"Adam and Eve were 15 feet tall" - Origin of this belief?

I attend (but do not believe) a conservative, fundamentalist “Church of Christ” congregation in Nashville, Tennessee. Recently, I have overheard some conversations amongst the young folk (teenagers) – evidently, one of their Sunday School teachers was saying that “Adam and Eve were fifteen feet tall”, and that people have degenerated towards the modern height after the Fall/Flood/whatever.

I have also overheard people talking about this belief in a restaurant (my local Hooters restaurant) a few weeks ago. They were talking about the whole “There were giants on the earth” quote from Genesis, and that people really “downsized” due to sin, dislocation from God, unhealthy diet, breeding with pre-Adamic humanoids, etc.

Okay, now I understand the “Giants in the Earth” phenomenon to some extent. I figure that it is a result of pre-scientific people coming across dinosaur or, more likely, prehistoric elephant/mammoth bones, and mistakenly assuming them to be from gigantic humans.

The “fifteen feet tall Adam and Eve” thing has me stumped, however. I am fairly certain that the Bible does not explicitly state that these original humans were that much bigger than people are nowadays. I may be wrong about this, however.

Has anyone else encountered this odd belief? Do you know its origins? Any information would be appreciated.

There is a belief amongst certain young earth creationists that Adam and Eve were physically perfect. I think I remember Benny Hinn once saying that Adam could fly to the moon.
I think this is because of the whole inbreeding issue, and genetic problems that may result of having billions of people descended from only two people. They claim that we have been degrading slowly, since the ‘fall of man’ (sin brought imperfection).
Then there is the Nephilim, who were apparently giants, but some say they didn’t survive the flood.

A quick google search will land you with articles like this.

I don’t really know when or where it started though! Remember that the ages given for the early humans in the Bible number in their hundreds. That’s one of the biblical reasons why it was thought that the first people were physically superior.

I own a ‘timeline of Biblical history’, which I purchased from the British Museum, that includes a diagram of Noah’s ark that has space for Unicorns. It was apparently drawn by a 17th century Jesuit called Kircher. They seemed to believe all sort of things back then, and apparently still do!

If they were at a Hooters restaurant, it’s possible that their entire conception of what sizes things are supposed to be was hopelessly skewed.

One of the sequels to A Wrinkle in Time has it the other way around–humans were a lot shorter, and the Nephilim were normal sized.

Good Lord!

I am a conservative Christian and I’ve never heard of this idea.

They were just people, I’ve always assumed. Regular people.

That’s a new one to me. I think I can state pretty confidently that the Bible does not say anything about the size of Adam and Eve.

Many Waters. It was always my favorite after Wrinkle.

Good Lord!

I am a conservative Christian and I would laugh with derision in the faces of anyone who postulated this.

Or, I might just bite my tongue and come laugh at them here…

Just taking the Giants theory and all the 900 and 800 year old men as described in the Bible at face value, (and setting reality aside for most of us) is it scientifically possible that had God just created them with normal genetic characteristics that could evolve with each reproduction, Adam and Eve and Cain and Able could have started the human race by interbreeding, and for that reason, people became smaller, more psychologically flawed, and had shorter lifespans with each generation?

Well, did it happen to the various domesticated animals we’ve bred for centuries? I don’t think it did except in the cases where they were *aiming *for smaller animals and selectively bred small parents together.

I’d never heard it before. Perhaps someone took a look at a very old representation of the Garden of Eden, with figures drawn at different sizes to show their relative importance, and thought “gee, if that lion is normal sized, Adam and Eve are enormous!” Then they promptly forgot the “if”.

What a weird belief. Everything else about the Bible is so rational.

They needed to be 15 ft tall to beat up dinosaurs of course.

Well, according to Islam Adam was 90ft tall (60 Cubits).

There is nothing in the Bible about how tall Adam was. Some Jewish traditions (outside of the Torah) talk about Adam being extremely tall (the same size as God, maybe), but these traditions also talk of Adam being married to Lilith before Eve, and do not form part of mainstream Judaism or Christianity.

It’s out on the fundamentalist spectrum, and stems from a “perfect creation” theology - Adam and Eve were created perfect and long-lived, and since the fall humanity has been diminishing in stature and life expectancy until we are what we are now.

And don’t get me started on the subject of nephilim and alien abduction :smack:

Si

And according to these sources, how tall is God supposed to be?

You need to ask the person informing the kids their source for this. They may have some reasoning behind this, or they may have no reason other than everybody knows that. It’s best to confront the actual person teaching this since you know who they are.

I bet there’s a story there!

(To prevent any confusion, the “Church of Christ” should not be confused with the “United Church of Christ,” which is one of the more liberal denominations.)

But in movies they seem perfectly normal.

How do you think these people feel about evolution?

There is such a thing as insular dwarfism or island dwarfism. Given an isolated population and scarce resources, a species may get smaller over time. Inbreeding is part of the reason for that. You’re talking about this happening to the whole human race, though, as it spread out around the world. And while smaller animals tend to have shorter lifespans I don’t think it’s associated with shorter lifespans in any way. And psychology wouldn’t enter into it either except to the extent that those traits were inheritable.

Has anyone else heard of that idea? How would the existence of “pre-Adamic humanoids” fit into the creationist position?

I don’t doubt someone could concoct a ‘fit’ but I’ve just never heard of it. The “Christian Churches of God” (http://www.ccg.org/english/s/p143.html) seem to take it as ‘proven’ but I can’t follow the logic.