Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Adam and Eve and All That

I'm a practicing Catholic, so I believe that Adam and Eve really existed.

Albrecht Dürer's Adam and Eve

Albrecht Dürer's Adam and Eve (1507), Oil on panel, currently at Museo del Prado, Madrid; via The Yorck Project and Wikipedia, used w/o permissionThat doesn't mean I think that they looked like the nice Deutsch paar painted by Herr Dürer, a half-millennia back.

Apart from our habit of wearing more clothing, Dürer's Adam and Eve look like quite a few of my neighbors. That's no surprise, since quite a few of my neighbors' ancestors came from Germany. And Ireland. And, lately, all over the world. And that's another topic.

I'm not upset that Albrecht Dürer 'saw' his Adam and Eve as looking like nice, normal folks: of the sort who lived in his part of the world. I'd be surprised if Herr Dürer didn't paint folks he hadn't seen as resembling folks he had. (May 2, 2012)

Adam, Eve, and Me

If I try to imagine what Adam and Eve look like, I'm likely to imagine them looking somewhat me: melanin-deficient skin, pale eyes, and all. My ancestors, before they came to North America, spent a long, long time in northwestern Europe: and it shows.

I'm pretty sure that Adam and Eve didn't look much like me: and would be surprised if they did. That doesn't bother me. Change happens, and folks haven't always looked the way we do now.

Family Photos and the Big Picture

I'm descended, in part, from the Clan Campbell. The wry mouth (Caimbeul) that gave us our name shows up in some old family photos: but hasn't shown up lately.

Recently, folks have been discovering just how much things have changed since critters started growing on Earth: and how long that's been going on. The last I heard, critters have been leaving fossils to mark their passage for about 3,500,000,000 years, Earth got sorted out from the rest of the Solar system around 4,000,000,000 years back, and the universe is roughly 13,730,000,000 years old.

That's quite a few powers of ten greater than the age that Bishop Ussher insisted on.

If I had designed the universe, I might not have made it quite so big. Or old. But, like I've said before, God's God, I'm not. If current knowledge of God's creation is even close to being accurate: we live in an awesomely huge place.

I'm okay with that.

I've posted before, about the Catholic Church, science, and being willing to accept God's creation:

Faith and Reason

  • The universe is beautiful
    • And may be studied
    (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 341)
  • Honest research can't contradict faith
    • Because God made the universe
    (Catechism, 159)
  • God created/is creating - everything
    (Catechism, 279, 301, 302-305)
  • It's faith and reason
    (Catechism, 50, 156-159)
I'll get back to Adam and Eve tomorrow.

Related posts:


Brigid said...

I have a feeling something is missing: "like nice Deutsch paar painted by Herr Dürer a half-millennia back."

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian Gill said...


A comma, maybe? Thanks!

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