quote: The idea that there were other men before Adam was speculation, and the idea conflicts with the verse above. I still stand by my statement that you quoted. That part sticks quite closely to the texts.
You must be joking. You've even contradicted yourself. You claimed:
When I claim that the Garden was set at the time and location of the domestication of wheat, and was aimed at worshipers of the Mother Goddess, I am going against traditional interpretations.
Thus placing the story at a time long after the first men. Your "speculation" is an implicit part of the very statement that you claim "sticks quite closely to the texts".
Even your interpretation of Genesis 2:5 as referring to domesticated plants creates problems. Plant varieties that have yet to be bred won't grow however much water is provided or work done tilling the ground - you can only grow varieties that exist at least as seeds. And of course it all but explicitly states that there were no humans.
Your idea of "sticking quite close" seems to mean "stops just short of explicit contradiction".
Yes, my speculation seems implicit unless you believe in the young earth creationist ideas. I am studying these implications, but I still stick with the statement about the time and location of the Garden. No, the statement about the domesticated plants does not create problems. Before mankind domesticated plants, the plants did not need mankind. After domestication, those plants needed man to reproduce. Many scientists state that the annual plants like wheat could have been domesticated in one man's lifetime. Thus Adam could have started with no domesticated plants and at the end of his life be growing domesticated plants. See Jared Diamond's book, Guns, Germs, and steel to see what he says about domesticating wheat. He even states how the region surrounding where I have stated the Garden of Eden existed was unusually blessed with domesticatable plants and animals, truly a garden region, unlike any where else on earth.
quote: Yes, my speculation seems implicit unless you believe in the young earth creationist ideas.
It IS clearly implicit. Your whole idea is to try to harmonise scientific views with your interpretation of the Bible (itself a risky strategy because the scientific conclusions are uncertain, and your preferred version could easily turn out to be wrong). If you have to throw out all the evidence of earlier human existence then what is the point of harmonisation ?
quote: No, the statement about the domesticated plants does not create problems. Before mankind domesticated plants, the plants did not need mankind.
Which means that you have to place Genesis 2:5 AFTER domestication. That's the problem.
quote: Many scientists state that the annual plants like wheat could have been domesticated in one man's lifetime.
I will have to check that. However I suspect that you are conflating the initial production of improved varieties with longer-term developments.
Many scientists state that the annual plants like wheat could have been domesticated in one man's lifetime.
Which scientists say that? I've read several papers that present evidence that the actual process took a couple of millenia, at least for rice and maize. "Could have been," maybe, but "didn't happen that way" is what the evidence shows.
My response was due to the claim, which, fair enough, you have amended, that the find at Boghazkoy in Turkey had shown that the sceptics who thought the Hittites of the Bible were a myth were mistaken. But the culture found at Boghazkoy were misnamed ‘Hittite’ and the name stuck even after the mistake of confusing the texts was universally accepted.
Many people do not realise that the inhabitants of Hattusa should never have been called ‘Hittite’, but the name remained for matters of convenience. These same people assume that because these people have been called Hittites (incorrectly of course) that this means that they are the Hittites of the Bible.
This misinformation is all over Christian literalist websites. These sites also claim that scholars thought that the Hittites of the Bible never existed, but I have never been given a name of anyone who made this claim.
I do agree with the premise of the thread, we really should not be considering the biblical text outside of its historical contexts, which is exactly what the fundy, conservative, evangelical, pentecostal dimwits do. They miss out on much of the Bible by taking a one-dimenional view of it.
You said: It IS clearly implicit. Your whole idea is to try to harmonise scientific views with your interpretation of the Bible (itself a risky strategy because the scientific conclusions are uncertain, and your preferred version could easily turn out to be wrong). If you have to throw out all the evidence of earlier human existence then what is the point of harmonization ?
First, I analyzed the story of the Garden. It lead me to the conclusions that I stated. I then looked at the possible implications of the conclusion. So far I have only seen two possibilities, the Young Earth Creationist conclusion and the Biblical acceptance of evolution. I tried one way of harmonizing the Bible with evolution, but one man pointed out a flaw in my analysis. I am still studying the scriptures. I would love to be able to conclude that evolution is Biblical but I refuse to ignore facts.
Then you said: Which means that you have to place Genesis 2:5 AFTER domestication. That's the problem.
No, I place Gen 2:5 at the point just prior to domestication. Scientists also agree, a massive drought, the Younger Dryas hit and then toward the end or immediately after, wheat was domesticated, right at Mt Karacadag. Very shortly after, the farming package was created and farming exploded out of the fertile crescent. Guns, Germs and Steel by Diamond is a great initial source of info. He even documents how the area was a "garden" blessed above any other place in the world. I do agree, that after initial domestication, further improvements occurred. Some evidences that scientists use as proof positive that domestication occurred such as domestic seeds outside the wild range, and larger seed size are actually later developments. I am not talking about these longer term developments.
This site discusses a variety of steps in domestication. They mention a very rapid predomestication (with no specificclaim as to the langth of time. Notice the gap to the second curve, a slightly slower event, of full domestication. The whole transition is listed as several hundred years. Again, look at Jared Diamond's book. Oak and Almond both had the same problem, poison in the seeds. Oak was never domesticated because too many genes had to change. Almonds just needed one genetic change. All a farmer had to do was find a wild almond with non-poisonous nuts and plant an orchard of them. Voila, instant domestication. Wheat just needed two genetic changes for full domestication. Even Darwin commented on the dramatic changes one dedicated man could develop in a plant or animal in his lifetime. Isn't that Irony? a Christian using Darwin to prove his point!
No, no problems. The Bible says there were none, and science says there were none. Both say the wild precursors existed at that time. By Gen 4:2 and 4:12, activity associated with the domestication process (but not the harvesting process previously used) was being engaged in. Some steps toward domestication, and possibly full domestication had been achieved. Now there were plants of the field. Have you read the suggested readings on the domestication process? It fits very well. Have you read my website on the Garden? http://sites.google.com/site/gardenineden/ It goes into a lot more detail than one can cover here, and is still abbreviated. Unlike all the other proposed locations, this fits the clues thoroughly.
The Bible uses the terms wild beasts, beasts of the earth, and beasts of the field. It clearly means different things by the terms. It never says that the plants of the field were in seed form and waiting to germinate. That is an interpretation. Nowhere in Gen 1 does it use the term plants of the field. It uses vegetation, plants yielding seeds, fruit trees, and green plants. These are all listed as existing before Adam and Eve. Only plants of the field were listed as having come into being after Adam and Eve, and only clearly at the curse and even that in a future tense.
quote: It never says that the plants of the field were in seed form and waiting to germinate. That is an interpretation
But one solidly implied by the text - unlike your idea that the plants referred to are only domesticated plants. The reasons given for the plants not growing is that bot water and cultivation are required - not that they don't exist. If you intend to genuinely stick closely to the text (instead of just saying that you did) then you have a problem.
Yes, and in Ps 104:19, the sun knows the place of its setting and in 104:22, the sun rises. The clear implication is that the sun orbits the earth as many maintained years ago. I look at all possible interpretations. Both interpretations are possible in the passage. Which one fits the rest of scripture? Which one fits science? I truly believe that the earth orbits the sun despite the clear implication of scripture.
quote: Which one fits the rest of scripture? Which one fits science?
Well let's take those criteria with regard to Genesis 2:5.
Genesis 2:5 gives two reasons why the plants in question don't grow.
According to your interpretation the most important reason is that those plants didn't exist at the time. So you're not being true to scripture there. Also it is far more likely that the plants referred to are those planted in the Garden - not those that will be bred over time from wild ancestors that aren't even mentioned.
The first reason is the lack of water. Since you assume that the wild wheats are growing this can only be true if the early domesticated varieties had a significantly higher water requirement (and I see no reason to believe that). So it is far from clear that you have the science right there.
The second is that there are no people around. Science flat out says that that is wrong.
So, so far as I can tell your interpretation of Geneis 2:5 fails by BOTH criteria.
One of my arguments that there were humans before Adam was flawed. I admitted that argument didn't fly. That doesn't mean that the Bible says there were no humans before Adam. The word generations in Gen 2:4 still argues that there were humans before Adam. I am still researching that part of the argument. As for plants, if there were no plants before Adam, not only does that contradict science, but it contradicts Gen 1. To say that the Bible says that Adam and other humans couldn't have bred plants of the field out of wild plants is to argue that the Bible says people today can't breed animals and plants to generate new breeds.