In lieu of a lengthy blog post today, I have a brief discussion of a new article about Pre-Adamites, and I’d like to direct you to The Afternoon Commute, where you can download my appearance on the podcast last night. You can also stream it below. We spoke for about two hours. The first hour was about ancient astronauts and fringe history, while the second hour went into philosophical questions about the origins of the universe and the reality of evolution. Apparently the show’s host is a creationist. I’m not entirely certain the second hour made a lot of sense since cosmology isn’t really one of my areas of expertise.
The Pre-Adamites are back again! A creationist writer named Ivan, who produces content for Ancient-Origins.net (but of course) and also EWAO.com (another fringe site) offered an article yesterday trying to make a Biblical case for correlating Biblical literalism with scientific findings about the age of the earth. He argued (well, “argue” is a bit strong) that the Biblical narrative of creation covers only the current creation, and that there had been plenty of human races before us, many of which were (of course) giants. He further claims that the Fall of Satan was responsible for the cataclysm that destroyed the Pre-Adamite giants.
This isn’t the kind of theology you find among most creationists, not even the believers in Pre-Adamite races, but interestingly it is pretty much exactly the folklore about Iblis (the Devil) and the djinn that became part of popular Islam. As told in the medieval Akhbar al-zaman, God created various races of supernatural djinn, many of which were giants, and these were destroyed when Iblis descended from heaven and killed most of them. Iblis, in turn, became the Devil when he failed to prostrate himself before God’s replacement for the djinn, Adam. I wonder how many Christian fundamentalists or biblical literalists would still support these claims if they knew they originated in Islam.
Our author goes on to ask whether the Pre-Adamites are connected to other fringe history claims:
But is it possible that Pre-Adamite civilizations existed on Earth? And better yet, is it possible that these ancient Pre-Historical civilizations might be connected in some way to the lost "civilization of Mu and Atlantis"? (emphasis in original)
Since the nineteenth century, Atlantis has been associated with the antediluvians, the Sethites and the Cainites who lived before the Flood, not the Pre-Adamites. (Mu was invented in the 1920s, so it’s irrelevant.) However, Ivan seems to understand that Plato placed Atlantis around 9,600 BCE, which would be earlier than the imagined young earth creationist timeline that situates the creation of Adam around 4004 BCE. This is his warrant for making Atlantis not the “antediluvian world” of Ignatius Donnelly but rather a Pre-Adamite one—all the better to marry a fundamentalist reading of Genesis to the realities of geology, archaeology, and paleontology. In short, it’s another effort to try to rationalize the Bible with selective science.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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