July 6, 2011

Elder Paisios: On Darwinian and Theistic Evolution

By Elder Paisios the Athonite

The nonsense we hear in schools these days about Darwin's theory and the rest, even the teachers themselves do not believe what they are teaching. Instead they proceed because they want to pollute the minds of our youth and take them away from the Church.

This is what someone told me: "Let's say the soil contained various substances and micro-organisms, and God took these and created man...."

"You mean," I replied, "that if those elements did not exist in the soil, God would not have been able to create man? It would have been really difficult for Him?"

"Well, let's say," he continued, "that He took some things from the ape and perfected them. Couldn't that be how it happened?"

"Are you trying to say," I answered, "that God cannot create a perfect creature, that he cannot create a human being, even after dedicating a whole day to it? What should He have done? Go get spare parts? Why don't you read the prophecy of Job[1] from the Scripture readings of Holy Thursday? Science does not accept all the claims about our kinship with apes. How long has it been since man went to the moon? In all these years, have apes evolved enough to build a bicycle or at least a skateboard? Have you ever seen an ape on a skateboard? Of course you can teach him to do that, but that's not the same thing."

But the man would not give up. He would insist, "Let's assume this," or "let's say that...."

"Well, let's just say that you will not assume a thing," I finally told him. "This way you'll find the certainty you want."

The theory of evolution was being taught by a professor I knew at the University. Once, I said to him: "In time and with proper care a green bean plant will become a better green bean plant, the eggplant a better eggplant. If you feed and take care of an ape, he will become a better ape, but he will not turn into a human being."

And then there's this thing to think about. Christ was born of a human being, the Panagia. Are we to believe that His ancestors were apes? What blasphemy! And those who support this theory don't realize that they are blaspheming. They throw a stone and do not check to see how many heads they have cracked. All you will hear from them is: "Mine went further than the other fellow's." That's what they are all about these days; they marvel at who will throw a stone the farthest. But they care nothing about those who are passing by and the many heads their stones will crack.

Q: Elder, some people think these theories will help bring Marxists to the Church.

A: Well, perhaps a few Marxists might come to the Church at first. But then they will want to organize as a party and start giving dictates to others: "Now you must go to church; now you may not. Now do this, now do that." They will have rules for everything. And in the end, they will start telling people: "Who told you that there is a God? There is no God! The priests are all making it up to deceive you." This is what will happen; the Marxists will use these good willing folks to achieve their goal. Marxists with a good will and disposition will come back to the Church, repent, and go to confession. But those who have no good disposition, they will never change.


1. Job 38:14 - "Or perhaps it was you who took dust from the earth, formed clay, made it into a living being with a mouth and the ability to speak, and placed him on earth."

See also: A Response to the Teaching of Saint Paisios on Evolution