On the Topic of Adam and Eve

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Evangelicals Question the Existence of Adam and Eve

This is a awesome article the was posted on NPR today.  It’s worth the read!

with the mapping of the human genome, it’s clear that modern humans emerged from other primates as a large population — long before the Genesis time frame of a few thousand years ago. And given the genetic variation of people today, he says scientists can’t get that population size below 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history.

Again going back to my sunday school days I thought it was weird that 2 people could have started the whole human population.  One other quote talks about if we really did come from 1 couple then we would have mutated at such a fast rate that we would have mutated out of existence.

I can’t really elaborate any more on this topic because the article did it for me.  The more and more I find these articles where science debunks the biblical stories the more and more I get excited for science.

In the words of Bill Nye the Science Guy “SCIENCE RULES!”

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32 responses »

  1. Of course, you realize that the Bible doesn’t talk about how anything happened. IT just reports that it did happen, and that God made it happen. You and Steve Hawking ought to get together….

    • I would LOVE to meet Steven Hawking! I think I should write the JREF and tell them to bring him to next years Amaz!ng Meeting!

      You make a good point of the bible never explaining how anything happend. My father was the pastor of the local congregation when I was growing up and he told me that the new testament is nothing but letters from one apostile to the next. But what about the old testament? I still think they are bed time stories because no one dares to question the ‘good’ word.

      • well, the NT is history in the first 5 books, and letters from an apostle to congregations of people, and then John spoils it and tells us how it all will end. It’s similar with the OT. The first 5 books are pre-history,telling us that the world was created and may or may not be accurate by today’s standards. It’s historical until the Solomon kingship. The rest are prophecies, songs, letters, words of wisdom. Then Macabees returns to historical. Now Job questioned the good word. You’re allowed to question. God even wrestled with one of his people. Questioning is not a bad thing. It’s when you doubt or deny that you get into dangerous territory.

        Look at it this way: Science tells us how the heavens go. Religion tells us how to go to heaven. When the two mix, it’s usually a bad thing. Like those who say the creation story is literal, and that the earth is 6000 years old…

      • “John spoils it and tells us how it all will end”

        How does John know how it will end? He’s just a human like you and me. What makes him so special?

        The issue I have with the bible is again it’s all just bed time stories and the miracles that jesus performed are just magic tricks. There have been books just like the bible written thousands of years before with the same stories and letters. We are creating children stories today that could, one day, be combined and written into a new type of bible. When were these books written? Were they written before or after the death of jesus? How soon after his death did they write them? Can we really trust everything that is in the bible?

        I choose to believe in science because we have evidence of past tests. It’s hard facts that we can see and we can test over and over again and get results. Science tells us that heaven goes against the laws of nature which means it can not exist, same thing with hell. Science is constantly figuring out how the world and universe were created and it is a whole of a lot more believable than the 7-day theory.

        I do doubt the existence of a higher being that watches over us and answers our prayers. Since coming out I do feel better about myself because I don’t have to worry about pleasing something that isn’t even there. This doesn’t mean I’m going to start doing bad deeds, it means that I can now make my own decision about my life without ‘big brother (or should I say father?)” watching my every move.

      • John’s writing was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
        Regarding the miracles of Christ, nobody ever fed 5000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Nobody ever raised a man who was dead four days. But even without his miracles, what Jesus said and taught is phenomenal. Jesus was one of two things. He was either a liar and lunatic, or he was what he said he was-God incarnate.

        The entire NT was written several decades after Jesus died and rose. He didn’t tell his apostles to go and write books, he told them to go and preach. Eventually, some did write down what he taught. We know it’s accurate because each of them had their own disciples who learned their every word and eventually wrote it down. Yes, there are variances in what the four gospel authors wrote, but if you sent four people to a concert, then asked them to write about it, you wouldn’t get all the same narrative. That doesn’t make what they’d write untrue, does it? The gospel authors wrote to different audiences. Paul’s letters were written to different geographical churches to correct problems that were coming into them from outside influences. Jesus told us he would form a church and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. 2000 years later, seems he’s right.

        I don’t believe God gives us what we wish for either. It may not be good for us. He does provide for our needs, though. Every breath you take comes from him, and he’s so generous, he gives you this life whether you believe in him or not. I also agree that being a believer or not doesn’t make you a good person or not. And I don’t necessarily believe you’ll go to hell for not believing in God. That sentence would be above my paygrade.

      • “John’s writing was inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

        You assume I accept your premise that the Holy Spirit exists. I don’t.

        By the way, I am a former Christian and know the Bible quite well. You’re not telling me anything that I wouldn’t have said back in the day when I believed.

        You say the minutiae don’t matter? Then what does? Why do you get to cherry-pick? Regarding the miracles – if you take them away, all you are left with is a pretty passionate young man who wanted people to look a the world around them with different eyes. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” didn’t mean that it was just around the corner. It meant that it’s HERE. NOW. When Jesus said “Do unto others as you would have done to you” he meant, “People, be kind to each other.” When Jesus said, “Whatsover you do for the least of these you do for me” – wow, that’s some powerful stuff. True religion: feed the hungry, visit the sick and imprisoned. But you know, there are lots of religious and non-religious people that live by those very values. It doesn’t take divinity – it takes a willingness to see each and every human being as one of us.

        That part of Jesus’ message I find exceedingly cool. I don’t need a “promise” of heaven and eternal “reward” to act accordingly.

        I don’t even need for Jesus to have been a real historical figure (I am of the school that doesn’t believe he actually ever existed) for me to be inspired by that message of kindness and compassion.

      • Doesn’t really matter to me what you accept. There’s a lot of things you cannot see but they’re there.

        What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter “when” Jesus was born, it matters “that” he was born, and you’ve already given that. If three people are blindfolded and have their hands placed on an elephant, they might feel different things, but the fact is they’re all “elephant”.
        I’m not taking away the miracles at all, as I said, it’s not magic that he fed 5000 men with 5 loaves and two fish, or that he raised a man who had been dead four days, or made a man blind from birth see. No one had ever done those things. Passionate young man, really? Love your enemy, give away your wealth and especially John chapter 6. Sounds pretty radical to me. Add to that the fact that people died for this man, even to this day. He’s more than just ‘special’. And I don’t need any promises either. I love Jesus and love God because of who they are, not for what they can do for me. I love my wife the same way. It’s called unconditional, sacrificial love.

        Again, it’s above my paygrade to judge you and your beliefs. When you read the Bible you have to know something about who and what you’re reading about to get the fullness of it. To try and read it as a novel today is taking it out of its own context. You say Jesus wasn’t a real figure, but yet there are Roman records of his existence, and Jewish historians record his existence.

      • Actually, no there aren’t Roman records of Jesus’ existence. Do some research. Start here.

        Please also reread the part where I said I was once a Christian. A die-hard, street witnessing, read the Bible cover to cover, underline, pray, taught Sunday School, you-name-it, Christian. You go ahead and believe what you wish. That is your perogative, but don’t act like I have never read the Bible or that I’ve done it “wrong.: I’ve read it. Many times over. (You oughta see how I do with Jeopardy! questions on the Bible.) I used to believe it. Word for word. Like you, I used to make the Bible “fit” my world view of a loving god.

        I don’t any longer. Reality won.

      • And when I say there are no Roman records of Jesus’ existence, I don’t mean records from decades after his alleged life/death. I mean contemporary records. The Romans kept meticulous records. Why are there none of his crucifixion? According to the Bible, he walked amongst the living for weeks after his alleged resurrection. Again, no contemporary records. Bart Ehrman has nothing to say to you? Why? What are you afraid of? He studied the Bible to strengthen his faith, and guess what happened? He found out the truth. Is that what you’re afraid will happen to you? Don’t be afraid. It’s glorious over here!

      • And who gives you authority to make rules in this debae? Crossan, John Dominic (1995). Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. HarperOne. p. 145. ISBN 0060616628. “That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be, since both Josephus and Tacitus…agree with the Christian accounts on at least that basic fact.”

        For what it’s worth, many people have read the Bible repeatedly, yet do not have a clue what it means. I’m not saying that’s you, necessarily. Most Christians read it wrong. The question is “are you putting your own knowledge into what you’re reading?” It is impossible for people today not to. Therefore, we must look to other sources to explain, to put it in proper context. Catholics have that proper context-her first members were those closest to Jesus and his apostles, before any of it was written down. Jesus did not tell his apostles to go out and write, he said go out and preach. They did, others wrote it down.

        Regarding Roman Civilization’s meticulous records, tell me, what records do the Romans have about, say, olive production in Palestine in 4BC? I’ll wait while you check it out…

        How about the existance of Pontius Pilate? Meticulous records? Show me. There are none. The best we have that’s not Biblical is an inscription in a stone at an ampitheater in Caesarea Philippi that reads “The Tiberieum, a temple dedicated to Tiberias, of the Caesareans Pontius Pilate Praefect of Judea has given.”

        Let the significance of this sink in—in light of the criticism mentioned at the beginning of this piece. Here was a man who served the Roman government for ten years in one of the political hotspots of the empire. He himself was embroiled repeatedly in controversy. And yet, there is not a solitary Roman archival document that so much as mentions his name!

        How, then, could anyone possibly cast a shadow of suspicion upon the Gospel records, due to the fact that there is scant Roman testimony regarding a Galilean religious teacher who lived more than 1,500 hundred miles to the east?

        Why is it that liberal scholars are anxious to bend over backwards in granting credibility to numerous events of ancient history (many of which are undergirded by the scantest of evidence) yet they obstinately resist granting virtually any audience to the New Testament writings? There can be but one answer: they are militantly biased against the biblical records, hence, reject their veracity—no matter how compelling the evidence!

        A.N. Sherwin-White was one of Oxford’s premier historians on Roman culture. In his valuable work, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament (1978, 186), the professor demonstrated that the Gospels and Acts are much more historically credible than the common works of the Roman world. For example, the New Testament narratives were written by men who were contemporary with the events they recorded. On the other hand, Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Romans stands two centuries from the actual events, and Livy’s History of Rome is 500 years this side of its theme. Yet no one doubts the value of these works.

  2. Actually, the Bible is not historical until the Solomon kingship. In fact, much of its history is flat out wrong or just made up. Do you know there is no evidence for the Jews being slaves in Egypt? Or for the exodus at all? No historical evidence of Sodom and Gomorrah either. I could go on, but I will leave it at that.

    So, no the Bible is not accurate in it’s “prehistory” either. I see you mention Maccabees…which isn’t in the Protestant Bible, so there’s that. Which version of the Bible are you using? No one has any version remotely close to the original writings which were written over hundreds of years.

    The New Testament is a whole ‘nother ball of wax. Acutally, the epistles were of earlier history than the gospels. And when you line the four gospels up side by side, they just don’t match. Lots of errors there. I would suggest reading the works of Bart Ehrman for more information on this.

    You also assume that we believe there is a heaven. I used to believe in that stuff. And I then I took a closer look.

    I probably won’t be able to comment more until I get home, but here are a couple of more sites for you to look at.

    Contradictions in the Bible and Bible Errancy.

    • Proof of it being wrong? Lack of evidence doesn’t make it false. The message of the Bible is accurate. God created the universe and all that’s in it. Catholic canon says that Macabees is in the Bible, and that’s that. Protestants don’t accept it, but so what?? And you’re wrong about ‘nobody has a version remotely close to the original writings…” Catholics have them.

      Ehrman holds no truth for Catholics. Yes, some of the epistles were written before the gospels, so what? The gospels were written from different points of view, as I stated.

      You need to make a distinction between being true in substance, versus true in detail. The minutiae do not matter.

  3. Just some food for thought:

    To be a Christian does not mean you don’t believe in science. There are actually many Christians who are very intelligent scientists. My father in law for example Is a geologist with a Ph.D, who is also a very strong Christian. I know that many Christians also believe that the earth is very old. This does not contradict the Bible. The Bible says that time in God’s eyes is not the same as time in mans eyes.

    I’m not here to tell anyone what to believe. I’m just saying God and science aren’t mutually exclusive.

    • Krystal! how did you find my blog? Yay I love having friends opinions!

      I COMPLETELY agree with you that christians believe in science. My dad and brother work with geology/GIS and are both christian. I also agree with you that god has a different ‘time zone’ than us. 7 days to god could be billions of years for us.

      The original topic is about how it would be highly unlikely for the human race to come from 2 single human beings and still be surviving. That’s not to say that it’s not true because at this point we are only able to see 10,000 years back in the human genome. So maybe in the future we’ll be able to see all the way back.

      To come from sand is possible but we didn’t just show up as the we look like now. The bible says that yes we came from sand and we are made in his image. Which image is that though? Was it when we were in the form of sand? monkeys? Lucy (aka Australopithecus)?

  4. I will never understand the devout Christian who claims to understand science. It must be cognitive dissonance at its utmost. Evolutionary theory is as sound as gravitational theory, and like its predecessor, grows more and more convincing with 99% of all scientific publications on the matter. Evolutionary theory proves the Adam and Eve story to be false, a myth, a fable for the instruction of subsequent generations. Yet this idea is the very foundation of Christian theism. Original sin, the ousting of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden is the source of ancient humanity’s embrace of savior figures. We all exist in sin thanks to our primary ancestor’s transgression (under God’s strangely omniscient yet averted eye). Since evolutionary theory has proved the prime ancestor hypothesis false, what need has humanity for a savior? Sin is relegated to the cultural mores of whichever current majority exists at the time. For instance, in the same book condemning homosexuality, we find chastisement of those mixing fibers into thread for clothing.

    Why don’t we hold fabric blends to the same moral standard as sexuality? Cultural bias, of course. Thus, it’s as easy to discount the Catholic interpretation of faith as it is the purist tailor’s predilection towards 100% silk. Neither can claim the dominion of truth yet countless make daily life choices based upon the former. It’s entirely irrational and indefensible thanks to scientific progress and the effort of countless humans willing to question preconceived notions of authority. Arguments appealing to the scripture of humanity are as nonsensical as a schizophrenic championing righteousness. Even our national Founding Fathers, in many cases Deistic and evolutionary forebearers, scoffed at the illogical notion of biblical literalism.

    In the words of great minds like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and the like, we are all made of starstuff. The atoms in our body would not exist without the internal combustion engines of dying stars. There is great beauty and poetry in this knowledge, yet there still is no evidence of a mindful, intelligent guiding force to direct it. Why create fantastical stories to explain that which is already breathtaking and mysterious? Understand this question and you will know the minds of many who’ve embraced atheism as a positive movement towards human progress.

    • WHy would you not understand? Science and religion are two different ways of explaining the same thing. Religion does not say how it happened, just that it happened. Religion is about attaining paradise, science deals with the here and now. So I believe evolution is true as long as the theory doesn’t exclude God. The vast majority of Christians believe this. Yet we also believe that Adam and Eve are real.

      Nothing that Carl Sagan or Stephen Hawking has said does anything to disclaim God. The fact that ancient writers had not the words or the mental capacity to give the exact details of evolution is neither here nor there. Evolutionists and creationist are telling the same story, from different standpoints.

      • So I believe evolution is true as long as the theory doesn’t exclude God. The vast majority of Christians believe this. Yet we also believe that Adam and Eve are real.

        Okay. I’ll bite.

        If Adam and Eve were real, and were the first two humans created by God:

        Where did those other people that Cain feared would kill him come from?
        How do you explain the people living in the land of Nod?
        Where did Cain’s wife come from?
        How do you explain the enormous genetic diversity of humanity if Adam and Eve were indeed the first humans (not to mention that humanity was wiped out in Noah’s flood, leaving only three couples to re-propagate the earth)?

        13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

        15 But the LORD said to him, “Not so[e]; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,[f] east of Eden.

        17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch.

      • Bluelyon, when I get to heaven, I’ll be sure to ask. There are lots of theories about that, all of which have some faults to them. I believe the point is not about how God created the universe, it is that He created it.

        My point is that the Bible does not say anything about how things were done, it says that they were done.

  5. I just want to make a comment. I am a believer in Christ. I don’t like to claim to be a “Christian”, mainly due to the hypocracies of not only the organized churches but also the many of members of the churces. I believe 100% in God’s word. I believe the scripture is real. But I HATE HATE when people argue the scriptures, whether you’re a believer or not. I am a very good friend of “color me atheits” have been for close to 20 years. When she revealed to me her beliefs, I did not judge her…I did not condem her to hell, I respected her in her strong convictions and how she came to this realization of her “faith” or lack there of and that she is standing by what she believes. I don’t believe what she believes, she no longer believes what I believe, but we are both fine with that and we have MATURE conversations discussing issues that relate to spiritual content.

    I guess what I am trying to get at is this: Why can’t we just chill….ALL stop judging each other and believe what WE want to believe. Stop arguing whos right and whos wrong. Just all choose what we feel is right and whomever is right in the end, then the loosers, well…….we loose. As a believer in God’s word, I will say this from what I believe, He calls us to be a light onto the world….how can the followers of Christ be that, if we are bible thumping our ideals into people who just don’t want to hear it? All it does is pisses people off and think MORE negatively towards the faith we choose….I choose to voice my faith, then leave it at that..and if they inquire, great! If not, then so be it…..people then respect me and my faith more, whether they believer the same or not.

    I accept that everyone is going to have their own ideals, thats just the world we live in. But sitting here arguing the scriptures, life’s existance, etc. is not helping anything. I respect everyone in what they believe. I wish others could do the same.

    • For the record, I have done no judgement of the person, she’s entitled to her own belief. But let me ask you something. If you held some special knowledge of how to be in eternal paradise, wouldn’t you want to tell it to the world? That’s what the original Christians did, by listening to Jesus when he commanded them to go out into the world and preach his message.

      If you see a great movie, do you tell someone? If you had a great experience in a restaurant, don’t you talk about it at work or school? Proclaiming the message of Christ is no more than this. You’re right about demanding that people believe it, but it is necessary to spead it.

      What I do object to is when people think they’ve found a key that disproves God by some discovery of science. Science is incapable of disproving God. When people disparage devoute Christians for what they believe, that’ when I jump in. And all I’m saying is that the article above does not disprove Judaism or Christianity in any way. Most Christians already concede that Adam and Eve’s story in Genesis is a head-scratcher. We also know that it’s stitched together from many different accounts. The point of Genesis is that God created the universe. Period. Whether Adam and Eve are literally the first humans or not is irrelevant.

      • When every prior notion of God, by its definition accepted by those with “not the words or the mental capacity” to understand how the universe behaves under observation (the only test of reality, unless it’s conceded dreams are as real as waking experience), has been refuted to the degree of 99.99% accuracy by scientific method, there is vanishingly little reason to assume humanity’s previous notion of truth bears weight against countless studies ascertaining reality as it exists outside our natural ability to comprehend. Meticulous study into the evolution of genetic coding reveals the myth of two human ancestors nigh impossible. Irrelevant? Not to the 40% of Americans ignorant of science proving its evolutionary incompatibility.

        So what would it take to disprove God for you? Proof that Jesus exists only in myth (a matter still in strong contention 2000 years later), proof that Original Sin which necessitates a savior doesn’t exist (no longer an issue since it’s scientifically proven false), or proof that one group’s religion is another’s mythology (as scholarly study has shown all religions share comparative stories reflecting a primary evolutionary origin)? There is no “period” attached to the story of Genesis, but fortunately for us, we have scientists at facilities like CERN studying the nanoseconds following the Big Bang to discern what took place near the universe’s “creation”. If we were only surrounded by priests parroting the words of a holy scripture, we’d have followed the exact words spoken by Richard Dawkins, who cautioned “I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.” Claiming Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or any other philosophy towards life as ultimate reality ignores science and makes a mockery of our truly magnificent origins.

      • Show me something in the Bible that’s refuted by scientific method.

        Jesus is historic. That people try to disprove Him and fail is very telling…people do not die believing a myth.

        For what it’s worth, I believe the Big Bang THEORY (which was a Catholic idea, by the way) and I believe the THEORY of evolution( also an idea proposed first by Catholics). The Catholic faith does not teach us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. In fact, most of the most forward-thinking scientists in the world for the last 2000 years have been Catholic. I will grant that most Protestant religions ignore science, but not Catholicism.

    • The Big Bang was proposed first by Catholics? WHAT? That the person who first proposed it was a Catholic does not imply that it was first proposed by the Catholic Church. As I recall, Galileo was a Catholic, and we all know how THAT turned out.

      Evolution was first proposed by Charles Darwin, an Anglican, as I recall. That Catholics accept the teaching of evolution (yay for that!), isn’t the same as being the “first to propose” it. (Info on the Catholic Church and Evolution can be found HERE)

      But I get where you are going now. We are all wrong, wrong, wrong. Only Catholics are right. Am I getting it now?

  6. I just have to say to everyone involved in this topic is awesome! Even though i stepped out of it I have been watching it (since i do own the blog) and it has really been a good one full of debate!

    I do want to express my wishes for this blog though. I do hope that everyone who reads this and/or comments on a post that they go with the idea to agree to disagree. Since that is how I like to approach things i do read the comments with that in mind.

    David your points are very interesting and I like reading them because it helps me understand your views and same thing for Blue Lyon. Keep them coming!!!

    So I hope no one is feeling ganged up against and if you are please let me know and i’ll try to fix it because i want this blog to be enjoyable for both atheists and those who are religious.

  7. I appreciate that Amber, but I think I’m going to step out of this conversation now. I never said science could determine the existence of god. No scientist would insist upon that. God, by definition, is outside the realm of the natural world, which is all that science addresses.

    David appears to think he has the lock on all of this. I’ve have life experience in which I was once a devout believer, but it seems not to matter to him. I know the Bible. I know what it says. I’ve never read it as a novel and, in fact, in my believing days it was my guide. He also doesn’t know that I came into my atheism kicking and screaming. I wanted to continue to believe. I fought my disbelief tooth and nail.

    David obviously thinks I’m stupid or blind or both. So, I’ll bow out now.

    • I’m in no way disparaging your previous devout-ness. I don’t know what your faith background was, but I will tell you this: If you knew that God resided in every Catholic Church in the world-if you knew it beyond a shadow of a doubt, you would be led kicking and screaming into the Catholic Church. In John Chapter 6, Jesus tells us that he is the bread of life, and that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood would not perish, but have eternal life. Those around him knew exactly what he was saying, in fact, most stopped following him. In Matthew 16, he tells us that he would build a church and that nothing would ever destroy it.

      You can say Jesus was a myth if you want, but proving that is going to be a whole lot of fun.

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