Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?

From: George Cooper <>
Date: Wed Aug 01 2007 - 19:24:05 EDT

I also favor the need to honor a historical perspective to the fall as well. The event is clearly described as an act of sin. It is a powerful story and one that is extremely important to our relationship with G-D, and it is specific so as to make allegory more difficult.

Could there, however, be an exegesis that offers credibility for a historical, perhaps literal, interpretation? YEC may yet be correct in seeing certain passages as literal that were meant to be taken as literal, though it seems their interpretations have gotten way off track. I regret that Ian's description of absurdity for some of their views is correct.

There are a number of interesting points in the scripture that suggests, to me at least, that there is more here than seems normally considered. The portion of scripture that should be taken literal must be in accord with science, eventually. Any conflict could be either due to misinterpretation of scripture or of data. Yet, scientific convergence in many theories is so strong, misinterpretation of scripture, for those in conflict, seems evident.

Forgive me for throwing this load out to you, but I can't get it off my mind. Here are some points suggesting a possible concordance.

Evolution, complete with viruses, appears to be a fantastic auto-designing tool, which is extermely effective given enough time in the right environments. If this was the process for His normal creation and he made Adam and Eve special, would He not place them in a special envrionment to prevent complications.

Consider where the garden was loated, at or near the top of a major mountain (4 headwaters ran through it). How accesible was the garden to others, and could this be the reason for the garden's location?

Why did they not have the whole Earth to roam? Outside the Garden, perhaps normal life, as discovered by science, existed in accord with established evidence.

Could G-D maintain special action to prevent or counter the normal decay processes for his special two individuals, as well as, other life forms in the Garden? Yet, He could let His evolutionary model mature life outside the Garden. G-D is not constrained by time, which He created, so I believe He did not have to guess we would fail Him; He saw it coming.

Is the statement that there was "not a man to till the ground", and odd one? Where did agriculture begin and when? I think I am correct that the evidence still points to about 10,000 years ago in the fertile crescent (near the Garden).

...And much more such references suggests to me that force does not have to be used against science to allow a historical, even literal, account. Of course, if YEC claims there views are cast in concrete, then I must agree, though I see it headed closer and closer to the deep river.

YEC claims sadden me because those in my church who are strong supporters of YEC are actually wonderful people who do good works. As a result, we all tend to work on unity and stick with the tenets of our faith. We are all blessed by it. However, these views that I wish to discuss stay suppressed. I need a place to present them, people who are more knowledgeable than I. Ok, you know where I'm going with this. Hope you don't mind me too much.


  ----- Original Message -----

  From: Gregory Arago
  To: David Opderbeck ; Iain Strachan
  Cc: Peter Loose ;
  Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 5:12 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?

  Yes, not to dismiss it or write it off as 'figurative' on the other extreme of 'literal.'

  Ian writes: "we must think about what the Fall narrative _means_ rather than being stuck on whether it happened literally as described. (Man+woman+fruit)."

  Though I'm confused by the word 'stuck' since it seems that all religious persons commit to adhering to certain dogmas and doctrines, the quest for meaning is agreeable. This meaning is constructed by individuals interpreting the (a) text which was passed on to us by ancestors. Our ancestors, in the traditions called Muslim, Christian and Jewish, agree that Adam was directly created by G-D. Adam lived with his woman Eve; Eve lived with her man the flesh.

  The thrust behind Ian's defensive/obscuring stance may involve real carefullness with not wanting to interpret something as 'historically true,' which was not so. He may feel honour-bound to expose an apparent absurdity (that is, Young Earth and/or c. 4-6000 yr. old Adam) because his 'scientific' knowledge tells him what is most likely true. But it would be wrong to throw out elements of the story that may be historically true just because the 'meaning' of the Fall is now in doubt. Darwin, of course, had a lot to do with this.


  Added note: Anthropology, sociology, psychology and cultural studies are much more significant on/for the 'meaning' of 'the Fall narrative' than it is for physics, chemistry, biology or geology. Are we agreed on this, Iain?

  David Opderbeck <> wrote:
    But Iain, though I agree with you on the need for a broader hermeneutical perspective, and though I agree with you that it's too pat and simple to attribute carnivorous animals and such to a recent historical fall, I'm really struggling with the way in which, it seems to me, you're dismissing a central narrative of the Christian faith. The picture scripture gives us of human rebellion against God is, in fact, the picture of a man and woman eating fruit God told them not to eat. And scripture does, in fact, suggest that this somehow messes up everything. It seems to me that we need to appropriate this picture and interpret it in the context of what we know about the physical world, but not to dismiss it.

    On 8/1/07, Iain Strachan <> wrote:

      On 7/28/07, Peter Loose < > wrote:

        Iain and Friends:

        I find this stance in respect of 'bad things being literally due to one historical woman and her husband eating a piece of fruit' to be very sad.

      Sorry, but that is exactly what my YEC friends tell me. That the fall is a literal historical event, tied precisely to Adam and Eve eating the fruit, literally on a given day. As direct result of this God put the curse on the whole of creation, and from thenceforth all the bad things happened. "Carnivory" started up (I've even seen articles on this on the AiG website), animals started eating each other.

      The logical extension to this is that to answer Michael's pointed question as to why God "designed" the Ebola virus is that Adam's specific act of disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit was the direct reason that God made this happen.

      My creationist friends tell me that the whole Gospel falls apart if you don't accept this.

      I agree - the whole stance is very sad indeed, and I feel honour bound as a Christian to continue to point out its absurdity - an absurdity that keeps people away from Christianity because most people think you must be a nutter to believe such things.

      As I have said elsewhere, we must think about what the Fall narrative _means_ rather than being stuck on whether it happened literally as described. (Man+woman+fruit).


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Received on Wed Aug 1 19:24:37 2007

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