Illogic of the Garden of Eden Story

Garden of Eden Genesis BibleThere’s a great Far Side cartoon with the caption “Fumbling for his recline button, Ted unwittingly instigates disaster.” The drawing shows some guy in an airplane seat, not paying attention as he reaches down to the buttons on the arm rest. There’s the light switch, a call button, and a switch for “Wings stay on” in the up position and “Wings fall off” in the down position.

In the Garden of Eden story, God is like the engineer who thought it smart to put the switch to jettison the wings in the arm rest. He knows that humans mustn’t eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so where does he put it? In with the humans.

Maybe God didn’t know how to childproof the Garden—he was new at parenting, after all. But some safeguards seem like common sense. Why not warn Adam and Eve not to believe the snake? Or step in once the snake spoke to Eve? Or make the fruit of the tree look or smell unappealing? Or put the tree far away? Or put a wall around it? Or, if it’s not good for anything, not make the tree in the first place? God knew how to make effective safeguards, since he put cherubim with a flaming sword to keep Mankind out of the Garden after the fall. Then why not guard the tree to keep Adam and Eve away?

Today, God would be liable under the “attractive nuisance doctrine,” which makes a landowner responsible for providing safeguards to prevent children from being injured by swimming pools, trampolines, or anything else they might find intriguing but not be able to understand the danger of (h/t commenter GregPeterson).

Putting the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden is like the James Bond movies where the bad guy captures Bond and arranges a slow death (like Goldfinger’s metal-cutting laser slowly working its way up the table between Bond’s legs) and then leaves. Bond always escapes. If Goldfinger were serious about eliminating Bond (he’s not—it’s Hollywood), he would have just shot him. If God were serious about the danger of Adam eating the fruit (he’s not—this is a just-so story), he wouldn’t have put the Tree in the Garden.

I know what you’re thinking. Why treat this ancient myth as if it’s actually history? Why worry about the logic of a 3000-year-old story? Because, according to four in ten Americans, it is history.

Different creation stories

The Documentary Hypothesis argues that the Garden of Eden story comes from the oldest parts of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) and was written around 950 BCE, while the six-day creation story was added almost 500 years later. To historians, this jumble of stories causes no problem. It’s fascinating to learn about what ancient cultures thought. But the claim that Genesis is literally true runs aground in many places.

Fundamentalists will want to see the six-day story as the overview, with the Eden story the detailed view of Day Six, but consider the contradictions. In the comparison below, the six-day creation story is from the Priestly (P) source, and the Eden story is from the older Yahwist (J) source.

  • P says that man and woman are created together (Genesis 1:27), while J says that man came first (Gen. 2:20–22).
  • P says that they can eat from every tree (1:29), while J says that one tree is forbidden (2:27).
  • P says that plants preceded humans (1:11–13; 27–31), while J says that plants grew after Adam was placed in the Garden (2:4–9).
  • P says that animals preceded humans (1:25–7), while J says that God made animals after Adam to find him a companion (2:18–19).
  • P says that animals and birds come from water (1:20), while J says that they come from the ground (2:19).
  • J says that it’s not good for Adam to be alone and God finds him a companion, but Paul says that celibacy is better than marriage (1 Corinthians 7:1, 9)

Older myths

Old though the J source is, it seems inspired by other Mesopotamian myths that are far older. The 18th century BCE Sumerian Atra-Hasis epic is another creation myth. In it, the gods create humans to do the farm work, but all is not perfect. After twice 600 years (600 is a round number in Mesopotamian base-60 representation), “The country was as noisy as a bellowing bull.” The god of the wind was eventually fed up: “The noise of mankind has become too much. I am losing sleep over their racket.” His solution: a plague, then a famine, and finally a flood.

In this story, mankind is created to tend the gods’ garden (as was Adam—see Gen. 2:15). Eventually, they annoy one god enough that he decides to rid the world of them with a flood (see Gen. 6 ff). Noah’s age at the time of the flood (600 years) also has a parallel. (More on the Noah story here.)

Take the story at face value, and not only is the Bible contradictory about the creation, but God is culpable, with the story spun to make it Man’s fault. Alternatively, we can see it as a version of a story inspired by a much older version from that region of the world. If it doesn’t make complete sense, okay, but understand that it’s just myth. And if you stick the Eden creation myth next to the six-day-creation myth, don’t be surprised when they don’t match up. Neither approach does much to bolster claims of historicity.

Concluded in part 2.

The church doesn’t like for people to grow up 
because you can’t control grown-ups.
— John Shelby Spong

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 6/24/13.)

Image credit: LongitudeLatitude, flickr, CC

 

"Wow! Way to go evading the questions with distractions. What justification for the validity of ..."

Why the Atheist Worldview Beats the ..."
"Your position isn't any more clearer now , than it was a week ago . ..."

When Christianity Was in Charge, This ..."
"Is your name Bob ?But anyway YOU SAID :Bob explained his position to you and ..."

When Christianity Was in Charge, This ..."
""And Bob is delighted to have others participate in the conversation. Sure, I'd love to ..."

When Christianity Was in Charge, This ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • When I was a baby Southern Baptist, I thought it rather unfair that I was being punished for great-great-etc-grandpa Adam’s sin. Then I realized that Adam was being punished for what he did before he knew right from wrong.

    It just went downhill from there.

    • Uzza

      My favorite is that Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, gained God-like knowledge of what was right and wrong, and then immediately had everybody else eat the fruit too. It makes me wonder exactly what was that knowledge she’d gained.

      • That it’s awesome to have moral knowledge?! Or was that a trick question?

      • Jack Baynes

        I’d rather not live around people who didn’t know the difference between right and wrong, either.

        • Uzza

          THAT is an astute observation. I’m ashamed to admit I never thought it through to that.

        • MJ Patton

          how about a parent who will put a toy in front of a child and tell them not to touch it!

      • MJ Patton

        that men will blame women for everything from here on.

  • adam

    …..

  • Sophia Sadek

    It is pretty clear that the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is a metaphor. In fact, the whole thing makes much more sense if we consider all of the elements of the story to be metaphorical. My favorite variation on the theme is the Epic of Gilgamesh where a temple harlot plays the role of the serpent and the character of Eve is played by a man with long hair like a woman. Adam and Steve, rather than Adam and Eve.

    • Michael.Pinecone.V2

      Yep. There are some truths that a literal accounting of an event will fail to produce.

      • Sophia Sadek

        The truth is far too grisly to be portrayed literally.

        • Michael.Pinecone.V2

          They nailed it in regards to temptation.

  • MNb

    “If Goldfinger were serious about eliminating Bond (he’s not—it’s Hollywood)”
    Hollywood is responsible for lots of things, but not for Goldfinger. The closest connection with Hollywood is the distribution company United Artists, Beverly Hills.
    Not that this affects your point in any way. Goldfinger is more than Hollywood – it’s James Bond!

    “Because, according to four in ten Americans, it is history.”
    Stunning. From many other sources than you I wouldn’t have believed it.

    • Helpful clarification, thanks.

      More trivia, Bond producer Albert Broccoli said that an uncle brought the first broccoli seeds to the US in the 1870s (though apparently Thomas Jefferson grew them, which can’t also be true).

  • tubi11

    Me, to my 11 year old son:
    Let’s say that one day, while you’re out at school, I place a box on your dresser. It’s big, like, say, a microwave oven box. It’s brightly colored and has pictures of Snorlax and Adrian Peterson on it. It has your name on a card on the lid. It’s not taped or tied. The lid just comes off.

    Then let’s say your sister sees the box. She tells you about and says it has your name on it, so it’s probably for you. So you open it. And inside are undeveloped photographic plates 100 years old. They are irreplaceable. Exposure to light destroys them.

    When I get home I go check my box. I see that it was opened and the plates destroyed. I’m angry. I yell and scream. You go hide in the closet. But I find you because I can hear you talking through the air ducts. I ask what happened and you say, “Nothing.” But I know otherwise because I watched you do it on the remote security system I set up the week before.

    Here’s the $64 question: Would I be justified in kicking you and your sister out of the house forever and placing an armed guard at the door to keep you from ever getting back in?

    • adam

      You left out the death penalty.

      My favorite is this:

      I will assume you are an adult.

      You place a loaded and cocked gun on a table in front of toddlers at a preschool.
      You TELL them not to touch the gun, it will cause death.

      You leave.
      One of the toddlers talks another toddler into picking up the gun and that toddler kills another toddler.

      Do you condemn the toddler shooter to death, and all it’s progeny?

      Who is ultimately responsible, the toddlers or the adult who placed the loaded gun.

      Remember, Adam and Eve were so ignorant and innocent that they didnt even know they were naked.

      • Uzza

        Don’t forget, God never told Eve not to eat the fruit. He commanded Adam not to, but Eve didn’t exist at the time, she doesn’t turn up in the story till way later. She did know about it, so Adam must have told her but she never got any command from God, only 2nd hand gossip from Adam, and then first hand info from the snake.
        There’s a long clause where after she talks to the snake she “saw that it was good”, which implies she did some checking of her own before making her decision.

        Later, God comes around, all pissy, and Adam whinges “She made me do it”, and God says to her “Aww,shit, I should have told you too, you weren’t supposed to eat that. My bad”
        HA HA, just kidding, He kicks the bitch out and blames women for everything, forever. High five, bro!

    • Joe

      Would I be justified in kicking you and your sister out of the house forever and placing an armed guard at the door to keep you from ever getting back in?

      Let me attempt to answer this as a Christian would: Yes?

  • C.J. O’Brien

    Funny thing is, the text has no interest in ethics at all. What is translated as “Knowledge of Good and Evil” is better rendered “Knowledge of favored and disfavored states.” There is no godlike understanding imparted in the sense of supposed omniscience or anything like that, and no moral awakening, both of these concepts are largely absent from the Iron Age milieu of the fable.
    What it is, is an etiology for why humans are different from the other animals in so many ways. So, nakedness, for instance, is a disfavored state, but animals seem to show no awareness of lacking clothing. They did not eat from the tree of knowledge of Good and Bad.
    There are many examples in the story of details that make no sense on the standard interpretation that easily fall into place with this perspective. Such as, further on nakedness: Notice that when God says to Adam “Who told you you were naked?” Adam is not, in fact, naked; he and Eve have already fashioned a covering of leaves. The disfavored state is actually more nuanced than the naked/clothed binary, it is “under-dressed for the social situation”. The rudimentary “fig leaf” outfit is fine for hanging around the garden with the wife, but not when the boss shows up.

    • You’d think that God would be totally cool with naked people (and Adam and Eve would know this), but then you’d think that God would be cool about poop.

      “You shall have a place also outside of the camp, where you shall go forth abroad and you shall have a paddle among your weapons; and it shall be, when you sit down abroad, you shall dig therewith, and shall turn back and cover that which comes from you for Yahweh your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that he may not see an unclean thing in you, and turn away from you.” (Deut. 23:12–14)

      • Greg G.

        Matthew 10:30 and Luke 12:7 say that God counts all the hairs on everybody’s head but he can’t keep track of where they poop.

        • Michael Neville

          Poop is something that icks God out, so he tries not to pay attention to it. We all have our little phobias. I hate spiders, my daughter hates snakes, God hates poop.

        • An engineer would love to see how his machine worked, from fuel and oxygen intake to exhaust out. It’s almost like God didn’t actually make us and this is being told from a human perspective.

        • Rt1583

          Told from a human perspective?
          Never! It’s all true. Every last word of it.

        • ephemerol

          Yeah, almost.

          The torah tells me all I need to know that the bible and its god are inventions of men and the stories about bible-god are told from a human perspective. Even though it says he’s the creator of mankind in the first chapters of Genesis, the rest of the torah clearly contradicts that.

          When bible-god leads the children of Israel out of Egypt, bible-god is repeatedly blindsided by the behavior of the people. He always seems unable to predict what they’ll do next, and completely clueless as to how to elicit the sort of behavior from them that he desires. And this frustration arising from bible-god’s own lack of insight and skill occurs so quickly that in Exodus 32, just a few chapters after expending all that effort to liberate them from Egypt, he figures he’ll just kill them all and make a nation from Moses’ offspring instead.

          If the bible told true stories, and if bible-god were the creator of mankind, then he would know how the human brain worked, he would be able to predict human behavior, and he would even know what stimuli were necessary inputs in order to evoke the outputs from humans he wanted. He would also be able to read human minds, something that is posited by the assumption that bible-god can “hear” people’s prayers. But in the torah, the human mind is a black box, an impenetrable mystery to bible-god, and he always seems to be flummoxed by the Israelites.

          The conclusion of reading the torah is that bible-god is not the creator of mankind, but a cheap imposter, one who never had any access to the specifications or blueprints of the human mind that any conscious agency of its creation would have had to have drawn up. Kind of like how the bible would read if it were just written by men. So of course bible-god is an imposter.

        • God is just an elevated human. Kind of a bully.

          Maybe that’s why he was followed–bullies often get their way.

        • ephemerol

          Yes, in the same way that comic book superheroes are elevated humans. But also, the claims made for him are fraudulent, even according to what is touted as his autobiography.

        • TheNuszAbides

          ‘might makes right’ and other complements of Great Man Syndrome are terrific evolutionary adaptations for psychopaths and enlightened despots alike. not directly handy for the credulous masses, of course.

        • Kingasaurus

          As you know, there’s a lot of that, Bob.

          If you were a god, would you make a person who needed to eat food? Why not make our skin green and photosynthetic? Why make our eating and breathing tubes cross paths so people choke to death or suffocate? Come to think of it, why do we have to breathe at all? Why make an organism which – to remain healthy – needs to slip into unconsciousness for one-third of its life?

          If we really were god-made it would clearly be insane engineering.

        • Robert Templeton

          There are a few more things that ick out God which He transmits to his followers – eating icky shellfish or seeing two people of the same gender doing icky things and so on. It is almost as if what icks out God matches directly things that ick out stupid people.

        • Kevin K

          Two gods, one cup?

        • busterggi

          S.E.Cupp??

        • Kevin K

          Same difference…both full of shit.

      • Frolios

        “…that he may not see an unclean thing in you….”

        Defecation doesn’t remove all the poop from the large intestine. There’s always a little bit in there. So if God doesn’t like seeing unclean things in His humans, it’s no wonder He’s always dissatisfied with us.

        It’s almost like the story was written by an ancient person unfamiliar with internal anatomy or the existence of bacteria.

        • Greg G.

          Are you saying I’m full of shit?

        • Michael Neville

          Was there any doubt?

        • Frolios

          Only in the morning, just after you get out of bed.

        • MR

          It’s almost like it was written by someone who got tired of looking at all that shit.

    • MJ Patton

      the thing that is so amazing about the Garden story is that it is a perfect allegory. so, put “innocent” in place of “naked”.they are no longer innocent. why? because they have become “self-aware”. consciousness has demanded the price of accountability. you must leave your innocent state- you must leave the garden.

  • Myna A.

    Lillith told both god and Adam to take a hike.

    • Kingasaurus

      Of course Lilith was adopted by some Rabbis as a patch to fix the contradiction between Genesis 1 and 2. Since the first story has man and woman created at the same time, and the second had woman created later from man’s rib, they “fix” the problem by saying Adam had 2 wives, and God needed to create a second one when the first one left.

      Making up a brand new story which isn’t in the actual text to fix a problem with the text is a grand old tradition. Fundies are still doing it – ever hear of things like “vapor canopies”?

      • Myna A.

        While I am aware of the roots, I still like the story.

        [Ed. I corrected the spelling of Lilith in my first comment reflection. I always seem wont to add the extra letter.)

  • Rt1583

    Why not any number of reasonable alternatives?
    Because reasonable alternatives don’t allow for a fear narrative.

  • MJ Patton

    I have from adolescence understood the story as an evolution myth.
    they were cast out of natural world. on a more sophisticated level- man fell into consciousness. the evolution of self awareness. and there is no going back.

    • Myna A.

      Certainly, behind the myth it can be considered an allegorical tale. Consciousness and the evolution of self-awareness would be a good interpretation in that sense.

      • epeeist

        Certainly, behind the myth it can be considered an allegorical tale.

        The problem being, that if you simply treat the story as allegory or myth then why should it be privileged over any other mythos? Christians need the story to be true, even if they have to mangle the mean of “true” in order to make it so.

        • Myna A.

          if you simply treat the story as allegory or myth then why should it be privileged over any other mythos?

          In my view, it is no different than any other mythos. The privilege aspect comes only from it being the squeaky hub of the predominant religion. In terms of allegory, I simply liked the interpretation. Now, should the commenter return and stretch it into a Christian bias, that would be a sad thing and something I would detach from. As a stand-alone comment, though, I liked it.

          Christians need the story to be true, even if they have to mangle the mean of “true” in order to make it so.

          I agree.

        • Joe

          The problem being, that if you simply treat the story as allegory or myth then why should it be privileged over any other mythos?

          It shouldn’t be. Nor was it, hence all the wars against rival tribes that were fought in the later chapters of the Old Testament.

        • Robert Templeton

          They need to mangle it because the myth is integrally entwined in their ‘saviour doctrine’ (original sin for which their Greco-Roman Jewish god-son died).

      • GubbaBumpkin

        It seems to be more moral awareness than self-awareness.

        • Myna A.

          One could take it in that direction, I just choose not to. The allegorical interpretation of it being consciousness oriented is more intriguing to me than it being a moral concept and one I’ve thought about on trace occasions, so the original comment interested me. There are endless possibilities with an evolution of self (or collective)-awareness viewpoint. Once one reaches a certain level of consciousness, there would be no going back, even if that consciousness were limited. A literal interpretation would be ludicrous.

        • MJ Patton

          agree. -not about religion, or morality. with awareness came choice (free will). then consequence. the bell cannot be unrung. the known cannot be unknown. morality is subjective- a code. awareness a state. I prefer the fullest interpretation.

  • susan faccone

    The contradictions go on and on. Adam and Eve were suppose to be the ONLY humans on earth. They had the 2 boys. All of a sudden there is an entire town. Where did everyone come from?

    • Y’know, where mates come from ordinarily–from the town over the hill.

      Or does that contradict the main story line … ?

    • epeeist

      Where did everyone come from?

      To move on a little, a question that seems to get to those claiming the actuality of the Noachic flood is “Which of Noah’s sons married the Chinese woman?”. It would seem that there is nothing that they can find in Answers in Genesis that provides an answer.

      The same question could be asked here.

  • Greg G.

    Off topic.
    Disqus has added a “spoiler” tag – <spoiler></spoiler>.

    Had to try it.

    Mouse over.

    • Thought2Much

      That’s fucking awesome!

    • I want to try!

      The answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42.

      • MR

        God damn it, Bob! The spoiler tag doesn’t work in the emailed version and now you’ve spoiled it for me!

        • Spoiler irony, I suppose. Maybe Disqus needs a tag for that, too.

        • Greg G.

          My password is BeatsTheShitOuttaMe so if I forget, anybody can remind me.

        • Michael Neville

          My logon is logon and my password is password. I hope I have that written down somewhere in case I forget.

        • Greg G.

          When i visited Vietnam last year, I learned the word for password. When I was in a city and needed Wi-Fi, I tried it and it worked once. My first hack.

        • Joe

          Bruce Willis was a cop in the wrong place at the wrong time all along.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        Fuck! Thanks for spoi- Oh, right…

    • Joe

      What form of witchcraft is this?

      • Robert Templeton

        Superb witchcraft!

  • Greg G.

    Off topic:

    Here is a link to a Friendly Atheist article on a YouTube video refuting a Frank Turek argument. The clips from Turek’s video has TV screens with a website with the URL CrossExamined.org .

    • Myna A.

      The website was an adventure. I read through some of the articles below
      the slideshow, and there was one on teaching your children about hell.
      The last comment, by a Kevin, was disturbingly sad because it seemed he sincerely believed that the gospel writers walked and talked with Jesus. He seemed to be a devotee of Frank Turek, and it makes me wonder if this Kevin just made up his own story because the invention somehow seemed logical to him or, if FT propagates this type of woeful ignorance deliberately in order to keep a steady flow of income.

      Here is the link to the hell piece: http://crossexamined.org/talk-kids-hell/

  • SparklingMoon,

    The early part of the New Testament is revelation of Moses but it does not exist in its original words. Human explanations and interference and its translation in other languages has changed the real essence and meanings of its original Hebrew revelation.

    This story of Adam is again told by God Almighty in the revelation of the Quran . In the beginning of the Quran God Almighty says:(2:31- 39) of the Quran: ”And when thy Lord said to the angels: I am about to place a Vicegerent in the earth … And He taught Adam all the names .. And remember the time when We said to the angels, ‘Submit to Adam,’ and they all submitted. But,Iblis did not he refused and was too proud and he was of the disbeliever And ‘We said, ‘O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in the garden, and eat therefrom plentifully wherever you will, but approach not this tree, lest you be of the wrongdoers. ‘But Satan caused them both to slip by means of it and drove them out of the state in which they were. And We said, both Go forth; some of you are enemies of others and for you there is an abode in the earth and a provision, for a time. Then Adam learnt from his Lord a certain words of prayer. So He turned towards him with mercy; Surely He is Oft-Returning with compassion, and is Merciful. We said, ‘Go forth, all of you, from here. And if there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoso shall follow My guidance, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.”

    Adam, who lived about 6,000 years ago, is popularly believed to be the first man created by God upon this earth. This view is, however, not corroborated by a close study of the relevant facts. The truth is that the world has passed through different cycles of creation and civilization, and Adam, the progenitor of the present human race, is only the first link in the present cycle, and not the very first man in God’s creation. Nations have risen and fallen, civilizations have appeared and disappeared. Other Adams have gone before our Adam; other races have lived and perished, and other cycles of civilization appeared and disappeared.

    Muhayy-u-Din Ibn ‘Arabi (a great Muslim mystic) says that once he saw himself in a dream performing a circuit of the Ka’ba. In this dream a man appeared before him and claimed to be one of his ancestors. “How long is it since you died?” asked Ibn ‘Arabi. The man replied, ” More than forty thousand years.”

    “But this period is much more than what separates us from Adam,” said Ibn ‘Arabi.

    The man replied, “Of which Adam are you speaking? About the Adam who is nearest to you or of some other?”

    “Then I recollected,” says Ibn ‘Arabi,”the saying of the Holy Prophet of Islam to the effect that God had brought into being no less than a hundred thousand Adams, and I said to myself, ‘ perhaps this man who claims to be an ancestor of mine was one of the previous Adams’ (Futuhat, iii. 607).

    If the period covered by the progeny of each Adam be taken to be of seven thousand years, on an average, then, on the basis of the Holy Prophet’s saying referred to above, the age of the human race, as such, works out to be 700 million years; and this is the age of the progeny only of Adams: which does not include such races as may have passed before the creation of the first Adam.

    It is not claimed that the race which lived before Adam was entirely swept away before he was born. Most probably, there had remained a small degenerated remnant of the old race and Adam was one of them. God then selected him to be the progenitor of a new race and the precursor of a new civilization. Created,
    as it were, out of the dead he represented the dawn of a new era of life.

    Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has written: ” We do not follow the Bible in holding that
    the world began with the birth of Adam six or seven thousand years ago, and that before this there was nothing, and Gad was, as it were, idle and without work. Neither do we claim that all mankind, who are now found in different
    parts of the earth, are the progeny of the self same Adam. On the contrary, we hold that this Adam was not the first man. Mankind existed even before him, as is hinted by the Quran itself, when it says of Adam, ”I am about to place a Khal’ifa (vicegerent) in the earth.” As khalifa means a successor, it is clear that men existed even before Adam. Hence, we cannot say whether the original inhabitants of America, Australia, etc. are the progeny of this last Adam, or of some other Adam gone before him” (AlHakam, May 30th, 1908).

    The word khalifa used about Adam in the verse (Quran 2:31) has, as pointed out above, a reference to the fact that he was a remnant or successor of the old race and was selected by Gad ta bring into being a new race; it also means a vicegerent of Gad an Imam or leader appointed by Gad to fulfill a special mission.

    • MNb

      “Adam, the progenitor of the present human race, is only the first link in the present cycle”
      Nope, he isn’t. The smallest population of the present human race never has been smaller than at least 2000 individuals. And the original inhabitants of America, Australia etc. all descend from this population.
      Nice try to adapt your theology to science, but you still totally fail.

      “the age of the human race, as such, works out to be 700 million years”
      This is even a worse failure. 700 million years ago all land on Earth was completely lifeless; the simple life structures that did exist only occurred in deep water (our planet might have been completely frozen over).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodinia
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturtian_glaciation

      Try studying science iso quoting your favourite ignorants.

  • Ignorant Amos

    The tree in the yarn is a plot device, or the “big red button” TV trope if ya like.

    Sometimes, it’s used as an excellent piece of Schmuck Bait to lure someone into a trap by making it Forbidden Fruit; tell someone not to press it, list all the negative side effects it will cause and all the terrible consequences if they do press it, and you can almost guarantee they will press it.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BigRedButton

    • Greg G.

      Alfred Hitchcock would call it a “MacGuffin”.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Indeed…a term well used on the TV tropes site.

        The Bible might, as many other ancient stories, seem Troperiffic when read today. Still, because of its age, length and significance, it might have made more tropes than any other work.

        http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/TheBible

    • I like Ren and Stimpy’s History Eraser button.

      https://vimeo.com/126720159

      • You beat me to it! Too bad it’s cut a bit short, but I can’t find the whole ending either.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      I’m so fuckin’ proud of you! 3*)* * [tears of joy] ;6*) [wipes tears]

      • Ignorant Amos

        Ha Ha… I was fortunate enough to have an excellent tutor.

  • Ignorant Amos

    The Adam & Eve Plot is a trope in its own right.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AdamAndEvePlot

  • busterggi

    A talking snake kinda makes it immediately illogical to me. Note that the story doesn’t say snakes can’t talk anymore so they should still be conversing with us.

    • Ignorant Amos

      In all fairness, it wasn’t a snake until after Eve committed the sin. It was the serpents punishment to become a snake as punishment for its part in the conspiracy.

      And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: (Genesis 3:14)

      But wait a mo…maybe it was a snake with legs all along.

      For The First Time Ever A Snake With Legs Has Been Discovered, Proving The Bible To Be True That The Serpent Originally Had Legs

      http://shoebat.com/2015/07/23/for-the-first-time-ever-a-snake-with-legs-has-been-discovered-proving-the-bible-to-be-true-that-the-serpent-originally-had-legs/

      Genesis is true then? Christians using fossils as evidence for the biblical serpent, that’s novel. Never mind it’s 146-100 million years old.

    • Ignorant Amos

      Just been reading over at Jerry Cohen’s house and seen your comment.

      https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/rosa-rubicondior-not-much-evidence-for-a-historical-jesus/

      The auld JM thingy is certainly catching.

      • Myna A.

        What a great read! I’m glad I like to click links. From there, I followed to Rosa Rubicondior.

    • Myna A.

      Well, if you were a Parselmouth, such as the boy-wizard, Harry Potter, you would understand snake-speak, or, to be more formal, Parseltongue. Only a Parselmouth can understand snake language; therefore, Eve was a Parselmouth and being such, is most likely related to Harry Potter in some way.

      Now, is that so illogical?

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        Harry was a pseudo-Horcrux. He can’t do parsel-tongue anymore- BUT Ron can just wing it!

        • Myna A.

          Well, that just busts the Potter lineage all the way back to Eden. Geez. Go Ron Weasley! Discover those roots!

          It’s what I get for not watching beyond the third film or reading past the second book. 🙁

        • Ignorant Amos

          Coincidentally…this just landed in my inbox…

          http://vridar.org/2016/08/31/jesus-potter-harry-christ-the-bible-mcgrath/

        • Myna A.

          Brilliant!!

        • TheNuszAbides

          the third book (a break from dull simplicity) and film (a break from the terminally mediocre Chris Columbus) were the only points at which i gained hope that the rest of either series would be worth following.

  • Jim Jones

    The gospels read like comic books or fairy stories. And most of the OT stories read like “Just so stories” – or “etiological myths”.

    This covers most of the ‘garden’ story.