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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Some thounghts on Genesis

I operate on the general principle that the truth is always somewhere in the middle, between the extremes.For me, both the Bible and the works of science hold truth, each an authority within its sphere, the Bible focused on spirituality and morality and their development, science focused on the mechanics of physical existence and their development. Science can say nothing about the spiritual and the Bible contains nothing on quantum physics. One of the problems with taking the Bible literally is that many concepts and stories were not included for literal reading, but were attempts to  explain things for which our modern concepts meant nothing to the people of the time. How can you understand billions of years of evolution when things like the Earth seem eternal and the term "forty" is used to mean a lot of something, as in 40 days or 40 years in the desert. So the writers used terms the people could understand, God's day being a long time. The writers also put things in their own terms of understanding (including their own prejudices, fears, traditions, superstitions and judgments) and embellished and altered details for the sake of the story told and the point they intended to make. And then of course, it has been copied and translated some many times that errors intentional and intentional have crept in, but the skeleton of truth is still there. 

I was thinking about the part in Genesis about Eden. My church teaches that Eden was a protected area on the North American continent. I see the creation of Adam and Eve's bodies and the later so-called Fall much as it is described but through a more scientific lens. My church teaches that we are god's in foetal form, with death being our true birth. God, Heavenly Father, was once the same as us and is far more evolved physically, intellectually, morally and spiritually than us. A god in comparison. Assuming this to be true, his ability to manipulate elements to produce proteins and DNA and thus life must be far beyond ours, and we can already turn one type of cell into another and produce pregnancies without sex being involved. It should be little effort for Heavenly Father to use the"dust" of the Earth to build and grow a body for Adam's spirit. Then cloning Eve's body from Adam's would be a snap (not to mention later doing a little gene-splicing with a young woman's egg to produce a virgin birth, but that's another chapter).

Protected in Eden, Adam and Eve grew and matured as far as pre-puberty where they remained, innocent, until the Fall. My church believes that Adam and Eve took on the knowledge of good and evil by necessity, the act of disobeying being that introduction to conscience. In was a sin, but a sacrificial one so that they and those who could follow could develop and learn to use free will, and live through its consequences. As soon as they took on adult knowledge, they went through puberty and Eden stopped being a protective nursery. The Bible says they were exiled east of Eden, which to me says Africa. No way to go back from there, at least not for a long time to come. It always confused me that the Bible says the children of Eve mixed with the people of the land of Nod (I think I'm remembering the name right). Where did they come from? Now I think it's fairly obvious, they were early humans, possibly Homo Sapiens, possibly Neanderthals, possibly earlier. The small group of Adamic people bred with them, possibly sparking our original migrations from Africa. My church believes that those with the purest Adamic genes lived for hundreds , even thousands of years as given in the Bible, until their geneses diluted to give our species the span to which we are accustomed. But we are all children of Eve and of Africa.