Re: [asa] (fall) biological evolution and a literal Adam- logically inconsistent?

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Thu Sep 04 2008 - 09:50:41 EDT

I don't think this is a queston of "natural evil" per se, as a car isn't
natural. But your concern obviously is valid. My approach to this is to
wonder what technology would have been like absent the fall. We tend to
think of technology as a sort of "discovery" or "invention" -- someone
discovered the uses of fire, someone invented the wheel -- but there is a
sense in which technology is also "revelation" -- everything we learn and
discover is already known to God, and nothing we invent surprises God. Why
is it that, during most of human history, people lacked technologies that
today we consider basic and life-saving, such as antibiotics? In some
sense, I think this is a result of sin. I believe technologies like
penicillin would have been available to humanity much sooner and easier in
the "garden," whether that is "literal" or a "figurative" theological
construct. If humanity were in perfect fellowship with God and each other,
what would, say, our transportation technology look like? I'd speculate
that it would be green, efficient, and safe -- not because the laws of
physics would be different, but because unbroken human fellowship with God
and with each other would have produced such technology.

On Wed, Sep 3, 2008 at 5:47 PM, Dehler, Bernie <>wrote:

> Another natural evil example is if your tire blows out and the car crashes
> killing everyone in the car. Was the fall responsible for that? If ones
> says yes, then it seems like if there was no fall, there would be no death.
> In that case, Adam could have climbed the tallest tree, dived into a rock
> (headfirst), and wouldn't have died... probably not even a bruise?
> ...Bernie
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On
> Behalf Of Keith Miller
> Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 2:33 PM
> To: AmericanScientificAffiliation Affiliation
> Subject: Re: [asa] (fall) biological evolution and a literal Adam-
> logically inconsistent?
> Randy posted the following quote from Bube:
> >
> > "It is precisely in Genesis 1-3 that the Christian finds the
> > biblical basis for this approach to evil. One of the basic
> > revelations given to us in these chapters is the emphasis upon the
> > goodness of God's creation. The creation "as it comes from the hand
> > of God" is good and free from evil. The evil that we see around us,
> > real moral or natural evil, is due to man's sin or to natural
> > causes, and is not intrinsic in the creation purpose of God. Unlike
> > many other major religions, Christianity rejects the concept that
> > evil finds its ultimate cause in matter, finiteness, or in
> > individuality. It is not intrinsically necessary for matter,
> > finiteness or individuality to result in moral and natural evil.
> > The biblical record tells us that the evil around us is something
> > outside of, contrary to, different from, and an aberration on that
> > kind of world which would correspond to the creation purpose of God.
> While I fully accept that "the creation 'as it comes from the hand of
> God' is good and free from evil", I have a problem with the inclusion
> of "natural evil" in the statement above. The implication is that
> "natural evil" is somehow independent of God's creative activity.
> Events such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions,
> etc are part of the dynamic processes through which God is
> continually active in the creation. They are part of the creative
> processes that have made the life-sustaining creation that God
> declared good. Similarly the cycle of life and death that is part
> and parcel of the web of life on Earth is essential for the
> sustaining of that life. That cycle of life and death is also
> explicitly a part of God's upholding of creation (see Psalm 104).
> Keith
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David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Thu Sep 4 09:51:00 2008

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