Catholic Cardinal Says Adam and Eve Didn’t Exist

Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Religion with 54 Comments
Cardinal George Pell

Cardinal George Pell

(Yahoo News) In comments that may shock some staunch Catholics, Cardinal George Pell has described the biblical story of Adam and Eve as a myth.

He appeared alongside renowned evolutionary biologist and atheist, Professor Richard Dawkins, on the ABC’s Q&A program last night.

Cardinal Pell said the existence of Adam and Eve was not a matter of science but rather a mythological account.

“It’s a very sophisticated mythology to try to explain the evil and the suffering in the world,” he said.

“It’s a religious story told for religious purposes.”

According to Genesis, God created Adam and Eve as the first man and woman and all people are descended from them.

Cardinal Pell’s explosive comments came after he was questioned about evolution.

He said it was impossible to say when there was a first human.
It is widely accepted in the scientific community that life on Earth has evolved over about four billion years


Photo: Gavin Scott

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  1.' susyc says:

    Apparently the Cardinal has been reading Jung….

  2.' MICHAEL FERRI says:

    Will be interesting to see how the Pope and Curia react to this statement….this used to be accepted as Catholic doctrine but the hierarchy has gone so far toward the fundamentalist/evangelical position on so many issues I wonder if they will throw this guy under the bus?…believing in Adam and Eve literally is so much a part and parcel of infantile Catholicism and Christianity at large that we were taught as children…..

    •' anonimous says:

      Actually according to the catholic doctrine the bible is not their main source of truth. They are not Christians for they follow pagan traditions such as worshiping images breaking Gods law

      •' maureen says:

        NOT TRUE—-FALSE—-

        •' mandi says:

          actually hunny anonimous is right… the Catholic religion’s “higher power” is the pope not God… the good news is everything you need to know is right in His word The Bible, however be careful of the version you use. I believe the King James Version is the most accurate and infallible word of God. But a lot of the versions say pretty much the same thing, but pretty much is still a bit different. 😉 best wishes in your soulsearch

          •' Jedediah says:

            Talking snakes and donkeys…some infallible word of God

          •' micah j says:

            Actually mandi, The bible (no matter the version) is quite fallible. Its full of contradictions that we seem to miss be cause we have been programed that it’s flawless. For instance if Adam and Eve were the first beings created when Seth left Adam and Eve the bible says he found a wife in another land. Where did she come from? When you get a chance google the Panare Indians and read their story. It’s BANANA’S!

      •' Daniel says:

        Silly prejudiced hatefilled fundementalists like you are very unchristian and give Christianity a bad name for your stupidity.

      •' dude says:

        You are clearly misinformed on catholic teaching
        The catholic church split up around 300 AD because of the worshiping of images. So, the Eastern Orthodox Church worships images and the Roman Catholic Church does not.
        By the way, we were the ORIGINAL christian church!
        Other churches are boring

      •' The Rev'd Fr. Raymond Burgoon-Clark says:

        Show me in ANY Church documents where it says that.

        Worshipping the Bible (“bibliolatry”) is idolatry. All things necessary for salvation are contained in the Bible, AND THE SACRED TRADITION THAT FLOWS FROM IT, as interpreted by REASON.

        • So, YAHWEH selling slaves HIMSELF was neccessary for our salvation?
          (Joel 3:8)
          U need psychological help smh

        • Plz interpret for me WHY this god of yours, would choose a man like MOSES to do his bidding, KNOWING IN ADVANCE, HE would try (god has to TRY?) to KILL MOSES???
          Btw, if he is OMNISCIENT, WHY is there a judgement day?
          (Not that id expect any answers from a member of the cloth 😉

  3.' Devils Advocate says:

    I’ve always thought Adam and Eve were NOT the only humans alive at the time. The relevance to their story is they were the direct lineage of Jesus.

    • Then HOW do u explain satan disobeying God by not appraising his precious NEW INVENTION aka ADAM???
      Not that i believe in this fairy tale as real,
      It just seems to funny u would use congecture that is obviously against the fundamentals of the actual story IN THE BOOK. Interpretations is one thing, changing the events in your head to suit your opinion is another. The bible CLEARLY affirms the theory that Adam n Eve are supposed to be the FIRST TWO people, from which ALL OTHER PEOPLE SPRANG.

  4.' connie says:

    Funny how the atheist never actually answers the questions asked with a direct answer

  5. To not believe that Adam and Eve story is not to believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God.We can not pick and choose parts that we like and don’t. No athority or postion is above God’s word if you believe the Bible is true.

  6.' susyc says:

    So, as one who believes that God doesn’t require anything of me, including belief, and that “all is allowed,” with the caveat of “natural consequences” in the physical world, cleaving to one value and one value only is my goal, the only value worthwhile in life, that my psychology informs me of out of dark places and pain, welcome love…I claim you in complete freedom…and thank father/mother seed for my being…

  7.' Tom says:

    Religion is a fairy tale.

  8.' Harvey Kahler says:

    As Cardinal Pell said, “[Adam and Eve is] a religious story told for religious purposes.” Many mainline Christians and Jews understand this. I won’t speak for the Pope or Curia. As I recall, Adam and Eve simply meant first man and first woman in Hebrew.

    Much of the Bible is allegorical and metaphorical, not literal, scientific, or even an accurate history. If one believes this story to be the absolute truth, how does it not conflict with the Creation Story before it?

    It is the reporter’s misunderstanding, or ignorance, of Scripture that led to sensationalizing the Cardinal’s comments.

    The Bible also was written, and the Word of God interpreted, for a time and place with little more than observation of nature the most rudimentary understanding of science. I am a Christian and accept that the Universe may have evolved over billions of years and not created – literally – in six days. The most illuminating part of Genesis is that while God created plants and animals of every kind, He gave them the ability to reproduce to carry on the creation story – a sort of “Eve-olution.”

    “I cannot believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use”-Galileo Galilei.

  9.' Robert Hagedorn says:

    Jung? How about a little Freud? Google First Scandal.

  10.' Freddie B says:

    @Harvey Kahler

    Unfortunately, the myth/legend of Eve’s “original sin” has caused the poor treatment and inequality of women over the past 1700 years in all three Abrahamic religions.

    Sadly, many Christians do not believe that much of the bible is “allegorical and metaphorical, not literal, scientific”, believing instead that it is the inerrant word of God, and base their lives around the myths, legends and attitudes of desert nomads from 6000 years ago.

    Take away mythical “original sin” from mythical Eve, and what need is there for redemption, a Saviour? I think Cardinal Pell shot himself and Christianity in the foot.

  11.' susyc says:

    @Robert Hagedorn–Well there’s a hateful exegesis for you with lots of potential for religious based misogyny AND homophobia. It is amazing the lengths humans will go to exclude and separate. Which in my mind has always been how we separate ourselves from God as well…I’ve been reading the Gnostic gospels lately, as well as super early human mythological systems and their interpretations. I really enjoy the exploration of all these myths and archetypes…I like being a seeker for God within, the bit of spark that connects me to all that is…

  12.' Lust23 says:

    I think there is nothing to worry about it. It is the science that needs to be exact to their findings. Like this simple question: how accurate are you (in those who believe in evolution and science findings)that human beings only existed over about four billion years ago?who said so?only you. It is like this: is there any scientests lived and witnessed the bigbang theory or darwin saw that monkey became man and man came from monkey?the very simple and practical question is: how come that until now there are monkeys living and they died as what they are?

    •' Jedediah says:

      Evolution does not hold that man evolved from monkeys…humans and modern primates such as chimpanzees and gorillas evolved from a common ancestor..plenty of room for several evolutionary lines

  13.' Thomas May says:

    I love these stories that give me a better understanding of how to better my self and my environment (Bruce Lipton)

  14. IF you honestly believe that two people populated the ENTIRE PLANET then you are functionally retarded.

    •' john says:

      They did not. God made mankind on the 6th day. rested on the 7th. and then Adam and Eve afterword. No one is reading their bibles correctly. Read the first 6 chapters of Genesis with a concordance. you will even find that Cain isn’t Adams son.

      •' john says:

        Oh , that is because Eve was the women through which the Savior would be born… in other words , through her geanological line would come Christ…Through Christ we live without Him we are dead.

      •' john says:

        Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

      •' john says:

        That confirms that through her seed would come christ.

  15.' Robert Tobin says:

    George Cardinal “Go To Hell” PELL got done like a dinner by Prof. Dawkins. Pell does not know what he believes. BYT George there is NO “GOD” and NO JESUS

  16.' Rosa Lopes says:

    What is this abomination doing in a Roman Catholic Church.This elite belongs in a suage!

  17.' meatrun says:

    This is to show that the bible has been just a mere religious book,to help guide and keep the believers away from the real truth….I believe Cardinal Pell dint just made a comment,for him to be @the level of Cardinal,he knows the truth and chose to say the truth.

  18.' anonimous says:

    Doubt anything coming from a catholic rep

  19.' j57 says:

    Adam and Eve were not the first. Day 6 of creation was the creation of humans. Adam and Eve came after day 7.

  20.' Chuck L says:

    When was genesis written,Genesis 1 and 2 Do not match, who were the authors of the old testaments. and where is the original writings. and why do thousands of people have a different story for the beginning of man and women. And how does the council of churches react during the debate to inserting this story in the bible starting in 1st century AD forward. The bible is just a book of stories with out proof things happened that way.

  21.' Daniel says:

    Whats shocking about ths is that so many Catholics dont know there own religion. I went to a Catholic school in the 1980’s and we were taught that the story of Adam and Eve was simple a story to illustrate how sin emerged.
    This is in line with the RC Churchs claim to be Christs Church which therefore has the authority to interpret the Bible. The Bible was not around for 300 years after Christ so sola scriptura makes no sense. Sola Scriptura is further undermined by the 33, 000 protestant denominations each with their own interpretation of the Bible.

  22.' Daniel says:

    Its official Catholic doctrine. He is not saying anything new

  23.' JohnM says:

    Excuse me…The existence of God in our lives is enough proof that biblical accounts are true? Since when was God proven to be real? Science tells us that most everything in the bible is bulls//t! Genetically it’s impossible for only two people to create enough offspring to populate even a small town without birth defects!

    [ the beauty of christianity is its ability to shield off heretics and move on because of its solid foundation and its true existence. ]

    You are so full of S//T! How do you guys even have the nerve to say krapp like that with a straight face? solid foundation? Christianity is based on astrology. Jesus is a metaphor for the SUN! He never existed..

  24.' Jedediah says:

    So we should kill people for working at Walmart on sunday? That’s in the so-called Word of God

  25.' John Carollo says:

    Actually, there were two creations … the first was only Adam, dual sexed, as in the Divine Hermaphrodite. Then the second Adam was “given coats of skin” … an earthling, and then divided into Eve for reproductive purposes ONLY because that is how things happen on the material plane.

  26.' oliverihemeje says:

    Partially correct

  27.' Fred Hall says:

    Edam and Eve did exist. What the Bible present is simple logic.and not theories that we came from apes.

  28.' Fifi says:

    Theres Dogs in the church, who aim to destroy the church. Becareful, the devil is using his high status to confuse people

  29.' maria says:

    Cant Say That -That is so Wrong

  30.' Leo Minnaar says:

    warning for all you scoffers out there

    ” And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Heb_9:27

    “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” Psa_14:1

  31.' Winston says:

    The smoke of satan entered the catholic church a very long time ago. Excommunicate from the catholic church.

  32.' Winston says:

    You are delusional. Catholic church was instituted by Constantine, the consummate politician around 313 AD. He used Christianity as a cohesive tool to bring the people together. That is why there are so many pagan beliefs and heresies in Catholicism.

  33.' Winston says:

    Don’t listen to the church. Listen to God and His Word.

  34. Comments on this thread have wandered far from the original topic! Contrary to what Cardinal Pell seems to say, Catholic doctrine clearly affirms a literal Adam and Eve. I have just published an article in a peer-reviewed Spanish philosophical journal entitled, “The rational credibility of a literal Adam and Eve.” It can be downloaded in full in English here: I demonstrate first that Catholic doctrine affirms Adam and Eve’s actual existence, and then show that modern science remains open to such belief — without recourse to young earth creationism.

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