It is well known that since Jesus mentions Adam and Eve, they must be real people. And he even said from the beginning of creation God made them male & female. That probably means the earth is 6,000 years old as well. This Answers in Genesis article summarizes both of these points under the section ‘The Recent Creation of Adam at the Beginning of Creation.’ I particularly like the quote: [Jesus] reveals His belief that Adam and Eve were at the beginning of creation, not billions of years after the beginning, as in an evolutionary view. If Jesus believes it, then that should be good enough for me and you!
None the less, it is clear that humanity shares common ancestry with other species and that there is no evidence of any genetic bottlenecks anytime in the past (I’ll go with…) 800 thousand years or so. So it seems to me there are three general categories to put Jesus’ statements into:
- Since Jesus refers to them he believed they existed and they really did. Possible options include a de novo creation of Adam and Eve while other humans came via common ancestry or perhaps Adam and Eve get called out of a larger population and are given a special covenant with God or were transformed in some kind of way.
- Since Jesus refers to them he believed they existed but he was mistaken. This is okay because Jesus only knew what the Father taught Him and there were at least some things the son didn’t know like the day or hour of his return. With regards to certain topics like mathematics or perhaps biology, he would have only known what the people around him knew.
- Jesus knew they weren’t real people but used the terminology anyway. This could be a form of divine accommodation (the mustard seed provides a good case study for this - see Davis’ Does Modern Science Make Jesus a Liar) but maybe Jesus knew better but because the people didn’t he accommodated his message to their understanding. Or maybe everyone knew they weren’t real people, e.g. there’s a story with a character named ‘man’ and a woman comes out of his rib. It’s somewhat unclear in the Hebrew when he even gets a name and everyone knew this anyways by the genre or other means.
Do you think there are other options (beside reject the evidence for evolution and historical population sizes, etc.)? Here is a 2017 article from BioLogos that bring up four possibilities with some overlap here: https://biologos.org/articles/series/old-earth-or-evolutionary-creation-a-new-book-shows-fruits-of-multi-year-dialogue/where-are-adam-and-eve-in-the-story-of-evolution-four-possibilities