I have a theory about how people were supposed to function before Adam and Eve fell into sin and it comes from Savants.
Savants are people who often display incredible, super-human like abilities in certain areas such as math, music, art, memory, but it is often accompanied by other mental impairments.
In an article on Psychology Today, Michael Jawer says that Savants have incredible memories allowing them to perform seemingly impossible feats.
Jawer cites a 14-year-old blind boy who flawlessly played Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 after only hearing it once or Kim Peek who was able to read books extremely fast by using his right eye to read the right page and his left eye to read the left page and could completely memorize a book by just reading it once.
There are others who can do incredible mathematical calculations and some who can tell you the day of the week of any given date.
According to Jawer, while these people lack in other mental aspects, they have a tremendous memory, but it is narrow and focussed specifically on the unique ability that they display.
But there is also a second group of Savants, who seemingly acquire an incredible ability overnight. Referred to as Sudden Savant Syndrome, a person who had no interest or talent in a particular area suddenly acquires it.
In his article on this group of Savants, psychiatrist Darold A. Treffert speaks of what happened to “S.S.,” a woman in her forties, who suddenly began seeing things differently. There were colours and textures she had never seen before.
Though she had never painted before she suddenly had this urge, and Treffert writes:
[She] found a photograph of a gorilla on the cover of an old National Geographic magazine and sat down to draw it. The result — a rich complex pastel painting with uncanny realism — stunned her friends and family, particularly in light of the fact she had never shown an aptitude for art or even an interest for that matter, and she never took an art class before.”
Treffert points out that these people have an instinctive knowledge of “the underlying rules of music, art or math, for example — none of which the person has studied. They know things without ever having learned them.”
Maybe I am wrong, but I often wonder if through Savants we are seeing hints of how God originally created men and women. We were created with an incredible Savant-like memory and ability, without the offsetting negative disability associated with today’s Savants.
But this was lost when man fell into sin.
So what do I base this on?
In the garden of Eden, God warned Adam and Eve not to eat from a forbidden tree:
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:16–17).
It was called the “tree of knowledge of good and evil.” The Hebrew word for knowledge, da’ath, refers to knowledge, perception, discernment, ability and skill. So God warned if they ate of this tree, mankind would gain a knowledge and even an ability associated with good and evil.
For the first time they understood what evil was, but just as importantly the verse also tells us that for the first time they understood what good was. They understood these two dimensions and they understood their differences.
The Abridged Browns-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon describes da’ath, as a “knowledge with a moral quality.”
What exactly was this referring to?
I believe as they gained a knowledge of evil, it was balanced by a knowledge of good. In other words, after eating of this tree, Adam and Eve had a conscience. And we see this on display, when both were suddenly aware they were naked and created make-shift clothes to hide their nakedness (Genesis 3:7).
I believe this conscience, balancing good and evil, lurks in the background of every thing we do today. Without a conscience, the world would be an incredibly dangerous place to live, and we see that displayed by psychopaths who lack this moral compass.
But in the process, the capacity of our minds was massively reduced by this conscience that controls every part of our day. In other words, it consumes immense amounts of our mental ability.
If I am right, without this conscience, all of us were destined to be savant-like, displaying incredible ability without the offsetting mental incapacitation we see today, that is also the result of man’s fall into sin. I believe sin corrupted man’s genetic make up allowing these type of conditions to show up. This is why we will all be given new resurrection bodies at the end of the age.
I suspect this conscience, necessary in a world dominated by sin, has actually held back man’s development. I can only wonder what civilization would look today, if every person functioned as originally intended.
But like I mentioned earlier, it’s just a theory.
READ: Islands of Genius: How Savants Do What They Do AND Brain Gain: A person can instantly blossom into a Savant — and no one knows why