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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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"