RE: Definition of "Species"

From: Shuan Rose (
Date: Wed Feb 20 2002 - 13:20:29 EST

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    hi Adrian,
    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
    no idea!

    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On
    Behalf Of Adrian Teo
    Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 12:45 PM
    To: 'Tim Ikeda';
    Subject: RE: Definition of "Species"

    Hello Tim,

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Tim Ikeda []
    > Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 7:11 PM
    > To:
    > 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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