In the classic Old Testament, Eve has her first child, then her second and one (Cain) kills the other (Able). Cain is cursed to wander. Cain’s first concern thereafter is that the other humans on the Earth, not children of Adam and Eve, will kill him as he wanders. The Pearl of Great Price does give us a different source for those humans. However, later, Noah’s great grandson, before the Tower of Babel, will divide the land between his brethren and the gentile peoples, according to their languages (Genesis 4:14, 10:5). Translations changes, in some editions, obscure that language. So, are we all children of Adam the same way that we are children of Abraham (i.e. mostly by adoption)?
It gets better in Genesis 6:4. Nephilim were on the earth before and after the flood. See also Numbers 13:33. Reading context, translator notes and older traditions makes the point very clearly. There appear to have been no Nephilim on the Ark. Which fits with the dividing the land with the gentiles, “everyone, after his tongue.”
Which makes for interesting implications. What other survivors were there outside the Flood? The Nephilim, the gentile nations speaking other languages, all the fish (salt and fresh water — no fish on the Ark, just FYI), there is a lot to think about there.
But better, lots to speculate about!
So, are we all children of Adam the same way that we are children of Abraham (i.e. mostly by adoption)?
Assuming that there was an Adam (whether he lived 6,000 years ago or before that) and that he has living descendants, then we are all almost certainly lineal descendants of him (same with Abraham). Only if Adam has no living descendants do we need to invoke adoption.
That does not mean that we are not also descended from contemporaries of Adam. Just that we all got the gene that makes our brain big enough to distinguish right from wrong from him (or Eve). The gene that makes me 6’6″, however, I probably got from some Nephilim.
very interesting speculation. I had heard of people surviving the flood but didn’t have any scripture references. I will look these up when I get home.
It is increasingly obvious, at least to me, that Noah’s flood was a major, yet localized phenomena. There is no evidence anywhere for a world-wide flood, except for some peoples’ interpretation of the Bible, and in fact quite A LOT of evidence against a world-wide flood. In this case, the “problem” of other people, fish, etc. simply goes away.
Stephen, good point about Cain’s first concern when doomed to wander the earth. Were there other “humans” around? There is an interesting theory about Neanderthals at the time of Cain and Abel that I think is fun to speculate about: Cain, Abel, and the Demise of the Neanderthals
Were Able and Cain the first sons?
And if we believe a literal translation, is it clear that Adam and Eve were the only mortal beings created?
I’ll second Mike S.’s comment. Recognizing that the flood and the tower are NOT close to being contemporary with each other is important to retaining shreds of historicity for both stories, and helps immensely in preserving historical elements of the Book of Mormon as well (i.e., it is much easier to interpret the Book of Ether as a written record of a much older oral tradition and thereby match the DNA evidence for the settling of America prior to 10,000 BCE).
I think Adam & Eve might be metaphorically humanity becoming aware of Good vs. Evil.
Also, the Fall could be again an allegorically told story of how we came from a premortal state to a mortal state; we were fully knowledgeable before, then innocent (a type of this is an infant) then coming to know good and evil through opposites.
Quite often these allegorical stories can explain more than one thing, when you peel the layers and look at what is being said, and what’s not.
I don’t think that Adam & Eve were two people; even with a literal reading of the Bible and PofGP, we have the problem of the other people, with whom the Earth was divided.
So then the fall should be viewed as the point in development of humanity when one of the races of homo finally developed a moral code? Now there is a controversial topic of discussion. Simply because of the number of people who would rather view themselves as a direct creation of a divine being as opposed to the directed evolution of a primate species. That sounds almost as inciting of angry comments and backlashing as Joseph F. Smith saying the world was populated from others of God’s creations. (yes it is true, in Doctrines of Salvation Vol 1, the Father-in-law of McConkie says God used some means to transport people, IE stargates, to this earth after it was created and Adam and Eve got the ball rolling). I can really see this topic getting a sizeable following and a great number of contributors. As for myself, I am divided. World Wide Flood, nope didn’t happen. Single Father and Mother to start sure. Explanation of Homo Erectus and other none Sapiens species of Homo; God throwing up smoke to test faith and resolve of educated portion of the faithful. It was all experimentation to see what form of God would be best suited for this planet. Thankfully he experimented with tropical portions of the world and not Canada or we would have all been reptilian and cold blooded to make winters more bearable.
Yeah, we end up with more than Adam & Eve & their kids any way we read the texts.