Monday, December 30, 2013

Did We All Come from Adam and Eve?

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell

Have genetic discoveries broken the tie that binds us to Adam?

Did we all come from Adam and Eve like the Bible clearly states, or has the human species outgrown Adam and Eve? A recent article from The Economist covers the debate about whether all humans could have really come from just two people. It reports that at the November 2013 meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Baltimore, Maryland, a presentation about the latest in human genetics showed a packed audience of theologians that human genetic diversity could not be the product of less than 10,000 parents.

The Economist article “All About Adam” correctly points out that without an authentic Adam and Eve in our past, the origin of sin and the need for a Savior—Jesus Christ—would be on shaky ground. While falsely accusing Bible-believing Christians of denying science, the article acknowledges that “much is at stake” in this dispute. What is at stake is the authority of Scripture and the foundation the Bible presents for our salvation.

Are Two Enough?

Claiming that modern genetics has kicked the pegs from beneath any scientific support for the authenticity of Adam and Eve, The Economist states:

A trickier controversy has been triggered by findings from the genome that modern humans, in their genetic diversity, cannot be descended from a single pair of individuals. Rather, there were at least several thousand “first humans”. That challenges the historical existence of Adam and Eve, and has sparked a crisis of conscience among evangelical Christians persuaded by genetic science. This is not an esoteric point, says Michael Cromartie, an evangelical expert at the Ethics and Public Policy Centre, a Washington think-tank: many conservative theologians hold that without a historical Adam, whose sin descended directly to all humanity, there would be no reason for Jesus to come to Earth to redeem man’s Fall.

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