A Philosophical take on Adam and Eve

It may be that at some point in our past — a hundred thousand years or so ago — humans went through some kind of bottleneck, but we are still looking at a population of 10,000 or so. Moreover, even if all humans are descended from one woman — “Mitochondrial Eve” — no one thinks that we are descended only from one woman. Or that that woman and her mate were in any significant sense different from their parents or their contemporaries.

In other words, science tells us that Adam and Eve are fictions. That Saint Paul or Uncle Tom Cobley and all thought otherwise is irrelevant. They were wrong. This is not to say that they were stupid or careless. Two thousand years ago, for a Jew to believe in Adam and Eve was perfectly sensible. But time moves on and with it our understanding of the world around us, and old beliefs have to give way to new ones. Aristotle thought that some people were born to be slaves. He was wrong. St. Paul thought we are descended from Adam and Eve. He was wrong.

Michael Ruse: Adam and Eve Didn’t Exist. Get Over It!.

Ugh… bad theology urges more bad theological answers. Ruse is ‘okay’ but honestly, he needs to study more and not assume that every Jew 2000 years ago believed what we have told them that they believed – or Paul for that matter.

Poor guy – I bet he believes that the earth rotates around the sun as well.

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5 Replies to “A Philosophical take on Adam and Eve”

  1. Actually this is a celebration of wilful ignorance. Read this sentence again:

    Moreover, even if all humans are descended from one woman — “Mitochondrial Eve” — no one thinks that we are descended only from one woman.

    In other words, even if X is true, no one thinks X is true. That implies that everyone is wilfully ignorant about this matter. Perhaps what he meant to write is what is written in Wikipedia, that this one woman was not the only woman alive at the time – but he didn’t say it.

    Note also the quote at note 10 in the Wikipedia article:

    Any hypothesis that assumes a small number of founding individuals throughout the late Pleistocene can be rejected because otherwise the evolutionary theory would be wrong and that would be inconvenient to scientists and atheist.

    That suggests to me some circular reasoning concerning the supposed “population of 10,000 or so”.

    I note also that the Bible taken literally agrees with science in placing its Y-chromosome Adam after its Mitochondrial Eve. The Bible appears to teach that all modern males are descended from Noah – but that modern females are descended from his three daughters-in-law and so have no common ancestor at that time.

  2. Whoops, Joel. You don’t like the exegesis. I forgot and posted by mistake on your blog. Just delete my post. It’s your blog and you have this right. Once again, my mistake. I will make every effort not to do this again.

    Best wishes always,

    Robert Hagedorn

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