15 April 2007

How many species did Adam name?

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. Genesis 2:19-20

So how many species did Adam name?

Well, if you believe the Genesis story, "every living creature" was directly and immediately created by God in that failed matchmaking attempt. God hoped that one of them (the bot fly maybe) would strike Adam's fancy, but none of them did. Shucks! So God created Eve instead.

In the process, though, Adam named all of the species that God created. And he did it in a single afternoon.

So why is it taking us so long? Thousands of biologists have been working for for nearly 350 years, yet they still haven't named them all.

About ten days ago, the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) recorded its millionth species. But that leaves another 750,000 known species that have yet to be included. And no one knows (except maybe Adam and God) how many unknown species are still out there. Some estimates put it at as many as ten million or so (not including extinct species).

So Adam must have identified and named millions of species on that fine afternoon in the garden of Eden. 350,000 species of beetles, 120,000 flies, 100,000 parasitic wasps, 20,000 nematodes. And he was just getting started. He must have needed that nap after he was done. (I sympathize with Adam. I spent a few hours this afternoon trying to identify a half dozen aquatic invertebrates.)

But it was all part of God's plan. He was trying to find a mate for Adam and he just got carried away with beetles, flies, wasps, and worms. Stuff like that happens in the Bible.

54 comments:

Suricou Raven said...

Ive tried this. Creationists have two excuses - one bad, one worse.

The bad one: Adam didn't name every species, but every group. This everything small and many-limbed he just refered to as 'bug.' Everything with feathers gets the name 'bird.' And so on.

The worse one comes from a similar problem: Just as there are too many species to name in a day, there are too many to fit on the ark. So creationists decided to reduce the number of species by inventing the concept of 'kinds' - large groupings of species, roughly equivilent to orders in conventional classification. The idea is that God creates two of each kind, Adam names the kinds, Noah saves two or five of each of the kinds, and post-flood the kinds split into species as seen today via microevolution. Creationists insist that evolution may affect small details within kinds, but not change one kind into another.

The most obvious problem with that is numbers. Even going by order rather than species, its still far, far to high a number to name in a day, or to fit on the ark. Plus there are all the other objections - inbreeding, geographic distribution post-flood, collecting them all, feeding the predators withoug losing the prey species...

There are explanations given for those too, but by the time they are taken into account the whole thing begins to resemble the santa myth - every time a practical problem is pointed out, a new feature is added to the myth without explanation, and usually a quite fantastic one - flying raindeer, the infinate sack, the supersonic santa, a magic workshop...

Jason said...

Steve, in the verses you provided, where does it say that Adam named insects?

Steve Wells said...

Jason said...

"Steve, in the verses you provided, where does it say that Adam named insects?"

Both verses (2:19-20) say that Adam named "every living creature." Wouldn't that include insects (even four-legged ones)?

"And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to ... every beast of the field." Genesis 2:19-20

Jason said...

"And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them..."

No insects here. Somewhere else perhaps...?

Steve Wells said...

"And whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof."

So insects aren't living creatures, eh Jason?

Jason said...

Insects are living creatures Steve, they're just not the living creatures Adam named.

Gen 2:20 "And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him."

Do you consider insects to be cattle, fowls or beasts of the field, Steve?

Steve Wells said...

It's not what I think that counts here, Jason. It's what the imaginary Bible-God thinks.

I wouldn't call insects four-legged flying creeping things, but that's what they are to the God of Bible (Leviticus 11:20-23).

So yes, when Genesis 2:19 says that "whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof", it means just that. God created every living creature because, as he said in Genesis 2:18, "It is not good that the man should be alone."

Adam wouldn't have been alone if God had already created 350,000 species of beetles. And, if you believe the creation story in Genesis 2 (you do believe it don't you, Jason?), then God created the beetles along with "every (other) living creature" in order to find Adam a companion.

I know it's a silly story, Jason. But I didn't make it up, so don't blame me for it.

Jason said...

Oh, actually I'm interested in hearing what you have to say. I'll ask again:

Gen 2:20 "And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him."

Do you consider insects to be cattle, fowls or beasts of the field, Steve?

BEAJ said...

Noah was the ultimate at identifying different bug species and animal species.

Rodrigo said...

Jason insists in adhere literally in one quote and ignore the previous one. Good way of debating...

Steve Wells said...

Jason said...
"Oh, actually I'm interested in hearing what you have to say. I'll ask again:

Do you consider insects to be cattle, fowls or beasts of the field, Steve?"

Well, that depends who's talking, Jason.

If a rancher talks about "cattle", he's probably talking about cows (domesticated ungulates in the Genus Bos). If a farmer talks about "fowls", he's probably means poultry (domesticated species in the order Galliformes). Or a hunter might be talking about wildfowl in the order Anseriformes.

But if someone talks about the "beast of the field", then I would suppose that that person (besides just trying to sound biblical) was referring to every living thing, or "every living creature" as it so clearly says in Genesis 2:19. ("And whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.")

Why are you trying to limit the number of species that were named by Adam, Jason? God seems proud of his "How-the-animals-got-their-names" story. You seem to be embarrassed by it. Why is that?

Jason said...

You'd think I was asking a tough question or something!! Do you yourself believe "insects" are "beasts of the field"?

Since you're having so much trouble answering, try this little exercise. Exodus 1:1 "Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob."

When you read this verse, you immediately know that the subjects are the "children of Israel". When you read "every man and his household", you don't scratch your head wondering how every single man on the face of the planet suddenly showed up traveling with Jacob because you know that the "every man" is in the "children of Israel" group. "Every" is exclusive.

The same literary device is used in Genesis 2:19. The "beast of the field" and the "fowl of the air" are the subjects. The "every living creature" are the beasts and fowls. "Every" is selective, not all-inclusive. This is why verse 20 makes perfect sense in terms of why some animals aren't mentioned as being named (e.g. insects and sea creatures): they're not beasts of the field or fowls.

Speaking of which, if your "beast of the field refers to every living thing" theory holds true then sea animals must also be included in the bunch. You don't think a squid is a beast of the field, do you Steve?.

Oh no, I'm not embarrassed by the story in Genesis at all. I'm too busy chuckling at the idea that you think there are people out there who refer to the planet's massive collection of animals as "beasts of the field"!!

Steve Wells said...

I think we're finally starting to get somewhere, Jason!

I agree with you. In Genesis 2:19-20, "Beasts of the field" and "every living creature" probably don't include marine organisms (the author ignored them in this crude tale, if he was aware of their existence at all). He probably was referring only to terrestrial animals.

But that doesn't help much, since nearly all insects are terrestrial. (Insects have been tremendously successful just about everywhere except the ocean.)

So the "beasts of the field" and "every living creature" would include insects. (Unless the author was so ignorant and sloppy that he didn't even think of them. Which is possible. After all, God thinks insects have four legs.)

BEAJ said...

Insects must have only had 4 legs when the bible was written. They probably evolved the other two since then:)

Pinksy said...

Is Jason's argument that by proving Adam only named cattle and fowl, the story is more genuine?

By the way, if he named the cattle and fowl, how were these names recorded? I'm guessing he didn't write the names down, so he must have spread the word. But to who? Or did he just remember them until Eve showed up?

Jason said...

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts about this (sincerely):

Exodus 1:1 "Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob."

When we read this verse, we immediately know that the subjects are the "children of Israel". When we read "every man and his household", we don't scratch our collective heads wondering how every single man on the face of the planet suddenly showed up traveling with Jacob, because we know that the "every man" is in the "children of Israel" group. "Every" is exclusive.

The same literary device is used in Genesis 2:19. The "beast of the field" and the "fowl of the air" are the subjects. The "every living creature" are the beasts and fowls. "Every" is selective, not all-inclusive. This is why verse 20 makes perfect sense in terms of why some animals aren't mentioned as being named (e.g. insects and sea creatures): they're not beasts of the field or fowls.

So, is there a precedent for "beasts of the field" including insects? It doesn't appear so. Firstly, insects are commonly referred to in the Bible as 'creeping things', ("And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so" Gen 1:24)

Further, these 'beasts of the field' are commonly referred to as 'devouring people' and in Daniel 4 there are a few references to people living like the beasts of the field. This sort of language doesn't lend itself very well to insects.

Secondly, 'beasts of the field' appear to be larger animals (at least larger then insects). For example, see Psa 8:7, Jer 27:6, and Eze 29:5. (see above)

More conclusively however, 'beasts of the field' are thrice mentioned as being distinct from 'creeping things' (insects).

1. "...both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them." Gen 6:7

2. "So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth..." Eze 38:20

3. "And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and [with] the creeping things of the ground:"Hsa 2:18

These verses would appear to put the argument to rest: beasts of the fields and insects are two different, distinct classes of animals.

Certainly a great study to say the least.

Pinksy said...

Yes, a great study, but what does it prove about Genesis 2:19-20?

beepbeepitsme said...

God found after creating the insects in biblical times that he had lots of insect legs left over. I dunno, maybe he ordered too many from the insect warehouse or something, but that is why modern day insects have 6 legs. God had to use up all the extra insect legs because he couldn't get a refund on the spares.

See, it all makes sense. Oh yea of little faith. :)

Steve Wells said...

The problem with your analysis, Jason, is that it doesn't agree with the creation story in Genesis 2.

Here's a summary of Genesis 2:4-25.

1. The first living thing created by God was Adam. (2:4-7)

2. God created all the pleasant-looking, good-eating trees, along with two special ones (of life and knowledge). This may have also included various other plants. (2:8-9)

3. God put Adam in the garden to care for it. (2:15-17)

4. God created "every beast of the field" and "every fowl of the air" and brought them to Adam. Adam named "every living creature." (2:18-20)

5. Because none of the animals appealed to Adam, God created Eve. (2:21-25)

From the story, we learn that.

1. God created trees (and maybe other plants) for man to eat and appreciate aesthetically.

2. Animals (apparently all of them) were created by God to try to find a "help meet" for Adam.

It is true, as you point out, that "creeping things" are not specifically mentioned in this story. And the bible-god sometimes refers to insects as "creeping things". But God is a sloppy taxonomist and he doesn't much like insects (no matter how many he created). Sometimes he calls them fowls, like in the now-familiar Stumpy verse ("All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you." Leviticus 11:20) and sometimes he calls them "creeping things".

So it seems most likely (to me, at least) that God included insects in the "every living creature" of Genesis 2:19. But I could be wrong.

In which verse in the second creation story (Genesis 2:4-25) do you think God created insects, Jason? Or do you think he just forgot to mention them in this story?

jake3988 said...

'and whatsoever Adam called every living creature'


EVERY LIVING CREATURE. Period. Please go away.

Stop trying to prove something that's not there and has no point being argued.


Hell, we could probably dispute for hours on a basis that lies somewhere in a void about what the hell a beast is. But it said... Adam called EVERY LIVING CREATURE. Then named them.

That's a lot of work.




Although, something we can scratch our brains about is why the author found it important to specifically say cattle. What's so special about cattle?!

Caleb said...

Is everyone forgetting something here? Insects aside, it still would have taken an astronomically long period of time to name all the "beast of fields" and "fowls of the air" - and we are supposed to believe that Adam covered them all in a single day.

And don't tell me he just called all fowls "birds." If he gave a single lump name to an entire classification, then it would have taken him less than a minute to name all the animals (we'd be talking about less than ten names, after all) and the Bible wouldn't have bothered to mention it.

And, again, let's not forget that we are talking about a violent, sexist, homophobic, penis-obsessed, rape-condoning, self-contradictory Jewish deity who is apparently incapable of counting the number of legs on an insect.

Jason said...

The two creation stories are the same. One is a macro view of the universe, one is a micro view as seen from within the Garden of Eden. Genesis 1 is told from God's point of view. Genesis 2 is told from Adam's.

For example, geographic locations are mentioned in Chapter 2 but not Chapter 1. The details of how God created man/woman is explained in Chapter 2 but not Chapter 1. The details of Eve's creation is explained in Chapter 2 but not Chapter 1. The details of the universe (sun, moon, stars, etc.) are mentioned in Chapter 1 but not Chapter 2. Etc., etc., etc. Likewise, in the first chapter, insects are relevant from God's perspective so they're mentioned. In the second chapter, insects aren't relevant to Adam in the Garden of Eden so they're not mentioned (same with sea creatures).

Also, Genesis 2:19 doesn't say that God created every animal at the same time. Verse 19 clearly states that God formed/created the beasts of the field and fowl of the air and that it was THESE animals that were presented to Adam (no insects, no sea creatures). Hence:

Exodus 1:1 "Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob."

When we read this verse, we immediately know that the subjects are the "children of Israel". When we read "every man and his household", we don't scratch our collective heads wondering how every single man on the face of the planet suddenly showed up traveling with Jacob, because we know that the "every man" is in the "children of Israel" group. "Every" is exclusive.

The same literary device is used in Genesis 2:19. The "beast of the field" and the "fowl of the air" are the subjects. The "every living creature" are the beasts and fowls. "Every" is selective, not all-inclusive. This is why verse 20 makes perfect sense in terms of why some animals aren't mentioned as being named (e.g. insects and sea creatures): they're not beasts of the field or fowls and they're not relevant from the point of view of Adam in the Garden of Eden.

Pinksy said...

I still don't see what Jason's '"Everything" is exclusive' argument actually proves about anything.

Pinksy said...

There is a list of breeds of cattle on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_breeds_of_cattle.

I'd like to ask Jason which of those were named by Adam.

Pinksy said...

I'd like to ask Jason some more questions:

1. You allege that Adam named (a) all cattle, (b) the fowl of the air, (c) every beast of the field. ON a Venn diagram, would you not consider cattle to be a subset of the "every beast of the field" set? If you would, why would cattle receive specific attention? If you wouldn't, why not?

2. What creatures are included in the set "every beast of the field", even if it includes cattle or not?

Just to help, cattle are defined as a member of the subfamily Bovinae, of the family Bovidae.

Jason said...

The point I'm making here is that "every living creature" doesn't literally mean "every living creature on the planet". It's the same as someone saying after a trip to the zoo that they saw "every single animal". They didn't see every animal in existence, they saw every animal at the zoo. Likewse, Adam named every living creature brought to him (fowls, cattle, beasts of the field), not every living creature in existence.

Pinksy said...

But if the author of Genesis 2 was so scientific about set theory, why did he/she/it mention cattle and beasts of the field?

beepbeepitsme said...

Cattle are mentioned hundreds of times in the bible. Platypuses /ii aren't mentioned once.

The people who wrote the bible, wrote about what they knew, or what they thought they knew. They grew crops and they kept cattle, goats and sheep. Cattle are mentioned often because they played a large part in the lives of ancient man.

Now if the bible mentioned some of the weird animals we have here in Australia, I might consider it to have "special knowledge". It doesn't. Any of the "holy books" mention the animals that were specific to their geography, which indicates the books to be the works of men.

BEAJ said...

Kangaroos are mentioned in the bible Beep. You remember Hoppy? Oh wait, that is the Flintstones. I keep mixing up the two.

Jason said...

Adam still didn't name the insects. :)

beepbeepitsme said...

Adam didn't know what an insect was. Adam was too busy being a figment of someone else's imagination.

beepbeepitsme said...

BEAJ:

Oh, I get it. Adam was one of the Seven Dwarfs.

Po8 said...

I consider this (and the discussion with jason) as one of the basic problems, which occur by taking an scientific..sry.. theologic (although "logic" is a contradiction within the term) approach on the bible. It is a book, written by goatherds for goatherds.

If someone is into goatherding, it might be useful to find some meaning in this view of the world, but it makes completly no sense to discuss fully the contradictions provided by the "god of goatherds" with the facts of the world gained by scientific method and try to match them.

On the contrary, such an approach undermines the little, that's left over for a mythological point of view or the rudiment to gain spirituality from, since an intelligent person, not infected by the virus of faith through infantile indoctrination, will always see the obvious.

Or as a German comedian put it once:
Since knowledge is beyond belief, godlessness is the highest level of civilisation.

Jason said...

Oh we really don't need to get that complicated. The claim was made that Adam named all the insects and that "every living creature" means "every living creature ever created".

It's not a matter of logic or theology or faith or science. None of these have any bearing on whether or not the Bible actually says Adam named insects.

Ryan said...

Dear jason:

do you consider a wolf to be a "beast of the field"?
yes.
does a wolf consider a dinosaur to be a "beast of the field"?
yes.
does a cat consider you to be a "beast of the field"?
yes.
does a mouse consider a cat to be a "beast of the field"?
yes.
does an ant consider a mouse to be a "beast of the field"?
yes.
So then, does a microbiotic poliovirus cell consider an ant to be a "beast of the field"?
More like Godzilla.

If you consider a "beast of the field" to be a menacing, hairy, carnivorous animal bigger than you, then what would you call a mexican hairless chihuahua? An insect?

You said: Oh we really don't need to get that complicated... None of these have any bearing on whether or not the Bible actually says Adam named insects.

Excuse me if I'm mistaken, but isn't the bible supposed to be full of metaphors and euphemisms? If not, then please explain NIV Leviticus 20:27: "A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads."
What about Numbers 15:36: "So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses."
How about Deuteronomy 13:6-10 :"If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you... Show him no pity. Do not spare him... You must certainly put him to death... Your hand must be the first in putting him to death... Stone him to death...

If you kill, you go to hell.
If you don't kill and thus-by disobeying the LORD's command, you go to hell.

SOMEBODY got ripped off...

Jason said...

Last time I checked, wolves and mice weren't the ones reading the Bible :)

Here it is again: Are insects included in "beasts of the field"? No. Why? Because insects are "creeping things", distinct, unique and never included in the "beast of the field" label. Therefore, Adam didn't name the insects.

("Going to hell" seems to be a popular ritual here - even when the topic is naming animals. What's with the obsession?)

Ryan said...

what of the snakes and reptiles that creep on their bellies? Are they insects or beasts of the field?

so then you would agree to that whatever categorization of animals would solely depend upon human beings would you not? Well then I'd say that since each person is different, everyone would have a different way of looking at things and defining things. You say kittens are "beasts of the field", I say kittens are "adorations unto humanity" and not a "beast". Sorry if this sounds offensive, but just because you think differently when you see the words "beasts of the field", you can't just jump to the conclusion that what you think is the absolute truth. Same with everyone else here, there's no point in arguing about this anymore. Nobody's gonna convince nobody. Jason thinks insects arent "beasts of the field", and others think that insects ARE "beasts of the field". Who cares? Without insects, the animals would be way to numerously astronomical for Adam to name anyways.



As for the going to hell thing, I was simply saying that you can't just say: "Oh we really don't need to get that complicated...". If we really did "not take it so complicated", alot of families would be massacring each other right now. =\

ryan

Jason said...

What do you think snakes and reptiles are classified as: Creeping things or beasts of the field?

The Bible separates beasts of the field from creeping things. Insects are part of the "creeping things" umbrella. Beasts of the field don't include sea creatures. Therefore, my definition is based on the Bible's definition, not personal opinion.

Ryan said...

haha jason you didn't get my point. The point is, the bible doesn't provide a definition, instead, YOU give it its definition by interpreting it with your personal opinion. I say snakes are "beasts of the field" because they are clearly different than insects that crawl. If the bible categorizes snakes and reptiles together with beetles and ants, then I seriously doubt the author's integrity.

Jason said...

That's just your personal opinion :)

beepbeepitsme said...

Gen 1:24 God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals, each according to its kind.”

So, in the first list,( Gen 1:24),god creates:
1. cattle
2. creeping things
3. wild animals
4. living creatures according to their kind

Genesis 2:19-20 "And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them:
and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field;"

And in the second list, ( Genesis 2:19-20) god creates:
1. all the cattle
2. the beasts of the field
3. and the fowls of the air

Creeping things are not mentioned in the second list. Is this because:
1. it is a retraction and god didn't create them?
2. the writers made a mistake and forgot to mention them?
3. god had 2 creations each slightly different because he wanted to improve on the previous one
4. The bible is a load of old codswallop

Jason said...

As already posted:
----
The two creation stories are the same. One is a macro view of the universe, one is a micro view as seen from within the Garden of Eden. Genesis 1 is told from God's point of view. Genesis 2 is told from Adam's.

For example, geographic locations are mentioned in Chapter 2 but not Chapter 1. The details of how God created man/woman is explained in Chapter 2 but not Chapter 1. The details of Eve's creation is explained in Chapter 2 but not Chapter 1. The details of the universe (sun, moon, stars, etc.) are mentioned in Chapter 1 but not Chapter 2. Etc., etc., etc. Likewise, in the first chapter, insects are relevant from God's perspective so they're mentioned. In the second chapter, insects aren't relevant to Adam in the Garden of Eden so they're not mentioned (same with sea creatures).

Also, Genesis 2:19 doesn't say that God created every animal at the same time. Verse 19 clearly states that God formed/created the beasts of the field and fowl of the air and that it was THESE animals that were presented to Adam (no insects, no sea creatures).
---

Ryan said...

Jason said...

That's just your personal opinion :)


- lol which was the whole point I was trying to make. All the micro and macro viewpoints you provided are just personal opinions like everyone else's here.That's why I say no one's gonna convince no one.

Jason said...

It was a joke, Ryan :)

Anyhow, the old "personal opinion" argument can only go so far. If I see a red car and tell you it's red, that's not personal opinion. Same with the macro and micro views of creation. It is what it is: two different creation viewpoints - one seen by God, one seen by Adam.

McGuire said...

I say snakes are "beasts of the field" because they are clearly different than insects that crawl.

Snakes didn't slither at that point either did they...

Genesis 3:14 The Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you did this, More cursed shall you be Than all cattle And all the wild beasts: On your belly shall you crawl And dirt shall you eat All the days of your life.


Begs the question, just what DID snakes do beforehand? ;) Did they fly?

Jason said...

Good point.

And who knows what snakes did - we're not told.

zooplah said...

I'd just like to note that "creeping things" refer to reptiles. I doubt the authors of the Bible even cared about insects.

beepbeepitsme said...

I am sure the snake was distraught about being punished by having to slither on his belly.

Sheesh. Did it have legs beforehand and gawd chopped them all off?

The bible is insane and those who take it literally are an example of its insanity.

McGuire said...

& it has to be the case because after all, what sort of punishment would it be otherwise? Because the alternate it just as unbelievable;

"What?! Are you ki.... ohhh... oh, no... not crawl on my belly. Ohh, how I miss hopping around..."

Jason said...

lol You guys are funny.

Adam still didn't name the insects though. :)

Brucker said...

I had a few things to say about this post, but it looks like most of it was covered by Jason pretty well. One thing that nobody has brought up though, is that we're all arguing whether this task might have been possible in a "single day", when the Bible makes no such claim.

Adam has just been created, and he has yet to be introduced to what his purpose in life will be; he's got nothing better to do than to sit around and name animals, if that's what God wants him to do. While I agree with Jason's view that Adam probably did not name every animal in the world (no sea creatures, no insects, maybe also skipping reptiles and a handful of larger invertebrates, who knows) and as was noted somewhere in all of this as a possible cop-out, I do think there was some grouping of species involved (somebody mentioned platypuses; I imagine to a great extent all monotremes could be rolled up into platypuses and echidnas, despite there technically being many more species than those two, even living today) I think there still remain several thousand species to get through naming. Still, Adam can take as much time as he needs, and the Bible does not say it all happened "in a single afternoon".

(My larger response to this specific issue.)

Jason said...

The naming occured between the creation of land animals and the creation of Eve. However, since both were created on the 6th day, the naming of the animals by Adam would also have had to happen on that same day.

Moog said...

So... Jason... did Adam name the marsupials? If he did, who did he inform? Did someone write this down - did Jehovah take dictation? Why didn't GoatherdGod name them while he was making them? Even if insects weren't included that still leaves hundreds of thousands of species of vertebrates. Did a day then last the same as a day now? Could Adam work at super speed? even if GG/Yahweh only gave him, say a paltry 100,000 'creatures' he still named more than one a second (assuming he had a full 24hr day). Did he name all the dinosaurs who were wiped out by the flood? Did his taxonomy correspond to the modern American/European one or to some other (presumably post Babel when some poor sod had to name them all again in every language of the world)? When I make an argument of extreme linguistic pedantry am I over-relying on English morphology or should I learn Hebrew (and ancient Hebrew not the soup cooked up by modern day Israel) and demotic Greek? Should I trust the transcriptions of transcriptions of transcriptions of translations of translations (with frequent 'adjustments' from later scribes) or should (as it is the word of God) I INSIST on reading the original material. How do I know how to identify original material? How do I know it's not a copy or a fraud?

Hernen said...

Well, Jason, the problem is, that you didn't read the Gen and Exodus storys in their context. While in the Exodus story "every" clearly refers to the family of Israel, a.k.a Jakob, a.k.a. the man who won the first open wrestling contest against god and just got his rear end beaten and "every" in the Genesis story really means every living animal, with no exceptions.