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.

Where is Adam and Noah

“We do not see the name of Noah or of Adam in any of the ancient dynasties of Egypt; they are not to be found among the Babylonians and Sumerians. We cannot comprehend how the father of all nations has so long been unknown, not until the time when the Jewish books began to be known in Alexandria and were translated into Greek under one of the Ptolemies.

In the natural course of things Adam’s name should have been carried from mouth to mouth to the farthest corners of the earth. I will venture to affirm that it has required a miracle thus to shut the eyes and ears of all nations – to destroy every monument, every memorial of their first father. What would the Roman philosopher and orator, Cicero, have thought, if a poor Jew, while selling him balm, had said, We are all descended from one father, named Adam.

Cicero would doubtless have inquired about the great monuments, the indisputable testimonies which Noah and his children had left of our common father. After your so-called Deluge, he would have said, the whole world would have resounded with the names of Adam and Noah, one the father, the other the restorer of every race.

These names would have been in every mouth as soon as men could speak, on every parchment as soon as they could write, on the door of every house as soon as they could build, on every temple, on every statue. You mean to tell us that you knew so great a secret, yet concealed it from us? Every people has attributed to itself some imaginary origin, yet none has approached the true one.” – Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary, entry under Adam….Wilfred A. Elders

http://www.chem.tufts.edu/science/franksteiger/elders-flood-report.htm

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.

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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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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The Times Are Changing

Scientists say survival of the Kindest…not the Fittest.
Scientists at UC Berkeley are saying that we humans are not necessarily hardwired to be selfish, but kind and compassionate, and they have a growing body of evidence to back it up…we are evolving

 Fundamentalists Starting To Agree With Me…No Adam and Eve
Let’s go back to the beginning — all the way to Adam and Eve, and to the question: Did they exist, and did all of humanity descend from that single pair?

But now some conservative scholars are saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account. Asked how likely it is that we all descended from Adam and Eve, Dennis Venema, a biologist at Trinity Western University, replies: “That would be against all the genomic evidence that we’ve assembled over the last 20 years, so not likely at all.””

Hey, doesn’t the Venema guy have some connection to the BioLogos Christian blog?

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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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God and the Sumerians

There is no foundation for making the moral and supernatural claims that the Christian religion makes.  That is not to say that the evidence is inadequate…it is to say that there is NO evidence for almost all of their claims.  All religions have human fingerprints all over them and the Christian religion has never even come close to proving that there is anything true about their claims that a god created the world about 6,000 years ago in a fit of creation that lasted 6 literal days.

If that were true the Sumerians and other people living in the Fertile Crescent at the time would have sure been surprised…they had already built a large city or two and were in the middle of perfecting agriculture and culture building. They and their brethren in Jericho had been advancing civilization for a few thousand years already.

It must have pretty disconcerting for the Chinese, Indus Valley, East Indian, European, Asian, Australian, North and South American peoples that had thriving cities, culture, and advanced civilizations already going by 6,000 years ago.  In the Fertile Crescent I wonder what the existing people did when Adam and Eve were plopped down in their midst?  I mean they were intellectual infants…didn’t know how to farm, hitch up a water buffalo to a plow, make cheese or beer or anything useful, and they kept running around naked for god’s sake.  And where were their bellybuttons??

God must have phoned in the creation of Adam and Eve, because he created them with absolutely no skills or inbreed knowledge of the world and its ways.  The Sumerians however already knew mathematics and about the seasons and animal husbandry, maybe some astronomy, and a myriad of other things necessary to survive in a cold and cruel world.  They had known these things for thousands of years before God “Created the Earth” in 6,000 BC.

If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we’re going?” -Justin Brown

Jesus Was/Is A Myth

If one follows the many earth sciences closely enough you are presented with facts that if followed deeply enough and cogitated about long enough, reveals to you that all is not as it seems.

For example, science tells us that actual humans (Homo-sapiens…us), have walked the earth for near 200,000+-  years. Among scientists this is pretty much an un-disputed fact, Other, almost humans, walked the earth for several million years…some modern day European and Asian people have actual DNA from some of these ancient ancestors, meaning there was inter-breeding and viable, fertile offspring.

DNA and the old bones are telling this story…this is indisputable, non-judgmental,   unbiased science that is narrating the story of our ancestors life, not a book written by goat-herders–millions of years after the real beginning of the tale.

All of the above, and more, leads us to the necessity to re-examine and measure many old tall tales that have been passed off as truth to billions of people…namely the Biblical myths of our earthly Genesis.  Moses nowadays is thought to be pretty much a mythical figure.  His “contribution” to the Bible (The Pentateuch) is probably a product of earnest Jewish scholars of the sixth or seventh century BC …long after the reputed time of Moses…trying to keep a tribe together

We know that the essential stories of Genesis…Adam/Eve, Noah, dispersion of language, slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt, Exodus, exploits of Joshua, etc. are mythical or allegorical tales.  Some people may think this is not a big deal, but some cogitation on the subject proves otherwise.  In fact if these stories are not true, the consequences ricochet through time…to the story of Jesus, and then go even greater lengths to prove the whole chapter–maybe the whole book–is only myth.

Follow this: there was no Adam/Eve as portrayed in the Bible. The Bible gives clues that much of civilization and early technology was miraculously “there” almost as soon as the story got going. This irrevocably puts the stories into the fifth or sixth millennia BC…a time that is extremely well researched and known about by our earth sciences.  The bone evidence and DNA evidence agree in their respective branches that there was never a time when our ancestors only numbered 2 in the case of Adam/Eve, and further out, the 6 mythical procreating members of the mythical Noah’s Ark.

As stated above man/womankind has walked the earth for 200,000 +- years…there was never an Adam/Eve couple six or eight or ten or fifty thousand years ago.  No Adam and Eve mean no “Original Sin” which irrevocably means there was no need for a Jesus to die as “blood atonement” for non-existent sins.  If you think about it God said, before Paul invented Original Sin, that children are not guilty of the sins of the father. Also the blood atonement think is kind of stupid…it’s nothing but theater, a contrivance to batten up a weak plot line.

With that thought in mind we go to some thoughts of people who are, or were, in the front lines of scholarship in matters of the Christian religion.

“It is important to recognize the obvious: The gospel story of Jesus is itself apparently mythic from first to last”Robert M. Price, professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute

“We can recreate dimensions of the world in which he lived, but outside of the Christian scriptures, we cannot locate him historically within that world”Gerald A. Larue, The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You to Read.

“The question must also be raised as to whether we have the actual words of Jesus in any Gospel”Bishop John Shelby Spong.

“According to the declaration of the Second Vatican Council, a faithful account of the actions and words of Jesus is to be found in the Gospels; but it is impossible to reconcile this with the existence in the text of contradictions, improbabilities, things which are materially impossible or statements which run contrary to firmly established reality”Maurice Bucaille, The Bible The Quran And Science

“Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it”C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic, The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy

“Even if there was a historical Jesus lying back of the gospel Christ, he can never be recovered. If there ever was a historical Jesus, there isn’t one anymore. All attempts to recover him turn out to be just modern re-mythologizing of Jesus. Every “historical Jesus” is a Christ of faith, of somebody’s faith. So the “historical Jesus” of modern scholarship is no less a fiction”Robert M. Price, Jesus: Fact or Fiction

“So unreliable were the Gospel accounts that “we can now know almost nothing concerning the life and personality of Jesus”Rudolf Bultmann, University of Marburg

So Prof. Bultmann is saying that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are unreliable, so bad that we can’t be sure about Jesus. Just how much faith can we put in the Gospels?  Let’s see what some other scholars believe…

“We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John”Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, The Gnostic Gospels.

“All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions”Steve Mason, professor of classics, history and religious studies at York University.

“The gospels are so anonymous that their titles, all second-century guesses, are all four wrong”Randel M. Helms, Who Wrote the Gospels?

“But even if it could be proved that John’s Gospel had been the first of the four to be written down, there would still be considerable confusion as to who “John” was. For the various styles of the New Testament texts ascribed to John- The Gospel, the letters, and the Book of Revelations– are each so different in their style that it is extremely unlikely that they had been written by one person”John Romer, archeologist & Bible scholar, Testament.

“Paul did not write the letters to Timothy to Titus or several others published under his name; and it is unlikely that the apostles Matthew, James, Jude, Peter and John had anything to do with the canonical books ascribed to them”Michael D. Coogan, Professor of religious studies at Stonehill College.

“Yet today, there are few Biblical scholars– from liberal skeptics to conservative evangelicals- who believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually wrote the Gospels. Nowhere do the writers of the texts identify themselves by name or claim unambiguously to have known or traveled with Jesus”Jeffery L. Sheler, The Four Gospels

“The bottom line is we really don’t know for sure who wrote the Gospels”Jerome Neyrey, Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass.

“The world has been for a long time engaged in writing lives of Jesus… The library of such books has grown since then. But when we come to examine them, one startling fact confronts us: all of these books relate to a personage concerning whom there does not exist a single scrap of contemporary information — not one! By accepted tradition he was born in the reign of Augustus, the great literary age of the nation of which he was a subject. In the Augustan age historians flourished; poets, orators, critics and travelers abounded. Yet not one mentions the name of Jesus Christ, much less any incident in his life”Moncure D. Conway, Modern Thought

Some really bad press for a few people from the Christian religion. They keep saying there is all this evidence that their religion is the true one.  I’m wondering where it is.

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Religion And The Mt. Toba Eruption

I was recently checking on one of the blogs that I follow and came upon this little excerpt from a scientific paper and it got me going on a hunt for more information.  See blog link below and thanks to Mathildas Anthropology blog for the brain jog. http://mathildasanthropologyblog.wordpress.com/

“The depositional position of the tephra in the Jurreru River Valley, together with new chronometric and geochemical evidence, indicates that the ash is a product of the 74,000 year old YTT event (Petraglia et al., 2007). The recovery of Middle Paleolithic assemblages in dated deposits below and above the ash provides the first firm archaeological association, helping to resolve some of the uncertainty about archaeological associations in India. The recovery of Middle Paleolithic industries without major technological changes after the ashfall, indicate that populations survived the super-eruption. We have suggested, based on a variety of datasets, that modern humans were present in the Indian sub continent before the super-eruption, and that these populations survived this event.”

Searching a little further I found this Paper from the University of Oxford

“An area of widespread speculation about the Toba super-eruption is that it nearly drove humanity to extinction. The fact that the Middle Palaeolithic tools of similar styles are found right before and after the Toba super-eruption, suggests that the people who survived the eruption were the same populations, using the same kinds of tools, says Dr Petraglia. The research agrees with evidence that other human ancestors, such as the Neanderthals in Europe and the small brained Hobbits in Southeastern Asia, continued to survive well after Toba.” University of Oxford, UK
http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_releases_for_journalists/100222_1.html

Continuing my search a bit more I found the following information on the dating of the YTT (Toba event), and for you Young Earth Creationist’s (YEC’s) who erroneously think that C-14 dating is wrong, you will notice it didn’t make use of this particular bit of science.

“Toba ash has been dated using the K-Ar, the 40Ar/39Ar and oxygen isotope/biostratigraphic methods. The abrupt drop in sea water temperature was determined with the oxygen isotope (O18/O16) method. The diverse methods used on a variety of Toba materials are in rough agreement as to the dating of the event: it definitively took place sometime between 77,000 and 69,000 years ago.” George Weber @
http://www.andaman.org/BOOK/originals/Weber-Toba/textr.htm

Some research data was obtained from Science magazine @
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/317/5834/114 Subscription required for full article.

So basically what all of this stuff is saying is that modern type Homo sapiens were living in India sometime before about 75,000 years ago, and they were making tools and procreating and in general doing what humans do, and we have proof of this.  And then this same info is saying that after the Mt. Toba eruption—which is thought to have cooled off the earth and caused a 1000 year lengthening of a ongoing cold snap that the earth was undergoing at the time, and caused a human population bottleneck where breeding pairs, on earth, may have fallen to as low as 10,000 people.  In other words, near extinction of the human race—We were still around, albeit in smaller numbers.  Whew!

This is pretty reliable data and it shows once more that humans have been walking the earth for many tens of thousands of years and leaving evidence behind that men can find, research, and interpret to determine that we were not placed on a newly created earth by some sky-god only 6,000 or so years ago, and also confirms that the Adam and Eve story is just myth…they never existed.

Just sayin’…..
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