that animals are endowed with a body and a soul (not a human soul, but one akin to their needs)

From what I understand, that sounds right.  We believe without a shadow
of a doubt that God created the Universe.  But His methods, well,
all I can say is ‘kudos’ to science for trying to figure out the
various methods used by God – as long as it interests them, let ‘em.

I, too, have been perplexed by the strange concurance of the theory of
evolution and the fact of different species, and ‘where are the in-betweeners
now, their bones even’… but by the same token, I was posed a good
question by a rationalist once.  He said, “If evolution is the way that
life came to be in the forms that it is now, why would it stop at an
arbitrary time in history?”

So, no matter what viewpoint we take, we’re still left with a mystery –
somewhat of a Buddhist ‘koan’ if you will.

God creates life, and breathes life into every creature at every moment,
even this present moment.  Is the ‘origin of species’ that of a 6 day
period, or a 6 eon period (perhaps a million years between Biblical days),
or some other way we haven’t considered – well… we don’t know.

And as Orthodox, it really doesn’t matter.  We know we came from God,
that plants are endowed with a body, that animals are endowed with
a body and a soul (not a human soul, but one akin to their needs), and
that humans are endowed with a body and a soul (and some Orthodox
Fathers will add ‘spirit’ as well, the form I tend to agree with).  Any
furthur investigation beyond that which can be easily observed (your or
your neighbor’s cat certainly has a body and certainly has a personality
(which comes from the cat-soul of the cat), stems from curiousity and
picking apart things, which as long as God is remembered, isn’t
necessarily bad, although doing so in forgetfulness of God can be
problematic.

-Kenneth

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