How Did Adam & Eve’s Kids Have Kids? July 25, 2009

How Did Adam & Eve’s Kids Have Kids?

What happens when you put a Catholic priest, Father Jonathan Morris, on FOXNews and let people ask him religious questions?

Entertainment. Puzzlement. Confusion.

Were you expecting anything different?

This is a great clip to watch 🙂

He doesn’t know the answer… so he asks to use a lifeline. (It’s not like the Pope would know any better.)

My favorite line from Morris is this:

You know… the fact is that we don’t know *exactly* how things happened…

And yet, religious people somehow “know” that Adam and Eve existed, and Genesis is true, and there was a talking snake, etc.

Even Christians who don’t take Genesis literally “know” that God played a role in the process.

But call them out on it — or have them explain what it is they believe — and their explanations fall flat.

Morris dodges the question completely by saying we don’t know what happened… and then proceeds to tell us what he believes happened. It’s ridiculous.

Which is probably why it’s on FOXNews to begin with.

(via Atheist Media Blog)

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  • Ok, that was weird. So far as I know, the Catholic church accepts evolution, and has retreated to the position that at some point God inserted souls. (Maybe that’s Adam and Eve?) Anyway, if the Adam and Eve story is taken at face value, then saying we don’t know is kind of nuts. I mean, it obviously had to be brother and sister going at it, or Adamn and daughter or Eve and son… ok, maybe you don’t know which icky option it was, but it was one of them, right? So say so, if that’s what you believe, instead of making a ridiculous attempt to commit suicide by embarassment.

  • Was going to edit my comment above, but the comment editing software is grounds for shooting the programmers of same, so another comment instead.

    Ok, now that I think about it for a few moments, I recall that Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel, both boys. And they found “wives” somehow. So, that rules out the sister/daughter option. Guess it was that sinner Eve, eh? Or, maybe some more rib-women were made.

  • Erp

    Actually it doesn’t rule out sisters since the Bible also says Adam and Eve had other children. “The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years; and he had other sons and daughters.”

    The Christian interpretations I’ve heard range from the story being pure metaphor for humans in general. In other words Adam and Eve are us and eating of the fruit means us becoming aware as we grow up of our actions and thoughts and being ashamed of some (Cain in this case is metaphor for the human tendency to disclaim responsibility for our actions). Another is Adam and Eve stand for the point in evolutionary history where humans gained souls and then started questioning and being aware (in this case ‘death’ means spiritual death because biological death already existed). Those who insist on a single Adam and Eve in this scenario might say the children married other humans who did not have full fledged souls (but the children of the mixed marriages would). The literalists generally say Cain and Seth married their sisters.

  • I think the most important thing to note here is that, even in the face of his own ignorance, or lack of understanding, he never once says “you know, we don’t know how it works, and that’s ok.” Never once does he say, “You know, you are right. That doesn’t really make sense, and I am going to investigate that, and if I find that there is not sufficient evidence that such claims are possible, then I won’t believe in it”. His blind faith worries me that these people, who so many of our nation’s children are being taught by in churches around the country, are dim future for truth.

  • And in response to the comment above mine, I am a little curious what you mean by

    Adam and Eve stand for the point in evolutionary history where humans gained souls and then started questioning and being aware

    Nowhere have I ever heard any biologist or other scientist talk about the point in time when human beings gained souls, or even of the existence of souls.

    Cain in this case is metaphor for the human tendency to disclaim responsibility for our actions)

    The human tendency to disclaim responsibility for our actions? Please explain to me what asking forgiveness is then? A murderer can kill 100 innocent people, and then ask god for forgiveness, and his slate is wiped clean? How is that for disclaiming responsibility for our own actions.

  • J Myers

    TST, Erp was merely sharing with us the various Christian “explanations” he’s encountered; nowhere does he so much as imply that he finds any of them in any way valid. If you want expositions, you’re going to have to track down some folks who actually accept these ridiculous rationalizations and see what they have to say.

  • valdemar

    ‘Ancient legends aren’t required to make literal sense, they’re just good stories.’ There. Why can’t all educated Christians accept that? Are they so scared that the whole thing is a house of cards and will be knocked down by a slight breeze of truth?

  • Steven Carr

    Of course, the Gospel according to Luke has all these people as real ancestors of Jesus.

    I guess the Catholic Church knows how to interpret the Bible better than the Biblical writers did , or even better than Jesus did.

    After all, just as science has advanced in the last 2000 years, and we now know things that Jesus did not, so has theology advanced in the last 2000 years, and people of today have a more accurate theology than Jesus did.

    Unless the point of theology is not to make any progress in 2000 years, so that people still believe what Jesus did?

    But why would universities have theology departments if the point of theology is to freeze theology at the place it was 2000 years ago?

  • The even bigger irony is that there is an official Catholic answer these days: That Genesis is not literal, but rather is a metaphor for humanity’s sinful state.

    Of course, this introduces new problems: Why would there be original sin if there was no original sin? If there is no original sin, why would Jesus’ sacrifice be needed?

    Still, it’s embarrassing that he took Genesis more or less literally in 2009 as an official representative of an organization that does not.

  • I like how he switches over to a strawman with the belly button thing once he realizes he doesn’t have a clue.

    I read a Christian apologist site somewhere once that tried to answer this. I don’t remember where it was or know if it even still exists.

    Remember, this isn’t me, this is a Christian that came up with all this.

    Adam & Eve had daughters and that’s who Cain & Abel chose as wives and people just happily married their other family members for several ages.

    God made humans perfect, so they could get away with that. But because of Eve’s sin, our DNA started to develop flaws. Over many, many generations, the flaws built up to the point that God had to put a stop to incest, so he made it taboo.

    The same site had all sorts of crazy answers to these questions that are difficult to answer. I wish I could find it again.

  • Top tip: Don’t ask a Catholic Priest any questions to do with reproduction.

  • Kevin Horrigan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an amusing op-ed piece in today’s paper, “Fox and Friends is comedy gold.”

  • I’m sure that many of us remember the opening theme song for “Mystery Science Theater”:

    If you’re wondering how he eats and breathes
    and other science facts (la-la-la),
    Just repeat to yourself, “It’s just a show,
    I should really just relax…”
    for Mystery Science Theater 3000!”

    This attitude probably applies to the Bible as well.

    The Bible not a movie — but it does appear to be a collection of “fan fiction” written, collected, and edited over many hundreds of years where familiar characters like “God,” “Adam,” “Eve,” etc are used by the story creators to comment on life.

    I don’t know how “literal” the original story creators were with the Bible, but the move towards Biblical literalism appears to a relatively recent development in Christianity.

    A recent Newsweek article discusses the connection between Biblical literalism and slavery in the US:

    Is it mere coincidence that the Bible Belt is also the Black Belt? Why has biblical literalism held sway so powerfully in the region of the nation that used to practice and suffer under slavery on a large scale?

    Martin Marty of the University of Chicago recalls a fellow historian once noting that the white southern Protestant clergy prior to the Civil War “came across as moral, devout, pastoral, learned, caring, informed, and generous preachers. And also to a person they defended human slavery, claiming that it was a response to divine mandates and divine will, biblically authorized.”

    It is a most noteworthy–yet largely unnoted–fact that the embrace of biblical literalism by whites in the American South in the mid-19th Century sprang from the common (and expedient) belief that the Bible provided a justification for slavery, a practice which undeniably is sanctioned on many of its pages.


    The legacy of slavery continues to weigh down this part of the nation in many ways. The most obvious of those deleterious effects, racism, is in remission, insofar as it is no longer explicitly practiced by the South’s institutions and is fading on the personal level. But other toxic residues of the peculiar institution, such as stubborn and harmful resistance to change and the section’s persistent poverty, especially but not exclusively among blacks, continue to harm the region.


  • Erp

    I don’t hold with the views I describe.

    For special creation of the souls even in an evolutionary setting, see

    The Catholic position does not allow the story to be seen as pure metaphor

    Pope Pius XII stated: “When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains either that after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parents of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now, it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the teaching authority of the Church proposed with regard to original sin which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam in which through generation is passed onto all and is in everyone as his own” (Humani Generis 37).

    The story of the creation and fall of man is a true one, even if not written entirely according to modern literary techniques. The Catechism states, “The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents” (CCC 390).

    Liberal Anglican theology can go a bit further.

  • Didn’t he watch the final episode of BSG? They mated with Cylons.

  • Epistaxis

    What I find so bizarre is that the Fox News hosts kept laughing at him for not answering, or that they even let the question through in the first place. Don’t they read their memos?

  • Bacopa

    Actually, at least some scientistdid write about humans getting souls at some point in our evolutionay history, Carl Sagan in The Dragons of Eden. Of course, Sagan was being metaphorical, he did not believe that we at some point acquired magic soul-stuff. The main theme of Dragons is that moral and existential problems addressed in The Bible are better understood through biology and evolutionary history. It’s a good read, though a little dated.

    As for the fundies, they usually say incest was not wrong until God said it was wrong in the Law. Nor was there much reason for incest to be wrong as the perfect genes of Adam, Eve, and the first few generations of humans made there be no risk of birth defects. Only later generations faced this risk. Of course this does not explain why Leviticus forbids step-incest with such vigor, though it does make sense that in a polygynous society stepsibling and stepmother/stepson (no squicks,they could be the same age) could really mess with the power dynamics.

  • It’s a logistical question that I’m sure has been asked many times before, just not on Fox News. he he

    Seriously, Morris appears to know the answer from a “connect the dots” point, but refuses to answer because he’s not interested in equating religious belief with anything incestuous.

    Unless of course his “we don’t know exactly how everything is” can include the possibility that Adam and Eve conceived girls.

    The bigger question is: who was there to document Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel’s life back then? Was it the talking snake that was the narrator?

  • ayer

    Being a priest does not ensure that you are well-read in all theological/scientific issues. The question is addressed quite well here:

  • Father Morris is not up on his Genesis, since it is clearly stated that Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters. I would give the chapter and verse, but I don’t own a bible.

    According to the genealogy in The Forgotten Bible by J. R. Porter on page 20, Cain mated with “his wife,” while Seth apparently has a son (and a string of descendants including Noah) without the credited involvement of a female.

    We are left with two possibilities: There was, out of necessity, incest, or we can’t take the Bible seriously on at least this issue.

  • Jen

    My mother has told me before that incest was not considered wrong until after Noah’s time. The gist is that until we started living sinful lives, we all lived to be hundreds of years old, and could marry our siblings because there was no disease. This also somehow relates to the Bible recommending a low-fat diet. What? I have no idea.

    So… Lot and his daughters isn’t weird, for some reason.

  • Max

    OK, so this is completely inappropriate and off the point, but does anyone else think that the priest is cute?

  • jeanne

    Can the Catholic Church not just admit that the ‘Adam and Eve’ story is just a sweet mythical story about the creation of life. Perhaps if it was accepted as a metaphor for humanity, people wouldn’t think of it as such a joke. And then there wouldn’t have to be answers to stupid questions such as “Did Adam have a bellybutton”.

  • Rocket Stegosaurus Says:

    We are left with two possibilities: There was, out of necessity, incest, or we can’t take the Bible seriously on at least this issue.

    I was reading the blog of a liberal Protestant seminarian and she mentioned a passage from her Old Testament texbook — the textbook author said that the presence of a talking snake in the Genesis story should tell even the most casual observer that the story is allegorical in nature.

  • Surely this amiable looking young man in a dog collar represents a hugely credulous and semi-literate portion of the electorate. WTF does it matter if Cain and Able were dead/unable to have children, whatever? This is, IMHO the whole rotten thing about futile fundamentalist religion. A whole lot of sagas, just like the Nordic sagas, were written down by scribes for groups of wandering and illiterate shepherds. They enjoyed the stories of great and powerful leaders, adulterous women and a magic god with an implacable mien.
    The great crime committed by the people who mindlessly follow these arcane beliefs is the fact that they want to impose a moral code onto the rest of humanity based on a book which is over THREE THOUSAND years old. And despite the amazing truths being revealed by scientists, biologists, zoologists, anthropologists and every other sphere of discovery these people are dismissed as being heretics. The thuggish behaviour of people such as the pope and all his princes and cardinals, never cease to demand their followers to believe in a world which is five thousand years old. So stupid are the people who follow this and every other religion which hangs onto the past-to delay the present- they are able to look at a TV program and see a creature which could be a link between primates with tails and human beings which existed forty-seven million years ago.
    Which is the greater miracle? This creature or the clown who would deny its existence?

  • Steven Carr

    ‘the textbook author said that the presence of a talking snake in the Genesis story should tell even the most casual observer that the story is allegorical in nature.’

    so why does Luke’s Gospel have these as real ancestors of Jesus?

    I guess people of 2000 years ago had no idea about theology.

  • Perhaps Father Jonathan simply doesn’t understand how anybody has kids? As a good Catholic priest, he must be a virgin, right?

  • Phil E. Drifter

    The bible is wrong anyway because it offers TWO different stories on creation: 1 being ‘first day god created the heaven and the earth’ or whatever and ‘2nd day separated the water from land’ and ‘created the plantes,’ ‘animals,’ etc and on the 7th day he rested, THEN there’s the story about adam and eve. Right off the bast they offer two different accounts of creation; both of them can’t be right.

    I’m not gonna get any further into it because the bible is full of contradictions. People have created entire websites outlining the contradictions in it.

  • Phil E. Drifter

    And I apologize for my few typos but that’s what happens when the crummy editor can’t keep up with someone who can touch-type.

  • iztarzapaul

    Does anyone know the truth about this question ?

  • iztarzapaul

    Also, why is the question being asked from the standpoint of judging God, where the truth is exactly opposite : God is judging.

    Why ?

  • iztarzapaul

    How do I add the picture to my handle ?

  • Does Fox take these questions from members of the public? :evil grin: ’cause if they do then, you know, I can think of one or two questions that might make Father Morris look like an idiot…more of an idiot.

  • domenic cain

    your question is how did adam and eve’s kids have kids / did you miss out on the birds and bees conversation / if you mean incest its not because that law from God did not come until many generations later in leviticus / if u mean birth defects because of the gene pool that would not have happened because adam n eve were made physicaly perfect there would not have been mutations that early on

  • Chris

    Haha, why do they ask a catholic priest this? When it comes to sex, they only know how to molest kids..

    Seriously though, the whole Adam&Eve story is hogwash, utter nonsense, like Noah’s Ark. Come on… Can’t take these religious people seriously.

  • guitar Polygamist

    I responded to this on another website:

    “I haven’t even watched the video yet. Though as a Christian, I have examined some of the various explanations given about the Genesis/incest dilemma, which have varying degrees of plausibility and strength. However, one thing must be remembered. Any view of origins is problematic. But even so, none is moreso riddled with problems than the assumption of spontaneous generation of life. Scientifically, this is a “sterile” dead-end, as it has never been shown to happen observationally, even with highly manipulative efforts on the part of scientists. And even if the huge step of abiogenesis were granted, the developement of biological life through time from microscopic beginnings to a person, like yourself, who can reason and claim to know something about the origins of life, is a much more profound problem (scientifically speaking) than the question of incest in the first human beings. Yes, I’m aware that the Theory of Common Ancestry is taken as fact by many people. But on closer examination, it is usually determined as the only way it ever could have happened, based upon one’s philosophy of anti-supernaturalism, rather than empirical observation. David Berlinski is an agnostic who has written a book called “The Devil’s Delusion” where he underscores the philosophical commitment of Evolution, and the pretention that it is hard science. Most people don’t really care to consider those kinds of arguments. I have no problem with people bringing up difficulties of the Biblical account of reality. I do have a problem when people pretend that believing life arose of its own accord, and that Darwin’s soft-science is problem-free and a slam-dunk.”

    I don’t think an evolutionary account of things is necessarily out of sorts with scripture, (It certainly doesn’t do away with the need of God as an explanation- as G.K. Chesterton once noted, a slow miracle is no less a miracle than a fast one), but it does create tensions. Still, my question for those who ridicule Genesis based upon the incest question is: So the development of non-life into rational human beings is less absurd? I think its infinitely more absurd and quite beyond the scope of science up to this point. Of course there is a faith-like commitment that we will know one day. But alas, that hope isn’t science, but more like religion.

  • Genesis clearly states that Cain’s wife was not a daughter of Adam and Eve. Cain left home, and traveled to a very far away land, which the Bible cites as “the Land of Nod,” which the Bible states was located east of Eden.

    Cain was Adam’s son, but his wife was not Adam’s daughter. In fact, the Bible is abundantly clear in stating that she was not only unrelated, but that she was from a foreign land.

    Only those who are very ignorant of what the Bible actually says would ever take the position that Adam’s sons committed incest.

  • Beny

    To: Purushadasa

    You said: “Genesis clearly states that Cain’s wife was not a daughter of Adam and Eve.”

    Please cite chapter and verse…

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