Saturday, 3 March 2012

Fr Seraphim Rose on Evolution and Christianity as opposite world views

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The whole 'evolutionary philosophy' which grasps people today leads them to believe, often unconsciously, in a view of creation and life which is just the opposite of what Christianity teaches: simple becomes complex, savagery 'evolves' to civilization, imperfect gives rise to perfect, 'progress' etc.

According to Orthodoxy, the perfect falls to the imperfect (Paradise to fallen world: and even historically, the Holy Fathers note the fall of mankind in general until the coming of Christ.. and man in the last days will be much lower spiritually than in the early Church...) incorruption and immortality precede corruption and mortality....

The whole outlook of 'evolutionary philosophy' is to upset this Christian outlook, based on God Who does everything as He wishes, and make instead something more 'understandable' to fallen men - rationalism, humanism.

That's why 'evolution' was developed gradually before any 'scientific' proof was ever found.

From Genesis, Creation and Early Man, 2011 edition - pp255-7 (excerpted)

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COMMENT

Evolutionary philosophy is not merely false, but self-refuting; since it explains-away its own authority as merely a contingent product of entities continually changing in response to selection pressures.

Worse, evolutionary philosophy is evil (is destructive of The Good, is anti-Christ)

Yet, although unneccessary and potentially hazardous to salvation when regarded as a philosophy of life; when embedded within the Christian world view, subordinated to it, restricted to a scientific, pragmatic and indeed technological role - the theory or evolution by natural selection is compatible with The Truth and may well be useful, has been useful.

Evolution may be true, in particular circumstance - even though it certainly is not The Truth.

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It could be asked - why take the risk of using natural selection in science when there is a tendency to over-apply it as a philosophy of life? Why not discard evolutionary theory as simply too hazardous - or contiually re-shape evolutionary theory around prior ideology, as secular Leftists have always done wherever they disliked its class, sexual or racial implications? My answer is that arguments used to discard evolutionary theory cannot be restricted in their effect but would logically apply to almost any worldly activity which has the potential for misapplication and over-application - including all of Science, Philosophy, Art, even Theology. In an intrinsically fallen world there must be places for such things, and wisdom lies in keeping them in their proper places - not in destroying them.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Peter S. said…

Regarding the first two paragraphs taken from Fr. Seraphim above, this is fully consonant with my description of evolution as “an inversion of the traditional doctrine – most clearly articulated by Plato – of the descent into material form of the archetypes or ideas found within a suprasensible intelligible order” here: http://orthosphere.org/2012/02/19/the-best-that-science-can-do/

Anonymous said...

It could be asked - why take the risk of using natural selection in science when there is a tendency to over-apply it as a philosophy of life? Why not discard evolutionary theory as simply too hazardous - or contiually re-shape evolutionary theory around prior ideology, as secular Leftists have always done wherever they disliked its class, sexual or racial implications?

I am not satisfied with your answer to this question, which seems strangely pragmatic to me, so let me try to answer it by myself.

If evolution is false, it must be discarded. But if it is true, it must be accepted, regardless of their implications. Our duty is to be faithful to the truth. This is why I am a Christian, because I think Christianity is truth.

Imnobody

bgc said...

@Imnobody - but, by the same criteria ALL science is false. ALL science is a grossly simplified model of reality which use assumptions that are (at least) not-necessarily true. What then?

Indeed, every sentence we speak, every communication we make, is not the Truth because always partial and distorted.

We should try always to conform to the Truth, but always we will fail.