So I was raised “mildly Christian” and currently identify as an agnostic. I am curious about a few things though. I know this is a Christian site that rejects creationism (and it’s really cool that you do).
However I have question.
If things like the Flood, or Adam and Eve are allegorical, why does Jesus, Paul, and Peter address those events as literal? One reference I can think about from the top of my head is 2 Peter 2.
In reference to Adam and Eve isn’t there a verse that says “God made all nations from one”? So how could this work with evolution?
Welcome to the forum, @Vivi_O2! I think you will find good company here with those here who are open to searching for answers. Your question is one than comes up frequently, and I am sure you will find many opinions. Some here do take the origin story more as symbolic, but some find it based in history with Adam and Eve being historical figures chosen by God from a larger population as representatives of humanity, and still others believe they were a special creation and placed in the midst of a bigger population when cast from the garden.
Despite those differences, I think most who support BioLogos’ position would agree that the message of Genesis is not focused in the biological origins, but rather on the theology of who God is, how we are in relationship, and how that goes wrong.
We look forward to knowing you better. I would suggest looking through the resources on the main page, as good discussions on these topics and more can be found.
It’s an interpretation to say that because Jesus references events, therefore they must be literal historical events. I would say they reference them because they were part of the common cultural knowledge of the audience and the allusion was useful to the point they are making. Similar to how I could make a reference to Robin Hood in talking about a political party’s plans for wealth redistribution. My perspective and my audience’s perspective on exactly how “historical” of a person Robin Hood was is not all that relevant to people understanding the allusion. We don’t know exactly the knowledge state in Jesus or Paul’s mind as far as what they believed about the pure historicity of those events.
Christians who accept evolution tend to have a different approach to interpreting the Bible compared to biblical literalists who think the Bible requires a young earth, global flood, all languages in the world coming from the tower of Babel, etc. It’s called divine accommodation and it basically assumes that the Bible was not written to us, it was written to a specific audience with a culture and background assumptions about the world in a specific time. And God “accommodated” that culture and those background assumptions to some extent in order to communicate in a way they could best understand his message about himself and his mission in the world. So the expectations of what the Bible “teaches” and how it agrees with modern science and history are different.
A lot hinges in your question of what you take Scripture to be, and how it came to be. Did it fall from heaven fully formed from the hand of God directly? No. That’s closer to what the gold plates are that Joseph Smith supposedly found. Did God whisper it into the ears of the human authors and they merely copied it down? No. That’s what supposedly happened with the Koran. Instead, I think (and there are plenty of people around here who disagree with me!) that it is best to understand Scripture as an inspired witness to the revelation of God. The witness was located in a particular culture (and worldview). Wouldn’t it be nice if when they referred to Adam and Eve or Noah they had included a parenthetical along the lines of: “(the Holy Spirit has prompted me to briefly address my readers 1800 years in the future, who will discover things about the world that call into question certain assumptions of our day; don’t worry, the central points of the Gospel will still stand.)”
Given that there are no such parentheticals, I’m inclined to think that God didn’t think it was necessary to correct the faulty assumptions of those human authors of Scripture, and God thought it good enough that humans were given enough capacity to figure these things out!
I am one who believe that these are real people and real events, even if I reject the use of excessive literalism which is not justified by either the text or the rest of Bible. I certainly do not believe mankind began with golems of dust and bone made by necromancy, nor with magical fruit or talking animals. I think that reduces the story to a Walt Disney Production for children. Thus I believe that God created Adam and Eve of the stuff of the Earth according to the laws of nature and the Bible speaks of other people on the earth at that time. And “breathed into them the breath of life” is not talking about magic but inspiration (the “divine breath”). Thus I do not believe that mankind is merely a biological species but entities with two kinds of inheritance, the biological genetic one which we share with all the other living organisms on the planet by which we are their brethren, and the mental memetic one which we have from God by which we are His children.
The flood was about the world as the people of the first human civilization understood it which was like a table because it was very small portion of the planet Earth. And the spread of humanity to the rest of the Earth was not one of genetic descent but of the transmission of ideas upon which the human mind and our humanity is founded. All Biblical references are explained in this way, I think.
Others have answered pretty much the questions.As for me i hold the position of Adam and Eve beign real.As for the flood it might have been a local event and people interpeted as "Wow the whole world must have been destryed"becuase clearly they didnt traveled that much back then.
Hi Vivi-O2, My reason for believing in things like the Flood, Adam and Eve etc is that they are actually true.
Sadly, I must start with the disclaimer that I am NOT a YEC. I am an evolutionist full out. I, and maybe 5 other geologists, might be the only evolutionists working the creation/evolution area who believes that Adam, Eve and Eden and the Flood are real. I find the rejection of these core philosophical supports for the Christian plan of salvation to be a bit appalling, since it is Christians rejecting them. It galls me that on Biologos no one will ever point someone like you to a place like my blog, with a different viewpoint than theirs. Their view point is always that the story is historically false but full of philosophical truth. I yawn at that description
. You must realize that your question is directed to people who know NO geology and spent NO time looking for oil. That is why you don’t get good answers about the existence of a geological event! You are asking Theological experts, language experts, missionaries, Doctors, and everyone else who has probably never read a college textgeology book. Sadly, Christian geologists have failed us by failing to actually search hard, with all their souls for a solution to the question you ask. A 30-m search on google won’t hack it.
Right now I am on hospice and desperately trying to put my blog into a more organized book form defending what you just asked about. Why do I defend now those doctrines? Because I now know they are historically true from scientific/geophysical data. You have helped me write my conclusion. Thank you.
I was an oil company geophysicist who has traveled the world, and in a 47 year career became a pretty good geoscientist–not the best, I know others better than I. My jobs included Mgr of geophysics for the Western US, Mgr. of geophysics for the Gulf of Mexico, Mgr of subsurface technology for the North Sea. Dir. of Technology for Kerr McGee Oil and Gas, and I retired as Director of Exploration for China. Then I went out to become a geophysical consultant working the Gulf of Mexico and New Foundland. I also invented a new way of doing seismic inversion and was successful at that endeavor as well. Not a bad career. Here is why I know those things are true–simply, scientific data now supports them. But lets go back a bit.
1- In 1996 I realized that the largest local flood in geological history was the Zanclean flood (look it up on Wiki) matched precisely the biblical description of the flood of Noah! Six million years ago, the Mediterranean Sea got cut off from the Atlantic inflow of water, and the Mediterranean dried up in a few thousand years. This set the stage for the catastrophic refilling of the basin. I wrote that up and eventually got it published in the PSCF a journal of the American Scientific Affiliation. The Zanclean and Noachian floods (being one and the same in my mind) lasted about a year, covered mountains 12,000 feet high, killed everything on that land. etc.
The cause of the refilling was the breaching of the Gibraltar Dam, which had stopped up the flow of water into the Mediterranean Basin. But when the dam breached, it was the best description of the fountains of the deep I have ever heard. In Hebrew, the ‘Deep’ is almost always meant as the ocean. When that dam broke, the water gushed in at 220 miles per hour, but even then it took a long time to fill the empty basin. Below is a numerical computation of that inflow of water.
2- Then this year, in March, I obtained high quality seismic data in the form of research articles published in 2019, describing the Messinian sediments which were deposited while the basin was dry.**I want to emphasize that it was NOT I who did this work, but it is the work of other geologists who failed to see the theological connection… Thus, I want you to know that the actual work was not biased by me. I just read the articles. ** And there were the four Rivers of Eden, the Gihon, the Pison, the Tigris and the Euphrates, dumping their sediments into the empty basin. This said to me, that Eden was a real place that occurred at a real time, around 5.4 myr ago with the flood at 5.3 myr ago. Both were in the same place. The hydrology described for Eden had to have occurred in a deep basin. Indeed, loads of scientific facts fall into place under this hypothesis, which is why I came back to get one of my previous post.Here is an outline of how the theory fits together given the time frame of when Adam and Eve lived. By placing Noah’s flood where I do, in the dry Mediterranean basin, at the one time those rivers all poured into that basin,it is clear that there is a time and place where Eden’s geography was REAL! You will see this picture a lot because it shows in yellow brown, blue and green, the sediments which were actually deposited from four Edenic Rivers at that time. In other words, these rivers left physical evidence that they once existed, and interacted on the floor of the desiccated Mediterranean Basin, in exactly the way the Bible suggests–some will disagree but we have been round that tree so many time with them, I won’t go there again. I don’t like Herodean questions, meaning he didn’t care what answer I gave, he was against it.
All these sediments are of Messinian geologic age, which is important. You can chase the references if you wish to. I have shown my work to other geologists and all of them so far have been quit amazed at this result. These rivers have matched the Bible’s description of Eden’s Rivers 5.3 myr ago. Since this knowledge was unobtainable until after 1970, the question is how did it get into the Bible? Was it dumb luck or divine inspiration? I say divine inspiration–a phenomenon seriously out of popularity because in general, Christians don’t like God messing in their world of science.
3- The Hydrology described for Eden can only happen in deep deep basin (artesean flow). Eden describes a world where river mouths split into multiple rivers and artesean mists arise from the ground. It happens like this: Rain falls on the land, flows through the porous and permeable rock to the continental shelf edge and then disgorges it self as shown by the water droplets. It isn’t hard, it is science.
4- On the surface, it would appear that God gave Adam and Eve two different curses. But he didn’t. He gave them the same curse with two effects… Both curses come from one cause–a small brained hominid getting a bigger brain. Big brained babies can’t go through birth canal causing pain in childbirth. This big brain must also be kept cool with sweat of the brow or the brain will cook and the man will die. One curse; two problems.
If you don’t read my post on the 2 curses, then you will never know the details of that interesting factoid–one curse, two effects. One for man and one for woman.
If God gave the curses to a Neolithic man and woman, it wouldn’t matter. Eve’s mother already had pain in childbirth and Adam’s father already had sweat on his brow. Bit deal!. It is lack of attention to this kind of detail that makes Christian apologetics such a mess. Everyone just grabs whatever seems good to them without looking at the consequences or results, and they do that in my area of geology lacking all knowledge of the field. FYI, I read 10 years of stuff in Anthropology to know what I know. I read 10 years in geology–nothing but geology books–not even a novel. I probably spent six years reading nothing but biology and genetics, resulting in 2 DNA articles for me, one in Journal of Theoretical Biology and one in the Journal of Statistics and Planning. I tell you this not to brag but to show how much work must be put into apologetics. One can’t get to what God did with a 14-minute slick and polish on scientific information. God is so far more complex and interconnected with data than we are, we must do our best to try to keep up. Knowing only one area of expertise means we are sure to fail!
5- Genetics says we can’t have a primal pair anytime after about 5 myr ago. If Adam and Eve are not at that time, then they didn’t exist. There is a book by Scott McKnight and Dennis Venema, arguing that Adam and Eve never existed. It is called Adam and the Genome. This book is causing big named Christian leaders to give up on Adam and Even as fables. They base this on the idea that Adam and Eve lived 200,000 years ago. If Adam and Eve lived at that time, then yes, genetics means Adam and Eve couldn’t have existed scientifically. But what if they lived much longer ago than that? In that case, genetics can’t rule out us having a single pair of humans with which to form the human race.
Venema, McKnight and others who wish to place Adam and Eve around 200,000 years ago, are depending on mitochondrial DNA to be the marker for when Humans came into being. that is ridiculous and has been known to be so for decades. Alan Templeton has been pointing out that while the time to the most recent common ancestor of haploid DNA, like mitochondrial DNA might be in the 200,000 year range, for the diploid DNA in our nucleus, the time to the most recent common ancestor, is 4-9 times as long. This means that we should expect any original pair to exist not at 200,000 years but at 800,000 to 1.8 myr ago! These geneticists should know that, but they don’t emphasize it meaning many Christians trust them and then dismiss Adam and Eve from the Bible!.Below is a chart showing the ages determined for haploid DNA, like the x-chromosome or mitochondria, compared to the ages of autosomal DNA which is entirely diploid. The average age for an autosomal Gene is about 1 million years. but interestingly, the oldest dated genes we have in humanity are getting close to the time of the Zanclean/Noachian flood!. Here are a couple of genes older than what is shown in the chart below.
gene age of the gene reference
green opsin >5,500,000 Ayala et al, 1994
Again you can follow the link, but this fits with the age of the oldest genes Humanity has.
6- Not only that, this fits with the fact that 5.3 myr ago, was the time of some of the earliest hominids to appear on earth. Ardepithecus was around at that time. Look it up on Wiki. Yes, indeed, look it up in Wiki and note that there are some who say hominin (our group) origins are in the Mediterranean region.
“In 2017, a reanalysis of Graecopithecus fossils from Greece and Bulgaria, previously associated with Ouranopithecus, concluded that the species was in fact a hominin dating to just after the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees (about 7.2 million years ago). The authors suggested that the origins of the human lineage were therefore in the Mediterranean, not Africa. Others are sceptical of their claims”
And of course some are skeptical of the claims. That is fine, but if homnids were in the area, God could have used any one of them to make us.
Remember section 4? That is the section I pointed you to the fact that the curses are only curses if they are given to a small brained hominid who is about to get a bigger brain and both Adam and Eve would suffer those consequences, but they are different consequences depending upon which sex we are speaking of…
So many things fall into place. Thank you for taking a look at this view–A Christianity without Adam and Eve, the Fall and Eden, has lost the reason for atonement, in my opinion (I am sure others will disagree here).
None of the information above could have been known by a Hebrew Neolithic writer. Much of this information–about the genetics could have been known by someone living earlier than the 20th century and the fact that the Mediterranean was a dry empty basin was not discovered until 1970 or so. Thus the question is: How is it possible that the Bible had this information up to 5,000 years ago? Was it blind chance or divine inspiration?.
All of these events fall around the same time, 5.3 myr ago. If true, these facts require an older evolutionary Adam and Eve, and require foreknowledge of modern science–only God, not aliens could do that.
The Alternative view is put everything in Mesopotamia, a bad place for all things.
7- This will get people liking me and my ideas less, but it is a fact that Genesis 2:6 says 'for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth! Everyone wants everything biblical to occur in Mesopotamia. Except Mesopotamia gets lots of rain. Geologically, I know of no time it didn’t get rain. This phrase is a hint again that this land was 1. a new land, and that it might have been in a deep basin. Think of Death Valley and the Dead Sea. While they get rain, they are narrow, with mountains on each side so rising air can cool, condense and cause rain. But the dried out Mediterranean sea covered almost 1 million sq km, and deep basins don’t get much rain because of the rain shadow.
It is quite well known in both meteorology and sailing that the lee side of an island gets less rain, and sometimes less wind. This dried out Mediterranean basin would be on the leeward side in all directions, meaning this could be a new land which had never received rain.
So, think about the effect of no rain. No rainbow. This makes the rainbow something special when Noah and company emerge from the Ark. Had the rainbow existed prior to this flood, what would be remarkable about it? Nothing. So, again, placing Eden where I do, makes everything fit together. I place it next to a basin that was flooded in a manner similar to Noah’s flood, which was deep enough to avoid almost all rain, and not make rainbows.
8- Gen 2:5 also says" and there was not a man to till the ground . I think this is a hint that the events occurred PRE-AGRIGULTURAL. Others will disagree but I have four posts showing why Noah and company were neither farmers nor metal workers. If Adam was a Neolithic farmer, then there were many men to till the ground. Below is why I don’t think the technology of the post flood world is true.
10- The actual land was destroyed as Martin Luther suggested long ago. We have an empty basin with the rivers of Eden flowing into the eastern basin floor, other rivers flowed into the basin further west, one off of Libya and a couple off of France, but they are far to the west of where I say Eden was. But way to the west, at the Strait of Gibraltar, the clock was ticking. Water was seeping over the top of the dam at Gibraltar, slowly eating away the dam, and maybe seeping through the rock itself, destroying its cohesion. But, 120 years prior to the dam’s failure, God spoke to a righteous man.Gen 6:13:
" And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth "
It says God will destroy the land along with the man. Mesopotamian flooding didn’t destroy the land. Mesopotamia still exists. Even in the global flood, the ‘land’ was not destroyed; it was just re-arranged. The Mediterranean Flood destroyed a large land, which has never been seen as land again. This view is consistent with what many scholars have said of Eden, that it is utterly destroyed. Martin Luther said,
" Hence my opinion…is, first, that paradise was closed to man by sin, and secondly, that it was utterly destroyed and annihilated by the Flood, so that no trace of it is visible any longer—For the entire surface of the earth was changed." 22
Martin Luther was correct–that land of Noah and Eden was utterly destroyed and is now out of our reach, even if we know where it was.
I want to point out that many critics claim that the ‘windows of heaven’ refer to the supposed windows in the raqiya. These are critics who have not even kept up with Wikipedia. Wikipedia has an entry which talks about this modern myth of the flat earth and solid dome. See also my Days of Proclamation post for why the entire idea of a solid dome is unsupported by historical data. More to the point, the word here for heavens, samayim, means sky, as in atmosphere. It is a euphemism like we say cloud burst, when the clouds do nothing of the kind.
11 -The direction of the ark. Let’s put the ark in Mesopotamia with the Tigris and Euphrates. Both rivers are flowing south, into the Persian Gulf and then into the Indian Ocean. Can someone tell me how on earth the ark then ends up in Turkey? The ancient writers were not so stupid as to make such a mistake. They used canoes all the time. There were no tall mountains which could be covered by the flood. Cover the Zagros mountains to the east and one has created a world wide flood. Indeed cover the Judean hills to the west and one has gone a long way towards a global flood.
One question I always want to ask is why do well educated people suddenly violate the laws of physics by having the Mesopotamian flood waters flow uphill? Water doesn’t flow up hill, but many evangelical flood theories do have water flowing uphill.
But place the ark in Eden where I say it is, and the ark merely has to rise like a ducky in a bathtub to land on the Mountains of Ararat–it is a simple thing and we don’t have to make a 3 year circum-navigation of Africa to do it. This theory matches physics but is rejected. The Mesopotamian flood idea violates so much physics but is thought of as an erudite theory. I will never understand this.
Finally, I think the wind is what drove the Ark to ground on the Taurus mountain range, see map above. The Taurus Mountain Range is the Range running Through Turkey. A careful observation of the Upper Miocene paleogeography on that map shows that the ark might have been able to land on what became the kingdom of Uratu.
Finding Eden, where the four Edenic rivers interacted, is a major step forward in knowing that these events are real, contrary to the constant naysayers of modern Christianity. My views might not be the only way to make Scripture concord with modern science, but it is a way forward. God bless all, see you on the other sid
I also believe in a real Adam and Eve. But I believe their story is wrapped in hyperbolic mythology to create a sort of historical fiction. Must like the book of Jonah and Esther and it’s similar to revelation. Revelation is about real events, told through a highly symbolic writing style. I believe this not simply because science makes a literal interpretation of the story impossible, but because scripturally I believe it’s wrote in that style.
One key pattern we see again and again with the Bible is that God randomly reaches out to humanity and selects a single Individual or small remnant of people.
So I believe at some point God reached out to humanity and selected a couple to bear his truth.
Whenever we approach scripture with a question about what it says, have in mind the thought “how was this text shaped and formed and written by the people of its own place and time?” Always try to see the passage in its own context, and specifically remove our own (21st century; western; etc.) place, time and context from the equation.(*)
At first sight: two different times; two different places; therefore two different contexts. (Our own and that earlier one.) We are aware that we need to translate it across time and place and context.
But that same principle also applies within scripture: between different parts within itself.
So when Jesus, Paul and Peter refer to earlier Hebrew scriptures, they are themselves looking back to an earlier time, place and context. But they are also doing it from within their own time, place and context. They are using their own cultural understanding to re-interpret one from still earlier.
So in asking how they viewed it, be aware of two journeys of translation, not just one. Just as we need to be conscious of a translational journey back to the world of Jesus, Paul and Peter, so they themselves were in their own translational journey back yet further to the original writings. (Further still, that original writing was itself the product of yet earlier traditions…!)
Three places; three times; three contexts: ours; Jesus, Paul and Peter; the original. (Or four if we look at the prior evolution of the prior sources of the text itself.)
So our questions need to be shaped with an awareness of all this transmission across multiple cultures. And that might make our culturally-bound questions almost unanswerable. But don’t despair. The exploration of “how to find the right question to ask” is itself a great journey of discovery and faith!
(*) Of course, in modern church life we will often try to apply the passage to ourselves. That is a laudable aim. But in so doing, we must be conscious that we are taking the return journey (possibly multi-hop) from its own place and time into our own place and time.
Please do get in the right line. I want to meet your too. I keep pushing the nurses for how long I have and they say until I lose my appetite. I have no idea when that will be, 3 weeks or 3 years, but God has given me a purpose unlike I have seen in earlier time. And I got a shot at witnessing to my sister who I think took it seriously this time.
Sadly a feisty personality is what God gave me. Off to dinner now.
I’ll be happy to have some more fun with that … if an inspired writer from our time was having some fun with this here is what it might sound like, if God behaved in such a way as to win the approval of future skeptics.
After orchestrating the big bang and allowing all the necessary particles and eventual stars and galaxies to coalesce, God allowed time for the development of yet finer and yet more fragile and interesting things as well, including molecules that would begin to have the reproductive properties recognized as biological ‘life’.
The holy spirit prompts me here to address future skeptics from the year 4000 by further explaining:
… the frizzlesput nodulars frompulated into the huzzledorf continuum over Sputtle-space-time. It was during this development that the Sprattle-Blab constant was tweaked a millionth part upward to allow the condensation of hooflespore snubblebluts, thus causing the Protostomic dimension to unfold and leading to we Tardigrades as the ultimate and most intelligent culmination of life on earth - the very images of God’s self.
Okay - that last bit might be off on a bit of a tangent. But basically, this is what today’s skeptics wanted Genesis to sound like to the ancient Hebrews.
It’s a wonder that God didn’t jump at the chance, right?
Jesus was not here to correct people’s errors about history. If He had taken on that correction as a mission, it would have distracted from the really important things that He had to do.
Paul is a different case. He simply did not know better.
As for 2 Peter, most New Testament scholars know it to be a forgery. No early church leader even mentioned it until more than 100 years after Peter died! It is not in the canon that I use, so I do not worry about that epistle.
It is wonderful that you are looking for answers. God answers those who diligently seek Him.
Both of these claims are incorrect - if I am understanding you correctly. Nowhere in the book do we make the claim that “humanity” is based on the MRCA for human mitochondrial DNA. Moreover, in the book I explicitly say that science cannot tell us if Adam is historical - it can, however, tell us (* with appropriate epistemological humility, etc) that if Adam was historical, he was part of a larger population.
Hi Vivi_O2: good question! I think it’s important for people like us to grapple with this particular issue.
My interpretation generally approaches this in two ways:
If you want to communicate with the people, you have to speak their language. If Adam and Eve, the Flood, etc. aren’t true, or at least the stories aren’t completely true, I think it would have done more damage if Jesus knew the truth and just said, “Hey guys, the stories you believe? Definitely not true.” The Torah was the religious language of the Jewish people, and to come outright and say it’s wrong would alienate far more people than the things that Jesus already did to alienate the religious leaders. So assuming Jesus had divine knowledge of some sort, and was aware of evolution and the fable like nature of the stories (assuming we participants at BioLogos are right about these), I would think He would just use the Torah, speak their religious language, as a jumping off point to teach truth, regardless of the accuracy of every single dot and iota.
The other possibility I consider is that Jesus really didn’t know the truth about these issues. I think for most Christians, calling Jesus God and man seems to imply that He had some sort of constant God quality. He knew everything and could do anything because, well, He was God, so duh. But when I read the Gospels, I think Jesus’ humanity stands out far more than His purported divinity. He needs to eat, sleep, he prays, etc.
I emphasize His humanity here because I think it’s reasonably possibly that Jesus didn’t know the truth about Creation, Noah’s Ark and all of that. It certainly didn’t seem like it was an emphasis of His ministry, but when He described Adam as being a real person, perhaps Adam really wasn’t a real person and Jesus didn’t know that. Jesus admits that He doesn’t know the timing of the coming apocalyptic events He prophesies (which is very un-God-like, I must say), so there may have been many other things that He just didn’t know. This is the more heretical option between the two, but I think it’s a reasonable possibility in the domain of Christianity without diminishing who Jesus was and what He did.
As for Peter and Paul, the other NT writers, they were just a bunch of dudes, as far as I’m concerned. Awesome dudes, who did enormously important things for the founding of the church, but their interpretations and readings of Adam and Eve and the Flood to me are not necessarily authoritative when it comes to the veracity of the events.
The only item that a 200,000 year Adam can stand on is mtDNA. Until last year that was considered when Anatomically modern Sapiens appeared on scene, in spite of Milford Wolpoff and Rachael Capari’s warning that there is no criteria by which modern man can be included and archaic man excluded in anthropology. Anyone, from Swamidass to Hugh Ross who places Adam at 200,000 years has to be dealing with mtDNA because Nuclear DNA clearly shows we are much older as a species.
I will stand corrected and believe your protest that mtDNA has nothing to do with the age of your Adam. And I am aware that Craig is willing to move Adam back pretty far, which is a good thing and what I do, only farther. It is written:
"Here’s where it gets interesting: Craig, of course, wishes to deny that notion due to its obvious theological problems, but he is persuaded by the mounting scientific evidence that Neanderthals were human . In fact, he is willing to place humans, made in the image of God, in the category of homo heidelbergensis .
This means Craig is willing to put Adam as far back as 750,000+ years ago.
For my part, I know that if we are to have an Adam, he must be older than 750kyr–a thing Christians hate to think of–it brings that horrible thing called evolution. It means Adam didn’t look like us(another scary thing), it means we put God in a box where he must have an age of Adam we approve of first!!!
I disagree strongly that science can tell us with epistemological humillity that Adam was part of a group. As you know, the further back in time a population goes, the smaller the diversity of genetics can be and still give the speices time to recover sufficient diversity in its genome. Here is a picture of the genetics of a refugia with plants who 5 million years ago, dropped to about 15 breeding pairs in Neff.
As everyone can see, the population got pretty small back then. It is at that kind of time frame one must look for Adam and Eve. And here are the reasons.
Adam and Eve were not living in a materialistic world. They had an active theistic God who could help them over the diversity problems. That is, unless you too believe God does not act positivitly in this world.
I do beleive God’s help would be minimal so we can expect a close tie in with the materialistic math you use for effective population size. We can’t deny that this mathematics does not include God’s involvement–nor should it, but we can’t claim that God never involves himself in this world or we don’t have a religion worth anything in my view.
The species succession, of which anthropologists are so proud might not be species succession.
'Observations of regional continuity have been difficult to explain when considering that the fossil record shows evidence of common evolutionary trends across the entire geographic distribution of human ancestors. The best example of this is the clear increase in brain size starting 700,000 years ago. There is evidence of the same trend occurring across the Old World. If, according to multiregionalists, all human fossils belonged to a single evolving species, then how could the same trend occur in different regions? For concerted changes within a single species, the answer is gene flow." John H. Relethford, “Genetics and the Search for Modern Human Origins,”(New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001), p. 58
Richard Leakey also agreed that we are a single evolving species, not a ginsu chop chop of different species. We just have racial differences all the way back:
“I am increasingly of the view that all the material currently referred to Homo erectus should in fact be placed within the species sapiens and be distinguished from our modern form merely as an earlier stage in what seems to have been a single evolving lineage.” ~ Richard Leakey, “Recent Fossil finds From East Africa,” in J.R. Durant ed. Human Origins, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989) p 57
All of this is supported by, well, genetics!. Consider these issues. We have so much introgression from archaic hominids that muchmore, the entire out of Africa view will collapse:
“If the AMH genome contains any degree of dual ancestry (that is, archaic and modern) the single origin model must be rejected. Although most of the AMH genome might descend from a single African population, if further studies confirm a non-negligible contribution of archaic genetic material to the AMH genome, it would imply that the evolutionary lineage leading to AMH did not evolve reproductive isolation from other archaic hominin subpopulations and, therefore, cannot be considered a distinct biological species.” Daniel Garrigan and Michael Hammer, “Reconstructing Human Origins in the Genomic Era,” Nature Genetics, 7(2006), p. 677
“The diversity of these genomes indicates that the Denisovan population had a larger long-term average size than that of the Neandertals ( 6, 7), suggesting that the Denisovans were formerly widespread across mainland East Asia. However, interbreeding with modern humans only appears to have occurred in remote Island Southeast Asia, requiring marine crossings and raising questions about the distribution and fossil record of Denisovans in Island Southeast Asia. The distribution of modern human populations containing detectable amounts of introgressed Denisovan DNA is surprising, as none have been detected in mainland Asia (introgressed DNA refers to small amounts of DNA from one species found in another species). Denisovan DNA has only been found on islands east of Wallace’s Line (see the fi gure). The modern human populations with the highest percentage of Denisovan DNA are the geographically isolated New Guinean and Australian aborigines (~3 to 4%) ( 4), whereas smaller percentages have been detected in a range of populations in Island Southeast Asia. Groups in this area are thought to be descended from early Southeast Asian hunter-gatherers and later Neolithic farmers ( 3).” A. Cooper and D. B. Stringer, “Did the Denisovians Cross Wallace’s Line?” Science, 343(2013), p. 321
ghost ancestor ghost population population x
"Four West African populations carry genes from what may be an undiscovered archaic hominin. This archaic group of humans seems likely to have diverged from the shared ancestor of Neanderthals, Denisovans and modern humans before these lineages split about 800,000 years ago."
Similar patterns were seen in the genomes of Mende people in Sierra Leone, Esan people in Nigeria and those in western areas of Gambia. The four populations are estimated to derive between 2 and 19 per cent of their ancestry from an archaic group of genes.
" This mystery hominin is most likely to have diverged from the ancestors of Neanderthals, Denisovans and modern humans before that lineage split into these groups, according to the researchers. They estimate this divergence took place at some point between 1 million and 360,000 years ago, and interbreeding between the archaic population and the ancestors of the modern populations occurred at some point in the past 124,000 years." New Scientist, Feb 12, 2020,
Here is the Key, Dennis. If we are a mish-mash of genetic interbreedings between archaics and more ‘modern’ versioins of humans and this has been going on for 3-4 million years or so, then Adam was a person who lived much much longer ago than Craig’s acceptable 750kyr ago. Adam is old. We are one evolving species from the time of Eden (which my science of geology has provided great evidence for its time and location), If we are one evolving species, labels go out the window and we need to consider that Adam was a small brained hominid. That is what I am writing up now in my last book ever.
YOu asked me, what I consider a ‘bully’ question. Why? because I was and am a bit of a bully myself. So I will ask you if you have ever read my books, Foundation, Fall and Flood, and the other one Adam, Apes and Anthropology?
Don’t answer, I know the answer. Wild non-consensus ideas are ignored by academics because they think there is no value in them. My books have been out there 20 years+ and you show no sign of knowing of my views. And yet, nothing in the last 20 years of anthropology has changed a whit from what I wrote in A^3.
Life is “fun” in the bathyal regions of academia
Currently I am on hospice with who knows how long to live. If you still think I should read your book and that it will convince me that there is no Adam, then just give the word. I will buy it. I presume there is a kindle version because I need to enlarge it as I am going blind in one eye and no one will fix it because I am in that great catch 22–you are on hospice therefore we won’t fix you up on anything else. lol
Mister gbob. i found very interesting the view that you shared with us, with different charts and evidence, t about the historical adam and eve(you helped me in the past again in my Exodus question) .But i have to ask if those evidence are irrefutable why dodnt scientists agree with them