Speir: A YEC Proposal for People Outside the Garden

As I re-read and take notes and make comments, I want to remind you that I gave you and others here a perfectly viable YEC answer to who the “people outside the Garden” were. Just sayin. There is another way forward here.

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How long were Adam and Eve in the Garden? Remember I am not your run of the mill YEC. 30K years? 50K years? How many children (and nations) did she bear in the Garden before the heads of those nations sinned and were expelled? That might leave A&E as the last holdouts against sin and the only remaining inhabitants of the Garden while thousands or tens of thousands of years were progressing outside.

Wasn’t Eve called “mother of all living” inside the Garden and not outside?

How were children born in the Garden if they were born in the Garden? God caused a deep sleep to come over Adam to produce Eve. Did God put Eve to sleep and produce nations? There are references in the Bible to nations in the Garden of Eden. Those nations rebelled and were kicked out.

Only after sin and her expulsion when Eve bore Cain did she then proclaim after much pain, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.”

That’s an interesting idea. What do your YEC friends think of it?

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Considering that Adam was only 930 years old when he died, your ideas are in conflict with Genesis.

None. Her first child was Cain, born after the expulsion. Your ideas are in conflict with Genesis.

Sorry, A&E were the first to sin; they were how sin and death entered the world. Your ideas are in conflict with Genesis.

Yes, but that was only right before they were expelled from the Garden and before she had here first child. Your ideas are in conflict with Genesis.

Not acquainted. What references?

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It was not written for YECs. For the most part I find YECs unmoved in their bias and thus solidly grounded in their faith. It was written for that individual who reads a comment like yours:

“As a scientist in the Church and a Christian in science, I see firsthand the strength of evolutionary science. What version of theistic evolution could be theologically sound?

…and begins to feel hopeless in their faith. They begin to feel that they have no other options before them than to fall in line with naturalism and evolution (including theistic evolution).

I am trying to cause people to see that if they will simply pause and pray and consider the Scriptures more deeply before they capitulate, they will begin to see other options emerge.

How is this any different than Geocentrists and Flat Earthers facing the same issues?

It is interesting that you would describe a process that follows the evidence in a logical and reasonable way to be a capitulation. Would it be out of line to assume you accept natural explanations for the vast majority of events that happen in the world around you on a daily basis? Do you have to invent supernatural causes for rainclouds in order to avoid capitulating to naturalism?

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I think this is interesting. I agree that this an issue for people who want to take a literal reading of Genesis within a YEC context. Either it means AE had several unmentioned children in the Garden, or that Eve would become mother of the living. If she was to become mother of all the living, it does not rule out people outside the Garden.

Of course, we could also say that this was a false title, because it wasn’t given by God, but by a fallen Adam. Nothing should have us believe that Adam was infallible. So we have 3 interpretive options:

  1. Eve was already a mother, with children, while she was in the Garden.
  2. Eve would become mother of all the living.
  3. Eve’s title “mother of all the living” is not a teaching of scripture because it is spoken by fallen Adam.

#1 is heterodox within YEC and certainly not a common view. I’m curious how YECs would respond to this. I suspect the issue is with original sin. Adam’s sin is supposed to be what gets everyone kicked out. Perhaps you mean that anyone who sinned would have all his descendents kicked out? It is once Adam sinned, there was no one else in the Garden? That might work in some ways…

#2 and #3 are certainly consistent with people outside the Garden that do not descend from Eve.

I think, in context, these two options are far stronger than #1, though I do like the creativity of #1 and think its worth exploring.

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I think that’s a misreading. It refers to her as the future sole original female ancestor of all people. Not one of many genealogical ancestors. @r_speir’s is also a misreading, and a stranger one.


I’m more interested in how YECs read the passage in evaluating this than how an atheist who thinks its all incoherent reads it. :wink:

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Amen !!!

Dont miss that I am saying the children were outside the Garden maybe long before her.

Here’s the point. Two sublimely healthy and fertile adults have just been commanded to be fruitful and multiply. If the Garden even lasted 5-10 years, there were a bunch of children. Nothing doubting.

Yes I got this. The question is how did they sin before Adam and Eve sinned? And how did the focus become on Adam’s sin? I’ve already given one way to think about this.

It seems that this could work pretty well as a modification of WLC’s model of an ancient AE. Except, I suppose, we should see evidence for this in mitochondrial DNA that we do not see…that seems to be the sticking point.

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They were not. It was the Genesis 1 people who were commanded that way. God created Adam, on the other hand, to tend the garden. Later, he decided that Adam needed a helper. There was nothing about reproduction in that story.


Who said I thought it was all incoherent? I think the story is quite clear. What you may be referring to is that I don’t accept that the various different stories in Genesis are all of a piece.

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Whatever the case, I’m more interested in how YECs and literalists read this in context of a post by @r_speir.

They had choices like every human being and rebelled. For hard biblical evidence there is only 1 passage and most like to superimpose Satan onto it. So biblically the idea may be largely unsupported.

Ezek 28
13You were in Eden,
the garden of God;
16 Through your widespread trade
you were filled with violence,
and you sinned.

Okay. I’m curious what @thoughtful and @stcordova think.

And @r_speir, this idea of yours is “largely unsupported.” That’s okay, because it isn’t against Scripture. This just like the GAE. It isn’t taught be Scripture, but it isn’t in conflict with it. From a Scriptural point of view, focusing on the question of AE, it doesn’t seem that you have standing to object to how the GAE handles Scripture.

Clarifying point. “So outside of Genesis - which leaves ample room for inference - the idea may seem to be biblically unsupported.”

Genesis inferences:

  1. Adam and Eve would have possessed sublime health and fertility
  2. They were given a mandate to procreate and fill the earth while still in Garden
  3. We don’t know how long they were in the Garden – 30,000 to 50,000 years?
  4. We are told that nations were in the Garden
  5. Eve called “mother of all living” while still in Garden
  6. What was original birthing process?
  7. Nations may been in the womb of Eve (loins of Adam) - deep sleep to bring forth?*
  8. God had anesthetized Adam once and brought forth another human; how about Eve?
  9. After rebellion, Eve is cursed with “greatly increased pain in childbirth” possibly signifying that birthing had already occurred
  10. Cain may have been first-born only outside Garden under the new regime of the curse due to Eve’s expression where the implication could be made that “[in great pain] with the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man”.
  • Gen 25
    23 The LORD said to her,
    “Two nations are in your womb,
    and two peoples from within you will be separated;
    one people will be stronger than the other,
    and the older will serve the younger.”

I totally agree.

It seems that this ample room leaves space for the GAE in a plain reading of Genesis. So why do you dispute it?

That being said, I’m still curious to work out your proposal too. :slight_smile:

It’s all in what your grandmother would say. She would say that man who is saying Eve had other children is going beyond what the Bible says and is close to blasphemy. She would say of her grandson, how are you any different that the first guy? Now you are saying God created “monkeys” and they became men!

We are both in trouble with tradition. Truthfully, do you want to know what I think? Really? No, you don’t. But here goes. I like what your grandmother is saying. That’s the way I want to be.