Did Adam and Eve have Belly Buttons?


The short answer: who cares.

I don't mean to be glib, or offensive in any way. There are a lot of people who have spent a lot of time and energy arguing about whether Adam and Eve had belly buttons or not. There's even a book out there, for Catholics, called "Did Adam and Eve have Belly Buttons?" I ordered it yesterday through Amazon.

By saying, "who cares," I'm not being dismissive. This answer actually says a lot.

Now there are people who say YES they had belly buttons, because they are like all of humanity, all made in the image and likeness of God.

And there are some who say NO, they didn't have belly buttons, because they wouldn't need them, having not been born of a mother, but formed by God from the dust of the Earth. To me, this second argument is more compelling.

There are some who might say, well how come WE ALL have belly button if they didn't - wouldn't we require the genetic information from them to have them ourselves? This is what I thought a few days ago. Then I did some research, and turns out, all a belly button is is a scar, left over when the umbilical chord was cut. Thus having no umbilical chords, Adam and Eve shouldn't have any belly buttons.

But they WOULD have to have the arteries and veins that lead from the place where OUR belly buttons are, into the heart and liver, that the umbilical chord connects on to for babies - otherwise, genetically their kids wouldn't have had them either, and would not have been able to live inside the uterus.

Now, there are some, who in the NO category, tack on another reason for their belief. If God had given them a belly button, even though they didn't need one, he would have essentially been LYING about how he made Adam and Eve. This is where they start to lose me.

God lying? Really? Is it not fathomable that God can do whatever he wants, without it necessarily fitting into our logical categories?

But this is what philosophy does sometimes - it over-extends its reach, in describing the nature of God. Without realizing it, it tends to anthropomorphize God, think of God as if he were a human, and his actions motivated by human emotions. But he isn't - he's God.

Still, this "lying about the belly button" arguement does raise some other interesting questions that I never thought of. What about the rings in a tree? What about the layers in a rock formation, or the grand canyon. All of these are evidence of the world being VERY OLD - way older than a few thousand years, as a literal interpretation of the Bible, and of creation, would suggest.

So, if the world was created in six days, even though it appears to be way older, would God not have put all of these lies into the world? Would God mislead us?

Now I've seen one or two explanations for geological aging, carbon dating, etc., all intent on maintaining the literal Biblical creation story - things like, the great flood drowned the dinosaurs and things like that, and without going into the details, I'll just say this - they're absurd. And worse, they make us Christians look like people who would rather believe the absurd.

And this is where my "who cares" comes in. If we look at the stories of Adam and Eve, or the six days of creation, as LITERAL, SCIENTIFIC explanations, then we're missing the point of the story.

Maybe Adam and Eve had belly buttons. Maybe they didn't. Maybe there was NO Adam and Eve, at least not in a literal sense. Or maybe there was. That's not why we have a story of Adam and Eve.

We have a story of Adam and Eve - to tell us truths about ourselves - that we're created in God's image - that we're a combination of carbon, H2O, and divine breath, and that's it - that everything in creation is created GOOD - that God gives us the choice to let him call the shots, and let him be God, or decide that we want to be our own gods, but that'll latter choice will only end up hurting us. These truths are true, and the more life we live, the more we realize how true they are.

So did they have belly buttons? Well, if they existed, probably not, because they had no use for them. If they did have them, I'll leave it to God to keep the answer as to why within his own Divine Mystery.

But if I spend any more than six minutes on the question, then, in my opinion, I'm missing the point for which the story of Adam and Eve was passed down to us.

So who cares.