Adam & Noah Do NOT Represent Genetic Bottlenecks!

In my blog post about Adam, Eve, and Noah, I should also have mentioned that because neither Adam’s descendants nor Noah’s descendants were the only hominids on the planet during their respective lifetimes—and that this idea is well supported, even with a LITERAL interpretation of the Genesis texts—-these non-YEC interpretations of Genesis have no conflicts with science because there are ZERO genetic bottlenecks. That is, the Image of God was a unique “spiritual characteristic ” of a particular lineage, but it presented no problem for genetic diversity. That is, there were plenty of other hominids on the rest of the planet which was not deluged in the Great Flood, and that would even explain why the NEPHELIM (the giants in the land) are mentioned both before and after the Flood! After all, if they lived outside the ERETZ (land) of Noah, the Nephelim and all other hominid “tribes” were, taken all together, just as diverse as ever. No genetic bottlenecks!

Yes, YECs get themselves into a lot of tight corners. But those who read the Hebrew text carefully realize that YECs don’t have the only possible interpretations of the Biblical texts. In fact, they don’t even have the only possible LITERAL interpretations of the Genesis texts!

[I try not to get them more upset than is necessary, so I’ll say this quietly: They don’t even know what the word “literal” means. In fact, for a given Bible passage, there can be multiple LITERAL interpretations. Why? Because Biblical Hebrew is much like English: Words can have more than one “common definition.” The idea of “one, simple, natural reading, literal interpretation of a Bible passage is a MYTH—because each of the individual words and even groups of words can have more than one “literal meaning.” Classroom exercise: What is the “literal interpretation” or “literal meaning” of the English word RECORD? Think about it. How many “literal meanings” can you find? Even in a sentence it might have multiple or ambiguous definitions/interpretations. Do you see why YECs get so cranky? They want simple ideas in a very complex world.]

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One response to “Adam & Noah Do NOT Represent Genetic Bottlenecks!

  1. TomS

    I find it amusing to hear those who claim to believe in the literal Fall of Man.

    Is the story about when Adam had an accident when climbing?

    But seriously, in the context of the long history of Biblical interpretation in western Christianity, the literal was only one of the four standard readings (the others being allegorical, tropological and anagogical), and it did not exclude or contrast with figurative use of language.

    And it can demand a lot of work for us moderns or post-moderns to imagine what the text must have meant in the culture in which it arose.

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