Polygenism…the denial of Adam and Eve as literal people who transfered the stain of original sin onto their offspring-- therefore, by successive generation, unto us as well.
Some people just outright deny that Adam and Eve were literal people…a postion that I and the Church I belong have strongly rejected…and these people, like Teilhard, therefore reject original sin to accomodate the evolutionary hyposthesis.
This isn’t to say that all people who reject original sin do so for evolutionary compatibility. I think the Orthodox, for example, do not believe in original sin in the same sense that Catholics do for example. Likewise, Jewish believers believe something went wrong in the beginning, even if thisd wrongness it isn’t on the scale of the Catholic doctrine of original sin. Evolution isn’t the issue in this sense.
Nonetheless, other people seem to reject evolution because it, once again, seems to lead toward the conclusion of polygenism. Other passages of Catholic and Orthodox Scriptures seem to likewise deny one of the most powerful evolutionary aspects of the evolutionary hypothesis: death itself.
For example, the doctrinal teachings of the deutero-canonical Book of Wisdom knows that God made man after His image, creating him for immortality (ii, 23), so that death entered the world, apparently, only through the envy of the Devil (ii, 24).
For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it.
It appears that God had no intention for death for man, that humanity would be spared from death if they would follow God’s path. And yet much death must have occured in order for man to have been brought forth by God from pre-existing species.
The two views appear to be irreconcilable as far as I can determine with very little middle ground available. That’s why I say this really is a deep mystery.
Evolution is highly plausible, more than a theory but not quite a fact in the same sense that gravity is a fact. I’m supposing that it’s very possible that we are misunderstading something like how we misunderstood the earth to be the center of the solar system at one time.
I am open to theistic evolution but I am still skeptical. When in doubt, I will default to the historical exegesis of the Scriptures until something more defined is revealed to be reasonably true. I would, however, like to have a good answer for this though.
How does one reconcile theistic evolution with original sin without falling into the dangers of Teilhard?
This is indeed a great mystery. :shrug:
God, what is the answer to this question?