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Evangelicals question the existence of Adam and Eve - Comments

jbyrd's Avatar Comment 1 by jbyrd

evangelical intelligentsia

Isnt that an oxymoron?

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:07:33 UTC | #865282

cerad's Avatar Comment 2 by cerad

"Evangelicalism has a tendency to devour its young," says Daniel Harlow, a religion professor at Calvin > College, a Christian Reformed school that subscribes to the fall of Adam and Eve as a central part of its faith.

I thought only atheists ate babies?

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:11:00 UTC | #865286

hypnoticbob's Avatar Comment 3 by hypnoticbob

The concept that Genesis, at the very least, Adam and Eve, is not to be taken seriously (literal) is a slippery slope isn't it? I mean, cherry-pick that out of their already cherry-picked literalism, and what has one got? How much of the rest of the 'old testament' and the New do you decide to believe in? I suppose facts can only be used to support skepticism just so far; for some more than others.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:11:07 UTC | #865287

JuJu's Avatar Comment 4 by JuJu

I love watching mental gymnastics, I hope it becomes an Olympic sport someday. I especially enjoy watching the current world champion Francis Collins of team Biologos. Looks like his teammate Dennis Venema is attempting to take the top spot away from him, how exciting, let the games began.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:22:23 UTC | #865291

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 5 by Steven Mading

Comment 3 by hypnoticbob :

The concept that Genesis, at the very least, Adam and Eve, is not to be taken seriously (literal) is a slippery slope isn't it? I mean, cherry-pick that out of their already cherry-picked literalism, and what has one got? How much of the rest of the 'old testament' and the New do you decide to believe in? I suppose facts can only be used to support skepticism just so far; for some more than others.

Not the least of which is original sin. The Catholic Church still claims original sin is correct doctrine even after making public pronouncements admitting that the Adam and Eve story didn't really happen and Catholics should take it as mere allegory. Since the original justification for the doctrine of original sin was Adam and Eve's alleged fall from Eden, this is really hypocritical of them to continue to uphold Original Sin. (Of course the reason they won't let it go is that it's the chief reason behind their claims about why everyone needs the church).

Then again, when people start massively changing the underlying doctrine of the religion like that I consider it dishonest that they keep on using the same label for the religion at all, There are many multiple religions today that all call themselves Christianity despite having utterly incompatible beliefs and totally different dogmas from each other. Clearly they're actually following totally different religions with a common origin, which is not the same thing as following the same religion. Giving them the same label is a lot like claiming that a sparrow and an ostrich are the same species just because they share a common ancestor.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:28:42 UTC | #865293

alf1200's Avatar Comment 6 by alf1200

The fundamentalists don't want facts! They want compliance! They want order! They want superiority!

Facts?.........NOPE! They can't handle the facts!

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:35:34 UTC | #865295

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 7 by Neodarwinian

God being pushed even further into the gaps. Evangelicals questioning the existence of Adam and Eve? I bet Adam and Steve can still get a large and consistent response out of these evangelicals. Facts may intrude somewhere into this believer nonsense, but the intrusions will be limited.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:50:29 UTC | #865300

Tryphon Tournesol's Avatar Comment 8 by Tryphon Tournesol

"But if the parts of Scripture that you are claiming to be false, in effect, are responsible for creating the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, then you've got a problem," Rana says.

No problem, just deny the facts. Or better; just lie about them until they suit your doctrine (which of course should be translated as reconciliation of science and evangelical doctrine). Face/palm.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:52:08 UTC | #865302

blitz442's Avatar Comment 9 by blitz442

Steven Mading

The Catholic Church still claims original sin is correct doctrine even after making public pronouncements admitting that the Adam and Eve story didn't really happen and Catholics should take it as mere allegory

That's not quite so. They have made statements to the effect that they do not believe that evolution is inconsistent with Catholic theology - i.e. one could be a good Catholic and still believe in evolution. But, although they seem to favor an allegorical interpretation of Genesis, they don't shut the door on belief in the literal genesis story - one could believe in special creation and also be a good Catholic.

The reason that they think they can maintain this position is that they state that they are not making statements about the veracity of scientific claims - only whether those claims can be reconciled with their faith.

But this bit of pedantry on my part does nothing to touch your main point, which is absolutely correct. Unless there are some special qualifications to what Catholics mean by "evolution", then there certainly is a conflict between evolution and the nonnegotiable doctrine of original sin.

They have quite a juggling act going on here, and it is only the due to the fact that the run-of-the-mill Catholic does not think too deeply about her religion that this incompatibility is maintained.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:53:21 UTC | #865303

kraut's Avatar Comment 10 by kraut

BlockquoteWithout Adam, the work of Christ makes no sense whatsoever in Paul's description of the Gospel, which is the classic description of the Gospel we have in the New Testament," Mohler says.

How about: The supposed sacrifice of a hypothetical Christ makes no sense whatsoever. After all, if god is omniscient, he knew what was coming....

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:59:20 UTC | #865307

Mrkimbo's Avatar Comment 11 by Mrkimbo

Give them another 5-600 years and they will start to catch up to Galileo.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 21:08:25 UTC | #865311

achromat666's Avatar Comment 12 by achromat666

Man, this article goes from zero to ridiculous pretty fast. Hell, where do I start?

While it's great to see people finally acknowledging that the central myth tying elements of both testaments together have no evidence and therefore must be dismissed as fact is encouraging, the very same people want to find ways to further adapt this relic of a religion in a way to make it further compatible with the modern way of thinking. Am I the only one seeing how badly this is going to fail?

Also it's just plain creepy how people trained in numerous fields of science can take any part of the bible literally, much less the creation and first man/ first sin part.

I think if anything this is an essential part of where the religion itself will start to tear at itself until it is far further divided than it already is and of little significance to anyone. Christianity in particular has been attempting to adapt to our understanding of reality for centuries and falling shorter each time. This is just another step in trying to remain alive.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 21:15:05 UTC | #865312

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 13 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 21:15:21 UTC | #865313

Tryphon Tournesol's Avatar Comment 14 by Tryphon Tournesol

Comment 9 by blitz442 :

Steven Mading

The Catholic Church still claims original sin is correct doctrine even after making public pronouncements admitting that the Adam and Eve story didn't really happen and Catholics should take it as mere allegory

That's not quite so. They have made statements to the effect that they do not believe that evolution is inconsistent with Catholic theology - i.e. one could be a good Catholic and still believe in evolution. But, although they seem to favor an allegorical interpretation of Genesis, they don't shut the door on belief in the literal genesis story - one could believe in special creation and also be a good Catholic.

The reason that they think they can maintain this position is that they state that they are not making statements about the veracity of scientific claims - only whether those claims can be reconciled with their faith.

But this bit of pedantry on my part does nothing to touch your main point, which is absolutely correct. Unless there are some special qualifications to what Catholics mean by "evolution", then there certainly is a conflict between evolution and the nonnegotiable doctrine of original sin.

They have quite a juggling act going on here, and it is only the due to the fact that the run-of-the-mill Catholic does not think too deeply about her religion that this incompatibility is maintained.

Or: don't believe what you see (can experience/measure/test) but have faith in what you don' see.Face/palm.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 21:17:33 UTC | #865314

anonymous.shyster's Avatar Comment 15 by anonymous.shyster

"That would be against all the genomic evidence that we've assembled over the last 20 years, so not likely at all."

Better throw that evidence out!

"Without Adam, the work of Christ makes no sense whatsoever in Paul's description of the Gospel, which is the classic description of the Gospel we have in the New Testament," Mohler says.

Did it ever make any sense? Someone ate an apple, therefore death. Someone was nailed to a cross, therefore eternal life.

But if you read the Bible as poetry and allegory as well as history, you can see God's hand in nature — and in evolution.

Good idea about the allegory, though history? History doesn't really support it, unless it's the history of allegory. Good thing they're coming around on this metaphor bit, soon it'll move from metaphor to myth/fairytale where it belongs.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 21:44:13 UTC | #865326

korben's Avatar Comment 16 by korben

"From my viewpoint, a historical Adam and Eve is absolutely central to the truth claims of the Christian faith," says Fazale Rana, vice president of Reasons To Believe, an evangelical think tank that questions evolution.

It's like saying that the Easter bunny is absolutely central to the truth claims of children who believe the bunny brings them chocolate eggs. It would be terrifying to recognize that such a thing is utter nonsense. So instead of discarding the nonsense, they perpetuate it because accepting that they've based their lives on lies is unfathomably scary. So let's question evolution and the notion that rabbits don't lay chocolate eggs. That's far easier. Much less honest, but a lot easier and less scary.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 21:49:52 UTC | #865328

Stevezar's Avatar Comment 17 by Stevezar

I don't want to poke fun at this because its just so sad and pathetic all by itself.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 22:12:20 UTC | #865333

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 18 by QuestioningKat

It is very clear to me that fundamentalists will live and die by the words that they so believe. Each new generation is more likely to accept something that is "reasonably" stated whether or not it is true. There already exists alternative views to genesis which many people have accepted because the story "makes sense." Religions that adapt and change are more likely to survive in the long run. Eventually, fundamentalism will fall and more liberal views will be adapted.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 22:44:20 UTC | #865339

xsjadolateralus's Avatar Comment 19 by xsjadolateralus

This whole thing IS really, really pathetic and detracts from the real debates on how best to maintain our emergent civilization.

"When Adam sinned, he sinned for us," Mohler says. "And it's that very sinfulness that sets up our understanding of our need for a savior.

So, what Adam did was not that wicked after all?

I mean, if it were the only way to be redeemed and the only path to god, then how could it ever be considered a wicked act?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but....... Adam eats the fruit and starts a chain reaction to god's eventual redemption of everyone. Had he NOT eaten the forbidden fruit, no fall, no redemption, no real need for god. God just sits there twiddling his thumbs, watching matter and energy grow and fizzle out.

So, how was Adam's "wicked act" so wicked?

Oh, that's right. We're talking about mental midgets here. Christians don't possess the ability to comprehend anything beyond "THIS BAD, THIS GOOD, THIS FOOD, THIS ROCK, THIS BAD".

Why are they in charge again? Oh, yes. Of course, they are the vast majority! Crap.......... I think we have a problem.

Over the past few years, I've often wondered A.) What it would take for intelligent people to gain control? and B.) How in the world haven't the intelligent people already assumed control?

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 23:02:31 UTC | #865347

Greyman's Avatar Comment 20 by Greyman

Comment 19 by xsjadolateralus :

This whole thing IS really, really pathetic and detracts from the real debates on how best to maintain our emergent civilization.

"When Adam sinned, he sinned for us,"Mohler says. "And it's that very> sinfulness that sets up ourunderstanding of our need for a savior.

So, what Adam did was not that wicked after all?

I mean, if it were the only way to be redeemed and the only path to god, then how could it ever be considered a wicked act?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but....... Adam eats the fruit and starts a chain reaction to god's eventual redemption of everyone. Had he NOT eaten the forbidden fruit, no fall, no redemption, no real need for god. God just sits there twiddling his thumbs, watching matter and energy grow and fizzle out.

So, how was Adam's "wicked act" so wicked?

More than that, the bible specifically identifies why eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil earned the gods' wrath. Jealousy. It made man and woman more like them. Also eating of the fruit of life would have made man and woman immortal too. Couldn't have that. Had to punish man and woman with ignorance and suffering.

That's original sin from a strictly literal reading of Genesis.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 23:33:46 UTC | #865355

jel's Avatar Comment 21 by jel

I think Paula Kirby put this aspect of christianity perfectly in her last Washington Post Piece,

Evolution poses a further threat to Christianity, though, a threat that goes to the very heart of Christian teaching. Evolution means that the creation accounts in the first two chapters of Genesis are wrong. That's not how humans came into being, nor the cattle, nor the creeping things, nor the beasts of the earth, nor the fowl of the air. Evolution could not have produced a single mother and father of all future humans, so there was no Adam and no Eve. No Adam and Eve: no fall. No fall: no need for redemption. No need for redemption: no need for a redeemer. No need for a redeemer: no need for the crucifixion or the resurrection, and no need to believe in that redeemer in order to gain eternal life. And not the slightest reason to believe in eternal life in the first place

For any christian to question the validity of Adam & Eve is to start on a very slippery slope.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 23:36:08 UTC | #865356

Quine's Avatar Comment 22 by Quine

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 23:37:57 UTC | #865357

Tony d's Avatar Comment 23 by Tony d

I do not believe that people, who live normal lives, holding down jobs,supporting a family, paying taxes and voting in elections can be stupid, to the extreme degree of stupidity necessary. That they can possibly believe the fairy tail that is the Adam and Eve story in the Bible . Something else is going on.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 23:39:44 UTC | #865360

Wendy Farts On Her Bible's Avatar Comment 24 by Wendy Farts On Her Bible

The shameful mental contortions which these pathetic wretches undertake in order to cling to their infantile delusions is captured very well in the following quote from Nietzsche:

"Rather than cope with the unbearable loneliness of their condition, men will continue to seek their shattered God, and for His sake they will love the very serpents that dwell amongst his ruins."

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 23:47:27 UTC | #865361

nancynancy's Avatar Comment 25 by nancynancy

If Adam and Eve is a fairy tale, so is everything else the Bible, including Jesus, heaven, hell and God.

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 23:56:13 UTC | #865363

mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 26 by mjwemdee

For those of you who haven't seen it yet:

http://youtu.be/_bl-MynjnCU

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 00:17:39 UTC | #865370

Tony d's Avatar Comment 27 by Tony d

I like this quote,

Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything.

Robert A. Heinlein

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 00:54:31 UTC | #865382

Roland_F's Avatar Comment 28 by Roland_F

Interesting comments on the original (NPR) web-page. How Christians try to rationalize this and winding themselves into apologetic knots. Adam was just one out of many humans – so where is the problem etc… overlooking that then only a small subset of homo sapiens are descendants of Adam from around 4000BC - and only a small subset is stained with the eternal sin.

And of course atheist bashing for the internal discussion from Evangelicals: who are you to tell me what to believe, I need some god as brain soother in difficult times.

and so on ...

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 00:58:23 UTC | #865383

cornbread_r2's Avatar Comment 29 by cornbread_r2

mjwemdee:

Excellent vid -- thanks for that!

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 01:27:24 UTC | #865391

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 30 by Premiseless

"Something else is going on." @23

I was reminded of how some of the Grand Masters utilised what chickens do for others livings:

""When you ignore science, you end up with egg on your face," Giberson says. "The Catholic Church has had an awful lot of egg on its face for centuries because of Galileo. And Protestants would do very well to look at that and to learn from it.""

Religion has always changed its cluck according to how it chooses to walk! No surprises there.

And I'm reminded of the multiple personality traits humans tend to espouse whenever anything that contradicts their existential arises - more especially those in positions with any power whatsoever. Also of all the ipso facto support, via co-dependencies, of those working their (religions, amongst other similar mind controls) machinery for profit, or simple slave labour for peanuts smiles of approval their emotions grasp at due their emotionally bereft lives. Anything but rational analysis prevails.

The soul craves its love child no matter what the reasons reduce it to.

Humans are, too easily, too tragic an emotional for their own learning and, too poorly well educated into being too successful by building advantage too quickly from all the channels that render them corruptible of others, sometimes without alternative. Too may lives are too compromised to not replicate the very conditions they despair to escape from.

And there are too many sacrificed in preserve of the delusions of yesteryear amidst the too many sacrificed in being enlightened from it.

For the many, too much of life is about pain and loss ever to get to enjoy it, whilst for the happy, too much of life is about enjoying it to ever stop the pain and loss that others must endure for them to do so! The trap is set and each is born to an accident of one or the other ad infinitum, or evolution maybe?

Thus some peoples reason to live is other peoples reason to suffer, inherited by accident or intent and their lives branded in pursuit of an escape. Most of us are born to a prison of the mind caged by the pasts unfolding emotions.

Those of us who escape to reason are by no means spared the scars:

Lucky are those born absent of this And lucky, those happy, who dwell, Upon the collateral damage of all Their romantic life did foretell.

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 02:35:40 UTC | #865401