Unfinished business: Evolution Offers an Explanation of Original Sin


#1

Theological answers are never so much in demand as when senseless tragedy strikes: whether accident, disease, or crimes like we saw on 9/11 or at Virginia Tech – or even the ubiquitous horror of animal suffering. Predictably, we hear explanations invoking “God’s mysterious will” – at best unsatisfying, at worst corrosive of faith. How can a good God tolerate either physical or moral evil? Our spiritual leaders despair of finding answers, but convincing answers have actually been around for years and are gradually becoming more widely known.

   Some years back I was reading about the studies on chimpanzee behavior         done by Jane Goodall and others, and I was struck, as many have been, by the         close outward parallels between their “bad” behavior and ours:         deceit, bullying, theft, infanticide, cannibalism, political intrigue,         aggression, war -- every form of self-centered nastiness that we humans think         we invented.

Thinking like the comparative biologist I am, it suddenly recurred to me that the simplest reason for these or any other similarities being shared between modern species is that they were inherited from a remote common ancestor in which these traits originated. Since the urge toward ruthlessly selfish behavior, enforced by natural selection, is evidently common to all living creatures, it is most plausibly traceable billions of years back to the first living things on this planet. In consequence, the fact of evolutionary common descent provides a straightforward explanation of what Christian theology has traditionally called original sin: our universal human urge to act selfishly, supposedly owing to some mysterious inheritance from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.


#2

Of course, even sin will be removed so that God can be also. Our actions are pre-programmed by our genes. We are just bags of chemicals responding to outside stimuli, with only a few genetic differences between us. We came from nothing and go to nothing.

This is not compatible with Jesus Christ and His purpose for being born as one of us.

God bless,
Ed


#3

The church teaches that animals are morally neutral, original sin must have come about form a human soul that willingly knew God yet abandoned him?

That’s my idea anyway, i could be wrong :smiley:


#4

Our spiritual leaders despair of finding answers, but convincing answers have actually been around for years and are gradually becoming more widely known.

Which spiritual leaders have given up hope of find answers? Certainly not mine.


#5

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