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Link styles?

I notice that there are some inconsistencies with the style of works cited - some contributions provide extensive summaries (even arguments) from the articles cited, others simply reference the article. Perhaps in the interests of neutrality, a uniform standard should be applied. --Gzthompson (talk) 05:25, April 2, 2017 (UTC)

Edited vandalism

CharlesDarwin decided to vandalize this page. I have undone his work to the previous page.Mike 19:04, May 4, 2008 (UTC)

OK. Now I've done it. I added a link to my own article on the subject. If there's an issue here, let me know and I'll deep-six it. --Basil 17:24, March 14, 2006 (CST)


At the risk of multiplying "-isms," I appropriated the two terms compatibilism and incompatibilism primarily so that references, books, and external links could be marked WRT their general position in the current debate. In philosophy, these terms denote positions WRT to the free will debate: IOW, whether free will is compatible with determinism or not. See Compatibilism and Incompatibilism on Wikipedia. --Basil 19:33, March 14, 2006 (CST)

Hi, I just wanted to say that I appreciate the balanced approach that your article takes, especially with the Compatabilism/Incompatabilism distinction. Well written. By the way, which approach would you say is more widespread within Orthodoxy? My priest, at least, is of the compatabilist persuasion. --Gabriela May 9, 2006, 11:23 (CST)

Gabriela, they both get about equal play. I think some people don't realize how pervasive either view is because, frankly, most Orthodox don't get worked up about it, unless they're adult converts. Adult converts bring their own issues to Orthodoxy (nothing wrong with that; it's simply the nature of personal development). Most people, when pushed, will admit that it doesn't really matter to one's salvation which way one falls (which is not to say that they think it's an irrelevant question; just not one to get dogmatic about).--Basil 18:40, June 11, 2006 (CDT)

I have found, in my research, that although there may be no "dogmatic" pronouncements on the evolution issue there is a very solid teaching by the Fathers on the whole train of thought that evolution puts forth. The wisdom needed with evolution is to tell when the philosophy of evolution begins, and it is at that point it leaves the realms of science. In regards to science I think many times it comes down to how one is reading the info. What thought pattern is one starting from...? For the simple facts of science could go many ways. But back to the Fathers I found a few things helpful, in short- - The Fathers teach that man and woman were made immortal in paridise one example is Abba Dorotheus- "For God created man according to His own image, that is immortal, master of himself, and adorned with every virtue..." This contrasts evolutions philosophy which says man started as a lower form and through mutations and other things (very simply) over much time evolved into a human. I think it is vital in our times to understand what the Church has taught about man and his beginings, and it contrasts greatly with the philosophy of macro-evolution (dealing with how life began). Zachary, June 26, 2006

There may be no "dogmatic" discussion but based on the following story it does have a major spiritual effect. Some saints are given the gift of telling sins through smell. Once Elder Joseph of the Holy Mountain met a man who had a unknown stench (meaning that He did not know what sin caused it). So he told the man that he should go to confession. It turned out that the stench was cause by the mans belief in evolution. Ssmith165, September 10, 2006

The Enlightenment?

I deleted the reference to the Enlightenment. Modern science is generally dated to the 16th and 17th centuries, while the Enlightenment is 18th century. --Fr Lev 16:16, October 16, 2008 (UTC)

Philosophy of Science: Sir Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn

Simply by way of "quantifying" the theory of evolution, from the scientific side, I wanted to mention a centrally important quotation by Sir Karl Popper, widely regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century, who stated that:

"Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program."

In other words, in the research phase at any rate, it functions just like its own "belief system". See the Wikipedia article discussion of this here: Karl_Popper#Issue_of_Darwinism/

Similarly, it is also very interesting that back in 1962, philosopher and historian of science Thomas Kuhn published the landmark study in the sociology of knowledge, called "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", popularizing the terms "paradigm" and "paradigm shift"; in this study, Kuhn sought to debunk the conception of cumulative scientific development as a myth. Since the Western Enlightenment, some scientists had advocated that if they had made great scientific discoveries, it was only because they had "stood on the shoulders of giants before them", adding to their work. Kuhn however, pointed out that this was bogus, and that new discoveries constantly obliterated what we THOUGHT we knew beforehand, replacing it with an entirely new set of reference points.

Not sure if mentioning these two scientific philosphers has any place in this article, but both of them have made very honest and valid observations surrounding the Basic Terms and Definitions of this subject (from the theory of evolution/scientific side), which should be defined and understood as a precedent to any meaningful discussion phase. At any rate, just sharing. :)

Cheers, Angellight 888 21:13, June 14, 2010 (UTC)

This OrthodoxWiki article is about whether the dominant scientific theory of biological origins is compatible with Orthodox faith.
Kuhn and Popper are not, properly, "scientific philosophers," but "philosophers of science": they philosophize about "philosophy of science," a field which determines the boundaries and subject matter of science. Kuhn and Popper are certainly vitally important to understanding the current state of the field of philosophy of science, but neither are definitive voices (i.e., the "last word") on the subject. Popper's statement would need to be understood within the fullness of his argument, whatever it is. Is it a conclusion? A premise in a larger argument? Both? Whatever its context, it cannot stand on its own simply on the basis of his authority, because it begs the question. It states as a declaration (assumes as solved) the very thing under consideration.
You are absolutely correct: Understanding their thought is vitally important to understanding whether the current state of evolutionary theory counts as science (what Wolshchak has facetiously called "post-post-neo-Darwinism," meaning the label "Darwinism" per se is no longer applicable).
However, this OrthodoxWiki article is about whether the dominant scientific theory of biological origins is compatible with Orthodox faith; it is not about the scientific validity of the dominant scientific theory. The latter should be argued in another forum, one on the subject of "boundary issues" in philosophy of science. --Basil 14:33, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Many Thanks Basil. You hit the nail on the head twice here, in identifying the main task and purpose involved:
  1. "whether the current state of evolutionary theory counts as science"; and
  2. stating that "This OrthodoxWiki article is about whether the dominant scientific theory of biological origins is compatible with Orthodox faith".
Provides excellent clarity and focus, and a clear base to go forward from. Archbishop Hilarion recently made an important statement in this regard, in: Russia Church wants end to Darwin school "monopoly", REUTERS, Wed Jun 9, 2010 3:44pm EDT:
"The time has come for the monopoly of Darwinism and the deceptive idea that science in general contradicts religion. These ideas should be left in the past," senior Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion said at a lecture in Moscow.
"Darwin's theory remains a theory. This means it should be taught to children as one of several theories, but children should know of other theories too."
(Aside): I will also note something I heard from a recent Bible Study from the Orthodox Proto-Presbyter conducting the session, that historically, the "sciences" were not divorced from "theology", as they are today; and this divorce is a very recent phenomenon. As late as the 19th century, he mentioned as an example, that St Theophan the Recluse was in possession of the most advanced telescope in his day, as well as having an entire library of philosophical/scientific?? books. In addition, the first several books/chapters of one of St Gregory Palamas' writings is completely devoted to science. The fathers used the Sciences and Greek Philosophy as tools, however the difference is, that it was ONLY with proper Orthodox theology that God could be approached. The divorce of the sciences & philosophy from theology is a recent phenomenon, and as a result, mankind today is actually far less intellectually capable than even a hundred years ago, putting us as a society and civilization in a very precarious and dangerous state. Incidentally the text we had originally began to discuss was from 1 Corinthians 1:23 "..but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles..".
In relation to this theme of a post-literate society, there is an interesting book on current affairs that has been sold out for quite some time in many stores, written by former New York Times War Correspondent Chris Hedges, called: "Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.", which considers some interesting and disturbing themes if true.
Cheers, Angellight 888 23:54, September 30, 2010 (UTC)