How do evangelicals account for Adam & Eve, and later Noah? I'm not talking about the snake or the Ark... but INCEST.
Any biologist knows that the loss biodiversity would make for the denigration of life.
I can't say for sure, but I think it's safe to say that Christianity looks down on incest?
How then do they (Christians and Jews) account, within the creation story that we all descended from the same family... then again from a descendant of that same family? It goes completely against biological principals.
If we are all descendants of Adam and Eve (didn't they only produce two offspring, with one killing the other?), than wouldn't that make for incestuous affair after incestuous affair... until Noah, where it all starts over again?
It seems to me that the only valid argument against it would be that biodiversity developed from generation to generation as the human gene pool strengthened itself. BUT that would lend credence to EVIL evolution!
How can Christians escape THIS one?
Am I missing some common argument? And if I'm not, why isn't this discussed more?
I wish I could remember the answer to this. Apologetics actually DO have an answer that DOES make sense. I remember learning it when I was into apologetics, but that was nearly 10 years ago and I've since forgotten what the answer was.
Most of the most reasonable Christians I've heard explain it have stated that the bible is actually one ginormous metaphor and that Adam and Eve weren't really the only humans on the earth at the time; the creation story isn't meant to be taken literally and that the names are generic names, much like my political science professor would always talk about "Johnny and Susie" in his lectures instead of naming specific, actual people.
That's how they always tried to explain it to me when I was a questioning child, but that's also when I developed my eye twitch. Also, I got shushed and passed over a lot because I asked bothersome questions.
It's all just one big, sloppy incestuous mess.
And for the record, any god who created biodiversity but didn't "understand" it is a pretty lame god.
Sometimes, it's okay to admit that stories are stories. Not everything is meant to be taken literally, especially when it's full of parables and metaphors and has been translated, re-translated and converted by men, who are neither omniscient nor omnipotent, but are greedy and corruptible. Faith is not fact or science, nor is it meant to be taken as such.
I have thought about this issue myself, and this is what I found after some research. First we begin with the assumption that when God made Adam and Eve they were not 4 foot tall hunchbacks with a lisp and a spastic colon. We start with the assumption that when God first made them they were physically and genetically perfect.
Inbreeding leads to a higher proportion of congenital birth defects through an increase in the frequency of homozygotes.[Livingstone 1969] The effects of this can diverge - recessive genes that produce birth defects can become more frequent, resulting in a higher rate of these defects while genes that do not code for birth defects can become increased within a population. The overall consequences of this divergence depends in part on the size of the population. In small populations, if children born with heritable birth defects die before they reproduce the ultimate effect of inbreeding will be to decrease the frequency of defective genes in the population with an overall decrease in the number of birth defect-causing genes over time. In larger populations it is more likely that large numbers of carriers will survive and mate, leading to more constant rates of birth defects. [Thornhill & Wilmsen 1993]
Secondly a lot of people assume that Adam and Eve only had 2 Children. However nowhere in the Christian bible does it say they had ONLY two (See Seith and Cains wife). Many Jewish and Christian people believe they had quite a large number (especially considering Adams stated age in said biblical texts.) So Cain would have married his sister, but due to the lack of genetic defects it would not make their children retarded. A similar concept holds true for Noah and his family.
This might all appear to be a argument supporting Evolution, however it is simply just a scientific observation. Racial diversity exists across the human species, which is an observable fact. This does not automatically mean that they will one day evolve into a new species, But that really is outside the scope of this discussion.
Livingstone, FB (1969). "Genetics, Ecology, and the Origins of Incest and Exogamy". Current Anthropology 10: 45-62.
Thornhill, Nancy Wilmsen (1993). The Natural history of inbreeding and outbreeding: theoretical and empirical perspectives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-79854-2.
So, when did these "defects" first appear? After Adam and Eve "sinned"?
How quickly did the defects take hold of their host, and why; what were the initial causes?
Did they just spontaneously appear the moment God cursed them?
Did they have children already? If so, then how did these children inherit their parents' fallen state?
If not, then it was an almost immediate risk to inbreed due to "the curse". Or was part of "the curse" the loss of privilege to mate with a sibling?
Your theory raises more questions than it answers. You cannot examine the nature of a curse, after all. The nature of genetics can be examined and observed; altered, even. If you can manipulate genetics (ridding humans of disease, picking your child's sex, etc...), then can you also, thereby, manipulate the curse God set on humans?
What it sounds like, to me, is that God pretty much poisoned our blood. It wasn't enough to cause women pain in childbirth or make it difficult for men to til the earth; he had to mutate our genes, too. Again, this is a case of the punishment being far, far out of proportion to the crime... which was, more or less, a trap for INNOCENT humans (we were, after all, innocent before "the fall") who were merely being curious. Can the fate of our species really rest on the very first two? Is it really fair to put that responsibility on their shoulders when they had no one to learn from? They were merely going along with instincts that were clearly already part of their design. Any part of their tendency to "sin" by eating of the Tree of Knowledge was already there, before "the curse"; before "original sin".
If Adam and Eve had been perfect, without [genetic] defect, they would never have sinned to begin with, and there would be no mutations in our genes.
ok, well, if you read the story again, their sons had wives too. Yet they had no sisters. Adam and Eve were supposed to be the first, but they were not the only created. And it even says there were other types of beings (in those days there were giants on the Earth). Also, Cain and Abel were not the only sons Adam and Eve had. They also had Seth later on after Cain killed Abel.
Besides, its just a fairy tale used to explain what they didn't know. Plus there is two different stories of creation in the bible anyways. I don't think that Adam and Eve wrote that book, so who knows what really happened.
They tried to rectify this problem in the Jewish "Book of Jubilees" . In this apocryphal Jewish text there are explicit mentions of incest. Even though such was a big taboo in ancient Jewish world. There was also a tradition of of not marrying outside the persons tribe to keep from corrupting the family lines and keeping it pure as possible.