Coe's Epigenetic/Enzymatic Implicated Fall

So…the scientific mechanism seems implausible. It it were true it would have a flukish amazingness to it, even if it were not miraculous. Such a reality would strongly suggest God set up our very beings to be altered this way, as a special act he embeds in our biology. That is a natural miracle.

Maybe it’s true.

Questions now turn to why. It is not clear why God would do it this way.

So that either way, moral “innocence” or naievity would not remain man’s permanent condition. In order to understand and glorify God more fully, we must confront the issues of life and death, moral significance versus futility, and not let the fear of death erode our confidence in God’s good provisions for both here and now AND for the future.


The dual scenario of creation can put Adam/Eve anywhere from 700,000 years ago to 6,000 years ago.

@swamidass , would you please, as most generously you can, describe my “scientific natural miracle” scenario? You’ve done very little to help me try to articulate it artfully. I would really appreciate it, even if or as you distance youself from it? After all, there’s a pretty flukish amazingness to the OOL question itself, or to many of the other enigmatic junctures in the developments of natural history… like the origin of consciousness itself! : )


By the way, it bears mentioning that the obviously unique thing about Adam is his disastrously immoral choice to ignore God’s clearly expressed voiced command.

Go ahead, @swamidass , be fearless! Even if we accidentally uncover a “Babelfish,” it WON’T make God “instantaneously disappear in a puff of logic.” : )
Can the clay say to the potter, “why did you not make me thus?”

Your model is that that taking the fruit physically transforms Adam, granting him new abilities that are now reliably inherited independent of genetics.

To make this more plausible, you’ve offered a proposal based on enzymes in the fruit altering his neocortex, suggesting this transformed neocortex became heritable. This explanation does not make sense scientifically because we would not expect the non-genetic enzymatic transformation of a neocortex to be inherited be any means. Genetic alteration doesn’t help either because genetic transmission is not reliable enough to guarantee many of us inherit this trait from him. No obvious scientific solution to the puzzle here is visible. Even if this process was propogated by natural processes it would be anatural miracle. So the scientific theorizing undermines the scenario greatly.

Instead, we should look at this from a more theological point of view, even open potentially to God supernaturally priming us to be physically altered this way, or supernaturally altering people who are born into Adams line. Now comes the key questions. Why would God work to spread the effects of the Fall? Was there an original purpose subverted? Does anything in the text or tradition suggest a physical transformation in taking the fruit? If not, what is this proposal accomplishing in the narrative or more broadly theologically? How does this affect how we understand interbreeding between Adams line and others?

All those questions are were I would focus if I were you.

“I will greatly multiply your pain in chilbirth” as a consequence, not a random punishment. I will have to see if I can more articulately present a scenario, since you are not inclined to see a small change inducing cascading consequences which are so morphologically significant as to be genetically transmissable. What about the first time an octopus, say, was able to synthesize a black, inky substance behind which it could hide?

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That can be understood as the withdrawal of the tree of life.

If we suddenly outlawed painkillers during childbirth, pain in childbirth would greatly increase too. That does not make your case.

That is the disconnect. There are many morphological changes that are highly significant, but also remain genetically untransmitted.

Of course. But you seem unwilling to investigate the kind that possibly are.
It would involve changes to how the gene regulatory networks are expressed, upon interaction with normal or novel biochemical inputs, to the degree that change becomes cascadingly systemic and even affects the developmental pathways of new embryos through the novel reproduction of either ova and/or sperm. Given that right now, the introduction of an ancient but then-novel virus may actually account for the origins of animal consciousness, for example, what I’m asking is certainly fantastical, but not entirely unprecedented. Restricted or forbidden access to the tree of life was not mentioned as an initial consequence of the fall, only as a later one. I am not, in fact, proposing something independent of genetics.

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See anything in these that is suggestive?

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Not at all. I have a very active imagination, but I’m hitting up on a hard wall based on my unfortunate knowledge of biology. If I found a mechanism I would let you know.

I told you your best way forward. Drop the science justifications, and engage the theology.

Very interesting papers. Each one deserves its own thread (and I hope you post them). None of them suggest your model, as far as I can tell.

Go down that path, and you will get a lot more attention. I’m sure of it.

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Already went down your “why?” path, as copied from the above post:
“So that either way, moral “innocence” or naievity would not remain man’s permanent condition. In order to understand and glorify God more fully, we must confront the issues of life and death, moral significance versus futility, and not let the fear of death erode our confidence in God’s good provisions for both here and now AND for the future.”
None of these are can be worked through without moral and intellectual sophistication --which pre-Adam imago Dei humans did not yet possess.

As for Adam’s conveying a “reliable inheritance independent of genetics,” that’s not the path I’m on. And remember, I’m only partially “looking for a mechanism.”

A post was split to a new topic: Evolving Gene Networks

@Michael_Callen, now isn’t that a coincidence?! We were just talking about Science being a distraction from the THEOLOGICAL issues!

For whatever reason, the thread was split just as @jongarvey indocated a general agreement with the theology I put forward.
I am, by no means, out on a limb theologically. I am only beginning to explore the scientific pathway by which I could elucidate what I suspect happened; I have no “scientific justifications” to offer, only forensic suspicions.

@jongarvey isn’t in that split. He did not comment. Did I miss something?

No harm in speculating.