Bible Question for a Christian

Weristgott
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Bible Question for a Christian

Ok, was bored one night and found that wikipedia has an online bible. (oh no's, an agnostic reading the bible, gasp) sorry. Anyway, I was reading through Genesis. And a couple questions popped up in my mind.

 So Adam and Eve were kicked out of Eden, had two sons, Cain and Able (sorry if spelling is off). Cain gets mad, and kills Able. Then it goes on to say something about Cain and his wife moving off and having kids. Who was Cains wife? because if I have this strait, after Cain killed Able there were only three people on the earth. Did Cain marry Eve? or did god make Cain a wife?


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True, but as far as the

True, but as far as the authority/inerrancy of the Bible goes, it's the same difference.  Whether the error is because of a mistake in the transcription of the revelation or is due to the fact that the source is not revelation at all, an error is an error. 

Typically you'd be able to argue that the all-or-nothing assumption of Bible literalists is a false dilemma or an error of composition.  But because the literalists want to extend claims of absolute authority in all matters, they're correct in reasoning that such a conclusion requires absolute inerrancy from the source.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Textom wrote: True, but as

Textom wrote:

True, but as far as the authority/inerrancy of the Bible goes, it's the same difference. Whether the error is because of a mistake in the transcription of the revelation or is due to the fact that the source is not revelation at all, an error is an error.

 

For fundies, yes. They have an all or nothing view. But liberal theologians aren't so rigid.


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Christian Nerd

Christian Nerd wrote:

Answers to various questions in this thread:

(1) Since Adam & Eve were the first man and woman and Cain was their son, Cain's wife had to be either one of his sisters or a niece.

(2) People lived 700-900 years back then and had a long productive life. Eve probably had hundreds of kids.

(3) Adam and Eve had perfect chromosomes, so incest was not wrong. Their chromosomes stayed pretty much damage free due to the hydrosphere. This was a layer of clear water like our ozone layer, except that it protected people much better from the sun's harmful rays.

(4) It was only after the flood that mutations crept into our genome. During the flood the hydrosphere came down and covered the earth. Also a lot of water came from below the land. Remember, there were no oceans before the flood. The earth was all one land mass. Because people had hundreds of children, the earth filled up, which is why we have lots of oil (dead fauna) and coal (dead flora).

(5) After the flood, the human genome became more and more corrupted due to the rays of the sun and God had to outlaw incest.

(6) Each of us has 2 copies of each gene. If one is bad, the good one will keep us alive, usually. Brother and sister often have bad copies of the same gene. So, if the have a child, the child has a 50% chance of getting the bad copy from the mom and a 50% chance of getting a bad copy from the dad. This gives the child a 25% chance of getting 2 bad copies of a crucial gene. With no good copy, it dies or is deformed, or sickly. So, incest is outlawed. This was not true in the pre-flood era when everyone had only good copies of each gene and there was no possibility of getting a bad copy.

 

"I will lead you into the pit, laughing!" from Karl Marx's black mass, "Eulanem."

Crap, this is the KEWK forum. OK, could you explain where you got this business about the "hydrosphere?" Are you serious?

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


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A hydrosphere (Greek hydro

A hydrosphere (Greek hydro means "water&quotEye-wink in physical geography describes the collective mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet.

 Basically, the theory is that the pre-flood earth was surrounded by a layer of water, kinda like a ballon of water or vapor canopy, and that is partly where God all that water to submerge the entire planet.  As to where all that water went after the flood, i have no idea.  I remember reading about it, but i forgot the details or where i read it from.

Because of this protective layer, people lived longer than they do now. 

Prior to the flood the earth apparently enjoyed a uniform sub-tropical climate everywhere. There were apparently no storms (hence no rainbows, Gen. 9:13), no wind (Gen. 8:1b), no snow, ice, floods. Water from springs prior to the flood was evidently abundant (Gen. 1:10) and a generous nightly mist, or very heavy dew watered the ground (Gen. 2:5). Fossils of tropical plants can be found in Alaska today, great coal beds have been discovered in Antarctica, and hundreds thousands of suddenly quick-frozen warm-weather mammoth elephants in Siberia. The surface of the earth has been drastically altered as a result of the flood. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River was evidently the result of a sudden catastrophic draining of a huge inland lake, etc.  (http://www.ldolphin.org/flood.shtml)

 Personally i think God intervined genetics wise in the procreation of the first humans.  Scientific studies lately revealed that we all came from one "Eve", so its logical that we all came from one set of parents.  God kept them from having birth or genetic defects, then after enough time and after the population has grown large enough to sustain itself, God no longer intervined and made it law not to marry among siblings.

That's what i think anyway. 


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janedoe401 wrote: A

janedoe401 wrote:

A hydrosphere (Greek hydro means "water&quotEye-wink in physical geography describes the collective mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet.

Basically, the theory is that the pre-flood earth was surrounded by a layer of water, kinda like a ballon of water or vapor canopy, and that is partly where God all that water to submerge the entire planet. As to where all that water went after the flood, i have no idea. I remember reading about it, but i forgot the details or where i read it from.

Because of this protective layer, people lived longer than they do now.

Prior to the flood the earth apparently enjoyed a uniform sub-tropical climate everywhere. There were apparently no storms (hence no rainbows, Gen. 9:13), no wind (Gen. 8:1b), no snow, ice, floods. Water from springs prior to the flood was evidently abundant (Gen. 1:10) and a generous nightly mist, or very heavy dew watered the ground (Gen. 2:5). Fossils of tropical plants can be found in Alaska today, great coal beds have been discovered in Antarctica, and hundreds thousands of suddenly quick-frozen warm-weather mammoth elephants in Siberia. The surface of the earth has been drastically altered as a result of the flood. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River was evidently the result of a sudden catastrophic draining of a huge inland lake, etc. (http://www.ldolphin.org/flood.shtml)

Personally i think God intervined genetics wise in the procreation of the first humans. Scientific studies lately revealed that we all came from one "Eve", so its logical that we all came from one set of parents. God kept them from having birth or genetic defects, then after enough time and after the population has grown large enough to sustain itself, God no longer intervined and made it law not to marry among siblings.

That's what i think anyway.

 

I'm sorry, but this idea confounds me. I'm a theist, and I can't conceive of this as valid. What prevents me from making up any old thing and calling it true? Urantia, Scientology or Wavefreakism ... take your pick. 


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janedoe401 wrote: A

janedoe401 wrote:

A hydrosphere (Greek hydro means "water&quotEye-wink in physical geography describes the collective mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet.

Basically, the theory is that the pre-flood earth was surrounded by a layer of water, kinda like a ballon of water or vapor canopy, and that is partly where God all that water to submerge the entire planet. As to where all that water went after the flood, i have no idea. I remember reading about it, but i forgot the details or where i read it from.

Because of this protective layer, people lived longer than they do now.

Prior to the flood the earth apparently enjoyed a uniform sub-tropical climate everywhere. There were apparently no storms (hence no rainbows, Gen. 9:13), no wind (Gen. 8:1b), no snow, ice, floods. Water from springs prior to the flood was evidently abundant (Gen. 1:10) and a generous nightly mist, or very heavy dew watered the ground (Gen. 2:5). Fossils of tropical plants can be found in Alaska today, great coal beds have been discovered in Antarctica, and hundreds thousands of suddenly quick-frozen warm-weather mammoth elephants in Siberia. The surface of the earth has been drastically altered as a result of the flood. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River was evidently the result of a sudden catastrophic draining of a huge inland lake, etc. (http://www.ldolphin.org/flood.shtml)

Personally i think God intervined genetics wise in the procreation of the first humans. Scientific studies lately revealed that we all came from one "Eve", so its logical that we all came from one set of parents. God kept them from having birth or genetic defects, then after enough time and after the population has grown large enough to sustain itself, God no longer intervined and made it law not to marry among siblings.

That's what i think anyway.

"Dr." Hovind loves the "water canopy" theory also. That should how much credibility it has here.

On your other, God no longer intervened and yet made it law (an intervention)? 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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janedoe401 wrote:

janedoe401 wrote:

Basically, the theory is that the pre-flood earth was surrounded by a layer of water, kinda like a ballon of water or vapor canopy, and that is partly where God all that water to submerge the entire planet. As to where all that water went after the flood, i have no idea. I remember reading about it, but i forgot the details or where i read it from.

Please find your details and back up your assertion 

janedoe401 wrote:
Because of this protective layer, people lived longer than they do now.

Please back up your assertion. 

janedoe401 wrote:
Prior to the flood the earth apparently enjoyed a uniform sub-tropical climate everywhere. There were apparently no storms (hence no rainbows, Gen. 9:13), no wind (Gen. 8:1b), no snow, ice, floods. Water from springs prior to the flood was evidently abundant (Gen. 1:10) and a generous nightly mist, or very heavy dew watered the ground (Gen. 2:5). Fossils of tropical plants can be found in Alaska today, great coal beds have been discovered in Antarctica, and hundreds thousands of suddenly quick-frozen warm-weather mammoth elephants in Siberia. The surface of the earth has been drastically altered as a result of the flood.

Please back this up. 

janedoe401 wrote:
The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River was evidently the result of a sudden catastrophic draining of a huge inland lake, etc. (http://www.ldolphin.org/flood.shtml)

Could you please back this up with something other than a theist website? 

janedoe401 wrote:
Personally i think God intervined genetics wise in the procreation of the first humans. Scientific studies lately revealed that we all came from one "Eve", so its logical that we all came from one set of parents. God kept them from having birth or genetic defects, then after enough time and after the population has grown large enough to sustain itself, God no longer intervined and made it law not to marry among siblings.

Scientific studies?  Where?  When?  Please post links and back up your assertion. 

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Susan wrote:

vbn


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curiousjoe

curiousjoe wrote:
vbn

Sorry.  I'm not up on IM-speak.

VBN?

 

(I even tried Googling it so I wouldn't sound too un-cool.  All I got was "visitor based networking" and "virtual business network&quotEye-wink

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Why would I take the opinion

Why would I take the opinion of "answeringgenisis"? The Bible has narratives and poems... true. Both are considered literary genres... true. I accept the validity of Adam and Eve as a theological text.... true. I just can't see the contradiction when it's set up like this.


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If the Bible is just a

You should listen to answersingenesis on the basis of their logic which, in the matter of Biblical authority, is good. 

If the Bible is just a bunch of made up poems and stories, what is the basis of its claim to authority? What makes the Bible a better or more accurate guide to the truth of the universe than the Vedas or the Sigfried epics or Alice in Wonderland?

If some parts are meant to be taken as literally true and others not, how do you tell for sure which is which?

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A genuinely interesting and

A genuinely interesting and engaging question, I'll answer to the best of my ability. However, I think it first has to be established that there is no way to make an ontological claim without telling a story, a narrative upon which all other things are based. This story is pre-science, but tells a story about how science knows things. Objective truths, universal access to knowledge, potentially unbiased investigation, the autonomy of nature etc. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for science, it simply needs to be seen that the rejection of the transcendental in creation, the idea that everything is not contained within a creator God, is a story that is pre-scientific. And that a positivist conception has to be challenged. 

Having said that, I'll try to respond very briefly to your examples. For the Vedas, I have talked with some Hindu persons, but it doesn't seem to be true. I'm not talking about some purely internal "feeling", but the conception of needing to leave behind all pleasures of the body, including love, seems to me to be devaluating life. I don't think the body and mind can be seperated to that degree, that the individual is simply "mind", and that is the culmination of their being. We are animals, not angels. The senses, and pleasures, when used in pursuit of God, meaning controlled by rationallity and spirit to draw some (but not too much) on Plato, can lead us to the something greater than pure rationality could attain. I don't know the "sigfried epics", and wouldn't speak on a Wikipedia version anyhow. I'll try to find something. As for Alice in Wonderland, it's not clear to me it's either claiming truth, validity or an ontological perspective, but simply an investigation meant to be indicative of the "human condition". I could be wrong, I haven't read it, but that's my initial impression. In this regard it can be perfectly valid under another overarching narrative, or many.


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Hasn't anybody here heard

Hasn't anybody here heard of Lilith?  I plan on naming my future daughter Lilith.

Anyway, Ms. Lilith was the supposed first wife of Adam that didn't behave according to his command and got replaced by Eve... apparently she was quite sexual active so perhaps she's responsible for some of these missing people in the Bible.  Legend has it all of her children were demons.

As you can see Catholic school taught people to make up stories when their made up story (the bible) didn't work out.

Ok, that might be a little harsh for this forum, but Christians: Do you ever get frustrated with the lack of information on basic essential things in the Bible?  This would cause me to question divine inspiration in the authors. 


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Hey, thanks for the

Hey, thanks for the comment. I don't agree at all with that Catholic interpretation, but please, don't let that disrupt your plans for you child's name. Anyhow, the concept has no Biblical basis. Adam and Eve, in the original Hebrew, mean man and woman kind. To me this is indicative of the fact that it is a story meant to be indicative of the human experience and God's presence in it.


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Tankalish wrote: A

Tankalish wrote:

A genuinely interesting and engaging question, I'll answer to the best of my ability.

Cool, I look forward to your responses.

Tankalish wrote:
However, I think it first has to be established that there is no way to make an ontological claim without telling a story, a narrative upon which all other things are based.

Okay, not sure if I agree whether this is true, but it doesn't seem material to the question. I'll grant that telling a story is definitely *a* way to make an ontological claim. But a story doesn't have an automatic claim to any authority because it is a story rather than some other form.

Tankalish wrote:
This story is pre-science, but tells a story about how science knows things. Objective truths, universal access to knowledge, potentially unbiased investigation, the autonomy of nature etc.

Seeing an error of composition here maybe? Just because a text talks about some things that are or may be true doesn't mean the whole text is automatically true.

Tankalish wrote:
Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for science, it simply needs to be seen that the rejection of the transcendental in creation, the idea that everything is not contained within a creator God, is a story that is pre-scientific. And that a positivist conception has to be challenged.

I think maybe you're confusing me here with Todangst or Deludedgod. I'm not a positivist--I'm a rhetorician. So I necessarily accept that all arrangements of signs have potential meaning.

Tankalish wrote:
For the Vedas, I have talked with some Hindu persons, but it doesn't seem to be true. I'm not talking about some purely internal "feeling", but the conception of needing to leave behind all pleasures of the body, including love, seems to me to be devaluating life.

Sounds like the argument from personal incredulity here. Because you personally can't believe it, can't reconcile it with the logic of your own personal perception of mind/body dichotomy, it must not be true.

900 million Hindus would disagree.

 

Tankalish wrote:
I don't know the "sigfried epics", and wouldn't speak on a Wikipedia version anyhow. I'll try to find something.

You can read a libretto of Wagner's Ring of the Nimbelungen or just a collection on Norse mythology. Lord of the Rings is loosely based on some parts of the Sigfried story. The point is that it's a competing story which was once considered an accurate history of the creation, progress and end of the world including information on divine beings and the afterlife.  Now it's considered literature.  Why hasn't the same thing happened to the Bible?

Tankalish wrote:
As for Alice in Wonderland, it's not clear to me it's either claiming truth, validity or an ontological perspective, but simply an investigation meant to be indicative of the "human condition".

Whether or not it claims an ontological perspective, it can still be read as providing one. In the Bible, the Song of Songs and some other more literary parts aren't necessarily claiming truth or validity, but they get applied that way by some readers. If I found a religion based on the Mad Tea Party chapter of Alice, why is my claim to the authority of my religious text any different from the claims by Christians about the authority of the Bible?

Tankalish wrote:
I could be wrong, I haven't read it, but that's my initial impression. In this regard it can be perfectly valid under another overarching narrative, or many.

It's a good read. I recommend the Peter Laughlan Heath edition with extensive footnotes about the logical/philosophical implications of what the characters say and do. It's a great tool for studying formal logic.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Christian Nerd

Christian Nerd wrote:

Answers to various questions in this thread:

(1) Since Adam & Eve were the first man and woman and Cain was their son, Cain's wife had to be either one of his sisters or a niece.

(2) People lived 700-900 years back then and had a long productive life. Eve probably had hundreds of kids.

(3) Adam and Eve had perfect chromosomes, so incest was not wrong. Their chromosomes stayed pretty much damage free due to the hydrosphere. This was a layer of clear water like our ozone layer, except that it protected people much better from the sun's harmful rays.

(4) It was only after the flood that mutations crept into our genome. During the flood the hydrosphere came down and covered the earth. Also a lot of water came from below the land. Remember, there were no oceans before the flood. The earth was all one land mass. Because people had hundreds of children, the earth filled up, which is why we have lots of oil (dead fauna) and coal (dead flora).

(5) After the flood, the human genome became more and more corrupted due to the rays of the sun and God had to outlaw incest.

(6) Each of us has 2 copies of each gene. If one is bad, the good one will keep us alive, usually. Brother and sister often have bad copies of the same gene. So, if the have a child, the child has a 50% chance of getting the bad copy from the mom and a 50% chance of getting a bad copy from the dad. This gives the child a 25% chance of getting 2 bad copies of a crucial gene. With no good copy, it dies or is deformed, or sickly. So, incest is outlawed. This was not true in the pre-flood era when everyone had only good copies of each gene and there was no possibility of getting a bad copy.

 

"I will lead you into the pit, laughing!" from Karl Marx's black mass, "Eulanem."

Wow thats a whole load of completely unsuported claims you are making in order back up your God Theory. When you start have to making up this much stuff, exlaining away so much with unsported claims you should reallly start to examine th theory you are srabbling about to defend. Its normally a clue that the initail theory is simply wrong. Luckily science has provided a far better answer that does not require require things like "The hydrosphere" or "people living for 900 years" or "perfect chromosones" or "women having hundreds of children"

 

 


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Cool, lemme rephrase some

Cool, lemme rephrase some things to be sure we're on the same page. By narrative I simply meant unsupported ontological claims. Not like "Moses saw a burning bush", but "there is no such thing as the transcendental" coupled with "there is a physical existence" and "senses accurately relay data", or the converse, just to name a few. And I would agree that stories aren't valid in and of themselves but have to enter into dialogue with the way things are, the existence they are trying to explain. I think this speaks to the error of composition,  but the point is valid, which is why I believe you can't cut and pase holy texts, part of the claim is their unity. Yeah, think thats it. r

Now for my critiques. There's nothing else I can base my assumption on for the body mind duality. I mean I'm drawing from a philosophical tradition, not only Christian, but Greek and modern into the post-modern. 900 million Hindus disagree, 2 billion(ish) Christians agree, it's big numbers, but in the end comes down to investigation and coherency of course.

Now why the Bible hasn't collapsed into a mere literary text, you may find some disonnance between me and other Christians. I believe it's because there is a tradition tracking back to an event, namely the crucfiixion, and that the validity of the story is the best explanation for the resulting pheonomenon. Namely mass conversions in hostile territory.


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You are going to get a

You are going to get a variety of answers on this question because people are approaching it in different ways. One approach presumes that the Bible must be inerrant, therefore any gaps that are found must have an explanation. With this approach, we get answers such as that Adam had a sister. These answers are guesses or logical deductions based on the premise that gaps cannot exist, but because the answers are based on an assumption rather than evidence, almost any answer should suffice. Therefore, with this approach, we may as well go with the most simple answer, which would be that God made it happen magically. In other words, if you want to know whether this is a gap or error in the Bible, don't ask anyone who takes this approach, because by default it cannot be an error, which makes asking futile.

The other approach presumes nothing and deduces an answer after examining the information, whether the answer shows a Biblical gap/error or not. The person who takes this approach is the only one who is capable of knowing whether there is a gap/error.

This is a very good question! I had not noticed this before. I would say that either there was information omitted, which would mean the Bible is not a complete source of information regarding its subjects, or that it is an error, or, that there is a related document that was omitted from the Bible. Notice that I am not saying anything about whether it is fact or fiction. For the record, I believe that it is fiction.


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Tankalish wrote: Cool,

Tankalish wrote:

Cool, lemme rephrase some things to be sure we're on the same page. By narrative I simply meant unsupported ontological claims. Not like "Moses saw a burning bush", but "there is no such thing as the transcendental" coupled with "there is a physical existence" and "senses accurately relay data", or the converse, just to name a few.

hmmm, not making sense of that part or how it relates to the original question about the inerrancy of the Bible. 

Tankalish wrote:
And I would agree that stories aren't valid in and of themselves but have to enter into dialogue with the way things are, the existence they are trying to explain.

Agree, but don't see how this relates to the veracity of stories.

Tankalish wrote:
I think this speaks to the error of composition, but the point is valid, which is why I believe you can't cut and pase holy texts, part of the claim is their unity. Yeah, think thats it. r

So then you agree that the Bible either has to be completely true or completely unreliable because it takes its claim to authority from its unity?  Am I reading that right?

Tankalish wrote:
Now for my critiques. There's nothing else I can base my assumption on for the body mind duality.I mean I'm drawing from a philosophical tradition, not only Christian, but Greek and modern into the post-modern.

Welllll, you could base it on a more complete study of the way that other traditions and cultures construct mind/body.  That information is freely available to those who look (seek and ye shall find).

 

Tankalish wrote:
900 million Hindus disagree, 2 billion(ish) Christians agree, it's big numbers, but in the end comes down to investigation and coherency of course.

Ad populam--my reason for quoting the number was not to say that Hinduism is more popular, therefore more valid, but only to show that a significant number of presumably rational humans have come to different conclusions.

...and are you actually claiming that the Christian tradition is *more* coherent than other religious traditions?  I think I'm going to need some evidence before I buy that one.   

Tankalish wrote:
Now why the Bible hasn't collapsed into a mere literary text, you may find some disonnance between me and other Christians. I believe it's because there is a tradition tracking back to an event, namely the crucfiixion, and that the validity of the story is the best explanation for the resulting pheonomenon. Namely mass conversions in hostile territory.

  Okies, works for me.  I could come up with a couple of religions that similiarly had a tradition tracking to an event and experienced mass conversions that are now considered literary (Neo-Platonism springs to mind), but it's not really material to the main argument  about AiG's argument that you can't admit any error in the Bible without invalidating all its authority.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Cain's Wife

I approach the question from a different angle than many, more literal minded, Christians. I see no serious obstacle to viewing the creation account in an evolutionary framework. Thusly,Cain's wife was not his immediate relative, but rather a member of a distinctly different clan that arose over time separately from his. It's interesting that Genesis makes no attempt to even address the question. Guess that leaves the door open to postulation!