EthanW's take on the GAE

I agree he need not be the first farmer.

But is there any biblical support whatsoever for him being the first farmer? Anything that can be interpreted that way?

Thanks! I am just a Christian who has always been interested in the topic of origins. I used to be a young earth creationist, but I found myself unable to maintain that belief for various reasons. For some reason I like to have an idea in my mind about how things happened. It’s a bit of a compulsion of mine, but I enjoy entertaining different possibilities. I am committed to the concept of a literal Adam and Eve because I believe they are necessary theologically.


Oh, I didn’t realize that there was a difference between evolutionary creationism and a belief in evolutionary science that is providentially governed.

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Well, I think most (though not all) evolutionary creationists believe that evolution is providentially governed. They also believe other things. As Deborah Haarsma puts it,

evolutionary creationists cannot affirm a traditional de novo view of human origins

My premise:

The traditional de novo account of AE is entirely consistent with evolutionary science, so we should make space for it.

So, this is one reason I say I am not an evolutionary creationist,. I prefer the term, Christian that affirms evolutionary science (CAES).


A post was split to a new topic: What did Haarsma Mean?

According to Genesis he could eat fruit while in Eden, but had to till the ground to grow “herbs of the field” after he was exiled.

That makes him a farmer, but it doesn’t make him the first.

It does if there wasn’t anyone else around at the time. Obviously this doesn’t work within the GAE framework.

That was my point. The idea of Adam as first farmer has biblical support only if we further suppose that he’s the first man. GAE deprives that idea of biblical support. So why maintain it?

[nitpick mode]
I don’t think GAE does deprive that idea of Biblical support - I think GAE requires the Bible to be reinterpreted, but the support remains if the original interpretation is retained.
[/nitpick mode]

I don’t think I’m expressing this clearly :frowning_face:

Agreed. Perhaps you could quote the support for Adam as first farmer that you think is independent of his being first man. That is, if Adam is the first man, any quote that says he is a farmer also means he’s the first farmer. But if he’s not the first man, those statements no longer qualify. You would need something about “first”, explicitly.

Can’t - I don’t know of any. AFAICT the bible says Adam is the first man, and had to become a farmer before there were other men. Him being the first farmer (or maybe second :smile:) is implicit.

And that’s incompatible with GAE, right? Once you accept GAE, all that necessarily goes away.

The Bible also implies there were others (outside the garden?) that AE’s children intermarried with. We are discussing possibilities and interpretations, I don’t see that we can lock into any single interpretation without becoming “Literalists”.

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Maybe - it’d depend on the level of additional capability given to A/E by the G changes. I haven’t read the book.

Can we go back to discussing alignment? I have read the books on that, and have even experimented with variations on the underlying nature of it.

John, I believe you are investing too much into the term “first farmer”.

Depending upon the audience’s presuppositions, Adam may have been inadequate as a farmer, or a genius farmer, or anywhere in between.

Did he master irrigation? We don’t know.
Did he master cross-fertilization? We don’t know.
Did he master plowing? We don’t know.

The imagination of the YECs, to whom GAE is directed, is - - by all accounts - - almost limitless. There is no point in trying to confine how a YEC might define “gardener”, “agriculturalist”, “farmer” or any other related term.

This is logically incorrect. How do you even begin to defend this statement:

“Adam is the first farmer, only if he is the first human”.

This kind of logic certainly doesn’t work anywhere else either: See Genesis 4:20 - “…Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.”

Jabal was the first to dwell in tents, raising cattle, and yet we also know Jabal came after Adah.

Being the first of a certain craft or skill doesn’t seem to have anything to do with being the first man or human.


It does you credit to thoughtfully consider the various scenarios. Indeed, this is what GAE is supposed to allow.

"Would the actions of a few farming families of an unspecified location necessarily be discovered by archaeologists?" My response: no, of course not.

Just imagine all the possible iterations of this very idea!

[a] Perhaps it would be Adam’s grandchildren, or great, great, great grandchildren who really put farming on the map?

[b] Perhaps as good as Adam is, he farms completely by hand and shovel, and it would be one of Adam’s lineage who first uses a plow?

[c] Perhaps Adam’s kin, visiting another village, comes to master the use of water wheels and canals?

The different possibilities are endless… and each one is susceptible to the same problem: when do these practices become noticeable to archaeology?

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“Alignment” of what to what?