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  #1  
Old Jul 24, '13, 11:29 am
RaiseMeUp RaiseMeUp is offline
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Default Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

Someone asked me this question and it really stumped me. Its actually something I never really even thought about. If Adam and Eve had two sons, and Cain killed Abel, Who did Cain reproduce with?? If We all come from Adam and Eve - then does this mean incest was initially part of the the reproduction of life at the time? OR is it that there are just some things not explicitly explained in the Bible, as the Bible is a guide for salvation - rather then a recording of every specific detail since the creation of man???????????
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Old Jul 24, '13, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

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Originally Posted by RaiseMeUp View Post
Someone asked me this question and it really stumped me. Its actually something I never really even thought about. If Adam and Eve had two sons, and Cain killed Abel, Who did Cain reproduce with?? If We all come from Adam and Eve - then does this mean incest was initially part of the the reproduction of life at the time? OR is it that there are just some things not explicitly explained in the Bible, as the Bible is a guide for salvation - rather then a recording of every specific detail since the creation of man???????????
There is not a doctrinal answer to this, but presumably, provided Adam and Eve were the first parents, yes, brothers and sisters were married.

At the time, since there were no other humans to... carry on the human race with, it would not have been wrong or sinful for them to do this.
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Old Jul 24, '13, 12:06 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

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Originally Posted by RaiseMeUp View Post
If Adam and Eve had two sons, and Cain killed Abel, Who did Cain reproduce with??
His sister.

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Originally Posted by RaiseMeUp View Post
If We all come from Adam and Eve - then does this mean incest was initially part of the the reproduction of life at the time?
Yes.
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  #4  
Old Jul 24, '13, 12:07 pm
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dandingo dandingo is offline
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

For one, the Church doesn't require one to take the story of Creation literally. Second, I remember reading somewhere that, although Adam and Eve were the first people created, they weren't necessarily the only people created. I found that to be a very interesting theory.
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Old Jul 24, '13, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

One hypothesis I've heard that does not seem to contradict revealed theology is that they mated with soul-less homo sapiens. Their offspring were ensouled by God at conception and on down the line, Adam and Eve are the first parents of the species. So when Genesis speaks of man rising up from the earth, it is signal of man rising out of creation which could include soulless "homo sapiens" not in the image of God.

In then-Cardinal Ratzinger's "In the Beginning," he states,
"The story of the dust of the earth and the breath of God...does not in fact explain how human persons come to be but rather what they are. ... [T]he theoy of evolution seeks to understand and describe biological developments. But in so doing it cannot explain where the 'project' of human persons comes from, nor their inner origin, nor their particular nature."
And in Pope John Paul II's Truth Cannot Contradict Truth, he states:
If the human body take its origin from pre-existent living matter, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God ("animas enim a Deo immediate creari catholica fides nos retinere iubei"; "Humani Generis," 36). Consequently, theories of evolution which, in accordance with the philosophies inspiring them, consider the spirit as emerging from the forces of living matter or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter, are incompatible with the truth about man. Nor are they able to ground the dignity of the person.
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  #6  
Old Jul 24, '13, 12:17 pm
TheDoctor TheDoctor is offline
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

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Originally Posted by dandingo View Post
For one, the Church doesn't require one to take the story of Creation literally.
Just to be clear, by this, you mean that we can believe that God created the Earth in 6 days or used billions of years from the big bang or that He created Adam and Eve from nothingness or used evolution to create a human body into which He sent the first soul.

What the Church requires us to believe as a matter of doctrine is that there were two real people, Adam and Eve, from whom everyone descended. I just wanted to clear that up for the OP.

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Second, I remember reading somewhere that, although Adam and Eve were the first people created, they weren't necessarily the only people created. I found that to be a very interesting theory.
While it might be an interesting story, this theory is called polygenism and is condemned by the Church. We are not free to believe that there were other people whom Adam and Eve reproduced with. We are all descended from the same one set of parents and their children.

See this tract, about a third of the way down:
http://www.catholic.com/tracts/adam-eve-and-evolution
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  #7  
Old Jul 24, '13, 12:21 pm
TheDoctor TheDoctor is offline
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

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Originally Posted by RaiseMeUp View Post
Someone asked me this question and it really stumped me. Its actually something I never really even thought about. If Adam and Eve had two sons, and Cain killed Abel, Who did Cain reproduce with?? If We all come from Adam and Eve - then does this mean incest was initially part of the the reproduction of life at the time? OR is it that there are just some things not explicitly explained in the Bible, as the Bible is a guide for salvation - rather then a recording of every specific detail since the creation of man???????????
See here: http://www.catholic.com/quickquestio...children-whom-
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  #8  
Old Jul 24, '13, 12:25 pm
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Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

While we know we all derive our common human nature from this original human couple, the Church does not teach the details of how this worked in first few centuries after them.

We know that Cain and Seth and the other sons of Adam did not just marry their sisters and the human race just naturally continued like that. Even aside from the moral repugnance of such incest, such a genetic bottleneck in the relatively recent past would be evident in the human genome, and that evidence is not there.

We could speculate on a number of other options.

One is that the children of our first parents did incestuously marry each other, but that their genetics were miraculously diversified to avoid the consequences of inbreeding. But this would seem to imply that incest was part of God's original plan, which is an abominable idea.

Another possibility is that Adam and Eve lived near or even among proto-humans (or whatever they ought to be called) who were virtually identical to us biologically but different spiritually. The sons of Adam and Eve, and any daughters, may have reproduced with these. This idea can strike people as just as repugnant as incest or even more so. It could be seen as bestiality. However we must remember two things.

First, mankind had already fallen by this point and so sinful acts may have occurred without implying divine approval the way the miraculous diversification of genetics seems to. Whatever plan God may have had for later generations of mankind may have been forfeited by Original Sin and what followed instead was a real abomination before the eyes of God.

Second, these proto-humans would have been much more like ourselves than any living animals we are familiar with, to the point that labeling them as brute beasts may be misleading. Perhaps we should follow C.S. Lewis in thinking of them as a sort of elvish folk, in which case marrying them may have been less wrong than we imagine or even, possibly, not wrong at all.

A final theory (though no doubt still others could be imagined) would be that God simply miraculously created wives for the sons of Adam the way He had for Adam himself.
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Last edited by Aelred Minor; Jul 24, '13 at 12:35 pm.
  #9  
Old Jul 24, '13, 12:29 pm
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Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

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Yes, Augustine and many others have held this theory to the point that it has become perhaps the standard explanation one hears in the Church. However I fail to see how incest could have been permissible at any point in human history since the confusion of family roles which is one of the principle evils of incest would still be present. In any case I am unaware of any Church teaching saying that divinely-condoned incest occurred in the first generations of mankind.
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  #10  
Old Jul 24, '13, 12:30 pm
Monkey1976 Monkey1976 is offline
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

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Originally Posted by Aelred Minor View Post
Another possibility is that Adam and Eve lived near or even among proto-humans (or whatever they ought to be called) who were virtually identical to us biologically but different spiritually. The sons of Adam and Eve, and any daughters, may have reproduced with these. This idea can strike people as just as repugnant as incest or even more so. It could be seen as bestiality. However we must remember two things.

First, mankind had already fallen by this point and so sinful acts may have occurred without implying divine approval the way the miraculous diversification of genetics seems to. Whatever plan God may have had for later generations of mankind may have been forfeited by Original Sin and what followed instead was a real abomination before the eyes of God.

Second, these proto-humans would have been much more like ourselves than any living animals we are familiar with, to the point that labeling them as brute beasts may be misleading. Perhaps we should follow C.S. Lewis in thinking of them as a sort of elvish people, in which case marrying them may have been less wrong than we imagine or even, possibly, not wrong at all.
This is the theory I personally favor. It lines up the physical and Scriptural evidence quite nicely. One of the accepted meanings for the name "Adam" is "Man of the red earth". The oldest extant population of humans is the San people of the Kalahari desert, who live in a region notable for its red dirt.
  #11  
Old Jul 24, '13, 12:44 pm
The Serpent The Serpent is offline
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

Okay, I have been waiting for this question! Some relevant questions can be asked, because of the first question. If Adam & Eve had not fallen, then how would the human race have been propagated? It says some where in the Bible that God does not change, so good and evil cannot change, Yes? Then how can we apply a solution to this problem that violates his law in a big way?
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Old Jul 24, '13, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

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Okay, I have been waiting for this question! Some relevant questions can be asked, because of the first question. If Adam & Eve had not fallen, then how would the human race have been propagated? It says some where in the Bible that God does not change, so good and evil cannot change, Yes? Then how can we apply a solution to this problem that violates his law in a big way?
There's a fundamental flaw in this reasoning, because evil is not a thing in itself, and what you term "good" is very vague, since only God is good (and indeed cannot change) while everything else is an imperfect share in His being (only God is) and thus an imperfect share in His goodness.

The Fall was definitely not necessary for the propagation of the human race, nor for the coming of Our Lord (since many saints have affirmed He would have still come in the fullness of time to rejoice amidst His brothers).
  #13  
Old Jul 24, '13, 12:59 pm
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Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

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There's a fundamental flaw in this reasoning, because evil is not a thing in itself, and what you term "good" is very vague, since only God is good (and indeed cannot change) while everything else is an imperfect share in His being (only God is) and thus an imperfect share in His goodness.

The Fall was definitely not necessary for the propagation of the human race, nor for the coming of Our Lord (since many saints have affirmed He would have still come in the fullness of time to rejoice amidst His brothers).
I think The Serpent's point was that natural moral law does not change. This is the main reason I have trouble accepting the idea that God would ever condone incest. Right and wrong, except in purely ritual matters like what day of the week to keep holy as a day of rest, do not change from one generation to the next because they are not determined by arbitrary decisions of God or men. They are based in reason as applied to human behavior, and the reasons for incest to be wrong were at least partially present in the first generations of mankind.
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  #14  
Old Jul 24, '13, 1:05 pm
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Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

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Originally Posted by The Serpent View Post
Okay, I have been waiting for this question! Some relevant questions can be asked, because of the first question. If Adam & Eve had not fallen, then how would the human race have been propagated? It says some where in the Bible that God does not change, so good and evil cannot change, Yes? Then how can we apply a solution to this problem that violates his law in a big way?
It is always a little silly to ask what would have happened if things had happened differently. But accepting this absurdity, how would unfallen humanity have been propagated? One easy possibility that I mentioned above is that God would have created wives (and possibly husbands) miraculously for each generation the way He had done for Adam, at least until a few generations had passed.

There are other possibilities, but the fact that there is even one indicates that there is no moral paradox in God creating a single human pair and commanding mankind to be fruitful and multiply.
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Old Jul 24, '13, 1:30 pm
Marie1234 Marie1234 is offline
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Default Re: Reproduction of Adam and Eve Question (Important)

So if God initially intended Adam and Eve's line to continue via incest, why is incest forbidden by the Church now?

That just doesn't make sense to me?
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