Two articles appear below:

1 Original Sin Debunked               De Kretser

2 The Science of Original sin        Anonymous
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ORIGINAL SIN DEBUNKED

Brian de Kretser

(Investigator 139, 2011 July)


"Original Sin" is one of the major tenets of the Christian faith. It could be taken to mean the sin that Adam and Eve committed by disobeying God and, as a consequence this first sin, the supposed descendants of Adam are tainted with it and can only be redeemed through the grace of God through his son Jesus Christ who died on the cross to save mankind.

Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge" in the Garden of Eden, and were thrown out by God for disobedience [i.e. god had told them not to eat of that tree].  This story is found in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament.

 This sin of Adam was the cause of the "Fall of Man" and is identified by the Catholic Encyclopedia also as the "Origin of Death". It is a foundation pillar of the Christian faith.
 
Adam's sin is passed along in the same way in which God made man procreate [i.e. through sex] to all mankind that followed, hence we are all guilty by association.

Then God set about removing this "original sin" by the death of his son J.C. on the cross.  But this is in dispute:

The son was produced by a virgin (Mary). Joseph the official husband did not have a clue until an angel came to him in a dream and all was revealed. But many historians have questioned this and written that J.C. is the bastard child of Mary who had illicit relations with a Roman archer named Panthera.

Christians claim that baptism would remove the "original sin" but this is rubbish. If it did there would be no reason for J.C. to die on the cross.

One must ask the question, if there is an omni-everything god, surely he would nave foreseen what would happen. Why would he plant this "Tree of Knowledge" and then call attention to it by telling Adam and Eve about it.

Now we come to the serpent. How did he get there? First God made Adam from dust, then Eve from Adam's rib. It follows that he also made the snake as there was no one else around making things at that time. The serpent could walk upright and speak. It was after he tempted Eve that God cursed him to slither on his belly and eat dust.

God then kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden and the two then went about procreating mankind. They had two boys, Cain and Abel.

Let us now dismantle this whole fairy story — one so unbelievable and fantastically stupid it puts to shame any honest fairy story.

There was no Garden of Eden, no Adam and Eve who transgressed by eating non-existent fruit, tempted by a non-existent serpent, therefore no "Original sin". It's mythology only. It's the same old story found in many countries and religions from around the world long before the Jews and Christians got hold of it. "Original sin" has been debated for centuries; a few religions and cultures support it, most do not.

Modern experts argue that none of us are born in sin as the story is only mythical anyway — and thus without "original sin" there would be no need for any redemption through the mythical crucifixion of J.C. In simple words, if there is no sin, there is no need for a savior, and no need for us to be saved.

But Christians cling to this born-in-sin propaganda, for without it Christianity would collapse. It is by this crippling belief in the first place, that Christianity uses to control mankind, with the promise of a savior who by his mythical sacrifice will wash away this mythical "original sin". But outside of Christianity and a few other die-hard cults, we are FREE, not born in sin and Do not need a savior of any kind and do not need redemption.

In conclusion, this diabolical story of sin, like most others in the Bible is an insult to the intelligence and is believed only by superstitious cranks who fear offending their god and not being received into a mythical kingdom of heaven, wherever it is?

Dawkins summed it up succinctly when he stated that religion is a "virus of the mind" in other words Mental Sickness.

Brian de Kretser
Institute for Research into Religions.
Darwin, Australia



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THE SCIENCE OF ORIGINAL SIN

Anonymous

(Investigator 140, 2011 September)


ORIGINAL SIN

The term "original sin" refers to Adam's and Eve's disobedience in eating from the "forbidden fruit" and the consequences of death, suffering, sickness, and human inability to behave ethically. (Romans 3:9; 5:12, 17; 7:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; Matthew 15:18-19)

Original sin is linked to other doctrines such as human origins, the supernatural, and the virgin birth.


HUMAN ORIGINS

The question of whether humankind began with two people in a garden was debated previously and summarized in #90. The essential points were:
1.    Mitochondrial DNA suggests that all humans trace back to one original woman — this does not prove the Adam & Eve story but is as close as we can currently get scientifically.

2.    In 1996 science demolished the belief that humans evolved from Neanderthals. Genesis, in agreement with this, implies there were people who resembled early humans but were unrelated to Adam and Eve. (See #71 p. 5)

3.    DNA evidence proving human descent from earlier hominids is unavailable.

4.    Inbreeding, if humans began with two people, is not a serious objection since if the two founders were "divinely created" they would have no harmful genes or harmful traits to pass on. Focus magazine examines the question of two people in today's situation multiplying by inbreeding and says: "But in time, new mutations would occur, and these would broaden the gene pool. Genetic fitness would therefore tend to increase through the generations. Eventually the population would evolve to be as healthy as if it had descended from many — rather than just two — founders." (May 1997, p.46)


SIN INFECTS ALL

"Original Sin", according to the Bible, led to Adam and Eve's death and to all the medical and ethical problems of humankind. The human heart (the emotional centres), too, became "deceitful above all things and beyond cure." (Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Romans 5:12-18)

For "original sin" to infect all humans, it must have altered the original human genome with the alterations being transmitted by reproduction, making all humans subject to disease, death and sin.

The mechanisms that changed human nature could have included:
1.    Expulsion from Eden: The harsher environment outside produced physical and emotional stress (3:17-19) and contact with mutagenic chemicals.

2.    Altered nutrition: The first humans had to eat from a certain tree to avoid death (3:22-23), but access was cut off.

3.    The new science of "epigenetics" has shown that physical and mental stress, and access to food and types of food, can change one's genes and affect subsequent generations. (New Scientist, 6 November, 2010—"Sins of the fathers") Presumably this mechanism acted also on the first humans.

4.    Co-habitation with human-like "ape men" (4:14; 6:1-4) would have introduced genetic defects into the human genome and susceptibility to diseases. Yong (2011) reports that genes of non-African humans are 1%-4% Neanderthal. The Australian reports: "everyone has between 250 and 300 DNA variations that stop a gene from working normally and between 50 and 100 of these have been associated with a known medical disorder." (October 29, 2010, p. 3)

A related issue is that of human longevity. Genesis records that Adam's offspring lived for centuries. If true, science should eventually discover changes to the human genome that could enable humans to live indefinitely. (Useful preliminary reading is Kirkwood, 2010)


SUPERNATURAL REALM

The "serpent" in Genesis 3, which deceived Eve, spoke, reasoned, and had information about God.

These features suggest we should understand the serpent as a manifestation from the supernatural. Other Scriptures support this interpretation — John 8:44; II Corinthians 4:4; 11:3; Ephesians 2:1-3; Revelation 12:9; 20:2.

I argued for the existence of the supernatural including demons, angels and God in:
•    #102 Demonic Powers and Science;
•    #104 More On Demons;
•    #125 Mary and Gabriel, Evidence Sufficient;
•    #126 Gravity and the Supernatural;
•    #137 God Exists.

I gave several possible scientific identifications of the supernatural realm, but opted for extra dimensions beyond the three, up/down, left/right, forward/backwards, that we observe.

By analogy with a two-dimensional "Flatland", such as a ceiling on which a person can cast any-shape shadow he chooses, I concluded that "an entity manifesting himself in a lower dimension can imitate whatever shapes exist in that lower dimension."

It follows that a 4-dimensional entity revealing itself to a 3-dimentional human could also assume any shape it chooses — whether as an angel, or snake, or anything else.


VIRGIN BIRTH

The virgin-birth doctrine begins in Genesis 3:15 where a "seed", i.e. descendant, of the woman will be wounded by the "serpent" but will finally crush the serpent. No ordinary human can do that, just as Adam and Eve could not. Genesis 3, therefore, implies a future birth of a god-like person without a human father.

Isaiah 7:14 foretold a "sign" consisting of a maiden giving birth. Matthew 1:23 quotes Isaiah 7:14 from the 2nd-century BC Greek Septuagint Old Testament which uses the word "virgin". Matthew says that the prediction is fulfilled in Mary:
All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, God is with us." (1:22-23)

Critics claim that the Hebrew "almah" in Isaiah 7 means maiden i.e. unmarried young woman, not "virgin". "Almah", however, can mean either, depending on context. Isaiah speaks of the girl positively as doing God's will, whereas an unmarried pregnant girl would be a fornicator and, by ancient standards, deserve execution.

These points were debated in Investigator 92-96:

  • Isaiah's Virgin
#92
  • In Reference to "Isaiah's Virgin"
#93
  • Reply to Dowling on "Isaiah's Virgin"
#94
  • Five Unambiguous Virgins
#95
  • One Unambiguous Virgin
#96


The Old Testament indicates in many verses that women produce babies only after having sex with men. Therefore, by using the word "virgin" the translators of the Septuagint showed they recognized, two centuries before Jesus came, that Isaiah was referring to the "Messiah" and future destroyer of the "serpent".  


THE TALMUD

The earliest available Jewish comment about Jesus outside of the New Testament is in the Talmud and in Midrash. Hoffman (1984) defines these as follows:

Portions of the Talmud originally written in the 2nd century CE occasionally refer to Jesus. Hoffman summarizes what the Talmud says about Jesus ("Yeshua"):
Yeshua of Nazareth practiced sorcery and led people astray from Jewish doctrine… he was a trickster and a heretic who mocked the words of the Pharisees. He had five disciples…who healed the sick in his name. He taught that he had not come to add or take away from the Law. He was hanged on the eve of Passover as a heretic…he was the bastard son of an adulteress and a Roman father named Pandera or Panthere…for forty days before his execution a herald was sent out looking for those who would plead in his favour but could find no one to do so… Yeshua would have no share in the world to come. (pp 39-40)

De Kretser (#139) cites Celsus' The True Word (c.178 CE) regarding Jesus being a "bastard". Celsus, however, had no independent information but relied on the Talmud. Although Pandera/Panthere was a Roman name it's probable the Talmud intended a pun on the Greek word "parthenos" meaning virgin. If so, then Pandera is fictitious, a name chosen to produce a pun.

The Talmud, despite being anti Christian, confirms that Jews in the second century C.E. accepted the historicity of Jesus, Mary, Jesus' disciples, the crucifixion, the occurrence of miracles including healing, and that Christians believed in a virgin birth. The Talmud therefore (along with other evidence) refutes conspiracy theorists who claim Jesus never existed and Christianity began in the 4th century.

The Talmud, however, is not objective history — it states, for example, that Jesus is being tortured in hell.

What's the evidence regarding Mary?


BIRTH NARRATIVE

In Mary and Gabriel, A Meeting that Shaped History (#121) I argued that:
"The Nativity stories (Luke 1-2; Matthew 1-2) include accurate history, confirmed astronomy, testable biology, fulfilled prophecy, and plausible supernatural components..."
"Accurate history" includes Herod, the enrolment (census), the existence of Bethlehem and Nazareth, and various dates.

"Confirmed astronomy" is the star of Bethlehem as a twice over conjunction of Venus and Jupiter (#81) on dates consistent with Jesus' death at age 33 in 33 CE. (Steel 1999)

Testable biology is:
a.    The length of human pregnancy. The Romans didn't know how long human pregnancy lasts and estimated 6 to 11 months. Mary's pregnancy [actually "Elizabeth's pregnancy "Ed.] as calculated from Luke was 9 months.

b.    Fetuses in the womb can hear human voices. This was disputed around 1900 (#96) but subsequently confirmed. (New Scientist, 9 July, 2011, p. 17)

Fulfilled prophecy includes:
a.    Luke 1:48 "From now on all generations will call me blessed…" Mary is probably the most mentioned woman of the past 2000 years!

b.    Luke 2:11 says that Mary became mother to "the Messiah the Lord". And Zechariah 9:9-10 which is recognized as a prophecy about the Messiah, states: "And he will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth."

Anyone who denies the virgin birth needs to consider the impossibility of successfully doing all of the following:
1.    Predict a miracle and keep the prediction going for centuries;
2.    Get insignificant peasants centuries later to successfully stage a false fulfilment while opposed by the whole political/religious establishment;
3.    Include scientific and historical points that won't be confirmed for about 2000 years;
4.    Name several nonentities who won't enter public consciousness for a century but who afterwards become known worldwide.

This whole scenario surpasses human ingenuity and smacks of supernatural oversight!


NO SIN?

De Kretser (#139) claims that "none of us are born in sin…and thus without original sin there would be no need for any redemption…"

The Bible disagrees and declares everyone deficient — "all have sinned". (Romans 3:9-18, 23) This is our genetic inheritance "in the flesh". (Romans 7:18; 8:3) Proof occurs whenever people become sexually immoral, steal, speak lies or other inappropriate words (James 3:2), murder, extort, fail to repay debt, kidnap, take bribes, lack self-control (e.g. gambling, smoking, drunkenness, drugs), or fail in generosity, "good Samaritanism", selflessness, and compassion.

"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves" (I John 1:8) Anyone can confirm this by consulting newspapers, television news, law reports, psychiatry, psychology, and history.

The ongoing consequences of sin include poverty, sickness, suffering and despair; and the long-term consequence is the "end of the world". (II Peter 3:7-12) The Bible says humans must either suffer God's punishment, or accept the "redeemer" punished on their behalf. (John 3:16; Romans 5:6)  


DAWKINS

Richard Dawkins has claimed "religion is a virus of the mind". Scripturally, however, everyone is misguided, deceived, and "powerless" to do right, and the "virus" is two-fold:
(1) Defective DNA ruined by original sin, and
(2) Malignant influence from the supernatural realm.


REFERENCES:

De Kretser, B. Original Sin Debunked, Investigator #139, July 2011

Hoffman, R.J. 1984 Jesus Outside the Gospels, Prometheus

Kirkwood, T. Why can't we live forever? Scientific American, September 2010, pp 24-31

Steel, D. 1999 Eclipse, Headline, p. 23.

Yong, E. Our hybrid origins, New Scientist, 30 July 2011, pp 34-38


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