I haven’t read this post but I will. I did read your paper on Genealogical Adam and found it an interesting read. I don’t know that with my current understanding of your work, that a genealogical Adam necessarily equates to a literal interpretation of human creation. I agree that the idea of a genealogical Adam and Eve, to whom we can all trace ancestry is not only feasible, but likely, but if I read Genesis literally, I interpret Adam and Eve as genetic progenitors, rather than genealogical. Definitely interested to hear perspectives on the topic though.
You’re not wrong. Jordan told me about this forum several months ago and I told him then, “I really want to get on there, but I know it’s going to be a time sink that I can’t afford right now.” I knew if I started there would be no slowing my descent down the rabbit hole. But yes, the x-men link was more than I could resist.
If you read Genesis literally, it doesn’t talk about DNA, and it hints at people outside the Garden. So a literal reading hints at a GAE. Yes, the YEC interpretation of Genesis deviates from the literal reading at this point, but we have to keep the YEC antievolution readings at lower authority than the text of Genesis itself.
Thank you Allen. I’ve found that some of the best conversations I’ve had are with people who disagree but are willing to have the conversations and, like you said, bring their experience into the discussion as well as the data. We are not only biological beings but relational and we experience the world through more than just our biological senses. So I agree that our path matters.
Agreed. There is nothing of DNA in the Genesis account, and I have always thought that Cain’s fear of being hunted as a murderer was good evidence for the existence of other people. I was referring more to the special creation of Adam and Eve from dust and Adam’s rib (the Genesis 2 account).
That fits in a GAE too, and does not imply genetic progentitorship. Have you seen this yet? BioLogos Edits Their Response to Keller
Of course, literalism may not be the best way to read Genesis. I’m just not sure science shows us it’s wrong.
I see your line of reasoning there. Question though. Under the assumption that Adam and Eve were the product of special creation at some point in time 1. Would all humans be the product of that special creation or the others “outside the garden” be different? 2. If the latter, wouldn’t there be detectible genetic differences between genes introduced through Adam and Eve and the other populations that existed at the time? (Barring God creating them with identical genetics to the existing populations).
They would all be monophyletic, the same biological type though they have different origins.
So that would mean that their special creation would be through God creating two new humans, unrelated at that time to the other humans on earth, but with identical gene and chromosome structures, though maybe new alleles?
Yes! I think you hit the nail on the head
Welcome, @Troendle! My personal story sounds very similar to yours, just moved back a couple of decades! There is a sizable number of professional biologists, but those of us that are primarily undergraduate educators (I teach at Houston Baptist University) are pretty sparse. It will be nice to have another genetics professor on board
Perhaps new alleles. What ever the case, Adam and Eve are now genetic ghosts, unidentifiable in our DNA.
Thank you. I think you’re right. There appear to be some excellent scientists on here. But I also agree with you that the perspective of those who are in the classroom daily engaging students on these topics can be valuable to the discussion.
Right, the addition of their genetic material would be undetectable if they were incorporated into the population. I suppose that if they were to successfully breed with existing humans God would “need” to create them with identical gene and chromosomal structure. I’m definitely not saying I disagree with the possibility that this is the case. I guess it feels a little roundabout to me though as a way to hold onto Adam and Eve as historical when it’s possible they were never meant to be interpreted that way. For me the jury on their historicity is still out.
Well sure. Reject their reality of Scripture doesn’t teach it, but don’t say that something about science is pushing us there.
I don’t claim that science pushes us to deny a genealogical Adam, only a genetic one (which is never explicitly stated in Genesis, though it has become the common interpretation, and maybe that’s the problem). My current stance on historical Adam is informed by my rejection of genetic Adam, and questioning why God would specially create these two rather than any of the other possibilities. Definitely not saying that science alone is what’s pushing me there. Like I said, I agree that genealogical Adam is plausible, but even being plausible doesn’t mean we have any scientific evidence one way or the other on the matter.
That isn’t what “monophyletic” means. I don’t think that’s even what it means theologically, much less biologically.
Yes, though the new alleles are not necessary or useful, as they are not genetic ancestors of living humans, just genealogical ancestors.
I agree John, in order to be considered monophyletic Adam and Eve would have to share a common ancestor with the other human populations, which they would not do if they were the result of special creation.
As for the new alleles, that would be a possibility but not a necessity and they may or may not have any effects on the population if they did exist.
This atheist tends to think that a separate physical creation of Adam and Eve isn’t necessary from a theological point of view. That sounds a bit materialistic. Ensoulment of an already existing single human couple seems like a better route, and has a bit more mystery to it. However, far be it from me to tell Christians what their theology should be.