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Proving or disproving that Adam is buried in Iraq


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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_and_Eve#Islamic_tradition

 

Hey, everybody. I just read the above wikipedia article and it mentions that:

 

"Shi'a Muslims believe that Adam is buried next to Ali,[13] within Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, Iraq."

 

If all Shi'a Muslims believe this than wouldn't this be easy to prove or disprove using science (e.g. carbon dating etc)? I think this would certainly be possible and it wouldn't go beyond the capabilities of science at all. But if Adam is buried in Iraq, then would his bones have turned to pretty much dust by now or would it still be present? Is there any information science can obtain if Adam is buried there?

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Using science to argue with physical evidence of religious claims is like trying to use religion to prove that science studies the mechanics of divine creation. Surely no one who likes the fact that Adam is said to be buried there will want to hear evidence that he's not; and anyone who is willing to listen to evidence that disproves their belief is doubting their faith. It's sort of like the story of Lot where his wife looks back and turns into salt. People who use faith for its spiritual effects don't want to undermine their faith with proof. This isn't to say they don't seek proof in other situations where it matters, such as testing the temperature of a liquid before drinking it or immersing themselves in it. It's just that if you are into the idea of going to some physical place/temple and feeling like the true remains of Adam are buried there, you're not going to be seeking to undermine your feeling by disproving the veracity of your assumption. On the other hand, if you are looking for a reason to undermine religious claims because you dislike religion for some reason, this would be a good opportunity to re-affirm your conviction that religion is superstitious mythological nonsense; but then don't complain when you can't understand why people get so many positive feelings from practicing religious faith.

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Also, the problem with religion is that every time some religious assertion is factually disproven, religion moves on and ceases to regard that particular dogma as important. For example, Christianity used to stake its reputation to the Earth being circa 6000 years old, and when geology started challenging this assertion in the 19th century, there was a battle over the age of the Earth such as there still is today over the reality of human evolution. Once religion lost the age of the Earth debate, it quietly moved on and pretended that point had never mattered very much anyway.

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Also, the problem with religion is that every time some religious assertion is factually disproven, religion moves on and ceases to regard that particular dogma as important. For example, Christianity used to stake its reputation to the Earth being circa 6000 years old, and when geology started challenging this assertion in the 19th century, there was a battle over the age of the Earth such as there still is today over the reality of human evolution. Once religion lost the age of the Earth debate, it quietly moved on and pretended that point had never mattered very much anyway.

Relgion is slowly learning to ground its validity in spiritual power. This is difficult after such a long history of conflating materiality and spirituality in the form of hybrid subjective-objective knowledge. Science could be said to be doing God's work by separating subjective and objective, or as religious scripture would call it, "spirit from flesh." Ironically, science and religion are viewed as enemies, when they really help each other refine their respective approaches to truth-power. Maybe the perception of opposition between them is foundational to their synergism, though.

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Voltman, even if the guy existed in the first place and was buried in Iraq, finding any remnants of his bones would be like searching for, well, a tiny bone in a massive desert. However long ago Adam supposedly lived, it was long enough that his bones could have disintegrated long ago.

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All that would be needed to prove/disprove this would be a bit of his DNA. Of course, most religions probably know better than to want the truth to be known. It would be sacrilege or something to perform that test, so you better take it on faith.

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There must have been a first man, for any given definition of "man".

He died long ago. Most of his body will have decomposed; there may be a few bits of bone left.

The material from which he was made (carbon, nitrogen, etc) will, by now be dispersed throughout the world.

Some of "Adam" is going to be buried in Iraq. Other bits will be in my glass of fruit juice.*

 

Whether or not he was initially buried in Iraq is a very different question.

 

* based on the sort of calculation given here

http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/archives/001392.html

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Why must there have been a first man? The development of our species was a very gradual evolution - it would only be by setting an arbitrary point in our evolution that we'd have a first.

There are men now. Long ago there were not.

There must have been a first one.

(For whatever choice of definition of "man" you make)

 

By calling ourselves "man" we have set an arbitrary point.

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OK, so (by a modern speces definition) the first male of our evolutionary history who could mate with a modern female to produce viable offspring. Yeah, that guy wasn't called Adam.

 

 

Wasn't he called Og? :rolleyes:

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Lemur: The basic problem with religion is that it essentially conflates material, scientific, objective posits with spiritual assertions. Thus while even an atheist might be willing to concede that there are profoundly moving insights which people have about the meaning of life, or that moral values might be very deeply held, what he balks at is the insistence by religious doctrine is that there is also some anchor for these feelings and moral commitments in mysterious, sui generis facts (Mohammed rising bodily into the sky after his death) or entities (an infinitely good, wise, and powerful Daddy-figure in the sky). Just leave the existence posits -- or the 'science' -- out and atheists and religious people could come to agreement.

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