What happened however was that within a few generations worship of God was replaced by worship of nature: the sun, the moon the trees...
God was forgotten and idol worship was practiced by all. It is this breakdown of the relationship with God that categorizes the early history described in the Bible.
The Jewish conception of God is that of Creator, Sustainer and Supervisor, which means not a God who created the world and then went on vacation to Miami, but an infinite Being who is actively involved in creation.
To put it more philosophically: The entire physical world is a creation of God's consciousness.
We begin counting the Jewish Year One from the creation of Adam who is seen as the physical and spiritual pinnacle in terms of the creation of the world.
As the Book of Genesis relates it, Adam was created on the sixth day in the process of creation, more than 5760 years ago.
Just as the movie director starts the cameras rolling when the big actors show up on the set (even though years of preparation may have gone into the project before the actual filming starts), so too does God start His earth clock when Adam appears on the planet. Every pleasure we experience and every meaningful relationship we make in this world is just a small taste of the ultimate relationship of our soul with our creator.
The lesson to be learned form this is that the focus of creation is humanity. (see: Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, Derech Hashem I:2:1) That is what the Garden of Eden is all about.
People felt that showing respect to the various visible forces of nature, created by God, would be the way to indirectly show respect to God Himself.The plot line of human history should have been very straightforward: God places us in a perfect environment where are free to do that which we were created for.