When did Adam Live? Part 3-Genetics

When did Adam Live? Part 3- Genetics

by Glenn R. Morton

This post is mostly for my young-earth-believing brothers and sisters in Christ. Theistic evolutionists already accept much, but not all of what lies below. This is the third in a series on my view of how to concord Scripture with science. This, like the two posts below is preface to putting it all together, showing that if one is to have truth in the creation accounts, one must move Adam and Eve way back in time. The next and last preface will be a look at the fossil record and what it says about when early man arose. For now we will look at the vast evidence that requires Adam and Eve to have lived in the age of the small brained hominids. If you haven’t read my post on ancient religion and on brain size, they can be found at the links in this sentence. [links edited by moderator]

The area of genetics is one place where I think everyone misuses the results to get the answer they want. Anthropologists act as if mitochondrial Eve, the oldest common mother of our mitochondria, defines the date of the origin of the H. sapiens. They say H. sapiens speciated about 200,000 years, and this is wrong. Some Christians use this number to say when God made mankind. Although most would place Adam within the past 20,000 years. mtDNA Eve’s age is technically the Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) Remember TMRCA cause I will use that acronym a lot. Mitochondrial Eve isn’t the age of our species because mitochondrial are a small part of our DNA. The TMRCA for the vast majority of our genes is much, much older; and each gene has it’s own age!

The y chromosome Adam which is the correlate of mitochondrial Eve lived about 338,000 years ago, yet he is not claimed to be the origin time of H. sapiens. Nor should he be. This age too, is just the TMRCA for this piece of DNA . But again, small pieces of DNA don’t define a species.

So what is the problem? The mtDNA Eve was not the only female on the planet, she was one of a whole lot of females, each of whom had their own mtDNA. But all these other women’s lineages died out leaving only descendants of mtDNA Eve. This is no different than the process whereby family names die off because of a failure to have sons who had offspring.

" In 1790, six mutineers from H.M.S Bounty arrived on the tiny island, bringing thirteen Tahitian women with them. Few others have ever gone there to live. Recently, a population of fifty people on the island shared only four surnames, and one of these was that of a whaler who had later settled on Pitcairn. Thus in only six or seven generations, 50 percent of the six original surnames had already disappeared. After a few more generations, only one will remain." 1

Barry Starr explains:

" Mitochondrial Eve is simply the last woman we can trace our maternal lines back to. In other words, she is our mother’s mother’s, etc. all the way back a few hundred thousand years. " All the other women alive at the time eventually had their maternal lines end. Either there was a generation with all sons or the daughters had no surviving daughters or whatever. The descendants of most of these women still walk among us ; they are just invisible to the type of testing we can do to look back so far in time. Again, this all goes for men and Y-Adam too . " 2 .

What the mtDNA time represents is the time it took for the descendant copies of this woman’s mtDNA to conquer the genetic world of modern humans. It is the TMRCA! This makes mtDNA time the age of the ancestor for THIS TINY PIECE OF THE DNA. It says nothing, about the origin of the human species, no matter how often this is repeated. If the only DNA we had in our bodies was mitochondria, then in that case, mtDNA’s TMRCA would be the age of our species. But of course, we have much more DNA than the tiny amount of mitochondria DNA.

Templeton criticizes the hype about mtDNA:

Because mtDNA is inherited as a maternal haploid, this ancestral mtDNA must have been present in a female. Some scientists and much of the popular media have dubbed this bearer of our ancestral mtDNA “mitochondrial Eve," and have treated this as a startling discovery about human evolution. However, the existence of a mitochondrial Eve is trivial under coalescent theory. Finite population size (and all real populations are finite) ensures that all copies of any homologous piece of DNA present in any species have been derived from a single common ancestral DNA molecule in the past; indeed, this is the very definition of genetic homology. To say that humans have a mitochondrial Eve is to say only that all human mtDNA is homologous . When “Eve” is called the ancestor of us all, it only means that our mtDNA is descended from her mtDNA, and not necessarily any other piece of the human genome.3

Alan Templeton has a chart that illustrates what happens to make one person the parent of everyone’s mitochondria or other piece of DNA.:

As I noted, the y-chromosome Adam or TMRCA yields at date of 338,000 years. Here is the amazing report,

" We report the discovery of an African American Y chromosome that carries the ancestral state of all SNPs that defined the basal portion of the Y chromosome phylogenetic tree. We sequenced ∼240 kb of this chromosome to identify private, derived mutations on this lineage, which we named A00. We then estimated the time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRC A) for the Y tree as 338 thousand years ago (kya) (95% confidence interval = 237–581 kya) ." 4

The same kind of math is used on y-chromosome Adam as was used on mtDNA Eve, yet the hullabaloo is only about Eve, because some people are trying to link her with the Out of Africa Replacement theory. Again, both of these dates are just the age of the last common ancestor OF THAT PIECE OF DNA. Each piece of DNA has its own age as we shall see in a picture below for a small piece of DNA.

Once we realize this, then the view of what happened in the past changes. First I need to point out that the mtDNA is haploid and the parts of the y-chromosome they use in y-chromosome Adam’s calculation can’t cross over (mix with the X chromosome). This means that when we examine the age of genes in nuclear DNA, the time to the most recent ancestor is quite a lot older than these these two much ballyhooed pieces of DNA, because of crossover. The reason for the hype about the mitochondrial DNA is that it appears to be an attempt to ‘prove’ the Out of Africa replacement with sleight of hand.

" For example, much of the current debate focuses on whether or not there is an African root, with many participants in this debate still behaving as if the resolution of an African mtDNA root would ‘prove’ the Out of Africa replacement hypothesis. As pointed out in the introduction to this chapter and in Templeton(…), only the inference of a non-African root is informative and in this case and all alternatives are consistent with an African mtDNA root. There is even less potential discriminatory power for nuclear DNA. Expected coalescence time (that is, the time from the present back to the common ancestral sequence) is a function of the inbreeding effective size for the genetic element under consideration, and this size is innately fourfold larger for nuclear DNA than for mtDNA (because of diploidy vs. haploidy, and bisexual inheritance vs. unisexual inheritance). Moreover, as will be discussed shortly, molecules that do not recombine (such as mtDNA but not nuclear DNA) show a strong bias towards even shorter coalescence times. If the coalescence time of mtDNA is truly about 200,000 years ago, then the expected coalescence time of almost all nuclear genes are going to be commonly greater than one or two million years. This places the expected coalescence times of much nuclear DNA into a period in which all humans probably lived in Africa. Hence, studies on nuclear DNA are expected to have an African root under all hypotheses of modern human evolution. " 5

Note he said that molecules that don’t recombine (y-chromosome, mtDNA) give anomalously short coalescence times. Focusing only on these two pieces of DNA misleads us into thinking that our species arose late, about 200,000 years ago, when in fact our genes are much older, 800,000 to 5 million years old.

Using the appropriate mathematics for nuclear DNA to see the age of various alleles does indeed show that much of our genome is over a million years old. That is, it took over a million years for mutations to create the diversity we see in the human population. This is what few want to talk about . Having everyone focused on a tiny piece of DNA and proclaiming that this tiny piece of mtDNA proves when humanity evolved is indeed silly. What about the rest of the genome? Does it have nothing at all to contribute to the debate? It would be like finding one new species in the ocean and ignoring all other species.

One thing one needs to know is that all the results of genetic estimates come from models and models have assumptions which limit the solutions. One such set of assumption is, “it the allele evolving in a neutral fashion or being selected for by evolution?” It makes a difference to the answer. Cagliani, et al note:

" In fact, while neutrally evolving autosomal loci have TMRCAs ranging from 0.8 to 1.5 million years (MY), gene regions under balancing selection may show coalescence times dating back more than 4 MY . " 6

As Templeton said, the TMRCA majority of nuclear DNA has a TMRCA of over a million years. Below is a chart showing the TMRCA of some genes. They chose 27 autosomal genes; the TMRCA is more than 2 million years old in 11 out of 27 of them. Only 2 of the 27 are under a million years in TMRCA. Click on picture to enlarge.

So we are supposed to ignore these old genes and say that the 16,000 base pairs of mitochondria outweighs the three billion base pairs of the nuclear DNA and just say nuclear DNA doesn’t count? That is one of the most ridiculous ideas I have seen, yet that is what is happening. The 16,000 base pairs of the mitochondria is somehow considered the end all of knowledge about when our species arose. And it represents 0.0000053 or .00053% of our DNA. I don’t know how many ways I can say it, but we are not a walking piece of mitochondrial DNA. This small piece of our genome (and not even part of our nuclear genome), is NOT what defines our species! Further, other genes have much to say about when they arose, and it differs from mtDNA.

Below is a chart of the TMRCA for many individual genes. Some is taken from an old web page and others are from my research this week. Or these are the times it takes for each of these genes to accumulate the mutations we see All of these parts of our DNA are older than mtDNA Eve. These show that our genome was gradually shaped over the past 5 million years.

gene……………age of the gene…………reference
Tap2……………………….5.36 myr ……………… 7
ERAP2…………………… 5.08 myr……….………8
green opsin ………………>5.5 myr ………………9
HERVs…………………….5.0 myr ………………10
TRIM5-------------------------.4-7 myr-------------------11
Patr-DRB1*03----------------4.6 myr-------------------12
DEFB1-------------------------4.5 myr -------------------13
CDSN/PSORS1C1---------4.18 myr--------------------7
ERAP1-------------------------4.12 myr----=--------------8
CD151---------------3.83 or 2.14 myr-------------------14
CD55-----------------3.19 or 2.61 myr-------------------14
SIGLEC16-----------------3.1-3.8 myr-------------------15
FUT2 coding region-------------3 myr-------------------14
SLC14A1-----------------------2.28 myr------------------14
Lipoprotein ----------------------2.0 myr--------------------9
FUT2 promoter-------1.99 or 1.7 myr-------------------14
PDHA1--------------------------1.86 myr-------------------16
BSG gene------------1.76 or 1.53 myr-------------------14
Beta-globin---------------------1.36 myr ------------------17
dys44----------------------------1.35 myr ------------------17
Plp--------------------------------1.28 myr-------------------17
Ace-------------------------------1.11 myr-------------------17
Pdha1---------------------------1.05 myr-------------------17
Melanocortin-1------------------1.0 myr ------------------18
Zfx--------------------------------0,93 myr ------------------17
Lpl--------------------------------0.91 myr-------------------17
ß-globin--------------------------0.8 myr-------------------18
ms205 minisat----------0.72-1.04 myr-------------------19
Mclr------------------------------0.71 myr--------------------17
non-coding area X --------0.675 myr--------------------20
Xq13.3--------------------------0.56 myr--------------------17
Hprt------------------------------0.53 myr--------------------17
Chromosome 22------504-2.112 myr--------------------21
Gk------------------------------- 0.41 myr--------------------17
ZDF----------------------------0.306 myr---------------------22

I would like to show a picture from work done by Heng Li and Richard Durbin23 where they took DNA from a Chinese, a Korean, 3 Europeans 2 Yoruba males, and calculated along a strand of DNA how many generations each part of the DNA would take to coalesce to the most recent common ancestor. As you can see, the age varies continuously along the DNA… The picture is also fascinating because the spot at 60,000 base pairs takes a little less than200,000 generations. At 25 years per generation average, we have this region would take a little less than 5 million years for all the observed diversity to arise.

What does all this mean? Well, it means we have been one breeding population for 5 or more million years.

Wolpoff wrote:

" There is no distinct boundary between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens in time or space, and cladogenesis does not seem to mark the origin of Homo sapiens. Instead, the characteristics of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens are found to be mixed in seemingly transitional samples from the later Middle Pleistocene of every region where there are human remains. The regional ancestry of Homo sapiens populations makes monophyly impossible for the species if the earlier populations are in a different species. We interpret this to mean that there is no speciation involved in the emergence of Homo sapiens from Homo erectus. These reasons combine to require that the lineage be regarded as a single evolutionary species. " 24

The above will surprise many, that a minority anthropologists(but a group of well known ones) think the only speciation event was at the formation of H. erectus ; that there was no speciation between erectus and sapiens .

This is not the first time someone tried to push the idea that humans formed one continuous breeding population and only phyletic speciation occurred. Phyletic speciation is gradual change from one species to another, as Wolpoff above describes, features gradually change, and the fossil record just shows a mixture of traits slowly being more of the new species rather than the old.

From the 1860s until 1950, almost every new fossil find was given a new genus and species name. It was good for getting newspapers to spread the word about your discovery. Finding another Pithecanthropus, say, would be placed on page 12 at the bottom. In 1950 anthropologists held a conference in Cold Springs Harbor, Maine to thrash out the multitudinous names of all the fossil men. They invited Ernst Mayr, a world renown taxonomist to examine the fossils and make suggestion about how to consolidate and make sense of the human fossil record. Boaz relates the events.

" The biggest bombshell dropped on the Old Guard, however, came from Ernst Mayr, a German-trained ornithologist and specialist in the naming (taxonomy) of species in nature. Using the new yardstick of variability within populations, he stated that ‘after due consideration of the many differences between Modern man, Java man, and the South African ape-man, I did not find any morphological characters that would necessitate separating them into several genera.’ He suggested that all the fossil human-like specimens that anthropologists had discovered after so much laborious effort over the preceding century be simply ascribed to one genus, our own–Homo. In other words, the entire ‘Age of Description,’ from before Darwin to Cold Spring Harbor, was a waste of time. His opinion was that the differences were not as great as between genera of other animals. This assertion meant that the wonderfully diverse lexicon of human paleontology, a virtual liguistic playground for the classically educated, with melliferous names such as Plesianthropus transvaalensis, Meganthropus palaeojavanicus, Africanthropus njarensis, Sinanthropus pekinensis, Pithecanthropus erectus, and so on, were to be replaced. Everything was now to be simply Homo, with three species: Homo transvaalensis, Homo erectus, and Homo sapiens ." "Mayr’s proposal went so far that even Washburn argued that at least the South African Australopithecus be retained (instead of Homo transvaalensis) because it showed such significantly more primitive anatomy than members of the genus Homo. Mayr simply countered that the population is what the species designates. How one determines a genus is arbitrary. The definition is gauged by the relative amount of difference that one sees between the genera of other animals and, in Mayr’s opinion, hominid fossils don’t show very much difference. To anthropologists, this statement was a bit like telling a new mother that her baby looks like every other baby. It did not go over well . " 25

Below is a quotation of what Mayr said in 1950 at Cold Spring Harbor.

Being left with one species of gorilla and one species of chimpanzees, we are confronted by the question whether or not they are sufficiently different to justify placing them in different genera. A specialist of anthropoids impressed by the many differences between these species may want to do so. 0ther zoologists will conclude that the differences between the two species are not indicative of a generic level of difference when measured in the standards customary in most branches of zoology. To place these two anthropoids into two separate genera defeats the function of generic nomenclature and conceals the close relationship of gorilla and chimpanzee as compared with much more different orang and the gibbons. Recognizing a separate genus for the gorilla would necessitate raising the orang and the gibbon to subfamily or family rank as has indeed been done or suggested. This only worsens the inequality of the higher categories among the primates. The same is true for the fossil hominids. After due consideration of the many differences between Modern man, Java man, and the South African ape-man, I did not find any morphological characters that would necessitate separating them into several genera. Not even Australopithecus has unequivocal claims for separation . This form appears to possess what might be considered the principal generic character of Homo, namely, upright posture with its shift to a terrestrial mode of living and the freeing of the anterior extremity for new functions which, in turn, have stimulated brain evolution. Within this type there has been phyletic speciation resulting in Homo sapiens .26

Yes, indeed, telling anthropologists that their babies look like most other babies, didn’t go over well. But, they did take part of Mayr’s suggestion and group the erectines in with Homo but left Dart’s africanus out in the cold, in another genus.

I emphasized phyletic speciation above. Mayr was saying we have been one breeding population from the pithecines through the erectines and on to the sapiens. That is exactly what the TMRCA data is saying. Most of our nuclear genome arose while man was still in Africa, 1.5 Myr ago and a large percentage of our nuclear genome dates back more than 3 million years. So the Out of Africa theory is one of those “Duh! ya think?” ideas. Of course mankind came out of Africa. It is just that the late, 200,000 years ago Out of Africa theory, when, it is claimed, that our mitochondria walked out of Africa, isn’t all that important. Oh gee, did I say our mitochondria walked out of Africa? I’m sorry, I meant to say modern man walked out of Africa. Given the hullabaloo about such a small piece of our anatomy, that it is the one thing that defines us as modern humans, you must forgive me for my mistake.

Since we are back to talking about the origin of modern man, There is no definition in anthropological literature of what is a modern H. sapiens. No proposed set of traits fully encompass modern men and exclude H. erectus. Wolpoff and Caspari discuss the attempts to define anatomically modern H. sapiens:

" Modernity is not a ‘thing,’ a set of features that linked together because they were spread by a single population. But it’s not that modern humans have many sources, rather that modern features do. What links modern features together is how they contribute to successful adaptations, and this, with the differing genetic histories of populations from place to place, explains why modernity is not the same everywhere. " This is why it has proved impossible to provide an acceptable definition of modernity. Repeated attempts at a definition based on skeletal variation have failed because when they were applied to skeletal samples, it was found they did not include all recent or living people. How could this happen?: It comes back to the importance of Neandertals because these anatomical definitions of modernity cast them in the role of ‘other.’ These definitions are based on the assumption Neandertals were not modern humans. Indeed, they were constructed to exclude Neandertals. However, when the definitions were applied to populations around the world, it was quickly discovered that significant numbers of Holocene and recently living Aboriginal Indigenous Australians were not ‘modern.’ This problem, of course, is not with the Aboriginal Indigenous Australians who are each and every bit as modern as the authors of the definitions, but with the definitions themselves and their focus on Neandertals. " 27

This just re-enforces the concept that humanity just gradually grew out of being H. erectus, all the while carrying the image of God as shown in the previous post in this blog. There was no big speciation event for us, just gradual change in this case. Punctuated equilibria is not a law of physics that must be applied everywhere; it works where it works and fails where it fails.

What about the Major Histocompatibility Complex?

This is supposedly the big bugaboo for anyone who believes in a single pair. Francis Ayala, years ago, wrote this:

" The coalescence theory of population genetics leads to the conclusion that the DRB1 polymorphism requires that the population ancestral to modern humans has maintained a mean effective size of 100,000 individuals over the 30-million-year persistence of this polymorphism . We explore the possibility of occasional population bottlenecks and conclude that the ancestral population could not have at any time consisted of fewer than several thousand individuals. The MHC polymorphisms excluded the theory claiming, on the basis of mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms, that a constriction down to one or few women occurred in Africa, at the transition from archaic to anatomically modern humans, some 200,000 years ago. " 28

George Murphy noting this difficulty wrote:

" As one example of the difficulty this idea faces, development of the present diversity of alleles of human histocompatibility genes from such a pair would require between five and ten million years. Unless we want to consider “Adam and Eve” the biological ancestors of all hominids, and perhaps even pongids, we must rule this out ." 29

If this is true, that there was a big population for 30 million years, then the story of Adam and Eve can’t be true, at least not as we currently understand it as a single pair.

It is true that the DRB1 gene has 11,757 alleles in the US population.30 If there were single pair anywhere in the past 200,000 years, the claim is that the human race could not have evolved that much diversity in that time. After all, Adam and Eve each would have had 2, so at most they could have given their kids 4 of the 11,757 alleles. But, all is not lost.

Both Ayala and Murphy were using the wrong assumption to model the past. George, who is a friend of mine, didn’t look deep enough into the literature. Both he and Ayala are theologically comfortable with a population evolving into Adams and Eves. Thus, like all of us, when we think we have an answer that fits our world view, we cease looking for problems or solutions to problems that might take our world view in different directions. We all need to guard against that. Above, I mentioned how all these results are based upon models, and then the model is treated as metaphysical reality. Models depend on the assumptions. Change the assumptions and different answers come out. Bergstrom et al, changed the assumptions. Bergstrom et al, argue that almost all of these alleles average around 250,000 years old, solving the vast majority of these problems, if they are right. They pointed out that sequence exchange meant that the alleles didn’t evolve mutation by mutation, but the DNA was scrambled by exchanging one base with another base on another allele. This means the alleles don’t make an evolutionary tree, and using the model for an evolutionary tree yields false results. Bergstrom et al, note,

" The HLA class I and class II loci are the most highly polymorphic coding regions in the human genome. Based on the similarity of the coding sequences of alleles between species, it has been claimed that the HLA polymorphism is ancient and predates the separation of human (Homo) and chimpanzee (Pan), 4–7.4 Myr ago. Analysis of intron sequences, however, provides support for a more recent origin and for rapid generation of alleles at the HLA class II DRB1 locus. The human DRB1 alleles can be divided into groups (allelic lineages); most of these lineages have diverged from each other before the separation of Homo and Pan. Alleles within such a lineage, however, appear to be, on average, 250,000 years old, implying that the vast majority (greater than 90%) of the more than 135 contemporary human DRB1 alleles have been generated after the separation of Homo and Pan. " 31

In the article, they point out that these DRB1 alleles, which are so incredibly diverse might not have arisen via mutation but have arisen via sequence exchanges This has been demonstrated with the mouse.

“Exchange of sequences between different loci, which has been demonstrated conclusively in mouse class I sequences, most likely involves gene conversion.” 32

Bergstrom et al. note,

" Furthermore, the polymorphism at several class II loci, such as DRBI, is characterized by a ‘patchwork’ pattern of amino-acid motifs, indicating that the alleles may have been generated through sequence exchanges(that is, gene conversion-like events). This implies that adjacent coding sequences may not share the same evolutionary history and are therefore not suited to reconstructing evolutionary relationships among alleles. " 33

The 2015 article by Rajalingam et al, agrees,

" MHC genes evolve through duplication, followed by diversification, co‐ evolution, and sequence exchange . " 34

The Bergstrom et al. article is cited for the authors saying that the coalescence time for the introns is 40 Myr, which clearly would rule out a single pair, like Adam and Eve. Below, Ne is the effective population size–originally the number of breeding individuals but defined slightly differently today. They say,

" Assuming that the intron sequences evolve in a neutral manner and with a generation time of 15 years, this coalescence time translates into a long-term (the last 40 Myr) Ne of 700,000 individuals ." 35

What people don’t know, and I want you to understand this, 700,000 individuals is a monstrously large effective population for anything related to hominids in the human line. One also needs to know that the bigger Ne is , the older is the coalescence time (TMRCA). The following chart will show that.

The above is an example of what the math produces. One needs to know how much interbreeding there is and what the effective population is, to find TRMCA. The contour lines on this chart are the times to most recent common ancestor. The horizontal axis is the breeding size, Ne. As you can see, as Ne gets larger, the time to TMRCA gets more ancient. The chart above stops at Ne of 24,000. Bergstrom’s 40 million year calculation used many times that Ne, 700,000. One would expect a very ancient TMRCA under that assumption.

But because humans had a genetic bottleneck about 100,000 years ago, giving us an effective population size of about 10,000, Bergstrom et al did an alternative calculation and found. (The first bolding below is again to show you how useless mtDNA coalescence times are for dating our species; the second bolding shows what happens to that 40 myr if the population is reduced to what we think happened)

" …t he coalescence time for the haploid and maternally transmitted mtDNA is expected to be one quarter of that for an autosomal locus . The coalescence time for the alleles within DRB1 Allelic lineages based on the intron sequences correspond to about 700,000 years (Ne=10^4 using the intron substitution rate of Li et al and is similar to estimates from other nuclear markers and mtDNA. Thus, when alleles within allelic lineages are compared there appears to be no difference between the effective population size estimates from HLA loci, such as DRB1, and those estimates based on the genetic diversity at other nuclear loci or mitochondrial DNA ." 36

Change the assumption of effective population size and voila, instead of 40 million for the TMRCA for the Histocompatibility Complex, we have 700,000 years. I spent the last 8 years of my career as part of a team making subsurface reservoir models. I saw over and over that one could get just about what one wanted out of a model if you chose the correct assumptions. Science by modeling is a risky affair. I saw the same thing with something called synthetic seismograms,which were supposed to show us if the well data matched the seismic. Appropriate choice of wavelet, could match any well with almost any seismic. I began to wonder about the usefulness of modeling.

As you can see, the assumptions are crucial to the answer. But it is clear that the Major Histocompantibility Complex might not be as hard a problem as has been claimed. The problem is that when one believes that there is no Adam and Eve, as Ayala did, (he wrote a paper, The Myth of Eve), then he won’t challenge his assumptions to see if alternatives would work. This is a human nature problem we all have to worry about.


It is clear from genetics, that if there is to be an Adam and Eve, a single pair, as the Bible describes, they must have lived before 5 million years ago. It is for this reason that the previous post on small brained hominids is so crucial. One of them was our ancestor It is also clear that the DRB1 location might not eliminate the idea of a single pair as is often claimed.

Next I will explain some of the implications of these TMRCA’s to the paleontological record.


1 . James R. Shreeve, The Neandertal Enigma, (New York: William Morrow and Co., 1995), p. 77
2 .Barry Starr, “Ancestry,” https://genetics.thetech.org/ask-a-geneticist/y-adam-and-mitochondrial-eve
3 . Alan R. Templeton, “Haplotype Trees and Modern Human Origins,” Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, 48(2005):33-59, p.34
4 . Fernando Mendez, et al, An African American Paternal Lineage Adds an Extremely Ancient Root to the Human Y Chromosome Phylogenetic Tree American Journal of Human Genetics, March 2013, p. 454-459, p. 454.
5 . Alan R. Templeton, “Testing the Out of Africa Replacement Hypothesis with Mitochondrial DNA Data,” in G. A. Clark and C. M. Willermet, ed., Conceptual Issues in Modern Human Origins Research, (New York: Aldine de Gryuter, 1997), pp. 329-360, p. 353
6 .Rachele Cagliani et al, “Balancing selection is common in the extended MHC region but most alleles with opposite risk profile for autoimmune diseases are neutrally evolving,” BMC Evolutionary Biology201111:171, p. 8
7 . Rachele Cagliani et al, “Balancing selection is common in the extended MHC region but most alleles with opposite risk profile for autoimmune diseases are neutrally evolving,” BMC Evolutionary Biology201111:171, p.8-10http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
8 . Rachele Cagliani, et al, 2010a “Genetic diversity at endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidases is maintained by balancing sslection and is associated with natural resistance to HIV-1 invection.” HMG Advance Access published September 15, 2010, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi= p. 9
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11 . R. Cagliani et al, 2010b " Long-term balancing selection maintains trans-specific polymorphisms in the human TRIM5 gene, Human Genetics, 2010, p. 557-588, p. 577.
12 . Yasukochi and Satta, Journal of Physiological Anthropology 2014, 33:14 Page 3 http://www.jphysiolanthropol.com/content/33/1/14https://jphysiolanthropol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1880-6805-33-14
13 . Rachele Cagliani, et al, 2008, " The signature of long-standing balancing selection at the human defensin β-1 promoter," Genome Biology20089:R143, p R143.1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2592704/
14 Matteo Fumigalli, et al, Widespread balancing selection and pathogen-driven selection at blood group antigen genes Genome Res. 2009 Feb; 19(2): 199–212. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2652214/
15 . Xiaoxia Wang et al, " Evolution of Siglec-11 and Siglec-16 Genes in Hominins," Molecular Biology and Evolution, Volume 29, Issue 8, August 2012, Pages 2073–2086 https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/29/8/2073/1044784
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19 . Alonso, Santos and John A. L. Armour, 2001, “A Highly Variable Segment of Human Subterminal 16p Reveals a History of Population Growth for Modern Humans Outside Africa,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA, 98:3:864-869, p. 868
20 . Kaesmann, H., V. Wiebe and S. Paabo, 1999, “Extensive Nuclear DNA sequence Diversity Among Chimpanzees, Science 286:1159-1162 cited by John Relethford, 2001, Genetics and the Search for Modern Human Origins, (New York: John Wiley).
21 . Zhao, Zhongming et al, “Worldwide DNA sequence variation in a 10-kilobase noncoding region on human chromosome 22” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 97, Issue 21, 11354-11358, October 10, 2000
22 . Huang, W., Fu Y-X, Chang BHG, Gu X, Jorde L.B. and Li W-H, 1998, “Sequence Variation in ZFX Introns in Human Populations,” Molecular BIology and Evolution 15:138-142 cited in John Relethford, 2001, Genetics and the Search for Modern Human Origins, (New York: John Wiley).
23 . Heng Li and Richard Durbin Inference of Human Population History From Whole Genome Sequence of A Single Individual Nature. 2011 Jul 13; 475(7357): 493–496. https://europepmc.org/articles/pmc3154645
24 . Milford H. Wolpoff, Alan G. Thorne, Jan Jelinek, Zhang Yinyun, “The Case for Sinking Homo erectus. 100 Years of Pithecanthropus is Enough!” Courier Forshungs_Institute Senckenberg 171:341_361, Frankfurt am Main 1.05.1994, p. 341
25 . Noel Boaz, Quarry, (New York: The Free Press, 1993), p. 10
26 . Ernst Mayr, “Taxonomic Categories in Fossil Hominids,” Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 15(1951)pp109-117,reprinted in William White Howells, Ideas on Human Evolution, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962), pp 241-256, p. 245
27 . Milford Wolpoff and Rachael Caspari, Race and Human Evolution, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997), p. 313
28 . Francisco J. Ayala, Ananias Escalante, Colm O’huigin and Jan Klein, “Molecular Genetics of Speciation and Human Origins,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci, USA, 91:pp6787-6794, July 1994, p. 6787.
29 . George L Murphy, Roads to Paradise and Perdition: Christ, Evolution, and Original Sin, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, June 2006, p. 114
30 . https://bioinformatics.bethematchclinical.org/templates/displaypagecontent/?id=9376
31 . Bergström T F, Josefsson A, Erlich H A and Gyllensten U (1998) Recent origin of HLADRB1 alleles and implications for human evolution, Nat Genet. 18 (3):237–242., p. 237
32 . John Trowsdale .“The gentle art of gene arrangement: the meaning of gene clusters,” Genome Biology, 2002, Volume 3, Number 3, https://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/gb-2002-3-3-comment2002
33 .Tomas Bergstrom, et al, “Recent Origin of HLA-DRB1 alleles and Implications for Human Evolution,” Nature Genetics, 1998, p. 237 https://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/gb-2002-3-3-comment2002
34 . Raja Rajalingam, et al, Transplant Immunology " Major histocompatibility complex” in Xian Chang Li Anthony M. Jevnikar editors, Transplant Immunology, Wiley, 2015, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781119072997.ch5
35 .Tomas Bergstrom, et al, “Recent Origin of HLA-DRB1 alleles and Implications for Human Evolution,” Nature Genetics, 1998, p. 241
36 .Tomas Bergstrom, et al, “Recent Origin of HLA-DRB1 alleles and Implications for Human Evolution,” Nature Genetics, 1998, p. 241

I like your graphic. I thought you might like this one, showing “Pedigree Collapse” from a genealogical perspective, rather than through a genetic perspective.

In this case, dog genealogies are easier to study. First we see what the family tree of a border collie looks like for 10 generations. Expanding and expanding, right?

But then the image is expanded to 70 more generations, for a total of 80 generations. And what we see are fluctuating waves of “survival” and “extinction” for various lineages… this is called “Pedigree Extinction” or “Pedigree Collapse”.

And by the time we get to 60 generations or so … there are just a handful of ancestral pairs contributing to the existence of this one collie. When simulations are run using an estimated number of ALL THE BORDER COLLIES IN THE WORLD, something amazing happens!:

There’s only 10 or 20 (or some other amazingly small number) pairs from the deep recesses of all the ancestries of the Border Collies of the world that have descendants that survive to the current day!

When calculations like this are performed on human populations, we find that a human couple alive 6000 years ago can feasibly be one of the chosen “Universal Ancestral Couples” [of] all humanity now living… in fact, a human couple living 6000 years ago could have accomplished this before the birth of Jesus (even sooner, if you take Noah’s flood seriously).

[Typo: missing word - “of” inserted]

[ Click on the image to enlarge to maximum size ! ]

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That is one way a lot of people try to solve the issue. But having spent much of the past decade doing my family genealogy (about3,000 pages published and in libraries now), I know that one can be descended from someone but not related to them genetically. One of the curiosities of genealogy. One of the reason I would prefer to have Eve back then is that she is said to be mother of all living. Having her as first woman makes Scripture say something true, not say something false.

I like the chart you show, and I have seen them before, but unless one is in a 3d viewer on a computer and can twirl them, they are hard to understand on a 2d surface

Again, gbrook, you, being a universalist, don’t give a whit for whether what the scripture says is true, including Jesus’ statement that " No one comes to the Father except through me.". If that statement is true, then universalism is wrong. So I find it odd that you want to tell me how Scripture should be interpreted, when the words of the text don’t matter to you. If they don’t matter to your theology, then why does it matter to you that I chose one interpretation or another, both of which wouldn’t mean a thing to your theology. I’ve seen this phenomenon before, on other lists where a Bahai continuously wants to tell Christians how to interpret their Bible when the Kitib-i iqan has its own problems of saying that copper if left in the ground for 70 years will turn to gold. He needs to take care of his problem and I would offer the same advice to you. I won’t get into a debate on universalism in this thread but merey note, that there is no justice in universalism because the Dennis Radar, the BTK (Bind, Kill and torture, killer, gets into heaven along with everyone else. That is the problem you might consider working on instead of telling me how I should solve my problems.


Yes it is a curiosity, but it’s also a strength. For example, if Original Sin is real (if) is it communicated genetically? Or is it communicated through the Federal Headship scenario? If it were genetic, most of humanity would be free of original sin. But if it is communicated through Federal Headship, it fits the Pedigree Extinction scenario perfectly.

Excellent question, @gbob. What sometimes “excites my concern” are attempts to put an armlock around some portion of scripture and hammer it into place in the real world. For example, I was discussing some points with this fellow, similar to you in that he felt the O.T. had a lot of credibility issues, and I pointed out that Genesis was a hopeless mess in terms of the sequence of how creation took place. And his response was that it was right on! He then explained to me that the birds being created on the same day as the day fishes were created made perfect sense - - because it was a reference to tetrapods that would eventually become birds.

When I pointed out that an approach like that could make any part of the Bible match any part of Earth’s timeline, he said I just didn’t understand the details yet.

You cannot use a single statement to prove or disprove anything. But I see this statement being used as exclusionary, and I see Christians acting arrogant becuase they are “saved.” The equation of universalism is a multivariate equation, solving simultaneously for the following conditions:

  • Jesus did not come to condemn the world. (John 3:17) Not one will be lost! ( Luke 15:4-5 ) and even the Prodigal Son will be celebrated when he finally comes home ( Luke 15:11-32 ) .
  • We must repay our debts to the last farthing ( Matt 5:21-26 ) and become perfect as God created us ( Matthew 5:43-48 ). We need to learn to love our neighbors and eventually our enemies before we have become perfect.
  • And, the only way to gain eternal life is by believing that Jesus is the King of Heaven. ( John 3:15 )

The version of universalism that I believe in, solves all these conditions. How does your version of Christianity solve for the first two?

I am confused. You asked, “when did Adam live” but you do not reference any theology. I mean, the only way we know of any person named Adam is from scripture. Furthermore, there are factors that are not being considered. The bible teaches us that Adam was fully formed and that Adam was present at the time of creation; therefore the affects of sin, which factors in our DNA today may not have factored in the DNA of Adam nor his descendants in the same way. That is just my take.

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Fair enough gbrook, curiosity is good and always thinking about one’s assumptions is also good, so I commend you. I have spent probably 70% of my free time over the last 50 years working on these problems. Yes, the order in Genesis 1 is abysmal, unless one makes them days of planning, and there is internal evidence that that is reasonable. Go see my Days of proclamation post on this board. Its on my blog also. I haven’t gotten criticisms of the science. One can of course say that Genesis 1 isn’t days of planning, but that becomes preference–an assumption and not data. Since I prefer a Bible that is scientifically true, because if it is divinely inspired, it is unseemly to think the God of the universe is so clueless about science.

Your friend didn’t have a coherent theory. A good theory has to fit together like a glove on the detailed level. I spent my career as a geophysicist making up theories about where oil fields were. The best prospects were those where all the tiny details fit and one didn’t have glaring misfits of data. Your friend has a glaring misfit of data because fish were found in the fossil record prior to the existence of any land vertebrates. At the time of fishes evolution, those ‘tetrapods’ were non-existent; they were fish.

This world is so messed up with sin, I couldn’t possibly see my way to universalism. People getting into heaven without so much as an ‘I’m sorry’? Maybe it is because of my abusive childhood, where justice never seemed to come that I feel strongly about any God must invoke justice. We humans all do injustice to each other each and every day and we all participate in it. We can’t be the agents of justice, cause we are the agents of injustice.

Ceasing rambling, of original sin. I do think the only way it makes sense is if it is transmitted parent to child, somehow. That is another reason I think we have to have an ancient Adam, because genetically that is the only place possible He could fit.

I know, Shawn, I am way out of the popular view these days This probably should be in a different thread cause it has nothing to do with genetics A&E or fossil man. But this go round is on me cause I probably won’t go to that other thread, I got too much writing ahead of me.

Let’s look at your verses:

You say: Jesus did not come to condemn the world. ([John 3:17]
I think you give a good illustration of your statement “You cannot use a single statement to prove or disprove anything” when you just use John 3:17. the very next verse says again, that Christianity is exclusive

(Jn 3:18)He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already,

It seems that not believing constitutes self-condemnation. You are correct that Christians shouldn’t act like the gloating child, gloating that others are not save, but their atrocious behavior doesn’t alter the fact that Christianity is truly the only exclusive religion. Not even Islam is totally exclusive.

Luke 15:4-5. The sheep originally belonged to the shepherd but had wandered away. I don’t see how that helps your position.

Luke 15:11-32 prodigal son–Again, was originally the Father’s and like the sheep wandered away. that doesn’t mean that every Tom Dick an Harry will show up at the farmers door and be treated the same.

matt 5:21-26. I think you need to read on down to verse 32. It sounds to me like he is saying the religious leaders are not going to make it into heaven.

Matt 5:43-48. Love people, yes, but it doesn’t say they will all be rewarded regardless of what they believe. I had a recalcitrant son who was about to flunk out of College and he was under the misapprehension that I would let him move home after flunking out. I was not going to reward that behavior. I loved my son deeply, but love isn’t the ooey-gooey do what feels good kinda love. Sometimes it is tough to love my son. That was one of the times. I loved him so much that I told him if he flunked, he was on his own. His eyes got big as saucers but he went off to the next semester, and came home on the honor role openly stating that he wanted to live off my money a bit longer. I considered that a fair exchange.

Again, universalism leads to no justice in this world. What if my son killed someone. I would still love him, but he would face the consequences of his actions. Love doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to bad behavior. Furthermore, I believe that forgiveness can’t be granted until the person asks for it.
We partly agree on your last statement. I don’t think being king of heaven has much to do with our salvation. It was Jesus’ sacrifice to pay the penalty of our sins, thus providing justice for those I have wronged, and justice for me for those who wronged me.

You ask: The version of universalism that I believe in, solves all these conditions. How does your version of Christianity solve for the first two?

At least for the top two verses, I read more context than you did. That is how I solved the problem.

As I said, this is really off topic from this thread and I would prefer to keep it on topic, but I owed you an answer.


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But it is ok for God to be clueless about dates? It is clear Genesis places Adam around the time of the beginning of agriculture and the geneologies date Adam to 6 to 10,000 years ago. If you have no problem throwing this history, literal or not, out why is retaining the science so important? It seems if the Bible is divinely inspired He would have gotten the history correct.

Hi Wookin, I am about to reference theology, and as I said in the first of that series, I am laying out the scientific data that requires Adam to be old, if there is indeed, an Adam and Eve. So, theology hasn’t been the focus of these posts.

I would disagree that Adam was at the time of creation. The creation of the universe was the Big Bang and it was so hot that had Adam been there, his atoms would have dissolved, and even the protons in his body would have split into quarks.

I agree with you in respect to Adam’s DNA (assuming original sin is imparted somehow that way, rather than through the spiritual side of man), that sin didn’t affect Adam at the beginning. Eve was deceived to eat the fruit. Adam had a choice, in my opinion, eat or not eat, be with God or with Eve. the lower brain won out in that contest as it does so often today. Adam knowingly ate and committed sin. After that sin affected Adam.

You have raised an interesting point that I need to do some research and thinking on. Gordon Simons and I used the epistemological status of the observer in quantum mechanics to argue that we humans possess an immaterial soul. The article is on my blog and non-scientists can understand it. My next door neighbor, a sales lady got it. Anyway if we consist of body and a spiritual part which is not subject to the laws of physics, that is, Consciousness is something apart from and above matter and the material world, then sin might be carried on that side of the divide. How is it that when we humans procreate we create a spiritual being? They too like us, grow up to be above the laws of quantum. Is it that even though our spirits are tainted with sins, that we can create another spirit who is also tainted with sin?
This is why our quantum soul article is so important, and I have been delighted with the response, and lack of haranguing by athiests when I have posted it where they are. They obviously don’t believe in the spiritual side of man, but they do not find fault with what we say about Quantum. The most pushback I got was here, and that guy never responded to anything mathematical I would post.

thank you for raising a new thought on this area.

It wasn’t until I read many of @gbrooks9’s posts that I realized I must be a Universalist as well as a Roman Catholic (If that is possible). Thus I take issue with your statement “you, being a universalist, don’t give a whit for what the scripture says is true.”. Then you quote scripture (John 14:6) as if we should be 100% sure that we are hearing Jesus’ words just as he would have spoken them in English, not in the Aramaic of his day. It is my understanding that John’s Gospel is a compilation of memories of Jesus’ life from a considerable number of his followers and not canonicalized for quite some time after Jesus’ death. Is it unreasonable (or heretical) to think that two groups of his disciples recalled a single saying of Jesus but gave it slightly different wording–each insisting the their version be included:

6: 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.
14: 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

IMHO the version you quote has “justified” the Inquisition and many burnings at the stake. As a “universalist” I am much more comfortable with John 6:44, and I DO give a whit for the effort needed to extract the TRUTH from what has been handed down to us from the distant past.

I certainly don’t want my post to end on a negative note, however. I greatly enjoyed your recent posts on brain size and ancient religions. We may have a great deal in common in wanting to know more of how the Brain interacts with (and results in) Mind. In 1945 a grenade fragment punched a 3" hole in my skull just above my right frontal cortex. A couple of days later a suture gave way and my whole brain was saturated with blood. The surgeon who brought me back to life was not at all sure of what kind of life that would be. While in the “head wound” ward, I was amazed that many patients with huge fractions of missing brain seemed to get along reasonably well, while others whose wounds were hardly visible were totally incapacitated.
with best wishes,
Al Leo

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You have sidestepped the most important aspects of Matt 5:43-48 when talking about your wayward son. I assume he is not your enemy which we are required to love. You also did not address the requirement to become perfect as God is perfect. And this is who this comment fits into the thread of “When did Adam live?” the Bible says “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” My version of universalism is defined by this comment on Adam. It took 30 or so lifetimes for Adam to become perfect - 930 years of life as a human filled with tests is what allowed Adam to become perfect. So he lived for 10’s of thousands of years.

This version of universalism is patient, where eye-for-an-eye justice is carried out over lifetimes through fate. The world we live in has consequences and is by no means lawless. Most Christians do not consider the question “Is all the suffering in this world earned?” God allows suffering so that each of us can repay our debts to the last farthing. This is perfect justice, because each of us is judged by God, not by man.


So, you assert the existence of Original Sin, and that it is transmitted by genetics.

And yet to defend this assertion, you propose a genetic chain of millions of years, which is far longer than anything Genesis suggests. Since your Y-genes of Adam and the mt-genes of Eve are not synchronized to the same time period, we must conclude that original sin is connected to the mitochondrial DNA - - for the obvious fact that no female would inherit Original Sin if it was connected to the Y chromosome, whereas males and females alike would receive the Original Sin if the sinful nature was associated with the mtGenetic signature.

You might as well introduce yourself to @agauger (Professor Ann Gauger) who, like you, thinks it’s worth ignoring the 6000 year time frame in order to have a real “first human couple”… even if they have a bit of a Uni-Brow!

I do believe in original sin. You might want to look at my answer to Wookin post 10 in this thread. I think I just changed my mind before you wrote this. As to the ID group, I don’t believe design can be found in biology. I think it can be found in physics.

This is the 2nd time you have mentioned the 6000 year shackles you think lie on the Bible. My guess is you don’t know the word used for ‘begat’ in Genesis 5. The word is Yalad. And since I studied Wittgenstein and believe what he said, that a word means how it is used. So lets look at how Yalad is used. Genesis 10:15-17.

15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,
16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,
17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

Can you just IMAGINE the surprise of his wife when a whole tribe popped out of her when she went into labor. People were coming out of her like out of a clown car. Yalad may mean ‘was father of’ or it could mean be ancestor of.

the word is also used of a city and the sons she has brought up. Isaiah 51:18

The word is used of Moses begetting the Israellites. Numbers 11:12 (I didn’t know he had a uterus).

While one might be able to interpret the earth as 6000 years old, one isn’t required to. So, lets drop this canard.

I’m probably somewhere in the middle of this exchange. I don’t necessarily demand that the Bible give me scientific accuracy and kind of don’t expect to. I don’t expect that there would be secret messages of scientific information in this text divinely inspired or not. What do you think @gbob or @Bill_II?

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This is also my position. The Bible contains no natural history. That is what general revelation supplies and it does it quite well.

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Bill Wrote:

But it is ok for God to be clueless about dates? It is clear Genesis places Adam around the time of the beginning of agriculture and the geneologies date Adam to 6 to 10,000 years ago.

If I haven’t made myself clear in my post on a historical reading of Genesis 1, then no one has paid any attention. My whole point is that If we worship a clueless God (and Bill, give me some credit that I actually thought about the genealogies), then we need to find another god. My whole problem with this, as Bill phrases it, “The Bible contains no natural history” movement, is that no matter how bizarre the claim about natural history, no matter what absurdity is stated in Scripture, yall will believe it. Really? Is that rational? If God said pigs fly would you still believe it is the word of God, a light unto our paths? I think most here would and they would make up a story for why God didn’t mean pigs.

Bill, I brought out my answer on the genealogies in my comment to gbrook9 last night. Yes, one can interpret the genealogies as referring to strict father son relatinships. But yalad, the word is also used in the sense of ancestor. I cited Genesis 10:15 as a case in point: Canaan yaladed, a whole bunch of people: And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, 17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad

(The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ge 10:15–18). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)

There are other examples as well. There is a comparison between Sarah telling Abraham and Joseph speaking of his great grand kids. the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were yaladed up upon Joseph’s knees and now I can’t find it I saw it last night but Sarah says the same thing about hager, about Sarah yalading a child upon Hagars knew. One is literal one isn’t.

I have said a few times in my posts, especially in my Days of Proclamation: historical reading of Genesis 1 post, that if there are alternative interpretations, one makes the Bible false and the other makes it true, why on earth do we shoot ourselves in the foot by choosing the false interpretation??? Doing that to me, is silly.

yikes…the debt has been paid, my friend…“It is finished”

Which I saw. I haven’t seen you exact time line, but Genesis 4 is pretty clearly set in the Bronze Age which then places the Flood at some time after that. Also Adam was forced to “to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.” which places the events sometime after the beginning of agriculture which has been fairly well dated. For someone who supposedly gets the science right it seems God does a terrible job on the history.

BTW, when you add the historical context to the genealogies they actually match fairly well.


When a Unitarian Universalist refers to 6000 years, he is not trying to lay down “the law”. So please don’t fret when I use the term.

I use the term because I think that 4000 BCE is a good place to assign the special creation of Adam and Eve… for those who feel God must have had a special mated pair for Genesis to read the way it does.

However, as to Wittgenstein’s belief that words should be interpreted the way they are used… and you object to the idea that whole tribe was BORN at once…

So it must be absolutely terrifying to read these words… not even an implication, it is specifically stating there are NATIONS within Sarah’s womb!:

Gen 25:23
And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

The point is you are choosing pretty wobbly principles to build your scenarios with. If I used these same ideas, we go beyond the womb to things like this: Jesus is a DOOR; Jesus is a VINE.

Jhn 10:7
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

Unchecked Copy Box Jhn 10:9
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Or this one:
Jhn 15:5
“I am the vine…”

Below is my personal favorite: God is mocking Job’s ignorance… he asks Job if he has even SEEN where God keeps his supply of Snow and Hail (“treasuries” or “storehouses” or “warehouses” if you like):

Job 38:22
"Hast thou entered into the treasuries of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail…
Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?"

These warehouses full of snow or hail … they literally have to be orbiting Earth…

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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