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Do women really have an extra rib?
One of the most persistent arguments used by many to “prove” the Bible is true is that women have more ribs than men. This “fact” is glibly repeated over coffee and donuts or innocently recited to children in Sunday School. After all, the Bible does say that woman was made from one of Adam’s ribs.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. (Genesis 2:21-22)
These verses tell us how God made the first woman. But would women from that point have more ribs than men? No.
If someone accidentally cut off a finger or lost an arm or leg in an accident, would we expect children he had after the loss to be missing a finger, arm, or leg? If a man has an appendix or gall bladder removed, would his children be born without these organs? Of course, no one would even suggest such a thing. However, in the case of Adam and his rib, this unsupportable concept continues to be propagated.
Adam continued to have the genetic information for a complete set of ribs. This genetic information was passed on to his offspring, both male and female. Thus his offspring should have had complete sets of ribs.
The most basic picture book of the human body shows even young children that women and men have the same number of ribs. Observations in the present world thus instantly disprove this anatomic legend. Since the rib fable is so readily refuted with simple anatomic facts, we wonder why many well-meaning Christians continue to spread it.
The rib fable is definitely an argument Christians should not use.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.