The question of how real was the first man Adam is brought up in biblical discussions often. The argument of the evolutionists is that man came about through evolutionary processes and that there was no “first” man. Biblical believers say that the book of Genesis describes very well how the first man came about. God created him in the garden of Eden. Who is right?
Before that question can be answered it must be asked “who” man is. Is he a member of the animal kingdom that just “developed” intelligence and evolved into the creature we call human? Or is man defined by the Bible and God as someone who has descended from the first man called Adam?
That question may seem trivial, but it is crucial to the argument. What if Adam was not what we call “homo Sapiens” and did not have the characteristics of “humans” around the time of the Garden of Eden, about 6,000 years ago?
If that is true, then its possible that “man” could be either one according to who defines man. It is traditional for the term “man” to be applied as the Bible intended it, anyone who claims Adam as an ancestor. But who, or what was Adam.
According to our science books, "Homo sapiens", around 6,000 years ago, had an average lifespan of about 40 years or less, had a high mortality rate for newborns, was succeptible to many diseases, and struggled most of the daylight hours just to find enough food to sustain himself and his family. There was some rudimentary agriculture, used mostly stone tools, with some use of copper, pottery, and primitive shelters. Many were still "hunter-gatherers" if they were not into growing "wild" wheat.
It is obvious from Genesis that Adam was different from these creatures. Adam had a longevity of 900+ years, his descendants were very intelligent according to Genesis 11:6, was immune to disease and sickness, didn’t have children until over 100 years old, and, according to ancient legends outside the Bible, did not decay at death. Does this sound like Homo sapiens to you?
Why then was Adam different from us, or “modern man”, and why do we not have his characteristics? The larger question is "Why are we different from either of these creatures?".
If we allow science to be correct in that there was a creature that walked upright and looked somewhat like us, that came about through evolution, then there is an explanation for what happened.
There is much evidence that the flood of Noah was regional and did not destroy the whole world. This seems to contradict the statement, "all that God created was destroyed", but if the Garden of Eden was a creation event separate from the "Big Bang" creation of the universe, and the Earth, then it would apply only to those creations that took place in the Garden. If we accept that as true, then it only becomes necessary for the limited capacity of the ark to hold only the animals that were created in the garden of Eden event to have been saved, along with the only 8 survivors of the flood who descended from Adam. Everything else outside Eden, that came about through evolution, was not effected.
It then was through Noah that the seed of Adam was carried to the villages and settlements, (which the Bible refers to as "nations"), of the primitive Homo sapiens humans, and mixed Adam's genes with those. This would explain the passages in Genesis 11:10 that describe the lifespans of the descendants of Shem, the son of Noah, as coming down with each generation. With lifespans of several hundred years such a descendant would have many offspring from which other descendants would spring. It would be only a short time until all “human” inhabitants of the earth would have some of the blood of Adam flowing in his veins. That explains why it was necessary for God to "scatter" the inhabitants around the tower of Babel, to all the corners of the earth. It was not meant for them to settle as one people, but to carry Adam's seed to all "nations".
While this is a radical departure from the traditional interpretation of the book of Genesis, it does offer a credible explanation, both scientifically and biblically, for Caine’s wife, the ability of the ark to hold 2 of every animal created in the garden, and the lifespan of Adam’s descendants decreasing geometrically until, by Jacob, it was around 120 years, as God predicted before the flood.
And so the answer to the question of who was man, is that after the flood and the mixing genetically of Noah’s blood with the primitive human’s outside Eden, created a new race of man, “modern man”, of which, we are all now a part.
According to the apostle Paul in Corinthians 15:47, “The first man is from the earth, a man of dust. The second man is from heaven… Just as we have born the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven”.
It is safe to say that after 5,000 years of “mixing” that there is hardly anyone left who doesn’t have some of Adam in his DNA, (as well as the "man from the earth"), and that the term "man" now applies to everyone.