The Catholic Church and Adam and Eve

The Catholic Church faces a real conundrum; on the one hand they do accept much of evolution and the things that it implies. They do accept that much of the Old Testament is nothing but allegory, the Noachian Flood was not real, the earth (and universe) is billions of years old…not 6000, etc.. These tales are now allegorical, metaphorical, only meant to teach, not to be taken as true by Church members.

However there is one story that they dare not lose to allegory…that of Adam and Eve, the sole ancestors of the human race. Science has been telling us for a few years now that this story is impossible, that there was never a time when the human race was down to just two individuals, or eight with Noah and his extended family. The bones have been telling us this for many years now, DNA science has just recently confirmed this.

We also now know that we are related to the many ‘pre-human’ genus Homo’s that walked the earth well over 25,000 years ago. Our Homo-sapiens ancestry goes back at least 200,000 years to the African continent, and we know that most of us have a percentage of Neanderthal genes/blood in our makeup.

This is another instance of the Church fighting science, and losing, as they have for a few thousand years now. The information given above are not undocumented assertions, they are now proven and testable science.

If they admit that Adam and Eve are metaphorical beings (and they ARE), then Jesus (if he was real), died for a metaphor.

It’s either this or the Church must come up with a new explanation for the existence of ‘Original Sin’, and a totally new Dogma. Kinda’ plays havoc with the Catholic assertion that all human have a ‘soul.’

This could also segue into the controversy about abortion and when the fetus has a ‘soul’ or is ‘human’

Interesting times ahead I think.

DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE ANY OF THIS?

The Bible has the following either implied or stated as fact:

Our universe was spoken into existence out of nothing…by a floaty thing  in the sky
Plants were created before the sun was.
The first man was created from dust.
The first woman was made from a rib taken from the first man. (we both have the same number of ribs however)
They are in a garden that has ‘magic’ fruit, to make people live forever and be smart.
There is a talking snake.  (did it have legs I wonder)
Incest was used to jump start the population.
There are Angels…good and bad…and demons.
There are giants and Unicorns.
There are witches, wizards and magicians.
There are bad Angels that rape human women.
Human pregnancy/reproduction is possible with no human father. (just like some of the other gods around the time of Jesus).
People can rise from the grave and walk the streets. (Zombies anyone?)
People live as long as 900+ years.
Dinosaurs and people lived together.
God commits genocide by flooding the earth and only saving 8 humans. (apparently the thought of just starting completely over never occurred to Him)
God makes the Sun stay in the sky so a human battle can be completed.
There is a talking, burning bush somewhere in the mountains of the Sinai desert .
There is a talking donkey.
People (other than Moses) can change wooden staffs into live snakes
A man sees Jesus in a beam of light…and all of Jesus’ thoughts and wishes are downloaded to him. (Hollywood Blvd. anybody?)
There is a man that lives inside a fish for 3 days.
Insects are said to have 4 legs (would a God REALLY be this stupid??)
The cure for leprosy is dove blood sprinkled on the toes (REALLY??)
If you position mating livestock in front of a stripped stick, they will produce stripped offspring.

Today we can actually disprove most of these Biblical assertions/stories.

Do mainline Christians really believe any of this is true?  Or is it just the fundamentalists wackos among us.

The Fall of Man

The Fall of Man as seen by Thomas Paine

“The Christian Mythologists, after having confined Satan in a pit, were obliged to let him out again to bring on the sequel of the fable. He is then introduced into the Garden of Eden, in the shape of a snake or a serpent, and in that shape he enters into familiar conversation with Eve, who is no way surprised to hear a snake talk; and the issue of this tête-à-tête is that he persuades her to eat an apple, and the eating of that apple damns all mankind.

After giving Satan this triumph over the whole creation, one would have supposed that the Church Mythologists would have been kind enough to send him back again to the pit: or, if they had not done this, that they would have put a mountain upon him (for they say that their faith can remove a mountain), or have put him under a mountain, as the former mythologists had done, to prevent his getting again among the women and doing more mischief.

But instead of this they leave him at large, without even obliging him to give his parole—the secret of which is that they could not do without him; and after being at the trouble of making him, they bribed him to stay. They promised him ALL the Jews, ALL the Turks by anticipation, nine-tenths of the world beside, and Mahomet into the bargain. After this, who can doubt the bountifulness of the Christian Mythology?

Having thus made an insurrection and a battle in heaven, in which none of the combatants could be either killed or wounded—put Satan into the pit—let him out again—gave him a triumph over the whole creation—damned all mankind by the eating of an apple, these Christian Mythologists bring the two ends of their fable together. They represent this virtuous and amiable man, Jesus Christ, to be at once both God and Man, and also the Son of God, celestially begotten, on purpose to be sacrificed, because they say that Eve in her longing had eaten an apple. Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, Authors emphasis 

There Was No Moment of Creation

One of the many problems modern science poses for Christianity is the question of how to understand original sin. The traditional teaching, which holds that Adam and Eve were the only humans on the planet when they were created on day six of Creation Week, that the ground was cursed and they were expelled from Eden as a result of a specific sin they committed, and that this corrupted state was in some way passed down to all future human beings, is no longer tenable. A variety of lines of evidence make it clear that the human population has always numbered in the thousands and certainly never dipped down to two. Moreover, evolution makes clear that humans arose through eons of natural selection. There was no moment of creation, and there was no state of primordial perfection for them to sully. Jason Rosenhouse, The Evolution Blog http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2011/09/what_does_original_sin_mean_in.php?utm_source=nytwidget
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We Are All Children of Africa


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ALL the evidence from ALL the relevant sciences just keeps pointing to Africa, and that the early hominids are our ancestors.  Religionists of course have been denying this for over a hundred years…but the science is relentless and cohesive, we humans are products of evolution, not created ex-nihilo by some imaginary Jewish God 6000 years ago.

Priests, rabbi’s, pastors, Mullah’s, and  theologians on all sides can make all the Grand Pronouncements and split all the hairs they want for eternity, and all we atheists need to do is point to humankind’s KNOWN past and the KNOWN path we took to get where we are today.  And of course the evidence for our ancestry kinda’ kills the mainline established Christian dogma…we now know the old stories are impossible to fit into KNOWN history.

Christianity, as we know it, is on it’s last legs, it cannot integrate the knowledge we now have without major changes to all denominations and theological thought.

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Jesus is a Hoax

Jesus is a hoax.  How can I say that? Pretty easily it turns out.  I can say that because I follow a chain of logic from a known fact.

Evolution is a fact.  Lots of people in America want to ignore this, and many choose to try and disprove it by using junk science and holding on to beliefs that were long ago discredited.  There are those who denounce and scream that it cannot be true because it removes the need for a God and His dogma, something they just know is right and true, despite the lack of any proof whatsoever.

You don’t get to vote on evolution…which a lot of evangelical Christians think they can do and make it go away. Evolution is real science and is not really a “theory” anymore, though the title ‘Theory of Evolution’ will remain because that’s the way science works.  The fundamentalist Christians attempts to discredit evolution and teach their phony alternatives, “Creation Science” or “Intelligent Design”, in schools is a total failure and it is recognized by most intelligent people as just religious doctrine posing as science.

Science moves forward on the basis of testable, repeatable, and reviewable evidence, religion however has no evidence behind it and depends wholly on the non-questioning faith of its adherents.  Any teacher who tries to teach faith-based dogma in a science class is clearly not suited to be a teacher. Our leadership in science and technology cannot be subservient to anyone’s religious persuasions.

Evolution today presents a major conundrum to Christianity and it’s dominate dogma of original sin and the blood atonement of Jesus.  Just believe in Jesus and your ‘sins’ are washed away.  Well that Jesus may or may not be reality.  We know that evolution could not produce a single parent couple through which we all descended; this is predictable from the way we know evolution works.  Additionally there is the DNA and archaeological evidence totally backing this up.

This is what gets the ball rolling.  These simple proofs that there was NO Adam and Eve is what gives lie to the whole Bible. If there is NO Adam and Eve, as described in the Bible and this is surely fact, then there is surely NO fall and the subsequent original sin, and it is original sin that the whole Christian shtick is based on.  If there were NO original sin then there is no need for redemption; if there is NO need for redemption then there is no need for Jesus, If there is no need for Jesus…what use is the story of a crucifixion and resurrection?  Besides lacking any contemporaneous proofs at all, the whole story reeks of Bronze Age myth.  Are we still to believe in gods that demand blood sacrifice?  Haven’t we grown past this medieval, dark ages reasoning?  I know I have.

Religions problems with science are many and varied. Evolution tells us the earth, biosphere, animals, and humans evolved in a certain way and on a schedule of sorts. It makes predictions of what is to be found and how things will work.  Genesis has stories that conflict with known science.  We know in fair detail how and when the universe came into being, how and when our earth came into existence, and how and when humans came to inhabit our planet.

If you claim to be an intelligent member of modern society do you still believe in magic and demons, witches, devils, imps, goblins, incubuses, succubus’s, wraiths, unicorns, etc.?  Christians do, and of course in the dark ages the churches killed people who they thought were witches or devils and such and those who denied some of the Bibles more egregious blunders.

The primal reason Evolution is giving Christians so much grief is of course that evolution says the Christian creation story is just flat wrong…it never happened that way and the first two chapters of Genesis are totally wrong…the story is not factual in any way.  We know how dinosaurs and other land animals, plants, insects, birds, fish, humans, etc. came into being and we know it was not by ex-nihilo creation by some Bronze Age god.

Evolution could not, did not, produce a single mother and father of all future humans, so there was no Adam and no Eve. And with this now known to be fact the Christians have to really rethink their beliefs and decide where they are to go from here on. There is no voting on this…we do not get to choose what we want to be reality.  What is real and true is truth, no matter what some goat herders wrote a few thousand years ago.

John Schneider, former teacher of theology at Calvin College in Michigan says it’s time to face facts:

“There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence. Evolution makes it pretty clear that in nature, and in the moral experience of human beings, there never was any such paradise to be lost. So Christians, I think, have a challenge, have a job on their hands to reformulate some of their tradition about human beginnings.”

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Adam and Eve Are Dead…Finally

Well actually they never existed…and the proof is available for all to see.

Christian scholar Dennis R. Venema is the BioLogos senior fellow for science and the biology chairman at Trinity Western University.  He writes that the chimp genome displays “near identity” with the human genome as detailed by (Francis) Collins’s team.  The detailed analysis involves sequences of genes and the makeup of individual genes, but especially important are the locations of “pseudogenes” that are seemingly no longer active. The cumulative evidence, Venema concludes, shows that “humans are not biologically independent, de novo creations, but share common ancestry” with prior primate species.””

Atheist-turned-Christian Francis S. Collins is the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a federally funded organization. Collins’s wrote a 2006 bestseller, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, where he said there are scientific indications that anatomically modern humans emerged from primate ancestors perhaps 100,000 (currant science says 200,000) years ago, long before the apparent Genesis time frame, and that they originated within a population that numbered something like 10,000, not two individuals. Far removed from the traditional belief that God specially created man and woman in the Garden of Eden, and they were biologically different from all other creatures alive at the time.

In his recent (2011) pro-evolution book, The Language of Science and Faith, Collins and co-author Karl W. Giberson step up matters, announcing that “unfortunately” the concepts of Adam and Eve as the literal first couple and the ancestors of all humans simply “do not fit the evidence.”

The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis has long been subjected to scientific challenges, but “there was a lot of wiggle room in the past. The human genome sequencing took that wiggle room away” said Randall Isaac, executive director of the American Scientific Affiliation.  DNA science is totally changing what many believed about human beginnings.

Will the Adam and Eve question become a groundbreaking science-vs.-religion dispute, in the 21st-century? The modern day equivalent of the once disturbing argument about whether the Sun orbits the earth or vice-versa?  The possibility is there: the emerging science could be seen to challenge what Genesis records about the creation of humanity and also the species’ unique status of being created in the “image of God,” Christian doctrine on original sin and the Fall, the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, and, perhaps most significantly, Paul’s seminal teaching that links a historical Adam with redemption through Christ.

The fall-out from the non-historicity of the Biblical Adam and Eve will be huge.  Many people in the earth sciences have known for some time that the Genesis stories are just myth, the science behind the notion is just too darn strong to endlessly ignore.

South Carolina pastor Richard Phillips, chair of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology worries, “Can the Bible’s theology be true if the historical events on which the theology is based are false?” If science trumps Scripture, what does this mean for the virgin birth of Jesus, or his miracles, or his resurrection? “The hermeneutics behind theistic evolution are a Trojan horse that, once inside our gates, must cause the entire fortress of Christian belief to fall.”

All these years Christianity has been working under the assumption that Genesis is true and that all humans who lived in the past, and are alive today, are descendents of Adam and Eve.  The whole dogma of original sin and the blood sacrifice of Jesus to redeem humanities sin goes out the door.  Combine the fact that DNA, and other evidence, says that Adam and Eve did not exist…with other revelations that science is making about the Biblical myths, and I predict that Christianity is facing a real crisis of belief.  
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