Genesis or Polygenesis?

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A 17 year old convert and Sixpacker from Eastern Europe has been asking me questions for a while now, but this latest question is both common among thinkers and good for you all to know.

Oh, and by the way, how many 17 year old converts have you ever met? Better yet, how many 17 year olds do you know capable of this depth of thought?

QUESTION



Dear Larry,

Thank you for keeping up with the lessons. It has been a terribly busy period, one work that must be done as soon as possible being followed by another of similar or greater importance, and so does time go... However, thanks to Our Lord's grace, I managed to find time to keep on following your lessons.

As time went by, many questions arose. To start with, the very start of human race. If Adam and Eve were the first people on earth, they were the first generation. Cain and Abel were the second, their children—the third and so on. What caught my eye was who were the wives of Cain and Abel? Our Holy Scripture speaks only of Adam and Eve being created directly by God, and of all others being born from a woman. If we keep to that literally, does it mean that Cain and Abel actually married women who were their close relatives or even family members, given the fact that there were no other people around?

Then, as you said you liked speaking about angels, one particular memory came up about them. The book of Revelation: John writes about his visions of Heaven and earth. How could he see angels if they have are spiritual beings without spiritual bodies? Then again, other angelic revelations, the Annunciation to Mary.

Lastly, something from the Church's history. I have found out (please correct me if I'm wrong) that Vatican II removed the index of prohibited books. What were the reasons for it? Especially, in such an era where any heretic has a few dozen of ways to spread lies and misconceptions. Could it be a cross reference to the "keep your enemies close" thing?

I will be waiting for your reply.

ANSWER



Hi, XXXX! It’s been a while. I’ve wondered about you often.

You're a thinker, and I like that! To be such a young man, you’re quite uncommon.

Your first question enters into the realm of speculative theology. There are a number of valid answers to your question, but the answer I present here is the one that makes the most sense to me.

To begin, the concept of time for the human race is a consequence of original sin. Therefore, Adam and Eve may have lived the equivalent of what we would consider thousands of years by the time of Original Sin. The very first command God gave Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply. Therefore, they may have produced thousands or even millions of offspring by the time they committed Original Sin. It is true, then, that the sons of Adam and Eve—Caine, Abel, and Seth, the only three mentioned in scripture—would have married either their sisters or very distant cousins. A prohibition to incest did not come from God until long after of the earth had been populated.

Regarding angels, it is true that they do not have material bodies. However, God has seen fit many times throughout human history to allow them to assume material forms. Please take time to read the book of Tobit.

It wasn't Vatican II that removed the index of prohibited books. It was Pope Paul VI. He was a very holy pope, but I think this was a moronic move on his part. You are quite right to think this should not have been done. Remember, though, since this has nothing to do with faith and morals, it does not effect papal infallibility.

I hope I have answered your questions. If not, please feel free to ask for clarification.

May the remainder of your Advent be joyfully penitential, and may you have a happy and holy Christmas.

Larry
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