Viagara-crazed Sumerians run amok(was: Redrawing Lines)

Glenn R. Morton (
Wed, 17 Jun 1998 21:52:16 -0500

Hi Dick,

Dick Fischer wrote:
>Glenn wrote:
>If you could prove that every generation is demonstrably father-son
>then you would be correct.

>Ah, it's proof you want.

Not necessarily, just a better case than you are presenting. You are
making the case that Genesis 1-11 genealogies are complete, yet they are
demonstrably not complete within the Bible itself. So we are to conclude
that they are complete? That is a non sequitur. Below I present some
numerical data that begs to be interpreted by incomplete genealogies.

>We all draw lines, Glenn. I draw the line at inerrant original texts
>as set down by the authors themselves under the divine inspiration of
>the Holy Spirit. Some Christians draw their lines elsewhere. Some
>believe the original authors occasionally made mistakes, but they
>weren't serious ones. Others believe that if God was careful enough
>to insist upon perfection from his 44 authors, he could certainly
>protect the text through scribes and translators.

>So we all draw our lines and defend our positions. You do it. And
>I do it. But if we are honest, somehow we need to account for the data.

Of course we do. So where is the evidence, the geological evidence of a
Mesopotamian flood? You will want to know how I account for technology
within my view. I believe that God gave the technology to Adam and his
descendents but they lost it at the time of the flood and the next several
million years, mankind struggled to re-acquire the lost technology.

>Of course, had Luke not recorded the name of Cainan (Luke 3:36) we would
>have no way of knowing he was absent in Genesis 11:12-13. The Septuagint
>version records Cainan as the son of Arphaxad who lived 130 years before
>begetting "Salah." Cainan is a conspicuous deletion in the Masoretic text
>confirmed by the New Testament author, Luke. Again, a careless scribe,
>in all likelihood, exacted his toll on the Hebrew text probably before the
>Masoretes got hold of it. (But how anyone could pronounce two disparate
>accounts as "inerrant" is beyond me.)

Agreed, and that means that the account we have may have lost others, which
Luke was unaware of and thus didn't fill it in for us. But your assumption,
that all the original names were recorded in the original documents is just
that an assumption. Nowhere does the Bible itself say that "These are the
complete and total list of all descendants of Adam and none are left out".
In fact, I think internal Biblical evidence strongly indicates that there
are many many missing people even from the other genealogies.

Assuming what you say is true that the Flood was in 3000 BC (Origins
Solution p. 329), then there is a real problem with your chronology. David
lived about 1000 B.C. In Luke 3 there are 42 names between Jesus and
David. This is an average of 23 years per generation. Given that in
pre-industrial times, the average lifespan was about 30 years, this is
probably not too far wrong although I would say it is slightly too high for
the average generation. If Abraham lived at 1800 B.C. there are only 13
names between David and Abe giving an average 61 year generation time. This
would be too high for even modern society. Given a more reasonable 20
years, there should be 3 times as many people between Abe and Dave. (of
course you hold that the genealogies are complete so we have an entire
lineage of geezers giving rise to children).
Did the average man in 1600 B.C. have his first child at age 61? Hardly.
Anthropological data which can measure the age at death would not support
this idea.

There are only 10 names between Abraham and Noah. Since you believe that
this represents 1000 years, that is an average generation time of 100
years. Are you willing to say here and now that post flood Sumerians lived
on average more than 100 years and gave birth to their children when the
old geezers were 100 years of age? I should be so lucky. Where is that

Consider this:

"The average human lifespan was about thirty years throughout the world
until the beginning of the nineteenth century--about the lifespan of
chimpanzees living in the wild. We tend to forget, with our grain
surpluses, what life was, and is, for other people." ~ Philip Lieberman,
The biology and Evolution of Language, (Cambridge: Harvard University
Press, 1984), p. 4

>So if the first ten patriarchs are literal father and son relationships
>why should the next ten be any different?

Because this requires that the 100-year-old geezers had the sexual prowess
of oxen and the enthusiasm of bonobos.

>Or so we have latitude to
>say that although the generations in Genesis 5 are strictly father-son,
>the next series of genealogies in Genesis 11 are merely a representative
>sampling? Put another way, can we say that from Adam to Noah covered 1656
>years and from Noah to Abraham was, oh, say 5,000,000 years?

Explain the data from 3000 BC to David especially from Noah to Abe!!!!

>Now I suggest to you there are reasonable explanations of discrepancies
>between the recorded genealogies, consistent with a plausible theory of
>explanation that places all the events from Adam to Abraham in a 3,000
>year time frame from 7,000 years ago to 4,000 years ago in Southern

You say 20 generations between Adam and Abe. Fine. 3000/20=150 years. So
are you suggesting that the average generational time in 7000 BC was 150
years? Why are there no skeletons showing that extreme age at that time in

>The idea that tens of thousands of supposedly missing relatives can be
>pushed into this rather small window of opportunity may be consistent
>with what you believe, but I submit to you it is hardly reasonable.

I would think it more reasonable than believing in viagara-crazed
100-year-old geezer Sumerians chasing their women around the bed.

>Actually no. The New Testament was written in Greek, and the word "man"
>is the Greek "anthropos." Nowhere is Christ called the "son of Adam"

But since the Disciples spoke Aramaic, and their words were translated into
Greek, there could be a discrepancy here.

>>But as I have pointed out, the reason I can't accept your solution is
>>because it requires a flood in a location for which there is no physical
>>evidence of its occurrence, at a time for which there is no disruption and
>>requires water to go uphill carrying the ark from southern Iraq to Turkey,
>>a topographic rise of several thousand feet.

>I don't know where the ark rested. There are different opinions. Even
>ancient writers disagreed on where the ark landed. But Southern
>Mesopotamia is flatter than a fritter, and water can stand around for a
>long time before it drains away. The ziggurats were built for this
>express purpose. It gave them somewhere to go to survive the rising
>floods when the Euphrates overflowed its banks.

This is a change from 2 years ago when you defended the ark landing in
Turkey and it is different from your book. This is better in my opinion
than having the waters run uphill.

>But Genesis does say that the ark "rested upon the mountains." The
>Hebrew har also means "hills." And that probably would have been a
>better choice. But in your Mediterranean scenario the ark starts at
>the bottom of the basin and comes to rest at sea level on the shore
>somewhere. There is no physical way the ark could get to hills of
>any sort, let alone mountains.
>I know you could say that from Noah's point of view at the bottom
>of the basin, looking at the horizon, what became the shore of the
>Mediterranean may have appeared to him as mountains or hills.

That is exactly what I say. The elevational difference would be several
thousand feet, possibly 15,000 feet.

>In Viet Nam we had a saying, "In order to save the village we had
>to destroy the village." Didn't make sense then and doesn't make
>sense now.

This ain't Vietnam. Making the Bible say things that don't fit
observational data (such as the genealogies above) demonstrably destroys
the credibility of the Bible, unless you can find 100 year old skeltons in
Sumer. Making the Sumerians be 100-years-old at the births of their
children is remarkable indeed. Most people died by the age of 30.

Whatever you want to say, the genealogies are not complete, even the more
recent ones are not complete.

Adam, Apes and Anthropology
Foundation, Fall and Flood
& lots of creation/evolution information