Can an Orthodox Christian be a heleocentrist?

  1. Lemma
  2. Может ли православный быть гелеоцентистом?
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology:evolution - Modes of interaction - Premodern _modern_ postmodern - Various approaches to the problem of correlation between science and theology - Scientific theories and disciplines
  6. 20-01-2017
  7. Может ли православный быть гелеоцентистом?
  8. Pravmir.Ru
  9. Evolution - Heliocentric theory - Protestant Church - Early Church Fathers
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Худиев, Сергей (2012). Может ли православный быть гелеоцентистом? <em>Pravmir.Ru.</em> Retrieved from: <a href="http://www.pravmir.ru/mozhet-li-pravoslavnyj-byt-geliocentristom/">http://www.pravmir.ru/mozhet-li-pravoslavnyj-byt-geliocentristom/</a> </p>
    1. The article opens a debate and represents a response to the article of father Maximov G. Tupik “pravoslavnogo” evolyutsionizma (Dead-end of Orthodox evolutionism). The author argues that God created the world out of nothing; that all processes in nature follow God’s will, including evolution. He posits that the mission of the Bible is to return people to the righteous relationship with God, whereas scientific knowledge is unable to save the human soul. Therefore, biblical comments on how the universe functions are only a reflection of the scientific knowledge of the time in which the Bible was written. There is no sense in a literary interpretation of the Bible; religious dogmatism as far as science is concerned only hinders people’s faith.

      Thus, Khudiev argues that the division between creationism and evolutionism is confusing because there are no processes in nature that are not initiated by God’s will. While we may be inclined to view God’s will as supernatural, we often see gradual processes as independent from God. Yet according to the author, this view is wrong. For example, pregnancy is both a natural process and divine creation at the same time.

      The author further argues that it is unfair to use the Early Church Fathers’ (written before 8th century AD) opinions on heliocentricism fragmentarily. Heliocentrism views the sun as the centre of the universe, a concept that the Early Church Fathers did not support. Khudiev thinks that we should separate the dogmatic teachings of the Early Church Fathers and their natural scientific views. For example, today not a single priest believes that the Earth and the Sun are of the same size. The main question is how to make this separation correctly and distinguish between questions of philosophy and questions of science. The idea that the world is created out of nothing is a philosophical question, which has no scientific proof. The idea that it took six days to create the world is a question related to science. That is why, the author concludes, there is no conflict between faith and science.

      Khudiev points out that this vision contradicts many American Protestant Churches’ views on science that see biblical explanations as the only truth. The problem here lies in the Protestant conflict with the Church as an institution. In Protestantism each person can realize the truth contained in the Bible without any help from outside. Therefore the contradiction between science and Christianity exists only within American Protestantism. The author believes that the function of the Bible was to make the reader believe in God. The scientific explanations the Bible used were the ones available at the time of writing. The Biblical texts and Early Church Fathers’ narratives on cosmology only reflected scientific views of the time and were used to make these texts more convincing for the reader of that time. Nowadays, Khudiev argues, we should see science as a wonderful revelation of curiosity, given to people by God and scientific research as an instrument that enables us to read the book of divine creation.