Friday, September 22, 2023

‘The Fruit of the Theory of Evolution’


Some Southrons make these kinds of statements from time to time:


We’re told their demonstrable lack of civilizational capacity is the result of all sorts of terms for racism, white supremacy, not given enough resources, and the legacy of slavery, but really, it’s rather simple. Sub-Saharan Africans have DNA from a pre-hominid ancestor not shared by any other race.


As a whole, this is probably what imbues them with a set of definitive traits such as poor intelligence, a lack of impulse control, an inability to think with a significant degree of abstraction or internal monologue, and a very short time horizon. These traits don’t result in a civilization. Without contact by other races, it constrains them to a hunter-gatherer existence. They’re programmed to be fine with that, which is the same reason that white people assume blacks are stressed out from all the shootings. In reality, they’re not, which is why they shoot so much. This existence would stress (product of a longer time horizon) us out for the same reason we don’t shoot each other for no good reason.


This wide genetic disparity also gives them some distinct physical features which is why AI can confuse them with apes because it’s just doing math on facial points.

They are worth a close examination, mainly because they rest on the assumption that mankind is the product of an evolutionary process of some kind.  But is that compatible with the Christianity that traditional Southerners say we want to govern all aspects of our society?  The answer would seem to be No.

To begin with, evolution conflicts with the idea of man made in the image and likeness of God, with the teaching that man is specially created by God.  Jesse Dominick, in his Master’s thesis on the teachings about creation of the ever-memorable St. Seraphim Rose (+1982) writes,


Evolution is understood to occur not within individuals but within populations.[6] Thus, many theistic evolutionists do not believe in the historicity of Adam and Eve as literally the first human beings, but rather interpret them as symbols for the first human population. Others propose that once the evolutionary forerunners of human beings attained the proper physical state, God called out two of them to receive souls, who became the first humans, Adam and Eve. Fr. Seraphim mentions such ideas in his talks,[7] which had been expressed to him in a letter by Dr. Alexander Kalomiros, who wrote: “Adam is the evolved beast who receives in its innermost being the divine breath … then the evolved beast became a logical creature, being transformed from the inside, and in its depths, not anatomically but spiritually, by the grace of the Holy Spirit” (emphasis in original).[8] Dr. Alexander draws his sole Patristic support for his view from a passage of A Conversation of St. Seraphim of Sarov with N. A. Motovilov in which St. Seraphim seemingly teaches that man was a beast like unto other beasts, later becoming a human at the inbreathing of the Holy Spirit. However, in his reply letter, Fr. Seraphim goes to great lengths to demonstrate that St. Seraphim is in fact in harmony with the other Fathers who teach that Adam’s body and soul were created simultaneously, as aforementioned (and which will be addressed further on).[9] As always, Fr. Seraphim prostrated his mind before that of the Church and sought for the Spirit-breathed harmony of the Fathers, rather than seeking the apparent “contradictions” which fuel academic studies, or passages that could be perverted to fit his own theories.


Dr. Kalomiros twice introduces a dualism into the constitution of man. The claim that Adam’s body predates his soul means it thus has its own particular existence apart from the soul and thus divides the integral unity of the hypostasis of man; and the claim that Adam is an evolved beast who received the breath of God necessitates that there would have thus been other animals, from which Adam was taken, that are physically identical to human beings but lacking the spiritual nature of man. Dr. Kalomiros writes: “I would not be surprised if Adam’s body had been in all aspects the body of an ape.”[10] This logically leads to the strange conclusions that either the irrational beasts possessing the same physical body as Adam are half-humans, or that the human body is not truly “human,” as it is possessed also by irrational beasts, and so humanity is found only in the spiritual nature of man. This is little different from the erroneous philosophical notion of the anathematized Alexandrian theologian Origen (184–254) that pre-existent human souls fell into bodies which are not truly part of the human constitution—a belief which compelled the Fathers to write strongly on the simultaneous creation of the human body and soul.


 . . .


As Fr. Seraphim demonstrates, none of these theories—that Adam is merely symbolic of all humanity or that Adam and Eve are the first humans called out from a population of lower beasts, or that they are simply the first humans to receive a “God-consciousness”—are compatible with Patristic Orthodoxy. St. Nikolai Velimirović writes precisely of those who take pleasure “in shamelessly calling monkeys their ancestors,” that they engage in “the drowning of anthropology in zoology.”[19] The Tradition of the Church is quite consistent that Adam and Eve were literal people, that they were the only human beings until they had children, and that they were created uniquely from the rest of creation, and thus were not merely descendants of lower creatures. M. C. (now Bishop Irenei) Steenberg argues in his aforementioned article that for St. Irenaeus, in contrast to the allegorizing whims of the Gnostics, for Adam and Eve to have any symbolic value, such as some evolutionists would ascribe to them, they must be literal, historical persons whom we read of in an historical narrative.[20] Many other Fathers who write of the Creation accounts, with their strict adherence to the historicity of Genesis, attest to the same.[21] In writing of Adam and Eve the Fathers are not offering apologetics for their literal existence, but rather seem to take it for granted and simply speak of Adam and Eve as actual people, as any Christian would have believed. . . .

Second, evolutionary theories place death in the world before the Fall.  They make death a necessity for the progress of creatures to higher forms of life.  But death came only after the Fall, as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve; it could not have existed prior to that terrible event.  St. Seraphim Rose, writing in reply to an evolutionist on these subjects, says,


And St. John Damascene, whose theology gives concisely the teaching of all the early Fathers writes:


The earliest formation (of man) is called creation and not generation. For creation is the original formation at God's hands, while generation is the succession from each other made necessary by the sentence of death imposed on us on account of the transgression. (On the Orthodox Faith, II, 30)


And what of Eve? Do you not believe that, as the Scripture and holy Fathers teach, she was made from Adam's rib and was not born of some other creature? But St. Cyril writes:


Eve was begotten of Adam, and not conceived of a mother, but as it were brought forth of man alone. (Catechetical Lectures, XII, 29)


 . . .


Now I come to a very important point. You ask: "How is it that the fall of Adam brought corruption and the law of the jungle to the animals, since animals have been created before Adam? We know that animals died, killed and devoured one another since their first appearance on earth and not only after the appearance of man."


How do you know this? Are you sure that this is what the holy Fathers teach? You explain your point, not by quoting any holy Fathers, but by giving a philosophy of "time." I certainly agree with you that God is outside of time; to Him everything is present. But this fact is not a proof that animals, who died because of Adam, died before he fell. What do the holy Fathers say?


It is true, of course, that most holy Fathers speak about animals as already corruptible and mortal; but they are speaking about their fallen state. What about their state before the transgression of Adam?


There is a very significant hint about this in the commentary in Genesis of St. Ephraim the Syrian. When speaking of the "skins" which God made for Adam and Eve after their transgression, St. Ephraim writes:


One may suppose that the first parents, touching their waists with their hands found that they were clothed with garments made of animal skins-killed, it may be, before their very eyes, so that they might eat their meat, cover their nakedness with the skins, and in their very death might see the death of their own body. (Commentary on Genesis, ch.3)


I will discuss below the patristic teaching of the immortality of Adam before his transgression, but here I am only interested in the question of whether animals died before the fall. Why should St. Ephraim suggest that Adam would learn about death by seeing the death of animals-if he had already seen the death of animals before his transgression (which he certainly had according to the evolutionary view)? But this is only a suggestion; there are other holy Fathers who speak quite definitely on this subject, as I will show in a moment.


But first I must ask you: if it is true as you say that animals died and the creation was corrupted before the transgression of Adam, then how can it be that God looked at His creation after every one of the Days of Creation and "saw that it was good," and after creating the animals on the Fifth and Sixth Days He "saw that they were good," and at the end of the Six Days, after the creation of man, "God saw all the things that He had made, and behold, they were very good." How could they be "good" if they were already mortal and corruptible, contrary to God's plan for them? The Divine services of the Orthodox Church contain many moving passages of lamentation about the "corrupted creation," as well as expressions of joy that Christ by His Resurrection has "recalled the corrupted creation." How could God see this lamentable condition of the creation and say that it was "very good"? And again, we read in the sacred text of Genesis: "And God said, Behold I have given to you every seed-bearing herb sowing seed which is upon all the earth, and every tree which has in itself the fruit of seed that is sown, to you it shall be for food. And to all the wild beasts of the earth, and to all the flying creatures of heaven, and to every reptile creeping on the earth, which has in itself the breath of life, even every green plant for food; and it was so." (Gn. 1:29-30) Why, if the animals devoured each other before the fall, as you say, did God give them, even "all the wild beasts and every reptile" (many of which are now strictly carnivorous) only "green plants for food"? Only long after the transgression of Adam did God say to Noah: "And every reptile which is living shall be to you for meat; I have given all things to you as the green herbs." (Gn. 9:3) Do you not sense here the presence of a mystery which so far has escaped you because you insist on interpreting the sacred text of Genesis by means of modern evolutionary philosophy, which will not admit that animals could ever have been of a nature different from that which they now possess?

Third, the acceptance of the theory of evolution is driving Southerners and other peoples away from Christianity and towards scientific atheism and other infidel religions, thus undermining the foundations of Christian culture here and abroad.  The excellent spiritual writer St. Theophan the Recluse (+1894) makes this point well:


People have suddenly had a thought and have started to write about preserving faith.  But they don’t want to block the source of unbelief.  This source is the spread of the teaching that the world formed by itself, according to which there is no need for God and the soul does not exist—it’s all atoms and chemistry, nothing more.  This is being preached at [university] rostrums and in literature.  He who breathes these fumes is inescapably stupefied, and loses his sense and faith. . . .  Until these books are destroyed; until professors and literary men are forced not only not to hold to this theory, but even to demolish it—until then—faithlessness will grow and grow, and with it, self-will and the destruction of the present government.  That’s the way the French Revolution went (Fr. Seraphim Rose, Genesis, Creation, and Early Man:  The Orthodox Christian Vision, 2nd edn., Hieromonk Damascene, edr., St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, Cal., 2011, p. 792).

For Dixie to be faithful to Christ, she must reject evolution.  If she rejects evolution, there can be no more speculation about sub-Saharan Africans being some kind of less-evolved form of humanity or some kind of stunted evolutionary cousin.  They are just as human as Asians or Europeans, just as much the children of Adam and Eve as the rest of mankind.

If the actions of some of the African folk in the South and other places is less than ideal, we must remember that it took several hundreds of years for Europeans to be transformed by the Grace of God into the relatively virtuous beings we have become.  Let us not, therefore, judge prematurely this population of Africans.  Let them have 500 or 1,000 continuous years of nurturing from the Holy Ghost, as most European countries have had; then let us see how fares their civilization.

Each of us has a role to play in the salvation and sanctification of the black folks amongst us here in Dixie, be it small or large.  Are we faithfully discharging that duty?  Do we pray that the Lord would free them from bondage to the devil and his demons?  Do we share the Gospel with them?  Do we befriend and counsel them?  Most tellingly, are we willing to be mistreated and martyred for the sake of uniting them to Christ, as St. Paul and most of the other Holy Apostles, St. Denis, St. Boniface, and scores of others were for the sake of saving the lost heathens to whom they preached?  ‘If I have not love . . .’ (I Corinthians 13).


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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