Building on this question...

  • How much of Genesis 2 actually occurred?

And how do historians/biblical scholars know that it occurred?

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    I'm sorry, but I'm voting to close on these grounds: "this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion." Search the site and you'll see that any question asking similar questions always does. – David Stratton Feb 29 '12 at 4:39
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    Sure, I have an opinion. I'm well known to be a young-earth creationist, Biblical literalist, so I believe that it all actually occurred, and was preserved in Scripture personally by God, who provided an eyewitness account, and preserved it so we'd have it until the end of time. As to who actually wrote it down, no idea... But I do believe that if it's in God's word, and God can't lie, and God was there, so He knows what happened, I believe him rather than a bunch of people that came along after the fact and reinterpreted the evidence. (but I'm in the minority it seems) – David Stratton Feb 29 '12 at 4:44
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    @JimG. I think it's a symbolic story, not meant to be taken as history. – Bruce Alderman Feb 29 '12 at 5:00
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    I think a key point in this ever-raging debate is how one defines words like "know" and "evidence". Note, though, that the "evidence" used by historians (which tends not to include much, if any, OT) is very different to the "evidence" used by Biblical scholars (which covers a broad range of interpretations, quite literally from "not at all" to "every word"); empirical versus philosophical, if you will. – Marc Gravell Feb 29 '12 at 7:00
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    I think this is a good question, but needs some guidelines before it can be answered or on-topic. Perhaps you could ask what a particular tradition believes; or ask for the evidence that it either is or is not meant to be taken literally (although I suspect the answers to both of these questions have already been answered elsewhere on this site). – Flimzy Feb 29 '12 at 9:53

There is simply no archeological evidence nor any biblical information. Any such evidence as may have existed would have been guarded by the angel in 3:24, until such time as the whole thing was destroyed in the flood of Genesis 6-9.

In any event, archeology is also notoriously unable to nail down the duration of short events.

As such, you are only left with speculation and opinion, neither of which is on topic for this site.

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  • The 3:24 cherubim have a stated, specific purpose - to guard the way to the tree of life. What gives reasons to suppose their remit was broader, as defenders of evidence? – Marc Gravell Feb 29 '12 at 11:49
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    Reasonable reply :) I believe the angel would have prevented any further human contamination of the scene making further archeological evidence of human contact impossible to have. Archeology usually requires fairly significant periods of human habitation, so if it was short, there would be none to be found. Still, you can't build a case on a lack of evidence – Affable Geek Feb 29 '12 at 11:52
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    heh, you made me smile thinking of an imaginary headline, "dig reveals no evidence, which is exactly consistent; Eden conclusively found!" - but I think I see what you are saying, thanks. – Marc Gravell Feb 29 '12 at 11:55

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