Many would go so far as to say that the Theory of Evolution is a "threat" to the Christian worldview. Many would also say that Evolution poses no contradiction to it. What is your stance?
I agree that it is difficult to ascertain which living creatures were immortal before the Fall. This is also why I would submit that it remains a possibility that humans were the only living creatures that were! Some argue that God alone has immortality (1 Timothy 6:16), and that while he originally made this gift available to humans, perhaps through the Tree of Life, he never gave immortality to animals. I've written out what I see as the best case for these ideas, though without fully endorsing it, here: https://creationexplore.wordpress.com/resources/deep-time/learning-about-deep-time/deep-time-and-animal-death-before-the-fall/
Also, thanks for the mustard seed link! I fully agree that Jesus was making a point and "was not speaking in a scientifically accurate sense." I would see this as one example of a passage where some might interpret it as "plainly" making a scientific claim, but a better interpretation would be that it is not making a scientific claim at all. Of course, this seems rather obvious and simple to most of us; there are other passages that different people regard with different levels of difficulty!
Hi, joshedlund! As for the thing you have written on that, feel free to post a link to it here (assuming it is published online...!)
Scripture tells us that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without God's notice, but I do not know if that applies here. After all, God knows everything! The problem with wondering and asking "before the fall" questions is that the pre-fall world is impossible to observe. So interesting little questions such as:
"did bacteria die before the fall?"
"what organisms could die in a "very good" (by God's standards) world?"
"was the speed of light faster before the fall?"
"how did the nitrogen cycle work before the fall?"
are very difficult, if not impossible, to answer as the pre-fall world is gone without a trace.
I have also found an interesting article on the Jesus and the smallest seed (the smallest seeds are from tropical orchids, which weigh something like one billionth of an ounce [!]) that you all, and particularly Swamidass, who brought this up earlier, might be interested in:
> Do you think that the evolutionary ancestors of humans suffered death during the evolutionary process?
that's a fantastic question! The old-earth creationists get around that by holding to a special creation of Adam and Eve after a long period of creation in the fullness of time. I think evolutionary creationists tend to say the passage is talking about spiritual death only, since squirrels after all do not die for their sins and are capable of physical death only; only humans would be capable of spiritual death. But either way, they tend to believe there was a point at which God granted his image and a living soul to some evolving primates and made them the first true humans, perhaps either as they reached consciousness, or giving them consciousness himself, so they might say, yes, the ancestors suffered death, but without God's image, but the first true humans would not have had they not sinned and maintained access to the Tree of Life. (However, I would also look forward to seeing others' responses)
> Now, we will likely get into a lively and fascinating discussion about what counts as life and what counts as death (for instance, did bacteria die before the fall? Did stars "die" before the fall?).
Indeed! Essentially, there are two camps, as I understand it, interpreting the death that entered the world, not being in it already, affecting:
- Humans only (either physically, or spiritually)
- Humans and some other set of living things
I would actually be very interested to know what you would include in that set! I've read AIG's take, and they allow for insects and even possibly fish to "die" before the Fall, which puts them much closer to the "humans only" position than many people may realize. (I've written something exploring those positions but I don't know if it's bad form to share here.)
I would like to know what all of you think about this question. Do you think that the evolutionary ancestors of humans suffered death during the evolutionary process? If evolution is true, when does ape end and human begin? God says that we as humans are made in His image (Genesis 1:26). It would seem that animal death would contradict this verse in the context of evolution, as the apes would have had to be progressively becoming made in God's image. Isn't it bad when something that is even a small part made in God's image dies? I am looking forward to seeing your responses.
Welcome, Josh Hedlund!
I agree with you when you say that evidence etc. should be posted on the other thread that is open...So feel free to check that out as well if you are interested!
To continue our hyper-analysis of the words "good" "perfect" etc., I would submit that only God is perfect, per se, so the best his creation could be is "very good." We now live in a broken world. I don't think anyone here will deny that (but may think wrong, especially when assuming what others will say!) So from God, "very good" is an amazing compliment! I am glad that Josh (Hedlund) brought up: "there are none who are righteous, no, not one."
We are only righteous in Jesus, certainly not by anything we have done. So, our righteousness is an act of God, for, as we are not righteous ourselves (quite the opposite, in fact), Jesus gave us his righteousness, paying the price for our sin on the cross. There is a little Latin saying that goes with this: simul justus et piccatur. Saint and sinner (simultaneously). It is the same way in the scriptures when someone is referred to as "righteous."
So, while "very good" may not necessarily mean "perfect," the world pre-fall would have been devoid of sin, and since death entered the world through sin, it would not have had death as well. Now, we will likely get into a lively and fascinating discussion about what counts as life and what counts as death (for instance, did bacteria die before the fall? Did stars "die" before the fall?). Thank you all for commenting!
Very relevant to this discussion is this article on suffering and Jesus and evolution.