One thing that may help this discussion (of the original topic) is that our English translation of the original texts is faulty at best. For example, in Genesis, the original Hebrew has "adam" and / or "ha-adam" which in English can be translated into several different words: Adam (a male name), man / male, or human / humankind. Couple that with the lack of punctuation and capitalization in old Hebrew, and verse 1:26-27 can begin to be translated in a multitude of ways. One way would be to put more emphasis on God creating one human, called Adam, in His image and likeness, and later created the female counterpart:
26 And God said, `Let Us make Adam in Our image and likeness. Let him rule over fish of the sea, and over fowl of the heavens, and over cattle, and over all the earth, and over everything that creeps on the earth.'
27 And God made Adam in His image, and in this image of God He prepared him. God created both a male and a female.
Others have argued that a better translation would be to translate the word "adam" in these instances as "humankind", and to keep verse 27 as one sentence instead of as two separate sentences:
26 And God said, `Let Us make humankind in Our image and likeness, and let them rule over fish of the sea, and over fowl of the heavens, and over cattle, and over all the earth, and over everything that creeps on the earth.'
27 And God made humankind in His image, and in the image of God He prepared [a person]*: a male and a female He prepared them.
I tend to agree more with this second translation. Not only does it place females in the same esteem as males of our species, it also shows that it was "humankind" itself that is in God's image and likeness, not just one person or one sex. That in order to understand what God is like, you have to know of all of humankind. If translated in this light, these verses suggest that God created humankind but never suggests that there was only one pair of humans that had to populate the world. If so, then there may not be any incest involved, unless you mapped families to very distant cousins. * the original translation uses the masculine pronoun for "adam", so the best translated English word is "him". But if trying to use the gender-neutral definition of "adam", then using a gender-neutral noun to refer to "humankind" is more appropriate. Hence the reason for "a person" being set apart by the square brackets.
Another great area of disagreement as to the translation of the Bible is in the word "created". On the one hand, this word can be thought of as "bringing into existence" or "creation ex nihilo". St. Thomas of Aquinas supports this version of translation. On the other hand, "created" can be translated as being "bringing about order from a chaotic mass" or "creation ex materia" -- a view supported by St. Augustine. Again I tend to agree with the second translation rather than the first. If the former semantic is used, then human's were "popped" into being out of nothing, giving rise to qon's view of God being a magician in the sky. However if the latter definition is used, then humans were "molded" from what already existed, allowing for our scientific explanation for the origin of our species -- that humankind was "made" out of the chaotic gene-pool of early primates, to give order to our genes such that both physical and mental acuity would be the "fittest" for a being's survival. I believe that this is what mattymatt was saying when stating that the Catholic church believes that religion and science can co-exist; that science says hows things happen, and religion says provides meaning and morality to our existence.
Again for the sake of discussion about incest, if the ex nihilo view is used, it suggests more of the "Adam and Eve" story of one couple being created out of nothing, and being told to populate the Earth (leading to the idea of incest). However, if the latter viewpoint is used, then humankind could have evolved from its primate ancestors, which may or may not be close family relatives, and being that we know the genetic troubles incest causes, the fittest beings probably were not offspring of an incestuous coupling.
One question that I've always wondered about looking at the literal translation of the Hebrew, esp. concerning these passages, is the use of the word "Elohim" which is translated into God. However it should more appropriately be translated as "gods" since "Elohim" is the plural of "Eloah". This plural version continues in the text where it says "`Let Us make humankind in Our image and likeness...'" Since Judaism (and by extension, Christianity) is a monotheistic religion, it is curious that the Bible uses the plural word for God suggesting a pantheon of gods were involved in the world's creation and not just one God.... Ok, I realize that's off topic as to incest in the Bible, but it's just something curious if trying to read the Bible literally which is what seems to be happening when presenting the question of incest to begin with.