Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 23, 2010

2. Adam’s Diary – Naming the Animals 

Here is the second entry in Adam’s Diary from Tuesday following his creation on Friday.

TUESDAYBeen examining the great waterfall. It is the finest thing on the estate, I think. The new creature calls it Niagara Falls-why, I am sure I do not know. Says it LOOKS like Niagara Falls. That is not a reason, it is mere waywardness and imbecility. I get no chance to name anything myself. The new creature names everything that comes along, before I can get in a protest. And always that same pretext is offered — it LOOKS like the thing. There is a dodo, for instance. Says the moment one looks at it one sees at a glance that it “looks like a dodo.” It will have to keep that name, no doubt. It wearies me to fret about it, and it does no good, anyway. Dodo! It looks no more like a dodo than I do.

Stone slab pictograph from Adam's Diary

Commentary:
According to this and subsequent diary entries, Eve pre-empted much of Adam’s naming of the animals. This is contrary to the Genesis record which reports that Adam named the animals before Eve was created as part of the process of finding a “suitable helper” for Adam. (Genesis 2:18-20)

The diary, however, is correct that the naming was done quickly. Adam demonstrated stunning mental prowess by naming the animals on Day 6 all by himself before Eve was even created.

Adam was the first zoologist and taxonomist!

Some think this task impossible to do in a day. But Adam only named “cattle, birds of the sky,and beasts of the field” that God brought to him (Genesis 2:19-20). No fish, insects, or amphibians were named, and he only named kinds, not today’s numerous species descended from the original kinds.

Adam probably named only a few thousand creatures—certainly a daunting task, but easily doable for Adam in no more than half a day. Quickly thinking up names for all the different animals was no mean intellectual feat. Far from being somewhat loutish as the diary suggests, Adam demonstrated highly developed intellectual, linguistic, and scientific skills from the very beginning.

Read the prequel in this series on Adam’s Diary:
1. Adam’s Diary – A New Creature

Read the sequel:
3. Adam’s Diary – Garden of Eden

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
Tuesday March 23, 2010 A.D.

Read my March 2010 Bible-Science column
Woolly Bears and the Problem of Pain.

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. (Genesis 2:19-20)

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