Re: [asa] Humanity and the Fall: Questions and a Survey

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Wed Apr 30 2008 - 12:41:15 EDT

Apropos the question of "Adam as a group," may I point out again that the
story of the primordial sin in Genesis is not just about "Adam" but about
"the woman" and "the man" - in that order. & while there are various
cultural factors (as well as antiquated ideas about procreation) which have
led the tradition to focus on Adam, Eve can hardly be left out. In fact,
the tradition has tried all too eagerly to blame it on Eve - a tradition
that starts with Adam himself! In any case, there seems to be a group of at
least two involved.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Terry M. Gray" <>
To: "AmericanScientificAffiliation" <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 12:17 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Humanity and the Fall: Questions and a Survey

> On Apr 30, 2008, at 7:07 AM, David Opderbeck wrote:
>> For Terry and David -- so to blend an orthodox understanding of the
>> Adam and the fall with the scientific data, insofar as possible, is one
>> required to reject the population genetics data, or to find some other
>> explanation for that data (were Adam and Eve chimeric genetic multiples,
>> like the story I heard recently on NPR of a woman who has two sets of
>> entirely different DNA resulting from an absorbed siamese twin?)? Or is
>> orthodoxy flexible enough to permit that if the population genetics data
>> are firm, "Adam" may represent a group of newly fashioned humans?
> I'm not sure orthodoxy can handle the idea of "Adam" as "group". (Any
> more than it can handle the idea of "Christ" as "group".) And there's no
> indication in the text of any such thing. I think that the notion of an
> individual who acts for the race in the original probation is key to the
> account.
> The Westminster Confession of Faith (one definition of orthodoxy)
> espouses "ordinary generation" with respect to Adam's relation to the
> rest of the human race. I.e. Adam is the common biological ancestor in
> addition to federal head. This would prevent any population data of being
> valid in my judgment. However, I'm not so sure about the strength of the
> Biblical argument for ordinary generation. Thus, views such as Kidner's
> Genesis commentary allow for a unique Adam but with a simultaneously
> endowed fellow population (all under Adam's federal headship). But even
> in this view there is still the individual, Adam, acting as covenant
> head.
> As I've noted many times "I don't know" is an acceptable answer here and
> I'm not willing to twist what I regard to be essential Biblical teaching
> to accommodate science, nor am I willing to twist what appears to be
> well-done science for the sake of the Bible.
> snip
>> On a more personal note -- I guess some people find it a little easier
>> to deviate from received orthodoxy in discrete areas. All of us do this
>> in a way if we aren't YEC because of our views about death in the
>> initial creation. Yet we all have to draw lines in the sand at some
>> points (if nothing else, for most of us I think, on the resurrection of
>> Christ) and I'm guessing that for many of us Adam and the fall is or is
>> close to one of those lines. So we might have to take a YEC-like stance
>> at some point, right -- "I see that data, but it can't be right, because
>> scripture says otherwise...."
> I very reluctant to call YEC "received orthodoxy". I'm also reluctant to
> say that "received orthodoxy" says that there is no death before the
> fall--no human death, of course. I also don't see an intervention at
> critical stages (e.g., origin of the human soul) to be YEC-like. It is
> simply a willingness to acknowledge that God can act miraculously or
> "interventionally". Nothing heretical about that as far as I can tell.
> TG
> ASA Fellow
> ________________
> Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
> Computer Support Scientist
> Chemistry Department
> Colorado State University
> Fort Collins, CO 80523
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Received on Wed Apr 30 12:45:00 2008

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