Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Serpent, the Tree of Knowledge, and Evolution?

There is an article on about a new theory that links human evolution to an adaptation by primates to avoid snakes.

Maybe that's where the myth of Eve and the serpent came from? Some subconscious shout-out to the factor that propelled primates to evolve into humans. It was the fruit from the tree of knowledge that the serpent offered Eve, after all.

I'm posting excerpts from the article below, followed by passages from Genesis.

Study: Snake-spotting may have helped humans evolve

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Snakes may make people jump for a good reason -- human close-up vision may have evolved specifically to spot the reptiles, researchers reported on Thursday.

Humans, monkeys and other primates have good color vision, large brains, and use their vision to guide reaching and grasping.

But while some scientists believe these characteristics evolved together as early primates used their hands and eyes to pick fruit and other foods, Lynne Isbell, a professor of anthropology at the University of California Davis, believes they may have evolved to help primates evade snakes. ...

"There's an evolutionary arms race between the predators and prey. Primates get better at spotting and avoiding snakes, so the snakes get better at concealment, or more venomous, and the primates respond," Isbell said.

And there are no dangerously venomous snakes on Madagascar, and lemurs, which only live on that large island and which have poor eyesight, have not evolved much in other ways in the past 60 million years, either, Isbell added.

Genesis 3: 1-5

And the serpent was cunning above every animal of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said to the woman, Is it true that God has said, You shall not eat from any tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said to the woman, Dying you shall not die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it, even your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
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