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

@Randy I can dig the music but my haircut was better then theirs(!), and why was the camera mostly on the blonde?

But what??? evolution is the true solution? Man what the ………!:grinning::innocent:

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Unlike @AntoineSuarez, I have had no training in theology, and so in my previous posts I have tried to express how my religious upbringing together with my scientific training has formed my Worldview. It pleases me that Antoine’s worldview and mine have much in common, but in terms of the theology (?) upon which they are based, I will let him speak for himself.

Obviously you have totally misinterpreted what you term as “implications of your somewhat vague points of view.” [Here I must point out the huge difference between 'points of view’, which are subject to frequent change, and my Worldview, which is more the essence of Al Leo than is this rather decrepit body he now occupies.]. To clarify my position (so it is not vague): Evidence for human evolution allows me to reject the concept of Original Sin and replace it with Original Blessing. I do not accept as Truth or Fact the story that the disobedience of A & E resulted in God’s judging that they and their future offspring are totally depraved and worthy of eternal punishment, regardless of any attempt on their part to live as their Creator wished.

So, to eliminate any possible remaining ‘vagueness’, this means that I consider Jesus’ role in our Salvation as the eternal Christ, the Messiah who leads us to fulfill the potential no other creature can: the freedom to choose to become the Image of its Creator by rising above the evolutionary limits of biological (animal) amoral evolution.

You state that “Evolution is simply NOT the way God saves humanity.” Of course not. It is by rising above it that we can become co-creators with Him.
God bless
Al Leo

As I have stated before, I cannot, (honestly :sweat_smile:) understand how humanity is the product of evolution as promoted by biologists, and also would rise above it. At the risk of adding humour, do we posses a gene that enables us to choose salvation?

I understand your objection to the notion of condemnation and original sin. The way and means to salvation in Christ as you explain are, to me, vague and lacking a foundation in the Gospel.

I seriously doubt that there is (or even could be) such a 'salvation-seeking gene. As I’ve stated many times on this forum, I believe Darwinian evolution prepared the Homo sapiens brain: (1) for consciousness, (2) for abstract thought, and thus (3) for moral behavior (i.e. a conscience). Paleontology provides little or no evidence that (1) occurred rather suddenly in the animal kingdom, as might be the case arising from a favorable mutation(s). I am certainly unable to cite repeatable scientific evidence for the mechanism of how these 3 steps occurred, but it is not unreasonable that such evidence will soon be found–especially if the main force is epigenetic. The teaching/learning cycle gives indications that a DNA-methylation process is involved and that is known to have epigenetic consequences. It is surely no coincidence that acquiring a symbolic language is closely associated with the humanization of early Homo sapiens. (A reversal of the Tower of Babel tale?). In this case at least, I believe the way science reads the Book of Nature is more dependable than the way many theologians have read the Book of Scripture

The role of Jesus Christ is our Salvation demands that we all agree on exactly what Salvation means. The Act of Contrition I learned as a child asks to be "saved from the fires of Hell". It is my understanding that many (most) Fundamentalists still believe this literally. I no longer can. On several occasions God has unmistakably made His presence felt in my life–and always as a loving, caring parent might.

While I cannot give a scientific account of the mechanism by which Homo sapiens became human (and thus potentially the Image of God), I like to visualize it the way Teilhard did: as stepping beyond the Biosphere and into the Noosphere–the sphere where ideas and spiritual values are primary.
May God bless you and look after you (as He has done for me)
Al Leo


I will make some points for clarification:

1- science provides insights on how the earth may have formed and without understanding of how life began, science nonetheless seeks to understand the variation and ecological cycles of earth.

2 - evolution does not provide a coherent scientific theory for 1, and thus it should be confined to studies related to biology.

3 - any discussion involving God for Christians, is based on revelation and we rely on scripture for this. If we do not turn scripture into scientific theories, nor science into scripture, we may achieve a harmony in that the creation points to its creator, and scripture takes us to Christ.

Much ink has been spilled on these points as various individuals decide on their own points of view - I instead study the teachings of the Church (Orthodoxy) and the result has increasingly been that I find less conflict with the verified science that I understand.

With Creation God aims to fill the places in the Banquet of Eternal Life with humans who freely choose to love God.

This comes to happen through “transformation of humanity into the nature of Christ”, as you magnificently say.

In order Creation can achieve this aim, God prepares a body for his Son since all eternity: this body defines the human body.

The transformation of humanity into the body of Christ requires that humans live according to the Golden Rule, respecting and loving each other.

Thus, it is crucial there is a clear observable distinction between humans and all the other living forms, even the nearest ones.

This distinction God works out by means of Evolution.

Thus, Evolution is a main ingredient of the way God prepares Incarnation, and thereby also to transformation of humanity into the body of Christ.

Salvation is a different story: Incarnation and transformation of humanity into the body of Christ would have happened even if there had been no sin and Salvation had not been necessary, as we are taught by Irenaeus.

Evolution is directly invoked in the way God creates humanity and prepares Incarnation; it is not directly invoked in the way God saves humanity.

We obviously have common ground on what the faith teaches on salvation, and we recognise the distinction regarding humanity. My view is that humanity was created by God and stamped with His image, and Adam and Eve were also created by God and placed in a distinct setting where they communed with God. It is possible to speculate two distinctions, one general, and the other unique regarding Adam, and when Adam was removed from the garden, he communicated knowledge of God to humanity of his time.

All of this may be examined within scripture, and this included how “God did it …” so to speak.

It is also possible to reason, as you state, regarding the distinction of humanity from other species. My point is to show that this is based on scripture, without a need to resort to the theory of evolution. This is not an attempt to indulge in criticisms of evolution, but instead to show it is inadequate/irrelevant for our scriptural understanding.

I think the conflicts have arisen because people have decided that creation is described by evolution and this contradicts scripture, and camps for and against this error have waged a cultural war around this - this is an unfortunate outcome and an unnecessary one.

I disagree with you if you imply the incarnation was prepared by evolution, whatever that may mean. The birth of Christ is described in detail in the Gospel and nothing needs to be added to this.

If I understand well you are stating:

  1. Adam is the first human sinner.

  2. Humanity does not genealogically descend from Adam.

Am I right?

If YES, could you please tell us at which moment (according to you) does humanity become in need of salvation by Jesus Christ?

Thanks in advance for your answers.

Hi Antoine,

Perhaps I have not been clear. My first major point is the fact (from what I read on this site, not in dispute) that evolution in whatever form it is presented, cannot address the first sinner, or any sinner. Thus analysis of genetics, populations and whatever, fail to provide, and indeed cannot, provide anything that adds or removes from the biblical account.

I think you should address this point.

The second major point is to note that modelling (again not controversial as it is presented) based on records and archeological insights, can account for the current population with its genealogical roots in an Adam and Eve (assumed as a pair for our discussion).

Once we are clear on how we both regard these two points, we may then move to biblical based discussions.

I address it with pleasure.

You are right that “analysis of genetics, [or] populations” as such cannot address the questions of whether or not sin occurred, and which consequences the first sin (if any) may have had.

On the other hand, the biblical account tells us that sin occurred.

So with relation to this biblical account the legitimate questions arise:

  1. At which time did the first sin was committed?

  2. Did this sin happen within a large human population or was it the sin of a single couple from which all other humans are genealogically descended ?

To answer these questions useful contributions can come from

  • Genetic analysis of population structure,
  • Paleontological data about disappearance of intermediate varieties,
  • Archaeological vestiges on origins of civilization.

In conclusion, the biblical account lets important questions open that evolutionary science can efficiently contribute to answer:

“Properly interpreted, Scripture and nature are complementary and faithful witnesses to their common Author.” Biologos, What We Believe, point 2.

The story of God communicating to man begins with Adam and Eve. This is clearly stated to occur in a special setting, and this means separate from events that may be discussed within geological times and variety of species. I feel Antoine, that this aspect is often overlooked when some are hastily trying to graft evolution to biblical revelation.

The existence of other species (and in my view other non-Adamic humans) can be inferred from scripture, and I think the Catholic view you have mentioned (the Pope’s formulation) may be similar.

Thus, sin entered the world through Adam. This became the aspect of human nature since then. My point is to show this cannot be explained/shown by any version of evolution.

Excellent! This is my view too, to some extent.

I fully agree to this point as well!

This means that at a certain moment Adam and Eve were no longer in the “special setting” and entered the ordinary world where “non-Adamic” humans lived, and where we are living today.

This your explanation raises a number of legitimated questions:

  1. At which moment of history were Adam and Eve banished from the “special setting” and entered the ordinary world we live in?

  2. Your explanation implies that Adam and Eve shared the same “human nature“ of the “other non-Adamic humans”. How is this possible, since the “special setting” (where Adam and Eve were settled) was separated from the ordinary world where the other non-Adamic humans dwelt?

  3. For which reason Adam and Eve’s sin (committed apparently in “the special setting”) “became the aspect of human nature since then”.

I think you too should address these questions!

They contain interesting aspects that “are often overlooked when some are hastily trying” to avoid that mutual enrichment of evolution and biblical revelation might occur.

I dare to insist: Evolutionary science help us to better understand the meaning of Scripture, and Biblical Revelation help us to better understand the meaning of evolutionary facts.

The biblical account does not provide a time, but we may infer from population models and ancient artifacts this may have occurred at some point over 10-40,000 years.

I take the general statement that ‘man was imprinted with the image of God’ to apply to all true humans. Adam and Eve were created as innocents and give particular Grace to commune with God. The importance of this cannot be overstated - when they disobeyed the divine command and were banished from Eden, they were warned that their life, nature and setting was to be the earth inhabited by other species. I do not see a need to labour this point.

This needs a somewhat lengthy response, but I will simply say that Adam could speak God’s name to others and this is central to others understanding and indulging in sin.

I have tried to provide concise answers to you question - and my answers do not mentioned evolution once.

Now it is for you to show why you ….

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Thanks for this.
I am interested in the details of your argument: Which “population models and ancient artifacts” allow you to infer this time?

In any case, in this claim you are clearly assuming that evolutionary science (population evolution, paleontological and archaeological findings) help us to better understand the biblical account, aren’t you?

No I am not - I have stated on a number of occasions that evolution biology does not, and cannot, enhance our biblical understanding.

I also remind you to show why you think that “evolutionary science leads to a better understanding and meaning of Scripture” - the onus is on you to demonstrate this assertion/assumption. Note the discussion eventually comes back to original sin.

My remarks simply show that we need not see conflict with any science. The modelling I referred to has been discussed on this site, and from memory, it is a stochastic approach that accounts for the current population based on recorded size, deaths, births, migrations etc, available from historical records - it shows it can model all of this with a couple as ancestors about 10,000 years ago.

And yet you claim:

This claim means more than simply “we need not see conflict with any science”. It means that you are using science to infer knowledge the biblical account does not provide. So you are clearly supporting my claim that “evolutionary science helps us to better understand the meaning of Scripture and Biblical Revelation”.

If I understand well you are claiming the following:

  1. Adam and Eve were banished from the “special setting” and entered the ordinary evolutionary world about 10,000 years ago.

  2. At this moment spread all over the world there lived roughly 1 million of anatomically modern human creatures, that is, creatures that shared the same specific body as Adam and Eve.

  3. These creatures underwent marriage with the descendants of Adam and Eve.

  4. This way (according to the model you refer to) Adam and Eve became genealogically (though not genetically) speaking common ancestors of all the current population of the world.

To avoid misunderstandings I would be thankful to know whether or not I interpret correctly your thinking.

Antoine, this discussion cannot move on until you respond to:

I also remind you to show why you think that “evolutionary science leads to a better understanding and meaning of Scripture” - the onus is on you to demonstrate this assertion/assumption. Note the discussion eventually comes back to original sin."