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  1. #41
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    You wrote...



    I took that to mean you felt the bible had no support for the idea that they could possess a body and thus impregnate women. Apparently I misunderstood somehow. It seems to me if they have bodies they could make women pregnant as the story describes.
    Okay, it's important we keep the context clear in which you said, or rather in which you asked the rhetorical question you did: "How were the sodomites going to rape/"know" the two angels if they didn't have bodies? "

    Now that is a question that concerns three supernatural beings with physical bodies coming to visit Abraham and Sarah first, then going to Sodom to bring Lot and his family out of the city before it is destroyed by God.

    For this context to be relevant to this thread, it would have to be the case that the supernatural beings with the physical bodies were a) angelic creatures created by God, b) the "fallen" (or demonic) type of angel, right? I mean, otherwise we're not talking about the same kind of beings as we are in the Genesis six story (assuming, for the sake of clarification on this point that the Genesis six story includes supernatural beings, which, as I hope by now I've made plain, I don't believe is the case), where those beings are clearly creatures in rebellion against God. So these three supernatural beings would have to be creatures of God, spiritual beings created by God who are in rebellion against the will of God (as opposed to ministers of that Divine Will), and they're obviously not either one in the story recounted in Genesis, chapters 18-19. In that story the author refers to them as "Yahweh" several times, and this should tell us that these three "men" are actually a physical manifestation of Yahweh, so not "creatures" at all, and certainly not creatures bent on defying the will of Yahweh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    A curious notion. Few means "a small number" I think two is generally thought of as a small number, especially in consideration of how many sects there are.

    Few is not a lot, few is small in number, but few is certainly more than "none"
    My point was that you seemed to want to inflate the significance of the fact that there are exactly two Christians sects that accept the Book of Enoch as Scripture. By choosing "few", instead of "a couple" or "two", you hide the fact it was "two" or "a couple", and, given it is widely touted on aggressively anti-Christians sites on the Internet, and widely disseminated by Internet denizens who are anti-religion in general that there are "over 25,000 different Christian religions", left it open to the reader to infer anything from two to two thousand. Now why would you make that word choice if not to make the number seem much larger to the uninformed, and unwilling to become informed beyond reading your post, than it is, if that was not your intent?

    My intent, then, was not to correct your grammar, but to clarify a number your grammar, in effect, hid at best, and grossly inflated at worst.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    Fair enough, its just a collection of information, always good to question!

    But I don't think you have really countered the overall claim. No one is saying Enoch is part of typical cannon. Its clearly an early document and part of church culture in early days, and heck, its part of church culture today. Its not canonical to any but the Ethiopian traditions today. But it is part of the history of the church and is both quoted in the modern bible and referenced in early church writings.

    "The Book of Enoch was considered as Scripture in the Epistle of Barnabas (16:4) and by many of the early Church Fathers, such as Athenagoras...etc."

    I'd agree you have shown the second part of that is a stretch (nice arguing with that). I'd suggest making a correction! That's why the Wiki is a nice source, you can fix it when you find flaws in the writing.
    Well, first, thanks for the compliment. But if I started trying to "fix" what's wrong with Wiki articles written on topics about which I happen to have enough knowledge to do that accurately, it would be like trying to empty the ocean into a hole in the sand I'd dug next to the waterline. What you're saying makes Wiki a "nice source" is actually what, in my opinion, makes it a worthless source. Even assuming all it's mistakes (and they are legion!) eventually get corrected by someone who knows the facts, there's nothing inherent to Wiki that will prevent the corruption of the corrections back into mistakes the next day, week, month or year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    That Barnabas say it as canonical is what it is. There is no argument Enoch should be canonical today, only that some thought it was.
    And I've no disagreement with the fact "some thought it was". What I can't see is how that's relevant to any issue raised in this thread either for or against the basic question posed. I mean, even if what the Book of Enoch has to say about the story recounted in Genesis six is somehow relevant to that basic question (and I'm just saying I can't see how it is, not that it can't be), the fact is Genesis six is clearly older than any chapter in Enoch, and therefore literary dependence theory says we must take Enoch as merely an interpreter of Genesis six, rather than the other way around. "An" interpreter, not "the" interpreter. So when we do that, and see that what Enoch adds to Genesis six actually contradicts Genesis six, we have to conclude that Enoch misinterprets Genesis, in effect "corrects" one of only five books in the entire Old Testament seen by the Jews to be directly revealed by God, and that therefore no source can possibly legitimately correct!

    So what we're left with is that on the narrow point that fallen angels took on physical form to have sex with human women, and from these unions produced a race of giants, Genesis doesn't say that. And to the extent that Enoch interprets Genesis and does say that (and here I'm not even convinced from my recent investigation into what Enoch actually says that this characterization of it is correct, given the heavy poetic language used throughout), Enoch is simply mistaken for all who take Genesis to be Divine revelation, which includes all orthodox Jews and Christians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    The Ethiopian Orthodox Church does.
    Your source doesn't support this unequivocal claim, Sig. First, because it's notorious for spreading false information, to the point where my son's high school expressly forbade the use of Wiki as a source in term papers. Secondly, because on the particular point for which you appealed to it as some authority, it was shown, by me, to be wrong in some of its claims. So not only does its reputation disqualify it as support for the claim "The Ethiopian Orthodox Church does", but the specific article in which we find it agreeing with that claim that article has made other claims demonstrated to be untrue.

    Finally, there is the issue of what is meant by "inspiration" with regard to various religious sects, both Jewish and Christian, and the issue of correct hermeneutics used to discover the best understanding of the texts themselves. I've already mentioned the fact that orthodox Judaism and orthodox Christianity view "inspiration" very differently, as do various sects of orthodoxy and heterodoxy within each.

    So all I'm willing to stipulate to from your use of Wiki as support is that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church includes, as part of their "narrower" canon, Enoch. I am not willing to extrapolate from the problematic relevance of that proposition to the extremely relevant proposition that this church regards Enoch as equally authoritative for Divinely revealed doctrine with Genesis, or that it is the general view of the EOC that Enoch corrects Genesis six. One of the reasons I'm not willing to stipulate to this extrapolation is that the Ethiopian canon presents those who study it with a great many difficulties. So..

    "1. The concept of canonicity is regarded more loosely than it is among most other churches. 2. The number of canonical books is reckoned to be 81, but this total is reached in various ways. 3. The naming of a book in a list does not necessarily uniquely identify it. 4. Some of the books assigned canonical authority have never been printed in Geez, or only printed outside Ethiopia, or are difficult to obtain. 5. The authorities of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church have never said of an edition of the Geez or Amharic Bible that it was complete." (The Biblical Canon Of The Ethiopian Orthodox Church Today; R. W. Cowley; Ostkirchliche Studien, 1974, Volume 23, pp. 318-323.)

    The basic point to be understood from all this "fluidity" of the Ethiopian canon over time, even within the Church itself, is that the EOC's concept of "canon" is obviously very different from many, many other Jewish and Christian orthodox churches. For example, mainline Protestantism only includes those books in the New Testament that are accepted as having been authored by disciples of Jesus who followed Him during his public ministry, and were eye-witnesses to His death and resurrection, or their disciples, while this is clearly not the criterion used by the EOC to grant "canonicity" to a book. Further, since the concept of "scripture" is so intimately interwoven with the concept of "canon", at least from the churches I'm familiar with, so too would be the EOC's concept of "scripture" different from many other Christian churches. So I'm not sure how much "hay" can be made in this thread out of the fact their canon includes Enoch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    That is more than no one. It has some 40 million adherents. That doesn't mean they aren't very much in the minority, but its more than no one is it not?
    Of course it is. And if I claimed anywhere in this thread that "no one" holds that Enoch is part of anyone's canonical scripture, then I misspoke. And if I claimed anything that could reasonably be taken as that claim, I worded my claim badly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    I wouldn't claim dependency one way or another and I'm fine accepting that Genesis as a book is older sourced. I think most likely these traditions all started as oral story telling and there were likely many related stories building off one another as a tradition. I imagine divine angels making babies is a pretty old part of the tale.
    However, the important question here is why use your imagination to conclude the age of the story, when there are so many facts you could use instead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    It is a common theme in most divine mythologies, gods or angels making love with mortals and having supernatural children. Enoch does indeed seem like a kind of spin off of the character, elaborating on his adventures.
    See what I mean? Here you've alluded to one of the scores of facts there are that pertinent to understanding the relationship Enoch has with Genesis, and have used that fact in a very legitimate way to say that Enoch is similar to "most divine mythologies". But why stop there, when it's so obvious that stopping there is likely to give a distorted view of the relationship between Genesis and Enoch, and this relationship has evidently become of some importance (given the length to which we're discussing it) to the basic thread question?

    ---------- Post added at 04:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:12 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    There are clearly (at least) two defined actions in that statement right?
    That's just it, I'm not sure there are, or rather, I'm not sure that we can draw any particular conclusions from the fact that there are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    1) God gathers the materials into a form.

    2) God breathes the breath of life.

    So we can argue that there are at least two actions taken by God in this text.
    But that argument, it seems to me, requires we use a modern perspective on the passage in question, and I'm not convinced that is the proper perspective to use, and especially if we're going to use it as an implicit premise in some sort of reductionist analysis of the passage. I think we have to remember the author of Genesis didn't even know what a reductionist analysis of literature was, which makes any assumption he may have written what he did being aware of such an analysis a kind of table without legs.

    I mean, how does the text tell us God wasn't "forming" and "breathing" at the same time? As two aspects of one act of creation? And if we're going to take God "forming" and "breathing" as two disparate acts of God in creating "man", how do we reconcile the fact that in Genesis 1: 26-27 the creation of "man" includes both male and female, which would then seem to necessitate seeing God's creation of man not just having "two defined actions", but several, including placing Adam in the Garden, commanding him to tend it, bringing the animals to Adam to name and to find him a "helpmate", causing a great sleep to come over Adam, taking his rib and fashioning from it Eve (who we find becomes a living creature without God having breathed life into her).

    My point is I just don't see how we can correctly criticize (in the "literary critical" sense of "criticize") the text you're analyzing using the technique you're using to analyze it. I've got absolutely not problem with the conclusion you draw in using that approach. It's the approach I question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    In relation to this being an unprecedented step (which I think is the heart of your question), we can see in Genesis 1 that God simply commands the existence of all other plants and animals (let them exist), a very different formulation is offered for man which highlights God's intent to create a being capable of having dominion over all the others. Is that what you are asking about, whether this step was unique or whether two steps are being described here?
    As I'm sure you can tell by now my problem in seeing God breathing life into Adam in some way that is unique and important to his nature is the fact Genesis one and two accounts don't allow us to hold that view with any consistent loyalty to the text. We can, I suppose, argue persuasively that this breathing was God's implanting of man's "soul" within him, and that this soul is what makes man distinct from the rest of God's living creation, but if that it true, it would seem to be a very important observation on the nature of man and the level of God's concern for man's well-being (and without question the entire balance of Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, is God's concern for man's well-being!) that man possess this Divine "breath"/"spirit" in addition to the mere physical life man shares with all the plants and animals over which God is going to give him "dominion". That is, we can do this until we hit the fact God forms Eve out of Adam's rib, and there is no mention of God "breathing" life into Eve.

    So what does this discrepancy seem to be telling us about whether or not God's act of "breathing" life into the Adam He had formed from the "dust of the ground" was, indeed, the Divine act of implanting in Adam his "soul" that made him distinct from the other animals? It tells me that whatever this entity was that is represented by God's breath, it travels with every part of Adam's being, including his "rib" that God used to form Eve. So the concept of "soul" here is not limited to the non-physical. I don't think the author of Genesis had any concept of a narrowly defined "soul", but rather his concept was probably closer to our concept of "nature" or "essence", which would have included both body and spirit. Such a broad view of "being" would indeed travel well from Adam to Eve via a "rib".

    But then if we use this broad view of God's breath implanting into "man" his "nature" or "essence", which only included his spiritual being, and didn't exclude his physical being, on what basis do we say God's "forming" man and "breathing" into him "the breath of life", are the "two acts" by which God created man? Especially when at Genesis 2:7 we're still a long way from the creation of "man" as described in Genesis 1:26-27? And especially when after Eve is created we find such a wonderful expression of the essence of "man" including the union between male and female?

    I think the Bible is teaching that the essence of man resides not just in his personhood, or that it is this personhood, this self awareness (soul?) that makes man different from all the rest, but is complete only in the union of two of these persons, one male, the other female, as God is "complete", not in the person of any of the Persons of the Godhead, but in their union. It is teaching a theological truth, one that must transcend the physical to be glimpsed, and as such is a first glimpse of the plurality that is part of the essence of the Godhead, and is implied by the plural pronouns "Us" and Our". And so it is not the disparate acts of "forming" and "breathing" by God in creating man that makes man unique and gives him dominion. It is, in my opinion, the union between Adam and Eve that does this for the ancient reader of Genesis, that completes man's essence in that it grants to man a necessary relational quality with others of the kind; a unified plurality that is necessary for man to fully manifest God's "image", and thereby ground man's "dominion".

  2. #42
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    Okay, it's important we keep the context clear in which you said, or rather in which you asked the rhetorical question you did: "How were the sodomites going to rape/"know" the two angels if they didn't have bodies?
    Well, more Socratic than rhetorical. I was indeed hoping for an answer and did get one.

    For this context to be relevant to this thread, it would have to be the case that the supernatural beings with the physical bodies were a) angelic creatures created by God, b) the "fallen" (or demonic) type of angel, right?
    Yes, I'll admit I had not considered the different classifications of angels, only the general class of God's supernatural agents generally called angels. Both types are created by god mind you, everything is after. I'll admit that some of them can become fallen and that could in fact make a difference, but I don't see any justification for why a fallen nature would make it impossible for them to have bodies and breed with human women.

    Honestly the bible has nothing in it specifically about fallen angels, at least not using that word. Disobedient is more what is used, those who left their position of authority to do as they will. And the only real story of that happening is the one in Genesis we are discussing. The meat of these stories, the idea of a war in heaven and Lucifer as a fallen angel etc... all comes from Enoch. Its the only biblical source that actually contains that claim. There are hints of those stories in Genesis such as the passage discussed and the mention of Enoch himself, but that book (Enoch 1) elaborates on those areas significantly.

    Humans who have rebelled against god seem to suffer no reproductive consequences so its hard to see why Angels should and there is nothing in the bible that specifically says angels can or cannot procreate before or after losing a state of grace other than this passage in genesis which strongly implies they can and did take human wives and have children with them.

    You brought up some passages about demon possession but there isn't really any strong connection from fallen angels to demon possession I can see.

    I mean, otherwise we're not talking about the same kind of beings as we are in the Genesis six story (assuming, for the sake of clarification on this point that the Genesis six story includes supernatural beings, which, as I hope by now I've made plain, I don't believe is the case), where those beings are clearly creatures in rebellion against God. So these three supernatural beings would have to be creatures of God, spiritual beings created by God who are in rebellion against the will of God (as opposed to ministers of that Divine Will), and they're obviously not either one in the story recounted in Genesis, chapters 18-19. In that story the author refers to them as "Yahweh" several times, and this should tell us that these three "men" are actually a physical manifestation of Yahweh, so not "creatures" at all, and certainly not creatures bent on defying the will of Yahweh.
    So you are saying those Angels are in fact God manifesting as two/three individuals. So angels or not angels? And the Sons of God in Genesis are not angels but something else?

    But even if they are both different they are both seen as something that either did have sex with humans or was able to.

    My point was that you seemed to want to inflate the significance of the fact that there are exactly two Christians sects that accept the Book of Enoch as Scripture. By choosing "few", instead of "a couple" or "two", you hide the fact it was "two" or "a couple"
    Well what you said is that two does not equal few. And if I were trying to fool someone why would I simply list the known sects who use it as a part of cannon? That would be pretty dumb of me don't you think? I was just using accurate language, not trying to deceive anyone. Quite plain and up front. I think it was a measure of defensiveness on your part that made you think otherwise.

    Well, first, thanks for the compliment. But if I started trying to "fix" what's wrong with Wiki articles written on topics about which I happen to have enough knowledge to do that accurately, it would be like trying to empty the ocean into a hole in the sand I'd dug next to the waterline.
    Studies of Wikipedia found its accuracy on comparable topics to be similar to well respected encyclopedias with the added advantage of being more up to date. While it contains mistakes so do most books and those books are not constantly updated with new information as the Wiki most often is. Surveys of domain experts asked to rate the accuracy of their articles reported them as generally strong. It contains mistakes but so do most sources. Wiki like any good research source lists its primary sources so you can check them out and it is policed by a large number of folks dedicated to keeping it as relevant as possible. Topics that show a history of meddling are locked down so that only trusted sources can edit them and all edits are visible and audit-able.

    It is not a primary source, it is a collection of information like many others. You can scoff at it all you like but studies of its accuracy show it to be generally very reliable for basic information and a survey of a great many topics.

    So what we're left with is that on the narrow point that fallen angels took on physical form to have sex with human women, and from these unions produced a race of giants, Genesis doesn't say that.
    No, it says the Sons of God (generally seen as angels being bad) took on human wives and had children of great renown. Giants is one of those things more or less pulled from other sources or stories and not directly in genesis as are "fallen" angels for that matter.

    And to the extent that Enoch interprets Genesis and does say that (and here I'm not even convinced from my recent investigation into what Enoch actually says that this characterization of it is correct, given the heavy poetic language used throughout), Enoch is simply mistaken for all who take Genesis to be Divine revelation, which includes all orthodox Jews and Christians.
    Check out the book of Jubillees as well, it has similar stories about these "events"

    Your source doesn't support this unequivocal claim, Sig. First, because it's notorious for spreading false information, to the point where my son's high school expressly forbade the use of Wiki as a source in term papers.
    Again, its not a primary source, it shouldn't be cited as such in an academic paper, that does not mean its full of false information. If that is their reasoning your son's high school is ignorant.

    So all I'm willing to stipulate to from your use of Wiki as support is that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church includes, as part of their "narrower" canon, Enoch. I am not willing to extrapolate from the problematic relevance of that proposition to the extremely relevant proposition that this church regards Enoch as equally authoritative for Divinely revealed doctrine with Genesis, or that it is the general view of the EOC that Enoch corrects Genesis six.
    No one said it corrected Genesis. It is an elaboration on that part of biblical legend and history. The bible has many places where one section elaborates on events briefly summarized or mentioned in another.

    The basic point to be understood from all this "fluidity" of the Ethiopian canon over time, even within the Church itself, is that the EOC's concept of "canon" is obviously very different from many, many other Jewish and Christian orthodox churches. For example, mainline Protestantism only includes those books in the New Testament that are accepted as having been authored by disciples of Jesus who followed Him during his public ministry, and were eye-witnesses to His death and resurrection, or their disciples,
    Enoch is OT material. It is ascribed to Enoch who in the bible is seen to have been raised from earth to join God in heaven. Seems like good credentials.

    It really doesn't matter to the thread, but if you argue it... well I argue it.

    Of course it is. And if I claimed anywhere in this thread that "no one" holds that Enoch is part of anyone's canonical scripture, then I misspoke. And if I claimed anything that could reasonably be taken as that claim, I worded my claim badly.
    You said that exactly in fact which is the only reason I replied to that post which spawned this longer discussion. Anyhow, we both are in agreement that the vast majority don't see Enoch as cannon but there are a couple christian sects who do and their traditions are unusual in other ways as well.

    However, the important question here is why use your imagination to conclude the age of the story, when there are so many facts you could use instead?
    Because the facts themselves are mostly educated guesses and speculation. All we have is "oldest documents" which happens to include elements of Enoch and other apocryphal books and analysis of the style and content of writings to try and postulate common older sources. Mind you a lot of that research undermines common christian tradition on who wrote the books of the bible and when.

    Nor does the order in which books are written determine if they are in fact canonical or not, nor did that research exist at the time that was decided, nor does the order of writing dictate the order the traditions were formed nor the accuracy of the story. Its rather moot all around.

    See what I mean? Here you've alluded to one of the scores of facts there are that pertinent to understanding the relationship Enoch has with Genesis, and have used that fact in a very legitimate way to say that Enoch is similar to "most divine mythologies". But why stop there, when it's so obvious that stopping there is likely to give a distorted view of the relationship between Genesis and Enoch, and this relationship has evidently become of some importance (given the length to which we're discussing it) to the basic thread question?
    I just don't see it that way. I see the bible and Enoch as birds of a feather, ancient mythology of a common tradition that clearly is related even though later authorities decided which traditions they chose to keep and which they didn't. Since it is all mythology I place no greater truth on either source and the selection of one as cannon and the other not as cannon is for the most part arbitrary. But that is just my analysis, its clear one is common christian cannon and the other influential but clearly not canonical for far and away most Christians.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  3. #43
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Well, more Socratic than rhetorical.
    Ehhh...not really "Socratic". I imagine the Socratic method requires the one asking the questions to already know the answers. The Socratic method is a "teaching" method for the one asking the questions, and a "learning" method for the one answering them. So unless you're implying you asked that question to teach me that not all spiritual beings in the Bible manifesting in physical bodies are fallen angels with the capacity to have sex with human beings, a proposition I fail to see as supportive of any position you've taken in this thread, I don't see how "Socratic" qualifies it properly.

    Anyway, I'm going to unilaterally cut through a whole bunch of stuff that seems to me to be just getting in the way of the main point here, so...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    No one said it (Enoch) corrected Genesis.
    Yes they did; me! Rather, I said Enoch's relationship to Genesis was one of the younger correcting the older, which is illegitimate in literary criticism, and the reason both books can't be seen as equally authoritative; equally "inspired".

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    Enoch is OT material.
    Only depending on who you're talking to. It's not OT material in my Bible, for instance. It's not OT material in the Catholic Bible. It's not OT material in the Greek, or Russian Orthodox Bible. You're ignoring Mt. Everest to tell me about a mole hill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    It is ascribed to Enoch who in the bible is seen to have been raised from earth to join God in heaven. Seems like good credentials.
    What?! The book of Enoch is not ascribed to Enoch in any Bible that doesn't contain the Book of Enoch. The closest we get to a biblical endorsement of the Book of Enoch, as opposed to the man, Enoch, is Jude quoting Enoch chapter two at at Jude 1:14. Given that New Testament authors quote non-biblical sources at multiple points, we'd need much more than Jude gives us to say any NT authors validate the canonical nature of 1 Enoch.

    Now here's the "crux" in my mind:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    Nor does the order in which books are written determine if they are in fact canonical or not, nor did that research exist at the time that was decided, nor does the order of writing dictate the order the traditions were formed nor the accuracy of the story. Its rather moot all around.
    What determining which book contains the first version of the story does is tell us the following:

    1. The youngest possible age for the story

    2. The fact that if there is any literary dependence between two versions of the same story, the younger is a modification of the older. Modifications can be additions of material or deletions of material, or both. In our case, it was clearly an addition of material.

    3. Modifications to ancient stories seen in various sources don't normally make those stories more accurate, but rather do just the opposite. So this strongly suggests the wisest course is to take the oldest known version of the story with a continuous cultural or religious milieu as the most accurate.

    The point here is that we make our decisions about Enoch's account of the story in Genesis based on the story in Genesis. To make our decisions about Genesis' account of the story in Enoch based on the story in Enoch would be to stand reason on its head.

    Now, whether or not it is reasonable to understand from the story given in Gen. 6:1-4 that angelic beings are meant by the phrase "sons of God", has already been covered by me in another of my posts in this thread, and the conclusion there is that it should not be so understood. Rather, the phrase is either opaque to the modern mind, or, and this is far more likely, refers to the descendents of Adam and Eve as distinct from those of their son, Cain. So then, the verse which says:


    "..the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful (literally "good"); and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose"

    In the Old Testament there is a often repeated meme, which is that the people of God are righteous, but will be unavoidably polluted by evil if they take to themselves as wives women of people who are not the people of God, who are not the "sons of God". I'm not going to provide you with a list of the occurrences of this meme by simply assuming you're not aware of it, but will gladly do so if you question the claim. So given this meme, it helps us understand what is meant when the author tacks on the last phrase, "whomever they chose". This phrase suggests that their choices were not entirely guided by this Divine prohibition to the sons of God not to intermarry with the unrighteous.

    And as for these marriages producing a race of giants, there is not the slightest indication form the Genesis text that this race of giants were the progeny of the marriages between the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men",, for after saying the "sons of God" chose whoever they wanted for their wives from among the "daughters of men", the text reads:


    "Then the Lord said, " My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them" Gen 6:3-4 (NASB)

    So we see that "the Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward". Okay, what are the days to which "those days" refer? Can't really say without further textual data. What about the days to which "and also afterward" refer? Here we've got some actual textual data, for "and also afterward" is explained by what follows it, "...and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore to them". So the Nephilim were on the earth when the sons of God were coming in to the daughters of men and bearing them children, and before the "sons of God" started doing that and having those children! Therefore, the text, when read carefully, prohibits the understanding that the sexual union between the "sons of God" (regardless of who they actually were, angels or men, though in context it is highly likely they were men) and the "daughters of men" resulted in the Nephilim race. This passage doesn't give us the cause for the existence of the Nephilim, only the fact they did exist. And so the point that has any relevance in this thread is settled by the text itself when carefully read.

    I therefore couldn't care less how that same story has been modified by later sources such as the anonymous author of Enoch, or of the Book of Jubilees, or as understood by any number of modern Bible commentators or fellow Bible believing Christian brothers and sisters. Genesis is, in effect, the "Rosetta Stone" here not only for all later Judaic and Christian sources, but as a part of the Pentateuch, which is accorded a special authority in the Old Testament by every sect of orthodox Judaism of which I'm aware (and would have that status within orthodox Christianity were it the case that within that orthodoxy different books of the Bible were accorded differing degrees of Divine inspiration), for the "Writings" and the "Prophets"; ie., the balance of the OT as well. To use Enoch to adjust our plain understanding of the text found at Gen. 6:12-4 is to use what is far less authoritative to adjust what has far greater authority as regards this story, and that is a method I simply cannot endorse or follow.

    Of course, all that said, what any of this has to do with the question of whether or not Neanderthals interbred with Cro-magons (who has the Neanderthal and Cro-magon DNA for the paternity test?), and what the possible genetic effects of that were (how can we say without the paternity test?!), and how those effects do or don't support the existence of God (Huh?!), is beyond my simple mind. Maybe if the author of the OP wasn't on my Ignore list it would help, but I doubt it. It's questions like the one in the title to this thread that earned him his spot! I'm putting the finishing touches on my "Doesn't the fact I like chocolate and cashews prove God exists?" OP at this writing. Look for it soon...probably soon after I find you've made good on your promise to explicate that purely deterministic account of human cognition that I'm beginning to suspect you're going to soon have to call "The Never-ending Story".

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    But that argument, it seems to me, requires we use a modern perspective on the passage in question..I mean, how does the text tell us God wasn't "forming" and "breathing" at the same time?
    Because the actions are contemporary does not mean they are the same action, likewise because the breath of life must be casually second to the formation of the body (otherwise you wouldn't have the nostrils to breath into right?)

    I also don't think I'm inserting any modern perspective into this analysis. Biblical Hebrew has clauses as well and distinguishing subsequent actions, just as in the next verse it is clear that God creates Eden, then places man there. Or in verse 21 that God clearly must make Adam sleep before the rib is taken, even if there is not temporal language within the verse.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstam
    And if we're going to take God "forming" and "breathing" as two disparate acts of God in creating "man", how do we reconcile the fact that in Genesis 1: 26-27 the creation of "man" includes both male and female...
    I would do it in the same way that other works offer, that this is an overview section, this verse explains what happens in broad terms what happened in the same manner as the other verses of Genesis 1.

    The alternative is the Lilith theory that God creates Adam and Lilith on day 6, banishes Lilith with no explanation in the text and then re-creates Eve later on day 8. This theory is inadequate for several reasons. It doesn't fit contemporary literary tradition (most works of the time include a "preview" or "introductory summation" of what happens before they go into the detail), it doesn't account for the re-telling of the creation of Adam on day 8 that would be a logical consequence of that interpretation, and it doesn't account for the lack of discussing of Lilith at any subsequent point.

    The "preview" interpretation is best supported by the clear textual division in verse 2:4 (ignore chapter differences, those, of course, didn't exist until relatively recently and have no real bearing on the content of the books). In Gen1:1 through Gen2:3 we have a parallel structure (common for contemporary works) of summation of action by day. In Gen2:4, the narrative shifts with a clear textual identification as a transitional text (also very common in contemporary works, especially the Epic of Gilgamesh), "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,"

    Then the narrative shifts into retelling the story from the perspective of God's relation to man, rather than God's relation to creation as a whole.

    More on this as the contemporary understanding here: http://www.chabad.org/parshah/torahr...showrashi=true

    Quote Originally Posted by cstam
    That is, we can do this until we hit the fact God forms Eve out of Adam's rib, and there is no mention of God "breathing" life into Eve.
    I think that that is a great point and I think your explanation of it is pretty spot on as well. When God breathes into Adam, he is imparting a "nephesh" which is translated as soul or being or essence, clearly indicating through its use here (and elsewhere) that we are talking about is the essence of being human and that it is the splitting of man into male and female (hence the construct from Gen. 1) that represents a splitting of a whole, rather than the creation of a new, separate type of animal. This seems a reasonable construct given the word tsela`which mean "rib" in the sense of "part" like we say "rib of a ship or hill." It also can be used as side or section of a whole (like a section of the Temple (more intentional parallels there I think).


    Quote Originally Posted by Cstam
    But then if we use this broad view of God's breath implanting into "man" his "nature" or "essence", which only included his spiritual being, and didn't exclude his physical being, on what basis do we say God's "forming" man and "breathing" into him "the breath of life", are the "two acts" by which God created man?
    I think it is important, at this juncture, to highlight why I made the distinction that God is performing two (or quite likely more than two) acts when creating man. It was to counter the OP's idea that the creation of man is a single, definable moment in the book of Genesis, like a snap of ethereal fingers and "poof" man exists. The book of Genesis seems to be describing a process in that God gathers the dust, forms it, shapes and and then imparts being or soul into it. That it is a process removes the OP's limited notion of creation in Genesis and highlights that the existence of Neanderthals is not a material objection to the book of Genesis.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    Anyway, I'm going to unilaterally cut through a whole bunch of stuff that seems to me to be just getting in the way of the main point here, so...
    Always welcome and often wise!

    Yes they did; me! Rather, I said Enoch's relationship to Genesis was one of the younger correcting the older, which is illegitimate in literary criticism, and the reason both books can't be seen as equally authoritative; equally "inspired".
    Arguing against yourself then? The way I see them Enoch is an elaboration that provides a lot of additional detail to the story of angels gone bad and the character of Enoch. I don't see a lot of discord between what Genesis says and what Enoch says (unless you take a purely literal approach) taken in that light.

    Only depending on who you're talking to. It's not OT material in my Bible, for instance. It's not OT material in the Catholic Bible. It's not OT material in the Greek, or Russian Orthodox Bible. You're ignoring Mt. Everest to tell me about a mole hill.
    Sorry, I only meant to say the time frame is the same as the OT and it involves OT characters, not that it is part of the OT story cannon.

    What?! The book of Enoch is not ascribed to Enoch in any Bible that doesn't contain the Book of Enoch.
    And many books in the bible were likely not written by who most christians attribute them to either but that is neither here not there. Presumably Enoch wrote the book of Enoch much like Moses is often presumed to have written the Exedous and Jobe the book of Jobe though none are actually known.

    The closest we get to a biblical endorsement of the Book of Enoch, as opposed to the man, Enoch, is Jude quoting Enoch chapter two at at Jude 1:14. Given that New Testament authors quote non-biblical sources at multiple points, we'd need much more than Jude gives us to say any NT authors validate the canonical nature of 1 Enoch.
    You are attacking a higher standard than I am trying to claim. I'm only saying that if you have a book called the Book of Enoch, the conceit is that Enoch wrote it. He is in the story heaven's scribe and commanded to record the events it contains. I'm not claiming it is either historically accurate or that it is endorsed by modern Christians.

    What determining which book contains the first version of the story does is tell us the following:
    1. The youngest possible age for the story
    Agreed. Put another way the story must be at least that old but could be older than that.

    2. The fact that if there is any literary dependence between two versions of the same story, the younger is a modification of the older. Modifications can be additions of material or deletions of material, or both. In our case, it was clearly an addition of material.
    That is not accurate. You could have two sources, one older than another, that are both independent branches of a yet older story and have no direct connection between them. There could be an older written or oral document from which both Genesis and Enoch originated. It could have contained more information than either or less.

    3. Modifications to ancient stories seen in various sources don't normally make those stories more accurate, but rather do just the opposite. So this strongly suggests the wisest course is to take the oldest known version of the story with a continuous cultural or religious milieu as the most accurate.
    If it is a direct account I agree. (But for instance with a scientific or archaeological document, newer documents could well contain newly discovered information and thus be more accurate.) But for this purpose I think you are correct.

    I think in this case however the Genesis story is mostly different simply in that it has less information, not that it contradicts Enoch specifically. So it is quite possible there is an older common source that informs both of them.

    Though ultimately I think neither are "true" and both products of older legends which likewise are of imagination rather than history. I'd say it is likely Genesis has less discord with an older source (since it has much less information on the event if nothing else) than Enoch.

    For a believer, I think your view is reasonable, that the older source is generally more reliable.


    --- I'm going to cover the rest separately after some research, I'm thinking that is where the real meat of this discussion is. ---

    ---------- Post added at 01:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:45 PM ----------

    On Neanderthals and DNA

    The current science generally (but not strongly) supports that Neanderthal's did breed with Homo Sapians though they did not for the most part join societies and the Neanderthal line died out. Different human populations show different levels of Neanderthal DNA influence and yes indeed they do have Neanderthal DNA and are sequencing it into a known Genome though that work is not entirely complete.

    http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/.../interbreeding
    The draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome provides more evidence that interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans may have occurred. It showed more similarities between non-African modern humans and Neanderthals than between African modern humans and Neanderthals. This difference between regions is consistent with interbreeding between Neanderthals and the ancestors of Eurasian modern humans before they branched off into regional groups. Approximately 1 to 4% of non-African modern human DNA is shared with Neanderthals.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Because the actions are contemporary does not mean they are the same action...
    They are given as God's creative action. My point is to understand them as temporally contiguous, as opposed to temporally simultaneous, one has to find that somewhere in the context of the verse, because the verse is not explicit on that point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    ...likewise because the breath of life must be casually second to the formation of the body (otherwise you wouldn't have the nostrils to breath into right?)
    Well, this reasoning assumes that "nostrils" was meant to be understood literally, in the way we would naturally understand that term today, and this makes God's "breath" into the literal "air" man breathes to stay alive. But as you appear to agree with me below, this is not how God's "breath" should be understood; not as "air" or a literal breathing, but as the implantation of an essence into a being, a Divine assignment of a functionality to that being, and that essence or functionality consists in both the physical and non-physical realms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    I also don't think I'm inserting any modern perspective into this analysis.
    I'm sure you don't think you are, but then, you just did when you proposed "...the breath of life must be casually second to the formation of the body (otherwise you wouldn't have the nostrils to breath into right?)" That is a thoroughly modern, analytical mind at work on the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Biblical Hebrew has clauses as well and distinguishing subsequent actions, just as in the next verse it is clear that God creates Eden, then places man there.
    However verse 8 is clear that God's placing is temporally subsequent to God's forming. For even if the Garden is totally symbolic, it has to refer to some set of circumstances into which God puts what He has previously formed. That is not the case with verse 7, because there we've already agreed "breath" and "nostrils" are symbols for the actual set of circumstances consisting in God imbuing an essence into the being that as a result became "man".

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Or in verse 21 that God clearly must make Adam sleep before the rib is taken, even if there is not temporal language within the verse.
    The issue doesn't rest on whether there is or isn't temporal language in the text.

    Look, you clearly are aware of the fact the author of Genesis didn't write in a cultural void. That much is obvious from your allusions to "contemporary" works in the ancient Near East (ANE), and your casual mention of Lilith as the basis for some theory supposedly important to properly understanding the Genesis creation account. What I believe is important to that understanding is how contemporaries of the Genesis author understood the concept of creation, a concept very different from the way we understand creation today. For us, an act of creation causes what is created to begin to exist. According to at least one important biblical scholar doing work in this area, the ancients did not concern themselves about ontology at all, and so creation was not about the ontology of a thing, but rather about how it got the function it has so as to be able to fill the role in the ordering of the world it does.

    So, according to this recent scholarship, when Moses wrote:

    "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters"

    our focus should not be on the ontological implications of that saying, but on what follows it:

    "let it divide the waters from the water"

    The scholar who has studied the ancient epistemology by carefully examining the ANE works contemporaneous with Genesis tells us that the Genesis account of creation has nothing at all to do with things coming to exist. He says the ancients weren't concerned about that question. Let me see if I can draw the difference between the ancients' and the modern concept of "creation":

    First, for the ancients' view: Imagine I've drawn you a row of empty boxes without lids that look something like this "|_|". Then the ancients view of creation is the gods going down a row of these boxes and putting into them there essence; their functionality in the world, and it is at the moment when a box gets this role in the world from the gods that this box becomes whatever it is; a cow, a tree, the Sun, a man. So the creative moment isn't when the box appears, but when the box is filled with something.

    By contrast, moderns view creative acts as ontological events. We envision the "box" in the abstract as already filled with an "essence", but not actually existing at all. Then on this view of existence, the creative act moves the already filled abstract box from being a mere possibility into being actual. It's as if the gods walked down an entirely empty row, acting along the way in a fashion that caused already filled "boxes" to appear in actuality.

    It's not an easy difference of basic perspective to explain, and I'm not satisfied I've done a good job here, but it is a very important difference to consider because of its impact in determining the best way to understand the Genesis creation accounts. If you're interested in learning more about this particular scholarly approach to Genesis 1, and by extension 2, the book is The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate, by John H. Walton, InterVarsity Press, 2009). In it he thoroughly examines the ancient notion of "Cosmos as Temple" meme, what it amounts to (and what it doesn't!), where it is found in ANE literature, and it's implications for what we find in Genesis one. For me, it was definitely worth the $13 and the time it took to read it's 165 pages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    I would do it in the same way that other works offer, that this is an overview section, this verse explains what happens in broad terms what happened in the same manner as the other verses of Genesis 1.
    I'm not sure what you're saying here. If it's just that you take the position the two accounts are describing the same creation event in different ways, then I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    The alternative is the Lilith theory that God creates Adam and Lilith on day 6, banishes Lilith with no explanation in the text and then re-creates Eve later on day 8.
    Not sure what you're saying here, either. It appears to me you're claiming there's some "either/or" way to understand the Genesis accounts of creation, and that our choices are either the way you do or this "Lilith theory". And if that's what you're saying, then I disagree there is this, or any dichotomy here.

    In any case, between us, there is no reason to consider this "Lilith theory", as you apparently don't accept it yourself, and I don't even know what it is, so I clearly don't either. I will confess that in a brief attempt to find out about "Lilith", I ran into the fact she may, I stress may, be mentioned by Isaiah in chapter 34:14, depending entirely on what Hebrew text is consulted. (ie., the text on which the King James is based has "sair", or "goat demon", and the NASB has "lilith", the female night demon that was responsible for still births and high infant mortality)

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    The "preview" interpretation is best supported by the clear textual division in verse 2:4 (ignore chapter differences, those, of course, didn't exist until relatively recently and have no real bearing on the content of the books).
    A quibble with my basic agreement with your above. Because the chapter headings weren't just planted randomly by some blindfolded monk, there are more occasions where their placement is at a natural break in the narrative, than not. As I say, a quibble.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    In Gen1:1 through Gen2:3 we have a parallel structure (common for contemporary works) of summation of action by day. In Gen2:4, the narrative shifts with a clear textual identification as a transitional text (also very common in contemporary works, especially the Epic of Gilgamesh), "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,"
    With you so far...

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Then the narrative shifts into retelling the story from the perspective of God's relation to man, rather than God's relation to creation as a whole.

    More on this as the contemporary understanding here: http://www.chabad.org/parshah/torahr...showrashi=true
    In my opinion Gen. 2:4 is the first verse in the second telling; it fills the same role as Gen. 1:1 does for what follows there.

    "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Gen 1:1 (NKJV)

    "This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens," Gen 2:4 (NKJV)

    So on my view, Gen. 2:3 closes out Gen. 1, and Gen. 2:4 begins the second account.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    When God breathes into Adam, he is imparting a "nephesh" which is translated as soul or being or essence, clearly indicating through its use here (and elsewhere) that we are talking about is the essence of being human and that it is the splitting of man into male and female (hence the construct from Gen. 1) that represents a splitting of a whole, rather than the creation of a new, separate type of animal.
    I would say instead that the "whole" is the manifestation of the essence God breathed into Adam, but didn't make manifest until the "splitting" of Adam into two individuals.

    And for those who say the Bible isn't a "science book", I say pshaw, for here we have God demonstrating for us that the atom can be split!

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    This seems a reasonable construct given the word tsela`which mean "rib" in the sense of "part" like we say "rib of a ship or hill." It also can be used as side or section of a whole (like a section of the Temple (more intentional parallels there I think).
    Yeah, I guess because the Hebrew is also literally used as "plank", and because the rib cage so clearly resembles a cage made of planks, the translators thought "rib" would be best. I can't argue with their choice here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    I think it is important, at this juncture, to highlight why I made the distinction that God is performing two (or quite likely more than two) acts when creating man. It was to counter the OP's idea that the creation of man is a single, definable moment in the book of Genesis, like a snap of ethereal fingers and "poof" man exists.
    Okay, but it would help me to understand your argument if I understood why you thought countering the idea God created man in a moment, rather than as by a temporal process was important to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    The book of Genesis seems to be describing a process in that God gathers the dust, forms it, shapes and and then imparts being or soul into it.
    I get that's certainly your understanding of what it seems to be doing, but that understanding is open to challenge just by the fact we're given two accounts for the creation of the entire cosmos in just under 1,500 words! That means there's a heck of a lot of very large "gaps" in the narrative that have to be filled in by implication from the context, or multiple contexts, or pure speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    That it is a process removes the OP's limited notion of creation in Genesis and highlights that the existence of Neanderthals is not a material objection to the book of Genesis.
    Since I have the OP's author on "Ignore", I haven't read the OP, and so obviously can't remark on it's "limited notion of creation" here. I must confess, though, you have piqued my curiosity. I can't imagine how Neanderthals could possibly pose an empirical objection to the Genesis account of the creation of man, and my mystification only grows when their supposed empirical objection to the truth of Genesis is taken as a premise in a further argument concluding God does not exist!

    ---------- Post added at 06:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:46 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Sorry, I only meant to say the time frame is the same as the OT and it involves OT characters, not that it is part of the OT story cannon.
    The time frame is not the same either. So little is known about the origin of Enoch that it's dating spans three whole centuries, from 2nd BC to 1st AD. Only a very few books of the Old Testament are dated so late, and only by accepting certain modern literary critical theories that are rife with speculation and poorly justified presuppositions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    And many books in the bible were likely not written by who most christians attribute them to either but that is neither here not there.
    It's also not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    Presumably Enoch wrote the book of Enoch much like Moses is often presumed to have written the Exedous and Jobe the book of Jobe though none are actually known.
    Huh? No one thinks that Enoch wrote the Book of Enoch. Why? Because the book is THOUSANDS of years younger than it's main character, who claims to be its author. So there is no controversy as to its authenticity...it isn't. That is not true for Exodus or Job or Isaiah or Ezra or virtually any other book in the Old Testament. True, because there is controversy on the dating of these books, I cannot tell you they are unequivocally authentic as to authorship, but I can tell you unequivocally that your equating them with Enoch on this point is simply uninformed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    You are attacking a higher standard than I am trying to claim. I'm only saying that if you have a book called the Book of Enoch, the conceit is that Enoch wrote it. He is in the story heaven's scribe and commanded to record the events it contains. I'm not claiming it is either historically accurate or that it is endorsed by modern Christians.
    No, you're not telling me that the Book of Enoch is either historically accurate or endorsed by modern Christians. What you're telling me is entirely opaque, given I have no idea what you intend to say by your "the conceit is that Enoch wrote it". What "conceit" can there be when the only people who think anyone believes Enoch wrote the book that bears his name are people like you who don't seem to know what they're talking about in this regard?

    So why don't you take this opportunity to enlighten me as to what, exactly, your position is with regard to the relationship the Book of Enoch has to the Book of Genesis? Is Enoch in any position to accurately add to any story in Genesis, and if so, please describe in detail what that position is, and how Enoch manages to be in it. I don't think I'm attacking any higher standard than you're relying on to say the things you've said, but I could be wrong, and if you'll simply express what your standard is a little more clearly, then perhaps I will be able to see that I'm wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    That is not accurate. You could have two sources, one older than another, that are both independent branches of a yet older story and have no direct connection between them.
    In which case the literary dependence would be from Genesis and Enoch to this older common source, and there would be no literary dependence between Genesis and Enoch, and what I said ("The fact that if there is any literary dependence between two versions of the same story, etc.") would not apply in this case. It's not that this case renders what I said wrong, it's that this case is irrelevant to what I said. Understand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    If it is a direct account I agree. (But for instance with a scientific or archaeological document, newer documents could well contain newly discovered information and thus be more accurate.) But for this purpose I think you are correct.
    So then, you've agreed with #s 1 & 3, and misread #2, which, I believe, should you read more carefully, you will agree with as well. So I'm going to take it we agree on all three until you advise me otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    I think in this case however the Genesis story is mostly different simply in that it has less information, not that it contradicts Enoch specifically.
    I don't understand. Are you just going to ignore about half of my last post and continue to make this claim without having any answer to the analysis of the story in Genesis 6:1-4 I've given you? Here it is again:

    Quote Originally Posted by from prior cstamford post #43
    Now, whether or not it is reasonable to understand from the story given in Gen. 6:1-4 that angelic beings are meant by the phrase "sons of God", has already been covered by me in another of my posts in this thread, and the conclusion there is that it should not be so understood. Rather, the phrase is either opaque to the modern mind, or, and this is far more likely, refers to the descendents of Adam and Eve as distinct from those of their son, Cain. So then, the verse which says:
    "..the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful (literally "good"); and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose"

    In the Old Testament there is a often repeated meme, which is that the people of God are righteous, but will be unavoidably polluted by evil if they take to themselves as wives women of people who are not the people of God, who are not the "sons of God". I'm not going to provide you with a list of the occurrences of this meme by simply assuming you're not aware of it, but will gladly do so if you question the claim. So given this meme, it helps us understand what is meant when the author tacks on the last phrase, "whomever they chose". This phrase suggests that their choices were not entirely guided by this Divine prohibition to the sons of God not to intermarry with the unrighteous.

    And as for these marriages producing a race of giants, there is not the slightest indication form the Genesis text that this race of giants were the progeny of the marriages between the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men",, for after saying the "sons of God" chose whoever they wanted for their wives from among the "daughters of men", the text reads:
    "Then the Lord said, " My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them" Gen 6:3-4 (NASB)

    So we see that "the Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward". Okay, what are the days to which "those days" refer? Can't really say without further textual data. What about the days to which "and also afterward" refer? Here we've got some actual textual data, for "and also afterward" is explained by what follows it, "...and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore to them". So the Nephilim were on the earth when the sons of God were coming in to the daughters of men and bearing them children, and before the "sons of God" started doing that and having those children! Therefore, the text, when read carefully, prohibits the understanding that the sexual union between the "sons of God" (regardless of who they actually were, angels or men, though in context it is highly likely they were men) and the "daughters of men" resulted in the Nephilim race. This passage doesn't give us the cause for the existence of the Nephilim, only the fact they did exist. And so the point that has any relevance in this thread is settled by the text itself when carefully read.
    Now, since this makes the third time I've made this same basic argument to you, would you mind telling me if you ever intend to engage with it? Because if you don't intend to counter this analysis of the relevant text, then I'm going to start treating your claim that Genesis substantially differs from Enoch only in the fact that Enoch gives more information, and not that Enoch contradicts Genesis (when my analysis shows clearly that it does!) as I would any claim that continues to be made in the face of evidence to the contrary and without any evidential support of its own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    So it is quite possible there is an older common source that informs both of them.
    It's a fact that it is possible. Whether it's "quite possible" is just opinion, not a fact. Just want that distinction made clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    Though ultimately I think neither are "true" and both products of older legends which likewise are of imagination rather than history. I'd say it is likely Genesis has less discord with an older source (since it has much less information on the event if nothing else) than Enoch.
    If you agree with my #s 1-3 (and you do) what you should be saying is that Genesis is clearly the more reliable of the two accounts of this story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    For a believer, I think your view is reasonable, that the older source is generally more reliable.
    So why would limit "reasonable" here to believers? In explaining and defending my view have I once appealed to the supernatural, or to anything else the secularist would need to deny based on his secularism? No. So why wouldn't my "view" here be just as "reasonable" for you as for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    --- I'm going to cover the rest separately after some research, I'm thinking that is where the real meat of this discussion is. ---
    Anytime you want to further research a subject to continue the debate I'm going to thank you for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    The current science generally (but not strongly) supports that Neanderthal's did breed with Homo Sapians though they did not for the most part join societies and the Neanderthal line died out. Different human populations show different levels of Neanderthal DNA influence and yes indeed they do have Neanderthal DNA and are sequencing it into a known Genome though that work is not entirely complete.

    http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/.../interbreeding
    The draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome provides more evidence that interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans may have occurred. It showed more similarities between non-African modern humans and Neanderthals than between African modern humans and Neanderthals. This difference between regions is consistent with interbreeding between Neanderthals and the ancestors of Eurasian modern humans before they branched off into regional groups. Approximately 1 to 4% of non-African modern human DNA is shared with Neanderthals.
    You and I have very different notions of "support" if you can say, based on this linked article, that "current science generally (but not strongly) supports...etc." There is nothing in this article that shows anything but the possibility Neanderthals interbred with modern man. Your characterization relies on mere possibility as support for its accuracy. You wouldn't accept my use of a mere "possibility" as a premise to a conclusion you didn't accept, would you?

    As for facts without all the interpretation, they seem to be these:

    1. The oldest human DNA discovered is about 100,000 years, and came from what are believed to be the bones of a Neanderthal

    2.) The DNA sequencing your article talks about is not nuclear DNA. It's Mitochondrial DNA. There is no comparison possible between Neanderthal and modern man's DNA at this time.

    3.) The comparisons between the two done to date conflict with each other.

    4.) "it is difficult to prove or quantify admixture", which is generally "science speak" for "we can't do it".

    5.) One article I read claimed as much as "40%" of Neanderthal DNA is present in modern man's DNA, while your article claims a "1-4% admixture" has been found. This idea of Neanderthal DNA getting into modern DNA by interbreeding is apparently fast becoming the new Internet myth, with one site claiming this, another claiming that, and nobody able to specifically agree on much of anything.

    5a) Then there's the obvious flaw: assuming Neanderthal DNA has positively been identified in modern human DNA, all that's been shown is that modern man has some DNA that Neanderthal had too. It has not been shown how that happened, and interbreeding is only one of several possible ways.

    6.) And the nail in the "current science generally (but not strongly) supports that Neanderthal's did breed with Homo Sapians" coffin? "Interbreeding between archaic and moderns may have involved different species of archaic hominins". Now how are we supposed to trust the "evidence" that modern man interbred with Neanderthals when your article can't seem to tell with any confidence when an entirely different species of hominids bred with modern man, yet you'd like me to take this article as evidence that a sub-species did so?

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    They are given as God's creative action.
    Which in this case is category covering several different actions. Just as his creation of man is a sub category of a larger category of God's creative action when He created the world. The point was that the OP portrayed creation as a single act. That could either mean:

    1) An action that is a category with sub actions. Something like "I wrote a book" is a single act made up of a lot of subordinate tasks. In which case the OP fails because one of those sub-actions could well be the inclusion of Neanderthal DNA via any one of a number of processes.

    or

    2) A single action that is indivisible, which does not allow for (at least reasonably) the inclusion of actions such as the OP suggests happened. Something like "I wrote the letter a." In which case it is not in concordance with the text which details at least two actions (one clearly being a process of multiple sub-actions) that occurred in respect to that creative action.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cstam
    Well, this reasoning assumes that "nostrils" was meant to be understood literally,
    Even if not literally, if it is meant as the reception of God's spirit there still needs to be something that receives it. There is still the separate parts of formation of the physical and formation of the non-physical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cstam
    That is a thoroughly modern, analytical mind at work on the question.
    Not necessarily, if you read Rabbinic analysis of the OT written hundreds of years ago you get similar questions, similar deduction, similar analysis. Modern minds do not have a monopoly on deductive reasoning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cstam

    First, for the ancients' view: Imagine I've drawn you a row of empty boxes without lids that look something like this "|_|". Then the ancients view of creation is the gods going down a row of these boxes and putting into them there essence; their functionality in the world, and it is at the moment when a box gets this role in the world from the gods that this box becomes whatever it is; a cow, a tree, the Sun, a man. So the creative moment isn't when the box appears, but when the box is filled with something.

    By contrast, moderns view creative acts as ontological events. We envision the "box" in the abstract as already filled with an "essence", but not actually existing at all. Then on this view of existence, the creative act moves the already filled abstract box from being a mere possibility into being actual. It's as if the gods walked down an entirely empty row, acting along the way in a fashion that caused already filled "boxes" to appear in actuality.
    Hmm, I'm not sure I fully agree with this distinction from the ancient perspective. We should note at least one point here, YHWH is a very, very different diety than what the ancient Hebrews would have encountered elsewhere. For example, the gods in Gilgamesh are not separate from nature, they are more akin to super humans than what we would view as a god. The process of creation in Gilgamesh, Book of the Dead and other early works is more (like you said) the ordering of the pre-existent. The formation of the wood into the box, the making it into an actual box with functionality. I'm not as sure that was true for the early Jews, the first verse of Genesis separates this account from other contemporary versions. Perhaps I am misunderstanding your argument, but I'm not sure an early Jew would have seen creation that differently (as a philosophic matter anyway) from what we are arguing here.


    Quote Originally Posted by cstam
    If it's just that you take the position the two accounts are describing the same creation event in different ways, then I agree.
    More or less, Gen 1's account is an overview, something like "firing a rifle involves, loading the magazine, chambering the round, and firing the weapon." Gen 2 delves down deeper into an important step, "firing the weapon involves aiming at a target, getting a steady position, controlling your breathing, taking the weapon off of safe and then squeezing the trigger."


    Quote Originally Posted by cstam
    Not sure what you're saying here, either. It appears to me you're claiming there's some "either/or" way to understand the Genesis accounts of creation, and that our choices are either the way you do or this "Lilith theory". And if that's what you're saying, then I disagree there is this, or any dichotomy here.

    In any case, between us, there is no reason to consider this "Lilith theory", as you apparently don't accept it yourself, and I don't even know what it is, so I clearly don't either. I will confess that in a brief attempt to find out about "Lilith", I ran into the fact she may, I stress may, be mentioned by Isaiah in chapter 34:14, depending entirely on what Hebrew text is consulted. (ie., the text on which the King James is based has "sair", or "goat demon", and the NASB has "lilith", the female night demon that was responsible for still births and high infant mortality)
    I was simply pointing out that there is at least one attempt to read the Gen 1 account as a separate event from Gen 2. It suffers from quite a few problems, so I am happy if you are willing to drop it as well as we both seem to agree that it is not a viable reading of the text.


    Quote Originally Posted by cstam
    In my opinion Gen. 2:4 is the first verse in the second telling; it fills the same role as Gen. 1:1 does for what follows there.
    I agree, it is really just a matter of what kind of marker we understand it to be. In Gilgamesh these markers highlight endings. In Homer they serve as breaks, segment break text segment break text segment, not part of either segment. I'm honestly not familiar with the texts in ancient Hebrew to make a call on how they did it, only to say that they too made this type of division. I am more than happy to go with your interpretation of the break down here.


    Quote Originally Posted by cstam
    I would say instead that the "whole" is the manifestation of the essence God breathed into Adam, but didn't make manifest until the "splitting" of Adam into two individuals.
    In what sense? What in the text leads you to see Adam as different between the two sections?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstam
    Yeah, I guess because the Hebrew is also literally used as "plank", and because the rib cage so clearly resembles a cage made of planks, the translators thought "rib" would be best. I can't argue with their choice here.
    Translation is always a difficult job, we are attempting to split words here that appeared very similar to Hebrews (hence the same word).

    Quote Originally Posted by cstam
    Okay, but it would help me to understand your argument if I understood why you thought countering the idea God created man in a moment, rather than as by a temporal process was important to you.
    For a couple of reasons. Personally I am wary of us reading our interpretations into the text. Gen 2 doesn't say that God creates man in the blink of an eye or instantly or any other real reference so I would at least limit my interpretation to what it appears the text is saying.

    For the debate, I think the concept is a defeator of the OP. If the account includes a process, then the existence of Neanderthal DNA poses no irreconcilable data.


    Quote Originally Posted by cstam
    I get that's certainly your understanding of what it seems to be doing, but that understanding is open to challenge just by the fact we're given two accounts for the creation of the entire cosmos in just under 1,500 words! That means there's a heck of a lot of very large "gaps" in the narrative that have to be filled in by implication from the context, or multiple contexts, or pure speculation.
    I agree that this is definitely not a step by step manual for creation, especially given that one of the phrases used (gathering the dust) implies a process of some sort. But those gaps don't serve to make this a less complicated process. At best they are gaps in the steps taken, areas where other actions not considered relevant or too detailed occurred. I think the fact that we have these areas is only an indication of more complexity in the Creation event, not less.


    Quote Originally Posted by cstam
    Since I have the OP's author on "Ignore", I haven't read the OP, and so obviously can't remark on it's "limited notion of creation" here. I must confess, though, you have piqued my curiosity. I can't imagine how Neanderthals could possibly pose an empirical objection to the Genesis account of the creation of man, and my mystification only grows when their supposed empirical objection to the truth of Genesis is taken as a premise in a further argument concluding God does not exist!
    For your edification:

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    I don't even know if this will really bear out but if indeed we do have Neandertal genes as part of our genetic makeup, doesn't that throw most creation stories out of the window. Particularly Genesis, which posits the claim that humans were created as a single act?

    I'm not really interested in discussing a Young Earth Creationist story or that Neandertals don't really exist so please don't rebut with those points. But rather, for those Christians that have some belief of science, is Christianity still robust against this alternative Genesis?

    I argue it isn't for the following reasons:

    Clearly, this is proof that Genesis didn't happen the way that we'd originally thought. I had considered that maybe Adam & Eve may be metaphorical stand-ins Humans and Neanderthals but that does change how the rest of the Bible would have to be re-interpreted so I'm rejecting and arguing that Genesis can't possibly be true.
    Once we lose Genesis, then I think the whole religion collapses; especially considering recent discussions around some Christian marriages being only between a man and a woman lead all the way back there (see Mr. Hyde, my interpretation is actually robust enough to keep Genesis around ).
    If there were other intelligent beings around at the beginning of our history, as is already known of course, doesn't that too disrupt the story (although, they could be the Nephilim - not a new idea!)?



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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    @Squatch

    Okay, I'm still lost, having now read JJ's OP (thank you). First, I can't identify a logical train of thought in the OP. The OP starts off reasonably enough, reporting that there is some evidence that Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans (AMH) interbred. Of course, nothing is said about how weak this evidence is, and, frankly, in my opinion it could hardly be weaker and still exist. All that is actually known is that some scientists have identified certain sequences of DNA in both Neanderthal and AMH, while other scientists who looked did not, and that those who did are getting most of the press.

    But let's pretend the evidence is convincing, what follows? The OP obviously assumes Neanderthal and AMH interbreeding is thereby established, but why think that? No one has given us any compelling evidence for the "fact" Neanderthal DNA appears in AMH DNA by interbreeding. And we AMHs share about 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, and about 35% with sunflowers, yet who's claiming in some science journal that AMHs interbred with chimps and sunflowers. So again we run headlong into a glaring inconsistency in the OP's train of thought, by now derailed and on fire to the point one has to start wondering if this debate is not misplaced, and should be moved from the "Religion" forum to the "Hypothetical" forum. But let's just set all that aside, and treat the OP as if all this hypothetical stuff is actual fact, just so we can make it all the way through this "train of thought".

    Then the "thinking" seems to go from since it's true (as opposed to "if it's true" with the big emphasis on "if" for accuracy) that Neanderthal and AMH interbred, the account of man's creation in Genesis is false. But whether God created man through a process of evolution that spanned the 3.5 billion years Neo-Darwinians claim, or in the blink of an eye out of a Divine "handful" of dust, as the Young Earth Creationists claim, or simply spoke man into existence, as He did the Light, it can't be "scientifically proven" the Genesis account is wrong, which makes it "unfalsifiable" by any scientific inquiry into the origin or history of man, and so cuts the legs out from under the OP's notion that Neanderthal and AMH interbreeding falsifies Genesis. And how do we know Genesis can't be falsified? From the best authority there is: the same "science" upon which the OP is leaning heavily to "falsify" Genesis! Either Genesis is "creationism" not "science", because "creationism" can't be falsified, or it can be falsified, as the OP is arguing, in which case it isn't creationism, and therefore an alternate theory of origins that is not religious in nature, so can be taught as such in public schools. I'm going to go out on a limb here and just assume JJ wouldn't accept Genesis being taught in pubic schools. And this makes the...what?...third, or fourth glaring flaw in the OP?

    But let's pretend the OPs argument does not chop off its own legs three or four times by this point, and move onto the next "premise" in the OP, which seems to be since science has proven the Genesis account of the origin of man wrong by proving that Neanderthal and AMH interbred, then the religions of Judaism and Christianity must collapse. Now, maybe some cogent argument could be offered that Judaism would suffer greatly were it to be the case Genesis was demonstrated to be false by some "consensus" of experts (although Judaism seems to have weathered the modern acid of literary criticism well that shows a great deal of orthodox Judaism false), but Christianity? Only someone with very little understanding of the foundation of Christianity would even hint at such a result! The foundation of Christianity is not Judaism in any but a pickwickian sense, not any particular interpretation of Genesis, and not on every recorded word out of Jesus' mouth being historically accurate, but on the Deity of Christ incarnate, crucified, risen from the dead and ascended into heaven. So Christianity can get along just fine without Genesis being true. But let's again pretend for a moment that it can't; that this idea that it can't isn't another leg of support for the OP that was broken before it started.

    Does it follow that if Judaism and Christianity are shown false that God doesn't exist? How? If God's existence depends on religion being true, JJ has a long way to go (adherents.com lists 22 major religions, and I'm guessing that's a conservative number) after showing only two of them are false, to get to a rational conclusion there is no God.

    So I fail to see any legitimate reasoning in the OP. To me it is simply a compilation of premises that are either unlikely to be true, or being slightly more likely to be true than false, do not logically support the conclusion reached. What I'm wondering is why you chose to defend a particular take on Genesis as your means of taking on an argument so shot full of holes? As my pastor is fond of remarking, it's always wisest to put the cookies down low where the children can reach them. And I say it's always wisest to pick the low hanging fruit first.

    In any case, since, for your own reasons, you seem to have chosen the inherently most difficult way to proceed to defend the negative in this debate, I'm going to stop criticizing it based on the fact there are a multitude of valid interpretations of Genesis, and the one I favor is not the same as yours. I'd love to have that conversation, but I see it as counter-productive to what should be going on at this particular time and place, so I'm bowing out.
    Last edited by cstamford; April 17th, 2014 at 06:39 PM.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I don't think it is restricted to YEC's, otherwise, I wouldn't bother wasting everyone's time. It's not only YEC's that believe in the story of Genesis or the Flood - it's at least half the country.
    So let's say half of all religious people disbelieve evolution. That still means half of all religious people do believe in evolution. So regardless, being religious does not inherently mean rejecting evolution and therefore proof of evolution is not proof against God or religious belief.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    Then the "thinking" seems to go from since it's true (as opposed to "if it's true" with the big emphasis on "if" for accuracy) that Neanderthal and AMH interbred, the account of man's creation in Genesis is false. But whether God created man through a process of evolution that spanned the 3.5 billion years Neo-Darwinians claim, or in the blink of an eye out of a Divine "handful" of dust, as the Young Earth Creationists claim, or simply spoke man into existence, as He did the Light, it can't be "scientifically proven" the Genesis account is wrong,
    Not necessarily wrong, but symbolic. You left out another possible option and that is that God used both processes, a blink of an eye and evolution, not just one or the other. How would that have worked?

    1. God creates man in his image/likeness relatively quickly. From this unfallen state of existence no evolution is required because man was close to perfect (spiritually and physically) from the beginning as was the Creator's intent and will. The spiritual soul, housed in man, a physical being, exists in paradise knowing God, not separate from his maker for who knows how long of a period of time. Such a state of reality and existence may seem foreign to us, but I suppose creative Hollywood movie directors could make it seem real.
    2. Then man chooses a separate existence outside of God’s image and likeness that IS subject to physical evolution, i.e., aging, suffering, life, death. From this fallen state of being, separate from man’s ultimate source, the physical evolutionary process of man comes into play.
    3. Now this scenario begs the question, what happens to man's spiritual evolution when he became subject to physical evolution, which then can lead us to consider: what forces drive man's evolution?


    So Genesis doesn’t have to be wrong, but it could be quite symbolic of actual events.
    Last edited by eye4magic; April 17th, 2014 at 06:21 PM.
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    So let's say half of all religious people disbelieve evolution. That still means half of all religious people do believe in evolution. So regardless, being religious does not inherently mean rejecting evolution and therefore proof of evolution is not proof against God or religious belief.
    I'm not really talking about Evolution here though. I am pointing out that Neanderthals interbreeding with humans shows that we were not created directly from the image of God, which is what the Bible claims. If the Genesis story is wrong, even if it were taken metaphorically, then that blows a lot of the modern notions of Christian American politics out of the water. If he didn't create Eve from Adam's rib then he certainly didn't mean for marriage to be between a man and a woman only; nor any of the social constrictions Christianity puts on women that's taken half a century to unwind. So it may not be proof against God (so deists are OK) but it does mean that the basis for some of Christian thinking may be unfounded.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Not necessarily wrong, but symbolic. You left out another possible option and that is that God used both processes, a blink of an eye and evolution, not just one or the other. How would that have worked?


    1. God creates man in his image relatively quickly. From this unfallen state of existence no evolution is required because man was close to perfect (spiritually and physically) from the beginning as was the Creator's intent and will. Man lives in paradise knowing God, not separate from his maker for who knows how long. Such a state of reality and existence would be foreign to us but I suppose creative Hollywood movie directors could make it seem real.
    2. Then man chooses a separate existence outside of God’s image and likeness that IS subject to physical evolution, i.e., aging, suffering, life, death. From this fallen state of being, separate from man’s ultimate source, the physical evolutionary process of man comes into play.
    3. Now this scenario begs the question, what happens to man's spiritual evolution when he became subject to physical evolution, which then can lead us to consider: what forces drive man's evolution?


    So Genesis doesn’t have to be wrong, but it could be quite symbolic of actual events.
    I have to ask: what gave you the idea I was saying Genesis has to be wrong, or that if its symbolic (however you're using that word) it's thereby saved from being wrong?

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    The point was that the OP portrayed creation as a single act. That could either mean:

    1) An action that is a category with sub actions. Something like "I wrote a book" is a single act made up of a lot of subordinate tasks. In which case the OP fails because one of those sub-actions could well be the inclusion of Neanderthal DNA via any one of a number of processes.

    or

    2) A single action that is indivisible, which does not allow for (at least reasonably) the inclusion of actions such as the OP suggests happened. Something like "I wrote the letter a." In which case it is not in concordance with the text which details at least two actions (one clearly being a process of multiple sub-actions) that occurred in respect to that creative action.
    There's a third option, which is what I had in mind - that it's a combination of both. I am saying that the creation of man was done as a single event that may have take a a minute or a few days but certainly not the millions or thousands of years that you seem to be claiming in order to fit the facts into the narrative in Genesis. And even if it did happen in the way you want it to, then it belies the claim that humans are made in God's image.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    I am pointing out that Neanderthals interbreeding with humans shows that we were not created directly from the image of God, which is what the Bible claims.
    That point still doesn't logically follow, as I have shown once already.

    It simply doesn't follow that because Neanderthals interbreed with humans, that we were not originally created in the image of God.

    If you are going to ignore that point completely then I Challenge you to support your point with a logical argument.
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    I have to ask: what gave you the idea I was saying Genesis has to be wrong, or that if its symbolic (however you're using that word) it's thereby saved from being wrong?
    I wasn't stating that you think Genesis is wrong. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I was pointing out that there's another consideration to what you were pointing out regarding the process God might have used to create man and his ongoing existence on the planet.

    ---------- Post added at 07:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:01 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    There's a third option, which is what I had in mind - that it's a combination of both. I am saying that the creation of man was done as a single event that may have take a a minute or a few days but certainly not the millions or thousands of years that you seem to be claiming in order to fit the facts into the narrative in Genesis. And even if it did happen in the way you want it to, then it belies the claim that humans are made in God's image.
    Why?
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post

    S: He also creates a being with a living soul, by breathing into it. You are assuming Neandertal had a living soul that it would have been a being in that sense, but that would have been absurd to the Old Testament writers. The Old Testament goes out of its way to impart the message that there is a distinction between mankind and all other life.

    JJ; Are you saying then that it's possible that Neanderthals were known to the OT writers?

    I'm not sure why that would need to be the case. The term in question just refers to materials. That they would need to be aware of the underlying nature of those materials seems superfluous. If I were to say "Boeing engineers used polymer materials when designing the 787 aircraft." Is that statement untrue because I, Squatch, don't know specifically which polymers were used or how those polymers were constructed?
    Yes, but mankind includes DNA from Neanderthals so the original OT writers either knew about them and hid the fact; or didn't know them at all and already had Neanderthal DNA at the time of writing. In which case, how can the claim be that man is made in the image of God?

    JJ: I also don't see where it is precluded that Neanderthals were created by God
    Why would you think that I am arguing that they weren't? All of the materials referenced in the text were created by God, the universe was created by God. My point was that they are not living souls, which is inherent in the text given that all life is created on earth without the insertion of a living soul, and then the writers specifically call out that as an additional step.
    Yes, but we know that Neanderthals were tool makers and were therefore sentient. So whether they're 'living souls' (whatever that means) seems to be just an extra bonus that humans got. And it must have happened after the Neanderthals of course and the interbreeding points to the fact that we must have had some kind of common ancestor.

    Though Genesis 1:27 seems to tell a different story from Adam & Eve:
    So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

    28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1

    So you seem to be drawing from two separate accounts here.


    JJ: I see so what you're saying here is that's how the Neanderthal DNA got into the human genome.
    My guess is that you are again inferring a type of action that isn't implied. My guess is that you think that I am arguing that God manually moved genetic information from one species to another? Is that right?

    If so, this again falls into the category that led to the OP, you are envisioning the action yourself and projecting it on others rather than studiously understanding their theological position.
    Yes to both I suppose. I don't have a theological understanding - only an atheist one trying to reconcile facts with the story (or rather stories) of our Genesis.


    It is if it is the result of not doing your homework properly so that you are criticizing the text for something it isn't saying.
    Well, I certainly know it's not mentioning anything about modern humans having come from the interbreeding of two cousin species!

    JJ: Only because you have smuggled Neanderthal DNA into the 'dust' which I'm sure you made up!
    You think that I "made up" the standard definition of a word from an authoritative source? That sounds a bit like desperation on your part. "Dust" literally means "building materials" in biblical Hebrew, that has been supported here. It is used to refer to wood, planks, stone, tools, workers, land, skills, plans and a dozen other things in various contexts in the OT, just as we would use the term "materials," it is a generic term applying to quite a lot of things. You can dismiss this as "made up" if you like, but that isn't much of a knowledgeable rebuttal.
    Yet all the 'building materials' you mention are inanimate non-living things; whereas DNA has a specific connotation of some kind of genetic engineering God must have done in order to come up with the first human. Well, not only does the first humans share common ancestors with other Homonids, they also appear to have bred with them too.

    Note too Genesis specifically mentions 'dust from the ground':

    Then the Lord God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
    So that limits the kinds of materials to something pretty precise - i.e. soil or maybe just even sand. But we know pre-humans existed before humans so what happened to them? Why didn't the Bible just say God took a pre-human and gave him a soul? Why dust? Which appears to imply some kind of inanimate material into which he breathed life into? That also happens to be genetically contiguous with an existing Homonid (the prehuman)? AND also containing the DNA from another one?

    Seems a bit tough to square that one - it appears that God is just taking a complicated route to do something that doesn't seem to line up with the fossil record or genetic facts.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I was pointing out that there's another consideration to what you were pointing out regarding the process God might have used to create man and his ongoing existence on the planet.
    Yeah, I got that much. What I don't get is how this adds or subtracts from the section of my argument you quoted in giving me this other interpretation of Genesis' account of creation. Can you help me out there?

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That point still doesn't logically follow, as I have shown once already.

    It simply doesn't follow that because Neanderthals interbreed with humans, that we were not originally created in the image of God.

    If you are going to ignore that point completely then I Challenge you to support your point with a logical argument.
    Of course it follows, it means that humans were not created by God but by interbreeding with humans and Neanderthals. There may have been a precursor human before that mating took place, the one you're forced to say that God created, but that species is not human, or us. Genetically, the pure 'human' that God created is no longer, which means that we're not made in his image.

    ---------- Post added at 07:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:04 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Why?
    Why what?

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    Yeah, I got that much. What I don't get is how this adds or subtracts from the section of my argument you quoted in giving me this other interpretation of Genesis' account of creation. Can you help me out there?
    Whether it adds or subtracts to your argument I guess would be a matter of opinion. I was simply pointing out there’s another option to consider.

    ---------- Post added at 08:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:09 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Why what?
    Why, "even if it did happen in the way you want it to, then it belies the claim that humans are made in God's image." Why does it belie that man was made in God's image?
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Why, "even if it did happen in the way you want it to, then it belies the claim that humans are made in God's image." Why does it belie that man was made in God's image?
    Because it doesn't follow genetically. Since we have Neanderthal DNA then either God created us with it (which makes no sense since we were supposed to be been created whole from 'dust'); or he didn't - in which case he created a precursor human, before we bred with Neanderthals,which is not us. So the Bible account isn't true for us humans but for some other species. It just doesn't fit together very well.

 

 
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