Alice's Take on Adam and Eve

Adam
Theology
#1

On Alice’s Anthropology facebook page a member asked “Were Adam and Eve Homo Sapiens”. I thought her answer was most profound and wanted to bring it here for discussion.

@Alice_Linsley Yes. Biblical Adam and Eve were fully human though not the first people on Earth. They are the first parents of the lineages that become known as Hebrew priests, rulers, prophets, and of Jesus Messiah. The historical Adam is the founder of the lines of ruler-priests who were known in the ancient world as 'Apiru or Habiru (Hebrew). This places Adam in relatively recent history. Genesis is not so much about human origins as it is about the origin of the Messianic Faith.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #2

What did you like about her definition?

Also, for reference @Alice_Linsley believes that Australopithecines (Lucy) was fully human, and that Adam and Eve arose later.

#3

I never seen it put this way. I makes sense to me. It fits with the anthropology and the evolutionary science. I can envision writers in the priestly group 2500 years ago writing such a story about the beginning of their religion. It is not a origins of the universe story at all. It is the story of how their religion started. The writers looks at the world around them at the time and wrote the story. It was never meant to be a universal story about mankind.

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#4

She might be correct depending how we define human. Lucy was certainly cognitively inferior to Homo Sapiens but she did have vastly improved cognitive abilities over the common ancestor of chimps and Humans. It is going to be very difficult to draw a line between this species was human and this species was not. It is going to be a gradual emergence of human behavioral traits over a long period of time.

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(Robert Byers) #5

The bible is clear as clear. Adam was the first person. he was not born… Had no belly button. Eve was not born but, uniquely, the only being taken out of another. ADAM.
From these came all humans. the bibles writer, GOD, meant this to be understood.
There is no intelligent way to bring out of genesis another human lineage or intelligent being.
NONE! any attempt is just based on the poorly researched concepts of evolutionism and tiny irrelevant bits of so called fossils.
if you don’t believe in genesis then why make up about Adam/Eve?
Its illogical.

#6

How about the Bible is wrong or that you are misinterpreting what the authors were saying? Do you have anything to support the assertion that Adam had no umbilicus.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #7

Where does it Scripture says this?

Where does Scripture say this?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #8

This is very much aligned with what we are saying in the Genealogical Adam, with the surprise twist that it turns out we all now descend from Adam.

#9

But Alice doesn’t need a special creation. Adam and Eve are defined as the first two of the linage of priests. Makes sense to me. All perfectly natural. Nothing magical going on. Anthropological science fits well. Evolutionary science fits well. Any new finds could support it. It is testable. Predictions: anthropological finds are going to find that there was a priestly group that had a beginning with a first couple and a lineage described in the Bible.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #10

Yup. This is really similar it seems to @jongarvey and @Guy_Coe’s take. They see no need for de novo creation either. That is an option feature that only some find important.

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#11

no offense to Jon and Guy, but Alice describes it in a more profound way supported by anthropological evidence of the period Genesis was written and the knowledge people had about the world that they lived in.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #12

That’s right. She is situating Adam and Eve with archeology. @jongarvey has been more focused on the theological meaning they come to take, without precisely trying to nail down the exact time they lived. Both their stories are compatible; perhaps they are just explaining the same thing in different ways, with different emphasis.

#13

Alice is lined up with the science, the known history, the archaeology, even the genetics. It is even possible to finds the graves of Adam and Eve. Also it would fit with any ancient genome found of the period and location. For example, the preistly group should have a very tightly constrained genome if mate selection was made. There might be mutations to identify this group and could be traced backward to the first appearance.

Occam’s razor applies here - the simplest solution tends to be the right one. When presented with competing hypotheses to solve a problem, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #14

How far we have come.

Then Atheist Declares His Adam. Now you are tracking with Adam as historical figures? Very fun to watch your transformation @Patrick. :wink:

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #15

What about their graves?

(Neil Rickert) #16

Yes, it is very clear that the Adam and Eve story is of the genre of fables.

Okay, I’m not trying to start an argument on that. My real point is that people disagree on what the Bible clearly says. So maybe what you take to be clear isn’t as clear as you think.

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#17

I can accept with archaeological and genomic evidence that a religion started in the Near East that had a first couple who started their priestly linage. It is similar to how the Pharoah of Egypt started. First as the only ones that could take to the Crocodile god Sodon, Then after getting rid of the crocodile god, the high priest became Pharoah - God. @Alice_Linsley am I misrepresenting the evidence on the path from crocodile god to Pharoah?

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(Robert Byers) #18

It says God created man. this means to the readers the MEN they know exist on earth. This man was created by way of a single man. Adam. This man only could reproduce after the woman was taken out of his body.
there were no other people much less reproducing in the usual way.
its clear in the intent of the writer.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #19

What is the word for “man” in that passage? It is not “man”, it is “adam”.

It says there was no women/men right there in the Garden, not across the earth.

Have you read Genesis recently? It is a really good read. It is worth getting familiar with.

#20

But the bible was written by men. And we know a lot about when it was written, by whom it was written and why it was written. There is a lot of archaeological evidence for it. In short, the bible exists, the OT was written by priests in the Near East around 2500 years ago. It says things that fit with technology of the day and it was deemed sacred texts of a new monotheistic religion. But the fact that it was written doesn’t make it anything more than a book about a new religion no more insightful than all the other sacred texts of numerous religions that man has invented throughout history.

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