When do you think we had the necessary capacities for a relationship with God?

One issue with this. What do you do with verses that indicate a human may not be considered an adult until 200 years of age? I can give one a point that the earth may not be strictly 6000 years old, but how does long life fit into the narrative of evolution? Normal brain development is considered an attribute of life, not that it takes the brain 200 years to evolve. Nor does it explain what humans did sitting around for hundreds of years waiting for their brains to develop. A 3 year old is not the issue. A 70 year old that still has a modern brain of a 3 year old would.

We have issues viewing a mature 30 year old as a newly created being. Adam would have been a mature 250 year old when created. Why would it be neccessary to state all humans before the Flood were examples of human evolution? Either they lived very long life spans or the Bible got it wrong. Adam and Eve other than one spectacular event did not even measure up to the rest of humanity metaphorically or literally.

And if we look closely at the dates, I think the conclusion reached on that lengthy thread was that the data cannot rule out a single couple further back than 500,000 years, so that would push Adam and Eve back before that time if you wish a historical first couple.

Did you accidentally slip an extra zero on that number? What verse anywhere says anything remotely close to this – at either 200 or 20 for that matter?

1 Like

My assumption was that he is refering to Genesis 5, where the first born children noted were fathered by 100-200 year old men. Certainly a prolonged adolescence. Pity the parents having to deal with a “teenager” for a century or more!

ahhh - still in adolescence until that first child comes along! Yeah … where to start with all that!

Isaiah 65 is the promise that humans will live like trees. A child or young person at 100. Yes, I just add a 0. 1 to 10 years old is 100. 10 to 20 would be 100 to 200.

Most scholars throw away the assumed history of Egypt which also refers to “divine” humans or sons of God who lived for thousands of years, assuming before the Flood. If Moses learned all this in Egyptian schools, he would not question the text and genealogy of Genesis. It would be a conservative view, if what is claimed about Egypt is correct. They have hints of a history that the dynastic rulers seemed to have lost to them. Unless after the Hebrews left, they expunged it from being taught. Some even suggest that Abraham re-introduced them to Mesopotamian math. Did they have a history like Genesis that was lost because of the Flood? It ended up as mythology and turned into religion. It would give us information of actual history outside of the Bible going back almost 30,000 years. Genesis could have been a more conservative view given to Moses.

But it is promised by God to ancient Judah, that it would happen again in the future. After the Flood God changed a lifespan from 900 years to 120. But old age did not last for 870 years. The normal development was over 100 year span instead of 10. Those created on the 6th day would have a life span without going through childhood perhaps several thousand years. The offspring of Adam would be degenerative effecting those who married into that genetic lineage. We do not normally have offspring until mid 20’s. Although like some a teenager at 150 could have offspring.

I tend to think the event’s of Gen. 2-3 took place right around the time when humans where migrating out of Africa and moving into the Middle East andstarted living in the Fertile Crescent. I have tried to fit this with a date that would make the most realistic since sense I tend to take a conservative view that Adam and Eve were real historical people who came into contact with God.

But given the context is Jerusalem as you say, why speak of a “first man” at all

I think there’s a fairly simple answer to that. The author (or final editor) is using a literary device to ‘universalize’ Israel’s story and claim that Israel’s story is in someway a story that all of humanity is to identify with (as well as what Christy pointed out highlighted them being chosen and called out all the nations of the earth).

I don’t think any ancient listener would have taken that as the author claiming he had secret knowledge about who the first humans were, I think that is just hearing it as if it were written to a modern Western culture.

2 Likes

I agree. There was certainly no conception of “first humans” anything like our modern meaning at the time for that matter. It was more an origins story for where ones people came from, how their way of life was started.

1 Like

Are we not arguing the point that Moses and the Hebrews accepted that Genesis was God’s story, and had nothing to do with human recollection at all? If that is the case then one will never succeed in placing evolution into the first chapters of Genesis. A relationship with God is from God alone. An evolved humanity would never seek out a creator, if left with a conclusion they evolved from matter over billions of years.

Already the humanity of the day claimed divine providence and direct involvement with humanity. The Hebrews did not need to “reinvent creation”. Humanity needed the record set straight by God.

Sorry I don’t understand the second part of this sentence. But it seems to me that Genesis is the story of the Hebrew people and the God of their origins.

I don’t think human origins as traced through evolution belongs in Genesis. But it is equally doubtful that Genesis has anything to do with any scientific theory of human origins. No one of that time could have been thinking about that. Whether or not to read any scientific theory of human origins into Genesis is a choice.

No argument here, though we would probably disagree on who or what God actually is. (I’m not a Christian.)

I’m inclined to think that should be the case. There is no reason -from my point of view- to assume that the God with whom one can form a relationship had anything to do with cosmic origins or the creation of life. All that could have happened for reasons which can still be uncovered by science without negating that relationship.

But many Christians, especially those with a deep understanding of science or theology, seem very well capable of accepting the natural world that science reveals while believing what you do about the nature of God. I’m convinced from conversations on this site that you don’t have to choose.

I think creation in Genesis is a more likely a parable. But as most believers declare it’s mostly literal, I see major problems with God’s relating to his kids. He ‘walked and talked with Adam in the cool of the evening’. About what did they talk ? Adam was an employee as well as a son. Pruning schedules ? Fatherly advice on recognising liars and thieves plotting to invade his happy garden ? None of the above apparently as Adam and Eve didn’t share much either so Eve completely fell for the deceiver’s lie about their Dad’s character.

Welcome to the forum @David_Paul_Allen, It is good to have you here and hear your voice. Your comment asking about what did Adam and God talk about made me think. As I also consider the story of the Garden in the mythical category, I don’t think Adam was being homeschooled, but rather it is a way of showing we should be open to hear God in our daily walk with him. Ultimately, as I feel the passage is more about God and who he is. God is anthropomorthized in early Genesis with bodily form, audible voice, and limited presence, at least for the purpose of the story, perhaps as an introduction of the one God to an age of polytheism.
In any case, my personal take away that I can apply to my life is that God is personal and relatable, He speaks to me and I should be listening. As the hymn goes, “and he walks with me and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his own.”

Jesus parables always referred to actual events fictional or real. My indoctrination as a kid being that the Bible is true historically, through and through, kinda hangs over me. The interpretation of days of creation being 24hrs being also difficult to swallow. Both issues of creation-days and family relationships, through modern science and psychology take away historical credibility of the story, yet generally Christendom describes God in Eden as a loving Father with rebellious kids. In researching creation stories I found remarkable similarities of far older Sumerian creation stories, which appear due being written pre-Genesis, to be the source of Genesis.
“and he walks with me and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his own.” Yes hymns connect with me more than many bible portions too ! Yet the Bible is our original 'Handbook". So I go back to Genesis and ask how did God walk and talk with his kids ? Such that a stranger could so easily decieve them about their beloved Dad’s character ? The story seems disconnected from Christian concepts of fruitful loving parenting, especially of genetically perfect kids and a wise and insightful Dad.

That is part of the problem with a literalist approach. Adam was created “very good” which may or may not be “perfect” so there is that. You remind me of looking at my baby girl years ago and telling my wife that she was perfect, so it would be my my fault if she ever went astray. Of course, that was a totally naive and false statement, as she had free will, and the best of parents have kids who are trying. ( For the record, my kids wound up pretty darn good and continue to be blessings). In any case Adam, whether a individual or standing in for humanity, exhibited free will, and we are where we are now dealing with sin.
In any case, a Adam who did not grow up and develop mentally, physically, or spiritually as a normal child, but who was preprogrammed as an adult with language and moral teaching embedded by God, then who is held responsible for the curse of creation, is a little out there unless the story really means something deeper.

2 Likes

I’ve went with the approach with some classes I’ve taught based upon the principle of John 21…

“Lord what about him?” to which Jesus replied “what concern is that of yours? you follow me!”

I aimed to emphasize that such questions are interesting, but we really can’t know the answer to many questions like these or others regarding God’s interaction with other branches of the homo genus and beyond. I try to steer my students at least towards their main calling to represent Him as His ambassador and bear His image. But alas, it didn’t go over so well with this evaluation and some others who left partway through the lecture on the hominid fossil record:

when asked how he would reconcile human evolution [in the context of homo floresiensis, neanderthalensis, etc.] and Genesis 1 and 2, he responded with “I don’'t know.” While being honest is respectable, this lack of biblical strength makes him a poor choice to teach an HONORS program course…

So I’ll be following this thread to get some good stuff to teach :slight_smile:

Since I am unwilling to consider human civilization insignificant, nor believe that human communication with God would have little impact on the development of human civilization, I would place Adam and Eve much closer to the start of human civilization, 10,000 to 12,000 years ago (subject to finding evidence for an earlier start to human civilization). This is goes hand in hand with a complete rejection of the idea that Adam and Eve are the sole genetic progenitors of humanity, which in turn goes hand in hand with a rejection of equating humanity with a genetic criterion. The first isn’t very compatible with either the findings of science or what we read in the Bible, and the second is too convenient for racism and eugenics.

Instead, I propose that humanity begins with God’s communication with Adam and Eve and spreads via human communication to the rest of the species far faster genetic descent. This also suggest that humanity rather than simply being a biological species (where the human mind is simply a function of the brain), that humanity is an example of meme life rather than gene life because the human mind is physical living organism in its own right. This in turn rests upon an understanding of life as mathematically describable self-organizing process that can occur in mediums other than just organic chemistry.

I see no reason for God to delay such communication beyond the development of capabilities for such a relationship. So it seems to me this goes right back to the question of why should there be such a huge gap between this communication from God and the development of civilization? Furthermore I would argue that the abstract capabilities for a relationship with God and for the development of civilization are very closely related. Though… I should make one caveat here… it is the development of capabilities that God thought were necessary for the relationship He was looking for and NOT just what we can see of that in Genesis 1-3 – we cannot assume these are the same thing.

[https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2 Timothy 3:16-17&version=KJV].
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

“That is part of the problem with a literalist approach… (Adam is) …held responsible for the curse of creation, is a little out there unless the story really means something deeper.”
Not being satisfied with ignorance, yes, of course (as I began, "I think creation in Genesis is a more likely a parable. But as most believers declare it’s mostly literal,…) that is my quest, taking a literal and then figurative approach in my attempt to seek help in gaining true understanding/doctrine. That problems will be encountered is a given… I figure the first step from a Christian viewpoint is to understand that position - before disowning, integrating or capitulating to the evolution view.
Diplodocus seems to have begun this discussion, “When do you think we had the necessary capacities for a relationship with God?”, having integrated scripture and evolution, which is fine for my start point. But in the following thread comments, it’s the nature of the relationship that scripture refers to and with minimal detail, that is kept a mystery. Jesus sacrifice, etc is entirely based on the barely understood, if at all, Eden story. How can we continue in such ignorance ?

Should I start another thread as I maybe getting off topic?

We sheep do tend to wonder. Certainly feel free to start another thread if you wish to explore a tangent. I’ll try to stay on topic! I notice my other problem is making redundant comments when a thread gets too long, as I am too lazy to go through previous posts. However, we are not sticklers for staying on topic as thoughts do tend to lead you to new pastures, and most threads do tend to degenerate as they evolve like Behe’s DNA.

1 Like