Questions for Christian macroevolutionists


#1

Participation in another current thread - Incarnation and the Theory of Evolution - raised several questions in my mind. Rather than sidetrack that thread, I decided to start a new one. My questions are to Christians who accept macroevolution (evolution of one species into another species).

Do you believe that original sin could not have occurred until the evolution of the human species? Or do you hold that the possibility that it occurred prior to that must be held open?
Why? (for either position)

Also, if humans were to evolve in the future into an entirely new species, how would that effect the whole Christian teaching that Jesus died to redeem “men” (humans). I believe this is the question posed in the other thread, but they all seem to be staying within the realm of microevolution - where the species would still be “human”.

Nita


#2

Do you believe that original sin could not have occurred until the evolution of the human species?

Original Sin could not have occurred until the evolution of the human species. Free will is required for sin. I have yet to see a slug that blasphemes or takes morality into its own hands after a long philosophical debate.

According to Sacred Tradition, the act of Original Sin involved Man defining good and evil for himself, without reference to God. The fruit which Adam ate was the consequence of this act, which is despair. Of course, despair leads to death. Atheism, in its varying degrees, is a continuation of this primordial rebellion.

Whether or not Man would have died before the Fall is kind of a useless question, in a sense. Whether or not Adam was immune to suffering, disease, and so forth is quite trivial. The fact of the matter is, Adam fell, so what he would have been matters very little. What he was, and what we are, is all that’s important. We are fallen.

I find it odd to hear someone say: “You are a heretic! You admit ignorance to whether or not Adam would be immortal if he did not fall!” However, Adam fell, so he was mortal.

Suppose I said, “If Christ had been a woman, Christ would have given birth to a daughter.” Would it make sense to say, “Heretic! Christ would never have a daughter!”? No, because in reality, Christ was a man, so what he might have done had he been a woman is irrelevant. It would be like me seeking revenge and murdering my best friend, because if my father had won the lottery last week, which he didn’t, my best friend would have killed him and taken the money. See my point?

Understand, I accept the Church’s teaching on original justice, in the literal sense. I mean, it’s dogmatic. There’s no choice when it comes to truth. No one, especially me, has a right to choose error.

I believe man would not have died, if he had not fallen. But I don’t think it mattered much to Adam. I mean, even I have enjoyed a day or so without pain and such. It seems Adam lost original justice long before he could ever appreciate its eternal duration.

Also, we had one pair of original parents. This is not that hard to accept at all. Somebody has to draw the line somewhere between human and prehuman…although there are some scriptural passages that imply animals are responsible for their actions and will share in the resurrection (just ask me if curious).

Or do you hold that the possibility that it occurred prior to that must be held open?

Unless the ACLU has members who are bacteria, then no, Original Sin occurred at the Dawn of Man.

Also, if humans were to evolve in the future into an entirely new species, how would that effect the whole Christian teaching that Jesus died to redeem “men” (humans). I believe this is the question posed in the other thread, but they all seem to be staying within the realm of microevolution - where the species would still be “human”.

Man, in the Biblical sense, is a being capable of abstract reasoning, or intellect, and covanental relationships. Michael the Archangel is referred to as the man of God, and yet he is incorporeal.

Adam and Eve might have technically been members of the homo erectus species, but they were still human beings. We are homo sapiens, but some think there was cross-breeding between us and neandrathals. Were they human beings? Of course. I think a case can be made that homo erectus and the neandrathal were another race, not species.

At the end of the day, we won’t become another species for several million years. God usually comes and gives us a covenant or something every few thousand years, so either the world will be over by then, or the Lord will provide more instructions when the time comes. Let’s worry about crossing the bridge once we get there.

Pax Christi,
Geoffrey


#3

Thanks Geoffrey.
As a Catholic I also accept all the Church’s teaching. Am hoping some non-Catholic Christians, who do not have the boundaries that dogma establishes for us, will also respond.

My intention is just to hear opinions. The questions are new to me and arose in my mind only yesterday as a result of the other thread.

Nita


#4

This is not Catholic teaching. Jesus said the covenent of His Body and Blood is everlasting and there will be a final judgement.

“There will be no further Revelation” Read (66):
usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sect1chpt2.htm

Also read:
usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sect2chpt2art7.htm


#5

Hello Again Nita,

In regards to the possibility of us changing species I think this is not part of our belief since our soul is spiritual:

usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sect1.htm#chpt1 (33)


#6

knock knock

I’m curious. :slight_smile:

Consequently, I think the danger of evolving into a new species is over-rated, since Christ will most likely return well before the time-frame involved for us to evolve into a new species. Admittedly, I don’t know the time or date, but I don’t think it will be another 100,000 to 500,000 years either. :slight_smile:


#7

Why would our becoming a different species matter to God? It is not our DNA that counts. It is not our pheonotype that will spend eternity with Him.


#8

It’s my understanding that evolution produces higher species from lower ones.

That being the case, the ACLU has a long way to go before it even gets to the stage of being bacteria.


#9

No. It produces newer species from older ones, there is no “higher” or “lower”. Blind cave fish have evolved from sighted ancestors. Some parasites are greatly reduced from their free living ancestors.

rossum


#10

I was making a facetious joke about the level of lawyers. We all know they are the lowest form of life on the planet. :wink:

As for evolution itself, it’s still merely a fairy tale for adults.


#11

ACLU Files Suit to Protect Free Speech Rights of Christian Protestor. Sometimes it is good to have those same lawyers on your side.

As for evolution itself, it’s still merely a fairy tale for adults.

So next time you get ill you are going to ask the Doctor for the old drugs, that ones that the bacteria are falsely alleged to have evolved resistance to over the last 50 years? Good luck to you.

rossum


#12

Most evolutionary scientists hold that the cultural development of our species, along with other factors (the inability of human groups to achieve genuine geographical isolation, etc.), have brought us to a point where human evolution has essentially ceased, at least above the species level. So, the concern that humans will evolve into another species is very likely unwarranted.

Pax,

Don
+T+


#13

Hi Coder,
I know and I agree. I absolutely do not believe we are going to evolve into another species. But, my understanding is that those who accept macroevolution do accept that possibility. I was wondering how a Christian who accepts such a theory views the questions I posted.

Nita


#14

It does raise some mental questions regarding redemption. Jesus became man (human species) to save man. We are not taught that Jesus died to redeem members of other species (cat, dog, etc). As I recall, one of the arguments by the ECF for Jesus having a human soul was ----- if it was not assumed by Jesus, then it was not redeemed. (Something similar to that.) I am presuming there would be something totally new or different that would cause the evolved entity to be classified as a new species.

Members of other species did not commit the original sin. Altho they are subject to some of its consequences we do not hold that the stain of original sin was transmitted to them. In a new species that evolved from man would original sin be transmitted?

I know there are no Church teachings; it is all speculation of course. But, I am wondering how a Christian macroevolutionist speculates on these points. :slight_smile:

Nita


#15

Wow, how interesting. Can you point me in a direction. I’d like to read more of this. Did you see the chimp/human memory contest? any insight on what’s at work here?


#16

(Barbarian notes that man’s becoming a new speices makes no difference to God)

It does raise some mental questions regarding redemption. Jesus became man (human species) to save man. We are not taught that Jesus died to redeem members of other species (cat, dog, etc).

So, for example, Neandertals or Homo erectus, although humans, were not included in God’s plan for us? On what authority do you assert that? If we became “Homo next”, how would that matter to God, who made us?

As I recall, one of the arguments by the ECF for Jesus having a human soul was ----- if it was not assumed by Jesus, then it was not redeemed. (Something similar to that.) I am presuming there would be something totally new or different that would cause the evolved entity to be classified as a new species.

You’re going to have to be a little more clear as to why you think that would make it different.

Members of other species did not commit the original sin.

Neither did Koreans. Could we have an estimate on how much genetic variation is permitted before God cuts us off from His promises to us?

Altho they are subject to some of its consequences we do not hold that the stain of original sin was transmitted to them. In a new species that evolved from man would original sin be transmitted?

You’re asking if the descendants of Adam share in his original sin. The answer for a Christian is “yes.”

I know there are no Church teachings; it is all speculation of course. But, I am wondering how a Christian macroevolutionist speculates on these points.

For a Christian who accepts evolution (like the Pope, for example) it’s not a problem at all.


#17

Somehow or another we’re not understanding each other. If Neanderthals were human then they are part of the human species. And of course Koreans are members of the human species. Nationality or race is irrelevant. I’m not talking about present or future members of the human species but rather future beings of some sort that would no longer fit within the definitions set for “human” species; they would be a new evolved “???” species.

Nita


#18

I would disagree here. We are still evolving our response to Malaria. Beyond that, humans hare having a great impact on our environment, and since evolution is driven by fitness in a given environment we will be evolving to suit the changed environment. For example in a modern urban environment it is an advantage to be able to cross a road safely, I would not be surprised if there will be changes in the human genome to make it easier for us to cross roads - better depth perception and better speed estimation for example.

One definite example is the Apolipoprotein A-I Milano which protects against the effects of the rich western diet. Look for this mutation to spread.

rossum


#19

You must have skimmed my post rather quickly, and missed the qualifier, “…at least on the species level.” Most evolutionary scientists hold that the human species has ceased to evolve in a way which will result in new species. Microevolutionary change, of course, continues.

Blessings,

Don
+T+


#20

Are those the same bacteria that evolved from the cells that “just somehow” sprang into existance when the bolt of lightning hit the mud puddle, back in the Pre-Pre Cambrian Era?

Where’d the mud puddle come from, by the way?


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