Typo: I misspelled the writer’s name… I’ll fix it up soon… here is the link and correct spelling!
By Dr. Dennis Bonnette
Dennis Bonnette’s July 2018 article on Adam and Eve as SOLE common ancestor to all humanity included this particular analysis:
" The most recent research indicates that the best likelihood for there being two first parents for the human race is prior to half a million years ago."
“This finding comports significantly with my own speculation stated at the beginning of this article, namely, that, based on intellect-evincing artifacts, the probable time for the first true human beings—Adam and Eve—would be some three-quarters of a million years ago.”
"This philosophical inference that the makers of such artifacts must be true human beings means that they would be proper candidates for being identical with the possible “first hominin mating pair” discussed in the previous section."
And yes, as Swamidass points out, given their ancient time frame, this would make them “the common ancestor of Homo sapiens , Denisovans , and Neanderthals .”
What are we to make of this tumult of themes and scenarios?
What I see is a puzzle of motivations. Is the author actually attempting to replace a fixation on the idea Special Creation of an historical Adam and Eve with a LESSER FIXATION on the importance of a SINGLE FOUNDING COUPLE?
Why do I even suggest this?:
1] the author keeps urging the reader to look well beyond the half-million year Mark for a common ancestral couple;
2] he seems more interested in making the Adam and Eve a hybrid of multiple hominid lineages… IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY the claim of SOLE ancestry;
3] And finally, the author appears to cloak his analysis in a way that minimizes the concern or discussion regarding Special Creation in order to focus on the possibility of a sole ancestral couple somehow emerging through Evolution alone.
Wow… that’s a lot of work and brain-storming - - just to avoid Special Creation!
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a Unitarian Universalist who is quite convinced by the physical evidence that humans were (for the most part) created by God via God-guided Evolution!
But the reason I post on PeacefulScience.Org is my belief that a Dual-Creation Scenario - - where God makes an historical Adam & Eve by Special Creation AFTER first creating a founding population of humans by means of evolution - - is the scenario that does the best job of fitting both the physical evidence of Evolution and the Biblical requirement for a recent Universal Common Ancestor!
Bennette seems less than convinced… and that includes any Reliance on the time frame of Genesis 2 and beyond.
How do I mean this?:
A] He makes no attempt to explain his abandoning of a 6000 year time frame… or even a 10,000 year scenario. He flees Genesis altogether… in order to preserve just one thing: SOLE ANCESTRY of SOME KIND of hominid couple;
B] He makes no attempt to explain how ANY hybrid couple could have enough intrinsic genetic diversity, SIMULTANEOUSLY, in dozens of genetically controlled phenotypes with hundreds if not thousands of alleles in the present population!
C] Or… is it in fact a REVERSE strategy? Does Bennette so strongly favor Special Creation that he wants to entangle the reader with his speculations BEFORE confessing that it still needs to rely on non-Evolutionary de novo Adam and Eve?
Since I cannot really tell yet what the writer really thinks is possible… it seems quite misguided to abandon a recent timeframe (within the last 10,000 years) AND the patriarchal account seemingly absent of any surviving human hybridization AND perhaps eliminating Special Creation altogether - - just to fixate on SOLE ANCESTRY for some kind of Adam and Eve!
The @swamidass scenarios on Genealogical Adam/Eve seem to look even better in view of the compromises Bennette seems to be making!
Adam and Eve are demonstrably Homo sapiens (less than 40,000 years ago), image bearers created by God by Special Creation, AND STILL qualifying as [A] Universal Ancestral Couple… just not THE one couple!