Re: mtDNA Eve and the determination of humanity

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Wed Feb 22 2006 - 13:03:55 EST


Several quick reactions:

1. I, for one, don't have satisfactory answers to the issues. I (and
I think many of us) do indeed ask the hard questions. It's not that
we don't like the answers--it's that we don't see the answers. I
honestly don't know how to put all the pieces together. I don't think
your solution works. I don't think Dick's solution works. I don't
think the allegorical approach to Genesis works. I don't think the
accommodationist approach to Adam and Eve works (i.e. this is ANE
science). Various people on the list think they have satisfactory
answers (you, Dick, Paul Seeley, George Murphy). Of course, none of
you agree with each other and, for some of us, the holes that you all
poke in each other's arguments prevent us from accepting any of the

2. Just because you may have descended from a Neanderthal doesn't
mean that you're not human. Nobody, nobody, nobody is saying that
except for you. It's a straw man. I wish you'd stop saying it.

3. Chimps use tools--does that make them human? You've decided for
yourself that religious expression is what constitutes the image of
God. Not necessarily so. Perhaps in the course of evolving the mental
capacity for having a covenantal relationship with God there were
creatures along the way who had some religious sensibilities but
didn't have the sort covenantal relationship with God described in
scripture. Why is that a problem?

4. Without necessarily endorsing Dick's views, I have to point out a
misunderstanding that you seem to have (or even a deliberate
distortion). The fact that Adam may have been placed in the middle of
already existing humanity (as a unique image bearer) does not lessen
the humanity of those around him. Neither does the presence of his
descendants (Adamites) lessen the humanity of those around him. None
of it lessens the application of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all
mankind. Various milder versions of Dick's view, say Derek Kidner's
proposal, don't do it either. Why is genetic linkage so important
(recognizing, of course, that the Bible seems to teach it and that
Christian theologians have traditionally held to it)? Does your own
view trace humanity back to a single pair? Why doesn't the MHC (and
other) data defeat that view?


On Feb 22, 2006, at 7:05 AM, <>
<> wrote:

> One recent discussion of Adam ceased at the point where I asked a
> question, which was: Why does the fact that some woman didn't
> leave her mtDNA in modern offspring imply that she was not a
> human?????
> I have never figured out why everyone gets so excited because only
> one woman left her mtDNA in all modern humans. My mother only left
> her mtDNA in 3 people on earth. Does that mean she is only a near
> human?
> In a more recent thread, I stated that modern concepts which have
> Adam as a neolithic farmer ignores the data of anthropology which
> indicates that there was religious activity much longer ago than
> the neolithic farmer, and among archaic hominids, who lived prior
> to anatomically modern humans. (Bruniquel, Bilzingsleben, Tan-Tan,
> Berekhat Ram, Drachenloch, Regourdou etc) The bandwidth went as
> silent upon these questions as it does when one asks a YEC to
> explain why there are footprints throughout the geologic column.
> Why did Neanderthals go 1/4 mile into a dark cave, build a square
> structure of some sort and burn a bear? Seems like it would be
> easier to barbeque the fellow on the surface in the light.
> Religious reasons seem likely. Why do we find primitive femal
> idols from Tan-Tan Morocco, dated 400,000 years ago and from
> Berekhat Ram in Israel, from at least 235,000 years ago and call
> these things the actions of non-humans?
> Are the ASA members even interested in upholding the findings of
> modern sciences like anthropology, or are they, like the YECs,
> eager to avoid them or relegate obvious human activity to mere
> animal-creature-humans? I actually think the general ASA member is
> as eager to avoid such questions as YECs are eager to avoid issues
> of geology because such issues strike at the heart of the accepted
> apologetic.
> Yeah, these are provocative questions and I know I am a Ba*s***d,
> (or more politely a dog who won't let go of a bone) but
> 1. I don't care,
> 2. it really shouldn't matter to the determination of the truth, and
> 3. I think asking questions is what we actually need to do.
> Questions like the above. Indeed, I would ask why others don't ask
> similar questions to those which I ask. Are we questionaphobic like
> the YECs? Are we so stuck on our explanations that we can't see
> that logic is not with them?
> And I would like to ask why we cease asking tough questions of our
> own positions when we don't do that in our professions?

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
Received on Wed Feb 22 13:04:35 2006

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