Is The Bible Realistic

my opening argument? -Jen

Table of Contents



This was a discussion Jen and I had in Dr. Kornfield's Evolution class in the spring semester of 2010. Throughout the class, Kornfield brought up the debate of "evolution vs. creationism" but this was one topic he brought up something factual in the bible.

Here's the passage: (Source)

And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:11

And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:12

And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you. — Leviticus 20:14

From what Kornfield said, the reason these sections are in the bible is not just for prejudice: there is scientific evidence for avoiding incest. This is one of the articles Kornfield brought forth as evidence. I think the ratio for potential genetic diseases for inbreeding is as follows:

Second cousins: 1/16
First cousins: 1/8
Parent-offspring: 1/4
Sibling-sibling: 1/21

I thought this was a very interesting topic to bring up. And, of course, it's near impossible to find evidence for that statement. It's possible that there was some inbreeding and it's also possible that someone noticed the correlation of inbreeding and diseased offspring. Of course, they probably didn't understand the reasons behind it…but even without understanding the reasons and how genetics work, it's still possible to form theories based on evidence presented.

What I find even more interesting, though, is that Kornfield made a point of mentioning these passages; even though the Judean and Christian belief follows many similarities of faiths before them: incest.

Yes, behold! Incest DOES exist in the bible. Amazingly enough, it exists multiple times in the bible. Huh. Imagine that.

(a few of those examples can also be found in the first source presented)

And, yes, you can state how the bible is just a book of stories; tales to live by. But this drives us back to the pages' most important topic: does this make the bible realistic? Yes, it's true that the bible states to avoid incest and there is scientific evidence for such a warning. But you can't have it both ways. You can't say that the bible is realistic on saying not to inbreed, but then say it's OK to use incest as a gateway to how the Earth was populated (several different times) by incest. That's just bad story telling.

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