Four Views on the Historical Adam (Rauser Review)


(Peter Waller) #21

When you say that chapters 1 and 2 were sequential, do you mean that Adam and Eve were not the _______ created in the image of God in chapter 1? That is the way I would lean although my opinion is changing.


(Tom Larkin) #22

In Genesis 3:22 God says “Behold the man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil…”. I believe Adam and Eve were created directly by God and in the image of God.


(Peter Waller) #23

I agree with you that Adam and Eve were created in the image of God; however, I am wondering whether you think that Genesis 1:27 refers to Adam and Eve. When you say that the chapters are sequential, it sounds like you mean that the creation of Genesis 1:27 took place prior to the formation of Adam and Eve in chapter 2. Possibly, I am misunderstanding what you mean by sequential.


(Tom Larkin) #24

What I am proposing is that in Genesis 1, there is a general creation which includes the universe, sea life, plants and animal and man. Starting in Genesis 2:5 is a special creation which is described as local to the Garden of Eden only in which Adam and Eve are created.

Men and women were created in Chapter 1 before Adam and Eve were created.


(Peter Waller) #25

I agree with you, although I think that Genesis 1 begins with the solar system, the dark cloud from which the sun and solar system originated. What do you think was the purpose of the creation of Adam and Eve?


(Mitchell W McKain) #26

Do you mean Adam and Eve were created by a devil-god who put tail DNA and junk chimp DNA in them so that if we dared to use our brains and actually figured anything out for ourselves then we would be deceived into thinking we evolved? I suppose that was to separate the child-like religious people who simply believed the what was written literally in the Bible from all the “arrogant” science types to were actually stupid enough to believe the lies the devil-god had put into our DNA. Or do you mean God created Adam and Eve suddenly by magic after using evolution for billions of years to create homo-sapiens, and made them so they could interbreed with those monkey-men and acquire all that primate DNA that way? I suppose that was just to prove that He could do it the fast way and that during those billions of years He was just wasting His time because He had nothing better to do. Or do you have something else in mind to explain the evidence? Do you even care about the evidence?


(George Brooks) #27

@Theo_Book

This is Young’s Literal for Genesis 1:27
Gen 1:27

And God prepareth the man
in His image; in the image of God…

Now let’s look at what King James version says about 1:27:

Gen 1:27

So God created man [< please note this is not “the man”, but “man” generically!]
in His own image…


(George Brooks) #28

@PeterWaller

That is exactly the intended meaning if a person is interested in the “Genealogical Adam” scenarios as presented at:

By interpreting Genesis 1 to mean a fairly large population of humanity, developed by Evolutionary processes guided by God, Genesis 2 becomes a subsequent story about Adam and Eve, just 2 humans created by special creation, that Sinned, and then introduced their unique relationship with God to the rest of humanity.


(George Brooks) #29

@mitchellmckain

Why do you refer to the humans of Genesis 1 as “monkey men”?

Genesis 1 is the one that describes humans as made in the image of God.

Genesis 2 is silent on the matter, but is reconciled with Genesis 1 by means of Genesis 9, where Noah’s descendants are implicitly included in all of humanity having the image of God.


(Mitchell W McKain) #30

I did not. The question is how to account for the tail DNA in humans and the junk DNA humans share with chimps. I gave two possibilities and suggested you supply an alternative if you had one.

  1. A deceiver god created Adam and Eve with lying DNA.
  2. God also created homo sapiens by evolution and it is interbreeding with the descendants of Adam and Eve that explains why humans have this DNA.
  3. Your alternative to these two if you have one.

Which of these you go for is your choice and what you choose to call the evolved homo-sapiens other than monkey-men is also your choice. But as for me, my choice is the following:

  1. Homo sapiens evolved and God chose Adam and Eve from among them and spoke to them – inspired (God breathed) them, and thus they had an inheritance of the mind directly from God, making them His children (human). Cain and Seth took wives of females from other homo sapiens (Genesis 6) and sharing the word of God with them and others so they also became the children of God. Thus it is not DNA which makes as human and we are more than just another biological species because we have a mind which comes from the communication of God.

So? This doesn’t say anything about God not creating human beings by evolution. So this isn’t the reason you are deciding to contradict the repeated findings of science and all the evidence available in so many different fields of study.

It is silent on the matter of what “image of God” means, to be sure. But hardly on the matter of the creation of Adam and Eve. “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” Now you can insist on understanding this contrary to what science has discovered in your effort to fabricate an imaginary superiority, or you find an understanding which agrees with the evidence. For example, we are not made of dust. But we are made of atoms and particles, like all the things of the earth, and it seems natural to extend the meaning of “dust” in the Bible to include these. And for another example, there is no life stuff which can be added to matter in order to make it alive (we know from science that life is a matter of chemistry and the operation of cells), but the “divine breath” is the meaning of the word “inspiration” and it makes sense to say that inspiration brings mind of man to life.


(George Brooks) #31

@mitchellmckain

I endorse @Swamidass’s scenarios along the lines of “Genealogical Adam”.

I concur with you that humanity evolved. Your position that Adam/Eve represent humans “chosen” by God is fairly common here at BioLogos.

As you have already read, “Genealogical Human” extends the “miracles of Christianity” (like the super-natural birth of Jesus or his super-natural resurrection) to the super-natural creation of Adam and Eve (thus providing theological consistency with how creationists interpret Romans 5.

But why digress further?

I would humbly suggest, Mitchell, that the term “Monkey Men” should be avoided… if only for Public Relations reasons.


(Tom Larkin) #32

The creation narrative in Genesis 1 does not conflict with evolution and the fossil record. Genesis 2 states that Adam and Eve are created directly by God. If Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are not sequential you would have a conflict with evolution and the fossil record as Adam as the theory is that man and other forms of life shared a common ancestry. If Genesis 1 and 2 are not sequential , there are clear contradictions in the narratives and disruptions in related patterns, as well as some content needed further clarification, so I have concluded these two narratives are sequential.

The dependents of Adam and Eve interbred with evolved man. It is stated in Genesis 6, otherwise there would be no meaning to the phase “Noah was perfect in his generations”, which meant that Noah was a direct descendent of Adam and Eve.

If the flood was truly universal and Noah and his family were the only survivors globally, then the possibility exists that God created Adam with a DNA pattern similar to others at the time of his creation, included unused strands such as ancient repetitive elements (AREs). If the flood was not global and others survived (the term “entire earth” is used several times throughout the Bible to mean “lands known to the authors”) then additional interbreeding took place. I don’t see either being a show stopper and I don’t believe God was intending to be deceitful in his creation of Adam.

I still do not any scriptural support for any model where Adam and Eve were representative of the human race. What is you position and please supply scriptural and biblical rationale.


(Mitchell W McKain) #33

I, of course, disagree. Genesis1, 2-4, 5, and 6 are four parallel accounts and not sequential.

…only if you think perfection is a matter of DNA like the racists do. For the rest of us perfection and our relationship with God is a matter of behavior and character not genetics.

All of physical evidence contradicts this. No worldwide flood. No reduction of the homo-sapiens species to less than 10,000 individuals. There was interbreeding all right with at least a couple of human subspecies 40,000 to 100,000 years ago (Neanderthal and Denisovans).

Creating Adam with a DNA pattern which shows common descent when there is none is to put lies in their DNA. There is absolutely no reason for Him to put in DNA for tails in Adam and Eve. There is absolutely no reason for Him to but the same junk DNA as chimps in Adam and Eve. AND there is absolutely no reason for a special creation of Adam and Eve as golems of dust and bone or as artificial replicants (movie Blade Runner) after spending billions of years raising up homo-sapiens through evolution.

Treating scripture in this way is like listening to Jesus parable in Matthew 13 and looking for seeds on the ground.


(Peter Waller) #34

Hi George. It sounds like we are pretty much in agreement on this one!!! Although I am not sure that you think that God supernaturally intervened at some point in the process of human evolution. Thanks for the link to the Geneological Science group. They have a nice website, although I don’t agree with their position that all humans could be genealogically linked to an Adam and Eve that were created 6K years ago. I think that is what they are trying to prove. Native Americans came to the Americas 13,000 years ago and were isolated until the last millenium.


(George Brooks) #35

@PeterWaller

  1. God has 2 ways to engage the Universe: through guiding natural law, or through using super-natural methods of guiding nature. I avoid the use of the word “intervention”… since it would amount to your right hand intervening in what your left hand is doing.

  2. I am inclined, like Behe, to see God using nothing but natural lawful methods of engagement. But the Genealogical Adam scenarios always allow for as much super-natural miraculous intervention as a Christian is comfortable with - - as long as evolution as a God-led process is not overturned.

  3. Computer simulations show that even using the most conservative of assumptions for human migration and travel, the offspring of Adam and Eve are able to penetrate and co-opt all territories in 2000 to 3000 years.

As for Native Americans arriving in South America, it would only take a few shipwrecked offspring of Adam, landing on the shores of North and/or South America, to solve the problem you think is unsolvable.


#36

Just had a thought. If the plan was for A&E to marry and produce offspring with other evolved humans wouldn’t their DNA have to match that of the other humans to some degree? And think of the other things that would have to match, such as appearance, language, and social behaviour.


(Phil) #37

True, and I do not think we can state absolutely that God did not make them a special creation, even though that is not my understanding ( I am in the camp that the story in the garden is not historical at all, but theological). I think that taken as a whole, with magic trees, talking snakes and so forth, it is just not supposed to be taken as historical and trying to make part of it historical is inconsistent with the whole.


(Mitchell W McKain) #38

No. Junk DNA like that for tails, which is never used, would have no impact on their ability to breed with homo sapiens. Overall quantity might have an impact but then you could put whatever you want in the portion of DNA which is unused. The only reason why it would be the same is because they have the same origin. The unused portions are like an ancestral fingerprint and faking these would have no other impact than pure deception.

From Wikipedia on non-coding DNA

The amount of total genomic DNA varies widely between organisms, and the proportion of coding and noncoding DNA within these genomes varies greatly as well. For example, it was originally suggested that over 98% of the human genome does not encode protein sequences, including most sequences within introns and most intergenic DNA,[16] whilst 20% of a typical prokaryote genome is noncoding.[3]

In eukaryotes, genome size, and by extension the amount of noncoding DNA, is not correlated to organism complexity, an observation known as the C-value paradox.[17] For example, the genome of the unicellular Polychaos dubium (formerly known as Amoeba dubia ) has been reported to contain more than 200 times the amount of DNA in humans.[18] The pufferfish Takifugu rubripes genome is only about one eighth the size of the human genome, yet seems to have a comparable number of genes; approximately 90% of the Takifugu genome is noncoding DNA.[16] Therefore, most of the difference in genome size is not due to variation in amount of coding DNA, rather, it is due to a difference in the amount of non-coding DNA.[ citation needed ]

In 2013, a new “record” for the most efficient eukaryotic genome was discovered with Utricularia gibba , a bladderwort plant that has only 3% noncoding DNA and 97% of coding DNA. Parts of the noncoding DNA were being deleted by the plant and this suggested that noncoding DNA may not be as critical for plants, even though noncoding DNA is useful for humans.[15] Other studies on plants have discovered crucial functions in portions of noncoding DNA that were previously thought to be negligible and have added a new layer to the understanding of gene regulation.

Despite not being used at this time, non-coding DNA does play a valuable role in the evolutionary process, giving us a source of DNA for new variations. So perhaps if that tail DNA ever proves useful in future generations, then that could be a direction we evolve some day.


(Phil) #39

Maybe tail DNA already is important:


#40

I wasn’t aware you were a geneticist. Has anyone ever quantified exactly what has to match in order to produce normal offspring? There can be differences in the parts that are used but where is the limit on those differences.

I would say that even the tail genes are used. Otherwise how do you explain our coccyx.