Thursday, July 23, 2015

Adam, Soil and the Microorganisms

The Lord God formed the man from the soil of the Earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.  (Genesis 2:7)

You formed Adam from the mud of the Earth, and you gave Eve to him as a helper. (Tobit 8:8)

Some of them, God exalted and magnified. And some of them, he set amid the ordinary days. And all men are from the ground, and from the Earth, from which Adam was created. (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 33:10)

A great occupation was created for all men, and a heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam, from the day of their departure from their mother’s womb, even until the day of their burial into the mother of all: (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 40:1)

Sacred Scripture clearly teaches that Adam, and via Adam all men and women are formed from the soil of the Earth.

As some passing remarks, what fascinates me is that a healthy soil has an abundance of microorganisms, especially bacteria.  A teaspoon of soil has between 100 million and 1 billion bacteria, and God knows how many different species.  And there are other 'orders' of microorganisms such as fungi, protozoa and so on. This web of microorganisms perform crucial functions for the health of plants as well as the entire ecosystem or Earth.  This is why it is so harmful to rip up soil.  The soil ecosystem gets disrupted, exposed and so on.  And all the organisms could die or be exposed to predators.  As a wise farmer once said, soil is the skin of the Earth. A human would never rip open his skin and turn it over . . . would they?

Similarly, Adam has an array of bacteria.  The estimates are stunning.  One often sees the ratio of 10 bacteria for every one cell. Or say an estimated 100 trillion bacteria in and on the body. In the gut alone there are 500 to 1000 different species.  And most of these are beneficial or are suppose to be.  There is a symbiosis. And the scientists are discovering that these are crucial in the proper functioning of organs and the entire body.

And of course our nutrients start in the soil before assumed to our bodies.  I just think it is fascinating to make the connection between a human body and the soil.  Especially the gut.  Its like what is inside our gut becomes our own personal soil again, like in the beginning.  This gets moved around and processed by the bacteria like those in the soil and we are continually reformed anew.

Anyway, I'm not trying to make a theological argument, a proof or any formal personal interpretation.  My beliefs are expressed in previous posts.  I'm just enjoying the connection . . . And I hope in the future we can learn a better appreciation, and understanding of soil as well as care.  This will not only benefit us who ultimately came from the soil, but also the entire Earth.             

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