Seeker of Truth

Ruminations of One Suspended between Catholic Christianity and Scientific Utopianism

Location: Washington, United States

Monday, July 24, 2006

On Historicity

Is Adam historical? And if not, would there be no fall, no need for Christ, and no validity to Christianity?
Here is one argument: 
It was necessary to formulate 'doctrine' in a way that very primitive people could understand and transmit undistorted through centuries. Could God have explained to stone age jews the concept of evolution, of any other scientific prerogative to a creation story that would hold water with us today? And what if our understanding changes radically once more, in 100, 1000, whatever years? The early transmission of the essence, not the particulars, were the most important, I postulate. Later on, there would be dissent anyway, and also an ability to understand allegory as allegory.
Another point to ponder is free will. If we are serious about that - and we must be if we want personal responsibility and ultimately meaning for our lives, then we cannot have a revelation that explains all in detail, from beginning to end, leaving no room for human faith, exploration, good works, bad works, choice.
Furthermore: What if our current understanding of creation and evolution is flawed by the fall? Can we ever prove that scientifically? What if science is, like other ways of knowing reality, just a transitional step? It has only been atround in a strict sense for a few hundred years, and may yet be obscured by some newer method, impossible to predict in its particulars. The ancient Greeks, Romans, even Egyptians could easily have pursued science or scientific methods, doing experiments, validating theories derived by them, corroborating results, etc. They somehow could not conceive of that, anymore than they could conceive of a steam engine. Why? We don't know. It does suggest, however, that our current way of doing things and conceptualizing them may not be the end of all. I have elsewhere speculated on science's inability to envision an ever-ongoing string of new discoveries, rather than the prevailing attitude of having nearly solved all big questions and merely needing to flesh out the particulars. Here I am proposing something more radical, namely the obscuration of scientific method with other, more effectively revealing and relevant ones, which are able to probe mysteries of 'creation' not accesible by what we currently understand as experimental science.


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