The problems with evolution extend beyond simply the question of suffering. There are countless sort of what-about-this moments that arise when you begin to carefully consider the implications of evolutionary theory for theology. And these range from questions like what does it really mean to be human, to what implications does evolution carry for understanding our purpose on Earth? Now, these are actually questions that are far too difficult, so I'm going to talk about some rather easier issues, some simpler ones. I first want to ask, what about Adam and Eve? And second, what about the doctrines that depend on them? I think, particularly, of original sin, and people being made in the image of God. In July 2009, two scholars from Calvin College in Michigan gave papers at the annual meeting of the American Scientific Association. John Schneider and Daniel Harlow were both presenting on different theological aspects of what to do with Adam and Eve in light of evolution. Both accepted the calculations, made upon recent genetic rates of mutation, that there was never a bottleneck in the history of the human population that narrows down to a single couple. In short, there simply could not be two people, and Adam and Eve, who were the ancestors of the whole human race. So both these scholars wrote papers that then came out in the September 2010 issue of the journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. After the publication of their papers, both professors came under an investigation, which the college called an internal discussion, which resulted in a spotlight of national media, months of process. And in the end, the early retirement of Schneider, though Harlow remained teaching at the college. So what was so controversial about their articles? Why does the question of human origin stir up such huge reactions? Why did this matter so much? If Adam and Eve did not exist as individual people, if humans originated through gradual changes to populations of pre-humans in Africa 200,000 years ago, it raises numerous questions. First, it at least raises some questions about how to read the Bible. For many Christians, particularly evangelicals, the Bible is not just considered to be true. It's considered to be inerrant, which means, to use a quotation from the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, that scripture is without error or fault in all of its teaching. In what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God. So if the Bible teaches that Adam and Eve are two historical figures, it cannot be wrong, or else, for some people reading the Bible in this way, its entire reliability, its entire divine authority come under question. But many biblical scholars have not found the historicity of Adam and Eve to be a problem, because they don't think the early chapters of Genesis are of a strictly historical genre. Rather, these are literary accounts. They're borrowing and reworking images from the ancient Near Eastern context from which they came to teach about the creative power and priorities of Yahweh. So insofar as this is the case, asking whether Adam and Eve are real historical figures is just as beside the point as asking about the historicity of people in Jesus' parables, like the prodigal son or the laborers in the field. It doesn't actually matter to the point of the story whether those people historically existed or not. Others have tried to maintain both a historical Adam and Eve and a commitment to evolution. So Denis Alexander has proposed what he calls the federal headship model. The basic model is that you have a group of protohumans who evolved into physically modern humans. And God, at a certain point in time, grabs two individuals off of the herd. And the pair are instantaneously made into Adam and Eve, full spiritual human beings, Homo divinus, if you will. Denis Alexander will argue that these two people are placed into the Garden of Eden, and are used as a representative test case, or federal head, for humanity. And once they sinned, all others were caught up in both their full humanity and their sinfulness. So this model requires that the human race can be represented by two people who are instantly endowed with a sort of true humanness of some type, maybe a soul or a mortal dimension of some sort. But allows that their bodies evolved, so you can sort of hold evolution and a literal Adam and Eve in tension. Now, some people really like the federal headship model, but I don't find it terribly convincing. There are a number of points that are troubling. Biblically, it tries to say, well, no, Genesis is not history and shouldn't be read as such, but we can have it at least somewhat be history. So Alexander still wants to say it's important that Adam and Eve are historical people and situated in the Middle East. But not that Adam was made from clay, or that Eve was made from Adam's side, for example. Equally, the idea has an embedded dualism, a sense that having a human body does not actually entail being human, until something else is added. And then there are questions about how the whole population could suddenly go from protohuman to sinful humanity in one fell swoop. And the questions of whether it's right for God to then impose that sort of sinfulness on all these other people living, scattered across the globe. So for now, I'm going to set this possibility aside, and proceed with Harlow and Schneider's suggestion that Adam and Eve are literary, and not historical, an argument that has all sorts of problems of its own. For example, what about the fall? If evolution is taken seriously, it means that the idea that humans originated in a state of near perfection, including advanced moral freedom and knowledge, with a disinclination for sin, which reaches all the way back to Augustine in theological tradition, simply does not work. There's no non-magical way that a population could evolve from what we know about pre-human populations into the super people of Augustine's theology. Only to then fall back into humanity as we know it today. The very notion of the fallenness implies a height from which to fall, and this is just what we don't have. So as a result of that, theologians have begun to draw on an even earlier theology than Augustine's. They end up drawing on Irenaeus. He was a sort of spiritual grandson of St. John, the beloved disciple who wrote the Fourth Gospel. Irenaeus did not think that humans began from a place of advanced moral and intellectual qualities, quite the opposite. He said that Adam and Eve were like children, like babies who do not know wrong from right. And instead of a traumatic fall from near perfection with the loss of immortality, Irenaeus suggests that Adam and Eve's stumble was more like a child falling because they're trying to stand for the first time. It is a fall, but it was part of the journey of growth into spiritual and moral maturity. Humanity did not plummet from moral perfection into the filth of sin. Rather, they passed from innocence into the complexities of moral knowledge and decision making. And it's more appropriate to talk in this view, about the entrance of sin, rather than the fall, which isn't a biblical term anyways. So sin can remain a strong theological concept rooted in the real human past, but it does not require an original righteousness or an Adam and Eve to do so.