Re: [asa] Re: Reading Genesis theologically NOT historically

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Tue Oct 06 2009 - 05:04:33 EDT

Dennis, What Schwarzwald says in this case about 'first human' goes for me too. And I also have a question to ask you: If you don't support the idea of *there must have been a first,* then would you consider calling your position the following: *there didn't have to be a first...human*? Would that be accurate to say of your view? Surely you know (or should) that to hold such a view  would be to go against a *gigantic* tradition of philosophy, going back thousands of years and current to the present moment? But maybe in biology that doesn't matter that much. Or maybe you think that biological knowledge somehow trumps philosophical knowledge? Likewise, are you saying *degree, not kind*? Is this your position, Dennis? I love continuity in some ways indeed, but sometimes discontinuities do seem really to exist (but we don't have to call them 'gaps,' which often has a negative meaning). As the biologist Lynn Margulis recently said and surely has said before, "nature *does* make jumps." To speak of "'population' not 'individual'" as a biologist to a sociologist is a rather interesting scenario, people might notice. 'Population genetics' has indeed made 'big strides' as an academic field. But even in biology there is still a controversy over 'individual selection' vs. 'group selection.' Don't you agree, Dennis? It's not as if the field of biology is as united or 'single-paradigm' as some biologists make it out to be (this point is exactly what a biologist about your/our age just told me). To climb the ladder from biology to a much more 'complex' topic such as 'origins of the first human(s)' seems to require more than simply falling upon a reductionistic assumption. One might also wonder (as it has just now come to my mind to think) when the categorization of 'anti-ADAM' is suitable. It does sound like biologists are among (along with zoologists, but perhaps not anthropologists) the most 'anti-Adam' scholars/scientists in the contemporary academy. Are you anti-Adam in your biological approach, Dennis? Do you really believe there was no 'Adam' or 'first human' and if so, how do you reconcile this with your theology (the same challenge can be addressed to D. Lamoureux)? In HSS we apply the term 'dehumanisation,' which would be very closely related to the 'anti-ADAM' perspective. Gregory ________________________________ From: Dennis Venema <> To: Gregory Arago <>; George Murphy <>; Dick Fischer <> Cc: "" <>; "" <> Sent: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 1:52:17 AM Subject: Re: [asa] Re: Reading Genesis theologically NOT historically Gregory, The point (biologically) is that there is a first population, not a first individual. Your logic, if I understand it correctly, doesn’t hold. Speciation for humans was a population event, not via a single individual or pair, as far as we can tell. Dennis On 05/10/09 2:26 PM, "Gregory Arago" <> wrote: George Murphy wrote: "Adam IS mankind." > >If that is the case, George, and if you accept the logic *there must have been a first,* then do you accept that the 'first human' was ADAM, i.e. the first of 'mankind' or 'humanity'? If not, then why not? Are you a *degree, not kind* guy? > > ________________________________ From:George Murphy <> >To: Dick Fischer <> >Cc:;; >Sent: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 12:47:31 AM >Subject: Re: [asa] Re: Reading Genesis theologically NOT historically > > >When humankind (not just a single individual) is said to be created in the image & likeness of God in Gen.1:2, it's quite legitimate (IMO) to interpret the following words, "and let them [N.B.] have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thin that creeps upon the earth" (NRSV).  I.e., humans are to be God's representatives in ruling the other creatures of the world.  The word "emissary" is really too weak for this.  But more importantly, there is no suggestion that oen human being is commissioned to be an emissary to other human beings.  So the point remains, there is no canonical texts that says - ot implies - "that Adam was God’s emissary to mankind."   Adam IS mankind. > >  >  >Shalom >George > > >  >________________________________ Looking for the perfect gift?Give the gift of Flickr! <> > __________________________________________________________________ Looking for the perfect gift? Give the gift of Flickr!

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Tue Oct 6 05:05:34 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Oct 06 2009 - 05:05:35 EDT