“Interpretation of biblical passages must be informed by the current state of demonstrable knowledge.” ~ St. Augustine
400 years ago, through his invention of the telescope, Galileo witnessed that Venus has phases just as the moon does. This proved without a doubt that the planets revolve around the sun, just as Copernicus theorized 200 years prior. Until Copernicus, no one had comprehensively considered it. Astronomers assumed the heavens revolved around a motionless earth for centuries and built a complex model of the planetary system around that assumption. The church not only based their interpretations of the bible on this same assumption, they condemned any idea other than an earth-centric universe as heresy.
Galileo was a devout catholic. When he witnessed with his own eyes undeniable proof that the earth and all the planets actually revolved around the sun, he did not assume this meant the bible was false. He simply assumed that we were wrong in how we perceived it. When he attempted to interpret scripture independent of the church based on this new fact, he ended up spending the rest of his life under house arrest due to the Roman Inquisition finding him ‘vehemently suspect of heresy‘. Needless to say, it took a little while longer for the idea to really catch on.
This hub series will be non-stop heresy by some people’s views. I will be interpreting scripture independent of any organized church and publishing these interpretations into the social consciousness to be pondered, criticized, or proven utterly ridiculous in a series collectively titled 'God Created Evolution'.
Over the course of several different essays I hope to convey two things:
- Illustrate not only that the bible confirms humans existed before Adam, but that it’s actually an integral element of the story.
- Show how this one puzzle piece, when placed in the right position, may actually explain way more about human history than just the proper context of the stories of the bible.
The assumption that Adam was the first human to exist is probably one of the biggest stumbling blocks for believers where modern scientific theories of human development are concerned. Beliefs about God and life have been built around this interpretation, much like the theories built around the earth-centric model of the planetary system mentioned above. And just as that incorrect planetary model served humanity well where tracking the heavens were concerned, so have many of the ideas born of the traditional Christian/Jewish/Muslim understanding of creation where matters of spirituality are concerned.
Astronomers could never quite tweak an earth-centric planetary system to absolute accuracy. They were extremely close, and managed to advance mathematical thinking exponentially in their attempts to do so, but there were obvious gaps that just couldn’t be hashed out. Ptolemy’s calculations of planetary paths across the night sky is a perfect example of this.
Now we find ourselves in a very similar situation. Many believers continue to reject all rationality and reason when traditional interpretations of the bible and scientifically proven facts appear to contradict, and find themselves puzzling over many very similar ‘gaps’ in the story. Gaps in this case being passages of scripture that read like riddles in the wrong context. Gaps in human history that have baffled us for centuries. Gaps that I will attempt to show disappear if placed in the right context. Like moving the sun to the center of our planetary system.
Here's the idea the hypothesis was first built around. The first four verses of Genesis 6 are explaining why the flood was necessary. This passage is probably one of the least understood, most debated, most wildly speculated verses in all the bible. These verses are more detailed than the bible typically is, yet no one can seem to agree on what they're talking about ...
Gen6:1-4 - When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
This is just one chapter after the one that says Adam and his family lived for hundreds of years. And the only humans are supposed to just be the ones in Adam's family. Yet this is talking about multiple groups, sons of God, daughters of humans, "Nephilim". And it says that compared to the 'sons of God', humans are "mortal" and only live 120 years. The most assumed meaning is that the 'sons of God' are angels. But that directly contradicts numerous other passages in the bible.
So it hit me. It was always strange to me how the creation of humans was covered twice, and described so differently. The main thing that got me was that Adam was given just one rule and he broke it almost right away. So why should God or anyone expect them to "be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, establish dominance in the animal kingdom"? Because God said? Clearly that doesn't work so well. The commands given to humans in the creation account would take generations to carry out. And Adam/Eve proved capable and willing to veer from God's will almost immediately. Generation 0. Yet, at the end of the creation account God looks on ALL He made and deemed it "good". What?
Well, here's the answer. They're not the same event. Once that clicked the text makes so much more sense. The Gen1 humans ARE naturally evolved homo sapiens. And what they were commanded to do is exactly what homo sapiens actually did. They reproduced, filled the earth, and established themselves as the dominant species.
So I had a hypothesis that kept proving uncannily on point as I continued to read. It made some of the most vague and strange passages make sense. So, to test I built a framework around the timeline given in Genesis to determine when each recognizable event happened along that timeline, and began to search the history of Mesopotamia.
Abraham was 20 generations, and roughly 2000 years, after Adam. Abraham was from Sumer and had dealings with the Egyptians. So, going by that train of logic, Adam's creation could not have been any earlier than roughly 6000BC. So, armed with a crazy idea, I went off exploring. I formed predictions that said if this is true, then this should also be true.
Here's what I've come up with so far...
The Genesis creation account is scientifically accurate
The creation account in Genesis is a point of contention for many. It’s thought by most that the account of creation in Genesis in no way resembles the formation of the earth and all life on it as we now understand it through scientific reasoning and analysis. Even amongst believers you either have those who insist it happened over the course of six days and science is just plain wrong, or you have those who see it more as a metaphorical explanation and not something to be taken literally.
In verse 2 the creation account of Genesis establishes two key bits of information. First, it describes the state of the earth at the beginning of the creation account as being covered in ocean and shrouded in darkness, and second it establishes the point of view in which creation is being described by explaining that it was ‘from the surface’ that God said “Let there be light” in verse 3. With the description of the earth’s state at the beginning matching up with the state of the earth at the beginning of the Archaen eon according to the scientific account, this establishes a starting point. From there, while keeping in mind the from-the-surface point of view, Genesis proves to be very much on point with its description of how this planet and all life on it formed, describing it from a human point of view though humans don't show up until the end.
While it may seem at first that the creation account is not relevant to the theory I’m putting forth in this series of hubs that deals primarily with Genesis 2-11, the creation account does play a vital role in setting the stage on which the stories of Genesis 2-11 take place.
Adam was not the first human, for the bible tells us so
The book of Genesis as we know it today was pieced together from multiple even older sources. The portion of the story dealing with Adam, Eve, and their children, through the sons of Noah and their descendants, on through to the Babel story, are recognized to be one complete story. Actually, it’s the combination of two texts that told such similar stories that they were eventually just edited together. What is not known is how old they are or who wrote them.
Being one of the more well-known pieces of literature in human history, many have already made their minds up about how to read this story. Even though those interpretations were made by people who had neither firsthand information about the writers nor the knowledge of the natural world we have now. And when new information comes to light that shows the traditional interpretation of these texts to be false, rather than reconsider the interpretation of the texts, the texts themselves are often dismissed, or the learned information that renders these interpretations false is rejected. Between the original writers and the collective information of this modern age, it’s the interpretation of people throughout the centuries that is most suspect.
This hub first introduces the primary idea behind the ‘God Created Evolution’ project. The primary idea being, what if the interpretation that says Adam was the first human ever is wrong? Remove that one thing and all of the sudden these stories become much less mythological and much more historical. History only recently learned.
Cain, his city, and his descendants
Without much in the way of context as far as describing the setting these stories are set against, the story of Cain and his descendants is one of the more ambiguous portions of an already ambiguous story. Though Genesis gives very little about the pre-flood world, it spends half a chapter talking about a city that Cain built and six generations of family. All of which was presumably destroyed by the flood not long after.
This hub further fleshes out this theory by delving into the lesser known pieces of the story of Cain after he was banished from the land of his mother and father. It examines the story in the traditional context, then reexamines them against the context of actual history. And it begins to draw comparisons between Cain himself and mythological stories of a prominent figure in that age that shares some rather significant similarities, including the building of a city and the significance of his sixth generation.
The mysterious unnamed characters of pre-flood Genesis
Beyond the primary players in the pre-flood story of Genesis, not much else is given. Which is probably why so many have assumed for so long that the creation of Adam was the introduction of humanity to the planet. However, when read in that traditional context, there are a few lines in particular that make little sense if Adam and his descendants are to be the only people in existence.
This hub takes this idea further by reconsidering these mysterious characters in a context established against the backdrop of actual history. It shows how much more clear the pre-flood story of Genesis is when understood to be taking place in an already populated world.
It first reviews these characters, what the traditional interpretations of them have to say, and why they don’t quite work. It then details the actual history of the region and timeframe in question and what the people of that age had to say. Then, it shows how the primary idea behind this project not only makes sense out of these characters, but then further extends that idea out through to the time of Abraham in Genesis to paint an old familiar story in a new light.
'God Created Evolution' Hubs
- Genesis Creation Story is Scientifically Accurate
Reading the Genesis creation account in the context of the modern scientific understanding of the earth's geological formation and the evolution of life proves to be incredibly accurate and insightful.
- Adam was not the first human, for the bible tells us so
Genesis makes it clear that Adam was not the first human in existence and that the flood was not global. Correcting these misconceptions takes pre-flood Genesis out of the realm of mythology and grounds it in known history.
- Cain, his City, and his Descendants
Though Cain was only one of three humans on the Earth according to traditional interpretation, there were 'others' he feared would harm him, he built a city, and his descendants introduced skills that lived on beyond the flood.
- The Mysterious Unnamed Characters of Pre-Flood Genesis
Some of the most debated mysteries in all the bible are found in the first few chapters of Genesis. This hub discusses unnamed characters who are casually alluded to, but never explained. Or are they?
Jeremy Christian (author) from Texas on January 30, 2015:
You're right that Genesis is vague and ambiguous. But it does give us a very specific timeline. For example, using the ages given in Genesis 5 we can reach the conclusion that the flood happened 1656 years after Adam was created. So, from this we can build a template of events, the creation of Adam, Cain's banishment and building of a city, the flood, and the Babel story, being the primary events. There is a series of events in southern Mesopotamian history that line up with this.
A good place to start might be the hub titled "Genesis: Our Modern Human Origin Story". It kind of breaks down the formation of this timeline and what events line up with it. To address your statements about the 'heavens' and planets and light and all of that, you might also read through "God Created Evolution: Genesis Creation Story is Scientifically Accurate" where I break down how the creation account accurately depicts the history of the earth when it's understood that what it's describing is described from the surface of the planet. It resolves all of those seeming contradictions.
So, let me know what you think.
Brad on January 30, 2015:
The Old Testament was clearly written by men, but Genesis was supposed to be written by Moses under the direction of his God.
Genesis is very vague and ambiguous and its description has no time reference. The word Heavens is supposed to give the impression that the universe was created at the same time as the Earth.
There is no mention of the planets, or the Sun. Light is the only reference, and the light would go on, and the light would go off. This is something that the writers would know about and they merely described their day and night.
A creator would be able to tell in specifics how he created our Solar System and also make specific reference to our moon, and the planets.
But it would be centuries after the Old Testament before man would have that kind of knowledge.
You also make a key point in your argument that Adam was not the first man, and that would make the story of Adam and Eve questionable. The whole purpose of that story is to show why paradise was lost. And who puts a pest in paradise?
There is no timeline in Genesis, for example at what point was Adam created, and what point was Eve formed? How long before Abel was born?
I don't see any connection to a scientific method here, but I didn't know which of your hubs to start with so I chose this one.
Maybe you could start me at the beginning, as I thought that Genesis was the beginning.
Jeremy Christian (author) from Texas on May 30, 2014:
If you've read my hubs then you'll see that I have a particular view that addresses what you're pointing out here. I argue that the story Genesis is telling is not that Adam was the first human ever created, but rather that he was created in a world already populated by humans. Mortal humans, who, according to Genesis 6 only live 120 years. So, in comparison, a being like Adam and all of his descendants, who it says lived for centuries each, would seem god-like.
All of those surrounding polytheistic religions were the Sumerians and Egyptians and Greeks and Romans. All of these cultures that sprang up all around the Mediterranean region all claim there were these immortal male/female gods in their ancient past. Well, according to Genesis, Noah's descendants, who all still lived quite long lives, were dispersed all throughout the world. Abraham's father was from Sumer. And of course Abraham had dealings with the Egyptians. So the 'other gods' the bible is talking about makes perfect sense in this context. Given the ages and lifespans specified, and how each generation they got shorter, then its during the lifetime of Abraham that the last of these long living beings were dying out if you chart those age ranges out.
Larry Silverstein on May 28, 2014:
A DIVINE COMEDY:
The word "God" has no objective meaning. This explains why there have been so many religions throughout the ages. In this article I show that the God which we currently know as the only God of the universe was originally thought of as being one of many gods. If believers wish to accept the Bible as the word of God, then we have his own admission that he is not the only god.
Early religions were polytheistic. In the Bible, God started out as a Jewish tribal god. By the early first century BCE, the definition changed to a Jewish God of the universe. In the early centuries CE there were many schools of thought at odds with each other. Modern Christianity arose through the efforts to unify God under one secular authority. There is more politics to religion than meets the eye.
One could argue that the modern definition reflected a growing awareness among religious authorities that God was more encompassing than earlier thought. The counter to that argument is that by making the definition of God universal, it expanded Church authority. It is because the Church set itself as the medium for knowing about God, that it is, in effect, marketing itself.
Without God's minions campaigning on his behalf, he would have become a forgotten relic. God needs your support because the organizations behind him need your patronage. In effect, faith in God translates to faith in Synagogue/Church/Mosque authority.
To make my point, what is wrong with this picture?
God/YHWH/Allah, the creator of the universe, the super-intelligent being who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent and perfect in every way, can't get his message across without guidance from religious organizations.
In contrast, scientific discovery presents an opposing view of Nature as being devoid of any conscious activity. For argument's sake, if there was a creator God, his first laws have proven to be the inviolable laws of Nature.
It is only within human imagination that such laws can be violated.
Joshua explains that Abraham's ancestors served other gods.
2And Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Your fathers lived of old beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. (Joshua 24:2)
Jeremiah notes that for as many cities there are gods.
28But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah. (Jeremiah. 2:28)
In biblical days, it was a hard and fast rule for kingdoms to have their own god as a symbol of political prestige.
The term Elohim is plural for god and is used 216 times in the Old Testament for "gods" and 2366 times for "God." The singular form of Elohim is Eloah and is used 55 times in place of "God." This mistranslation hides the pluralistic nature of the Hebrew god. To the Israelites, Elohim encompasses all supernatural beings: spirits, angels, demons, semi-gods and so forth.
So whenever they appealed to Elohim, they were inferring the entire pantheon.
That these lesser beings are not gods is a matter of semantics. By pagan definition, they are all gods. For example, the Greek God, Mercury, was seen as a messenger god. To the ancient Jews, he would be the equivalent of an angel.
According to the Hebrew translation, there were many gods involved in creation. There was not one single god all by himself.
1In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis. 1:1)
Genesis 1:2 explains the true meaning of Genesis 1:22, "Let us make man in our image."
26Then God [Elohim] said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." (Genesis. 1:26)
We have evidence that many gods revealed themselves to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses.
2And God [Elohim] said to Moses, "I am the LORD.
3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.(Exodus. 6:2-3)
Only 216 or about ten percent of the time, Elohim is properly interpreted as gods.
11Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, [Elohim] because he delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians, when they dealt arrogantly with them." (Exodus. 18:11)
A good example of how the English translations mislead can be found in Genesis 3:5. In the King James, the Serpent tells Eve she will be like the gods, knowing good from evil.
5For God [Elohim] doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods [Elohim], knowing good and evil. (Genesis. 3:5 KJV)
Modern translations convert to the singular God to hide a critical embarrassment.
5For God [Elohim] knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God [Elohim], knowing good and evil." (Genesis. 3:5)
Out of 55 times when the singular form of God, eloah appears, it appears 40 times in the book of Job. God is never addressed directly as eloah. The term is always applied indirectly.
9By the breath of God [eloah] they perish, and by the blast of his anger they are consumed. (Job 4:9)
If there were no other gods, Yahweh would have no reason to be jealous.
14You shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples who are round about you;
15for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy. 6:14-15)
14(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), (Exodus. 34:14)
God was so frustrated by the Israelites disloyalty that he grew to hate them. In reality, it was Jeremiah expressing his own hatred.
8My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest, she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her .(Jeremiah. 12:8)
GOD OF ISRAEL
The term, God of Israel, appears almost 200 times in the Old Testament. Simply, the phrase, God of Israel, designates the name of a national god, not the god of the universe.
1Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.'" (Exodus. 5:1)
The God of Israel vows to enlarge the borders of Israel.
23Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel.
24For I will cast out nations before you, and enlarge your borders; neither shall any man desire your land, when you go up to appear before the LORD your God three times in the year. (Exodus. 34:23-24)
GOD OF SPIRIT
In this context, the God of spirits means the God of the dead.
16"Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, (Numbers. 27:16)
GOD OF GODS
We see some braggadocio here. The Israelites claim their God is the supreme God of all gods. There can be no denial here that the biblical world is infested with deities and demons.
17For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. (Deuteronomy. 10:17)
1God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: (Psalm. 82:1)
2O give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures for ever. (Psalm. 136:2)
3O give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures for ever; (Psalm. 136:3)
In the Ancient Near East, a number of deities were known be several names. For example, the Babylonia deity Marduk had 50 names, the Egyptian deity Re had 74 names, and Osiris had 100 to 142 names. Such deities also had hidden or secret names known only by certain priests who knew the proper way to invoke them without offense. The second reason was that it was believed that these hidden names were believed to give the speakers access to and influence with-and sometimes magical powers-over the named.
7"You shall not take the name of the LORD y
Jeremy Christian (author) from Texas on September 09, 2013:
Thank you, Blake, for reading and for sharing your thoughts. Either hubs or articles is fine, I've called them both. Feel free to come back as often as you like and let me know what you think.
Blake on September 08, 2013:
Well wow. I found the intelligent part of the internet. I really enjoyed this article? Hub? Whatever you call it. Its pretty interesting although Im going to have to read it a few more times to make sure i fully understand it. Fair play though, i thought your points made sense.
Insane Mundane from Earth on January 14, 2013:
Yeah, but things really get funny when they try to tell you the different ways that the Cambrian Explosion does not destroy their Evolution Religion, all while not even understanding what real evolution means; ha-ha! Speciation is the backbone of their religion and it is something I can't buy. Life is too complex and has started over too many times for some fool to say they used to be a fish, etc.
Maybe I should have got even more prehistoric and said, "not everything tastes like turkey!" LOL!
Jeremy Christian (author) from Texas on January 13, 2013:
Haha! I get that. Personally I don't see a problem with increasingly more complex species coming from earlier common ancestors, and I can see the skeletal similarities in birds, for instance, and the progression from certain types of dinosaurs in the fossil record. The other option would be numerous independently formed lines of species, each forming in much the same way from the simplest form to the more complex. Basically the same thing, only multiple times. But the commonalities between species in things like homeostasis and metabolism and heart rate and breathing and eating and pooping and sleeping and all of that, I see as common for a reason. Then came the diversification. Makes sense to me. All of it being a happy coincidence that led to intelligent reasoning beings that then argue over how they got here, doesn't so much.
Insane Mundane from Earth on January 13, 2013:
Yeah, but if they argue that the human brain is more capable, then they are sort of arguing against their self, then; ha!
As for your last bit, you may not have a problem with macro-evolution or the primordial soup theory, but only after you change THEIR theory to meet YOURs. I have a problem with how THEY present it. Of course everything just didn't go "poof," but I sure as hell also know that a turkey didn't spawn from a raptor or that a duck used to be a flying dinosaur; blah! I also know that the primordial soup theory has never been proven in a lab and lightning doesn't just strike a few wandering amino acids in a pond of water and turn 'em into a trilobite that became a fish, then a walking whale that went back into the water while somewhere along the lines a mermaid got all monkey on our backsides and turned into an orangutan, bonobo, gorilla, etc., that set a distant cousin into the woods that later developed into a silly Homo erectus being, only to get into a fight with the Cro-Magnon man that magically appeared out of nowhere, just to bring us here today.
No, I do not believe I was once a fish and I definitely don't think everything tastes like chicken!
Yeah, how's that for macro-evolution?
Jeremy Christian (author) from Texas on January 13, 2013:
Yeah, it's been a tedious effort, but sometimes I just can't let it go knowing I have the logical and factual high ground, and will keep it going knowing full well the discussion will ultimately go nowhere just to show how the responses get increasingly ridiculous the further they try to refute it.
As for the nuclear weapon argument, I know they'll just go to the human brain being more capable stance, or possibly even the benefit of opposable thumbs stance, and I'd rather not go through the motions of that just to ultimately end up right back where we were before. I do try to point out how we create chemicals and other materials that don't break down which is along the same lines, and have a time or two pointed out how we've used our ability to behave and use our brain capability as we so choose to create ways to actually destroy ourselves and everything else on this planet. I try to show how, unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, our behavior clearly exhibits counter-intuitive results, especially considering our ability to imagine possible futures, and apply reason to scale our actions towards a preferred result.
Macro evolution and primordial soup explanations I don't have a problem with as long as there's an intelligent purposeful drive behind them. After all, this existence and all life on this planet wasn't physically molded, so it had to build up like everything else. I just don't see it being a happy accident that it all came together like it did. That I find asinine.
Insane Mundane from Earth on January 13, 2013:
Good luck with your quest...
I've noticed that you are having trouble conveying a simple point on the forums right now, that involves the difference from today's humanoids and their impact on their surroundings, when compared to the animal kingdom and the ancient bi-peds of the past.
The last I read, you guys were talking about slavery, as being a possible factor that distinguishes man from animals.
Why don't you just end the debate on that particular point, and mention how we are the only species of life on this planet that has the ability to develop nuclear weapons out of our free will, and blow this place up! I mean, a lion or a crazed monkey can't do such things nor can a dolphin or a mighty killer whale, so why can't that simple point be a "case in point" end of the argument?
As for your series, you should know dang well I think that the speciation aspects of macro-evolution and the primordial soup theory are utterly asinine, but use whatever works for ya; cheers!