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The Xenophile Historian

The Genesis Chronicles: A Proposed History Of The Morning Of The World

Chapter 8: ADAM AND EVE

This chapter covers the following topics:
Male and Female
Parallel Creation Stories
Where Was the Garden of Eden?
The Fall of Man
How Did Some Animals Become Meat-Eaters?
The Forbidden Fruit's Identity
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Male and Female

The second chapter of Genesis gives us more details about what happened on the sixth day.(1) Here we learn that Adam was formed out of the dust of the ground, and that God put him in the Garden of Eden to take care of it, with one proviso: he must not eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Then God brought the animals to Adam so he could name them. This in itself required more intelligence than most of us have, since nobody told him what would be the proper name for each, nor had he observed their behavior long enough to give them names which reflected their actions.

I suppose the theistic evolutionists would be happy if the next verse said that Adam found an orangutan to be his mate, or a gorilla. But here is what happened: "And Adam gave names to all the cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helpmate for him." God's response was to declare that something more was needed: "the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helpmate for him.'" Adam was not only able to name an animal just by looking at it, he also realized that there was only one of him, and two or more of everything else. Adam was alone in a crowd of critters.

Verse 21 tells us that "the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'"

Nonbelievers often make fun of the idea that God created the first woman from Adam's rib. Sometimes they point out that today's men and women have the same number of ribs, and claim that would not be the case if the Genesis account was true. Not necessarily so: I pointed out previously that injuries do not change one's genetic structure; if you cut off your foot you would not expect to have amputee children later. In fact, this is one of the most scientifically accurate passages in Genesis. God was not only performing a surgical operation; He was growing a tissue sample into a full-fledged individual. In other words, He produced Eve by cloning.

We have done experiments like that over the past few decades. In one of the first, a scientist took the nucleus from a frog egg, replaced it with the nucleus of a frog's skin cell, and that egg produced a frog. In early 1997 came the news that a healthy lamb was grown from a single cell taken from an adult sheep's udder. This means that every cell in our bodies has the blueprint needed to produce a person; it's not done that way normally because only our reproductive systems have the other equipment needed. The rib provided the necessary sample of flesh and bone, and once the Y chromosome in each cell was replaced by a duplicate X chromosome, God had the template from which to create a female.(2)

Judging from Adam's reaction, he knew right away that Eve was a part of him. That, in fact, was why God made Eve from Adam, so they would be compatible and attracted to each other. One of the sillier Hebrew traditions explained that by claiming that originally God created the first woman from the ground, the way he did with Adam. Her name was Lilith, and she was even more beautiful than Eve. But she did not want to be dominated by man, so she ran away. Adam complained to God that the wife He had given him had deserted him, so God sent three angels to bring her back. They found Lilith in the Red Sea, and they warned her that if she did not return, a hundred of her demon children would die every day. But Lilith preferred this punishment to living with Adam. Therefore, God decided to avoid repeating His "mistake" by creating the second woman from the body of the first man, for "only when like is joined unto like the union is indissoluble." The legend ends by stating that many demons descended from Lilith still lurk in the world today (it doesn't say how she got the children, though).(3)

In the story of Eve's creation we have yet another reason why the stories of creation and evolution are totally incompatible: they disagree on the origin of sex. Evolutionists believe that sex originated when a single-celled organism was produced with some of its chromosomes missing. It met another cell with the same problem and they merged to form one complete cell. This turned out to be better than simple reproduction by division, because it produced genetic variety. Eventually organisms evolved which always recombined their genes before reproduction, so that varied offspring would be produced that had more ways to cope with a hostile environment.

God says this did not happen; Jesus likewise says "No." When the Pharisees and Sadducees asked Him about marriage, Jesus began by declaring, "Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female?" (Matt. 19:3-4) Any type of evolutionary development requires that the first man be born of a female ape, a female ape/human, a female something. But God says that He created man before woman, and He did not create them asexual at first. Nor did He create two individuals of the same sex; if God was in favor of same-sex marriages the names of the first couple would have been Adam and Steve. He created them male and female for a specific purpose.

According to the evolutionists, one supposed side effect of sex is that it created a need for natural death. Normally asexual organisms like the amoeba do not die; they split into two new organisms that are carbon copies of the previous one. By contrast, because the offspring of sexual reproduction are always different in some way, evolutionists believe that it became necessary for the older generation to die and get out of the way. The Bible says otherwise; it declares that death came into the world by the sin of one man, namely Adam (Romans 5:12).

What this means is that if you accept theistic evolution, or any other form of evolution, you are accepting the idea that death was in the world before Adam, when the Bible tells us it was the other way around. Paul should have known better. If Paul can make an error as critical as that, than how can we trust what he says about sin and redemption in the rest of the epistles? What would be the point of Jesus coming to die for our sins, if nature (and not our actions) has condemned to death anyway? If the Bible is really that far off the mark, we might as well give up being believers and go join some other religion!

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Parallel Creation Stories

It appears that the Sumerians were familiar with the story of Adam & Eve, but the original text has not been found, unless one considers the possibility that the story was written on Mesopotamian clay tablets and passed to the Hebrews by way of Abraham and Moses. Occasionally Sumerian myths on other subjects contain verses about the first humans, living next to nature in a totally primitive state, much like how we picture them to be:

"When Mankind was first created,
They knew not the eating of bread,
Knew not the dressing of garments,
Ate plants with their mouths like sheep,
Drank water from the ditch . . ."

Another tablet gives the name of the first woman as NIN.TI, which means both "The lady of the rib" and "The lady who makes live." According to Professor D. J. Wiseman, this recalls that Eve, the mother of all living, was fashioned from Adam.(4)

The Sumerians used a rolling-pin like device called a cylinder seal to sign agreements on clay. These cylinder seals not only had the owner's name carved onto them, but also popular scenes from mythology. Some of these scenes show early men carrying burdens, rowing boats, presenting offerings to the gods, etc.; their primitive state is shown by portraying them naked as jaybirds. The most interesting of these seals may be an actual rendition of the Eden story: it shows a woman (Eve) with a girdle of leaves around her loins, surrounded by serpents, while to the left a deity with a horned headdress (God) looks on with astonishment, and a still-naked man (Adam) stands to the right.

Many cultures have legends of the first people living in some kind of paradise. One that is remarkably similar to the Adam and Eve story comes from Sulawesi, in Eastern Indonesia. In the jungle-covered mountains of that island's interior live a tribe called the Saluan people, which has resisted all foreign customs and ideas because they exclude the worship of their ancestors. They may have the right idea, for in a typical Saluan village years go by without a single case of theft, divorce, wife-beating or adultery; they are proud that they don't live the corrupt lives of the "civilized" coastal people. In fact, when two Christian missionaries, Bob and Cecillia Brown, went to them in the 1980s, they got nowhere for the first three years, until they learned that the Saluan story of Creation has very close parallels with ours. Look at this and see if it doesn't sound like a story you have heard before:

"The One-Who-Formed-Our-Fingers had made a beautiful place. When he made the man and woman he told them that they could live in that beautiful place. So, they lived there, and their fire never went out, and their water flasks never went dry. The One-Who-Formed-Our-Fingers said that he was going away and that they must not eat the fruit of one tree while he was gone. Then he left. While he was gone, the snake came. Now, the man and the snake were brothers. The snake told the man that the fruit was good and that he should try some. The man did eat the fruit. Then he was afraid of The One-Who-Formed-Our-Fingers. When The One-Who-Formed-Our-Fingers returned, he knew right away what had happened. He chased the man away from the beautiful place and said, "From now on the water won't come by itself, and the food won't come by itself. The sweat will drip off your jaw and your fingernails won't get long because you will have to work to get food."(5)

Perhaps the most remarkable extra-biblical creation story is that of the Miao people.(6) The Miao are an ethnic minority in southwest China, close cousins of the Hmong in Laos. Originally they lived on the south bank of the Yangtze River, in Jiangxi province; they were driven into the less desireable mountains of Sichuan and Yunnan when the Chinese migrated across the Yangtze, after 1000 B.C. Their creation story is in the form of poetry, which is kept accurate by reciting it frequently, especially at weddings and funerals. Look at all the details it shares with the first eleven chapters of Genesis:

On the day God created the heavens and earth,
On that day He opened the gateway of light,
In the earth then He made heaps of earth and of stone.
In the earth He created the hawk and the kite.
In the water created the lobster and fish.
In the wilderness made he the tiger and bear,
Made verdure to cover the mountains,
Made forest extend with the ranges,
Made the light green cane,
Made the rank bamboo.

On the earth He created a man from the dirt.
Of the man thus created, a woman He formed.
Then the Patriarch Dirt made a balance of stones.
Estimated the weight of the earth to the bottom.
Calculated the bulk of the heavenly bodies.
And pondered the ways of the Deity, God.
The Patriarch Dirt begat Patriarch Se-teh.
The Patriarch Se-teh begat a son Lusu.
And Lusu begat Gehlo and he begat Lama.
The Patriarch Lama begat the man Nuah.
His wife was the Matriarch Gaw Bo-lu-en.
Their sons were Lo Han, Lo Shen and Jah-hu.(7)
So the earth began filling with tribes and with families.
Creation was shared by the clans and the peoples.

These did not God's will nor returned His affection.
But fought with each other denying the Godhead.
Their leaders shook fists in the face of the Mighty,
Then the earth was convulsed to the depth of three strata.
Rending the air to uttermost heaven.
God's anger rose till His being was changed;
His wrath flaring up filled His eyes and His face.
Until He must come and demolish humanity.
Come and destroy a whole world full with people.

So it poured forty days in sheets and in torrents.
Then fifty-five days of misting and drizzle.
The waters surmounted the mountains and ranges.
The deluge ascending leapt valley and hollow.
An earth with no earth upon which to take refuge!
A world with no foothold where one might subsist!
The people were baffled, impotent and ruined,
Despairing, horror stricked, diminished and finished.
But the Patriarch Nuah was righteous.
The Matriarch Gaw Bo-lu-en upright.
Built a boat very wide,
Made a ship very vast.
Their household entire got aboard and were floated,
The family complete rode the deluge in safety.
The animals with him were female and male.
The birds went along and were mated in pairs.
When the time was fulfilled, God commanded the waters.
The day had arrived, the flood waters receded.
Then Nuah liberated a dove from their refuge,
Sent a bird to go forth and bring again tidings.
The flood had gone down into lake and to ocean;
The mud was confined to the pools and the hollows.
There was land once again where a man might reside;
There was a place in the earth now to rear habitations.
Buffalo then were brought, an oblation to God,
Fatter cattle became sacrifice to the Mighty.
The Divine One then gave them His blessing;
Their God bestowed His good graces.

Lo-Han then begat Cusah and Mesay.
Lo-Shen begat Elan and Nga-shur.(8)
Their offspring begotten became tribes and peoples.
Their descendants established encampments and cities.
Their singing was all with the same tunes and music;
Their speaking was all with the same words and language.
Then they said let us build us a very big city;
Let us raise unto heaven a very high tower.
This was wrong, but they reached this decision;
Not right, but they rashly persisted.
God struck at them then, changed their language and accent.
Descending in wrath, He confused tones and voices.
One's speech to the others who hear him no meaning;
He's speaking in words, but they can't understand him.
So the city they builded was never completed;
The tower they wrought has to stand thus unfinished.
In despair then they separate under all heaven,
They part from each other the world-ball (globe) to encircle.(9)
They arrive at six corners and speak the six languages.

The Patriarch Jah-hu got the center of nations.
The son he begat was the patriarch Go-men.(10)
Who took him a wife called the Matriarch Go-Yong.
Their grandson and his wife both took the name Tutan.
Their descendants are given in order as follows:
Patriarch Gawndan Mew-wan,
Matriarch Cawdan Mew-jew;
Patriarch Jenku Dawvu, Matriarch Jeneo Boje;
Patriarch Gangen Newang (wife not given);
Patriarch Seageweng, Matriarch Maw Gueh.
Their children, eleven in number, was each the head of a family.
Five branches became the Miao nation.
Six families joined with the Chinese.

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Where Was the Garden of Eden?

"And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden . . . And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it which compasseth the whole land of Cush (Ethiopia). And the name of the third river is Hiddekel (Tigris): that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates." (Gen. 2:8-14)

A modern re-creation of Eden
Is this what the Garden of Eden looked like?

A lot of speculation has taken place concerning the precise location of the Garden of Eden. Most of the suggestions (the sensible ones, anyway) place it somewhere in the Middle East, since two of the rivers mentioned as flowing out of it, the Tigris and Euphrates, are clearly in Iraq. We could pinpoint the location with more accuracy if we knew which rivers were once called the Pishon and Gihon; paradoxically, the harder it is to identify a stream, the more the Bible has to say about it! Some believe the reference to the Tigris and Euphrates does not mean the Iraqi rivers by those names, and have come up with theories limited only by their imaginations. The first twelve possible sites listed below were taken from The Book of Lists 2, and they are followed by three I have heard of more recently.

1. Iraq. This is the one most scholars gravitate to. They simply take the literal interpretation that the Bible really meant the Tigris and Euphrates. Pishon and Gihon are viewed as either tributaries of the two main rivers, or streams which no longer exist. In fact, they may have been irrigation canals. Islamic tradition agrees; it puts the garden right outside Baghdad!

2. Armenia. Other Bible scholars point out that if the four rivers flowed out of the garden, then the garden must be at or near the headwaters of the Tigris & Euphrates, namely Armenia in the Caucasus highlands. Most of them do not identify Pishon and Gihon, though.
The latest to promote an Armenian location is the Egyptologist David Rohl. In 1998 he published his own views on the first eleven chapters of Genesis in a book entitled Legend. Not a creationist himself, he believes that Adam means "Red Earth," and that originally Adam was either the name of the first tribe to practice agriculture, or the chief of that tribe. To him ancient Armenia included the lands immediately to the south and east of modern Armenia, an area we now call Kurdistan. The original river of the Garden is identified as the Adji Chay ("Bitter Waters"), which flows into a large salt lake, Lake Urmia. For the two unidentified rivers, Pishon and Gihon, Rohl offers two that originate in the same area as the Tigris and Euphrates, but flow into the Caspian Sea, the Kezel Uzun (also spelled Uwzon or Uizon) and the Aras (ancient Araxes). Rohl placed the Garden just east of Lake Urmia, in the valley where the modern Iranian city of Tabriz lies, and the land of Nod in the area between Tabriz and the Caspian, near modern Ardabil. Finally, Ezekiel 28:14 suggests that a volcano was nearby, and sure enough, an extinct volcano, Mt. Sahand, stands on the edge of that valley.

3. Israel. There are those who say (John Sailhamer is the most recent) that since the rest of the Bible focusses its attention on the Promised Land, it would make sense for God to put the garden in it. Followers of this theory propose that the Jordan was the original river of the garden, that once it was much longer than it is today, and that for it to flow into the other four rivers the Jordan valley was once at an elevation above sea level, rather than below sea level like it is now. The four rivers become the boundaries of the Holy Land in this scenario, with Gihon being another name for the Nile. Some go further, and state that the Temple Mount (Mt. Moriah) marked the center of the garden and that it included Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Mount of Olives.

4. Egypt. Those who want Egypt as the cradle of the human race point out that the rivers in Genesis 2 were watered not by rain, but by a daily mist that came out of the ground. The Nile is the only modern river that does not get any rain (except at its sources in the African highlands), and proponents claim that it runs underground on part of its journey before it surfaces permanently around the first cataract. The four rivers branching from it are merely the four largest streams that it fans out into between Cairo and the Mediterranean; the names Tigris and Euphrates on two of them are nothing but a coincidence.

5 & 6. East Africa and Java. These are the favorites of full or part-time evolutionists. They reason that since the oldest human fossils (Australopithecus and Homo Habilis), were found in East Africa, and since Adam and Eve are the names given by the Bible for the first humans, Africa must be the birthplace of the human race. The Javan claim stems from the first discovery of Homo Erectus there in 1891.

7. Northwest China. In 1914 Tse Tsan Tai wrote a book called The Creation, the Real Situation of Eden, and the Origin of the Chinese, which makes a case for the garden being in Xinjiang, China's northwestern province. He claimed that the river flowing through the garden was the Tarim, which has four tributaries flowing eastward.

8. Lemuria. In the 19th century fans of the Atlantis myth decided that it was unfair for the Atlantic ocean to get all the mysterious stories, so they proposed a sunken continent named Mu for the Pacific Ocean, even though no evidence for its existence was ever found. A few years later British zoologist P. L. Sclater noted that those rare primates known as lemurs are only found in three widely scattered places: Madagascar, southern India, and the islands of Southeast Asia. Sclater concluded that they came from one place in the Indian Ocean, which he called Lemuria; Mu enthusiasts immediately decided that Mu and Lemuria were the same. Other scholars suggested that Lemuria must have once been the cradle of the human race, so logically the garden must be there as well.

9. The Seychelles Islands. A 19th century British general, Charles "Chinese" Gordon, subscribed to the theory that Africa and Asia were once part of the same continent. While on a survey expedition of the Seychelles, he came upon Praslin Island. He found the island so enchanting, particularly in the Vallée du Mai region, that he decided this unspoiled paradise was the Garden of Eden. The clincher for Gordon was the coco-de-mer, a rare tree that resembles the coconut palm but produces 40-lb. seeds. This tree is only found on one other island besides Praslin; Gordon thought this was a perfect candidate for the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

10. Mars. In his book The Sky People, Brinsley LePoer Trench argues that Adam, Eve and Noah all lived on Mars. He states that a river flowing through a garden and then splitting into four smaller streams just does not happen in nature. Only canals can be made to flow that way, and Mars (supposedly) has canals. So the garden must have been the home of a space-going people on Mars. Eventually the Martian polar caps melted and flooded the planet, forcing the descendants of Adam and Eve to take refuge on Earth.

11. The Florida Panhandle. Elvy E. Calloway (1889-1981), a Baptist pastor and retired lawyer, claimed that the Garden of Eden was on the banks of the Apalachicola River, one mile from Bristol, FL. Despite his background, he was no fundamentalist (he took Clarence Darrow's side during the John Scopes trial); he got his ideas from metaphysics, numerology, and libertarian politics as well as the Bible. In the early 1950s Calloway set up a Garden of Eden park on the site, and in 1971 he wrote a book, In The Beginning, to promote his theories. He believed Bristol marked the spot because there are only two river systems in the world with four tributaries, and the Apalachicola is one of them (the other is in Siberia); and that onyx, bdellium, and gold are found in the area. Finally, because the Apalachicola River runs through a ravine, while most of Florida is flat, the Bristol area is home to several rare plants; the Torreya tree, which Calloway thought was the source of gopher wood, Noah's building material, grows nowhere else. The state of Florida must have liked the Eden idea, because after Calloway's death, the hiking trail from his park became part of the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve, and another park, Torreya State Park, was established nearby.

Torreya tree
The Torreya tree. My brother took this picture in 2013.

12. Galesville, WI. In 1886 the Rev. D. O. Van Slyke published a small pamphlet which declared that Eden was an archaic name for the land between the Rockies and the Appalachians and that the center of the garden was on the east bank of the Mississippi River between LaCrosse, WI and Winona, MN. According to him Noah was living in Wisconsin when the deluge began, and the floodwaters carried him and the Ark across the Atlantic to Mt. Ararat.

13. Bahrein. The ancient Sumerians and the people of the city of Ebla believed in an ancient paradise, and called it Dilmun. According to one of their myths, The Epic of Enmerkar:

"The land Dilmun is a pure place,
the land Dilmun is a clean place,
the land Dilmun is a clean place,
the land Dilmun is a bright place.
In Dilmun the raven uttered no cry,
The kite uttered not the cry of the kite,
The lion killed not,
The wolf snatched not the lamb,
Unknown was the kid-killing dog,
Unknown was the grain-devouring boar . . .
The sick-eyed says not, 'I am sick-headed,'
Its old woman says not, 'I am an old woman,"
Its old man says not, 'I am an old man,"
Unbathed is the maid, no sparkling water is poured in the city,
Who crosses the river [of death?] utters no . . .
The wailing priests walk not about him,
The singer utters no wail,
By the side of the city he utters no lament."

The Sumerians and Eblaites thought Dilmun was Bahrein, an island in the Persian Gulf. We'll come back to that in Chapter 12 of this work.

14. Southern Arabia. Some have pointed out that Aden, the Arabian Sea port of Yemen, has a name that looks a lot like Eden, especially if you leave out the vowels the way pre-Greek writers did. In this theory Havilah is another name for Hadramaut, the classical term for south Yemen.(11) The Pishon and Gihon must have dried out long ago if the Arabia designation is correct, for that searing peninsula is not a paradise today, even though it is blessed with mineral wealth (gold & oil).

15. The Mediterranean basin. This one is also popular with those seeking a compromise with evolution. Nearly all of the fossils identified as belonging to early Homo Sapiens (especially Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon Man) have been found within a few hundred miles of this historic sea. The Mediterranean also has one of the world's most pleasant climates (not too hot, not too cold, for most of the year), so its shores have been settled, used, misused and abused continually since the beginning of history. According to Richard Attenborough's First Eden, it also had plenty of interesting plants and animals in the beginning, and still does, though man has succeeded in driving many of them, like the local lions and the Sicilian pygmy elephant, to extinction.

16. South Africa. In Chapter 5 we discussed the theory that drastic climate changes caused a genetic "bottleneck," killing off most of the human race a few thousand years ago, and that everyone alive today is descended from the handful of survivors. A new twist to that theory was added in 2010, when Professor Curtis Marean of Arizona State University proposed that a spot along South Africa's coast was the only place where humans could have survived during the ice age. This area, about 240 miles east of Cape Town, is called Pinnacle Point. Several caves have been found here, which contain evidence of human habitation (Professor Marean says the artifacts in the caves are at least 164,000 years old). There is rich vegetation nearby, and a combination of warm and cold ocean currents provided plenty of seafood. Finally, we have discovered quite a few hominids in South Africa, from Australopithecus to Boskop Man. South Africans have enthusiastically accepted the idea, to the point that they now sometimes call their country the "Cradle of Humankind."
I am assuming that the professor believes other suitable places to live were inaccessible from South Africa. Skeptics have already asked why only one human community would have survived, if an ice age catastrophe really happened, and why the survivors couldn't have held out in the more pleasant parts of Morocco or Ethiopia, where artifacts dated just as old have been found.

Since I have given you sixteen possible locations, you're probably asking at this point, "Well, those are fine, but where do you believe it was?" This may not satisfy everybody, but I am not convinced beyond a doubt that one of them is the site. However, I have narrowed it down to a zone in the Middle East ranging no farther south than Jerusalem and no farther north than Armenia. Here are my reasons for that:

1. The Tigris and Euphrates is too obvious a name to pass off as belonging to any other rivers than the ones which go by those names today. Therefore, the garden has to be in the Middle East.

2. Genesis 2:8 says that God planted the garden "eastward." Traditionally, what continent has always been associated with the east? Asia. This means the garden has to be somewhere in Asia. If you believe in continental drift this makes sense, too, because the center of the original Pangaea supercontinent was Africa, and all of the pieces that would someday become part of Asia were east, northeast, or southeast of Africa.

3. However, the continental drift theory also states that the earth's Middle Eastern crustal plate was originally joined to the African plate, but not to the other Asian plates. This means that the only part of Asia the garden can be in is the Middle East.

4. Of the sixteen proposed sites, I found the arguments for #2 and #3 (Armenia and Israel) to be the most convincing. Syria also becomes a possible site, because it is between the other two. Iraq is out because I believe it is really the land of Nod, where the Cainites lived; I'll talk about that in the next chapter.

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The Fall of Man

The first, and one of the most critical events to occur after the creation, was the incident where Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and brought sin into the world. Adam could have eaten from any other tree, including the tree of life, and lived forever. What a life it would have been! A beautiful home, no traffic or parking problems, a gorgeous wife, no competition, plenty to eat, no bills to pay, no rowdy neighbors, no boring business trips or civic meetings, and contrary to what Ben Franklin told us, no death and no taxes! And every evening he had fellowship with God on a personal basis, with nothing between them: no cover-ups, no political scandals to hide, no guilt, no sin. Just perfect innocence and freedom.

Then Satan, disguised as a snake, messed up the whole picture.(12) He twisted the truth and added an outright lie, telling Eve that if she ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, she would not die; she would become like God. That got her curious, so she tried the fruit, and took some to Adam so he could eat it, too.

The devil is always full of tricks. Up to that point, Adam and Eve did not know what evil was, because Satan was the first evil thing they had met (God pronounced everything on His created world good). We think of the devil as appearing in long red underwear, with horns, hoofed feet, a pitchfork and a long black moustache; a "Snidely Whiplash" type of character who would yell "Curses!" if his scheme failed. He knows most of us wouldn't fall for that, so he shows himself as an angel of light, or in any other smooth disguise that might work. And then, like now, his favorite approach is to cast doubt on the word of God, by putting it up against human reason. Adam and Eve did not drop dead when they ate the fruit, but they suffered spiritual death. By spiritual death I mean they could no longer have an intimate relationship with God, and would have surely been destined for the second death (Hell) if God had not introduced the concept of atonement by sacrifice. Physical death became inevitable, too, since death (and entropy) came into the world because of that sin, but it took much longer, 930 years in Adam's case.(13)

What came next was a classic case of passing the buck. When they ate the fruit, their glory was immediately gone, they noticed they were naked, and tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. God asked Adam about this and Adam said, "The woman which you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit of the tree, and I did eat." (Gen. 3:12) Eve then tried to put the blame on the serpent. It didn't work back then, but ever since then men have tried to blame women for their problems ("It was the chick that got us in all this trouble!"). I wouldn't be surprised if Eve used her charms to persuade Adam the way women do today ("If you don't eat it you might lose me."), but the trouble would have stopped had Adam not given in to temptation. This was a cooperative effort involving a woman who did not know a slick line when she heard one and a guy who couldn't keep his mouth shut!

Some people also claim that they are smart enough to know better; had they been in the garden the trouble wouldn't have started. This is pointless, too. It's part of human nature to want something which has been forbidden, even if it is bad for us; we call it "the forbidden fruit syndrome." If you don't believe this, put a kid in a room with a bushel of beautiful apples and one old wormy apple. Tell the kid that he can eat as many of the good apples as he wants but he must not touch the bad apple. Then go away for a few minutes. When you come back, you will find that the good apples have not been touched, but there will only be half a worm in half a wormy apple. The rest will be in the kid. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

Human nature summed up in one picture.

Why are we so willing to listen to snake talk, rather than God talk? It's because we have all been sick in the head since then (Isaiah 1:5). We think we know a lot, especially if we score high enough on an IQ test to qualify for Mensa membership, but even if we have ten doctorate degrees we are dummies compared to what God knows. We call ourselves Homo Sapiens, meaning "wise man," but by God's standards a more appropriate name would be Homo Ignoramus! Try to use reason without faith, and you'll think up all kinds of goofy ideas. Until the brain is debugged and reprogrammed by God, the function it performs best is that it keeps the ears from flapping together. Until that happens, the less we rely on it, the better off we are. You don't have to take drugs to blow your mind; a blown mind is standard equipment when you're born.

Adam is the individual responsible for the fall of the human race. Because Eve was created from him, humanity could have been saved even if Eve had sinned, if Adam did not sin, too. Apparently the seed of the woman carries the genetic perfection that Adam once had, while our sinful nature is passed on through the male. That is why Jesus had to come into the world by a virgin birth, so He could be a "second Adam." The Holy Spirit provided the missing genes which normally come from the father so that the child of Mary would be returned to the original state of perfection. It was His sinless life, and death on the cross, that solved the genetic problem man has suffered since the fall. (Romans 5:12-17)

With God's judgments, behind every cloud there is a silver lining. Man had to learn responsibility, since now he had to work for a living. He also was forced to leave the garden, to keep him from living forever by eating from the tree of life.(14) Finally, time, entropy and mutations started their inevitable decay of everything. This may seem cruel on the surface, but if the earth and man lived forever without suffering the consequences, there probably would have been no limits to how evil the human race would become. God wouldn't need to create Hell for "the devil and his angels"; we would do it here on Earth! We'll talk more about this when we cover how God further limited the spread of evil at the time of the Flood and at Babel.

The last thing God did before they left the garden was give them some animal skins to replace the fig leaves that they were trying to wear without much success. At least one animal had to be killed to provide those skins, so with this God introduced sacrifice. Later Noah, Abraham, Job and Jacob made sacrifices to mark their meetings with God, and the laws given at Mt. Sinai codified how they were to be carried out. This was a short-term measure to atone for one's sins, until Jesus could come and provide the permanent living sacrifice for us. With this God taught that (1) the penalty for sin is death, and that (2) every sin will either hurt the sinner or someone else (the animal in the case of the sacrifices).

And here, for your viewing pleasure, is a re-enactment of the first argument.

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How Did Some Animals Become Meat-Eaters?

Although the Bible does not directly say it, many creationists believe that God created people and animals to be strictly vegetarians. They look at God's commandment to eat herbs and fruit (Gen. 1:30), and His announcement that everything created was "very good" (verse 31). Likewise, when He restores the original earth's environment during the Millennium, we read about wolves lying with lambs, and lions eating straw (Isaiah 11:6-8). It was only with Adam's sin that things began to die (Gen. 3:14-19, Romans 5:12). If that is the case, then why are so many of today's animals designed to be predators? Many have sharp teeth and claws, while others have more exotic weapons like poisons. Still others have disguises to fool both predators and prey into thinking they are something else; e.g., the robber fly, which eats bees and wasps, looks like a bee with its yellow and black stripes.

Since God didn't give us the details, all we can do is look at existing evidence and try to figure out what happened. In the 1990s John Morris looked at the carnivore question,(15) and suggested that the true answer involves more than one of the possibilities below:

1. God knew all along that if He gave man free will, trouble would result, so maybe He prepared the animals for this, with characteristics they would need in the sinful earth. These features could have had more benign functions originally (e.g., claws help bears when they gather berries).

2. God may have given the animals genes that were dormant before the fall, but in the harsh world afterwards they activated and changed the physical characteristics of many species. Genetic variation, adaptation and natural selection took care of the rest, and quickly approached their limits, so that today it is no longer possible for animals to change their characteristics much.(16)

3. Or could something more sinister be involved? Remember that the earth had been Lucifer's domain previously. After he was defeated and cast out of heaven, he may have tried to ruin God's creation, first by tricking Adam and Eve into following him, then by perverting the environment. Could he have done breeding experiments to achieve this? If so, we have a real-life version of that old mad scientist story, The Island of Dr. Moreau. Maybe even some of the ancient myths of creatures that were half-man, half-animal, like the Greek satyrs, might have come from somebody who saw the results of such genetic engineering.

Whatever the direct cause, drastic genetic changes came and put the curses of Genesis 3 into action. The serpent had to crawl on its belly, plants produced "thorns and thistles," and childbirth became a painful and dangerous experience; all these things require major DNA modification. From that time on, death became a testimony to the awful consequences of sin. Whenever Adam saw an animal kill another animal, he must have regretted what he had brought upon creation.

That is why Paul wrote that "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain" (Romans 8:22). Although they cannot say it to us, animals, plants and rocks look forward to the day when God will redeem the earth, because then there will be no more sin, no more death (Revelation 21:4).(17)

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The Forbidden Fruit's Identity

What I'm about to say next is not entirely serious, but it covers a topic that is relevant to our discussion. Most people say the forbidden fruit was an apple, but nowhere does the Bible say what kind of fruit it was.(18) For all we know it could have been a peach, an orange or even an avocado. Jewish traditions contradict each other on this subject; one says it was the grape, due to the deluding influence of wine, while another blames it on the fig, on the assumption that Adam and Eve would cover themselves with the nearest leaves available, namely those from the same tree they got the fruit from.

In the 1980s, former Orlando Sentinel columnist Bob Morris declared that the forbidden fruit was his personal favorite: the mango. His logic behind that conclusion was completely off the wall (as are most of his writings), but it will do until a better candidate comes forth. Briefly, Mr. Morris called the mango the forbidden fruit for two reasons:

1. The only description of the fruit is that it gave knowledge of good and evil. That applies to the mango. The outer skin of the mango contains a sap that gives many people an allergic reaction, an evil thing. Once past the skin you come to the good part, the delicious flesh of the fruit. Finally, one arrives at the pit, which contains traces of cyanide; an evil thing if ever there was one!

2. The other reason comes from what God said after Adam ate it: "MAN! GO!"

This is the End of Chapter 8.


1. Unlike some scholars, I do not believe that the first and second chapters of Genesis are separate creation accounts, which were put together by somebody long after they were written. For one thing, they are in total agreement, which is not necessarily going to happen if you have two authors working independently. It looks to me like Chapter 1 was intended to give an overview of the whole creation, while Chapter 2 zooms in on the part concerning man to tell us specifically how God created us.

2. This may also explain a verse in Genesis 5: Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created (Gen 5:2). Will Durant, the foremost historian of the twentieth century, was puzzled by this verse; he thought it had something to do with a Mesopotamian myth that asserted the first man and woman were originally joined at the back like Siamese twins, and separated later. However, he lived too early to know much about how genetics works. Because Eve had only X chromosomes, while Adam would have had both X and Y chromosomes, the verse makes sense if you see Eve as a part of Adam before she was created.

3. Ginzberg, Vol. I, pg. 65-66.

4. Wiseman, D. J., Illustrations from Biblical Archaeology, pg. 9.

5. Brown, Bob & Cecilia, "The Power of the Creation Message," Impact, #284 (February 1987), from ICR.

6. The rest of this section comes from an article written by a retired missionary, Edgar A. Truax. "Genesis According to the Miao People", Impact #214 (April 1991), from ICR.

7. Note the similarity of these names to those in Genesis 5: Seth, Lameth, Noah, Ham, Shem and Japheth.

8. More parallels! Compare these with Genesis 10: Cusah=Cush, Mesay=Mizraim, Elan=Elam, Nga-shur=Asshur.

9. The Miao didn't know that the world is round, but apparently their ancestors did. More evidence that man devolved, rather than evolved.

10. If this is correct, the Miao are descended from Japheth and Gomer, making them Indo-Europeans. The closest Indo-European group to the Miao were the Tocharians, who lived in northwest China in the first millennium B.C. (See Chapter 1 of my European history, footnote #25). However, I trace most Asiatics to Ham (see Chapter 12), so I don't know how this would work, unless the Miao also had some forgotten Hamitic ancestors.

11. Actually Hazarmaveth, a descendant of Noah in Gen. 10:26, is thought to be a more likely source for the name Hadramaut. When 1 Samuel 15 refers to Saul smiting the Amalekites "from Havilah to Shur (Sinai)" Havilah is taken to mean Mesopotamia.

12. Some believe that the first snake had legs or wings, which were lost when God cursed it in Gen. 3:14.

13. Remember that Peter said "A thousand years is as a day to the Lord." Thus from the Lord's point of view one could say that Adam physically died on the day he ate the fruit, since he lived for less than a thousand years afterwards.

14. The tree of life is described in Revelation 22:2 as having a different kind of fruit for each month of the year, and leaves for "healing the nations."

A tropical fruit salad tree
This picture (probably photoshopped) shows a "fruit salad tree" in the Philippines. Perhaps the tree of life looked like that?

15. Morris, John D., "If All Animals Were Created As Plant-eaters, Why Do Some Have Sharp Teeth?", Back to Genesis #100 (April 1997), from ICR.

16. However, this doesn't mean that animals are done changing. According to this article, a few have learned to catch and kill things they shouldn't be eating. Unnatural selection in action!

17. If there ever was a creature that appears to have been made by Satan instead of by God, it's the spider. They're ugly, they catch their food with traps, instead of chasing it or fighting it, they paralyze their victims with poison instead of killing them immediately, wrap them up like mummies and eventually suck them dry. I'm guessing they weren't like that in the Garden of Eden. Readers, do you have any idea how they might have behaved before the fall of man?

18. I found out later that the apple was a Greek idea; the Greeks saw the apple as a symbol of Athena, goddess of wisdom. A Sumerian cylinder seal in the British Museum shows what appears to be the Adam and Eve story: it has a picture of a god and a woman sitting next to a tree, with a snake lurking behind the woman. The tree has seven long branches and two long fruit clusters, suggesting it was either a date palm or banana tree.

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