One of the things evangelical Christians do that completely baffles me is ignore the earth under their feet and instead live in a never-never land of theology. They want to imagine science and religion coexisting but they do it by completely discounting the laws of physics.
If there are god(s), it seems to me they would create the mechanisms of the universe (gravity, mass, energy) and let it run. Whatever you think the starting point of the universe is, it’s pretty clear to anyone looking that it’s still creating stars and planets. The universe is a star and planet making machine even now.
Except according to Christians, the earth and sun and moon were created completely separately from this universal process.
So to imagine that the earth was some kind of heavenly place before Adam and Eve “ate the apple” seems utterly ridiculous – beyond the normal ridiculousness of talking snakes and Adam and Eve playing hide-and-go-seek with God. Even if you think Adam and Eve were actual people in the Garden of Eden, why would the earth be made of something then other than what it’s made of now?
Case in point, creationist Ken Ham. He made the case after the recent Nepal earthquake that natural disasters are a result of “The Fall.”
“You see, God’s original creation did not contain earthquakes or any other natural disasters.”
You might accuse me of using Ken Ham as a straw man but I’ve heard other seemingly intelligent Christians like Justin Brierly of the “Unbelievable” podcast talk about a “fallen world” when discussing the problem of evil and death in the world.
As we have seen in the past, Christians think natural disasters have a cause and it’s not tidal forces, or weather patterns, or plate tectonics. No, it’s either homosexuality or in this case “Original Sin“.
The argument against this nutty thinking is to just look at the rest of the universe. Stars are exploding, there are storms on Jupiter, there are ice volcanoes on Titan. I want to ask if Adam hadn’t sinned, would Jupiter still have the red spot (storm)?
When someone steps off a building and falls to the ground and dies, the cause of the fall is gravity, not sin. Same thing with earthquakes. We are on a cooling planet with a hot center and a cool crust of tectonic plates banging into each other causing earthquakes and mountain ranges. It has nothing at all to do with original sin, even if you think original sin is real.