Death for Dummies

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, April 7, 2016 0 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next post is here.]

I hope you’ve been finding this series of blog posts useful. I’ve not only tried to explain why the theistic evolutionist’s position doesn’t have any substance at all as well as no Biblical foundation, but also give the Biblical position. The writer for has such an atrocious understanding of basic Biblical concepts, it’s hard to believe he’s actually sat down to think about this stuff at all. I feel it’s pretty clear that any time he’s telling us what the “Young Earth Creationist,” aka Biblical, take is on a particular issue, he’s going to 1) tell us something that is totally false and 2) misrepresent the Word of God at every opportunity. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I’ve been in the process of answering “10 theological questions no young-earth creationist can answer” by Tyler Francke. What is really disappointing with this whole thing is quite a few of the questions are fairly juvenile and all of them have been answered by many, many Bible believers—some for centuries. We’ve answered the first four and will be getting to number five today. You can catch up on those if you like by following the links at the top of each of these blog posts. Let’s get to it.

So how did Adam and Eve know what death was? This question is asked in the context of Genesis 2:17 where God tells Adam not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and tells Adam he’ll die if he does eat from it. How would Adam, in a world where there was no death, know what God meant by this? The question seems to fail on a number of levels. Tyler’s explanation for the question and why it’s such a tough one (overtones of sarcasm) seems to lack any real substance.

He actually says, “You ever try explaining death to a small child? It’s very difficult. You ever try explaining death to a one-day-old child? It’s even harder.” This seems like such a major misrepresentation of the account I’m a little embarrassed for him. Does anyone think Adam, the first human male created by God and who was the masterpiece of God, had the mental capacity of an infant when God created him? If we read the account, we find Adam and God having a few different conversations. I don’t think Adam was making baby noises during this time. I don’t think, as he named the animals, that he was drooling or crying and sticking his fingers in his mouth. He was an adult male and very likely physically perfect. Tyler comes from a belief that man slowly gained more intelligence and became better over time. This is despite the evidence to the contrary, as well as logic. We are, as a people, getting dumber and weaker. Even our IQ’s are getting lower. As the link there indicates, we acquire a hundred (if not a few hundred) mutations per generation. This means I have about 100 MORE mutations in my genetic code than my parents. They have 100 MORE than their parents, etc. This means our genetic code is riddled with mistakes. Is there any doubt over time that this would create a problem? My point is, Adam was very likely exceptionally capable mentally. He was also created with the ability to communicate (something God invented). Tyler doesn’t seem to think that anything else God and Adam talked about was a problem. God said, “Name the animals.” Adam’s response: “Name? What’s that? Animals? What are they?” God says, “Work the garden and eat from the trees.” Adam’s response: “Work? What’s that? And what is a garden? What is ‘eat?’ And is this stuff my feet are pressing up against on the ground trees?” Of course this is absurd. God programmed Adam with abilities—abilities to think and understand and communicate. Is this far fetched? Of course not! He spoke back and forth with God. And it’s a fact that we are dumber now than we were then. So how smart would Adam have been? Probably smarter than most of us, that’s for sure.

Tyler goes on to say that Biblical creationists say, “Adam was a super-genius who would’ve known everything there is to know about death simply from hearing the word.” Remember my first paragraph where I said he’d misrepresent the Biblical take on things? I don’t know about a super genius, but the evidence says the further back we go the smarter we likely get, AND God made Adam perfectly. These two things force me to conclude that Adam was smart enough to understand basic communication. Understanding everything there is to know about death is a little excessive, I think. But let’s also not be naïve enough to think the entire conversation and all of their conversations were recorded for us. Is it possible the explanation was longer, or that they had discussed this previously? Of course. They may have talked all day about it. Who knows?

Tyler then, true to form, says something so childish it’s hard to respond to it. “A guy who’s not with it enough to tell that he’s naked doesn’t really inspire confidence that he’s capable of grasping complicated abstract ideas.” First off, Adam was innocent and nakedness wasn’t a thing to be ashamed of. Secondly, death is not a complicated abstract idea. Small children understand when a pet, or even a relative, dies that they’re gone—no more. I have five children and we’ve mourned the loss of my grandfather (one of my all time favorite people) and the loss of my grandmother on the other side of the family (one of the sweetest people you’d ever meet) within a couple years of each other, with the loss of an uncle in his early 50’s in between. My children cried and talked about how they missed these wonderful people weeks later. No. It’s definitely not a complex matter. I’m sure God, in His infinite wisdom, was able to explain what He meant by “death.” He did invent speech, for crying out loud. explains it this way in an article on the topic (even though supposedly no young earth creationist can answer this): “Even if we assume Adam did not fully understand death, he would realize death was neither good nor in his best interests since he was told about it in a warning against the due consequences of failing to follow God’s instructions. To doubt Adam’s understanding is to claim that the Creator God has only a limited ability to communicate.”

The idea is simple: Does death need to be experienced personally before we can understand what it means? New ideas are learned of and understood every day by people. Everything we learned in school had to have a first time in its explanation to us. Some of these concepts were very abstract. Converting grams to moles in chemistry is something I can’t ever actually see happen but I can understand the concept. Valence electrons will never be visualized by me, but I can grasp the idea of what a valence shell is. I was taught. There are many examples of this sort of thing.

So how did Adam and Eve know what death was? Even if they didn’t fully understand, they knew it must not be good since it was a punishment. But they likely, if need be, had it explained to them. Adam, in naming the animals, was probably capable of distinguishing between alive and not alive, don’t you think?

This question was a little lame, I admit, but I hope the information was useful. If you’ve ever wondered this yourself or had a skeptic bring this up to you, I think this information answers the question reasonably well. Be blessed and have faith!

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