Does the Church have official teaching on how the grandchildren came into being? I remember a while back reading one Ask An Apologist thread where the idea that the prohibition against incest between sister and brother could’ve been lifted. Is that official Church teaching or are we free to believe something else? (Just to spitball maybe a miracle of some sort?)
The same way all grandchildren come into being – people’s kids have their own kids?
But no, to the best of my knowledge, there’s no doctrine or dogma on that issue. Some theologians have tried to wrap their heads around it. The notion of “not incest, per se, by definition” is one of those attempts. As I understand it, the notion isn’t that the “prohibition against incest” was lifted, but that incest is forbidden because it creates humans with certain genetic issues… and, as the idea goes, since they were “more physically perfect” than us, there wasn’t the chance of physical issues… and therefore, no incest. (Can’t say I buy that explanation, though. Still sounds kinda incest-y to me…)
Another way of explaining it is that the Genesis account isn’t trying to give a literal historical account, and therefore, there must’ve been more people – or at least, more children of Eve. Nevertheless, if that were the case, then we’d all have DNA that proves that we arose from a single woman at the very beginning… and that’s not what science shows us. :shrug:
It appears we do have evidence that we may have had a single mother at the beginning: mhrc.net/mitochondrialEve.htm.
Of course Adam and Eve had more children and of course they married each other. Cain refers to this when he claimed his punishment was too great for killing Abel:
 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.
 Behold, thou hast driven me this day away from the ground; and from thy face I shall be hidden; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will slay me.”
 Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If any one slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who came upon him should kill him.
 Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.
There had to be marriage between siblings at that time, but in-breeding became an issue later on so such close marriages were forbidden for Israel, although other cultures still practiced it, and even Christians married first cousins up until the 20th century. So, it wasn’t always considered wrong to marry close family members.
They came into being through the sexual intercourse of their parents.
Consanguinity in the direct line is a Divine Law prohibition, but in the collateral line it is not. The church regulates marriages in the collateral line by ecclesial law,
I think you misunderstand what is meant by the notion of what is commonly called “mitochondrial Eve.” It does not mean “the one woman from whom all humans who have ever lived are descended.” Rather, it only means “the most recent maternal ancestor of all currently living humans.” The two notions are, of course, distinct.
Think of it this way, from the perspective of a family. Suppose that your mom has two girls – you and your sister. While you and your family – as well as your sister and her family – are alive, the “mitochondrial Eve” of your family is your mom (not her mom, or her grandma, or more ancient maternal ancestors). However, if disaster befalls your sister and her family, and only you and your family survives, then the “mitochondrial Eve” of your family becomes you, since you are now the “most recent common maternal ancestor” in your family.
So, “mitochondrial Eve” is a bit of a misnomer. It does not posit a scientific basis for the Eve of the Bible, but only talks about common matrilinear ancestors – and the most recent ones, at that!
There had to be marriage between siblings at that time
You recognize that this is a presumption… right?
I am misunderstanding nothing. I never stated there was a “mitochondrial Eve,” nor set out to prove there was, I merely linked a website on the topic, saying that there may be evidence of an Eve–mitochondrial research may point in that direction. Apparently you misunderstood me, reading into my post what wasn’t there.
Well… there is a ‘mitochondrial Eve’. It’s a simple definition: the most recent matrilineal ancestor of all living people. By definition, she exists.
I merely linked a website on the topic, saying that there may be evidence of an Eve–mitochondrial research may point in that direction.
And there’s the problem: mitochondrial Eve isn’t Biblical Eve. Isn’t meant to be; isn’t asserted to be; isn’t attempted to be proven to be. So, evidence of “mitochondrial Eve” doesn’t imply scientific evidence of Biblical Eve.
Apparently you misunderstood me
Nope… I got what you were saying. And addressed it.
If it makes you happy to think so… :shrug:
If one is to believe that the story actually happened then, being the only people around, there had to be incest. Of course it does beg the question who the “other people” are that Cain lived with.
Hey… if you want to distance yourself from your original claim:
[quote=Della]It appears we do have evidence that we may have had a single mother at the beginning
… well, be my guest. :rolleyes:
The Church doesn’t assert that one must believe that the Genesis account is actual, literal, historical fact.
Of course it does beg the question who the “other people” are that Cain lived with.
My vote is “Baltimore Ravens fans.” Then again, I’m a Steelers guy…