Dating the Fall: A Conjecture

The paper Kittler, R., Kayser, M. Stoneking, M. Molecular evolution of Pediculus humanus and the origin of clothing. Current Biology 13, 1414 - 1417, (2003) takes a common approach in older molecular clock papers “the null hypothesis of a constant rate of evolution was not rejected”. NO - the null hypothesis should be that your assumption is incorrect, not that it is correct; you should assume that the rate of evolution was not constant unless evidence clearly supports a constant rate. The date was calibrated by a single data point, the supposed 5.5 million year divergence between humans and chimps, obtained from another molecular clock paper. With the lack of a good fossil record for chimps, that date is appreciably uncertain and should not magically lack an error bar, as too many molecular clock calibrations do. They assert that environments are quickly invaded once available, so the primarily clothes-dwelling body lice ought to have originated quickly after clothes did. But environments may be invaded quickly or slowly; there is no fixed pattern.

Much more sophisticated molecular clock models are available today, though calibration often remains highly flawed.

The topic seems suited for lousy puns, maybe even unbareable, but there’s a separate thread for such.

If there was a “moderator vacancy” and applications to fill the vacancy were solicited, I must have missed it; that and your selection to fill the vacancy. You don’t like my sandbox and what I do in it? Report me or find your own sandbox to play in. In any event, you’re welcome to continue ignoring my second post in this thread:

Lighten up, Terry, he was just making a joke, not criticizing. It is sometimes hard to see the wink on the internet.
I enjoyed the article you shared on family trees, and one quote from it that struck me was:"…80% of the people at that time in the past will be the ancestors of everyone in the present." With that in mind, it is interesting to consider that 80% of the world’s population in the fairly recent past could be our literal Adam and Eve collectively.

Indeed, especially when the winker appears to take my initial conjecture even more seriously than I do.

The part of that same article that struck me was:

  • "A question about Jesus’s genealogy was rather interesting and the answer has astounding ramifications.
    • “The Bible says Jesus was a descendant of King David. But with 1,000 years between them, and since King David’s son Solomon was said to have had about 1,000 wives and mistresses, couldn’t many of Jesus’s peers in Holy Land have claimed the same royal ancestor?”
    • “Theory tells us that not only would all of Jesus’s contemporaries be descended from King David, but that this would probably be the case even if Solomon had been into monogamy.”
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Yes, it is my bad jokes, not good suggestions about understanding Genesis 2-3, that should be deported to another thread.

Although the exact pattern of ancestry could be complicated, depending on the level of marrying within a tribe, etc., probably a very large proportion of the Jewish population in New Testament times could trace ancestry back to David, just as practically anyone with western European ancestry today is a descendant of Charlemagne (for similar reasons). Most of them would not have any credible claim to the throne, if there had been any prospect of the Davidic line being restored to physical kingship; the identification of Jesus as David’s descendant is a more specific claim, possibly complicated by issues such as levirate marriage.

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Our Bibles are the same, I’m sure, which is why I’m certain yours doesn’t say that there had never been clothes before God made them for A & E. I am quite prepared to define “human,” which is not the same as “homo sapiens.” A human, according to Genesis, is a being created in God’s image which includes religious consciousness.
If we use your figure of 13,000 years ago for the origin of farming, that is still a better date than guessing when God made clothes. My point about what happens in the story has nothing to do with the names assigned to the first couple to receive redemption. Whatever you call them they are not presented as the first humans or the ancestors of all humans; the Orthodox Jews got this point right. See The Lonely Man of Faith by J. Soloveitchek.

I suspect that mine, and yours if they’re the same, don’t say a lot more than what they do say. But there’s a difference between what I say my bible says and what you say our bibles say, and I’m betting–based on what you’ve posted in this thread so far–that the difference is irreconcilable. We can both now put it on the shelf and forget about it.

I don’t doubt that you are.

That’s irreconcilable difference #2.

If “humans as ‘image bearers’” is a topic that you’re interested in discussing, I recommend that you go to Antoine Suarez’ thread "A.Suarez’s Treatment on a Pope’s Formulation for Original Sin’s Transmission! to roll that hockey puck around on the ice.

To quote someone whom I respect very much,

Of course it doesn’t. I just wanted to make sure you didn’t think I was emotionally attached to the names “Adam” and “Eve”.

Whoopty-do. I’ve played with “Captital ‘O’” Orthodox Jews on a bumper-car court elsewhere and was so exasperated by bending over backwards while trying to engage in civil conversation and banter, that I had to walk away. I’ll take your word for it that “Orthodox Jews don’t believe that the “whatever you call them” were the first humans or the ancestors of all humans.” IMO, they’re difficult to communicate with and, given their esteem for the 45th U.S. president, discourage attempts to do so more often than not.

Meanwhile, there’s still the issue of what what Genesis has to say about the Fall to contend with.
IMO, it says, essentially, that:

  • Once upon a time, all that existed was Good,
  • Something not good, involving the earliest humans whatever their names were, happened,
  • Without divine intervention, the not good definitely ain’t getting better and is only going to get worse.

I see it slightly differently. Adam and Eve learned of good and evil, and that was the big change.

Genesis 3 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

To me, the Genesis story is trying to explain why humans are moral beings and why animals seem to lack morality. It is because humans learned of good and evil, and in the process we lost our innocence. So it wasn’t as if evil didn’t exist, it’s that we learned about it. There was also some disobedience involved, but you can hardly blame them since they didn’t know the difference between good and evil before that.

Going through those master degree postings on genetics was tough sledding but on the topic of dating the Fall here’s a problem. If we start with the understanding that the events in the Garden of Eden take place in a special realm in the Heavenly Kingdom and the Fall is to be understood literally: Adam and Eve literally fall from Heaven to Earth then what is the passage of time between their banishment from Eden and their arrival on Earth?

We don’t get a clue from the scriptures. The timing could be anything from an instant to eons and eons.

Unless God chooses to bless us with such insights I’m afraid we have to write this one up as a mystery.

Cousin, I don’t know what Bible your understanding is rooted in, but in my Bible, the Garden of Eden was on Earth. How so?

  • Genesis 2:5 Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living. 8 The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. 9 Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
    • I don’t presume to know where you are from, but here in Los Angeles, East, West, North, and South are directions relative to locations on Earth. Anywhere else in the Cosmos, you’re going to have start with a location on Earth or make up your own directions and call them whatever you want.
  • Genesis 2:10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
    • Here on Earth, I can show you a map of where the Tigris and the Euphrates are. If you’re interested in where another Tigris and Euphrates are on some other planet, I can’t help you. But the only planet that I know of where those two rivers AND the Garden of Eden are is our Earth.
  • Genesis 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
    • The way I read that, regardless where the Lord God created “the man”, He put him in the Garden of Eden with “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”, … which was here on Earth (barring any evidence that you can provide showing it was somewhere else in the Cosmos).
  • 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” … 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
    • A moment’s reflection, I hope, will reveal to you that, regardless where the Lord God created Adam, Eve definitely didn’t “fall from Heaven to Earth”, because–as I have shown–Adam was in the Garden of Eden, naming the animals, on Earth and Eve was fashioned from one of Adam’s ribs.
  • Now, as for the “problem” to which you refer, i.e. the amount of time–which you incorrectly identify as “between Adam and Eve’s arrival on Earth after a literal ‘Fall from Heaven’”–that in my Bible, was between Eve’s creation and Adam and Eve’s banishment from the Garden of Eden, I agree that Scripture doesn’t tell us precisely how much time passed between Eve’s creation and the banishment from the Garden. However, the absence of a precise range of time stated in Scripture does not give us complete freedom to make up silly possibilities, to wit:
    • That an “instant” could have separated Eve’s creation and Adam and Eve’s banishment from the Garden is preposterous, although you may be forgiven because it is clear that you are unaware of the fact that an “instant” is a dimensionless point on a positive real number line, not a temporal duration.
    • Your suggestion that the time between Eve’s creation and Adam and Eve’s banishment from the Garden could have been “eons and eons” is equally preposterous, but forgivable if you were intentionally trying to be funny.
      • An eon is, according to the dictionary:
        • an indefinite and very long period of time, often a period exaggerated for humorous or rhetorical effect, e.g. “he reached the crag eons before I arrived”
        • in Astronomy and Geology, a unit of time equal to a billion years, or
        • also in Geology, a major division of geological time, subdivided into eras, e.g. “the Precambrian eon”.
  • In fact, Genesis tells us in 5:5 “So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.” Since Eve was created after Adam and is not still alive, a “reasonble” guess for the time between Eve’s creation and Adam and Eve’s banishment from the Garden of Eden" would be “less than 930 years.”

So, Cousin, you go right ahead and write up your mystery anyway you want to. But you’re going to have to count me out.

I’m wondering Terry if you’re an attorney by profession? Anyway here is a fundamental problem with your argument: where on Earth do you imagine you will find a cherubim with a flaming sword? Or the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge for that matter? These are things of the Heavenly Kingdom.

Eden was apparently a test for humanity: do we live in the perfection of the earth-like Garden of Eden or do we suffer this less than perfect place you and I live in. Note there don’t seem to be any aggressive animals or hostile climate conditions In Eden, just perfection.

In your quote from Genesis 2:5 it says that God creates Adam before there are any plants on Earth which suggests the experiment with Adam and Eve takes place place very early in creation which would mean your numbers are not going to come close to working.

There are aspects of Eden that seem familiar but careful reading suggests they’re only earth-like. For example we know of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers but who has heard of Pishon River? Also as humanity, including our military personnel, have known the Tigris and Euphrates for millennia no one seems to have found Eden where the waters for these rivers come from.

Remember that God warned Adam and Eve that if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge they would know death. If Adam and Eve had obeyed God we could have had immortality in the perfection of Eden but have heart! In our future lies the wondrous New Jerusalem. We shall be redeemed!

LOL! Bite your tongue, no! I’m just a retired, 72-year old OF trying to keep his mind busy till my horse drops.

You’re going to have to do better than that! Your “things of the Heavenly Kingdom” assumes that they still exist, somewhere not on Earth. Your assumption is false, of course, if they “were” on Earth, but ain’t anymore. I call your assumption and raise mine: They were on earth, but ain’t anymore.

“Apparently”? You’re a hoot!

Well, at least I’ve got to hand it to you: acknowledging that it was perfection, not, like some knuckleheads who try to say that it wasn’t perfect, it was “just good”.
But you argue like the silly atheists, heathen, and cockamamie Christians who have never heard of “The Catastrophe Theory”,

The Catastrophe Theory says that if you have an ideal, stable, dynamic system, it can undergo minor changes (i.e. perturbations) and can and will continue being an ideal, stable, dynamic system, … unless and until, that is, a singularity event occurs–kind of like the Big Bang that relativists are always jawing about, or a singularity point on the border between the ideal system and an imperfect, unstable, dynamic system.

In that case, the singularity event expands like a bat out of hell itself, rushing into the stable system, and wreaking havoc and grief everywhere. This confirms a principle, fairly well-known and often forgotten: The principle called “The fragility of the Good”.

The Good is fragile; the Bad is not. In order for a system to be stable and Good, beaucoup things must be true. In order for a system to be unstable and Bad, it only takes one thing to be unstable and go Bad. Good is fragile; Evil is an avalanche of rocks. The mystery isn’t why there is evil in the world, but why is there still some good? IMO, that’s my “proof” that there’s a God. I just don’t expect anyone else to belief it; consequently, I’m not surprised when others don’t.

What Adam and Eve started when they disobeyed God’s command was limited by God until Jesus was crucified, resurrected, and lifted up into Heaven, where He’s been preparing a place for those who follow Him.

You think the New Jerusalem will be on earth. So do the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Orthodox Jews. Me? I don’t care where it is or when it is revealed. It is enough for me now that I know that the Father is restoring His Kingdom through the Crucified Jesus and that I believe that “the lion will lie down with the lamb”.

What numbers? Adam’s 930 year lifetime? LOL! Cousin, do you think I’ll go to Hell if my numbers don’t match yours?

Goodness, Henry! Do you seriously think that if Adam and Eve had obeyed God, no one else would ever have disobeyed God. I’m sorry to be the one to break the news to you, cousin; but you’re dreaming.

First what makes you think the current rivers are the same as Genesis 2:10? The names of rivers change.

Second, the rivers are running in the wrong direction. The spring in Eden flowed OUT of Eden and became four headwaters, or sources, of the four rivers. I think this is important as Eden is being portrayed as a source of mankind. Problem being the current Tigris and Euphrates are actually joining together and each has its own headwaters. They don’t actually match the story. Leaving aside the problem that the flood would change the geography.

Yep, if Eden were in that region, it would be buried thousands of feet underground under sedimentary deposits. That cherub with its flaming sword must be thinking everyone forgot him.
In any case, I think most ancient people thought of Eden like the Greeks thought of Mt. Olympus. Real on one plane but inaccessible from normal reality.

I have to say honestly I don’t care much if you believe that the Garden of Eden was on earth. I think the evidence that it was in Heaven is overwhelming but if you don’t agree I can live with that

My.main point was that the time involved in the events that led to the Fall is unknowable. Especially if you accept Genesis 2:5 where we are told Adam was created before there were plants on earth.

One point on New Jerusalem: the Book of Revelation makes clear that with New Jerusalem God will bring Heaven and earth into a new unity so it will very much be the earth transformed.

That’s good. I can live with the irreconcilable difference, too.

Wow! 74 replies. That far exceeds my expectations for the life of this thread. :laughing:

His siblings may have had kids who have descendents living today. He may very well be someone’s distant uncle.

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