Why is Adam Important?

Continuing the discussion from A New Type of Progenitorship?:

This is an important question @Patrick. By now, you’ve seen we are bunch of reasonable people, with a bizzare fixation on Adam. I’ll explain for myself…

  1. Adam is the center of the conflict between Christians and evolution. If we solve this puzzle we defuse the conflict. Even YEC focuses on theology of Adam in their rejection of evolution, and the “Young Earthism” is historically best understood as a reaction against the threat to theology of Adam. We diffuse this conflict, and the whole conflict could just evaporate in a generation.

  2. New understanding of ancestry makes the hope of rapprochement very real. We have never had an opportunity like this to bring coherence between the YEC understanding of Adam and Evolution. It is critical we make the most of this. We have an opportunity to restructure the debate.

  3. Population genetics and ancient DNA is really interesting and worth studying more closely. I’m fascinated by it, and want to invite as much of the public into this as possible. They can’t enter in unless they understand it does not conflict with their core beliefs.

  4. There is a welcoming allure of imaginations. We certainly do not have evidence to adjudicate which is the “correct” story, but it is really fun to think about ideas. It reminds me of the theologized fiction of CS Lewis.

  5. I care deeply about injustice in this world, but also believe our current ways of talking about it have failed. We are missing MLK in the conversation. I’m convinced that a more coherent understanding of Original Sin will give us a better understanding of our responsibilities to the injustice we see around us. Ironically, those who care about original sin, often do not care about injustice, and visa versa. Perhaps there is a way to bring people together in a renewed theological voice on injustice.

  6. We live in a fractured society, where people who disagree do not engage with each other. I follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and choose to enter into the conflict to make peace here. There has been real costs to this, but this is what I feel I am required to do if I follow Him. In healing some of these divides, I hope we can serve the common good together.

Astute readers will notice that I have not even stated my personal view on Adam. Whatever it is, it is beside the point. I just does not matter. I am here serving the common good.

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What is your theory as to why God would beam this particular “children’s story” into the mind of an ancient writer? How is it intended to inform its readers?
From the Wikipedia entry for “myth.”
“Although the term may be used to mean a ‘false story’ in colloquial speech, myth is commonly used by folklorists and academics in other relevant fields, such as anthropology. Use of the term by scholars has no implication whether the narrative may be understood as true or otherwise.”
Did you misspeak, or are you not a true student of literature?
Sorry to hear you were misinformed by nuns as a child. Nothing worse than futility masking as faith, in my view.
No, the allegorical view is not the official or monolithic position of the Catholic church.

@Patrick is expressing a fairly common view on Genesis. Certainly, people with that view are not usually conflicted about evolution.

No; I’m asking him to engage with its message as “children’s literature.” What does the story attempt to do for its readers / hearers? It is, after all, at least literature…

As a child, I best remember it as a very primary story. The talking snake. Adam made from dust or clay. Eve made from a rib. An apple tree that you could not eat from. Adam and Eve hiding because they realized for the first time they were naked. God walking in the garden looking for them as they hide from him. Adam and Eve being punished. It seemed very primary when told the story in kindergarten. And it was taught that way. Very primary, very fairy tale like. Was meant as a story about God.

Anything about what happens when an outside party persuades you that God has ill intentions towards you? Anything about why God would still seek out their company, even though He already knows what they’ve done? What if, instead of “punishing” them, He is simply enumerating for them the natural consequences of their own actions?

No, never had any further lessons on it. It was a kindergarten story. The rest of my parochial education was centered on Catholic Catechism and mostly New Testament.

Well, you don’t need lessons on it. As a kindergarten student, you have natural empathy for the main characters. That’s how stories work. Ever thought about how they felt, the tone the characters took, even the tone of voice in which the story is read aloud? Once it comes alive, what questions does it awaken?

No, it has always been a fairy tale to me. Never gave it much thought as an adult. Never told the story to my kids. Probably never tell the story to my grandkids. Story doesn’t have any value to my life.

Sorry; I found no value in that last communication. Wink wink, nod… : )
Of course there are stories that do; you’ve already told us some of them.


In my opinion, this thread can be closed.

I see no need. There are good questions raised in it.