Re: [BULK] - Re: The Fall

From: <>
Date: Wed Oct 19 2005 - 17:53:03 EDT

In a message dated 10/19/2005 5:05:13 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:
Douglas.Hayworth wrote:
I don't think the fact of human sinfulness is at question or directly
confused by acknowledging the fact of evolution. What is more difficult to
"reconcile" with the Genesis story is the picture of the pre-fallen
(sinless) condition. The traditional idea that the garden was idyllic and
that the first true humans functioned sinlessly for a time seems most
difficult to maintain.
Agreed. It is far more reasonable to conclude and thus easier to maintain
that the first human prototypes who foraged for food and hunted for game
becoming bipedal in the process were unaccountable. Sinless as any of God’s other
creatures. What happened in the garden is germane to man becoming accountable
and thus capable of sin.
The line of hominids begins in Africa roughly 6 million years ago while the
line of promise begins in the Tigris-Euphrates valley about 7,000 years ago.
Why we try to line up the beginnings of biological man with its long
evolutionary history with the beginning of covenant man and its relatively short line of
patriarchs is beyond me.
Separating the two beginnings eases the tension between evolution and
biblical history.
~Dick Fischer~ Genesis Proclaimed Association
Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

Hi Dick,

Human sinfulness is explained by evolution. Each of the states described in
genesis are easily translatable into evolutionary terms. Prior to the fall, man
was not self conscious. genesis states this in plain terms. the writer of
genesis could see that animals could not make conscious decisions and man could
and he built that into genesis. the brilliance of genesis does not change with
an evolutionary understanding. it is enhanced and made workable in your every
day life.
Here is an excerpt from True Religion, Biblical Symbols from a Darwinian
Perspective. (I changed the title based on your collective criticism. I had titled
it Darwinian interpretation, but was attacked for "interpreting." You were
correct to criticize. I looked back at what I had written and I was not
interpreting at all. That's what the text says. There is no interpretation, so I
removed the word from the title and from the body of the paper) Herre is a relevant
snip. The psychologists among you should find some of this familiar.

In the beginning…

When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the “tree of the knowledge of good and
evil” the “eyes of both of them were opened and they discovered that they were
naked; so they stitched fig-leaves together and made loincloths… and hid from
the Lord God.”1

Adam and Eve’s eyes are opened, their nakedness is revealed and they hide.
They see something they could not see before, something upon which they suddenly
and intensely focus, they feel shame and they feel fear. From these lines in
Genesis you can readily discern two states of the human mind: a prior state of
consciousness and an emerging and “fallen” consciousness that sees. You can
also infer from the Biblical text that this prior state of consciousness does
not have an experience of “self” since Adam and Eve do not feel shame until
after they have eaten the forbidden fruit. One is necessarily ashamed of one’s
Without a sense of self, what would one be ashamed of?
The Bible speaks of two states of consciousness. Do scientists speak of two
states of consciousness? Do they speak of a unique consciousness that only man
possesses? Of course they do. But scientists use language peculiar to science
and religious men use language peculiar to religion, so you have to penetrate
the language to discover the religious in the scientific and the scientific in
the religious. Here in Genesis was a transition from one consciousness to
another. Scientists also speak of a transition from one consciousness to another,
but scientists characterize the transition as an “evolution.” Scientists
also say the consciousness of lower forms of life is relatively inflexible and
grounded in instinct while man’s current consciousness is largely learned one
life at a time.
If Adam and Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the
Knowledge of Good and Evil is the pivotal event that marks the Biblical transition
from one consciousness to another and we are to apply a Darwinian perspective to
the text, we must ask: what is the corresponding pivotal event that marks the
scientific evolution from one consciousness to another? What do scientists say
about “the beginning?”
Scientists claim irrefutable evidence that some time around 4 million years
ago man’s hominid ancestors left the safety of the jungle canopy for the open
African savannas. Over countless generations they evolved to walk upright on
two legs. Once their hands were free and they could manipulate objects
skillfully, man’s ancestors made tools and began to learn sophisticated survival
strategies. One of the things they did was use the new tools and the learned
strategies to methodically kill others of their own kind. When a number of
individuals were required to manufacture and deploy an effective tool or mount an
effective strategy, again over countless generations, our ancestors evolved speech
to facilitate communications. They learned to tolerate one another in greater
numbers in their efforts to organize and defend themselves from other groups of
early men.
The escalating conflict caused by the freeing of the hands for technology
naturally selected for bigger brains that could juggle more behavioral
alternatives. The behavioral repertoire expanded rapidly. As the behavioral repertoire
expanded, man found himself consciously choosing from among a growing number of
behavioral alternatives and his unique sense of self emerged; a consequence
of having to consciously juggle many behavioral alternatives in his struggle
for survival.
The consciousness that emerged from the evolutionary expansion of the
behavioral repertoire is unique in the scope of its potential behavioral
alternatives. Imagination resides in consciousness and we boast that man is only limited
by his imagination. There is a distinct disadvantage, however, to having many
behavioral alternatives. You no longer know what choices to make. Decisions had
been fixed to a much greater extent in the prior state of consciousness,
behavior was regimented and instinctual, a manifestation of inborn tendencies that
were unlearned responses to stimuli. Now behavior would be learned one life
at a time and more and more behavioral choices would be consciously made rather
than reflexively intuited.
Then the pivotal event(s) in human evolution corresponding to Adam and Eve’s
eating of the forbidden fruit is the expansion of man’s behavioral repertoire
accompanied by the rapid evolutionary growth of the brain culminating in man’s
knowledge of good and evil.
What Genesis does not specifically say about either of man’s two states of
consciousness is easily inferred from the Biblical text. According to Genesis,
in man’s original state, before:

The rapid expansion of the behavioral repertoire
The enlargement of the brain
And the emergence of self-consciousness
He generally knew what to do and had little or no sense of self. Without
self-consciousness, he did not continuously ponder his own mortality and from that
we can assume his ability to imagine fear was severely limited.
In man’s current state, again according to Genesis, he often doesn’t know
what to do, he does the wrong thing, he is self-conscious and he hides from God.
Those scientific categories of instinct and acquired behavior are embedded in
this religious language. If you behave instinctively you intuit what to do
and do not have to make a decision based on what you have learned previously. An
organism that behaves instinctively cannot behave otherwise and does not make
conscious mistakes. On the other hand, if you rely on acquired behaviors you
have learned, you must consciously choose from among many possible behavioral
alternatives in any given situation. You are prone to error and your awareness
of that fact generates ontological anxiety.
Given these few lines from the Bible, literally read, it is clear that if one
wanted to attain the original state of consciousness, the one intended by the
Biblical text, one would have to abandon one’s self-consciousness and learn
to intuit appropriate behavior. I believe I am reading Genesis correctly when I
say that one could then stand in God’s presence without fear. This is
consonant with theology for despite countless artistic renderings of a celestial
Eden, the Catholic catechism defines heaven very simply as -- being in the
presence of God.2
 The hunger for spirituality, then, is the natural desire of an evolved
self-conscious mind to return to a time (the beginning) and a place (paradise)
before men made tools and plotted the murder of other men, before the dawn of
self-consciousness, when behavior was intuitive and a “man” could stand in the
presence of God without fear. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says,

  “When you disrobe without being ashamed… you will not be afraid.”3
Jesus’ words in this Nag Hammadi text from 1st century Egypt dovetail
remarkably with the nature of the fall in Genesis. The fall brought shame and fear
(self-consciousness and ontological anxiety). Returning to God (by abandoning
the “self”) would remove them.
We have easily identified a corresponding evolutionary principle for each
Biblical fact. The comparison suggests that our awareness of God evolved with
self-consciousness. Adam and Eve, Biblical archetypes of the human condition, did
eat the “forbidden fruit” from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The allegories in Genesis regarding human consciousness chronicle scientific
facts. Those scientific facts cannot contradict Scripture.
They are Scripture.

The entire paper is available upon request. In January, an essay of mine on
religion will be published by the National Policy Institute (press release
available at in a volume titled Race and the
American Prospect, edited by the late paleoconservative columnist Sam Francis.
Professor Kevin MacDonald, (I have recommended his trilogy on Judaism often) also
has an essay in the book.
The essay is about the liberal conservative divide, why it exists and why
Christianity is being assailed by the secular media and how Christianity can
recover. The essay was written specifically for you all here. It is the most
important work I have ever done. I hope some of you get to read it.

rich faussette
Received on Wed Oct 19 17:54:39 2005

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