[asa] Theo-Neo-Darwnian Synthesis + Chromosome Fusion WAS Who do Adam & Eve represent? (Was: Was Adam a real person?)

From: John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue Apr 15 2008 - 15:01:04 EDT

This gets my vote as the best Theology/Neo-Darwinian Synthesis theory (or
Theo-Neo-Darwinian Synthesis) that I have heard. I think the net-net is that
we choose to believe that it meshed somehow but is impossible to tell
exactly how. I guess that is where the faith comes in. Anyway this is
similar to where my TE journey takes me as well and like you all I can say
is that it works for me and I think I have concluded that that is about the
best I can hope for at this point. It is somewhat anti-climactic but the
after the initial joy of stumbling onto TE and the liberation it yields by
removing the wedge between science and faith and integrating the two, I now
find that it ultimately leaves me in the state of Job after God spoke to him
out of the cloud where I feel like all I can do as well is put my hand over
my mouth.
As an aside, I have been wondering about the mechanics of the speciation
into modern day homo sapiens sapiens. What plausible scenarios exist for how
the chromosome fusion of a single member of a primate population would
convey to it an adaptive advantage over the rest of the population? A
chromosome irregularity of this type today would most accurately be
described as a birth defect it seems.
And how would this single sample successfully mate with other non-fused
members such that only fused samples are selected and propagated with no
known surviving hybrids in between? Maybe I am misunderstanding the process
but I have wrestled with this and can't piece together how this could have
happened naturalistically. Can anyone explain this or are their any theories
on this and if so can someone direct me to any resources on it?

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of David Opderbeck
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 10:28 AM
To: Alexanian, Moorad
Cc: Bethany Sollereder; Jack; George Murphy; ASA list
Subject: Re: [asa] Who do Adam & Eve represent? (Was: Was Adam a real

To me, it depends how the narrative is supposed to be understood and what
you mean by "wrong."
The narrative pictures God directly shaping Adam out of dust and forming Eve
out of Adam's rib in a garden in Mesopotamia. Further, the narrative seems
to presume that this pair is the actual fountainhead of all humanity.
The fossil record and the record of molecular biology, however, seem to tell
a different story of the gradual emergence of a group of people out of
Africa, with no clear deliniation between "human" and "pre-human."
It seems to me there are two possibilities: 1. one of these stories is
true and one is false; or 2. the stories mesh together somehow.
Personally, I very much wish it were possible to argue persuasively that the
"scientific" story is false. But, while I don't think the scientific story
can be "proven" to be true, it seems to be based on quite reasonable
inferences from the empirical evidence.
I also very much wish it were possible to argue persuasively that the
Biblical story is false in the sense of being entirely non-historical even
if true in another sense. Some are persuaded this is possible; at this
point in my personal journey, I find this unravels too many things that are
important to me.
To me, right now, the stories have to mesh together in some sense somehow.
The Genesis story isn't "literal" but it also isn't non-historical. It
describes God's special attention to and relationship with the first pair to
be fully and truly "human," perhaps even directly created by God. This
first truly human pair can choose to obey God and thereby, in a sense, bring
all the creation "into the garden" through their stewardship. Perhaps this
involves also their headship over the rest of emerging humanity. But they
sin, are cast out of their state of idyllic fellowship and into the
slipstream of biological humanity. Yet they remain spiritually / federally
the heads of humanity and we all are bound to them in this sense, in the
same way that those who trust in Christ are bound to him. All of this is
known to us only by revelation and it is opaque to science. It probably
doesn't compeletly work, but it sort of works for now for me.

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 10:05 AM, Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>

Why is the Genesis account of Adam and Eve wrong?




From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Bethany Sollereder
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 9:51 AM
To: Jack
Cc: David Opderbeck; George Murphy; ASA list

Subject: Re: [asa] Who do Adam & Eve represent? (Was: Was Adam a real



I've just finished "God in Creation" by Moltmann. I think he'd feel pretty
strongly about rejecting the idea of "a fall upward". In fact, in one of
his other articles ("Cosmic Christ") he even talks about evolution itself
running counter to redemption.

As for Adam and Eve, I also wasn't quite sure how to answer either, because
if they are not real then they simply represent all that you would get from
Genesis if you read the account simply: the creation of humanity, humanity's
rejection of God, the devastating effects of sin on the world and on human
relationships, the alienation of man from God... the list goes on. And it
gets even more interesting if you start contrasting the Genesis creation
myth with the creation myths of surrounding cultures (as you well know).
The character of God in Genesis is absolutely unique.

Bethany Sollereder

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 3:46 AM, Jack <drsyme@cablespeed.com> wrote:

I dont know anything about Moltmann so maybe I should keep silent. But I
see the trajectory differently.


As far as I can tell there is nothing about our cognitive abilities that did
not come through evolution. We are animals in that sense. But whoever Adam
was, he was the first one placed into a relationship with God, and as a
result of this was unique, the imago dei, a physical animal a spiritual
being, the first Man. But the trajectory then turned downward at the fall,
and Man became little more than animals again. Christ was then needed to
show us what a spiritual/physical being is supposed to be. And he is
necessary to restory us to that condition. The difference between my view
and the falling up view, is that Adam had an opportunity that humans since
then have never had, but he made the wrong choice, and condemed us to a
condition with the need for redemption.


The ancient sacrificial system is a "type" that forshadows Christ's ultimate

----- Original Message -----

From: David Opderbeck <mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com>

To: George Murphy <mailto:gmurphy@raex.com>

Cc: ASA list <mailto:asa@calvin.edu>

Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 9:58 PM

Subject: Re: [asa] Who do Adam & Eve represent? (Was: Was Adam a real


George, I wonder in this connection if you've come across the notion of the
fall as a "falling up" rather than a "falling down." I'm not sure if this
resonates with the view of Robin Collins that Don mentions in the next post.
The idea here is that human beings gradually developed the capability of
moral reasoning and of relating intentionally to others and to God. As this
capability developed we continually chose to do that which we had learned
was wrong, and chose not to do that which we had learned was right. Under
this view, the story of Adam & Eve is a representation of humanity's
choices, which continue even today as our sense of morality, as well as our
capabilities for contravening that sense, continue to evolve. But there is
a difference today in that the cross reorients us towards God and changes
our trajectory.


I started reading Jurgen Moltmann's autobiography this week, though I
haven't yet read any of Moltmann's work firsthand --- would I be correct in
sensing that this idea of an "upward fall" that gets reoriented at the cross
resonates with Motlmann's theology of hope?


Here is a question about all this: does it really do justice to the ancient
sacrificial system and the substitutionary atonement? (I trust that in
pursuing this no one suspects me of waiving around any academic body parts.)

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 8:38 PM, George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com> wrote:

Well, the small number of responses to the "Who do Adam & Eve represent?
thread in comparison with the large volume of "Was Adam a real person?" ones
indicates that not many on this list are interested in pursuing the 1st
question. I find this unfortunate. Perhaps I could have phrased that 1st
question better but I think my intention was fairly clear - i.e., what do
the texts about the 1st man & 1st woman in Genesis mean if those texts
aren't to be understood as historical narratives &, in particular, if Adam &
Eve were not historical individuals?


The fact that folks here would rather debate the 2d question & instead of
the 1st suggests that they aren't very interested in doing serious
theological thinking about evolution. Neither those who believe in a "real
Adam" nor those who don't want to wrestle with questions about what it means
theologically for human beings - and, in particular, Jesus of Nazareth - to
be members of an evolved species.


So I think Gregory is right that most participants here feel safer dealing
with science than with theology. I find his characterization of theology -
really his dismissal of theology - most unfortunate. Theology is, in the
classic phrase, "faith in search of understanding." Should Christians not
want to understand? Or to put it even more simply, theology is just
thinking about what we believe? Are Christians not supposed to think about
that? Are we supposed to leave our brains at the church door?


(Of course the "inevitable mythology" of theology is just Gregory's



----- Original Message -----

From: Jack Haas <mailto:haas.john@comcast.net>

To: Gregory Arago <mailto:gregoryarago@yahoo.ca> ; ASA
<mailto:asa@calvin.edu> list

Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 8:01 PM

Subject: Re: [asa] Who do Adam & Eve represent? (Was: Was Adam a real


There you go again Gregory: one more cheap shot about people you know
nothing about!
Jack Haas

Gregory Arago wrote:

Notice that few at ASA, especially those who don't accept 'Adam [as] a real
person' are prepared (or willing) to speak about 'Who do Adam & Eve
represent?' Perhaps people think there's not much 'science' in
representation. It is much safer to speak about science, after all, as it
gives a sense of legitimacy that theology doesn't seem to imply with its
inevitable mythology.


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David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology 
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Received on Tue Apr 15 15:03:14 2008

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