On the other side of his literary patch, Zimmerman’s text flows like water to the ocean of “Christ the Pantokrator”. He wrote not a word about Adam and Eve setting the stage for the extinction of the Neanderthal, colonizing all the temperate continents (driving many species of large mammals to extinction in the process), and the so-called “Paleolithic Revolution” (in killing potential, especially with the invention of the bow and arrow) that his synthesis implies. These ideas were “in the air” back in the 1980s and 1990s, the time of writing. Why ignore them?
Perhaps, the Religion of Progressivism was already busy marketing the sin of this image of “Adam and Eve as the first of our species”: Man the Hunter, the Oppressor of Nature, Who Dominated Women, the One Who Killed the Neanderthal, Who Drove Animals to Extinction, Who Could Not Be Stopped. On the other hand, they also made great art that we can intuitively identify with, like the Lascaux cave paintings.
The idea of “what went wrong” between the Progressive and the Christian perspectives cannot be more different. For the Progressive, “man” was, and still is, a destructive automaton (solution: control). For the Christian, “man” was, and still is, the locus of choosing (solution: liberation).
Naturally, Adam and Eve chose wrong. Zimmerman quoted the Catechism (of the Catholic Church, hereafter CCC) in this regard at the end of Chapter 5: (Point 387) … Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God, we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, and so forth. Only in the knowledge of God’s plan for humans can we grasp that sin is an abuse of freedom that God gives to created persons …
… the freedom to do what humans were created to do. So Adam and Eve’s wrong choice had consequences. We (their descendants) could not do what we were created to do. At least, not well. So we substituted whatever we imagined “what we were created to do”. For example, the Progressives were created to control the destructive automatons. In this commitment, they take their version of Original Sin more seriously than Christians do their version. Unfortunately, like all other group-thinkers who fashion that they can outfox the fox, er, out-serpent the serpent, they will not do it well. After all, the Progressives are destructive automatons, too.
The expulsion from Eden (which Zimmerman describes in Chapter 6) drew a veil. Once outside the garden, Adam and Eve were free to do whatever they imagined that they were created to do.
No doubt they looked back – at that weird flaming sword – and thought: What the hell happened to us?
There is immediacy to this question. My guess is that if Adam and Eve were the first humans, then after 200,000 years, or 10,000 generations, that immediacy would be lost. We would be used to our sinfulness. The only solution would be control, in the same way that the domestic dog requires a leash. In short, if Adam and Eve are to be located deep in the Paleolithic timeframe, then the Progressives are divinely inspired.