Other Myths in GenesisTwo other separate myths are present in the first 11 chapters of Genesis; these are the Myth of Cain and Abel and the Myth of the Tower of Babel. After our rather “heavy artillery” approaches against the creation account and the Noachian Flood, we will take a more simple route with these two less spectacular myths; we will simply note the inherent contradictions in the stories and show the probable origins of these stories.
The Myth of Cain and AbelThe story of Cain and Abel is told in Chapter 4 of Genesis. These two (Cain being the elder son) were the first two offsprings of Adam and Eve. The problem with the story begins after Cain slew Abel out of jealousy (Genesis 4: 3-8). Now the contradiction begins:
Now, it is obvious that Seth was the third offspring of Adam and Eve. The passage 4:25 makes that clear.
This verse clearly shows that Seth was only the third child of Adam and Eve. For Seth was born to replace Abel. So how could it be possible that Cain became afraid that whoever finds him shall kill him? Furthermore how could God have forgotten that with no one else in the world except Adam and Eve, the “mark of Cain” would be useless? A similar problem is raised for the verse below:
Now where did Cain’s wife come from? There is no mention till then that Adam and Eve had bore any other children apart from Cain and Abel. Driven to the wall, fundamentalist theologians had had to come up with quite perverse ad hoc explanations. Firstly they say, although it is not stated in Genesis at that point, Adam and Eve already had more children. Secondly, they say, Cain probably married his own sister (or niece!)-in short, driven to the wall, they suggest incest as the solution! The problems with their explanation is simple: if they can use an explanation not stated in the Bible, why limit themselves to the assumption that he married his sister-equally unsupported would be the suggestion that God made another man (or men) who also “knew” Eve and had sons and daughters, and so Cain only married his half sister. But if they object that this is adultery, what about their incestous solution?
The solution to the Cain problem is simple: it is a myth. The science of evolution (living things always evolve in a population not in pairs) tells us that there was no Adam and Eve and hence no Cain and Abel.
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First let us point out a contradiction here. Genesis 11:1 mentioned that there is only one language and a few words. Yet only one chapter earlier (10:5) the following statement is made:
Second, the story is pre-scientific in the extreme. Note that the people wanted to built a tower than actually reached “unto heaven” (Genesis 11:4). Also note that God came down to look at the tower (Genesis 11:5). It is obvious that the reason why God confounded their language and scattered them was that he was afraid these people might actually reached heaven! As William Harwood notes:
The story probably originated from the experience of the original Hebrews upon seeing the mighty buildings in the cities of Babylon:
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