Chromosomal Mutation - Imago Dei & Original Sin

It is my understanding that Biologos holds the belief that entropy and death preceded the sin of Adam as evidenced by the dinosaur extinction, the production of sunshine and Adam’s gut bacteria. Biologos believe’s the Garden of Eden to be “very good” as God described it, but not perfect as man today defines perfection. My daughter has a chromosomal deletion mutation that causes her autism. Is this the result of the Curse for Adam’s Sin or is it simply pre-Adamic entropy?

How would Biologos answer this?


Those are tough questions, when you go from a hypothetical to an intensely personal situation. Of course, the forum here is composed of individuals with differing opinions, and anything you read from contributors here is not to be confused with an official position of the Biologos organization, but may still be helpful in talking through it.
Personally, I think the “curse of Adam’s sin” represents how Adam and Eve were expelled from the protected or differentiated space in the presence of God into the physical world in which we now live, and are affected by the physical laws that define physical creation. Unfortunately, that involves suffering the effects of life in the physical world in this life, but with hope of something akin to the Garden in the New Heaven and New Earth someday.


I’ll be interested in other responses for sure. To the point of compatibility of science with faith, it can be viewed as simply what can and does happen in the living genome often. Some say that God created our origins 14.8 Bya, and may have intervened on occasion when necessary to assist in enzyme coordinations for energy production or for DNA polymerase, etc, or for the single-celled bacteria responsible for the extraction of N2 from the atmosphere, none of which can any multi-cellular plant or animal do. But those folks might then believe that God left us alone. Alone to be subject to random mutations and thus survival and/or reproduction advantages or disadvantages. It is reasonable to think of Adam and Eve as metaphorical representations of origins, much as the days of creation must be viewed.

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Greetings, and welcome, @yidaki777 .
Just to clarify, I’m just a poster and lurker. I don’t think any of us are Biologos, per se; maybe Deb Haarsma, who does not post here, but is the president, would be. The “What We Believe” is the best resource I’m aware of.

I am sorry for your struggle. One of my family has a degree of autism, as well. It makes me ache to see them struggle.

I am reminded of some Biblical stories that encourage asking God “why.”
–the story of the man blind from birth “Who sinned, this man or his parents?”–“Neither,” Jesus said.
–Job, when he did not deserve his suffering

Sometimes, one of the things we can do as Christians is, as Paul said, “weep with those who weep.”

We may know more when we go to Heaven. Maybe we won’t need to know.

Thanks for your discussion.


Welcome, and your tough question is welcome too, not that there are easy answers.

I hardly speak for BioLogos, but the first thing I thought of was the pair of verses in Romans 8,

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
Romans 8:22-23

Believing as I think we should that God had a two-creation/two-kingdom plan from before the beginning of the first1 and that Jesus was not Plan B, we know that there is pain and death for all of us, but it is not hopeless and God is still sovereign.

So I would not ‘blame’ Adam’s sin nor entropy exactly. And maybe assigning blame doesn’t buy us anything anyway (it rarely does). It’s more important to trust God, not that the pain is not still real and circumstances difficult!

A song I like a lot speaks to the latter:


1 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34

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As mentioned by others Biologos is not a living conscious entity with its own opinion. It’s comprised of several people and those “chairs”‘will change with time presumably. The forums are more than just paid staff and owners, or even volunteers but includes random people like myself who joined.

So the opinions in the formula will vary. For example, not everyone believes Adam was actual a historical person. Not everyone agrees with original sin here either.

So in a nutshell if someone asked me I would have to say it’s random. Though random does not mean without info. Such as there could be technology to determine what all was in involved. I also don’t think god just decided to do it.

One thing I often wonder, because it can really shake how you talk about something. Concerning a resurrection, especially a physical one. Take dwarfism. I’m sure there are some with it that wishes they were a more typical height. But I’ve also have witnessed many who says they believe in resurrection they will still be who they are including still being really short and that’s part of who they are and they don’t want to change it. I’ve also watched a few videos of a woman with autism who is glad she has it and does not wish for it to go away because it’s part of who she is and she not only accepts it but embraces it and does not believe there is anything wrong with her and she gets mad when others talk about she will be restored and healed of it when she is happy to have it. I know there are different levels of autism and some function way more easily in society than dithers due to its spectrum. I’m not very familiar with it myself. From the way you brought up the fall, I presume you view it as something you potentially hope will be healed of in resurrection. But do you also think it would alter who she is, changing her paradigm and so on to the point she’s a different person? Or do you see her core person, who she is and feel like it won’t really alter her personality and way of understanding the world?

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Here’s my view on the matter of all our genetic “failings”: none of them will be “healed” but all would be transformed; every biological issue that afflicts us is like base minerals waiting to be transformed into gemstones.
What my genetic tendency to bipolar disorder and depression will become I don’t know (though I have guesses), but I am confident that God will turn them into something mind-bogglingly awesome.

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Hi Yidaki, Welcome to our corner of the internet!

Sorry that this is a quick post, I’ll try to respond in more detail over the next few days. Being Nuredodivergent myself I reflected on some similar questions here on the forum a little while ago. One of the BioLogos staff was kind enough to allow me to compile those thoughts into an article. I appreciate that my neurodivergence (Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and Dyscalculia) presents very differently from Autism which can have a much more prominent presentation. However, I did wonder if you might find some of the reflections of interest. If so, you can find them here:


We also have a curriculum unit on genetic diversity. It does not fully go into neurodivergency, however.

I agree that @LM77 's post as well as some of our other content on disability may lend itself to your question, although we probably do not have a definitive answer that you are seeking particularly.


How did disability come to exist in our world?

Joni Eareckson Tada, founder and CEO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, an organization that works with individuals, churches, families, and public policymakers promotes the gospel and the thriving of people with disabilities worldwide.

Since a diving accident in her youth, Tada has been quadriplegic and uses a motorized wheelchair. She has been one of the most well-known voices in evangelicalism on the topic of disability and ministry for the past several decades.

Tada also sees disability as a result of the curse. As she puts it, humanity’s “rebellion against God resulted in death. Disease, sickness, and disaster are simply part of that package that goes with death.”

Disability is included in the mix. She agrees with the curative perspective that Satan is responsible for anything that causes suffering, including disability, but with an important difference. For Tada, even though the curse and/or Satan may be the originator of disability, God is still in control and brings good out of evil.

She repeatedly emphasizes: “No trial reaches us apart from God’s explicit decree and specific permission.”

This idea that God would ever permit (or even decree) someone to have an illness or disability would be completely unacceptable to some. She talks about her quadriplegia as something God hated but allowed in order to accomplish what he loved—her growing need for him.

What is God’s will regarding people with disabilities?
Can God physically heal people’s disabilities? Yes.
Does God heal people of disabilities today? Yes.

But on the question of whether God wills to heal everyone with a disability and whether that is best for everyone, Tada says no.

This is where she departs sharply from the faith-healing position. She is open to the possibility that God could be glorified in and through someone’s disability, not simply in the eradication of it.

What does healing look like for people with disabilities?

Tada describes the healing of disability according to the medical model, focusing on the bodily cure of an individual. A person with disabilities is healed when she has a body and mind free of any kind of illness or disability. This is even clearer when she describes how she envisions heaven.

She imagines beginning each morning in heaven running up a fifteen-hundred-mile staircase on her brand-new legs and never feeling weak or tired. “I can say with confidence,” she says of the New Jerusalem, “that there won’t be one wheelchair ramp or set of instructions in Braille or handicapped parking space in the whole city!”

She acknowledges that it can still be good to pray for that healing as the Bible commands because sometimes God does physically heal in this world as well. For this position, spiritual growth and knowing Christ are far more important than any bodily transformation that may take place.

For her, “becoming more like Jesus” is “the ultimate goal of healing.

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This is a MASSIVE problem with the theistic-evolutionist position. They attempt to marry science and Genesis together, but they create terrible theological problems about God’s goodness.

And then there’s the fact that in another 300 years, people will be trying to fit all the new things science says is the truth with scripture.

Is it not like the Serpent when it asked if that’s REALLY what was said… Reeeaaallly?
Sometimes it feels that way.

Cancer and parasites, not to mention cannibalism and infanticide (there are cases) in a “very good” pre-fall world is devastating.

Pre-Adamic “man” given no chance at everlasting life and forced to live and die as animals is another HUGE problem.

But the theistic-evolutionist would say that man existed outside the garden and before Adam, that they were not immortal and therefore suffered everything from a stubbed toe to cancer BEFORE the fall. And that God just made the world that way.

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