If the Fall of Man doesn't exist...


#1

According to an article I found by Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist from Harvard, he seems to point that if Adam and Eve did NOT exist, then a fall wouldn't of taken place. And if the Fall of man never took place, then he's proposing that the redemption plan doesn't work out in the long run within the Christian context.

Listening to his side of things, it does concern me on how we represent theology of the sinful nature, and I think he might've made a good point.

But I want to hear what you guys think for the sake of perspective...

BTW, to make sure I'm not misrepresenting his case, here's the article...
Adam and Eve: Ultimate Standoff


#2

Unfortunately, the scientific evidence shows that Adam and Eve could not have existed, at least in the way they’re portrayed in the Bible. Genetic data show no evidence of any human bottleneck as small as two people:

Actually, there has been scientific research that has shown a large group of people sharing a sole (one) genetic female link from a long long time ago (can't remember the exact dating). And even an evolutionist would have to admit that at some point there would have to have been a first male and female human during the evolutionary process. This would have been adam and eve. The first humans which were given a rational soul with free will in the image and likeness of God. And these would have been the first humans to fall.

That is just one take on it.


#3

[quote="bzkoss236, post:2, topic:296701"]
Actually, there has been scientific research that has shown a large group of people sharing a sole (one) genetic female link from a long long time ago (can't remember the exact dating). *And even an evolutionist would have to admit that at some point there would have to have been a first male and female human during the evolutionary process. *This would have been adam and eve. The first humans which were given a rational soul with free will in the image and likeness of God. And these would have been the first humans to fall.

That is just one take on it.

[/quote]

As I understand it, the problem with the bolded part above is that, because our species developed incrementally -- in mostly very small steps -- over millions of years it would be impossible to point to any one particular point on that continuum and state "here is where humans begin". It might be useful to think of an analogy based on a color wheel -- from white to black -- with thousands of shades in between. At what point on that wheel would one say that "gray" begins?

I know there are some here who would say that we became humans when God infused us with souls, but I have yet to see them offer a date for when that occurred.


#4

[quote="cornbread_r2, post:3, topic:296701"]
As I understand it, the problem with the bolded part above is that, because our species developed incrementally -- in mostly very small steps -- over millions of years it would be impossible to point to any one particular point on that continuum and state "here is where humans begin". It might be useful to think of an analogy based on a color wheel -- from white to black -- with thousands of shades in between. At what point on that wheel would one say that "gray" begins?

I know there are some here who would say that we became humans when God infused us with souls, but I have yet to see them offer a date for when that occurred.

[/quote]

You could use the same thought in terms of the other evolutionary tracts. When did a chicken become a chicken and not its predecessor, or even the other early humanoids? It is all "gray" as you put it. It all took time and was a slow process. But there is always a time that is designated, always a particular shade of gray, that is used to define where something begins. Just like there is a light gray, medium gray, dark gray, charcoal, etc. They just haven't been able to find this "magic" moment. And we don't really need to, because we know it happened. We just don't know when.


#5

[quote="bzkoss236, post:4, topic:296701"]
You could use the same thought in terms of the other evolutionary tracts. When did a chicken become a chicken and not its predecessor, or even the other early humanoids? It is all "gray" as you put it. It all took time and was a slow process.

[/quote]

No disagreement here.

But there is always a time that is designated, always a particular shade of gray, that is used to define where something begins. Just like there is a light gray, medium gray, dark gray, charcoal, etc.

We can designate any point for sake of convenience, but it would still be an arbitrary designation.

They just haven't been able to find this "magic" moment. And we don't really need to, because we know it happened. We just don't know when.

This is not just a claim about the supernatural realm, like the existence of heaven or hell, that can never be falsified and is immune from investigation. This is a claim for an event that occurred in nature and, as such, should have left evidence.

If I'm expected to believe that humans became human at a particular moment and that the entire human race descended from just two individuals, as I understand the RCC contends, then, at a minimum, I'll need to know when that's supposed to have happened.


#6

[quote="TheoloJer, post:1, topic:296701"]
According to an article I found by Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist from Harvard, he seems to point that if Adam and Eve did NOT exist, then a fall wouldn't of taken place. And if the Fall of man never took place, then he's proposing that the redemption plan doesn't work out in the long run within the Christian context.

Listening to his side of things, it does concern me on how we represent theology of the sinful nature, and I think he might've made a good point.

But I want to hear what you guys think for the sake of perspective...

BTW, to make sure I'm not misrepresenting his case, here's the article...
Adam and Eve: Ultimate Standoff

[/quote]

The fact that there is suffering, death, and sin on earth proves there was a fall.


#7

Well, you'd have to interpret lots of things/make stuff up (but isn't the entire morality and ethics of the Catholic church mostly made up, rather then coming from support of scripture?) but I'm sure a theistic evolutionist could manage it. :shrug:


#8

Not quite…and I don’t think there’s many theologians who would agree with you. Not on the fact that there’s suffering, death, and sin. That’s given. But this says nothing to prove a fall. A logically equivalent statement would be, “Because it’s freezing at the North Pole now, this proves it was once warm there.”

It may well have been warm there, but having the opposite quality now is not proof of anything. A more logical approach would be that “Adam and Eve” were the first sentient beings to be told of their free will and to obey God. They, acting in accordance with their naturally evolved traits, rejected Him.

Consider other species who are our cousins such as apes. They have been witnessed to commit rape for example. The nature to do these things didn’t begin with humans.


#9

[quote="TheoloJer, post:1, topic:296701"]
According to an article I found by Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist from Harvard, he seems to point that if Adam and Eve did NOT exist, then a fall wouldn't of taken place. And if the Fall of man never took place, then he's proposing that the redemption plan doesn't work out in the long run within the Christian context.

Listening to his side of things, it does concern me on how we represent theology of the sinful nature, and I think he might've made a good point.

But I want to hear what you guys think for the sake of perspective...

BTW, to make sure I'm not misrepresenting his case, here's the article...
Adam and Eve: Ultimate Standoff

[/quote]

I did not read the article. However, what you say about the connection to the Redemption is valid. Check out Romans 5 12-21

The Catholic Church knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of Original Sin, which includes an actual person committing it, without undermining the mystery of Christ. (Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, paragraph 389) scborromeo.org/ccc/para/389.htm


#10

The scientific approach is exceptionalism.


#11

ANW
I believe CrimsonThorn’s intuition is basically correct.
In OT times the fallen state of mankind would have been pretty much a self-evident given (just as “gravity” is for us today). Therefore “proving” Adam and Eve never existed would have made no difference at all re such sentiments.

A bit like saying that we have lightning because angry Zeus is throwing his javelin bolts down upon naughty mankind. Just because we suddenly discover Zeus doesn’t exist - how does that mean lightning doesn’t exist.

So, if Coyne does say “if Adam and Eve did NOT exist, then a fall wouldn’t of taken place” then it seems to be a bit of a non-sequitor when seen in the above way.

However, if modern man no longer sees/understands “the Fall” (and what it once self-evidently meant) in daily life anymore - then of course Adam and Eve (as history) is the only remaining thread to support what has become a “belief” in the Fall.
Cut that thread - and Coyne is correct.


#12

[quote="Blue_Horizon, post:11, topic:296701"]
However, if modern man no longer sees/understands "the Fall" (and what it once self-evidently meant) in daily life anymore - then of course Adam and Eve (as history) is the only remaining thread to support what has become a "belief" in the Fall.
Cut that thread - and Coyne is correct.

[/quote]

Fortunately, Divine Revelation regarding Original Sin is found in the Catholic Deposit of Faith.


#13

Sticky: Temporary Ban on Evolution/Atheism Threads


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