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How Old Was Adam and Eve?

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

In last week’s blog, I tried to make the case that the more we know about science, the closer we move toward the Bible. Some scientists are slowly discovering that God may have gotten it right after all.

One of the most fascinating scientific discoveries that should be moving scientists even closer to a biblical account is captured in a video, The Real Eve. This video is produced by The Discovery Channel, no friend of Christians or of a biblical worldview. Here is the basic premise for, and startling claims they make, for modern humans being only 150,000 years old.

About 150,000 years ago, a woman in sub-Saharan east Africa gave birth to a daughter. This woman was the first modern human being. And what we now know from the study of DNA, every single person on earth today came from her! Just let that sink in for a minute. How do they know that? Until the mid-1990s, the study of human origins relied on physical discoveries by archaeologists, anthropologists and climatologists. “The Real Eve” combines that data with new evidence from the fledgling field of genetic archaeology, which traces slight mutations in a section of human DNA which is passed only from mother to daughter. Mitochondrial DNA evolves at a constant rate of about one harmless mutation every 20,000 years, leaving markers of each mutation in nearly every human cell. Just as counting the rings in a tree helps to determine its age, researchers believe they can count markers in the cells of living humans to trace our lineage back to our common ancestor, “mitochondrial Eve.”

As The Real Eve traces human migration from mitochondrial Eve to us, the story becomes increasingly personal. In one stunning segment, tissue samples taken from five people in Chicago turn up genetic indicators proving that a Greek woman and a full-blooded Cree man shared a common ancestor who probably lived in southern Siberia some 30,000 years ago. “The Real Eve’s” unlikely family reunion illustrates the new belief that the human family is more closely related than we ever dreamed.

The Real Eve video is quick to point out that they do not believe in the biblical account of Adam and Eve. They use the name Eve, figuratively to describe the first human woman. They have no idea where this first woman came from, but “somehow” 150,000 years ago a completely new breed of humans showed up on earth.

Here’s another startling fact. Because of the expanding science of DNA, we also now know that modern humans do not have the same DNA as Neanderthal, or Cro-Magnon man, or apes. Before DNA technology, scientists just assumed from examining head structure and bones that modern humans just evolved from the earlier species. But now we know they did not. It’s commonly understood that once modern humans came on the scene, they dominated these earlier species of human-like people, who eventually became extinct.

U.S. News & World Report addressed work done by Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona. The article said something that shouldn’t come as a surprise to creationists: “We are finding that humans have very, very shallow genetic roots which go back very recently to one ancestor… that indicates that there was an origin in a specific location on the globe and then they spread out from there… researchers suggest that virtually all modern men 99.9% of them, says one scientist – are closely related genetically and share genes with one male ancestor, dubbed “Y-chromosome Adam.”

Remember when Cain killed Abel and God put a curse on him and sent him to live in Nod, east of Eden? Cain was afraid the people there would kill him. Who were “those people?” His biological brothers? The Bible doesn’t say. But could they have been Neanderthal, pre-modern humans who lived on the earth, who were not created in the image of God, with a moral sense of right and wrong which made them dangerous to Cain? Adam and Eve were simply the first truly human people. God created humans with the ability to create art, relate to him, understand right from wrong, among other things. But, according to Wikipedia, scientists find no evidence of spirit worship or figurative art that date back more than 52,000 years.

So, here’s my counsel: Purchase a copy of The Real Eve video and watch it with your older children. (Frankly, 90% of what you want them to know is in the first 15 minutes). Then discuss this blog with them. Most of my grandchildren attend public schools and had never heard the “Real Eve” story. It’s one of those inconvenient truths that non-Christians would prefer to keep to themselves.

Does this prove the creation story? No. But science has moved us way past “human evolved from monkeys.” Science isn’t enemy of the Bible, but most scientists still are.

Next week: Where did Christians first get the ideas that modern humans are only 6,000-8,000 years old?

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