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Anijen

First Humans Adam And Eve?

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I think you greatly misinterpret the data. The argument is whether most modern Europeans descend from Neolithic FARMERS OR much more ancient European hunter/gatherers. There is absolutely no study that shows that modern Europeans do not descend from ancient Europeans.

From what I can tell, science has not found any significant link between modern Europeans and Neolithic Europeans and so they have proposed the idea that they must be descended from more ancient Paleolithic ancestry. However, DNA studies do not back this up either, it is simply a theory. They have used DNA to trace the location of populations and from this drawn their conclusions, but as of yet there is a significant genetic discontinuity between contemporary Europeans and their Paleolithic predecessors.

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Paul Ray:

Are we now through the looking glass?

No, but some of us can see beyond the looking glass even from where we are now.

God can help us see as God sees... even now.

... and btw, did I understand your question?

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"I think it would be best for you to get a direct testimony from God instead of trying to interpret the scriptures. When you get a testimony from God, God will tell you how to interpret the scriptures.

God told me to use my brain.

And btw, I think it would be a pretty neat trick for you to know that you do not understand my words if you think you really do understand them and what you think is not what I meant.

How would you know if what you thought was not what I meant?

Would you even think to ask me to clarify?

I guess I just don't have the patience for silly, mindless word games.

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'Paul Ray' writes,

Exactly... purported dates.

Do you accept those purported dates?

Actually, you do. The Bishop of Ussher states the world begain in 4004 BC. Adam and Eve weren't long after that.

Can you show me some evidence to support you statement that he was unsure of his convictions?

I would have to obtain his entire journal for that. From what I read he was measured in his comments about evolution. All of his training as a geologist told him the earth was far older than he was taught. His defense of his beliefs with that of his compartriot, Joseph F. Smith, are legendary. A further read of David O. Mackay will show the particulars of this event.

The part of your quote that I highlighted in bold justifies my belief that James believed and taught that we are descended from Adam and Eve and that Adam did not evolve from lower life forms.

Well, part of that is correct. He did state that we descended from Adam and Eve, but he also stated that Adam and Eve might have been part of a evolutionary process.

I got my testimony on this issue from God.

Hey, guess what? So is mine!

But the Church does take a stand on evolution. We, the Church, just don't know every little thing about how things happened. What we do know, however, is that what God has told us is in harmony with the scriptures and how things actually happened.

You are wrong. There has been no comments about evolution from the church. There are comments about evolution from members in the church, but nothing from authority. For example,

</h4>

February 15, 1957

David O. McKay, President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Dear Brother Stokes,

...On the subject of organic evolution the Church has officially taken no position. The book "Man, His Origin and Destiny" was not published by the Church, and is not approved by the Church.

The book contains expressions of the author's views for which he alone is responsible.

<h4>

February 3, 1959

David O. McKay, President

Dear Brother:

...The Church has issued no official statement on the subject of the theory of evolution.

Neither "Man, His Origin and Destiny" by Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, nor "Mormon Doctrine" by Elder Bruce R. McConkie, is an official publication of the Church.

Evolution is a theory. You say that biologists would agree on the general lines of what happened, although there may be less agreement about just how it happened. While scientific people themselves differ in their interpretations and views of the theory, any conflicts which may seem to exist between the theory and the truths of revealed religion can well be dealt with by suspending judgment as long as may be necessary to arrive at facts and at a complete understanding of the truth.

</h4>

February 25, 1959

<h4> Secretary to David O. McKay, President

Dear Brother:

...[regarding age of the earth, its creation, etc.] I am directed to say to you that, as you will perceive on a little reflection, until either the Lord speaks directly upon the matter, or until the scientists are able to say that they have the ultimate truth covering these matters, it would only be confusing for the First Presidency to make any statement regarding such things.

And this from a 2006 article in the Deseret News...

In the following years, LDS apostles, including B.H. Roberts and James E. Talmage, wrote about the issue and presented their findings to the First Presidency with a leaning toward scientific theory, while junior apostle Joseph Fielding Smith vehemently opposed their views in his own writings and presentations to the First Presidency, Jeffery said. Much of their disagreement came over whether "pre-Adamites" walked the Earth before God created Adam, and whether death of any species had occurred prior to Adam. The debate became so heated that on April 7, 1931, the First Presidency called all the general authorities together and distributed a seven-page memo that "said straight out the church has no position on pre-Adamites or death before the fall of Adam, Jeffery said. "They basically said, 'leave the subject alone.'" But the competition between Talmage and Smith continued, as Talmage gave an address at the Salt Lake Tabernacle in August 1931 which was later published under the direction of the First Presidency over Smith's objections, Jeffery said.

Tuesday's lecture was given one day after Utah legislators rejected a bill that would have required the State Board of Education to establish curriculum requirements stressing that the scientific theory about the origin of species and evolution is not empirically proven.

The two scientists have recently published their own book, "Mormonism and Evolution: the Authoritative LDS Statements," that includes the "BYU packet" along with a variety of other "authoritative statements."

One is by current LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, quoted in a book by Larry A. Witham, "Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America."

"What the church requires is only belief 'that Adam was the first man of what we would call the human race.'" President Hinckley added that scientists can speculate on the rest, and recalled his own study of anthropology and geology, saying, "Studied all about it. Didn't worry me then. Doesn't worry me now."

I think people get themselves in trouble by trying to interpret the scriptures instead of letting God do that for them.

I think private interepretation of the scriptures through the filter of the Holy Ghost is not only of necessity, but certainly a right.

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From what I can tell, science has not found any significant link between modern Europeans and Neolithic Europeans and so they have proposed the idea that they must be descended from more ancient Paleolithic ancestry. However, DNA studies do not back this up either, it is simply a theory. They have used DNA to trace the location of populations and from this drawn their conclusions, but as of yet there is a significant genetic discontinuity between contemporary Europeans and their Paleolithic predecessors.

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I was under the impression that there is good archaeological data linking Cro-Magnon and modern Europeans. Given the discovery of the Iceman and other Neolithic sites it would be easy to link the two groups. Can you support your supposition?

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'Paul Ray' writes,

Actually, you do. The Bishop of Ussher states the world begain in 4004 BC. Adam and Eve weren't long after that.

My mom got me the most recent translation of Ussher's Annals of the World and I laughed when I read in the appendix that the publishers wanted constructive criticism for any of the events documented in the Annals but would not accept any dates for events that contradicted the Bible... excellent scholarship there. :P

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I was under the impression that there is good archaeological data linking Cro-Magnon and modern Europeans.

There is, but not in the distributions that were expected. His descendants seem to have been forced south by glacial ice for several thousands of years. From there, many stayed and became some Near Eastern populations, and some returned North to Europe. Some lines also seem to have died out which should come as no surprise--especially for the ones who tried to tough it out in the ice.

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"The time has come," the Walrus said,

"To talk of many things:

Of shoesâ??and shipsâ??and sealing-waxâ??

Of cabbagesâ??and kingsâ??

And why the sea is boiling hotâ??

And whether pigs have wings."

â??Through the Looking-Glass

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I was under the impression that there is good archaeological data linking Cro-Magnon and modern Europeans. Given the discovery of the Iceman and other Neolithic sites it would be easy to link the two groups. Can you support your supposition?

Ron,

I am a rank amateur when it comes to genetics, but, at least, according to This Article your impression would not be accurate, at least if I understand it correctly.

Here are a few highlights:

The genetic model currently presented by many population geneticists emphasizes the autochthonous Paleolithic ancestry of contemporary Europeans. This paradigm is based on the perspective that contemporary Europeans descend primarily from their hunter-gatherer forbearers who lived in the same region until approximately 10,000 years ago, when the beginning of settled agriculture began. This Paleolithic ancestry is seen as remaining relatively unaffected by later gene flow, including any large-scale movements of farmers out of the Middle East during the Neolithic era. These agriculturalists are in fact presented as outsiders who left only limited genetic traces among contemporary Europeans, who instead derive most of their ancestry from indigenous hunter-gatherers groups that adopted Levantine agricultural practices through a cultural diffusion process.

In an effort to lend support to this genetic model, the distribution and frequency of both mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome haplogroups among modern European populations are utilized in reconstructing ancient population histories. The Basque, lone speakers in of a non-Indo-European language living in the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain and France, are often presented as the best example of a contemporary European group that retains the strongest and most undiluted genetic ancestry derived from Europeâ??s Paleolithic inhabitants.

Thus, the picture presented by this model is one of substantial genetic continuity between modern groups and the Paleolithic hunter-gatherers who inhabited the same region thousands of years ago.

Yet the DNA evidence suggests a more complex picture than a direct and undisturbed genetic link between contemporary Europeans and their Paleolithic forbearers. A significant and as of yet unexplained genetic discontinuity exists between present and past populations. Since the recent advent of techniques allowing the extraction of DNA from ancient remains (â??aDNAâ?), in particular mtDNA, the actual genetic background of the ancient maternal inhabitants of Europe can now be compared to their contemporary counterparts. Rather than using contemporary European DNA to reconstruct the genetic histories of populations from the past, this new technique allows researchers to determine to what extent later European populations truly do retain the genetic legacy of the earlier group.

In contrast to the Paleolithic paradigm, these studies indicate an unexpected and significant genetic discontinuity exists between contemporary Europeans and their Paleolithic predecessors. They also suggest that the exclusive use of contemporary DNA samples in the reconstruction of earlier population histories has created a misleading picture of the European genetic legacy.

And:

The ancient DNA studies present a picture of genetic break or â??discontinuityâ? between ancient and modern-day European maternal histories. This evidence indicates that modern-day mtDNA haplogroup frequencies and distributions should not be considered living fossils of Europeâ??s Paleolithic past.

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Actually, you do. The Bishop of Ussher states the world begain in 4004 BC. Adam and Eve weren't long after that.

What leads you to believe I (and/or the Church) accept the teachings of the Bishop of Ussher?

... OIOW, the teachings that the Earth was created in 4004 BC?

How long is a day in eternity?

How long were Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden?

He (Elder Talmage) did state that we descended from Adam and Eve, but he also stated that Adam and Eve might have been part of a evolutionary process.

Okay.

What do you think he meant by that, and what makes you think that what you think he meant by that is what he meant by that?

You are wrong. There has been no comments about evolution from the church. There are comments about evolution from members in the church, but nothing from authority.

The authorities in the Church are speaking with the authority of God.

I think private interepretation of the scriptures through the filter of the Holy Ghost is not only of necessity, but certainly a right.

A correct understanding of the scriptures does not come by any private interpretation, but by the whisperings of the Holy Ghost as he speaks truth to our spirits, directly.

I hope that someday you'll simply accept what God says without trying to interpret God's words.

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If God teaches it as such in His Holy Scriptures, why doubt we are Adams literal physical decendants?

Because the evidence in the earth shows that proposition to be wrong. It's demonstrably wrong, and you can believe what you want all day long, but it's contradicted by actual facts from things that exist in the earth, or on the earth, today.

I haven't been posting much to MAD lately, but if there is a topic with the ability to suck me back in, this one is an example of it.

There are several ways in which the traditional, prophetic teachings of Mormonism are incompatible with the physical reality of this world, as it is attested in the evidence.

1) LDS teachings are that Adam was the first "man" and the ultimate earthly father of us all, ie: we are all his descendants.

This is conclusively disproven. Human beings have existed on Earth for well over 100,000 years as a distinct species. There are human beings on this earth today whose ancestors were separated, genetically and physically, from the rest of humanity for periods of time measured in the many thousands of years, from well before the Biblical timeline of Adam. The Australian Aborigines are the best example. They were already on the Australian continent, and were genetically cut off from the rest of humanity, from well before the time of Adam, until essentially the modern day. They could not be said to descend from Adam, other than by invoking, as The Dude mentioned, some variant of the law of adoption.

2) LDS scriptural and prophetic teachings included that death was not in the world until after the Fall of Adam. That is, nothing died, and nothing even had blood in its veins until after the Fall. The Bible Dictionary account of the Fall of Adam is the most easily accessible example of this teaching, but it's been taught by prophets and apostles from the earliest days of the church, and I know examples of the teaching can be found out there. I haven't spent much time looking; maybe someone has, and can share examples of it with us.

Abundant fossil evidence dating back millions and even billions of years attests to their having been death on this earth well before the timeline of Adam. Soft tissue from a dinosaur was actually recently discovered to have been preserved as part of a fossil, with evidence in the tissue of blood vessels and evidence of blood and whatnot, so we need not doubt that there was blood in living things well before the time of Adam. Not to mention that evolution, which so many LDS now are willing to say they believe in, requires death.

3) LDS scriptural and prophetic teachings include that there was no reproduction until after the Fall of Adam.

Conclusively disproven. Not just about the animal world, but it is demonstrable that there were thousands and thousands of human beings on earth living, dying, and reproducing from many thousands of years prior to, during, and subsequent to the time of Adam, with no discernible change from an event such as the Fall which would have changed so much.

It is interesting and useful, IMHO, to point out that the agricultural revolution had already begun before the Biblical time of Adam. That is, groups of human beings had domesticated plants and already transitioned from hunter/gatherer to static farmers, an improvement which was one of the underpinnings of the development of large, specialized civilization with divisions of labor between food producers, and producers of other goods and services essentially to such a civilization.

Indeed, the earliest proto-civilizations had already come about before the time of Adam. I also recently read that the earliest evidence of proto-writing using symbols has been dated back to 8,000 to 9,000 years ago, a good 2,000 to 3,000 years before the time of Adam.

That Nibley paper is worse than useless. It is actually damaging. Nibley would have you believe that we know nothing, and can know nothing about what people were doing on Earth before Adam. In his view, their world has gone, and their world is not our world. Nibley's "our world" begins with Adam. This is really a chauvinistic, and culturally xenophobic view, IMHO.

We actually know a fair bit now about what people were up to before the time of Adam, and we're learning more and more about it every day. The more we learn, the less useful Nibley's "their world is not our world" justification for Adam's being called the "first man" actually is.

Their world most definitely is our world. We are their descendants. The Ice Man we found frozen in the Austrian mountains belonged to our species - his people were probably ancestors to people living on Earth today, though I don't know if that is proven. Things I've read suggest that the hypothesized Proto-Indo-European language already existed before the time period of Adam. That is, people were already speaking in language which many of the languages we speak today in Europe and America, and the Near East, can be traced back to.

The Australian Aborigines most certainly are human beings, our species brothers and sisters, and they descend from a line of human beings which was disconnected with the rest of humanity for tens of thousands of years, before, during, and after the timeline of Adam.

The civilizations of the American continent were built by people who had migrated over to this continent before the timeline of Adam. Their pre-history certainly is important, and we're learning more and more about it every day. In short, Nibley's argument in support of Adam as "first man" is just completely off-base, useless, and in fact shutting down lines of inquiry into people who are our ancestors, rather than promoting such inquiry.

One problem with the TBMs who try to shoe-horn LDS belief somehow, someway into actual scientific theory about Earth's natural history is that invariably the religious theory that emerges is neither scientific, nor LDS. BCSpace recently, on the "evil board", tried to make a case for 2 Nephi 2:22 providing a loophole into which he could insert evolution into standard LDS Fall of Adam teachings. Aside from the absurd things which would follow from such a supposition, the most damning thing about the whole idea was that the belief system created was believed by nobody else in the world except BCSpace. Guys, you're defending the LDS church. You're trying to reconcile LDS beliefs with science, not create your own, new beliefs! If defending LDS beliefs means the invention of theories and beliefs that nobody else in the LDS church believes, including the Prophets, Seers, and Revelators both past and present, isn't that a clue that you're off-base somehow? Is it in God's Plan that the revelation of the Prophets be confounded by the insights of some member out there on the Internet?

Seriously, if you can't defend the LDS teachings without resorting to the invention of new theories and beliefs which only you have figured out, and the Prophets, Seers, and Revelators don't know it because they're just not as smart, or as "in tune", or God just didn't see fit to reveal it to them, but you figured it all out, you should, as a TBM, consider that a massive, collossal red flag that you're straying off the reservation.

But no, LDS teachings are not scientifically compatible with evolution, geology, biology, probably physics, chemistry, and most of the rest of modern science, not to mention the notion of Adam and Eve as "first humans" and the ultimate ancestors of us all. They most certainly weren't either, if they ever actually existed at all.

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Ron,

I am a rank amateur when it comes to genetics, but, at least, according to This Article your impression would not be accurate, at least if I understand it correctly.

Thanks for the link. I have read that paper (We are Not our Ancestors) and thought it was excellent. She brings up some very important points, but it is still a far cry from saying "Neolithic Europeans have little to no connection to modern Europeans." First of all, Europe was already populated when the Neolithic farmer migrated from the Near East. Technology catches on pretty fast. Also, many--even most of those haplotypes listed are still present in European populations. I'm from haplogroup U (like Cheddar Man) and my dad is haplotype t which was also found in the aDNA studied. His Y DNA is R1b1c--extremely common in the British Isles. Another important point she brought up is that of migration. Many of these European haplogroups are found in ancient DNA--just not in the same PART of Europe where the ancient remains were found. Why this would be unexpected by scientists, I can't even begin to guess. Lots of people move. This is especially going to be a problem trying to link Paleolithic aDNA to modern peoples. Some of these ancient people date back 40,000 years. Many of these people were forced to move south by ice. The ones who didn't were subject to isolation and genetic drift. Technology is improving so fast that it will be interesting what DNA studies will yield as they are able to get extractions from older and older remains. It's very exciting.

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Perhaps somebody would care to make their point a little more simply and directly?

Please pick any one thing that absolulely refutes the idea that we are literal, physical descendants of Adam and Eve, and then explain how that one thing absolutely refutes our Adamic heritage.

If you want to pick the age of Earth using the supposed age of rocks, go ahead and explain how that refutes our Adamic heritage.

Feel free to pick anything you want to pick to prove your point, but so far it seems to me that the critics are relying on assumptions of what they think the evidence is suggesting.

When is the last time somebody heard from a rock?

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Paul, I'm wondering if you believe the Australian Aborigines are descended from Adam? It's believed that the Aborigines arrived on Australia between 40,000 and 70,000 years ago, with the lower range more accepted. This would have been significantly prior to the time of Adam.

Interestingly, according to LDS teachings from Joseph Smith, Adam lived on the American Continent. All human beings on earth were wiped out in the global flood where Noah's family alone survived the calamity, and were hence anew progenitors of our whole race. This would imply that the Aborigines were not really on Australia 40,000-70,000 years ago, but got there only in the last few thousand years since the Flood. This is contradicted by evidence, genetic and otherwise.

So, given very good evidence and reason to suppose that the Aborigines got to Australia let's say 40,000 years ago, how would you, Paul Ray, harmonize that with LDS teachings regarding Adam being the father of the human race from, say, 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, and the Flood wiping out everyone but Noah's family, say, 4,000 to 5,000 years ago or so? How do you propose that the Aborigines' presence on Australia is in harmony with the story of Noah? How do you propose that the Aborigines somehow descend from Adam?

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Ron,

I am a rank amateur when it comes to genetics, but, at least, according to This Article your impression would not be accurate, at least if I understand it correctly.

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thanks for the link. I'll read it this evening....

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Perhaps somebody would care to make their point a little more simply and directly?

Please pick any one thing that absolulely refutes the idea that we are literal, physical descendants of Adam and Eve, and then explain how that one thing absolutely refutes our Adamic heritage.

It doesn't refute our Adamic covenant heritage--just our "Adam was the first human being on the planet and every person born since descended from him" heritage. Have you even read the thread? You can interpret physical evidence any way you want, but when a population can be shown through Archaeology, Anthropology, and Biology to have been physically isolated from the rest of the world for tens of thousands of years, you would have to believe that there is a vast, scientific conspiracy to disprove the literal interpretation of Genesis. Scientists bicker among themselves all the time and I don't see them uniting in some wierd scientific "secret combination" against Genesis.

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It doesn't refute our Adamic covenant heritage--just our "Adam was the first human being on the planet and every person born since descended from him" heritage. Have you even read the thread? You can interpret physical evidence any way you want, but when a population can be shown through Archaeology, Anthropology, and Biology to have been physically isolated from the rest of the world for tens of thousands of years, you would have to believe that there is a vast, scientific conspiracy to disprove the literal interpretation of Genesis. Scientists bicker among themselves all the time and I don't see them uniting in some wierd scientific "secret combination" against Genesis.

The evidence seems obvious to me. It's interesting that in the Stephen L. Richards talk from 1932, he mentions belief in evolution as something that should not be considered incompatible with our faith. I've never seen it as such, and given the evidence, I have to conclude that either the Adam and Eve story is not literal, or for whatever reason, God is messing with our heads.

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Paul, I'm wondering if you believe the Australian Aborigines are descended from Adam?

I believe every person who lives and has lived on this Earth is a direct descendant of Adam and Eve.

It's believed that the Aborigines arrived on Australia between 40,000 and 70,000 years ago, with the lower range more accepted.

So what?

It's also believed that we are direct descendants of Adam and Eve.

Why don't we simply believe what God tells us?

This would have been significantly prior to the time of Adam.

I think you first have to know the exact time of Adam's arrival on this Earth to be able to know what time period is prior to or after his time.

Do you know of any evidence that absolutely proves the exact time of his time period?

How would you know if a method for determining his time period was/is correct?

Interestingly, according to LDS teachings from Joseph Smith, Adam lived on the American Continent.
Let's be a little more clear here, shall we?

God has told us, through his prophets, that there was only one continent during the time of Adam. We are told the Earth was divided into different continents around the time of Peleg. With that in mind, now try to understand Joseph's statement. It is true that Adam lived on what is now called the American continent, but keep in mind that the Earth had just one land mass then.

All human beings on earth were wiped out in the global flood where Noah's family alone survived the calamity, and were hence anew progenitors of our whole race.

Yes, that is true... or at least that is what we (LDS) I believe.

I started to say that's what LDS believe, but I have to sometimes remind myself that all LDS are not in agreement and I have no authority to speak for all LDS.

This would imply that the Aborigines were not really on Australia 40,000-70,000 years ago, but got there only in the last few thousand years since the Flood.

It would, huh? Relying on implications can get you in trouble.

This is contradicted by evidence, genetic and otherwise.

Does it, really?

Are you saying there is no way that both beliefs can be true?

... or are you simply saying you can't see any way both can be true.

If they do in fact contradict, then don't rely on that implication, or assumption.

Why would you?

Why do you believe the implication is correct to begin with?

I'm simply telling you what God has told me.

So, given very good evidence and reason to suppose that the Aborigines got to Australia let's say 40,000 years ago, how would you, Paul Ray, harmonize that with LDS teachings regarding Adam being the father of the human race from, say, 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, and the Flood wiping out everyone but Noah's family, say, 4,000 to 5,000 years ago or so?

What "very good evidence" are you talking about?

Why should you "suppose" anything based on any evidence?

Why would I even want to entertain the question you are asking me?

First, prove the time period of Adam and Eve, and/or the first Aborigines.

Show me someone who can actually prove beyond doubt the time period of those people and then explain how they know when they lived.

My witness comes from God who was there.

How do you propose that the Aborigines' presence on Australia is in harmony with the story of Noah? How do you propose that the Aborigines somehow descend from Adam?

I don't "suppose" anything. I think that's akin to making an assumption.

I simply ask God to teach me what it is that God knows, and then I just repeat what God tells me.

Why would I take the word of anyone who contradicts what God tells me?

Why do you believe what scientists have told you?

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I believe every person who lives and has lived on this Earth is a direct descendant of Adam and Eve.

Ok, well then you will have to believe that Adam and Eve came lived over 100,000 years ago, making for some pretty giant holes in our historical record, doncha think? And how do you explain those genealogies that go back to Adam in the Bible and point to Adam living ~6,000 years ago?

So what?

It's also believed that we are direct descendants of Adam and Eve.

It's also believed by some that the earth is flat, that the Moon Landing was a hoax, and that Ganesh has an elephant head. The difference between these and the belief that the Aborigines appeared on Australia some 40,000+ years ago is that the latter is supported by physical evidence. The belief that every human who lives, or ever lived, is descended from Adam and Eve is based on the same kind of evidence as the Moon Hoax and Flat Earth beliefs, and Ganesh, Shiva, the Juju up the mountain, and all the rest.

Why don't we simply believe what God tells us?

Because God's not telling us anything. Human beings are telling us things, and claiming that God told them. Human beings have a long history of untrustworthiness in things related to God and whatever other gods may or may not exist. You yourself would surely not believe probably 99% or more of what human beings have said God or Gods told them, yet you've chosen some humans and decided that they're the exceptions; they're the ones God really is talking to us through.

I think you first have to know the exact time of Adam's arrival on this Earth to be able to know what time period is prior to or after his time.

Not really. It would suffice to know with an error of into the few thousands of years. With Aborigines showing up in Australia 40,000 years ago the timeline of Adam can be off with an error bar of quite a few thousands of years and we could still be sure the Aborigines came first. My question to you is why you don't believe the Biblical timelines? If the Bible is telling the truth about Adam and Eve, why don't you accept the timelines based on the stated ages and lineages as listed in the Bible going back to Adam?

Do you know of any evidence that absolutely proves the exact time of his time period?

I don't know of any evidence that proves that Adam ever actually existed at all. You're the one who believes in Adam, why don't you tell us what evidence shows anything about his time period? While you're at it, please explain why you don't accept the Biblical ages and lineages which most people use to reconstruct a time back to Adam of ~6,000 years ago?

How would you know if a method for determining his time period was/is correct?

I wouldn't, personally, but you believe you could, and it would almost surely involve some handwaving, "faith", little voices in your head, a warm feeling during prayer, etc. Enlighten us.

Let's be a little more clear here, shall we?

I have no idea how it is you think I've been unclear in my posts. Please grant us some of your clarity so that we can see how your arguments hold up.

God has told us, through his prophets, that there was only one continent during the time of Adam. We are told the Earth was divided into different continents around the time of Peleg. With that in mind, now try to understand Joseph's statement. It is true that Adam lived on what is now called the American continent, but keep in mind that the Earth had just one land mass then.

Yes, that is true... or at least that is what we (LDS) I believe.

The supercontinent of Pangea broke up and spread out to the continents we know now sometime around 250 million years ago. The dinosaurs were just starting to show up on the scene at that time. Unless you believe the Biblical Adam timeline is off by factor of 41,000 times, or over four orders of magnitude, your belief just doesn't stack up.

I'm going to guess that most of the LDS on this board will disclaim this as being representative of their beliefs. Even if it were LDS belief, that would just show that LDS belief is wrong. It doesn't stack up against reality. You believe that these men have spoken the words of God to you, but they've really just spoken the words of Man's Ignorance to you, in the name of God, and you've believed them.

This would imply that the Aborigines were not really on Australia 40,000-70,000 years ago, but got there only in the last few thousand years since the Flood.

It would, huh? Relying on implications can get you in trouble.

Yes, it would. I asked you, in a previous post, to explain how you can explain the Aborigines' settlement on Australia in light of the doctrine of the universal Flood, and the resulting fact that all human populations post Flood are direct descendants of Noah's family, and got to their present locations subsequent to the Flood. I'm still waiting to hear how you deal with that. You offered to speak clearly. Please do.

I'm simply telling you what God has told me.

You're telling me what you've figured out with that keen intellect of yours, trying to reconcile bronze age goatherders' mythology with the reality of the world as discovered and viewed in light of modern science. At some level you know you can't just reject science, because it's well-founded and well-supported, but you can't give up the goatherders' mythology either, because you've committed your mind to it. So you come up with handwaving excercises like this to try to pretend there's no real conflict.

Paul, in this entire post, you have done nothing but issue vague challenges to things I've said, and you haven't really offered up anything substantive at all. I'll ask again.

How do you explain the Aborigines on Australia? How do you explain them in light of the LDS belief that the Aborigines must be descendants of Noah and have arrived on Australia at some time after the Flood? How do you, or do you even try, explain how it is that your views are correct and the scientifically-founded view of Aborigines in Australia some 40,000 years ago is so way off? Is it really always just down to "Because God said so?" Even if you're the only one he apparently said it to?

Why would I even want to entertain the question you are asking me?

It all really depends on whether you're interested in reality, or whether your own personal fantasy world suffices. If the latter, then I suppose you wouldn't.

My witness comes from God who was there.

I have to ask, while I have your attention on this. Has God told Gordon B. Hinckley, his apparent chosen and annointed Prophet, Seer, and Revelator on Earth, his Deputy, his Right-Hand Man, the heir to the kingship of God's Kingdom on Earth he gets through succession to Joseph Smith, the same things as he's apparently told you? Can you find for me anywhere where God's actual apostles, his Special Witnesses of Jesus Christ, and Prophets, Seers, and Revelators have taught us the same things you're claiming you know from God? Is it really in God's plans that his Prophet and Apostles keep silent on such things, while Paul Ray tells the world the truth that he has straight from God?

Why would I take the word of anyone who contradicts what God tells me?

Because it's just barely possible, I would imagine, that you're actually mistaken in the attribution of all this wisdom and knowledge.

Why do you believe what scientists have told you?

Evidence.

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Sethbag,

I'll try to make this short and sweet.

I don't simply accept what anyone (but God) tells me, regardless of anything they believe will prove their point. I hear what people say and then talk to God about the thoughts they are sharing while asking God to tell me if there is any truth to what they are saying.

You, on the other hand, seem to be taking someone's word for what they have said just because they have something tangible which they say supports their belief(s)... which would be akin to me simply accepting the Bible and/or Book of Mormon as "God's word" just because someone believes it is and they can show me the actual book(s).

The Earth doesn't say anything... at least not such that everybody can hear it. How do you know the actual age of the Earth? I know you can find some people with some gizmo's who will tell you what they think, but how do they know the actual age of the Earth? How do they know there aren't some things they haven't thought of thinking of? They're not talking about what they know from the personal experience of being there when the Earth came into existence, are they? They're simply using their own brains to do their thinking for them, and even a recently deceased person still has a brain in their body.

You seem to put a lot of trust into what scientists tell you, apparently thinking their words and gizmo's are infallible. That would be akin to me believing a person was a true prophet of God simply because he had some "spectacles" he trusted... if in fact he put his trust in those "spectacles".

What I recommend that you do, which is the same thing that I do, is ask God to tell you what God knows.

You can find all kinds of people who believe anything, but the trick is to know Who to listen to.

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I've recognized that the Earth we live on, and the Universe in which this Earth finds itself, happen to work according to laws that are very consistent, predictable, and increasingly well-understood. That's not to say we know everything about it, but we do know quite a lot, and the evidence in the earth has led us to believe things that are well understood within the framework of our knowledge of the universe and its laws. I believe it, because it's well-supported both by evidence, and by theory.

You seem to be suspending your belief, and your trust in the actual physical world, the mountains of evidence that we have, and the theories which have been extensively developed and tested, and found consistent with that evidence, to understand the processes by which the earth is formed, in order to instead place your trust in your own "inner God", who conveniently tells you what you want to know, but hasn't seen fit to tell the rest of us, including his own designated Prophets, Seers, and Revelators.

More power to you, Paul. It's a free country, and as long as you don't violate my rights, you can do whatever you want with your mind, your body, and your beliefs. As for me and my mind, I'm going with the evidence. To disbelieve the physical evidence would require me to accept that God is just playing games with us, yanking our chain, etc.

If God really exists, and really did all this stuff, then the evidence in the earth is God's evidence. Why would God plant evidence in the Earth which so thoroughly, and so convincingly contradicts what people like you say God actually did? Why did God, if he exists, give us rational, thoughtful, inventive minds? Why did God make an earth that looks like it's really 4.5 billion years old if it really isn't? Why did God create all this evidence that supports the idea of Aborigines hitting Australia over 40,000 years ago, when they didn't? Why did God allow a Flood to happen, and Noah and his family to be the only surviving humans, and yet the evidence of that was completely swept away, and replaced by evidence that shows a world where this didn't really happen? Why would God create evidence in the earth supporting a human population going back over 100,000 years, but humans really go back just a few thousand?

Why would God create a world, and fill it with all this evidence, and yet the evidence doesn't really point to what it seems to point to? Your God is only explainable as a deceitful, tricksy, and manipulative God, who gives us brains and ways of looking at and understanding the evidence in this world, but really he's pulling the rug out from under us all.

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Perhaps somebody would care to make their point a little more simply and directly?

Please pick any one thing that absolulely refutes the idea that we are literal, physical descendants of Adam and Eve, and then explain how that one thing absolutely refutes our Adamic heritage.

If you want to pick the age of Earth using the supposed age of rocks, go ahead and explain how that refutes our Adamic heritage.

Feel free to pick anything you want to pick to prove your point, but so far it seems to me that the critics are relying on assumptions of what they think the evidence is suggesting.

When is the last time somebody heard from a rock?

From your short/sweet response to Sethbag, I don't believe you were ever interested in the evidence you asked for in this post. No explanation or evidence could ever make you doubt what God told you, right? Your thought process excludes the possibility.

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I've recognized that the Earth we live on, and the Universe in which this Earth finds itself, happen to work according to laws that are very consistent, predictable, and increasingly well-understood.

Yeah, I've noticed that too, but I've also noticed that all people do not agree on everything.

... and not even scientists agree on everything.

If the evidence we have is so crystal clear why can't we all agree on everything we have evidence for?

That's not to say we know everything about it, but we do know quite a lot, and the evidence in the earth has led us to believe things that are well understood within the framework of our knowledge of the universe and its laws. I believe it, because it's well-supported both by evidence, and by theory.

In our day and age there are scientists who believe the "big bang" theory while other scientists believe the universe is eternal. Not so long ago, there were modern scientists who disagreed about planetary rotation.

If you wait long enough and keep looking for evidence, I think you will find out that God knows what is true.

You seem to be suspending your belief, and your trust in the actual physical world, the mountains of evidence that we have, and the theories which have been extensively developed and tested, and found consistent with that evidence, to understand the processes by which the earth is formed, in order to instead place your trust in your own "inner God", who conveniently tells you what you want to know, but hasn't seen fit to tell the rest of us, including his own designated Prophets, Seers, and Revelators.

God's prophets, seers and revelators are in perfect agreement with what I have told you.

I think you're deluding yourself if you think you can say the same thing about scientists.

More power to you, Paul. It's a free country, and as long as you don't violate my rights, you can do whatever you want with your mind, your body, and your beliefs.

Ditto to you too. :P

As for me and my mind, I'm going with the evidence.

... and your interpretations of the evidence... don't forget that part.

Your evidence, itself, is speechless.

Your beliefs are mainly based on interpretations of evidence from certain people who are not as perfect as God is.

If God really exists, and really did all this stuff, then the evidence in the earth is God's evidence.

Yes, I agree with that. But there are people who interpret the evidence while disagreeing with God.

Why would God plant evidence in the Earth which so thoroughly, and so convincingly contradicts what people like you say God actually did?

The evidence, itself, doesn't contradict anything that God actually did.

It is the interpreation of the evidence that is at the core of our disagreement(s).

Why did God, if he exists, give us rational, thoughtful, inventive minds?

So that we can be rational, thoughtful, and inventive with them.

... but at no time does God expect us to rely only on our own minds.

Why did God make an earth that looks like it's really 4.5 billion years old if it really isn't?

Who says it isn't?

How long is a day in eternity?

How long were Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden?

Why did God create all this evidence that supports the idea of Aborigines hitting Australia over 40,000 years ago, when they didn't?

Who says they didn't?

Who says Adam and Eve weren't the very first parents of the people you now call the Aborigines?

Who says God didn't change the way time was reckoned when he shortened the lifespan of all men?

Why did God allow a Flood to happen, and Noah and his family to be the only surviving humans, and yet the evidence of that was completely swept away, and replaced by evidence that shows a world where this didn't really happen?

... according to whose way of thinking?

There are scientists who agree there was a flood just as God said there once was.

Why would God create evidence in the earth supporting a human population going back over 100,000 years, but humans really go back just a few thousand?

Again, this is another date issue.

Who says there isn't a way to interpret evidence so that science and God are in agreement?

Why would God create a world, and fill it with all this evidence, and yet the evidence doesn't really point to what it seems to point to?

If you don't have some pieces of a puzzle and still manage to somehow put it together, is there nothing missing? Is the puzzle really finished without all of the pieces in it?

Your God is only explainable as a deceitful, tricksy, and manipulative God, who gives us brains and ways of looking at and understanding the world, but really he's pulling the rug out from under us all.

I have some more pieces of the puzzle that you seem to think is just fine the way it is.

... and I am still looking for more.

Would you like to keep looking with me or are you now ready to write your final thesis?

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Why would God create a world, and fill it with all this evidence, and yet the evidence doesn't really point to what it seems to point to? Your God is only explainable as a deceitful, tricksy, and manipulative God, who gives us brains and ways of looking at and understanding the evidence in this world, but really he's pulling the rug out from under us all.

I've been trying to bite my tongue through all this, and I think I've bitten through now and I just can't stop myself... :P

I believe that when the scripture says that truth will be sent forth out of the earth, we are speaking not only of buried gold plates, but the evidence found in all the earth. Evidence studied in geology, chemistry, physics, archaeology, and all sorts of other "-ology"s. These all have differing levels of validation and reliability, but that's OK, as long as one evaluates these things on the basis of experience and personal understanding. Once one understands the limitations and strengths of science, one is free to learn without fear the truth that waits to be found.

Paul Ray, I don't think you know enough yet of how science really works, and what it can do and what it cannot. OTOH, I admit freely that it is an annoying tendency for scientific types to tend to over-state their case and sometimes take the inability of dealing with God and the Spirit and transform it into a disparagement of all things subjective. Since they can't deal with it at all, methodologically speaking, under the banner of science. Sometimes they tend to say that since they can't deal with it on their own terms, they can ignore it entirely. And indeed, many do with no apparent loss (so they say). I disagree, but I guess that's just me (subjective, don't you see).

As you learn of how dating of geologic, chemical and radioactive things are done, much becomes clear. It is not an assumption, but is truly reliable, verifiable information (for the most part). On the other hand, science does have its axiomatic principles, such as "There is never the last word, only the latest." Over the years, I have migrated from a Cleon Skousen creationist view, to a naturalistic evolutionary view. But since I am not only informed by science, but also my faith, I leave room for Gods involvement throughout. Just don't expect me to look to religion to explain how it was all done. The 'why' it was all done is quite enough for me. Reading Darwin's The Origin of the Species was an almost religious experience for me. What a great man.

At the same time, I know that I am a child of God, and am also a child of Adam. For me, all truth HAS to fit together, or it isn't truth. The more I learn of the earth, the more I find truth. It makes me adjust certain assumptions I once made. That's OK with me. It was hard, at first, I must say. Interestingly enough, its not hard at all for me to keep close to the church. I am grateful.

HiJolly

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