I’m not generally in favor or Bible literalism, as frequently (I think) that is not how the text is meant to be read, and especially so in the case of the book of Genesis.
People (Isaac Newton among them) have estimated the age of the earth by adding up the ages of people mentioned in scripture and come with a figure of roughly 6500 years. There are numerous reasons that this procedure of adding up ages might be invalid, for example the Hebrews were inclined to telescope generations (e.g. the Bible says that Jesus “is the son of David” when clearly he is the ancestor of David).
Even allowing for that, it seems unlikely that we could arrive at 200,000 years, the age of the earliest modern human.
One might postulate that the first human soul or spirit might have entered the universe around 6500 years ago, but this feels a bit too speculative an explanation to take seriously. Whether or not it is correct, humans did undergo a significant change around that time.
It appears the earliest known writing dates to 5500 years ago. This is about a thousand years from the supposed time of Adam and Even in the garden, but it seems unlikely that we would find the first actual piece of writing. Maybe the first writing was 1000 or so years earlier. Could it be that the Biblical record actually points to the dawn of human literacy?
It isn’t clear why gaining a soul should result in the ability to write. Maybe it doesn’t. But maybe there was some key evolutionary step in humankind, something that made the modern human the creature we recognize today, something that only happened at roughly the time pointed to by the book of Genesis.
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