Answering “Questions Christians Can’t Answer” #45 Early Incest?

With the publication of this article, we only have five more questions to review in this series examining another article titled “Top 50 Questions Christians Can’t Answer“.

The questions in this series are not titanic intellectual quandaries that truly threaten to squash religious belief. Instead, they are the sorts of “gotcha” questions that the office atheist might confront the office Christian with as they stand around the water cooler.

Still, the author tends to ask moral and metaphysical questions and then demand physical, verifiable evidence to these questions. In many instances, the questioner asks how such-and-such an action of God recorded in scripture could be moral, or not contradictory, etc. He is not asking for evidence that they happened, just how they might be reconcilable with some moral standard. Today’s is one such question:

Inbreeding in the Bible?

 45 – In the beginning God created Adam and Eve, right? Then Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel. What happens next? How did the species propagate itself? Incest is genetically detrimental to offspring. It is also seen as being terribly immoral among the majority of people alive today, including Christians. There was either some incest going on or God created more people from scratch and we weren’t told about it. The same scenario applies to the flood incident. Sure, Noah’s three sons had wives, but that would still mean that, out of the eight remaining individuals on the planet, there is only a 50% variation of genetic code. Mathematically, inbreeding was sure to be necessary to replenish the earth. 




Assuming that the Genesis account was to be taken literally, then it is worth noting that the law forbidding incest did not come until the time of Moses. When speciation and diversity occurs within a species, it is generally because of a loss of genetic information. So that purebred animals are less genetically diverse than mongrels, and therefore more prone to genetic diseases or weaknesses.

Assuming that God really did create a single pair of humans from which all other human beings descended, this pair would have had between them all of the genetic diversity that the human race would ever have. The loss of genetic information and detrimental mutations that would eventually lead to problems with inbreeding would occur over generations as certain genetic information was lost. So that at a certain point in human history, any two pairs of humans would have a relatively limited amount of genetic diversity, and if those two were closely related, they would have so little as to cause genetic problems.


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