Scala Naturae of the Bible, Charles Darwin and Ancient Greek Philosophy

Genesis speaks of "sunlight" before herbs. But this was NOT an "Egyptian myth". Light is described as being created twice _before_ vegetation and _after_ vegetation.
The Hellenistic Jews and societies around them WORSHIPED agriculture so they wouldn't be so ignorant as to underestimate the value of light, would they? They were more knowledgeable about agriculture than any 10 young earth creation organizations combined and tripled, with their flawed attempts to interpret Genesis.
The whole ancient near east, worshiped cultivation and success of crops (yes, even the Hebrews with upholding the "Olive" as sacred).
Egyptians didn't separate science and religion -- everything, in their daily life was of the divine, and explained by the "gods" and to be revered. The Greeks on the other hand were the first who attempted to make distinctions between material reality (naturalism) and the supernatural.
The Hellenistic Jewish author of Genesis was far more pragmatic than the Egyptians and would not have been so "stupid"... so agriculturally illiterate, and fail to recognize the importance of light's effect on crops.

Two sources of light, in Genesis.

The ancient people believed "light" was sent by Apollo. Light was a separate entity from the sun itself. Though, yes, the sun gives light, but also, a fire gives light, even mushrooms can emit light... volcanoes emit light, fireflies give light. Therefore, light is a separate entity from the sun.

Helios, was the minor god who drove the fiery chariot across the sky (the sun), which all should be familiar with, the term, "Heliocentrism" [the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun at the center of the Solar System. The word comes from the Greek (ἥλιος helios "sun" and κέντρον kentron "center")].

Source: Ancient Greece and Rome: Myths and Beliefs
By Tony Allan, Sara Maitland
The Rosen Publishing Group

The reason theologians (and scholarly types) always... ALWAYS want to cling to the blanket argument, "Genesis was an Egyptian myth" hypothesis analysis, is simple:

1) Moses, it was written, was described as coming from Egypt,
2) therefore, Moses "wrote" Egyptian myths.


The stories of Moses were passed down through oral tradition... and come after,
The Genesis account which wasn't written down or compiled into the "Book of Genesis" (using a GREEK... and Latinized title. Moses did not write Latin or Greek) therefore, not written until around the time of the Hellenistic Jews (300-600 BC)... no archaeological evidence exists of biblical Hebrew beyond tiny fragments such as a burnt bit from... Leviticus, (but not Genesis... where are the Genesis accounts older than 600 BC from archaeology?).

This article mentions the other Hebrew books "Of Moses" being attributed to "Moses," all of them, EXCEPT the book of Genesis (which are divided differently in the Hebrew vs. the English bibles).
Jewish editors under influence of Hellenism, compiled the book called "Genesis".

The Greeks were quite obsessive and intentional in their aims to spread Greek culture far and wide, and "convert" the Jews to Hellenism, and its not that this isn't known. The book of Genesis contains "Naturalistic" (Thales/Anaximander's concepts of origins such as "Let the waters bring forth the moving creature") notably, "God" doesn't hand-design life, he merely commands for the waters and earth to "bring forth" life, in successive stages, "...the Bible-based concept of the so-called "ladder of life" or Scala Naturae..." (From the scala naturae to the symbiogenetic and dynamic tree of life.)

Ancient Greek early pre-scientific philosophies are strewn among other, more common understandings of the natural world, which were often explained in terms of the supernatural, i.e., "Light" in itself is separate from the sun, a separate entity altogether. Technically, if you light a match at midnight, you will see evidence for "Apollo's Light".

THE OLDEST BIBLICAL TEXT (And its not Genesis)
"...Biblical text older than the Dead Sea Scrolls has been discovered only in two silver scroll-shaped amulets containing portions of the Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers, excavated in Jerusalem at Ketef Hinnom and dated c. 600 BCE. A burnt piece of Leviticus dating from the 6th century CE analyzed in 2015 was found to be the fourth-oldest piece of the Torah known to exist."
The Dead Sea Scrolls, Wikipedia


"...The great chain of being (Latin: scala naturae, literally "ladder/stair-way of nature") is a concept derived from Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, and Proclus. Further developed during the Middle Ages, it reached full expression in early modern Neoplatonism..."
The Great Chain of Being, Wikipedia

It's not as if scientists and presumed theologians didn't know this already, but some theologian, --a clown with a degree, thinks "Moses was Egyptian. Therefore, the Bible is Egyptian myths".
What an absolute stroke of *genius* that rationale required. (yes, sarcasm strongly denoted).

From the scala naturae to the symbiogenetic and dynamic tree of life.
"...All living beings on Earth, from bacteria to humans, are connected through descent from common ancestors and represent the summation of their corresponding, ca. 3500 million year long evolutionary history. However, the evolution of phenotypic features is not predictable, and biologists no longer use terms such as "primitive" or "perfect organisms". Despite these insights, the Bible-based concept of the so-called "ladder of life" or Scala Naturae, i.e., the idea that all living beings can be viewed as representing various degrees of "perfection", with humans at the very top of this biological hierarchy, was popular among naturalists until ca. 1850 (Charles Bonnet, Jean Lamarck and others). Charles Darwin is usually credited with the establishment of a branched evolutionary "Tree of Life". This insight of 1859 was based on his now firmly corroborated proposals of common ancestry and natural selection. In this article I argue that Darwin was still influenced by "ladder thinking", a theological view that prevailed throughout the 19th century and is also part of Ernst Haeckel's famous Oak tree (of Life) of 1866, which is, like Darwin's scheme, static."

Scala naturae, The Biblical Creation account vs. the contemporary "Creationist" understanding due to misinterpretation of Creation (which is still quite different from the ancient author of Genesis' vision)... and Charles Darwin.

The Evolution of Psychological Theory
Richard Lowry, Transaction Publishers, 1982

Don't the pseudo-Darwinists (Atheists) make the claim it was "Christianity" who was the enemy to scientific progress? According to this document, it was the Greek prevailing philosophy of "Essentialism".

Plato (427 – 347 B.C.E.)
Plato believed that the world is a mirage, that the only things that really exist are immutable Forms or Ideas, and that objects in the real world are just evanescent shadows of these Forms.
In Book 7 of The Republic Plato explains this concept using the allegory of a cave with prisoners watching shadows on a wall producing by firelight shining over the real objects.

Essentialism, based on Plato’s concept of Forms, dominated Western thought for over 2000 years and impeded progress in biology. There was an ideal form of each animal and plant; individuals varied a little from the ideal form because they were imperfect copies, but the ideal form was “divine, deathless, intelligible, uniform, indissoluble, always the same as itself.” (Plato’s Phaedo)
This concept was antithetical to the concept of evolution.

Aristotle and the Scala Naturae
Aristotle (384 – 322 B.C.E.) did believe in reality, and developed a “natural philosophy” that included many of today’s sciences, particularly physics and biology.
He visualized nature as a ladder (the scala naturae) with earth at the bottom, then plants, then animals, then humans. Plato and Aristotle in Raphael’s The School of Athens

Scala Naturae
The Great Chain of Being
Christianity added angels and God to the ladder, the “great chain of being,” with earth and minerals at the bottom, then plants, animals, humans, angels, and God in progressively higher levels.
Some levels were subdivided into higher and lower animals, higher and lower humans (peasants, aristocrats, kings), and so forth."

Source: Biologists before Darwin - Iowa State University

More on "Design" in Nature. In spite of the fact pseudo-Darwinists fail to realize, Greek thought which gave rise to the precious science of evolution, was also akin to myths of ancient Greece and appear in the Genesis account of creation... likewise, they would like to ignore "historical documents"... so that the world is turned to the worship of the precious "Atheism". Teach Atheism in math, replace Science with Atheism, substitute Atheism for Social Studies, and Atheism is to thank for everything under the sun, including ... the science of "Biological Evolution"?


Just because some young earth creation come-lately groups misinterpreted the Genesis account (which is written in an agricultural setting in the ancient near east) -- and the young earth creationist can't possibly interpret, or much less, speak the truth -- does not mean Genesis is the "enemy of Science," nor does it mean, Genesis should be placed in the trash can and discarded as "mere Egyptian mythology."

Finding Design in Nature (CHRISTOPH SCHÖNBORN, 7/07/05, NY Times)
EVER since 1996, when Pope John Paul II said that evolution (a term he did not define) was "more than just a hypothesis," defenders of neo-Darwinian dogma have often invoked the supposed acceptance - or at least acquiescence - of the Roman Catholic Church when they defend their theory as somehow compatible with Christian faith.
But this is not true.

Somebody out there must enjoy prolonging the supposed "battle between Science and Religion."
Somebody out there wants to claim a monopoly on Science to promote Atheism.

"The Catholic Church, while leaving to science many details about the history of life on earth, proclaims that by the light of reason the human intellect can readily and clearly discern purpose and design in the natural world, including the world of living things.
Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science. [...]
In the homily at his installation just a few weeks ago, Benedict proclaimed: "We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."
Throughout history the church has defended the truths of faith given by Jesus Christ. But in the modern era, the Catholic Church is in the odd position of standing in firm defense of reason as well. In the 19th century, the First Vatican Council taught a world newly enthralled by the "death of God" that by the use of reason alone mankind could come to know the reality of the Uncaused Cause, the First Mover, the God of the philosophers.
Now at the beginning of the 21st century, faced with scientific claims like neo-Darwinism and the multiverse hypothesis in cosmology invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science, the Catholic Church will again defend human reason by proclaiming that the immanent design evident in nature is real. Scientific theories that try to explain away the appearance of design as the result of "chance and necessity" are not scientific at all, but, as John Paul put it, an abdication of human intelligence."
"...Please note that the now common phrase “the Great Chain of Being” (made even more popular and ubiquitous in no small part thanks to Arthur Lovejoy’s seminal work on the history of the idea) was “largely an invention of eighteenth century writers” (Bucholz 393).

A WORTHWHILE CRITICISM from Harvard University
Shakespeare Grounded: Ecocritical Approaches to Shakespearean Drama:

Speciesism and Hierarchy
In recent years, a number of literary scholars have argued that Shakespeare’s depictions of animal behavior reveal humanism’s rediscovery of classical skepticism towards human exceptionalism (e.g., Montaigne’s writings) – a skepticism that would be severely undermined in short order by Descartes’ work.(8)
Though animals may present the most obvious objects of inquiry when considering Shakespeare’s debt to classical and humanist skepticism, similar but broader observations have been made concerning the philosophical outlooks depicted in Shakespearean drama. For instance, in discussing Hamlet’s metaphysical preoccupations, one critic writes that Shakespeare dramatizes the “philosophical disquietudes taken up by Descartes, but ultimately he will remain closer to the secular skepticism of Michel de Montaigne than to the essentialist individualism of Descartes” (Drew 51).

(*8) See Erica Fudge’s Brutal Reasoning: Animals, Rationality, and Humanity in Early Modern England, Bruce Boehrer’s Shakespeare among the Animals: Nature and Society in the Drama of Early Modern England, Andreas Höfele’s Stage, Stake, and Scaffold: Humans and Animals in Shakespeare’s Theatre, Keith Thomas’s Man and the Natural World: Changing Attitudes in England, and Laurie Shannon’s The Accommodated Animal: Cosmopolity in Shakespearean Locales.

It is no overstatement to say that many of the findings described in the previous section represent the polar opposite of Descartes’ belief that animals are “so devoid of feelings that one could vivisect them without compunction, taking their cries as purely ‘reflex’ reactions of a quasi-mechanical kind” (Sacks).
But though most individuals living in the twenty-first century would likely cringe at some of the experiments Descartes conducted in the seventeenth century, the conclusions he reached were far-reaching, with echoes from this line of thinking reverberating well into the modern era.
Descartes’ emphasis on stimulus-response reflexes and bodies as machines can be seen, for example, in the radical behaviorism of the twentieth century – a framework that denied “reality to what was not objectively demonstrable” and denied in particular the “inner processes between stimulus and response, deeming these as irrelevant...or beyond the reach of scientific study” (Sacks). But if scientific advances throughout history have taught us nothing else, it is that we are consistently wrong in our assumptions and that we should not be arrogant in assuming we have mastered (or have mastery over) the complexity of life forms.
When Jeremy Bentham claimed that the relevant question about animals was simply whether or not they can suffer, he touched upon a fundamental truth concerning the shared nature of primitive and advanced animals. As Romanes observed in the late nineteenth century, “wherever [nerve tissue] does occur its fundamental structure is very much the same, so that whether we meet with nerve tissue in a jellyfish, an oyster, an insect, a bird, or a man, we have no difficulty in recognizing its structural units as everywhere more or less similar” (Romanes 24).
Granted, Bentham and Romanes are exclusively discussing the animal kingdom and I confess there is no easy way to transition to plants. As I have indicated, we can plausibly say that plants may indeed suffer, but that observation alone is more likely to create rather than resolve any ethical dilemmas. Does that then mean it is no longer moral to own furniture made of wood? Or does this simply mean that we as a species need to be more vigilant about resource management, and recognize that if we do destroy plant life (e.g., clearing forests), we have an obligation to replant and ensure that vegetation continues to thrive? There are no easy answers given that our mere existence accompanies the death of both plants and animals. Yet this does not mean we should resign ourselves to destruction and refuse to contemplate such questions, or search for ways to minimize our impacts on all living beings."

a) The Great Chain of Being
What I do believe provides a useful transition in terms of making the leap from animal to plant is the very concept of “lower life forms.” When it comes to the food chain or any taxonomic scheme, certain organisms are invariably grouped together. Simply put, we are not going to regard a dolphin the same way we view a centipede scurrying on the ground. In Western philosophy, the notion of a universal scala naturae (chain or ladder of being) that ranked existences from the divine to the mundane held tremendous sway. (9)
Rocks were at the bottom, then plants, then animals (and so on), but divisions and hierarchies existed within each category (Bucholz 23). For instance, although insects were at the bottom of the animals, useful and attractive insects such as bees and ladybugs were at the top of the insect heap (Medieval Natural World 23). As for plants – firmly positioned underneath the animals – the hierarchy went from tallest (trees) to shortest (Bucholz 24).
Even stones had to be ordered with precious jewels like diamonds at one end and drab sediment like granite at the other (Bucholz 24).

(*9) Please note that the now common phrase “the Great Chain of Being” (made even more popular and ubiquitous in no small part thanks to Arthur Lovejoy’s seminal work on the history of the idea) was “largely an invention of eighteenth century writers” (Bucholz 393).)

I shall discuss the propensity for creating subdivisions in greater detail in chapters two and four, but I want to lay some of the groundwork here for the discussions that follow. While the idea of weighing the relative merits between a beetle and a grasshopper for the sake of ordering them might seem comical, this is how human culture has long operated. The elements that contributed to a sweeping conception of ranking organisms can be traced to ancient Greek philosophy and to Aristotle in particular who “conceived that zoological forms could be arranged on a hierarchical scale, reflecting degrees of perfection” (Bynum 4). (10)

Aristotle regarded plants as “defective animals” and, indeed,since antiquity “plants have mostly been considered in terms of lack or privation: they lack eyes, reason, speech, history, desires, etc.” (Pettman).
But even when plants are used in positive sense, the results are frequently metaphors that a) pertain to human behavior and b) get the nature of plants all wrong. Consider what Plato – Aristotle’s teacher – says in his Timaeus: “We are a plant not of an earthly but of a heavenly growth...for the divine power suspend[s] the head and root of us from that place where the generation of the soul first began” (Jowett 777).
In other words, Plato is encouraging his readers to visualize humans as creatures with “aerial roots extending into the sky” (Pettman). Marder persuasively argues that Western metaphysics commences “with the inversion of the earthly perspective of the plant, a deracination of human beings from their material foundations” (Vegetal 471). For Plato, Aristotle, and many who followed, it mattered not that dirt is a nourishing substance; the idea that the further our distance from the ground, the better, became firmly entrenched.
Although we typically associate the Great Chain of Being with Christian theology and European medieval and Renaissance society, its influence on later scientific endeavors is a

(*10) The scala naturae derives in large part from Aristotle’s History of Animals where he is concerned with studying creatures, classification, and hierarchical orderings.)

testament to the scheme’s staying power in the collective consciousness. In Elements of Geology (1851), Charles Lyell uses the scala naturae as a “metaphor to describe elements absent from the layers of a geological column, and in the process unwittingly initiates the mythic evolutionary quest for the ‘missing link’” (Lightman 2).
From a broader perspective (i.e., the concern with ordering life), biologists are still working on classifying animals, with some arguing for x kingdom and others claiming x should not be treated as such (and some preferring to abandon the “kingdom” label altogether). Granted, scientists today are not couching these sorts of discussions in terms of simplistic “better than or worse than” rhetoric; taxonomy, of course, concerns shared characteristics and evolutionary relationships.

b) Speciesism’s link to the scala naturae
But while the idea of rankings organisms no longer seems like an overt or salient feature of modern society, the consequences of a hierarchical worldview persist in subtle ways, namely the promotion and propagation of speciesism – i.e., the assumption of mankind’s superiority coupled with discrimination against other organisms based purely on the fact that they do not belong to one’s own species. Building upon Bentham’s arguments in favor of the equal consideration of interests, Peter Singer did much to popularize the concept of speciesism in Animal Liberation (1975). (11)
Revisiting the subject in his next book, Practical Ethics (and again in subsequent editions of Animal Liberation), he writes: “Racists violate the principle of equality by giving greater weight to the interests of members of their own race when there is a clash between their interests and the interests of those of another race. Sexists violate the principle of equality by favouring the interests of their own sex. Similarly, speciesists allow the interests of

(*11) The term was coined a few years earlier by Richard Ryder, a member of the Oxford Group, which consisted of intellectuals interested in the emerging concept of animal rights. In Animal Liberation, see in particular chapters five and six: “Man’s Dominion: A Short History of Speciesism” and “Speciesism Today.”)

their own species to override the greater interests of members of other species. The pattern is identical in each case” (Practical Ethics 58; Animal Liberation 9). More recently, Marc Bekoff has done an admirable job highlighting the link between speciesism and the scala naturae:

“Speciesism results in animals being classified hierarchically as ‘lower’ and ‘higher’, with humans on the top rung of the ladder. This anthropocentric view...leads humans to ignore the welfare of animals” (Bekoff 26).
Terry Tempest Williams put the matter perhaps most eloquently:
“To regard any animal as something lesser than we are, not equal to our own vitality and adaptation as a species, is to begin a deadly descent into the dark abyss of arrogance where cruelty is nurtured in the corners of certitude. Daily acts of destruction and brutality are committed because we fail to see the dignity of [the] Other”
(Williams 127). Singer (philosopher), Bekoff (evolutionary biologist), and Williams (writer/conservationist) are not merely dealing with abstract ideas, but rather are trying to explain the largely hidden (but fundamental) motivation behind the harms that humanity inflicts upon other creatures. For instance, in detailing a fraction of the horrors that animals in factory farms and laboratories endure, Matthew Scully astutely observes that
“it is as if every animal, in our day, is falling a level in the order of creation – wildlife to the level of farm animals to be raised for slaughter, farm animals to the level of plants to be ‘grown’, and laboratory animals to the level of microbes or cell cultures one need not even treat as living, feeling beings at all” (Scully 381).
The problem with hierarchies is that they foster the assumption that these structures are correct and unchanging – as if they were part of some natural law handed down from above. The reality is that we can (knowingly or unknowingly) shift the pieces around and that we devalue the beings we have placed on (or relegated to, rather) certain rungs."
Shakespeare Grounded: Ecocritical Approaches to Shakespearean Drama,

"Scala Naturae" influencing Scientific Thinking... just as it influenced the opening of Genesis, in the Creation account... and that, in regard to the so-called battle between Science and Religion, is truly the epitome of dark irony.

"...Over the decades, this procedure produced the worldwide “geological column,” an imaginary pile of strata that covers the span from the oldest discovered sedimentary rocks to those formed most recently.

The height of this column—that is, the thickness of all known strata added together—is estimated to be about 60 miles (over 100 kilometers). This does not mean that one can start digging at any place on the Earth and go through 60 miles of strata. This impressive height is based on adding up all the different strata in the various places where they occur. How long did it take for all these strata to form? No one in the early nineteenth century knew, but geologists realized that it must have been a very long time, because silt washes into inland seas very slowly.

Continued studies established that each major group of strata contains its own unique kinds of organisms. The famous French naturalist Georges Cuvier (1769–1832) interpreted these data as evidence that at various times in the past drastic catastrophes had destroyed all life, and subsequently there had been new creations of quite different species. While Cuvier’s theory, called catastrophism, held on to the idea of a divine creator for every single species, it significantly modified the creation process outlined in Genesis. Instead of taking just one week, creation in Cuvier’s theory stretched throughout the entire history of life. And instead of recognizing just one great catastrophic flood, Cuvier suggested that life-destroying catastrophes had occurred over and over again.

An alternative explanation to catastrophism was evolution—the gradual change of species into other species over time. Darwin was not the first person to think of evolution; the concept had been around for centuries. Even the classical Greeks had speculated along these lines but then abandoned the idea when no data could be offered in support. The new observations and speculations of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, however, slowly laid the path toward a workable evolutionary theory.

One concept that helped pave the way was the scala naturae, or scale of nature—the suggestion that all animals could be arranged in a linear series based on increasing complexity, with no appreciable gaps in the series—from amoeba to humans. Where gaps seemed to exist, there were presumably intermediate forms yet to be discovered. Thus the great apes seemed to link human beings with other mammals, seals and whales linked fishes with land-living vertebrates, and bats were considered intermediate between birds and mammals. The roots of this concept could be traced back through medieval times to the Greeks, and it was still widely accepted in Darwin’s day.

A further observation that prepared the way for evolution was that species of animals and plants are not randomly different from one another but seem to fall into naturally hierarchical groups. Similar individuals can be classified as the same species, similar species can be included in the same genus, similar genera in the same family, similar families in the same order, similar orders in the same class, similar classes in the same phylum, and similar phyla in the same kingdom.

The first systematic attempt to classify living nature in this manner was made by the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus in the eighteenth century. In time, both the scale of nature and hierarchical classification were understood in terms of evolution—similar groups, such as species within a genus, are alike because they descended from a common ancestor. At the next level in the hierarchy, all the species of a genus of birds and indeed all species of birds, are descended from a very ancient common ancestor.

The person who first tried to bring ideas about evolution together into a coherent theory was the Frenchman Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829), who in his Philosophie zoologique (1809) maintained that one species evolves into another species in order to better adapt to its environment. Observing fossils in France, Lamarck noted that one geological stratum might have an abundance of one species of mollusk with little variation. The next higher stratum might contain species that were similar, but none would be exactly like those in the lower stratum. As he studied progressively higher strata, Lamarck observed that species became steadily different over time, stratum by stratum. Since fossils in a lower stratum were known to be geologically older than those in a higher stratum, it stood to reason that though a fossil in a higher stratum could not be the ancestor of one in a lower stratum—descendants cannot live before ancestors—a species in the lower stratum just might be the ancestor of a species higher up in the column. Lamarck concluded that what he was seeing in the fossils of progressively higher strata was change in a lineage over time. This hypothesis was markedly different from Cuvier’s view that as the species in one stratum became extinct, closely similar ones were created anew and preserved in the next higher stratum.

Lamarck postulated a changing environment as the mechanism for the evolutionary change he observed. Species evolved in order to adapt, he believed. His classic example was the giraffe’s remarkably long neck. The ancestors of today’s giraffes, he said, had short necks and grazed on grasses and low shrubs, as do most other herbivorous mammals. Lamarck suggested that some ancestors of modern giraffes attempted to exploit a new and abundant food source—the higher leaves of trees. To reach the leaves they had to stretch their necks, which gradually lengthened with so much stretching. Lamarck thought that traits that came about through repeated use could be passed along to offspring. Thus giraffes would inherit the long necks of their parents and then stretch their own necks even further; over many generations, giraffe necks would become longer and longer until they reached the length of giraffe necks we see today. Conversely, characteristics that were not used would eventually wither away, as happened to eyesight in moles and bats.

This hypothesis of evolutionary change through “the inheritance of acquired characters” (meaning “characteristics”) was not widely accepted in the early nineteenth century, since it was contrary to the ([my note: common interpretations OR SHOULD I SAY _MISINTERPRETATIONS_ of the]) Bible and was based on too much speculation and too few data. Other people besides Lamarck, including Charles Darwin’s own grandfather Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802) had suggested that evolution might occur, but no one had yet argued the case well enough to convince the scientific community. Thus, in the first half of the nineteenth century the dominant scientific position was that species are “fixed,” that is, they do not evolve. Although questions about the accuracy of the Genesis account of creation were being asked by scientists as well as biblical scholars, and alternative scientific as well as theological interpretations were being offered, in Charles Darwin’s day none of these theories was taken seriously enough to undermine the traditional Judeo-Christian teaching. Evolution was out of favor; divine creation was still in vogue."

"From Genesis to Genetics
The Case of Evolution and Creationism
John A. Moore

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Herbs, Fruit-Bearing Trees and Grass Before Sunlight in Genesis, the Hellenistic Jews and Ancient Greece


Here's the likely explanation, between Genesis and Ancient Greek Philosophy, which explains why the author believes "herbs" came before sunlight. LIGHT A MATCH... OR FLICK A BIC LIGHTER and when you see the flame, you will know that the light exists independent from the sun.

"...However, in spite of their syncretism (the amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought/the merging of different inflectional varieties of a word during the development of a language) they were also often viewed as two distinct gods/titan (Helios was a Titan, whereas Apollo was an Olympian)."

1) APOLLO (the god of "Light")

Genesis 1:3 "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."
Genesis 1:4 "God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness."
Genesis 1:5 "God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day."

It remains impossible for me to believe or accept ancient agricultural societies in the near east, who worshiped agriculture would not know that "light" is a requirement for crops to grow. Unless... the purpose of the sun was believed to be something other than the "sole source" of light for photosynthesis. This light was the same "light" that would have had to had been believed to give life to fruit bearing trees, grass, and herbs). Therefore, the author may claim, "fruit trees" came before the sun.

* Apollo is the god of light, music, poetry, healing and divination (prophecy).
* Helios is the god who drives the "fiery chariot" across the sky.

2) HELIOS (the god who drove the 'Sun' chariot)

Genesis 1:14 "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Genesis 1:15 "And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so."
Genesis 1:16 "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also."
Genesis 1:17 "And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,"
Genesis 1:18 "And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good."


"...Helios was described as a handsome titan crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. In the Homeric hymn to Helios, Helios is said to drive a golden chariot drawn by steeds (HH 31.14–15); and Pindar speaks of Helios's "fire-darting steeds" (Olympian Ode 7.71). Still later, the horses were given fiery names: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon.
As time passed, Helios was increasingly identified with the god of light, Apollo. However, in spite of their syncretism, they were also often viewed as two distinct gods/titan (Helios was a Titan, whereas Apollo was an Olympian). The equivalent of Helios in Roman mythology was Sol, specifically Sol Invictus."
Helios, Wikipedia

To the ancient mind light was somehow independent of the sun.

TWO separate sources of Light.

"...Apollo was never actually described by the Greek poets driving the chariot of the sun, although it was common practice among Latin poets. Therefore, Helios is still known as the 'sun god' – the one who drives the sun chariot across the sky each day."

Apollo's light is separate from the Fiery "Chariot" which Helios drove across the sky.

Apollo gave the light when the "sun chariot" emerged on the horizon, just as Apollo was the god behind light of the candle in the dark of night.

The ancient Hellenistic Jews, therefore did not err in saying "Light" came before the herbs, fruit-bearing trees and grass.

Source: Ancient Greece and Rome: Myths and Beliefs
By Tony Allan, Sara Maitland
The Rosen Publishing Group, 2011 - Juvenile Nonfiction

"The synthesis of two myths lead to some confusion. [...] This stands as an example of how the Greeks, in particular, could happily accept contradictions within their mythology."

And that's precisely why "God creates Light" (Genesis 1:3-5), then God commands the earth to bring forth herbs, grasses and fruit bearing trees, (Genesis 1:11-13) THEN... creates the sun, Genesis 1:14-18.

I KNEW the Hellenistic Jewish author of Genesis wasn't so agriculturally illiterate, to not know crops can not grow without light!

It's all Greek to you,

"...Newton chose the number seven as this reflected the Ancient Greek belief that seven is a mystical number, due to the fact that there are seven 'wandering stars' and seven days in a week, a quarter of the time between two full Moons."
Newton's theory of Light

The False Doctrines of Inerrancy and Infallibility (Part One)
CRIME AND MOTIVE. Extensive evidence for unsound doctrine espoused among Church leaders, weighed against a strange and "mysterious verse" which scholars suspect to be forgery... but, attributed to Paul, who is innocent of the charge!

The False Doctrines of Inerrancy and Infallibility (Part Two)
The evidence continues. Moses did not write the opening of Genesis.

"Herbs" and *other vegetation before Sunlight

(* "Plants of the field" and "Plants of the field before it," are not described in Genesis 1:11-12)

"...Having seen the illustrious history of herbs, and knowing their potential for healing to humans and generally improving the quality of life, it is a wonder that they are not promoted more into modern life. This is of course, in part due to the rise of international pharmaceutical companies. The gradual proliferation of readily available medication over the counter has led to a decline in the knowledge of the plants that surround us."
Herb-Lore (Herbalism),

Consider the verses,

Genesis 1:11 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth”; and it was so.
Genesis 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind; and God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Herbs... include mushrooms.. and other forms of fungi. The ancient Greeks observed these organisms, that seemingly appeared "overnight". Does it help account for the strange order given in Genesis, with "herbs" appearing before sunlight?

To understand the full meaning of the author of Genesis, one must travel back to the time of the Hellenistic Jews, who were part of an Agricultural Society and under the heavy influence of Ancient Greek philosophy.


What were the Greeks thinking?

The Non-Photosynthetic Properties of Mushrooms

Agaricus in the world of mushrooms
"...Today, there are more than 100,000 types of mushrooms in the world. They differ in appearance, habitat and physiological functions.
To this most interesting group belong the little known microscopic mushrooms and the common forest mushrooms – which are the target of a «quiet hunt». They are all alike in their structural features, which are characteristic to almost all types. Mushrooms don’t contain chlorophyll, hence they are unable synthesize organic substances from the inorganic matter on their own; therefore they need a ready organic substance for their nutrition (it’s called heterotrophic). The basis of a mushroom’s vegetative body is mycelium or spawn which is composed of branching fibers – the hyphae. The mycelium is on the surface of the substrate, where the mushroom develops, or inside it. The mycelium absorbs nutrients from the substrate in an osmotic way. When the conditions are favorable, fruit bodies form on the mycelium, and the mushrooms propagate with spores.
People’s aspiration for learning about these wonderful organisms has led to the formation of a whole new science – mycology. --> Mycology is a science that studies mushrooms, it got its name from a Greek word «mycos» - that’s how ancient Greeks called agaricus. Agaricus and some other mushrooms were mentioned in the transactions of Theophrastus who lived in the 3rd century B.C. <--
According to the systematization of all known mushrooms – agaricus belongs to Basidiomycetes species, the higher fungi with multi-cellular mycelium. The spores of these mushrooms form on particular offshoots called basidium."

Fungal Biotechnology in Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Applications
edited by Dilip K. Arora

Vegetable Production
Ib Libner Nonnecke
Springer Science & Business Media, 1989

Some mushrooms (fungi) can have underground systems which span up to 2 miles. ("More precisely, a specific honey fungus measuring 2.4 miles (3.8 km) across in the Blue Mountains in Oregon is thought to be the largest living organism on Earth.")

Theophrastus (the father of botany) knew mushrooms, grew underground (in darkness), and the only reference he makes to the sun, is "...mushrooms grow by the sea which are turned into stone by the action of the sun."

"And Theophrastus, in the History of Plants, writes: "Such plants grow in some cases underground, in other cases on the ground; among the latter are what some call peziae ('puff-balls'), which occur among mushrooms. For they also, as it happens, have no roots; but the mushroom has a lengthy stalk like an adherescent growth, and roots extend from it." He also says that in the region of the sea round the Pillars of Heracles, whenever it rains copiously, mushrooms grow by the sea which are turned into stone by the action of the sun. And Phaenias, also, in Book I of his Plants, says: "Other plants, again, produce not even so much as a blossom, nor is there any trace of a club-like bud containing a seed, or any seed process whatever; such are the mushroom, truffle, fern and helix-ivy." The same author speaks of "the fern, which some call blachnum." Theophrastus in the Plants, again: "Smooth-skinned flora, like the truffle, mushroom, puff-ball, and crane-truffle."

Truffles. — These also grow spontaneously in the ground, chiefly in sandy places. And Theophrastus says of them: "The truffle (which some call crane-truffle) and any other underground plant." And again: "This is also the mode of growth and the physical habit of these underground plants, such as the truffle, and the fungus which grows in Cyrene and is called misy. This is regarded as very good, and it has the odour of meat, like the oiton which grows in Thrace.
Concerning these a singular fact is mentioned; it is said, namely, that they grow when the autumn rains come with severe thunderstorms; the more thundering there is, the more they grow, the presumption being that this is the more important cause. They are not perennial, but come up every year, and the proper time to use them is in the spring, when they are at their height. Nevertheless some suppose that they have a seed origin. For on the coast of Mitylene, they say, truffles do not grow until a heavy rain comes and the seed is washed down from Tiarae. Now this is a place in which they grow plentifully. And they are more apt to occur on the seashore and wherever the ground is sandy, as it is in Tiarae. They also grow in the Abarnis district near Lampsacus, in Alopeconnesus, and in Elis."
The Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus, published in Vol. I of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1927,

Many years ago I prayed for God to reveal "the truth" (not the establishment's pseudo-version of truth) but God's truth about Genesis, how things came to be, --the truth of Truths. I really was still quite fresh out of fundamentalism, and through a series of coincidences and circumstances... I became acquainted with Agnostic Darwinists, avidly reading biology, geology, astronomy, theology and mythology, history-ology articles... and slowly... gaining knowledge...
During that time, I know I was getting close to Agnosticism, if not an Agnostic. However the good Lord pulled me back to faith.
So, today I spend my days wrestling with all the ideas/concepts I learned back then.

I could not ever bring myself to dismiss the book of Genesis as "mere mythology". There were some things in Genesis such as the sun not being described as a "god" ... but rather as a physical, material "source of light" (nothing divine about it). My reasoning facilities told me, "This is not Egyptian mythology," -- but if not Babylonian or Egyptian, then from where did "Moses" get his theory about the origins of the Cosmos and Earth?

The more I read to find that answer (for the good part of 16 years now) the more I began realizing, it aligns with Greece, in both philosophy and timeline.

I TRULY believe that if you want God to reveal any_thing to you, it is as easy as Jesus taught, "Ask and ye shall receive, Knock and the door will be opened to you." Jesus did not teach to trust or have faith in establishment religion to teach, the same evil clowns who murdered Jesus because he was speaking truth, and opposed their false teachings. Jesus was preaching about going through him, (his teachings of faith and reconciliation), to acquire audience with GOD, as personal teacher.

Many many times, I have read scriptures, and prayed to God for answers, to explain verses in scripture. I do not trust establishment theologians (unless their generalized teachings correlate with numerous other sources PLUS the written scripture). Truth becomes self-evident and speaks for itself... you know in your own good brain, whether its the truth or not when you see it. It is "you and God," just as its "me and God"... and I can't depend on "Tom, Sally and Sue" to guarantee my spiritual guidance (Salvation). There is only myself and God, and I am nothing without a little help from that supreme being who is the inspiration and source of the spirit of truth and guides the seeker of truth, in all truth.

So, I recall one instance, where I was trying to reconcile Science(Evolution) with Genesis... "trees before sunlight"... as the basis for the Church rejecting Evolution as legitimate, and saying that it contradicts scripture, specifically "fruit trees before sunlight" .
I prayed long and hard about that question, how could such a riddle be solved?! FRUIT TREES, before sunlight.
I BELIEVED in God (faith) that an answer could be provided to solve that puzzle, but by God, alone, because most certainly, "trees" in the modern sense depend on Photosynthesis.
Well, yes, -- it can be --technically and quite emphatically too.
I will attach the evidence.
Sure, God would have known about "fruit bearing" Prototaxites. God can likewise bring a person to such knowledge, for sake of (if nothing else) proving God has the power to do so. Further, every reason to demonstrate why theologians are not fit to speak on matters of Science, any more than they're fit to teach the scriptures. Only God has the power, the knowledge, the wisdom to teach every person the scripture, if they seek truth that is.

In the end, (long story that perhaps goes too in-depth for this post), I'm no longer so sure Genesis was ever meant for "literal interpretation," with all the false doctrine of "inerrancy" and "infallibility"?
God exists without doubt (if people have seen personal prayer answered and personal evidence, its about faith).
So we will find personal evidence for the Supreme Being, BEYOND that book, the Bible. Jesus taught it was about exercising faith, not evidence. God is "the Living God"... Bible or not, God exists and God existed long before man came into existence. God did not come into being with the advent of the Bible.

[The Bible is a collection of books, written by men, about God. That's a fact, not a detraction from God's inspiration in many of the scriptures which speak of God (I quote from two commentaries below about how Paul's words were mistranslated ... God is omnipotent, omniscient... and if we turn to him, God is there and present and personal to TEACH every person. It is promised, "They shall be taught of/by God". Well then? Yet, men wrote the Bible... and men are not wholly good nor are they perfect. Only God is good and perfect. God did not write the Bible.]

"Every Scripture, (inspired of God), is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction, which is in righteousness." Every writing, inspired of God, is profitable reading.
*But the book of Enoch proves not "all scripture" is inspired... and that includes those more than amply demonstrated verses which were subjected to inserted forgery/fraud and even confessed as such by the church*
"Therefore, just as πᾶσα Ἱεροσόλυμα (Matthew 2:3) means "all Jerusalem," not "every Jerusalem," so here πᾶσα γραφή means "all Scripture." What follows of the various uses of Holy Scripture is not true of "every Scripture."
1) "What Did Moses Write?"
2) Commentary on II Timothy 3:16

And what do you know, I just realized, finally thought to ask, "Maybe the Greeks KNEW that Mushrooms were non-photosynthetic!" Hence the reference of such "herbs" before sunlight. Perhaps they knew, about some forms of non-photosynthetic plants.

Here's a reference to just that:

"...I realized that I had not really touched on the Greek perspective on mushrooms, even though their relationship with mushrooms was certainly an influence in Hellenic thinking and cultural expression. There are significant differences between the Hellenes (Greeks) and the Romans, but in many ways the Romans looked to the Greeks for ideas about science, philosophy, military strategy, and of course religion (most of the primary Roman gods are basically ripped-off versions of older Greek deities). The Romans even thought that their society was descended from Aeneas, a Trojan hero who fought in that war after which certain computer viruses are named."
...The curious and clever Greeks of the Classical Period were among the first westerners to write about mushrooms and explore their origins and potential. Given the lively cultural exchange between the Greeks and their eastern neighbors, it’s possible that mycophilia traveled across the Aegean from Asia Minor and Egypt, and the idea of mushroom spores traveling to earth on lightning bolts hurled by powerful gods was a common theme espoused by both Greeks and Egyptians.
Natural science was an area of inquiry that fascinated Greek philosopher-scholars, and mushrooms presented a baffling problem because they did not grow like other plants. Aristotle found mushrooms puzzling but he was determined to figure out what sort of creature they were because, in his words, “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”
Mushrooms In History – the Greeks and Egyptians

The keyword here is "Agrocybe aegerita".

Mediterranean Vegetables: A Cook's ABC of Vegetables and Their Preparation in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa with More Than 200 Authentic Recipes for the Home Cook
Clifford A. Wright
Harvard Common Press, 2001 - Cooking - 388 pages
Growing Conditions for Mushrooms
"...Fungi grow very differently than plants. Plants have roots that grow in soil and require photosynthesis. Fungi have fungal mycelium (comparable to plant roots) that grow in substrate. Unlike plants, fungi do not need sunlight to grow and do not require photosynthesis because they get all the nutrients they need from decomposing organic material. For many culinary mushrooms, the substrate may be hardwood or softwood stumps, logs, wood chips, mulch, or straw. Many fungi are referred to as “wood-rotting” fungi, meaning the mycelium is responsible for the decomposition of organic materials like roots, stumps, and surface debris."
"Pioppino: Agrocybe aegerita
Pioppino mushrooms are popular with home gardeners because they are relatively easy to grow. In the wild, this table-top shaped mushroom is often found growing in clumps at the base of hardwood stumps such as cottonwood, willow, and poplar. Cultivation outdoors is most successful in inoculated stumps or woodchip mulch from one of these tree species. Ideal temperatures are between 50-70 degrees F. Yields can potentially reach 1 pound of mushrooms per 5 pounds of substrate. Pioppino mushrooms often produce two flushes of mushrooms with two weeks of dormancy between flushes. In the kitchen, pioppino mushrooms are appreciated for their pork-like flavor. Popular in Italian cooking, pioppinos complement sauces, soups, and stews."
Source: Unraveling the Mystery of Mushrooms

The Greeks "cultivated" this specific species of mushroom, it was non-photosynthetic as it is described as deriving nutrients from organic material, "...often found growing in clumps at the base of hardwood stumps such as cottonwood, willow, and poplar. Cultivation outdoors is most successful in inoculated stumps or woodchip mulch from one of these tree species."

Hence, the Greeks would have observed sunlight was not necessary for the mushroom to grow.

M.S. wrote: sorry a bit off the subject but your mushroom line suddenly made me think of Paul Stamets and his belief/research on mushrooms being the miracle cure all for health and the environment!

Thanks. I came across an article with that man.

How Mushrooms Can Save the World
"Crusading mycologist Paul Stamets says fungi can clean up everything from oil spills to nuclear meltdowns."
"...To ward off pathogens, fungi have developed an arsenal of antibacterial and antiviral compounds — a resource that traditional peoples harnessed in the form of mushroom teas and foodstuffs. Alexander Fleming exploited them in more modern fashion when he isolated penicillin from the Penicillium rubens mold in 1929. Fungi can also parasitize and kill insects, including those troublesome to us.
For millennia, humans have exploited microfungi (molds and yeasts) to create edibles such as cheese, bread, beer and wine. But in Western culture, Stamets observes, the powers of macrofungi have been largely ignored, an attitude he refers to as “mycophobia” or “biological racism.” Mushrooms were relegated to the Campbell’s can, or outlawed when they blew too many minds. They were discounted, devalued, shunted aside."

"...Pioppino mushrooms --> (Agrocybe aegerita) <-- induced tumor regression, reversing cancer in lab mice. The species also controlled blood sugar in diabetic mice."

They are referred to as "herbs" in Genesis, by the Greeks, and sent at the tip of Lightning bolts from the gods.

The Discover article touches on the "Ancient" history of Fungi, the KJV Genesis account does distinguish between "herbs" in Gen.1 from later Gen. 2:5 "plants of the field" or "plant of the field before it". The properties of "herbs" (fungi) were known at least as early as 450 B.C. as noted below,

"...Although he’s obsessed with finding new uses for mushrooms, Stamets is also a passionate scholar of ancient mycotechnology. He often wears one example: a traditional Transylvanian hat made of amadou, the spongy inner layer of horse’s hoof fungus (Fomes fomentarius), which can be processed into a warm, feltlike fabric. Highly flammable, amadou has also served as tinder for flintlock guns and prehistoric campfires. (Ötzi, the 5,000-year-old “ice man” found in an Alpine glacier, was carrying the stuff in his pouch.) Its absorbent and antimicrobial properties made it ideal for dressing wounds and preserving foods. And amadou was the first medicinal mushroom on record: “Hippocrates described it in 450 B.C. as an anti-inflammatory,” Stamets notes."
Discovery, Mushrooms can Save the Planet,

Hippocrates of Kos, also known as Hippocrates II, was a Greek physician of the Age of Pericles, and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. (Wikipedia)
Born: 460 BC, Kos, Greece
Died: 370 BC, Larissa, Greece

And then, we have "Answers in Genesis" non-answers in the mythical 24-hour, 7 day "creation".
Planting Confusion
Were plants created on Day Three or Day Six?

Funny. Since the sun wasn't even around until Day Four, how did God measure 24 hour days for Day #1, #2, #3 ?

--> "...As a result of the Curse, Adam would no longer have it easy. Instead of eating the abundance of fruit from the trees in the garden, he would need to till the ground and grow crops for food.3 This would be hard work, because the ground was now going to produce thorns and thistles." <--

No, the correct answer is, according to the story, Adam was put into a very small, but nice, manageable hand-designed little "garden" in the midst of Mesopotamia and instructed to attend to the little garden. Confined to a tiny, space on the planet...

When God drove Adam/Eve out, beyond the boundaries of this little garden, Adam would find "wild plants with thorns" (in their natural state as they had been for millions of years prior to, during, and after this "fall.")... because those things were ALREADY there.

"...So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

Why put cherubims in Eden if "the WHOLE PLANET" was a plush orchard and garden of paradise, suddenly turned to thistles and thorns, worldwide? Because it wasn't about protecting the "plush garden" nor access to food. It was about preventing Adam from returning to pluck the fruit off the "Tree of Life" lest he live forever. The author doesn't describe the "whole earth" as a paradise. The boundaries of paradise were found ONLY WITHIN the little "garden" described in Mesopotamia. Beyond Eden's boundaries; death, thorns and thistles had always been. If the author of Genesis truly believed there were no thorns, thistles or death on the entire planet, then why did they confine "Paradise" to a tiny spot in Mesopotamia?

Let me reiterate... if the plush "Garden of Eden" were representative of "the whole earth" -- then why have any boundaries on this location in Eden?

Genesis 2:8 "...The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed."

According to scripture there never was a "worldwide paradise."
Nor was Eden representative of the "whole earth".

Answers in Genesis has presented a YEC fairy tale about "death" and "thorns" and "thistles" never existing before Adam. They make this error, mainly because they are out of touch the author of Genesis who lived in an agricultural society. Agriculture was worshiped among ancient people. CULTIVATION was a form of science. Cultivation was not achieved "instantly," in a creation, rather, it was a long laborious process that occurred when Hunter-Gatherers began cultivating wild species enabling ancient people to establish agricultural settlements.

Adam is described as the first farmer, not the first human on Earth.

Answers in Genesis interpretation is misleading at best, because what they are inadvertently claiming is the same as saying, "Cultivated vegetables came before the man" in a "plush paradise garden"... and then came the thorns!!!

In reality, thorns came first.

"Every carrot plant of the field BEFORE IT was in the earth, but no cultivated carrot grew. There was no man to till (cultivate) the ground.

The author of Genesis no where claims God provided Adam with thorn-free, Grocery-store quality modern vegetables... "and then the thorns came.".

On the contrary, the scripture states emphatically,

" shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted .... there was no man to cultivate the ground."
"...And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew ....there was not a man to till the ground."

The author of Genesis does not say, "...and God provided Adam with juicy, colorful, sweet fruits and vegetables..." they were absent. Man had to cultivate these foods. Man created them, from wild, and often thorny ancestors.

Wild Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup
Invasive Wild Carrots are delicious and are still waiting to be harvested. This wild plant (Daucus carota) is the ancestor of all our modern carrots. The root is light yellow, can be quite large, smells like carrot and is very nutritious. The leaves can be brewed into a nice-tasting relaxing tea and seeds have been used medicinally as a contraceptive for thousands of years.
Like all carrots, the plant is biannual; in the first year it produces harvestable roots, in the second year it goes into seed. Watch out for poisonous look-alikes as Hemlock.

Were toadstools and hemlock "created" after the fall, too?

Thorns, thistles and death, the wild ancestor of modern vegetables, the wild mustard plant and "every plant of the field before it". Thistles were around long before Adam, and were present right outside the boundaries of Eden. The author of Genesis could not be more emphatic: "The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden".

Answers in Genesis is denying... yes, DENYING what the author of Genesis is emphasizing, about "Every plant of the field before it," -- HAD THORNS.

"...Most wild tomato species bear little resemblance to the large, red fruits you’re used to seeing in the supermarket. This is because humans have been molding the tomato to their own taste for thousands of years, by selecting for larger, tastier and (of course) redder fruits.
As a consequence of this selective breeding, we have significantly altered the tomato genome. A new paper published online this week in Nature Genetics analyzed the genomes of 360 tomato accessions, including multiple wild species and cultivated varieties, to understand exactly how and where humans have left their mark on the tomato genome."

Answers in Genesis should try to explain exactly what those "plant of the field before it tomato style" looked like since the thistles, thorns and death weren't present... interesting claim indeed.
Since all the vegetables God planted in Eden were in a "perfect state" from the beginning then WHY "fix the wheel that's not broken"... and create a man who's purpose is to cultivate crops, and change the creation via a process called "Artificial Selection" and "Selective Breeding"?

Indeed, what were those "plants of the field before it," supposed to look like? Even Answers in Genesis mentions the significance of "Cultivation". Cultivation is "Evolution". Wild plant varieties are altered from their original wild forms to produce new, unique, edible, delectable varieties that have evolved through years, decades, centuries and millenia -- but this Young Earth Creationist organization conveniently omit the fact: the whole purpose for CULTIVATION is to root out "Thorns" and other "Undesirable traits", selectively bred, to produce juicier, less seedy varieties of sweeter and heartier fruits and vegetables.

So *why* create a farmer, since the "Garden Paradise" was perfect before Adam (a farmer).

Answer in Genesis denies thorns? They have denied Adam's "purpose".
Therefore, they deny the entire message the author of Genesis has given.

Some interpret and translate scriptures according to their own preferred "myth".

Beyond the garden

Genesis does not speak of the "whole of the earth" being the "Garden of Eden," nor a "worldwide Garden Paradise." Eden is described as an isolated 'garden' in Mesopotamia) -- and since Adam would be driven out of Eden, NATURALLY, he would come upon thorns and thistles that lay beyond the boundaries, and would toil in his effort to 'till the ground'.

Likewise, the serpent was "cursed above the cattle," and as one Atheist aptly asked, "But what sin did the cattle commit?"

Cursed. Within an agricultural setting, as in "Livestock Slaughter." That too, is yet another example of "death" existing in the world, before the "fall". The farmers will provide delicious hay and feeds for their cattle, clean water, and the best care to fatten livestock for slaughter, but often when farmers see snakes, the first reaction is to run for a hoe and aim for the head.

... if the "whole earth" were plush, without thorns or death with wonderful ready-made fruits and vegetables and there was no death... then why, WHY did the author of Genesis bother designating "boundaries" for "the Garden of Eden" in that specific spot ... a tiny, isolated spot in the region of Mesopotamia?

Eden's plush comforts, were isolated. Not representative of the rest of the planet. If the whole, entire planet were free from death and thorns... then why, tell me why: WHY DID GOD BOTHER PLANTING A GARDEN, since the "whole earth" was already one big garden of Eden with no thorns and no death and no thistles?

Why bother planting a garden paradise, since there was no difference between Eden and the rest of the "(wild???)" planet... such as over in South America, or Australia, or North America or Asia?? It was "All Eden," says Answers in Genesis.

As I read this verse, it can be taken several ways,

King James Version
"...cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;"

In other words, "Because of your disobedience, --I will now drive you out of this garden. You will find the land beyond this garden paradise, a misery to till and cultivate. By the sweat of your brow you'll bring forth your harvest. No more comfortable garden paradise. You are consigned beyond the boundaries (which Adam had not yet laid eyes on)... thorns and thistles will be in your way, all the days of your life."

Thorns and thistles were waiting beyond the boundaries of the Garden of Eden.

"for thy sake"
"in thy work"
"because of you"

Because of your error, the ground before you, where so ever you go, will be "cursed".

If Adam had obeyed, he would have remained in this comfortable garden paradise.

Douay-Rheims Bible
"...cursed is the earth in thy work; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life."

American Standard Version
"...cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Eden was "The Whole Earth"?

Matthew Henry's Commentary:
"...His habitation is cursed. God gave the earth to the children of men, to be a comfortable dwelling; but it is now cursed for man's sin."
-biblehub, Matthew Henry's Commentary

"The WHOLE of the EARTH... Planet Earth, Comfortable?!... then WHY plant a small garden in Eden?? perhaps within the boundaries of "Eden" it was described as a paradise, but the whole planet was never described as the "garden of eden".

Thorns and thistles, and poison little fangs, and carnivorous lions, tigers and bears roamed the planet in North America, Siberia and Africa. Preying on antelope and caribou and all the meaty yummies, as they have for millions of years.

Adam is described only occupying the space of a tiny "garden"... in Eden. This "garden" did not encompass the globe.

It is abundantly clear that Young Earth Creationists do not read the "creation story" with comprehension if they assumed the whole earth was Eden.

This tiny microcosm of a garden paradise did not represent what lay beyond the boundaries of Eden, which Adam was driven out to.

In other words, God, had to make no particular, or special effort to bring about this "curse".
Wild thorns and thistles were already there, waiting to be "subdued".


Matthew Henry's Commentary: "...His habitation is cursed. God gave the EARTH TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN TO BE A COMFORTABLE DWELLING; but it is now cursed for man's sin."

The author of Genesis never states, "the Earth" was a "comfortable dwelling."

That "comfortable dwelling" is clearly confined to this specific spot on the Mesopotamian map:

Genesis 2:8 "...The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed."

The whole earth was not the "Garden of Eden."

Adam was driven out of that "garden paradise," into the realism of the rest of the planet... where awaited thorns, thistles, and bread by the sweat of the brow.

The preceding misinterpretations were also brought to us by the same men who interpreted the "CURSE on woman," to be both a "commandment" and a "blessing" that man would rule over her.
Last I checked, a "curse" is not a good or pleasant thing, and a "curse" does not qualify a "commandment" even if false teachers claimed it was.

To fulfill the curse on thorns and thistles, God didn't have to lift a finger. Just kick Adam out of Eden... into the wild world, where awaited the thorns and death, that was already there... waiting.

How should the woman derive her food, now cut off from Eden? By the tilling of the man, that's how. Dependent on the man for the fruits of the field. "And he will rule over you." A curse was not a "blessing" and certainly no commandment to submit. What choice would a starving woman have, to feed herself and her children?

The author of Genesis never says that death wasn't already present in the world until "the fall". On the contrary, DEATH ALREADY EXISTED, and Genesis confirms this:

Genesis 2:9 "Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the TREE OF LIFE also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 2: 16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;


Genesis 2:22 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and --> take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever " <--
Genesis 2:23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.

Why call it "The Tree of Life," if you were created with "eternal life" in your genes? Adam's immortality depended 100% on access to that tree.

To reiterate, the "Tree of Life" which Adam could freely eat of and, live forever... without access to that tree, Adam would "surely die."

For "Death to enter Adam's world" -- only required God forbidding access to that tree.

Therefore, "death" already existed.

"Every plant of the field before it, was in the earth."

But Answers in Genesis wishes to deny the thorns, the thistles... the death that was guaranteed inevitably to Adam if cut off from the "Tree of Life". When God formed Adam from the dust of the ground, he was fated to die. -- and that's why the story includes God creating the "The Tree of Life," in the first place, that Adam could eat freely, and live forever (Genesis 2:22).

Death was written in Adam's genes (like all other animals on the planet) without access to "The Tree of Life". Let's not forget the polar bears in the North Pole or penguins in the South Pole, the Kangaroos in Australia, who couldn't partake in the "Tree of Life" and were dying).

Anyway... if not thorns and thistles, then pray tell, what did those "plants of the field before it," look like exactly?

... according to Answers in Genesis, they had no thorns, no thistles, they were ready-made, grocery store variety... modern vegetables... NO CULTIVATION NECESSARY!

So Answers in Genesis is wholesale denying the very things, strongly emphasized by the author of Genesis.

And if that were so, -- NO THORNS -- then *why* would God need a man to "till the ground (cultivate crops from the wild "plants of the field before it")"? Everything came "ready made," after all, or so they say.


On this note, Answers in Genesis is saying that God LIED to Adam, because instead of bringing forth thorns, man has nearly eradicated thorns on his vegetables and fruit. Since there were no "thorns" before Eden, and God promised Adam THORNS... then why do modern orchards contain trees mostly with thorn-less varieties?

Well Ooops, perhaps those thorns were there, millions of years ago just as the author of Genesis suggested they were prior to human agriculture, when they wrote,

"Every plant of the field before it, ... BEFORE IT... was in the earth."

If any of the flawed interpretations of Answers in Genesis' YEC fundamentalists interpretations of Genesis were true, then God's promise of thorns is a "a failed curse."

A befuddled orchard owner inquires :

Thorns On Citrus Trees: Why Does My Citrus Plant Have Thorns?
"...No, it’s not an anomaly; there are thorns on citrus trees. Although not well known, it is a fact that most, not all, citrus fruit trees have thorns. Let’s learn more about thorns on a citrus tree. Over time, the popularity and cultivation of many oranges has led to THORNLESS varieties or those with small, blunt thorns found only at the base of the leaves. However, there are still plenty of orange varieties that have large thorns, generally those that are bitter and less often consumed. Grapefruit trees have short, flexible thorns found only on the twigs with ‘Marsh’ the most sought after variety grown in the U.S. The little kumquat with its sweet, edible skin is primarily armed with thorns, like the ‘Hong Kong,” although others, such as ‘Meiwa,’ are THORN-LESS or have small minimally damaging spines."

A "curse" to man, is the plant's defense mechanism to shield itself from Predation.

According the fundamentalist Young Earth Creationists, "thorns" and "thistles" and "death" are missing for millions of years... and then a "curse" of "thorns" given upon man... only for man to turn right around, and zap the thorns through selective cultivation of their crops.

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Three Evidences for Greek "Evolutionary" Philosophical Thought in Genesis


Thales and Anaximander are da men!!!


It occurs to me how little "Egyptian mythology" had to do with mainly, (Genesis 1, 2, parts of 3, 4, 5 and 6)... they are concepts which only Hellenistic Jews (Greeks) would be familiar with:

The Jews integrated within Greek culture around 300 BC around the time of the oldest known Biblical manuscript. Much modern Biblical literature is actually derived from Greek concepts. Enlightened Greek thought becomes apparent in the opening of Genesis:

One of the first evolutionary theories was proposed by Thales of Miletus (640–546 BC) in the province of Ionia on the coast near Greece followed by Anaximander (550 B.C.) who speculated that life evolved from the water; lower forms of life, in a very primitive precursor to evolutionary theory.


"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." (Genesis 1:20)

Also, the sun... "IF" Genesis were based on ancient Egyptian mythology... a God deity would not 'create' the sun as a material, naturalistic, heavenly "great light"... the sun itself would have been a "god" to the Egyptians. However, the author of Genesis describes the deity (an independent entity) creating a material heavenly source of light and not as a god.

How Ancient Egyptian Religion Affected Farming --> "To the ancient Egyptians, religion was inseparable from everyday existence. They were a nation of farmers, who depended on the fertility of the land and its creatures for their livelihood. In trying to understand how the powers of nature could bring life and destroy it, the Egyptians personified these forces, worshipped them as gods and created myths about them. To retain the favor of the gods, they believed they should farm in accordance with god-given rules, offer sacrifice and continually give thanks." <--

To the ancient Egyptians, "religion" and "science," were the same thing. Inseparable. However, by 600-300 B.C., Greek philosophy makes the first attempt at rational, naturalistic explanations for how things came into being, "Natural Law," began to spread... the opening of Genesis was written in that same vein.


Besides the fact that the word "Genesis" itself is a Greek word,


Thales and Anaximander are the men credited for giving rise to the early "Presocratics" precursor of "Evolution" or "Modern Science" (the Old Testament's "mythical account") bear strong similarities to their beliefs:

Evolution and Paleontology in the Ancient World
"...For Anaximander, the world had arisen from an undifferentiated, indeterminate substance, the apeiron. The Earth, which had coalesced out of the apeiron, had been covered in water at one stage, with plants and animals arising from mud. Humans were not present at the earliest stages; they arose from fish. This poem was quite influential on later thinkers, including Aristotle.
Had Anaximander looked at fossils? Did he study comparative fish and human anatomy? Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing what evidence Anaximander used to support his ideas. His theory bears some resemblance to evolutionary theory, but also seems to have been derived from various Greek myths, such as the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha, in which peoples or tribes are born from the Earth or from stones. His concept of the apeiron seems similar to the Tao of Chinese philosophy and religion, and to the "formless and void" Earth of the Hebrew creation account and other creation myths. However, even though Anaximander's ideas drew on the religious and mythical ideas of his time, he was still one of the first to attempt an explanation of the origin and evolution of the cosmos based on natural laws."

[Sadly, what the site fails to mention is that the oldest known biblical manuscripts date no earlier than around 300 B.C., therefore, Anaximander (610-545 B.C.) could not have based any of his concepts on Biblical Hebrew. However it can be deduced, the Hebrew Genesis account was borrowed from mainstream Greek philosophy.]

Religion and Science were all the same, inseparable to the Egyptians, but by the time of 300 BC Greek influence over the Hellenistic Jews, philosophy was beginning to evolve, transform...branching and diversifying separately into "Religion" and "Science" thanks to Thales and Anaximander who lived about three centuries BEFORE the Jewish scribes jotted down any known manuscripts that remain today. As Norman Geisler argues, "no original autographa exist" before that 300 B.C. date. To presume there were any earlier manuscripts, is merely a speculative shot in the dark. Nonetheless, the author of Genesis was blatantly copying concepts invented by Thales and Anaximander, and not the other way around.

Therefore, with that understanding in mind it is quite amazing to realize that the supposed "battle between Science and Religion" --both evolved from the same original source: Greek Philosophy.

That very topic is the discussion, located at this link on the Battle between Science and Religion.

Evolution is described between the verses, and Biblical translators had a heck of a time trying to coherently translate what the author's meaning was. This is EVOLUTION (the precursor), in ancient Greek thought.

Genesis contains a blatant wholesale borrowing of Greek concepts -- the Creationists, who are completely and thoroughly ignorant of the scientific processes involved in Agriculture can't read their own Bible, and understand what the author is describing, when writing, "Before its kind," and "After its kind," -- but ancient farmers would have known this process as Agriculture 101 :

"...The Greeks had, it is true, no term exactly equivalent to "evolution"; but when Thales asserts that all things originated from water..."
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy,

The Ancient Greeks did not have a word, "Evolution". But allude to it, in their language.

Genesis 2:5
(Some translations emphasize the absence of cultivated plants i.e., broccoli, cauliflower ------ while other translations emphasize their precursor, the wild ancestor, mustard plant which man used ARTIFICIAL SELECTION to cultivate . . . man created these vegetables, God did not create them. The author of Genesis confirms this:


English Standard Version
" bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up .... there was no man to work the ground..."

New American Standard Bible
" shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted .... there was no man to cultivate the ground."


King James Bible
"...And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew ....there was not a man to till the ground."

Jubilee Bible 2000
"...and every plant of the field before it was in the earth and all the grass of the field before it grew... neither was there a man to till the ground."

The Hellenistic Jewish author, is struggling to do his best to describe the process of "artificial selection" -- how wild plants ("before its kind") became "plants of the field" ("after its kind").

Creationists are out of touch with the Farming Culture that is responsible for the opening chapters of Genesis.

"Before its kind."

"After its kind."

Some time ago, I engaged a so-called "Theistic Evolutionist" holding a PhD, who didn't apparently have an original thought of his own and blanket copying other theistic evolutionists, eager to chunk "Genesis" into the wastebasket of "mythological rubbish" WITHOUT investing a smidgen of scholarly study, to actually understand the perspective of the author of Genesis or the Agricultural society in which the author lived. Like a blind obsession -- a machine of sort, "must destroy Genesis"... but that's not understanding.

The argument they made was that ancient people would not have directly observed changes in livestock or crops.

Oh WRONG! yes they would...

The author of Genesis was far more educated about "Artificial Selection" (cultivation of crops and livestock than the clowns graduating from Universities with PhD's in Theology), creationists and theistic evolutionists are out of touch with this book they call the Bible.

"...If a farm pig escapes and joins a group of wild pigs, the newcomer won't take years to start shedding habits acquired over millennia of domestication. According to Pennsylvania Game Commission veterinarian Dr. Walt Cottrell, pigs "take only 30 DAYS to become literally wild." Appearance alone isn't a reliable way to identify a wild or feral hog -- some grow thick fur and look boarlike, others still look like farm pigs -- but males grow razor-sharp tusks from upper and lower canines. Unlike the typically placid pink porkers on the farm, wild pigs can be aggressive and dangerous."

At least Billy Graham was humble enough to confess they lack the ability to properly interpret the scriptures sometimes. Others are too arrogant for having the open-minded search for understanding, and too lazy for the study involved with it! Yes, too LAZY...
Good men died to bring "Christians" that Bible that sits in every hotel room, and library shelf and on the pews of church sanctuaries... Bibles are mass manufactured in China and sent to the U.S. by the boatload and Christians rarely crack open the book and read it.

Billy Graham on Evolution: “I don’t think that there’s any conflict at all between science today and the scriptures. I think that we have MISINTERPRETED the Scriptures many times and we’ve tried to make the Scriptures say things they WEREN'T MEANT TO SAY, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. … whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man’s relationship to God.”
- Billy Graham: Personal Thoughts of a Public Man, 1997. p. 72-74

Who Wrote the Books of Moses?

M.S. wrote: "This is fascinating. It is amazing to me that I was just thinking about some of these things, timeline wise, and here you have done a lot of research and answered questions I hadn't yet asked!"

This truly makes me believe in thought connection (not necessarily psychic ability, but the connection between all humanity)

What a wonderful quote from Billy Graham. I have always liked him. He seems to be a truly deep thinking man, not just spouting Christian propaganda, or mass thinking like that phD you mentioned....

Thank you, I enjoyed reading this, and all your extras.

Thanks... I love the opening chapters to the book of Genesis, because they're so much more than they seem on the surface. That period (600-300 BC) in history was a turning point, the precursor to what would become "modern science" --and sadly, the contribution of Greek thought has been avoided, missed or glossed over for centuries by theologians.

Edward T. Babinski has written numerous articles on the topic "Who wrote the books of Moses?" It's quite obvious what he's written about much of the books, written in the "Third Person" perspective like below:

Israelites and Canaanites. How Different Were They?

"...In short, the Pentateuch reads like a story "about" Moses, written in the third person, and from the point of view of later editors (as demonstrated by many little phrases scattered throughout the Pentateuch) rather than being a story written entirely by Moses. In fact, whomever wrote the Pentateuch, they did not make any great effort to disguise the fact that Moses "wrote" only select portions, not the whole books, just sections mentions within them."
Who wrote the books of Moses?

All of us know Moses didn't write this:

Deuteronomy 34:1 And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan,
4: And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.
5: So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
6: And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
7: And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.

There are still tribes today who pass down "oral records" (this was shown in the movie "Roots" when Alex Haley traveled to the River people who were his ancestors) the record of their ancestors was recited orally). Ancient people would have used this method,

James Earl Jones as Alex Haley discovers his Roots (2/24/1979)

According to Alex Haley, the story was passed down through his family in English that Kunta Kinte was searching a tree to make a drum when he was abducted centuries earlier. The "Record" was also kept alive orally by these "ancient" people. (Video clip use for educational purposes.)

Who wrote the first 5 books in the Bible?
"...The books themselves claim to have been written by Moses, and there are portions of Genesis that Moses was a compiler of early documents or as some believe wrote down the memorized oral tradition (Gen.1-10)."

Or, "oral traditions" which were passed down and finally added into books "written about Moses" and attributed to Moses... which is not saying a man named Moses never lived, there just aren't any such records, and I tried very hard to find manuscripts dating to the 1000+ BC era. There just aren't any, although the Egyptians created manuscripts (now located in Museums) which date to the 2000 BC era, and they are preserved just fine. So why didn't the Hebrews keep written records.
Ed's articles show how the language was a Canaanite language, so anything earlier than 1000+ BC wouldn't likely have been in "Hebrew" anyway.

Funny. Language "evolves" so quickly, just give any Christian a 400 year old copy of the 1611 King James Bible and ask them to read it!

OLDEST KNOWN HEBREW SCROLLS (600-300 BC), which sets the known manuscripts within the era of the Greek Hellenistic Jews.

Dead Sea Scrolls
"...Biblical text older than the Dead Sea Scrolls has been discovered only in two silver scroll-shaped amulets containing portions of the Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers, excavated in Jerusalem at Ketef Hinnom and dated c. 600 BCE. A burnt piece of Leviticus dating from the 6th century CE analyzed in 2015 was found to be the fourth-oldest piece of the Torah known to exist.
Most of the texts are written in Hebrew, with some in Aramaic (in different regional dialects, including Nabataean), and a few in Greek.[6] If discoveries from the Judean desert are included, Latin (from Masada) and Arabic (from Khirbet al-Mird) can be added.[7] Most texts are written on parchment, some on papyrus and one on copper."

CT scan of charred scroll yields oldest Biblical remnant after Dead Sea Scrolls
High-tech deciphering of parchment found in ancient Ein Gedi synagogue, excavated 45 years ago, yields text from Book of Leviticus
"The document, found during the excavation of the synagogue in Ein Gedi 45 years ago, was burned 1,500 years ago while stored inside the ark in the ancient house of worship. Since then, however, the text has been unreadable."

"...The Isaiah Scroll, found relatively intact, is 1000 years older than any previously known copy of Isaiah. In fact, the scrolls are the oldest group of Old Testament manuscripts ever found."

Dead Sea scrolls: world's oldest copy of the Ten Commandments to go on display in Israel
2,000-year-old scroll will remain at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for two weeks

That's what is exciting about the article written by the "Secular Jew" on the history of Judea.
The Greeks not only conquered Judea geographically, but were actively working to "Hellenize" the Jewish people in thought as well as other aspects in their culture, and yes "intellectual" Greek thought as well --especially their religious culture, which would include the opening chapters in the "book" of Genesis.
This explains how Thales and Anaximander's naturalist "philosophical" explanation for the origins of life got tied with "God" in that book.
It's clear the author of Genesis does not perceive the sun to be a god (like the Egyptians' mythology) but instead, attributes the material "great light" to be an act of creation by an independent deity that created it.
It was a defining moment in history... the Egyptians had no separation between their gods and science (even their scientists were deified as gods, i.e. Imhotep, the great mathematician). In contrast, the Greeks introduced naturalistic philosophy (precursor to modern science) - the Hellenistic Jews were willing to accept natural phenomena but attempt to explain it, as an "act of a God" -- a compromise with Greek philosophy :

The Jewish Culture under Greek Hellenism

Geographic and Cultural Factors
...the return of the Jews to their native homeland after the Babylonian captivity, circa sixth century B.C.,
... In 332 B.C. the Greeks conquered Judea, and while being conquered was nothing new to the Jews (having faced this before by Assyria, Babylon, and Media-Persia), this conquest presented a unique challenge.
...This victory presented the small nation with a challenge that it had not faced under its previous conquers, the Persians. Under Persian control the Jews were actually encouraged to rebuild their religious and indigenous institutions and traditions. All the Persians wanted was political loyalty, and taxes. Whatever humiliations and problems the occupation presented, religious freedom generally remained secure.
Under the Greeks things were different. Never suffering from a lack of hubris, the Greeks weren’t satisfied with a mere military conquest. Believing in a kind of “manifest destiny” to spread their culture, institutions, ideas, and way of life to “barbarians” (anyone not Greek), they worked very hard, and quite successfully, to do just that. Now, having conquered more “barbarians,” this time in Judea, the Greeks were determined to continue their process of Hellenization, even in the land that God promised the descendants of Abraham many centuries earlier (Genesis 12:7).

Hellenized Jews
"...It was working, too. Though scholars debate how far Hellenization went, it took a certain hold. Within a century after the conquest of Alexander, Greek cities (each known as a polis), which became centers for promulgating Greek ideas and culture, were founded in various parts of Judea.
The problem was exacerbated by corruption in the priesthood, which served as the de facto political leadership in Jerusalem at that time. Two corrupt priests, Jason and then Menelaus, both passionate Hellenizers, helped make Jerusalem look more and more like a Greek polis than the capital of God’s covenant people and the chosen site of the sacred Temple. During their rule the first gymnasium—a Greek center for both intellectual and physical education—was built in Jerusalem. According to 2 Maccabees 4 (the book of Maccabees being a key source for this period), Jason did away with Jewish law and introduced Greek customs into the city: “With great enthusiasm he built a stadium near the Temple hill and led our finest young men to adopt the Greek custom of participating in athletic events.” Internecine fighting between the followers of Jason (who weren’t seen as Hellenistic enough) and those of Menelaus led to the violent intervention of the Seleucid overlord, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, in 169-168 B.C."

Preserving "Moses" through Oral Tradition

The same is known about Jesus -- Christian theologians and scholars embrace the fact, stories about Jesus circulated far and wide for 30 years after his death before "witness accounts" were written down. So why is it so difficult for people to accept an "oral tradition" regarding Moses? Were the Gospels any less attributable to the authorship of Jesus, because they were derived from oral tradition?

Some want to believe "Moses wrote the first five books," just like some want to believe, "God wrote the Bible," while others want to believe "Jesus read the King James Version of the Bible".

On Oral Tradition and the reliability of the formation of the Pentateuch
By: Jay Antonic
"...The question is, "How did the story get into the book of Genesis?".
Much of human history that we know of was transferred orally*
Importance of the Oral Tradition
Before the gospels were composed, Jesus' first followers sustained his memory by sharing stories of his life, death and teachings.
"...It's rather clear from the way that the stories develop in the gospels that the Christians who are writing the gospels a generation after the death of Jesus are doing so from a stock of oral memory, that is, stories that had been passed down to probably by followers. But if we think about the death of Jesus and remember a group of people who would have still been attached to him and to his memory after his death, it must have been a rather stark and traumatic period of time."
Oral Traditions
"The Elders would serve as mnemonic pegs to each other. They will be speaking individually uninterrupted in a circle one after another. When each Elder spoke they were conscious that other Elders would serve as ‘peer reviewer’ [and so] they did not delve into subject matter that would be questionable. They did joke with each other and they told stories, some true and some a bit exaggerated but in the end the result was a collective memory. This is the part which is exciting because when each Elder arrived they brought with them a piece of the knowledge puzzle. They had to reach back to the teachings of their parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents. These teachings were shared in the circle and these constituted a reconnaissance of collective memory and knowledge. In the end the Elders left with a knowledge that was built by the collectivity."
Stephen J. Augustine,
Hereditary Chief and Keptin of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council 1
"...Throughout history, Aboriginal societies in North America have relied on the oral transmission of stories, histories, lessons and other knowledge to maintain a historical record and sustain their cultures and identities. According to scholars Renée Hulan and Renate Eigenbrod, oral traditions are “the means by which knowledge is reproduced, preserved and conveyed from generation to generation. Oral traditions form the foundation of Aboriginal societies, connecting speaker and listener in communal experience and uniting past and present in memory."2 Western discourse has come to prioritize the written word as the dominant form of record keeping and until recently, Westerners have generally considered oral societies to be peoples without history. This could not be further from the truth. Oral societies record and document their histories in complex and sophisticated ways, including performative practices such as dancing and drumming. Although most oral societies, Aboriginal or otherwise, have now adopted the written word as a tool for documentation, expression and communication, many still depend on oral traditions and greatly value the oral transmission of knowledge as an intrinsic aspect of their cultures and societies."

On the reliability of "Oral Tradition"

Oral Tradition: A Study in Historical Methodology
Jan Vansina, Transaction Publishers, 1972 - Africa

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For the Anti-Creationism Darwinist Among Us

Thales of Miletus

"The Jews integrated into Greek culture around 300 BC. Notably, much of the modern Biblical literature is actually Greek. Enlightened Greek thought becomes apparent in the opening of Genesis. "One of the first evolutionary theories was proposed by Thales of Miletus (640–546 BC) in the province of Ionia on the coast near Greece followed by Anaximander (550 B.C.) who speculated that life evolved from the water; lower forms of life, in a very primitive precursor to evolutionary theory."

Namely this *ouch!*

Evolution and Paleontology in the Ancient World
"...For Anaximander, the world had arisen from an undifferentiated, indeterminate substance, the apeiron. The Earth, which had coalesced out of the apeiron, had been covered in water at one stage, with plants and animals arising from mud. Humans were not present at the earliest stages; they arose from fish. This poem was quite influential on later thinkers, including Aristotle.
Had Anaximander looked at fossils? Did he study comparative fish and human anatomy? Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing what evidence Anaximander used to support his ideas. His theory bears some resemblance to evolutionary theory, but also seems to have been derived from various Greek myths, such as the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha, in which peoples or tribes are born from the Earth or from stones. His concept of the apeiron seems similar to the Tao of Chinese philosophy and religion, and to the "formless and void" Earth of the Hebrew creation account and other creation myths. However, even though Anaximander's ideas drew on the religious and mythical ideas of his time, he was still one of the first to attempt an explanation of the origin and evolution of the cosmos based on natural laws."

(Source, History)

[Sadly, what the site fails to mention is that the oldest known biblical manuscripts date no earlier than around 300 B.C., therefore, Anaximander (610-545 B.C.) could not have based any of his concepts on Biblical Hebrew. However it can be deduced, the Hebrew Genesis account was borrowed from mainstream Greek philosophy.]

"Before their kind" and "After their kind".

Genesis 2:5 (Some translations emphasize the absence of cultivated plants i.e., broccoli, cauliflower ------ while other translations emphasize their precursor, the wild ancestor, mustard plant which man used ARTIFICIAL SELECTION to cultivate . . . man created these vegetables, God did not create them. The author of Genesis confirms this:


English Standard Version
" bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up .... there was no man to work the ground..."

New American Standard Bible
" shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted .... there was no man to cultivate the ground."


King James Bible
"...And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew ....there was not a man to till the ground."

Jubilee Bible 2000
"...and every plant of the field before it was in the earth and all the grass of the field before it grew... neither was there a man to till the ground."

Artificial Selection and Cultivation of Ancient Crops

"...The Greeks had, it is true, no term exactly equivalent to "evolution"; but when Thales asserts that all things originated from water..."
Source: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy,

For more on the topic see "Greek Hellenistic Influence on Judean Culture"