Tuesday, April 3, 2012

False Assumption #2 of Young-Earth Creationists

Alice C. Linsley

As I have written here, the false assumptions of Young-Earth Creationists present the greatest obstacles to understanding the book of Genesis. Their assumption that Cain's line perished in the flood contradicts what Genesis tells us. Because Young-Earthers assume that Cain's line died out they ignore the relationship between the Begats of Genesis 4 and Genesis 5. They miss that Methuselah's wife was Naamah, a descendant of Cain. She named their firstborn son Lamech after her father, according to the cousin bride's naming prerogative. This naming pattern explains why there are two rulers named Lamech, two named Esau, two named Sheba, and two named Joktan.

Analysis of the Genesis 4 and 5 King Lists reveals that these royal lines intermarried exclusively. Therefore Abraham was a descendant of both Shem and Ham.

The intermarriage between the lines of Cain and Seth is paralled by the intermarriage between the lines of Ham and Shem, between the lines of Eber and Sheba, and between the lines of Abraham and Nahor. In fact, analysis of the Genesis genealogies reveals a consistent and unchanging marriage pattern among the Horite rulers before and after Abraham.

The Young-Earth assumption that Abraham married Keturah after Sarah died overlooks the fact that all the rulers listed in Genesis had two wives. Abraham's first wife was his half-sister, Sarah.  His second wife was his patrilineal cousin, Keturah. He married Keturah before Sarah died. Likewise, Moses married Zipporah before his Kushite half-sister wife died. With two wives there were likely to be two firstborn sons. The firstborn son of the half-sister wife ascended to the throne of his father. The firstborn son of the cousin/niece wife ascended to the throne of his maternal grandfather.  Marriage partners appear to have been selected using a modular formula. Because of this pattern, the Genesis King lists cannot be used to calculate the age of the Earth.

Further, there is a gap of time between the first humans and Kain and Seth. The oldest human fossils are between 165,000 and 3.6 million years, depending on whether one regards A. Afarensis as a human species (as I do).  Kain and Seth ruled territories in Africa approximately 3050 B.C., about 650 years before Noah.

As I explained here, the Young-Earth reading of Genesis as linear history produces an inaccurate picture because this is not how Abraham's Nilotic ancestors recounted historical events. Instead, their narratives employ binary tensions expressed in parallel accounts. The parallel stories sometimes highlight similarities such as the moral lapses of Noah and Lot. Noah's drunken behavior led him to blame ("curse") his grandson. Lot's drunkeness led to incest with his daughters. Sometimes the parallel stories express contrast, as in the accounts of Abraham and Isaac attempting to pass off their wives as their sisters. Sarah was Abraham's half-sister whereas Rebecca was Isaac's patrilineal cousin. In other words, Abraham did not lie and Isaac did.

This is not to say that Abraham's ancestors lacked a device for narrating linear events. This was done through recounting their ruler ancestors and their exploits. These are the kings listed in the Genesis Begats. These are authentic lists that establish that Kain lived before Noah, Noah lived before Nimrod, and Nimrod before Abraham, etc. We can imagine a Nilotic story teller elaborating on the character of various rulers as is evident in Genesis 4:23, where we are told that Lamech bragged to his two wives. Another elaboration is found in Genesis 10:8-12 concerning the Kushite kingdom-builder Nimrod.

Young Earth Creationist Assumption #2: The Genesis "Begats" list the first and only people living on Earth.

The veracity of this second assumption must be evaluated in light of relevant Bible passages and the evidence from anthropology and archaeology.

The "Begats" list the rulers of the first nations. These were kingdom builders who spread far and wide. They are the rulers of the Ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion.  They originated in Africa and established themselves in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.  Some came to North America where they are called "First Nations People." Among these first people were the Nilotic Ainu who are at the center of Luigi Cavalli-Sforza's Genetic Distance Chart, as would be expected.

In Noah's time, people in Malaysia were planting rice. In Sweden and Norway people were skiing as evidenced by rock paintings and the oldest known ski found at Hoting in Sweden. Clearly, the rulers of Genesis 4, 5, 10 and 11 were not the first humans, nor were they the only humans on Earth.

The Genesis genealogical material must be evaluated on the basis of its proper cultural context. These are annals of ancient royal lines which intermarried.  Only some sons could ascend to the throne. Other sons were sent away to establish territories for themselves.  These sent-away sons drove the Kushite expansion out of Africa, an expansion that has been verified by DNA studies.

The Genesis 4 and 5 king lists show an established marriage and ascendancy pattern, indicating that these ruling lines were already well established in Kain's time. Kain married his patrilineal cousin, a daughter of Enoch. Since he married a patrilineal cousin, Kain's father had a brother.  That brother is the first Enoch (Nok) found in the Bible. He is not actually named in Genesis 4, but his name is given to his grandson by his daughter.  Enoch is a royal title and means "heir to the throne."

Kain and Seth were great rulers in Africa. Kain's territory probably extended between Kano and Nok in modern Nigeria. Seth or Seti is a name found among the Nilotic rulers.

During the reigns of Kain and Seth a great fortified city was built at Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) on the Upper Nile. It was a shrine city dedicated to Horus. Votive offerings at the temple were ten times larger than the normal mace heads and bowls found elsewhere, suggesting that this was a very prestigious shrine. Horite priests placed invocations to Horus at the summit of the fortress as the sun rose.

Nekhen was the religious and political capital of Upper Egypt between 3200–2686 BC and had as many as 10,000 inhabitants. The original settlement dates from the Naqada culture (4400 BC) or the late Badarian culture (5000 BC).  The oldest known zoo was in Nekhen.

Before Kain and Seth, there were numerous river populations in China between 7000-3000 B.C. In southern Africa, there were forest populations who mined red ochre from the Lebombo Mountains more than 30,000 years ago. This blood-like substance was used to bury nobles in the hope of life beyond the grave. The practice was widespread, perhaps global, long before Noah's time.

Noah lived between about 2490-2415 B.C. in the region of Lake Chad when the Sahara experienced a wet period (Karl W. Butzer1966). This is the period of the Old Kingdom, a time of great cultural and technological achievement in Egypt. The population count of Egypt under the first dynasties was between 1 and 2 million inhabitants. Edward S. Ellis put the New Kingdom population at 5 million. The author of the Royal Ontario Museum website gives an estimate of between 1.5 and 5 million Egyptians during the Pyramid Age.

Pyramid G1-c was built with an inscription to Horus, King of the Upper and Lower Nile. Devotion to Horus, who was also called "son of God", spread across the Ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion. The Harappa civilization became established in the Indus River Basin during the time that Kain and Seth ruled in Africa. Har-appa means "Horus is Father." The temple city of Mohenjo-Daro was constructed about 400 years before Noah's flood and continued as a prosperous city until about B.C.1880. It was seven square miles in size and had a population of between 20,000 to 50,000.

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