The evolution of Adam - a conundrum
One can't talk about the possibility that natural evolutionary processes were used by God to create the world and everything in it, without the question of Adam being raised.
Genesis 2 to 5, introduce us to a very intriguing character Adam and his wife Eve. At first glance the account of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden looks very strait forward, simple and to the point.
Which it is on the surface...
But, as one looks deeper, as with the creation account, new layers of depth and complexity quickly appear.
So far in this series, we unpacked some of the layers of the creation account and saw that it was not impossible for the wealth of data that we find recorded in the geological sequences of the earth to be reconciled with this account, without having to resort to all kinds of mental and intellectual gymnastics.
We observed that "the Earth" and "the Waters" were commanded to "bring forth" fish, fowl and beasts.
Hinting at their "creation" and "making" possibly following totally natural processes based on natural laws that we are beginning to increasingly discover and understand.
Things get a little interesting when we move onto the account of Adam, there seem to be specifics there that would negate looking at the creation of man following an evolutionary approach.
Or are there?
Here are a few verses that we may just gloss over when reading, without noticing, but they have non-trivial implications for a purely literal reading of the account.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground
9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight
19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air;
1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
So when looking at these verses they hint at something far more complex than first meets the eye, and someone reading them literally in English is going to experience a bit of a conundrum.
- In Genesis 1, mankind, male and female are created and are already blessed to multiply and replenish the earth.
- Then only in Genesis 2 is man "formed out of the ground" before and just as are the trees and animals. Only later after naming the animals do we find out that this man is referred to as Adam but there is not a help meet for him, Woman is then formed.
- Later after they are cast out of Eden do we see the wrapping up phrase repeated that was used in Genesis 1, almost word for word, but with subtle differences; and here THEY, that is the plural, both male and female are referred to as ADAM.
Clearly there is more to this account than meets the eye at first glance.
Next week we will delve a little deeper into the significance of Eden and its couple.