Re: Re no death prior to the fall....

From: Bill Hamilton <williamehamiltonjr@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue Aug 02 2005 - 11:29:38 EDT

Jim Armstrong <jarmstro@qwest.net> wrote:
While the idea of no death before the fall is clearly somewhat widely
accepted, I sure can't figure out why that idea would stick after a
little thought.

Suppose that death has not entered the world, that reproduction and
population of the Earth has always been a part of God's master plan, and
that children mercifully wait until the adults are 20 years old.
Adam and Eve are generation 1.
Adam and Eve beget Cain and Abel - Generation 2 - and the population has
doubled.
Cain and Abel take wives (wherever they came from) and produce children
- generation 3 - and the population has at least doubled again (for this
exercise, I just assumed 2 children per couple).

Harkening back to an old math tale about such doubling, a peasant makes
a deal for one grain of wheat for the first square of a checkerboard, 2
grains for the second, 4 for the third square and so on, with the result
that by the end of the checkboard he had "won" more than the world's
production of wheat.

Sure enough, it turns out that it takes just 32 generation-to-generation
doublings (640 years) to reach our present world population if noone dies.

If you just continue this doubling process for 14 more generations (940
years total), we are running out of space for people on Earth with about
one person for every square yard.
If this continues for 6000 years, just 300 generations, there are more
people than atoms in the universe (by some reckonings).

What's wrong with this picture?
The math is not wrong, and it's simple to check.
Is the idea of reproducing and populating the world wrong? Probably not.
Or maybe reproductive sex is also the result of the fall!?

While thinking about this problem a number of years ago I concluded that maybe reproductive sex was the result of the fall. But Scripture throws cold water on that one: God said to Eve, "I will _greatly increase_ your pains in childbearing". Childbearing is assumed. Since God said, "In the day (there's that pesky word again) you eat of it, you will die." So following the literalist path we need to look for something that happened in the day Adam and Eve ate of the tree. In that day they were banished from the Garden, where they enjoyed close communion with God. Is the loss of close communion with God a kind of death? Seems reasonable.

Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
586.986.1474 (work) 248.652.4148 (home) 248.303.8651 (mobile)
"...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31

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