Firstly, thanks for that. Much appreciated.
Humanish people have been around for thousands of years - like 40k-odd years, as far as I know. What appears to differentiate us from hunter-gatherers is mastery of environment and organised worship.
I think Dawkins said 10,000 years in a mid-1090s letter to Prince Charles. At that point we made the transition from hunter-gatherer to agriculture. Hence what differentiates us from early man is farming methods, ability to use tools. In a word, civilisation.
I wonder (perhaps you could say) how intrinsically linked worship is with civilisation, in terms of time scale. I think civilisation is certainly consistent with the God-breathed side of things, but if civilisation existed before worship, then that would certainly pose some problems for my current, tenious, position.
This I associate (symbolically/metaphorically/literally/all of the above) with God's breathing of spirit into man and decreeing his dominion over plants and animals.
I'm not sure you've done enough to support that belief. Why should it be God, rather than, say, natural selection or adaptation?
I'm certainly not trying to support it empirically. I also needn't see natural selection and adaptation as naturalistic (see Plantinga's evolutionary argument).
I'm commited to Christianity (insomuch as I'm convinced of my relationship with God through Christ). This also involves historical claims (ie: the resurrection of Christ) for which there will never be convincing, well, so convincing it would convince someone who already held the other position, enough evidence to make anyone change their minds.
This belief is pre-theoretical and properly basic, so I must acknowledge that when I consider things like evolution, my motivation for doing so is that I believe that God's creation testifies to His glory. While things like evolution should not be a cause of concern to Christians, I also must acknowledge that I also seek to reconcile whatever knowledge that I gain with the biblical account.
Long story short, my motivation is internal consistency - with my experience, and with the external world. Convincing others is distinctly secondary since beliefs concerning God are strictly pre-theoretical. So I wouldn't begin to hope that my beliefs would convince someone that God directed natural selection (despite Plantinga's effort), or that God was an alternative to natural selection.
This could be described as evolutionary descent - the shift from hunter-gatherer to moral being.
But is it morality that differentiates us? There is evidence of morality inherent in other animals, including primates. Of course, you may find flaws with the studies that uncovered such evidence, but then you may find flaws with human moral theories.
Try doing a google on animal morality...
Perhaps not morality, though I will google on it. Perhaps morality wasn't the best choice. Depending on how intrinsically linked civilisation and worship are - I think the notion is probably best described as this, because it would incorporate both dominion (rather than co-existence) and spirituality.
But this wasn't the Fall. The Fall is a spiritual rebellion of moral beings from God. Now, I'm not quite sure how this happened. Take, for a moment, a literal garden, and a literal Adam and Eve.
OK, but could it be that the Fall (and I speak metaphorically here) was a reflection of the development of man into a rational agent, able to distinguish between good and evil and thus recognise that the world is generally bad?
This would, of course, have problems with the notion that creation was basically good, which is fairly central. Although, coming to think of it, this makes sense in some respects that I hadnt considered before that could involve some shifts in thinking. I'll think more about this.
Whats wrong with the idea that from the hunter-gatherers, God pulled in two of them and breathed spirit into them - Their descendents (after the Fall) were preferred in evolutionary terms because they could better adapt to their surroundings than your hunter gatherer types?
I wonder if this is begging the question by presupposing God to support the notion of God? Consider how plausible your views would be to a non-Christian, especially an evolutionary atheist.
As outlined above, question begging isn't a particular concern of mine on the issue of God. I take a Dooyeweerdian position on religious commitment and the nature of presuppositions and, as such, am offering this explanation not as an objective hypothesis of how things came to be (though it may very well be) but a religious one - specifically, a Christian one.
Certainly, if it contradicts known facts or facts that become known, then it must be rejected or altered insomuch as it deals with the facts. But thats fine, since I'm only ever primarilly concerned with the theological message of Genesis. Whatever position I ultimately decide on is mine alone - certainly not one I'd advocate for Christian.
Its simply a result of my motivation in satisfying my own intellectual need to reconcile How Things Are with God-belief. If no reconciliation is found, then I will ultimately rest with my properly basic God-belief and be content to suffer cognitive dissonance on the subject as a matter of faith.
I'm not entirely sure what consequence that has on the integrity of my consideration of the subject, though I am quite sure that if there is no satisfying solution I will simply admit that there is none, and that the evidence, as it stands, disagrees completely with Genesis, yet I still believe. Its the Kierkgaard temporary suspension of the ethical in favour of ultimate duty.
Rant over. Thanks again.