Isabella Duncan: The Story of Our Old planet and Its Inhabitants

Isabelle Wright was born in Dumfries in 1812. She married George John Craig Duncan who was the minister of Kirkpatrick Durham. They moved to London and after bearing nine children she took to writing. She wrote a book, Pre-Adamite man : or, the story of our old planet & its inhabitants, told by Scripture & science , about the creation which combined scientific theories with the stories from Genesis in the bible. Her Pre-Adamite theory postulated a race of people before Adam which also explained where angels came from. The book was published just after Darwin published On the Origin of Species and after the evidence that mammoths and humans lived at the same time.[1] At that time the bible gave evidence that the earth was thousands and not millions of years old. She explained the recent findings from geology but surmising that chapter one of Genesis described a race before Adam and the second chapter described the classical story of biblical creation.[2]

Isabelle Wight Duncan - Wikipedia

I find this interest. She puts forward a sequential reading of Genesis 1 and 2 in 1860, merely 2 years after Darwin’s Origin of the Species. I wonder how close her proposal is to the Genealogical Adam. What do you think @deuteroKJ and @jongarvey.

You can read the 3rd edition of your book here:

I’ve not time to read the book just now, but on the face of it she seems to have taken a speculative from the Gap Theory, which I believe originated in the 1810s and, in the form it took, allowed for various complete creations and extinctions before ours, often separated by catastrophes. The principle of uniformity arose in reacxtion to that, in part.

The difference from GA is that the latter accepts one creation and modified uniformism (though I half-rehabilitated the Gap Theory here). In that limited sense I agree with the Gen1 - 2 distinction you say she makes.

Looks like she also saw an opportunity to explain a Miltonian-type “ancient fall of Satan” within a Gap-Theory context. Those wanting nature to be fallen in an evolutionary context might pick up on that, but it falls foul of the fact that Scripture describes Adam being formed in a good creation, not a fallen one.

My answer, of course, is that Satan sinned only because of man’s preferment in Eden, out of envy and pride - which matchs the biblical and apocryphal witness. A shame, because Milton’s version is fun.

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