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« Links Mentioned on the Show | Main | God Is Too Big for One Religion »

November 07, 2011

Comments

Thanks for that Greg.

There's one more problem though, that I mentioned in the recent thread. That is that the entire mechanism of evolution works by death and a dog-eat-dog style competition for survival that is incompatible with a perfect, sinless beginning.

Ask this question.

Could there be evolution in the new earth of Revelation?

Would it be compatible with that new earth that, for example, by survival of the fittest processes (guided by God of course), the entire race of Man, that Christ died for, could be replaced by a newer, better, Neo-Sapiens species?

I think you have to answer "No. that's not even possible." But if that's the answer, how could it have been possible in Eden?

Also, exactly what was the Fall? Death was already part of life according to evolution. Man was already mortal, so what exactly was the warning of the tree? It can't be that you would instantly die. That's not what the consequence was. That would make God a liar.

If you are going to shoehorn evolution into a Christian worldview, it has to somehow go in after the Fall. Many of the 'pressures' involved in the evolutionary mechanism would seem to fit perfectly in a fallen world, but seem to have no place in a pre-fallen world.

The idea is not entirely impossible. It supposes that there is a large time lapse between the Fall and the Expulsion from Eden. It is during this time lapse that the evolution, not only of plants and animals on earth, but of stars and galaxies themselves would occur.

But wait. There is already Man. There is already a planet for Man to live on. A sun to warm him, Moon and stars to light the night. There are already plants and animals for him to cultivate and eat. Why evolution? Isn't it too late for evolution?

Maybe not.

Death and decay are processes driven by the second law of thermodynamics. It seems, then, that that law was not in operation before the fall. Now, the second law of thermodynamics is not truly a law of physics, but only a consequence of the fact that we live in an expanding universe.

But there's at least one very good reason, Olbert's paradox, to think that life wouldn't even be possible in a static or contracting universe--We'd be burnt to a crisp by the light of the stars.

So it seems, that, given the current laws of physics, death is an inextricable part of life. The Eden described in Genesis isn't just incompatible with evolution. It's incompatible with the laws of physics.

But that's always been part of the story: All creation was subjected to frustration and enslaved to corruption because of sin. When Eve bit the magic apple, she didn't just damage herself. When Adam joined her, it wasn't just in a Fall particular to Man. When Adam and Eve fell, the whole order of nature was cast down and broken.

There was no room in this broken universe for Man's pristine body or the pre-fallen sun, or the pre-fallen moon and stars, plants and animals. Just as there will be no room for the old heavens and the old earth when God makes all things new.

Adam and Eve had to be robed in new flesh suitable for the universe that their wickedness chose.

Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. (Gen. 3:20-21)
It has always been noted that God had to kill beasts in order to clothe fallen Man. Perhaps what we have failed to note is just how many beasts God had to kill, through the evolutionary processes that took hold because of the Fall, in order to make us the skin garments we call our bodies. And perhaps no one has ever appreciated just how long this robing took.

****

Now. I do not say that this is true. For one thing, I don't know of any traditional source on this. As far as I know, it came out of my head.

So I think it's quite unlikely to be true. But it is only some story like that, that puts evolution after the Fall, that's ever going to get evolution to fit snugly into the Christian worldview. The theistic evolution theories that I've run across, are generally defective when it come to the Fall from Grace. They can't say distinctively Christian things about the Fall or about the Grace the Fall was a fall from.

I'm confused as to why Koukl continues to say that theistic evolution is compatible with Christianity. I certainly think it is compatible with Christianity. But Koukl has defended the view that theistic evolution is incoherent. Again, if it is incoherent, then it can't possibly be true, and so the conjunction of it with anything at all, Christianity included, cannot possibly be true. But if the conjunction of theistic evolution with Christianity cannot possibly be true, then theistic evolution and Christianity are not compatible.

If Koukl now thinks that theistic evolution is compatible with Christianity, then he's going to have to change his mind about theistic evolution being incoherent.

Reasons to Believe (reasons.org) have done a lot of work on this.

He was outlining how he thought it could be made coherent, Malebranche.

Well I hope he succeeds in outlining how theistic evolution is coherent, since if he does, he will have provided us all that we need to undermine the arguments he used to give that theistic evolution is on a par with a circle-square.

Cool. Keep up the vigilance.

Malebranche,

I appreciated your argument built on Aquinas in the last thread on this subject.

How do you reconcile WL's point about evolutionary selection positing death within a pre-fallen world? See particularly Rom. 5:12, "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned."

I don't have much of interest to say about the exegesis of the Pauline texts. We do know, however, that plants and animals were dying before any humans appeared on the planet. If Paul thought otherwise, then he was simply mistaken. I myself don’t really care what Paul thought about human origins or death.

Concerning the mere consistency of Christianity with there being death before humanity, I see little to worry about. I don’t think the two are inconsistent. In this respect I am in something close to agreement with Koukl, actually. To my lights, a sufficient condition for maintaining Christian belief is the ability to sincerely assert the following:

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

If all of the above is true, then Christianity is true. Furthermore, everything asserted in this creed could be true even though animals died before humans existed. So clearly Christianity can be true even though death preceded humanity. But then it just follows that Christianity is compatible with the fact that there was death before there were humans.

Please note: it is too ugly for God to use any kind of evolutionary process because it is so full of blood, death, & suffering. It isn't as though the Evangelical view of eternal torment in Hell, blood, death, & suffering that God deliberately planned on is that ugly. It is so much cleaner when only One is responsible.

Could someone with more reliable truth or at least a better hermeneutic please tell me why it is that God had to kill an animal in order to make skins for Adam & Eve? As far as I can see, God made Eve from Adam without having to kill Adam, & that certainly was a deeper & more complex operation than merely having an animal shed its skin. In fact, there is one kind of animal that is known for shedding its skin; I am just wondering out loud if that has anything to do with what happened way back in the beginning.

Malebranche-

Where do you stand on the historicity of Adam and his fall from grace?

It seems to me that without an historical Adam and a particular fall from grace, there is no need for an historical Christ and a particular act of redemption. And if Christ and the cross were not historical, He couldn't have suffered under Pontius Pilate.

It seems to me that without an historical Adam and a particular fall from grace, there is no need for an historical Christ and a particular act of redemption.

Really? So if it turned out that human wickedness, death, and despair was caused not by an original couple eating a fruit in a garden paradise, but rather through evolutionary means, you would conclude that there is no good reason for Christ to redeem humanity from sin, despair, and the grave? Is the thought that if we didn't descend from Adam and Eve, then we just aren't worth redeeming? That makes no sense at all to me. Regardless of how humans came to be sinful and mortal, the fact that they are is reason enough for any loving God to redeem them from it. Whether or not we descended from an original couple who lived in a garden paradise is utterly beside the point. Regardless of how a sickness came to infect a person, the fact that the sickness clearly is infecting the person is reason enough to initiate treatment. Having a reason to redeem a person from sickness does not commit you to any particular story about how the origin of the sickness.

So there is neither a requirement from the core of Christian belief as articulated in the creed above nor from the logic of redemption that pushes the Christian to believe in a historical Adam and Eve. This is a strength of Christian belief, by the way, not a weakness, since it means that Christianity is compatible with a variety of things that might turn out to be true of human origins.


I would like to point out that in my comment above I gave an argument for the compatibility of Christianity and death before the appearance of humanity. It goes as follows:

(1) The Nicene creed is compatible with animal death prior to the appearance of humanity and entails the truth of Christianity.

(2) For any propositions P, Q, and R, if P is compatible with Q and P entails R, then Q is compatible with R.

(3) Therefore, animal death before the appearance of humanity is compatible with Christianity.

Premise (2) is obviously true and I don’t think we’ve seen any good reasons to think that premise (1) is false.

Sebastian-

Note that in the main, I was arguing for when Theistic evolution would have to take place. No day-age theory is going to cut it because the facts of evolution are not consistent with a pre-fallen world.

Do you have anything to say against that argument?

At that point there is a very serious problem for theistic evolution. Since I'm not a proponent of Theistic evolution, I don't have any skin in that game really (pardon the pun), but it seemed to me that there was a very unlikely possibility that might harmonize Theistic evolution and Scripture.

I made no claim that I was doing an exegesis of Genesis 3. In fact, I may even have written words kinda, sorta exactly like this: "As far as I know, it came out of my head...So I think it's quite unlikely to be true."

Rather I was providing something that a Theistic evolutionist might use as a mere defense of the compatibility of the two views.

Do you have a better defense to offer? Or do you think there is no need of defense? Or no defense possible? I'd love to hear answers and reasons.

The problem with Theistic Evolution are many. Science certainly is not against the Bible or that of Biblical Creation. Theistic Evolution is a worldview and nothing more, one which has its root's in fallible men instead of the unchanging and infallible Word of the omniscient Creator.

Christians who believe in Theistic Evolution are being inconsistent because they accept a humanistic worldview. They have to believe when God told us about the Virgin Birth, the Crucifixion and Christ's Resurrection but they do not trust Him when He tells us about how He created the world.

People have to remember that evolution was developed in an effort to explain how life came to be in its present form without God. The problem is one of authority. Do we take God at His word or believe in man's fallible ideas? Do we believe God when He told us how He created the world? Do we believe the Almighty Creator is capable of creating our universe and everything in it in six normal-length days? Is He capable of telling us about it?

Sebastian wrote

"Could someone with more reliable truth or at least a better hermeneutic please tell me why it is that God had to kill an animal in order to make skins for Adam & Eve?"

I don't think he had to, rather he chose to. As I recall, the sacrifice of an animal to cover the sins of mankind was a foreshadowing of the sacrifices that would be offered by the Levitical priesthood, pointing to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus (the Lamb).

We do know, however, that plants and animals were dying before any humans appeared on the planet. If Paul thought otherwise, then he was simply mistaken.

Bingo.

I do not believe there is any question that death existed in the primeval world prior to Man's emergence. So-called Young Earth Creationists are doing the shoehorning, trying to place Man and dinosaurs into the same epoch, displacing the fossil record which contains more hard evidence than Genesis could ever provide.

This is the modern Evangelical's Galileo moment. The more it is fought, the more foolish we look.

So Perry, Malebranche-

What is it that Christ saved us from?

Why did we need to be saved from it? How did we come to have a problem that needed Christ's work?

Wouldn't a better solution to whatever the problem was be to just let us evolve a little more?

================================

The reference to the Nicene Creed is a straw man. The Nicene Creed aims at providing a minimally Christian statement of the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation. It is not meant to be an exhaustive (or even marginally complete) dogmatic theology. There are all sorts of beliefs one can have, even about the Trinity and the Incarnation, that are compatible with the Nicene Creed, but not with Christianity. That's why the Athanasian Creed was written, you know.

Even the Athanasian Creed has, for example, no reference to the Omniscience or Rationality of God. Do you think that that's a point of no importance?

Suppose that I can say all the words of the Nicene Creed without crossing my fingers behind my back. Suppose also that, at the same time I believe that God is a sub-moronic ignoramus, do you think I am still a good Christian?

BTW, I did not even say that you can't be a Christian while being a theistic evolutionist. Indeed, I offered an 'apologetic' for the view. I just think the view is liable to be muddled and incoherent.

=================================

Can you guys just give me a list of the things Paul was wrong about? Just so I'll know.

There's Malebranche's high view of Scripture again - as we were assured.

Agreed, Daron. Who knew that traditional Christianity had it so wrong? It seems that the further we are from the first century, the more clarity we get. What will tomorrow bring?

Ugh.

Jesse:

You may be right, but if everything that happened to Adam is a kind of foreshadowing of later things & if Adam represents mankind, would it be fair to say that the same covering that covered Adam was symbolically meant to cover all mankind, the race of man as a whole?

If one man's disobedience lead to the condemnation of all men, then isn't the obedience of the One Man sufficient to justify all men? (Rom.5: 18)

So then, in what way is Genesis 4: 7 a foreshadowing?

As Greg asked, how do WE have a problem if there was no problem (no fall of man)?

On Malebranche's view, it's God who has a problem and we are on the receiving end of that problem. Yes, God was nice enough to send his Son to fix it, but it was his mess to clean up in the first place. This is not the story the Bible teaches.

This is the modern Evangelical's Galileo moment. The more it is fought, the more foolish we look.

That's right. Prior to the Galileo controversy, the Church forbade the natural philosophy of Aristotle in 1210 and reaffirmed that ban in 1231. By the time 1633 arrived, however, the Church had grown quite fond of Aristotelian natural philosophy and ended up condemning its fiercest critic, Galileo. And of course the Catholics didn’t have a corner on this Bible-thumping hysteria. “Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit,” Calvin exclaimed in an embarrassing fit of unintelligent nonsense. I’m sure he was warmly congratulated for his folly by those eager to remind folks that the gospel is foolishness to the world, as though the degree of one’s piety increases with the number of absurdities one clothes in pious garb. Apparently the practice of setting oneself against our best scientific theories in order to congratulate oneself on one’s fidelity to the Bible has a long history indeed.

"Best scientific theories"?
Science requires evidence and, though he was right on the model, neither Galileo nor Copernicus had the evidence. The RC church merely said 'let's await the evidence'.

This is the modern Evangelical's Galileo moment. The more it is fought, the more foolish we look.

Good point. We don't want to look foolish. There are a lot of other things that make Christians look foolish. Let's give those up too.

In a Biblical sense, plants are not alive. There was no death before the fall. Also it has been well documented that the Galileo affair had nothing to do with science trumping the Bible but that the church took man's fallible ideas(the science of that time, Aristotelian philosophy a.k.a geocentrism)over that of the infallible inerrant Word of God the Bible. Galileo believed in the trustworthiness of the Bible and sought to show that the Copernican (heliocentric) system was compatible with it. Galileo was not blamed for criticising the Bible but for disobeying papal orders.

The RC church merely said 'let's await the evidence'.

Are you serious? In 1616 the Church declared that Copernicanism is “false and erroneous” on the grounds that it is contrary to Scripture. Copernicus’ On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres was placed on the Church’s Index of Prohibited Book in 1616 where it remained until the nineteenth century. After the publication of his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems in 1633, the Church found Galileo guilty of “vehement suspicion of heresy” and sentenced him to house arrest for the rest of his life. That is hardly the calm, judicial request for more evidence that you are suggesting. These theologians were more than willing to render verdicts from the theological chair on empirical hypotheses whose truth grated against their pious sensibilities and dogmas.

Danny-

When Jesus cursed the fig tree, it died. His disciples recognized that as death. Which means that they had to view the tree as alive beforehand. I think that, at least in Christ's day, they did view plants as alive.

Paul tells us that the creation was subjected to futility and enslaved to corruption.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him(God) who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
I think "the creation" doesn't mean "just man". I take the novel view that it means "the creation". If it's in the creation, it was touched by Sin through God's curse.

God subjected creation to futility when He said this:

Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field
Things in the natural order changed substantially because of the fall right down to the very ground. How substantially? So substantially that this was new:
By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
I'm not sure how, in a world already ruled by the grinding tyranny of evolution and entropy, this would come as a shock.

Before the fall, the world was as incorruptible as the new heaven and the new earth will be.

The theistic evolutionist must shoulder the terrible burden of attempting to find some account of why God would create a world containing, from the very beginning, the conditions that lead (through no one else's agency) to scarcity of resources, competition for survival, predation, etc. I admit that it is not at all a comfortable burden to bear. I suppose another burden is explaining what is going on with the Genesis account of creation if it is not literal history, but I guess I find that burden so light and untroublesome that it is hardly worth comparing to the first one.

Theistic anti-evolutionists, on the other hand, face the terrible burden of holding their deepest faith commitments hostage to empirical discovery. They must struggle to find some way to account for the fact that evolutionary biology has become more and more entrenched in the scientific community, and that it has now persisted long enough that it cannot be dismissed as a mere fad. Perhaps God placed all that evidence there to test our faith. Perhaps the scientific community is dominated by God-Haters who will grasp at any straw that discredits 'Biblical Christianity'. (Note that I do not think one can contain this position to sentient animals and admit that plants were dying long before the Fall. If you do that, you are faced with both burdens. Why would God design the world in such a way that one tree can flourish only if several others languish? Why make the resources necessary for flourishing so scarce that plant need to compete with one another to attain them? Even if plants do not suffer, even if they do not count as 'alive', the fact that the natural world is characterized by scarcity of resources and competition for survival is tough to reconcile with a perfect Creator).

So I suppose we all need to pick our poison. Which burden are we actually committed to? Which position will turn out, in the long run, to be more defensible? More importantly, which burden does the worldwide 21st century Church as a whole need to accept, and which can it relieve itself of?

Am I serious? Why, yes I am. Myth-making, heretic-hunting and running screaming are lots of fun, I expect, but facts are a little more important.
Try some.
http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/history/world/wh0005.html

Arnauld makes some good points concerning the burdens Christian evolutionists and anti-evolutionists must shoulder. One problem Christians might have with theistic evolution is just that it seems to intensify the problem of animal suffering. That seems right to me, and that’s a problem quite independent of disputes about biblical exegesis.

Concerning biblical exegesis, Arnauld writes,

I suppose another burden is explaining what is going on with the Genesis account of creation if it is not literal history, but I guess I find that burden so light and untroublesome that it is hardly worth comparing to the first one.

That seems right to me too. One needn’t entirely dismiss the notion of the inspiration of Scripture in order to conclude that the early chapters of Genesis ought not to be read as an attempt to accurately record historical fact. Those chapters are clearly rich in symbolism and literary creativity. All Christians who reject young earth creationism, for instance, are compelled to recognize these literary elements. Furthermore, even those like Koukl who try to take it those texts at face value don’t really do so. What, after all, could be clearer than, taken at face value, the following passage suggests that prior to the appearance of humanity, all animals were vegetarians:
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. [Genesis 1:29-30]

It is only after the flood that the text of Genesis mentions the eating of meat. I suppose someone could say, “But it doesn’t say that the animals only ate meat,” which to my ear is about as plausible as arguing that it is textually plausible that David slew Goliath with the help of two other soldiers, since after all the text in 1 Samuel doesn’t explicitly rule that out. Despite the fact that, by Koukl’s own admission (on the most recent radio show), this seems to be the most natural reading of the text, Koukl does not adopt that reading, since his inerrantism conjoined with this old earth creationism won’t permit it. So clearly Koukl isn’t adopting a plain, literal reading of the text. The only question, then, is not whether non-literal literary themes are present in the Genesis myth, how deeply and extensive those themes run.

That last sentence should read:

The only question, then, is not whether non-literal literary themes are present in the Genesis myth, but how deelpy and extensive those themes run.

WL and other YECs,

I have seen the following questions posed several times:

1) What need have we for Christ if there was no literal Adam and Eve, and no literal Fall?

2) What is Christ saving us from that evolution couldn't solve?

These seem to be very misguided and nonsense questions. What is Christ saving us from? Our sin of course! Whether evolution is true or false, it's pretty easy to see that you and I have both sinned. Do we need a literal Adam and Eve to know that we have sinned and do not deserve to be in communion with a perfect God? Absolutely not, and if you think so, I would encourage you to defend your view.

The second question also makes no sense. I don't think anyone who believes in evolution posits that real objective morals are gained through the process. The non-theist might claim that subjective, culturally cohesive "morals" morals are gained, but when pressed, the Naturalist will usually admit he/she is still a moral nihilist. And the thesistic evolutionist? Well obviously they believe that our objective morals and duties come from God and not evolution.

So if evolution does not create objective morals, neither does it make us better at obeying them. More aware of them, yes, but better at obeying them? I think not. So then, why would further evolution take away our need for Christ if it doesn't take away our choices to sin?

Just my 2 cents.

TL;DR Version:
I have sinned and need a savior whether Adam and Eve were historical people or not. Evolution does not make us more moral, so neither should it take away our need for Christ.

Two more things:

1) Please do not take the above to mean that I DONT believe in a historical Adam and Eve. I never said that, but rather am simply showing that the lack of belief is not incompatible with our need for a savior.

2) Daron, I would be hesitant to read an explaination of the Galileo controvery from the Roman Catholic Church and not take it with a grain of salt. It seems likely that they would not want their own institution to look bad. However, I know you believe (like me) that they are a human institution who, in spite of being part of the Church, makes mistakes just like the rest of us.

I don't view the early chapters of Genesis as strict chronology (since if viewed that way the chronologies obviously conflict). Once again, the conflict is so obvious, that I think you have to conclude that Moses never intended to write a chronology.

But what Moses clearly did intend to write was the story of a the first man and his fall from grace. And that is clearly the way Christ and the NT authors took it. Making a direct parallel between the historical fall of one man and the historical rescue by another.

Theistic anti-evolutionists, on the other hand, face the terrible burden of holding their deepest faith commitments hostage to empirical discovery.
I guess I don't see that. It looks to me like what we are saying is that whatever the science says, there was a singlular Adam who fell from a state of grace that not only does not, but cannot exist in the world as we understand it today (I've gone so far as to argue "forget about evolution, the problem is physics"). As such, nothing that empirical science finds can shed any light on that prior state. Only God's Word can do that.

It seems to me that rather than holding faith hostage to empirical discovery, this has a tendency to do the opposite.

Not that there aren't falsifiable fact claims in the Bible...The resurrection comes to mind. So my faith is held hostage to the discoveries of empirical science. If the body of Christ is ever discovered (please, no links to James Cameron's joke) then Christianity is finished (at least for me).

Austin-

I never claimed to be a Young-Earth Creationist (and I'm not).

Austin,

Do we need a literal Adam and Eve to know that we have sinned and do not deserve to be in communion with a perfect God? Absolutely not, and if you think so, I would encourage you to defend your view.

I defended it briefly in a previous comment.

If created man is in a state of sin, it's NOT because of anything created man did through Adam - because Adam doesn't exist. The mechanism of evolution cannot alter the spiritual condition so how did created man get that way, spiritually if God created us in his Holy image?

God's plan to save us from our sinful condition and repair the relationship is certainly an act of love, but it's clear that created man cannot be morally culpable for his spiritual condition.

Does that sound like the Biblical narrative? It doesn't to me. Everywhere you go in the Bible you read that created man is morally culpable for his spiritual condition.

Points for the being the first to employ the genetic fallacy in reply to the Galileo question, Austin.
I merely chose that one of the many, many, many sources because I knew it would be relatively concise. You will find the same information from historians and writers of all stripes. Berlinski handled it nicely in The Devil's Delusion.

However, I know you believe (like me) that they are a human institution who, in spite of being part of the Church, makes mistakes just like the rest of us.
But of course every human institution makes mistakes, and worse. That doesn't excuse myth-making and sensationalizing a case just to score rhetorical points in a different argument. When errors are repeated out of malice or ignorance they need to be corrected.

Daron,

Please try to be more charitable and read what I actually wrote. Did I say that you were wrong because the RCC promotes the same view as you? No, all I said was that you should take what they say as a grain of salt. There's a huge difference- I was not promoting a logical argument at all, so how could I be employing the genetic fallacy? In fact, I never even said that you were wrong or that I disagreed with you.

You're an intelligent guy, Daron, and I respect your arguments. Can you please try to tone down what I perceive as an arrogant tone though?

WisdomLover,

Sorry, that was probably incorrect terminology or perhaps I misattributed a statement to you that you did not say. Either way, I apologize.

SteveK,

Why must my culpability for sin be any different if it was I who independently made the decision to rebel against God, or that "state of rebellion" was inherited from a literal Adam?

Austin,

...but rather am simply showing that the lack of belief is not incompatible with our need for a savior.

It's incompatible with the story behind how we came to need a savior.

The Bible says much more than we are in a state of sin and need a savior. The Bible first explains how we came to exist that way and it points the moral finger of culpability at created man (Adam).

If you take created man out of the explanation story, where does the finger now point? You need to make a Biblical case for it pointing anywhere else, or nowhere at all.

Can you please try to tone down ...
Thanks. This is often a good reminder and good advice. Your perception, though, of my so-called arrogance is off.

And I did read what you wrote and it is the genetic fallacy. Just because language is couched does not hide its intent. You tried to disparage the information based upon its source. Had you no such intent you would not have made the remark, as without the implied refutation it would be a pointless admonishment about general skepticism.

Any cursory search would have revealed, though, that this source is not anomalous and that the information is propounded by all manner of sources and a reference to this one source is irrelevant.
You went further to even tell my why you thought this source would be suspect, even though it cites non-Catholic historians in support.
If you were merely promoting general epistemological rigour and healthy skepticism of all claims that would be one thing but this is belied by your particularizing your skepticism.

Again, this is not the sole debunker of the Galileo myth, but merely representative of the arguments.

-WisdomLover

"When Jesus cursed the fig tree, it died. His disciples recognized that as death. Which means that they had to view the tree as alive beforehand. I think that, at least in Christ's day, they did view plants as alive."

Actually Mark 11:12-14 talks about the fig tree not having any food on it and then Jesus cursed it. It is taking that passage out of context to say that that shows plants are alive in the sense that people and animals are. In context the passages are talking about Christ passing judgment on Jerusalem figuratively through the cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the temple, which highlight Jesus’ zeal for true worship of God.

"Paul tells us that the creation was subjected to futility and enslaved to corruption.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him(God) who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
I think "the creation" doesn't mean "just man". I take the novel view that it means "the creation". If it's in the creation, it was touched by Sin through God's curse."

That has nothing to do with plants being “alive” we only need to look at Genesis 1:29-30 to see that man and animals were vegetarian from the beginning. Plants are not “alive” in the biblical sense of nephesh chayyah, only animals and man. Death came after the fall we get that from Genesis 2:16-17, death could not have been around before then or that would make death very good also, see Genesis 1:31.

"God subjected creation to futility when He said this:
Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field
Things in the natural order changed substantially because of the fall right down to the very ground. How substantially? So substantially that this was new:
By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
I'm not sure how, in a world already ruled by the grinding tyranny of evolution and entropy, this would come as a shock."

I am not sure what you are trying to say here, I would point out though that this world is certainly not ruled by evolution as it has no foundation to stand on. The more we study our world and how complex it is we see more and more that evolution is becoming a fairy tale for grownups one in which I do not subscribe.

Austin-

No problem. I'm really neither fish nor fowl on this subject so I can't blame you.

Bear in mind that there is more to sin than sins. It is not merely a matter of bad behaviors. The problem is that we sin because of our fallen condition. How could that have been evolved in? And in what way is it any part of the problem that creation is subjected to futility and enslaved to corruption if that was always part of the pre-fall conditions? Is it that God created the world in a fallen state?

Hi Danny,
I tend to agree with most of your comment at 11:24.
As Galileo has been offered as a kludge, your comment reminds me of a certain incongruity.
Notice that those who insist that Christians accept the established fact/theory of evolution are also those who chide the Church because it was too slow giving up on Ptolemy in the fase of Copernicus - even though Ptolemy was far better-established and longer-lived than is the evolutionary paradigm.

I guess the consistency here is that, no matter the issue, the Bible is to be subordinated

Austin,

Why must my culpability for sin be any different if it was I who independently made the decision to rebel against God, or that "state of rebellion" was inherited from a literal Adam?

Created man was not created as a spiritual rebel against God and the mechanism of evolution could not change created man's spiritual condition over time so I fail to see how your explanation resolves the problem I already posed.

There must be a reason for the change in the spiritual condition. What does the Bible say about that?

WL,

Is it that God created the world in a fallen state?

If the created being is no longer the explanation behind our changed spiritual condition, then it seems you are correct. God is behind it. If this is where our brothers in Christ want to take us then they need to cite chapter and verse.

The claim that there once existed a single morally perfect human couple from whom we all descend, and who introduced sin into an otherwise perfect creation is most certainly hostage to the empirical evidence. Wedding this claim to the efficacy of the Atonement makes it a central pillar of Christianity, and hence renders the core of one's faith in God hostage to empirical evidence (evidence which is only growing stronger and stronger in the other direction).

Perhaps this doesn't describe WL's views, but it does describe the views of many on this site. And, i think it counts as a "terrible" burden - at least as (in my view even more) terrible as the burden shouldered by theistic evolutionists.

""The claim that there once existed a single morally perfect human couple from whom we all descend, and who introduced sin into an otherwise perfect creation is most certainly hostage to the empirical evidence. ""
What observation can confirm or falsify the claim that there existed a single morally perfect human couple from whom we all descended? Are you proposing that their is scientific evidence of a polygenic origin for mankind?

*there*

Good question Daron, and nevermind that the biblical account is full of descriptions of and allusions to disruptions that cast doubt against the necessary scientific assumption of uniformity of nature. I'm neither anti science, or even anti empirical in general, but will lean toward the historic beliefs that are considered orthodox when the results of emperical investigation ignore the unjustified assumption of uniformity. This is clearly one of those cases. "Were you there when..." God to Job.

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