Adam and Eve Did Not Literally Exist

Studying the human genome has disproven the possibility that we sprang from two people, NPR reports.Shocking, right:

Karl Giberson – who taught physics at Eastern Nazarene College until his views became too uncomfortable in Christian academia – says Protestants who question Adam and Eve are akin to Galileo in the 1600s, who defied Catholic Church doctrine by stating that the earth revolved around the sun and not vice versa. Galileo was condemned by the church, and it took more than three centuries for the Vatican to express regret at its error.

“When you ignore science, you end up with egg on your face,” Giberson says. “The Catholic Church has had an awful lot of egg on its face for centuries because of Galileo. And Protestants would do very well to look at that and to learn from it.”

This is about as shocking news as the revelation that Zooey Deschanel and I will never get together (because I’m married, obvs.). Still, as Andrew Sullivan notes, the backlash from the bible literalists has been intense:

Harlow, who like Schneider has tenure and considers himself a committed Christian, said that the backlash reflects the views of fundamentalists within the Reformed denomination, not what most people think. “I work in the mainstream of Biblical scholarship, and we believe that the early chapters of Genesis are divinely inspired stories which imagine the human condition and creation of the world. Their intent is to make theological statements. They weren’t written to provide geological or biological information,” Harlow said. “My college freshmen seem to be able to handle this, but fundamentalists get all bent out of shape over this.”

It strikes me as deeply sad that a person’s belief in God and their faith could be tied to whether or not the words in a book are literally true. One would think not being tied to the religious dogma of the bible would free Christians to be, well, better Christians.

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