A theological-biological explanation of “the original sin’s transmission”

With this topic I propose an improved version of my previous explanation to discussion in the Forum.

The improved explanation can be summarized with the following statement:

God created the world since the beginning at the Big Bang as if the first human sin had already happened, but created humankind in the image of God at the Neolithic as if the first human sin had not yet happened.

Physical death, illness, aging, and the selfish Darwinian mechanisms that underpin evolution are part of the state of decay inherent to creation since the Big Bang. They are in particular encoded in the DNA and become transmitted through reproduction. It is the state of “frustration and bondage to decay” referred to in Romans 8:20-21.

On the one hand, this state is foreseen by God in case humans sin, for the sake of facilitating the conversion of sinners (as suggested in Romans 5:12-21).

On the other hand, God could not become himself the cause of temptation, and consequently God created the human beings in the image of God in a state of “original grace” such that the decay and frustration (present in the rest of creation) was nullified: The first humans in the image of God were not submitted to death, illness or aging, and did not fill any selfish tendency coming from the flesh (the “thorn in the flesh” in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9). This is the state of “the garden in Eden” referred to in Genesis 2:8, also called “original state of holiness and justice”.

After the first human sin, the human beings in the image of God lost the original grace they had in the garden in Eden, and therefore the state of decay and selfishness of creation encoded in the Homo sapiens DNA prevailed. And God bounded everyone over to this state so that he may have mercy on us all (Romans 11:32): Humans became submitted to suffering through death, illness and aging; the selfish evolutionary tendencies degenerate into “concupiscence”, which opposes the commandment of love and became transmitted concomitantly with the Homo sapiens DNA. This state resulting from the prevalence of selfish evolutionary mechanisms in absence of original grace is the state of original sin.

Thus, the first sinner (no matter who he was and when he sinned) is obviously a real character, and can be considered the progenitor of all humans coming into existence in the state of original sin, as the first sin is the cause of the state of deterioration of creation, and this state becomes transmitted with the Homo sapiens DNA: “Sin entered the world through one man” (Romans 5:12). In this sense, the reason for the transmission of “the state of original sin” is a theological-biological one.

In summary, in creating the world God takes into account the option that “humans sin” and the option that “humans do not sin”, and makes a world that is good in either case.

Thanks in advance for any comment.

I think that memetic or cultural evolution would also play an important role in the transmission of humanity’s sinful nature in addition to a genetic inheritance that causes a proclivity towards selfishness. One way to define the fall of humanity is the tendency of humans to not do what they know they are supposed to do (i.e., God’s design for human life) because not doing it benefits them. The root of this is selfishness which has genetic roots, but not doing what you know you are supposed to do is a habit, a learned behavior that can be passed on from one generation to the next. It could be argued that this is one way that original sin spread culturally.

Here is one possible model for a combined theological-biological-cultural approach to explaining original sin. The first sinner, whoever he was, chose to not do what he knew he was supposed to do out of selfishness and this became a habit. His offspring learned this habit from him and their children learned it from them. If humans are genetically inclined towards selfishness, it would be an easy habit to fall into. Since humans also have a moral nature, they also eventually try to justify this habit by saying what they are not supposed to do is actually what they are supposed to do and vice versa. Eventually, this justification becomes so ingrained into each culture, that they forget that it was ever a justification. This justification could be the origin of all false religion. Now fast forward, all human cultures are now plagued by the habit of knowing what we are supposed to do and not doing it. The holy spirit is now needed to create new habits and values within us so that we create a culture where we do what we are supposed to do, something which will not be accomplished until after the eschaton.

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There’s must have been something to create “sin”
An evil force or entity. Hense evil preexisted with God. That’s why when God created evil and sin entered the human soul

Hey Nick –

‘Preexisted’ is a timebound word and God is not bound by time.

With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
2 Peter 3:8

Ok cool. It preexisted with God though . Even when there wasn’t time. I mean when God existed evil existed. Don’t know if Iam understood here. I mean I can’t explain it any other way since I’m a human and I can only use human concepts. But that’s what I mean

This is a great question and a common critique. However, I would argue that sin and evil are not necessarily created things in the sense that a substance or object can be a created thing. Like a smartphone or a pint of water.

Rather, if one follows Augustine that moral evil is the absence or perversion of good, then we could also say that sin is the absence or perversion of righteousness. Although it is sometimes dodgy to do theology based on the definition of words, this does seem to capture something of the meaning of sin in Hebrew as ‘missing the mark’ or ‘falling short’. As per Romans 3:23 (NLT), “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (emphasis mine)

For example, murder is a sin because is a corruption of God’s desire that human life is valued and cherished by viewing some lives as less valuable than others. It is also an action devoid of consideration for the victim’s value and worth. In that sense, murder perverts God’s standard of righteousness and as an action lacks the quality of rightness.

However, I wouldn’t say that murder is a ‘thing’ in itself or contains a ‘thing’ called sin or evil. For example, we couldn’t say “can you pass the murder” or “here hold my pint of sin”. This is because, in my view, sin is a descriptive quality of something an action, motivation, or person, is lacking or corrupted.

So, as I see it, evil and sin did not preexist with God, and neither was he the author of sin and evil because sin and evil are conceptual frameworks for describing the absence of a thing, namely righteousness and goodness. And it seems by definition an absence cannot be created.

What do you think?


Good argument. However let me explain something :

Do you believe angels had free will when they got created?

If not how could Satan or whatever rebel?

If yes then there’s must be “something” that preexisted before so Satan can choose between evil or good. Or according to your own words choose between “absence of good or good”.

The second one is what I’m arguing for

And God the all-knowing beign he is knew that power was “there” right? Yet he went ahead with the plan I guess. Strange


Thanks Caleb for this stimulating comment.

Humans are genetically inclined towards selfishness, because since the beginning of life, the DNA (and in particular the Homo sapiens’ DNA) transmits the Darwinian inclination to selfishness (the famous “selfish gene” of Richard Dawkins), together with the subjection to illness, aging, and death.

This state of affairs is part of the state of deterioration that characterizes the creation since the very beginning (the Big Bang): It is “the state of frustration and bondage to decay” (according to Romans 8:20-21), which also includes “the universal increasing of entropy” (the so called “second law” of thermodynamics).

The important point is that God considers this “state of frustration and decay” to be convenient for the salvation of the sinners, and therefore makes the creation in such a state since the very beginning, for the case that humans created in the image of God later (in the Neolithic) decide to sin. And even more important is the fact that God in his mercy, since the very beginning, decides to grant to the possible human sinners the opportunity to repent and let them on earth, instead of expelling them to join the devil and his angels.

This means that the inclination towards selfishness encoded in the DNA is primarily a (somewhat “retroactive”) consequence of the first sin, but wanted by God to the aim of salvation, and in this sense manifests God’s mercy.

Nonetheless, before the creation of humankind in the image of God, the genetically encoded inclination toward selfishness can be considered a mere evolutionary mechanism and is no moral evil.

By contrast, as you very well say, humans are moral beings, and the genetically encoded inclination toward selfishness in humans becomes inclination to sin, the so called “concupiscence”.

Obviously, it had not been fair on the part of God to create humans inclined to sin. And so God bestow the first humans God made in the image of God with original grace capable of nullifying “concupiscence” and also the suffering resulting from illness, aging, and death.

After the first sin, the original grace went lost and “concupiscence” became “inclination to sin”: This is “the state of original sin” or “the state of need for redemption”, in which all human beings in the image of God come into existence after the first human sin.

“Concupiscence”, when indulged in, easily bears personal sins. Nonetheless, one should not equate “concupiscence” and sin: God makes me to feel “concupiscence” in order I realize that I am weak and can reach salvation only with the help of Christ’s grace (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). In other words, I always remain free of turning to God and pray: “Our Father in heaven, … forgive my trespasses, … lead me not into temptation”. God’s mercy invented the state of Romans 5:12-21 to move us to repent, and so he gave us the prayer of the Lord too.

Notice also that the badly called “original sin” is not a personal fault, but rather a state resulting from the fact that the genetically encoded Darwinian selfishness becomes transmitted without original grace. Certainly “memetic or cultural evolution” also plays an important role in transmitting sinful habits resulting from personal faults and generalizing structures of sin, but this transmission is basically different from the transmission of “the state of original sin”.

That is self-contradictory.

No, you are not being understood – you are correct in questioning that! If God is outside of time and independent of it, whom did he sin against? You are blaming God for the existence of sin, even ‘before’ there were people that could sin, and likewise angels. He always knew there would be sin since he knew the future and that people with free will would choose the wrong.

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That is not good reasoning. Can a baby know that he would grow up to be the murderer he became? What sin ‘something, whatever’ preexisted his sinful action? And you are trying to blame God for his sin.

The something that preexisted was free will.

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One can make an example from humans when speaking about God as I have many times. But sometimes that’s not the case. The parent in this example isn’t all knowing while God is.

Why me proposing an opinion different from the majority here means I’m blaming God to someone? Why do you get so defensive during these? All I’m saying is that

This cannot happen because for Free will to exist there must an evil option and good one. Free will could not have preexisted with God before humans because that would imply that God can choose “evil” as well which you are basically coming to my own conclusion

Either evil preexisted with God hense God IS NOT the one to blame for this( which is what I’m proposing ) or God created allowed choose or whatever evil and he IS directly responsible for this.

If the first premise is correct (as I believe It is) then in my theological view God isn’t all-powerful and isnt omnipresent. Hense the fight between good and evil still is going on with no clear winner. Jesus ressurection was just a feat of strength as we call it,not that God have defeated evil all together.

If the second premise is correct God is responsible for creating evil and tempting his creation all together. Which is something I won’t dwelve in deeper.

I hope Im beign understood this time…

As for

As I have previously stated this happened outside of time. I’m using time because this is the only way I can explain.

It’s the same with the trinity. No matter how much you use human reasoning to explain it cannot be explained.

Liam, I think you make a good point.

God is never the author of sin!

God made “the creation submitted to frustration and decay” since the very beginning, for the case that “moral” human beings (i.e. beings “in the image of God”) in the Neolithic would sin.

So, the cause of such a state (which includes also the “law of entropy” and therefore time!) is really the first human sinner.

God makes creation in such “a state of frustration” moved by merciful love to redeem the sinners on earth. Similarly, God underpins the physical processes allowing someone to perpetrate a murder because God respects the free will of the murderer.

God’s act of creation and the sinner’s act of sin are acts of personal beings. So far they are good, and God is their author! But the absence of excellence and rightness in such acts is ultimately caused by the sinner’s will, and such an absence is evil.

I this sense, the first sinner is the cause of the “defective DNA” (encoding illness, aging, death, and destructive selfishness) transmitted by reproduction since the beginning of life, and thus, the first sinner can be considered the progenitor of all human beings created in the state of original sin, even if their DNA does not derive by replication of the first sinner’s DNA.

Thanks for getting back to me, Nick. I appreciate the gracious pushback and the great thoughts you shared.

For the sake of your question, let’s assume the traditional view that Satan was once an angel with a similar role or status to Michael and/or Gabriel, who sinned and was subsequently cast out of heaven after the creation of the universe but before the fall of humanity.

So, there are also different views on whether angels and therefore Satan have free will. This is partly because there are different ways of understanding the extent and limitations of free will and partly because of people’s angelology. As someone from the Reformed Tradition, I hold a view of free will similar to Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer, which is that the will is free to act in accordance with our desires.

However, for me, it gets a bit trickier when we start talking about angels and the fall of Satan. Angels are spiritual beings, so they may or may not have desires and urges in the same way humans do, if that’s the case free will might look different for an angel. Additionally, there is limited information in the Bible about the fall of Satan compared to the abundance of information on human sin.

Therefore, I think it is best to be cautious and hesitant when making claims about the fall of Satan and the nature of angels. That said, I think it is probable that Satan and angels were created with free will, and some form of pride or covetousness could have led to Satan’s fall from heaven. However, in my view, this does not mean that God is the author of sin and evil since pride and covetousness are the absence of humility and satisfaction respectively.

Ultimately, I am comfortable living with the tension of mystery in my faith and acknowledging that there are limitations to our understanding. I know some are not, and others see that as a cop-out, which I acknowledge and respect.

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Good thoughts on free will(although we disagree on the free wills definition and meaning) however you see the trees but you miss the forest.

You said above

First of all let me quote myself

As I responded to Dale above that is my belief(notice the caps on is not ). So I’m not blaming God. Quite the opposite in fact

Secondly even if someone believed that God created sin would that make him wrong?
Cautiousness cannot be held in these issues. Evvery theological issue is an important one. Tha majority held view doesn’t make the particular view correct. Neither does the minority.
God gave us capable brains that can decide and think for themselves. If God didn’t want someone making such assumption about him he wouldn’t have given a brain.

I would also like to point out that no one here (at least for now) has tried to counter argue my position above successfully which gives me confidence to support it further

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Fair point, thanks for the clarification/correction.

No necessarily, no. Unlike Augustine, Calvin argued that God was the ultimate author of evil but that this did not detract from his goodness. Personally, I don’t agree with that view as I’ve outlined above, but many Reformed Christians hold to it.

Perhaps there’s been a misunderstanding of what I meant by cautiousness. I’m not hesitant or afraid to speak about unclear biblical matters. Rather, I believe that such issues require greater intellectual humility and a looser holding of views due to the lack of data available, which increases the chance of error. Theology is important as it concerns discussing what God has revealed. Therefore, when God is silent on a matter, I have a mind to follow His example. None of this requires me to disregard my brain, but to recognise that my perspective and knowledge are limited and that at times we can all be quick to speak to and slow to consider all the options.

Perhaps, you are on to something, as I say, other Christians in church history have held a similar view. Although, again I think there may have been a misunderstanding here too. You posted a good question that I was interested in discussing more, that’s why I replied. I’m more interested in learning from others and refining my positions than in proving anyone wrong. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).


The only “Christians” who held the view above were the “Bogomils” and “Cathars”(if they existed). I don’t agree with all their theology(That The God of the OT is different from Jesus) but I do hold the same view on duality and original sin(as stated above).
I was heavy influenced by the Book Of Two Principles . It’s a great book for anyone with an open mind to the origin of sin(although I have to admit it’s a bit biased on their side) but if you have a clear mind you make your own conclusions. So while mine view of God and the duality of good and evil are different from them ,we kinda agree on some other things

This is a misunderstanding. I never meant to “show off” in my response to you above like "aha no one here can challenge me OBEY😂) not quite the opposite. I was just stating that I’m very confident in my view and that if someone provides a good argument I’ll even change up my mind,because I would be so intrigued that someone found an answer to a concept which bothers me for quite long.

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I really struggle with your opening sentence.

The bible very specifically states that death comes about as a consequence of sin. Of real significance is that it is the separation from God that causes death not the sin itself.

Reference…the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23

We are separated from our giver of life. Jesus died on the cross after shouting out “my God my God why hast thou forsaken me”!

Now before you head down the “its only spiritual road” i should remind you of the story of Ananias and Sahpira (both died instant physical deaths after lying to the Holy Spirit)

How do you reconcile this very obvious biblical theology i have outlined into your model?

I have a difficult time understanding this, so I will respond and you may clarify if you wish.

An existent is something that can be defined as a something, an entity (a being, an angel, an animal, an object, and so on). So my difficulty is with the phrase “evil existed”. Is this an entity that you can explain?

I that if god crested air and told us to breathe, and then someone decides to not breathe air and suffocated to death, that does not mean god crested suffocation or breath holding. Anytime you give a law on what to do, it leaves people free to choose to not do it.

In my house I created the law that anyone here must always shut the door because I don’t want my cats to get out. A friend of mine that was living here that I kicked out was in part because they kept leaving the door open and my cats kept getting outside. Just because I created the law, “ don’t leave the door open” does not mean i also created the possibility to leave the door open.

Sin is a choice. Righteousness is a choice. These things of good vs bad are the byproducts of our free will either choosing to do good or choosing to do bad. Free will is a better choice than being robots. If we were essentially just functions in bodily form with no choice, then love could not exist.

Take gravity. It’s a function. It’s not a person. It can’t make choices. Gravity can’t just decide it likes apples and has them all float slowly to the earth through sheer willpower. Free will and making choices already existed prior to humans even evolving.

Good question.

I guess I just don’t think the same for sin. Principalities and powers can be existent without being a selestial beign like God I think

Like love and order manifested in God so sin and evil manifested in Satan when he was created . But that doesn’t mean they didn’t exist before that. At least that’s how I think.

Maybe there is an entity that we don’t know of before Satan