I think it is interesting that it seems likely that a comet or some other terrestrial object hit the North America ice sheets around 10800 BC and likely resulted in a global catastrophe that resulted in the younger dryas ice age and dramatic change of life for mankind. This extraterrestrial event likely led to to mass extinction of large fauna in North America and wiping out the Clovis culture. This event would have substantially changed the environment and may have forced humans to change from a hunter gatherer to domestic life style. Also of particular interest is that there were likely massive floods and ocean level rise associated with the end of the younger dryas around 9600 bc that could perhaps be related to the floods of the Bible. Around the same time of the floods a relatively advanced culture is found in gobekli tekli in turkey that had an advanced stone working culture but still hunter gather lifestyle however shortly after this humans changed to a domesticated life style where wheat was likely first domesticated nearby in Karaca dag. This seems to me to be the Great Leap Forward for mankind that was set off by the comet and resulting floods that altered the planet.
If you aren’t looking for a global flood … Any regional flood would have been sufficient to inspire the the Biblical flood story … especially since there are older flood stories than the Biblical version…
10800 BC is kind of late for the GLF. Much of the evidence for changes in behavior date to 50000 BC. In fact there is another model of the development of modern human behavior that stretches back every further than that. Like 250,000 BC.
I think that the human race had developed the genetic hardware for behavioral advancement but that even with ice ages and warming periods it was not forced into behavioral adaptations that we associate with the Neolithic age until this comet catastrophe occurred around 12800 bp that forced some populations to adapt to a domestic lifestyle. This changed everything. The adaptive behavior since the last ice age is significantly greater than that the humans achieved in the prior 250,000 years. Humans had gone through multiple glacial and interglacials with only limited behavioral adaptations. I think it was this comet event that led to the our biggest adaptation defining our species.
If we have favorite forms of planetary destruction, my favorite is still the Dinosaur-Killer asteroid. Without it, we would be running into our gardens to stop the small rodents, and then running back out of our gardens to avoid the Terror Birds (who probably noticed that if they follow the rodents, they find people)!
The problem I am referring to is not interbreeding between differing species: Hybridization is pervasive in evolution.
The problem is that according to your assumption there was interbreeding between humans created in God’s image (Homo sapiens) and humans NOT created in God’s image (Homo neanderthalensis, Homo denisova). This is quite different from interbreeding between “horses and donkeys”: Neither horses nor donkeys are supposed to be in God’s image, are they?
Whichever way you look at it such an assumption bears problems:
If you consider sapiens, neanderthals and denisova different species, your assumption means that when God says: “Be fruitful and multiply” He is also promoting and blessing marriage between species as for instance between humans and chimps.
If you consider sapiens, neanderthals and denisova to be varieties of the same species (this controversy is still going on), then your assumption suggests that certain races today may NOT be in God’s image.
I fully agree to your claim that “in the past a point was reached where homo sapiens could be considered in God’s image. Before then nobody”. Whether the point is 50,000 BCE or it is 3,500 BCE, we both advocate that creation in God’s image happens at a clear-cut moment and, although just before this moment the Homo sapiens individuals were biologically not distinguishable from us, they were not in God’s image.
You further claim: “after then everybody”.
If I understand well you claim that all the hundreds of thousands Homo sapiens living at 50,000 BCE became in God’s image at once.
However, the pericope of the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2-4 clearly suggests that in the days before the Flood there were still Homo sapiens creatures becoming in God’s image.
On the basis of this pericope I assume that:
One couple or a little population of Homo sapiens became in God’s image at about 3,500 BCE.
Hundreds of thousands became in God’s image before the Flood: This was part of the population living together with Noah in Sumer (other human persons living with Noah were obviously descended from Adam and Eve through biological reproduction, and were in God’s image as well).
All the rest (several millions) living outside Mesopotamia far away from Noah became in God’s image at the End of the Flood.
During this gradual process there was no interbreeding between people in God’s image and creatures NOT in God’s image.
In summary, as far as I can see the only really relevant difference between our accounts is that my account fits better to Scripture and avoids having marriage between humans in God’s image and creatures NOT in God’s image.
I apologize. The question you address has been raised by George in the thread about “Original sin’s transmission”. This was my answer:
For posting a reply to this answer I would like to suggest you use the thread about “Original sin’s transmission” where the question is already being discussed to some extent.
Actually, I think you should reconsider that sentence.
If we use the definition first formulated by Dr. Ernst Mayr (see Wiki below), successful reproductive compatibility really is the Gold Standard of speciation.
Horses and Donkeys can produce offspring, but the offspring are infertile.
For the use of the discussion you had in mind, a better example would have been Lions and Tigers, since they are able to produce fertile offspring (Wiki has an article on Ligers too!).
But conundrum posed by Lions mating with Tigers should not be dismissed. As we know, one of the easiest ways to prepare a population for speciation is if there is a physical barrier that comes between two groups. Over time, the genetic variation becomes sufficient that successful mating is no longer possible.
But sometimes the “physical barrier” is really just a “virtual barrier” - - as when one branch of the feline genus gravitated into the open plains of Africa (the lions) while another branch gravitated into the jungles of lower Asia (the tigers). In this peculiar case, the behaviors and appearance of the two cat populations changed more than there DNA did!
Lions became social, and females took the lead in hunting in the presence of a distinctive and larger Alpha male. Tigers became solitary (I wonder whether the common ancestral population was social or solitary?), and they developed those distinctive stripes.
But if we were to discover Lions and Tigers today, in a post-Ernst-Mayr world, would we be so quick to call them distinct species? I think not. For they are still reproductively compatible!
I think the two increasingly “famous” verses in Genesis go a long way to resolving the issue of Biblical “kind” vs. biological “species”:
"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature
after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing,
and beast of the earth
after his kind: and it was so. "
“And God made the beast of the earth
after his kind, and cattle
after their kind, and
every thing that creepeth upon the earth
after his kind:
and God saw that it was good.”
In Biblical terminology, Lions and Tigers (while looking very different, say, like
very different breeds of dogs), are able to bring forth new generations,
“after their kind”, that are able to continue to bring forth more generations.
Compare this to the even more complex situation of the Rabbit "ring species"
that exists in North America: Florida rabbits can breed with Minnesota rabbits,
but not with Alaska rabbits.
Taken as a whole, then, these 3 populations represent a single kind. But should God,
in his terrible wrath smite the Minnesota rabbits for their profligate ways (those dang
Fargo Rabbits!) - - that would be yet another way God helped create two kinds out
of one: for the Alaska and Florida rabbits would never be able to bring forth anything.
If you haven’t watched this video on this topic, including footage from a rather
clever Creationist instructor, you really should take a moment to do so now.
I think it’s a great video, less than 20 minutes!
**- YEC ALERT - YEC ALERT - YEC ALERT - YEC ALERT - **
This is Post 159 in the thread currently titled: "My Theory About the Flood"
DISAVOWAL - - DISAVOWAL - - DISAVOWAL - - DISAVOWAL
I, George Brooks, have been compelled to conclude that all this analysis about Alaska or “Northern” Rabbits vs. Florida Rabbits (in reference to them being 1 “Kind” or 2 “Kinds” is all spurious. I am publishing a separate thread today (June 3, 2017) discussing the matter, but as far as I can tell, with the crucial help and observations of another BioLogos writer, Evangelical , Kent Hovind,
was told something that either wasn’t true or that he misunderstood, regarding the breeding of rabbits in North America. It triggered the further analysis of anti-Creationist blogger “PotHoler” which is presented in detail in the video below. It’s only real value is that it treats a fictional case study with some good Evolutionary principles, and would be, on the whole, helpful - - if in fact Hovind’s original exposition of the facts had been based in reality.
The irony is, even if his Rabbit study had been based on factual material, it still would not have supported Hovind’s analysis of the Biblical view of “kinds”.
DISAVOWAL - - DISAVOWAL - - DISAVOWAL - - DISAVOWAL
Post # 84, from the thread: “The mathematical probability of Evolution?”
. . . watch the video below, about Alaska and Florida Rabbits you will learn about one of the examples of common descent that even many Evangelicals accept.
"As introduced by Socratic Fanatic: "Youtube’s Potholer54 . . . [‘Potholer54’ is the name of the YouTube user/channel who has a strong interest in debating with YEC’s] . . . has a great video were he explains how even Kent Hovind had come to agree with the idea of evolution—as long the word is avoided . . . . I sometimes use that video as an example of directly observing macroevolution today, because a North American rabbit species has diversified to where Florida rabbits of that species can’t/won’t breed with [Alaska] rabbits . . . . but rabbits living in the Midwest can breed with both. "
[This video was introduced by @Socratic.Fanatic at this post:
What is the Evidence for Evolution? ]
The leading cause for common descent leading to 2 populations that cannot breed with each other is through “independent mutation” of the populations (usually when separated by significant barriers or distance). In Birds, such failures to breed can be triggered by “innovations in song”, making mates from the other population treat the candidate like a completely different animal.
But I don’t think too many people have heard rabbits sing…"
[End of Excerpt from a second thread]
Everything points to God-Guided Evolution. Don’t be misled by untrained amateur scientists!
No I said that there came a time in the evolution of homo sapiens, well after the time when we aquired neaderthal genes, when we could be considered finally created in God’s image.
I thought I had made it quite clear that they are different species. I haven’t seen anything that would suggest this is controversal.
I don’t know about “at once”. It is a grey area of time with no line drawn in the sand.
I would say yours does a better job of forcing Scripture to fit history instead of just saying the Scripture wasn’t intended to convey history, just truth. I think I do a better job of showing the truth of Scripture fits history. You are dependent on assuming the absence of the evidence of a sense of law is proof of the absence of a sense of law. As they say, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” when it comes to history.
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you!
My response to the first point would be that God is, of course, ultimately responsible for everything. But this does not exclude people from responsibility for their own poor decisions, or from the fallout of others’.
For the second, all differences I have seen between humans and animals have been matters of degree, not flat black-or-white boxes into which you can pigeonhole people and animals. To the extent spirituality may correlate with brainpower, you could say humans are significantly more spiritual than any other creatures; but I would not rely upon it as an article of faith that, say, orcas couldn’t be just as spiritual. How would we know?
Finally, I suppose you are right that my worldview holds “no need of a particular intervention of God” as you describe. Hope that is helpful, and sorry again for being busy for so long before I could reply!
My interpretation of Genesis relies on three principles:
- The teaching of Jesus Christ as contained in the New Testament.
- The established scientific observations and data.
- Logical coherence.
Accordingly I am by no means “forcing Scripture to fit history”, and wonder how one could define the “truth of Scripture” otherwise.
In particular I rely on these principles to interpret the pericope of the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2-4, and would be thankful to know what you mean by “truth of Scripture” in case of this episode.
But you are. Peter makes it clear Noah’s flood was global. Now either he got it right and history is wrong or he got it wrong and history got it right. Since you come down on the side of “let’s just make the flood regional” you are in effect forcing Scripture to fit history.
I don’t define truth in Scripture to mean it always contains literal history, in the sense that Westerners think of history. Genesis 1-11 are stories that contain truth, such as God created the universe, man was created to worship God, man has free will to chose NOT to worship God, God provides a plan for when we chose not to worship Him, etc. No where is history required to be true for these to be true.
As to Genesis 6:2-4, the Nephilim were just a detail in a story that isn’t history so it really doesn’t matter what we think it really means. I have heard/read several versions of what it means and while each version makes sense, none agree with the others. What do you think of the Job 38:22 and the armory of hail. Does this pericope mean that hail is actually stored somewhere and is not created in a storm?
According to Scripture, Adam and Eve’s family consisted of sons Cain, Abel and Seth, plus a minimum of two other sons and two daughters, giving a total of seven children.
How do you decide which stories contain truth and which don’t? I think an important ingredient is the teaching of Jesus Christ and the belief that He is God’s Son, isn’t it?
Peter (2 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 3:20) makes it clear that only eight people of the ancient world were saved from Noah’s flood.
Scientific history makes it clear that at about 3,000 BC:
The region of the so called five antediluvian cities in Sumer was flooded.
About 100,000 people lived in this region.
All over the world outside Mesopotamia lived a Homo sapiens population of about 14,000,000 individuals.
From this it doesn’t follow that "either Peter got it wrong or history is wrong”, as you seem to conclude. You interpret Peter using the concept “global” as “Westerners” use it today. Such a concept is not appropriate to understand the truth contained in Peter’s letters. By claiming “Peter makes it clear Noah’s flood was global” you convey the idea that according to Peter “all Homo sapiens living outside the Ark perished in the Flood”. I dare to say that by interpreting Peter this way it is rather you who is “forcing Scripture” to conclude that “it does not fit history”.
Since Peter’s Epistles are writings of the New Testament it is fitting to assume that Peter is speaking from the perspective of people who are endowed with free will and thus are aware of God’s law. Then it suffices to assume that the 14,000,000 Homo sapiens outside Mesopotamia were endowed by God with free will only at the end of the Flood (in accord with Genesis 9: 3-6) and the contradiction disappears. By the way, your assumption that “God created Adam and Eve at about 50,000 BC” implies also that God endowed with free will a large population of Homo sapiens at some point between this time and the Flood.
This does not mean “forcing Scripture to fit history” but simply taking seriously Peter’s Inspiration and the scientific data, and then using logic to avoid falling into contradictions. Thereby we discover a truth which is contained in Genesis but we can only “see” today in the light of the new scientific data. And this is precisely what means that Scripture is inspired by God: Revelation will always surprise us with new truth (just like science!).
I refer to Genesis 6:2-4 primarily because of the “sons of God” and not the “Nephilim”.
You are fully right: there are “several versions of what it means and while each version makes sense, none agree with the others.”
This confirms what I have previously said: Scripture contains truth that is waiting to be discovered in the light of what science is telling us today.
I think it is worth discussing more in depth what these “sons of God” mean. According to me this episode supports my interpretation that the transformation of Homo sapiens creatures into human persons endowed with free will and capable of sinning was still happening at the time of the Flood: It was a gradual process that started with the creation of “Adam and Eve” and was completed at the end of the Flood.
But what do you do with the mustard seed? Jesus as the Son of God surely knew the mustard seed wasn’t the smallest seed. He could have said “it is the smallest known seed” which would be true, but he didn’t did he.
What do you do with His lack of knowledge on the time of the Second Coming? As God he surely knew didn’t he?
Even using Jesus as the arbiter of truth is tricky.
And refresh my memory. When did Jesus refer directly to Adam the man?
Peter said “the ancient world” using the same kosmos as in John 3:16. So do you want to limit God’s love to only the ANE also? Or do you want to change the meaning to make it suit your theory?
And why would this group NOT be included in “the ancient world”? They are people also.
For 50,000 years before your flood humans were developing civilization, agriculture, cities, a belief in an afterlife and religion. They developed trading relationships between different groups (here comes that sense of law). You can only have trade if there are agreed upon rules (think laws).
Funny but some of the sermons I have heard on this said that the Nephilim were the off-spring of the sons of God. The text is not exactly clear, but again it is just a story detail.
I’m going to go ahead and posit a third option, which is that the passage is not intended to present an exhaustive account of those who survived or those who perished. Starting from 2 Peter 2:4—“For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into Hell and committed them to chains of deepest darkness to be kept until the judgement;”—Are we to understand that this refers to all of the angels? Why or why not?
2 Peter 2:5—“and if he did not spare the ancient world, even though he saved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly;”—‘he did not spare’ is the same phrase as was applied to ‘the angels’ above. It is hardly indicative of universal destruction.
2 Peter 2:6—“and if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction and made them an example of what is coming to the ungodly;”—were the cities entirely turned into ashes, no ruined buildings standing around? Were all the people of them made extinct? We know quite well that they were not, because ‘extinction’ would mean no survivors and that was not the case.
2 Peter 2:7—“and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the lawless 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by their lawless deeds that he saw and heard),”—leaving aside for the moment the righteousness of offering one’s daughters to appease a mob, we would think from this passage that Lot was the only survivor of the doomed cities, when we know that in fact his daughters also survived.
2 Peter 2:9—“then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment 10—especially those who indulge their flesh in depraved lust, and who despise authority.” —Here we see that including Lot’s daughters may have been counterproductive to the point Peter was making, which was not, in fact, to exhaustively and accurately tally everyone involved in all three incidents and their fates, but to provide select examples of divine action: God has saved some and destroyed others.
1 Peter 3:20 is even easier to understand in this context: God saved eight people through water, which prefigured baptism. It says nothing about people who were not saved through water because their lands didn’t flood.
Actually that is my point exactly. That is the truth of the passage which does not require it to match history to be correct. I would just add it says nothing about other people not having a sense of law and therefore not being under the law.
I fear I may have been less than clear—by “it says nothing about,” I mean that it does not deny or affirm the existence of other people untouched by the flood, and we are therefore free to match it to history if we desire. But I agree it is not support for a specific position like people without a sense of law.
Notice the plethora of very precise chronology in the following passage:
“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights … and the waters prevailed upon the earth for a hundred and fifty days … At the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters had abated , and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark come to rest on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen … In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month … Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold the face of the ground was dry. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.” - Genesis 7:11- 8:5.
Seriously, does the above sound in any way “figurative” or like an “interpretation”? It certainly doesn’t to me! It’s seems that author has gone out of his way to make sure this account comes across as real history to the reader.
After spending an entire year under water how many trees do you know that will start to grow?
This also happened before written history. How did these details get passed down orally for thousands of years?
Or did the writer just write up the story as if it was real history?
Hebrew scholars, and archaeologists who dug up Kings Lists from Sumer and Akkadia or even Egypt, can tell you that genealogies are frequently highly abused from an historical viewpoint. Generations are excluded
And then they are added back to suit the specific and temporary circumstances of the current administration.
The one thing you should never do, @Dredge, is try to use Biblical genealogies as the proof of anything … because that is the weakest link in all of Biblical literature.
Just note this very simple problem:
The Tribe of Simeon was founded by Simeon, one of the 12 sons of Israel, right? It is recorded that this tribe settled to the south of Judah (some experts even suggest within the protective skirts of Judah itself).
That’s fine. But then when the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom split, how does the 10th tribe, Simeon, maintain its allegiance to the Northern throne? It’s south of Judah!!! And that kingdom already has “dibs” on the tribes of Benjamin and Judah!
So … really … when you draw attention to such matters, now you have to explain how the “Ten Tribes of Israel” were actually Nine Tribes of Israel. Have a wonderful afternoon pondering that one.