RE: [asa] promise trumps biology (accepting biological evolution for Adam)

From: George Cooper <georgecooper@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Fri Dec 12 2008 - 11:35:18 EST

Hi Dick,

 

I am curious why you are reluctant to favor biological compatibility with
pre Adamites? The creation of any fresh-baked life forms would be superior
in design only if they were compatible with their environment. Using the
same patterns found in DNA, etc., of the pre-Adamites would yield a
biologically sound body and, perhaps, mind. Of course, a few enhancements
would be understandable if this new fresh-baked person would receive a
living soul and be given childhood status -- who wants just another loaf. J
I even suspect these enhancements gave Adam enough advance to be the first
to "till the ground", due to chronological evidence allowing generation gaps
some you gave in article, "In Search of the Historical Adam". [I enjoyed
your article and agree with most of it, though I'm no one with a big stick.
BTW, the link at the bottom of the page of part 1 does not work to get to
part 2.]

 

What I like about this compatibility idea is that it suggests the
possibility that His design allows all sorts of life forms to exist on
planets throughout the cosmos, but only where environments allow. Only on a
very few number of planets, probably, will life forms evolve to the level of
intelligent Homo Sapiens. If this grants them consideration to be involved
in God's plan for communion with Him, including possible eternal life, so
much the better. The dynamic evolutionary process, both beautiful and
harsh, becomes a powerful means to an important end, and all accomplished
with, essentially, only 4 forces and some energy to make His cosmos.
[Matter followed after energy cooled.]

 

Further, with compatible Homo Sapiens, it gives Cain more reason to fear,
assuming he saw the pre-Adamites as somewhat equal in intelligence, and a
way to marry and have children, without the need to rationalize incest.

 

 

Coope

 

 

 

 

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Dick Fischer
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 10:25 PM
To: 'Dehler, Bernie'
Cc: ASA
Subject: RE: [asa] promise trumps biology (accepting biological evolution
for Adam)

 

Hi Bernie:

 

Frankly, I don't have enough evidence at hand to put full faith in Adam's
creation. I lean toward that view: three separate accounts say he (Adam,
Atum, Adapa/Adamu) was created, he was long-lived according to Genesis and a
very special individual, and Eve is described as created from Adam. But for
his offspring to have been biologically compatible with evolved human beings
is a stretch for me. So I have reservations.

 

Dick Fischer, GPA president

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 Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 12:49 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: RE: [asa] promise trumps biology (accepting biological evolution
for Adam)

 

George said:
"I think that if you asked the writer of Gen.2-3 or St. Paul if Adam was the
first human, they would have answered "Yes." Exactly what Dick thinks they
would have said I'll leave to him. "

 

Dick said he doesn't know if Adam biologically evolved from lower life-forms
or was made unique and separately (God formed dirt into man and breathed
life into it). By the way, seems like you also said you don't know, George.
I don't understand why both George and Dick don't just bite the bullet and
come on out and say "Adam evolved biologically." I don't understand what's
holding you two up from accepting that without reservation.

 

.Bernie

 

  _____

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of George Murphy
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 1:17 PM
To: Schwarzwald; asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] promise trumps biology

 

FWIW Dick & I don't differ on whether or not Adam was the first human. We
both are pretty sure he wasn't. The difference is that Dick thinks we
should read early Genesis as if there were other humans on the outskirts of
the stories (he may wish to put that more precisely), while I think it's
quite clear that the stories are written with the belief that Adam & Eve
were the first humans, that the flood destroyed the whole world & that its
only survivors were Noah & his family. I think that if you asked the writer
of Gen.2-3 or St. Paul if Adam was the first human, they would have answered
"Yes." Exactly what Dick thinks they would have said I'll leave to him.

 

Shalom
George
http://home.neo.rr.com/scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----

From: Schwarzwald <mailto:schwarzwald@gmail.com>

To: asa@calvin.edu

Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:27 PM

Subject: Re: [asa] promise trumps biology

 

Whoops, guess the comment wasn't so private after all. :)

Oh well, it's nothing too controversial I'd think!

On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 3:26 PM, Schwarzwald <schwarzwald@gmail.com> wrote:

Heya. Private comment here.

I agree with you that there are a number of curiosities in Genesis that
actually make more sense if we include pre-Adamites and an older world. Just
between you and me, one thing that always surprises me is that so many
people (Christian and non) place tremendous emphasis on the past beliefs in
humanity beginning with Adam and such entirely on 'plain reading'. To me,
what seems more likely to have went on is a combination between a reading
that fills in blanks, and context - particularly a lack of any alternative
view, or even information towards such a view, at the time.

 

On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 1:01 PM, Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
wrote:

Hi George:

 

Josephus was an authority. He was not an inerrant authority (and we aren't
either), and he did not write what we regard as Scripture - that's the
"God-breathed" variety Paul described. There are numerous clues the
Adamites were not alone in the world: who did Cain marry, who were the
Nephilim or "Giants" (Gen. 6:4), where did the Emims (Deut. 2:10, 11) and
Zamzummims (Deut. 2:20, 21) come from, etc., but these caution flags were
ignored.

 

It should not be that difficult to reason out that Moses passed down to the
Israelites the history of where they came from. That he knew, I don't think
he had any credentials as an anthropologist. Genesis history was to Israel,
for Israel, and about Israel. If early Christians read themselves into
Jewish history they can be forgiven due to their ignorance. That's no
excuse for ours.

 

What I would suggest is that you recommend to your local library that they
order my book, Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham, and after they get
it, read it. Then let's talk. Privately, if you would prefer.

 

Dick Fischer, GPA president

Genesis Proclaimed Association

"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"

www.genesisproclaimed.org

 

-----Original Message-----
From: George Murphy

[mailto:GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com]

Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 12:22 PM
To: Dick Fischer
Cc:

ASA

Subject: Re: [asa] promise trumps biology

 

"Was Josephus an historian? Did he not write about the history of the
Jews?" you began. How dare I challenge the authority of Josephus! So I
pointed out that Josephus flatly contradicts a basic premise of your whole
scenario, that there were other human beings around when Adam & Eve were
created. That's not a minor matter like the identification of a river.
Your response to this? Some shuckin' and jivin' about the Gishon and
Cushites.

 

In fact I'm paying more attention to Josephus than you are. He is one more
example of the long tradition of Jews and Christians reading the early
chapters of Genesis as if Adam & Eve were the ancestors of the entire human
race and that the flood destroyed all humanity except Noah & his family.
(Book I, Chapter 3, paragraph 2.) He - & that tradition in general - show
no inkling of the existence of all the other people that you populate the
margins of the biblical story with. Of course Josephus - & the tradition -
were wrong about the actual history but they knew how to read.

 

You should know from all to many discussions on this list & what I've
written in Perspectives what my views are about the historicity of Gen.1-3
and the flood story.

 

As far as allowing what we've learned about the ANE to "to influence our
archaic theology," I would suggest first that the notion that early Genesis
must be accurate historical narrative in order to be true and authoritative
is a pretty good example of "archaic theology." In fact, something like
Enns' Inspiration and Incarnation shows why familiarity with the literature
of the ANE should help us to get beyond that notion.

 

Shalom
George
http://home.neo.rr.com/scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----

From: Dick Fischer <mailto:dickfischer@verizon.net>

To: 'George <mailto:GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com> Murphy'

Cc: ASA <mailto:asa@calvin.edu>

Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:24 AM

Subject: RE: [asa] promise trumps biology

 

Hi George:

 

I think we tend to make it more complicated than it needs to be. First of
all, did Adam and Noah exist? That's simply yes or no, no middle ground.
They either were living human beings or mythological or theological
constructs. If you side with the biblical authors and historical references
then they were actual air-breathing Homo sapiens. If you choose that route
then the next question becomes when and where did they live?

 

Next, either they lived far enough back in time that they could feasibly
have started the human race or their entry was too late for that. Once
again, it is either one of the other. If the biblical account in Genesis
2-11 and the history of the ancient Near East has any credibility at all
they were Neolithic characters who resided in Mesopotamia no earlier than
7,000 years ago.

 

You can cloud the issue all you want with loaded terms like "pre-adamites,"
but that doesn't change the basic picture and the decision making tree I
just outlined.

 

As for me personally, I didn't choose a path and then look for corroborating
evidence. I weighed the evidence and then chose the path. Frankly, the
evidence I have accumulated over the last 28 years is overwhelming. Of
course, if one chooses to remain oblivious to the evidence then he or she
could reach counter conclusions such as Adam lived in Africa 60,000 to
100,000 years ago, or that Adam was an invention of some imaginative
Akkadian or Semite scribe. Although I will allow those are possibilities I
consider them remote and totally absent any evidentiary support.

 

As for Josephus and his limited scope of reference, he made a few mistakes
in my humble estimation. The river Gihon named in Genesis 2 in the region
of the Garden of Eden he equated with the Nile influencing the King James
translators to equate "Cush" with Ethiopia and setting the stage for a
common misunderstanding that the black race (cush means "black" in Hebrew)
emanated from Ham. Makes absolutely no sense.

 

But why did Josephus make that connection? Today we know that the original
home of the Kassites, or Cushites, was in the southwest corner of Iran along
the Kashkan/Karkheh river basin, an area called Khuzistan today. The name
"Gihon" appears to have evolved into the Guyedes over time at that location.
This makes good sense as all four rivers would have emptied directly into
the Persian Gulf at that time, whereas the Nile is on a different continent.

 

This initial home turned out to be a perilous location, however, as the
Kassi as the Assyrians called them were sandwiched between the warlike
nations of Assyria, Babylonia, Urartu and Elam. Whether they migrated en
masse or whether only a portion of them migrated, I don't know. But when a
new, safer location was found along the river Nile they named the river
"Gihon" after the original river in their original homeland. Josephus would
not have known this.

 

Remember, we have accumulated significant archaeological evidence in the
Near East over the last 200 years. It is just that we haven't allowed this
evidence to influence our archaic theology.

 

Dick Fischer, GPA president

Genesis Proclaimed Association

www.genesisproclaimed.org

 

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of George Murphy
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 1:48 PM
To: Dick Fischer
Cc: ASA
Subject: Re: [asa] promise trumps biology

 

It's all very well to appeal to Josephus but then you ought to recognize
that he doesn't know of your idea about pre-Adamites or indeed of your whole
concordist scheme. Just to note one thing, in Book I, Chapter 1, Paragraph
3 he says (I'm using Whiston's old translation), "But when he saw that Adam
had no female companion, no society (for there was no such created) ... "
I.e. Adam was the 1st human being simpliciter, & before Eve was made from
his side there weren't any others.

 

Your way of harmonizing early Genesis with history has been worked our very
thoroughly & is certainly better than some other concordist approaches. But
that doesn't mean that it's true & in fact I don't buy it for a minute. For
all its ingenuity it rests on the assumption that if early Genesis is true,
it must be accurate history. & it requires far too much special pleading to
make that work.

 

As far as Mizraim is concerned, note that RSV & NRSV just translate "Egypt"
in Gen.10:6 & 13. Of course Josephus - & Genesis - don't explicitly say
that his descendants were the sole inhabitants of Egypt, but that's the
natural way to read it. Why do you think that Jews & Christians read early
Genesis for millenia assuming that what was being talked about was the whole
world, that the 3 sons of Noah & their wives literally populated the whole
earth, etc? It's because there's no hint in the text that that's not the
case. The YEC reading of Gen.1-11 is of course wrong in the sense that it
doesn't recognize the types of texts that they're dealing with and
consequently produces flagrant conflict with real history & science. But
when they read those chapters as straight history they read them correctly
as straight history.

 

Shalom
George
http://home.neo.rr.com/scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----

From: Dick Fischer <mailto:dickfischer@verizon.net>

To: 'George <mailto:GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com> Murphy'

Cc: ASA <mailto:asa@calvin.edu>

Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 11:50 AM

Subject: RE: [asa] promise trumps biology

 

Hi George:

 

Was Josephus an historian? Did he not write about the history of the Jews?
Did he not write about Noah and his descendants? How do you know Jewish
history better than Josephus? You even question the Bible writers? Moses
didn't know anything either?

 

Of course Egypt was populated for thousands of years before the flood. That
was my point. Egypt was also populated after the 2900 BC flood by Mizraim
and his sons. In Josephus' words: "Now all the sons of Mizraim, being eight
in number, occupied the country from Gaza to Egypt ..." Note that Josephus
did not say they were the sole occupants. My grandparents left Europe and
occupied Nebraska. Is everybody in Nebraska related to me?

 

Historically Mizraim was recorded as Msrm in Ugaritic, Misri in the Amarna
tablets, Musur in Assyrian inscriptions, and Musri to the Babylonians. An
Arabian presence is also possible, even in Northern Syria; Tiglath-Pileser I
appointed a governor not far distant in Musri in north Arabia. Further,
Sargon called Pir'u Sar Musri a king who was succeeded by Samsieh, queen of
Arabia. Mizraim's sons are listed (Gen. 10:13-14) beginning with Ludim, the
old tribe Lewatah, referred to as Lubiim by Josephus. The A-na-mi is found
in a geographical text from the time of Sargon II which may be linked with
Anamim, Mizraim's second son Lehabim and Naphtuhim are recalled in 1 Chron.
1:11, grouped with their brothers, presumably in Egypt The people of
Pathros[i] <> in Upper Egypt are credited to Pathrusim, and Casluhim is
known primarily for fathering the Philistines. With the exception of the
Philistines, the rest of Mizraim's sons leave only sparse traces in various
parts of Egypt.

 

I've said this all along, the flood was local, recent, and limited in those
who died in it. And nearly every one of Noah's descendants can be traced to
parts of the Near East, northern Africa, along the Mediterranean Sea and so
forth, whereas none can be traced to China, southern Africa, Australia,
Americas, etc.

 

What's to not understand?

 

Dick Fischer, GPA president

Genesis Proclaimed Association

"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"

www.genesisproclaimed.org

 

-----Original Message-----
From: George Murphy [mailto:GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 8:59 AM
To: Dick Fischer
Cc: ASA
Subject: Re: [asa] promise trumps biology

 

IMO this just shows the limits of your particular version of concordism. Of
course not all the people of Egypt were descendants of an historical "Ham" -
in fact the known history of Egypt predates by millennia any possible
"historical Noah." But as far as the biblical writers are concerned Egypt
was populated after the flood by the descendants of one of Noah's grandsons.

 

Shalom
George
http://home.neo.rr.com/scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----

From: Dick Fischer <mailto:dickfischer@verizon.net>

To: 'George <mailto:GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com> Murphy'

Cc: ASA <mailto:asa@calvin.edu>

Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 12:48 AM

Subject: RE: [asa] promise trumps biology

 

Hi George, you wrote:

 

>>& later in Genesis Joseph is married to an Egyptian, of the "cursed line
of Ham."<<

 

Well maybe, and maybe not. Although the Hebrew word for Egyptian is
"Mizraim" (Noah's grandson) it would not be possible for the entire Egyptian
population to have stemmed from him. Narmer was in power in Egypt before
Mizraim was born. Pyramids depicted four distinct races living in Egypt and
the great races were established long before Noah.

 

Excavations in Egypt have uncovered the remains of a variant race of peoples
who began moving in at the beginning of the dynastic period (ca. 2900 BC).

 

Quoting The Cambridge Ancient History, "Physically these peoples differed
unmistakably from the predynastic Egyptians: whereas the latter were
unusually small in stature and possessed long and narrow skulls (about 132
mm. in breadth), the newcomers were more massively built and their skulls
(about 139 mm. in width) were appreciably broader than those of their
predecessors."

 

So whether that Egyptian woman was of Semitic (or Hamitic) origin will
forever be unknown.

 

Dick Fischer, GPA president

Genesis Proclaimed Association

"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"

www.genesisproclaimed.org <http://www.genesisproclaimed.org/>

 

 

  _____

[i]. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, 3, 676.

 

 

 

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Received on Fri Dec 12 11:35:52 2008

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