Dr. Daryl Domning, PhD, Howard University
Biologists have shown that the behavior of apes and other animals in the wild is strikingly like our own – much “good” behavior such as caregiving and sharing of food, but also very “bad” behavior. Both promote survival, via natural selection. Because humans have evolved from them, we too have an innate tendency to commit selfish acts, which Christian theology attributed to the “original sin” of Adam and Eve. This explained both moral evil and the physical evils of suffering and death. Our inheritance of this fault has seemed to require monogenism (descent of all humans from one couple), which the evidence of evolution and genetics has rendered scientifically untenable. Instead, evolution explains both physical evil and the human propensity to sin. The simple fact is that matter is made up of parts accounts for suffering and death – which in all cases are traceable to something physically coming apart, on the subatomic or some higher level. This includes the errors in copying DNA that constitute genetic mutations, which are mostly harmful – but which also provide the raw material of variation on which natural selection works. Without this special kind of “physical evil”, evolution could not have produced the diversity of life forms that the Creator pronounced “very good” (Genesis 1).
Audio. (To download , right click on the link and select “Save target as.”)
* * *