The description of the creation of human beings in Genesis implies that Adam and Eve were the only ones that God created. Adam couldn’t find a suitable helper (Genesis 2:20 — suggesting there were no other human beings around) and Eve is described as “the mother of all the living” (Genesis 3:20). Similarly, in the New Testament, Adam is described as the “first man” (1 Cor 15:45) and the first sinner (Romans 5:12-14).

On the other hand, some people think that Genesis 4 implies the existence of human beings other than those descended from Adam. There are a few suggestions that might point to this conclusion.

  • Genesis 4:14-16. Cain was afraid that someone would find and kill him, but would he be afraid of his own family?
  • Genesis 4:17. Cain found a wife and built a city. Perhaps his wife was his sister or some other relative, but would there be enough members of his family to form a “city”?
  • Genesis 4:26. “At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.” Which people? The suggestion is that these are humans who are not descended from Adam.

While this view solves a few apparent problems, it raises some others. In particular, it must be explained how Adam can then be said to be “the first” man.

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  • julia

    I believe God created people to control the earth and replenish it. This is in the account of the creation in Genesis 1:26-28. Then God rested. I believe these “people” were like intellegent animals souless. Because in Genesis 2 God creates Adam, gives him a soul, and puts him in the garden for companionship. He was the first souled man and with him Eve and they created children. I think Cain was afraid of the souless people.
    I also think the souless people since they had no souls are who created the CHOAS and why God had the flood. It killed all those original people and Noah and his family repopulated the earth.

    I am no scholar and we wont know til heaven what really happened those are just my mind wandering opinions

  • Jason Purifoy

    I believe “those” people were the children of Adam. if you look at the lineages in Gen 4&5, 1Chronicles, Matthew, etc. they all mention names that’s significant in context. In Matthew, the names mentioned are significant because it leads directly to the birth of Jesus the Christ. The scripture were written to convey a specific revelation. There are multiple tiers of subtopics, they all fall in line with the revelation: the word becoming flesh to bring an end to sin and publishing salvation to the world by way of the kingdom of God. The safest way to go is in the advice Paul gave to Timothy (1Timothy 1:3,4)

  • S-Man

    I think he created other people but all liked to the 1st man, hence why all our DNA is 99% similar. Goad is never chnaging. So if in Leviticus it clearly states that He is against incest, clearly he wouldn’t allow the family of Adma to have sex with each other. If that is the case then we are all brothers and sisters. Who are the people Cain is speaking about in Gen 4. Where did he get his wife from? Deep….I need to talk to my pastor lol

  • Morgan

    Genesis says that God made man. A few verses later it states that God made man in his own image. Cain went to the land of Nod and married. That all implies to me that other people already existed. Also, I have not read yet in the bible where it says that the flood had rid every other human from the world. It seems more assumed. I would be inclined to believe that we are all decedents of Noah, anyway but I never read that confirmation. Noah’s sons did marry women outside of their family, however. I would also like to point out that my blood is rh negative. I am not a descendant of apes unlike 85% of the worlds population. Although it is a curious subject it does not matter. We now all have the same opportunity.

  • brother yochanan

    Adam not being able to find a helpmate may also imply that all the other members of the garden were already in pairs and that there was no person for adam and since the command to be fruitful and multiply was given outside of the garden, No spouse would have be available ever. Yes God had a working society of which adam was the governor. Cain found his wife because when the members of the garden were kicked out of the garden some went east, some west, some north and some south, in different directions.
    How did adam know he was lonely? by watching the other members in their relationships. Without sex and sexual urges and a need to reproduce, even in animals, how was he to know he was alone. He would have just accepted it and walked with God. God was with him, with God we are never lonely.

  • DouaChee Yang

    No… it saids in Genesis (three different bibles) 1:27-28 (from NLT) 27″So God created human beings* in his own image. In the image of GOd he created them; male and female he created them.” 28″Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the Earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

    Then he created Adam later in Genesis 2:7 “Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.”

    So, he created other humans first before Adam and Even. But he did this towards the east… away from this 1st human creations. Why…. don’t know. But it does explain where Kain found his wife in the land of Nod, East of eden.

  • Tinamarie

    To DouaChee Yang, thank you for answering this question! It was really bothering me because I just could not believe that all races came out from Adam and Eve. That just seemed too impossible to me. I was praying about this yesterday night and wanted to find this answer out and I think you answered my question! I will check this out in the Bible. It is amazing if what you are stating is correct how many people out there do NOT know there were people before Adam and Eve. Thanks.

  • Tito

    But alas he did not answer the question at all. Many people who are seeking to disprove the bible use this exact argument stating that if Adam and Eve were not the first humans then everything else in the bible is a lie. First, Gen 1 and Gen 2 are not two different stories. Gen two simply expands with more detail on the creation of Adam and Eve. Second, the Bible never states that Cain found his wife in Nod. Anyone who says this is adding words that just are not there. The Bible states that Cain “knew” his wife in the land of Nod but as anyone who has actually studied this subject knows, the word “knew” meant to have relations with. The bible does not say where and when he met his wife but we do know that it had to be one of his relatives. One thing to keep in mind is that incest was not a crime against God until the time of Moses. At the time of Adam and Eve they were commanded by God to go forth and multiply and so they did. So, NO, there were no other people before Adam and Eve. Cor 15:45 Adam was the first man.

    • Doctor Panda

      you mentioned that the word knew has a different meaning to what we would first think. can you not also see that this is the case for adam? the first lady of the whitehouse is not the first lady to be of the white house but rather puts her above other people in her rank. adam being first man does the same as he is first over all creation

  • Ken Gilmore

    Hi Tito.

    If we read Genesis 4 plainly, then the only children Adam and Eve had at that time were Cain and Abel. If we simply assume Adam and Eve had other children which Gen 4 never mentions, simply to provide Cain with a wife, then we’re guilty of eisegesis, that is, reading our own preconceptions into the text.

    Cain did not marry his sister – that’s an ad hoc reading that is motivated simply by the need to answer a problem to which the author of the Bible does not seem overly concerned about answering.

    It is quite gratifying to recognise that the science of palaeoanthropology supports the Bible here – we have fossil evidence of human beings stretching back nearly 200,000 years ago, so we know that there were other people on this earth at the time God created Adam and Eve. As to how and why they appeared, the Bible is silent. It simply acknowledges the existence of people other than the covenant community, and leaves it at that.

    Adam was the first man with whom God entered into a covenant relationship. He was the first man to break God’s command, and therefore the first sinner. While archaeology shows that people have been on this planet at least 200,000 years, they were never part of God’s covenant community, and therefore died “as the beasts that perish”.

    The natural world is just as much a revelation from God as the Bible, and properly interpreted, they can never be in conflict. If we simply assume without any justification that Adam and Eve had other children whom Gen 4 never once mentioned, then we’re guilty of reading our own preconceptions into the text. More to the point, we’re advancing a position flatly contradicted by the witness of the Earth in the fossil record, which shows people have been on this planet well before Adam.

    Hope that helps you, Tito.

    Ken

  • Bob

    Actually Tito, you don’t really need any help. Your comments are the closest to what the Bible portrays of all the comments on this topic. It really takes no assuming to see that Adam and Eve had other offspring Gen 5:4 But even without that verse any logical person would assume that a man that lived 930 years would have way more than 2 sons. I googled “did Cain and Abel marry their sisters” and found this-During their lives, Adam and Eve had a number of male and female children. In fact, the Jewish historian Josephus wrote, “The number of Adam’s children, as says the old tradition, was thirty-three sons and twenty-three daughters.” If we now work totally from Scripture, without any personal prejudices or other extrabiblical ideas, then back at the beginning, when there was only the first generation, brothers would have had to marry sisters or there wouldn’t have been any more generations! As Tito pointed out, according to the Bible Adam is the first man. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that there other men on the earth prior to Adam, in fact the earth seemed to be rather inhospitable Gen 1:2 prior to Adam’s creation. And concerning the incest argument-Many people immediately reject the conclusion that Adam and Eve’s sons and daughters married each other by appealing to the law against brother-sister marriage. Some say that you can’t marry your relation. Actually, if you don’t marry your relation, you don’t marry a human! A wife is related to her husband before they are married because all people are descendants of Adam and Eve—all are of one blood. This law forbidding close relatives marrying was not given until the time of Moses (Leviticus 18–20). Provided marriage was one man for one woman for life (based on Genesis 1–2), there was no disobedience to God’s law originally (before the time of Moses) when close relatives (even brothers and sisters) married each other. And nowhere does the Bible support that the earth is even 200,000 years old-google “according to the Bible, how old is the earth” and do some research. There are many Biblically based sites that will support those who still accept that the earth is around 6,000 years old, but certainly no more than 10,000 years-When we start our thinking with God’s Word, we see that the world is about 6,000 years old. When we rely on man’s fallible (and often demonstrably false) dating methods, we can get a confusing range of ages from a few thousand to billions of years, though the vast majority of methods do not give dates even close to billions. Cultures around the world give an age of the earth which confirms what the Bible teaches. Radiometric dates, on the other hand, have been shown to be wildly in error. The age of the earth ultimately comes down to a matter of trust—it’s a worldview issue. Will you trust what an all-knowing God says on the subject or will you trust imperfect man’s assumptions and imaginations about the past that regularly are changing?

    • Doctor Panda

      try reading the first chapter in genesis where god created humankind. after he crated the world and humankind then he cretaed Adam who he made First among men and first among all creation.

  • Ken Gilmore

    Hi Bob
    
Both you and Tito would benefit from some assistance on this subject, as it is one that is frequently understood by laypeople who think that Genesis 1-2 is meant to be a scientifically reliable account of the mechanics of creation. Furthermore, you appear poorly informed on geology and radiometric dating. I hope I can provide you with some reliable information on this if only to show just how flawed and untenable biblical literalism and young earth creationism are.

    You said:

    Your comments are the closest to what the Bible portrays of all the comments on this topic.

    Here’s the first problem with what you’ve said. Right here, you are simply assuming without any justification that a literal reading of Genesis is the correct one. Instead of interpreting the Bible, you are reading it, and the theological readings you get place you on a collision course with an insurmountable body of evidence that show the earth is around 4600 million years old [1], while anatomically modern human beings have been present on this planet for nearly 200,000 years [2], well before the earliest possible date for Adam and Eve (around 10,000 years ago) if we date them to the appearance of animal and plant domestication in the Ancient Near East.

    Biblical literalist forge that the creation narrative was not written originally to a 21st century audience, but to a pre-modern audience who lived well over 3500 years ago and simply did not share our modern concepts of historiography. Their understanding of the universe was radically different to ours, as evidenced by the reference to a solid firmament in Gen 1:6-8 in which the stars were set.

    There is also the question of genre. The Bible contains prose narrative, poetry, apocalypse, prophecy and parable. If we read poery as history, or parable as history, then we’ll make errors of interpretation. Gen 1 is highly structured, with two days of three set in parallel. This alone shouts that its genre is other than plain narrative.If we read Gen 1 as modern history, we’re making two errors. The first is to misread its genre, the second is an anachronistic reading of an ancient text as a 21st century historical report without bothering to understand how the ancients would have understood it. [3]

  • Ken Gilmore

    I find it perplexing that something as demonstrably false as young earth creationism and biblical literalism has gained a foothold in our community, given that the early members of our community accepted the great antiquity of the Earth as being no longer a subject for dispute, and accepted that a stark literalism was not the way to interpret Genesis. C.C Walker, in combatting the ideas of a literalist who believed that the Bible taught a flat earth, pointed out with respect to the creation narrative that:

    “Moses’ testimony is not so ‘plain’ that it cannot be misinterpreted or misunderstood.” [4] That does not mean that Adam and Eve were metaphors, or that God was not involved in the creation process. However, given the fact that a literal reading of Gen 1 results in an order of creation that flatly contradicts [5] that in Gen 2, while a literal reading of Gen 1:6-8 teaches that the firmament is a solid dome [6] in which the stars are set, it is not difficult to recognise why Walker cautioned against the sort of dogmatic literalism that is the hallmark of much of the evangelical world today and regrettably, a not inconsiderable part of our community.

    Earlier I noted that we need to remember that the ancient Hebrews did not share our modern view of history and science, and we risk misinterpreting Genesis if we fail to read it through therir eyes. Walker notes:

    “Moses’ testimony was given to Israel in what might be called the infancy of the world, when men did not know the extent of the earth, let alone that of the sun, moon, and stars. And, as we believe, it was given (by God through Moses), not so much to instruct Israel in cosmogony in detail, as to impress upon them the idea that The Most High God is the Possessor of Heaven and Earth (Gen. 14:22). And this against the claims of the gods of the nations, as was abundantly proved in Israel’s history.” [7]

    As Walker says, the ancient Hebrew understanding of the universe was quite limited. Prior to the 5th century BCE, there is no recorded evidence that anyone believed in a spherical earth. Furthermore, it is more important to understand who created the universe and for what purpose it was created, rather than understand exactly how it was made. Jesus accommodated the belief in demon possession as a cause of disease rather than try to teach the 1st century Jews about modern medicine. Likewise in Gen 1, we see God accomodating the belief in a solid firmament, rather than try to teach the Hebrews about a heliocentric universe. Biblical literalists not only miss the point of Genesis by reading it as a scientifically accurate account of creation, but they are inconsistent in their literalism. If they were entirely consistent, they’d believe in a young flat earth with a solid firmament. But they don’t, and unless they can show purely from Biblical grounds that this is sound exegesis, and not cherry picking what parts they want to interpret literally, their literalism is untenable.

  • Ken Gilmore

    You said:

    It really takes no assuming to see that Adam and Eve had other offspring Gen 5:4 But even without that verse any logical person would assume that a man that lived 930 years would have way more than 2 sons.

    Actually, you are making assumptions. Here’s why. If you read Gen 4, then there is no reference made to any other children other than Cain and Abel. Gen 4v1-2:

    Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD. ”Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

    There is no reference to any other children if you read this as prose narrative. If you assume that there were other children, then you’re reading things into the text that are not there. Gen 5:3-5 does not help the literalist at all:

    When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.

    What you do not read is a clear statement that “Adam had sons and daughters before Cain and Abel were born, about which Gen 4 remains silent.” You cannot assume that Cain’s wife was his sister or the people he feared would kill him were his brothers when Gen 4 says nothing about the existence of other siblings. You have started with the assumption that Adam and Eve were the first human beings who lived (based on a literal reading of the Bible which fails to consider issues of genre, ANE cultural context and accommodation of pre-scientific world views), and have read this into the text. Gen 4 simply assumes the existence of people other than Cain and his family, and does not bother to identify them. Gen 5 merely states that Adam had other children, but does not state unequivocally that they were born before Abel’s death, as the ‘Cain married his sister’ hypothesis would demand.

    You said:

    “I googled “did Cain and Abel marry their sisters” and found this.”

    Actually Bob, what you found Bob were two articles [8-9] from Answers in Genesis, which immediately renders your argument null and void. The first rule of internet research is to check the quality of your sources, and AiG is not a quality source. AiG is a thoroughly disreputable crank creationist organisation that is widely and justly held in contempt by serious scholars for its appalling standard of scholarship in both science and theology.

    The first article you quoted was written by Ken Ham, the AiG leader who is not a scientist, Hebrew scholar or OT studies scholar but a former high school science teacher. He’s not an authority in an area about which he writes, so his article can be safely dismissed as worthless.

  • Ken Gilmore

    The second paper was written by Brodie Hoge who is not a geologist or expert in radiometric dating but in fact a mechanical engineer. Both your references are written by people who are not only not experts in the areas they criticise, but are also writing from an extreme fundamentalist agenda.

    The utter unreliability of AiG is demonstrated by the closing paragraph of their statement of faith [11] which asserts:

    By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.

    This claim is fundamentally flawed, and shows why AiG is worthless as a source of information. The Bible nowhere claims to be a reliable source of information on science, so AiG is comparing apples with oranges when it rejects science if it conflicts with a literal interpretation of the Bible. There is also the fact that AiG and other literalists are inconsistent in their literalism, as when read literally, the Bible teaches geocentrism and a solid firmament, positions that even AiG reject. [12]

    The main problem with the AiG statement of faith is that the Biblical evidence is also “subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.” Again, here we have the unspoken assumption that the only way to read the creation narrative is as a literal scientifically accurate account, an assumption that is never justified. What evidence does a literalist have that the ancient Hebrews read the creation narrative this way, rather than as a polemic against opposing creation myths as a number of respected OT scholars who have taken the trouble to read Genesis in the light of its cultural, linguistic and historical background have stated? [13] There’s none – all we have here is a rigidly held presupposition that the Bible is a science textbook which trumps all evidence.

    This view is diametrically opposed to the ‘two books’ school of Divine revelation, which states that God has revealed himself both in the Bible and the natural world. Psalms 19:1-4 states:

    “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world.”

    If an honest study of the natural world tells us that the earth is 4600 million years old, and that ancient human fossils date back nearly 200,000 years, then the only honest option we have is to accept the witness of the natural world, rather than try to shoehorn it into a YEC framework which is alien to the Bible when interpreted in its context.

  • Ken Gilmore

    This ‘two books’ approach is hardly alien to the Christdelphian world. One writer explicitly stated that:

    ‘The inconsistency spoken of between nature and scripture, arises not from antagonism, but from the misinterpretations of both. It is man’s interpretation of the one set against man’s interpretations of the other. It is not nature versus scripture, but false science against true theology, or false theology against scientific fact….Some scientific men, we believe, view the Scriptures through the distorted medium of “confessions of faith” and doubt them, and theologians view science and call it false, because it does not take to their turn‐pike road.’ [14]

    YEC is both false science and false theology. It is false science because it ignores the witness of the natural world that positively shouts that the earth is thousands of millions of years old. Ever since the early 19th century, educated Christians have accepted the great antiquity of the earth based on the overwhelming scientific evidence, and this was well before Darwin’s theory of evolution was first published in 1859, so it is simply false to claim that this was done because of a capitulation to ‘evolutionary atheism’. In Elpis Israel, written 11 years before the first edition of the Origin of Species was published, John Thomas not only accepted the great antiquity of the earth without demur, but warmly recommended his readers seeking more information to consult the geology journals of the day. Thomas was no YEC or flood geologist, and would have had no tolerance of such mendacious nonsense.

    It is false theology because it fails to read Genesis in the light of its ANE background. As C.C. Walker noted, God wrote the Bible not to educate Israel in the fine details of astronomy and science, but to tell them that it was YHWH, and not the false gods of the Caananites who created the world.

    I’ll try to look at the parts of your post which are not merely a cut and paste from AiG:

    You said:

    “As Tito pointed out, according to the Bible Adam is the first man. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that there other men on the earth prior to Adam, in fact the earth seemed to be rather inhospitable Gen 1:2 prior to Adam’s creation.”

    According to the Bible, the firmament is solid. Read literally, the creation order in Gen 1 contradicts the creation order in Gen 2. You are making the mistake of reading the Bible as a science text, despite the fact that science as we know it simply did not exist 4000 years ago. This is not to say that Adam was a metaphor – I believe that Adam was a historical figure, but he cannot be the ancestor of the entire human race because the evidence from human molecular genetics (I’m a medical doctor and am very familiar with this evidence having trained in the genomics era) and palaeoanthropology is flatly against it. And (getting back to the original post), when we read Gen 4, the Bible itself is hinting very strongly that people outside the covenant community existed.

  • Ken Gilmore

    This is the answer to your problem. Adam was indeed the first man with whom God entered into a covenant relationship. Adam was the first man who sinned, and therefore the first person to set a malign example which we have been too quick to follow. The fossil record tells us that humans have been living and dying for at least two hundred thousand years, but they died as the beast that perish, as God never revealed himself to them.

    Your reference to Gen 1:2 again reflects an unwarranted literal interpretation of the creation narrative. We know that complex terrestrial life has existed on this planet for millions of years, so it is simply false to say that the earth was inhospitable prior to Adam’s creation.

    You said:

    “And concerning the incest argument.”

    Actually, I never mentioned the ‘incest argument’. You’ve been a little too eager to continue cutting and pasting from AiG. However, it does allow me to raise some of the genetic evidence which completely rules out the possibility that Adam and Eve were the sole ancestors of the human race. It comes down to the fact that if that was the case, we’d see a sharp genetic bottleneck in the human genome. We don’t. I’m a medical doctor trained in the genomics era which means I’m more than a little familiar with this evidence, and I can assure you that this evidence is overwhelming. Ignoring it is not an option.

    It’s fairly obvious that there’s a large amount of genetic diversity in the human race (hair, skin and eye colour, size). Other genetic differences exist which affect metabolism and other areas which are not visible as they only affect evens at the cellular level. We know the standard rate of mutation – working backwards, it is simply impossible for the current genetic diversity we see in the human genome to have emerged from 2 people living 6000 years ago. That argument is fairly solid, and can’t be dismissed credibly. You can’t avoid this evidence when you start doing serious reading in the primary literature or when you search the genetic databases.

    Dennis Venema is an associate professor and chair of biology at Trinity Western University in Canada who works as a geneticist and cell biologist. He’s also an evangelical Christian who used to be a creationist until he studied the evidence for himself. In an article in the respected journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Venema notes:

    Taken individually and collectively, population genomics studies strongly suggest that our lineage has not experienced an extreme population bottle- neck in the last nine million years or more (and thus not in any hominid, nor even an australopithecine species), and that any bottlenecks our lineage did experience were a reduction only to a population of several thousand breeding individuals. As such, the hypothesis that humans are genetically derived from a single ancestral pair in the recent past has no support from a genomics perspective, and, indeed, is counter to a large body of evidence. [15]

  • Ken Gilmore

    As Venema said, the evidence is large, and growing. Just recently, a paper in Nature looked at the minimum possible human population size based on the genetic evidence, and concluded that the human race was as small as 1200 around 20 – 40 thousand years ago. [16] Nowhere near two individuals. This is what I mean by false theology being refuted by true science. Mind you, Genesis 4 hints at the existence of people other than Adam’s family, so we see true theology agreeing with true science. AiG represents neither true science nor true theology, and should be avoided by any Christadelphian like the plague.
    Venema can’t be accused of having an ‘atheist agenda’ as he’s a devout evangelical Christian who is actively working to disabuse Christians of the false belief that science and the Bible are irreconcilable. The evidence he cites is clear – it is impossible for us to have descended exclusively from two people living 6-10 thousand years ago. It does not matter how many times we quote the Bible – the scientific evidence has come in, and the answer is clear – Adam and Eve could not possibly be the ancestors of the human race as the genetic evidence for a sharp bottleneck 6000 years ago does not exist. Adam and Eve coexisted with a large population of human beings. Hiding from this evidence does us no favours, nor does demonising the science, particularly if we don’t understand it. Unfortunately, too many believers with little or no relevant scientific backgrounds feel obliged to arrogantly dismiss hard evidence they have never seen or could understand. All this does is further reinforce the image of Christianity as being a faith where one ‘leaves one’s brain at the door’ and places scientifically literate believers in an impossible situation where their scientifically untrained fellow believers tell them that the earth is young, and evolution is false. What the YEC element need to to is have the humility to recognise that they are wrong, and re-examine their faith in the light of the witness of the natural world.

    You said:
    “And nowhere does the Bible support that the earth is even 200,000 years old”
    Bob, nowhere in the Bible does it say that the earth revolves around the sun. Nowhere does it say that the Earth is a sphere (Isaiah 40:22 is not proof as the Heb word translated circle – khug – does not mean sphere, but refers to a 2D object. [17]) The Bible does not mention the existence of Australia, North or South America or the ecosystems surrounding deep sea thermal vents. Once again, you are locked in the fundamentalist mindset of thinking the Bible is here to tell us how God created the universe and how long ago he did it, and that’s simply the wrong way to read the creation narratives.

  • Ken Gilmore

    It ignores how the ancient Hebrews would have understood them, and forces them into conflict not only with the evidence from nature for an ancient universe, but also forces the creation narrative to contradict itself, as Meredith Kline [5] pointed out when he noted how literalism made Gen 1 conflict with Gen 2. Put simply your objection is founded on a flawed understanding of what Genesis is telling us, and is therefore invalid.

    You said:

    “google “according to the Bible, how old is the earth” and do some research. “

    Bob, that’s the worst possible way to research the subject. The fundamental problem with your approach is that you’re asking a meaningless question. The Bible is not a science text. It has nothing to say about the age of the Earth that is of any help to geologists. Your google search question is as meaningless as typing “according to the Bible, what causes disease? All you are doing is looking for evidence to support your preconceived ideas about the age of the earth. That’s not research – and I speak as someone with degrees in medicine and engineering who has spent over eight years in university doing *real* research, learning the tricks of sorting the wheat from the chaff. A good start for you to learn how to properly research the internet would be here:

    http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html
    http://www.virtualsalt.com/evalu8it.htm
    http://www.aacc.edu/library/InternetResearch.cfm

    Good resources which will help you obtain quality information include:

    BioLogos Foundation [18]
    The American Scientific Affiliation [19]

    Christians in Science [20]

    You said “There are many Biblically based sites that will support those who still accept that the earth is around 6,000 years old, but certainly no more than 10,000 years-”

    There are also many Biblically based sites that support the idea that the sun revolves around the earth [21-23]. That merely proves there are organisations in existence designed to mutually reinforce scientifically dubious ideas that are based not on a disinterested examination of the evidence, but on a tendentious reading of the Bible. Such sites are worthless, and serve merely to reinforce the prejudices of unbelievers. AiG is no more credible than the geocentrists as like then, they privilege a literal reading of the Bible over the evidence from the natural world.

    I’ll finish by touching on the age of the earth. I note the AiG source you quoted claimed that “Radiometric dates, on the other hand, have been shown to be wildly in error.” That’s false. The AiG writer simply does not know what he’s talking about, and is parroting nonsense. Radiometric dating when used correctly is reliable, and the overwhelming majority of geologists believing and unbelieving accept it as reliable.

  • Ken Gilmore

    One immediate demonstration of the evidence for the antiquity of the earth is that the relative dates of the geological strata (lower strata are older than younger strata assuming no thrust faults have occurred) correlate extremely well with the absolute dates for the strata arrived at via radiometric dating. Another example showing why radiometric dating is reliable is that different dating methods give similar ages. If radiometric dating was faulty, there would be no reason to expect this.

    The age of meteorites provides a splendid test of the reliability of radiometric dating. Meteorites are widely accepted to have formed along with the planets, so (given that they are not geologically active) will be as old as the Earth. Therefore, when we date them with multiple radiometric dating methods, we should expect them to agree. This is precisely what we get. [24]

    Type No. Dated Method Age (billions of years)

    Chondrites (CM, CV, H, L, LL, E) 13 Sm-Nd 4.21 +/- 0.76
    Carbonaceous chondrites 4 Rb-Sr 4.37 +/- 0.34
    Chondrites (undisturbed H, LL, E) 38 Rb-Sr 4.50 +/- 0.02
    Chondrites (H, L, LL, E) 50 Rb-Sr 4.43 +/- 0.04
    H Chondrites (undisturbed) 17 Rb-Sr 4.52 +/- 0.04
    H Chondrites 15 Rb-Sr 4.59 +/- 0.06
    L Chondrites (rel. undisturbed) 6 Rb-Sr 4.44 +/- 0.12
    L Chondrites 5 Rb-Sr 4.38 +/- 0.12
    LL Chondrites (undisturbed) 13 Rb-Sr 4.49 +/- 0.02
    LL Chondrites 10 Rb-Sr 4.46 +/- 0.06
    E Chondrites (undisturbed) 8 Rb-Sr 4.51 +/- 0.04
    E Chondrites 8 Rb-Sr 4.44 +/- 0.13
    Eucrites (polymict) 23 Rb-Sr 4.53 +/- 0.19
    Eucrites 11 Rb-Sr 4.44 +/- 0.30
    Eucrites 13 Lu-Hf 4.57 +/- 0.19
    Diogenites 5 Rb-Sr 4.45 +/- 0.18
    Iron (plus iron from St. Severin) 8 Re-Os 4.57 +/- 0.21

    A good resource on radiometic dating from a Christian who is a geophysicist (unlike the AiG mechanical engineer in the article you cited) is “Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective.” [25]. A book that looks at the evidence for an ancient earth from the sedimentary strata is Dan Wonderly’s “Neglect of Geologic Data”. [26] Both resources were written by Christians, so are hardly propaganda for atheism.
    I’ll leave it there, Bob. I’m happy to continue the conversation, but make certain before you do that you read everything in the references before you reply – it should take you a few days at least, so please don’t dash off a reply immediately as it will suggest strongly that you have neglected to read them. and as your research appears to be restricted to AiG material which is useless, it will be hard to credit your response as one that is an adequate rebuttal to the points made here.

    Ken

  • Bob

    Hello Ken,
    First, I would commend your ability to do what most others are not able to do. You must have connections somewhere because I thought I had read this in the past but when I saw your 5 posts I looked for it again “No more than three comments from the same person will be approved within any 24 hour period to prevent any person from dominating the discussion”

    Thanks for your attempt at assistance, I can not speak for Tito, but it did not change my beliefs at all. Just because someone calls something false theology multiple times does not make it fact. For me, it is not only false theology but foreign to the Bible that the Earth was inhabited prior to the Genesis creation. And you lost me with this, “However, given the fact that a literal reading of Gen 1 results in an order of creation that flatly contradicts [5] that in Gen 2, while a literal reading of Gen 1:6-8 teaches that the firmament is a solid dome [6] in which the stars are set” No where do I even see stars mentioned in these verses and definitely not that they are set in some kind of a solid dome.

    Now I want you to be totally honest and don’t hold anything back, how do you really feel about Answers in Genesis? Just kidding, you make it very clear you do not like them. But the problem is that if you do the same searches you will find multiple sites that are in total agreement with them. Would they all be “not a quality source” and “thoroughly disreputable crank creationist organization that is widely and justly held in contempt by serious scholars”, or can we just change the words “serious scholars” in this quote to “ancient earth and evolutionary scholars” because they do not agree with what we believe and teach.

    There is actually one creationist organization which only accepts credentialed scientists as members and they totally believe in and accept “young earth creationism and Biblical literalism” as not being “demonstrably false” but they do feel that belief in a xbillion year old ancient earth and evolution are science falsely so called.

    I have a question for you with your professional background. I thought I heard something about how they have actually traced all of humanity back to two common ancestors, but this was awhile back and I do not remember the details.

    Since you shared you were an MD, I am a DDS and all through dental school I had many long discussions with a committed evolutionist who, because of our names, was next to me through all labs and clinics. He said MANY times, “I can not believe you are going to graduate from this school and be called a doctor and you do not even believe in evolution!” (In fact I still remember one question I missed on a test, something about “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”. I had no idea what they were talking about. Back when I was in school (late 60′s) this was accepted but has now been proven false, so I actually got it correct!