Was Adam the first man or not?


#1

I’ve been reading alot lately about how Adam may not have been created the first man (i.e. that he evolved or was the result of physical evolution).

The following Councils make statements that indicate that Adam was the first man, furthermore they also indicate that Adam’s Sin resulted in more than just a physical death under the threat of anathema. This was done to counteract the heresies of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism.

My question is “Was Adam the first man or did he ‘evolve’ from other life forms?”

A followup question is "does the assertion that Adam’s Sin did not result in physical death but only a spiritual death amount to teaching against these Councils pronouncements a new error akin to those listed above?

The Council of Trent Fifth Session - Decree on Oringinal Sin
catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=5391

The Third Council of Carthage (approved by Pope St. Zozimus)
CANON CIX.

That Adam was not created by God subject to death.

THAT whosoever says that Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that whether he had sinned or not, he would have died in body – that is, he would have gone forth of the body, not because his sin merited this, but by natural necessity, let him be anathema.

The Second Council of Orange (529 AD) (approved by Pope Boniface II)

CANON 1. If anyone denies that it is the whole man, that is, both body and soul, that was “changed for the worse” through the offense of Adam’s sin, but believes that the freedom of the soul remains unimpaired and that only the body is subject to corruption, he is deceived by the error of Pelagius and contradicts the scripture which says, “The soul that sins shall die” (Ezek. 18:20); and, “Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are the slaves of the one whom you obey?” (Rom. 6:16); and, “For whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved” (2 Pet. 2:19).

CANON 2. If anyone asserts that Adam’s sin affected him alone and not his descendants also, or at least if he declares that it is only the death of the body which is the punishment for sin, and not also that sin, which is the death of the soul, passed through one man to the whole human race, he does injustice to God and contradicts the Apostle, who says, “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned” (Rom. 5:12).

Blessings,
Richard


#2

If God worked through evolution, maybe Adam was the first human to receive a soul in God’s Image. :hmmm:


#3

[quote=Beebs]If God worked through evolution, maybe Adam was the first human to receive a soul in God’s Image. :hmmm:
[/quote]

Or maybe God just created and inserted Adam in the timeline wherever He wanted no matter what was going on at the time.


#4

[quote=Beebs]If God worked through evolution, maybe Adam was the first human to receive a soul in God’s Image. :hmmm:
[/quote]

I thought of that too, but ran into this:

The Third Council of Carthage (approved by Pope St. Zozimus)
CANON CIX.

That Adam was not created by God subject to death.

THAT whosoever says that Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that whether he had sinned or not, he would have died in body – that is, he would have gone forth of the body, not because his sin merited this, but by natural necessity, let him be anathema.

Blessings,
Richard


#5

Adam, in his bodily form, could have come about through evolution, and still been the first man, once God infused into him a human soul and gave him the preternatural gifts which he possessed in the Garden of Eden.

Note that he would not be a man–a human being in the theological sense–until he was infused with a soul. In addition, God granted the first man and woman special gifts which they would not have had by nature–including freedom from sickness and death.

By original sin they forfeited those gifts both on the spiritual and physical level.


#6

[quote=JimG]Adam, in his bodily form, could have come about through evolution, and still been the first man, once God infused into him a human soul and gave him the preternatural gifts which he possessed in the Garden of Eden.

Note that he would not be a man–a human being in the theological sense–until he was infused with a soul. In addition, God granted the first man and woman special gifts which they would not have had by nature–including freedom from sickness and death.
.
[/quote]

More specifically, Adam was the first material creature to be infused with a RATIONAL soul.

All living material creatures have souls, it is what animates the body. This includes plants and animals.

The souls of plants and animals is finite in existance. It ceases to exist when the life of the animal does.

The human soul is Spiritiual, Everlasting and Rational, those of animals and plants are not

Adam was the first material creature to recieve this soul. And when God infused Adam with this soul, it was not His intent for Adam to sin.


#7

Good post, St. Thomas (I mean, Brendan.) :slight_smile:


#8

[quote=JimG]Adam, in his bodily form, could have come about through evolution, and still been the first man, once God infused into him a human soul and gave him the preternatural gifts which he possessed in the Garden of Eden.

[/quote]

But what about Eve?

DID WOMAN EVOLVE FROM THE BEASTS?


#9

[quote=Brendan]More specifically, Adam was the first material creature to be infused with a RATIONAL soul.

All living material creatures have souls, it is what animates the body. This includes plants and animals.

The souls of plants and animals is finite in existance. It ceases to exist when the life of the animal does.

The human soul is Spiritiual, Everlasting and Rational, those of animals and plants are not

Adam was the first material creature to recieve this soul. And when God infused Adam with this soul, it was not His intent for Adam to sin.
[/quote]

That’s not in agreement with this

The Third Council of Carthage (approved by Pope St. Zozimus)
CANON CIX.

That Adam was not created by God subject to death.

THAT whosoever says that Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that whether he had sinned or not, he would have died in body – that is, he would have gone forth of the body, not because his sin merited this, but by natural necessity, let him be anathema.

Adam was created not subject to death, physically or spiritually.

Blessings,
Richard


#10

[quote=Richard_Hurtz]That’s not in agreement with this

Adam was created not subject to death, physically or spiritually.

Blessings,
Richard
[/quote]

Could you point out where I disagreed with that?


#11

Adam was not created, until, as Brendan pointed out, he was infused with a rational, spiritual, soul. At that point he was not subject to death.


#12

[quote=JimG]Adam was not created, until, as Brendan pointed out, he was infused with a rational, spiritual, soul. At that point he was not subject to death.
[/quote]

Well, I will reveal my Creationist bias now by citing Scripture.

Gen. 2:7 “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

While your interpretation agrees with the last half of this verse it runs counter to the first half.

Blessings,
Richard


#13

monogenism: The theory that all humans are descended from a single pair of ancestors.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Polygenism is a biblical theory of human origins positing that the human races are of different lineages. This is opposite to the idea of monogenism, which posits a single origin of humanity (i.e. Adam and Eve).

Wikipedia**Humani Generis explicitly condemns a belief in polygenism:37. 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 that either 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 no 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. [18]

  1. Cf. Romans, 5:12-19; Council of Trent, Session V, canon 1-4

#14

[quote=Richard_Hurtz]Well, I will reveal my Creationist bias now by citing Scripture.

Gen. 2:7 “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

While your interpretation agrees with the last half of this verse it runs counter to the first half.

Blessings,
Richard
[/quote]

Actually, it does not.

The infusement of the Soul is what animates matter. The breath of Life, the Soul, is what brought forth a human from other matter.

The Church defines a human as “corprae et anima unis”, Body and Soul United.

When the soul is infused into the body, there is life. When the soul infused is a Rational Soul, the life is human.

For reference, see St. Thomas Aquinas *Summa Theologica * Part 1, Q 76)


#15

It is interesting that this confusion is still going on after how many years ?
Here’s how I read it.
We start with God is All !
I believe in One Almighty Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, Creator of Heaven and Earth.
The process for the earth considering all the physical evidence was a Dietistic evolution, the whole thing is to much of a marvel to be a random selection. Time means nothing to God, it could have been billions of years like they say.
There is no way I accept the ape theory, I believe that three races of men evolved distinct and separate. One race had Adam and Eve who were the best of that lot.
God breathed into them souls and put them into the garden. This made them a son and daughter of God. We know what happened next.
Then later Cain killed Abel and was afraid of other men killing him. So who were these other men ?
Then we have the sons of God, i.e. those offspring of Adam and Eve with souls finding the daughters of men fair and taking them to wife. That was a big mistake.
Some faiths claim these sons of God were Angels but I don’t believe that they can create.


#16

[quote=BM5]It is interesting that this confusion is still going on after how many years ?
Here’s how I read it.
We start with God is All !
I believe in One Almighty Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, Creator of Heaven and Earth.
The process for the earth considering all the physical evidence was a Dietistic evolution, the whole thing is to much of a marvel to be a random selection. Time means nothing to God, it could have been billions of years like they say.
There is no way I accept the ape theory, I believe that three races of men evolved distinct and separate. One race had Adam and Eve who were the best of that lot.
God breathed into them souls and put them into the garden. This made them a son and daughter of God. We know what happened next.
Then later Cain killed Abel and was afraid of other men killing him. So who were these other men ?
Then we have the sons of God, i.e. those offspring of Adam and Eve with souls finding the daughters of men fair and taking them to wife. That was a big mistake.
Some faiths claim these sons of God were Angels but I don’t believe that they can create.
[/quote]

Yes the fact that this is still under discussion is actually quite a credit to the power of God in that we still don’t understand it.

Citing Matt16_18:

Polygenism is a biblical theory of human origins positing that the human races are of different lineages. This is opposite to the idea of monogenism, which posits a single origin of humanity (i.e. Adam and Eve). Wikipedia

Humani Generis explicitly condemns a belief in polygenism:
37. 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 that either 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 no 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. [18]

  1. Cf. Romans, 5:12-19; Council of Trent, Session V, canon 1-4

Blessings,
Richard


#17

[quote=Richard_Hurtz]Well, I will reveal my Creationist bias now by citing Scripture.

Gen. 2:7 “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

While your interpretation agrees with the last half of this verse it runs counter to the first half.

Blessings,
Richard
[/quote]

Actually it could…Let’s suppose this is the family tree of man:

ADAM <- Monkey <- small mammal <- mammal like reptile <- reptile <- fish <- single cell organism <- DNA strand <- Protein molecules <- STAR DUST!

Therefore Adam came from dust (the Bible just leaves out all the details inbetween) :thumbsup:


#18

[quote=Lady Cygnus]Actually it could…Let’s suppose this is the family tree of man:

ADAM <- Monkey <- small mammal <- mammal like reptile <- reptile <- fish <- single cell organism <- DNA strand <- Protein molecules <- STAR DUST!

Therefore Adam came from dust (the Bible just leaves out all the details inbetween) :thumbsup:
[/quote]

How do you account for the birth of the complicated language in DNA? Not DNA itself - but the language contained in the coding?


#19

[quote=buffalo]How do you account for the birth of the complicated language in DNA? Not DNA itself - but the language contained in the coding?
[/quote]

DNA, and the code by which it is interpreted is common to both humans and the vast majority of living organisms. The Bible describes the origins of land animals (presumably including their DNA and its code) in Genesis 1:24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds."
God is using an indirect method - He does not say “Let there be cattle”. The earth is commanded to bring forth cattle, and does so. Since cattle also have DNA and use exactly the same code as we do then it is not unreasonable to assume that the origin of DNA and its code in the earth -> cattle process is not dissimilar to the origin of the same DNA with the same code in the dust -> man process. Since both processes are indirect and the results are identical both in the chemistry of DNA and in the details of the code, then a similarity of process is a reasonable deduction.

As to the precise origin of the code I have been unable to find any direct mention of DNA in the Bible. Lacking that I have fallen back on chemistry, since DNA is a chemical. In short the origin of the code is tied in with the development of the RNA world and the transition from the RNA world to the present DNA world. The present code shows some evidence of its origin in its current arrangement. For example, the third base pair in a codon is often redundant. Even where the third base pair is not redundant, the different amino acids coded for have similar chemical properties - all hydrophilic or all hydrophobic for example. This may well indicate that at one time each codon was only two base pairs long and the code could only handle sixteen different amino acids.

In any case the origin of DNA does not have anything to do with the origin of Adam. Both evolution and the Bible agree that DNA and its code originated before Adam so the question of the origin of DNA and its code is not relevant to the origin of Adam, which is the subject of this thread.

rossum


#20

[quote=Richard_Hurtz]Citing Matt16_18:

Polygenism is a biblical theory of human origins positing that the human races are of different lineages. This is opposite to the idea of monogenism, which posits a single origin of humanity (i.e. Adam and Eve). Wikipedia

Humani Generis explicitly condemns a belief in polygenism:
37. 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 that either 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 no 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. [18]

  1. Cf. Romans, 5:12-19; Council of Trent, Session V, canon 1-4
    [/quote]

Does the Pope disagree?

From
[left]Communion and Stewardship:[/left]
Human Persons Created in the Image of God

The July 2004 Vatican Statement on Creation and Evolution

“While the story of human origins is complex and subject to revision, physical anthropology and molecular biology combine to make a convincing case for the origin of the human species in Africa about 150,000 years ago in a humanoid population of common genetic lineage. However it is to be explained, the decisive factor in human origins was a continually increasing brain size, culminating in that of homo sapiens. With the development of the human brain, the nature and rate of evolution were permanently altered: with the introduction of the uniquely human factors of consciousness, intentionality, freedom and creativity, biological evolution was recast as social and cultural evolution.”

Emphasis mine.

What is the Pope saying in this statement? Is he directly contradicting Humani Generis?

Peace

Tim


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