According to the Holy Bible, Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden, paradise on earth, because they ate “of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” (Contrary to popular belief, the Bible never mentions what form the “fruit” took. It was not an apple, as is the common misconception.) They were also condemned to die (eventually, not right there on the spot). The snake, who had tempted Eve (believed by most Christians to be in this passage a metaphor for the Devil), lost his legs due to God’s curse, and Eve, because she had tempted her husband after she herself got tempted, got a really raw deal.
“[God] said to the woman: I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children with painful effort.” Genesis 3:16 (Christian Standard Bible). Pretty harsh.
It is a fact that scientists believe that, for our primitive ancestors, giving birth was a far less painful affair. Does this prove the literalness of Genesis? Are women “cursed”? Actually, yes, but it’s a different sort of curse. In order for primitive humans to walk upright, it was necessary for the human pelvic bone to undergo adaptation. It became narrower, thus it became harder for a female to give birth. As with knowing the difference between good and evil, painful childbirth is just one of the costs we have to pay for being human. The Genesis story is powerful metaphor.
That demarcation point, that dividing line between human and animal, that’s the place that fascinates me. At what point we started being “us” and stopped being just another beast. Did we learn to walk upright first, or did this come after?