Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Adam and Eve and Chris Hemsworth

Coming hard on the heels of my post a week ago about how even the blondest, bluest-eyed of us descends from dark-skinned, brown-eyed Africans, we have a group of young-earth creationists who are going through mental gyrations to determine what skin color Adam and Eve had.

I have to admit that it always struck me as odd, even when I was a teenager and fairly na├»ve about pretty much everything, that Adam and Eve were always pictured as white-skinned Caucasians.  They lived in the Middle East, right?

Antonio Molinari, Adam and Eve (ca. 1700) [image courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons]

Of course, the same thing might well be said about a more recent religious figure from the same tradition:

Is it just me, or is Jesus's expression in this portrait saying, "Bitch, please"?

So anyway, maybe it's time for people to recognize that all of the people in the bible were most likely dark-skinned and dark-eyed, and that Jesus probably looked more like Saddam Hussein than he did like Chris Hemsworth.

But anyway.  Now we have a bunch of people twisting themselves into knots to solve the question about Adam and Eve's skin color.  Which is funny from a number of standpoints, the first and foremost of which is that they're wasting time trying to figure out what a couple of people who never existed looked like.

Let's start with Sierra Rayne, over at American Thinker, who says that this is actually an important question for the religious to resolve.  "Within the context of the current war on the Judeo-Christian faith," she writes, "the discussion is far from esoteric, necessitating a consistent interpretation within the community."  She solves the conundrum thusly:
(A)ll of the children from a couple will have skin colors lighter than the darkest parent's skin color.  Tracing this reasoning back to Adam and Eve, it would then suggest that either Adam or Eve had a skin color darker than the darkest human skin color that current exists anywhere on the planet.
I guess if you're starting out from the standpoint that gene mutations never occur, this might have some degree of reason behind it.  But as I point out repeatedly in my Critical Thinking classes, if you're constructing a logical argument, and one of your premises is false, you can prove damn near anything.

Then we have the piece over at Apologetics Press that makes the following bizarre statement:
Thus, starting with any two parents who were heterozygous (i.e., middle-brown in color), extreme racial colors (black and white, to name only two examples) could be produced in such a way that races would have permanently different colors.  Of course, it also is possible to produce a middle-brown race that will have a fixed middle-brown color.  If the original middle-brown parents produce offspring of either AAbb or aaBB, and these offspring marry only others their own color, avoiding intermarriage with those not of their own genetic makeup, their descendants will be a fixed middle-brown color.
And they back it up with a Punnett square, so it must be true:

 Of course, this conveniently ignores the fact that there are way more than two gene loci that control skin color, that genes can mutate, and (of course) human populations evolve through natural selection just like every other species on Earth.

But I suppose that if they want to argue over what Adam and Eve looked like, at least it's less time that they'll have to devote to insisting that the bible be used as a science textbook in public schools.  And after all, in a previous generation, the religious argued over how many angels could stand on the head of a pin, so such silliness is hardly unprecedented.

It'd be nice, however, if they'd realize another principle of critical thinking, namely that you're not supposed to assume your conclusion and then fish around for support for it after the fact.

1 comment:

  1. Gordon, is censorship working? My comment was erased. I liked your post about Adam and Eve and their skin color. It is refreshing to read an article that doesn't presuppose that the bible is anything but literature. I suppose I'm in trouble now, but after being banned in Branson, what worse can happen?