific method is still intact to avoid the ludicrousness of other untenable philosophies.  In this case, there's no choice but the fact that the "Creator" has to be redefined.  In that case, it is blasphemous and heretical, because now the Creator is reduced to a sensual comprehension, rather than a spiritual comprehension as the Church fathers have taught.

    Thus, "scientific creationism" becomes either an oxymoron or a heresy.  That is why I reject it.  It is either stupid or blasphemous.  It carries with it the three pillars of sin: ignorance, forgetfulness, and carelessness, whether in science or in spirituality.
  • +

    Dear Mina,

    Have you written, or could you write, a summary of what evolution is and isn't, what its implications are, and a specific focus on where is "man" in the middle of all of it? 

    It would be greatly appreciated, I think...

    pray for me,

  • Father bless!

    When having these discussions, it's always off the cuff with me.  But I can paraphrase based on my past discussions and anticipations from others what evolution is and is not.

    Evolution is a scientific theory that explains the change of organisms over time in a population.  It has become such a well established theory that on the completion of so many genetic studies, it has also become factual, since now we can actually study the rate of evolution in a population and give very accurate predictions based on the conditions imposed on a population.  Therefore, evolution in its factual sense is the study of genetic change over time in a population.  This leads to the idea that all organisms share common ancestry.  The same way one can prove how far of a relative two given humans are (whether they're first degree, second degree, third degree, etc.), with the same precision and accuracy, we can also know how many degrees far apart any two given organisms are, and this conforms very well with the geological, anatomical, embryological, and biochemical levels.  This consistency and strong conformation with other sciences make it a strong foundation that cannot be shaken.

    There are scientific terms involved that lead to misunderstanding.  "Theory" is one of those terms.  Theory is the best explanation possible based on the experimentations and conclusions of the observations done to explain certain facts.  Theory is not a speculation, as is used with common "lay language".  It is the same way we in Church misuse the word "deacon" for cantors and readers.

    Another scientific term is "randomness".  Once again, common lay language presupposes that something random follows no laws in science.  But evolution is in fact limited by laws of physics, chemistry and natural selection.  Therefore, what randomness is NOT is a tornado building an airplane, as the old misconceived adage goes.  If you shake a bottle of vinaigrette and then let it settle, it "randomly" separates the layers into its hydrophobic and hydrophilic components.  This is the most simple-minded way one can understand how scientists use the word "random".  There is still no consensus in the scientific community whether this means there could have been other dominant organisms other than humans given the conditions.

    Evolution is NOT a philosophy or a religion.  It is true some scientists and philosophers have idolized evolution into their own faith.  But they would even concede this is not science, but speculative philosophy on their parts.  Science does not prove or disprove any spiritual entity or religion.  It is completely materialistic or sensual in its study.  When evolution becomes a philosophy, that does not mean the problem stems from the science of evolution, but the problem stems from the philosophy itself, which is nothing new under the sun.  Before evolution was even postulated, materialistic philosophy always tried to explain the world without God.  If it was not evolution, but something else, like "dirt-genesis" of organisms or something, still, they would turn that into a philosophy for themselves to explain away God.

    Same issue with the Big Bang Theory.  A very extreme atheist would believe in the "eternal" nature of matter.  When a Catholic priest came up with the Big Bang Theory, it was technically a way to say that the universe has a beginning, which was something extremist atheists fought so hard to reject.  But they will be stubborn nonetheless, because even when the Big Bang is proven, they will concede to a beginning in the universe, go on to say they can't explain why there's a beginning, they'll still be strong enough to believe in materialism.  

    But just as Christ taught us to take wisdom from the serpents, we can learn from the extremist atheists the strength of their faith.  No matter what science teaches, no matter how true the science is, and how factual it becomes, why is there a need to make sure this conforms with belief in God?  Belief in God should be a stubborn faith.  There is nothing in this world, science, economics, literature, politics, etc. that can take away the most fundamental truth of all, one's own spirituality and belief in God (and there's only one way one can believe in God).

    The idea of evolution "threatening" the belief in God is actually a sensationalist and emotional argument, stemming from both fear on one end of the spectrum and pride on another end of the spectrum.  Evolution does not involve any emotions.  Like any science, its objectivity resides in the materialistic observations of nature.  It is NOT an effort to disprove God.  Just as the Sun is not an effort to disprove the True Light of True Light, or the oxygen in the air is not an effort to disprove the Life-Giver who proceeds from the Father.

    (more on the next post)
  • Evolution is NOT an effort to disprove spirituality.  It is NOT an effort to define the Image of God in man.  If it is not an effort to define God or disprove Him, it is certainly NOT an effort to limit man's transcendence of his own material nature.  Evolution is the world, but while we are materially made from the world, we are not "of the world".  Evolution is about competition and death in the animal world, and how to survive, but it is NOT about how man should deal with the world, and it is certainly NOT about supra-morality in God.  It may have some basis in moral teachings, even as we see some "morality" in the animal world, but it has no basis on transcending mere moral laws into how we sacrifice ourselves for even our enemies, as Christ our Lord teaches.  Evolution is not "peaceful", but neither is the world.  Evolution is the reality in which the world's natural processes work.  But not as the world gives does God give us.  Evolution describes the physical nature, but it says nothing about our spiritual nature.  And this is all due to the fact that we can to a certain extent control evolution and slow down its rate in our scale. 

    Finally, evolution is NOT something to "believe in".  You can only "believe in" someone or something that impacts you in a spiritual manner, usually more fit with someone than something.  When someone asks me, "Do you believe in evolution".  My reply is that that's a preposterous question to even ask.  That's like asking do you believe in the television?  Do you believe in the sun or in the moon?  Do you believe in the couch you sit on?  Do you believe in Satan? Do you believe in the color red?  No, I don't "believe in" evolution.  I accept its factual results and its scientific accomplishments and necessities in our physical understanding of the world.  But I believe in the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the Church, and in the Resurrection.

    This is all I can think of at the moment.  Of course, any questions or concerns, I'll be more than happy to answer them to the best of my abilities.
  • Dearest Mina,

    I want to be clear that I did not join the tasbeha as a method of debate, nor as a mouthpiece for whatever personal proclivities, affiliations or ideological inclinations I may or may not harbor. I do realize that I put forward a post that will no doubt cause a stir in a sense for some, but my intention was and is to put forth alternative ways of approaching, what I see, as the problem of evolution[ISM]. There is no doubt that there are evolutionary processes that occur within nature (micro-cosmically), and, in an even more profound sense, the inner-nature of man (macro-cosmically). Why would any of us be here on this forum, as men and women of faith, if none of us did not believe in the evolution of our inner-self. Having said that, I myself am no scientist, I am just a man of meager means, trying to maintain a sense of equilibrium through the vehicle of prayer, within the ever encroaching malaise of pseudo-spirituality that is the modern world. As you were want, to hesitate, to call-out a heiromonk for making what you claim a "sensationalist argument" (which I took as a humble way of explaining, a Truth, to a general audience, who in all probability are very simple people), I would hope in that very same spirit of humility, you would also allow others to look further into these matters, on and by, there own accord without prejudice. All I did was provide an alternative. You seem to have already been indoctrinated into the Darwinian weltanschauung, which is fine. Again, all I was and am trying to do is provide a means for further analysis that are more closely ground in Tradition and Orthodoxy regardless of its religious flavoring. With that said, I will certainly look at the links you provided in full as a courtesy to you for posting them, and all I can ask of you is that you would please do the same. You have admitted already your strengths in acknowledging the "probability" that the heiromonk has attained a richer profundity of wisdom than yourself, and I too cautiously humble myself before the sayings of an Elder. With that I would like to propose one more video, that I hope you would watch, if for no other reason than out of a courtesy to yourself more than me. Just food for thought brother.

    Tradition betrayed: the false prophets of modernism by Prof. Harry Oldmeadow (An Orthodox Christian and Prof. of Eastern Christianity)

    In Christ+

  • Here is a quote from the paper/transcript of the above lecture in which, some of you, may find an over-simplification in the face of there present understanding, and, to others, a sign post towards Traditional and Orthodox intellection: "Darwin’s hypothesis, foreshadowed in the work of many other contemporary scientists and social theorists alike and germinated in the sinister population theories of Malthus, is one of the most elegant, seductive and pernicious of all ‘pseudo-mythologies’. In a beguiling admixture of fact, imaginative speculation, circular argumentation and painstaking systembuilding Darwin seemed to produce an objective and scientific account of the development of species, to provide an account of how life-forms came to be as they are. At the heart of the Darwinian schema lies a preposterous inversion of traditional understandings. In the opening passage of St John’s Gospel, one of the most exalted and mystical of texts, we are told that ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh…’ (John I:1,14). Darwin proposes precisely the opposite, that ‘In the beginning was the Flesh (that is, matter), which became Word (consciousness, or Spirit ….Out of inert matter, through some quite unexplained process, emerged microscopic life forms and over a very very long period of time, through endless transformations and mutations and in accord with principles which Darwin claimed to have discovered, these became homo sapiens. In brief, the microscopic organisms from the prehistoric algal slime — organisms whose origins Darwin is utterly unable to explain — turn into Man. Or to put it even more tersely, the primeval amoeba turns into a St Francis, an Ibn ‘Arabi, a Lao Tze! Darwin’s whole thesis hinges on the proposition that one species can transform itself into another. Whatever partial insights Darwin’s work might yield this central theme is an absurdity which flies in the face of all traditional wisdom. To call man a ‘trousered ape’ betrays a profound misunderstanding of the human condition, and as E.F. Schumacher observed, one might as well call a dog ‘a barking plant or a running cabbage’."

    God Knows Best,


  • I was sorely disappointed, I thought the thread was going to be about protestantism encroaching on our church. Dang!
  • Dear Ioannes,

    I am sorry if you felt mis-led. Perhaps I'll re-name the post if the thread will allow. The reason I choose to label it as such, is that as I had been watching certain CYC video posts, with certain Fathers' approaches to dispensing  knowledge, on my own, prior to, my coming to the Church, and prior to even knowing about tasbeha, I felt I was witnesing for myself again the same protestant syndrome that I and others feel completely maligned the Catholic Church with regards to Vatican II. When I attended service with my Mother as a child and young teenager, out of necessity and proximity, we would attend an sedevacantist service in which the only rite is the Latin Rite, and all the fragrances of a deep and profound spiritual Tradition. Then years later, when my agnosticism was starting to wane, after losing faith, l attend a service with my Father and my other family (parents divorced) at their church, which is falls under Vatican II jurisdiction, and I remember being so alarmed at just how "protestant" the service was. I could not believe it, the whole thing, to me anyway, was such an anathema to real spirituality. I remember asking my Mother about this and she told me in short, that it was "a different, more Traditional church" that we used to attend. Now, my Mother is a luke-warm catholic at the moment, and at the time, even today I would say, she knows little about the theological differences of first Vatican council from the 2nd. All she knows/knew is that the other Church offered her a more rich, Traditional, and spiritually mature service. 'The Presence' was a very real and palpable thing, something she *Knew*. Now, my sister is a youth councilor with her church, which follows the dicta of Vatican ll, and while I am overly cordial with her in regards to her beliefs and practices it still affected me to see how little Real Spirituality there was in the Church. And how very little traditional catholic praxis was applied if any. It all seemed just so nominal, I would think to myself, "for someone (my sister) who is always going on about tradition in regards to the church, there sure isn't much of it",just in the books. A great hefty dose of protestant and even evangelicalism has coated the catholic church. Of course there are individual believers that make the most of what they are fed, and in their own way, by the graces of the Lord, have a very rich spiritual Way they adhere to. As someone who's seen the damage done from within to the 'modern' Vatican church having lived with Vatican ll catholics who are very church oriented (my step-Mother actually is a senior secretary at the local parish in which my sister does youth work), it greatly saddens me to see the seeds of this being sown, at least at a glance, in the Coptic *Orthodox* Church, at least here in the states anyway. I'm less inclined to believe that the damage is as profound with regards the catholic church in Europe. As one can see from services from say, Italy, were there seems to still be some retention of a deeper Spirituality. With regards to the original post, I see this spiritual malaise creeping into the Church, ever so subtlety, and I have not even been received into it fully yet.
  • I'm here reminded of what the late Martin Lings, who was a student and dear friend of C.S. Lewis, wrote in his book "Ancient Beliefs and Modern Superstitions" in regards to the late sedevacant Priest, and Church scholar Rama Coomarasways' monumental opus; any emphasis is mine alone "The Destruction of the Christian Tradition" (which I will type out from the book for you now)..."The Destruction of Christian Tradition,referred to on page 73, note 2 gives a brilliantly and fully documented account of what took place immediately before, during and after the Second Vatican Council. The author is above all concerned with what is orthodox and what is heretical, and his altogether clear, direct and simple treatment of his subject is based on the decisions of previous councils and the pronouncements of the greatest authorities of the Church throughout the centuries. What he has written is self sufficient and needs no additions. But from a slightly different angle, and as it were to meet modernists on there own ground which is that of psychic expediency, we will nonetheless add here the following remarks. Those responsible for the changes in question have pleaded that a religion must conform to the times, to which it must be answered: Not if to conform means to cease to be Itself, and to become the accomplice of the times. But true conformity is different: medicine, for example, in order to conform to an age, must be capable of supplying antidotes to all that is most prevalent in the way of illness. Analogously, it would not be unreasonable to maintain that in order to conform to an age characterized by drastic change and turbulent unrest, religion should be more than ever ready to display, and even to advertise, the rock-like stability without which, as a vehicle of Eternal Truth, it can never in any case be true to itself. There is no doubt that the human soul feels a deep need for something in it's life which will always remain the same and it has the right to expect its religion to be the unfailing CONSTANT which fulfills this need. Such consideration as these were thrown to the winds by the Second Vatican Council. It is therefore not surprising that it should have precipitated  an unparalleled crisis, and the gravity of the situation can be measured to some extent by the following figures. Between the years 1914 and 1963 (this book first edition was published in 1965) the Catholic Church received only 810 requests from priests to be allowed to relinquish their priesthood and of the these only 355 were accepted. Since the Council there have been over 32,000 defections from the priesthood. These figures must be taken to refer partly to the culprits of the crisis and partly to it's victims; and as to the victimization, which concerns both clergy and laity, it is significant that the traditional liturgy has not merely been discouraged but even expressly forbidden. The strategy would fail altogether but for the fact that the vast majority of laymen - and this applies also in a certain measure to the clergy themselves - are under the illusion that the obedience which they owe to the clerical hierarchy is absolute. One of the great merits of Rama Coomaraswamy's book is that it shows clearly at what point,according to strictly traditional Catholic doctrine, obedience becomes sin, and at what point authority, even that of a Pope, becomes null and void. That was some food for thought directed mainly at my brother Ioannes to amend his disappointment. May Christ spare us from such abominations within the Coptic Church!

    This all leads me to, my given love, for the Coptic Church. As our brother Mina mentioned, the CYC should not invite such people into it's programming. The youth deserve better and more sophisticated approaches, especially from qualified Orthodox teachers/scholars/Elders (and not nessisarilly the ones I happened to link). And while me and brother Mina may have disagreements ,in part, as regards to the intention of why people like this should be kept far at bay (though for purposes of a shared ecumenism without intention of conversion from orthodopraxis, I see no real harm, as long as it's done with the utmost respect for our respective Traditions/traditions), I think we, or I would like to think that we, can share a sense, that the ring leader featured in the program "Creation and Evolution" produced by CYC had behind the veneer of his cordial facade, however so slightly, motives for being there, other, than preaching his Creationist views on evolution. I could be wrong, but I have to admit, I highly doubt it. If the showcase was presented to an adult audience, with life experience, and, or higher education, behind them I doubt I would have even started this thread. As I have said, I am not here at all to debate, but rather learn, from all of you, as I begin my ascent into Orthodoxy proper. Given that I did start the post, I of course felt obliged to reply and comment. And also post another encouraging link to one last article entitled "The Nature and Extent of Criticism of Evolutionary Theory"

    After this post, I may drop out from this conversation, as I may have already debated to much, and I have been consistently reminding myself of what He said to St. Catherine of Siena "I am He who IS, and you are she who is Not"

    God Knows Best,
  • Dear Ousia,

    I will try to look at some of your sources later.  If possible, is there anything in particular that you want to address that the videos or sources mentioned that I have missed?

    Apologies for not doing this earlier, but a belated welcome to the site.  I frequent the site on and off myself.  But I pray your spiritual journey into the Coptic Church is fruitful.

    God bless.

  • Dearest Mina,

    Thank you for your welcome. It is most appreciated. I'm sure we both allowed ourselves to get caught up in replying that we both missed our first opportunity to exchange proper greetings.

    There is nothing in my links that I feel needs any particular addressing. If one cares to openly navigate through the links I left, one would find sufficient arguments and resources for further inquiry contained therein; which are more informed and articulated than anything I could propose or produce.

    To that end, I pray that whatever conclusions we may arrive at, everyone may receive illumination, and that at the very least, we all, through rigorous spiritual and intellectual endeavors may one day rest upon lofty stations.

    God Bless,
  • Hello Mina,
    (Did you miss me?! ;) )

    Above you said that "Evolution is a scientific theory that explains the change of organisms over time in a population." However that is not all that it is, if it was I would be an evolutionist, because there is no doubt organisms change. The difference is that the theory of evolution says that all living things come from a single cell which cam from some sort of primordial soup. This is theory that is under dispute. In regards to your comment about how genetics has made it factual that is simply not true, genetics has been the arch-nemesis of evolution since the get go.

    Looking at Recombination:
    Recombination involves shuffling the genes and is the reason that children resemble their parents very closely but are not exactly like either one. The discovery of the principles of recombination was Gregor Mendel’s great contribution to the science of genetics. Mendel showed that while traits might be hidden for a generation they were not usually lost, and when new traits appeared it was because their genetic factors had been there all along. Recombination makes it possible for there to be limited variation within the created kinds. But it is limited because virtually all of the variations are produced by a reshuffling of the genes that are already there.

    For example, from 1800, plant breeders sought to increase the sugar content of the sugar beet. And they were very successful. Over some 75 years of selective breeding it was possible to increase the sugar content from 6% to 17%. But there the improvement stopped, and further selection did not increase the sugar content. Why? Because all of the genes for sugar production had been gathered into a single variety and no further increase was possible.

    Among the creatures Darwin observed on the Galápagos islands were a group of land birds, the finches. In this single group, we can see wide variation in appearance and in life-style. Darwin provided what I believe to be an essentially correct interpretation of how the finches came to be the way they are. A few individuals were probably blown to the islands from the South American mainland, and today’s finches are descendants of those pioneers. However, while Darwin saw the finches as an example of evolution, we can now recognize them merely as the result of recombination within a single created kind. The pioneer finches brought with them enough genetic variability to be sorted out into the varieties we see today.

    Continued next:
  • Looking at Mutation and Natural Selection:
    Now to consider the third source of variation, mutation. Mutations are mistakes in the genetic copying process. Each living cell has intricate molecular machinery designed for accurately copying DNA, the genetic molecule. But as in other copying processes mistakes do occur, although not very often. Once in every 10,000–100,000 copies, a gene will contain a mistake. The cell has machinery for correcting these mistakes, but some mutations still slip through. What kinds of changes are produced by mutations? Some have no effect at all, or produce so small a change that they have no appreciable effect on the creature. But many mutations have a significant effect on their owners.

    Based on the creation model, what kind of effect would we expect from random mutations, from genetic mistakes? We would expect virtually all of those which make a difference to be harmful, to make the creatures that possess them less successful than before. And this prediction is borne out most convincingly. Some examples help to illustrate this.

    Geneticists began breeding the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, soon after the turn of the century, and since 1910 when the first mutation was reported, some 3,000 mutations have been identified.3 All of the mutations are harmful or harmless; none of them produce a more successful fruit fly—exactly as predicted by the creation model.

    Is there, then, no such thing as a beneficial mutation? Yes, there is. A beneficial mutation is simply one that makes it possible for its possessors to contribute more offspring to future generations than do those creatures that lack the mutation.

    Darwin called attention to wingless beetles on the island of Madeira. For a beetle living on a windy island, wings can be a definite disadvantage, because creatures in flight are more likely to be blown into the sea. Mutations producing the loss of flight could be helpful. The sightless cave fish would be similar. Eyes are quite vulnerable to injury, and a creature that lives in pitch dark would benefit from mutations that would replace the eye with scar-like tissue, reducing that vulnerability. In the world of light, having no eyes would be a terrible handicap, but is no disadvantage in a dark cave. While these mutations produce a drastic and beneficial change, it is important to notice that they always involve loss of information and never gain. One never observes the reverse occurring, namely wings or eyes being produced on creatures which never had the information to produce them.

    Natural selection is the obvious fact that some varieties of creatures are going to be more successful than others, and so they will contribute more offspring to future generations. A favourite example of natural section is the peppered moth of England, Biston betularia. As far as anyone knows, this moth has always existed in two basic varieties, speckled and solid black. In pre-industrial England, many of the tree trunks were light in colour. This provided a camouflage for the speckled variety, and the birds tended to prey more heavily on the black variety. Moth collections showed many more speckled than black ones. When the Industrial Age came to England, pollution darkened the tree trunks, so the black variety was hidden, and the speckled variety was conspicuous. Soon there were many more black moths than speckled [Ed. note: see Goodbye, peppered moths for more information].

    As populations encounter changing environments, such as that described above or as the result of migration into a new area, natural selection favours the combinations of traits which will make the creature more successful in its new environment. This might be considered as the positive role of natural selection. The negative role of natural selection is seen in eliminating or minimizing harmful mutations when they occur.

    The first three sources of variation are woefully inadequate to account for the diversity of life we see on earth today. An essential feature of the creation model is the placement of considerable genetic variety in each created kind at the beginning. Only thus can we explain the possible origin of horses, donkeys, and zebras from the same kind; of lions, tigers, and leopards from the same kind; of some 118 varieties of the domestic dog, as well as jackals, wolves and coyotes from the same kind. As each kind obeyed the Creator’s command to be fruitful and multiply, the chance processes of recombination and the more purposeful process of natural selection caused each kind to subdivide into the vast array we now see.

    God Bless

    See the full article here
  • Dear Faithful Servant,

    I do not know why you feel the need to try to disprove something that does not matter to the faith.  The reason why I am passionate about it, as I mentioned in the other thread, is how it matters to science and how disingenuous the approach to science the sites you get your information from is.

    Evolution explains the change of organisms, and here’s the key part, IN A POPULATION.  Therefore, you see that generation after generation, there are changes in the population.

    Gregor Mendel did not discover recombination.  You’re mixing recombination with recessive traits.  Gregor Mendel’s greatest contribution to genetics is the fact that he is the FATHER of genetics.  He’s the one who started the concept.  Recombination is just another aspect of more complicated organisms.

    Your example of sugar beets and finches actually proves the science of evolution.  The selective breeding that occurs is in fact an evolution of a population.  Scientists have done breeding all the time to even produce new species:


    What is amazing about the information you spew to me is how you misinterpret and bastardize the information to conform to your own assurances that genetics disprove evolution.  Meanwhile, for some reason, God made it look like we have in fact we have one origin from each other.  I find it quite interesting that God would make a fool out of us by showing the consistency of the genetic evidence of all organisms only just to say that He made everyone to their own kind.  If everyone was made to their own kind in the way you interpret it, we wouldn’t be able to build such a genetic “family tree” of all the species of the earth.  But it just so happens that the more genomes we find, the more it CONFIRMS evolutionary science’s predictions.

    But if we take your view of science, the science of breeding for instance, the prediction would be that there would be no new species.  As I have shown, there are cases of new species, and here’s some more, which includes a refutation of the false claim that scientists were not able to produce new species of drosophila or moths:

    And if you do a pubmed search, you will find more of these, as this website does not regularly update its lists.

    When it comes to genetics, MOST mutations are NEITHER harmful NOR beneficial, BUT neutral.  And GUESS WHAT, not 100% of your genes are exactly that of your mom and dad’s.  Random point mutations occur as well in your parent’s gametes.  This is where mutation occurs.  We have cases of beneficial mutations and cases of harmful mutations.  Why is that the harmful mutations get most of the press?  Because we are humans made in the Image of God, and we want to help treat diseases, and those genetically inherited diseases are not excluded.  In the animal world, an animal born with a genetic defect will suffer, and you will see the truth that there is in fact an equal number of mutations that can be considered “beneficial” as well as “harmful” among those populations.  However, the benefit sometimes is not clear unless you challenge them in an environment.  As you so well put, there are some mutations considered “harmful” in some environments that are beneficial in others.  That is not to the exclusion of the fact that there are mutations that do add information:

    So the idea that mutations “always” subtract something is not true.  There is evidence that there are new structures, new additions, and stronger fitness.  Imagine if we ever find out the gene that makes a very small number of smokers able to smoke for 90 years without cancer or COPD.  

    God is not a charlatan.  The evidence is clear.  The only people who wish to try to make the evidence unclear are those who misinterpret the Bible or those who are getting paid by those who misinterpret the Bible.  The websites you read are major frauds and I’m sad that many people like you, many sincere people like you are fooled by such nonsense.  Dr. Kenneth Miller shares his story of how he debunked Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity of Behe (who by the way does not deny common ancestry of apes and humans):

    God bless.

Memorial for HH Pope Shenouda

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