Was the Earth a Perfect Paradise Before the Fall?

Yes. I’d like to hear more explanations of kinds as a “hidden concept.”

I’d also like to see explanations of “the distortion of nature at the fall.” After all, the major change for Adam and Eve was being banished from the garden in the Eden region and for the first time working to survive in the untended wilderness outside of it (and no longer having access to the fruit of the Tree of Life.)

(I wonder if @Robert_Byers or anyone else here holds the view that the entire planet earth was a “perfect paradise” before the Fall. If so, perhaps we could explore that on its own thread.)


It’s the whole premise for YEC John Sanford’s anti-evolution book Genetic Entropy. Humans were created with a perfect genome which has been degrading through “genetic entropy” ever since The Fall.

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Interesting. I wonder how he defines a “perfect genome”.

Of course, nothing in Genesis claims that humans (or their original environment) were made “perfect.” Indeed, we know from the Biblical text that they were created in such a way that lack of access to the fruit of the Tree of Life would make them subject to death. That doesn’t sound at all “perfect.” (Obviously, the Genesis text says that creation was made “very TOV”, meaning “very good.” or “suitable.” Nothing is said about perfection.)


Free of deleterious mutations.

I asked him what he thought was happening in the Garden to prevent genetic entropy. He thought it might require God’s active work to prevent.

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That brings to mind a memory from long ago of John Whitcomb Jr. speaking at a church (around the time that The Genesis Flood was first published) where I heard him claim that “the law of entropy” and “the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics” did not apply in the garden of Eden until after the Fall.

I don’t know why I never asked him (in the years I knew John and when I visited the Grace Theological Seminary campus to speak) to explain how Adam and Eve could digest food, use muscle power, or work uphill without slipping if the The Laws of Thermodynamics did not yet apply. But his argument was that the original creation was “perfect” and “without any sort of decay” so he said that the The Laws of Thermodynamics were contrary to such perfection.

Not many years ago there was a special 50th Anniversary Edition of The Genesis Flood published to much fanfare. I was really surprised that there was no editing or efforts to address some of the most glaring concepts in the book which even many YEC ministries now reject.


@AllenWitmerMiller well said. Furthermore, this argument is no longer used by YECs today, so one would think that the new edition might at least add a footnote to represent the major changes in YEC apologetics. We discussed this paper by @KenKeathley before.

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Sanford is very clear to distinguish his formulation of genetic entropy from the 2nd law. So he arguments aren’t the same thing. It is not much different than the conditionally imortal view thatany of us might find plausible. Adam was created mortal but gained immortality by way of continuous access to the tree of life.

I was trying to avoid that possible impression when I introduced my remarks with “That brings to mind a memory from long ago…” I probably should have been more explicit. Obviously, genetic entropy is not about the LOT entropy that Whitcomb was talking about. I was simply sharing a memory that the word “entropy” brought to mind. I considered it topical because the title of this thread is “Was the earth a perfect paradise before the fall?” and Whitcomb’s poor understanding of The Laws of Thermodynamics directly relates to his view of paradise before the fall.

So I wasn’t addressing Sanford. I was addressing Whitcomb’s ideas about the thread topic.


YES. the earth was a paradise with no death or decay of living beings. Resurrection of jesus means death will one day be ended.
YES its true the tree of life was there to be eaten. Yet it doesn’t mean one could die without eating it. Or creatures.
We would have no immune system, no decay of elements in the universe unless useful, perfect beauty( accurate symmetry) it is paradise lost.

@deuteroKJ this argument is still kicking around, though it is less common now. I see it from a few die-hard YECs on Facebook sometimes.

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“Buy my book” (from all reputable dealers, but probably not for a few months yet!)

The Bible doesn’t say that the earth was a perfect paradise, ever - it was a good earth, and paradise was a special sacred garden within it. And we’re not even told that the garden was “perfect.”

And the Bible doesn’t say anywhere that it was distorted by the Fall - there was a curse on agriculture for Adam, which may have been temporary since it’s never mentioned after the Noahic Covenant, which might well have been fulfilled simply by exile from the garden to the ordinary world, and which, in any case, is only said to have involved a superabundance of spiky agricultural weeds.

One large bottle of Round-Up, and there’s your curse sorted!


Immortality doesn’t equal perfection.


And this might be nitpicking but, dude, capital J.


This is one of those occasions where I agree with Robert.

But then, I take an allegorical view of the Adam & Eve story. And in story telling, perfect worlds are possible.

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So that’s where the YEC idea of genetic decline comes from. Useful info for the next time I encounter that one!

I really don’t get YEC. The only time I was YEC was when I was four and thought that the world started 2000 years ago with Christ.

I was four, it was year 2000, it seemed fairly obvious to my four year old self.


I think YEC is fundamentally a push-back against a rapidly changing world. People hate change, and change in constant.


Doesn’t “deleterious” depend on the details of the environment? What’s deleterious in other parts of the world might not be so in the garden, and vice versa.

Did Adam need repeated doses from the tree of life to avoid death, or would one fruit do it? God’s statement upon the expulsion would seem to indicate the latter. It seems silly of Adam never to have sampled that one tree, but that’s the story.

I wonder how rigorously Sanford defines “deleterious mutations”. Obviously, what may seem “deleterious” in one environment/ecosystem might actually be beneficial in another, for example.

Regarding no decay and no death in the prelapsarian–before the fall–world. Modern creationists (maybe neo-creationists is a better term) can say that there was no death or decay but one has to realize they have a particular definition of “life” in mind that might be different that yours. Many YECs are moving to an interpretation of nephesh as that which was “living” and now dies but nepesh for them may probably doesn’t include plants, bacteria, fungi and “lower” animals possibly including insects. So you need to ask a YEC when they say they believe the prelapsarian world had no death what they mean by death before proceeding. Afterall, if something isn’t “alive” then it can’t die. So plants could be eaten by animals and Adam could step on an ant and “kill” it because that would not be death.