10 “I-Can’t-Believe-What-I’m Reading” Lessons from Creationist-Inspired Textbooks

A couple of days ago, PBS.org posted an article, “10 Interesting Lessons from Creationist-Inspired Textbooks.”

The article providers quotes from various textbooks to illustrate the point. The article ends with a short video of examples from the A Beka Book and Bob Jones University Press curricula.

A couple of thoughts. First, I can understand if some creationists might feel misrepresented in this article. For example, likely not all creationists think killing native Americans (Trail of Tears) and the African-American saga of slavery are justified because of their evangelistic side-effects (even typing that sentence made me throw up in my mouth a little). But, there ARE some who clearly do think like that, enough to perpetuate such thinking in widely disseminated textbooks.

Second, reading the distortions of truth (I don’t think I can put it more kindly) catalogued in the article is yet another reminder for more informed Christian groups to work on an alternate curriculum for their children.

The problem, of course, is that any such curriculum could only gain traction among those with a non-literalist approach to reading the Bible. A different kind of curriculum could only influence the population presently attracted to A Beka and Bob Jones (etc.) curricula if a theological shift happens first in that population. I wouldn’t look for that any time soon.

For those many Christian families out there who want to educate their children differently, there is no science curriculum at present (to my knowledge) that does it well. (Please correct me if I am wrong!!) Still, there are resources out there for those who want to train their children’s minds, which is the best way to prepare them for a life of independent, critical, thought that may put some of these propagandist curricula out of business eventually.

 

  • http://sacramentalliving.blogspot.com Gina Wright Hawkins

    You are correct, that there are no science curriculla which teach science from what is basically an old earth creationist pov, as we discussed briefly when you came to Roanoke College a few years back. I have used both secular and Christian science material. It has led to many good discussions, which, though I would have rather had a curriculum that was more truthful in the scientific realm and knew it’s limits in the faith realm, has been good for my daughters to understand both extremes and cause them to reason out their understanding of the issues involved.

  • bonnie

    I don’t homeschool anymore, but this is what I was planning on using for science:

    http://www.elementalscience.com/

    Plus Citizen Science projects.

  • Byron Curtis

    Yes, appalling stuff out there, especially from ICR and the Hammites. It’s all “Ride-a-Dino-to-Work Day.”

    The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) publishes a helpful booklet on the curricular question: _Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy_ (Ipswich, MA). The book is now too old for textbook advice—the printing I have is 1989. But their general approach is helpful.

  • mark begemann

    The Real Science 4 Kids stuff looked pretty good a number of years ago and at a quick glance it appears to be developing well. It is very much based in real world “experiments” using household items. A quick blurb from the site describes it as a “worldview-friendly curriculum that supports both Christian and secular values,” but beyond that it approaches science in a way that kids can grasp its usefulness and build on their knowledge.

  • arty

    So, some people believe things that are wrong. They also teach their children to believe things that are wrong. Since all of us have been/are guilty of that at various points, it must be that there’s something particularly egregious about being wrong about these particular matters. Ahh yes, being lumped in with those people who who have false beliefs about science makes us look like ignorant yobs, too. Capital ‘T’ Truth now being the province of Science, we want to be on the side of Science and not the yobs, since Science has superseded Medieval benightedness. But wait, what counts as Science now isn’t what counted as Science 300 years ago, so why the certainty that this version creates Archimedes’ place to stand? Because this version of Science has the power to make us look Really, Really Bad.

    Somehow I feel less superior than I did a few minutes ago.

    • Nick Gotts

      No, you don’t: you quite evidently feel extremely superior.

      But wait, what counts as Science now isn’t what counted as Science 300 years ago, so why the certainty that this version creates Archimedes’ place to stand?

      Because science, unlike religion, has systematic ways to test and improve its descriptions and explanations of the world; and in the course of doing so, many of its findings achieve as near certainty as makes no practical difference: the remote possibilities that the earth is not really roughly spherical, or that human beings are not really related to other forms of life by genealogical ties, are really not worth taking into account in any decisions we are called on to make. That the methods of science work well is demonstrated, for example, by the technological systems you used to bray your superiority forth on this blog; you take this “place to stand” for granted every day, and rely on it for the food you eat and the clothes you wear as well as the messages you convey here.

  • Janet

    I’ve used Real Science 4 Kids materials with my kids for chemistry and physics; I’m using it for astronomy now. It basically sidesteps the controversial issues, and the science is very solid. It’s worked well so far because my children are younger (my oldest is in 6th grade), and I’ve liked its neutrality. But as we get into high school work I’d like to help them think through some of the challenging issues. Whether it will be through using a ready-made curriculum, or trying to incorporate a level of discussion based on separate readings, I don’t know yet. Maybe a reading list for parents would be a good place to start.

    • Joanne

      We used Real Science 4 Kids as well when we were homeschooling (elementary) and were pretty happy with most of it.

  • doug

    when we first started homeschooling our kids, we joined with several other families with the mission of making homeschooling non-freaky. so at first, we fretted a bit about the lack of quality non YEC materials…until we realized that nearly everything the public schools used for science was of quality.
    since then our kids have done just find homeschooling using K12 science, NOVA, PBS, and science journals like NATURE etc.
    i don’t really see the need for developing curricula from an specifically christian old earth or TE view, since the domain of controversy isn’t about science, it’s about hermeneutics and theology. any public school science program should do the job just fine.

  • Murray Hogg

    Hi Pete,
    You might try looking at the homeschooling resources from the Test of Faith at the Faraday Institute in the UK.
    I’ve not personally checked these out, but the material is specifically directed to the US context –and, need I add, certainly not YEC!
    Murray Hogg

    • Murray Hogg

      PS: I put a link in the above, but it disappeared when I pressed “Post Comment” – but you can go to the Test of Faith website (via Google) and click “Homeschool” on the menu at the top of the page.

      • http:augustiniandemocrat.blogspot.com John W Brandkamp

        I just posted the link at the bottom Murray. :)

  • Scott Caulley

    is that woman riding the T-Rex wearing eye-glasses? How does that work?

    • Klasie Kraalogies

      Scott, I think she vaguely resembles “she-who-must-not-be-named”. :)

  • Dwight Davis

    I was a substitute teacher at a very theologically conservative high school for a year when I graduated from college. One day I was a sub for the biology teacher and the students were taking a test so there really wasn’t much for me to do. I started looking through some of the books on her shelf and came across a “text book” from answers in Genesis that speculated that maybe the dinosaurs were all hunted down and killed by King Arthur and his knights (since there are stories of valiant knights killing dragons, which of course could be dinosaurs). I laughed out loud in the middle of the test.

    • David S.

      Dwight, AIG and others group have NOT said that “…dinosaurs were all hunted down and killed by King Arthur and his knights (since there are stories of valiant knights killing dragons, which of course could be dinosaurs).” They have suggested occassionally, not dogmatically, that humans may have hunted many species of dinosaur to extinction or contributed to their extinction, as well as other species. The St. George story (the example they have used, just search “St. George” on their website and you’ll find it easily) is an example they use of a legend that may have had a thread of truth to it. Never heard them use King Arthur and no hits on “King Arthur” on their website. Again, this all presupposes the “young earth” timeline. If you have a problem with a “recent” creation and a global flood, so be it, but your story seems to have issues.

      • Andrew

        “The St. George story (the example they have used, just search “St. George” on their website and you’ll find it easily) is an example they use of a legend that may have had a thread of truth to it.”

        And when most people hear this and want to continually bang their head against their desk . . . do you not understand why???

        • David S.

          I understand why. Try to calm down and understand what they are saying. I personally prefer the folks at CMI to understand the YEC position. In my humble opinion, they have been doing a better job vetting YEC ideas and concepts while maintaining (and clearly stating) their presuppostions. Have you visited creation.com and researched their responses to issues you may want to “bang your head about”?

          I went to MIT for my undergraduate degree and have a lifelong love of science and engineering as well as theology. I also have some insight into the role of politics and worldviews in even seemingly purely technical matters. Folks doing science, engineering, and other fields are very fallible humans, and it is helpful to be aware of one’s persuppositions versus raw data. The distinction (and overlap) between empirical science and historical/forensic science is often ignored but does indeed exist. I lean to the YEC side, and there are more of us “upper tier” schools than you may think.

          I bear no ill will to others who may disagree with the YEC position, but I wish we could reduce the number of misstatements on both sides as to what the other believes.

          • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

            You may have gone to an upper tier school, but YEC-supporters almost always come to their conclusions of their own accord. Science, by contrast, is highly self-critical (though still fallible). I will trust a group of people all trying to disprove one another over a group of people who each have their own lines of reasoning and very little self-criticism.

          • Andrew

            What Chris said. To even have as a starting point a belief in a ‘young Earth’ is inherently ridiculous as the Genesis/OT stories were not meant to provide factual history/science, but to impart moral lessons among a people. Many theologians recognized this back in the Middle Ages but unfortunately a wide swatch of the 21st century American public (living in such prosperity and life expectancy thanks in large part to scientific innovations) didn’t get the memo . .

      • http://theendofevil.wordpress.com Patrick

        I distinctly remember sitting through several AIG presentations as a kid (one with Ken Ham himself) and him making that exact suggestion (complete with funny animations for our entertainment). There was also suggestion that the Loch Ness Monster was a plesiosaur.

        • David S.

          I also sat through presentations from Ken Ham, even before AIG existed, where I remember he referenced tales of killing dragons in general, stories of flying reptiles, etc. However, the legend mentioned in particular was St. George. And he said that the legends of dragons and others like it are consistent with the YEC worldview. I’m no Arthur expert, but I’m not aware of a legend where King Arthur kills a dragon; however, there is a story of him killing two large serpents who are about to devour a lion cub. St. George seems to be the most famous example of a knight killing a dragon, and the AIG website does make reference to that particular story.

          I agree and have also heard him say tentatively that perhaps some sitings of other creatures like Nessie (a plesiosaur is not technically a dinosaur) are examples of living fossils still living relatively recently. This would be consistent with his worldview. He and others have also said that there may be nothing there now.

          Again, I wish people would search on their website (or creation.com, which I think does a better job) and interact with what they are actually saying please.

          • David S.

            On a whim, I decided to take a look at AIG’s website. Sure enough, there is actually a fairly recent article where Ken Ham says that ‘Nessie as plesiosaur’ and other suggestions like that are indeed speculation and not appropriate for a textbook:

            http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2012/07/10/hypocrisy-among-the-secularists/

            He said that they would be examples of “living fossils” if found, but these statements are just speculation consistent with a worldview being discussed and not evidence. So AIG’s position is to NOT put speculation about possible future “living fossil” discoveries in a textbook.

            He also (correctly) points out that speculations are often used as evidence in textbooks on both sides of the origins issue. Evolutionists are guilty of this as well.

            All of us have to be vigilant as to what is truly data/evidence, what is consistent with known empirical science, and what is consistent with our forensic/historical models since these distinctions can be easily obscured in even non-controversial discussions.

  • Joe

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

    Pretty much covers it.

    The reason why there is not scientifically sound textbooks that deal mainly with creationism is because that’s the same thing as already existing scientific textbooks with the first 13 billion years cut out. Knowing where the stars are without knowing how they are formed and function is the same thing.

    Option 1: Buy normal textbook. Just rip out the first 10 chapters, and the first 15 pages of every chapter after that.
    Option 2: Cross out (admittedly) ridiculous theories as to why and how the Big Bang initially occurred and write “God did it”. Then let your child learn science for realsies.

  • David S.

    This article on the PBS website is very poorly done. (Peter, you do yourself a disservice linking to it and essentially promoting this poorly researched article.) Many of the “lessons” have nothing to do with creationist materials (i.e. teaching about origins). Most “lessons” do not have links to the original material or references, so no context or verification.

    One “lesson” that does involve a creationist/ID book with a link is completely erroneous: “Of Pandas and People” does NOT teach “biblical genetics” as defined by the mocking review provided by William J. Bennetta (found if you follow the link in the article). Here is what Bennetta said:

    “TI have seen the same fatuity and ignorance in scores of publications issued by devotees of ‘creation-science,’ and I am moved to make a suggestion. If these folks are unwilling or unable to learn about evolution, maybe they should turn to a different subject. Instead of continuing their silly attacks on evolutionary biology, and instead of trying to induce public schools to put biblical creation myths into science curricula, maybe they should start campaigning to have the schools teach biblical genetics.”

    Then Bennetta derisively describes the story of Jacob and the spotted sheep, which was a miracle where God made sure Jacob got a many sheep (blessing Jacob), not a biblical teaching on genetics. “Of Pandas and People” has nothing to do with this. Very poorly done, PBS (and Peter).

  • http://www.carisadel.com Caris Adel

    “yet another reminder for more informed Christian groups to work on an alternate curriculum for their children.” – well you know, since you’ve already entered the world of curriculum writing……..

  • Genie

    Maybe the creationist textbooks go too far in looking to the Bible as a textbook. But sometimes I can’t believe what I’m reading in articles in the popular science section of the news about evolutionary findings–seems like there’s a lot of bending over backwards to explain a lot of animal behaviors (which would include that of humans’ too of course). I admit I am caught in the crosshairs of this right now as my spouse believes strongly in the evolutionists’ version of history and origins while I find most of that history unbelievable. After reading Inspiration and Incarnation, he now feels that most of scripture probably should not be taken literally (also upon discovering Tim Keller’s belief in evolution). How do we teach our children? We’ve decided to teach both versions of our history of origins. Unlike the people at Biologos, I find (macro)evolution and scripture to be at such odds and I also find evolution to be at odds with logic and probability. Unfortunately, I really believe that since our entire education system and the entire media and academic establishment supports evolution we’ve all been brainwashed to an extent. I remember asking some simple questions about evolution and probability in my college class on Darwin (in a secular state university) and my professor (who taught and believed in evolution obviously) conceded that much of the odds of evolution happening was like if a million pencils fell from the sky and all landed on their points–BUT given enough time and chance….that was always the answer. My husband believes that a bunch of monkeys jumping on a typewriter or a piano given enough time and chance would come up with War and Peace or Beethoven’s 5th given enough time and chance. I know all the scientists out there will give me some answer I can’t understand on fused chromosomes and bacteria mutating etc. but in the end I would rather “err” on the side of taking God at His Word.

    • Klasie Kraalogies

      Genie, you cannot discount something because it “sounds unbelievable”. Flying machines also sounded unbelievable not that long ago, not to mention going to the moon, or sending a probe so far that it is about to enter interstellar space. Or transplanting a heart. Or solving Fermat’s last problem :)

      We cannot discount something on what amounts to an emotional reaction. Data, evidence, theory – that counts.

      • Genie

        You’re right–but those things have all happened. We have never witnessed evolution–natural selection, yes, but not beneficial mutations (you can say that evolution is the secularist’s fairy tale — good mutations only occur in super hero comics!).

    • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

      Whoever explained evolution to you in those terms was very wrong. A good metaphor for evolution is like rain sliding down a landscape, where the “rain” is a creature’s fitness and the “landscape” is the environment in which a creature exists. Rain will accumulate in little ponds, and these ponds we can consider individual animals who have found a niche in the surrounding environment. Over time, there are fewer and fewer stepwise mutations which can benefit an animal in a given niche until dramatic environmental change occurs.

      The “chance” portion of evolution is not *that* mutation occurs but rather *which* mutations occur. Any two given mutations will have to measure themselves against the environment, and one of them is going to be more fit than the other; hence, it will pass along its genes more frequently than the other. So while the mutations occur randomly, the process does not. It is the slow accumulation of rain into various pools.

      Now if you see what biologists consider a “fitness landscape,” which is a statistical phenomenon, they technically regard “higher” on the landscape as “better;” however, you get a more useful analogy when you flip it upside down, because rather than climb a mountain (a process of will and exertion) you fall into a valley (a process of gravity). Evolution is more like gravity than it is exertion.

    • Matt Thornton

      Genie –

      One thought about preparing children for a world that will have lots of people who are strongly convinced of lots and lots of incompatible ideas …

      As they go through life, the most important tools our children have isn’t what they know, but their skills in dealing with what they don’t know or haven’t experienced. Seeing a particular set of beliefs as the successful outcome of an education sells our kids so fearfully short – they will encounter new discoveries and challenges throughout their lives, long after you’re no longer in the picture, and teaching them to think critically, fairly and honestly is the best gift we can give them.

      And finally, if you teach kids that it’s OK to dismiss ideas because they don’t like them, or don’t like their implications, might make inculcating your faith more than a little harder. Kids learn from what you do, not what you say, so if they see you acting dismissively, they’ll feel permitted (maybe even compelled) to do the same. It’s how apples stay close to their trees.

      Best,
      Matt

  • http://www.adjunctmom.com Beth

    You might want to check out Bernard Nebel’s Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. We’ve found it really excellent and my kid(s) are learning a lot about diversity of perspectives. The younger one is only four, so what she’s actually learning when she sits in on her brother’s lesson is anyone’s guess.

  • http:augustiniandemocrat.blogspot.com John W Brandkamp

    Hopefully this will go through:
    http://www.testoffaith.com/homeschool/

    An excellent resource I highly recommend.

  • Lisa

    I agree with Real Science 4 kids. I searched long and hard and that was one that I liked and used! I homeschool my kids also. I made my own history timeline and did a lot of research on my own. I wrote it in our timeline and used that as our text. I’m hoping someone will write a science and history curriculum with evolution and biblical accounts!!

  • peteenns

    Folks, your curriculum suggestions are great, and I’m sure people reading this will be helped by them. There evidently are excellent resources out there. My own curriculum writing, such as it is, is focused on biblical/theological literacy, not science, so I am a neophyte. I know BioLogos was at one time working on something, but not sure where that stands. They do support the Faraday project, though.

  • Randy

    Hmmmm, maybe someone should write an article “10 ‘I Can’t Believe What I’m Reading’ Lessons from Evolution-Inspired textbooks. Evolution inspired origins science has as much science as creation-inspired creation-inspired textbooks. We can’t prove evolution the same as we can’t prove creation. But, anyway, we, as a homeschooling family, do not use any set curriculum. Since the Bible is our family’s authority in all matters of faith and practice, I guess you can say that it is our textbook. And, since God cannot lie, everything in it is true. I know the Bible is not a science book because science is always changing, but I trust God and His Word.

    • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

      Evolution is one of the most well-supported theories in the history of science. It correlates so many facts that nothing will replace it save for a more robust evolutionary paradigm that accounts for all the same phenomena as evolution and more.

      What you are saying here is abusive. By implication, you are accusing everyone who disagrees with you of opposing God. You are turning assent to a proposition (the literal-historical approach to the Bible) into a moral claim, and I won’t stand for that. You instill in your children and everyone else under your influence the false notion that exploration of ideas is immoral.

      I do believe you can change, but you will have to stop pretending you have everything figured out and that everyone else who thinks differently is evil. “To the one who does not have [the ability to hear], even what he thinks he has will be taken away!” (Luke 8:18)

    • Mary

      “Since the Bible is our family’s authority in all matters of faith and practice, I guess you can say that it is our textbook. And, since God cannot lie, everything in it is true.”

      Do you believe the world is flat and the stars, moon and the sun are suspended in solid spheres that go around the earth? How about heaven being a literal physical place above (not in another dimension)? Consider the story of the Tower of Babel. God had to put a stop to the building of the tower because he was (literally) afraid that his lowly creations would invade his heavenly realm. How does that fit at all with what we know about space?

      “I know the Bible is not a science book because science is always changing, but I trust God and His Word.”

      I guess you really have no concept of what science is. Science doesn’t change. Our understanding of science changes. For instance, I know that gravity exists. That doesn’t change. What changes is the explanation of how it works.

      In the same way we know evolution occured and is still occuring. Don’t confuse the FACT that evolution happened with the tweaking and changes in evolutionary theory. They are too separate things.

    • Matt Thornton

      Randy –

      Perhaps you should write that article. What are your top 5?

      Matt

  • James

    It seems some good Christian parents would like their children to follow the biblical story line for line (“take God at his word”) unless the evolutionary story makes better sense at a given point. I think it is a faulty approach to both scriptural and scientific studies. We must affirm up front that the two disciples are not in basic disagreement because they are inspired by the same source–God. From this vantage point we can sift through the evidence at our current disposal and come up with some fairly plausible theories of human nature and orgins–open to modification of course as our understanding of both Scripture and Science increases over time. God, the source of all truth–is a sound theological and practical starting point.

  • Lisa

    Natural selection is the pressure that causes evolution.
    Evolution: heritable change in gene frequency over time.

    • John I.

      Natural selection is not a “pressure”; all it does is remove genetic material via death before reproduction.

      The only so-called “pressures” are the characteristics of the mutagenic events that cause changes to the DNA that is passed on in reproduction.

  • Andy

    I remember peeking at some samples of Christian homeschool material – not because I home school but looking for some useful bible curriculum resources. I was horrified when I stumbled upon some ‘history’ resources put out by a Christian publisher. Crazy, revisionist stuff that suggested the reason nations like Africa were in such poverty was because of satanic practices in their history. There was also all this anti-communist and anti-green propaganda. So intellectually offensive. I can’t begin to imagine the kind of people that teach this crap to their kids as fact.

  • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

    It’s about time that we stop addressing Creationist organizations as nonsensical and started calling them abusive. I’ve started my own blog (http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/) in part to help us identify these organizations as such.

    One of the issues I believe we face is that we have not been able to put this fight against lying and deceit in moral terms; it has remained an academic discussion, at least by appearance. The uninformed layman can wave his hand and say, “I really don’t know what to think. The academics are going to fight it out, and I don’t care.”

    If we can educate people such that they recognize a moral compulsion to oppose Creationism and Biblical literalism, we have a better chance at changing the evangelical culture.

  • Tom R

    James proposes that Scripture and Science can agree. “We must affirm up front that the two disciples are not in basic disagreement because they are inspired by the same source–God.” It seems like a good idea but I think it wont work. The idea that Scripture and science can agree is known a concordism. To make it work one has to create your own science as the YEC’s do else make the Bible say things it doesn’t really say.(eg. Adam was made after human evolution) A better approach than concordism is accommodation. The idea that God used the “science” of the time when He inspired the authors of Scripture. God did not have them write things that would have made no sense to them. He used their mistaken ideas.

  • Tom R

    wont should be will not

  • http://dpitch40.blogspot.com David P

    Pete,

    I’ve been going through some of your recent posts, particularly on your views on creation. I agree that Christians can’t keep denying or explaining away the mounting evidence for evolution, and I find that I want to agree with you, but I have reservations. For example, if Genesis 1 is a myth and Adam was not a historical person, that raises many other questions. Where does Genesis (or Matthew 1) stop being a myth and start being history? Where, Paul would ask, does our sinful nature come from if not Adam? If part of the Bible is a myth like those of other ANE cultures, what makes it any more true or inspired than other myths? I am not attached to a strict literal reading of Genesis 1, but have always thought that it did have to be true in some nonliteral sense, and labeling it a myth seems to go beyond even that.

    And the biggest reason I have trouble reconciling evolution with my faith is that it would seem to imply that death existed before humanity existed and sinned, and therefore that God, in some sense, created death. Have you addressed this question anywhere?

    • Elizabeth

      If I can reply, I’m fairly new to this way of thinking (I was raised very literal!), but I had a lot of these same questions when I started reading this and other blogs and coming into contact with more Christian evolutionary thinking. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that many of these questions come from a misreading of scripture in the first place. I’m finding that we “read in” some of these expectations based on our current cultural biases and methods of understanding, and that they wouldn’t have been present in the minds of the original readers.

      The ebook “Genesis for Normal People” by Jared Byas and Peter was very helpful for me (http://www.amazon.com/Genesis-Normal-People-Edition-ebook/dp/B007T9R8DM). It walks through the story of Genesis from the perspective of the Israelites in the time of the Babylonian exile and offers an alternate way of viewing and understanding the point of the story. I’m still trying to figure out what a worldview based on this understanding of scripture looks like, but the earlier analogy of the Bible being a compost pile rather than a recipe book seems to fit pretty well. It is still something holy that reveals truth and bears good fruit in our lives, but it’s not a clear-cut guide to the history of the universe or even a rule book for how to live.

      Hope that helps… at least it’s good to know we’re all in this together!

    • anonymous

      David P:
      The bible doesn’t always tell us which is figurative and which is literal. Nor was it written for a 21st century Western civilization. The first fact we need to accept is sometimes, we all believe what is not true. So, question everything. And then, question your questions.

      As to death entering the world through Adam. If it is a literal death to which the Bible refers, I want to know how Adam got a leaf to cover himself. Leaves come from deciduous trees. They have to fall off occasionally to make room for more leaves. If the leaves that fall cannot decay, it would only take a short time for Adam and Eve to be buried in a giant leaf pile. (not a good long term plan for God to put them in a garden where everything is buried in a matter of three or four years.) It must be a figurative death of some sort to which the Bible refers. Perhaps it is the death of the soul? Perhaps it is the death of the spirit? Perhaps it is the “Oh God, I *wish* I was dead because I just screwed up” feeling that we all get when we sin and get caught.

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