Re: [asa] Was Adam a real person?

From: Denis O. Lamoureux <>
Date: Fri Apr 11 2008 - 20:55:23 EDT

Hello David,
I'm the "Someone said" individual. Two points:

(1) So you admit your anachronism, but then argue
that my anachronism is worst than yours.

Goodness gracious! I suppose I should walk over
to the law school to learn about this special way
of arguing.

(2) Just contacted my colleague John Walton whose
book you've appealed to in your posts. Regarding
the notion of ancient science or science of the day,
he writes:
     I often use "Old World Science" as a way
    of categorizing Israel's cosmic geography if
    that clarifies anything.

You have misread and misrepresented Walton's book.
But I guess misspeaking is standard and perfectly
acceptable for lawyers . . .


Denis O. Lamoureux DDS PhD PhD
Assistant Professor of Science & Religion
St. Joseph's College, University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta Canada T6G 2J5
Tel: 780 492 7681 ext.246
Fax: 780 492 8145

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Opderbeck
  To: Denis O. Lamoureux
  Cc: Jack ; Dehler, Bernie ;
  Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 7:36 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Was Adam a real person?

  Someone said: Now this is delicious. I'm accused of being "anachronistic," and two sentences later David refers to "cosmogenic myths." Does anyone think that J, P or R were constructing "cosmogenic myths"? [I'm saying "someone said" b/c the string got long and I can't figure out who's saying what!]

  I respond: Yes, I do think the author[s] of Gen. 1-4 was[were] constructing / assembling / editing / redacting cosmogenic myths, just like I think the authors and editors of the Enuma Elish were constructing / assembling / editing / redacting cosmogenic myths. Obviously, they wouldn't have used this term, so yeah, that's a little anachronistic too. But I don't think its anachronistic as a category in the way "science of the day" is anachronistic as a category. "Science" by definition means natural explanations for natural phenomena, doesn't it? If one thing is certain, it's that "methodological naturalism" would have been utterly, incomprehensibly foreign to the ANE peoples.

  An acquaintance of mine who is an ANE scholar recommended to me Thorkild Jacobsen's "The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion." A really captivating book. Reading the actual texts and poems of the culture, and understanding the rituals associated with those texts, its clear that they had no notion of transcendence of the gods. The numinous was ever present for them. The earth and sky really were, in some sense, Tiamat's body, the gods were really present in the people enacting their parts in fertility rituals -- it reminds me a bit of the Roman notion of the real presence of Christ in the host. Their marriage and love poems are poignant too.

  If you want to call the numinous presence of Tiamat in the earth and firmament "the science of the day," it seems to me you have to qualify the word "science" so much that what it really means is "cosmogenic myths."

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Received on Fri Apr 11 20:59:46 2008

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