RE: (post?) [asa] promise trumps biology (accepting biological evolution for Adam)

From: Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
Date: Wed Dec 17 2008 - 13:51:46 EST

Hi Dr. Campbell-

 In your theology, it doesn't matter if Adam and Eve existed or not. You say we are still sinners and need a Savior. For a YEC or an OEC it does matter, theologically. Also at stake is God's Word and how it is interpreted; if it is infallible, how it is infallible, etc. Someone doesn't know, and they would like to come up with a position of their own. What does science say? Is it possible there was a biological Adam and Eve- not evolved as standard evolution describes evolution as happening in _groups_ over _long_periods_of_time? I didn't see a clear-cut answer. My question cuts to the heart of whether you see evolution working in all of life the same, or if something special happened just for humans, biologically speaking only (not spiritual- such as when the spirit/soul was given to man).

...Bernie

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of David Campbell
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 10:40 AM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: (post?) [asa] promise trumps biology (accepting biological evolution for Adam)

>You get radical[ly] different theological ideas depending on whether Adam evolved or was
> made unique.

Of course, Adam could be made unique via evolution. In fact, from a
purely biological perspective, humans are very distinctive, both as
tailless terrestrial bipeds and in mental capability. What biology
can't do is say that those are any more special than the unique
features of any other organism.

The theological ideas do not derive from Adam's exact origins and
identity, but rather they shape how we interpret Adam's identity.

If you hold that God is equally involved in every event, you won't be
too worried about the degree to which Adam's origins reflect
front-loaded planning, implemented by an unbroken series of the action
of natural laws, versus more intervention-style action. Either way,
God did it as He planned.

Whether Adam and Eve are physical ancestors of all spiritual humans,
or the first spiritual humans but representatives out of an existing,
physically similar population, or examples of something that happened
many times in what was ultimately every human population or every
individual will affect your models of such things as the transmission
and nature of original sin. However, the fact that everyone needs
salvation and cannot do it themselves is what's important, not the
exact mechanisms.

-- 
Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Wed Dec 17 13:52:42 2008

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