I think the data does show that all living things are related and that
humans are geneologically related to other living things, specifically to
the great apes, with whom we share a common ancestor.
Orthodox Christians believe(I believe) that the image and likeness of God
refers chiefly to our spiritual capacities. Whether these spiritual
capacities evolved, or are somehow inserted into us is an open question. I
believe that God somehow guided the evolutionary process to create those
qualities in Homo Sapiens, but I am willing to be persauded on this. I have
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On
Behalf Of Adrian Teo
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 12:45 PM
To: 'Tim Ikeda'; email@example.com
Subject: RE: Definition of "Species"
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tim Ikeda [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 7:11 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: RE: Definition of "Species"
> Essentially, there is _no_ single criterion which will work
> in all cases
> and for all uses. Life is, after all, a continuum.
> This is in contrast to the traditionally Biblical concept of
> "kinds" which
> assumes the existence of fundamentally separate origins for groups of
> organisms. It is an absolute definition.
As you and others are well aware, one does not need to try to fit the
biblical label of "kinds" into any sort of scientific category, although
people have tried to do so. However, one chooses to define the biblical
"kinds", we all recognize that there is just a whole range of opinions that
nevertheless can fit within an OEC framework. Some of them are clearly
incompatible with scientific data, but conceivably, there could be certain
definitions that would be entirely consistent with the data. And that is my
main argument, that certain versions of OEC may be as consistent with the
data as evolution is.
Furthermore, I do not think that an OEC position necessarily requires that
one draws clear boundaries between ALL kinds of organisms, but only that
humans are specially created. This is necessary to preserve the doctrine of
Original Sin and the dignity and inestimable worth of humans as made in the
image of God. Thus, the doctrine of creation is not that God created all
living things in exactly the same form as we see today (although it could
embrace that if the data supports it), but that God created all things (it
is not about species, but about all things) visible and invisible, and that
humans are not created "after their own kind" but in the "image and
likeness" of God.
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