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

I absolutely agree!

God made the first human beings in the image of God from Homo sapiens creatures that were in an evolved “flawed state”, i.e.: submitted to evolutionary selfish mechanisms (concupiscence), illness, and death.

God ordered these first human beings to share divine eternal life and live respecting each other. Thus, original grace was necessary in order these first human beings God made in the image of God could overcome the evolved “flawed state” and were absolutely free to love God without being tempted by the very flesh God made them of.

After the first sin, God in his mercy let the sinners on earth to give them opportunity to repent and freely return to live loving God and the others. And to facilitate this free conversion, God let them in the “flawed state” (without original grace) where they were as Homo sapiens creatures before God made them into the image of God. It is worth noting once more that the evolutionary mechanisms God uses to shape this “flawed state” of the world we live in, do not seemingly fit with the divine life characteristic of the Holy Trinity, which God order us to. Thus, the reason for this cannot be other than this “flawed state” of creation is convenient for our redemption and reaching eternal life.

This reason is understandable to some extent: For instance, Darwinian evolution works “as an object lesson in how NOT to set up our values and social lives”, and as such a lesson help us to live according to the commandment of love. Nonetheless, why suffering, specially of many innocent people, may be a convenient way for reconciling the world with God it remains a big mystery, only fathomable by reference to the death of the Son of God on the cross: God drinks the cup of suffering in front of us to show us, that this cup is not poisoned!

In summary, the “flawed state” of the evolved world we live in can be considered a “retroactive effect” of the first sin. And the original grace is “grace through Jesus Christ” (as you rightly state with the Fathers) to redeem the first humans in the image of God from these “retroactive effects” of the first sin.

Anyone who thinks this world is flawed is not looking properly.

It is human values that are being applied

God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. And God thought creation was and is good.

Humanity is not more powerful than God and therefore unable to ruin what God made good.


I think @Roger_Dimitrov makes a good point in another thread with the following comment:

In my view, the animal world ruled by evolutionary selfish interests is undoubtedly God’s creation.

But it is also undeniable that when it comes to humans called to share eternal divine life, these selfish evolutionary mechanisms become concupiscence, i.e.: propensity to sin, and this propensity becomes transmitted biologically by DNA replication.

So the problem remains:

Why does God let humans on earth with the propensity to sin?

To answer this question, it is crucial to keep in mind that “propensity or inclination to sin” is NOT sin.

What is more, “inclination to sin” can be used by God as a means for our salvation.

Because of the inclination to sin I carry inherited within me, I feel capable of “all the biggest crimes committed by the most wretched people”. Thereby I understand that I myself can also get damned. And this uncertainty pushes me to search certainty and security in the arms of my Father God: The “propensity to sin” I feel in me, becomes God’s ally after all.

Notice however that God did NOT create the first humans “with a propensity to sin”. As God made the first humans in the image of God, God ordered them to share eternal divine life, and endowed them with original grace capable of overcoming the selfish evolutionary mechanisms (as well as the illnesses and death) encoded in the sapiens DNA. “The propensity to sin” appears in human history concomitantly with the first sin.

In summary and paradoxically: Although God “hates sin”, God uses the “propensity to sin” as means to overcome sin:

“For [God’s] strength is made perfect in weakness […] when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Becasue sin is a by=product of choice. it is not a disease, or corruption or any other ridiculous notion. Sin is just choosing wrong instead of right, and you can’t have a true choice if half the options are denied.

If you are talking about Adam and Eve, they were too innocent. They were not self aware (did not know they were naked) . They could not sin because they had no idea. But, given the first real choice… So perhaps you are wrong!. The propensity was there just latent.

Sin was not created. Sin has no substance. It cannot be passed by genetics. It cannot be created by DNA. it is a choice. IOW you need to understand what sin is before trying to work out how or why it exists.

It is not the propensity to sin that matters. Like temptation, the problem comes when you let it win.


From an Eastern perspective, the more important question might be “Why does God bother inviting humans, who have a propensity to sin, to share eternity with Him?”

It’s interesting that in the west, the idea of a (special) saint is that they were very free of sin, while in the East it’s more that they were holy despite their sin. The Western view makes us focus on sin and stress over it while the Eastern view invites us to pursue being close with God.

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Is that your view of humanity?

Some sort of inherent tendency?

How do you inherit a tendency? Where is the DNA coding for such? Can DNA control our ability to reason or think? Is this the old chestnut of breeding v experience?

How do you think such a trait could evolve? Is it competitively advantageous? Evil will always be stronger than good? If so how would there be any good at all in the world?

Maybe you have a false view of the properties of sin?

What do you think sin actually is?


Is there a name for the pursuit of God as a child desiring to become more obedient and closer to their Father, more Christlike? I guess I would label it sanctification, for lack of a better term, and it is not synonymous with theosis or theoria, in my way of thinking, and not best pursued in a monastic setting, chanting.

I think “theozetein” (thay-oh-zay-tayn), to seek God, works but I can’t find it in any lexicon. I vaguely recall encountering a term for it in French once, from the tenth century, but it was in the context of lay life in a monastery. Maybe we modern types don’t have such a term (if not, what does that say about us?).

How about just ζητεῖτε, e.g. Matthew 6:33?

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

That’s the root for the term I mentioned; adding θεός makes it specific – θεόζητειν. It also puts it in a form that can serve substantively or adjectivally whereas ζητεῖτε is in the imperative.

Though it strikes me that the term could also indicate God as doing the seeking.

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In my view what God aims by creating human beings is that they share eternity with Him, and as such this aim comes first in the logical order of God’s mind.

Actually, the notion of “sin” presupposes God’s will to order us to share eternity with Him, and means precisely that we act against this will.

Apparently and astonishingly God bothers to share eternity with humans who have sinned and let us on earth to give us opportunity to repent and so become capable of sharing divine life with Him.

As a matter of fact, God let us sinners on earth submitted to illness, death, and propensity to sin.

Accordingly, we have to assume that God paradoxically uses the propensity to sin to help us to hate sin, as He uses natural selection as “an object lesson in how NOT to set up our values and social lives”.

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Of all the things I have seen on this forum this takes the biscuit


Ooh, save some for me! I like Digestives – it’s been close to two decades since I’ve had any! (Although I see that I can get them through Amazon. Of course.)

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Do you mean that according to “the Eastern view” God created Adam, the first sinner, with propensity to sin?

Thanks for clarifying.

Why do you insist that anyone has a propensity to sin?

If we can’t help it then it is not our fault!

And therefore there is nothing to forgive!

And Christ’s death becomes meaningless.

The whole point of the garden story is that Adam and Eve tried to claim it was not their fault. That was what angered God. Not the act. But the refusal to take responsibility for it.

By claiming that we have an innate tendency to sin you are claiming that we cannot help it. It’s not our fault. Which is precisely wrong!


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A tendency is not the same as succumbing or being compelled. There is no fault in having a tendency. To say that there is is precisely wrong.



It is not of your doing.

But that is the point.

We can choose not to sin. There is nothing inside us to stop it.

That is the gift of God. Not the curse of Adam.


That is not what you were saying.

Clearly, you do not understand what I said.

Read it again in conjunction with the statement that preceded it.

And saying that sinning is innate means that we cannot help it If sinning is in our genes.It is a part of our makeup.and therefore beyond our control. It is therefore not our fault if we sin.


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You are not making a clear distinction between a tendency and an act. One moment you are talking about sinning itself being unavoidable and the next you are talking about merely the tendency being innate.