Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Wed Mar 21 2007 - 21:29:01 EDT

*So yes, he is "the father of many nations" biologically.*

But not exclusively. Abraham is not the only person who was alive at the
time of Abraham to whom every person in these nations could trace their
ancestry. It would seem to me absurd in the extreme to claim that no
contemporary of Abraham contributed any genetic material to any of those
nations. IOW, there is no "monogenism" implied with respect to Abraham
being the father of many nations. Moreover, undoubtedly a few generations
away from Abraham there would have been people who were part of those
nations who were not in any direct line of descent from Abraham. Abraham
would have been more like a distant cousin. (I'm still not convinced that
even this is necessary. The phrase could be idiomatic, as in "Henry Ford is
the father of a great industry" -- not meaning Ford was the only person in
his time trying to make automobiles).

There is no serious scientific problem, it seems to me, with Eve being the
"mother of all the living" in this same way, assuming she lived at or around
or shortly after mitochondrial Eve's migration out of Africa. The problem
arises if Eve has to be the *only* person from whom everyone later
descended, because then the diversity in some human gene lines (notably the
MHC) seems impossible to explain.

This is why I continue to think a more fruitful approach, other than a
literary one, must be to think of a phrase like "mother of all the living"
as an ordinary geneological reference, or maybe also an idiomatic phrase
(interesting to note that Adam said this about Eve, not that it is said of
her directly by God), and not a genetic reference.

What still bothers me more is that if the findings of population genetics
are solid -- something I'm not sure is necessarily so given the relative
dearth of data and the newness of the field -- whatever the flood was, it
can't have been anthropologically universal. That's why I started a related
thread a week or so ago on how to take the Bible's implication that the
flood destroyed all human life.

Why are so many OEC folks willing to take the seemingly universal references
to the geographic scope of the flood in a more limited sense, but not to do
so with the related references to its anthropological scope? It would seem
to me that even a modest application of the principle of accomodation could
suggest that the Biblical narrative describes a real event in universal
terms that were familiar to the original audience, in part from Babylonian
literary sources, but that those references simply don't actually address
people living far from where that event happened. Why is anthropological
universality a sacred cow when geographic universality isn't?

 other point I made is really more devastating to Dick's claim: The
biblical ascribes the descent of many other people besides Israel to Adam.
>
> Shalom
> George
> http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: David Opderbeck
> To: Charles Carrigan
> Cc: asa@calvin.edu ; dickfischer@verizon.net
> Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 2:36 PM
> Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?
>
>
> Why does Eve being the "mother of all the living" have to mean something
biological? If Abraham was the "father of many nations" (Gen. 17:4), can
everyone in all of those nations trace their biological ancestry directly
back exclusively to Abraham?
>
>
> On 3/21/07, Charles Carrigan <CCarriga@olivet.edu> wrote:
> >
> >
> > So "Mother of All the Living" really only meant "Mother of All of Us
Israelites and a Few Offshoots Way Back When" ???
> >
> >
> >
> > >>> "Dick Fischer" <dickfischer@verizon.net> 3/21/2007 11:18 AM >>>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Eve was the mother, as Adam was the father of the Israelites for whom
Genesis was written and to whom it was directed. We Christians are free to
read their mail so to speak, but it was not written initially for us. It is
this tendency we have to read ourselves into Jewish history that continues
to get us into hermeneutical holes. As far back as I can go is one great
grandfather named Pfizer (changed to "Fisher" at Ellis Island) who was a
captain in the Prussian Army, or so I've been told. Who his wife was I have
no idea. But the Israelites had the benefit of genealogical records that
reached all the way back to their earliest ancestor Adam.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Dick Fischer
> >
> > Dick Fischer , Genesis Proclaimed Association
> >
> > Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
> >
> > www.genesisproclaimed.org
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of George Murphy
> > Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2007 10:15 PM
> > To: Bill Hamilton; asa@calvin.edu
> > Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > How was Adam's wife "the mother of all living" (Gen.3:20) if Adam wasn't
the father of all living?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Shalom
> > George
> > http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> >
> >
> > From: Bill Hamilton
> >
> >
> > To: Gregory Arago ; asa@calvin.edu
> >
> >
> > Cc: Glenn Morton
> >
> >
> > Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2007 6:22 PM
> >
> >
> > Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > The ASA statement of faith references the historic Christian creeds,
which don't, as far as I know, explicitly require a belief in Adam and Eve.
So strictly speaking, I suppose you could be an ASA member without believing
in Adam and Eve. Having said that, I will state that _I_ believe that there
were specific persons Adam and Eve. In spite of the objections raised by
Glenn, I like Dick Fischer's view that Adam lived in Mesopotamia about 7000
years ago. For reference, the objections raised by Glenn include
> >
> > 1. Under Dick's scenario we are not all descended from Adam. Glenn sees
that view as an excuse for racism. I don't, because of the many laws,
commandments etc. given throughout Scripture detailing how we are to treat
our fellow human beings
> >
> > 2. Under Dick's scenario it's difficult to understand how a flood
approaching the description of Genesis could have occurred (in southern
Mesopotamia). I admit this is a difficulty, but that doesn't justify
throwing out Dick's scenario
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Bill Hamilton
> > William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
> > 248.652.4148 (home) 248.821.8156 (mobile)
> > "...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----
> > From: Gregory Arago < gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
> > To: asa@calvin.edu
> > Sent: Monday, March 19, 2007 7:49:07 AM
> > Subject: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?
> >
> >
> > It is well known that ASA once issued an unambiguous statement: 'We
believe in creation!' Would ASA be willing to follow that important,
courageous clarification up with a further statement: 'We believe in Adam
and Eve!' ? This is one of my main questions for all theistic evolutionists
(TE's).
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > G. Arago
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ________________________________

> >
> > Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
> > always stay connected to friends.
>
>

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Received on Wed Mar 21 21:29:29 2007

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