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The Creeping Pro-test[ant]
  • 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,
    ap

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

    Mina
  • 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.

    However:
    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:




    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html


    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html




    Genetics:




    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:




    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910.html


    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910_1.html


    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910_2.html




    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:




    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB101_2.html


    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html


    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102_1.html




    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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