Modern Christian Mythology: Rib Count

Rib Count

The myth that men have one less rib than women is pretty easily debunked. After all, all you need to do is step into a science class room, find the skeleton, and count. But, as silly as it sounds, the idea still occasionally comes up as late as college.

The myth originates from a literal reading of the Genesis 2 version of the creation story. In Genesis 1, first first man and the first woman are created simultaneously, but in this version of the story, man is created first out of dust, then a woman is created out of the man’s rib bone, there apparently being a shortage of dust:

And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

-Genesis 2: 21-22

Of course, even taken at face value, the Genesis story would in no way imply that all of Adam’s descendants would have been born one rib short of a rack. Just ask anyone missing a limb if their kids were born missing the same piece of hardware. After all, if that was the way things worked, the practice of circumcision would only have been done once.

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4 Comments on “Modern Christian Mythology: Rib Count”

  1. Kassul Says:

    Eh, there wasn’t a shortage of dust(if you include Jewish legends instead of just Christian ones).

    God had PLENTY of dust, so out of it he made Lilith to be Adam’s mate(in Gen 1?). Sadly, Lilith didn’t Know Her Place and figured she was actually equal to Adam, with neither having pride of place over the other. She figured she could do what she wanted(apparently that included doing an angel?).

    Adam gets all pissy and God decides to start afresh(Gen 2?) with womankind, this time making her out of Adam’s flesh so that women would be properly subservient.

    Kinda odd that God wouldn’t have seen this coming, especially since this all happens pre-apple and all. Also rather odd that being made from Adam’s rib women still sometimes don’t act as meek slaves. It’s almost like the story either didn’t actually happen, or doesn’t make sense even if it did happen.
    Or maybe, just maybe, being made from Adam’s rib would only ensure Eve’s servility, but not all women forever more?
    I wonder though, God supposedly commanded both Adam & Eve to not eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then later they disobeyed… If Adam had ordered Eve to obey God’s commandments and not to eat of the tree, she’d listen to him(since she’s made to obey)? Adam had more influence over Eve than God did?
    eh, I expect that the serpent would have just ‘tricked’ Adam anyway in the end, since the story would lack the oomph without the fall to create an excuse for death and all that fun stuff.

  2. Victor Says:

    Yeah, the story always read like a bit of a mess, to me. Once you see the split between 1 and 2, they’re a bit better reading. I do like the Lillith story, though. It’s one of my favorite excuses for Biblical incongruency.

    There’s also a mashed together excuse called ‘Gap Theory’ (using the term ‘theory’ loosely, of course), where the Gen 1 people are an entirely different group of people than the Gen 2 people. The Gen 1 people are early human hominids (Home Erectus, Neanderthals, etc) and the Gen 2 people are Adam and Eve, with an unknown gap of time between them. It was popular in the 19th century, but I ran across someone a couple of years ago that believed it.

  3. You made an error here. You mean imbecilic Xtians believe men have one LESS rib than women…the illogic being that god took one to make Eve.

  4. Victor Says:

    Aw, my official proof reader. Where would I be without you?

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