Re: Fall of evolved man

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Sat, 01 Nov 1997 14:56:27 -0500 (EST)

At 05:27 PM 10/31/97 -0400, David Campbell wrote:
>> How does an evolutionary development of man bring the Fall of Man into the
> The only approach I know of that seems credibly orthodox in
>recognizing the significance of the Fall is to assume that Adam and Eve,
>physically produced by evolution (with or without miraculous intervention),
>were miraculously endowed with a spiritual nature. (Some on this list have
>suggested that the spiritual nature could have been "built into" the
>evolutionary process rather than being "inserted" once Adam appeared; I
>suspect distinguishing "when" God acted is very moot considering His
>relationship to time.) They were given a choice whether to obey or to
>disobey God and chose to disobey.

But such an approach makes Christianity an appendix to evolutionary ideas in
order to merely salvage our Faith. As a physicist I am more knowledgable of
cosmology, a deductive science just like evolution, where we cannot be
certain that a Big Bang actually occurred. We make measurements in the
present and work backwards in time, but all such approaches are very
speculative and never conclusive. Perhaps we ought to face the whole problem
of origins, creation of life from matter/energy, in order to have a clearer
preservative of the difficulty or, perhaps, impossibility of creating any
theory which would explain the existence of conscious beings. That is why
ideas like the Anthropic Principle have such an appeal, even to Weinberg.
But such theories are very difficult to quantify the way we presently
quantify our study of Nature.

> Many have tried to claim that our being a product of evolution
>means that we are not responsible for our actions and are not truly sinful.
>However, this is flawed on two counts. First, the logic is invalid-it's
>simply a disguised form of trying to claim that the physical process of
>evolution has a-theistic [deistic or atheistic] implications. The Bible
>says we have natural tendancies to do wrong- "I do this because it's my
>nature" is not a valid excuse to a Christian!

Scientists will one day claim that our actions are governed by our genes. On
that day we would have the perfect excuse: "my genes made me do it." Of
course, that is nonsense since I do believe in the reality of a free will
and so our actions, even though predisposed by our genes, nevertheless
result from actual moral choices. But science is amoral. How are you going
to get "you ought to do this" or "you ought not to do that" from science?
You just can't!!

> Secondly, it is invariably in practice a hypocritical claim. If
>you were to hit someone who was endorsing this arguement, he would get mad
>and want justice, if not vengeance. He thinks you should be responsible
>for your actions!
>David Campbell

Long ago Descartes said that "matter cannot think" and so it is. Perhaps
C.S. Lewis said it best when he said that "reasoning is supernatural." It is
so obvious that a purely scientific approach to the whole of reality is apt
to lead to all sorts of nonsense. For instance, if evolution is true, why
not help it. Wasn't that the logic of Hitler? If evolution is true, is it
possible that some races are less developed than others? We must know what
science is and what it is not in order to make some real good sense of all
our experiences. Otherwise, Heaven helps us.