RE: Adam never met Eve

From: glenn morton (
Date: Wed Nov 01 2000 - 14:04:46 EST

  • Next message: Marcio Pie: "RE: Adam never met Eve"

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: []On
    > Behalf Of Aaron J. Romanowsky
    > Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2000 2:12 PM
    > To: ASA list
    > Subject: Re: Adam never met Eve
    > Interesting article. I wasn't able to find the original press release,
    > but the Times article seems to demonstrate a poor understanding of the
    > (admittedly difficult to grasp) subject on the reporter's part.
    > First there's the following colorful statement:
    > > The result overturns the Biblical description of women being
    > created from a
    > > spare rib left over from a man, and suggests that if Eve ever
    > did meet Adam
    > > she was slumming it, genetically speaking.
    > Then this statement:
    > > But ancestral Adam, measured by the Y chromosome clock, was alive a mere
    > > 59,000 years ago. So it is clear than ancestral Eve never met ancestral
    > > Adam, though she must have met some sort of male in order to
    > have begotten
    > > all those descendants. Dr Underhill and his team report in
    > Nature Genetics
    > The usage of "Adam" is being mixed here. To clarify, I'll apply the name
    > "Adam" to the first usage, and "Noah" to the second usage. Thus, Adam and
    > Eve lived and mated 143,000 years ago. However many neighbors, mates, and
    > children they had, one of the only male lineages still surviving 59,000
    > yrs ago was carried by Noah, as a descendent of Adam (and Eve). Any other
    > male lineages still existing at that time becoming (geographically?)
    > isolated and eventually extinct before the present day; or they died out
    > by producing only daughters (who mated with Noah and his male
    > descendants).

    It is interesting how cavalierly this is proposed. To take your scenario as
    the explanation for the genetics, one must have had a flood bottleneck
    60,000 years ago or so. Where was this flood? Where is the geologic
    evidence for the event? What formations represent the flood deposits?
    Without that information, you have ad hoc speculation not a theory.
    > With the exception of the fanciful names, this scenario should be the
    > correct scientific inference from these data (somebody please correct me
    > if this is wrong). The reason for my name choices should be obvious:
    > the Genesis story is also an example of an initial couple with numerous
    > offspring whose family tree experienced a bottleneck later in time, with
    > only one male lineage afterwards surviving (Noah and his family on the
    > Ark). (This parallel with the Genesis story does not necessitate a direct
    > correspondence, of course.)
    > Note that the reporter's statement about overturning the Biblical
    > description is something of a non sequitur, and seems to arise from the
    > multiple senses of "Adam".

    True, but this is really nitpicking. Genetics neither supports a recent
    Adam/Eve nor a Genetic bottleneck of the magnitude of the Biblical Flood.
    Why? There are up to 107 alleles found in certain genes in the major
    histocompatibility complex. Here is what one study of the DRB1 site in the
    MHC showed. It compared us with other animals and found common alleles with
    other critters--so much so that the authors concluded:

    "The coalescence theory of population genetics leads to the conclusion that
    the DRB1 polymophism requires that the population ancestral to modern humans
    has maintained a mean effective size of 100,000 individuals over the
    30-million-year persistence of this polymorphism. We explore the
    possibility of occasional population bottlenecks and conclude that the
    ancestral population could not have at any time consisted of fewer than
    several thousand individuals. The MHC polymorphisms excluded the theory
    claiming, on the basis of mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms, that a
    constriction down to one or few women occurred in Africa, at the transition
    from archaic to anatomically modern humans, some 200,000 years ago." ~
    Francisco J. Ayala, Ananias Escalante, Colm O'hUigin and Jan Klein,
    "Molecular Genetics of Speciation and Human Origins," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci,
    USA, 91:pp6787-6794, July 1994, p. 6787.

    This is the biggie of things unexplained by any Christian apologist
    including me.

    > Also, the following statement is really baffling: "perfect" DNA or
    > chromosomes?! The reporter seems to have some kind of teleological view
    > of evolution!
    > > that the perfect DNA for men simply took longer to emerge.
    > There must have
    > > been thousands of generations of men whose maleness was provided by
    > > different, less perfect, versions of the Y chromosome.
    > I also vaguely recall hearing about further studies in the last six months
    > or so that had called those mRNA "Eve" results into some question.
    > Anybody up to speed on that?

    It is not mRNA it is mtDNA.


    for lots of creation/evolution information

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