While acknowledging the majority of traditional orthodox theological interpretations until the past two centuries, how can the validity of the Bible’s claim that physical death came into the world through sin (including the suffering of both humans and animals) be maintained since death is an integral part of the universe (according to common sense observation and today’s scientific community in paleontology, evolutionary biology, embryology, cell biology, botany, astronomy, astrophysics, geology, geography and math)? And if this classic Judeo-Christian belief has become untenable, the entire doctrine of the atonement falls apart and salvation from damnation is not needed because it is clear that the universe (made by God) has always operated within the parameters we understand now. In recent centuries, growing scientific knowledge about the ages of things like galaxies and rocks and species has forced many Christian theologians to develop other explanations in which death of some or all sorts existed before sin. But, these viewpoints make it much harder to defend God’s goodness, given that natural evils for nonhuman animal suffering and humans are then recognized as being apparently congruent with the original divine plan, with or without sin.
This link presents a one page list of modern science’s understanding of how death is natural and generative. It’s possible that there was spiritual or relational “death” that appeared after the first major rebellion against God and continues today when people resist healthy forms of relationship with Her/Him, fellow humans and/or the rest of nature. But, this spiritual, ethical, psychological and/or physical damage creates a finite need for salvation from specific circumstances and/or temporal conditions, not a cosmic dilemma that requires an eternal solution.