Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Venema says there is no way we can be traced back to a single couple. He says with the mapping of the human genome, it's clear that modern humans emerged from other primates as a large population — long before the Genesis time frame of a few thousand years ago. And given the genetic variation of people today, he says scientists can't get that population size below 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history.

To get down to just two ancestors, Venema says, "You would have to postulate that there's been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence."
~"Evangelicals Question the Existence of Adam and Eve", by Barbara Bradley Hagerty (on

One of my biggest issues with theistic evolution is how it affects the narrative of the Fall.  After all, if we evolved from apes, then was there ever an Adam, an Eve, an apple, a tree, and a serpent?  And if not, how do we account for original sin?  I am also troubled by the effect theistic evolution has on gender roles, but that's a discussion for another day. 

Leaving aside the theological implications, I find this article troubling from a logical perspective.  Now, I am by no means an expert on evolution--my exposure has primarily come through the evolution-bashing seven-day creationism that was taught at my Christian high school.  I had my fill of vitriol on the subject--from both sides--and have since largely avoided the subject when possible, content in my own beliefs and opting instead to discuss other theological issues that are more essential to the truth of the gospel.  So I confess freely that I may have the details all wrong.

Still, my understanding is that the whole of evolution relies on the idea that a single life form can evolve, over time, into all the diverse and unique creatures we see around us.  I thought that was the point--that given enough time, the little organism would mulitply and mutate and adapt and the next thing you know, presto!  Humans.  Which I always thought sounded incredibly unlikely, but that was the evolutionists' lookout, not mine.

But now it seems that proponents of evolution are claiming that there's no way all of humanity could have descended from two people.  Now, I realize that this is based on a study of genetics (specifically the human genome)--another subject about which I know next to nothing.  And I realize that the issue does not involve evolution from one species into another, but variation in a single species.  But still, it seems pogically problematic to say that the whole of the universe and life as we know it could, by chance, evolve from one life form, and yet this one species couldn't have sprung from two people. 

Of course, I realize that if evolutionary theory is correct, and that one life form was the start of things, then it is highly likely that by the time humans showed up, there would be more than one or two.  So I get that their position flows from their theory of origins. And I get that the jump from Adam and Eve to the world as we know it is supposed to have happened in what is, from an evolutionist's perspective, a mere blink of an eye. But it still seems inconsistent to claim that everything could come from one molecule, but people couldn't come from . . . other people.

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