An Evolutionary Adaptation of the Fall
Version of Record online: 8 APR 2013
© 2013 The Author. New Blackfriars © 2013 The Dominican Council.
Volume 95, Issue 1057, pages 295–307, May 2014
How to Cite
Lembke, M. (2014), An Evolutionary Adaptation of the Fall. New Blackfriars, 95: 295–307. doi: 10.1111/nbfr.12026
- Issue online: 4 APR 2014
- Version of Record online: 8 APR 2013
- Adam and Eve;
- John Polkinghorne;
- Assumptions into Heaven;
- Cartesian Dualism
According to John Polkinghorne, the Fall is the major Christian doctrine that is the most difficult to reconcile with contemporary science. Like him, however, I believe it is vitally important, even in this regard, to try to pinpoint the extent to which taking science seriously requires us to modify traditionally held beliefs. In this paper I focus on two problematic ideas associated with the Fall: (i) the idea of a primordial human couple (Adam and Eve), and (ii) the idea that this couple was subjected to bodily death as a result of their original misdeed. I argue that, contrary to appearances, it is possible to harmonize these beliefs with contemporary science – at least if one presupposes some kind of soul-body dualism. I also try to show that this dualism, although philosophically non-fashionable nowadays, is yet to be refuted or made redundant by current evolutionary theory or neurophysiology.