RE: Evolution wars

From: Adrian Teo (
Date: Sat Dec 21 2002 - 01:34:02 EST

  • Next message: George Murphy: "Re: Evolution wars"

      Keith wrote:

            Our physical and genetic continuity with the rest of the
            creation in no way excludes an historical Adam. However, since there
            is a
            continuity of physical form from modern humans to our common ancestors
            the other great apes, there are no physical criteria by which the
            appearance of
            the "image of God" could be identified in the fossil record.

            AT: This was implied in my post prior to the one you're
    responding to. There were probably human-like creatures around, but
    they were not humans. This is a theological and philosophical issue,
    not a scientific one. I agree with much of what you wrote up top this

              I believe
            that it
            is our relationship to God more than anything else which distinguishes
              From the dust of the Earth God had raised up a creature and
    imparted to
            a spiritually conscious soul. By this act of grace God elevated
            to a special position of conscious and willing fellowship
    with Himself."

            AT: Yes. We are dealing with theology here, and not science.

            Paul's comparison of Christ (the second Adam) with the first Adam
            is, I believe quite helpful in sorting through the issues. Sin and
            spiritual death "entered the world" through Adam, but life and
            righteousness through Jesus Christ. It seems that both Adam and Christ
            being presented as respresentative heads of the human race.
    We bear the
            image of Christ in the same way that we formerly bore the
    image of Adam.
            We are dealing here, I believe, not with physical realities but with
            spiritual realities. Adam thus need not be the physical
    ancestor of all
            humans, anymore than Jesus is the physical ancestor of all those who
            believe in Him.

            AT: At this point, we part ways. I do not wish to separate
    the physical from the spiritual. To be human is not simply to be
    spiritual, but to be both. The physical human body is as essential to
    being human as the soul is. I 'm a Thomist in this regard.

            Human beings are direct creations of God, since the soul
    cannot have its origin in matter. Furthermore, the imago Dei and the
    dignity of humans can only be adequately grounded on a direct
    creative act, not as some epiphenomenon or emergent property of

            With due respect, much of the following material you wrote
    about the image seems to be speculative and novel. My sense of the
    patristic literature is that most of the church fathers understood
    Adam as the source (not mere representative) of original sin, and
    therefore, necessarily the first human person, as did the traditional
    teaching in the major branches of Christianity.

            I also see a parallel here between the ancient conciliar
    argument that what Christ did not assume, He could not redeem, and
    the role of Adam in original sin. This argument was made to show that
    Christ had to be fully human in order to redeem humanity. In other
    words, there has to be a DIRECT connection between Christ, and all of
    humanity, and that connection is to be a descendent of Adam (Luke 3).
    In a parallel way, for the doctrine of original sin, there has to be
    a direct connection between Adam and all sinners, and that connection
    is also physical ancestry. To be human is to be a descendent of Adam.



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