Six to ten-thousand years ago, some Christian apologists assert, the human species began with a single man and woman pair: Adam and Eve. And we are told that they had several children:
Cain… Abel… Seth…
Wait, that’s only three children and… they’re… all… boys.
“The human race is the product of Eve having sex with her sons!” “Adam and Eve only had three male children; think about that carefully!”
The family of Adam and Eve is often held up as a “gotcha” by unbelievers: an obvious flaw in the story which calls into question everything else about it. It is implied that not only was the human race initially increased by way of incest but that it was (at least initially) incest between mother and sons.
A Family That Just Won’t Quit
While it is true that Adam and Eve only had three named children, the “Adam, Eve, and their three kids alone” atheist argument falls apart just a few chapters into the Bible, chapter five specifically.
Chapter five pulls back a little bit to give a broader view of Adam’s lengthy life and progeny. Abel had been killed, and for all intents, Cain was living in exile, no longer a part of Adam’s “generations” or family so far as the author of Genesis is concerned. So with that in mind, chapter five tells us of the birth of Adam’s third named son: Seth.
The chapter quickly moves forward with Seth’s family, their children, and so on until the narrative gets to the next big event, the Deluge, or great flood. However, before it does so, it caps off Adam’s life thus:
The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. Genesis 5:4
In case you missed it, here is the critical bit:
and he had other sons and daughters.
Every single meme or objection you’ve ever seen which mentions that Adam and Eve had only three sons is false. “Fake news!” as they say.
Atheists often make the claim that they are atheists because they have “read the Bible.” Fair enough; reading the Bible is what killed my faith in its god and savior as well. However, if we’re going to proclaim some sort of enlightened state brought about by reading a book, we do ourselves a disservice and call into question the intellectual rigor of our movement if we’re missing a simple detail from early in the book for the sake of a “gotcha” argument or meme.
Because Adam and Eve had “sons and daughters” over the course of several centuries, there were plenty of pairings possible to get the human race off to a good start.