Monday, July 20, 2015

Why Believe Adam & Eve? (Defending Adam & Eve’s Existence)


            Bible reveals Adam & Eve’s existence. But did they really exist? If they did exist, how do we reason it out?

            In August 2013, Yahoo News reported the unraveling of a genetic Adam and Eve, who lived about 135,000 years ago [1]. This report was based on papers published in Science (August 2013). Genetic Adam and Eve are not to be confused with the Biblical Adam & Eve.

            Genetic Adam & Eve were supposedly two out of thousands of people with unbroken and continuing male and female lineages. On the contrary, Biblical Adam & Eve were the first ever humans created by God – our primeval ancestors.

            Minimally, Christians subscribing to Historic Christianity (because they consider the Bible as God’s infallible and inerrant word) believe in the existence of the biblical Adam & Eve [2]. Postmodern Christians consider the biblical Adam & Eve as mythological figures because they do not attribute divine inspiration, infallibility and inerrancy upon the Bible. Evolutionists and Non-Christians, with the exception of Jews and Muslims, deny the existence of Adam & Eve.

            Why is Adam & Eve’s existence germane to Christianity?

            If biblical Adam & Eve never existed, the Bible could be debunked i.e. the narrative of original sin and need for savior - the Lord Jesus Christ - could be incorrect as well. Thus a conclusion that there is no salvation from Christ, and that Christians are merely walking in the dark could be reasonable.

            Denial of Adam & Eve’s existence could entail Christianity’s falsity through the following assertions:

            1. Science proves Adam & Eve never existed.

            2. Adam & Eve did not disobey God (because they did not exist).

            3. There was no “original sin” that was passed to us - the descendants of Adam & Eve.

            4. Jesus’ death on the cross was in vain (because there was no original sin).

            5. Bible that reveals Adam, Eve, sin and Christ is thus incorrect.

            6. Therefore, Christianity is invalid.

            Scientists denying Adam & Eve’s existence, posit humanity’s origin from a small population of individuals. This nullifies biblical notion of humanity’s origin from one man and one woman - Adam and Eve. Studies of ancestral population size of humans based on mutation rates and independent of mutations are the dominant foundation for the denial of biblical Adam & Eve [3].

            Do not worry!

            Biochemist and Vice President of Research & Apologetics of “Reasons to Believe,” Dr. Fazale Rana refutes the conclusions of the studies denying Adam & Eve’s existence [4]:

            (1) These studies posit estimates and not hard and fast values. Therefore, do not consider estimates as concrete values.

            (2) Studies on “Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosome Adam” trace back the origin of humanity to single ancestral sequences, namely single man and single women a.k.a Adam & Eve [5]. (Mitochondria, which contain its own DNA, are inherited only from the mother. Mitochondrial Eve is the woman who was the most recent common female ancestor of all humans. Similarly Y chromosome Adam was the most recent common male ancestor of all humans because Y chromosome is inherited only from the father.)

            (3) Those who deny Adam & Eve’s existence assume that they were genetically identical, since Eve was created from Adam. But the Bible does not support the notion that God created Adam & Eve as genetically identical humans. God could have introduced genetic differences into Eve while creating her.

            (4) The claim for humanity’s origin from a small population of individuals, in fact, supports the existence of biblical Adam & Eve i.e. Adam & Eve procreated and had many sons and daughters. These studies could well be positing the population structure of humans some time after their creation when their numbers would have been small.

            (5) As in the case of the research done on “wild mouflon sheep,” these studies could have overestimated the original numbers for the first humans. A young male and female sheep placed in Haute Island in 1957 multiplied to 700 in 1977. When mathematical models used by studies to deny Adam & Eve’s existence were applied in the instance of wild mouflon sheep, the models underestimated the genetic diversity of the population.

            “Answers in Genesis” a Christian apologetics ministry refutes the denial of the existence of Adam & Eve through [6]:

            (A) Studies on human genetic diversity are predicated on “molecular clock dating,” which is “built on series of unverifiable assumptions and circular reasoning” [7]. (Molecular clocks estimate the duration of time taken for genetic diversity to occur.)

            Molecular Geneticist Dr. Georgia Purdom states that secular evolutionary scientists agree with the fundamental uncertainty in molecular clocks. Dr. Fazale Rana claims similarly that uncertainties in molecular clock analysis are on the order of +/- 50,000 years, which is remarkably imprecise. [8]

            (B) An appeal to young earth creationism (belief in six literal 24 hour creation days and that the universe we live in was created 6000-12000 years ago) rejects a notion of large genetic variation within a very short elapsed duration of time (6000-12000 years since origin of universe).

            (In fact, if young earth creationism is correct, Darwinian evolution should be discarded because it is virtually impossible for evolution to occur in a short time frame as 6000-12000 years.)

            Therefore, scientists’ denial of Adam & Eve’s existence need not be trusted for it is a flawed conclusion.

            What do we learn from this attack against Christianity?

            Intellectual attack against Christianity is rampantly escalating. Churches should respond by equipping themselves with answers to these tough yet reasonable questions. Apologetics ministry should be developed in churches that subscribe to historic Christianity.

            To conclude, I submit the words of Dr. Fazale Rana, “Even though the genetic data traces humanity’s origin back to a single woman and man, evolutionary biologists are quick to assert that mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam were not the first humans. Rather, according to them, many “Eves” and “Adams” existed.7 Accordingly, mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam were the lucky ones whose genetic material just happened to survive. The genetic lines of the other first humans were lost over time.

            While this explanation is not out of the realm of possibility, it is highly contrived. It would work if only a few of the first humans reproduced, or were allowed to reproduce. If the data is simply taken at face value, the biblical model is the more parsimonious explanation.

            Even though evolutionary biologists offer ways to explain away the implications of the human population genetic data, these explanations—entrenched in naturalism—are not necessarily superior to an interpretation that fully squares with the biblical account. The scientific case for the biblical Adam and Eve stands firm.” [9]

Endnotes:

[1] http://news.yahoo.com/genetic-adam-eve-uncovered-180706860.html

[2] Jehovah’s witnesses, Mormons etc. also believe in Adam & Eve.

[3] http://www.reasons.org/articles/were-they-real-the-scientific-case-for-adam-and-eve

[4] Ibid.

[5] Recent studies have postulated the simultaneous existence of mitochondrial eve and Y-chromosome Adam. (William Lane Craig states, “…but recently Michael Murray, who is involved in the BioLogos movement and with the Templeton Foundation, sent me an email in which he said some recent studies have just reestimated the dates of the Mitochondrial Eve and Chromosomal Adam and they’ve determined that they were roughly contemporaneous.” - http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-historical-adam-and-eve#_ftn7)

[6] https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/did-we-all-come-from-adam-and-eve/

[7] Ibid.

[8] http://www.reasons.org/articles/when-did-mitochondrial-eve-and-y-chromosomal-adam-live

[9] http://www.reasons.org/articles/were-they-real-the-scientific-case-for-adam-and-eve


2 comments:

Bruster61 said...

Well done! Here is a link to a post that I published on the same topic recently: https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/adam-and-eve/
Blessings!

Raj Richard said...

Thank you Bruce, I read your post and found it to be very good. Thank you brother. Remain blessed.