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

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Sep 04 2008 - 10:49:26 EDT

If "natural evil" is not the result of sin, then there would have been
disease to spread -- i.e., bacteria and viruses -- and this would have been
evident throughout the creation, so the need would have been obvious.
Personally, the idea of the "garden" as a literally disease-free zone seems
difficult to me, unless the "garden" existed in some kind of
trans-dimensional reality -- which I wouldn't say is impossible but which
doesn't seem to me a preferred way of considering the text.

On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 10:29 AM, George Cooper
<georgecooper@sbcglobal.net>wrote:

> Technologies that brought us penicillin and other medicines were
> developed to address obvious needs. If the Garden was indeed special and
> under the direct care of God, those needs may never have existed; good
> health requires no medicines. I agree that sin can contribute to problems
> including the spread of disease, but in the sin-free Garden there appears to
> have been no disease to spread. I am curious if others see the Garden as
> being so special, either in the literal or figurative sense.
>
>
>
> "Coope"
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] *On
> Behalf Of *David Opderbeck
> *Sent:* Thursday, September 04, 2008 8:51 AM
> *To:* Dehler, Bernie
> *Cc:* AmericanScientificAffiliation Affiliation
>
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] (fall) biological evolution and a literal Adam-
> logically inconsistent?
>
>
>
> 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 <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
> 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: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] 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
>

-- 
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 10:50:00 2008

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