Have been doing some thinking about this whole area of science and the bible. Is it theologically/biblically sound to believe that although Adam and Eve were certainly the first man and woman made by God, they may not have been the only. the reason I say this is because in Genesis 2, two lands other than Eden are also mentioned, that of Havilah and Cush as well as what is written in Gen 1:27 that God created them male and female…. which could suggest that it was not just Adam and Eve, but others too. This would also answer the often-asked question “Where did Cain’s wife come from”?   The issue I have with the common theory that Cain’s wife came from a distant cousin whose parents were Adam and Eve is that at some stage there must have been incest   Interested in your thoughts.   Love Simon   PS John – could you respond asap as I’m preparing a series of discussions on Science and the Bible.


There are many different ways that the historical information mentioned in the first eleven chapters of Genesis have been understood.  Here is the bottom line; we do not know for sure exactly how much of this is metaphorical/symbolic and how much of it is literal/historical.  Besides, there may be many things which happened of which we are simply not made aware of in the scriptures. Believers ought to give one another some space to reach their own conclusions.   My two cautions are this:

  1. Given what we know about the Bible in general, Christians ought to come to a conclusion which is consistent with the idea that the Bible is inspired. Therefore we should not simply dismiss what the Bible says as mythical or not true.
  2. Our beliefs should be consistent with the theology of these chapters, which is clearly the chief intent of this biblical material.

Let me apply this to your proposal.  You propose that there may have been other humans or human-like beings around elsewhere who were not directly descended from Adam and Eve.  I do not see how this violates either of the “rules” (which of course are just proposals from me, to be taken for what they are worth) above. It accepts as facts the information presented about Adam and Eve and their descendants, and it is consistent with the claim that, one way or another, God created us.

For what it is worth, I do not agree with your argument that the more traditional explanation is incorrect.  But that is just my opinion, and, since we cannot prove one idea right or wrong, we ought to tolerate different opinions.  The reason I do not agree (but believe you might be right!) is this.  God does not allow incest for the Israelites, not because it is sinful per se, but because it is not good for their health.  Because certain mutations have occurred since creation, which cause certain genetic diseases to exist as recessive traits, too much close inbreeding is very harmful to human populations.  The inbreeding and subsequent massive health problems of European royalty in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries is a case in point.

However, it is my personal belief (which I cannot prove!), that Adam and Eve were more perfect in their genetic makeup.  This might explain both why their immediate offspring lived longer than we, and it might explain why what we would call incest was both not sinful and not harmful for them.

So, like I said, I do not agree with your explanation, but I do not see it undermining any theological truth or historical information offered in Genesis, so I cannot see why you should abandon your explanation, and I acknowledge that you might be right.

John Oakes

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