Creation Question: Day 6

On day 6 of creation as recorded in Genesis 1 it presents both male and female being created:

Quote:
26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

For many, each day of creation is believed to be properly understood as a 24 hour period. With this context being applied (a 24 hour period) and seeing that in chapter 1 on day 6 both male and female were created, I have a second passage to cite and then a question of reconciliation.

Here is the second passage which is from chapter 2:

Quote:
7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

8And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

19And 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.

20And 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.

21And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

22And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Here in chapter 2 the speed of human history is slowed substantially where we are given a description of several events. With these events in view and the realization that Adam and Eve were created on day 6,if day 6 is to be viewed as a 24 hour period my, question (which certainly is not new) is how does one reconcile God bringing to Adam all of the animals and Adam able to properly name them all in this 24 hour period?

The reason it is necessary to view all the animals being named in this 24 hour period is because it is after or at least on the same day of their being named (all of the animals) that Eve is created which was on the 6th day. I understand God's capacity to supernaturally deliver the animals but there is nothing in Scripture to indicate or expect such supernatural abilities in Adam being able to name them with such rapidity that it would be truly minding boggling.

6089 reads
John Benzing's picture

Just to help the ball get rolling here . . . reading the passage it almost seems the naming the creatures story is parenthetical to the main theme, the creation of a companion for Adam. So you could read verse 21 immediately after verse 18 and it would be complete. The animal naming story would be in part to show that although there were other creatures there was not a true companion for Adam, who, by the way, named them all whenever God brought them to him. It would not necessarily have to have been on that day.

Just a thought

Larry's picture

Moderator

There weren't that many animals. (Remember, God created kinds and much of what we see today is variation within a kind. So don't think he had to name Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Dachshund, French Poodles, etc. He had to name "dog.").

In addition, prior to entrance of sin, there was no effect of sin on the mind (i.e., noetic affects of sin), and thus Adam could work very quickly mentally. He was not slowed by forgetfulness or inability to think or tired brain syndrome.

Furthermore, the animals were still pretty localized most likely, so getting them all to Adam was no big problem.

Chapter 2 is an expansion of chapter 1. It is not, as some claim, an alternative creation account. So there is really no necessary conflict.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

John Benzing wrote:
Just to help the ball get rolling here . . . reading the passage it almost seems the naming the creatures story is parenthetical to the main theme, the creation of a companion for Adam. So you could read verse 21 immediately after verse 18 and it would be complete. The animal naming story would be in part to show that although there were other creatures there was not a true companion for Adam, who, by the way, named them all whenever God brought them to him. It would not necessarily have to have been on that day.

Just a thought

I understand the nature of parenthetical passages and understand the possible response. However, the construct of the relevant passage makes the naming animals dynamic to the divine realization (anthropic realization of course) that Adam needed a helper. Here is what I mean:

Quote:
19And 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.

20And 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.

First, it is Adam alone that is cited as the singular person engaging in the task of naming all the animals. There is no mention of an assistant, helper and specifically Eve, the woman. If this is parenthetical and refers to another time after Eve's creation, her absence is quite conspicuous.

Secondly, it is, as the passage reads, as a result of this task, ("Adam gave names...but for Adam there was not found an help, meet for him") that the divine realization occurs that Adam was without appropriate help. The monumental task of naming all the animals brings to light the deficiency of Adam's solitude.

So while I do understand the approach of a parenthetical reading, it certainly does not appear that this would be strengthened by use of the event of naming animals which functions as a source of illumination regarding Adam's condition and the subsequent creation of Eve.

Larry wrote:
There weren't that many animals. (Remember, God created kinds and much of what we see today is variation within a kind. So don't think he had to name Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Dachshund, French Poodles, etc. He had to name "dog.").
By what taxonomy chart are you claiming there were so few animals Adam could name them all in one day? I understand the theory of minimal species but I have never seen any chart providing so few at creation that this could be accomplished in one day. Secondly, you use dogs as an example that Adam was required only to provide the family (or genus) "dog" but if you look in the passage again, it states Adam named all the cattle which means in fact he did discriminate kinds or species of cattle which implies much more that this system of species identification was employed.

Larry wrote:
In addition, prior to entrance of sin, there was no effect of sin on the mind (i.e., noetic affects of sin), and thus Adam could work very quickly mentally. He was not slowed by forgetfulness or inability to think or tired brain syndrome.

Furthermore, the animals were still pretty localized most likely, so getting them all to Adam was no big problem.

Chapter 2 is an expansion of chapter 1. It is not, as some claim, an alternative creation account. So there is really no necessary conflict.

Adam may indeed have had some superior abilities but they weren't supernatural. But more importantly you are simply assuming something that you have no way to demonstrate to be true. Now I agree something can be gained from understanding possible effects of the state of being before the fall but using those assumptions for foundational theological rebuttals puts one in a very difficult position since it is still speculation. As for the animals being localized, well again this is an assumption. There is nothing in Scripture to indicate this. I do agree it is reasonable to assume this is probable but again, the rebuttal is weakened greatly by using assumption and speculation where such considerations should have lesser roles.

I do agree chapter 2 is simply an expanded account of some isolated events of the same creation account in 1.

*For the record, this thread is meant to be one of discovery, that is, I cannot say I am satisfied one way or the other regarding how long each day of creation is to be understood and it is my endeavor, not to rebut for the sake of rebutting but, to find a more convincing and well founded theological posture. I appreciate those participating.

Joseph's picture

Alex,

My hunch is that it's a "silly question."

Now, let me be clear: it's obviously a very good question: I have asked it as well, as have many others. At the same time, it's clearly a kind of question that, I think, indicates its premises are wrong. It's not the kind of question the text raises for us; speculation about how long Adam took naming animals does not fit with the tenor of the text (and it omits the extremely rich theology of that passage).

Hopefully we can agree on this (if not, I won't argue it).

Now, either the question is being forced illegitmately onto a certain exegetic position, or it is arising logically from an exegetical position. In this case, it's quite clear that this question is arising logically from an exegetical and hermenuetic position, i.e, one that makes a big deal of the specific time frame of each day, and thus draws the readers attention to questions like the duration of the events described (what kind of things a position draws attention to in a text are often a telling signs of the merits of the position)

So, if one agrees with me about the tenor of the question vis-a-vis the passage (namely, that it's discordant), one has a limited set of conclusions to draw from this.

My take is that an a direct answer to the question is pointless and inconsequential: the problem is the premises of the question, the entire thought-world that would cause this question to arise, gives it plausibility as a question, and then attempt to answer it on its own terms - that's the problem.

The fact that YEC are not known for their theological or literary acuity in reading one of the most consequential theological and literary texts in the Scriptures is not an accident: the most fruitful kind of theological and literary readings are done by people whose positions raise different questions, draw their attention to different things, etc.

(Incidentally, this is why liberals or non-believers can often have very insightful and helpful readings of Scripture: their asking different, and, ironically, sometimes much better, questions).

So, one is free to conclude that, for whatever reasons, Adam was able to name all the animals in such a short time that God saw his lonilness, put him to sleep, and made Eve on the same day. And any YEC will speculate as necessary to provide such an answer. But someone try honestly to tell me this (speculation on Adam's unfallen brain power, and the image the entire scenario conjures: Adam rapidly naming a series of animals, being put to sleep out by God, God creating Eve, Adam awaking, naming Eve, and all on the same day (presumably within twelver hours because one needs day light, right?) does not sound a little silly, or that it seems to be missing the point of the passage. If one wants to say such a thing happened, that's fine.

But I have never personally heard thoughtful and profound interpretations of the meaning of that passage (e.g. the significance of naming, theologically and philosophically) from YEC'ers. Those I got from philosophy, theology, and non-YEC exegesis and biblical theology.

That may be a pure coincidence and not apply beyond my own experience, and I realize that.

What do you think, Alex?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Alex Guggenheim ][quote=John Benzing wrote:
Just to help the ball get rolling here . . . reading the passage it almost seems the naming the creatures story is parenthetical to the main theme, the creation of a companion for Adam. So you could read verse 21 immediately after verse 18 and it would be complete. The animal naming story would be in part to show that although there were other creatures there was not a true companion for Adam, who, by the way, named them all whenever God brought them to him. It would not necessarily have to have been on that day.
I think this is correct, except for the story being complete without vv. 19-20 (due to inspiration).

Quote:
]By what taxonomy chart are you claiming there were so few animals Adam could name them all in one day?
I am not claiming any taxonomy chart. We have no way of providing one due to the paucity of data. You seem to be claiming this is impossible. But why? By what taxonomy chart are you making such a claim? There's no doubt that there were a lot, but what is the objection to having them all named in one day? I have never seen a good one.

Quote:
Adam may indeed have had some superior abilities but they weren't supernatural. But more importantly you are simply assuming something that you have no way to demonstrate to be true.
How does Eph 4:17-19 and similar passages play into this? It seems to indicate that man has a diminished intellectual capability because of sin. You are assuming as much as I am, and yet I have some biblical evidence about the issue.

Quote:
As for the animals being localized, well again this is an assumption. There is nothing in Scripture to indicate this. I do agree it is reasonable to assume this is probable but again, the rebuttal is weakened greatly by using assumption and speculation where such considerations should have lesser roles.
But it is also an assumption to assume that they weren't localized. Assumptions work both ways. The Bible says that God brought the animals to Adam, so why isn't that enough? Why do we need more?

I think the rejection of YEC is based on an extremely faulty exegetical foundation and has no solid scientific underpinnings to do with it. I don't get the reasoning behind it. There are no exegetical reasons, so far as I can determine. They are all purely external to revelation.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Joseph,

I know you addressed this to Alex, but I hope you will indulge me for the moment.

You speak of making a “big deal of the specific time frame of each day.” It seems to me, exegetically, that the “evening and morning” and the grammar of the passage is what makes a big deal of the time frame. That is forced on to us by a serious reflection on the text. No handling of the text can pretend to be serious without dealing with the definition of יוֹם and the evidence of the text. God (assuming inspiration) specificially identified some features of it. We can’t overlook those.

Your take that the question is pointless and inconsequential seems, to me, to rise from a presupposition about the text itself, and as you say, the entire thought-world that would cause this question to arise, gives it plausibility as a question, and then attempt to answer it on its own terms - that's the problem.” Obviously we come from very different places in our approach to Scripture. But I kind of wonder, with no offense intended, if those of your view don’t write this off specifically because they can’t answer it without contradicting their own position. In other words, one can't answer it because it undermines a key point that they have already staked out. It seems at times like when people (I am sure myself included) run into a tough question we conclude “It’s not important.” In othe

You claim that YEC are not known for theological or literary acuity. I don’t buy that as you might suspect. I don't find theological and literary acuity a substitute for submission to the Word of God. You define “fruitful and literary readings” apparently as those that raise the questions you think the text should raise. In other words, here I think you have a methodological problem.

You object, in the final analysis, that this all happening on one day sounds “a little silly.” But why? First, is “sounding silly” a legitimate hermeneutical category? And how much weight does it carry? I would suggest that it is a legitimate hermeneutical/exegetical category, but that it can be given too much weight. I was thinking recently on 1 Cor 1 where the preaching of the cross was “a little silly” to the Greeks. The Bible declares that the problem was not with the message of the cross, but with the mindset of the Greeks that was darkened. Their reception was not an intellectual one. They could comprehend what the message was. It was a spiritual one.

In a similar way, it could be that the dealings with Genesis 1-3 are not intellectual. That is, people can plainly understand the text. In fact, they understand it well enough to reject it. It is a spiritual one. It is foolish to them because it does not fit their pre-conceived world view.

Please understand that I am casting no aspersions on your own relationship with God. That’s not my intent at all, and I realize that I have said some things that might be construed that way.
My point is that say that if we start from a flawed position or a flawed hermeneutic (that can’t really happen because there are too many animals, or that it too silly), we end up having to do away with a lot more than just the naming of animals. We end up having to do away with the resurrection. That is far more silly than naming animals.

Joseph's picture

Larry,

(This quoting on this new SI is not nearly as helpful as the old it seems, so I'll probably just quote with quotation marks)

It's challenging to know what to respond to in your post. I agree with much of what you say, and I certainly recognize that moral darkness is a relevant category to relate to understanding something. However, I think it should be a last resort, as it practically ends a conversation precisely because it shifts the conversation from it proper topic - matters intellectual, linguistic, etc. - to matter moral and personal. Essentially it is an ad hominem, which, depending on the context, may not be fallacious. So, duly noted, but there's not much I can say other to agree it's possible, and state that, obviously, I don't think that's what is going on here.

Regarding the issue of "silliness." Since I used the word, it's fair for you to pick on it, but I think the broader context makes clear what I'm after with the word: yes, a degree of sheer oddness, strangess, sillness, is intended; but fundamentally the idea is a reading that is not apt or fitting (humor, as has been noted by Kierkegaard among others, often results from the juxtaposition of disparate or contradictory elements, so a lack aptness is related to silliness, a case one is wondering). Moreover, the crux of my point is not the what happens on day 6 sounds silly; it's that the entire framework that makes it an issue seems clearly to be missing the point of the text.

I want to be careful with this analogy so that I'm not misunderstood, but the issue here reminds me of Chesterton's disussion of insanity in Orthodoxy. He says that the problem with a crazy person is not that their illogical; it's that their viciously, inexorably, logical, that their thinking runs in an impenetrable circle, excluding everything that does not fit but maintaining rigorous logic consistency within the circle. Now, to be absolutely clear, my point is not that YEC'ers or any position is "crazy"; rather, it's that the issue is not one of consistency or logical - it's not an issue resolvable by appealing to formal processes like reasoning, exegesis, etc. It's an issue of substance and how much is allowed in the circle. So, Chesteron thinks the challenge is to get the insane person to realize not that their illogical or unreasonable (in a narrow sense), but rather than their circle is too small; it excludes too much of reality from their conception of the what is real, and thus produces incongruity between their sense of reality and reality as it truly is (this incongruity between perceptions/beliefs and reality is often what we think of and recognize as insane, delusional, etc.).

Again, no one here (and no position) is insane or delusional, but I think sometimes our circles are far too small. And one evidence for this is the kinds of questions that we ask, the concerms that we systematically attend to, and the insights that we draw from the text. I don't regard it as factually disputable that, in my own reading, by far the most theologically and philosophically insightful readings of Genesis have been by people deeply sensitive to the historical, literary, and theological contexts shaping Genesis and the Canon in its entirety. So, by saying the question is silly, as I originally did, my goal was to suggest that it's evidence for an overly narrow circle; if you answer the question on its own terms, that answer is inconsequential precisely because it can only occur within the circle in which the question is being asked, and my perspective on this is that the circle is the problem, the question, arising logically from the circle of reasoning, is merely evidence of that problem. Therefore, the best response to the question is to respond to the circle, which is what I have tried to do, and hopefully that is clearer now.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Larry wrote:
am not claiming any taxonomy chart. We have no way of providing one due to the paucity of data. You seem to be claiming this is impossible. But why? By what taxonomy chart are you making such a claim? There's no doubt that there were a lot, but what is the objection to having them all named in one day? I have never seen a good one.
My claims are none other than the obvious right now, namely that the invention of all the names of animals, even at the genus level (which for arguments sake I will accept at the moment but point out again that Adam named "all the cattle" meaning he went beyond the genus classification), would be a monumental task. You are looking at a number in the thousands, even at the most modest estimates of the genus number at creation derived from current taxonomies and counting backwards. You have asserted emphatically that there weren't very many animals, I am simply asking for your sources. So you ask, why the objection? Because of course of the obvious that this is being accomplished in the 24 hour period.

Quote:
Adam may indeed have had some superior abilities but they weren't supernatural. But more importantly you are simply assuming something that you have no way to demonstrate to be true.How does Eph 4:17-19 and similar passages play into this? It seems to indicate that man has a diminished intellectual capability because of sin. You are assuming as much as I am, and yet I have some biblical evidence about the issue.
I am curious how you believe this Ephesians passage does "play into" this. I have read the passage and it appears to be a brittle platform. I see no where, even implicitly, it is asserting Adam had some super-natural mental capacity before the fall. It refers to the spiritual blindness of the unregenerate.

Quote:
17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

Quote:
But it is also an assumption to assume that they weren't localized. Assumptions work both ways. The Bible says that God brought the animals to Adam, so why isn't that enough? Why do we need more?
Actually the locality or universality of the animals is not relevant. God is the one bringing them to Adam, hence the divine effort does not have to entail questions of capacity. The question is not God's capacity, rather Adam's. But if I understand you, as quickly as God brought them, Adam named them and if we follow this hyper-rapid succession it seems a picture unfolds of a rather inconsiderate, almost spit-fire succession of naming on the level of something we see in movies with super sped up time for our amusement, all to make sure it fits within the 24 hours. This scenario, necessary to build in order to make it all fit, is one I am confident lacks harmony with God's composure in creation.

*Let encourage you, though, Larry. I am not antagonistic toward any school, rather I am seeking to reduce and/or eliminate weak arguments so as not to self-impose pitfalls in my faith thereby debilitating it.

Daniel's picture

Alex, I don't have time right now b/c I have to run to work and pick something up, but at creation there probably were not different breeds of animals, as you are suggesting. There have been some relatively new discoveries made with cats and dogs that suggest, and probably prove, that for both of those animals their breeds are relatively new. And when I say relatively, I mean very new. Dog breeds, they said, date to about 1850.

I'll post again later with more information from the study.

And your interpretation on cattle is not the only interpretation available. If I have time, I will dig up my old Hebrew papers on Genesis where we discussed this at great length.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Joseph wrote:
Alex,

My hunch is that it's a "silly question."

Now, let me be clear: it's obviously a very good question: I have asked it as well, as have many others. At the same time, it's clearly a kind of question that, I think, indicates its premises are wrong. It's not the kind of question the text raises for us; speculation about how long Adam took naming animals does not fit with the tenor of the text (and it omits the extremely rich theology of that passage).

Hopefully we can agree on this (if not, I won't argue it).

Well stated and I do stand in that direction as I read the text (though your nuanced use of the "silly question" I am not sure is gainfully appreciated by many, be sure that its wry use was not wasted on me, I understood is employment Smile ).

Joseph wrote:
Now, either the question is being forced illegitmately onto a certain exegetic position, or it is arising logically from an exegetical position. In this case, it's quite clear that this question is arising logically from an exegetical and hermenuetic position, i.e, one that makes a big deal of the specific time frame of each day, and thus draws the readers attention to questions like the duration of the events described (what kind of things a position draws attention to in a text are often a telling signs of the merits of the position)

So, if one agrees with me about the tenor of the question vis-a-vis the passage (namely, that it's discordant), one has a limited set of conclusions to draw from this.

Which is precisely why I, along with countless others who trace the 24 hour day theological grid, are "forced" to ask these kinds of questions. Primacy is in fact being given to the precise duration of events to the somewhat alienation of more grand concerns present in the creation account . If it is already fixed that these must be 24 hour days then certainly the treatment of related texts suffer (quite a bit) and produce certain peculiarities as exampled by the insistence that Adam could have, in some amusingly accelerated form seen in movies or with a certain robotic and inartful hyper-rapid succession, named all the animals while God lined all the animals up and hurried them through. These are the kinds of postures that end up being considered when, as you say, the questions are not legitimate, not because a question as this may not be asked but the text is not composed so that proper discovery leads us this way.

Joseph wrote:
My take is that an a direct answer to the question is pointless and inconsequential: the problem is the premises of the question, the entire thought-world that would cause this question to arise, gives it plausibility as a question, and then attempt to answer it on its own terms - that's the problem.

The fact that YEC are not known for their theological or literary acuity in reading one of the most consequential theological and literary texts in the Scriptures is not an accident: the most fruitful kind of theological and literary readings are done by people whose positions raise different questions, draw their attention to different things, etc.

(Incidentally, this is why liberals or non-believers can often have very insightful and helpful readings of Scripture: their asking different, and, ironically, sometimes much better, questions).

So, one is free to conclude that, for whatever reasons, Adam was able to name all the animals in such a short time that God saw his lonilness, put him to sleep, and made Eve on the same day. And any YEC will speculate as necessary to provide such an answer. But someone try honestly to tell me this (speculation on Adam's unfallen brain power, and the image the entire scenario conjures: Adam rapidly naming a series of animals, being put to sleep out by God, God creating Eve, Adam awaking, naming Eve, and all on the same day (presumably within twelver hours because one needs day light, right?) does not sound a little silly, or that it seems to be missing the point of the passage. If one wants to say such a thing happened, that's fine.

But I have never personally heard thoughtful and profound interpretations of the meaning of that passage (e.g. the significance of naming, theologically and philosophically) from YEC'ers. Those I got from philosophy, theology, and non-YEC exegesis and biblical theology.

That may be a pure coincidence and not apply beyond my own experience, and I realize that.

What do you think, Alex?

The lack of profundity (some might cry elitist but I doubt many would) in the interpretive works I have read by YEC's is not an unfair characterization (and please, may it not be this is to be viewed as believing these men are not earnest, nor devout, nor gifted and with great zeal for our Lord). What I do believe is that the necessity of a literal 24 hour day during creation has been raised to a level of orthodoxy by many voices in Evangelicalism and certainly fundamentalism and so for whatever reasons their approach to the text is under a certain duress and their engagement is offensive and defensive rather than that of more apolitical discovery. They are not at ease, possibly their license is censured somewhat.

Secondly, for some it might be a sub-conscious gatekeeper function, guarding those who would steal this text for the propagation of another gospel, namely evolution. Thus their sub-conscious commission, and this from very gifted men, may be to draw safe boundaries, guard and reaffirm but while doing so they fail, while in safe mode, to explore what Mr. Heston dared to, "the forbidden zone".

And for others, it is clearly a case that their consciences before God and within themselves are driven to certainty that the proper interpretation is a 24 hour day. I suspect these men are the best read for this position but even among them it is true the peculiarity of attempting to described the detailed scenarios of how it is possible for Adam to name the animals is arises in their arguments and diminishes its depth at those points, at least.

But at some point, there must be a place, a place YEC's should be acknowledged for its attendance, where forensic measurements are valid, even if the tenor of the account de-emphasizes this since it does not dismiss it completely.

As for me, I am currently auditing and refining my grasp of this portion of Scripture and this time around I am discovering that even upon entry, though the landscape is still the same text and forever will be, my scope and vision is not the same as some years ago. I realize God didn't grow more acres in the text during my attending to other doctrines but somehow it looks much larger than before :).

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Daniel wrote:
Alex, I don't have time right now b/c I have to run to work and pick something up, but at creation there probably were not different breeds of animals, as you are suggesting. There have been some relatively new discoveries made with cats and dogs that suggest, and probably prove, that for both of those animals their breeds are relatively new. And when I say relatively, I mean very new. Dog breeds, they said, date to about 1850.

I'll post again later with more information from the study.

And your interpretation on cattle is not the only interpretation available. If I have time, I will dig up my old Hebrew papers on Genesis where we discussed this at great length.

Thanks Daniel, I look forward and appreciate your consideration and please take your time. This thread is always retrievable and there is no one pressuring me to form my dogma before Sunday :).

Daniel's picture

The study on dogs had many conclusions, some of which I don't understand as a result of the use of scientific terms. But there were two that I thought were interesting. The first, probably has no bearing on this topic, nevertheless, they were able to properly identify 410 out of 414 dogs based on their genotype alone. The second find, using the wolf as the root of the tree, they were able to identify 4 unique splits from the wolf: Asian, African, Arctic, and Middle Eastern.

As far as the cat goes, it was actually very similar in that they were able to find four unique splits, Asian, African, European, and Mediterranean Basin. I believe they used a cat from Kalahari for their root.

I would venture to guess most, if not all, domesticate animals are probably the same, although I have yet to see any study done on more than these two so I will not say dogmatically they are.

So interpret the data how you want, I just find it note-worthy for the discussion.

Duane Braswell's picture

Always willing to put two cents in, let me add my caveat. I am not after an argument, nor trying to dissuade someones opinion. I like the talk show host, but apparently not enough to remember his hame, that states clarity is better than agreement. I agree that the question is 'silly' but worthy of addressing. I agree that it is secondary at best to the theological theme of Genesis and inascertainable due to an inability to verify the data. The thumbnail picture I always had was Adam walking amidst the animals identifying them in general. I do not think it was a matter of sitting and each paraded before them to be 'named.' LOL 'Thou art Bear because thine claws shall rend...' The point of the pericope is the need of a help meet. Yes the naming indicates a dominion over, but the animals need not be in a submission struggle, nor does Adam need to exert dominance over each. The Animal Kingdom seems to have a natural understanding of the pecking order among species. [Yes they establish leadership among themselves whether they are chickens or tigers. Yet at this early point there is no reason to think of the need for the youngsters to be replacing the leaders of the pride or establishing their roles in the herd. Regardless of the internal issues, which as I state may not have existed since there was no death, or inherent evil in existence, mice know they are dominated by cats intuitively. This rules out the pomp and circumstance of many painting I have seen of the animals on parade. back to my main argument. ] I see Adam looking around and seeing 'cattle.' and naming them cattle and realizing they do not meet his companionship needs.

again the side note here. Cattle, or livestock, depends on your translation of choice. We are giving three groups, larger animals, (Behemah in Hebrew) and creeping things (rehmes) and beasts (Khaymee) after their kind. (Meen) in loose wording. all the species, bigger ones, little ones, all the animals by their kinds. We do not get a naming of the different Cattle. Modern cattle can be traced back to Asian, Euprean, American and even then if we take kind as species we should have a fixed number of species, but I have not found an agreed amount. Animal Kingdom: then Phylia of which there are between 35 and 40 phylums. I honest believe even modern sin infested man can handle naming this many and I do not think Adam went from spider to spider and mite to mite to name each of them. (today there are probably a million types of spiders and mites each.) I think he said, bugs, spiders, worms, slugs, beetles, nope don't want those as a mate, lets go look at something bigger. (Yes I am sure Adam used proper Edenese, but I am answering a 'silly' question and using silly speech,)
If we go past Phylum on the taxonomy chart to classes we start getting some of the distinctions in scripture birds, fish, crawlers, beasts domestic and wild. Unfortunately Moses was not up to date on modern taxonomy. (this causes problems with Rabbits being unclean but not rudimentary, but that is a whole different cud to chew on.) Ooops silly again. back to classes. There are only about 6 common classes in the animal kingdom. mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, spiders and insects. (actually two phylum here vertebrates and invertebrates.) Again, I think Adam was free from taxonomy enough to say a couple of dozen types of birds (dodo covering emu and ostrich, but different from the duck/geese, which incidently so many people who don't hunt seem to have a problem telling these apart when decorating kitchens. Then the birds of prey may have rated hawk, eagle, but I dont think Osprey, had to be separate from the hawk because they have 4 talons rather then 3.)
I think the actual cattle, be it musk ox, bovine or antelope warrents multiple names, but antelope probably covers the bongo and the proghorn antelope even though today they are different classifications. We all know he had to hang with some monkeys and baboon, gorilla, orangatang and chimp deserved some thought, but spider monkey and lemur all fall under 'little monkeys that dont sit still' for me. Maybe Adam said primate and was done with the whole hairy family, but I do not beleive he came up with 3 - 5 subspecies of gorillas, We get to Cats and again, I can name 6 maybe? Lion, Tiger, Cheetah, Leopard, house cat, bobcat. (hey why name an animal that won't answer to its name? Sorry cat lovers.) Dogs, horses, even the Giraffe (how tall was that first one anyway?) all might get a couple of minutes, maybe even a Clydesdale, Zebra, and pony names, but when looking for a life partner even the dog probably did not get 10 minutes of consideration. (I love dogs, but were there balls to throw yet? and how long was Adam willing to play fetch and what if the first dog was like my springer and gave him that look, 'I got it twice, if you wanted it stop throwing it.')

My whole silly point is this. How long does it take to look at a group of animials and decide what to call them? Especially if you are looking for one to be your life partner? Is it really an astronomical task to think that as the day dawned God led the different animals to Adam to show him what his role was. I imagine starting at a Zoo you get the big picture of the feeding schedule rather quickly and the details of wolverines and Rhinos later. In the course of the morning Adam had seen enough to see there was nothing like him among the hundreds of animals that he looked too. (again a silly thing, but how long does it take you to count to 1000, assuming you don't quit? Now if you have to invent the language it might take a while and if someone argues with you as to whether to start with zero and do the natural numbers or one and the counting numbers would it really take that long?) Adam at some time in the day, say 1 or 2 (I live in AZ, I love Siesta) he takes a nap and wakes to find Eve. the KJV says this is now, ESV this is at last, Youngs literal translation, this is the proper step. The idea now that he sees a woman, he is walking the right path in searching for a help meet, one like him.

Well enough with the silly stuff, appreciate the chance to chew on this question from a non compliant mindset. All typos were intentional and no names were changed as there were no innocents.

He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent. - Augustine

Daniel's picture

Alex, unfortunately I was not able to find my papers. They are probably in a box at the in-laws.
I believe the idea is that he is not specifically calling out cattle as the specie, but more a general term. Something more along the lines of livestock or non-wild animals.
1) I don't believe the Hebrew word for cattle necessitates it to be specifically cattle. BDB lists it as beast, animal, cattle. In one passage it is said to be something that was rode. What is interesting it says it is rarely used of wild beasts (carnivorous).
2) I believe beast of the field actually carries a meaning that some animals cannot fit into. BDB actually has it listed as 'wild animals' or 'unclean beasts'. If that is true, what about the rest of the animals that don't fit into cattle or wild animals?
3) It seems 'silly' to specifically call out one specie but every other specie to be lumped into one, beast of the field. (especially since the majority of the time it is used in reference to wild animals)

So I think to properly interpret what cattle means we need to ask a few questions.
1) Why in the surrounding passages is everything else in a grouping, birds of the air, fish of the sea, grass, herb, fruit tree, creeping things, yet for cattle, he creates a special group just for them? It just seems to break the flow of things. Of course this is not reason enough to cast aside cattle = cattle, but I think it should be at least enough to cause us to pause and rethink.
2) We need to properly identify what beast of the field means. If every single animal was to have come before Adam, then all animals that roam the Earth must fit into one of two categories, cattle or beast of the field. If it is as narrow as I think it is, wild animals, then what of those animals that don't fit into either?

So hopefully those are some things to consider.

I was talking to my wife earlier about this and she told me that cattle breeds have similar story to that of dogs/cats, although their breeds are much older, pre-BC. I hate using science to back up scripture, as scientific conclusions are known to change from time to time. But if this is true, then there would only have been one pair of cattle walking before Adam. Again, I say if, and I don't rest my argument on this. So if you disagree with this last paragraph, so be it.

Larry's picture

Moderator

It is interesting in some ways that those who most insist that we go back and read the text in its original context, understanding the times of the original story, are most likely to say it can't have happened that way because of what we know about animal life today. We look at modern classifications and try to export that back to Eden and say there is no way that Adam could have done it because the task was too big.

I don't think the number of the animals is significant. What is significant is the helper suitable for Adam. Among all the animals, there was no helper suitable. That, to me, is the theological point: the special creation of a woman for man (which has some pretty clear implications for evolutionary theory).

The idea that the framework that raises the question is silly seems, again, an attempt to export our modern sensibilities back onto the ancient text. I don't find that a good way to go about study. We must let the text stand on its own, it seems to me. The search for a literary and theological explanation is often, it seems to me, a contest to see who can say "The text doesn't really mean that" in the most creative way. Occam would not be proud. Sometimes, the text means just what it says.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

If I read you, you are rebutting that possibly the view here should not be universal identification but selective identification for an isolated number of creatures. I understand that view and it is not an unreasonable proposal since instead of saying there just weren't many animals in total you are reducing the number named because the text may not be trying to communicate that every creature in existence was named. And if one parses this portion of the creation account this way, they can come away with the fair observation that, for example, "every creeping thing that creepeth" which was created in chapter 1 is not among the list of creatures Adam named, hence there is some weight to the assertion that one can reduce the number. However, the text does present some challenges to the reduction being substantially minimized:

Quote:
19And 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.

20And 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.

It seems the text makes a point with the inclusive "every" which proposes a significant number and not the ease of a minimized number, if of course we follow the theological line of YEC that gives cause for this kind of consideration and discussion.

And while the cattle, beasts and foul are named as being named, one must ask the purpose of their identification in the text. Is it really to say, these are all Adam named or do they function as "frames of reference"?

Look at vs 19, it says "out of the ground the LORD God form every beast of the field and every foul of the; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them" but then it isn't just the beasts and foul which are in view but "every living creature" and we know more than just the beasts and foul are in view because immediately Adam is given credit for naming the cattle which are not mentioned previously with the beasts and foul that were created from the ground and brought to Adam. The cattle are not said to have been brought to Adam to be named, yet he names them. So the use of these identifiers appears to be employed more so as frames of reference.

Are we to imagine the texts means God only formed beasts and foul and brought them to Adam and the cattle were otherwise formed and "every living creature" also otherwise formed and also not brought to Adam but somehow named by Adam? So the use of these identifications as strictly forensic measures is prescriptively weak when trying to form ledgers for reducing the numbers.

Duane Braswell's picture

I like silly questions and silly style answers, but this is getting a bit far in trying to hold the argument.

Alex, How many animals do you think there were? It was probably not as many as you seem to be implying by your comments. Lets deal with the numbers we can tell in scripture and bring in modern science. We know at the time Adam is naming the animals there is only 1 human being. Let's state 2 for the sake of the completed day. According to modern science there are 20 plus sub species of man, (they use the term hominid) most of which are extinct and race/subspecies that currently exist is in the range of a dozen. If we take 'modern facts' we have a real issue with the genesis story. Since we seem to be coming from the acceptance of scripture over science (if not then the discussion is moot and needs to head to is the bible reliable) perhaps the fact that modern number demonstrate a multiplication of 20 in mankind/human case, perhaps we should limit the numbers of the animals as well.

Someone above talked of looking at the scriptures from different perspective. I like that, it is what makes a 'silly' question worth addressing and not really 'silly.' Let's try and simplify further though. Are we really to expect that God created 3 million species to be under the dominion of 1 man? Again if I go back to the dogs, the specificity of many breeds would be uncalled for. Many dogs are hunting specific and not just companion animals, at the time of Adam there would be no need for dogs bred for bears/lions/bulls or rabbits. (no wiener dogs.) Cats also, and all the other animals that modern science uses to come up with between 3 and 30 million. (Did you know that the Mammouth and Mastadon are not names for the same animal, but actually species designated after their extinction? good night, we have five types/species of Elephants all based on their current location.)

It would make sense, that God, in His wisdom, having planned well and being aware of adaptation and breeding patterns of all animals, created enough animals to include the types that would exist in the numbers that could be dominated/cared for by the Human race. it seems that was the purpose of having Adam name the animals.

Biblical word study point: You are making an issue of the word ALL in verses 19 and 20. The word is Kole and it is usually a modifier with one of its most basic meaning being the idea of totality not specificity. I.E. Gen 4:21 Jubal was the father of all those who play the lyre and the pipe. That does not mean he was the specific father of each child that would every play.

Again, I think it is worth asking these types of questions when the answers are sought honestly. If however to enter the discussion one must put aside the intelligence of God and of His ability to encompass specifics into His planning then the discussion is not profitable. If the discussion stretches our understanding of His work, than by all means enter into it.

Thanks for reading these ramblings.

He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent. - Augustine

John Benzing's picture

Larry, just to be sure, I am not suggesting that verses 19-20 are unimportant or can be overlooked; however, the main idea of the passage (as you noted, the special creation of woman for man), could stand without the information found in verses 19-20. You are correct that the doctrine of inspiration tells us that they cannot be removed and that they are profitable.

I agree with the idea that this is a question that is really unanswerable because we don't have further revelation. I don't think it is a silly question as such, and I don't think anyone here would suggest that it is the only question raised from the passage. But if your overall view is that God is revealing actual facts of what happened on the day man and woman were created, it is more relevant. While I understand the concern that teaching is overlooked if all one looks for is how to show this happened in 24 hours, I'm not sure why deep theological ideas and questions are contrary to a Young Earth Idea (I'll have to take others characterizations of "YEC's" writings as I have not read any myself).

Regarding circles, when you have more than one they either engulf the other one (making it a subset), each overlap making a common area, or have no common area at all. The question of "How Big Is Your Circle" could be asked of any side in the debate over Genesis. Even if your circle doesn't include the necessity of dealing with the age of the earth or whether the days were 24/7, do you allow room in your circle for those who do believe it is necessary?

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Duane Braswell wrote:

Alex, How many animals do you think there were?
This many.
Quote:
and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
I side with the implication of the text.
Duane Braswell wrote:
Are we really to expect that God created 3 million species to be under the dominion of 1 man?
Can you tell me of which species of animal man is under dominion?

Quote:
Biblical word study point: You are making an issue of the word ALL in verses 19 and 20. The word is Kole and it is usually a modifier with one of its most basic meaning being the idea of totality not specificity. I.E. Gen 4:21 Jubal was the father of all those who play the lyre and the pipe. That does not mean he was the specific father of each child that would every play.
The "all" refers to the number who play the lyre and pipe and Jubal is given the figurative paternal headship of ALL those who play the lyre and pipe. Further, you using an equivocation here that does not exist. The figurative reference here is not to the "all" but Jubal's figurative paternalism. The "all" here is quite literal and includes "all" who play the lyre and pipe without exception of whom Jubal is their figurative father.

Duane Braswell's picture

Alex,

Your retorts are leaving me with some questions. What was your intent with this question in the first place? You have been shown several answers, all of us stating that there is no proof one way or the other. You need to decide if you will take the words of the scripture or not. I am not sure I understand what you are going at.

My point in asking 'how many' was for a general number that would make it possible or impossible to name them all. your answer is 'this many' and quote 'all' in scripture. fine, for me all is 7 and there is no problem naming 7. end of discussion.

You asked how many animals are under man's dominion? my answer is all. Gen 1:26. That was the purpose of naming them. I don't think that what I mean by that word is what you mean by that word. Think of it this way: Your parents had dominion over you when you were born, thus they named you. Same as with Adam day 6.

As for the Biblical all, you made my point rather well, apparently I was unclear. the 'all' means that man named/had dominion over any and every animal. Not each and every one, but the totality of animal kind.

Alex, I have tried to answer your question seriously, forgive me if my light jesting style made you think I was arguing. Ultimately, no one can answer this question, at least no human living. God knows, Adam knows, we make due with what we have and search out the hidden things. It is the same for Day/Eon theory, for evolution, for anything.

Hope your sharping your mind, I am.

He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent. - Augustine

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Duane Braswell wrote:
Alex,

Your retorts are leaving me with some questions...I am not sure I understand what you are going at.

Duane Braswell wrote:
Alex, I have tried to answer your question seriously, forgive me if my light jesting style made you think I was arguing.

Duane Braswell wrote:
You have been shown several answers, all of us stating that there is no proof one way or the other.
Duane Braswell wrote:
Ultimately, no one can answer this question, at least no human living.
Are you certain you know what "you are going at"? Smile

The 24 hour interpretation presents a theological schematic that forces certain questions, I am asking one (may a few of those) to be explained and rebutting their weaknesses. But I am stating the obvious here since I have already revealed this intent, nevertheless for the sake of courtesy I do so to answer your question regarding my purpose and, lest I be negligent, I will repost it:

Quote:
*For the record, this thread is meant to be one of discovery, that is, I cannot say I am satisfied one way or the other regarding how long each day of creation is to be understood and it is my endeavor, not to rebut for the sake of rebutting but, to find a more convincing and well founded theological posture. I appreciate those participating.

dan's picture

Here's an interpretation that preserves both a literal 6 day creation AND the idea that Adam gave specific names to each individual animal:

http://www.jasher.com/Adamsrib.htm

Smile

"Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy."
G.K. Chesterton

Alex Guggenheim's picture

dan wrote:
Here's an interpretation that preserves both a literal 6 day creation AND the idea that Adam gave specific names to each individual animal:

http://www.jasher.com/Adamsrib.htm

Smile

I am back from my travels and had time to read the article. It appeared to me to be an essay on the creation of Eve with the focus on the nature of "Adam's rib" and I did not read anything as it relates to naming animals or the justification of a literal 24 hour day. If I missed something let me know, but the article is a worthwhile consideration on the subject of Adam's rib.

dan's picture

Sorry, about that - I forgot that particular article doesn't really paint the whole picture, and now I can't find the more thorough article(s) (with quotes and references to really old documents).

The idea is that on day 6 God created an individual in His image, male and female. Many rabbis since before the time of Christ believed this - that Gen 1:27 means that God created an individual that was in some sense both male and female, and then after the animals were named, God took one "side" (tsela) from Adam, leaving Adam exclusively male and making the female a separate person, Eve.

If this were true, it would mean God still could have literally created man male and female on the literal day 6, Adam could have taken a long time to name the animals before God divided man into male and female individuals.

I know this sounds strange, and I haven't decided what I think of it, though I don't see any theological problems with it.

It would solve your conundrum, though I don't believe the conundrum exists.

"Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy."
G.K. Chesterton

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Well, it isn't a conundrum so much as it is asking the inevitably forced questions of the defenses I read regarding a 24 hour interpretation. They treat the text so forensically that one is given not just license but necessity then to insist an explanation for incongruities.

I am more convinced that the necessity of chronological precision is actually damaging to the true intent of the text. But I have more reading and contemplation o do and appreciate your input.