Monday, August 07, 2017

From dust

I got into a brief debate on Facebook regarding theistic evolution:

If you resort to a makeshift position like the ensoulment of an animal. That's not properly scientific or properly Biblical. Just sticking two things together that don't go together. 

Oh, please. His position is no more "makeshift" than is the standard Evangelical reading of God simply building up a body out of "dust" and ensouling it, "Poof!" The evolutionary model (which I don't believe, btw) is just as reasonable a supposition regarding what actually transpired when "the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground..." There is no clause in that description that says that the process took a second, a year, or 100 billion years, nor any indication what mechanism or process God used to "form man of dust". To take the passage as NECESSARILY meaning that God grabbed dust and suddenly a man appeared is simply nonsensical.

Don't be silly. You've ripped the verse out of the explicit narrative context. God makes Adam in contrast to the subsequent act of God making animals, which, in turn, stands in contrast to the subsequent act of God making Eve. No ancient Jewish reader would take that to mean the creation of Adam was separated by millions or billions of years from the creation of Eve. In addition, the creation of Adam and Eve is emphatically distinguished from the creation of the animals. Adam is not created from animals, and Eve is explicitly created from Adam.

Also, there's nothing nonsensical about God making Adam's body directly from the soil. "Nonsensical" from whose viewpoint? The narrator? An ancient Jewish reader? Or a modern reader who's conditioned by believe in biological evolution.

Like HELL I have!!! I'm simply reading without your damned Evangelical "literal" glasses on--e.g., reading what is ACTUALLY THERE. Go back and read Genesis TWO, which is what I'm quoting. You're recalling Genesis ONE, which is in fact a different narrative.

I didn't use Gen 1 in my exposition. If you imagine I did, demonstrate your allegation.

Nonsensical in the view of somebody who's attempting to read the text without presupposing what Evangelicals have been saying stupidly for the past 150 years. 

Ironically, you're the one, not me, who's filtering the text through what's been said for the past 150 years, only your frame of reference is Darwin. But needless to say, the narrator and the original audience didn't have that frame of reference. So your harmonization is grossly anachronistic and extrinsic to the viewpoint of the text.

No, that's not only what one can infer from the text. As I explained, there's a sequence of interlocking events. In Gen 2, God creates a man. The man is still alive when God creates animals. And the man is still alive when God creates a woman, to be his counterpart. Within the logic of the narrative, these creative fiats can't be separated by millions or billions of years. Not even thousands of years, since Adam will die before he reaches 1000.

In Gen 2, the creation of Adam is separate from, and prior to, the creation of animals. That's diametrically contrary to evolution, where humans derive from animals. In Gen 2, the creation of Eve is separate from the creation of animals, and her body derives from Adam's body. That doesn't bear the slightest correspondence to the theory of human evolution.


  1. Sadly, we are going to be seeing a lot of this "God zapped a hominid" interpretation of Adam in the coming years.

    If you're taking the position that the syntax of chapter 2 implies that animals were created after Adam, how do you square that with the sequence in Genesis 1?

    1. I wasn't discussing the origin of animals in general, but animals created specifically for the garden of Eden.

    2. From what I can tell, Gen 2 is a consistently linear sequence, whereas the 4th day in Gen 1 seems to be a studied anachronism–which raises questions about how chronological Gen 1 is overall.