Were Adam and Eve real?

June 21, 2010 • 6:07 am

Over at the Templeton-funded BioLogos website there has been a lot of discussion about the historicity of Adam and Eve.  This is a problem because scripture claims these two were the progenitors of humanity, but genetics says otherwise.  It’s simply not true that all of humanity’s DNA traces back to a pair of individuals who lived no more than 10,000 years ago; indeed, the different bits of our DNA trace back to different ancestors who lived at different times. What’s clear is that our ancestors were in a population of humans, some of whom left Africa around 60,000 years ago, and virtually all of modern human DNA comes from that population, which itself descended from African ancestors who split off about 6 million years ago from the ancestors of modern chimps.

For some reason the biological data have caused a kerfuffle at BioLogos.  One would think that if these folks are really devoted to reconciling science and Christianity, they’d do for Adam and Eve what they did for Genesis: claim that this is just a metaphor rather than the literal truth, and the literal interpretation is theologically misguided.  Adam and Eve simply stood for our ancestors, just as Smokey the Bear stands for all wild bears. (No matter that for centuries Christians wrongly assumed what the Bible says plainly:  Adam and Eve were the two God-created ancestors of all humanity.)

But the kerfuffle goes on, because some Christians, despite the biological data, want to see Adam and Eve as real people.  The latest attempt to reconcile genetics with Genesis comes from Daniel Harrell, described at BioLogos as

the Senior Minister of Colonial Church in Edina, Minnesota. Before stepping into this role, Harrell served as associate minister at Park Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts for over twenty years. He is the author of the book Nature’s Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith, and is author of the forthcoming book How To Be Perfect: One Church’s Experiment with Living the Book of Leviticus.

Introducing Harrell’s essay, “Adam and Eve: Literal or Literary?”, BioLogos states its own position:

As many of our readers know, the historicity of Adam and Eve is a critically important topic in the discussion of Christianity and human origins. Although BioLogos takes a firm stand on the fact that Adam and Eve could not have been the sole biological progenitors of all humans (see here), science does not rule out the possibility of a historical Adam and Eve, which opens this interesting discussion.

Here’s why Harrell sees the question of Adam and Eve as crucial:

If they are literary people, then that raises questions about the rest of the Biblical cast. Are Moses and Jesus fictional characters too?

Well, yes, but this is exactly what happens when you see parts of the Bible (like Genesis) as metaphorical, and other parts as literal, with no good way (except for post facto attempts to harmonize them with science) to tell which is which.

Harrell goes on:

If they are literal people, then the trove of evolutionary and DNA evidence can’t be right. It’s impossible for the human race to trace back to a single pair of parents (and this without mentioning a talking snake and God creating Adam out of the dirt and Eve from his rib). For the serious student of Scripture and science, making a choice between literal and literary is impossible too. Can’t there be a middle option?


But if the talking snake is obviously metaphorical, why isn’t the talking Moses?  Anyway, Harrell offers two solutions.  The first involves apparent age:  God created Adam and Eve with DNA that made them look older than they really were:

The first is that God created them supernaturally, midstream in evolution’s flow. To create in such a way would require that God also put in place a DNA history, since human origins genetically trace back to earlier, common ancestors. Conceptually, this presents the same problems as creating the universe with apparent age. Apparent age is how some square a literal Genesis with scientific evidence. Stars that appear to be billions of years old (according to cosmological measurements) are in reality only a few thousand years old (according to literal biblical reckoning). God created the stars with age.

Now I know what you’re saying: Harrell will reject this hypothesis because it’s simply silly.  Such a proposition violates all the methodological naturalism that underpins the progress of science.  And it makes God look duplicitous, which Harrell recognizes:

The problem is that creating with age makes God seem to be tricking us into thinking things are older than they are with no clear reason for doing so.

But he doesn‘t reject this!  Harrell leaves it as an open possibility for Christian believers:

Nevertheless, given that Adam and Eve are both introduced in Genesis, presumably as adults rather than children (even if they acted like children), it could be that in their case, creating with age (and a history) would apply. While we might not necessarily understand why God would do that, he could do that (being God and all).

Yes, of course, God could do anything, including creating the light from stars in transit to Earth.  We just know that God is omnipotent and loving and forgiving, but as for why he does stuff, well, ours is not to reason why.

That is all Harrell says about this possibility.  The other option is to see Adam and Eve as real people, but only as two members of the human species specially anointed by God:

Another option might be to have Adam and Eve exist as first among Homo sapiens, specially chosen by God as representatives for a relationship with him. We often speak of Adam theologically as serving as representative of humanity in matters of original sin (his sin affects us all; Romans 5:12), so the idea of Adam as representative already exists in Christian theology. . . .

An advantage of this interpretation is that God’s natural processes marvelously work without the need for any ancestral or genetic fabrication. Also, you’d finally be able to explain where it is that Cain found his wife (answer: from the other humans walking the earth east of Eden; Genesis 4:16-17).

But why do we need to see Cain as a literal person too?

This second option, however, also requires a bit of exegetical fiddling:

However, this view would require a reinterpretation of words like “formed” and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7 KJV). Can we use “formed” and “breathed” to mean created through the long and continuous history of biological evolution (as were the other living creatures in Genesis 1)? If so, then perhaps “the Lord God formed the man” could be read emphasizing the novelty and uniqueness which humans inhabit.

Similarly, the “breath of life” would not signify simply oxygenated animation (surely Genesis isn’t simply speaking in that sense), but that breath which set humans apart as inspired by God (the Hebrew word for breath here is different than the word used for oxygen-intake by living creatures as a whole).

And it requires that God (who presumably wrote the Bible) knew that He was giving a poetic description of evolution:

There are those who would object to such a reading since the Biblical author would not have had knowledge of evolutionary biology. And yet just because the author of Genesis wasn’t a scientist doesn’t mean that evolution wasn’t happening. We still describe babies’ births as “miracles” even though they’re among the most natural occurrences in nature.

But if we evolved, then we’re just like chimps, tigers, and sunflowers, right?  And that can’t be the case, because the Bible says we’re the special objects of God’s creation.  Harrell’s answer:

Whether specially created or specially selected, humans constitute an interruption in the evolutionary process. Before people showed up, evolution’s potential pathways were invisible. But once humans appear, human volition entered with it. The human capacity to choose replaced randomness with intentionality. We have developed enough mastery over our environment (Genesis 1:28) that natural selection, in the strict Darwinian sense, no longer really applies to us.

Never mind the insupportable statement that natural selection no longer applies to us—a silly assertion that is instantly refuted by the case of sickle-cell anemia in Africa.  What is ridiculous here is the tortuous lengths to which Harrell—and other writers at BioLogos—go to preserve the historicity of Adam and Eve.  If God dictated the Bible, and gave the Genesis account as simply a metaphor for evolution (presumably an idea that was beyond the ken of Middle Eastern goatherds two millennia ago), then why couldn’t he have made up Adam and Eve as a metaphor for the human branch of the evolutionary tree?

And what about Harrell’s suggested “apparent age” theory—that Adam and Eve were poofed into being with DNA that made them look as if they descended from a far older population?  Does that not violate any notion of scientific methodology and truth?  And why would God do that, anyway?  To fool modern scientists? And if we buy apparent age for Adam and Eve, why not for fossils? After all, God could have created a proportion of radiometric elements in the soil that would make nearby fossils look old even if they were really put in the earth a few thousand years ago. If you accept apparent age to save the Bible, where does it stop?

More important: isn’t BioLogos embarrassed to have this kind of stuff on its website, which purports to accept the findings of science?

BioLogos doesn’t realize that this kind of desperate apologetics makes  believers look pretty bad, at least to those who have any respect for truth.  It’s far simpler to just see Adam and Eve as metaphors, since there’s not a scintilla of evidence that they ever existed.  But of course if you start rejecting silly notions because there’s no evidence for them, most of scripture goes down the drain.

221 thoughts on “Were Adam and Eve real?

  1. Hope this kind of idiocy is not spreading back to Europe, because here even the staunchest religious person would know that he/she would just be totally ridiculed for having such ideas as described in the no-clue stuff presented by the modern-day troglodytes at Bio(non)Logos. Beyond pathetic, -way beyond.

    1. Er, have you visited any evangelical churches lately? There’s one down the street from my office (in England) that still teaches that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. They are proud of this and advertise their classes on creationism.

      I don’t think it’s that unusual even in Europe.

      The difference is that in the US, about half the population believes such nonsense, and therefore it’s mainstream and somehow respectable.

      1. I have visited such churches recently. You know, that doctrine of a “young earth” is not part of the dogma of any but a tiny handful of sects. Southern Baptists hold to it, but not hard and formally (they don’t teach it at their universities). Seventh-day Adventists. That’s about it.

        All other Christian sects have doctrine supporting science, especially in education — including especially Catholics, Episcopalians, Disciples of Christ, Methodists, Lutherans, Church of Christ, and Latter-day Saints. In the great universities of all of those faiths, evolution is taught in biology, and creationism is not taught.

        Creationism is false doctrine to the learned of most faiths. Am I aware there are a lot of ignoramuses out there? Sure.

        As an ordained elder in a main-line Christian sect, I take seriously the Biblical charge to correct errors in faith when we find them. That’s why I chide Mel in his astounding misunderstanding and ignorance of scripture and theology.

        1. Maybe these churches vouch for teaching evolution, maybe they even teach evolution in science class, but if they are anything like the european churches that Ray Moscow mentioned they will at the very least profess to evolutionary creationism (“theistic evolution”) in one of its many forms – creative influences (Miller), first cell created, human soul created, Adam & Eve created.

          I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but it is an ongoing discussion here. One of the more memorable moment was when one such creationist in the media asked not to mince words, but use the above fairer and clearer characterization. I’m out of time, so if you can’t find it I’ll try to help later.

    1. It makes angels dancing on pinheads look like a serious branch of astrochoreography.

      And this is the kind of thing Templeton funds?

    2. Dancing angels was my first thought too.

      Perhaps Chris Mooney can explain how science would be compatible with this nonsense if only New Atheists (TM) weren’t so mean.

  2. Another option might be to have Adam and Eve exist as first among Homo sapiens. . .

    An advantage of this interpretation is that God’s natural processes marvelously work

    2K yrs later and they’re still spinning the stuff. But the prose ought to be more transparent:

    Another scheme might be to have Adam and Eve exist as first among Homo sapiens. . .

    An advantage of this scheme is that God’s natural processes marvelously work

  3. I’m more fascinated by BioLogos giving up some of its cyberspace to someone who thinks that living according to Leviticus makes one “perfect”.

    Really? As in:
    1 The LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting. He said, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any of you brings an offering to the LORD, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.
    3 ” ‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to offer a male without defect. He must present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD. 4 He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. 5 He is to slaughter the young bull before the LORD, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 6 He is to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces…

    What you learn about most when reading Leviticus is that the priests ate very well (quelle surprise!). And that at some point in the time before the book was written, one of them got hold of a bad oyster.

    1. I wonder how many people they stoned before their experiment was over. One would assume that they’d have no one left to write a book about it.

    2. How To Be Perfect” is only a working title — the final version will be called “Doing Life Without Parole: One Church’s Experiment with Living the Book of Leviticus”

  4. Unbelievable. It really boggles the mind that anyone – let alone educated, otherwise intelligent adults – would spend even more than a moment contemplating this.

    Someone should ask them where they stand on breeding striped animals by having them mate watching striped sticks.

  5. purports to accept the findings of science

    That’s the thing with the accomodationist stance. They want people to accept specific findings of science, which is different from science itself. It’s okay to posit unscientific ideas as long as they don’t conflict with any current findings of science. It’s a recipe for endless battles over every new discovery that contradicts dogma.

    I think some of them don’t even understand the distinction.

    1. Well, as usual I’ll make the link to philosophy, and point out that I have no problem using non-scientific methods and posting non-scientific ideas as long as they don’t conflict with any current findings of science. Or sometimes even if they do.

      For example, while recent findings indicate that emotion is both more ingrained in us and importantly attached to our moral reasoning, I do persist in holding the view that we should not allow emotional considerations to play a role in our reasoning and moral reasoning when I do philosophy. I care about — and adjust to — claims that say that we just can’t avoid some emotion being involved, but I’m certainly still willing to argue that that shouldn’t be the case, and that we should work to avoid that.

      Now, you can make a claim that my argument is normative and not descriptive, and that some of the claims of religion are descriptive and so more vulnerable to such differences. My reply to that is that science itself acts in a similar fashion, when theories adapt to new discoveries that don’t eliminate them but cause them to have to adjust some of their claims/principles. And we don’t think that that problematic.

      1. If you hold science in such low regard, why do you keep using the web? In case your memory fails you, it was invented by scientists.

      2. I have no problem using non-scientific methods and posting non-scientific ideas as long as they don’t conflict with any current findings of science

        I should relate to you the story about the invisible pink unicorn I saw, after I tell you of the orbiting teapot and the invisible fairies at the bottom of my garden.

        1. Um, my specific example was about emotion and reason and scientific discussions of empathy. To you — and all the others — how in the world do you get from that to the idea that I have to believe everything anyone says about anything?

          1. Simple. You pick and choose what unscientific claims you are going to believe and which you will ignore. Arbitrarily.
            So, it’s OK if you go with your god, and I go with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

      3. I have Sydney Harbour Bridge for sale. You are just the type of ‘customer’ that I am looking for!

  6. I know it all seems ridiculous but THIS IS the level of serious debate amongst the faithful. I once wrote, on request, an article for a theological journal based at my last university that attempted to give a background to the ID/evolution ‘debate’. As a result, i was sent papers to review for this journal, written by theology doctorate students, that attempted similar things to the Biologos article. They were all, without exception, bloody awful. One in particular I would love to post here (but won’t obviously) as it desperately tried to plead for literal belief in Genesis. I finally told the editor that I simply couldn’t review any more and that based on what I had seen, none of these students deserved Doctorates. I was glad to see that none of the mss. I saw got published in the journal, but I assume the authors all got their PhDs. This Biologos article was better written than any of them, but broadly the same content and argument. Pathetic.

    1. Actually they probably got a Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) not a Ph.D..

      Might be interesting to know Katharine Jefferts-Schori’s views given she has a science Ph.D. (Oceanography from Oregon State) and is head of the Episcopal Church in the US.

      1. MhD

        Doctor of mythology.

        The only difference between mythology and theology is in the number of current adherents to the belief.

        1. The only difference between mythology and theology is in the number of current adherents to the belief.

          I love it! I would like to add this quote to my list of favorite quotes. Is this initially yours or did you hear it from someone else?

      2. The US Episcopal church likes to recruit priests who already have professional qualifications. (I almost got recruited myself.) That’s one reason they have a more reasonable stance than most churches.

        OK, they have a lot of mushy thinking mixed in with the reason, too.

  7. If they are literary people, then that raises questions about the rest of the Biblical cast. Are Moses and Jesus fictional characters too?

    Possibilities abound, because G_d can do anything, and H_s ways are mysterious. Consider:

    A) Jesus was also a metaphor.

    B) Jesus was real, but since Adam and Eve weren’t, He died for a metaphor.

    1. Well, that’s it. Without Adam & Eve, “original sin” is just a metaphor, and there Jesus’s “sacrifice” or “atonement” was just another metaphor.

        1. And what exactly did jesus die for? If the “original sin never happened, he died for nothing. Freedom is not a lie. Original sin is. Get over it.

          1. To Insightful Ape:
            I’m an Orthodox Christian. Most well educated Orthodox Christians have no problem accepting evolution as a scientific explanation of the continually developing universe / universes.
            The Orthodox Church does not support the western churches theory of “Original Sin.” That was developed by Augustine of Hippo. The Orthodox teaching is of “Ancestoral Sin.” This teaches that the entire human species is sinful by our free will (choices) not from guilt passed on to us by our predesesors. Our individual sins separate us from God. Each person is sick with sin whether they acknowledge it or not. Christ (the second person of the Holy Trinity=God) leads us out of the sickness of sin if we choose to follow Him, honestly trust ourselves to Him and strive to become like Him with His help and loving grace. Christ’s death on the cross was the greatest act of love. He conquered evil and sin because He alone is sinless. He conquered death by His resurrection. He offers His gift of everlasting life to us. It’s our daily decision of if we choose to follow Him.

        2. Yeah, jeez, there is a pretty wide gulf between “abstract concept” and “didn’t happen”.

          A better analogy would be to all of the sacrifices North Koreans have made for their powerful glorious nation…

          1. Presume, just for an instant, the fairly standard idea that the Adam and Eve story is a metaphor for a specific condition or abstract concept, which is called “Original Sin”. Then Jesus could indeed die for Original Sin — as an abstract concept or general condition — as opposed to the specific event of Adam and Eve eating the apple. The latter is what wouldn’t have happened, but the general concept would still hold.

            1. And what “general (or specific-whatever) condition/abstract idea” are we talking about? What is the physical reality god is trying to help us grasp by telling us this cock and bull
              story? What exactly was accomplished by this exercise in sadomasochism?
              Unless, of course, the punishment was as metaphoric (read fictional)
              as the crime.

        3. A metaphorical death would seem adequate to a metaphorical problem. No-one has to actually get killed.

          Actually, I think that’s what the Jesus story is: a symbolic story, perhaps used by early forms of Christianity as part of their initiation rituals, much as other stories were used in other mystery religions. There’s no need to suppose there was an historical Jesus behind the stories at all.

          1. Well, to be fair it wasn’t a real death, since Jesus knew he was a god, and thus would be up-and-at-’em in three days. It was more like a bad weekend.

            1. Bad weekend? Why would it be bad? I mean, where would God go when he died? I’m guessing Heaven, so I figure he had a pretty good weekend really….

  8. Is this one of those moderate Christians whose religion never makes scientific claims? If so, can someone please explain to me what this is:

    Whether specially created or specially selected, humans constitute an interruption in the evolutionary process.

    This goes against everything we think we know about evolution.

    1. To be fair, it is mainly the accomodationists rather than the religious that say religion doesn’t make such claims. Francis Collins, after all, rejects NOMA for being too restrictive on religion.

      1. And I reject NOMA as being too restrictive on science.

        So, there you go…different sides of the same coin.

        My consolation in all of this is all of this flailing about by the faithists is that it has all the appearances of the last desperate attempts to defend what they KNOW is indefensible.

        The dying embers of a failed cultural concept. Like the last tree felled on Easter Island.

        My brothers kids grew up in an areligious household, and they can’t understand how rational people actually can even HOPE to believe in such patent nonsense. Unless you come from and have been conditioned to accept faith claims, it comes across to the dispassionate observer as nothing but nutty.

      2. What is Templeton’s position on NOMA? Does it have one? Obviously Ayala is pushing pure NOMA…does Templeton just push both NOMA and not-NOMA, regardless of incoherence?

    2. I will point out one sense in which this seems absolutely true: intelligence and tool-making together make it so that humans, in fact, adapt the environment to them more than they adapt to the environment. We can survive places where our unadorned human physicality would not allow us to live, by adding things like clothing, heating, air conditioning, filtering and all sorts of other things. We can allow for people to survive things that would have guaranteed them death in a more pure evoluitionary landscape. For example, I’d be dead without my glasses, as my eyesight is horrible without them, and so I’d never be one of those that survived. And yet, with the technology of glasses, I can survive and can even pass that deficiency on to children, who can also survive.

      Being able to create technology limits the impact of evolution on us; it’s generally only very dramatic things or very, very small things that can impact us at all. All by making the impact of the environment less for us.

      1. Perhaps technology reduces some specific selection pressures on us but then it also creates a range of new selection pressures of its own. The (frequently offered) notion that because some of us can alter our physical environment to various extents we are not evolving any more, or are evolving “less” (or any of the other tech-trumps-evolution variants) just doesn’t follow. What’s more, it still wouldn’t follow even if the entire population lived in a homogenized “optimum” physical environment (as opposed to the enormous range of conditions we actually occupy.)

        1. The pure, natural form of natural selection doesn’t apply to us as much as it would otherwise. Intelligence combined with tool-using, then, definitely is an interruption in the evolutionary process, since most selection pressures are not natural but are artificial and, to some extent, controllable by ourselves. I don’t really see how this is deniable: changes in the environment result in changes in technology, not changes in human genetics. Except, as I said, for dramatic changes or small, unnoticeable changes.

          1. I’m sorry, there’s a “pure, natural form of natural selection”? What does that look like, and as opposed to what? Selection pressures are selection pressures. Evolution doesn’t assign any special importance to humanity and therefore makes absolutely no distinction between “natural” selection and, what would you like us to call it, “unnatural” selection? Domestic animals still evolve, it’s just that they experience “new”, additional selection pressures in the form of the farmer’s efforts at husbandry and breeding.

            You seem to be suggesting that because we can make parkas and therefore survive in Winnipeg humanity has “interrupted evolution”. That is, sorry to say, nonsense. The ability to (partially) avoid or ameliorate some specific environmental pressure doesn’t “interrupt” anything. I would argue that those of us now living in Winnipeg (thanks to our parkas and furnaces) have, if anything, exposed ourselves to a vast range of new selection pressures that never would have affected us back in the tropical cradle.

          2. You are arbitrarily declaring things that result from human technology as outside of nature. We are of nature as much as any other animal, as are those things that come from us, metacognition notwithstanding.

          3. Your distinction between “artificial” and “natural” is quite artificial. What is the “pure, natural form” of natural selection?

            If humans are products of nature, then so are our inventions. Other humans and their activities have always been part of our natural environment, and they always will be. The same is true for any other species. Therefore, there hasn’t been an interruption in evolution.

            Yes, changes in environment can cause changes in technology. But that doesn’t mean our genes are no longer changing. It’s just that evolution happens on a timescale that is much longer than that of technological developments.

            But we do have examples of genetic changes caused by technological innovations. One of the best known is the invention of dairy farming, which lead to the spread of the mutation that allows lactose processing in adults.

            1. Or take Dawkin’s example of the ‘extented phenotype’ resulting from the technological progress of another mammal – the beaver and his dam building skills.

            2. I’m going to sum up my replies to everyone here:

              1) If you want to accept that if selection is guided by an intelligence it’s still natural selection, then ID is, in fact, a natural selection theory and just as scientific as anything else. You could not distinguish, then, any ID or creationist claims from evolution, as long as they accepted the mechanism of evolution (ie change over time). Now, I won’t say that you would necessarily care about that, but many people here and on other boards don’t accept that. So be careful of the consequences of your claim.

              2) Natural selection, in general, does not refer to directed selection. If I deliberately select for a trait, most people don’t call that natural selection anymore. I’m not saying that that’s right or wrong, but just pointing out that it isn’t a ludicrous thing to say.

              3) Technology is, in fact, artificial by all definitions of the word that apply. It’s somewhat insane to try to argue that technology is somehow “natural” and have that be a meaningful statement. I know why you do it, which will lead to …

              4) My actual point, which is that technology allows us to ignore, in general, the consequences of the environment. Yes, technology can introduce new pressures, but an awful lot of them go away when you can adapt the environment the way you want it. If my statement was that the interruption was complete, you’d have a case but …

              5) I didn’t actually say that it was complete. I argued that it only applied to either very big and dramatic changes, or very, very small ones (height would be a good example). I don’t expect, for example, to see even over thousands of years something like humans developing fur again or losing all their hair; there’s no reproductive pressure that could select for that unless a societal change chose one over the other (which is currently not the case). And social attractiveness changes radically in that time anyway, and so likely won’t be stable enough to allow for it.

              Basically, in summary too much of our intelligence and tool-gathering interferes with any environmental pressures, meaning that evolutionary pressures will be filtered through us FIRST before they can activate. Thus, intelligence clearly interrupts evolution by giving us the ability to interrupt, block, or eliminate the pressuring agent before it can affect reproduction or survival.

            3. Why do you arbitrarily assert that the effects of humans on their environment (physical and cultural) and how it affects them and their response to pressures (e.g. through tool use and technology development) are distinct from analogous effects of other animals on their environment, and the inevitable feedback thereof in their selective milieu?

            4. The issue with ID is not that intelligent agents can not influence evolution. The issue with ID is the evidence-free claim that intelligent agent(s) have, in fact, influenced evolution in specific ways and to some specific end.

              As with the rest of your points, your core problem seems to revolve around the term “natural selection”. Darwin coined the phrase to illustrate how the evolution of “wild” organisms was analogous to the evolution of domestic animals by “artificial selection”. It was a rather brilliant image to help people grasp the concept. It works because everyone understands the effects of “artificial selection” on an organism’s evolution, everyone being familiar with dogs, cows, pigeons or cabbages. How you can possibly read into that some kind of refutation of anything but purely non-technological selection is beyond me.

              Don’t get all tangled up in one shorthand phrase of Darwin’s. Learn the actual theory, it’s richer and much more elegant than your unfortunate, misleading cartoon.

            5. If you want to accept that if selection is guided by an intelligence it’s still natural selection…

              If I deliberately select for a trait, most people don’t call that natural selection anymore.

              Where did you get the idea that we were talking about people deliberately selecting for traits?

              My actual point, which is that technology allows us to ignore, in general, the consequences of the environment

              And my point is that technology is part of the environment itself. We change the environment, and the environment changes us. Just like with all living creatures.

            6. Left unsaid so far (or maybe just missed by me) is the fact that while selection pressure is what is responsible for adaptive evolution, genetic drift is an important (if not the dominant) component of the evolutionary process. An organism’s ability to alter the environment has no impact on that part of the process.

      2. We can survive places where our unadorned human physicality would not allow us to live, by adding things like clothing, heating, air conditioning, filtering and all sorts of other things. We can allow for people to survive things that would have guaranteed them death in a more pure evoluitionary landscape. For example, I’d be dead without my glasses, as my eyesight is horrible without them, and so I’d never be one of those that survived.

        I’d like to point out that nothing you’ve described actually filters out ants, termites, monkeys, ravens, octopi, dolphins, bees or any number of animals that are communal or tool-using or both. Our differences from those other creatures is a matter of magnitude, not kind.

        1. And since my comment is about that change in magnitude, not kind, this doesm’t really address my point. Only humans combine intelligence and tool-using to such a degree that when the environment changes the humans don’t change genetically or get selected for that environment change, but instead alter their tools, technology and environment so that the impact of the environmental change on who gets selected gets effectively eliminated.

          1. You appear to be under the impression that selection requires individuals to be killed, or otherwise die prematurely. For example, you said:

            For example, I’d be dead without my glasses, as my eyesight is horrible without them, and so I’d never be one of those that survived.

            But this assumption is false. Evolution only requires some to produce more offspring than others, which is still quite possible in our society.

            1. Except that my statement is, in fact, true. I’d have been dead long before I could reproduce without glasses, and eyesight problems cause issues with that. I’ll concede that I wasn’t careful enough if you’ll concede that I wasn’t careless enough to allow you to just dismiss the example without thought.

            2. No Verbosestoic, you live in an environment where bad eyesight is no longer detrimental due to technology. This is still natural selection– (there’s no supernatural force deciding what genes do and don’t get passed on.)

              If you lived in a primitive environment then you may not have survived or found a mate due to your poor eyesight– but you don’t. Bad eyesight is not a deleterious trait in an environment that compensates for or fixes bad eyesight. Nature does not select against bad eyesight in our technological advanced society.

              There will always be humans that pass on more of their DNA than others. To the extent that the environment preferentially selects for the traits coded in their DNA(even if these traits are something “undesirable” like impulsivity)it will shape the evolution of future humans.If impulsive people have more offspring than non impulsive people, then we can expect future generations to be more impulsive.

              We also live in an environment where people can limit their reproduction if they desire. This also is “natural selection”.

              The environment doesn’t care what you think are good traits, it just keeps selecting gene vectors that are the best at creating more gene vectors in the environment they find themselves in. This results in evolution.

            3. Except that my statement is, in fact, true.

              But you can’t know that. You have no way of knowing what would have happened in a hypothetical situation where you would have been born in more primitive circumstances. Besides, even in “primitive” circumstances, people still tend to band together, and protect their relatives. You could rely on the sight of your fellow tribesmen, or contribute in one of the many tasks that don’t require accurate sight.

              Second, people have clearly been doing well enough without glasses for most of human history. Bad eyesight clearly didn’t get eradicated by evolution, so it can’t have been that detrimental.

            4. And besides, I didn’t actually say that your example was false. I said that the implicit assumption behind many of your posts, that evolution doesn’t happen when people no longer die before they can reproduce, is false.

      3. The human eye is one of the most trouble prone organs in the body. Why do so many people need eye glasses? And Christians claim only an ‘intelligent designer’ could have ‘created’ the eye. What bullshit. I can’t demand a replacement for my blind right eye from “god”. No warranty.

        1. While I do hate to waste one of my few posts to reply to this, I do like to highlight these sorts of things on occasion. What in the world does this have to do with what I said? I never claimed anything about ID here. I simply pointed out that technology helps people survive and reproduce when they otherwise wouldn’t have.

          It often boggles my mind when people make these sorts of points and think it says something important. It boggles my mind more — and thankfully it so far isn’t the case here — when others who claim rationality also think it was a great reply.

  9. I haven’t followed the links but it is my understanding that the problem modern Christians are confronted with regarding the reconciliation of Adam and Eve with evolution is ‘original sin’. If Adam and Eve are metaphors then there is no original sin. Without original sin there’s nothing for Jesus to have done. And without Jesus there is no Christianity.

    Quite the dilemma for them.

  10. I think this stuff is interesting from the genetics point of view.
    Look at another quote from their site about the relationship between the Fall and the evolution of Homo sapiens

    “To connect human physical death to the Fall, we must be clear about what it means to be human. It is argued that bearing God’s image is not a matter of our physical appearance but a matter of our capacity to love both God and others, to have dominion over the Earth and to have moral consciousness. In this way we might distinguish between Homo sapiens and the image-bearing creatures that we might call Homo divinus. While Homo sapiens might have a similar body structure or physical capabilities of Homo divinus, the latter exists in God’s image.”

    OK, so they claim a new species, Homo divinus, arose from Homo sapiens after the intervention of God (presumably, in their minds, by injecting a soul which allowed Homo divinus to both have a sense of morality and have free will).

    Right, now consider this, we recently discovered that there has been a hybridization between the Homo sapiens who left Africa, 70,000 years ago, and the (non soul bearing?) Neanderthals they encountered such that a significant part of humanity has ‘recent’ ancestry with neanderthals. Quite what the implications of this has on theological genetics I cannot yet fathom but I think we need Francis Collins to make a statement!

    1. It’s possible that the pairing between a divine hominid and the soulless hominid created a demi-divine line of hominids: sapient to some extent, but not so much as to qualify them for the heaven/hell thingy. It’s like cat heaven or dog heaven. There’s neaderheaven too, which opens the possibility that it might be morally desirable to send members of this bloodline (if they haven’t all died off) to neanderheaven early, to keep them from making more demi-descendants which would never truly know the difference between right and wrong, nor would never know the true glory of tippy-top heaven, which is where you’d be headed if it wasn’t for your infernal questioning nature.

      The little animals of the forest… they can’t help it if they’re ugly. I TOLD YOU I’D SHOOT! But you didn’t BELIEVE me… WHY didn’t you believe me?!?

  11. most of scripture goes down the drain

    Just say Yea! Have a wonder-full solstice day!

    PS – The Jesus-God thingy has been busy lately; tornado in Billings, destruction of the United States gulf coast (if It can run birds into jet engines, surely It has some options there), burning Flagstaff. OH MY! (Perhaps the christian god-idea doesn’t appreciate its thoughtless christian mob making excuses for It.) Praise be to He, for He will set a fee.

    1. Of course, to a substantial minority of Jesus-ers, all of these things are GOOD things. They’re signs and portents, signifying that any second now that the faithful will be taken up into heaven bodily. (Weird, I know, but ‘thinking’ is not the strong suit of these folks.)

      Of course, if you look at the prediction, it’ll only be a few thousand MEN (no women will be Raptured), and then there will be years and years of tribulation for the rest of us.

      1. The other option that the christians tend to conveniently forget is that their god already did the rapture deal, more than a thousand years ago (as It promised in Its holey book), and has moved on. I think it would be entertaining to push that into the public discussion (the christian way has been a disaster, stirring the pot may help.)

        1. I bring that up all the time with them. It is, of course, the only way to make sense of their scripture.

          They think that’s just silly.

  12. Just as a note, in Hebrew the worth “breath” is cognate with “spirit” or “soul”. If he went describing in length all kind of ambiguous and logic that’s based on wild imagination, he could at least use this translation to back his ideas.

  13. Isn’t it comforting to know that this is the organization founded by the current head of the NIH, the former head of the Human Genome Project? How can one do gel electrophoresis one day and then develop apologetics for the existence of Adam and Eve the next? I just don’t understand such radical cognitive compartmentalization. Honestly, this reads like a very bad joke.

    And if

    BioLogos takes a firm stand on the fact that Adam and Eve could not have been the sole biological progenitors of all humans

    then what becomes of the notion of Original Sin? If Adam and Eve are metaphorical, then the whole notion of Original Sin becomes a mushy metaphor as well. But even if they were “real”, as this essay argues, then if they weren’t the ancestors of everyone, why does everyone have to suffer for their error? If they are not actually my relatives, why am I included in the collective punishment? Isn’t is questionable enough that related people are punished for something done by a genetic relative thousands of years ago?

  14. Slightly irrelevant to the main topic of discussion but isn’t this misleading?

    ‘What’s clear is that our ancestors were in a population of humans who left Africa around 60,000 years ago, and virtually all of modern human DNA comes from that population, which itself descended from African ancestors who split off about 6 million years ago from the ancestors of modern chimps’

    Perhaps you should clarify here – the quote seems to imply that Africans are not modern humans, which I’m sure is not what what you meant.

  15. Jerry,

    Have you looked at some of the other posts at BioLogos, esp. those by Pete Enns? They are very different in tone.

    1. Yeah, but not much better, viz:

      First of all, reading the Adam story symbolically rather than as a literal description of history is not a whim, and it is certainly not driven by a desire to undermine the Bible. Rather, as we have seen, the Bible itself invites a symbolic reading by using cosmic battle imagery and by drawing parallels between Adam and Israel (to name two factors).

      Yeah, right. The bible INVITES a symbolic reading. That’s clearly a desperate post facto rationalization for the many erroneous statements in the Bible.

  16. LOL. How do you make the incoherent coherent? Why any intelligent person would want a belief system that requires such tortuous logic, if it can be called logic, is beyond me.

    1. Sexy Steve, placed in the garden by Satan himself after Adam discovered his own nakedness, had wild flings with Adam on Sabbaths, when Eve was dutifully resting, until Adam finally got around to begetting his first son at the age of 130. (Genesis 5:3) Adam and Steve continued to have occasional romps for the next 800 years until Adam’s death at the age of 930. However, as Steve didn’t bear Adam any heirs, he was lost in the pages of history.

      1. No, no. God created Steve to ‘give the appearance’ that homosexuality is merely natural, not the abomination in his sight that it actually is. (For his usual mysterious reasons….)

    1. If Collins follows CS Lewis (as usual), he might say that the historicity of the Bible characters starts out rather fuzzy but gets sharp about the time of King David or thereabouts.

      It was never clear to me how to tell where the historicity supposedly kicked in. In the biblcal narratives, Noah seems about as real as Jesus, except that we now know that the “great flood” never happened. But then, Noah didn’t do all this highly improbable (impossible) stuff like turning water to wine, walking on water, raising the dead, etc., either.

      1. If Collins follows CS Lewis (as usual), he might say that the historicity of the Bible characters starts out rather fuzzy

        But presumably not fuzzy as in “fuzzy logic” or quantum wave forms. Surely they either existed or not, right? Surely there is a truth of the matter?

        1. Oh let’s not get started on THAT!

          The most egregious misuse of science in the defense of religion is anytime anyone of faith uses the word “quantum”.

          What follows after that is sure to be total woo-filled mush.

  17. “If they are literary people, then that raises questions about the rest of the Biblical cast. Are Moses and Jesus fictional characters too?”

    Well, yes, it very much appears that this is indeed the case. The harder one looks, the more inescapable is the conclusion that Moses and Jesus are completely fictional constructs.

    Jesus is still defended with fierce irrationality, but I think Moses is generally deemed complete fabrication.

    The historicity of Jesus has never – to this day – been evaluated with true scientific rigor. If it was, it might be the most constructive use of research monies ever devised. Now THAT would make the BioLogos crowd have a nervous breakdown!

    1. I couldn’t agree more. There is no direct evidence for a literal Jesus and yet acceptance is almost universal. Wikipedia, for example, opens their article on the historicity of Jesus by saying that “essentially all scholars in the relevant fields agree that the mere historical existence of Jesus can be established using documentary and other evidence.” Even among skeptics and atheists belief appears to be the majority position.

      More support for Hitler’s Big Lie strategy, I guess.

    2. Well go to Rational Skepticism and try to defend that. Some influential posters there call you “mythers” (trying to tar you with the birther brush?) and argue vehemently that though virtually nothing christians believe about him is true, he did live. Their central argument (if I properly understand it) is that a saviour who gets brutally executed is too hard a sell to have been made up.

      1. Not at all! Osiris managed it about three thousand years before. Along with hundreds of other corn/vegetation deities. (jesus was born in Bethlehem = the house of bread)

        The problem for religious, as I see it, is not that mythology is not “true” in its own terms but that the power of scientific method (I wouldn’t want to reify science) and the dominance of empiricism means they are forced to choose between their myths being literal truth or literal nonsense.

        Unfortunate, because I think there is a case to be made for mythology. Another subject.

      2. “Their central argument (if I properly understand it) is that a saviour who gets brutally executed is too hard a sell to have been made up.”

        Ah, the argument from incredulity (or embarrassment). Not very persuasive. Here is an argument from incredulity that negates it:

        The Jews would never worship a mere man, especially a criminal, as a God.

        And they didn’t. The early origins of Christianity depict a God who comes down from heaven and takes human form. The fleshing out of Jesus as a real person born of a woman comes later. And they can’t even agree on any of that, and there is very, very little biography put forward. Whole decades of his life are missing. Jesus was from seven different towns, had different professions, had different siblings or none at all depending on which account is read. It is not even perfectly clear who his father was. All accounts of his family – what there is of them – completely stop after his supposed death. Etc, etc, etc.

        Jesus as myth solves myriads of problems associated with the historical Jesus and leaves few problems of its own. It makes a lot more sense than any version involving a physical man.

  18. @Hempenstein,

    An advantage of this scheme is that God’s natural processes marvelously work

    Indeed. I am quite certain that, for Rev. Harrell, it’s metaphor all the way down. This little deliberation was about how to keep the customers paying. He went to BioLogos because, for anyone serving a literate market, they seem to be one of the most effective sales teams around.

  19. If God dictated the Bible, and gave the Genesis account as simply a metaphor for evolution (presumably an idea that was beyond the ken of Middle Eastern goatherds two millennia ago), then why couldn’t he have made up Adam and Eve as a metaphor for the human branch of the evolutionary tree?

    This is actually fairly simple to answer: The Creation portion of Genesis is of no particular theological import, except of course to set up Yahweh as Lord and Master of the Universe. But in that regard, the specifics are unimportant. The Adam and Eve portion of Genesis, on the other hand, is of critical importance to Christian theology. If the Fall didn’t go down like that, then Jesus is going to look really stupid hanging up on that cross for nothing.

    If one is willing to go through Biologos-caliber mental contortions to make it happen, perhaps the metaphor of the Fall can still be salvaged without the particulars… but there’s no denying that there is a problem.

    It has been speculated that this is part of the driving force behind Creationism — if you accept that scientific evidence implies the Creation story must be metaphorical, then you are in hot water when similar evidence denies the Adam and Eve story. If one wishes to retain the latter, it’s sometimes easier to just give science the finger.

    It occurs to me that Adam-and-Eve-as-metaphor is less of a problem for Jewish theology.. While Jewish scripture is quite clear on the “humans suck” point, there’s nothing that specifically depends on it. Humans could be totally fine, and it’s just that Yahweh might be a vengeful jealous cockmaster. Oh wait, yeah, the Torah pretty much says as much…

    I wonder if this has any significance?

    1. Amen!

      I often think that “Adam and Eve” or eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, is a great metphor for the evolution of self awareness.

      “Original sin” is a specifically christian doctrine, but again I cant see any problem with a metaphorical, or mythological, approach. The primary meaning of ‘harmartano’ (sin) is missing the mark, failure, be mistaken – something we can all identify with I think, so part of the human condition. So a mythological atonement should be sufficient to relieve the burden of self doubt, guilt, depression or however you want to describe it.

    2. This is apparently what led Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life and megachurch pastor, to reject evolution. Saint Paul stated that death first entered the world after the fall, and this seems to be key to the original sin business.

    3. Re: the “humans suck”point:

      That’s the other thing that is never really mentioned by moderate Christians in these discussions about how to read Genesis. If the story of Adam and Eve is not historic, but symbolic, what exactly does it symbolize? What message should we take home from it? Always do what you are told? Curiosity is bad? People should be punished for the deeds of their ancestors? God is not just? Women are more sinful than men?

      The truth is that even when read symbolically, the story of Adam and Eve is horribly outdated.

    4. A small theological point that I made over at Pharyngula (where I shall be forever known as Googlemess because of my incompetence at signing in any other way)…

      Original Sin is not a concept taught by most Protestant sects. Instead, they teach that Jesus, who WAS god, was required by himself to come down as himself and sacrifice himself to himself in a bloody, showy execution in order that god (ie, himself) would be able to forgive humans for everyday sins — like whacking off or mowing the grass on Sunday. But the propitiation is condition on belief that the sacrifice happened. So, the power of forgiveness is tied directly to your thoughts…if you don’t believe Jesus made the sacrifice, then he didn’t (NO SOUP FOR YOU!!).

      Most evangelicals scoff at the concept of Original Sin — even though they are SURE that Adam and Eve indeed were real belly-button-and-nipples humans.

      1. Where, Kevin? I want to meet these evangelical scoffers. I was an evangelical for two decades and sat under some big name teachers, have my biblical studies degree from a well-respective evangelical college, worked for Billy Graham, and have many evangelical friends even today…and I’ve yet to meet evangelicals who did not believe in original sin. The Pauline scheme of substitutionary atonement doesn’t work without that concept, really. Are you quite sure you have any idea what the hell you’re talking about?

        1. Well, I just pulled this out the ether from a Church of Christ preacher named Kevin (no relation) Cauley … Entitled “The Argument Against the False Doctrine of Original Sin”

          “There is no greater threat to practicing true Christianity than the doctrine of original sin (also known as the doctrine of total hereditary depravity).”

          Perhaps you’re not as sure of yourself as you once were?

          1. You’re kidding, right? Nothing could make me more certain that I’m right and you wrong than your mistaking something from the Church of Christ as evangelical. Few of the evangelicals I know would even consider Church of Christ “truly Christian,” much less anything like evangelical.

            There’s no shame in being ignorant, Kevin. But to parade about wearing your ignorance like garish feather boa is a tad unseemly.

          2. Hey, Kev. The Church of Christ is both anti-Calvinist and anti-Catholic, which why they write such rants about such things. They don’t even need a doctrine to replace what they condemn.

            But the COC does teach a literal, historical Adam and Eve and that their sin is “how sin entered the world” — especially since this is re-stated in the NT. They are just ranting against on the tenets of Calvinism, even though their own position is not greatly different.

  20. So Harrell, with all his qualifications and experience as a pastor, has been giving this a lot of thought, and has given us his two very best ideas: either God created Adam and Eve as the first two humans, and starlight and rocks and DNA appear to be ancient but really aren’t (in which case He’s a big fat Liar), or Adam wasn’t really Adam but just some bloke with the same name. Since his theories are contradictory, he must believe that either of them could be false. Can he really not see the third alternative, which accords perfectly with the abundant physical evidence, that both theories are false, and Genesis is merely a storybook? I can’t believe he doesn’t see this. Which would make Harrell the big fat Liar.

    1. Indeed.

      He is unwilling or unable to view his myth through the same lens that he views all conflicting myths.

  21. It’s amazing how many man-hours of intellectual activity are wasted on stuff like this, when all you have to do is reject the unfounded hypothesis of Biblical truth to begin with.

  22. I can’t quite see why evangelicals have such a fixation on Adam and Eve. I thought the Flood wiped the slate clean by killing off all the sinners and we started over fresh.

    1. I think it is as simple as “No Adam and Eve, no Fall of Man; no Fall of Man, no need for redemption, and, therefore, no need for Jesus.”

    2. Don’t forget that Eve’s seduction of Adam is the excuse for most of the misogyny in the Bible. Remember that the story also explains why women are punished with monthly bleeding – a punishment that didn’t end with the flood, either, so clearly that original sin has not yet been forgiven by God.

  23. “It’s far simpler to just see Adam and Eve as metaphors”.

    Actually, it’s not so simple. Jesus’ whole lineage is vitally important to the Biblical narrative, and the Bible traces this lineage name-by-name from Jesus back to Adam. This is what makes Christians feel Adam must be an historical person, and so they’ll try hard to keep this view if they possibly can.

        1. Matrilineal descent is pretty important in Judaism. It lets Jesus claim to be Jewish even if his dad is unknown.

          1. Except that Luke tells us that the line was “Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of Matthat” etc. through David and back to Adam. Matthew tells us that the line was Joseph son of Jacob son of Matthat etc. through David back to Abraham.

            I do find it faintly ridiculous that even “sources” such as Wikipedia blatantly blur the issue by listing the Luke lineage as descending to “Mary & Joseph” and the Matthew lineage as descending to “Joseph & Mary” just to preserve the pathetic grasping-straw that one of the recitations might (somehow) actually refer to her lineage.

  24. I happen to be in Edina right now, and mainly what I hold against Colonial Church in Edina is that when I graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies and interviewed for a communication ministry position with them, they eventually told me the reason they didn’t hire me is because while I had a tie on, I had not buttoned the top button properly. I swear I’m not kidding. Now, I’ve read Leviticus, many times, and I don’t remember that being in there, but maybe it was all part of someone’s grand experiment to live REALLY ancient superstition, rather than the updated superstition of the New Testament. At any rate, the fact that there were willing even to entertain hiring an idiot like me from a fundamentalist college (where Billy Graham was once president) should speak volumes about the kind of people they really are. I have to say though, that is one extremely attractive church. Edina is a wealthy Minneapolis suburb, and that’s a rich church. They can afford to sit around luxuriating in their ignorance, I suppose.

  25. I’ve had witnesses try to tell me that God placed the fossils in the ground for apparent age or that they buried themselves in the search for food.
    It’s simply rubbish.
    As you’ve pointed out here, the DNA evidence is contrary to the bible stories. Looking beyond that, the DNA of ALL species would show signs of a bottleneck associated with Noah’s Ark. This doesn’t happen (or did God step in the mess with the genetics again to hide the bottleneck signal?).
    It’s all a bunch of fables and misrepresentations of geological and astrological events (where history was involved) by unsophisticated people. Faith is the last resort for the coward and has nothing on the amazing factual universe.

      1. lol – I know.. I recently found a picture that showed this.
        Years ago, when I was a biol student, I used to love debating with religious ppl – witnesses were the most fun. They had a book that discussed creation vs evolution.. for memory (the lady gave me a copy) they said that the dinosaurs used up the oxygen and in their stupor they dug themselves holes which caused apparent age. The pic I found was similar, I reposted it here;

    1. If god was going to mess with genetics, you’d think he’d have fixed that vitamin C pseudo gene…

      Speaking of genetics, I think I can do a genetic twisting to help Biologos with their conundrum: Let’s call the last common ancestor of all humans alive today: “Cain”– We’ll call his “Adam and Eve” (since they gave rise to the person who gave rise to the rest of us). Cain can mate with the other women around at the time and still remain the last common ancestor– this gets him out of incest dilemma. And it allows the religious people to point to an actual couple who gave rise to humanity (though it’s not mitochondrial Eve and the YECs are still out of luck because the Last common ancestor is much further back in time.)

      Yeah… yeah… that ought to give them something to chew on. Bioogos likes to throw in a little science with their superstit… er… faith. I think this would work. I wonder why Francis Collins didn’t come up with it? I mean there’s still the problem of talking snakes and original sin and how it all relates to Jesus needing to die… plus, the last common ancestor moves forward in time as lineages die out… but I think it might give them a more accurate count as they figure how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  26. If they are literary people, then that raises questions about the rest of the Biblical cast. Are Moses and Jesus fictional characters too?

    Well yes, it does. It’s much the same with other stories. Is Hamlet real while Laertes is made up? Is Lear an invention while Cordelia was a really true person? Is Isabel Archer real while Gilbert Osmond was a product of Henry James’s imagination? What about Holmes and Watson? Which twin had the Toni?

    This is deep theological stuff, don’t you think?

    1. But what about Scarlet O’Hara?! General Sherman is in that book and HE was real.

      So that MUST mean there was a real Scarlet O’Hara, and those curtains were really used to make that dress to seduce Rhett Butler (who was TOTALLY real!).

      Yeah, no kidding, I’ve had theists claim that because the bible tells about places that were later found to be real and some historical figures that *may* be real, then the ENTIRE thing MUST be true.

      Historical fiction, indeed.

  27. Harrell: “God created [Adam & Eve] supernaturally, midstream in evolution’s flow. To create in such a way would require that God also put in place a DNA history, since human origins genetically trace back to earlier, common ancestors.”

    Does this ‘solution’ even address the real problem? I’m no geneticist, but doesn’t the genetic evidence against humans descending from one pair of individuals include the distribution of different genetic features across the human population? For example, the fact that there are umpteen genes for hemoglobin, or the multitude of line/sine patterns observed in different peoples genes, etc.
    How does God create a DNA population history in two individuals with a total of 4 sets of chromosomes? You can’t fit the appearance of population age into two individuals (or even 6 if your counting from Noah’s sons).

    1. I think Harell’s argument is that God poofed two individuals, Adam and Eve, into existence, at a time when there were already many other humans with whom they and their descendants could interbreed. Once you forgive the thrashing of the laws of thermodynamics necessary for the poofing process I think it poses more theological than genetic problems. For example we were previously told that sophisticated christianity teaches that God ‘ensouled’ humanity at some point in our evolution. Harell’s poofing theory suggests that there needs to be a way for the soul to pass from his Adam and Eve to the non poofed humans – since all humans from that point on are assumed to have souls – a virus perhaps?
      Soul Flu?

  28. BIOLOGOS: “We have developed enough mastery over our environment … that natural selection, in the strict Darwinian sense, no longer really applies to us.

    COYNE: “Never mind the insupportable statement that natural selection no longer applies to us—a silly assertion that is instantly refuted by the case of sickle-cell anemia in Africa.”

    I think that Biologos’ use of the phrase “in the strict Darwinian sense”, was significant, yet ignored in Coyne’s rebuttal.

    1. Not at all–sickle cell anemia demonstrates natural selection in the strict Darwinian sense. You’re simply wrong in what you say.

    2. No, it wasn’t – the sickle-cell anemia case is strict Darwinian, isn’t it?

      There are massive evidence for recent selective sweeps affecting ~ 10 % of our genome (see John Hawks et al), but AFAIU a discussion how large portion have time to actually fixate.

  29. I see the Templeton Foundation is at it again. Well its members are Brain Dead.

    Christopher Hitchens is right:


  30. That’s what happened to me: Could not make Adam and Eve fit in with what I knew of human evolution, nor Noah’s flood with what I knew of history of earth and today’s biodiversity.
    I rejected those accounts as fiction and soon afterwards all the holy book fell apart, and I became areligious if not (yet) atheist.

    That been said the holy book was the Quran not Genesis, and I was in my early bloody teens.

    Grow up!

  31. I recommend reading “The Bible Unearthed”: Finklestein & Silberman. They are Israeli archaelolgists who do not dig with a spade in one hand and a bible in the other hand. They have irrefutable proof that the bible is fiction and in no way historical.

    1. “They have irrefutable proof that the bible is fiction and in no way historical.”

      Um, that’s not their thesis. At all.
      Finklestein & Silberman view the Bible as a hodgepodge of myth, propaganda and some actual history.

  32. I do not understand. Shouldn’t we be discussing this on the Templeton Bio site and not here? I am on my way there. Possibly everyone already is.

  33. That is hilarious.

    In a hillbilly kind of way (hillarious?).*

    [* No hillbillys were hurt during the production of this comment – they were referred to as a metaphor.**

    [** It’s probably not technically a metaphor, but I dunno the exact term.]]

  34. Accord to the “Holey Babble” incest is a SIN. Right? Adam and Eve were the first two humsns and they had children, males and females. Then those children bonked each other producing more children through incest. What BS.

  35. Perhaps this has already been said, but if they have to work so bloody hard at interpreting the absolute, unquestionable, divine Word of God, doesn’t that leave enough room for human error that it pretty much negates the absolutivity, unquestionability, and divinity of the whole damned thing?

    1. Well, um…

      Who are you to question god?!!

      Actually, I think Biologos folks may be distracting themselves with the Genesis story so they don’t have to quibble with the inane basis of Christian belief: This invisible divine being made sinful people and then premeditated the murder of his kid (who was really him incarnate) to “atone for” the past, present, and future sins of those first people and their descendants (whom, I guess, were destined to be sinners because they didn’t have magical DNA like god’s favorite kid –who was really him.)

      I suspect it’s much easier to bicker over Adam and Eve then to try to make sense of the sick notion that the crucifixion of one guy can “pay for” the supposed sins of others– How is this payment exactly? Is a day and a half on a cross really a sacrifice when “happily ever after” is guaranteed as a follow-up? Why does god need a sacrifice when he could have made sinless folks as readily as he made the sinless Jesus? How does killing Jesus fix this error? And if sins are paid for in advance, shouldn’t we get our “money’s worth” by sinning up a storm?
      Oh what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to BELIEVE.

      1. Excellent! I got a big chuckle out of that. I’m going to archive your post to my machine. It’s well worth saving. Thanks.

  36. Next, perhaps, a discussion on how belief in the Bible prevents reason from intruding in one’s life. (Yeah, I understand the difference between belief in God and belief in the Bible, but they don’t seem to who are involved in that discussion.)

    1. I don’t have the book in front of me, but Hitchen’s “God is Not Great…”, in one of his chapters, quotes Martin Luther, I think it was: “Reason can do naught but do harm to the Word of God” and “We sacrifice the intellect to faith” (or something like that). Anyway, some of the most famous (I hesitate to say “great”) religious writers fully recognize that faith and reason are totally incompatible. So, your discussion could well be started by considering the “wisdom” of these “great” writers…or, not.

    2. Next, perhaps, a discussion on how belief in the Bible prevents reason from intruding in one’s life.

      I recommend Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell.

  37. I am pretty much now an atheist but did exist as a believer (even a conservative one) for several years after recognizing the truth of evolution and non-literalness of Adam and Eve. The ladder simply wasn’t a major issue since my particular tradition and community was more apt to stress that Jesus died for MY sins, not for some generic original sin. Indeed, Paul was specifically linking the two in Romans but as you might guess, any one tradition ignores a great deal of what the Bible says since it written by many different authors with contradictory ideas.

  38. As a believer of the Bible and a very fond fan of evolution, I can tell those here that whether Adam and Eve were real is, frankly, irrelevant. As long as there was some small group of ancient people who royally screwed up (enough for God to produce a clone/pseudopod/progeny to piggy-back our negative energy… or something like that), everything else can be taken as figuratively as possible.

    1. Believer of the bible/fond fan of evolution?
      Isn’t it more reasonable that the bible is just an old book of fables than to go on some elaborate path of some invisible interfering supernatural being that’s gone to great lengths to disguise it’s presences and yet demand worship?
      I’d prefer to rely on the best of our knowledge; simplify on understanding, rather than rely on unnecessary elaboration that lacks any demonstrative evidence.

    2. So if you throw out literalism then you can always cast around throughout history and find somethin’ that maybe sorta kinda seems like it fits whatever the bible actually says, or close enough… and yet you Believe? You can do the same with the prophecies of Nostradamus or a random horoscope from the newspaper. It seems to me that what you describe is the identifying mark of a failed system.

      1. Of course. The hallmark of any good mythology is that it doesn’t get too cluttered up in “historical” events that it makes up. That is, I can take away the same moral or central idea no matter which way I look at it.

        Maybe it’s stupid, and maybe I’m somehow completely lacking in intelligence or thought processes because of any accomodationist belief in God and friends, but here’s something to chew on: it’s human.

        1. As a footnote, I’m probably not one to defend, since I actually do that with horoscopes (kinda sorta fit it in with my life right then).

    3. “enough for God to produce a clone/pseudopod/progeny to piggy-back our negative energy… or something like that”

      Because that belief isn’t supernatural claptrap at all.

  39. I used to be a moderate presbyterian, but as I started listening more to the apologetic gibber jabber, I began to realize that these jokers were just making stuff up as they went along. When you actually listen to what they’re saying, you realize that there’s no evidence, its just a bunch of post hoc BS.

    1. Perhaps Harrell’s essay was an attempt to do better than Ruse’s attempt to reconcile the Doctrine of Original Sin with Evolutionary Biology at Huff-Post. Maybe Biologos don’t like Ruse’s watery vapidities (theological equivalent of homeopathy?) I can see precious little difference between them. They are both preaching to the converted. Those who take comfort in believing themselves to be nice moderate sensible folks as distinct from atheist or religious fundamentalists. The inordinate degree of intellectual crap-content required to sustain this wimpy mind-set isn’t a problem to them.

      Biologos didn’t like my offering to them:

      RCC theology is humanity’s most elaborate mythological construction. The real myth being defended above is “free will”. God is absolved from sin and humanity is made responsible. “God” here, as always, is a place-holder for ignorance. Absent knowledge of evolution from a primordial form of life. Then, which is it? Does each of us have an infinite number of ancestors extending backwards into time without begining? Or did God create a pair of pristine universal ancestors at a discrete point in the past? Which answer shall we choose? Which is the more rationallly and emotionally satisfying when we are unconstrained by the facts?

      Why is there suffering? Why is there evil? Is there no way of escaping the horror? Is death final? Or does the horror continue?

      Science suggests answers which contradict the great religions. No karma. No nirvana. No heaven. No redemption. Death is oblivion. Suffering comes with the territory. There is no “free will”. Good and evil individual compulsions (not choices) are psychosocial manifestations of the naturally selected human brain. The rest is nada.

      Actually, I have slightly altered what I sent to Biologos to incorporate Ruse’s take on St Paul as natural scientist -psychologist – as opposed to chief evangelical instigator of the Holy Roman Catholic faith. Yes, the RCC does contain profound, intuitively recognised, psychological truths. But the millions who practice the faith don’t want to be told that is all there is to it. Any more, I suspect, than Biologos want to be told. That’s not Religious Faith, stupid. It’s idle piddle-addled pseudoreligion of the theistically/intellectually vacuous kind.

  40. The story about Adam and Eve is a metaphor. Both Adam and Eve are representatives of all of us. You have to read the words very carefully to understand what God is telling you in this story. I am going to interpret the story for you and most of you are not going to like what it says. Your not going to like it at all, especially christains. This story also proves once and for all that God is real and he is the author of Genesis. I will start at Genesis 2:17

    Genesis 2:17 “But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.”

    What kind of tree grows knowledge? Tree don’t grow knowledge do they. Books are made from trees and they do contain knowledge. Books also have leaves. So a tree is a metaphor for a book. This book grows knowledge of good and bad. The book is the Bible cause that what I am reading from and it is about good and bad.

    What is the fruit on this Tree? A Cross is also a metaphor for a tree. Jesus was nailed to a tree.
    The Tree Bears Jesus.
    Jesus is he fruit on this tree. Jesus is the fruit of the New Testament.

    1. Trees have bark. Dogs also have bark. Dog is god spelled backwards but dogs can’t climb trees! Coincidence? I don’t think so! (Pretty good eh? Now can I be in your crazy-club? We can shave each other’s heads and wear matching cilices!)

      Anyways, full marks for logic-contortionist necroposting but proof of god? Not so much.

  41. I see CW needs more proof. Here it is:

    Eve says in:

    Genesis 3:3 But as for eating of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, God has said, “You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it that you do not die.” 4 At this the serpent said to the woman: “You positively will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes are bound to be opened and you are bound to be like God, knowing good and bad.”

    This is where Eve has been deceived. Remember you don’t gain knowledge from eating you get knowledge from reading.
    In this paragragh God again gives more proof that the Serpent is the Roman Catholic Church. The serpent says to Eve, eat the Fruit (Jesus) you will not die. Does this sound familiar. “Take in Jesus and you will not die”. Or Believe in Jesus and you will not die.

    Eve eats the fruit and she does not die. After she eats (reads) from the tree (Bible) her eyes are opened and she knows good from bad. The serpent is telling the truth.

    The Church is telling the Truth

    The serpent isn’t lying he’s deceiving Eve.
    Why is this deceiving? Because it leads you to believe that if you don’t take Jesus in your going to die. Your not going to heaven. But God says don’t eat the fruit, it’s poison. What I think God is saying is that by taking Jesus in will poison your mind.

    And Yes, minds have been poisoned.

    1. The bible is no more proof of God’s existence than Twilight is proof of the existence of sparkly Mormon vampires. I have seen Star Wars but I still understand that Darth Vader is fictional. Likewise I have read the bible but understand that YHWH and Joshua ben Joseph are as fictional as Frodo or Thor or Don Quixote. You may as well try to prove the existence of Captain Kirk by quoting to me from Trekkie fanfic.

  42. And yes, God spelled backwards is Dog. Dogs are obedient. Adam and Eve were disobedient to God. God said do not take in the fruit.

    The Church will tell you this is why Jesus had to die on the Cross. Jesus suffered because of the original sin of Adam.

    CW, if you shave your head first and it looks good on you, I might think about it.

  43. Moving along to Genesis 3:6 –

    Afterward she gave some also to her husband when with her and he began eating (reading) it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them became opened and they began to realized that they were naked. Hence they sewed fig leaves together and made loin coverings for themselves.

    This part is some what humorous. My first thought was who pointed to the other person first and said: “Hey your naked”. The other person says back: “I can see your butt.” Now they are both ashamed and embarrassed that everything is exposed. So they put clothes on. Do you feel this way when your with your wife/ husband?

    Genesis 3:8 Later they heard the voice of God walking in the garden about the breezy part of the day, and the man and his wife went into hiding from the face of God in between the trees of the garden. 9 And God kept calling to the man and saying to him” “Where are you?”

    Why are they hiding? The man and woman are hiding from God because after reading from the Bible they realized that being naked is a Sin. They are hiding from God because they are sinners. Note that God talks to them like they are children. He says: “Where are you?” God knows darn well where they are and what they have been up to. When your kids are in the tree or in the cookie jar you can always hear them before you see them. You know what they are doing by the sounds.

  44. Another part of this story that is funny is that they can hear God coming so they run and hide, just like children do.

    Everything about this story sounds like Adam and Eve are just children. After God finds out what they did and they get a talking to, Adam blames it on Eve, Then Eve blames it on the serpent. This is how kids talk. It’s never their fault, someone else got me into trouble.

    Now the Church got you into trouble with God. You took Jesus in and God told you not to do that right in the very beginning of the Bible. God told you straight away, don’t eat Jesus. Who are you going to blame?

    Do you get punished like an adult or are you still a child?

    1. Mel,

      You have no difficulty with evolution theory, right? Your interpretation of Genesis as metaphorical and allegorical means that you think Christianity has no truck whatsoever with science on the issue of evolution, right?

  45. The “Holy” Bible is the worst book of fiction ever written and should be classified Horror/Fiction – not suitable for under 18. Read Numbers Chapter 31 for the reason why. As far as the “Adam and Eve” fable is concerned, the Human Race began through incest.

    Organizations such as the Templeton Foundation, the Discovery Institute, Answers in Genesis and Access Research Network are turning America, or as it should be called the United Christian States of America into a Third World Nation of people who are suffering from a Mental Health Disorder due to the Poison of Religion.

  46. Hey Ed,

    I think everyone is wrong on creation, evolution and intelligent design. I think there is a third theory on how everything came about.

    I think God made everything up just like the story he wrote in Genesis. Nothing is real.

    Robert, How did the Human Race begin through incest. Adam and Eve weren’t related. Cain didn’t marry his sister. Cain was sent away and found his wife in another land. There were other people in the world besides Adam and Eve.

    I can interpret the story about Cain and Abel too. Wan’a hear it?

    1. Interpretation; that is the problem, Mel. Give 6 preachers a chapter of the Bible and see how many different interpretations you get. As far as Genesis is concerned, as I have been saying, none of it is true. It is all fables copied from the fables from Sumer, The Epic of Gilgamesh, the Religious myths of the Egyptians.

      Do you believe in “Creation”, or Evolution? If it is “Creation” I feel sorry for you. You have been duped by the Bible and those who interpret it.


  47. That’s what I feared, Mel.

    Your views aren’t grounded in an understanding of reality and science. Your views aren’t grounded in a careful reading, study and understanding of scripture.

    In short, your views are unanchored, one might politely say.

  48. I agree with the Author Here, Genesis is just a metaphor rather than the literal truth. I proved it too. See what I wrote above.

  49. The Tree needs to be cut down. Or, the Cross needs to come down. Because Jesus didn’t die for your sins. Human sacrifice is a pagan practice. God calls human sacrifice an abomination, and something He hates:

    Deuteronomy 12:30-31, “for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.”

    I am a Gentile, but the Jews are right. The New Testament was written by the Romans. The Romans knew all well about human sacrifice at their festivals. The Jews are still waiting for the Messiah.

    Again in Deuteronomy it is written,

    “Every man shall be put to death for his own sin,”

    That’s easy to understand. Jesus didn’t die for your sins.

    1. Mel,
      Do you know who wrote the Old Testament, when and where?

      Do you know if the copies we have now are EXACT copies of the Original Authored texts?

  50. Robert,
    From what I read, Moses wrote the first books of the Bible. I think the Jews call it the Torah. God told Moses letter for letter what to write.

    God did not tell Moses the interpretion of Genesis. Moses was just the secretary. I believe the Jews have the exact copies. The Jews were faithful in not changing anything.

    I am not an expert on the origins of the Old Testament. And I can’t tell you when and where. I am guessing Mt. Sinai is the place about 3 thousand years ago.

    I think the copy that I have translated into English is a good interpretation. I also believe it was Gods intention to link English with Hebrew. As in reversed words. Hebrew is read in the opposite direction. So I also reverse words and find cyptic messages.

    Robert, What do you know on this subject?

    1. Mel, you really need to do some study.

      Tradition — unlearned tradition — holds that Moses was the “author” of the first five books. But that doesn’t hold up to even internal views. Those books describe Moses’ death and funeral. Moses didn’t write that, clearly.

      If you are familiar with scripture (and I see reason to doubt that you are), you know that Moses was commanded to write down the laws of the Jews, not the history. In historical terms we regard this as rather fundamental to civilization. In history, we note especially those who wrote down the laws. Take a look at the freizes in the chamber of the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, or the bas reliefs to the great law-givers who gave us the tradition of law that we honor so much here in the U.S., in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. Moses wrote down the laws.

      Genesis? In Jewish tradition and learning, especially in the Talmud, it is acknowledged that Moses is not the author. For the past 5,000 years Jews recognized that Genesis is at least two different stories by different authors (at least two), written many years, probably many centuries apart. The two differing creation stories differ in scientific detail from each other, and they differ in scientific detail from the other five or six different creation stories in the Bible (depending on which translation and compilation you use, there may be differing numbers of creation stories).

      Serious theologians — people who actually believe — understand this history and set of circumstances to mean, among other things, that the creation stories in Genesis are not literal (else that would falsify other books of the Bible), but instead carry a theological message: God is the motive force behind creation regardless the actual methods of creation, and God created out of love.

      Your interpretations, as a matter of consequence, reject much of Christian scripture and theology.

      God did not dictate the Bible. That’s the claim of Mohammed for the Qur’an, and of Joseph Smith for the Book of Mormon, sorta (Smith said he translated the book from an ancient language, using special translating lenses, Umim and Thumim; I don’t think there is a claim that God dictated the Book of Mormon in its original autograph). You’re confusing your theologies.

      So, I would urge you to do considerably more study before you make assumptions here. Surely you don’t want to be remembered here as one of the guys who doesn’t even know his own theology.

  51. Ed,
    Your 100% correct! My :
    interpretations, as a matter of consequence, reject much of Christian scripture and theology.
    And your also 100% correct that:
    If you are familiar with scripture . . . I am not that familiar. The first time I had any interest in the Bible was about 4 years ago. You could rate me as someone that is not very religious.
    You also state:
    <iGod did not dictate the Bible
    I believe that Genesis is God words. And I don’t know how he got his words in print. A human would have to write what God said, cause God can’t write.
    And again your correct here:
    So, I would urge you to do considerably more study . . .
    I read the first part of Genesis, Revelation and all of Daniel. I read the beginning, the End and the very middle. That was all I wanted to read. I don’t like reading the bible. I only read Genesis because I got in a debate with a hard core Jesus person. After I started reading it I realized the true interpretation of the story about Adam and Eve. My though on it was how could someone literally think that you get knowledge by eating fruit. If that was true, fat people would know everything.

    I am 100% correct that the Tree is a Book. The fruit is Jesus. And, The tree bears Jesus. Satan is the Church. Satan talks from the stick. I don’t know theology, but I am an expert on Adam and Eve.

    There is only one right answer. No one can come up with another interpretation that fits. And God made it that way. There is no A, B, C or all of the above. There is only one right answer.

    The Jews are right. The Gentiles need to sit on the same side of the table as the Jews. And so do the Arabs.

    The Poison tree needs to be cut down. That means the cross needs to come down. The cross keeps Atheits and Christains from coming together. God loves the atheists just as much as he loves the Satan worshiping Christains. God created Satan just to let you know you can be deceived.

    Satan has deceived the World. Islam is just as wrong as the Christains are. And Joseph Smith is nothing but a lying whore. Sorry to all the Mormon out there for having to break it you.

    Ed, I assume you are a Christain. And I am sorry that I had to tell you the truth about Jesus. I once believed in Jesus too. I got over the loss. I still have God.

    1. A human would have to write what God said, cause God can’t write.

      Why not? He can create a universe, but he can’t write? I guess he’s not omnipotent after all, eh? (What an odd deity you believe in.)

      Is it any wonder that theists can’t agree on the basics.

      1. You can’t see God, but I can hear him. Now I was not sure why I couldn’t see him so I did some research. I asked the Jews and they say G-D does not have a body. MY thought is if you don’t have a body you can’t hold a pen. Besides hearing him for a few weeks I could feel and see Inteligence in everything, God was everywhere. That is a feeling you will never be able to experience for yourself. God is in everything around you and your totally unaware of it. And he doesn’t need to talk as much as you do. The last time he talked to a man was the last prophet in the Old Testament.

  52. Going back to the beginning of Chapter 2 in Genesis. The Creation

    Genesis 2:7 And God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.

    It states man is made from dust. Webster says Dust means 1 : fine particles of matter. Adam and Atom sound exactly the same. Webster says Atom means 1 : a tiny particle 2 : the smallest particle of a chemical element.

    God is really telling you that Adam is made from Atoms. God is telling you about Atoms before science comes up with the word Atom. That’s prophecy. Who else can do that?

    1. That only makes sense if you speak English. Atom is not spelled the same in all languages nor is Adam pronounced the same.

  53. This answers both Roberts and Ed’s question of who wrote the Torah. I went to Judaism for the answer. Because Christains are just about 99.999% wrong on everything.
    Here it is: The Talmud

    In addition to the written scriptures we have an “Oral Torah,” a tradition explaining what the above scriptures mean and how to interpret them and apply the Laws. Orthodox Jews believe G-d taught the Oral Torah to Moses, and he taught it to others, down to the present day. This tradition was maintained only in oral form until about the 2d century C.E., when the oral law was compiled and written down in a document called the Mishnah.

    According to this information. God told it to Moses. Moses told it to others and someone else wrote it down.

  54. Mel said (who could make this up?):

    So, I would urge you to do considerably more study . . .
    I read the first part of Genesis, Revelation and all of Daniel. I read the beginning, the End and the very middle. That was all I wanted to read. I don’t like reading the bible. I only read Genesis because I got in a debate with a hard core Jesus person. After I started reading it I realized the true interpretation of the story about Adam and Eve. My though on it was how could someone literally think that you get knowledge by eating fruit. If that was true, fat people would know everything.

    So, you arrived at your position by proud ignorance. From that stand of lack of study, you wish to lecture Christians on Christianity, Jews on Judaism, biologists on biology, and you wonder why people stand away from you at the bus stop?

    Creationism is similarly based in proud ignorance. We don’t need more of it.

  55. Ed, again your 100% right. You said:
    So, you arrived at your position by proud ignorance.

    That’s just how I figured it out that Jesus is the fruit. By almost total ignornace of the Bible. Theologians have been studying for years. These people even go to college and study. None of them could figure it out. It was impossible for them cause they are only allowed to think like the Church thinks. Some people even thought the fruit was an Apple. Millions of people could not see that a Book is a “Tree of knowledge”. It’s a metaphor.

    I’m right. Try to prove me wrong. You can’t do it. The Jews are right. God said, Don’t eat Jesus.

    Other people besides me have come to the conclusion that the Catholic Church is the Serpent.

    Just about anything you can think of, some one has created a web page on the subject. No one besides me says that Jesus is the fruit on the Tree. I am the first one to figure it out. I’m the first. I get a metal or a ribbon. Or some kind of acknowledgement. I will be written in the anals of history somewhere.

    1. I’m right. Try to prove me wrong.

      You are confused about the burden of proof.

      (Try to prove that the Zeus never did the Macarena to understand why.)

  56. Hey Ed,
    Glad you found some humor in it. So, where’s Robert today? He hasn’t put in his two cents. Since it’s Sunday,

    Is he in Church sitting on the pew?

  57. Articulett,
    What I mean by prove me wrong is:

    See if you can come up with the answer to what the “Tree of Knowledge of good and bad” is besides the Bible, that logically fits into the story.

    You have to use logic. Webster says Logic means: 1 : a science that deals with the rules and tests of sound thinking and proof of reasoning 2 : sound reasoning.

    Another reason why theologians couldn’t come up with the correct answer is because they can’t apply logic. They are thinking outside of science. After all if Jesus can ascend into Heaven all things are possible to the faithful. God works within the confines of science and logic. God doesn’t do magic tricks.

    If you say “Zeus” is the answer show how it fits into the story. That means it has to logically fit into each verse to the very end of the story about Adam and Eve.

    That is what I mean by prove me wrong. My point is that you or any body else, can’t do it. Consider it a challenge.

    1. I can’t even really tell what your point is, actually. I don’t believe in any divine beings or divine knowledge. I think it’s all mythological. I think anyone can interpret these things however they want, but that none of it is true– none of it. I don’t think the Adam and Eve story are any truer or more meaningful than Greek myths.

      I think it’s amusing the way people try to make their myths fit into what they know about reality. But you can’t make a myth true because you’ve found some way to rationalize it in your mind.

  58. Were Adam and Eve real? In the present, Yes Adam and Eve are real. In the past it was a childrens story.

    Revelation What I wrote about Jesus is a Revelation. God puts revelation at the very beginning of the Bible. Last is First. Satan puts revelation at the end of the Bible. God equates the beginning with the end. The beginning of Genesis is about birth. Everything is new. But he also puts a story in about the future or (the End), and both stories are told with the words of one.

    God is the beginning and the end. But the end of the story starts at the beginning of the book. Where it ends it starts. This is a symbol of continuity. Where it ends it begins.

    What I wrote Ends the Catholic Church. The poison cross comes down along with all of the other false religions. This is the beginning of a new milliennium.

  59. Ummm.. There was no paper (not made from trees or otherwise) when Genesis was written.

    Just say’n..

    Also take a logic class.

    1. The story about Adam and Eve is about the future. And currently, today, books are made from the pulp of trees.

      This a a prophesy. God is telling you in the Book of Genesis that in the future Books will come from trees.

      And that Man is made from Atoms (Adam).

  60. God knows that in the future paper will be made from trees. If you grind up a tree and make a book, it’s still a product of a Tree. If you build a cross out of wood, it’s still a tree. If you make a table, it’s still a Tree.

    If you grind up wheat into flour. Bread is still wheat.

  61. “Virgin” Mary, Mother of God.
    It was Mary who made God the Father of the Son; and it was Mary who made Jesus the Son of the Father. If she was both Bride and Mother of God, the God was guilty of the Sin of Incest impregnating his own mother to begat himself.
    (From the book: “Man made God”).

    So it had nothing to do with the fictitious “Adam & Eve”

  62. The bible itself is a string of biases and opinions. Even if Jesus is the Son of God or whatnot, we shouldn’t hedge our bets with some old prophets: honestly, prophets are men, not deities. Evolution is real, duh: Adam and Even didn’t exist (they had two sons (one got killed, even), an’ the Bible’s against incest, so how is any of that even believed by modern-day priests/community?)

  63. This is what God told me about Jesus:

    The Son of Joseph was born in Jerusalem. He lived his life there. Later in life he was taken to Rome with other prisoners to be taught a lesson by those that were smarter and more superior. At the event to the Moon Goddess, Diana, he was served up to the Roman Gods.
    God himself comes for his son and takes him to his house where he get a beautifull new body. That is the resurrection. His old body did not come back to life. After the event the Romans tossed his old body over the Tarpian Rock in Rome along with the rest of the trash. When you die/resurrect your old body is trash. Christ gets a new body in his father house.

    Then God tells me that Jesus was not his real name. Christs real name is John. The body of Christ is bread. Bread comes from Dough. Dough sounds like Doe. Christs real name is John Doe.

    God never mentions the name Jesus when he talks about him. God refers to him as the Son of Joseph or Christ. God never says the name Jesus because it is an insult. Look up the meaning of the name in Latin if you don’t know what it means.

  64. Good article. One of the main issues that fundementalists have is that if Adam (or actually Eve) didn’t commit the “original sin” to drive us away from God, why did Jesus have to die….? I have tried to have this conversation with literalists but it rarely goes anywhere because its treading on shakey ground for them that they’re not even willing to discuss. Here’s a good little parallel on the Garden of Eden which is opening a few paradigms…


  65. There are two creation stories in the Book of Genesis.

    Chapter 1: 27 And God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 Further, God blessed them and God said to them; “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it and have in subjectiion the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.

    Note that male and female in Chapter 1 are created at the same time.
    Then in Chapter 2:7 God creates Adam. When Adam and Eve were created in Heaven the world was already populated.

    Genesis 2: 7 And God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.

    There we have two creation stories. First God creates his body in Chapter 1 then in Chapter 2 he creates his soul. Mans destiny is written in Heaven. Eden is in Heaven. Adam and Eve’s dentiny was written before they ever left Heaven. That means mans destiny has been written.

  66. There is something in the Unverise far greater than you or I can see. I can’t see it either but I am fully aware of it.

    Life did not come about by evolution or creative design. Life came about in the same way that dreams appear. Everything is just suddenly there. So what are dreams made of? The answer is Atoms. Nothing that you see is real. It’s all dream matter. And when you wake up from this dream you will be in the same place that you were the day before. That place is in Gods House or Heaven. When you go to sleep at night you wake up in the same place you were the day before. Your life on Earth is ONE DAY. Heaven is a real place just like Earth is to you. It’s just another day of life.

    Right now you are in two places at the same time. Adam and Eve (you) are in a deep sleep in Heaven. On Earth you are living a dream. The total length of your life on Earth is one Day in Heaven. My life seems like a long time to me but it is only one day in Heaven

    Now all of this is beyond my ability to understand the science in how this works. That is why Life is like a Black Box. The Box works for the user but the user does not know how the box works. God also has a black box.
    God also dies and wakes up in the next world.
    That means you will never know how life started or how it works because there is something out there far greater than your imagination. You may have to die and resurrect a number of times before you ever get close to understanding how life works in my opinion.

    The Tree of Life mentioned in Genesis is a metarphor for the Book of Life. Or Gods last Will and Testament.
    What each child inherits from his or her Father is written in the Book. Some will not inherit anything, not even Life. No one inherits anything until God dies and resurrects, or wakes up in the next World.

    So, how do I know all of this?
    I got this information from a higher source. This information came from God himself.

  67. All of this philosophical talk is very interesting, but here in the US it has become a “life and death” matter for some. My son, a US Navy Officer bought the fundamentalist stance from his wife who was raised in Mississippi . . . go figure. Now my grandchildren are being raised to believe Adam and Eve were real people, god created the world in six days, the earth is only 5,000 years old (give or take a 1,000), etc. But here’s where reality cuts to the chase. If I told my son and daughter-in-law I didn’t buy this garbage any more, then I would NEVER see my grandchildren again. Can’t get more real than that! So I hide, let them think I believe the BS, and seethe through Sunday mornings. Pitiful.

Leave a Reply