RE: [asa] biological evolution and a literal Adam- logically inconsistent?

From: gordon brown <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>
Date: Tue Sep 09 2008 - 18:16:20 EDT

On Tue, 9 Sep 2008, George Cooper wrote:

> Hi Gordon,
>
> Consider verse 8...
>
> And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was
> parted, and became into four heads.
>
> It seems to me that only one river was described within the garden and that
> as it flowed out from Eden it became four separate rivers. This could
> happen if the Garden were in a very high region near the headwaters of the
> Tigris and Euphrates today. An altered geology, I think, could account for
> two other rivers, one flowing east, IIRC.
>
> This idea is somewhat supported with the verse that stations Cherubims only
> on one side of the Garden. Why only one side? Perhaps the other three were
> impassable. I envision bluffs in lieu of swamps.
>
> "Coope"
>

George,

The difference of interpretation of the four rivers seems to be based on
the question of direction, i.e. their direction (upstream or downstream)
from Eden. Is the going the same as flowing? If these were roads rather
than rivers, this wouldn't be an issue. Heads are upstream. Mouths are
downstream. I don't see how the four rivers are even relevant to the story
unless they are intended to help the reader know where the Garden was. In
fact the account is sufficient for us to be fairly confident that we are
able to follow the directions to the approximate location being described.
Helpful are the references to Cush (the land of the Kassites and not the
Cush in Africa), which is near the Zagros mountains, and to Havilah, which
was apparently somewhere in Arabia. (Gen. 25:18 and I Sam. 15:7) Also,
Eden was apparently in a desert environment. (Gen. 2:5)

Gordon Brown (ASA member)

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Received on Tue Sep 9 18:17:20 2008

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