Evolution,creation, lots of questions!

They’re the same Jay. Our cultures cannot transcend our evolved hard wired morality.

Thank you for responding, with more information to digest!

Thank you for this information, I think I need to read his book!

I have no doubts that some will have problems with the theological implications of Joshua’s ideas, but at least it starts a conversation.

Unless I’m sorely mistaken, that conversation has been going on for several thousand years!

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You’re going to have to unpack that statement for me. I could take it a couple of different ways, but I don’t want to chase a rabbit trail of my own misunderstanding.

Sorry Jay. ‘Morality’ is a function of evolved complex - higher animal - nervous systems. We come pre-wired for experience. Culture, with accumulated learning, is the long term working out of that. Glacially slowly. And I fear it has gone as far as it can go. The social evolution of morality in particular.Moo

Sure. I’d have to dig it up, but I just referenced Haidt’s work on the “moral emotions” (disgust, anger, contempt) in another thread. Morality, too, has evolutionary roots. As Jane Goodall famously observed, primate society is “order without law.” I would draw a distinction between morality of that sort and the abstract moral reasoning that characterizes human morality. After all, we possess the “divine knowledge” of good and evil. :wink:

I’m afraid you might be right. Is this what “devolving” looks like for a culture?

Views on morality has changed drastically in just the last 400 years, or even just the last 100 years. Slavery, segregation, totalitarian regimes, divine right, and much more were considered moral just a few generations ago. Morality has changed much faster than our genetics has, so I don’t think it is as hard-wired as you may think. There is little doubt that instinct plays a part, but morality is more than that.


Sorry to quote myself, but I wanted to mention this article about “systemic sin” that I thought was fascinating:

True. Cultural evolution is much faster than biological evolution.

You’re a bad person Jay :smile: I don’t see much abstraction going on, not in the masses. Or individuals. Starting and ending with myself. I love Haidt :slight_smile: but he is of course wrong or at least heterodox and imparsimonious about group selection. I like the Goodall quote. She’s right, even though she wasn’t a scientist. Order doesn’t bespeak purpose at any level of existence. I’m tending to the rationalist, to deconstruction without reconstruction, what the heck is that concept? That the sum of stuff is just the sum its parts? Empiricism? AH! Reductionism. A la Skinner’s behaviourism. A manifestation of empiricism. But I know stuff emerges. Synergy is real. What do you think emerges from our evolved moral taste receptors in evolving culture? We just shouldn’t rush to proliferate entities. Like Haidt does.

That’s due to the eventual, thousand year delayed, cultural critical mass of the Enlightenment and drinking the bitter dregs of experiencing every cultural evolutionary cul-de-sac at staggering cost in human suffering. We lucky few learn through the industrial, mountainous suffering of others.

O have no idea what more morality could be other than hard wiring and hard memetic experience.

Group selection is interesting, but I wouldn’t follow Haidt that far, either. Nor Skinner! I’d say that cultural behavior is patterned, not determined. Mimesis/“social learning” establishes the pattern of cultural norms that condition behavior, but these don’t predetermine behavior.

My evolved moral taste receptors have a sweet tooth. haha

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Nice summation.

The GAE models provide depth to the age-old (i.e. “earlier”) “federal headship” explanations for the transmission of Adam’s guilt.

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I am new here and definitely don’t know much but I am trying to learn. So forgive me for asking this I am endeavoring to do a walk through the Bible. And afterwards the refresher walk through to do in depth studying of scripture as well. I hope this is not a silly question to your own question. You mentioned that you are studying Genesis. If I may ask are you doing a formal course? If so could you point me in the right direction? In reading previous comments etc I haven’t seen anyone putting on information on Genesis from a Jewish perspective. I.e Genesis was written in the context to the Hebrew language and culture and so should be interpreted from that perspective. I have a Christian friend who studied under a Rabbi. And they have a far more in depth insight as to the original Hebrew writings. Especially as to how the actual Hebrew scriptures portray Genesis’s creation account. There is a curious verse in Genesis 2vs 4 in the Old KJV it reads:
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
The words “these are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created” makes me wonder about the plural nature of the words. Was there several generations ie versions of the heavens and the earth when God created. I wish I can read Old Hebrew.
Makes me wonder. . .

Hi Carol,
I just learned that another book on the topic of the Genealogical Adam and Eve hypothesis recently published:

From what I read online, this book seems to go into less detail about the science, and more into the theological implications of the theory. Here’s a summary from the publisher about the points made in the book:

I just bought myself a copy, because I’m interested in learning more

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Welcome, Yolande. I have leaned a lot from Old Testament scholar John Walton and his “Lost World…” books. Here is a link to a video on this site that may be interesting also:


Thank you I’m going to check it out!

The book of Genesis has a structure to it in that there are a series of section that begin with that phrase “These are the generations of” (the hebrew is toledot). It is a repeating pattern that starts a new phase in God’s activity with mankind. In all but the first one, it is an individual and discusses the descendants but also God’s activity in their life. I really haven’t study it, but I think the plural in Gen 2:4 isn’t talking about many heavens & earths, but what God did in that creation and what came out from it.

  1. ESV Genesis 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.
  2. ESV Genesis 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.
  3. ESV Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
  4. ESV Genesis 10:1 These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood.
  5. ESV Genesis 11:10 These are the generations of Shem. When Shem was 100 years old, he fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood.
  6. ESV Genesis 11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot.
  7. ESV Genesis 25:12 These are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham.
  8. ESV Genesis 25:19 These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac,
  9. ESV Genesis 36:1 These are the generations of Esau (that is, Edom).
    ESV Genesis 36:9 These are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir.
  10. ESV Genesis 37:2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father.

I’m sure a lot has been written about that phrase. If I find some good resources I’ll share a link. But if you look at how that phrase functions in the other 9 places it will shed some light on how it probably functions in Gen 2:4


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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