Distasteful...The Implications Of Evolution Before The Fall

(Jonathan) #1

Here are some tidbits I have garnered on evolution and how you (the EC people) think evolution happened (honestly though, feel free to correct me on any of these. Please private message me, and I will change these accordingly):
1.There was death before the fall
2.God guided the evolutionary process in the areas where it would normally be impossible, and elsewhere
3.Organisms killed other organisms before the fall
4.There were huge natural disasters before the fall
5.There was disease and suffering before the fall
6.There was no intelligent life before the fall???

My impressions of all of this lead me to consider EC…distasteful. Your thoughts on this?

(Christy Hemphill) #2

Yes. The death spoken of in Genesis as part of the curse of sin is spiritual death.

I would perhaps word it differently (i.e. God is intimately involved in and sovereign over evolutionary processes) and don’t think there are areas that are “impossible” or otherwise requiring some special miraculous divine intervention.




No. Life doesn’t have to be human to be intelligent. The fall is about God’s rule being rejected and commands disobeyed. It is dependent on his revelation of himself and his electing humans as his image. It doesn’t have to do with the evolution of intelligent life.

The problem of evil (Which YEC in no way exempts a person from) is indeed a distasteful topic.

(Jonathan) #3


I am confused by this. Are you insinuating that humans are not “special” and that all animals should be given the same rights as humans?

(Jonathan) #4

Then how could the pre-fall world be “very good?” God never says that physical death is good, and he never ever called the earth good after the fall. So how could God call the world “very good” if physical death (and all of these other terrible and horrific things) had already existed in it???

Indeed. However, EC seems to have a much bigger “problem” with this problem…

(Christy Hemphill) #5

No. I thought it was a pretty straight-forward assertion that life doesn’t have to be human to be intelligent. Dolphins are intelligent. Bonobos are intelligent. Human rights don’t have to do with intelligence.

(Jonathan) #6

Actually, the confusion is my fault…
“Sentient” was the word that I should have used… (instead of “intelligent”)


No list is going to be one size fits all. There are a wide variety of opinions around here. EC is not some monolithic structure.

(Jonathan) #8

Absolutely. That is why I have advanced these so tentatively.


To what purpose?

(Jonathan) #10

So that some unpleasant individual will not get on my case for “putting words in his or her mouth.”


That would explain the “tentatively” but why did you generate the list? Just to point out how wrong we all are?

(Jonathan) #12

Do YOU PERSONALLY think all of you are wrong in believing EC? I just desire explanations.


Of course not. Why else would I be here.

Christy has already provided answers to your questions but let me echo her answer on death before the fall. The Bible speaks of two types of death, physical and spiritual. Now what did God tell Adam about eating that apple? In the day that he eats it he will surely die. Adam lived how long after eating the apple? More than a day so God was speaking of spiritual death. Sin separates us from God which is spiritual death. So physical death before the fall isn’t a problem.

(George Brooks) #14

I don’t believe point 6 has any supporters. There was no moral agency before the fall.

Secondly, the phrase The Fall is almost certainly wrong. It was an Expulsion.

The Fall implies that Adam lost immortality as a physical or metaphysical chain reaction to his sin.

But this is not the case. He lost immortality because he lost access to the tree of life. He was just as capable of immortality as ever … as long as he could eat of the tree of life. God says this himself!

(Christy Hemphill) #15

I would call my marriage very good. We still have problems. Bad stuff still happens to us sometimes. “Very good” doesn’t mean perfect. I guess this is not such a conundrum for me.

Furthermore, in the YEC scenario you have a ‘perfect’ world with Satan running around in it trying to ruin God’s creation. You have an entirely different creation than the one we have now. (How does the nitrogen cycle work in a world with no death?) Essentially, you have a second, unrecorded, creation event where God recreates or un-creates many of the herbivores into carnivores and scavengers and invents lots of terrible things like crop blight and stinging nettles and malaria, just to punish humans. I don’t see how that scenario is less distasteful when it comes to the problem of evil. In that scenario God is proactively inventing every way the world is currently imperfect and going about the act of special creation in an apparently degenerate way, motivated not by love and holiness and artistry, but by a desire to curse his fallen human children.

But I don’t choose my theology or science based on some internal sense of propriety. Personally, substitutionary atonement and the idea of a final judgment are distasteful. But they are biblical. There are lots of things in nature I think are disturbing and unfair and a violation of what I perceive to be “the creation ideal.” I don’t think we have the option of denying reality (in science or revelation) based on our preferences. When it seems like science and revelation describe different realities, we have to do our best to find out which description is most compelling and reinterpret the other description to fit. I am happy to grant that there is disagreement among sincere Christians about what is most compelling when it comes to interpreting Genesis and the natural history of the world. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to boil it down to a matter of taste.

(Christy Hemphill) #16

Lots of animals are sentient too, by the definitions I’m aware of.

(Quincy Hansen) #17

Was about to mention what you just did. Based on what I know Cetaceans and most Hominids are sentient.

(George Brooks) #18

@J.E.S…you are just plain wrong on this point. Nobody around here asserts the lack of sentient awareness prior to Adam.

What is asserted (by some, including me) is a lack of moral agency!

(Jonathan) #19

Neither do I…“Distasteful” did, however, seem to be a friendlier term than others I had in mind (such as: “revolting”).

I was not aware of this…please explain…

What point am I trying to make in your quote of mine that I am “just plain wrong about???”

(Marvin Adams) #20

5: is a yes and no as there was disease and death, but not suffering. Suffering is the consequence of being separate from God. If you consider the death of Christ you see that suffering is not perceived as such if you are with God.

no as God existed eternal thus presenting eternal intelligent life and Adam and Eve were “intelligent” before the fall as well just not intelligent enough to for see the consequence of the desire to want to be like God. They were capable of loving but not for example of suffering death as they accepted death as a normal part of reality. Only by eating from the tree of realisation of good and evil they both realised it as in got to know it and they realised it as in materialising its existence.