Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby DBowling » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:47 pm

Kurieuo wrote:As for your own view, let me ensure that I understand you correctly. According to what you believe, humanity existed for around 193,000 years prior to Adam and Eve. They would have been committing all sorts of would-be "sin", say killing, murdering, raping, all sorts of sexual immoral stuff, stealing, hating on each other, but because they didn't know such was "sin", then they weren't really "sinning". It was therefore alright with God for humanity, who bore His image, to be doing such things for over a 100,000 years?

What you are mentioning here is not necessarily a view that I hold with anything approaching certainty. I would call it speculative theology at the most.
I am simply trying to work through the implication of what it would mean to have 100,000 years of God's image bearers who are not in relationship with God and who do not know good and evil.
The closest model that I can think of is the moral and spiritual situation of an infant or a toddler prior to becoming aware of right and wrong.

I'm just throwing out speculations here to see what responses and opinions others have on this issue.
This specific issue is definitely a work in progress for me and I have yet to come to any solid opinions regarding the moral and spiritual status of pre Fall mankind.

It sounds to me like God should have left us in our state of "sin" (in quotes, because such isn't really sin since we didn't know), and never ever brought onto the scene Adam and Eve. :P

If God had left humanity in a permanent state of not knowing good and evil then mankind would have never been able to take the spiritual step of relationship with God.
And mankind would have just been a more advanced animal with no spiritual nature.
But God desires relationship with his image bearers.
Once God entered into relationship with man then good and evil and obedience and disobedience became a necessary component of that relationship.
Genuine relationship with God requires the potential for good and evil and obedience and disobedience.

As for "spiritualising" the death in Romans 5:12, the death that happened during Genesis, theologians generally say was "spiritual" and then "physical" followed. Most take a conjoined view of the "death" promised by God in Genesis 2:7. Understand, the words "in the day", like Heiser says of it found in Genesis 2:4, is like an idiom for what will come after -- it does not mean on the very same day.

Many respectable commentators on Genesis say of Adam and Eve when they sinned, that they lost their spiritual relationship with God and realising their nakedness and the like (thus suffering a spiritual death of sorts), and then they were also no longer protected from the effects of the physical world, the "Tree of Life" was removed from their presence allowing physical death to eventually follow. There is no room as I see it, especially with the "Tree of Life" metaphor, to limit the "death" promised of Adam and Eve (and humanity as such) to purely a spiritual death. And virtually no one does this, you might be the first I've come across. Rather it is generally a conjoined view of spiritual+physical death of humanity.

Actually I do accept the conjoined view of spiritual+physical death of humanity.
However, since I believe that mankind was mortal prior to the Fall, I believe that the death that is specifically referred to in Romans 5:12 is the spiritual component that resulted from the sin of Adam. The physical component was not something that came into being due to the sin of Adam. Rather the physical component involved the removal of the antidote (the tree of life) for a condition (physical mortality) that already existed prior to the Fall.

So I do accept the conjoined view of death, I just think Romans 5:12 is referring to the spiritual component of death. And that belief predates any consideration of the possibility of pre-Adamic humans on my part.

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Kurieuo » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:22 pm

DBowling wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:As for your own view, let me ensure that I understand you correctly. According to what you believe, humanity existed for around 193,000 years prior to Adam and Eve. They would have been committing all sorts of would-be "sin", say killing, murdering, raping, all sorts of sexual immoral stuff, stealing, hating on each other, but because they didn't know such was "sin", then they weren't really "sinning". It was therefore alright with God for humanity, who bore His image, to be doing such things for over a 100,000 years?

What you are mentioning here is not necessarily a view that I hold with anything approaching certainty. I would call it speculative theology at the most.
I am simply trying to work through the implication of what it would mean to have 100,000 years of God's image bearers who are not in relationship with God and who do not know good and evil.
The closest model that I can think of is the moral and spiritual situation of an infant or a toddler prior to becoming aware of right and wrong.

I'm just throwing out speculations here to see what responses and opinions others have on this issue.
This specific issue is definitely a work in progress for me and I have yet to come to any solid opinions regarding the moral and spiritual status of pre Fall mankind.

Not that I'd necessarily endorse such, since I disagree with Biologos (and you would too as a Progressive Creationist), but perhaps something like their view is better in that we have Anatomically Modern Humans around 200k years ago, but until relatively recently, we didn't have Behaviourally Modern Humans. This is born out by what we see in both archaeology and paleontology.

I read an article on their website somewhere, of humans physically evolving, but then when God imparted the imago Dei into a set of humans, this is when humanity achieved their higher intelligence, creativity, spiritual beliefs and the like.

What makes us truly distinct then as humans -- adam and adamah -- isn't necessarily to be found in physical similarities which is like the infrastructure that supports our higher level of intelligence and awareness, but rather it is actually with the conscious side of things like higher intelligence, creativity, spirituality, reasoning ability, moral understanding and the like.

This would mean dropping the idea that the man and woman found in Genesis 1 which you are speculating to be around 200k years ago, are same humans like Adam and Eve and ourselves are. For in Genesis 1, the man and woman are made in God's image, which many theologians understand to be like the stuff I just mentioned (bolded above).

There are better ways, in my opinion, to reconcile our knowledge about the historical natural world with Scripture and the Genesis account, than what you're currently speculating about upon Heiser's interpretation of Genesis 1-3.
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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Kurieuo » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:49 pm

Philip wrote:
K: We all do, but such is really causing all sorts of Scriptural gymnastics here and there, to bend Scripture to a certain view. (one I see as unnecessary, science appears on our side so far as evidence for "consciousness" and a higher spirituality is concerned)


Isn't that what Jac always said about OEC Scriptural interpretations? y:-?

Yes, but then Jac denies the "We all do", if my memory serves me correctly, because he associates such with truth becoming relative and unknowable. As far as his YEC interpretation, he sees it not so much an interpretation but a literal plain and objective reading of Scripture. Yet, as I see matters, we all take in our prejudices when reading Scripture, and those who don't know their own are worse for wear in my opinion.

The fact of the matter is, everyone takes their own lens to Scripture, or when performing science, or looking into any area that deals with knowledge. We can perhaps see our own "bend" by how far we differ from others in the mainstream, how complicated our re-interpretations of other areas become, and knowing just what appeals to our sensitivities. Perhaps we can invoke some kind of Occam's Razor to ourselves and keep us from postulating all sorts of our "allowable" ideas.

For example, YEC really have their work cut out for them interpreting scientific knowledge in new ways. Such that, it can boggle the mind of those, like perhaps us, and especially those who practice modern science, how on earth anyone could take their alternative explanations seriously. Likewise, when one starts re-explaining Scripture here and there, to dramatically change what many previously understand, go to all sorts of explanatory lengths to re-interpret, we can likewise wonder whether we should be honestly mind-boggled.

Of course to the person who is distorting heaven and earth to support their prejudicial ideas, Scripture, science or otherwise, they don't see anything the sort. For their lens on their eyes is cloudy and showing them a different picture which they believe is clear. They don't suspect to consider that perhaps they need to clean their lens because they don't see any such lens that needs cleaning, or perhaps are never aware that they even have a lens.
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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby DBowling » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:10 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Not that I'd necessarily endorse such, since I disagree with Biologos (and you would too as a Progressive Creationist), but perhaps something like their view is better in that we have Anatomically Modern Humans around 200k years ago, but until relatively recently, we didn't have Behaviourally Modern Humans. This is born out by what we see in both archaeology and paleontology.

I read an article on their website somewhere, of humans physically evolving, but then when God imparted the imago Dei into a set of humans, this is when humanity achieved their higher intelligence, creativity, spiritual beliefs and the like.

What makes us truly distinct then as humans -- adam and adamah -- isn't necessarily to be found in physical similarities which is like the infrastructure that supports our higher level of intelligence and awareness, but rather it is actually with the conscious side of things like higher intelligence, creativity, spirituality, reasoning ability, moral understanding and the like.

This would mean dropping the idea that the man and woman found in Genesis 1 which you are speculating to be around 200k years ago, are same humans like Adam and Eve and ourselves are. For in Genesis 1, the man and woman are made in God's image, which many theologians understand to be like the stuff I just mentioned (bolded above).

There are better ways, in my opinion, to reconcile our knowledge about the historical natural world with Scripture and the Genesis account, than what you're currently speculating about upon Heiser's interpretation of Genesis 1-3.

Thanks for your comments...
I have spent time reading the Adam and anthropology articles at Biologos, and some of the ideas there have affected some of my thinking.

These are the fixed points for my current understanding of anthropology.
1. According to Scripture and history, Adam and Eve lived in Mesopotamia sometime between 5,000 and 6,000 BC. Scripture and history agree on that point, so I take that as a given.
2. Science tells us that mankind populated the planet over 10,000 years before the time that Scripture and history place the historical Adam and Eve. This implies that the origin of humanity predates the time of Adam and Eve.
3. According to Heiser and Walton, the premise that the origin of humanity predates the time of Adam and Eve and that humans existed outside and before the line of Adam is supported by a sequential reading of Genesis 1-4.

Those are the fixed points that I am pretty solid on both Scripturally and scientifically.

So if the creation of God's image bearers in Genesis 1:26-27 predates the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2-3, then what does Genesis 1:26-27 correlate to from an anthropological perspective.
1. The possibility that I have proposed in this thread is the appearance of physically modern humans which took place 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. This presents the question that I was speculating about in this thread. What was the moral/spiritual status of these pre-Adamic image bearers for 100,000 years until the time of Adam?
2. You mention the possibility of using the appearance of behaviorally modern humans as the beginning of God's image bearers. I've actually considered this. Even if I go there I have a similar problem. Humans started exhibiting 'modern behavior' around 50,000 years ago. So we still have a similar question to answer. What was the moral/spiritual status of these pre-Adamic image bearers for 40,000 years until the time of Adam?
The amount of time may be decreased from over 100,000 years to around 40,000 years but we still have the same basic question.

In fact any model based on the Heiser/Walton premise that mankind existed prior to and outside the line of Adam has to deal with a similar question. What was the moral/spiritual status of these pre-Adamic image bearers prior to the time of Adam?

So based on my set of given premises, there is no way for me to avoid dealing with that question. The primary difference between the options above is how long did mankind exist in a pre-fallen state.

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Kurieuo » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:20 pm

Check out this pattern made in sand. Without performing a search, does it seem like something an intelligent being would have produced? Not sure whether this is the best way to introduce a point, but I do have one.

circular-pattern-sand.jpg
circular-pattern-sand.jpg (22.94 KiB) Viewed 181 times
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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby abelcainsbrother » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:08 am

DBowling wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Not that I'd necessarily endorse such, since I disagree with Biologos (and you would too as a Progressive Creationist), but perhaps something like their view is better in that we have Anatomically Modern Humans around 200k years ago, but until relatively recently, we didn't have Behaviourally Modern Humans. This is born out by what we see in both archaeology and paleontology.

I read an article on their website somewhere, of humans physically evolving, but then when God imparted the imago Dei into a set of humans, this is when humanity achieved their higher intelligence, creativity, spiritual beliefs and the like.

What makes us truly distinct then as humans -- adam and adamah -- isn't necessarily to be found in physical similarities which is like the infrastructure that supports our higher level of intelligence and awareness, but rather it is actually with the conscious side of things like higher intelligence, creativity, spirituality, reasoning ability, moral understanding and the like.

This would mean dropping the idea that the man and woman found in Genesis 1 which you are speculating to be around 200k years ago, are same humans like Adam and Eve and ourselves are. For in Genesis 1, the man and woman are made in God's image, which many theologians understand to be like the stuff I just mentioned (bolded above).

There are better ways, in my opinion, to reconcile our knowledge about the historical natural world with Scripture and the Genesis account, than what you're currently speculating about upon Heiser's interpretation of Genesis 1-3.

Thanks for your comments...
I have spent time reading the Adam and anthropology articles at Biologos, and some of the ideas there have affected some of my thinking.

These are the fixed points for my current understanding of anthropology.
1. According to Scripture and history, Adam and Eve lived in Mesopotamia sometime between 5,000 and 6,000 BC. Scripture and history agree on that point, so I take that as a given.
2. Science tells us that mankind populated the planet over 10,000 years before the time that Scripture and history place the historical Adam and Eve. This implies that the origin of humanity predates the time of Adam and Eve.
3. According to Heiser and Walton, the premise that the origin of humanity predates the time of Adam and Eve and that humans existed outside and before the line of Adam is supported by a sequential reading of Genesis 1-4.

Those are the fixed points that I am pretty solid on both Scripturally and scientifically.

So if the creation of God's image bearers in Genesis 1:26-27 predates the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2-3, then what does Genesis 1:26-27 correlate to from an anthropological perspective.
1. The possibility that I have proposed in this thread is the appearance of physically modern humans which took place 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. This presents the question that I was speculating about in this thread. What was the moral/spiritual status of these pre-Adamic image bearers for 100,000 years until the time of Adam?
2. You mention the possibility of using the appearance of behaviorally modern humans as the beginning of God's image bearers. I've actually considered this. Even if I go there I have a similar problem. Humans started exhibiting 'modern behavior' around 50,000 years ago. So we still have a similar question to answer. What was the moral/spiritual status of these pre-Adamic image bearers for 40,000 years until the time of Adam?
The amount of time may be decreased from over 100,000 years to around 40,000 years but we still have the same basic question.

In fact any model based on the Heiser/Walton premise that mankind existed prior to and outside the line of Adam has to deal with a similar question. What was the moral/spiritual status of these pre-Adamic image bearers prior to the time of Adam?

So based on my set of given premises, there is no way for me to avoid dealing with that question. The primary difference between the options above is how long did mankind exist in a pre-fallen state.

In Christ



But why can't we just put all pre-Adamite races in a former world,then have God creating Adam and Eve about 6000 years ago,especially when you agree with me about old earth,young Adam? It seems to me it is much simpler and acknowledges the science somewhat also.I really think this interpretation works especially if we know how to explain why evolution is a myth.It will destroy their credibility and yet still acknowledge the evidence,especially when we are taking all of the fossil evidence and using it to show the kinds of life that once lived in the former world.
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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby DBowling » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:31 am

abelcainsbrother wrote:
But why can't we just put all pre-Adamite races in a former world,then have God creating Adam and Eve about 6000 years ago,especially when you agree with me about old earth,young Adam?

We have already discussed at length the Scriptural problems with the Gap Theory, so I don't see any reason to go there again. So I'll focus on issues directly relating to the topic of this thread.

Everything I am discussing takes place after the creation of mankind in day 6. The former world asserted by the Gap Theory is a pre Genesis 1:2 world which was allegedly destroyed prior to the six creation days in Genesis 1. This means there could be no continuity or coexistence between the inhabitants of the hypothetical Gap theory former world and the current world which is a result of the Genesis 1 creation days.

So here are some practical problems for the Gap theory.
1. Mankind populated the planet, reaching the Americas by around 15,000 years ago. The Americas have been continuously populated by humanity since then. And there is no possible point in time that the pre adamic human population of the Americas could have been destroyed by a pre Genesis 1:2 deluge and then repopulated by humans after the time of Adam in 5000 to 6000 BC.
2. There is genetic continuity between the first physically modern humans and the current populations of existing humans, so physically modern humans which first appeared 150,000 to 200,000 years ago could not belong to a previous world that had been destroyed.
3. According to Heiser and Walton (and I agree with them) there are Scriptural indicators that pre-Adamic humans and humans from the lineage of Adam coexisted and interacted with each other. If pre-Adamic humans coexisted and interacted with humans from the line of Adam, then the pre-adamic humans alluded to in Scripture could not be members of a hypothetical former world that was destroyed prior to Genesis 1:2.

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby DBowling » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:54 am

I am unable to edit my previous post, but I did want to correct a typo which could make my previous post terribly confusing.
When you read my previous post, just replace Genesis 2 with Genesis 1:2.

I was in a rush to finish the post before I went to work, so I was careless.
:oops:

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby RickD » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:57 am

DBowling wrote:I am unable to edit my previous post, but I did want to correct a typo which could make my previous post terribly confusing.
When you read my previous post, just replace Genesis 2 with Genesis 1:2.

I was in a rush to finish the post before I went to work, so I was careless.
:oops:

Fixed
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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Philip » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:10 am

Just to note: Heiser isn't convinced of these pre-Adamic men - but he does consider the possibility, while also acknowledging the challenges with harmonizing them with Scripture, without causing all kinds of problems.

I suddenly noticed something odd about Genesis 1:27-28:

27 "So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

In verse 27, "him" and "them" might well be speaking to greater mankind's creation, and not of only Adam & Eve. To whom is God speaking to in verse 28? Whomever, it is the same "man" God created in verse 27. And would God have instructed Adam and Eve to "fill the earth?" To "subdue" it? These sound like endeavors for greater mankind, and not just two people. As well, Adam and Eve's domain was that of the garden, and yet, the inclusive domain, per God's instructions as to what to fill and subdue, appear to be global in scope. Two people are not going to subdue or fill the entire earth. And the latter part of verse 28 seems to indicate that MANKIND is a creature over all others, which we previously see was made in God's image, and not merely after a previously created "kind."

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Philip » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:17 am

K: For example, YEC really have their work cut out for them interpreting scientific knowledge in new ways. Such that, it can boggle the mind of those, like perhaps us, and especially those who practice modern science, how on earth anyone could take their alternative explanations seriously. Likewise, when one starts re-explaining Scripture here and there, to dramatically change what many previously understand, go to all sorts of explanatory lengths to re-interpret, we can likewise wonder whether we should be honestly mind-boggled.


To me, seriously considering the scientific evidences of an ancient earth and universe because they appear to contradict a plain, literal reading of the "day" timeframes given in Genesis, is not different than questioning whether Genesis 1 and 2 are speaking of the first created humanity, and later, Adam and Eve, because we have prolific evidences of civilization that stretch far before supposed dates for Adam. They are both considerations based upon the idea that God's "testimony" to His handiwork isn't merely found in a literal understanding of Scripture.

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:23 am

Philip wrote:
K: For example, YEC really have their work cut out for them interpreting scientific knowledge in new ways. Such that, it can boggle the mind of those, like perhaps us, and especially those who practice modern science, how on earth anyone could take their alternative explanations seriously. Likewise, when one starts re-explaining Scripture here and there, to dramatically change what many previously understand, go to all sorts of explanatory lengths to re-interpret, we can likewise wonder whether we should be honestly mind-boggled.


To me, seriously considering the scientific evidences of an ancient earth and universe because they appear to contradict a plain, literal reading of the "day" timeframes given in Genesis, is not different than questioning whether Genesis 1 and 2 are speaking of the first created humanity, and later, Adam and Eve, because we have prolific evidences of civilization that stretch far before supposed dates for Adam. They are both considerations based upon the idea that God's "testimony" to His handiwork isn't merely found in a literal understanding of Scripture.

Actually, re: civilisations, we have the agricultural (neolithic) revolution around 12,000 years ago, and "civilisation" itself dated to around 6,500 years ago.

Otherwise, we have sporadic paintings, simple tools and ornaments dated 40k-75k years ago, a couple of possible bone flutes around 35-30k years ago (others challenge aren't really flutes, but rather the coincidental holes made by teeth piercings), an odd dating on a camp site like what TheKid mentioned carbon dated to 23k (which anti-revisionists are skeptical of and such was also found in a fresh water lake known to skew carbon dates due to the hard water effect).

By and large, the bulk of archaeological evidence seems to be a that humanity with higher intelligence and spiritual capacity arose around 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, with more odd individual findings attributable to higher intelligence like us going back possibly to ~25,000 years ago (if we don't classify such as suspect). Earlier forms of simple expression, I don't put past non-human creation, that is, humans that don't have the imago Dei (since science classifies "human" as any species falling under the "homo" genus, which include Neanderthals, etc).

This is a massive gap between such, and when agriculture and other expressions we'd more fully associate with ourselves came onto the scene. Question: why is that, if anatomically similar humans existed 200k years ago? Clear answer to me, seems to be because they're not the same as us. "We" didn't really come onto the scene with our explosive intelligence and spirituality until much more recently.

Given this, dates seem roughly in the correct ballpark in my opinion. The picture is messy in both science, why don't we see far more expression like ours earlier on? Why the sudden burst in the last 20k years? Genesis also isn't an exact history book on origins or genealogies. There is good reason to consider there are gaps. So I think, we have enough knowledge to draw some conclusions, and what we have while a little messy, doesn't necessarily look that bad when we look at archaeology with the patterns of behavioural evidence, rather than simply paleontology -- and then afford some flexibility to timings found in Scripture. Timings are likely within margins of error.
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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby DBowling » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:28 am

Philip wrote:Just to note: Heiser isn't convinced of these pre-Adamic men - but he does consider the possibility, while also acknowledging the challenges with harmonizing them with Scripture, without causing all kinds of problems.

I know Heiser says he is currently just "dating" the idea, but I think both Heiser and Walton have provided a significant service by demonstrating that the premise of pre-Adamic humanity can be defended by a straightforward interpretation of the Scriptural text.

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby DBowling » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:37 am

Let me build upon something that Philip and K have focused on more than I have.

When I think of Genesis 1:26-27 I tend to focus on the beginning of our species (homo sapiens sapiens) and the time frame of humanity's common genetic progenitors, mitochondrial eve and Y chromosome adam.

However, there is another time frame when two other significant events took place for humanity.
Around 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, as K noted, humans started exhibiting what anthropologists call "modern human behavior".
This is also the roughly the same time frame when humans successfully crossed the red sea and migrated out of Africa into the Levant and eventually onward to populate the whole planet. One could potentially link "modern human behavior" with the "image of God" in Genesis 1:26-27 and the migration of humanity out of Africa as the beginning of humanity's journey to "fill the earth" as Philip points out in Genesis 1:28. Based on these two events, one could possibly place Genesis 1:26-28 in a time frame of around 50,000-60,000 years ago.

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Re: Did All Humans Come From Adam & Eve?

Postby DBowling » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:14 pm

RickD wrote:
DBowling wrote:I am unable to edit my previous post, but I did want to correct a typo which could make my previous post terribly confusing.
When you read my previous post, just replace Genesis 2 with Genesis 1:2.

I was in a rush to finish the post before I went to work, so I was careless.
:oops:

Fixed

Rick,
Thanks sooo much for cleaning up my mess!! :)


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