Genesis and anthropology


(Alice Linsley) #1

Genesis is more about the origin of Messianic expectation/hope among a specific group of people - Abraham’s Proto-Saharan ancestors in the R1b Haplogroup - than it is about the origin of life on Earth. To understand Genesis better, we need Biblical Anthropology which investigates the culture and religion of those people. Only then can we avoid forcing the text into the molds of either Young Earth Creationism or Theistic Evolution


Does it matter if Adam is literal?
How can Genesis be interpreted to agree with Theistic Evolution?
(Andrew M. Wolfe) #2

Hello Alice Linsley,

The fact that you think evolutionary creationists (note the preferred term) are unified in their interpretation of Genesis, and furthermore that they’re “forcing” the text into a “mold,” suggests to me that perhaps you haven’t spent much time reading what EC proponents actually believe. Have you read any of the resources linked to in previous responses? If so, what did you think of them?

Your identification of Abraham’s ancestors with a specific haplogroup is interesting to me. Do you have any further reading on that particular interpretation? (And why call it Proto-Saharan? “Proto-Saharan” has a particular use in the linguistic literature, relative to the Saharan languages of central Africa such as Dazaga and Kanuri, but this seems to be a very different use of the term.)


(Alice Linsley) #3

(Brad Kramer) #4

@Alice_Linsley, what your credentials? You are presenting yourself as an expert in anthropology, so it’s worth asking.


(Alice Linsley) #5

That is a fallacy, my friend. It is called the “appeal to authority” and it evades. Address the evidence in the link provided and engage me on that basis. Until you do that, I question your ability to engage with this well-grounded research.


(Brad Kramer) #6

I’m an editor with a seminary degree and zero training in anthropology or natural science. I have no ability to understand your blog post, and no ability to question it. In these cases, I have to go on trust. Hence the need to understand where you are coming from.

If someone says to me, “I’ve found a new way to cure the common cold” and I ask for their credentials, how is that a fallacy?


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #7

I was going to make this its own topic (because I know @BradKramer would be happier that way), but I don’t think my comments on this subject merit that much attention. Plus, I honestly don’t want to get into a spitting match, either. The comment of mine that Brad deleted was an honest offer to help you build your case, sister. All truth is God’s truth, right? And historical linguists have found quite a bit of it. I was trying to help. I’m sorry I came across as condescending. Not my intention.

Since you’d like a bit of substance:

  1. For a hypothesis to pass muster in historical / comparative linguistics, a linguist has to show not just one word here or there but whole sets of words that all illustrate the same sound change in a systematic way. This was the basic insight that allowed for the amazingly effective reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European in the 1800s, for instance. There are reasons that historical linguists have never reconstructed Proto-Sulawesian-Egyptian-Dravidian. It’s because each of these languages has been reliably assigned to different families: Austronesian, Afro-Asiatic, and Dravidian.

  2. In general, it’s hard to evaluate many of your claims, because you don’t cite the scholars you reference. Just to take one: “and comparative study of these languages suggests a dispersion out of Africa.” It sounds like you’ve actually read a paper that suggests this, but you don’t let your readers evaluate the evidence by citing it.

Those are global comments. A selection of more specific concerns:

  1. “The oldest languages are in the Afro-Asiatic family.” It’s not clear what you mean by this. As long as humans have been around, languages have been around. The oldest languages don’t have names because they’ve been washed away with the sands of time. The most conservative languages, if that’s your metric, aren’t Afro-Asiatic but click languages of southern Africa, for which connections to Afro-Asiatic cannot be reliably demonstrated.

  2. “If those who were moving from island to island were merchants, they would have recorded their transactions.” No, they wouldn’t, honestly. Not in preliterate cultures.

  3. “Recent linguistic studies indicate that the basic phonemes found in virtually every language can be traced back to a words spoken by our Stone Age ancestors in Africa.” No, they don’t. These studies were widely panned by the scholarly linguistic community. See, for instance, http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3090.

These sorts of inconsistencies are what made me ask if you’d ever studied historical linguistics formally.


(Alice Linsley) #8

Adam is presented two ways in the Bible: as the first created human male, and as the founding father of the red people in the R1B haplogroup, which is the haplogroup of Abraham’s Proto-Saharan ancestors. The Bible refers to them as “Kushites” and Nimrod, a Kushite ruler, was one of Abraham’s ancestors. This data aligns perfectly with the evidence of linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, migration studies, and molecular genetics.


#9

Do you have a reference for where the Bible says that Adam is the “founding father of the red people in the R1B haplogroup?” And what are red people?


(Alice Linsley) #10

(Alice Linsley) #11

Cain married a daughter of a Proto-Saharan chief named Nok/Enoch. Nod is a Hebrew play on this word.


#12

Please, just tell me the verse where it says that Adam is the “founding father of the red people in the R1B haplogroup.”


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #13

Well… there’s a pretty large burden of proof on you to support this claim. You haven’t convinced me, for one, and that’s probably okay. Peace.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #14

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. [gently joking]

Seriously: Do you have a reference for other scholars that use this word similarly? Just curious.


#15

Joseph Smith always claimed there was a language called Reformed Egyptian, but it is unknown to anybody else. The Book of Mormon was supposedly written in Reformed Egyptian but God took back the gold plates, so nobody can check his claim.


(Alice Linsley) #16

Read the article. Then address your concerns to me. I’m interested in what you have to say.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #17

Hi Alice,

I still wonder if you’ve read any of the materials suggested in the other thread as starters for understanding how EC proponents read Genesis. If you should choose to read them, I think you may be surprised at how they are trying to do precisely the opposite of what you are accusing them of, namely they’re trying to free the texts from the molds of our modern thinking and to read the texts the way their original readers might have understood them. Just wanted to put that out there… I think it may be a more productive way forward than my nitpicking all your linguistic claims. :slight_smile:


(Alice Linsley) #18

I’m still wondering if you have read the article to which I referred you.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #19

I read quite a lot from your site, and made specific comments, which you have conveniently ignored.


(Alice Linsley) #20

I hold a Masters of Divinity and a degree in Anthropology. I teach on the University level, but nothing I have presented is really new, and it is written for the average reader.