Genetics Human evolution Intelligent Design

First human couple still in the news

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File:Cranach the Elder Adam and Eve.jpg
Adam and Eve/Cranach the Elder, c. 1510

Yes, after all these years, everyone still knows who we mean by Adam and Eve. How many current celebs and straying politicos will still be news next century?

And the advent of genome mapping has kept them in the science news too. Think “mitochondrial Eve” and quarter million-year-old Adam.

Just a story, you say? Well, whatta story. It never ceases to produce fresh evidence and new arguments and it certainly did in 2018:

This question has been addressed by numerous scientists in the past, ever since human genetic data began to roll in. And all of them, as far as I know, have said that yes, our genome rules out Adam. We are the product of common descent. We are descended from an ape-like population of at least several thousand. This we have heard before.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. There has been a debate going on over at BioLogos for a number of months that was triggered by Venema’s book. The debate is about whether there could have been a bottleneck of two at some time in the human past. This discussion was started when Richard Buggs, Senior Research Leader (Plant Health) at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and Reader in Evolutionary Genomics at Queen Mary, University of London, challenged Dennis Venema about what Venema wrote in Adam and the Genome. Venema had argued:

“As our methodology becomes more sophisticated and more data are examined, we will likely further refine our estimates [of human population size] in the future. That said, we can be confident that finding evidence that we were created independently of other animals or that we descend from only two people just isn’t going to happen. Some ideas in science are so well supported that it is highly unlikely new evidence will substantially modify them, and these are among them. The sun is at the center of our solar system, humans evolved, and we evolved as a population.

“Put most simply, DNA evidence indicates that humans descend from a large population because we, as a species, are so genetically diverse in the present day that a large ancestral population is needed to transmit that diversity to us. To date, every genetic analysis estimating ancestral population sizes has agreed that we descend from a population of thousands, not a single ancestral couple. Even though many of these methods are independent of each other, all methods employed to date agree that the human lineage has not dipped below several thousand individuals for the last three million years or more — long before our lineage was even remotely close to what we would call “human.” Thus the hypothesis that humans descend solely from one ancestral couple has not yet found any experimental support — and it is therefore not one that geneticists view as viable. [Emphasis added.] “

Then two new scientists entered the debate with Venema and Buggs. Remarkably, neither is an ID advocate, both affirm evolutionary theory, and both came to similar conclusions by different routes. A population geneticist named Dr. Steve Schaffner of the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, ran a simulation to determine whether a bottleneck of two individuals was possible. He found that, at dates older than 500,000 years ago, a bottleneck could not be ruled out. His analysis of allele frequencies could not distinguish between allele frequencies obtained after a bottleneck of two and those from current genetic data. Ann Gauger, “#4 of Our Top Stories of 2018: A First Human Couple? New Evidence and Arguments” at Evolution News and Science Today (March 5, 2018)

It’ll get more interesting still with new finds, we can be sure. Look what genome mapping did to Darwinism.

See also: “Adam And Eve” Researchers Say Their Work Does NOT Disprove Darwin (Well then, why do you have to tell people that?)

Adam and Eve reappear in a recent study Or someone does. We haven’t quite figured this out yet.

Ann Gauger talks about Adam and Eve with World editor Marvin Olasky. Gauger found two papers a few years later which suggested that the number of variants (allegedly disproving Adam and Eve) was much smaller. She is working on “an alternative population genetics model that doesn’t depend on evolutionary assumptions.”


Adam and Eve and Ann Gauger

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5 Replies to “First human couple still in the news

  1. 1
    Pearlman says:

    Per RCCF framework there was a bottleneck by Noach who could be this genetic ‘Adam’ male, about 1556 years prior to his having 3 sons, while the genetic eve may indeed date back to Eve formed in full stature day one of year one anno mundi.
    reference RCCF framework for understanding science.

  2. 2
    Pearlman says:

    reminds me of the MIshnah in Talmud Sanhedrin how the great human race genetic diversity combined with Hashem starting w/ one stamp ‘Adam HaRishon’ attests to the greatness of Hashem. Whereas at a mint start w/ one mold and all coins from that one mold are similar….
    whereas deep-time dependent NDT Darwin doctrine assumptions where we would need a starting population pool of thousand/s to get to the genetic diversity that exists as pointed out in the article.
    Not that there is any proof it did (or even could) happen even one time via NDT, never mind thousand/s of times.
    reference RCCF framework for understanding science.

  3. 3
    Pearlman says:

    edit: ..about 1556 years after the true first person and male ‘Adam Harishon’, having 3 sons Shem, Ham and Yafes. While..

  4. 4
    EDTA says:

    Is this (the OP) with or without the possibility of mitochondria being passed down through the male?

  5. 5
    vmahuna says:

    How about other species? Are we to understand that Blue Whales all descend from an INITIAL population of several thousand Blue Whales (not related non-Bluey species)? And platypuses and Tasmanian devils? That is, even most Designer proponents assume the first production batches were all SMALL.

    So I’m guessing that the big number guys will simply be ignored soon. They crunched some numbers. Their numbers looked odd. They went with the crunched numbers anyway. No intelligence was required.

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