I remember a student asking this question in my intro philosophy class back in school. It sounds like a silly question, but it has fueled vigorous theological argument. The question can be analyzed on several levels:
Superficially, the problem is that belly buttons are a scar remaining from the detachment of the umbilical cord, and since Adam and Even were fully-formed in their adult form, they would have no trace of such a scar. So the answer is no.
Not so fast. “God created man in His own image”, so if every man has a belly button, God must have one too! But belly-buttons are unnecessary to an immortal being, so if God took on the shape of a mortal being, he must have formed Himself in man’s image! (Perhaps men formed God in their image?)
Would God create a fictional ancestry for man, or provide demonstrative proof of his creation but also show than mortal men are not made in his image after all?
A related debate has been held in the field of astronomy.
The speed of light was first measured in the 17th century by observing that the orbit of Jupiter’s moon Io took slightly longer when earth moved away from Jupiter. The delay of 16 minutes and 40 seconds was caused by the longer time the light reflected from Io took to reach earth. Since that time, we have much more sophisticated methods for measuring the speed of light – such as a microwave lined with marshmallows.
In 1838, astronomers were able to use the motion of the earth to measure the distance to stars, and realized that some of them were very far away. This can be confirmed visually by observing that the position of stars within constellations do not change between summer and winter, despite the fact that earth moves to a different position within the solar system. In fact, the stars are so far away, that the starlight we see in the night sky might have started out thousands, millions, or even billions of years ago! If that’s true, then how can the earth’s age be the biblically-correct value?
A similar question has been posed by geologists, biologists, nuclear physicists, cosmologists, molecular biologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, linguists, geneticists, and other assorted heathens and skeptics regarding the age of the earth. How can God-fearing folk reconcile so many observations with the Holy Word?
One response is to say that God created the universe in its current form to make it appear old. Why would He do this? Perhaps it’s a test of our faith. If we could see the evidence of the creation miracle firsthand, it wouldn’t be called “faith,” would it? The idea that God is fooling us may be hard to grasp, but so is the idea that Noah tended to a T-Rex on the Ark, men rode triceratops, and a flood carved the Great Canyon.
But if God is fooling us, is there any point to science at all? After all, the universe may have been created 5,000 years – or 5 minutes ago in its present form, with memories of things that never happened. On the plus side, there would be no point in trying to prove how old the universe is, since the evidence would be conveniently set up to mislead us. On the down side, it would be just as futile for creationists to prove how young the earth is, since they would be trying to find gaps in the illusion of an infallible being.
So did Adam have a belly button? If he did, then God is deceiving us about the origin of the universe, and any search for evidence of the divine is a futile challenge to His omnipotence. One would have to rest one’s beliefs entirely on faith and abandon reliance on reality. If he did not, then the evidence must be all around us – making faith entirely superfluous.