Was Adam the first Homo sapien?

I would argue that the first book of Genesis are sequential. The universe, earth, sun moon and stars, plant animals and humans were shown to be created in the Genesis 1 and a specific creation of Adam and the garden was created afterward. My Biblical evidence for this is as follows:

  1. Throughout the book of Genesis, the genealogy of the line not leading to Jesus is always given first, followed by the line leading to Jesus (Cain before Seth, Japheth and Ham before Shem and so on all the way through the book). Genesis 2:4 states “These are the generations of heaven and earth” using the same Hebrew word (“toldot”) as used in the genealogical examples. I believe this is a consistent approach where the men and woman in Chapter 1 were the line now leading to Jesus and then the line of Adam and Eve is given second.
  2. In Genesis 6, it states that the “sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and took them wives of all they choose” - I believe the “sons of God” were the decedents of Adam and Eve and the “daughters of men” were decedents of men and women from the Genesis 1 creation.
  3. Genesis 6 also states that Noah was “perfect in his generations” which to me means was a direct descendent of Adam and Eve.
  4. Scientific data also supports this theory - See "Genetic Adam and Eve did not live too far apart in time" in Nature
  5. I have additional detail in my book “Genesis and Evolution”, but it is not substantially longer than this post

If the Biblical Adam and Eve did not exist you would still have a most recent common ancestor for both the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA. The only thing the genetic evidence supports is the effect of pedigree collapse.

Personally I don’t believe in an actual Adam and Eve. They can be regarded as “representative” humans. I think that Genesis tells stories of relationship and not actual history. They are figurative and not historical stories. We can see ourselves in the way that Adam and Eve behave and their story is out story of failures in love and obedience.

1 Like

The challenge with Adam and Eve being “representative” is you can then make any other Biblical passage representative, and then the Bible starts to lose its meaning.

I agree with your point that the data does not “prove” my thesis, but the data does align with it. Having a single man and woman from whom we are all descended, those individuals must have had a pretty impressive genome, to establish a clear competitive advantage against all other H. sapiens on earth. Pedigree collapse just means there are a limited number of possible ancestors, but I believe that limit would be much greater than one.


I assume you have had a chance to read some of the recent posts of @Swamidass?

He does a good job of explaining how Adam and Eve could have emerged distinctively out of a much larger population … and could have been able to still become one of the universal ancestors of all humanity (but not the ONLY such ancestral pair) by the time of the birth of Jesus - - but only if humanity has been around for quite some time before Adam.

1 Like

Hi Tom,

I believe God gave us the intelligence to figure out what parts of the bible are to be taken literally and what parts not. We now know that Homo Sapiens have existed for at least 300,000 years. Most YECs leaders concede that an historical Adam and Eve can’t be stretched back to more than 10,000 years BC. So, no, if Adam and Eve existed historically, which I do not believe, then they can’t possibly have been the first Homo Sapiens.

I’ll read that article, but the current scientific consensus is that Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosome Adam are separated by at least 100,000 years.


When you read the article you will find that Mito Eve and Y Adam have nothing to do with a theologically defined Eve and Adam. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Genetic is not genealogical. Homo sapien is not mankind.

Consistent with the genetic data, Adam and Eve could be genealogical ancestors of all of us, lived less than 10,000 years ago, and ancestors of us all. I’ll point out also that the Bible does not speak of Homo Sapiens, just of “mankind”.

Furthermore, Y “Adam” should actually be Noah. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


@Swamidass… readers know pretty much where I stand… and I have to agree with The Swami on these points!

1 Like

This is not accurate. Sorry. Pedigree collapse means almost the exact opposite. It means there is not just a limited number of universal ancestors, but a very large number. No impressive genome needed. You have it backwards.


I wonder if there should be a temporary embargo on the phrase “Pedigree Collapse”. It invites the imagination to over-reach.

Anyone who uses the term should simultaneously remember that any “genealogy chart” also collapses a little bit more with each pairing of distant cousin-with-cousin … thus simultaneously establishing a genealogical hegemony of Universal Ancestry for what could ultimately become thousands of common ancestors - a virtual cohort of Common Ancestors- for all those living today!

What destroys one pedigree “builds up” a Common Pedigree. For some animal breeders, this would be an oxymoron… there is no pedigree if ALL individual members of a species have the same identical ancestors from a millenia ago.

But when we compare the lineage of Adam with the lineages that have been lost - there is a species of truth in the phrase “Universal Pedigree”.

1 Like

Geez @gbrooks9, you got this right~! Thanks for struggling through some of those earlier posts where I was correcting everything you said. It seems like you understood.

1 Like

Shucks, @Swamidass, sometimes a brief post is just too brief!

1 Like

I disagree. There are parts of the bible that externat verification of historical findings. The gospels I also believe to be based on real testimony of those that knew Jesus.

Yet even reading some of the more verificable historical parts can stll be ways in ewhich we may see our own selves in the lives and actions of others because of our common nature, sometimes goodness and other times failings. Indeed it is good spirtual excerise to get into a bible story as one of the characters.eg In what way may I be like Simon Peter. The “representative” aspect of the bible does not rob it of truth about ourselves and about God’s grace given to us.

1 Like

In the journal article, (Ych) Adam is estimated to have lived 120-156k years BCE (I think BC is an oxymoron) and (M) Eve is estimated to have lived 99-148k BCE. I also include another reference in Science that indicates the start of agriculture is about the same timeframe which is the purpose given for Adam to be created “there was not a man to till the fields”. The dates are not critical as they will change over time, they always do.

I see many references to 10,000 years BC, especially in other threads, what is the basis for this date? Is it scripturally based?

First of all, thank you to everyone for the “gracious dialogue”, I am new to the forum and this has been very enlightening for me, especially going back to other threads as recommended. Many of the comments focused on the scientific data, which I feel offers an interesting coincidence.

Does this team agree or disagree with the scriptural argument I posed that the Bible does not say that Adam was the first man?


These are estimated based on genetics alone.

@Swamidass points out that Genealogy is much more potent than genetics. Charlemagne has millions of descendants living on Earth today.

But if you looked for a specific gene from him (assuming we had a sample), there might not be anyone alive today that preserves Any of Charlemagne’s genetics.

1 Like

Thanks for the clarification, that helps

Hi Joshua,

Could you explain to me how this is possible, since by 10,000 BC there were millions of people on earth on all continents.

1 Like