So play the game Existence to the end…
Of the beginning
— John Lennon, “Tomorrow Never Knows”
In Greek mythology Pandora or “gift of all” is given gifts such as beauty, charm, etc., from all the gods, and she is also given a box that she is commanded never to open. But open it she does, and thus she becomes the agent who releases all the ills upon humanity.
Similarly, in the third chapter of Genesis the serpent convinces Eve to nibble on the fruit that God had commanded her and Adam never to eat. (If they weren’t supposed to eat it, why did God put it there in the first place? Sounds like a setup to me.)
God, in fact, had lied and claimed that if they ate that fruit (sometimes folks refer to it as an apple, but there is no biblical justification for that) they would surely die. So Eve takes a bite of the fruit and when she doesn’t die, she convinces Adam to try it as well.
They don’t die, but they do discover that they are naked, and for some reason they now feel the need to gather fig leaves and cover up their, uh, different bits.
So God takes a walk in the garden, the same God that is supposed to know all and see all, you know the the omniscient, omnipotent creator of the universe—anyway God sees that they’ve eaten some of that forbidden fruit, and as punishment, God says to the woman:
I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.
So much for your kind and loving god.
Presumably for centuries this story was taken as literally true, but in more recent times it is regarded as an allegory or myth, at least by some Christian sects. That, anyway, is how I was taught to regard it by my pastor in my Lutheran church. The creation story in Genesis and all that followed were just early attempts to explain things that otherwise were unexplainable.
I’m not sure at just what point the Bible was supposed to turn from mythology to actual history.
As Lutherans, or at least our version of Lutheranism, I believe there is a more conservative sect that might believe otherwise, we did accept the findings of science that the world was billions of years old and that we humans had evolved from other animals over millions of years.
Now I know there are sects of Christians that still regard the Bible as literally true, and thus believe the world is only 6,000 years old and that evolution is a lie, but I’m not concerned with them right now.
There are some versions of Christianity that do accept that the world is billions of years old, that humans have in fact evolved, but that the first few chapters Genesis, if not literally true, still did happen in some fashion. They have to stick to that because they believe that God sent Jesus to be a human sacrifice (you know, like a lamb), so that he could wash away the original sin of Adam and Eve eating that forbidden fruit. Thousands of years of their theology depends upon it. No Original Sin, no need to send a piece of meat to be sacrificed. (Actually, if this god is so powerful, why not just make a message appear in the sky for all the world to see: “Your Original Sin is forgiven!” Why go through all that rigamarole with the crucifixion and rising again which only a very few people would see and everyone else is supposed to take their word for it?)
So from their point of view (and I’m referring to the Catholic religion here, in case you haven’t figured it out), the Big Bang did happen (14 billion years ago, helped along by their god), and the earth was formed about four and a half billion years ago (helped along by their god), and humans evolved (helped along by you know whom)—and then at some point this god went to one of those soulless apes and infused a soul into its offspring and voilà! There’s Adam! And another infusion and we have Eve! So Adam and Eve were the first humans with souls but their parents were soulless primates (or whatever).
Or do you have a better explanation to reconcile the irreconcilable science with the idiotic theology of Christianity?
To quote Ross Perot: “I’m all ears.”