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

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.

According to you, which would be a coherent way to explain the beginning of “the human race as a big component of the planet”?

I think your answer will be very useful for our discussion. Thanks in advance for it.

I am saying that biology evolution does not provide the answer.

On data that indicates activities of humans and lengths of time, we have discussed this in previous posts.

I agree with this, because “the human race” cannot be well defined without invoking the following Principle :

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

On the one hand, this Principle (the very Foundation of Law) is not a Darwinian Principle, as Richard Dawkins himself acknowledges:

“We should not live by Darwinian principles […] one of the reasons for learning about Darwinian evolution is as an object lesson in how not to set up our values and social lives… [We should] despise Darwinian natural selection as a motto for how we should live.”

On the other hand, Genesis 9:6 gives a strong reason for this Principle (Foundation of Law):

“for in the image of God has God made mankind.”

Now you can ask:

At which precise time does God state Genesis 9:3-6?

It is obvious that behaving according to the Principle (Foundation of Law) above requires that humans can clearly distinguish between humans and non-human animals, as it is the case today.

Evolutionary biology teaches us that this distinction is established only after 12,000 BC, the time at which the last intermediate varieties between humans and apes disappear, and the distinction between humans and non-human animals becomes as sharp as it is today.

Instead of “disposing” of “Darwinian thinking” (as you seem to suggest) I dare to propose to complete “Darwinian evolution” with the important feature of “the disappearance of intermediate varieties” between humans and non-human animals.

The resulting evolutionary biology allows us to answer the legitimate question about the time of beginning of “the human race”, an answer that is not contained in Genesis.

I cannot follow your reasoning - commentators on Gen 9 state -

1-7. The primeval benediction of man is now repeated and enlarged. Animal food is allowed, but blood is forbidden. The blood makes the life manifest, as it were, to our senses, and the life belongs to God, and must, therefore, be offered to Him.

5, 6. The ground of the sacredness of human life here is the existence of the divine image in man. It is not conceived as being wholly destroyed by sin.

9. My covenant ] This word occurs some two hundred times in the OT., and the idea lies at the root of the whole conception of law among the Jews. Covenants, as made between men, form the beginnings of civilised government. The word is also used of the relation of God to man; of His justice, His unchangeable nature, and His protecting power, on the one side, and the corresponding duties devolving upon man, especially as embodied in the law of Moses, on the other (A Commentary on the Holy Bible: The One Volume Bible Commentary).

contradicts the basic tenet off evolution. so I am at a loss on how this fits in with your acceptance of evolution, and as I have said some time ago, evolutionary biology fails to answer the question about the time the human race began - the data that I have seen shows the time for the appearance of true humans simply does not conform to evolutionary time-lengths (this was discussed some time ago and I cannot hunt out the sources now,)

I would rather say: It completes the basic tenet of evolution.

Consider Genesis 9:3

Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you.

How could God give animals to humans for food, if humans were not evolved from animals?

I would rather say:

Evolutionary biology helps us "to answer the question about the time the human race began”.

Human race began with the event referred to in Genesis 1:26-27; 9:3-6.

However, Genesis does not tell us the precise time of this event. Would you then claim that also Genesis “fails to answer the question about the time the human race began”?

In my view the correct way of reasoning is the following:

From Genesis 9:3-6 we can derive that human race began at a time when the anatomic and genetic difference between humans and apes is as sharp as it is today.

From evolutionary biology we can derive that this time was not earlier than 12,000 BC and not later than 3,200 BC (appearance of writing).

So the Conclusion seems to be that:

Genesis and evolutionary biology together allow us “to answer the question about the time the human race began”.

If by “true humans” you mean “humans aware of accountability relationship”, then the Conclusion above suggests that the appearance of true humans conforms pretty well to evolutionary time-lengths.

All of us are entitled to our personal opinions, but as scientists we need to turn to valid information, particularly if we are discussing theological aspects of our faith. I have referred to philosophy of science writngs in the past to better understand the various outIooks on evolution, and recommend scholarly publications that discuss Darwinian/evolution outlooks and their turbid history; eg:

Momme von Sydow, From Darwinian Metaphysics towards Understanding
the Evolution of Evolutionary Mechanisms.

Darwinian Controversies: An Historiographical Recounting, by David J. Depew. I add the abstract from this:

This essay reviews key controversies in the history of the Darwinian research tradition: the Wilberforce-Huxley debate in 1860, early twentieth-century debates about the heritability of acquired characteristics and the consistency of Mendelian genetics with natural
selection; the 1925 Scopes trial about teaching evolution; tensions about race, culture, and
eugenics at the 1959 centenary celebration Darwin’s Origin of Species; adaptationism and its critics in the Sociobiology debate of 1970s and, more recently, Evolutionary Psychology; and current disputes about Intelligent Design. These controversies, I argue, are etched into public memory because they occur at the emotionally charged boundaries between public-political, technical-scientific, and personal-religious spheres of discourse. Over most of them falls the shadow of eugenics. The main lesson is that the history of Darwinism cannot be told except by showing the mutual influence of the different norms of discourse that obtain in the personal, technical, and public spheres. Nor can evolutionary biology successfully be taught to citizens and citizens-to-be until the fractious intersections between spheres of discourse have been made explicit. In the course of showing why, I take rival evolutionary approaches to be dynamical historical research traditions rather than static theories. Accordingly, I distinguish Darwin’s version of Darwinism from its later transformations. I pay special attention to the role Darwin assigned to development in evolution, which was marginalized by twentieth-century population genetical Darwinism, but has recently resurfaced in new forms. I also show how the disputed phrases ‘‘survival of the fittest’’ and ‘‘social Darwinism’’ have shaped personal anxieties about ‘‘Darwinism,’’ have provoked public opposition to teaching evolution in public schools, and have cast a shadow over efforts to effectively communicate to the public largely successful technical efforts to make evolutionary inquiry into a science.

I agree that if one tries to explain humanity invoking only Darwinian evolution one is led to “eugenics” and “Social Darwinism”.

But this is what Richard Dawkins himself acknowledges:

“We should not live by Darwinian principles […] one of the reasons for learning about Darwinian evolution is as an object lesson in how not to set up our values and social lives.” […] “aspects of what Hitler tried to do could be regarded as arising out of Darwinian natural selection. That’s exactly why I said that I despise Darwinian natural selection as a motto for how we should live.”

The principles “for how we should live” are not derived from Darwinian principles alone .

The archetype of any coherent Law is formulated in Genesis 9:3-6:

Humans are not allowed to kill other humans, but they can dispose of non-human animals for food.

Now, you can further ask:
At which time did God establish this principle?

To answer this question evolutionary natural history is helpful, as argued in previous posts.

I fully agree with you on this, and it seems to me that what you say also basically corresponds to the positions of @GJDS and @Timtofly .

Humanity appears with the event referred to in Genesis 9:3-6, that is the proclamation by God that “humans are not allowed to kill each other, whereas they are allowed to dispose of animals for food”.

I think this is what you “visualize” very well as “stepping beyond the Biosphere and into the Noosphere”.

For this “stepping beyond” there is no “mechanism” that could be completely grasped by a “scientific account”. In this sense @GJDS is right: Darwinian thinking (by it alone) cannot account for the appearance of humanity.

On the other hand, if “there is no mechanism” for the “stepping beyond the Biosphere”, then Intelligent Design does not seem to be an appropriate description. And if “there is no mechanism” for the “stepping into the Noosphere”, then I cannot see the theological interest of Genealogical Adam.

Interestingly, Genesis 9:3-6 can be considered an “Archetype” of “accountability relationship” and therefore of “Law” and “Monotheism”. In other words, Genesis 9:3-6 refers to the universal revelation of God to humanity, and explains why Monotheism may be a content of the “Collective Unconscious” of Humanity . From this perspective Polytheism and Atheism are sort of “cognitive mutants” of Monotheism.

Tim, the preceding post seems to contradict the following one:

Could you please clarify?
This would be useful for our discussion.
Thanks i advance.

What seems to be contradictory? We were created in God’s image and the offspring of Seth no longer had that image.

We were created on the sixth day to be God on earth. The second Adam born of a human was God with us. I see nothing in Genesis that contradicts God being on earth in the image and being God created for that very purpose. Adam was part of a group whom God considered sons of God or God on earth. Jesus, the second Adam, was God on earth.

It was not that Adam was the final step in humanity becoming like God. Adam made the choice which led to humanity being seperated from God relationally and physically. No longer in God’s image.

I think it wrong to call Adam and Seth the godly line and the rest of humanity sinners. It was Adam and multiple generations who were without God and direct communication with God. It was the other humans and their offspring who in the image of God were in constant strife with God. While it is true that Adam paved the way for sin, and the choices resulting in death, those in God’s image had free will to allow God to work in their lives and even more so than the offspring of Adam who had to seek God out because of sin’s seperation from God.

It is telling how humanity had blocked their own communication with God, and only an offspring of Adam was found in favor to save humanity from itself. I also think that there were 2000 years between creation and Noah. I think that there was 1000 years of no sin and death. Then a thousand years where evolution had total control, with a divine humanity in control, till the point humanity had rejected communication directly with God to a point God would no longer put up with humanity’s will to do as they pleased.

However, in Genesis 9:3-6 God establish a clear distinction between human and non-human life:

God demands an account of each human for the blood of another human, but gives humans animals for food.

As reason for this distinction Genesis (9:6) states that:
“in the image of God has God made mankind”.

So it seems that also after “Adam’s unfortunate choice” humanity (and in particular Seth’s offspring) shared still God’s Image.

How is this possible?

Because God is not of flesh and blood.

It is not life and blood that entails the image of God. Image and likeness in this sense is biological reproduction. The image that those on day six were made in is not the physical body like God would create an idol that represented what God was. Nor is it the ability to be alive and self aware. The image was the actual part of God on earth. The spirit and breath of God likeness in addition to the physical biological function of all animal life.

After Noah, God pointed out that humans alone had that image. Genesis 9:6 does not infer that humans still had that image, but had to be reminded what the beginning was like. The Flood brought an end to any one living on earth in the image of God. All those after the Flood only had the image of fallen humanity. We then have accounts of humans thinking themselves half human and half divine. That gods could have offspring with humans. That humans could become something they were not if only they could figure out some genetic way to change who they were. It was God who removed the likeness and image of God from the earth. Because humanity had abused what it was like to be God on earth, to the extent there was constant strife between humanity and God.

The distinction between humanity and animals was very clear before the Flood. After not so much. Saying today that humans are just animals goes against the distinction claimed in Genesis 9, and even more so against what humanity actually was before the Flood. I am not saying that the Flood was needed to kill or destroy that humanity. It was an event that totally changed what the earth was like in a perfect state. We do not even think today such an event occurred that removed a different humanity from the earth. Yet that seems to be the central reason for God allowing the Flood to happen.

I do not see how Adam’s offspring was special. The genealogy of the Hebrews and ultimately Jesus was full of wickedness and sin. It was still the line that God choose and left us a record of over 3000+ years, starting with Moses.

And yet, Jesus Christ is true God, and is of flesh and blood:
“The Word became flesh” (John 1:14).