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

From: Roger G. Olson <rogero@saintjoe.edu>
Date: Sun Sep 18 2005 - 17:29:43 EDT

> the point of this discussion is to try to see what would happen if we take
> the Bible at face value, minus the Fall, and assume no death if no Fall.

I take heavy exception to your assertion that "no death before the Fall"
is taking the Bible "at face value".

The more I read Genesis, the less I can comprehend the Fundamentalists'
assertions about a "literal" reading.

> so,
> in answer to George's comment, 2 kids per couple is linear growth if
> nobody
> dies.

No it's not. This results in a doubling every generation, which is most
definitely "exponential" growth. Say a generation = 100 years, then the
annual growth rate is something like 0.7%. Starting from one couple, in
6000 years, Earth's population would be about a sextillion.

> as for where we get wives for Cain and Seth, consider the features of the
> Bible-at-face-value model:

Again, I have no idea what you mean by a "Bible-at-face-value-model".

> a) Eve and Adam are the first and only humans to be created by God without
> reproduction
> b) God created this couple to be "very good" like the rest of creation,
> which i extrapolate to mean "without genetic flaws" among other things.

"Extrapolate" -- does that mean adding your interpretation to the
"face-value" of Scripture? Sorry -- I realize you're fantasizing far
afield here. Carry on.

> one consequence of point b) is that incest would not produce deformities
> in
> children. a possible reason for the prohibitions against incest in the
> Torah
> is that incest produces deformities and retardation. but if that is not a
> worry in a genetically perfect world, the prohibition against incest would
> not be needed.

Question -- in your fantasy (err.. "face-value") interpretation, do you
equate "very good" with "perfect"?

>
> so, a natural result of the Bible-at-face-value model is that Cain and
> Seth
> (remember that Abel was killed - aren't i a nitpicker?? :P) married their
> sisters and that was perfectly acceptable.

I'm a nitpicker too -- that's why I'm interested in your defense of your
"face-value" *interpretation* of Genesis. Nitpick -- methinks if it were
a face-value reading it would not require interpretation. ;-)

>
> that's why i modified Jim's original model to each couple having 4 kids,
> with incest occuring at least in the early generations.

Not sure of your point here.

>
> but Jim, you've got a point in saying that we were likely made to have way
> more kids. i read somewhere that a woman's ovaries contain on the order of
> 10^5 eggs! yikes! the best suggestion i can think of to allow everyone to
> live forever is the one i gave earlier:

There are good evolutionary explanations of this "reproductive
prodigality" as well.

>that God must have meant for us to
> space travel. boy, with all that space in the universe and all the cool
> things to study out there, how could God *not* have meant for us to space
> travel? another point to consider is that Jesus said that in the kingdom
> of
> God, people don't marry. so maybe God ushers in the "kingdom" at some
> point,
> somehow, during the history of our model civilisation (no death, no Fall).

Somehow I seem to have lost the "face-value" Scriptural interpretion in
this somewhere. You have presented a very interesting suggestion for a
Sci-Fi movie plot -- but that's all I can read of it.

> so, in short, i feel that the Bible-at-face-value model (no death prior to
> the Fall) *can* work with the addition of a reasonable free parameter (eg,
> space travel, or a time-boundary condition).
>
> jo
>

Again, a very good possibility for a blockbuster Sci-Fi movie, but as far
as a logical inference from a "face-value" Biblical exegesis, it's
certainly no better than those of the Grand-Design evolutionists (like
Howard v-T, George Murphy, and me(!)), Day-Agers, Analogous Dayers, Days
of Proclamationers (like our most dear friend Glennn Morton!), or any
other POV that tries to reconcile (or better, understand) the truth of
Creation itself with an honest reading of Scripture.

God's Peace,

Roger

-- 
Received on Sun Sep 18 17:33:53 2005

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