Evolution and Sin-Apologetics and Genesis

David Campbell (bivalve@mailserv0.isis.unc.edu)
Wed, 18 Nov 1998 17:16:08 -0400

>Adam Crowl wrote:
> ............
> Just picking up your comments at the end -
>> Whence sin? A Darwinian origin for humans makes sense of sin's origin -
>> it's a part of the Creation process, a result of the gift of freedom
>> that God couldn't do without in order to create, rather than engineer.
>> That's been debated here before I'll bet.
> A "Darwinian" (as usual I would prefer to say "Darwin-Wallace")
>>understanding of evolution requires that there be "natural evil" - privation,
>>suffering, death - involved in the development of humanity but does not
>>_require_ moral evil. It does suggest that the first humans with such an
>>evolutionary past would be highly prone to selfish behavior which which be
>sin >for them but not for their pre-human ancestors (since the latter wouldn't
>have >been moral agents). Thus in R. Niebuhr's phrase sin would have been
>"inevitable but not necessary".
>George L. Murphy

The challenge of natural selection can generally be met by
cooperation or by competition. Although evolved organisms are certainly
"prone to selfish behavior", I am not certain that a fall would be
inevitable from creating via evolution. It is morally good for us to seek
what is truly good for us; putting self above others or putting the wrong
priorities on what we seek (especially not putting God first) is where the
sin comes in.

David C.