24 February 2008

Evolution Creationist Style: It all happened in 1656 years

In the beginning, God created everything good. No predators, parasites, pathogens, pain, disease, or death for any of God's creatures. Every living thing (except for maybe the plants) lived forever in a vegan paradise that was all "very good."
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:30-31

But Adam screwed all that up by sinning (or whatever) and God cursed the ground causing thorns and thistles to grow (Genesis 3:17-18), creating the cruel and brutal place that we see today. It went from "very good" to "no country for old men" in just 1656 years.

How do we know this? The Bible tells us so. Here's how.

Years after the creation of Adam
And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son ... and called his name Seth: Genesis 5:3 130
And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos. Genesis 5:6 235
And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan. Genesis 5:9325
And Cainan lived seventy years and begat Mahalaleel. Genesis 5:12395
And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared.Genesis 5:15460
And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch. Genesis 5:18622
And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: Genesis 5:21687
And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech. Genesis 5:25874
And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: Genesis 5:281056
And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. Genesis 7:61656

Okay, so the flood happened 1656 years after the creation of Adam. But how do we know that creation had completed its transformation (evolution?) from kind and gentle to cruel and brutal by the time of the flood?

Well, again the Bible tells us so.

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Genesis 6:11-13

The whole earth "was filled with violence" (God made it that way), so God had to kill everything on earth to make it less violent. Fair is fair.

So nature was "filled with violence" by the time of the flood. The only question is how did it get that way? Did God re-create it immediately after Adam's fall in a second "there will be blood" creation? Of did it evolve naturally without God's involvement in the 1656 years between fall and flood?

Can some Bible believer clarify this for me?


Hugo said...

Just yesterday I was wondering about the vegan-to-carnivore transformation. Man bites an apple, and suddenly all carnivores (that we know as carnivores) have their digestive systems transformed. Did they suddenly grow nasty teeth, or did they always have teeth? I think they probably always had teeth, because that's what a lion "looks like". Bacterial-level stuff can spontaneously change and still have it be the "same creature", because we cannot naturally see bacterial-level stuff?

Anthropocentric to the max.

Deane said...

It's a bit odd. The idea of all flesh (all animals, including humans) being violent isn't really carried through in the story. On the one hand, you have examples of the violence of humans (but not other animals), and of the righteousness only of Noah, a human (yet some animals being saved along with, and perhaps because of, the righteous Noah). On the other hand, you have "all flesh" referring to both humans and other animals in all later references.

I suspect the only thing to be concluded from this is that the story is vague enough for there to be great doubt as to whether Gen 6.11-13 refers to both humans and other animals. Given the fractures throughout Gen 6-9, even if the reference to "all flesh" includes animals elsewhere, in Gen 6.11-13 the phrase's proximity to human-only sin in 6.1-10 may be the relevant context. In 6.5-7 the death of animals is clearly only a result of humans (not other animals) sinning. So, later references might be read in that light in the final form of the text. That is, only humans were violent.

This tension seems to be related to the general tension cause by a polytheistic story of one god wanting to kill humans and another god wanting to save them being transformed into a monotheistic statement about one God saying he will kill them all and then saying he will save one.

Jason said...

It evolved naturally without God's involvement in the 1656 years between the fall and the flood.

sconnor said...

Hey Steve,
What I would love to know, is it even possible that Adam and Even and their descendants could -- mathematically -- have populated the earth to the estimated 30,000,000 people in 1,656 years, before the flood? I know there would have to be a fair amount of conjecture. We would have to figure out the percentages of twins, triplets, etc. and the death to birth ratio. It's an interesting math dilemma. I'm mathematically deficient, can you figure this one out?
Thanks, Scott

derbaron said...


We don't even need to "do the math".

According the the bible, people back then reached sexual maturity much slower. "And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech." If it takes from 60 to 180 years between each generation, then it is ludicrous to suggest that 2 people could "beget" 30 000 000 in such a short time period.

However, since believers don't place much stock in scientific fact, I suspect they'll just claim the the population of the earth was not, in fact, anywhere near 30 million at the time. Despite the necessity of a large population to support thriving civilizations such as Egypt.

I think a more compelling argument is that the major civilizations of the time - Egypt, Assyria, China - did not suddenly vanish. Can you imagine how long it would take the 8 people aboard the ark to rebuild China?

derbaron said...

Oh, addition to my last post; I didn't notice that Steve's list actually shows the complete supposed sequence of generations between Adam and Noah. There were 9 generations. From 2 to 30 000 000 in 9 generations. I guess they really "worked it" back in those days. ;)

sconnor said...

Yeah but that doesn't mean that the woman wern't pushing out 2-3 baby girls a year 9 (low probability of twins and triplets, I know) and when they came of age, they repeated the process. I don't know, I would love to see the math on paper with all the variables and possibilities -- infant mortality rate, probabilities of multi-births, birth and death rates, etc. I wonder what would be possible given two people and 1,656 years?

McGuire said...

Quite a lot of incest no doubt

Anonymous said...

"So nature was "filled with violence" by the time of the flood. The only question is how did it get that way?"

Isn't the follow on question what was the point in the flood? Since all the violence came right back and multiplied! I mean right of the bat Ham is cursed. If you think about it the whole world should be Jewish, but god only choose one group as his people, so Ham (and Cain before him) must have done most of the "knocking boots" and even with his badness he manged to out breed the "good" Jews to the tune of 10's of millions to 1.

Berend de Boer said...

Steve, read for "The earth also was corrupt ... filled with violence" the people in the world.

Animals do not sin. You cannot say from them "all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth."

Genesis 6 is talking about people here.

So a phrase like "how do we know that creation had completed its transformation" is meaningless. The thing that is happening, and easily confirmed in a laboratory, is that things devolve. Things get less good. Harmless things can become harmful through mutation.

Berend de Boer said...

sconner, the US was empty compared to the current population just 400 years ago. Now there are 300 million people. Did you know that in 1900 there were about 1,6 billion people? We now have over 6 billion. In just 100 years.

What you should be aware of is that the Bible does not give the genealogies for Cain's offspring. Only for Seth's. So were are mostly in the dark about their numbers.

But let's do the math, it is actually quite simple. In year 0 we have Cain and his wife. Assume that he got 4 children. Also assume that every kid marries and they get 6 children as well. And that it takes 100 years to get 6 children and for them to get at a marriable age.

So in year 0 we have 2 people.

In year 100 we have 2 + 6 = 8.

In year 200 we have 2 + 6 + 18 = 26 people.

In year 400 we have 2 + 6 + 18 + 54 = 80 people.

If you continue that you get 2.5 billion at year 1600 (to make things easier I have assumed no one died, but if you do that doesn't change the final total a lot).

Basically adding 2.5 billion in 1600 years is nothing compared to adding 4.5 billion in 100 years as we recently experienced.

Anonymous said...

Berend de Boer:

Check your math. Basically you get 3 kids per new person per 100 years, so 2*3 Y^16 = 86,093,442 people being born in the last 100 years. If no one lived over 100 then that's all there were at the end of 16 100 year generations. If everyone was still alive it would be about 130 million. This is no where near 2.5 billion unless everyone was still alive and had 6 kids every hundred years they were alive.

Jeffrey Stingerstein said...

"sconner, the US was empty compared to the current population just 400 years ago." You can't possibly be proposing that the US is like the beginning of "creation". Maybe you missed the news about this one, but people came to the US from elsewhere on the planet. The rest of your post at least makes sense (except for the part that you actually believe the Bible). By the way, why has the life expectancy dropped off so dramatically since the early days. Must be our diets. I mean Noah lived a nice long ripe life, and so did Homer!


Jeffrey Stingerstein said...

"Harmless things can become harmful through mutation." Not in 1600 years! You can twist and twist and twist but you can't get that one to fit in with science, not on that scale at least.

Anonymous said...

The bible tells us why we don't live longer any more.

Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

I wonder, when the first person lives past 120 years old, does that prove that the bible is false?

Jeffrey Stingerstein said...

Of course the Bible has already been proven wrong on hundreds of accounts, but the thiests' job is make the science fit the bible. we'll probably be told that we were using the wrong standard to measure years.

McGuire said...


Jeanne Calment lived to be 122 years old (1875 - 1997). A few others possibly breaching Gods 120 year age limit too (Somewhat contentious due to poor records - they were born in the mid/late 1800s!).

Anonymous said...

Well then, I guess that's it, god has been definitely disproved! He said no human shall live longer then 120 years, if even one does then god is proven wrong, and by definition god can't be wrong, therefore god does not exist.

That was easy, I don't know what all the fuss has been about. :)

Nathan said...

The Bible basically disproves itself here. Doesn't it say that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses all lived longer than the allotted 120 years?

Really, I'd say the fact that the writers of the Bible called 120 as the upper limit for human life was rather impressive, since although some people have surpassed it, it's definitely a rarity. Did very many people in the time that Genesis was being written live that long? I know lifespans have fluctuated greatly throughout history, but someone in that time and place living to anywhere close to 120 seems unlikely.

Anonymous said...

A quick search of the web shows all kinds schemes for the 120 rule. Most seem to believe it was phased in over time with Moses being the cut in point. This site details it all pretty well.


Berend de Boer said...

gad, appear very confused. The 120 years is the 120 years left before the flood. It has nothing whatsoever to do with life span, but is the time Noah had to build the Ark.

Anonymous said...

Berend de Boer,

If I'm confused I'm not alone. Besides all the Christians trying to get around this 120 year lifespan deal many scholars seem to see it that way to, the OAB (my reference bible)interprets that way as well.

McGuire said...

Certainly do seem to be a lot who'd disagree with your interpretation, e.g. http://www.direct.ca/trinity/120years.html

Before the flood, according to the Bible, many people lived longer than 120 years. In Genesis 6:3 God declares an end to these long life spans. And the Lord said, "My Spirit will not strive (abide) with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." (Genesis 6:3)NKJV

Some scholars suggest that this 120 years was a prophetic time line until the flood took place. However, we see God's decision was made in Genesis 6:3 after Noah turned 500 in Genesis 5:32.

Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters were on the earth. (Genesis 7:6)NKJV

Taking these passages we can determine that the flood took place within 100 years after God's decision.

So the prophetic interpretation of the Genesis 6:3 is a wrong one

You will not find another person in the Bible from this point on that exceeds 120 years.

What God is saying is that the long life span He allowed us to have, created too much evil and wickedness. By shortening the span to 120 years He was also helping man to reduce the evil we individuals are capable of over long periods of time.

I.e. 120 in the age limit & not how long Noah had to prepare for the flood.

Berend de Boer said...

mcquire, thanks for the link, makes me understand a bit more how people come to this reasoning.

But my I respectfully point out that you should consult better sources. God send Noah to be a preacher in 1536 AM, the flood was in 1656, exactly 120 years.

Noah got his first son when he as 500, so in 1556.

What your author reads is that God commanded Noah to build the Ark when he got his first son, i.e. when he was 500. But I think that's reading a contradiction into the text.

Chapter 5 is a genealogy and ends with all people born before the flood. Chapter 6 doesn't start when Noah is 500. It starts at some indeterminate date, see Genesis 6:1, a time when the people started to fill the earth. But from verse 3 we know it was 120 years before the flood and therefore 20 years before Noah got his first son. God called Noah at that time to become a preacher, verse 8. And in verse 10 we read he got sons, i.e. after he was called by God.

Anonymous said...

Well everyone has an opinion and I see no reason take yours over what the OAB or what others state.

In the course of thinking about the above I came across the below. Another bible contradiction?

From the below we know Noah was 600 when the flood came and Shem was 100 years old 2 years after the flood, so he was 98/99 at the time of the flood so that makes Noah 502 (503 depending on how you define "after") at the birth of Shem. Ham was younger then Shem so he came sometime after that. That only leaves Japheth as possibly being born when Noah was 500, but depending on how you translate Gen 10:21 (see link) he comes out younger then Shem more times then not, in which case Noah had no sons at 500 and Japheth came after he was 502/503.

7:6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.

9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

10:21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.

11:10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:

Nathan said...

I agree that 120 was intended to be read as an age limit, but it's also true that the Bible doesn't totally stick to this. Lifespans of the patriarchs continue to decrease, but all of them up through Jacob live to be older than 120.

Kevin Crady said...

The Genesis Flood story tells us that Yahweh destroyed the world because human society had become pervasively violent. But how did it become that way?

Turn in your Bibles to Genesis 4:23 and 24:

"And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a young man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold."

By publicly shielding Cain from punishment for the murder of Abel while providing a sevenfold punishment should he be killed, Yahweh established as a principle that it is acceptable to commit murder, but only if your victim is not a murderer. Lamech's little ditty makes it clear that word of this got around.

Then Yahweh goes on vacation for 1656 years. When he comes back, he is shocked--shocked!--to find a violent society. Being himself opposed in principle to violence, he...well...violently exterminates the entire biosphere. Thereby showing us by example that violence isn't the answer...um yeah...well anyway...

Then as Noah, his family, the dinosaurs, etc. exit the Ark, Yahweh does a headsmack and comes up with the idea that murder ought to be a crime and, in his infinite foreknowledge, proscribes capital punishment for it rather than the reward of a protective curse against one's enemies.

A little too late for those 2.5 b-b-b-billion antediluvians though.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm a nihilist hardcore, but you fellow's don't seem to know much of anything about real nature as studied by science, OK In an oxygen rich environment (about 30% of the atmosphere) cellular repair increases at a phenomenal rate, a human will be able to live an estimate 300+ years with the original atmosphere the chances for have more one child at a time quadruples and also it takes about 500,000,000 years for our galaxy to go in a full rotation each revolution of the galaxy is a galactic day, this is the original measurement of "a day" but in terms of the age of humans the years would also be slightly different since our plant, it's axis, it's revolution rate and orbital rates have changed dramatically due to many cosmic events I.E. massive meteorites and other calamities.

Unknown said...

The reason why population increased in the 20th century was improvements in health care. Septic wounds became manageable. The ages of characters in the bible are gross exaggerations and don't mean anything. That flood narrative is a sign of poor grasping of how the world works.