The Fall


#1

I know that the story of Adam and Eve is not to be taken literally but the overriding truths that it points to namely, man’s fall from grace and the consequences, are to be believed. Obviously, the Fall is so central to Christian theology that without it we wouldn’t have needed a Savior. How can what we know about science be reconciled with these truths of the Fall? For example, one of the consequences of sin was death but overwhelming scientific evidence indicates that death occurred for mammals and all living things millions of years before the first true humans. Also, there’s growing evidence from genetics that homosapiens are not descended from just one couple but rather from one woman and man thousands of years apart or from a group of humans rather than one couple. In addition, the chronology and geneology of Genesis suggests that this first couple could have existed no more than several thousand years ago when genetics suggest that it was more like 100 - 150,000 years ago. How can all of these modern discoveries be reconciled with the story of Genesis and the Fall? I apologize if this question is redundant in this forum and if so, someone could perhaps link me to previous responses. Does anyone have any thoughts or answers to these puzzling questions of a believer?


#2

You just answered your own question
The Fall pertained to humans not to non-human animals and plants
So whether you take the position that it was spiritual death only or spiritual and physical death since A&E were the first true humans they fell and had to deal with death (in one form or another)

Besides Science can only look at populations when dealing with things in the remote past and not individuals

When science uses the term monogenesis it means arising form a single population unlike the Catholic use, which is typically understood to mean arising form a single pair.
I’ve seen several attempts to try and reconcile this:
Spiritual monogenesis separate form physical monogenesis, which would explain the differences in dating for the male and female MRCA
OR In a small enough group everyone would be interrelated very shortly (this of course raises the debate of Seth’s wife and whether incest or bestiality is a more problematic problem for human origins.

The last I heard it was a little bit closer than that. Probably only 2000 generations separate all humans from a common ancestor.
I don’t look at this as a problem. It confirms that we are indeed all brothers and sisters.

It is only a problem if you attempt to take the Bible literally.

my feeling is that the point of the story is that there was creation and a Fall the deatils and timing aren’t really important to the lesson that is being taught.
it is not a history or science text after all

there are numerous threads on this topic (sometimes it gets quite heated) a quick search should turn up hours… and hours… and hours worth of reading. :wink:


#3

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