This is the problem with evolutionary theory: it claims that mind can be adequately explained by the combining of foundational "elements," and requires no formational principals.
I am no expert on Darwin .. but I tend to agree with you. This reminds me of a ditty of Socrates ... (paraphrased) where Socrates argues that the artistic genius of a master musician is not the product of the quality of his instrument. The instrument does not play the musician - the musician plays the instrument.
Certainly there is 'something' to .. evolution. We witness things evolve. Generate. Unfold. Change in a non-chaotic way.
But I am not sure exactly what Darwin's own claims were. I have never read him myself .. and I do note that it is often the case that those who follow often corrupt (through misunderstanding) what the master had left behind. So there could be a difference between how Darwin saw things and how Darwinism sees Darwin.
But might I submit that many a Christian falls into troubles trying to reconcile Darwinism with the account in Genesis - for two main reasons.
1) A misunderstanding of what Providence is and how it works.
2) Assuming the narrations of Genesis to be a type of literal history - and it is not. It is a cosmogony (Tertillian, Augustine, Irenaeus and other fathers).
"There is then no doubt, that if the angels are included in the works of God during these six days, they are that light which is called day; and their unity is stressed by the fact that the day is called not 'the first day'; but one day; Nor are the second and third, and so on really days. They are all the same one day repeated to complete the number six or sevenfold, namely, the six-fold knowledge of the works of God and the seventh knowledge of His rest"
St. Augustine, City of God, Book XI, Chapter 9
- - - - -
The mistake with understanding the workings of Providence is to assume that it works like a clock. The universe is created (wound up and set into motion) to tick-tocks its way to its inevitable result - and God only intercedes on rare occasions. This assume God to be a master clock maker. Providence therefore .. in our lives .. seems to be these rare moments when God decides to interrupt the gears (laws of nature) to perform a miracle or two.
Without a doubt .. the above is what seems to be our human experience. The witness of scriptures (economy) often comes from this view. But it is a faulty understanding of how Providence works. We can call it a Newtonian view of the world and God in as much as the Roman Catholic church essentially adopted this view in the Middle Ages. I do note that RC mystical theology maintains the tradition and classical view of Providence as expressed by the Doctors. Driving a split between current governmental theology and its own mystical theology which still agrees with Eastern mystical theology.
As regards the narrations of Genesis (a particular study of mine) ... they are a cosmogony in ennead form .. and must be read as a cosmogony, not a history, not fables. It is the national epic of the nation of Israel ... and a form of philosophy with its own language (images) arranged into what is essentially - a mystery play for the mind. One must know the style of literature to read it well and attempt to find echoes of Judeo-Christian beliefs in it. It is what the Greeks called a 'procession of creation' and as such it is a generative unfolding of a single principle (a triad) six times. In other words the narrations are cyclical (repeating a logos) as well as progressive (refer to my quote of Augustine above). The stories are arranged in the pattern (schema) that I gave you in my last post.
All this is to say that anyone looking to reconcile a big-bang like start of the universe .. with the narrations of Genesis .. is barking up the wrong tree. But of course not all of the early fathers were barking up the right tree either.
I tend to stick to those who were formed by the school of Alexandria.
I have to run to work now
I do hope this week is better than last week
Peace to your church
Now I am at lunch and have a few minutes more to yak.
As far as the title of this thread which is something like 'did death come to animals after the fall'?
This question is off base. It supposes that the narrations of Genesis are literal history. Certainly some fathers thought so (literal) and others did not think so (spiritual or allegorical). The old Alexandria vrs Antioch thing.
I side with the fathers out of Alexandria .. however .. not allegorical .. but rather a typical cosmogony done in the literary style of a cosmogony. This 'language' of images is how philosophy and theology was done at the time. Plato stood at the cross roads from cosmogony (begind him) to the terms of philosophy we have to day (after him).
My point being that (with all due respect to the group of fathers who would disagree) the idea that physical death entered the world due to the fall ... the actual text says nothing about that at all. The mistranslation has to do with the Hebrew word translated as 'die'. There are two words for death in the Hebrew - the serpent mentions two forms of death - one is a spiritual death and other is physical death (like a carcass). Translations do not make note of the difference and have no way to impart the word play of the Hebrew.
(paraphrased) "Did god say to you that if you eat the fruit - you would die? Dying (spiritual death) you will not die (physical death) but shall become like gods."
Become like gods - creating our own self-providence.
The forbidden fruit is eaten and spiritual death immediately ensues.
Note that Jesus uses death in the same way. Lazarus is not dead (spiritual death) he is sleeping. Physical death is not a punishment nor a result of the 'fall' ... that Genesis tells us about. Genesis is not a history nor a pre-history - it is a mystery play - a cosmogony. A deep look inside ourselves and at the foundations of our own being - right here and right now.
And those scribes who are walking around trying to trip Jesus up - are like white washed graves .. that is .. spiritual dead already.
The narrations of Genesis are like acts in a play. Each act opens with the stage already set and the props already in place for the action. For example - in order to be thrown out of the garden (exiled from God's All-Providence) the scene opens in a garden (a protected place where it is God who plants and grows and man just has to pull out the weeds). Defining a garden automatically defines that 'earth' outside of the garden that is not
a protected garden.
While this particular narration (act in the play) is often called a second creation story - it is not. It is a more detailed look at what takes place in the first narration (the seven days). It is (as it were) like a telescope view where the magnification has been raised to take a closer look.
Certainly one must admit that in reading the narrations - they are much like the prophetic dreams and ecstatic displays that the prophets experienced. They do not resemble the historical records of say the book of Kings. And so genesis is prophetic literature ... not historical record of any kind (although the later portions of Genesis do make use of some historical data).
And so the question "did animal receive death as a result of the fall" is a question that has no answer because what is being perceived as the 'fall' is taken from Genesis which is a cosmogony (a look inside to the core of our human nature).
These are my thoughts on the subject.
Peace be to your holy church.
Edited by Ray Kaliss, 12 May 2008 - 05:12 PM.