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Adam and Eve Discovered?

August 24, 2013

Nearly all modern men can trace their lineage back to one man who roamed Africa between 125,000 and 156,000 years ago, according to LiveScience. And the same is true for women, who are linked to one woman who lived at the same time.

As usual, let’s not get into the time issue.
That means one must decide on whether you hold to the new earth or old earth creation.  We can never know the answer to that question while we’re alive - to let’s go beyond it.

The real issue here - were Adam and Eve really discovered?

The first place I saw this was on msn.com.  The article headline is Who’s your daddy?  ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ discovered.  
It refers to it’s source at livescience.com.  Their headline is Genetic ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ uncovered.

So - were Adam and Eve really discovered / uncovered / found / ??
Or is the serpent from the Garden of Eden alive and well even today?

Given that the LiveScience.com article is the origin of the msn.com story, let’s go with that one.

It’s off to a great start.
While there is the disclaimer about “genetic” ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ -
given that people don’t just reproduce themselves -
it did after all take one man and one woman to produce another person until recently -
or in these days at least it takes the sperm from a man and the egg from a woman -
there’s a natural assumption that the genetic origin of men and the genetic origin of women would had to have some joint involvement in the procreation of the species.

The Bible says this is what happened -

Ge 4:1 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.”

But - we also know from sex education classes - if not outright experience -
that this is how it happens.
We aren’t like the amoeba - who just splits and forms two.

The study was also done on the Y chromosome -
that would be the male one.

This is a very Biblical approach -

Ge 2:18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Ge 2:19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.  20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.  22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Ge 2:23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

As the article says -
it’s also very scientific -

The Y chromosome is passed down identically from father to son, so mutations, or point changes, in the male sex chromosome can trace the male line back to the father of all humans. By contrast, DNA from the mitochondria, the energy powerhouse of the cell, is carried inside the egg, so only women pass it on to their children. The DNA hidden inside mitochondria, therefore, can reveal the maternal lineage to an ancient Eve.

Imagine that -
the Bible and science agree - again.
For regular readers -
you know that this happens much more often than many people realize.

The article continues -

By assuming a mutation rate anchored to archaeological events (such as the migration of people across the Bering Strait), the team concluded that all males in their global sample shared a single male ancestor in Africa roughly 125,000 to 156,000 years ago.

In addition, mitochondrial DNA from the men, as well as similar samples from 24 women, revealed that all women on the planet trace back to a mitochondrial Eve, who lived in Africa between 99,000 and 148,000 years ago — almost the same time period during which the Y-chromosome Adam lived.

Uh Oh.

By assuming…

But what if this assumption is wrong?

Logic - cold hard logic - tells us that any conclusion is only as good as the facts on which it is based.
In this case - it’s not based on facts -
but is based on assumptions.
Assumptions about where people traveled -
which is obviously unknown at this time -
since the following statement was also made in the article -

The results overturn earlier research, which suggested that men's most recent common ancestor lived just 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.


The previous one was (only) 50 to 60 thousand years ago.
This one is 125 to 156 thousand years ago.
That 2 to 3 times older than the previously traced ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’.
Given that huge time difference -
it’s only natural to “assume” there’s a lot of unknowns during that 65 to 96 thousand year gap.

In the infamous words of the tele-marketer -
BUT WAIT!  There’s more!

A separate study in the same issue of the journal Science found that men shared a common ancestor between 180,000 and 200,000 years ago.

And to repeat those words -
BUT WAIT!  There’s more!

And in a study detailed in March in the American Journal of Human Genetics, Hammer's group showed that several men in Africa have unique, divergent Y chromosomes that trace back to an even more ancient man who lived between 237,000 and 581,000 years ago.

That’s more than twice as old as the study they just wrote about.
What is going on here?

Here’s a response from the leader of this last group talking abut the new study -

"It doesn't even fit on the family tree that the Bustamante lab has constructed — It's older," Hammer told LiveScience.

Gene studies always rely on a sample of DNA and, therefore, provide an incomplete picture of human history. For instance, Hammer's group sampled a different group of men than Bustamante's lab did, leading to different estimates of how old common ancestors really are.

Good grief -
so where are we now?

Well - let’s go back to the Bible and see.

As I said at the top -
let’s not get into the new earth versus old earth creation issue.
Let’s just assume that God is perfectly capable of doing pretty much everything -
including either of the following options -

So - let’s not go there.
To do so would be to put God in a box -
to say that He’s limited.

Let’s look at the “Adam” and “Eve” thing.

Could they really be the father and mother of everyone if they’d never met?

The answer is very simple.


The msn.com article says -

But "Adam and Eve," as these two ancient people are being called, likely never met, let alone mated and populated the earth. Instead, according to LiveScience, both humans simply had DNA that survived, unbroken, resulting in many modern heirs of their mitochondrial or Y-chromosome DNA.

The livescience.com article is more blunt about it -

These primeval people aren't parallel to the biblical Adam and Eve. They weren't the first modern humans on the planet, but instead just the two out of thousands of people alive at the time with unbroken male or female lineages that continue on today.

You may be asking then -

What was the point of the article?

Well - there are two -

  1. We have to read to understand what is being said.  
    Clearly the headlines of both articles imply that Adam and Eve were found.
    Upon reading the text of the articles -
    while thinking about what is said -
    “reasoning” it out -
    we find that it can’t be true.
    In the case of these articles -
    we find that even the authors say it isn’t true.
    Likely - the headlines were to get people to read the articles.
    But for the many people who didn’t read the article - just the headline -
    they come away with a totally wrong conclusion.
    Same is true if they only read the first paragraph or two.

    And - let’s give credit where due -
    these articles did point out that it wasn’t really Adam and Eve.
    Some authors won’t do this.
    They want to leave a false impression.
  2. When being fully open and honest -
    the Bible and science really are very much in agreement.

    The fact that they didn’t find Adam and Eve isn’t so much the story here.
    The fact that science is searching for a common “original” man and woman -
    that’s the story!

    If we were to assume Darwin is correct -
    that we are descended from apes - or any other animal -
    there wouldn’t likely be one original man and woman from whom we are all descended.
    If random chance produced a man somewhere -
    and random chance produced a woman somewhere -
    one would expect that just by the laws of probability -
    there would be more than just one.

    But that’s not what they are looking for -
    they aren’t searching for the various / many origins of humans -
    they are searching for the one of each - the one man and the one woman.

    Just like the Bible says -

Ge 3:20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

As I often quote -

Isa 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,”

says the LORD.

“Though your sins are like scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red as crimson,

they shall be like wool.

This is not an empty promise.

It’s one made to us that we may come to know God better.

It’s one that we should always take Him up on.

Who are you reasoning with?