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So you don’t believe in Adam and Eve? Ask an atheist for advice!

[This post will remain at the top of the page until 8:00 am EST tomorrow, June 5. For reader convenience, other coverage continues below. - UD News]

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Tyro, Drew, Ray Moscow, Andrei, Dr. I. Needtob Athe, Anatman, Chris McNeely, Marcello, John Salerno, Miles, Mark, TheShortEaredOwl, Solomon Wagstaff, Evan Guiney, KP, Sven DiMilo, Patrick, Kevin Anthoney, Ftfkdad, Happy Cat, Prof. Pedant, Ben Goren, Qbsmd and Tim Byron. Most of these guys are card-carrying atheists, but by the time you’ve finished reading this post, you’ll absolutely love them.

I have argued before (see here) that the best refutations of arguments for atheism are often those written by atheists themselves. But wait, there’s more! Funnily enough, it turns out that atheists can do a better job of defending key religious doctrines than religious believers themselves.

As readers are well aware, Intelligent Design Theory is not about defending any religious doctrine: its methods are scientific, and its concern is with patterns in Nature that are best explained as the product of intelligent agency. Nevertheless, many Intelligent Design proponents are religious believers, and this post is on a topic that will interest those who are. One key religious doctrine that has been getting a lot of attention lately (see this article by Darrel Falk at Biologos and this recent article by Richard Ostling in Christianity Today) is the doctrine that all human beings are descended from a single pair: Adam and Eve. Jews, Christians and Muslims alike have traditionally affirmed this doctrine, which is still accepted by most Orthodox Jews and by all Muslims, and has been constantly affirmed by the Christian Church from the very beginning, and is still considered binding by Eastern Orthodox Christians, Catholics and many Evangelical Christians.

The problem is that science seems to conclusively demonstrate that this doctrine is simply wrong. Genetic data indicate that there are simply too many different kinds of genes around for all human beings to have descended from two people. There have been genetic bottlenecks in the past, but the smallest bottleneck was one of 10,000-15,000 individuals that occurred between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago. Incidentally, the size of this bottleneck (at least 10,000 people) also rules out any “accommodationist” suggestion that Adam was simply the leader of his tribe, and hence the acknowledged leader of the human race. Tribes never get that big, and there’s no way all of them could have known Adam anyway, so they couldn’t be held accountable for any decision he made.

It gets worse. Even if we define Adam and Eve broadly as a male and a female who were the ancestors of every living human being, it looks like they never met. Mitochondrial DNA takes us back to a single female ancestor who lived about 140,000 years ago, but the genes on the Y chromosome go back to a male who lived about 60,000 to 90,000 years ago.

To cap it all, the genes in the nucleus trace back to different ancestors living at times, some as far back as two million years, so our genetic legacy comes from many different individuals. It doesn’t go back to just two individuals, regardless of when they may have lived.

Professor Jerry Coyne has thrown down the gauntlet to religious believers, in a post entitled, Adam and Eve: the ultimate standoff between faith and science (and a contest). After arguing that science rules out the existence of Adam and Eve, and scolding Biologos founder Dr. Francis Collins for failing to come out and say so, Coyne decided to take pity on the poor evangelical Christians who cannot give up their belief in Adam and Eve, as it would destroy their faith. Tongue-in-cheek, he writes:

BUT. . . we can help them! Like Michael Ruse, let’s lend our brains—and our considerable expertise in theology—to this enterprise, so we can relieve these poor Christians of their burden. For an autographed paperback edition of WEIT [Why Evolution is True – VJT], in one short paragraph propose your own theological solution:

What is the best way to reconcile the Biblical story of Adam and Eve with the genetic facts?

When I read that, a big smile crept over my face. I knew from past experience that some atheists are very smart cookies, and I also knew that when a lot of people work on a problem together, they’ll come up with a solution sooner or later. Two heads are better than one.

Sure enough, I found some answers that far surpassed in ingenuity anything I’d seen on the Christian side. And I have to say, some of the answers are quite good.

After looking through the 300-or-so comments that have rolled in to date, and weeding out the silliest ones (time travel; God got Alzheimer’s; Adam is the Ground of Being; Adam and Eve were aliens; Adam coalesced at some point, like Schrodinger’s cat; Adam and Eve were the result of a quantum entanglement; God made Adam simply because He got bored looking at Eve; most people living aren’t real people anyway, and hence are not descended from Adam and Eve), I decided to present the “best of the rest” to readers at Uncommon Descent. The proposals are of varying degrees of religious orthodoxy. I have listed them here because they contain a number of genuinely interesting ideas. I don’t care where I get my ideas from – and I am not ashamed to borrow from atheists, even ones writing stuff they totally disbelieve, if I think that their ideas nevertheless have some merit.

I’ve attempted to sort the attempted solutions into general categories. Leaving aside the totally crazy proposals listed above, I’ve identified no less than fourteen different solutions to the problem of Adam and Eve! Which ones do you like the best?

And now, my readers, over to you.

PROPOSALS FOR RECONCILING THE BIBLICAL STORY OF ADAM AND EVE WITH THE GENETIC FACTS

1. Divine Genetic Engineering Before the Fall

Drew (first model)

…how about “The Multi-germic Theory”

God created Adam and Eve roughly 140,000 years ago but imparted them both with many germ line cells each carrying a different genome, this allowed that each of Adam and Eve’s children would not be genetic siblings so that there would be no loss of fitness due to sibling interbreeding. Each distinct gene set was based roughly on the genomes of various human-like beings that had evolved through natural processes but was distinct enough that it allowed for the brain to interact with a soul.

… you see everything else evolved but man did not, and god made it look as though man had evolved by having the F1 generation be genetically diverse enough that you can’t scientifically tell that there were only two human people that started the whole thing off, and yet similar enough to existing hominins that the evolutionary line appears unbroken.

It may also have been necessary that for a few generations following F1 the individuals continued to have the variable germ cells to further protect the offspring from inbreeding defects.

Drew (second model)

Or we could also try this.

Roughly 140,000 years ago God slightly tinkered with the genes of two existing hominin pairs to ensure that the next baby they each had would have brains which were capable of interacting with a soul. These two individuals, one male and one female were Adam and Eve. God then imparted them both with many germ line cells each carrying a different genome, this allowed that each of Adam and Eve’s children would not be genetic siblings so that there would be no loss of fitness due to sibling interbreeding. Each distinct gene set was based roughly on the genomes of various human-like beings that had preceded Adam and Eve, which had evolved through natural processes, but was distinct enough that it allowed for the brains of the offspring also to interact with a soul. One consequence of this modification was that it gave the F1 generation enough genetic diversity to appear as though they sprang up from a large pool of existing ancestors. It may also have been necessary that for a few generations following F1 that the individuals continued to have the variable germ cells to further protect the offspring from inbreeding defects.

Ray Moscow

It’s pretty simple: Adam and Eve were real people, but they were loaded up with lots of extra genetic diversity so that their offspring would only seem to have derived from a breeding population of many thousands instead of the biblical two individuals.

How this seeming genetic diversity happened involved some subtly divine genetic manipulation that mere man is frankly not ready to understand but which arrogant, atheist scientists will exploit to further their godless agenda.

(Comment by a reader: Adam and Eve were polyploid.)

Andrei

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, then He commanded the water and the earth to bring forth the vegetation and all kinds of living creatures, this way starting the evolution. After a while the early hominids evolved, including the proto-humans. Then God created a garden in the land of Eden, and a man in his image. He made man out of clay or dirt, which means He took all the best genes from the population of proto-humans, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. He also created a female human out of the same genetic material, and so the first pair of true humans were made, Adam and Eve. Their genetic make-up was perfectly compatible with the one of proto-humans, but the selection of the best genes determined their extended longevity and fertility. They also received immortal soul, which made them the first earthly creatures capable of direct communication with God. The Tree of Knowledge was intended to provide them with the knowledge of right and wrong and make them God-like creatures. Its fruits were intended to be consumed after the humans multiply enough, but Adam and Eve were too hasty, and after they ate the fruits, the only choice was to let them and their descendants to breed with the proto-humans. It was relatively easy since their lifespan was very long and they were fertile all the time due to the perfect choice of genes. However the genetics of proto-humans was not so perfect, and eventually their descendants lost the ability to communicate with God. Besides, they started to interbreed with other hominid species such as Neanderthals. At this time God decided to make the Great Flood to get rid of the unwanted genetic pollution. The survivors all had immortal souls but only few of them were capable of communicating with God directly. The Resurrection of Jesus finally opened a way for the spiritual rebirth and restoration of the direct link between God and humans.

Tim Byron

Clearly, modern genetic analyses have failed to account for the extreme difference in the ages to which the earliest men lived; the Bible describes Adam as having lived for 930 years; similarly many of his male descendants – Noah and Methuselah lived for lengthy periods of time. However, the Bible does not record the length of the lives of Biblical women; Eve may have only lived a tenth of the life of Adam. It is likely that the different lifespans of men and women accounts for the variation between the ages of Mitochondrial Eve and Y Chromosome Adam. As to the genetic diversity present in humanity, while it is left unmentioned in the Bible, God had designed Adam so that his sperm, instead of containing simply two sets of chromosomes, as in modern humans, actually carried at least 15 different chromosomal variations. Thus, Cain and Abel effectively had different chromosomes except for the Y, which God left the same so that future Christian scientists would be able to see the glory of his work. Of course the point of this was to avoid the effects of inbreeding that can occur in limited genetic pools. So, as you can see, a closer reading of the Bible easily accounts for the genetic data.

2. Divine genetic engineering after the Fall, to assist the human race

Dr. I. Needtob Athe

An undocumented miracle took place as the human race grew from Adam and Eve. Genetic information was deliberately altered by God over the course of many generations to provide diversity in the human race, until the population reached a size where divine intervention was no longer needed. God finally completed this project with the miracle of the virgin birth of Jesus, after which he allowed the natural laws of heredity to take over while he tended to other matters. Of course this intervention is not documented in the Bible because, at the time the Bible was written, mankind lacked the knowledge to comprehend it.

3. Divine Genetic Engineering after the Fall, as a punishment for sin

anatman

Simple enough. Adam and Eve were of course real and they were the ancestors of all humanity. Their genes, with a few mutations (and the genetic load of original sin) were in all early humans. As a result, the Noah bottleneck made little difference. When the tower of Babel was built, while he was confusing the languages of the people of the world, God also confused the gene pool, creating the genetic diversity we see today. As this was basically a punishment for hubris, he also made the genes appear to have wildly different ages and to seem to date back to a fictional time before the creation…

4. Satan created human lookalikes before the Fall

Chris McNeely

It would seem that the best way to reconcile the Biblical story of Adam and Eve with the genetic facts would consist in affirming a dualistic creation. In this dualistic creation theory, God does indeed create, ex nihilo, as pure gift, a universe, which is by definition a good creation. In this theory, the Angels, as created beings whose teleological goal is to carry out God’s creative plan for this universe, actively help with the manifestation of God’s plan, as a contractor and construction workers carry out the design of an architect. However, one Angel, Lucifer, rebels against his appointed telos and attempts to usurp God’s aseity; that is, he forgets his created nature and decides to, if you will, out-create the Creator. Lucifer leads a war against God, with the assistance of other rebellious Angels, during the course of which the universe is damaged in some permanent manner; in this way planets once inhabitable became barren wastes. The outcome of this heavenly rebellion follows the familiar Miltonic narrative, and is consistent with traditional Christian glosses upon certain scriptures, such as Isaiah 14:12, but with this difference: the pre-Adamic life we now know existed, based upon the best science of the past 150 years or so, was created by Lucifer and not God. But, being a created being, rather than the Creator Himself, Lucifer’s creations could only be terrible simulacrums of God’s creative plan, parasitic imposters: dinosaurs, australopithecines, or apelike ancestors, rather than the rational man and woman, Adam and Eve, capable of free choice and bearing the imago Dei. God’s free decision to create Adam and Eve stands in contradistinction to the miserable failure of a creation wrought by Lucifer and his demons. In this way special creation, as testified in Genesis, can remain an inviolable standard of Christian faith, and need fear no further assaults from naturalistic assumptions or materialist ontologies.

5. Satan created human lookalikes after the Fall and used them to tempt Adam and Eve

Tyro

God created Adam and Eve, pure and in his own image. They dwelt in safety and tranquility in the Garden of Eden until they succumbed to temptation by the snake, Satan. When they were cast out, they left the good graces of God and sank into the clutches of the devil.

In this Fallen world, the devil created many creatures to further tempt Adam and Eve, to draw them apart and to poison the pure genetic gift God blessed them with. As a cruel joke, the devil didn’t base these bodies on the pure form of Adam, but used apes, stretching and folding them till they stood and resembled True Man, like a misshapen mutt might resemble a wolf. Yet the devil is strong and these creatures could breed with God’s creation, yea though their genes were corrupt and they were broken from brain to body.

Atheistic scientists today see this as a “breeding population” of “early humans” but we know the Truth, brothers and sisters….

Do not be confused. Adam and Eve were real, live people. The first with souls, the first humans to walk this earth. Their traces are lost to science, drowned out by Satan’s creations but we know, sisters and brothers, we know the truth! …

6. Satan tampered with human genes after the Fall

Marcello

Coalescent theory relies on neutral mutations and drift, i.e. randomness, which is obviously a manifestation of Satan’s power of corruption and deception. Before the fall Adam and Eve were free of corruption, the product of perfect design (what scientists call ‘adaptations’). There is no doubt that, if one had looked into their genes, the signs of adaptations would have been manifest. After the fall Satan disrupted the work of God introducing randomness; genetic drift ensued. Thus, not only did Satan threaten to destroy the plan of Creation; he still aims at perverting Man’s power of inquiry through deceptive evidence. And unless scientists are prepared to recognize this fact they will think that their population genetics models reflect a reality that was not affected by the fall, thus falling prey of Satan’s powers of deception.

7. Adam’s sin gave rise to mutations which scrambled the human genome

John Salerno

As St. Paul explains, “through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law” (Rom. 5:12). Though man was created in the perfect image of God, Adam’s transgression removed humanity from the eminence of God’s grace and introduced sickness, disease, and death into the genetic material, causing a rapid decline in genetic quality. And as “the Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom. 5:20), God introduced Mosaic Law for the express purpose of increasing human transgression so that humanity’s chance to receive His grace would increase. But this increase in transgression further contributed to the decline of human genetic material. It is because of the genetic degradation experienced by humans since original sin until the present day that our modern genome appears inconsistent with the history of our ancient ancestors. God’s gift of expedited justification necessarily entailed the transgressional declination.

P.S. The scary thing is that whichever entry wins might actually be used by some fundies to make a case for Adam and Eve! Of course, what a great thing it would be to point out that they had to resort to getting it from atheists who were *forcing* a solution out of thin air!

[Hey, John. I’ve got no shame, and I’ll cheerfully borrow ideas from anyone. But I also believe in giving credit where credit’s due. – VJT.]

8. Mutations were much more common in the past

Miles

The rate of mutation was higher in the past. This explains both how there is too much mutation to have happened in the given time frame by current rates, and it explains how Adam and Noah and Methuselah et al lived so long, but then expected lifespan plummeted when nasty deleterious mutations peaked and lifespan stabilized when mutations decreased. Cause everybody knows mutations are bad.
Or the devil did it.

9. Adam and Eve weren’t the first Homo sapiens; they were just the first ones God infused with a soul, and/or the first ones to whom God spoke

Mark

Adam and Eve literally existed – they were the first pair of Homo sapiens to whom God made himself known.

They literally sinned against him by eating the fruit from a tree he told them not to, and were cast out of fellowship with him.

When their son Cain whines that “people” will kill him, he is referring to other Homo sapiens.

Adam and Eve are the “parents” of all humanity in a spiritual sense. Their relationship with God (both the positive aspect and the consequences of their sin) was eventually spread to all Homo sapiens (a relatively small population at the time) through proselytization, marriage, and birth. Because of this, Paul can say that sin spread to all through Adam.

Is this paragraph short enough? If I were an evangelical Christian who also believed in evolution, I think this is how I would reconcile it in my mind.

theshortearedowl

Adam and Eve were the first *real* humans – i.e. they had souls. The rest of the Homo sapiens population were just smart apes at that point; but all of Adam and Eve’s descendents also had souls, and so were also *real* humans (the one drop rule?).

Thus some of their genetic material was inherited from other lineages; thus the absence of a severe bottleneck is solved; thus the inbreeding problem is solved; thus the question of where Abel’s and Cain’s wives came from is solved. Bingo.

Solomon Wagstaff

As others have said, the ‘original sin’ part & the ‘genetic bottleneck’ part can be distinct. There’s some indication in Genesis that the garden of Eden did not contain the whole of mankind (IIRC, Seth got his wives from ‘East of Eden’)but it did contain the only humans who walked with YHWH–he was evidently trying to upgrade to a strain of primates with whom he could converse, & the experiment went horribly wrong.

Evan Guiney

… Suppose, my kind theologian, that one of these ancestral pairs were Adam and Eve. God, of course, simply looked down at where the evolution of Homo sapiens had proceeded at that point, and said “yes, they look about ready”. He, in his White Bearded Greatness then exactly duplicated two humans, but by transmogrifying mud and a rib, respectively (He can do that, He’s God). Of course, he also added a new, “dominant” soul, which also carried sin (A soul is sort of like a gene, but made out of soul-ish stuff, and invisible. This theory requires souls to be like *dominant* genes). As Adam and Eve interbred with the rest of the existing Homo sapiens, everything proceeded normally, except that any offspring who could trace their ancestry back to Adam and Eve had an added bonus: soul and sin! Finally, by today, everyone alive can trace ancestry back to Adam and Eve (and to a whole bunch of other early humans). Thus, Adam and Eve were created *exactly* as the bible says, by God, but in perfect harmony with some genes having coalescence times *far earlier* than that creation.

KP

Um, y’all are forgetting the additional bottleneck after the great Flood. Remember, all of humanity was reduced to 8 people (but N(e) = 6 because Noah and his wife did not have any more offspring after the Flood).

All of their genes might still have ancestors in Adam and Eve, but theoretically they would have acquired some novel mutations that resemble much older genes or genes acquired from mating “outside” the direct “lineage” of A&E with some of those other Homo sapiens that were “around” prior to A&E and during the building of their “lineage” from Seth to Noah.

Plus one could imagine that a few of A&E’s original genes would have been lost in people that didn’t survive the Flood. Thus, making all of Noah’s descendents carriers of genes acquired through 1) non-assortative mating with other H. sapiens from earlier human evolution, 2) novel mutations that “resemble” the older genes, and 3) loss of genes more representative of A&E’s genome due to the 2nd bottleneck after the Flood.

10. Adam and Eve were very ancient and lived millions of years ago

Sven DiMilo

Surely if we push far enough into the past and approach our Speciation/Ensoulment Event we get much smaller populations.

Right? Either Homo sapiens is unique among known animals for evolving via gradual anagenesis in a relatively large admixed metapopulation, or there was an allopatric cladogenetic split. If the latter, the original founding population of Modern Humans could/would have been small, possibly on the order of a few Original Women and one or a few Original Men.

Adam and Eve are thus revealed as only quasimetaphoriocal, standing in for the small group of our Founding Breeders.

Later bottlenecks and mitochondrial/Y coalescence are therefore red herrings in the search for Adam(s) and Eve(s).

Patrick

There is a basic problem with the argument against the existence of Adam & Eve based on coalescence. I don’t think there’s anything in the bible to indicate that the most recent common ancestor for any given locus would be Adam or Eve, or that all loci share the same most recent common ancestor.

For instance, we’ve got “mitochondrial Eve” and “Y-chromosome Adam”. Those people are obviously not the beginning of human mitochondrial and Y-chromosome lineages, but merely the most recent common ancestors of extant genetic diversity in human mitochondria & Y-chromosomes, respectively. So, do “mitochondrial Eve” and “Y-chromosome Adam” both have ancestries tracing back to an earlier pair of individuals? Yes; barring multiple origins of life, -any- pair of living things will share a pair of ancestors (or a single ancestor, in the case of asexuality in the ancestral lineage involved). Well, there you go: -that- pair of individuals is Adam & Eve. Now we just need to expand that reasoning out to the rest of the genome…

The problem anyone trying to seriously pursue the idea that this pair of individuals is actually Adam and Eve would encounter is whether this pair of individuals was, in fact, human (they almost certainly weren’t)…

11. Original Sin is inherited through Eve instead of Adam

Kevin Anthoney

140,000 years ago, there was a man called Adam and a woman called Eve, who God decided to make his chosen couple and gave them souls. To make sure their children also had souls, he made sure they were passed on via Eve’s mitochondria, and pledged to arrange that Eve’s mitochondria were the ones that became fixed in the human population. Then came the Fall, and Eve’s soul became tainted with Original Sin, which was passed on to all her descendents – i.e. everybody – via her mitochondria. Then about 60,000 years ago, the world was very corrupt, what with the Fall and everything, so God hit upon a Plan. He found a good man (Noah) and attempted to “flood” the human race with Noah’s goodness by fixing his Y chromosome in the same way he’d fixed Eve’s mitochondria earlier.

12. Adam was a tribe

Ftfkdad

Adam in fact is not a single person but the name of a tribe (not a single person – a thousand persons). God recognized that a single tribe alone would not have the necessary genetic diversity so created a second tribe (the “Eve” tribe – another thousand people). This theory provides answers such as:

a) Adam and Eve mating to create fertile offspring with the necessary genetic diversity
b) No need for incest within the early Adam and Eve family – since God created tribes, not individual people
c) The “bottleneck problem” (which Franck realized early on) simply does not exist
d) There was enough genetic diversity to create a viable, ongoing population
e) The “tree of knowledge” of which the bible speaks is actually the ‘family tree’ of the two tribes, it in fact explains that the sin that befell Adam and Eve was due to the knowledge that each other existed. As is true through all human history, two tribes, with different lineages, will fight each other – this is where our misery has come from.

13. Adam, Eve and their descendants inter-bred with a race of non-human giants

CS aka “Happy Cat”

The answer is simple. Adam & Eve did exist, although not in YEC terms. They were early ancestors whose descendants mated many, many, many times over the course of eons with the Nephilim in Genesis (Legendary Biblical heroes, later called giants; also identified with the sons of Elohim [lit. "the gods"]. Xtians later equated them with the fallen angels. Not sure why.) Anyway…

The Nephilim “species” contributed all the masses of genetic material that our sinful Original Couple did not possess.

As for the last bottleneck, that was just “Teh Flud”. And it was eight people, not 10,000 – 15,000. It just looks that way because with so few people, those pesky, horny Nephilim doubled down on some human “interaction”.

14. Adam and Eve were spirit beings before they fell to Earth

Prof.Pedant

Adam and Eve were living in the Garden of Eden (a spiritual place, sort of like a suburb of Heaven, or a really really nice Purgatory). They sinned and were consequently kicked out of the Garden of Eden and into the physical world. Spiritually we are all descended from Adam and Eve, genetics only tests the relationships between the physical bodies that God – A Being Beyond Time – prepared for us. Genetics, being a mundane physical science, does not look at how our souls are related and therefore is unable to ascertain that we are all indeed descended from Adam and Eve as we are told in the Holy Bible.

Ben Goren

…And, so, we come to our answer: just as Heaven and Hell are not to be found within range of a NASA probe, neither is Eden somewhere accessible by plane, train, or automobile (or boat or submersible or rocketship or mine-borer). Eden, instead, existed alongside Heaven and Hell outside of time and space in what might colloquially be referred to as the “spirit realm.”

And if Eden was not on and of this Earth, so too it becomes apparent that neither were Adam nor Eve. They were very real — as real as the Angels of Heaven and the Demons of Hell; but they were not primitive primates grubbing around in the dirt. And they were our ancestors, yes, but our spiritual ancestors. We trace our souls back to them, but not our genes….

Qbsmd

Eden is described as a perfect paradise; obviously, due to the geological and biological processes we know, earth never contained such a place. Therefore the garden story occurred in heaven and Adam and Even were some kind of proto-souls, “thetans” if you will. The “fall” was a literal fall to the plane of existence were earth is, and suffering was always common. After this, these thetans imprinted onto an unspecified number of hominids at an unspecified time. After this time, these hominids and their children had “souls”…

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42 Responses to So you don’t believe in Adam and Eve? Ask an atheist for advice!

  1. So long as you don’t view reality as a closed and deterministic system, there is hardly any problem with this Biblical doctrine both in its metaphorical as well as literal sense.

  2. A quibble — since, scientifically speaking, Eve is a (female) clone of (the male) Adam, it isn’t accurate to say that, Biblically speaking, the entire human race are descended from *two* genetic individuals, but rather, from *one*.

    Likewise, when referring to the “genetic bottleneck” of Noah’s flood, it isn’t accurate to say that (Biblically speaking) all living humans are descended from “eight individuals,” but rather, from, at most, five.

  3. I like the one who thinks that the soul interacts with the brain. A firm grasp on Christian theology there.

  4. as to defense of the special creation of man:

    1. neo-Darwinists do not have a smooth gradual progression to make their case for the evolution of man from the fossil record:

    New study suggests big bang theory of human evolution – U of M Press Release
    Excerpt: “The earliest H. sapiens remains differ significantly from australopithecines in both size and anatomical details. Insofar as we can tell, these changes were sudden and not gradual.”
    University of Michigan anthropologist Milford Wolpoff
    http://ns.umich.edu/Releases/2.....1000b.html

    The changing face of genus Homo – Wood; Collard
    Excerpt: the current criteria for identifying species of Homo are difficult, if not impossible, to operate using paleoanthropological evidence. We discuss alternative, verifiable, criteria, and show that when these new criteria are applied to Homo, two species, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, fail to meet them.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.....98:6%3C195::AID-EVAN1%3E3.0.CO;2-2/abstract

    “Dr. Leakey produced a biased reconstruction (of 1470/ Homo Rudolfensis) based on erroneous preconceived expectations of early human appearance that violated principles of craniofacial development,” Dr. Timothy Bromage
    http://www.geneticarchaeology......lieved.asp

    Evolution of the Genus Homo – Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Tattersall, Schwartz, May 2009
    Excerpt: “Definition of the genus Homo is almost as fraught as the definition of Homo sapiens. We look at the evidence for “early Homo,” finding little morphological basis for extending our genus to any of the 2.5–1.6-myr-old fossil forms assigned to “early Homo” or Homo habilis/rudolfensis.”
    http://www.annualreviews.org/d.....208.100202

    Hominids, Homonyms, and Homo sapiens – 05/27/2009 – Creation Safaris:
    Excerpt: Homo erectus is particularly controversial, because it is such a broad classification. Tattersall and Schwartz find no clear connection between the Asian, European and African specimens lumped into this class. “In his 1950 review, Ernst Mayr placed all of these forms firmly within the species Homo erectus,” they explained. “Subsequently, Homo erectus became the standard-issue ‘hominid in the middle,’ expanding to include not only the fossils just mentioned, but others of the same general period….”. They discussed the arbitrariness of this classification: “Put together, all these fossils (which span almost 2 myr) make a very heterogeneous assortment indeed; and placing them all together in the same species only makes any conceivable sense in the context of the ecumenical view of Homo erectus as the middle stage of the single hypervariable hominid lineage envisioned by Mayr (on the basis of a much slenderer record). Viewed from the morphological angle, however, the practice of cramming all of this material into a single Old World-wide species is highly questionable. Indeed, the stuffing process has only been rendered possible by a sort of ratchet effect, in which fossils allocated to Homo erectus almost regardless of their morphology have subsequently been cited as proof of just how variable the species can be.” By “ratchet effect,” they appear to mean something like a self-fulfilling prophecy: i.e., “Let’s put everything from this 2-million-year period into one class that we will call Homo erectus.” Someone complains, “But this fossil from Singapore is very different from the others.” The first responds, “That just shows how variable the species Homo erectus can be.”
    http://creationsafaris.com/cre.....#20090527a

    “But what is the basis for the human evolution thesis put forward by evolutionists? It is the existence of plenty of fossils on which evolutionists are able to build imaginary interpretations. Throughout history, more than 6,000 species of ape have lived, and most of them have become extinct. Today, only 120 species live on the earth. These 6,000 or so species of ape, most of which are extinct, constitute a rich resource for the evolutionists to build imaginary interpretations with.”
    http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/origin_of_man.html

    Icon Of Evolution – Ape To Man – The Ultimate Deception – video
    http://www.vimeo.com/19080087

  5. And the genetic evidence is certainly not as neat and tidy as neo-Darwinists would have us believe. For prime example at how biased neo-Darwinists are with genetic evidence, I refer to this study:

    Human Gene Count Tumbles Again – 2008
    Excerpt: Scientists on the hunt for typical genes — that is, the ones that encode proteins — have traditionally set their sights on so-called open reading frames, which are long stretches of 300 or more nucleotides, or “letters” of DNA, bookended by genetic start and stop signals.,,,, The researchers considered genes to be valid if and only if similar sequences could be found in other mammals – namely, mouse and dog. Applying this technique to nearly 22,000 genes in the Ensembl gene catalog, the analysis revealed 1,177 “orphan” DNA sequences. These orphans looked like proteins because of their open reading frames, but were not found in either the mouse or dog genomes.,,, Alternatively, the genes could have been more ancient creations — present in a common mammalian ancestor — that were lost in mouse and dog lineages yet retained in humans. If either of these possibilities were true, then the orphan genes should appear in other primate
    genomes, in addition to our own. To explore this, the researchers compared the orphan sequences to the DNA of two primate cousins, chimpanzees and macaques. After careful genomic comparisons, the orphan genes were found to be true to their name — they were absent from both primate genomes. (The 1,177 ORFan genes in humans are completely unique to our lineage)
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....161406.htm

    In fact it turns out that the authors of the preceding ‘kick the ORFans out in the street’ paper actually did know that there was clear and unbiased evidence strongly indicating the ORFan genes encoded proteins but chose to ignore that strong evidence in favor of their preconceived evolutionary bias of forcing the genetic sequences of chimps and humans to be as similar as possible. That is EXACTLY how you ARE NOT suppose to practice science!!!:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-358547

    A survey of orphan enzyme activities
    Abstract: We demonstrate that for ~80% of sampled orphans, the absence of sequence data is bona fide. Our analyses further substantiate the notion that many of these (orfan) enzyme activities play biologically important roles.
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2105/8/244

    Dr. Howard Ochman – Dept. of Biochemistry at the University of Arizona
    Excerpt of Proposal: Although it has been hypothesized that ORFans might represent non-coding regions rather than actual genes, we have recently established that the vast majority that ORFans present in the E. coli genome are under selective constraints and encode functional proteins.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-358868

    Moreover a significant portion of completely unique ORFan genes are found in each new genome sequenced:

    ORFan Genes Challenge Common Descent – Paul Nelson – video with references in description
    http://www.vimeo.com/17135166

    Moreover new ORFan genes are found to be just as essential as older genes:

    Age doesn’t matter: New genes are as essential as ancient ones – December 2010
    Excerpt: “A new gene is as essential as any other gene; the importance of a gene is independent of its age,” said Manyuan Long, PhD, Professor of Ecology & Evolution and senior author of the paper. “New genes are no longer just vinegar, they are now equally likely to be butter and bread. We were shocked.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142523.htm

    New genes in Drosophila quickly become essential. – December 2010
    Excerpt: The proportion of genes that are essential is similar in every evolutionary age group that we examined. Under constitutive silencing of these young essential genes, lethality was high in the pupal (later) stage and (but was) also found in the larval (early) stages.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cont.....2.abstract

    I would like to reiterate that evolutionists cannot account for the origination of even one unique gene or protein, much less the over one thousand completely unique ORFan genes found distinctly imbedded within the 20,000 genes of the human genome:

    Could Chance Arrange the Code for (Just) One Gene?
    “our minds cannot grasp such an extremely small probability as that involved in the accidental arranging of even one gene (10^-236).”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com/epoi_c10.htm

    “Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds” 2004: – Doug Axe ,,,this implies the overall prevalence of sequences performing a specific function by any domain-sized fold may be as low as 1 in 10^77, adding to the body of evidence that functional folds require highly extraordinary sequences.”
    http://www.mendeley.com/resear.....yme-folds/

  6. As well, neo-Darwinists, using their very own mathematical equations for population genetics cannot account for the fixation of a single ‘coordinated beneficial mutation’;

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’ (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless “using their model” gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

    Dr. Sanford calculates it would take 12 million years to “fix” a single base pair mutation into a population. He further calculates that to create a gene with 1000 base pairs, it would take 12 million x 1000 or 12 billion years. This is obviously too slow to support the creation of the human genome containing 3 billion base pairs.
    http://www.detectingtruth.com/?p=66

    further note: Evolutionists were recently completely surprised by this genetic study of kangaroos since it does not fit their imaginary tree they are trying to draw:

    Kangaroo genes close to humans
    Excerpt: Australia’s kangaroos are genetically similar to humans,,, “There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order,” ,,,”We thought they’d be completely scrambled, but they’re not. There is great chunks of the human genome which is sitting right there in the kangaroo genome,”
    http://www.reuters.com/article.....P020081118

    further note:

    DNA Comparisons between Humans and Chimps – Fazale Rana
    Excerpt: It is interesting that when evolutionary biologists discuss genetic comparisons between human and chimpanzee genomes, the fact that, again, as much as 25 percent of the two genomes won’t align receives no mention. Instead, the focus is only on the portions of the genome that display a high-degree of similarity. This distorted emphasis makes the case for the evolutionary connection between humans and chimps seem more compelling than it may actually be.
    http://www.reasons.org/dna-com.....del-part-2

    Study Reports a Whopping “23% of Our Genome” Contradicts Standard Human-Ape Evolutionary Phylogeny – Casey Luskin – June 2011
    Excerpt: For about 23% of our genome, we share no immediate genetic ancestry with our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. This encompasses genes and exons to the same extent as intergenic regions. We conclude that about 1/3 of our genes started to evolve as human-specific lineages before the differentiation of human, chimps, and gorillas took place. (of note; 23% percent of genes is equal to about 5000 genes that we do not share with chimpanzees)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47041.html

    Primate Phylogenetics Challenge Darwin’s Tree of Life – Casey Luskin – Excellent Summary Level Audio Podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....2_00-07_00

    A False Trichotomy
    Excerpt: The common chimp (Pan troglodytes) and human Y chromosomes are “horrendously different from each other”, says David Page,,, “It looks like there’s been a dramatic renovation or reinvention of the Y chromosome in the chimpanzee and human lineages.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....richotomy/

    Do Human and Chimpanzee DNA Indicate an Evolutionary Relationship?
    Excerpt: the authors found that only 48.6% of the whole human genome matched chimpanzee nucleotide sequences. [Only 4.8% of the human Y chromosome could be matched to chimpanzee sequences.]
    http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2070

  7. As well, as to the ‘genetic bottleneck’; Evolutionists have their very own problems in that area that need some severe explaining!!:

    Biological Variation – Cornelius Hunter
    Excerpt: One hint that biology would not cooperate with Darwin’s theory came from the many examples of rapidly adapting populations. What evolutionists thought would require thousands or millions of years has been observed in laboratories and in the field, in an evolutionary blink of an eye.
    http://www.darwinspredictions......_variation

    Allozyme evidence for crane systematics and polymorphisms within populations of sandhill, sarus, Siberian and whooping cranes.
    “This is contrary to expectations of genetic loss due to a population bottleneck of some 15 individuals in the 1940s. The possibility should be explored that some mechanism exists for rapidly restoring genetic variability after population bottlenecks.”
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 1:279-288- Dessauer, H. C., G. F. Gee, and J. S. Rogers. 1992.

    Single male and female sheep maintain genetic diversity.
    A mouflon population (considered an ancient “parent” lineage of sheep), bred over dozens of generations from a single male and female pair transplanted to Haute Island from a Parisian zoo, has maintained the genetic diversity of its founding parents.This finding challenges the widely accepted theory of genetic drift, which states the genetic diversity of an inbred population will decrease over time. “What is amazing is that models of genetic drift predict the genetic diversity of these animals should have been lost over time, but we’ve found that it has been maintained,”
    Dr. David Coltman, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Alberta

    Given that ‘anomaly’ if neo-Darwinian thinking, then the genetic evidence for Adam and even becomes far more plausible:

    Human Evolution? – The Compelling Genetic & Fossil Evidence For Adam and Eve – Dr. Fazale Rana
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4284482/

    Does The Genetic Evidence Support Noah’s Flood? – Fazale Rana PhD.
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4116168/

    as well:

    Tracing Your Ancestors Through History – Noah’s Descendants – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/video/1

    TABLE OF NATIONS (GENEALOGY OF MANKIND) by Tim Osterholm
    Excerpt: The fact is, that wherever its statements can be sufficiently tested, Genesis 10 of the Bible has been found completely accurate; resulting partly from linguistic studies, partly from archaeology, and, more recently still, from the findings of physical anthropologists, who are, to this day, recovering important clues to lines of migration in ancient historic times. As implied in verse 32 of Genesis 10, this Table includes everybody; meaning that so-called fossil man, primitive peoples (ancient and modern) and modern man are all derived from Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
    http://www.soundchristian.com/man/

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  8. To me it seems that unless the atheists/naterialists show that humans are worthless slime crawling on a planet (to put it in the words of the atheist peter atkins) they will never be happy.

    I fail to see what drives this pathetic need of theirs other than some deep-seeded self-loathing. :(

  9. *happy=satisfied

  10. I sort of believe in Adam and Eve, but then again I sort of don’t.

    Do I think God took mud and formed it into a man-shaped thing the way a sculptor takes clay and shapes it into a man-shaped thing?

    I seriously have a problem believing that.

    Does that doubt count against my being a Christian?

    I admit I struggle over the whole Adam and Eve thing.

    I don’t believe that God literally walked in the garden the way that people do. I don’t believe that the serpent was a literal snake.

    I don’t believe that there was absolutely no death or decay before the fall.

    Literalism can lead one into heresy, but so can the other extreme. So how do we discover the correct balance?

  11. Whether God formed us directly out of mud, or whether God used an eons-long evolutionary process to form us indirctly of mud, to say, “God formed us” is vastly different than to say, “We just happened, accidentally.”

  12. The Bible needs to be understood in the context and historical era in which is was written. Our current view of reality is greatly influenced by our logico-philosophical heritage in the west. To use that as the lens via which we read Scripture is problematic and will often lead to literalism, fundamentalism on one hand and nihilism on the other.

    I think one needs to me able to apprehend the world via a plethora of means not just one. That way we have a richer life experience and a more multi-faceted approach to reality.

  13. Hi bornagain77

    Thank you for your links. I completely agree with you that neo-Darwinian evolution cannot account for the origin of the human body, let alone the human soul. However, on a material level, I think the evidence still points towards common descent. Curiously, the best paper I know on the subject is by a creationist: Todd Charles Wood’s paper The Chimpanzee Genome and the Problem of Biological Similarity. As far as I know, it remains unanswered. So I’m inclined to think God made us by manipulating the genome of a primitive hominid. That’s my opinion; I may be wrong, of course.

  14. vjtorley, when I started out in ID, I was content to argue for a Theistic Evolution (TE) scenario, but as more and more evidence has accumulated, I realize that the evidence is continually building to a crushing point against the TE position. In fact, I now consider the neo-Darwinists to be left completely without any plausible mechanism whatsoever, whereas I consider the ‘proper’ Theistic Evolutionists, i.e. those TE’s who haven’t sold their soul to the neo-Darwinian camp of naturalism, have a far stronger case than they once did, yet, at least for me, the special creation of man is now the strongest position, by far, since it requires no unreasonable pleading of scriptural interpretation nor, any longer, any unreasonable pleading of the empirical evidence we now have in hand. (fossil and genetic) ,,,, As far as ‘tinkering’, as I’ve related to you before, ‘top down’ design of a ENTIRE polyfunctional genome is far more reasonable than what may be termed ‘bottom up’ tinkering of an already existing genome.

    Poly-Functional Complexity equals Poly-Constrained Complexity
    https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYmaSrBPNEmGZGM4ejY3d3pfMjdoZmd2emZncQ&hl=en_US

  15. OT; Dr. Torley, This is a video about the oldest fragment ever found of the new testament; The message that the particular ‘oldest’ fragment conveys is kind of spooky. See if you can see what I mean by ‘spooky’;

    Experts’ Evidence for Jesus’ Trial
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyfR0AsRaX4

  16. Whether God formed us directly out of mud, or whether God used an eons-long evolutionary process to form us indirectly of mud, to say, “God formed us” is vastly different than to say, “We just happened, accidentally.”

    I could not agree more.

    Is there anything at all that our physical/material bodies are composed of that cannot be found in mud?

  17. As far as ‘tinkering’, as I’ve related to you before, ‘top down’ design of a ENTIRE polyfunctional genome is far more reasonable than what may be termed ‘bottom up’ tinkering of an already existing genome.

    As someone who develops software from “the bottom up” I have a completely different perspective.

    I see no problem with a couple things:

    1. God said, “Let the land produce vegetation”

    2. God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds”

    Man from the ground or earth or land seems to me to fit right in to this narrative.

    Do we want to argue that for every plant and creature God literally took some earth and formed it into that plant or creature?

    Is that really what the text demands?

  18. Nothing in the Bible indicates that germ line of humans was kept pure. In fact, the Bible says quite the opposite.

    Genesis 6:4 says, “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them.”

    These “sons of God” are some sort of non-human race that was presumably older than human and introduced a number of traits into the human race including in some case polydactylism and large size.

  19. So the claim that the Bible says all of our genetic information came from Adam and Eve is false.

  20. Mung

    Thank you for your posts. It may interest you to know that St. Augustine did not believe God literally walked in the Garden of Eden either, although he was open to the idea that God may have communicated with Adam and Eve via some bodily form, face to face. St. Augustine also believed that animals would have died even if there had been no Fall, and St. Thomas Aquinas taught the same.

    St. Augustine did believe in a literal talking snake, but he thought it was being controlled by Satan when it talked – hence it was effectively a puppet. He also thought that the forbidden fruit may well have been an apple. I don’t know of any church that requires its members to accept this belief today, however, and St. Augustine himself did not insist on this interpretation, although he was quite emphatic that Adam was literally formed from dust and Eve from Adam’s rib.

    St. Augustine’s interpretation of “Let the land produce vegetation” would take a whole post to explain, but basically the land was only able to do this because it had already been seeded with information, in the form of “rational seeds” as Augustine called them.

    Just a few thoughts.

  21. Hi Jehu,

    So I take it that’s a vote for explanation # 13?

  22. I think Adam and Eve are the first people; the created human model. The rest could manifest on earth because of and based on that model. These were legion.

  23. Solution:

    Become a biblical (‘young Earth’) creationist. That way, since the Bible will then be your ultimate authority, you won’t have a panic attack every time man’s fallible ideas conflict with the Bible.

  24. I’m a novice at all of this. Would it be fair to suggest that what’s known of genetics today may be incomplete and found to be incorrect years from now? Hasn’t that occured in the sciences before?

  25. 25

    I certainly don’t believe that faith in the Bible and science are at odds. But I don’t see why the scriptures need to be explained in scientific terms. That places science on a level with God’s word.
    We didn’t even know about DNA one hundred years ago. What we don’t understand is still greater than what we do. So as long as we’re going to believe in an all-knowing supreme being, why would we assume that something He did thousands of years ago must fit inside the tiny box of our present knowledge? Why worship a god if we don’t believe he’s capable of making a man from scratch? To me that’s not much different from atheism.

  26. 26
    Elizabeth Liddle

    I’m a novice at all of this. Would it be fair to suggest that what’s known of genetics today may be incomplete and found to be incorrect years from now? Hasn’t that occured in the sciences before?

    Yes indeed. All science is incomplete, and will always be.

    Have you read Isaac Asimov’s wonderful essay?

    http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersI.....fWrong.htm

  27. 27

    These “sons of God” are some sort of non-human race that was presumably older than human.

    Those “sons of God” were angels. They are referred to again in 2 Peter and Jude.

  28. Scott Andrews

    Thank you for your posts. Actually, there are a few theories about the sons of God. Some have seen them as angels; St. Augustine thought they were the descendants of Seth, and that the “daughters of men” were Cain’s descendants. Some scholars and some Jewish authorities have suggested that they were kings and nobles who served a particular god (e.g. the Egyptian god Re). You can find a good article about them here:

    The Sons of God and the Daughters of Men (Genesis 6:1-8) by Bob Deffinbaugh.

    You also write:

    So as long as we’re going to believe in an all-knowing supreme being, why would we assume that something He did thousands of years ago must fit inside the tiny box of our present knowledge? Why worship a god if we don’t believe he’s capable of making a man from scratch? To me that’s not much different from atheism.

    I don’t know how God made Adam, although I’m inclined to think it involved manipulating the genes of an existing primate. I certainly believe that He could have created Adam instantly from nothing had He wished to.

    I don’t think religious believers should demand a scientific explanation for every miracle wrought in Scripture. What makes monogenesis (belief in an original pair, Adam and Eve) a special problem is that at first glance, it seems to be contradicted by empirical evidence suggesting not that God couldn’t have done made the human race in this way, but that He didn’t in fact do this. That’s why we need to scrutinize the evidence very carefully and ask ourselves whether it actually says this. As it turns out, there are multiple ways in which God could have made the human race from an original couple, which would still fir the evidence available today.

  29. OT: Dr. Torley this may interest you:

    Alleged The Movie – Trailer – The story behind the scopes monkey trial
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1b8g8rUA6k

  30. Could Vjtorley or someone else explain this to me, as I’m a bit confused.

    If there is genetic evidence that all of humanity today has one female ancestor in common.

    Then does that mean that this lady’s children inbred and produced offspring over and over again until we arrived? If her children bred with anyone else than she wouldn’t be our common ancestor, right?

    Why isn’t this as problematic as an adam and eve scenario, shouldn’t we all have died thousands of years ago due to sicknesses caused by lack of genetic variation?
    —————-

    and this is specifcally for vjtorley, if you believe in intelligent design, then could there not be a scenario where after Adam and Eve were created, God changed the DNA of the offspring to create different races and variation in the species, rather than the starting point being some other primates. The outcome would be the same in terms of seeing alot of genetic variance in our DNA.

    Or perhaps Adam and Eve’s DNA was nothing like ours today and was programmed by God to create offspring that have alot of varying traits.

    One could argue that monogenesis occured before the female of 140,000 years ago, just that we can’t trace back to that and that variation was intellgently introduceed after mongenesis etc etc

    I guess what I’m getting at, is that if you believe in an intellegent designer (that is the Abrahamic God) then isn’t anything possible in the history of man. Why should it then conform to current, incomplete and fallible science that is set out to prove ape-human ancestry from the outset and not the beliefs set out in the Bible.

  31. The reason why there appears to be a conflict between the Bible and evolutionary biology is that they choose different starting points to identify the origin of humanity. The secular evolutionist claims that the first Homo sapiens appeared millions of years ago through a gradual process driven by natural selection. Christians believe that the first human being came into existence when God breathed into Adam an immortal soul. (Gen. 2:7)

    Could there have been other creatures on earth biologically similar to Adam from whom we have all descended? Of course. Is it also possible that every human being alive today is a decendent of Adam? That is also quite possible. The truth of either one of these assertions does not require that the other be false.

    The difficulty arises when the secularist denies the existence of the soul and claims that Christian beliefs are unscientific and therefore wrong. The Christian can reply that materialism is based on a reductionist metaphysics that fails to do justice to the existence of human intelligence, morality, and freedom. Simply put, we have a knowledge of our selves that cannot be proven through scientific experiments.
    In the end who should you believe, the atheist who thinks of himself as a biological machine, or the Christian who believes that we were created in the image of God? I think the choice is clear.

  32. 32

    St. Augustine thought they were the descendants of Seth, and that the “daughters of men” were Cain’s descendants.

    Mr. Augustine proposes an interesting idea, except that the lineage of Seth includes Noah. And these supposedly “godly” Sethites as Deffinbaugh calls them were almost all wiped out by the flood.
    Deffinbaugh is on the right track when he lets the Bible interpret itself – other verses use the same term to refer to angels.
    As for monogenesis, it is spelled out – Adam was created from the dust, and Eve was created from Adam. The literal science of it is a mystery, but it rules out their being modified versions of other creatures.
    Jesus believed it. His lineage was traced directly to Adam. Paul wrote of it. If one chooses to accept the scriptures, there’s no getting around it.
    There’s a lot of symbolism in the Bible, usually in dreams and visions. But it never passes off allegories as historical events or uses colorful stories to summarize what happened. Jesus said, “Your word is truth.”

  33. ute ask:

    ‘shouldn’t we all have died thousands of years ago due to sicknesses caused by lack of genetic variation?’

    Look at the extreme variety of dogs that came from just Eurasian wolves;

    http://caninebreeds.bulldoginf.....types.html

    In fact, the entire spectrum of dog sub-species has been found to have less genetic diversity than the parent wolf species:

    ,,the mean sequence divergence in dogs, 2.06, was almost identical to the 2.10 (sequence divergence) found within wolves. (please note the sequence divergence is slightly smaller for the entire spectrum of dogs than for wolves)
    http://jhered.oxfordjournals.o.....0/1/71.pdf

    as well humans follow this pattern of loss of genetic diversity:

    “We found an enormous amount of diversity within and between the African populations, and we found much less diversity in non-African populations,” Tishkoff told attendees today (Jan. 22) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Anaheim. “Only a small subset of the diversity in Africa is found in Europe and the Middle East, and an even narrower set is found in American Indians.” Tishkoff; Andrew Clark, Penn State; Kenneth Kidd, Yale University; Giovanni Destro-Bisol, University “La Sapienza,” Rome, and Himla Soodyall and Trefor Jenkins, WITS University, South Africa, looked at three locations on DNA samples from 13 to 18 populations in Africa and 30 to 45 populations in the remainder of the world.-

    I wonder what Hitler would have thought of that study? This next study, which supports the principle of genetic entropy, would have really messed with Hitler’s head for his plans of evolving a ‘master race’;

    This study is of interest:

    The “Eve” Mitochondrial Consensus Sequence – John Sanford
    Excerpt: Given the high mutation rate within mitochondria and the large geographic separation among the individuals within our dataset, we did not expect to find the original human mitochondrial sequence to be so well preserved within modern populations. With the exception of a very few ambiguous nucleotides, the consensus sequence clearly represents Eve’s mitochondrial DNA sequence.
    http://www.icr.org/article/mit.....-sequence/

    further notes:

    More evidence for rapid radiations from a parent species can be found here:

    Biological Variation – Cornelius Hunter
    Excerpt: One hint that biology would not cooperate with Darwin’s theory came from the many examples of rapidly adapting populations. What evolutionists thought would require thousands or millions of years has been observed in laboratories and in the field, in an evolutionary blink of an eye.
    http://www.darwinspredictions......_variation

    Single male and female sheep maintain genetic diversity.
    A mouflon population (considered an ancient “parent” lineage of sheep), bred over dozens of generations from a single male and female pair transplanted to Haute Island from a Parisian zoo, has maintained the genetic diversity of its founding parents.This finding challenges the widely accepted theory of genetic drift, which states the genetic diversity of an inbred population will decrease over time. “What is amazing is that models of genetic drift predict the genetic diversity of these animals should have been lost over time, but we’ve found that it has been maintained,”
    Dr. David Coltman, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Alberta

    Allozyme evidence for crane systematics and polymorphisms within populations of sandhill, sarus, Siberian and whooping cranes.
    “This is contrary to expectations of genetic loss due to a population bottleneck of some 15 individuals in the 1940s. The possibility should be explored that some mechanism exists for rapidly restoring genetic variability after population bottlenecks.”
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 1:279-288- Dessauer, H. C., G. F. Gee, and J. S. Rogers. 1992.

    These following studies and video, on Cichlid fishes, are evidence of the ‘limited and rapid variation from a parent kind’ predicted by the Genetic Entropy model:

    African cichlid fish: a model system in adaptive radiation research:
    “The African cichlid fish radiations are the most diverse extant animal radiations and provide a unique system to test predictions of speciation and adaptive radiation theory(of evolution).—-surprising implication of the study?—- the propensity to radiate was significantly higher in lineages whose precursors emerged from more ancient adaptive radiations than in other lineages”
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g.....d=16846905

    Multiple Genes Permit Closely Related Fish Species To Mix And Match Their Color Vision – Oct. 2005
    Excerpt: In the new work, the researchers performed physiological and molecular genetic analyses of color vision in cichlid fish from Lake Malawi and demonstrated that differences in color vision between closely related species arise from individual species’ using different subsets of distinct visual pigments.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....072648.htm

    Cichlid Fish – Evolution or Variation Within Kind? – Dr. Arthur Jones – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4036852

    hope that helps ute.

  34. Correction this statement

    ‘This next study, which supports the principle of genetic entropy, would have really messed with Hitler’s head for his plans of evolving a ‘master race’;’

    should have had this following:

    Are brains shrinking to make us smarter? – February 2011
    Excerpt: Human brains have shrunk over the past 30,000 years,
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....arter.html

  35. 13. Adam, Eve and their descendants inter-bred with a race of non-human giants

    This, like a number of the other ‘solutions’ offered, isn’t really an “atheist suggestion”, but one I’ve heard from fellow theists. I’ve heard it ranging from the ‘federal headship’ model, to the model where Adam and Eve were either ensouled or had a particular relationship with God (and were the ‘first humans’ in His eyes), and so on – but ultimately it comes down to Adam and/or Eve and/or their descendants interbreeding with those they were interfertile with, even if those others were not ‘human’. I admit, it’s also a broad view I think is downright likely. The main difference would be the ‘giants’ part – rather superfluous to the idea in general.

    That said, it’s encouraging to see Biologos refusing to rule out a real Adam and Eve – I always found that move to deny A&E were real in any sense to be ridiculous for a TE. Still, their handling of it (as well as Christianity Today’s handling of it) leaves a lot to be desired.

    Glad to see Coyne helping out though. It won’t happen, but it would be a blast if he’d admit that A&E and evolution can easily or plausibly be reconciled, and that therefore evolution is largely moot with regards to the truth of Christianity. ;)

  36. Ute:If there is genetic evidence that all of humanity today has one female ancestor in common.

    Then does that mean that this lady’s children inbred and produced offspring over and over again until we arrived? If her children bred with anyone else than she wouldn’t be our common ancestor, right?

    The tracing of a female genetic lineage is done through the mitochondria, which (for the most part, for there can be exceptions) everyone inherits from the mothers. In similar wise, the tracing of a male genetic lineage is done through the Y-chromosome, which every man receives from his father.

    For example: my paternal Y-chromosome lineage looks to be on the road to finally dying out — for a number of generations, each of my g-fathers had but one son. Then, oh happy day! my father had two sons; but, neither my brother nor I have any sons. Yet, my father has many descendants, both male and female; his family does not look to be going extinct.

    Similarly, my mother has two daughters; and from those two daughters, four granddaughters. But, of the (so far) ten children of those four women, only two have been girls. Three of the four are done with child-bearing, so unless the fourth has a daughter, those two great-granddaughters are the current end of my mother’s (mitochondrial) lineage; that is, if neither of them has a daughter, then my mother’s (mitochondrial) lineage will go extinct. Yet, my mother has many descendants, both male and female; her family does not look to be going extinct.

    ====
    My point is this: when biologists are talking about the descendants of some “genetic Adam” or “genetic Eve,” they’re not talking about actual living individuals, they’re talking about their ability to trace lines of descent — but, their tools for doing this tracing are very linited, and can look at only a very small subset of what it means for *this* individual to be descended from *that* individual.

  37. … to add a bit more explanation –

    It’s not inconceivable that in, say 100 generations, every living human being could be a descendant of my parents. Yet, if my father’s y-chromosome lineage dies out (as it looks to be doing), and if my mother’s mitochondrial lineage were to die out (as it very well could, being currently represented only by two fragile girls), then ‘science’ would be totally blind to the fact that everyone is descended of those two individuals.

  38. Thanks Illion, great explanation.

  39. ScottAndrews,

    No. Neither 2nd Peter nor Jude references the Nephilim. The Nephilim were not angels, they biological beings that were able to conceive children with women.

    Further, nowhere does the Bible claim that Adam is the father of all humanity. The Bible does claim that Eve is the mother of all humanity.

    Fascinating if you think about it.

    Sin entered through Adam but the Nephilim genes entered the human race after the fall.

  40. 40

    No. Neither 2nd Peter nor Jude references the Nephilim.

    Agreed. I didn’t say they did. They reference the angels.
    There’s nothing to indicate that the Nephilim could reproduce.
    There’s certainly nothing in the scriptures to indicate that Eve fathered children by men other than Adam. And the notion of sin entering the world through Adam wouldn’t mean very much if his sinless contemporaries could choose not to breed with his offspring. No offense, but it sounds like a bit of philosophical tinkering with the scriptures.

  41. ScottAndrews,

    The Bible does say that the Nephilm reproduced with human women.

    Genesis 6:4

    The Nephilim[a] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them.

    Numbers 13:32-33
    And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

    That is not “tinkering” that is just what the passages say. The descendants of the Nephilim were known to be giants and in some cases polydactyl. They are also referred to as “heroes and mighty men of old.”

    The “sons of God” in the context in of Genesis 6:4 are not angels, unless angels were having sex with women and giving birth to live offspring? Riddle me that one Batman.

  42. 42

    Jehu,

    I’m going to regret getting into a scriptural discussion on the internet, but I have only myself to blame.

    The verse does not say that the Nephilim were the sons of God. It says that they were on the earth in those days. That could well indicate that the Nephilim were the offspring.
    As for the angels, Jude speaks of those who left their proper dwelling place. Where then, did they dwell? Jude then says that the men of Sodom and Gomorrah sinned in the same manner by their sexual perversion. So the sin of the angels is directly compared to the perversion of the Sodomites.
    The scriptures indicate that the angels were able to take on bodies like those of men.
    So now, put that back together with Genesis 6:4, where the sons of God began taking wives. It couldn’t be clearer. The angels sinned by having relations with women.
    The word “Nephilim” literally means those who cause to fall – as in those who strike down others. It it not a name. The same name is applied to the sons of Anak, but it doesn’t mean that they are of the same descent. Otherwise, how did the original Nephilim survive the flood to have offspring? The Bible says their were only eight.
    No riddle.

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