Wednesday, August 21, 2019

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Adam and Eve had belly buttons. I know because they're in all the pictures. The pictures were divinely inspired, so they must have been there; and Adam was made out of mud, so I'm thinking God stuck a thumbprint in him while he was baking, so his eventual offspring wouldn't feel weirded out about their navels. That's the only thing I can come up with and it does speak well of God, who nevertheless went on to do a heck of a lot of smiting, but things were fresh and new then, and everyone felt optimistic.

But if you keep on with this story you'll quickly arrive at more questions than answers. For instance: who did First Sons Cain and Abel get children by? All the possibilities are awkward.

As it happens, this question has troubled people through the ages. It doesn't trouble people at all that nobody ever mentions any daughters of Adam and Eve, because after all they're just females, but speculating about such daughters and their possible coital relationships with their brothers has put religious folk in a flat tizzy for thousands of years. (No more than six thousand, though.) There has to be another explanation. So one theory goes that Cain got a wife from a race of humans that pre-dated Adam and Eve. Which is problematic if you've already swallowed the notion that Adam and Eve were the first and nobody ever said anything about Neanderthals.

So not many people go with that. We're left with Cain and Abel marrying their own sisters, and, as has been pointed out, there's nothing in Genesis that rules out that Adam and Eve had daughters first, especially since they wouldn't have been important enough to mention. Also, Adam had another son, Seth, when he was 130 years old and then he lived another 800 years. Say what you will about our progenitors, they knew how to get lead in their pencils. The idea here is that after a short period of time you'd have scads of humans running around and plenty of broads to choose from, were you Cain or Abel, although they'd all be pretty seriously related.

Which is obviously appalling, or at least frowned upon in most of your modern cults. How can we reconcile this? Easy peasy. God never told anyone he couldn't marry his own sister. Especially since he gave him no alternatives. God didn't have a thing to say about that until he changed the rules and funneled them through Moses. Up until then it was fine. You can't commit incest if there's no such thing as incest, but after a certain point, as outlined in Leviticus, there were all sorts of rules. You don't even want to know. Cain and Abel got in under the deadline.

So we can assume that Cain and Abel had carnal relations with their own sisters.

Nobody said they had to enjoy it.

32 comments:

  1. As a child, I attended a Catholic school for 8 years. I was also precocious. The two do not go well together. I remember asking about this very thing early on. The nun looked visibly embarrassed and did not answer my question, just changed the subject.

    From what I have gathered since then, from people who do believe in this sort of thing, is that although Adam and Eve were the first humans, the Bible never said that God didn't create other humans after them. (But your first humans are always kind of special.)

    Also, as you have stated, they could have had scads of daughters -- and likely did, because, hey, they were running around naked all the time and there was no birth control back then -- but females were not considered important enough to mention.

    All of this reminds me of how me and my fellow book series geeks (Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) sometimes can go on and on trying to explain various holes in the plot and how they could conceivably happen. And after all, The Bible is just a less awesome version of The Lord of the Rings.

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    1. There IS a sort of Mordor thing going on in the end. Meanwhile, there are people who have already filled in a lot of this story, and they're fully credentialed, so tune in next post to find out more.

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    2. Haha! Love that "The Bible is just a less awesome version of The Lord of the Rings." Murr-worthy.

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  2. I always assumed Cain and Able had carnal relations with their mother to do their begetting (when they weren't doing each other) until they had sisters or daughters.

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  3. Taking the Bible literally seems to require us to believe that Cain was literally a motherf***er (if there was no taboo on incest yet, there wouldn't have been a taboo on that, either). There's no basis for assuming sisters not mentioned in the text, so Eve would have been the only confirmed option. This would have been all the more awkward given that she must still have been rather miffed at him for killing Abel. And didn't dad (Adam) get jealous? The whole thing has the makings of one hell of a soap opera.

    Of course, if memory serves, God also placed a "mark" on Cain so that other people would know he was under God's protection and should not be punished for killing Abel. But what other people? It seems obvious that this story was originally the origin myth of some one particular tribe (so other people would have existed at the same time), and was later retconned as the creation of the entire human race, but without editing all the details to be consistent with that.

    Oh, well, it's not like a story that includes a talking snake was ever really plausible.

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    1. Really? The talking snake is the most plausible part. Re: Cain killing Abel, and when and where and why: stay tuned this Saturday!

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  4. So many good lines here! The bible is one novel this book lover never did get through. It needs a good editing, if you ask me.

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    1. And I'm just the editor to...well...as Cain and Abel would say, "do it."

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  5. Murr, did you know all of this stuff when we were growing up? The reason I ask is because.....I have a recollection that on several occasions, our 10th & 12th grade French teacher, Mrs. Simons, would start interpreting whatever literature we were reading and somehow end up telling us a racy story that made us squirm a little. After the squirm (and the momentary silence), she would throw up her hands and in an exasperated tone would say, "Children, this is all in the Bible. **Don't you know your Bible**??"
    And then it would be my turn to squirm a second time because by golly, I had worked really hard in 10 years of Sunday School to avoid learning anything about the Bible, or for that matter, religion. But I would then tell myself that this was probably OK, since I assumed that all of *my* friends were atheists or agnostics and were going to vote Democratic when they were old enough. (Except for Barbara Rambo, who was proudly Republican. And Kathie Worthington, who was a Mormon.)
    So my question is this: Back then, did you already know all of this stuff, and just didn't want to jump into a discussion about it with a high school teacher who was frequently brilliant and sometimes a little too intense & passionate about things? Or did you soak up all this stuff about the Bible at some later point in your life?

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    1. Grew up with it. Not in a fundamentalist way, but Nice Lutheran. Meanwhile, all you really need is Genesis, and I recommend it. It's a barn-burner! By the way, Kathie Worthington was also your ninth-grade prom date. Why do I know? I had a crush on you in ninth grade.

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    2. Oh oh oh. And also, the reason I didn't react to Mme. Simons' wonderful monologs was that I didn't understand a third of what she was saying. Apparently I don't have a talent for languages. I do remember one time there was a line "Ah, c'est trop con," and I didn't know what that meant, and she said it was the same in English, and everybody nodded, but you know what? I wasn't familiar with the English word. At that time.

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  6. I always thought the incest involved Eve and her kids.

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    1. A minority opinion, as it turns out! Stay tuned.

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  7. I was always told the boys married their sisters, but it wasn't a problem back then because the gene pool was still perfect. It was only later that mutations gradually introduced traits that could become problematic if both parents had the same one.
    So Abraham married his half-sister, but that was ok, because they were still pure-bred.
    And of course, evolution is a lie, because mutations can't change a species leaving it still viable. Except in the case of modern humans, plagued as we are with deleterious mutations. But we're special.
    (Somehow that doesn't sound quite as convincing as it did when I was 7.)

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    1. Don't you love that the Bible is reinterpreted with modern knowledge about mutations?

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    2. Of course, when I was a kid, we didn't use words like "gene"; we said "heritable traits". And "defects" for "deleterious mutations". When those words came along, they were spliced into the old arguments as if they had been there all along.
      And those "defects" weren't a problem until after Abraham. But Ham was black, and therefore all modern blacks are meant to be servants.
      My mistake. You're supposed to separate those two sentences by a couple of pages.

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  8. And here all this time I thought Cain and Abel dated Miss Begotten and Miss Fortune. That would explain a lot.

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  9. Let me know when the lesson is "Virgin Birth" and I might pop in for that one.
    Meanwhile...how are your salamanders?

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    1. Thanks for asking. I don't know. I haven't seen a salamander all year. Is that true? Close enough. No wait: I saw them on our frog outings. Those individuals were stellar.

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  10. And this is why I prefer to believe in evolution, not God-made.

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  11. I searched the family Bible frantically before I could read, because I got sent home for arguing with a minister at Vacation Bible School. He said the church was God's house, and I was pretty sure God didn't actually live in a house, per se, so the support for my side of the argument must have been in the Bible somewhere. Hopefully in a picture. My mother was very proud of me but she couldn't find the passage either.

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    1. I always thought the term "Vacation Bible School" was a total lie, as it was obviously NOT a vacation if you had to go to school. Still seethe over that, somehow.

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    2. I taught Vacation Bible School once. I can't remember why. I remember teaching the kids about curved space. I didn't understand it very well but they understood even less.

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  12. Reminds me of my husbands high school show with hula dancers. When the students came on with their low hanging grass skirts the audience started tittering...seems the teachers had put "flesh-colored" bandages over their navels!!

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  13. Nothing is known about the painter Gassart other than he was burned at the stake for having chosen the wrong side during the great Adam and Eve Bellybutton Schism of 1525.


    The painting itself is a typical Biblical motif of the kind that was so popular during the early Renaissance. In the apocryphal book of the Bible called 101 Dance Steps Self Taught there is an account of the development of popular dancing from its origins in the Garden of Eden. It seems that before Adam and Eve's fall the biggest problem with living in Paradise was the sheer boredom of it all. "You can't improve on perfection" was Eden's motto, so nothing changed very much from year to year.


    One day Adam and Eve were sitting around wishing that television had been included in their rental agreement when they saw a bunch of penguins doing a primitive line dance. It looked like fun and they attempted to join in, only to be told to bug off because they had no natural sense of rhythm. Stung to the quick, they decided to invent their own dances, ones that took innate human clumsiness into account. The hokey-pokey was their first attempt.
    "You put your hind foot in,
    You put your hind foot out;
    You put your hind foot in,
    And you move it all about.
    You do the Hokey-Pokey,
    And you turn yourself around.
    That's what it's all about!"
    ©4004 BC, lyrics by A & E Homosapien

    Well, they had so much fun they started adding more verses-- the left foot, the right arm, the head, the elbows, etc. Eventually by process of elimination they came to the naughty parts. When Adam began putting his clamdigger in and out and moving it all about he and Eve suddenly realized they had tumbled onto something a lot more interesting than ballroom dancing. Eventually the animals began imitating them, and the next time God walked through the garden in the cool of the evening it looked liked a cross between Wild Kingdom and a Viagra commercial. Needless to say he was divinely annoyed and kicked everyone out of Eden so he could start over again. 


    Unfortunately Steve and Bruce didn't work out any better than Adam and Eve had. In disgust God gave up and devoted His declining years to perfecting the unicorn. 


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    Sponsored in part by a joint grant from the Arthur and Kathryn Murray Foundation and the Masters and Johnson Institute. "Put some fun in your life — try sex!"™
    https://www.depressionart.net/096-hokeypokey

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