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  1. Ok so let's break down a few of the discussions currently being had regarding this subject. I have taken the liberty of breaking this down into a few major subgroups. 1) Personal experience vs. scientific studies Ok so this has come up a number of times throughout this discussion (notably by ARGOSSY, Just Passing Thru and Alive). As I (and others) have mentioned, personal experience is often ineffective as a tool by which to judge climate change. For example, I live in the northern US which is currently about to experience/has already experienced some of the earliest snows and drops in temperature on record. Now some people would argue that this negates the idea of global warming. However, such an argument would have two flaws. Firstly, weather is not equivalent to climate. Second, individual experience does not equate to studies completed over the whole Earth examining global trends. This is not to mention claims of human eyes being able to detect "not a millimeter" of sea level change. Humans brains have a tendency to accept things that conform to a worldview (also known as confirmation bias). This is why peer-review and a second set of eyes in addition to data are integral to climate research and is why scientific studies should be considered significantly more reliable and valid than first hand accounts. 2) We should wait ten years/it isn't that bad/global warming is good I would frame all of these at mitigation arguments. Alive has probably been the one to talk most about this approach. The problem is that the science indicates that waiting 10 years is unacceptable if we wish to continue to live in a world that resembles our current one. It also happens to be an argument that was used ten years ago and just results in the can getting kicked further and further down the road. The next two arguments admit that climate change is happening but may say it is not that bad. Those who argue that it is not that bad have simply not read the science on this. Study after study indicates that this level of CO2 is prevalent in mass extinction events and that our planet is losing biodiversity due to climate change. Some on this thread have even mentioned the argument that there is global greening. I dealt with this a bit on page four of our discussion here but the problem is that this only considered CO2 in isolation. While CO2 is used by plants to produce oxygen considering only CO2 in isolation ignores diminishing returns and the fact that plants need other nutrients to survive and are negatively impacted by climate change as a result. For more on this see the Tahiti study from page four which found plant biodiversity went down as a result of climate change. 3) A global conspiracy of scientists/governments This argument assumes a lot and has no basis in evidence. Are there international agreements regarding climate change? Of course. These are voluntary agreements. For example, the US entered the Paris Climate Accords under Obama and then withdrew under Trump. Some countries simply did not enter the accords (although notably this was because they thought the treaty did not do enough to combat climate change). However, international agreements made by voluntary member nations do not constitute some wild one world government conspiracy. Anyone claiming that scientists all over the world are somehow in collaboration to deceive the public would not to provide evidence and a rationale as to why that is the case. The burden of proof lies on the conspiracy to prove the conspiracy exists. 4) Theological Objections - God Sets the Limits This is the first theological objection presented. The argument stems from the scriptural concept that God has set boundaries by which the physical world must abide. Of course, Christians agree with this. However, I would object to any hyper-literalism regarding some of the passages presented. For example, JustPassingThru has talked multiple times about passages from the Proverbs and Job. Notably, he mentions Proverbs 8:29 in which it states "when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command." Now, I addressed this line earlier but I will do so here again. This is in the broader context of the writer praising God's creative power and control over creation. However, hyper-literalism is not an effective way of understanding this passage. If we were hyper-literal about this passage as JustPassingThru is indicating we would deny the fact that seas dry up and that man has impacted nature by creating harbors, damns, seawalls, etc. That is not to mention natural events like sea surges. Even JustPassingThru seems to understand this and slightly backpedals when he says this in his discussion with thomas t: Now the problem with this line of reasoning is that you could continue it ad infinitum. For example, using such a hyper-literalistic interpretation one could also say that the limit could be just below the tip of Mt. Everest. This hyper-literalism simply fails to grasp the passage in context and is simply a poor hermeneutical and theological argument. 5) Theological Objections - Christ is Coming/The World Doesn't Matter Several people have brought this up notably JustPassingThru, Alive and ARGOSY. While all Christians concur that Christ will indeed return again in glory, Christ reminds us that not the angels in heaven nor us here on Earth know the day or the hour of His return. In the meanwhile, Christ encouraged us to love and care for the least among us and to be good stewards. By ignoring the dangers climate change poses to our fellow man and to God's creative work we do neither of these things. Arguing that the physical world does not matter at all was the root of many of the heresies of the Early Church and was one of the major things the Church sought to address. This theological "objection" is a poor excuse for not taking care of God's creation and our fellow man.
  2. Demonstrating that a lighthouse still exists at a given point is not an adequate measurement for sea level. Remember, as I mentioned in my previous post regarding Tahiti and the French Polynesian islands, Tahiti tends to be at a rather higher average feet about sea level due to the volcanic nature of the island and although it is hard to see based on the Google links you provided it seems that the lighthouse is at least several feet above sea level. Nor are supposed eyewitnesses without accurate measurement and documentation. Again, I have asked for these and you have failed to provide them. While you provide supposed eyewitnesses without historical or scientific measurement, I have provided studies which measure and document their findings. Regarding your point about the limits of the oceans, I do believe that God has power over nature and the physical world. However, I would not be so naive or literalistic in my interpretation of Scripture as to say that this limits are affixed with the permanence you seem to believe. Reading scripture in such a way is antithetical to the study of theology and hermeunetics. It also fails to take into account the broader context of Scripture. For example, when we talk of the serpent we do not refer to just a literal serpent but to Satan. In the passages you mention in Proverbs and Job, Solomon and Job are being told of the Creative Majesty of God and his power over all Creation. For God shows himself through his Word and his Works (Creation). After all, we know that tides come in and out, that rivers can change course in time and that seas and lakes can dry up. We have created dams and seawalls and other engineering wonders that impact the sea. Yet we do not decry these natural and unnatural features as antithetical to the Word of God. We do not demand that the Netherlands be a brackish swamp or that Ellis Island be returned to the sea just because these lands are artificial in creation. We know that nature changes and we know that we can impact it. We also know that God is in control. These ideas are not antithetical to each other.
  3. All I asked for is evidence so I can verify your claims. I take your "evidence" with a grain of salt merely because you have not provided a source for your claims. I have been open about providing my sources. You meanwhile have claimed that Tahiti has not experienced a millimeter of sea level rise in 250 years. I would simply like to have access to the historical or scientific data that you found that provides such a figure. Nothing more, nothing less. I have been considerate in providing citations with authors and dates of publications. In some cases I have also provided the journal name or article title. I hope you will do the same. Ah... and we arrive once again to a global conspiracy made of some mysterious outside force. Of course, I cannot disprove such a theory as I can't prove a negative. Fortunately, the burden of proof remains on you to provide evidence for such a claim. As with the above claim, I would hope that you would be willing to provide some evidence to support your assertions. Remember, we are commanded not to bear false witness against others.
  4. Ok, let us be clear here. You believe that the global community of scientists (some of whom are Christian) are engaged in an evil plot to deceiving everyone into taking better care of God's creation? Why are we being deceived into being better stewards of the Earth? On what theological or hermeneutical basis do you claim that Paul was talking about climate change when he was talking to the Church in Ephesus about "vain words?" Based on the previous verses in his epistle it seems that he was talking about greed and immorality leading to vanity in the Church. It seems that you are reading your own biases into Scripture my friend.
  5. I'm assuming you are referring to your anecdotal evidence regarding sea level rise in Tahiti where you personally have not seen sea level rise. I did not see any specific paper or historical work that actually measured sea level change mentioned in your post. If you had numbers or a paper I could look at I would be more than happy to do so but at this moment, I am taking your "evidence" with a grain of salt. However, I can provide some studies that focus around French Polynesia and Tahiti although there is little specific research on the island itself. Now Tahiti is a slightly unusual case due to its volcanic nature. Much of the island is at relatively high altitude (according to the French Polynesia Bureau of Statistics) due to this and is therefore not in danger of being submerged. However, low lying areas are under more serious threat according to a 2013 study by CNRS/Université Paris-Sud which estimated the loss in land to be 5-12% by 2100 given current global sea level rise. This is probably one of the more exhaustive studies done on the subject. A further study by Pouteau et al 2016 indicated a link between biodiversity loss on Tahiti and climate change with a high R-squared value between climate and plant biodiversity on Tahiti. Also note that certain weather patterns that already affect Tahiti and the other Pacific Islands are heightened due to climate change as noted by the studies Kripalani and Kulkarni, 2012 and Anselme and Bessat, 2012 (the first focusing more on the region as a whole while the second focuses on French Polynesia and Tahiti in particular). Please also note that Tahiti hosted a conference of scientists in 2011 who warned of the impact climate change would have on French Polynesia as a whole including the total submergence of certain atolls. These are just a few sources I found and are by no means an exhaustive list. As I noted before, Tahiti is not generally studied exclusively but rather in the context of the region and French Polynesia as a whole. As I mentioned before, if you have a study or historical source that you feel demonstrates some point about climate change, I would love to see it. Just give me the authors names and a date and I'll give it a whirl. Thanks!
  6. I'm sorry but this answer is simply unacceptable. I responded to your criticisms of the science around global warming, presented scientific papers and evidence and all you say is that we will see in ten years. Putting something off ten years will not change the science. Nor does it change our moral duty as stewards of creation and our fellow man. The only thing we do by delaying our reaction to climate change is limiting our ability to deal with the consequences.
  7. With point two we completely agree. A cold winter or a hot summer defines weather and not climate. Climate focuses on global or regional trends over longer periods of time. And yes, regarding point one, it is true that the climate can change naturally. However, currently, the problem is due to anthropogenic climate change and the rapidness of the associated change in climate. The current pace of climate change is matched only by periods that led to extinctions and serious harm to life. See the paper Jourdan, et. al, 2014 from the journal Geology for more on this. I'll come back to point four in a second. These fit comfortably into a category I like to define as "natural explanations" for observed climate change. While it is true that climate is impacted by solar activity, ocean effects, etc. they are relatively stable over the centuries and are even taken into account by models. For example, from Krivova et al, 2007 we can actually see a that solar irradiation has gone down recently while the climate has continued to warm. See the graph below. Also the IPCC study took into account volcanic activity, natural phenomenon (ocean currents, etc), solar activity, internal variance and anthropogenic effects in their look at causal links to climate change by humans. They found that the sun adds about 0.02 to 0.1 °C. Volcanoes cool the Earth by about 0.1-0.2°C. Natural variability (like El Niño) heats or cools by about 0.1-0.2 °C depending on the year. Anthropogenic change has heated the climate by over 0.8 °C. This is enough to establish a clear link between anthropogenic industrialization and climate change. See the IPCC study from 2013 Chapter Five for more excellent graphs that better visually represent this. It depends on how you define "done the most" or "done more than any other nation." Are we defining by total emissions, per capita, per some level of GDP? You would have to provide me a source for your information in order for me to evaluate this point. Any way you measure it doesn't really matter to me. The US is not even close to reaching carbon neutral goals (nor are most countries for that matter) and as a leader in industry and technological innovation I expect better from my country. Actually it is settled and there is evidence of it's large impact. The basic science of the greenhouse effect has been around since the 1820s and scientists have studied man's influence for decades now. Science deals in probabilities at when that probability nears 100% it is considered "settled." For papers on how man has influenced the climate see Manning 2006 for measurement of fossil fuel emissions (their type, impact etc), see Harries 2001, Chen 2007 or Griggs 2004 for direct measurements of anthropogenic climate change via satellites, see Jones 2003, Alexander 2006 or Braganza 2004 for what this means in terms of the atmosphere and lastly see Wang 2009 or Evans 2006 for more on how that impacts the surface. These are just individual papers of course. Now let's look to the broader community of subject matter experts. 97% of climate scientists agree that anthropogenic climate change is a serious problem per the IPCC. Additionally, the following internationally recognized institutions focused on scientific research have explicitly backed the IPCC and/or anthropogenic climate change. Academia Brasiliera de Ciências (Bazil) Royal Society of Canada Chinese Academy of Sciences Academié des Sciences (France) Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany) Indian National Science Academy Accademia dei Lincei (Italy) Science Council of Japan Russian Academy of Sciences Royal Society (United Kingdom) National Academy of Sciences (United States of America) Australian Academy of Sciences Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts Caribbean Academy of Sciences Indonesian Academy of Sciences Royal Irish Academy Academy of Sciences Malaysia Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Academy of Sciences (NAS) State of the Canadian Cryosphere (SOCC) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Royal Society of the United Kingdom (RS) American Geophysical Union (AGU) American Institute of Physics (AIP) National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) American Meteorological Society (AMS) Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) If that isn't international scientific consensus, I don't know what is. Ok and finally we reach the last two points. Firstly, these claims require evidence. I worked as a chemist in a renewable energy laboratory for some time. I have since left and now am much more substantially stable in my current line of work (pharmaceuticals). I can personally attest that the field is not all that lucrative compared to some of the other fields you can enter with a scientific degree (notably pharmaceuticals or petrochemicals for someone with my background). Granted, this is just my experience in searching for jobs but I am sure you can find something that ranks high paying entry level jobs by scientific degree and I doubt renewables will be high on that list. Regarding the political aspect, this assumes that the scientific organizations listed above and the 97% of subject matter experts all have some sort of political ax to grind in presenting their evidence to the world. Once again, this is rather begging the question as to why this is the case and you present no evidence. Regarding young people being taught to live in fear, to be honest, you are partly right. Young people are scared because they are educated to the realities of the science. And they should be. Climate change is not a laughing matter. Evidence suggests that climate change in the past has resulted in mass extinctions on Earth. This is why, as a general rule of thumb, young people tend not to be climate change deniers. They will deal with the impacts and have every right to be worried. This is especially true given the stubborn nature of the political process which is slow to move even under the most dire conditions. However, I have yet to see a study that has shown a causal link between worry over climate change and the impact on the health of young people. Sorry for the long post but I thought I'd deal with some of these rather common objections. Grace and peace to you all.
  8. It seems that the topic has rather exploded since I last posted. Thank you to everyone for their input. I will start by addressing some of ARGOSY's points. Ok. I personally disagree with you regarding the study of evolutionary biology but that is neither here nor there. You are claiming that some bias exists in the field of climate science and this causes the field in it's entirety must be flawed in the interpretation of the data. However, I feel that you fail to prove any bias. Nor do I see a rational reason for anyone (let alone thousands of scientists across multiple continents and languages) to engage in a massive conspiracy to form some sort of international group bias. Your assertion that the science must be wrong because of some intangible bias doesn't seem to have much support. I would not disagree with you if these processes were natural. However, the data does not support such an interpretation. As I mentioned in my previous post, the data supports a causal link between human industrialization and global climate change. Regarding the source data about CO2 emissions from volcanoes and humans please see the following: Kerrick, 2001. "Present and past nonanthropogenic CO2 degassing from the solid earth" Mörner and Etiope, 2002. "Carbon degassing from the lithosphere" Burton, et al., 2013. "Deep Carbon Emissions from Volcanoes" All of these should be fairly to easy to find via a Google Scholar search or another academic journal search of your choice. To me, this last part of your post just seems irrelevant as climate change should be a non-partisan issue. Science is apolitical. I really wouldn't care if people decided to form an international coalition to stop climate change or each country individually made substantially progress towards a carbon neutral economy. This is not a left vs right issue. This is how we preserve the creation we were granted stewardship of and how we protect and help our fellow man in the process. And I'm sorry but looking out at a beach once in a while and noticing no change is about a terrible a scientific argument as saying that the weather was cold this year and therefore climate change does not exist. Yes there is variance depending on where people live. Climate science looks at the whole and judges overall trends. In conclusion, I don't really understand why this issue has become so partisan (especially where I live - the US). Just a decade ago people on both sides of the aisle agreed to work towards a sustainable renewable future and combat climate change in a way that made economic, environmental, scientific and national security sense. I would argue that it is a moral imperative as well. Nowadays, it seems that one cannot bring up climate change without being branded as a tool of the "radical left" seeking one world governance.
  9. Thanks to everyone for responding to my inquiries. I find that it is rather pointless to start a discussion unless I have a decent understanding of what position people are coming from. Let me jump into a few of the points mentioned. I don't begrudge anyone that hasn't read studies on the subject. I have only read maybe two dozen on this subject in any serious detail. I think the question then becomes does one trust the evidence one has read in combination with the consensus of subject matter experts or not. I'm not entirely sure what evolution has to do with the subject of anthropogenic climate change. Although I am sure that there are some evolutionary biologists interested in climate change I personally have not read many papers from evolutionary biologists regarding it. I see no real connection here. Claiming all scientists must be wrong due to you believing evolutionary biologists are wrong is rather throwing the baby out with the bath water. In part, I agree with you here. Scientists are not exactly amazing at communication, especially with those outside their technical field of expertise. I mean I could talk about DESI and MALDI mass spectrometry techniques until the cows come home but it's not exactly a great conversation starter outside of my field of chemistry. So yes, I would say that the evidence has been presented badly. However, I would also say this is somewhat the fault of the 24 hr news cycle as well which always wants to balance out a scientist with a climate change denier when talking about these issues on TV. A better way for the public to understand the consensus on this issue would be to have 97 climatologists on one side of the studio and 3 climatologists on the other. Could communication be better? Certainly. Ok so let's talk about the higher CO2 levels. First let us note that CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas but it does get a lot of attention due to it being a byproduct of every organic carbon chain combustion reaction. Now CO2 is used by plants in photosynthesis. However, as that news article mentions (and the study mentions in more detail), scientists know that this has diminishing returns at higher concentrations of CO2. This is due to plants needing things other than just CO2 to survive. And yes, the earth does go through historical non-anthropogenic climate change. We even know about this from fairly recent accounts of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age. And I agree that we must be careful when talking about toying with natural phenomenon. However, both of these periods occurred before the mass introduction of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere via industrialization. Since then, global climate change has dramatically changed from following any natural pattern and the overwhelming scientific consensus indicates that this latest phase of warming is anthropogenic. I actually agree with some of what you say towards the back end of your post. Certainly a population boom has contributed to changes in the climate. This is largely possible due to industrialization and continues to explode the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. China currently has the highest CO2 output in the world and India will almost certainly eclipse the US as number two shortly. And I'm completely in agreement with you that we should work towards improve our renewable status in the world. I am somewhat confused on whole national sovereignty issue. Which agreements do you feel that countries have entered that have given up national sovereignty? I agree that there are certain ways to make data look a certain way if you have no ethics and can do so with the statistics available. This also assumes no peer review process or at the very least a very lazy peer reviewer. In all of these cases, you are rather begging the question as to why scientists would do this, why nothing is caught in peer review and what proof do you have that this is happening. They certainly aren't getting paid off to do it. I mean a simple look at education funding in the US can tell you that. I think someone else has addressed the false claims about NOAA fudging ocean temperature data. If not, please direct me to the study you are referring to and I try to make things clearer. Regarding the Ice Age in the 70s, there were a few isolated reports that there was meant to be a mini Ice Age in our future. This was in part due to a book based loosely in the science of the day called the Cooling by Lowell Ponte and some other popular science articles from that time. Let me be clear, these were in no way compare to the thousands upon thousands of papers published by scientists regarding anthropogenic climate change. It's interesting how people will support a few popular science articles and books from the 70s but deny scientific consensus today. This seems slightly hypocritical. I won't really go into addressing some wild conspiracies about a plot to form a world government as it really doesn't have anything to do with the science and once again is rather begging the question.
  10. Thanks to everyone for replying. I wanted to clarify a few things before I respond to some of the points made. Firstly, are those posting here arguing that climate change does not exist at all or that it is not anthropogenic (linked to human activity) in nature? This is a somewhat important distinction to make as some people favor one approach or another. Secondly, have people actually read any of the scientific studies about climate change? For example, the IPCC reports, studies published by climate scientists in reputable peer-reviewed scientific journals like Nature, etc. To be clear, I have certainly not read every single one (that would be almost impossible) but I worked in a laboratory that did renewable energy work so I do have some familiarity with the material. If so, what conclusions were drawn from those studies? Lastly, do people believe in some sort of conspiracy by scientists, some failure in modeling or some misinterpretation of the data? If so, could you please elaborate on such a misinterpretation, failure or conspiracy? I hope that by answering these questions, I can better address some of the objections to the science you have presented. Thank you all for taking the time to respond. Grace and peace.
  11. Hello all. I discussed this briefly in the US politics section of the forum but I feel like it has more of a home here where we discuss the intersection of science and faith. I have become deeply concerned of late with Christian (mostly conservative) voices railing against the science of climate change. Things became especially toxic in recent weeks due to the most recent round of UN talks where Greta Thunberg spoke passionately on the subject demanding nations take action. As a result, I thought we may like to discuss climate change and the role Christians should play in trying to limit the impact upon our planet. For me, it is sad to see such an issue become so partisan in the United States when even the previous presidential candidates for the GOP noted the real threat posed by climate change. I also fail to grasp why people are opposed to plans like the Green New Deal or other radical changes in infrastructure and energy consumption in order to preserve the planet. I am even more distraught that many who self-identify as Christian are opposed to taking action to protect our environment. To me, this is part of our stewardship of creation. However, I am always curious and on the look out for differing views. This forum (by and large) tends to have more conservative leanings than the average member of the public and I was wondering why people are objecting to the scientific data.
  12. Sorry for my delay in getting back to the topic. I was on vacation and tend not to do things online if I can avoid it when spending time with family. It seems like one.opinion has been dealing with some of the objections presented by dbchristian. It seems like the debate has come to a close. I am glad that we could come to a peaceful resolution of respectful disagreement. Grace and peace to all my brothers in Christ that have contributed to this conversation.
  13. Again, you are motioning towards the idea that evolution somehow excludes God. I believe God exists and yet I still think the evidence points towards evolution. It seems like, in your view, these ideas are mutually exclusive. Or perhaps, that it somehow compromising to a Christian perspective as you seem to indicate later on. Is that is correct interpretation of your statements? I think science can be used as evidence when combined with philosophical arguments but as I mentioned before, I don't think science is concerned with proving or disproving a God that exists outside the finite. I agree with you that we should examine both creationism and evolution in terms of the science. However, we are coming to vastly different conclusions. I would be happy to discuss your scientific based objections to evolution. In fact, I addressed some of those concerns earlier to which it appeared you had no response unless I missed a post. If you want to promote the "free and competitive battlefield of knowledge" as you put it, it may be good to address these responses or at least acknowledge that some of the previous argumentation you laid out may have been flawed. You are quite correct. I somewhat misphrased my last statement. Of course God was both God and man in the form of Christ (hypostatic union in theological terms). I do not deny this and as you rightly said, this is fundamental, orthodox Christian doctrine. What I meant by saying God is immaterial, is that, when creating the universe, he was not part of it. In other words God created ex nihilo (out of nothing). This is also fundamental, orthodox Christian doctrine. As such, scientists have no ability to really study such a creative process. What we can do is use science as evidence for supporting certain philosophical and logical arguments. For example, I think the Big Bang provides good evidence for a post-finite universe which is useful in supporting arguments for theism. Please pardon my slight misphrasing earlier. I hope that my above statements better elucidated the idea I was driving at. Now that I have clarified my above intentions by what I was saying earlier, would you care to further elucidate on how I deny Christ? That is a rather serious accusation, especially from one I would consider a brother in Christ despite our differences. Regarding the link, it does not seem like that bill was passed but that it was put up for debate. I don't necessarily agree with the law either. However, the only thing I will say is that we should teach science in science class. At this point, I see no reason why creationism has reached the level of being treated as a science when better models exist that have evidence to support their claims (in this case evolution). In philosophy or religion classes, creationism certainly has a place. Funnily enough, the idea that the Earth is the center of the universe isn't entirely incorrect. Modern cosmology indicates that every observer would be at the center of their section of the observable universe. This is due to the expanding nature of space-time. However, of course no one should be put to death for espousing a different view on the subject. I can't think of someone accused by burnt for espousing such beliefs. The closest maybe Giordano Bruno but he wasn't executed for that belief but rather for a host of other problematic positions he held. From the few things I have read, modern scholars view his cosmology as pandeistic or pantheistic in nature. Not sure what the Pope or freedom has to do with anything. I thought we were discussing the merits of theistic evolution.
  14. Actually Origen quoted Romans 8 and Jeremiah 1 in his writings as support for his position. Genesis was not mentioned regarding his argument for the pre-existence of souls. See his commentaries on the Gospels and De Principiis for more. I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that this is from his writings on Genesis. Additionally, it's interesting that although the council you cited goes rather into some detail as to fifteen points of Origen's teachings deemed to be incorrect, the allegorical interpretation of Genesis does not come up. Something to think about. I did read the quote from Augustine. Moreover, I have read the majority of his work in full. Note that he says God spoke and creation was formed. Augustine actually believed in an instantaneous creation (something both you and I disagree with). However, in the broader context of his writings, Augustine espoused the idea that Genesis should not be read in a hyper-literalistic manner. Again, he is much more explicit in this quote: "When we reflect upon the first establishment of creatures in the works of God from which he rested on the seventh day, we should not think either of those days as being like these ones governed by the sun, nor of that working as resembling the way God now works in time..." Here, it is impossible to mistake Augustine's thinking for that of a YEC 6-day literalistic account. I'm not saying that he and I would have agreed on everything. Rather, I am pointing out that the idea that a non-literalistic approach is consistent with Christian orthodoxy is not at all new. It has a rich tradition among some of the most influential Church Fathers. One part of your statement appears correct to me. If you start with the a priori assumption that YEC literalism is correct, you will always interpret evidence to support that viewpoint. This is just a psychological truth. However, I do not start with the assumption that YEC literalism is correct. Nor does science start with the assumption there is no God. Science only concerns itself with the material and finite. God is immaterial and infinite and thus outside the scope of science. You may be thinking of the philosophy of materialism which holds that only the physical world is the only thing that exists. This is (in my view) self-refuting but it is a philosophy that is out there. I don't see how believing that theistic evolution is correct somehow lessens my relationship with Christ. I wasn't aware you had access to my relationship with Christ or my inner thoughts. I would find that assertion somewhat offensive if it weren't so bemusing. Why do you think that is the case? As I mentioned before, evolutionary biologists are having their findings constantly reviewed by their peers. It's interesting how you describe irreducible complexity as a smoking gun. I thought I addressed that in a previous post. After I posted, you just didn't respond to any of the points I made so I assumed that part of the argument had been dropped. The reason creationism and ID are derided in public schools is because the evidence weights and scientific consensus (especially among SMEs) is heavily towards evolution as being an accurate model. Creationism and ID are very broad in their approaches and don't seem to have a unified coherent model. Honestly, creationism is ignored by the mainstream scientific community. I don't ever recall one of my friends in academia in biology or physics ever discussing creationist models. And two of them are Christians and one is Jewish. Rejection of a poorly formulated idea not backed up by evidence does not a cult make.
  15. Regarding Origen, some of his work was condemned as being erroneous. This is certainly true. However, none of it related to his stance on Genesis. As your own citation says, it regarded his views on souls and other matters. Regarding the Council of Constantinople, it is still debated among Early Church scholars on which matters Origen was condemned and what eclessiastical authority that particular council held but that is beyond the scope of this discussion. As I mentioned, the teachings that are condemned are not regarding his writings on Genesis. If you want to learn more consider reading the fifteen sections that were written regarding Origen. Regarding Augustine, I'm unsure of how the part you're quoting is in favor of a literalistic interpretation of Genesis. If you mean the title, scholars tend to view this as him separating this new work from his earlier work regarding Manachees which focused on the importance of Genesis from a prophetic and symbolic point of view (the relationship between Genesis and Christ). In his Literal Meaning of Genesis, Augustine is more clear in this passage where he says, "When we reflect upon the first establishment of creatures in the works of God from which he rested on the seventh day, we should not think either of those days as being like these ones governed by the sun, nor of that working as resembling the way God now works in time." As we can see, Augustine is slightly more clear in this passage than the one you presented in his views on the creation account. He clearly never viewed them as literal days nor was the account taken literalistic in the modern sense. Regarding the idea that the people that wrote these ideas down came from North Africa and Alexandria, this is certainly true. However, to blend them all into Gnosticism is a slippery slope fallacy or fallacy by association (in this case to location). Much of the Early Church was located in Alexandria, North Africa, the Levant and Anatolia. This is mostly due to the Church spreading by word of mouth. These are locations all close to Jerusalem and the areas that Christ lived. Alexandria was a hub for knowledge at the time so many Christian, pagan and Jewish intellectuals (such as Philo) lived there. It's library continued to exist in some form (despite being burned by Julius Caesar) until the 4th century. Note that despite all of these people living in close proximity to the Gnostic heresy they wrote extensively against Gnosticism and other heretical views. To me, the problem for Young Earth Creationists is sort of bind. Option A) YEC deny the scientific evidence for evolution and instead cling to a literalistic interpretation of Genesis. Option B) Accept the scientific consensus. If Option B they would no longer accept YEC. If Option A we YECs have to come up for an explanation as to why God's creation seems to be deceiving so many. To me, claiming that God's creative work is deceptive would be a theological concern as it would go against the very nature of God. Therefore, I think the only logical thing for a YEC to do is to attempt to debate the science of the matter (which, to your credit, you attempt to do). However, based on all the evidence presented, a young earth and the YEC models do not appear to be credible to me while the evolutionary models seem strikingly accurate. Again, I do not view Genesis in the same manner you do. I would argue that the Word does not lie nor does it need to be read in such a literalistic manner regarding Genesis. I don't view it as a cult. A cult generally implies a small group of people who don't invite criticism onto their views. Evolutionary biology is the subject of rigorous debate both from within and from the outside. All research tends to be peer-reviewed (which is not always the case with YEC papers). It also contains a variety of researchers from atheists to deists to theists. I am not sure what makes it so cult-like in your mind.
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