Bible Answer

How did Indians in North America come from Adam and Eve?

If all men came from Adam and Eve in Mesopotamia, how did the Indians of North America get to America?

From the account of the Flood in Genesis, we can make some assumptions as to how different peoples were dispersed around the world after the Flood.

It’s pretty clear from looking at a world map that the major continents fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Most geologists believe that all of the land masses were together as a single piece of land. This “supercontinent” has been called “Pangea” (from the Greek “pan”, meaning entire, and “gaia” for earth).

Scientists debate how quickly Pangea broke apart. Those believing in evolution tend to view this as occurring over millions or even billions of years. Since evolution is inconsistent with Scripture, we know this must have occurred over a much shorter period of time, most likely as a result of the Flood. Let’s see how Scripture describes this event.

In Genesis 7:11, we read:

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.

This was the first rain that ever fell upon the earth, as we read elsewhere in Genesis that God previously sent up a mist that watered the earth. There was probably adequate water in the atmosphere and from fountains below the earth to cover the world in water. If you're wondering where the water all went, it's still here, in our oceans. Our oceans are simply deeper and the mountains are now higher than they were before and during the Flood.

Regardless, it’s important to note in the text “all the fountains of the great deep burst open." Clearly, there were large amounts of water under the earth that burst open when God sent the Flood. Furthermore, when the regions like the Atlantic ridge began to open up like a zip in a mega earthquake spanning the globe, vast quantities of ocean water would have poured in onto hot rock. The water would have superheated and then shot up into the atmosphere causing, in effect, more fountains that would have covered the earth and potentially the "floodgates of the sky". This is the start of Pangea breaking apart.

Exactly how quickly the continents moved into the position we see them today Scripture does not tell us. Though, it is reasonable to assume that almost all of the continental drift (or in this case, race) occurred throughout the year of the Flood. However, we do know from Genesis 7:21-23 that:

All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.

So, from Scripture and from the world today we can know the following: Noah and his family were the only humans on the face of the earth; it would have taken time for Noah and his family to repopulate the earth; we now find humans on every major continent on the earth (apart from Antarctica); and there is archaeological evidence that peoples have lived on every continent for thousands of years, including some like the Indians of North America and the Aborigines of Australia, who show no history of sea navigation.

From these facts, we can safely conclude that men walked to North America and Australia rather than traveling by ship. Given this data, we can conclude that there must have been a way for peoples to travel from continent to continent by land. Scripture does not address this directly, so we have to make some assumptions from scientific findings.

Many scientists theorize there were “land bridges” connecting the continents during an Ice Age. Computer modelling of post-Flood conditions has demonstrated that immediately following the Flood the oceans were a little warmer than they are today. This warmth would have led to increased evaporation and significantly increased rain/snowfall and massive ice build up on the continents. Effectively, the Flood is also the best explanation we have of how the Ice Age even began. It would have taken roughly 700 years for the oceans to cool off to their current levels. However during the Ice Age, the sea levels are a little lower (because of all the ice) and the combination of low sea level and increased ice meant that land bridges would have effectively connected every continent for the duration of the Ice Age. 

God gave mankind this direction originally in Genesis 8:17 saying,

Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.

We assume that the animals didn't have problems repopulating and migration all over the earth, but we know from scripture that man did not obey and for the immediate few hundred years after the Flood mostly everyone stayed in the same region. So God intervened. At the tower of Babel in Genesis 10, God tells of the various families of the sons of Noah that repopulated the earth. Genesis 10:25 says,

Two sons were born to Eber; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.

Peleg means “division," while earth here can mean land or inhabitants. In Genesis 11:4-9, we read that there was only one language in all the earth, and we encounter the story of the tower of Babel. The story is encapsulated in the following verses:

They said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth. The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. ”Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

Clearly, the Lord did not want the people to stay in one place. Rather, He wanted them to scatter abroad, which God accomplished by creating different languages. It’s logical to assume that those who could understand one another stayed together and were traveled together to one part of the earth, and likewise for every distinct language group. It is also likely that God split people up by families following patriarchal lines. We get this understanding from modern genetics.

Some people claim it’s also possible that Genesis 10:25 refers to both the division of the inhabitants of the earth as well as the division of the continents. However, this is unlikely, because such an event (the continents being divided rather rapidly at the time of the tower of Babel) would probably be recorded in human history. For example, most ancient cultures have an account of the Flood, no doubt handed down from Noah and his sons.

The Tower of Babel would have occurred at roughly the peak Ice Age level meaning that families and tribes were able to travel, by foot, to every corner of the globe (except Antarctica). This migration would have included the original families that eventually formed the Indians of North America.