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How old is the earth?


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#281 Steve Roche

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:49 PM

6-10,000 years old in my honest opinion, just thought I'd share it, I'm not really concerned with being laughed at.


This is my opinion also. I would like to have confidence that the year was exactly 7520 (per Fr Raphael). I am pretty sure it is somewhere very close to that date. The Greek versions are mostly in agreement on the genesis dates, although there is a lot of texts missing the genesis account as well. Most of the fathers agree with this approximate date.

#282 Theophrastus

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:12 AM

His fundamental belief was in a great soul of the universe which infused all atoms with life. This idea is no different to theistic evolution.


Whatever "soul" Democritus believed in, it was composed of a type of matter. It was part of the cosmos, not different from it. The "gods" of Democritus were likewise composed of a type of matter: they were born, they lived, and they would die, just like any other part of the cosmos. Since the Democritean gods were mortal, any one god could not direct the total evolutionary process of the universe.

Theistic evolution, as understood by many Christians today, posits a God who is not composed of any matter whatsoever, a God who totally "transcends" the realm of conditioned nature. Since God totally transcends nature, God can direct the evolutionary process of the whole process of nature, from the beginning of nature to the end of nature.

I agree that Democritus did not have a concept of theistic evolution, because the Democritean gods could not direct the total process of evolution. (At most, they could perhaps guide a small part of it.) Thus, if the Church Fathers criticized Democritus, the Church Fathers were not criticizing theistic evolution.

#283 David Hawthorne

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:57 AM

I can state with complete confidence that the age of the earth is 7521 yrs. old or more.....

#284 Owen Jones

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:03 AM

Still waiting for a scientific basis for evolution...

#285 Steve Roche

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:05 AM

I agree that Democritus did not have a concept of theistic evolution, because the Democritean gods could not direct the total process of evolution. (At most, they could perhaps guide a small part of it.) Thus, if the Church Fathers criticized Democritus, the Church Fathers were not criticizing theistic evolution.


Theophrastus, you miss the point. Democritus believed in a deity. That is a fact shared with theistic evolutionists. Democritus also believed that this deity was responsible for evolution – the image of God was placed within the atoms. This idea is also shared with theistic evolutionists. Trying to split hairs or use semantics does not change those facts. Democritus was a theistic evolutionist; and the early church disbarred his interpretation of genesis. Those who follow the doctrine of theistic evolution follow the doctrine of Democritus with a christian spin.

Augustine, in a letter to Dioscorus, in 410 AD, said:
http://www.newadvent...ers/1102118.htm


“Democritus, however, is said to differ here also in his doctrine on physics from Epicurus; for he holds that there is in the concourse of atoms a certain vital and breathing power, by which power I believe he affirms that the images themselves (not all images of all things, but images of the gods) are endued with divine attributes, and that the first beginnings of the mind are in those universal elements to which he ascribed divinity, and that the images possess life, inasmuch as they are wont either to benefit or to hurt us. Epicurus, however, does not assume anything in the first beginnings of things but atoms, that is, certain corpuscles, so minute that they cannot be divided or perceived either by sight or by touch; and his doctrine is, that by the fortuitous concourse (clashing) of these atoms, existence is given both to innumerable worlds and to living things, and to the souls which animate them, and to the gods whom, in human form, he has located, not in any world, but outside of the worlds, and in the spaces which separate them; and he will not allow of any object of thought beyond things material. But in order to these becoming an object of thought, he says that from those things which he represents as formed of atoms, images more subtle than those which come to our eyes flow down and enter into the mind. For according to him, the cause of our seeing is to be found in certain images so huge that they embrace the whole outer world. But I suppose that you already understand their opinions regarding these images.”


And by Lactantius, in A Treatise on the Anger of God, it is said:


“Let us, however, concede to them that the things which are earthly are made from atoms: are the things also which are heavenly? They say that the gods are without contamination, eternal, and blessed; and they grant to them alone an exemption, so that they do not appear to be made up of a meeting together of atoms. For if the gods also had been made up of these, they would be liable to be dispersed, the seeds at length being resolved, and returning to their own nature. Therefore, if there is something which the atoms could not produce, why may we not judge in the same way of the others? But I ask why the gods did not build for themselves a dwelling-place before those first elements produced the world? It is manifest that, unless the atoms had come together and made the heaven, the gods would still be suspended through the midst of empty space. By what counsel, then, by what plan, did the atoms from a confused mass collect themselves, so that from some the earth below was formed into a globe, and the heaven stretched out above, adorned with so great a variety of constellations that nothing can be conceived more embellished? Can he, therefore, who sees such and so great objects, imagine that they were made without any design, without any providence, without any divine intelligence, but that such great and wonderful things arose out of fine and minute atoms? Does it not resemble a prodigy, that there should be any human being who might say these things, or that there should be those who might believe them--as Democritus, who was his hearer, or Epicurus, to whom all folly flowed forth from the fountain of Leucippus? But, as others say, the world was made by Nature, which is without perception and figure. But this is much more absurd. If Nature made the world, it must have made it by judgment and intelligence; for it is lie that makes something who has either the inclination to make it, or knowledge. If nature is without perception and figure, how can that be made by it which has both perception and figure, unless by chance anyone thinks that the fabric of animals, which is so delicate, could have been formed and animated by that which is without perception, or that that figure of heaven, which is prepared with such foresight for the uses of living beings, suddenly came into existence by some accident or other, without a builder, without an artificer?”


There are many other references to Democritus in the fathers, but I don’t want to keep arguing this point with you. You are able to believe in theistic evolution – but that will not change the fact that it was condemned by the early church as being a doctrine of Democritus – the divine evolution of colliding atoms. Both evolution and theistic evolution was condemned as a form of atheism. I agree with this assessment, and I also believe those who accept evolution nurture disbelief and denial of their disbelief. That is my opinion. I cannot help you see something when the problem is actually one of faith.

#286 Owen Jones

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:09 PM

One can obviously decide that he believes in something called theistic evolution. But the God of this theistic evolution is a very different kind of God than that which Orthodox Christians worship. Darwin (from whom we get the essential modern version of evolutionary doctrine) explicitly states that God could not have created the world in all of its present diversity. So right away you are dealing with a very diminished God, and it becomes a very small step from there to just take God out of the picture entirely. It is akin to Newton's claim that the universe is absolute. He did so for theological reasons, to defend the Cambridge Platonists against the rationalists. For him, the universe was God's sensorium of His creation. Therefore it had to be absolute. It doesn't take a big leap from there to conclude that if the universe is absolute, then who needs God?

But the fundamental problem is that evolution, whether ancient or modern, has no scientific basis. Nor can it be a theory of origins as it presents itself to be. Just to say that there is some kind of God who set everything in motion is not a solution to those problems. Darwinism is a reflection of 19th Century British liberal economic theory, specifically, that of Herbert Spencer. That's where the modern theory comes from. The book, Race and State, by Eric Voegelin, has the most incisive treatment of the issues, although it's not an easy read. Darwin was really propounding a racial theory of history to explain why some races are superior to others.

#287 Steve Roche

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:40 PM

Erasmus Darwin, the grand-father of Charles Darwin, and William George Spencer, father of Herbert Spencer, were both founding members of the Lunar Society, and a men’s club called the Derby Philosophical society. They started the ground-breaking work of evolution during the French Revolution. Erasmus Darwin was friends of both Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Erasmus Darwin was influential in both the French Revolution and the American Revolution, and the Big Bang theory first originated from Erasmus Darwin during the French Revolution.

Erasmus Darwin and William George Spencer were both influenced by the works of Thomas Robert Malthus, who wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus explained the mechanism of why there were so few people in the world. At the 1800 census the first 1 billion people were counted to be on earth. This information astonished the world of science, and it certainly fits within a 7520 year time-frame since Adam. It contradicted the work of Erasmus Darwin and William George Spencer. If man had really evolved, the amount of humans on earth would need to be in there trillions, not billions. Spencer and Erasmus Darwin were both searching for a mechanism to explain this phenomenon. They were ultimately influenced by the theories of Malthus to explain population retardation. Malthus believed that God used famine and disease to prevent populations expanding beyond the means of sustainability. Herbert Spencer and Charles Darwin used this same mechanism to explain evolutionary diversity and natural selection. It is actually quite ironic how the theory of evolution developed.

Steve

Oh, and thanks for the info on Voegelin. I just purchase his book "Science Politics Gnosticism".

Edited by Steve Roche, 27 September 2012 - 11:57 PM.





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