Coe's Epigenetic/Enzymatic Implicated Fall

Continuing the discussion from Fuz Rana Answers @Guy_Coe's Question about Genesis 1 and 2:

Collecting some of the posts about this topic to this thread…

Okay, so one of the theories I’m working on, with ramifications for the “inheritance of a predisposition to sin from Adam” tenet of theology, has to do with a potentially permananent, morphologically-expressed change to human consciousness introduced by Adam and Eve, who both “ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” with the results being a sudden break in their trusting orientation towards their Creator, a sudden sense of shame and vulnerable transparency, and generally a near-permanent moodshift away from the easy innocence and even joyful orientation that had characterized their experience with life up to this point.
It is as if they suddenly took morally and relationally “sick.”
Another related consequence was “greatly increased pain in childbirth.”
Following Carl Sagan’s lead, I theorize that all of this suggests a sudden, perhaps not well-regulated or neurologically received, shift in neocortical neurological networks, dendritic actvity, and the resulting increase in conceptual abilities implied by this new “knowledge of good and evil” – a “supercharging” of brain physiology, which moved us in a saltational leap, permanently past the relative moral innocence we had known in the garden prior to that point.
The concept might be coined, to take your lead, Josh, something like “morphological Adam,” and begin to explain why his influence on all subsequent human births is universal through interbreeding, outcompetition, or deliberate elimination.
The “humans outside the garden” didn’t stand a chance, ultimately.
Given that we’ve just seen above peer-reviewed articles which elucidate “a frameshift adding function to a protein,” we can speculate about whether the introduction of an enzyme or suite of enzymes ingested by Adam and Eve when eating this unique fruit caused a “superactivation” of this relatively subtle ARHGAP11B gene, resulting in a meta-physiological change which resulted in a permanent morphological novelty, and which turned Adam and Eve’s descendants towards a predisposition of (to say it most dramatically for the sake of illustration) becoming genius-level sadists."
The near evidence has Adam blaming God for giving him the woman who tempted him with this fruit in the first place, a blame-shifting technique at the root of all kinds on human self-deception.
Faz Rana will be speaking soon about the potential discovery of a “virus” which may account for rudimentary human consciousness in the first place, and no doubt there will be a significant effort at negation-- but, is it necessary?
Is the fear that we might be discovering the rudiments of an etiological pathway through which the pathology of human sinfulness came into the world really all that scary?
From Faz’s Facebook page: “Coming… Question of the Week via FaceBook Live Monday March 12, 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST
Broadcast from my public figure page (
Does this insight undermine the biblical view of human nature?”
This post then includes the following link:
Your thoughts, @swamidass and everyone else?

@Guy_Coe I always appreciate your support and thoughts.

Still, I’m very skeptical about connecting theological concepts to tenuous biological theories. We barely understand how the brain functions, so this comes off more like science fiction than engagement with neuroscience. Moreover, the details of the virus story do not make it a good candidate for your theory.

It is possible there was a fruit that God used to alter Adam’s biology, but I’m am deeply skeptical that this somehow altered them in an inheritable way, by purely materialistic ways.

I’m much more convinced that it was knowledge that the fruit gave them, not new biology.

As always, thanks for updating us on Rana’s work. One of these days, I hope he will start engaging the scientific work we’ve put forward.

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That’s cool.
It’s just that this new “knowledge” seemed to somehow be beyond Adam’s capability prior to the fall, and so a theory of the neurological pathway to a novel, heritable “mutation” arising (the natural consequence of illegitimate ingestion of the fruit), resulting in a whole new functional morphology that eventually becomes predominant throughout the population is not really any more science fiction than a simple retelling of the known facts, from the perspective of genetics, genealogical theory and population studies.
We know there were “spiritual” things going on during the fall; why not physical things that contributed to the developments, as well?
I almost certainly don’t have the exact components right, but the principle seems sound.

Certainly physical components are important too. Our biological capacity certainly sets the initial conditions for the Genesis narrative. Adam is capable of receiving the knowledge, even before he has it.

I’m not sure of that. It seems that he had the capability to take the knowledge on his own, without God’s help.

Except I have a very hard time imagining this as a “natural consequence” of ingestion in our current understanding of biology. If this is what happened, it appears to just be magic, not a natural consequence at all.

What are you relying on to back up the assertion that Adam “is capable of receiving the knowledge, even before he has it?” When what we’re referring to is “the knowledge of good and evil,” viz., the kind of knowledge that leads to his full moral accountability, at least, if not even a moral culpability for even possessing it?
Carl Sagan suggests, in “The Dragons of Eden” that this is about a period in the development of the human neocortex which describes the change in the state of being from relative innocence to full-blown moral capability, although he doesn’t refer to a saltational event; he merely comments on the startling coincidence between the gaining of such knowledge and the consequence of a “greatly increased pain in childbirth” as a result of this change in mental and moral capacity, most certainly as the result of a dramatic change in the size and organization of the human neocortex.
Why would such a development be considered “magic,” when compared with, say, the evolution of a whale’s blowhole? We have no counterevidence, to my knowledge, that that wasn’t saltational, either.
If it’s “magic,” it’s much less so than current conception of Adam’s “de novo creation from dust” – which can’t even be found in the text. The Hebrew verb “bara” (“create”) doesn’t even appear in the chapter on Adam. “Formed from dust” is an apt description, not for Adam or humanity alone, but for all living things. It simply serves as a reminder to the reader that, despite Adam’s noble calling and high place in creation, he is still creaturely.
Hope that comes across as responsive, and not just merely apologetically defensive. Cheers!

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I think there is a temptation, when one is adept at using a hammer, to think of every problem as a nail. I do not think it is incumbent upon Joshua to define a biochemical pathway for mankind to become aware of their sinfulness. Rather, his task is to show that the view of Adam which the institutions of the church currently have as the sole progenitor of mankind is contradicted by evidence in the natural world.

That is, he is to guide them to the place where they see that they need to take a new look at the particulars of the question “who was Adam?”. He can give them an example to get the ball rolling via the genealogical Adam hypothesis. But it is not his present burden to fill in the particulars. They need to come up with better answers, even if its some version of GA.

This is a case of evidence from the natural universe helping to point out a flaw in most theology- because scripture does not say Adam’s role is the sole progenitor of the human race- he was the progenitor of the line of Messiah who would redeem the human race and a figure of Christ. That is who the Bible says he is. That implies we needed redeeming, even before the original sin, but there is a better explanation for that too.

It was time to take mankind from innocence to accountability. To give mankind the best possible odds, God did not start accountability with each person, from lowliest to most privileged. He started at the top. He started with the best man on earth, the one with the most ideal circumstances and possessing the greatest privilege: The one who had received the breath of God which is the Holy Spirit and the one who had daily fellowship with the LORD. The one with a spouse created of him and for him. That one would be the stand-in for mankind to see if man would, for an age, be liberated or mired.

I remember thinking in my prior misunderstanding how unfair it seemed that we would all be condemned to have a sin nature because of the choice of Adam and Eve. But now I see that we always had that nature, and only the absence of law kept sin out of our lives. The way God choose to do it gave us the best possible odds, and humanity still blew it. This creation, which was never made to be eternal, came built in with the capacity to trust ourselves more than God. Not that God is the author of sin, but He authored choice. It is the wrong choices, the choices outside of faith, which are sin.

Mankind always needed reconciliation, and Adam was the figure of He who was to reconcile us. Even as Christ was the royal representative on behalf of the whole human race, his foreshadow Adam was meant to be also. Adam was given every chance to make the right choice. God did not pick a representative stand-in for the human race who had poor circumstances. Rather, he had ideal circumstances. He had it “as good as it gets”.

Even as Christ came from a special place of fellowship with God the Father, Adam had a special place of fellowship with God- the Garden of Eden planted by the LORD God Himself with every pleasant tree that gave good fruit. There would be no deflections about poor environment or a disadvantaged upbringing that some men still use to hide behind or obfuscate the truth. The truth is that man cannot be righteous in himself even in the best of circumstances. Adam and Eve did not make the choice of faith. They made the choice of self.

Therefore what mankind lost was a state of innocence about the knowledge that they had sinned, not a state of actually never doing things that God would have called sin if a law had been given. Humanity did terrible things but they did not do them in rebellion against God, because no law had been given. Like it says in Romans 7…
“… For apart from the law, sin was dead.9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.”

If you will read the whole passage you will see what I am suggesting about how sin “entered” the world. I say the same thing Paul says about the relationship between sin, death, and the law. Before he knew the law, Adam (the man and the race) had life and sin was dead. But once the commandment came, sin came to life (it entered his world) and he died. What I am suggesting is that the condition Paul describes is just what it was like for those men who lived before Adam. They were alive apart from the law. They were acting out of God’s will, but there was no law and hence no accountability.

Once Adam, as the stand-in for all mankind, broke the law then sin came to life and Adam died (as the Bible defines death). If any of them had been perfect, they would not have died, but none of them were. All of them needed the protection afforded by Adam as the stand-in for all of mankind, even as we need the protection afforded by Christ as our stand-in.

Sin sprang to life. What was once dead had existence in the world. That is what is meant by sin “entering” the world. There is no need for theologians to concoct another method of entry of sin into the world in Romans chapter five besides the one Paul describes two chapters later. Sin was dead before Adam’s failure. After that, it was alive and Adam -
the man and the race- was dead. Sin entered, became alive, in the world.

Death did pass to all men. Not that the evil deeds were greater, but our knowledge that they were evil was greater. The deeds were old. The guilt was new. The shame was new. The separation from God due to willful disobedience and a stained conscience was new.

Romans 5:12 is saying that spiritual death passed, or spread through, all of mankind when Adam sinned, not because of his sins, but because of theirs. Mankind was already doing things God disapproved of, but they were doing so in a state of innocence, like children. As it says in the next verse, “where there is no law, the penalty for sin is not imputed.” That is, it is not charged to one’s account.

If any of them had been perfect, it would not have mattered that the stand-in had failed. They would not have needed Adam’s protection. But because they had their own sins, they did need it, just as we need the protection of the Last Adam. At that point, death reigned. They were condemned, even before the law was given, because, as Paul points out earlier, they had a conscience, a sort of natural law put in their hearts, so they are without excuse.

Prior to the Garden no man was ever asked to live as a person who had faith in God rather than themselves. Adam was the “first man” who had that fateful choice. God decided to take man from a state of innocence to a state of responsibility. He did it with what is still the key question- do we have faith in God to determine what is good and evil, or do we wish to decide that for ourselves?

As Paul said of the idol worship of the pagans in Acts 17:30: God winked at wrong-doing (idol worship in that example) in the times of ignorance, but now calls on us to repent. God’s revelation to man is progressive, and the more we know about who He is the more responsible we are to live in that knowledge. Israel was held to a higher standard than the heathen nations around her. Christians are expected to have a higher standard than the faithless. God had given man dominion over the earth. In Adam, God began the process of progressive revelation to man.

And so, as verse 14 says “death reigned from Adam till Moses.” Mankind went from a state of innocence to a state of sin, and their stand-in now afforded no protection. Until the Law of Moses came there was no other law to keep in order to obtain right-standing with God through obedience to law. Man had still not, and most still do not to this day, learned the lesson that it is faith God desires. Even the first law, the commandment to Adam, was about faith. If our faith is truly in Him, our obedience will in time follow. If it is not, then no matter how determined our efforts are to be righteous by following the law, we will fail.

While the mass of mankind sought a law, a list of rules to follow in order to earn right-standing on a basis of our own choosing, one man got it right. In Ur of the Chaldees, one descendent of Adam we now know as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. That is not to say that he was righteous, but God counted it as righteousness. Abraham did what his ancestor Adam failed to do. He believed God. And from this descendent of Adam would come another- Moses the lawgiver.

Once Moses came, God gave man The Law. Man at last had his list of rules he so coveted. A way he might keep score or have some basis of negotiation with which he might bargain with his Maker. Death did not have to reign. Righteousness could come through following the law, if anyone could do it.

But of course man can’t do that. Death reigned from Adam until Moses, but it reigned even still. That is because the law, meant to give a way to back to life, instead produced more death. But the point of all of that death, produced by more law springing more sin to life, was to make it clear to man, to all of us, how guilty we are. It was to show how hopeless it is to count on our own works to be righteous. It was for the purpose of driving us to God’s real goal: Grace obtained by faith.


Arrgh. I went on too long there I suppose but my point is that Joshua will do much better if instead of trying to propose a complete biochemical and genetic explanation for sin and the fall he simply shows that a new view of Adam is needed and then pose a few questions on views of scripture to address the most obvious questions raised by this knowledge. It is up to them from that point on to engage in “the science of theology” and figure out the theology to explain what both scriptures and universe are telling us.

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No problem. I appreciate your point.

Though, I would not say we need a new view of Adam. Rather I would say that evolutionary science does not appear to press on traditional theology of origins, or at least not nearly as much as we thought. A careful reading of Scripture and thought in theology, traditional views of Adam seems entirely consistent with a genealogical Adam.

Great way of putting.

Exactly. I’m encouraging the full diversity of the Church forward here. I do not think we will find a single answer on the non-essential details. However, my hope is that in the turn to peace, we might take a more Christ centered view of science.


@anon46279830, nothing you’ve said runs afoul of what I am proposing. We are simply exploring different topics at the moment. Joshua certainly need not present what I am proposing, either.
I’m simply surprised that neither he, nor you, apparently, see the heurism in the broad principles of what I’m proposing.
In theory, would there be anything wrong with potentially discovering “a biochemical pathway by which mankind became aware of their sinfulness?”
One that addresses why the result was “greatly increased pain in childbirth,” and which adresses your question regarding the “unfairness” of how we would all be condemned to have a sin nature because of the choice of Adam and Eve" ?
You say that it is not Joshua’s burden to fill in all the particulars. But what if it is mine to fill in these specific ones, as an apologist? If you’re simply not interested in them, that’s fine.
But, I suspect they are at least slightly so to Josh.
I agree that broadly, what we are proposing is a small flaw in the majority theological position --viz, that Adam is presented as the sole progenitor of the entire human race, when the Scriptures clearly do not.
What my burden is, is to see to it that the tenet that we all inherit a sin nature from Adam, does not end up being the baby we throw out with the bathwater, by elucidating a reasonable theory of genealogical transmission.
If Joshua does not see it as helpful, or does not want to help me tune it up, that’s his call. In the meantime, simply know that your overarching theological elucidation above actually fits nicely with this portion of my theory.
@swamidass , what’s your response to my response to you about the charges of “science fiction” and “magic,” if I may ask?
Cheers to you both!

There is nothing wrong with discovering that. However, it would mean reframing my understanding of biochemical pathways, and also of what I understand “sin” to be also. Perhaps I am wildly wrong, but I’m just not sure biochemistry works the way you think it does.

The unfairness issue does not go away in your model. We could ask why God put such a body altering fruit, with inheritable consequences, into the Garden. We have never encountered a fruit like that either. It would have had to affect Adam, and then also become inheritable. That is hard for me to follow if its a biolgoical process.

There are better options though @Guy_Coe than biochemistry. Have you considered the other options? Can you enumerate a few?

That is something I’ve done a lot of work on, socializing it with theologians. This is called the problem of “original corruption.” The problem is that there are a wide range of very opinionated views in theology about how this comes to everyone. I’m working out now what the common ground language could be.

At this point, it has worked of say that corruption is, somehow, a consequence of exile. The “somehow” is an invitation to theologians to insert their prefered theology of corruption here. And there are large number of them. At that point, I’ll suggest that the narrative indicates its “something” about new knowledge that corrupts Adam and Eve, and it seems to be more than just moral knowledge of right and wrong. The way I read it, it seems like knowledge that can be used for good and evil. That, then, gets theologians engaged.

At the moment, however, I do not know a better way than that approximate dialectic. The problem is that they do not even agree amongst themselves.

Is not that a genealogical Adam is incompatible with original corruption, its just that theologians are all over the place in how that happens. They also tend to dismiss scientists (like me) as totally ignorant of the nuances, even when that is not true in my case.

I’m not planning on tuning you out. I’m just hoping you’ll take a view that would not require large revisions of our understanding of biology. It will be easier to move people towards your position if you can do that.

There is a difference with “magic” for creation, and “magic” for original sin. There are theological problems that I see with making God the author of sin. If it required a special positive act of God to create sin or to create process by which to impute us with it, it seems to make him author of sin.

That is, for example, why I do not think the representative Adam models are sensible. They beg the question: Why did God set it up this way? How did Adam come to be our head? How did we come to fall under his headship? Genealogical descent is one answer to this (as I’ve privately shown you the work on existential contingency).

To me, inferring any sort of magic in the creation of original sin (corruption or guilt) seems to make God author of sin. I resist that notion. That is why the “magic” is a valid objection here, for me, and not for the de novo creation of Adam.

Perhaps it would be better for me to approach this question/paradigm via an analogy.
Presumably, in the evolutionary pathway to the full current morphology of whales, the saltatiional instantiation of a supra-cranial blowhole allowed for this species to breathe without fully surfacing, quickly, and then to dive deep again. Any previous iterations of this species would presumably have to stay near the surface, greatly affecting their rate of vulnerability to predation.
Here is a case where a potential saltational morphological change gets spread throughout a population, if through nothing more than attrition.
The analogy to ancient humans who would presumably possess, by comparison to us, neocortices with limited cognitive capacity, despite similar size and volume, who had not yet been exposed to the hyperactivated results, (again, presumably unleashed via an enzymatic catalysis “gone wrong”) of a gene (or suite of genes) that promote dendritic growth, faster neural interconnectivity and encyphylatic crenellation, would be, by comparison, “innocent” of our level of moral and conceptual sophistication, and thus accountability.
To lay an accusation of the causation of evil at God’s feet for the existence of such an enzyme in the fruit is to ignore His warning not to eat of it (yet, at least – until such time as it would presumably become appropriate in the future) is to lose sight of the simultaneous existence of a fruit which could metabolically sustain human life indefinitely, viz. “the tree of life.”
My point is that these were not merely symbolic elements in the story, but actually real.
If this is reasonable, and I think it is, then Adam and Eve’s presumed saltational change in “improperly superwired” brain morphology, in an enhanced neocortex, becomes heritable, and eventually established in the whole human population via outcompetition and attrition.
God is no more culpable for the existence of such a fruit any more than He is for the existence of hemlock or arsenic as naturally occuring poisons.
Adam’s choice to ignore God’s warning, having been swayed to doubt God’s motives and intentions for doing so (remember the Serpent’s deceit on this topic), is what brings these consequences to bear.
Presumsbly, at some future point in Adam and Eve’s development, after longstanding trust in their Creator, such fruit would no longer need to be prohibited, as nothing more than what theologians label “natural evil” (sic-- animal death, predation, natural disasters, etc --all of which are simple ecological necessities in a procreative world.) would be present in this “probationary universe” (beyond the deceitful accusations of the Serpent).
Until the “new creation, a new heavens and earth” comes, “natural evil” is a simple existential necessity, given the limited resources of a single “garden” planet.
Hope that helps to elucidate my scenario, at least, even if the biochemical analogy doesn’t serve for you. I am still hoping you find such speculation of some heuristic value.

Here’s d’Errico and Stringer, who don’t consider my proposal for a saltational event at about 15-20 kya as the “Adam and Eve event” at all, but do reject one for all previous human cultural phenomena. Their explanation for the cultural “big bang” at 50-40 kya works for me, as a secular description of the Genesis 1:27ff event.

Here’s Tattersall, seemingly contradicting at least portions of their view.
Lampl holds saltation and stasis in tension, and suggests research methods to discover potential saltatory events here
Others prefer the term “non-adaptive evolution” (sic) which really disguises the novelty and fitness gain in what results. Go figure!
Perhaps this offers alternatives to my potentially alarming use of the term, “saltational”?

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@swamidass , " So the problem is only underdefined if we fail to specify a particular view of Adam which can be measured against what is observed in the lab or in the field. To their credit, RTB produced a testable creation model. To my view even though its confidence levels are not as high as we might like it was robust on its astronomical and astrophysical points but fell down once we get to Adam and the Flood. It was a testable model and the first part passed the test- maybe not with flying colors, but the second part has not passed the test. They need a new model. I have one, and so do you. Others may have yet more models."
Hence, my fairly specific ruminations, as model building proposals.

So, to be even patently clearer, we already do have evidence for orphan genes bringing about sudden, beneficial, even saltational, change to vital living systems which then become permanently heritable through increased survival rates, perhaps as the result of enzymatic catalysis resulting in the orphan genes’ activation.
Or, if I could descibe the pathway better, I’d appreciate knowing the terminology you’d prefer. And, lest you think it’s a fool’s errand, let me give a citation which I think starts to put me in good company:
“Tattersall, Ian. (2012). The Case for Saltational Events in Human Evolution. The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens. 10.5871/bacad/9780197263112.003.0004. This chapter argues the case that the speciation of modern Homo sapiens exemplifies the principle of punctuated equilibria, i.e. it is a saltational change. Evolutionary saltation is a rather ill-defined Victorian concept that may contrast in various ways with gradual (linear) evolution. The discussion looks at the human morphological and behavioural records in an attempt to discern pattern in human evolution, and particularly in the emergence of Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens is a variable species, although not notably more so than Homo neanderthalensis, which can itself be understood only in the context of its membership in a diverse clade of endemic European species. The record clearly indicates that both modern human morphology and modern human cognitive processes appeared rather suddenly, even saltationally, although not at the same time.”
I have requested the entire chapter from him on ResearchGate, and am awaiting reply.
I doubt that what I’m proposing comes down to a single orphan gene, but I do propose a singular event entailing “catastrophic” (saltational) change in Adam and Eve, genetically and epigenetically heritable to their direct offspring, and echoing down through their lineage and legacy.
Don’t get why that seems like science fiction. It’s certainly not countered by any evidence known to me.
Your comments, @swamidass ?
I mean this to be a nuanced challenge to the seeming dogmatism in your fifth of the eight theses, viz.,
“Adam and Eve did not transmit [easily] identifiable [new?] DNA to any of their descendants. [Even though we know they obviously did contribute heavily to their own first generation children] Genetic information is transmitted only unreliably. Most likely, only some of us inherited DNA from them, possibly even none of us. This means that Adam and Eve’s DNA is not how the image of God, the Fall, or original sin are transmitted to all of us. It also means that if Adam and Eve existed, they were essentially the same biology as those outside the garden.”
What I am proposing is not DNA-centric, but a saltational, heritable, permanent change in neocortical brain physiology, which became morphogenetic in the first generation, and remained that way through favorable “survival” rates, to the degree that Adam’s genealogical descendants are the last ones standing.
The analogy of the fish with newly-acquired antifreeze in its blood is an instance of just such a phenomenon, on a smaller scale, it would seem to me.
Your thoughts?

@Guy_Coe I know you did not ask me, but what you just laid out is highly speculative and is not “Genealogical Adam” as I understand it. I do think the eight theses could benefit from narrowing the scope of the issue (not necessary to address whether man evolved from a common ancestor with apes) but the fifth thesis is the heart of GA. IMHO this thesis just needs the one tweek “did not necessarily transmit identifiable DNA…” to be one of the main ideas which should be kept.

I say that as someone who does not believe that scripture teaches physical descent is a necessary transmission path for original sin, but I do believe GA is (minus perhaps a few isolated groups) what has physically happened in the world. GA is useful because 1) I could be wrong and 2) the hard-core reformed and Calvinist are going to need something like GA which keeps heiritability of original sin for them to first accept the idea that Adam is not the sole progenitor of the whole human race, but his scriptural role is to be a figure of Christ and produce the line of Messiah.

Maybe Joshua grasps what you mean when you write “What I am proposing is not DNA-centric”, but I don’t. It seems very DNA centric, more so than GA. And in a way that is going to lead directly to a lot of very sticky issues regarding race. The idea that Adam was not the first man in that way is not new- nor should it be since it is really what the text is saying. But it got discredited when it was highjacked by racist ideology. That is the broad historical context of what we are dealing with here. I had to deal with that issue in my book on early Genesis, and when people still took it there I edited the book to be even more explicit in showing why who has what of Adam’s physical genes (or epigenes) is not the point. Adam the man was a representative of Adam the race. GA has an important strength in the way it addresses the issue and I see no need to change that.

Rest easy.
I read Genesis 1:1-2:3 as happening significantly earlier than the events which begin to be narrated starting at 2:5.
The image of God was given to all humanity in Genesis 1:×6-27 ff., well prior to Adam coming on the scene, and thus, the basis for the univeral dignity of mankind, and it’s concomitant human rights are thereby assured to all.
There simply is no justifiable basis for racism, and I affirm the monophylogeny of the human race. While there’s room to debate theories of polygenesis versus monobiogenesis, in the end, we’re all fundamentally human, by virtue of God’s gifting to us.
As such, my non-verbal, sight-impaired, but loving and sweet daughter has just as much right to live with dignity as does anyone else.
If you don’t understand what I’m proposing, that’s fine. Many people’s eyes glaze over when I try to explain that part, thinking it’s too terribly difficult to understand the “mechanistic components” [sic] i.e., the physical elements that I’m putting forward to explain a theory of heritable neocortical “overdevelopment” and “oversophistication.”
But really, to my mind, the theory is descibed adequately by way of analogy and illustration above.

I think that is the right approach. Hold opinions, but hold them loosely, working to help us all move forward. Thanks @anon46279830.

The problem @Guy_Coe, is that I know of no case where all the following is true:

  1. eating an enzyme grants new biological abilities.
  2. these new abilities are now reliably inherited by all offspring
  3. this inheritance proceeds independent of DNA, because DNA is not reliably inherited

I just do not see how an ingested-enzymatic change to Adam and Eve’s brain would be inheritable to their offspring, independent of their ingesting that enzyme.

That is why it sounds like science fiction to me, a step beyond speculation. You are using scientific entities (enzymes, and cortical circuits), but these entities do not appear to do the work that is required of them.

@swamidass : Would it help to ask the analogous question, viz. what kind of metabolic or other cellular pathways could be explored to explain how the fish suddenly began producing a blood-borne type of antifreeze (a change which become a fixed, heritable trait, by virtue of how much advantage it conferred, and thus directly affecting survival rates)?
What role could an ingested substance play, for example. If you know of none, that’s fine. What we’re really talking about here is something that would pass through the “body-brain barrier,” like THC or other substances do.
Or, if you’re not interested, feel free to say so.

Here’s a more directly analogous example.

Any thoughts, @swamidass ?