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Adam, Pre-Adamites, and Extra-Terrestrial Beings in Early Modern Europe


  • Philip Almond is Professor Emeritus in the Centre for the History of European Discourses at the University of Queensland.


This article examines the question of the existence of non-Adamic persons — both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial — in early modern Europe. More particularly it looks at how the existence of non-Adamites seriously called into question the credibility of the central themes of the Christian story of the creation, fall and redemption in Jesus Christ in early modern Europe. It analyses the impact on the Christian view of history caused by the discovery of the inhabitants of the New World, speculations about the polygenetic origins of the human race, and discussions about the plurality of worlds. It concludes with some reflections on the monogenetic and polygenetic accounts of the origin of humans in a post-Darwinian context.