9/09/2005

Thinking About the Fall, Part 2/2

Given how little we know about how the Fall of Adam and Eve actually occurred, it is difficult for me to see why it must necessarily be incompatible with evolution. My belief is that the conflict is only apparent, and that more information about the Fall will help resolve the conflict. I do not claim to know what that further information is, but I have a few ideas that might be worth thinking about. (Some of these ideas have been brought up by others here and are not totally unique to me.)


Modularity and Timelessness: Our scriptures make clear that the power of the Atonement was operational before Jesus came to earth. Men and women were forgiven of their sins and sanctified in spite of the fact that the Atonement had not actually occurred yet. At least in regard to forgiveness of sin, it seems that the timing of the Atonement was not important. Time does not seem to matter to God. Is it therefore possible that conditions on earth preceding Adam and Eve operated as though the Fall had already occurred? Furthermore, is it possible that Adam and Eve performed a vicarious work for us in the garden, as our representatives, making the events in the Garden of Eden largely ceremonial in nature? So Adam and Eve represented us in getting us into mortality, and Jesus represented us in getting us out.

Pre-Mortal Symbolism: The story of Adam and Eve can be generalized to all of us. In fact we are encouraged to follow their example. Yet many elements of the story seem restricted to Adam and Eve. Jeff has suggested that we think of the story of Adam and Eve in terms of the pre-mortal world (pre-existence). Thinking along these lines reveals some striking similarities between Adam and Eve, and the rest of us. Common elements include:

Living in the presence of God
Not subject to pain or disease
Desire to gain knowledge and experience
Unable to have children
choosing to progress by entering mortality and leaving the presence of God
Confronting temptation by Satan
Receiving a coat of skin (ie. body)

Could it be that Moses taught about our pre-mortal existence by the means of allegory? If this is the case, it leads to some interesting questions. For example, is it possible that the reason we wanted to come to earth was because Lucifer introduced us to the concept of mortal life, thus sowing discontent with our pre-mortal existence (ie. teaching us that we were naked) and unwittingly fulfilling God's plan?

Multi-Step Process: When we talk of the Fall, we usually think in terms of a specific event that occurred on a specific (but unknown) day. The way the story is given to us encourages this kind of thinking. Perhaps the Fall was a multi-step process that began in the spirit world and culminated with Adam and Eve in the garden. An analogy might be cross-country travel. We think of Adam and Eve as taking off in New York City and landing in Los Angeles. Perhaps it was more like traveling by car with stops and detours along the way. Thus, the Fall was responsible for the mortality of all life forms on earth, but the part of the Fall that initiated mortality for most (if not all) of the earth happened back in Missouri (to be clever)--not the end of the trip in Los Angeles.

Conclusion

I think that some of the ideas I have outlined above are useful, even within the traditional LDS paradigm of the Fall. Such ideas do not dispense with the importance of the Fall--they merely adjust our way of thinking about it. (Revelation does do that from time to time.) The ultimate truth may or may not resemble my suggestions, but until we are given further light by revelation, it seems a little hasty to conclude that evolution and the Fall are ultimately incompatible with one another.

It appears that Robert Millet rejects much (or all) of evolution, but I think that the sentiment expressed here is well-put.
In regard to the Fall, it should be sufficient for us to know that Adam and Eve and all forms of life are required to partake of the fruits of mortality before we can partake of the fruits of immortality in the Resurrection. Further, men and women cannot partake of the fruit of the tree of life--that is, gain eternal life--while they remain in their sins; mortal man simply cannot inherit immortal glory. It is as though the Lord places cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the way of celestial glory so that we may surely understand that no unclean thing can enter his presence. Repentance and redemption always and forevermore precede exaltation. (Power of the Word: Saving Doctrines from the Book of Mormon p. 66)


25 Comments:

The issue of time is a good one I'd not considered. I'd not want to call it timelessness. But if the terrestrial world is an other universe then what you describe is possible. (Although it would obviously cause problems with those who demand Libertarian views of free will, since it is incompatible with such views)

 

Posted by Clark

9/08/2005 05:45:00 PM  

I agree Clark, a very interesting insight. Thanks. 

Posted by J. Stapley

9/10/2005 06:25:00 AM  

How God relates to time and its implications for free will is not one of my pet issues. My opinion is that we have such little actual data to work with that conclusions must be built on towers of reasoning that may or may not be correct.

As Henry Eyring said, "[I]t seems to me that the Creator must operate with facts and with an understanding that goes entirely outside our understanding and our experience. Because of this, when someone builds up a system of logic, however careful and painstaking, that gives a positive answer to this difficult question, I can't help but wonder about it..."

I recognize that others may have strong opinions on the matter. At this point, I don't. 

Posted by Jared

9/10/2005 09:08:00 AM  

The LDS concept of the Fall begins with an immortal world, and it continues with a transition to a mortal world. I believe evolution could have been used by God during that transition to create the mortal world that became Adam's home. I've published a new book called "One Mormon's View of the Science -- Religion Debate" in which I expound on this idea of evolution during the transition. http://www.leigh.org/sciencereligion/ 

I think the scriptures are clear that the Garden of Eden was an immortal world, i.e. no death, so evolution couldn't have occurred prior to that. We tend to think of the transition to a mortal world as an instantaneous change, but there is nothing in the scriptures to imply that. If we assume the transition required a finite amount of time, we have a nice "home" for evolution as part of the Fall. 

Posted by Allen Leigh

9/14/2005 06:25:00 PM  

I posted my essay, Reconciling the Fall of Adam and Evolution, on my site for those who would like to read it. Feel free to email the pdf to others who might be interested.

http://www.leigh.org/sciencereligion/

9/15/2005 01:34:00 PM  

Allen,

Thanks for sharing the essay.

9/16/2005 03:08:00 PM  

On timelessness- some aspects of the Atonement were operational before Christ, but not all. We know that at one point in the far distant past, the Father Himself was a Savior, so the effectiveness of Jesus' Atonement certainly has a beginning date. Also, while people were able to repent and be sanctified before the Atonement occured, they were NOT able to be resurrected or enter Father's presence, and these are the two key effects of the Fall: physical and spiritual death. I am not sure how this affected the "other worlds" who were also saved by Jesus' Atonement... did they also have to wait for exaltation until Christ was actually resurrected?

9/19/2005 05:00:00 AM  

Rob,

Your point is well taken. I think this gets back to our ignorance about how the atonement actually works. Was it impossible for someone to be resurrected before Christ, or was it just not according to the plan? I'm not sure that we really know the answer.

9/19/2005 05:10:00 PM  

Allen,
Thanks for the insightful essay reconciling the Fall and evolution. I have to wonder what happened to the other millions of bodies that evolution created when Adam and Eve became mortal. Did they die out? Were they inhabited by other spirit children not under the direct mortal lineage of Adam? Were Adam and Eve co-existing with non-spirit children hominids? It is an interesting idea nonetheless. 

Posted by Doug

10/12/2005 10:42:00 AM  

Hello. Two irresistable problems with all non-literal Adam & Eve "identity" and "fall" scenarios:

1. Adam is all through all of the scriptures everywhere as a person and Priesthood Leader. If none of this is real, I say, "who cares about the rest of the "Gospel."

2. Adam broke a law and we all - in mortality, fall from God's presence. Christ's great, incomprehensible suffering redeems the race from the fall, and we are all brought back into God's presence, at the resurrection - for judgment.

Science, while these days seeming so "new and exciting" - still has enough holes in it to make an objective observor cringe when it is pitted against the 4 Standard Works, and made to appear invincible while they are reduced to mere symbolism at critical junctures.

If one reads the literature of other "believing" religious "critical thinkers" who reduce Jesus' miracles and divintiy to symbolism, and find reasons for doing so at this juncture and that, one finds, from my perspective, a common thread with what I often
read here.





Posted by greg

10/23/2005 03:32:00 AM  

Greg,

Haven't heard from you in a while. Welcome back.

Adam is all through all of the scriptures everywhere as a person and Priesthood Leader. 

I agree--I think there was an Adam.

Adam broke a law and we all - in mortality, fall from God's presence. Christ's great, incomprehensible suffering redeems the race from the fall, and we are all brought back into God's presence, at the resurrection - for judgment.

I don't think anything I wrote contradicts that.
 

Posted by Jared

10/23/2005 04:06:00 PM  

Hi Jared,

My wife and I moved to China. Teaching here is is lot like teaching in CES. I know you believe in an Adam. But, is he THE Adam of the Scriptures. Most "liberal" Christians believe in "A" Jesus, but they strip him of some essentials.

If I recall correctly, your Adam has yet to be linked up with your scientific beliefs in a way that you
or I could teach to our children, or even these Chinese students here. After being away from the Blogs for awhile, and cruising them yesterday,
it seems to me that the FAITH someone of your stature should have in the veracity of Scripture has been placed instead in your lab and theoretical studies.

I have said this several times, my professional training is legal, but I have years of CES teaching and testifying experience. When I see you and others absolutely declare the veracity of human evolution on the web; I needn't just go to Scripures and the Prophets and Apostles - I can go to the I.D. sites and find big holes - explained rationally by highly trained scientists - usually of Faith.

I have yet to read a clear refutation of most of their points.
The ones I am directed to on here seem written to me for "blind leading blind." "95% of practicing scientists accept human evolution as fact." Well, 95% of practicising Christian clergy think the Book of Mormon is bunk. They write to one-another about this.

However, as Pres. Hinckley recently said, all explanation other than Joesph Smiths about the origin of the Book of Mormon are "without substance." Well, refutations of Behe and other "hole pockers" I have read are to me, still, "without substance." To the human evolution beleivers, I am sure they sound great, but not to others, believe me, they are still lacking.

Thanks for keeping the blog going. I miss my kids terribly and terribly, and this makes me feel a bit more at home.

10/24/2005 04:59:00 AM  

Its great to hear from you Greg. I hope all is well with you and your family. 

Posted by Jeffrey Giliam

10/24/2005 11:01:00 AM  

Greg,

Your reference to ID is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I don't know what you can't find a refutation to--some say that the problem with ID is it cannot be refuted. If you were more specific, I might be able to point you in the right direction. You've read my views on ID elsewhere, so I won't re-hash it here.

I wonder, though, why you don't stick with traditional creationism since ID formally has little to do with scripture. It is silent on whether Adam and Eve existed, for example. If you want people who are extremely serious about defending Genesis, then you want creationists like Answers in Genesis or the Institute of Creation Research. These are folks who believe the Bible is inerrant. I recommend them, not because they make good arguments, but because they are more in line with what you want theologically.

I almost wonder if you actually read my two posts. Where have I gone so wrong?

We have a rich history of things (in the scriptures) not turning out the way we thought they would. (I will list some if I must.) Why is it so hard to accept the idea that there might be more to the creation story than God has told us--things that will peacefully incorporate truths discovered by scientific methods?

I think--realistically--my treatment of the scriptures here is not all that heretical. This is not the Jesus Seminar nor a debunking spree. The fact that I discussed how science and the scriptures might be reconciled, rather than discussing why the scriptures are flat--out wrong says something, I think.

10/24/2005 04:06:00 PM  

Hi Jared and Jeff,

Before I respond to Jared's post, and some of Jeff's and Clark's elsewhere, and the blogging-doubting paradigm in general, let me propose a "Theme Song" for this, my favorite blog. This will be sung to the tune of "Search, Ponder and Pray," (hopefully you are young enough and/or connected enough to know the song):

Search, Ponder and Blog 

Each time I read at "Times and Seasons,"
Sunstone and Di-logue too,
I feel a spirit start to grow within my heart,
of doubt that burns my faith right thru -

Search, ponder and blog,
in these things I will persist,
the Theory will guide, and deep inside
I'll know the scriptures are myths.

And so I'll cruise Mormon Arch-pel-go,
each day my whole life through.
Where Adam's father *Fred's a souless hom-i-ned,
and Darwin an Apostle true-oo

Search, ponder and blog,
on these things I will subsist,
the Spirit will strive, but deep inside
I'll know the scriptures are myths.

* With apologies to "The Flintstones."

Constructive comments, criticisms, and suggestions for improvement are most welcome.


 

Posted by Greg

11/03/2005 02:23:00 AM  

Another Modest Proposal that
could be launched and promoted from
Mormons and Evolution:

NOTICE TO MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH: "Due to errors prevalent in the Standard Works of the Church, that science has now established beyond doubt, regarding the genetic origins of mankind and the identity of the people who have been known throughout Church history and the Scriptures, (more particularly the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine of Covenants) as Lamanites, the name of the Church is hereby changed to "The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Scientists." (LDSS).

A committee of Scientists will be immediately appointed to peruse the Standard Works of the Church. Where said Scripures are out of harmony with modern scientific truths, especially those revealed through DNA Research, they will be either labled as "myth" or otherwise modified with easy referrences, such as is now the case with the Joseph Smith Translation.

To head this committee we propose Dr. Simon B. Southerton, distinguished author of "Losing a Lost Tribe," recently made famous for being mentioned in the Newsweek article. (His recent excommunication for marital indiscretions will be rescinded, and he will be again made a Bishop when the first opening in his Stake occurs. His indiscretions and seven years of nonattendance were obviously due to having to endure the difficult "double life" of the modern day DNA Researching Latter Day Saint Scientist.)

Interested Saint-Scientists are encouraged to submit additional items for labeling, such as the universal flood, the confusion of tongues, individuals living 1,000 years, and babies speaking things that have lucid meaning but cannot be reduced to writing. There are perhaps hundreds of other items that need careful consideration.

Off Limits (for now) - the miraculous conception and birth, sinless life, infinite Atonement, actual death by crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We recognize that other Churches that have influence for good in the world derive great power and faith from the "story" of the life of Jesus Christ, whether their more educated leaders and members view the Scriptures regarding that life as literal, or figurative. For now, however, until Science can shed more
light on the life of Jesus, we continue to accept the Scriptural accounts as genuine fact.

(Once again, as with the proposed Theme Song - constructive criticism and ideas for corrections are welcome)

11/03/2005 04:28:00 AM  

Don't forget the celebrity endorsements from Judas, William Law, and Hitler.

11/03/2005 06:35:00 AM  

Greg,

Reciprocity--to the same tune.

Search? Ponder? No Way.

I won't consider outside knowledge
As I read holy writ.
What value could there be? It's meaningless to me,
It's all a bunch of horse malarky.

Search? Ponder? No way.
You can't think very much.
Studying out, might open some doubt,
Sometimes it's best not to touch.

I'll put my trust in correlation
to teach me what I know.
If I chance to disagree, there's something wrong with me.
My re-ward cometh from below.

Search? Ponder? No way.
It's as clear as I can say.
I am true-blue because my point of view,
Is endorsed by my favorite G.A.

11/03/2005 11:16:00 AM  

Note: My song was tongue in cheek. I don't have contempt for simple faith.

11/03/2005 12:24:00 PM  

Jared - great retort!! Another song for you - sung to "An Angel From on High"

A scientist from the "Y"
The long, long silence broke;
Descending as from the sky,
These cautious words he spoke:
In a lab behind the baseball field
Man's true or-i-gen lies revealed.
In a lab behind the baseball field
Man's true or-i-gen lies revealed.

Concealed by nature's hand,
It has for ages lain
To wait the Lab's command,
From dust to speak so plain.
It shall at last to light come forth
To question correlation's worth
It shall at last to light come forth
To question correlation's worth.

And what of Joseph's seed?
The remnant can't be shown!
And nations long since dead
Whose D-N-A has flown?
The fullness of the gospel, too,
The Double Helix will construe
The fullness of the gospel, too,
The Double Helix will construe


 

Posted by Greg

11/05/2005 08:30:00 PM  

Jared,

I would welcome a peaceful reconciliation between the Scriptures and DNA research in the two areas I have been satirizing in the songs, the Lamanite identity and the Human creation issue. However, it seems to me that some of the "doubting" that has been going on for years over Church History and other issues that cannot be really crystalized very well into clear tests for veracity is finally finding a "home."

We have a rich history of things (in the scriptures) not turning out the way we thought they would. (I will list some if I must.)  

Just a paragraph to refresh me on your ideas would help me to be able to make a comparison for myself. The "limited geography" Book of Mormon issue is a non-issue for me, because the internals of the Book have always supported the limited view. Also, there have been no First Presidency Statements on the location of the Book of Mormon events. Further, when Brigham or Eliza or whoever it was said Adam was our heavenly father, they were wrong because they were out of harmony with Scripture.

This is not the Jesus Seminar nor a debunking spree. The fact that I discussed how science and the scriptures might be reconciled, rather than discussing why the scriptures are flat--out wrong says something, I think.

Last time I visited the Jesus Seminar, I read a paper discussing "naturalistic" explanations for why and how such an influential group of men as the Apostles were able to invent or imagine, and then cling to and spread the supernatural stories of Jesus so soon after the fact. The piece neither maligned the character of the apostles or the converts. It just drained the "supernatural" life from an otherwise sympathetic treatment. What evidence - other than from "academic" sources, did this writer have that the Scriptures about Jesus are not true?

Will DNA research emerge as the "smoking gun" that debunks the Scriptures by neuterizing, to a substantial degree, the miraculous in the creation and fall of man as recorded in all  of the Scriptures, and by stripping the Book of Mormon of its
second primary purpose, to recover the family of Lehi?

Never for me - hopefully. Not, again hopefully, because I will never be qualified (in this life) to do
good DNA research, but, because of spiritual experiences and many years of observation of behavior in myself and others, vis a vis such issues, because I have accepted the primary authority of the clear teachings of the 4 Standard Works and Standards of Truth, and of the Living Prophets, speaking from authoritative councils designed by God for this very purpose, to interpret them on sensitive issues, as fundamental truths that cannot be debunked by science.

I hook myself up to the same spiritual machine that jolted me with my original testimony to check such conclusions, from time to time, and that of course is personal. However, that this Church's claim to truth is based upon the reliability of these sources for its limited definition of Doctrine as Truth, is not personal, but can be demonstrated as just part of its system.

Its not, from my point of view, that I don't do my own thinking. I am here looking for "smoking guns" because I never want my personal faith to suffer from ignorance. I will write again soon, I hope, to respond to your ID/Creation comments. I don't believe in a Young Earth, or short creation days, or that the entire universe was created from nothing just to support humans on this one planet.

Also, I hope to write a little of why the Church - in order to keep BYU Science viable, is speaking ambiguously at this point thru some of its outlets, while the more official ones others continue, without interuption or apology, to support The Scriptures and The Prophets.

Take care, and, you are a great satirist

 

Posted by Greg

11/06/2005 02:32:00 AM  

Greg,

You've read this  before, but I have responded to your comment.

I'm running into a problem here, and that is that as you pull right I look like I am pulling left. In my view, I am trying to hold a center position but I fear that you will begin to make me look like an anti-Mormon.

Prophets are not infallible. Even they don't always have a full appreciation for revelation given them. This is evident in our history. To dwell on their falliblity is to emphasize the wrong portion of what they are. But when you refuse to see that side of them and the space that leaves for further learning, clarification, and revelation, it puts the burden on me to argue against infalliblity (or inerrancy of scripture)--but not too effectively lest I destroy their prophetic status, and where to draw that line is a subjective judgment.

11/06/2005 11:31:00 AM  

Jared - A very thoughtful response from you:

Models:

In my opinion, it took awhile to emerge, perhaps, but I believe there exists a model for "infallibility" in the mature Church. If there were not, there would be absolutely no more safety here, than in any other belief system.

If the 4 Standard Works speak in unison, and then, should such a voice be challenged by an "alternate voice," such as "infallible" scientific theory, there is a Council, that of the First Presidency of the Church, designed to speak, on earth, for the Lord Himself.

It is this model you challenge, I believe. In spite of attempts by yourself, (which I have answered here, I guess I will need to find it) and more recently elsewhere, by Clark, that the 1909 Statement is somehow "nuetral" on the origin of man, it was not. It was specifically designed to challenge the "truth" of Darwinian conclusions about our origins. It's "holding" (a legal term) was repeated in 1925 (or whenever it was - a paraphrase here) "the earlier Presidency was correct when they stated that Adam is the primal parent of our race."

All other statements, by scholars or Prophets that are outside of this Council, and are outside of the model. They are outside of the united voice Scripture as interpreted by the Council of the Presidency. All Scientific theory is also outside of the model, if it challenges settled Scripural Doctrine. As a lawyer, I can challenge, intellectually, any statement anywhere, and make something appear "neutral," or "symbolic." However, lawyers do not interpret doctrine for this Church.

I recently had time to visit some of the more recent writings of William Dembski and some very highly trained scientists and mathematicians who post at his website. I found links that included exhaustive and well-reasoned deconstructions of the "Avida" experiments. Are you keeping current on these? These SUPPORT the truth model that your children are being taught in Primary; will be taught in Sunday School, and all correlated classes throughout their lives.

They will NOT be taught these things in certain BYU classes. But, alas, these are outside of the model, and, hopefully, if they follow your professional footsteps, they will not lose their faith in the model, and then in more fundamental things, as many have done.

My daughter's faith in Scripture was challenged there - as she was told to swallow her pride and admit she was cousin to the chimpanzee. I have been studying the subject for the 12 years since that occurred.

I honestly don't know how one can keep a "central position" when dealing with an issue of "what is truth" when the leading council of the Church, established for the very purpose of speaking truth when it is most needed - is challenged by an alternate voice.

It is, from my perspective, like trying to serve "both God and Mammon," one of the two will take precedence and eventually take over. While the Gospel may be viewed as a model, it must be ultimately much more than that, it must be truth. Motherhood is a model. My Mother's conception, gestation, and birth of me must be more than a model, for I am here.

Grant Palmer proposes a model: Reject the truth of the founding events of the Church, but retain your faith in Christ (whatever that means). To me, rejecting the First Presidency's clear and oft-republished statement on man's physical origins in favor of DNA theory is the same kind of model as Grant Palmer's. He does not consider himself "anti-Mormon." Surely, he just wants those of us still believing certain "myths" to hold on to our fundamental faith, and grow up, and wake up to the "facts" he and other "historians" have discovered.

Of course, not all Mormon historians agree with Grant Palmer. Thus, those of us holding to our spiritual experiences concerning founding events can find plenty of knowledgable historians to confirm our views. I don't see much, if any difference between such historical issues and scientific ones, except for a political difference.

All modern scientific research in certain fields in done exclusively in the "man from apes" paradigm. Thus, if BYU is to remain viable as an academic institution, it cannot generate an entirely new format, but, must work within the present one. If all history were based upon a paradigm that excluded miraculous events, there would be a problem in the History Department as well. However, few historians work with miraculous events, so the entire social science department at BYU needn't join the life sciences in being controversial.

Besides the voice of science, what is your model for discovering truth? Do you actually have one? If it is adjustable, does it qualify as a model for discerning truth?

11/12/2005 05:20:00 AM  

Greg,

I believe there exists a model for "infallibility" in the mature Church. If there were not, there would be absolutely no more safety here, than in any other belief system.

That is like saying that because doctors don't know everything and are sometimes wrong, you are no better off seeking treatment from them than from a mechanic.

Underlying everything you write here is the assumption that we are physically descended from God. I've posted on that topic before. As I recently said at Gary's blog, if it is the case, then it has been obscured. The physical reality behind the fall may have been what obscured that relationship. If so, then we may not be in an either/or scenario, but both. BTW, I think Clark would draw a distinction between evolution in general and the origin of man. Thus he would argue that the Church is neutral on evolution, but not the origin of man. (I'm too lazy to look up his specific statements supporting this.)

I don't claim to have a comprehensive model for how the Church leadership works. All I can do is extrapolate from my own experience and the historical record. Clearly the Church has all the truth needed in order to partake of the Atonement and be exalted, and the Priesthood to administer the ordinances. It must remain simple enough that all can partake, regardless of education. This does not mean that all of God's mysteries have been revealed or that we fully understand what we have. Nor does it mean that prophets are always right or never make decisions out of expediency.

I noted this paragraph in Richard Bushman's new biography on Joseph Smith:

"Although listed on the title page as one of the four compilers of the Doctrine and Covenants and obviously in favor of its publication, Joseph Smith was also uneasy about creeds. Later Joseph formulated his own "Articles of Faith" when a curious newspaper editor requested a statement, but he never intended this or any single statement to represent the totality of belief. The flow of revelations prevented him from ever saying the work was finished. Even near the end of his career, he resisted any attempt to stanch the springs of revelation...Creeds fixed limits. They seemed to say "thus far and no further," while for Joseph the way was always open to additional truth: "The creeds set up stakes, and say hitherto shalt thou come, and no further--which I cannot subscribe to." He wanted the door left ajar for truth from every source. He revised his own revelations, adding new material and splicing one to another, altering the wording as he saw fit." (Rough Stone Rolling, p. 286-287)

I don't keep track of Dembski--I tend to be math impaired. I'm more familiar with Behe, and I remain unconvinced--not that God never intervenes or engineers anyting, but that we can reliably detect such. You bring up historians--how would a historian show that God favored a particular group in war? Take the Revolutionary war--if God favored the colonists, how would you prove it? And how would your methodology differ from an upset in a sports game? Both sides pray, both sides have some things go well and some things go bad. Can any of those be specifically attributed to God's intervention? There were other visionaries besides Joseph Smith. Around the same period Ellen White, founder of Seventh-day Adventists, had many extensive visions. We don't accept them, but how would a historian differentiate the two?

11/13/2005 05:52:00 PM  

I don't think that I agree with the way that you have laid out the 'Multi-Step Process', I do like the concept though, portion of this thread in that I am not convinced about the timing of the journey you have outlined. I would prefer to think of the timeline from the time they partook of the fruit to the time they were cast out of the garden, instead of from the pre-existence to the sometime thereafter. There is just no hint in any scriptures or doctrine to indicate that they were 'falling' before the partaking of the fruit.  

Posted by Anonymoose

12/21/2005 11:21:00 AM  

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