I find the concept of the genealogical Adam and Eve really interesting. I have always felt it is very important theologically for there to have been a literal Adam and Eve, and a literal fall causing sin to spread to their descendants, and this view seems to accommodate that opinion with evolutionary theory.
I was wondering how plausible the idea is that the genealogical Adam and Eve were the first human beings to use language (in its complex form, as we understand it today). What we see God doing in Genesis 1 is a lot of speaking, so it makes sense to me that language, and the increase in rationality that goes along with language, might be considered an aspect of the image of God. When I looked online, it said that complex language is likely 50,000 to 200,000 years old, and that it is somewhat of a mystery how language developed. Some are saying language had to have been fairly complex right off the bat. I think this leaves room for my interpretation, as long as one is open to the OEC view of an Adam and Eve that existed significantly earlier than 10,000 years ago, which is what Reasons to Believe holds. I think that the main issues with a 50,000 to 200,000 year-old Adam are that agriculture appears to have developed much later than this interpretation of Genesis would suggest, and that gaps in the genealogies cannot plausibly be stretched back that far. As to agriculture, it’s possible that the fall and the curse resulted in Adam and Eve’s descendants’ culture degenerating into the hunter-gatherer ways of surrounding homo-sapiens, and I am not sure isolated incidents of agriculture of a few families 100,000 years ago would necessarily be found by archaeologists (I am not an archaeologist, so perhaps I am wrong). As to gaps in genealogies, I would assume that the further back one went into history, the more genealogical gaps would be expected, and the gaps would make more of an impact on the historical timeline if Adam’s descendants’ lived for hundreds of years as Genesis states.
It’s probably fairly clear that I take a more literal view of Genesis than some theistic evolutionists, but I am open to the idea of evolutionary creationism if paired with a genealogical Adam. However, the idea that Adam is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old is somewhat unsettling to me, as there is evidence of religious activity before then, which included idolatry. Romans 1 suggests that God ought to be evident to all people: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) So if there was religion before Adam, one would expect it to be true religion, not false religion as the Venus of Willendorf suggests. Perhaps actual relationship with God and the expectation of eternal life would have been reserved for Adam and Eve and their descendants, but the recognition of a supreme God’s existence, in my mind, ought to come with the territory of language and rational thinking, if “what has been made” truly has always been enough to understand who God is “since the creation of the world”. So in my mind, false religion should not have existed without sin, even if the image of God has more to do with God entering into a relationship with Adam and Eve instead of rationality.
Anyway, I was just wondering if my thoughts are plausible biblically or scientifically. I am neither a scientist nor a theologian, so any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
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