Thanks for the kind welcome to your thread, Antoine. I will try to keep a pace like yours, and not engage in flybys.
Yes, you’ve addressed my queries with the three points. We are in general agreement about the need for a “direct creative act”, so that’s a great start.
In the beginning, the first time God made Homo sapiens creatures to adult human beings in the image of God (“Adam and Eve”)
To your first point, I guess this is a mixture of natural scientific and theological language, since you speak of both “homo sapiens” and “image of God” in the same sentence. Do I understand correctly that you are indeed presenting a mixture of science and theology, rather than a “strictly scientific” perspective about human origins?
Thereafter, at the moment referred to in Genesis 9:3-6 when (according to me) God made all the millions of Homo sapiens creatures scattered through the planet to adult human beings in the image of God
This is curious, but a bit difficult to process for me. It sounds like you require something like a quantum leap of “spiritual information” (“endowment”), e.g. the spreading of the Logos at a singular and unrepeatable moment in history, speaking about it in supra-empirical way. It sounds like “information scatter” of some kind you are suggestion.
And in our days, anytime a new human being in the image of God comes into existence as an embryo.
No argument or “strictly scientific” issue there.
“This spiritual endowment is at the origin of the civilizations.”
Yes, though not for the vast majority of tenured professors in evolutionary anthropology nowadays (Laland, Mesoudi, Dunbar, Barkow, Cosmides, Tooby, Diamond, Boyd, Richerson, Gabora, Henrich, et al.), particularly on the “physical anthropology” rather than “cultural anthropology” ends of the spectrum. They reject “spiritual” as “unreal” & so don’t include it in their “anthropological science”. Are you much familiar with this network of evolutionary anthropologists, Antoine?
Literally this morning I listened to the Faraday lecture by Dunbar – atheism/agnosticism via an “evolutionary explanation of religion”. All he could do was admit that “religious communities” throughout history have been and able to “bond” in more enduring, resilient, and larger groups than “secular communities”. https://www.faraday.cam.ac.uk/event/prof-robin-dunbar-religion-evolution-and-the-social-brain/
He ended the presentation by saying (as if a reluctant admission):
“There’s something odd about religions that work in a way that secular ideologies don’t. They have a very short life span. E.g. the Nazis had all the trappings of religion, but it didn’t last. … There’s something missing from them. … Whether God is a good thing or a bad thing, it works.” - Robin Dunbar (27-10-2020)
This is the question I asked, which didn’t make it to the host in the queue:
You said you view the first “religion” in human history as Shamanism (trance-based to doctrinal stages). A hypothetical history: What if the “first religion” was what we now call “Judaism” or indeed, “Adamism” (Adam & Eve’s religion), and not Shamanism? In other words, what if “religion” actually arose in history due to living in a concurrent relationship of humanity with the Divinity? In short, what if religion didn’t “evolve” into existence “from the outside” (e.g. pressures of bonding) at all like physical anthropology might suggest, but rather “arose” or “emerged” (as you said about “doctrinal religions”) from the internal cultural anthropological expression of belief & faith by families, churches, religious communities, etc. in a Creator God?
You suggest, Antoine, that “once this creation was completed (Genesis 9:3-6), then all people on earth, be they civilized or not, are in the image of God, children of God.”
While there is no direct physical evidence of this God-consciousness to gain from strictly natural sciences, it does appear to be a result of “revelation” that this “image of God” came to “exist”, after it previously was not, in the form of “Garden-era and post-Garden-era human beings”. Does that sound acceptable to you?
“Consequently, the ‘imago Dei’ itself did not ‘evolve’ over time.”
Pleased that we agree about this. Notably others who write about “the evolution of the soul” (e.g. Swinburne) would disagree, or at least with the version I am suggesting, which limits the concept of “evolution” more than they are ready to accept. Spiritual shrinkage is a real problem for evolutionary anthropology, as seen in Dunbar’s “strictly scientific” (read: naturalistic) approach to human origins.
It may need to be added to your statement for some, that this extends to the same case for origins as for processes. Iow, not just over time “after Creation”, but also “at/during Creation”, the “imago Dei” did not ‘evolve’ into existence in the first place – it was instead a “direct creative act”, an “extension” if you will. A major, still lingering problem in N. America, unfortunately, is that this language of speaking about a “direct creative act” has been highjacked by evangelical Protestants and is now called “creationism”. That needs to change. Is this what you are working on to help change?
“Between the creation of “Adam and Eve” and the moment at the end of Noah’s flood when God makes all the millions of Homo sapiens creatures in the image of God (Genesis 9:3-6), God made a number of Homo sapiens creatures dwelling “outside the Garden” to human beings in the image of God, who then got married and had children with those living “inside the Garden”.”
Yes, this assumption is still “live” on the table, afaik. In the Catholic tradition, the philosopher in Minnesota Ken Kemp has addressed this, as has Dennis Bonnette, as surely you are already aware.
“This assumption is supported by the episode of the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2-4.”
Perhaps in part (re: assumption), though that passage imho does not assume polygenism. Can we confirm that between us? To some people, this passage makes it appear that there could have been multiple “origin stories” for humanity in different geographical locations. Pope Pius XII in 1950 specifically addressed “polygenesis” in the Encyclical Humani Generis as unacceptable teaching. The “episode of the 'sons of God” you speak of thus is a monogenesis Abrahamic account of human beings, is it not? Thanks for any attempt at clarification.