Who is Adam?

Dave, a long-time reader, asked me a great series of hot-potato questions on CosmicFingerprints.com:Peter_Paul_Rubens_004

Q: Were there a historical first two humans (“Adam and Eve”) that gave us our entire species or were more contributors to our species? Does DNA show that there were other human species that existed and the one we have today is simply the simply didn’t die out?

A: So far as I know, genetics shows the human race came through a minimum population bottleneck of 5,000 to 10,000 people. A lot of people take this to mean Adam and Eve were simply mythical creatures, which creates more than a few theological problems.

However Richard J. Fischer in his book Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham makes a strong case that: Adam wasn’t the first human. Adam was the first Semitic person.

The Genesis text gives clues that this is true. Cain kills Abel. He complains, “If anyone finds me they will kill me” and off he goes to build a city.

A city? For who?

And who is “anyone”? From the text it would appear there are only three people alive, Cain was the oldest, Abel was younger, and they had no other kids.

Sounds like other people are around.

Adam wasn’t the first man. He was the first prophet.

Q: Do humans have a unique dimension apart of from the animals (e.g. having supernatural spirit, not just a natural soul)

A: Yes. However I don’t have a way that I can plug a voltmeter into people and prove this. Anecdotal evidence is all around.

Q: Did the first human sin produce an event called “the Fall”?

A: Yes.

Q: Was the Fall an event or a process?

A: I think it’s both. I’m not sure I can elaborate much.

Q: Did the Fall produce a spiritual death or physical death, both, or neither?

A: Spiritual death. Not physical death. God told Eve “In the day you eat of the fruit you will surely die.” She didn’t die physically that day. And we also need to look carefully at Romans 5:

Which clarification of Romans 1 makes more sense – the first one or the second?

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and physical death through sin, and in this way physical death came to all people, because all sinned—

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, physical death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many physically died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, physical death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in physical life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and physical life for all people.

…..

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and spiritual death through sin, and in this way spiritual death came to all people, because all sinned—

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, spiritual death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many spiritually died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, spiritual death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in eternal life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and eternal life for all people.

I don’t think Romans 5 makes sense if death is “physical death.” Sin brought spiritual death.

Q: If the Fall produced either spiritual or physical death, did either of these occur before the Fall?

A: Physical death has been going on for billions of years.

Q: Did the Fall result in corruption that affected the rest of the cosmos?

A: I suspect so. I can’t say exactly how. I suspect man became more at war with nature than he was before.

Q: Is this the only universe?

A: I doubt it. People who know cosmology far better than I say we have good mathematical reasons to believe the ignition of our universe likely triggered others.

However I strongly object to people who invoke multiverses simply to avoid the incredibly pervasive evidence for fine-tuning in our universe.

Some people say there’s a trillion other universes with random characteristics and we live in “the lucky one.” There may be good reasons to believe in a multiverse, but that one’s lame.

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