The First Person on Planet Earth: Sorting Fact from Fiction
Updated: Oct 10
The first person on planet Earth was not who science says it was. In this article who will quickly provide the only WRITTEN facts to discover the first human.
Let’s discover the only written facts on the matter
Defining First Logically
Answering the question “who was the first person on Earth” is of historical significance. This is not a debate about ethnicity or religious identity either.
The answer to this query defines us as a species.
As a Theologian, I have discovered that even my colleagues have trouble with the definition of words. For instance, we have all been told that Adam and Eve committed the ‘original’ sin.
But did they, really?
When we look through the Holy Bible, we find that at least two beings sinned (did wrong) prior to Adam and Eve.
When we accept the definition of ‘original’ as ‘first, initiator, etc.,’ it is understood that original means first. In the Book of Isaiah, which biblical scholars even confirm is authentic, we find an angel named Lucifer.
This being decided he wanted to seize God’s Throne and was cast out of Heaven (Isaiah 14:12-13)
He was thrown out of eternity for this transgression. What he did was evil, God disapproved, and it cost Lucifer everything. Lucifer’s actions occurred countless ages prior to either the Earth or Adam and Eve being created by God.
It is fair to say, then, at least Lucifer sinned prior to Adam and Eve, right? Next, the serpent “lied” to get Eve to eat the fruit. Lying is evil and God hates it according to His Word.
Now we have at least two sins prior to Adam and Eve disobeying God by eating the fruit.
So, how is it that Adam and Eve committed ‘original’ sin if they were not the first to do so?
We aren’t talking about ‘first humans’ because that isn’t the theological narrative either!
Words matter and definitions matter.
Was Adam was the First Person on Earth?
Let’s answer the question: yes, Adam was the first person on Earth. I add this proviso to my statement: “I believe.” Having faith means there is no way to prove what one believes.
They have not personally seen it yet believe ‘it.’ This is a totally different paradigm than ‘factual.’ Of course, this could be fact but I have no way to prove it.
Adam remaining in scholastic curriculum, as the first human being however, is crucial to tracing our lineage as a human species. An excellent read on the subject is The Historical Adam in Education- Why Keeping Him Real in Our Curriculum Matters.
The author makes a case that many of our most cherished educational institutions have gotten away from their founding principles.
Surprisingly, the foundations of many of America’s first educational institutions were religious in nature. Along with this, came the underlying principle on their founding(s): putting forth a biblical worldview.
One of the most prestigious universities in the world, Harvard, was founded for religious purposes:
This worldview did not question the historicity of originating from a single human. However, and as is common in religious educational institutions, secular doctrine was introduced.
Slowly, over time, this weakened the biblical worldview on which these were founded.
The author further charges them with pushing an ‘ahistorical’ view of creation, as well as history as taught in Genesis chapters 1–3.
That our most respected and cherished institutions have arrived at this point should be no surprise to students of the Bible.
The Apostle Paul saw this coming 1,900 years ago: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2nd Timothy 4:3).
This biblical observation isn’t simply the observation of an overzealous preacher either. What Paul calls ‘itching ears,’
Chou calls the unsound doctrine of Charles Darwin in his work The Origins of Species.
The First Human and Erroneous Thinking
Chou states that the secular mind believes the purpose of higher education is to ‘solve the world’s problems.’ My first suggestion to correct this erroneous thinking is to accept there is ‘no flesh-based answer to a spiritual problem.’
Throughout biblical history, the solutions of the flesh tended to become a problem themselves. In effect, ‘the solution becomes the problem.’
This occurs because in our fallen state, we attempt to solve spiritual problems with flesh-based answers.
As our reference source points out, instead of the world following biblical solutions, the church tends to adopt worldly methods. Recently, I heard a well-known Pastor proclaim: “if we had more racial diversity in our churches, it will solve a lot of society’s problems.”
This was no corporate diversity officer or politician pandering for votes either. This was a Pastor! Diversity has become a buzzword meant to promote healing for America’s original sin of slavery.
Instead, it has further divided an already polarized society.
The Pastor who made this statement isn’t alone in this belief either. Unfortunately, and although such a notion is appealing, it has no basis in biblical fact.
Not one time, throughout Scripture, is there an instance where there was a ‘flesh based’ answer to a ‘spiritual problem.’
This becomes important because science, in declaring ‘findings’ with respect to the first human, have neglected there are things beyond their understanding. It was, and yet is, our flesh which requires a spiritual solution and not vice versa.
The Bible declares: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
I am in no way suggesting that groups of believers should intentionally seek to segregate themselves from others.
However, a more important diversity requiring our attention is the diversity of gifts (1st Corinthians 12:1–31).
Christian Education Has Muddied the Waters
While working at a Christian organization, almost every management level employee I hired had Christian education. I did not but they did!
During these interviews, they spoke of a desire to be in a workplace where they could practice Christian values. I, myself, applied for a job for that reason as well. After being hired, however, they were just as ambitious, dangerous, and political as those claiming no faith.
If, as Chou claims, our faith-based institutions have taken on a secular worldview, it stands to reason that they would produce such graduates as those I hired.
Let’s not forget: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matthew 7:18).
Further, Christians, in attempting to answer scientific questions have done immeasurable harm to this debate. For instance, they teach that the Earth, itself, is 5,700+ years in age.
The Bible doesn’t teach that — full stop!
There was, at minimum, a ‘water world’ of sorts when God began creating. We know this because the Bible never declares God “created” the water he “hovered” above in Genesis Chapter 1.
Let me be clear: He must have done so at some prior point, just not in Genesis 1.
If we are wrong on something so fundamental, is it possible we are wrong on other “firsts” as well?
Humans Should Admit Error and Repent
Christians should admit our compromise and repent. We can’t even define “first sin” logically yet take on the topic of “first human”?
Yes, I believe Adam was the first human! I also understand however, there are things about God hidden from my purview.
Chou, the author’s book referenced, did a beautiful job explaining the damage secularization has caused the faith. There’s an issue much more fundamental and goes to the heart of the integrity of those institutions.
This systemic secularization has caused a lack of trust between Christian institutions and Believers. For instance, I am a Pastor and I feel the need to re-examine EVERYTHING I was taught!
The earlier examples of “original” sin just scratches the surface. The first “Christmas” story I heard was three (3) wise men who visited the Baby Jesus in a Manger.
That story turns out to be a lie as well!
The Bible does say there was three (3) gifts given by Wise Men — but it never says — “3 wise men.” It certainly never indicates they visited Jesus in a “manger.”
The Bible says these wise men “visited the child in a house.” A manger is an animal stable of sorts and a house is, well, you get the point.
When these false teachings are combined with how I was abused at the Christian organization I worked for, my trust is gone. I consider it an eternal imperative to challenge what I was taught by even well-meaning biblical scholars.
If “it” is true, God will confirm it.
Christianity has developed a need, outside of a biblical mandate, to provide answers to every inquiry of the unbelieving mind. As believers, we must remember that so often a “lack of explanation” can bring people to faith.
This is what happened when the educated Jews who witnessed the power of God through Peter and John (Acts 4:8–13).
Finally, removing Adam from the historical narrative, removes something critical to our history: a recognizable, foundational origin point. Should such a thing be lost, our identity, as a species, will go with it.
Until such irrefutable proof is offered that Adam was not the ‘first person on Earth,’ I believe he was. Herein lies the rub: “belief” is based on “faith” and not provable fact(s).
As a Preacher/Pastor however, I am totally open to the reality that God didn’t record everything for us in the Holy Bible. Who among us believes an eternal God can be compressed into such a small space?
Besides, the writer of the Gospel of John said the same about God’s Son (Jesus), right? Please read John 21:25.
Header Image Courtesy of Julia Caesar @ Unsplash