Two Questions on Original Sin


Two specific questions on Original Sin:

  1. How does one rectify Evolution with Original Sin? It is a broad question, but I am looking for how some of you take this…For instance, are Adam and Eve two literal people or were they even the first two?

  2. If GOD creates each soul, then why create us without a deprivation of Grace? How can GOD even do this–if He creates the soul, then it would follow that the soul would be filled with His Grace since He formed it. What is the belief in how the soul is infected?

If anyone can help with these two questions, then I would appreciate it–they have been on my mind for a while now…

Prayers and petitions,


What makes us “man” or human is not just our soul, or just our flesh. It is our soul and flesh. Thats why we are not angles or beasts. Before orginal sin our will was inline with our intelect. **In a way ** you can look at it as responding to our soul. But after the fall, our will came to be more inline with our flesh. We inhearet that from our parents. Our flesh and a dissorderd will.


According to the teaching of Pius XII, Catholics aren’t free to hold that Adam was not a real individual from whom the human race descendes.

How this would reconcile with evolution isn’t that complicated. [Essentially, you’d have the evolutionary chain going along its merry way, and at a certain point you’d have the first man identifiable as an actual human being. That would be Adam. Adam would be given a rational soul (which is what makes us in the image of God, as opposed to the animals), whereas everything before him lacked one.

And in fact, science seems to support this insofar as that the studies of mitochondrial DNA show that all human being as are descended from one individual female ancestor.

[quote]2) If GOD creates each soul, then why create us without a deprivation of Grace? How can GOD even do this–if He creates the soul, then it would follow that the soul would be filled with His Grace since He formed it. What is the belief in how the soul is infected?

God didn’t create us with a deprivation of Grace. God created us and at the first moment of our existence, bestowed Grace on us (in the evolutionary model, at the first moment Adam was given a rational soul, he was given Grace as well).

Adam deprived us of Grace because of his sin.

Now if you are asking why God wouldn’t just create Adam’s child with Grace rather than letting his father’s lack of Grace transfer to him, that’s a deeper question. Is that your question?


Extract from Humani Generis by Pope Pius XII in 1950:

  1. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains either that after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which through generation is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.


The soul is not ‘infected’ with original sin at conception, rather the soul is created without sanctifying grace; this is done so that each person may seek and find God during his or her life. There is much good that come from this search for God and grace in life, so it is not contrary to the goodness of God for Him to set us on this path.

  1. As others have indicated, Adam and Eve are two individual people. The human race descends from a single human pair. Without this admission, Original Sin looses all meaning.

  2. The key thing to understand is the concept of “deprivation of grace”, as you phrase it. Our first parents were created in a state where they had the gift of sanctifying grace in their souls, which is a created participation in God’s Divine life, such that the Blessed Trinity truly lives and abides in their souls. Please note that sanctifying grace and human nature are not one and the same. In other words, grace is a gift in addition to human nature. God could have created Adam and Eve perfectly human (i.e.: humanity coming from the body-soul composite in which human nature consists), but without sanctifying grace. Grace is a gift from God, which man cannot merit, nor is God obligated to offer this gift. As a result of Adam’s rebellion, he lost this gift, not only for himself, but for his descendants, who are born fully ‘human’, but without this gift of God. Thus suffering from the consequences of Adam’s sin is in no way God being unjust — He owes grace to nobody.


Or, put another way:

God is eternal. Human beings are not, and cannot be. Even God cannot create something which is eternal, because to be eternal is the very essence of what makes God God. In other words, God has no beginning or end - He simply exists, which is why He said His name is “I Am.” That’s the truth! God simply is.

Now how can a temporal thing - a thing in time - relate to an eternal thing? In other words, how can temporal human beings experience an eternal God and see Him in Heaven? We can’t, any more than a human being can breathe under water. We don’t have what it takes to survive under water, and we don’t have what it takes to experience the eternal.

Just as men have created scuba tanks to permit us to survive underwater, God has given us a way to experience Him in Heaven, and that is His Grace. God gave Adam that Grace, but Adam rejected it. Now each of us are born without Grace as well, but God freely offers it to each and every person. We cannot discount the reality that our situation is the result of Adam’s sin, but at the same time we can recognize that in a certain sense we are now being granted the opportunity to accept or reject God’s Grace rather than having that decision made for us by God at our creation as it was for Adam.

Now the man who wants to swim in the sea certainly suffers a sort of sadness over not being able to be in the sea, but he doesn’t suffer terrible torment and agony as though a punishment would bring. He is simply living in the way his natural abilities permit him to - walking around on the land. Similarly, a man who is without Grace suffers a sadness over not experiencing God, but he doesn’t suffer the torments and anguish of Hell. He exists in the way his natural abilities permit him to.

That is the situation into which we are all born, not one of terrible suffering in flames or any such thing. Actual, personal sin brings that. In other words, the real torment in the flames of hell that we think about isn’t something we are deserving of upon birth merely due to original sin. Our lack of Grace simply relegates us to our natural state of existence, sortof like what we experience now on earth. Now we would suffer from not getting to experience God, and this is technically Hell, but we wouldn’t suffer the flames and all that. The difference is that as we grow up, we all sin, and that brings the torments and whatnot that we think about when we think about Hell.


All of your answers are very helpful, thank you. I’ll let you know if I have any further questions soon. If anyone has anything else to add, then that would likewise be helpful…

Prayers and petitions,

closed #9

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