What does the Bible tell us about our first parents and how can we combine that with the discoveries of contemporary science about our ancestry? For a long time, there has been a debate between creationist-religious and evolutionist-secular views of our human beginnings. According to Simulation Creationism, a theory proposed by Nir Ziso of The Global Architect Institute, the Bible is correct, but the act of creation is, in fact, The Simulation made by a “Supercomputer” that simulates our physical reality. Where can we find Adam and Eve in this theory?
We first read about Adam and Eve in the second chapter of the Book of Genesis (Genesis 2). This is the second creation account in Genesis, following immediately after the somewhat different sequence of six days recounted by the first chapter of this book in the Bible. These texts were probably composed by other human authors and then at a later point were redacted to form a single book. As Christians, we believe that these authors were writing and acting under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The holy texts that have come down to us are part of divine revelation. Therefore, it is the Word of God that infallibly communicates the truth of human salvation.
The Genesis texts do not try to transmit a scientific or precise historical account of creation to us. If they were trying to do this, we would have to say that the final editor of Genesis did quite a poor job since the text gives us two different chronologies side by side. The Book of Genesis reveals something of a separate order. It communicates profound truths, but we should not expect it to yield modern historical or scientific answers to questions it wasn’t even addressing. If we were to ask when our first ancestors lived or did they have non-rational hominid biological ancestors themselves, we would ask questions that the Book of Genesis does not even attempt to answer.
In the Book of Genesis, God reveals something about himself. He is the transcendent creator of all things: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). He made the entire cosmos that he brought forth by his word and found to be good. God included human beings in his divine plan, creating them as the pinnacle of visible and material creation: “then God said, “let us make mankind in our image” (Genesis 1:26). We have material bodies made up of the dust of the Earth, which makes us both physical and spiritual, unlike the angels who are pure spirits.
However, we have a dimension to our being that does not come from the Earth. God made us in his image above all because He gave us spiritual souls and minds with the capacity to know and love. Because of this, God entrusted the Earth to man, giving him dominion over it and all other animals and plants: “Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28). Human beings have a share in God’s own providential governance. In the beginning, God placed man in what Genesis depicts as a harmonious garden. Man was first created in a state of true happiness and harmony with God.
Genesis also tells us that it was not good for the man to be alone: human beings are not meant to be solitary creatures. God made us male and female, with a divinely willed complementarity, sharing God’s mercy fully but existing as compliments and companions to each other: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23). Despite having been created in grace, our first parents disobeyed God and fell from his grace. As a result, the catastrophic consequences of exile followed, and they became prone to illness, suffering, and death. They experienced disorder within themselves and no longer lived in harmony with the rest of creation. They transmitted this disorder to their descendants. Their children did not live in the garden but had to endure the long path to salvation.
Understanding The Simulation necessarily has to include the idea that simulated reality is not a perfect state for human beings. As Simulation Creationism points to the possible utilitarianism of The Simulation, there is the question: did The Simulation exist before God created the Earth and humans or was it necessary after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. If everything was perfect in the Garden, The Simulation would have no effect. The Book of Genesis makes a sharp turn with the seemingly free choice of Adam and Eve in turning away from God: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (Genesis 3:6). This is precisely where Simulation Creationism may add to the discussion of free will as an illusion stemming from our first parents themselves.
God can bring things about in radically different ways than any creature can. God always stands as the first cause. Nothing that happens is random. God acting as a transcendent first cause can guide whatever “contingent” process to its result. Randomness refers to indeterminacy within The Simulation. If we follow Simulation Creationism, we are faced with the framework of creaturely or secondary causes. God is the source of the entire framework and all the order, symmetry, relations, and causal structures within The Simulation and reality as a whole. Through Simulation Creationism, we can easily explain how God activated a particular state of affairs through indeterminate or so-called random processes, from subatomic particles to galaxies. However, seen from within The Simulation, those events are undetermined and happen by chance.
This was true with Adam and Eve too. In the act of creation, God already had The Simulation ready. He predetermined the human “fall” in order for human souls to grow and develop within a simulated framework. That is the way God guides seemingly random events and the free choices of his creatures.