Saturday, 30 April 2016

Genesis Chapter 10: The origins of the people of the Bible

About 12,000 years ago, human history begins to reveal the first attempts by people to control and adapt natural evolution to suit their own needs. It starts with the beginning of farming–the artificial breeding of animals and the intensive growing of particular plants, or crops, for food…Artificial selection allowed people to settle–to live permanently in one place–because all the food they needed could be cultivated in one spot. They started to live in villages all year round, to build the first houses, which then grew into town, which then grew into cities, which grew into states, and which, ultimately turned into civilizations. Quoted from "What on Earth Happened", page 111.

The above quote gives a brief explanation of how the first civilisations came to be.

The story of Noah and his descendants (in Genesis 10) being the ancestors of all humans in the Near and Middle East, with the Genesis writer’s complex genealogy is simply mythology in the face of all the evidence that is there for what really happened. However, the genealogy cannot simply be ignored either because it demonstrates that the people who devised the genealogy charts were capable of very high level thinking. Not only did they claim that they were descended from the same set of parents, but using complex thought processes, they worked out exactly which civilisation was descended from which of Noah’s three sons. To the extent that they included people far beyond their borders.

Noah had three sons, Ham, Shem, and Japheth. In the previous chapter, Ham had uncovered his father’s nakedness, which was used as an excuse to send him away to start the races of other people who his brothers’ descendants would slaughter in later stories.

The genealogy shows three individual lines, colour-coded for ease of reference.

The three sons of Noah:

Ham (and his son Canaan in particular):



Saturday, 23 April 2016

Genesis 9: Rainbows and promises

Below them, Nanabozho looked up in delight when the brilliant colors spilled over his meadow. A gorgeous arch of red and orange and yellow and green and blue and violet shimmered in the sky above the waterfall. Nanabozho smiled at the funny little bluebirds and said: "You have made a rainbow!”

My search, on internet websites, for mythological stories about how rainbows came to be, took me from Sumer to Australia, Africa, and North America. Every mythology has its own idea about how phenomena we can now explain, came to be.
The same can be found in Genesis, and the aftermath of Noah’s successful sail through the storm waters of the flood.
The chapter starts with a blessing, and a promise that man will be feared.
Genesis 9:2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. 
Right at the beginning of the Bible, humankind are given the right to do whatever they want with the earth, the creatures that live on the land, and in the water. It is this that drives anti-climate change rhetoric and the hunting, and wholesale farming of animals. Man’s hubris about his position in the food chain, and what theists see as their God-given right to destroy.
Then the prohibitions: blood may not be consumed and man may not kill man because man is made “in God’s image”.
9:4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
9.5 is the prohibition of self-harm.
And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
Murder is prohibited in the next verse, number 6.
Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
God tells Noah and his sons to “be fruitful” and to “bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein” (verse 7).
Having destroyed everyone on the earth, including the descendants of Cain, some of whom share names with Noah’s ancestors, Noah’s offspring and their wives now have to breed, and because there are not any other people left, everyone is born as a result of incest, after the first generation.
Noah and his wife had three sons, no daughters are mentioned
Japheth, and his wife, 7 sons, again no daughters are mentioned.
Ham, and his wife, 4 sons, no daughters mentioned.
Shem, and his wife, 5 sons, no daughters mentioned. 
Apart from Eve, in the early part of the Bible, women are not named, because they were not important, merely brood mares.
The ancestry starts out with four men, and four unnamed women.
First, they remove Ham and his family from the gene pool. This means that Ham's sons have to breed with their sisters. Even if there’s a case to be made for brothers and sisters breeding in the past, to test for it is unethical, therefore suffice to say that genetics shows that they would all die within a few generations, especially considering that their only partners would be further siblings and first cousins. 
Then to look at how the possible partners for Shem and Japheth’s children are reduced. 
If each of them had a girl for each of the boys born to his brother, and each of those girls bred with their cousins, the offspring would be significantly close enough to be siblings. Cousins mating with their cousins, and all the offspring related further as cousins, mating with cousins, the genetics mentioned in the above quotes show that infertility and death of the line would be the consequence.
Shall we therefore relegate this idea of humans all being this closely related to the books of mythology as well?
In the final verses of chapter 9, Noah’s vineyard matured enough for him to make wine, with which to become intoxicated enough for his son to “uncover his nakedness”.
Again, this law hadn’t yet been pronounced, and in the wake of all the possible sources of clothing having been depleted in the flood, it’s fairly logical that unless they had taken bolts of cloth on the ark with them, they would be far too busy multiplying and feeding themselves to spend time making new clothes. Therefore nakedness wouldn’t have been an issue. After a disaster of this proportion, that they were clothed is more unlikely than that they hadn’t seen dad in his “nakedness” before.
Ham, having uncovered his father’s nudity, is cursed. Not only him, but his son, Canaan, who was probably still a child at the time, and most likely playing at “multiplying” with his cousins. Why should he be cursed because his father covered up the old man while he slept in a drunken stupor, and why should anyone be punished because Noah was drunk? Why wasn’t Noah punished for getting drunk in the first place.
The vineyard bothers me as well. God declared that “every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground…” including all the plants and trees. Where did Noah, a 600+ year old man find the stalks with which to create a new vineyard, but not only that, how did he know how to do it, considering he’d spent the years before the flood chopping down trees with stone age tools?
In the end, Noah dies. He was six hundred years old at the flood, at his death he is nine hundred and fifty. That’s a great age. The genealogy helps me to calculate further dates for the benefit of those who still choose to believe it is true. 

It’s really nonsense that shouldn’t be taken seriously. Mere mythology. So can we please stop teaching this silly story to our children as “fact”? Please.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Genesis chapter 8: Leaving the Ark

On the seventh day the flood subsides, and when Utnapishtim opens a vent to look out, he realises that the ship has run aground. He lets out a dove which, finding no resting place returned to the vessel. The swallow fares no better, and eventually he lets fly a raven, which eats and flies about and does not return to the boat. Utnapashtim then disembarks with his family and makes a sacrifice…
The Gilgamesh story is so similar to the Noah flood, that anyone who has read the ancient mythology of Sumer and Akkad, where the story originated, and predates that of the Jewish culture, should immediately recognise it for what it is.

In the Genesis version, God “remembers” Noah, which is an interesting turn of phrase, considering his ark was the only thing to be seen moving among the millions of dead bodies of humans, land animals, and the ones in the sea that succumbed due to the change in the salinity of the water. 

He causes a wind to blow to dry the land, which happens after one hundred and fifty days. The ark comes to rest on the 17th day of the seventh month, on the mountains of Ararat. Note it says “mountains” not a specific mountain. 
A few weeks later, on the first day of the tenth month, the tops of the mountains become visible. God makes them wait another forty days, before he sends out a raven, and then a dove. While all this waiting is happening, they and the animals remain in the ark.
Over the duration of the voyage, contrary to what is popularly believed, the animals weren’t wandering around on the top deck taking in the fresh air. There were no doors, except the one below, where they’d entered. The rest of the ark was sealed shut, and dark. After seven more days, the dove returns with an olive leaf, then after another seven days, it does not come back.
On the first day of the 1657th year since the day of creation, they look out to see dry land.
Hollywood would have us believe that it was a proper ship with decks, and walkways where they took in the air while waiting for permission to leave. 
Then on the 27th day of the second month, and Noah is allowed to open the door. Everyone leaves the ark, including all the animals that haven't seen the light of day for more than a year.
The first act on exiting the ark is to slaughter one of each of the species of the precious (clean) animals that managed to survive the abuse of being locked up in the dark for a year with no exercise, and only rotting food to eat. 
The smell of roasting flesh and having more than enough for eight people to eat, and with enough to spare, that’s the first thing they do: sacrifice the little food they have to a god who recently killed every other animal. But then the idea was to make a sacrifice in gratitude, thereby making themselves less than the god who wanted their food, even though he didn’t need it.
This is just a terrible story. I can’t see that any promises of never again destroying the earth or rainbows, or anything that a deity can do, could possibly make up for the horrific torture of the animals, and humans, while their deity had a petulant fit, because people were just being people, and doing what people do.

Horrible story. Thank goodness that it’s only a myth.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Genesis chapter 7: The animals marched in two by two...

The similarities between the biblical flood story and that of Gilgamesh, a king of Uruk in Akkad between 2800 BCE and 2500 BCE, simply cannot be ignored. I would go so far as to say that the flood story is the same myth about a man and a boat, that had been around for 2000 years before a priest in Jerusalem (or Babylon) decided to claim it for the Jewish people, and included it in his own story of the ancestry of the Jewish people. 
The chapter begins with God telling Noah that he has seen him as “righteous before me in this generation”. 
He tells him to take seven of every “clean” beast, male and “his” female, and of those that are not “clean” two. 
Genesis 7:2 Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate.
That’s 14 sheep and two pigs, 14 cows, and 2 camels, 14 locusts, and 2 snails, and 2 bed bugs…
This is odd, taken in the timeline of instructions from God. Of course we know this was written well after the priests had decided which animals were “clean” and which “unclean” but Noah, living a mere thousand years after creation didn’t know. How could he know? Not even the law of circumcision had been handed down yet, and the only reason he knew of his ancestors was because most of them were still alive when he was growing up (if we accept that his ancestors lived for hundreds of years). So although the stories would be known to him, told to him by his father, and his father, and his father, they too wouldn't have known which were clean and which not.
Noah was born in year 1056, when his grandfather Methuselah was a mere 370 years old, young for a patriarch. Not only that, but Seth, Adam’s son had died only 14 years before Noah’s birth, so while Noah was growing up, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared, his great-grandfather, were all still living. 
Noah was therefore well aware of his ancestry, and the fate that had befallen Enoch’s grandparents, who he would’ve been able to talk to about the Garden of Eden, and the terrible thing that happened to them. Therefore it’s perfectly understandable that Noah would’ve literally had the fear of God in him. 
His “righteousness” wasn’t respect for God, it was fear.
Then there’s another thought. This story does not say that God caused the entire world to flood, it speaks of “earth” in the sense of the creation when God caused the division:
Genesis 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.
And in verse 9,
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas…
It definitely does not say this was a world-wide phenomenon. So why not make the conclusion that the story was meant to be only a localised flood, and that the animals taken into the ark were merely his domestic animals, not any wildlife. Although this doesn’t make any sense because “unclean” animals are mostly those that eat flesh. I cannot figure out how it would be possible to collect all the animals on the planet, their specialised foods, all the insects, and birds, to know how to store them, and prevent them from killing each other. The only way the story could make some sort of sense would be if it was merely a localised flood, and Noah collected only the local animals, including the pigs.
To continue. They are told to enter the ark and remain there for seven days, after which God will,
…cause it to rain upon the earth, forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from the face of the earth.
Again, it doesn’t say, the entire planet, possibly because the person who wrote it wasn’t aware that there were people living on the other side of the planet wishing it would rain for even one day, let alone forty.
The Atacama Desert may be the oldest desert on earth, and has experienced extreme hyperaridity for at least 3 million years, making it the oldest continuously arid region on earth.
The flood certainly did not touch the east coast of South America during the year that Noah was floating around in his zoo.
Noah does as he is told. He was six hundred years old, making it the year his grandfather Methuselah died, so perhaps he was one of the wicked who God decided to drown rather than to die peacefully while feeding the birds on Noah’s yacht.
Noah enters the boat, takes his wife, and his sons’ wives with him. 
The next verses describe how the animals “marched in two by two”, and after seven days, it started raining. It was the second month of Noah’s six hundredth year, and the seventeenth day of that month, in year 1656.
Note that the verses don’t mention the names of the wives, only Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth, and some women. 
It repeats how the animals went in two-by-two but not how they’re stored. Noting that the ark is 13.72 metres in height, divided into three floors. This makes each area a maximum of 4.57 metres in height if divided equally.
An average male giraffe is 5.18 metres tall. So he wouldn’t fit. I’ve heard arguments that God sent babies into the ark. That is nonsense. It doesn’t say “take baby animals so that they will fit” it says clearly, several times “male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him.” There’s no point in taking in babies, they wouldn’t survive without their mothers’ milk to feed them. Also we have to go with what it says, and it does not say babies.
Then there are the elephants, Asian elephants are a separate species from the African ones, they won’t interbreed, so he would have to have taken one set of each. An Asian elephant measures 3 metres, and there are two species of African elephants, the smaller ones that Hannibal used in his war against the Romans, and the larger one, found in sub-Saharan Africa. They are sub-species of the African elephant, separate from the Asian species. Although they are tall, the problem is not their height, the problem is their weight.
A fully grown African elephant can weigh as much as 4,990 kilograms. They would definitely not be fit to be shipped in a wooden boat. 
There is also the problem of food. Giraffes need acacia trees, and tall ones to eat. They do not eat off the ground. Even in parks, where they are fed, their food is placed up high so that they don’t bend their necks while eating. Apart from these, there are the marsupials of Australasia, the pandas of eastern Asia and so on, all requiring special living and breeding conditions, and food: eucalyptus for koalas and bamboo for pandas.
It becomes impossible to accept that this story is nothing more than myth and legend when science is applied.
There’s another aspect to this story that the writers would not have known. This is that the amount of water described, would have diluted the salinity of the oceans, killing off everything in them.
That the story does not require the saving of the animals in the seas, indicates that the people writing the story simply thought that water was water and that saline wouldn’t suffer from being rained on.
In the recent past we have seen horrendous storms and tsunamis around the globe. We are able to report on what effect these, and pollution have had on sea life.
The verses then go on to describe the horrific aftermath of the flood:
Genesis 7:22-24 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth; and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.
That’s roughly seven months before the water is cleared.
In this time, everyone was eating, now rotting vegetation, because fresh vegetables do not last longer than three days without refrigeration. So after they’d eaten for three days, they would’ve died of hunger, or poisoning from eating the contaminated food.
On top of that add the excrement. and the CO2 emissions from that excrement contained in a confined space and you have death by asphyxiation for everyone on board.

As I’ve been saying, it’s all a myth.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Genesis chapter 6: Preparing for the flood

This is one of the most contested stories on internet forums. People simply can’t help arguing about it on the internet, while in the real world, fundamentalists try to replicate the “floating zoo”.
Chapter 6 begins with God making a declaration, not to anyone in particular, after the writer explains that “men began to multiply” and that their sons “took them wives, of all which they chose.”
God declares that he will not always be around to “strive” with men, because they are “flesh” and their lives will be a hundred and twenty years. 
Genesis 6:3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever…
I’m not going to discuss that here. This post is about the preparations for the flood.
I’m also not going to go into a long discussion about the lengths of people’s lives because living for more than 900 years is as improbable as floating a wooden boat filled with animals in order to cause them to evolve over a short two thousand years into their modern form.
Moving on to the wickedness that caused God to want to destroy man, verse 5 says that it was “great” “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”.
This is all very good and well, but there is no definition of what the evil was. Given that there is no history, even mythological history of the more than a thousand years that have passed since the creation of man, wouldn’t it have been a little fair of the writer to invent a story about how people had moved into cities, how they’d organised them, their rituals, their civic arrangements, and so on. There is none of this, so when we imagine the story, and how it all came about we have nothing on which to base our suppositions. Movies depict people as living the lives of Roman city dwellers with orgies, drinking, gambling, “depravity” of every kind, but without knowing when the story was supposedly set, it is difficult to imagine what the wickedness was.
Another point is that God “repents” that he made man. With all his knowledge of men’s thoughts, and his supposedly omnipotent powers, didn’t he know this was going to happen? He created people, didn’t offer them any skills training, simply told them to “till the ground” and to be in charge of the animals, but then left them to their own devices for a thousand years. What was he doing while people were learning “wickedness”? Why didn’t he bring down some horrible punishment on the perpetrators themselves, long before he decided to wipe them off the face of the earth, including all the dinosaurs, and their children? Considering that he threw his first people out of the paradise he gave them, simply because they ate a piece of fruit he’d told them not to eat, he seems a little impotent if he has to wipe out the whole planet, including the people living tens of thousands of kilometres away in South America, just because some people in an obscure town, in a desert on the opposite side of the world from the Americas, are having “wicked thoughts”.
Among all this “wickedness” he finds one single man who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Conveniently that one man also happened to be a direct descendant of Adam. 
The writer goes on to explain about the “corruption” after again naming Noah’s three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The corruption is violence. Verse 11 says:
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Thus we have that men were sinning in their minds, and that they were committing violence. How is any violence that men, even all of them could possibly commit, worse than violently drowning everything, including the animals living in the ocean? What violence, or sinful thoughts are so bad, that the deity in charge of the earth should choose this most violent method of wiping them off the face of the earth? Including Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, a 900+ year old man, and little babies not yet walking. How come some innocents, little children and animals weren’t just saved, and the evil people, merely “smote” as God does throughout the rest of the historical portion of the Old Testament?
Instead the writer chooses to modify a flood legend from Near Eastern mythology to explain the appearance of rain. In verses 5 and 6 of chapter 2, it says that..
the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth,...but there went up a mist from the earth and entered the whole face of the ground.
There is no further mention of rain until chapter 7 when the “heavens opened”. 
While God is deciding to commit mass genocide with the humans on the earth, and planning to destroy the earth - it says so “I will destroy them with the earth”, he finds time to draw up plans for Noah’s boat. 
Compared to the Titanic, which was 269.1 metres in length, and 53.3 metres in height, this boat (half the length of the Titanic) is small, especially considering that by today’s standards, the Titanic was a small ship.
After explaining the measurements, God says again, and I’m not quite sure to whom he is speaking in the narrative, I suppose it’s Noah, that he will destroy everything,
…wherein is the breath of life, from under the heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
He says this while complaining about the “violence” on the earth!
But he establishes a covenant with Noah, and his sons, and his sons’ wives. 
Verses 19-21 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee: and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
This piece is important for a few reasons. 
  1. They don’t know how long they’re going to be on the boat, it doesn’t say.
  2. They are to collect two of every animal, specifically, fowls and cattle.
  3. It doesn’t say snakes, pandas, whales, elephants, kangaroos, or sloths. It says only two of every kind, and specifically mentions fowls and cattle.
Although it says to take “of every living thing, two of every sort, after it’s kind” it also says to bring food for them. Which means that if they were bringing lions onto the ark, they would have to have brought in at least 100 donkeys for them to eat. A lion might not eat every day, but when it does, it eats a lot of meat. A single donkey for a family of lions is a hearty meal. Thus for almost a year on board the floating zoo, there would have to have been a few dozen donkeys.
Now bearing in mind the small size of the floating zoo, should God not perhaps have had second thoughts about bringing carnivores on board? 
When it says, “of every sort, and every kind”, it’s not saying to leave the panthers behind. It’s just ludicrous. Besides it’s merely a remake of the flood story from earlier incarnations of religion. Just mythology. Nothing more.

More on the flood itself in the next post.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Genesis Chapter 5: Noah's genealogy

Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions… 
1 Timothy 1:4

Chapter 5 of Genesis, does exactly this. It is an entire chapter given over to the genealogy of Noah, so precisely that the writer has carefully calculated Methuselah’s death to coincide with the date of the Flood.
I’m intrigued that the people who argue about the long lives of the patriarchs, and especially that of Methuselah, quietly ignore the writer of the first Epistle of Timothy that says not to waste time in this and the learning of mythology, when the whole early part of the Old Testament demonstrates that it is nothing but mythology, and long "kings' lists" of ancestors.
This chapter is a careful, meticulous calculation of the ages of the patriarchs, from Adam to the birth of Noah’s three sons, so that there is no doubt about how long after creation, God decided to remove his creations from the earth, including a man who was almost 1,000 years old. 
The history of the ancient Near East is worth looking at from a historical point of view, from Wikipedia, on the “Levant.”
But what about the long lives, and the massive lifespans recorded in Genesis?
My opinion is that this is a continuation of the previous mythology. Given that before the invention of writing, stories were told by oral tradition, as I explained in the previous chapters, these long lives are merely a continuation of the mythology. Or they were lines of direct descendants. So that it wasn't that Methuselah was almost a thousand years old, but that his direct line continued for over 900 years.
What interests me, more than quibbling about the longevity,  is that they were astute enough to figure out that in order to make their civilisation appear old, they had to assign long lives to their patriarchs. 

I’ve reproduced a genealogy table below for ease of reference. The numbers on the right show the years of birth and death for each of the members of Adam’s family descended from Seth.. 

Friday, 1 April 2016

Genesis chapter 4: Cain and Abel

In ancient Sumerian mythology, the creator god makes two brothers, putting one in charge of animals, the other founds cities with houses and temples. Once they have accomplished their tasks, they bring gifts symbolising their achievements to the creator god. Or is this the story of Cain and Abel?

The oral tradition of storytelling was the only way that early people could learn of their past, and their gods. It was no different among the people who settled the region we now call “Israel”. 

It is likely that oral storytelling has been around as long as human language. Storytelling fulfills the need for human beings to cast their experiences in narrative form. Our ancestors probably gathered around the evening fires and expressed their fears, their beliefs and their heroism through oral narratives. This long tradition of storytelling is evident in ancient cultures such as the Australian Aborigines. Community storytelling offered the security of explanation; how life and its many forms began and why things happen, as well as entertainment and enchantment. Communities were strengthened and maintained through stories that connected the present, the past and the future.
The problem with the stories in the Bible, and certainly before the era of the kings, is that once they were recorded, and the religion of the Bible, and particularly the New Testament spread, people accepted them as the “truth”. This belief in creation and the age of the earth being only 6,000 or so years, was generally accepted, even by academics, until fairly recently (19th century).
With the recent discovery of Homo Naledi  in South Africa, the expression of this belief has again been doing the rounds on social media. It’s the old argument of “I’m not descended from monkeys” which really is a very silly way to look at evolution. We have to keep hammering that in the same way that we are not descended from our aunts and uncles, we share a common ancestor with our cousins. 
In the Cain and Abel story, told in chapter 4, Adam and Eve set about the business of making children. They have two sons, Cain the elder, who is a “tiller of the ground”, and Abel, the younger, who is a “keeper of sheep.”
As in the Enten and Enmesh story, they bring their offerings to God to ask for his “respect.”
God “respects” the offering of Abel’s firstborn lamb, but not that of Cain’s “fruit of the ground”.
When God notices that Cain is “wroth” or angry about the non-acceptance of his gift, he says to him, in verses 6 and 7:
Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be hidesire, and thou shalt rule over him.
The Common English Bible translation puts it this way:
The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why do you look so resentful? If you do the right thing, won’t you be accepted? But if you don’t do the right thing, sin will be waiting at the door ready to strike! It will entice you, but you must rule over it.
In other words, don’t give in to the temptation to vent your angry, control it, or it will control you.
Cain chooses to give in to his anger, and murders his brother. When God asks where is his brother, he replies with “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Here we have the purported all-knowing, all-seeing, omnipotent, creator god, knowing that this was going to happen, doing nothing to prevent it, but then asking the question, “where is he”, as if he didn’t know in advance that Cain was going to kill Abel. It would have been as simple as accepting that both gifts were equally valuable, certainly something that any fair parent would do. He chose instead to incite the murder, knowing it was going to happen, and then punishing the murderer with exile. This exile being necessary for the spread of humans.
The rest of the chapter is confusing, in the context of this being the actual, only creation of humankind. The obvious question has to be: if they had only three children, Cain, Abel and Seth, who did their children use as breeding partners? Their mother?
Verse 14 answers the question.
…I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that fainted me shall slay me.
There were other people. How to explain these other people? In chapter one, God said “let us make man in our own likeness”. He did not say “a man” he said “man” meaning humankind. Adam and Eve were possibly the progenitors of the Jewish people, and not all humankind. 
God sends Cain out with a “mark” on him so that anyone who finds him should not kill him, thus causing Cain to become the progenitor of all other people, and Seth the new brother born after Abel’s death, the ancestor of the Jews.
Thus it is fairly obvious, without even looking at any other evidence that:

  1. The story of Cain and Abel was taken from the oral tradition mythology of the region, and
  2. Adam and Eve, assuming that there was any truth in their creation, were not the only people created when God made “man” “in our own image”. Thereby making them only the ancestors of the Jewish people, and not people in general. 
Or, we should acknowledge that we are indeed the descendants of our ancient ape ancestors, and accept that we are merely travellers on this planet who will eventually leave this life for the generations of humans yet to come.