A.Suarez's Treatment on a Pope's Formulation for Original Sin's Transmission!

The so called “Wigner’s friend” paradox shows that the generalization of “Quantum superposition” leads to situations where a same experiment generates observer-dependent results.

So the assumption that the physical reality follows observer-INDEPENDENT “laws” is a belief that ORDINARILY holds. The ordinary physical world we live in is shaped by God mathematically so that we can calculate and predict it. Thereby (as you very well state) God gives us humans “the certainty of a rather stable universe that holds to the physical laws inherent in the universe that God created.”

Nonetheless, the “Quantum reality” is larger than the physical one, and contains also extraordinary observer-dependent phenomena. To this type of phenomena belong “miracles” like Christ’s Resurrection, Pentecost, Fatima, which are beyond our operational capabilities, and do not necessarily let physical evidence in the ordinary world accessible to the senses of everyone. I think Noah’s Flood was such an extraordinary phenomenon without any subsequent geological or archaeological evidence.

Aleo, I feel like you. I dare to quote two points of my previous post:

The “millions of Homo sapiens” (you refer to) that lived spread all over the earth at the time of the Flood (about 3,000 BC) were not yet accountable and therefore could not “misuse the gift of conscience”: They did not perish in the Flood. Similarly, “the millions of other species who never reached that stage of morality” did not perish in the Flood.

In the Flood perished only about 200,000 people who populated the region where Noah and his family lived, and had corrupted their ways and filled the earth with violence. These people were the only accountable modern humans living at that time on earth, and in this sense the Flood can be considered universal.

These people forgot that God allows sinners to remain on earth in order they have time to atone and ask God for forgiveness. As we are taught by Apostle Peter (2 Peter 3), by the Flood God corrected this state of affairs in order we remain aware that there will be a universal judgment of humanity: The Flood pre-figures the Final Judgement at the Day of the Lord.

So regarding both, the Flood and the Final Judgement, it holds that:

God is always patient with us, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).

You are referring to 1 Corinthians 15. But there we find also this:

45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.

This clearly means that the first Adam became naturally a living being and was of the dust of the earth. And this amounts to say that the first Adam was also the result of evolution.

On the other hand, I think one should also consider that also non-human animals are “the result of direct and unique involvement of God”, although different as God’s involvement in creating man in his Image.

I dare to insist: Evolution is actually nothing other than the preparation of the body of God’s Son. This body is crucial to define humanity as a biological species as well, since the concept of “species” cannot be defined by biological means alone .

A number of difficulties present with such an outlook - the Son of God was born from a virgin and His father is God. This cannot be considered as “the preparation … of the body of God’s Son”.

There is also a clear illogical aspect to such an outlook. If as you say, you agree with the biologos position, that God somehow works via evolution, then this must include the human species, and you reference to the spiritual cannot apply (just as gravity cannot include anything spiritual, and so on).

I do not want to labour the point - these views are incoherent and theologically irrelevant.

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A basic statement of Christian faith is that “the Word (the Son of God) became human flesh” that is, assumed a true human body . But this “type of body” was prepared through evolution. The preparation was complete between 12,000 BC and 3,200 BC, at the moment referred to in Genesis when God makes humankind in the Image of God.

This is a good point. As we are taught by Richard Dawkins, it is impossible to establish by biological means alone the moment when the human species begins. This means that to define the begin of the “human species” we can’t help invoking God’s intervention. At the moment when God declares that mankind is made in God’s image and likeness, humanity becomes a community called to behave according to the ecology of love and mutual respect, and concomitantly a distinct biological species.

According to quantum gravity space-time is quantized or pixelated. This means that “not all what matters for gravitational phenomena is contained in space-time”. In this sense gravity includes something spiritual (non-material).

One should keep in mind the story regarding the quantum physicist John A. Wheeler I referred to in previous posts. He was once asked: "But if the universe only starts with our observations, is then the big bang here?” Wheeler answered: “A lovely way to put it -‘Is the big bang here?’ I can imagine that we will someday have to answer your question with a ‘yes’.”

Since the Big Bang the universe evolves necessarily to bring about human observers. And this means that God foresaw since the Big Bang the “kind of body” His Son would take. From the perspective of evolution, the time of definition of this “kind of body” is the moment when God chose one or several anatomically modern humans and declared to make them in His image and likeness. As said, this moment can be set between 12,000 BC and 3,200 BC.

I am trying to see your point of view, but with difficulty. What scientific data do you have for such a statement? To include Christ’s body in this is odd, to put it mildly.

We may infer the existence of human beings at the time of Adam, but that is all. We may speculate on different time frames (God made mankind and imprinted he divine image, and God created Adam and so on) from Genesis. It is not possible to do this from any scientific theory or hypothesis.

From my understanding of quantum physics, the suggestions revolve about an open or closed system. The Palamist doctrine of the energies of God may add theological understanding to how we with limited understanding, attribute things to God, such as acts of creation, without error on the simplicity of God.

I cannot see how you add spirituality to our scientific insights, and I suggest there is none, whatever quantum physics provides.

I think your speculations add to the confusion I note in these discussions on original sin.

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I thank you sincerely for trying.

On my part I will try to explicate better my point:

On the basis of the available scientific data and the theory of evolution we are led to conclude that we cannot establish the moment when the first individual of any species appears by biological means alone. Thus to define the moment when humanity begins we can’t help invoking some ingredient coming from outside biology.

It is God Himself who includes “Christ’s body in this”. He does this when He declares in Genesis that God makes humanity in God’s Image. Indeed, this declaration amounts to state that the human body is the type of body God has prepared for His Son.

It is misleading to think that “humanity” can be defined as pure biological category, i.e.: invoking biological features alone. To define humanity, you have to invoke the category of God’s Image, that is, an ingredient coming from outside biology. And the statement that “humanity is made in God’s Image” presupposes that God becomes human flesh.

Notice that if you dismiss the Incarnation of God, you get rid of the criterion for discerning what makes human life precious and unique.
Paraphrasing Dostoevsky, I dare to say:
If God did not become man, then everything is permitted.

My impression from your remarks is that evolution in whatever form it is discussed is inadequate, and we as scientists should admit this.

On the matter of Christ, this quote from a paper on the theology of St Palamas is instructive:

*The person of Christ represents the way by which deification is possible. In a lengthy passage of Homily 16 Gregory describes how Christ is able to accomplish this deification. I quote the whole of the passage to give the full weight of Palamas’ theological assertion.

The Son of God became man to show to what heights He would lead us, that we might not be conceited as if we had reversed the defeat (of sin) by our own efforts. Being twofold in nature, he could truly be a mediator, joining each of the two to the other. He loosed the bond of sin and cleansed the stain that comes of being joined with flesh. He showed God’s love for us, and demonstrated that we had sunk so deeply into evil to make it necessary for God to become flesh. In His flesh and His sufferings He became an example to us of humility and a healing remedy for pride. He made it clear that God created our nature good. He became the author and guarantor of the resurrection and eternal life, delivering us from despair. By becoming the Son of man and sharing our mortality, He made men sons of God and partakers of divine immortality. Human nature was shown to have been created in the image of God…and this kinship with God was such that human nature could be joined to Him in one person….He united men and God, who were by nature separate, becoming a mediator through His twofold nature.

First, from this passage it is evident that Christ accomplishes this deification through his twofold nature. It is only possible for Christ to deify humanity because He is both God and human.

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If fully agree if by “open system” you mean that:

Not all what matters for physical phenomena is contained in space-time.

The Quantum is more than physics.

The physical world is defined by “observer independent outcomes”, which are repeatable,

The physical world is only a part of the Quantum, it does not encompass the whole Quantum, which may content one-off “observer dependent events”.

To have physics you have to limit Quantum Superposition and avoid applying it to the macroscopic-visible world.

If you generalized Quantum Superposition to the macroscopic world you get observer dependent realities , i.e.: miracles.

In my view, at the end of the day St. Gregory Palamas’ doctrine of the “energies of God” is an attempt to solve the following problem:

Does the assumption that corporal persons (humans) can become like God by seeing God in heaven conflicts with the simplicity of God?

In this context it is worth invoking also St. Irenaeus:
God solves the problem by means of Incarnation!

The physical universe consist of time and space including quantum and what would be assumed a spiritual dimension. I think evolution still cannot explain the disconnect between the so called separation of physical and spiritual, although a quantum explanation may just prove the spiritual is as much of space time as the physical. If you go with a Biblical answer, it is a limit placed on the human ability by God, and that may be as close as we can get. While God is separate from creation, created spiritual beings and attributes are just as much of created reality, as the physical.

Exactly!
Created reality consist of both, physical reality and created spiritual beings.

I would rather state:

The physical reality consists in events which:

  • appear in space-time (phenomena) or (what is the same) are accessible to human senses (observation).

  • are observer-independent and reproducible.

Some physical phenomena (relativistic-local phenomena) can be explained by causal links, i.e.: signals propagating non-faster than light. The velocity of light c bounds propagation in space-time and limits what humans can cause at a distance.

Other physical phenomena (quantum nonlocal phenomena) cannot be explained by signals propagating in space-time. In this sense they require action coming from outside space-time. These phenomena have useful applications in cryptography and quantum computing. However, they do not allow us “phoning faster than light”.

Important: To the extent that space-time is quantized (“pixelated”) even relativistic-local phenomena cannot be reduced to information stored in space-time.

Usually one refers to physical reality also as material reality. Thus, we are led to conclude that material reality cannot be exclusively explained by material causes: To explain what is material one has to invoke a non-material reality or, as you say, “a spiritual dimension”.

Human ability is undoubtedly limited by the velocity of light.

But there is another important limit:

In the ordinary world we live in, macroscopic visible objects are not in Quantum Superposition. This makes it possible to have reproducible, observer-independent events, and (in your wording) “to give humans the certainty of a rather stable universe”.

However, Quantum Superposition can extraordinarily involve macroscopic visible objects. Then observer-dependent, one-off events, may happen that is, miracles beyond our operational capabilities.

This means that Quantum is more than Physics.

I would say: The spiritual is as much real as the physical, and can act upon space-time reality to produce, for instance, meaningful pieces of speech or text, as those we produce in writing our comments.

However, Evolution lays the groundwork for assigning rights: The deletion of intermediate varieties allows us to clearly distinguish human beings from non-human animals. In this sense Evolution plays an important role to connect the physical and the spiritual.

Additionally, what makes humanity unique and precious is the Incarnation of God. So Evolution can be considered to aim the body God prepares for His Son, i.e.: Jesus Christ’s body.

If according to St. Gregory Palamas the deification of humanity is only possible for Christ, we are led to conclude that Incarnation was intended together with Creation to make it possible that humans become deified in heaven.

Relevant is also St. Palamas’ Homily about the Annunciation (quoted by John Paul II in Ephesus on 30 November 1979), where Palamas states: “You are blessed and full of grace, oh Virgin, says the angel to Mary. But the Holy Spirit will come again upon you to prepare you for the divine mystery by an increasing of grace.”

Incarnation deifies motherhood: To be mother means to conceive and give birth to the image of God.

If we dispose of the teaching of Incarnation, we get rid of what makes human motherhood unique and precious.

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We are in agreement on this matter, and also on Athanasius’ discussion on the incarnation.

So, we agree that the whole process of Creation makes sense in view of the Incarnation of God to deify humanity.

On the other hand, as we have seen, Evolution makes sense in view of bringing about humanity by establishing a clear observable difference between humans and non-human animals.

So we are led to conclude that Evolution aims to produce the type of body God had in mind to take before He creates the world.

And we can note as well:

The way Incarnation happens confirms how intimately the distinction between “male and female” is related to the Image of God (Genesis 1:27): The man Jesus Christ is conceived in the womb of the woman Mary.

If God did not incarnate everything is permitted: It disappears what makes humanity and human motherhood precious and valuable.

We are in disagreement on the theory of evolution regarding true humans - the theory cannot be modified from what it is, and in its current form, it cannot account for the creation of true human species. Simply pointing out the great differentiation between humans and other species shows up the inadequacy of Darwinian thinking.

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This is a highly interesting remark! And I agree with you to some extent.

Nonetheless I would rather use the term “incompleteness” instead of “inadequacy”.

The idea of the “great differentiation between humans and other species” because of the disappearance of intermediate varieties, is hidden in On the Origin of Species but it is being developed only now.

This development is leading us to discover that it is biologically impossible to establish when the species Homo sapiens begins with anything other than arbitrary criteria. And this means that to define humanity we have to invoke ingredients coming from outside biology.

So the present development of the theory is supporting the Genesis’ definition of humanity as a community of people called to respect each other because they are in the Image of God.

And again, this amount to state that evolution aims to bring about the type of body God prepared for his Son.

I guess we as scientist need to better understand “incompleteness” within the context of scientific laws. To add some humour, if the theory of chemical bonds could not cope with the bond between hydrogen and oxygen, I would call it inadequate and fatally flawed, no matter how much can be argued for such a theory.

The human race is a big component of the planet and requiring something outside biology seems to make biology an odd area, to put it mildly.

The theory of chemical bonds relies on Quantum principles. And we know today that

the Quantum is more than Physics and Chemistry.

You cannot well-define the “human race” without invoking the principle:

Humans ought to live respecting each other but are allowed to kill animals for food.

Evolution laid the groundwork in order humans can live according to this principle, the Foundation of Law.

Evolution is more than Biology and Genetics.

You can see things from another perspective:

It is absolutely legitimate to ask:

At which precise time in history did God make humanity in his image and thereby proclaim that humans ought to respect each other but are allowed to kill non-human animals for food? (see Genesis 9:3-6)

On the basis of the available data from evolutionary biology we are led to conclude that this event happened not earlier than 12,000 BC and not later than 3,200 BC.

So biology helps us to complete the Genesis narrative.

I am not questioning your sincerity, but my position is clear; evolution as the current paradigm of biology is inadequate when we discuss how God has created, so I disagree with the notion promoted by biologos in that God has somehow created mankind through the current theory we term evolution.

I cannot see what more I can say.