Going just on the text of Genesis, the only logical conclusion is that God wanted them both to bite the bullet/apple from the get-go. He wanted even that to be their choice though. I in their place would have done the same. Sentient beings inherently want to know what it’s all about, just too damn curious. Even the fear of death can’t stop that drive.
Curiosity killed the cat, as they say; but I think the point of the A&E story is that they had the opportunity to obey foresight and because they failed, they had to reap the consequences.
God doesn't want us to die but to live. If God preferred death to life, there wouldn't be anything left alive, would there?
Your theory of evolution as the process of creating A&E is logical, but the text suggests that they did not become 'living souls' until God breathed his spirit into them. I think that would qualify them as a 'new species'.
Soul is consciousness, i.e. the capacity to experience/perceive. Some people think that animals lack souls/consciousness, but I don't. They just haven't developed beyond emotional-reation as their driving motivation. Humans develop the ability to resist reaction to desire/emotion and make choices based on foresight and higher reason, and this is what the story of A&E describes, imo.
Bodies and brains may evolve through gradual DNA changes over multiple generations, but the birth of foresight happens at some single moment. E.g. at some moment a person gets a vision of what's going to happen and that causes them to realize that actions they take in the present are going to have future ramifications. I.e. people become aware of cause and effect instead of just reacting to desire and emotions.
There might be examples when animals do this as well, though. I've seen crows that seem to be able to pre-think what they are trying to accomplish, or a dog who understands that it can trigger a desired outcome with a relatively abstract action. Idk whether these animals are just following behavioral programming, though, or whether they actually foresee effects of causes in their mind's eye and then choose their actions based on that. If so, maybe there is a degree of humanity in some animals as well as people.
But I fear I am becoming sexist in my old age. It’s like Solomon was saying. 'Among men I find only one in a thousand who understand. Among women, - not a single one.' paraphrased that a bit but the meaning is intact. I still hold out a small hope for women. I haven’t known that many yet.
I notice patterns of miscommunication and conflict sediment in us as we age, especially in communication between the sexes. I think it's a byproduct of heterosexuality causing us to seek things in the opposite sex that they don't reciprocate or validate in the way we want, and then the resulting hurt feelings bias us against them.
People loved and were loved by their mommies and daddies as children, and they never quite find that in another person. Really, what we have to do is give love instead of seeking it, but we find that people don't want to receive what we deem as love worthy of giving because they want something or someone else.
Male-female relations are endless complex, though, so I don't think it's worth trying to sort it all out here.