Sanford and Carter: A ‘genealogical’ Adam and Eve?

It’s not just Sanford. We have examples right here at PS of people who ignore scientific explanations over and over and over and over yet continue to repeat their ID-Creation talking points.


17 posts were split to a new topic: Sanford and Carter’s Genetic Entropy Revisited

This discussion of genetic entropy is all off topic. Can we please move it to another thread?

Bottom line. I’m trained as a virologist. Sanford isn’t. His paper about H1N1 is laughably wrong in multiple ways, which is why it never would have been published in a virology journal.


You’re just making things up, Nigel. How can you defend Sanford’s claims about influenza when you are so ignorant of its infectious cycle?

Oh wow. The intrigue! You are correct @Puck_Mendelssohn. Good catch. I just sent a note to asking them why this article no longer appears, letting them know I have a copy.

How do we interpret this?

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Form-criticism would be the method, I think.

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Go on.

I’m afraid that joke was a one-liner only. I am now standing here, imagining what Henny Youngman would say next. I would say “take my wife – please!” except that I fear she’d become a pillar of salt.

But, seriously: my best guess is that it’s merely a little mix-up by the person who runs the website. If it is NOT that, however, my suspicion would be that you struck a nerve and that they think it is a bad idea to provide you any free publicity.

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From CMI:

The URL changed to Review: 'The Genealogical Adam and Eve' -, and the original was deleted for SEO reasons, according to the web admin team.

I have no reason to doubt this is true. So no intrigue. Darn it :slight_smile: .

Yeah, I liked the intrigue better. But I also know that managing a large website with a lot of resources is a complicated thing, and that little glitches do happen. They must have changed it recently, as the new URL didn’t show up on their website search feature when I tried it, but the old one did.

Now, as I am frequently accused of assuming dishonest motive, I will point out that I did say:

PRIOR to offering the possibility of intrigue, if that turned out not to be true.


Here is a response from @jongarvey: Hump retrospective 2: old earth with death, carnivores and natural evils | The Hump of the Camel

Here’s what they say:

But what sort of ‘death’ before the Fall did most of the church countenance? It was not the ‘death before the Fall’ envisioned by modern old-earth compromisers that one finds in the fossil record, full of disease, carnivory, and suffering. Patristics scholar Benno Zuiddam documented a number of Church Fathers who explicitly affirmed Genesis 1:30 teaching that animal diets were non-carnivorous, and this was reflected in the Edenic allusion of Isaiah 11 and 65. And while ideas about ‘no animal death before the Fall’ may not have been universal among early Christian scholars, the same cannot be said about ‘no human death before the Fall’. Thomas Aquinas (in responding to an objection) is representative: “It would seem that death and other bodily defects are not the result of sin” with “On the contrary, The Apostle says (Romans 5:12), ‘By one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death.’” And how does this square with the historical evidence that the church was nearly unanimous in believing the earth was not more than a few thousand years old in 1517?

Let me first remind you that my core investigative principle was always “What does the Bible teach?” So as I recalled the old, troubling, scenario of innocent Adam walking the earth on the bodies of billions of years of corpses, my first recourse was to see what the Scripture actually says, and what it does not. To my surprise (and with some embarrassment, as a Bible student since 1965) positive teaching on the necessary corollary of a death- and suffering-free pre-fall world, ie that there was a fundamental shift in the nature of physical reality afterwards, simply wasn’t in Scripture at all.

It looks to me as if it prejudicially frames your position at points and caricatures at others:

“At that point, every human being on the planet had become ‘infected’ with the special humanness, and so were subject to the condemnation of sin and were eligible to enter heaven. … Thus, for most of human history, and possibly still today, there would have been human beings on this earth who were more fully “human” than others.” (Assuming I’ve understood your position correctly. I only got about halfway through before I had to set it aside for other things and haven’t had a chance to get back to it yet.)"

True, they established the case that genetics and genealogy are distinct in history, but they did not, and could not, nail down the timing. This is a major flaw in his reasoning. Yes, Adam and Eve could have conceivably become the universal genealogical ancestors of all of humanity, given enough time and enough mixing with the POGs.

This seems irrelevant since you’re not trying to make a dispositive case, but merely show that there is no scientific defeater.

Many people will find this model attractive, not because it is credible or consistent with the Bible, but because it gives various concessions to the diverse competing Christian points of view (e.g. theistic evolutionists, old earth creationists, and young earth creationists).

I’m not sure this has the significance they think it does. If there is good evidence for TE or OEC, then we should be attracted to a position that can hold together various lines of evidence, all other things being equal. And it’s also consistent with the Bible, so far as I can tell.

And so forth…


To repeat what I said in the FB group about this review. This paragraph stuck out to me:

“Second, there is no guarantee that this would have occurred completely, covering every single human in every far-flung corner of the globe. To support his claims, he cites mathematical modelling from very old studies5,6 as if they are conclusive, authoritative, and directly reflect the real world. These models take an ideal population and try to calculate the time it takes to find one or more universal ancestors. But those models were done on primitive computers, compared to today, using simplifying assumptions that are not based in historical reality. True, they established the case that genetics and genealogy are distinct in history, but they did not, and could not, nail down the timing. This is a major flaw in his reasoning.”

The “very old studies” mentioned is basically the 2004 Rohde paper. 2004 is not that old. Besides, a study being old doesn’t disqualify it, unless it’s been shown that it failed to take into account something else that was pointed out later. No evidence of this is offered at all in the review, only a blanket statement dismissing the ability mathematically model human populations. In fact, later the reviewers cite a 2003 paper when arguing about genealogical ancestry in Iceland. Unless perhaps the reviewers are referring to some specific YEC refutations of Rohde that I am unaware of?

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@swamidass et al. :

How could it be otherwise?

There would be no need for the Tree of Life in Eden if Adam and Eve were INITIALLY created as immortal!

Being a vegetarian is NOT the same as being IMMORTAL.