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147. Jan. or Feb. 74

[Fragment of letter to Alexey Young, p. 3 only]:

Fr. P. mentioned a little the question of evolution (I didn’t mention your forthcoming article on the subject), enough for me to see his basic attitude and fears, I think. His concern about “fundamentalism” seems to stem from a fear that the Orthodox battle against evolutionism might get bogged down on the same level as the “supposed” scientific arguments for it, and there thus might be endless arguments on fossil evidence, the precise meaning of the “Six Days,” etc. He is of course right that our Orthodox approach to the subject should not be on the scientific but rather on the theological level; but I also gathered that he is not fully aware of the flimsiness of the “scientific” evidence in favor of evolutionism, which makes him perhaps over-cautious and fearful on the whole subject. Yes, we should keep our basic approach high and theological; but we can also blow up that “scientific” evidence which just doesn’t make sense and which is really the result of blind prejudice and false theologizing in the guise of science.

Just as we thought, Fr. P. does not read Deacon Levs mail and has been having difficulties being accused of holding views which Deacon Lev writes from the monastery!

Fr. Neketas announced in a recent bulletin that he was printing a letter on “evolution” — part of Fr. Ephraim’s letter to you! That really wouldn’t be wise, and Fr. P. when he heard of it put a stop to it. In general I found Fr. Panteleimon quite willing to listen on subjects about which he’s not fully informed, and open to changing his mind.

By this time you are probably a father again! May God bless the child’s first days and prosper him (her) all the days of his life. Pray for us.

With love in Christ our Saviour,
Seraphim, monk

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