The children of Adam and Eve, why look so different?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by daktaklakpak, May 25, 2001.

  1. daktaklakpak God is irrelevant! Registered Senior Member

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    If God exists.
    If God created Adam and Eve.
    Why their children, us, look so different in color and shape? speak and write so differently in language? live so remotely apart? and formed so many countries?

    For those who believed in God, if it's not the work of evolution, what makes us so diverse in so many ways?
     
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  3. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    God must be a redneck!!

    Sorry about not being entirley on topic but I've just thought of this after reading your post.

    God cast out Adam and Eve because Eve bit an Apple...however God had no problem with Adam and Eve's offspring having marital affairs with each other to produce further offspring...isn't having sex with your sister or first cousin frowned upon by God?? Personally I think its ALOT worse then being tempted by a ripe delicious looking apple.

    So basically Adam and Eve were setup to fail from the start, if it wasn't the apple then it would have been something like the above mentioned. Hmmm God sure has a strange way of showing his creation that he loves them.

    (For the Simpsons fans: I'm thinking the Garden of Eden must have been somewhere near shelbyville)
     
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  5. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    dak,

    Well, for the Bible literalists the answer to your question consists of the Babel tower. They would say the fable is to be understood verbatim, and just happens to explain the presense of different races, cultures, languages and countries.

    Of course, such people also tend to believe in 6000 year old Earth and whatnot, so it's pretty easy to show even to them that they are full of shit. But other than the Tower story, I don't think they would have an answer.
     
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  7. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    No problem

    This seems like a fairly easy problem.

    Given that Adam is the first man then each of his sperm could have been given unique race related properties. Similarly each of Eve’s ova could also have been given specific race related properties. We are also told that Adam and Eve lived for many hundreds of years. If we assume that Eve remained fertile for most of that time and gave birth regularly then that could explain the creation of all the different races that we see today.

    We would also have to make some assumptions concerning procreation between offspring of similar races. But this is not too difficult to understand since even today most people of a given race prefer partners of their own race. This is cultural to some extent, but many studies have shown that a large percentage of people tend to choose a partner who shares similar characteristics to themselves, e.g. height, hair color, body types, dispositions. Analysis of successful marriages show that many of these couples look like each other, it’s a natural attractiveness and distinct from cultural pressure.

    Cris
     
  8. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Cris,

    And how attractive do you find your sister/brother?

    I'm not intending to pick fights here but the christain story of creation in based in some funky family fun, which the bible itself says is very taboo.

    Dak,

    Maybe the different races were a result of mixing the gene pool too closley...I'm kidding ofcourse

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  9. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Cris,

    Not to take this too seriously or anything, but while your proposal might work for Eve, it would not for Adam. Girls are born with a full complement of eggs and do not produce any new ones for the rest of their life, so you could potentially "hard-wire" anything into a female that way. However, sperm is constantly refreshed in human testes, and its DNA is basically derived from the male's stem cells.

    So, for Adam to produce sperm of multiple races would mean that his entire phenotype would have to reflect multiple races simultaneously (because stem cells are circulated and used throughout the body) -- and not merely as a uniform mixture as would happen in a normal hybrid, but as a constellation of distinct race-specific chunks of flesh, which would make him quite a freak of nature (and I doubt a very healthy one at that.)

    And so, in your scenario all the offspring would have to be hybrids of Adam's singular race and whatever was supplied by Eve. They would of course share some of Adam's features, and wouldn't be that much unlike each other.

    The whole family breeding scheme has some psychological problems though. It's been long since established that in a majority of cases, growing up in close association with a person takes away any sexual attraction to that person. It's probably the beginnings of an evolved mechanism to guard against incest. So I'm afraid the "first family" would have had to actually force its children to do the nasty, because they would have been unlikely to want to do it on their own.
     
  10. daktaklakpak God is irrelevant! Registered Senior Member

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    Looks like Adam is the one who went through endless divine treatments (a.k.a. radiation) to make sure the sperms mutated every time he mated with Eve. I can feel his pain...
     
  11. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Actually, excessive irradiation tends to do so much genetic damage as to make people sterile for life.
     
  12. daktaklakpak God is irrelevant! Registered Senior Member

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    Com'on, it's God we're talking about. He knows the perfect dose.
     
  13. PeeWeeFatButt Registered Member

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    God or Evolution, is that the Question?

    First of all, why must the question be either God or Evolution? Why can't they coexist? Who's to say that God is not the author of Evolution?

    To answer your question concering why the offspring of the First Parents, if divine, are so diverse in "so many ways".

    I don't know if you have children, but sublte differences occur among offspring. Those sublte differences magnified over time can create dramatic inconsistencies. Further, different cultures, languages, and skin color, if not explained with reference to the existence of Deity, exist as groups of people separate to live in different parts of the world, forced socially and genetically, eventually, to adapt to their surroundings. But this in no way dismisses the existence of a Supreme Force. (Tangent - Don't believe in a supreme force you say? Well, can you, through any power you consciously or directly control, effect Evolution? No, you can't. No one can in and of themselves. There exists a higher force than you. Does not this logically explain the existence of a Supreme Force?) I don't think, then, that your question is relevant. Of course evolution exists, God initiated it!
     
  14. daktaklakpak God is irrelevant! Registered Senior Member

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    Can God and evolution get along?

    Evolution implies God's creations are not perfect. How dare you insulted God as someone who make mistake?

    I personally don't care how you treat God. But just think about it: if everything is perfect, why do you need to change(evolve)?
     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Because people insist that it must be so

    I have always recognized this a failure of certain theologies. Evolution has no obligation to knock divine creation out of possibility; in fact, there is no need. Bad theology knocks divine anything out of possibility.

    As Dak noted, the God of the Christians has traditionally been assigned Perfect Knowledge and Immutable Will; that is, God is not wrong, and his Plan does not change. Everything is set and known.

    Many people rail against the implications of determinism or, worse yet, Calvinism, inherent in such a perspective, yet if you witnessed the nearly-titanic rounds Tony1 and I fought in various threads, you might see what happened to people's regard as Catholics worked their detailed logical structure to accommodate the free will of souls. Yet, despite nearly two millennia to work out the details, even Catholocism is plagued with awful doctrinal theology.

    But when we consider the difficulties of reconciling the existence of a Devil to the contradictions of theology and doctrine; when we consider the long-running assumption that acting "in the name of God" includes arbitrary human cruelty; when we examine the tendencies of evangelical Christian activists to operate via accusation (a horde of accusers) and persecutory demands; if this is the sum effect of the Gospel of Compassion, or of Reconciliation, why should we give a rat's behind how these people think they got here? If we compare the aspirations and promises of Christian faith with its working result, a horrible dichotomy arises. With no established relationship between what people claim to believe and what their guidebook declares, why should we give credit to menial insecurities regarding how special one feels in the world? Not long ago, I read the tale of the Hopi "Spider-Woman", an interesting creationary tale indeed. And the Cherokee "Great Buzzard". Of all the complaints--legitimate or not--fostered by our indigenous neighbors against Euro-American society, I must say that I've never heard that the concept of evolution violates their constitutional right to religion. To be honest, I've never even heard of a Jewish complaint to the same, for as I understand it, it would discredit the story to have unqualified goyim teaching it. (What, then, of a Hebrew law that describes the written words of holy books as permanent effects of God? There are repositories of paper and ink where old manuscripts are kept because nobody dares destroy the written incarnation of God. I am not fully educated of these details, though, but it brings to mind the notion of a civil rights charge if a student writes grafitti in a textbook and happens to mark up Hebrew holy texts.) At my Catholic high school, when directly questioned, my Junior-year biology teacher responded in a manner that I now recognize as heavily dependent on the Unmoved Mover of Greek philosophy: God created a Universe and it grew and evolved from there. In my opinion, the issue is settled that evolution poses no threat to the insecurities of religious influence. However, I am not a fundamental literalist: I am not obliged at the stake of my soul to insist on Genesis. And therein lies the key to why evolution and divine creation are so separate in modern American society (I've never met European Lutherans--I have no idea what they think of the Missouri Synod; it is wise here to limit my scope to what people I know best at this scale: Americans).

    * Quite frankly, it seems to me that the first factor at play here is the stake of eternity. When the soul is on the line, all bets are toward mortal combat: fundamentalist derivations of Islam have created that situation in the mideast; fundamentalist derivations of Christianity motivate violence in the US. But to lighten up to a more relevant scale, we see the fundamentalist parent fearing for the child's soul because the child is being taught by a person the child is expected to respect ideas which the fundamentalist--being typically lesser-educated and perhaps unable to grasp the scale of the planet, much less the Universe--fears contradict God.

    * Trust is a second factor. We might assert that the parent does not trust the child's judgement to oblige their self to faith. This is incorrect. What the parent does not trust is what none of us trust: the self. We do not trust ourselves. Declare it all you want; I'll believe you just to spare myself the argument. But it's what parents don't tell their children when they punish: "I have failed to communicate my expectations and the reasons they are important, therefore I am going to smack the hell out of your ass." In reality, they tell children, This is going to hurt me more than it does you, a line I was subject to only once, since they figured it didn't work when I laughed at it. How often do we get angry at someone when in reality, we're simply covering for our own failure? (In that sense, what the hell is domestic violence, if not this principle enacted?) When one hates another for their race ... well, I note a great line from V upon the landing of many alien technicians at a west-coast factory: "What's wrong, Caleb?" ...First we had to compete with you honkies for jobs, then the Mexicans, and now these guys, and they ain't even from our planet! I mean, I have watched so many race-based conflicts take place whereby there was nothing the minority could do to excuse himself to the racist: any common-sense point is dismissed by the racist as "Just like a _____" (fill in the blank with your favorite ethnic slur). What is most likely at play here is not a racist's fear that a ____ (again) will take his job, but the inward fear that the racist isn't doing his job well enough. (Okay, in the case of V, the aliens were alleged to be genetically and capably superior, so it might be a legitimate worry for Caleb; I think the point still works in the more realistic construction.) However, we see that all through life--take a look at your own--much of our anger is actually directed at ourselves, and manifested toward others. One of my personal patterns? Damn the cable company! (Of course, since it literally takes them cutting off the service to remind me that I haven't paid the bill, who do you really think I'm angry at?) Thus, as relates to the nearly-abandoned argument concerning evolution and creation: the fundamentalist parent really is afraid of their own failure to communicate the essence of faith, and can only counter that lack of trust in the self in the form of demanding that the myths of one religion be awarded the credibility of the scientific process.

    Evolution does not have to contradict religion. If the religionists would shut up about it long enough, people would learn that. In the meantime, they're just hearing static about rights and equality and how much the world hates the largest known religion ever. That is, how much the world hates the most popular religion ever.

    I, for one, think that evolution would present itself as harmonious with a young student's notions of God, and might even enhance that child's relationship with God, if only the religionists would quit their sniveling, and stop insisting that evolution is not harmonious with God.

    To whence I began: There is no real reason that evolution should be incompatible with one's notion of God. The only reason it comes up is because certain religionists insist on the incompatibility, and insult the hell out of anyone who doesn't agree. Oh, and then they whine about being persecuted, but nobody really cares about that, so we'll leave it alone for now.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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    (By the way, PeeWee ... welcome to sciforums.)
     
  16. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    Evolution vs. Christianity

    Tiassa,

    I'm afraid it's not as simple as that. The problem with natural history, is that it not only walks all over the Judaic creation myth, but also all over other important myths of the Bible. For example, the Adam and Eve story. The Noah's flood story. The Tower of Babel story. And so on (actually, I'm close to exhausting my personal list -- but then I'm not as intimate with the Bible as some on this board; I'm sure there are plenty more...)

    In short, if one were to one day attain the rational point of view, then pretty much all of Christianity instantly transforms into nothing but a cultural tradition of entirely human origins (for example, as far as I could tell from such of your posts as on the purity and pollution thread, you are beginning to see the anthropogenic nature of all religious prescriptions.) Just about the only supernatural thing that might be left over after such a catharsis is the presupposition of a "hands-off" Creator who touched the whole thing off and then left it to fend for itself. There's no room for souls and afterlife, and humans are no longer a pinnacle of creation but a sidenote in the history of the cosmos -- sure to be either wiped out by some catastrophy, or eclipsed in the future by something even greater.

    So the day that the rational view triumphs, Christianity dies. You might say that the left-over belief in a deliberate force behind the veil of the universe should be good enough, but obviously it cannot be for someone who has bought into a great deal more than that. A belief in <u>a</u> god is no longer a Christian belief; I would even claim that in all its lonesome tentativeness and dead-end vagueness it no longer constitutes a religion per se.
     
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    A couple quick notes, Boris

    A) You will find no argument from me. (Okay, maybe a justification or two.)

    B) I am, actually, long-aware of the anthropogenic--though I admit that's a new word for me--nature of religion; because ....

    C) I'm well aware that my own theistic leanings are primarily a psychological device; I do, truly prefer it. In its defense, it has little to say which it claims to be authoritative; I'm pressed to think of anything at the moment. It is no different to me than voting for fifteen candidates of the same party because what they said happens to be the nearest I can hope toward my aspirations in a given election, though without the sense of resignation. But when stars sing and the galaxy dances ... well, I quite enjoy that perception of things.

    The only reasion I would argue that it is as simple as I've described it is because I'm taking several logical leaps (which I have great faith in, if the irony of that isn't just hilarious) whereby I feel it's the religionist's problem if they choose to maintain a faith that prevents them from interacting properly with reality. At the delusional or at least neurotic stake of the soul, the religionist insists.

    Two cents or so, but I hope it's worth something.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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  18. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    No problem

    Boris,

    Continuing my role as a devilish advocate for the Christians, until of course they elect a more appropriate counsel.

    If Adam using normal physiology, as we know it, could not have contributed to the male half of the beginnings of every race, then we are faced with either the prospect that Adam was some type of freak, and there is no evidence for that, or God had to intervene at the fertilization phase each time. And if God had to intervene each time, and in such a fundamental manner then Adam’s seeds really would have had to have been completely nullified. In this case God would have acted as a perfect contraceptive (Catholics should take notes here), but only in the sense that Adam’s sperm would never have been allowed to fulfill their mission. But Eve would still have to become pregnant each time, so God would have to have provided the vital components. Kinda sets the precedent for virgin (maybe semi-virgin) births I suppose.

    As for incest: Now really, what do you think these first early adolescents are going to do? Their siblings are the only game in town, so maybe they don’t find each other very attractive, but man, don’t you think those powerful urges are going to find a productive outlet. It’s not as if they can find alternatives in a nearby town. Once the first bout has been completed we would be into cousins, I think, actually I’m not quite sure what one would call the offspring from incestuous couplings. But anyway couplings between cousins should offer no real problems; heck cousins have been marrying even right up to the 20th century.

    And remember God is going to be lurking around making sure his plans work as expected, even if it is was just to encourage the incest. He’d have to condemn the culprits to hell afterwards of course, or at least place them in line until his son arrives so hell can begin.

    So there you have it, that’s how all the races began – God did it, well what else did you expect?
     
  19. willakitty Registered Senior Member

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    long time...anyone miss me?

    To add my little bit...I just started reading the bible (from start to finish). Just some FYI.
    It said God made man; male and female. He made them with the animals. THEN he made Adam to be his special little buddy. And when he saw that Adam was lonely in the garden he made some animals there and said hey be buddies with them but it just wasn't the same so he made him go to sleep and took his rib and you guys know the story. Anyway, the point is, what your preacher tells you isn't necessarily how it is said. Just as what the bible says isn't necessarily, please forgive me, "God's honest truth". There are many different translations from what was, if i'm not mistaken, an arabaic or hebrew or something original text. Then there's everyone's own opinion. What is the truth? You just have to read it. I did not know that Moses...uh, I mean, NOAH...my little mistake (everyone is entitled to ONE... was instructed to take two of every kind of UNclean animal and fourteen of every kind of clean animal...or vice versa. Anyway, go ahead and pick it apart like any other reference material. I would love to see y'all use quotes from there. And Boris...you're the chillest, man. Keep doin' it right. How else could you?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2001
  20. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    hi willakitty,

    you wrote:
    "Just as what the bible says isn't necessarily, please forgive me, "God's honest truth". There are many different translations from what was, if i'm not mistaken, an arabaic or hebrew or something original text. Then there's everyone's own opinion. What is the truth?"

    By your own words it doesn't appear to be in the bible.

    P.S.
    I like the idea that this almighty all loving God would create Adam as a personal Pet. It's almost consistent with everything else in that story.


    Cris:

    I told you the Garden of Eden was in Shellbyville.
     
  21. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

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    Coulkd there be any better answer.

    <i>"For those who believed in God, if it's not the work of evolution, what makes us so diverse in so many ways?"</i>

    This is easy. <b>It's a miracle!</b>
     
  22. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    The big old Cuckoo in the sky

    Well Cris,

    I suppose your story might be plausible -- in which case the judaic God is the ultimate cuckoo of all time: being the real father behind Adam's back. That sneaky old bastard!

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    But even then, the presense of races couldn't be explained exactly. You'd have to assume that even though the children interbred, they did not cross racial lines. But that assumption doesn't hold up, as racism does not exist between close members of the same family (especially between siblings!) Racism is basically a fruit of ignorance, and growing up/living in close association with people of another race basically is the most effective antidote. Which probably means God didn't abandon his wiley ways for quite a few generations hence (the dirty old man that he is

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    ).

    But overall, I must say that I like Bowser's answer the most: "Would you look at that, Adam, it's a bloody miracle!"

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    (I wonder if that could be used as an excuse in paternity suits...)
     
  23. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

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    <i>"I wonder if that could be used as an excuse in paternity suits."</i>

    Are you in trouble, Boris?
     

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