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The agricultural revolution

In a liberal Christian interpretation, the entire story is viewed as a religious myth: a legend that is spiritually significant, but it describes a series of events that never actually happened. This approach leads to many very different interpretations of Genesis 3. Three are:

It describes the rise, not the fall, of humanity. It portrays God as having created Adam and Eve as proto-humans. They were not fully human because they lacked a moral sense. This is now one of the main differences between humans and the rest of the animal world. The original couple had no concept of right or wrong. God deceived Adam and Eve into believing that the fruit of the tree was poisonous. A very intelligent and helpful animal, a snake, convinced Eve of the truth: that the fruit was not poisonous, but that she would gain knowledge of good and evil if she ate it. Since God had created the first parents with a curious nature and a drive to excel, both Eve and Adam were anxious to eat the fruit. They did indeed develop a moral sense for the first time. This was an attribute previously restricted to the gods. In a fit of rage, God cursed the snake, Adam, Eve and even the ground itself. Adam and Eve advanced from an animal-like status with no moral sense into full humanity. The snake told the truth — that Adam and Eve would not die on the spot because of the allegedly poisonous fruit. 

Genesis is an allegory. It describes the process that every generation of humans goes through as they mature into adulthood. They are born into their family of origin, helpless, innocent, hopefully in an atmosphere of security. They blindly following the expectations of their parents. Their parents tend to their every need. Parents are viewed as gods by the newborn. When they become teens, they start to build up a head of steam. They question their parents, experience new levels of conflict within the family, develop their own goals and ethics, and finally leave their home to strike out on their own.

Genesis is an allegory. It describes the transition of the human race from a state of innocence, where people lived as near-animals. They were initially unaware of their own mortality; they were driven by instincts and had little or no concept of right and wrong. They were nomadic hunters and gatherers who lived off the land. After the transition to full humanity, they had a moral sense. They realized that their life on earth was finite. They later settled down and became farmers.