Friday, December 16, 2005

The Somniaturge

Removed for editing

Monday, December 05, 2005


I have a question that I hope someone can help me with. It is concerning the Bible… No, wait, hear me out. This is a sensible question from a non-Christian.

Here goes:

Premise 1
Current Christian thinking places the creation of the world at about 4000BC with humans being created on the 6th day with creation of Adam and Eve. All humans thereafter were the direct descendants of those two people. About 1656 years later the population of the world was whittled down to eight – Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives – during the great flood, when everyone else was wiped out. Therefore, everyone alive today is descended from those eight people.

Premise 2
In articles concerning the animal kingdom, when discussing endangered species, “loss of genetic variability” is often talked about. In elephants for instance, 500 individuals is often quoted as being the minimum number needed for the survival of the species, but one school of thought suggests that even then, minimal genetic manipulation would be needed in order to maintain the gene pool. 2,000 individuals appears to be the consensus for the number of individuals required for a species to survive with no genetic intervention.

My question (and though it has probably been asked many times before, I have never heard a convincing answer) is this: Even if you assume that perhaps the first few generations after Adam and Eve were somehow exempt from this fundamental principle, how can the human race have survived after the Flood with the gene pool provided by eight individuals? It just doesn’t make any sense. Also, in order to continue the human race after the flood, a certain amount of incest must have taken place. My understanding of the Bible’s stance on sex is that “no man shall lie with anyone other than his wife”.

If there is anyone out there with the time to spare who can answer this, I would be most grateful.