Books and Code · A Miscellany

Literal interpretations of Genesis


I had a bit of an epiphany recently regarding the Genesis account of creation and its commonly-held view of man’s “special creation” by God. In discussions with evolution-haters (i.e., Christians who believe in a Genesis-esque creation), their biggest problem with evolution seems to be that it invalidates the Bible’s claim that man was specially created by God. It is a nice argument, but one must look at this from a new perspective–is Genesis consistent with the idea that man was created ‘special.’ I purport that this is not necessarily so.

First, the common view among evolution unbelievers is that man was made perfect before the fall. If this is meant to be literally so, then please answer this question: If God created man perfect, he would have been perfectly made prior to Eve’s creation, and yet Adam was created with male sex organs. Is it not ridiculous for God to create a single being with sex organs to procreate with the opposite sex which was not intended to be created in the first place! Recall, Eve was created because Adam was ‘lonely,’ it stands to reason that if Adam was not lonely then Eve would not have been created. If Eve was not created, then Adam’s testes were created without purpose.

Second, Cain was banished to a place called Nod, was scared that someone out there would kill him, and later had a wife. These suggest that other people existed in other places. If people existed in other places, then they were created by God, but not ‘specially’ as they are not descendants of Adam. It seems to me that the ‘special’ creation dogma makes more sense as a precursor to the ideology of Jews being God’s chosen people–a common theme throughout the Old Testament.

I could go on and on with inherent problems with a literalistic view of Genesis and the fundamentalist responses to each one, but my ultimate point is this: why must Genesis be literal when taking it so necessitates a host of complicated justifications when looking at the book figuratively does not have these problems.