Creation

Does the Catholic Church believe that we (people now) are creations of God through Adam and Eve and not a direct creation? Thank you.

The Catholic Church teaches that we were all descended from a single common female ancestor (Eve) and a single common male ancestor (Adam). Coincidentally, the science of genetics has proven this as well. In scientific circles, these ancestors are known as “Mitochondrial Eve” and “Y-Chromosome Adam.”

In fact, the human species is no different in this respect than every other species on earth. All species have a “Last Common Ancestor” (LCA) There was a common male and female ancestor for lions, ants, moss, birds, snakes, dolphins, trees, bacteria, and every other species on earth.

So there was a lion “Adam” and a lion “Eve.” Every species has an LCA. This is settled science. It can be proven beyond any possible doubt through the science of genetics, and no reputable scientist disputes this.

But, in genetics, Y-Chromosome Adam and Mitochondrial Eve did not necessarily mate with each other. It is not necessary for the male/female LCA to actually mate directly. Most scientists believe that Mitochondrial Eve came first, and Y-Chromosome Adam came some time later and mated with one of Mitochondrial Eve’s descendants (not Mitochondrial Eve herself), giving rise to the Homo Sapiens Sapiens subspecies (that’s us). At first, the gap between Adam and Eve was thought to be some 20,000 years, but it has been gradually narrowed to the current theory of about 5,000 years.

Of course, this is perfectly compatible with the Bible and Catholic theology. Neither the Bible nor the Church teach that the woman that Y-Chromosome Adam mated with was actually the genetic Mitochondrial Eve whose DNA we all share. Adam obviously mated with some woman, giving rise to the human race (science and religion are in absolute agreement on this fact), and if we want to call THAT woman Eve, that’s perfectly fine. There’s no reason why the scientific Mitochondrial Eve must be the very same woman described in Genesis that Adam mated with and formed all of humanity.

Science and (Catholic) religion are in complete accord regarding the origin of the human species.

May I gently and respectfully point out that the proposed human species LCA, often referred to as the Homo/Pan split, is a large breeding population of mixed genomes which eventually led to the hominin lineage which has us, from an originating large population, as the extant result. This is aptly demonstrated in the cladograms currently in use in the Science of Human Evolution.

The Catholic Church directly opposes the basic principle of the human cladogram (including the LCA) because each point, following the LCA, is a population somewhere in the thousands.

The Catholic Church continues to teach that humankind descends from a population of two married individuals. Catholic theology is that simple and direct.

We, people now, are co-creations of our parents through the marital embrace (or in some cases, misuse of the marital embrace).

We co-operate with God, who specially creates each soul.

:confused::confused::confused:

I’m probably going to sound like a real thick head but I don’t get all that above…sorry my brain is slow to take it in. I have the question of where did Adam come from then? If Mitochondrial Eve came first, who did she mate with to produce daughters that Adam then mated with some woman?
Did Adam come from Mitochondrial Eve, or some other primate’s?

Umm… no. ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ and ‘y-chromosome Adam’ aren’t the LCA, they’re the Most Recent Common Ancestor, or MRCA. There’s something very important about that difference, but the point is somewhat subtle: the designation ‘mitochondrial Eve’ or ‘y-chromosome Adam’ will point to different people, at different periods of time! It doesn’t point to one person; rather, it’s a pointer to a specific relationship from all living people (at a point in time on earth) to one common ancestor.

Think of it this way:

Mad Max, David, Grannymh, and I are the only living people on earth following an apocalyptic disaster. If we had access to our complete family trees, we’d find out that David & Granny share a great-great-great-grandmother (let’s call her Alice), but Alice isn’t on my family tree. Rather, David, Granny, and I share a great-great-great-great-great-grandmother (Beatrice). Since he’s way over in Australia, Mad Max’s family tree is even more removed from ours. All four of us share a great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother (Cathy).

At this point in history, Cathy is our Most Recent Common Ancestor – our “mitochondrial Eve”.

But, let’s assume that Mad Max gets eaten by a dingo. At that point, Beatrice is now our MRCA – so she becomes “mitochondrial Eve.” Then, distraught over the lack of internet in the apocalyptic desert, I wander off and perish. At that point, Alice becomes mitochondrial Eve.

So, it’s clear that ‘mitochondrial Eve’ isn’t a person, but merely a designation. We can’t read too much into the title, and we certainly can’t posit any sort of relationship between ‘mitochondrial Eve’ and the Biblical Eve.

There’s no reason why the scientific Mitochondrial Eve must be the very same woman described in Genesis that Adam mated with and formed all of humanity.

In fact, there’s no reason why we’d make that claim at all, since ‘mitochondrial Eve’, by definition, is not considered the “mother of all who have ever lived”, but rather, only the “mother of all who are currently alive”.

Science and (Catholic) religion are in complete accord regarding the origin of the human species.

Well… I think I’d disagree with that. Science is talking about science, and the Catholic religion is talking about theology. They complement each other, of course, but they aren’t talking about the same subjects… :wink:

That’s because it wasn’t explained correctly. See my post, above.

I have the question of where did Adam come from then? If Mitochondrial Eve came first, who did she mate with to produce daughters that Adam then mated with some woman?
Did Adam come from Mitochondrial Eve, or some other primate’s?

Adam and Eve have nothing to do with science’s ‘mitochondrial Eve’ or ‘y-chromosome Adam’. So, it’s futile to try and correlate the two sets of ideas. As David pointed out, it’s not even the case that mitochondrial Eve or y-chromosome Adam even lived in the same period of time.

In a way, the names ‘mitochondrial Eve’ and ‘y-chromosome Adam’ do more harm than good, since they confuse the notion of an ultimate ancestor with the notion of the ‘most recent common ancestor.’ :shrug:

“The mitochondrial Eve hypothesis emanates from a confusion between gene genealogies and individual genealogies.” (quote from “The Myth of Eve; Molecular Biology and Human Origins”, Francisco J. Ayala, 1995)

In English, Dr. Ayala is saying that the media’s darling, the Mitochondrial Eve, is not even close to being the Biblical Eve. Wikipedia says the same thing because the woman named Eve is one of a thousand or so women. [FONT=Arial]The same scientific principle of “large ancient populations” applies to Y-Chromosome Adam.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Therefore, the answer to the questions – Where did the “genetic” Adam come from? or Who did the “genetic” Eve mate with? is basically the same. Both came from parents in the large population and both found mates within their *large population. *[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]This well known scientific principle (large originating populations) directly clashes with the Catholic doctrines on human origin and human nature.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Therefore, the last sentence in post 2 – “Science and (Catholic) religion are in complete accord regarding the origin of the human species.” is in error. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Please refer to post 3 for an explanation of what is actually happening in 21st century science.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]The normal scientific concept of the cladistics system illustrated by cladograms is that every species originates as a genetic population in the thousands. The Catholic Church opposes this concept because Divine Revelation teaches that the human species descended from a population of two true sole [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]fully-complete human parents.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Note:[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]“Cladistics is a method of classification of animals and plants according to the proportion of measurable characteristics that they have in common. It is assumed that the higher the proportion of characteristics that two organisms share, the more recently they diverged from a common ancestor.” [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=&oq=cladistics&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4ADRA_enUS480US481&q=cladistics+definition&gs_l=hp…1.0l5j41.0.0.1.496016…0.pLTM0HnYCoI[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Currently, Cladistics or Cladograms use genetic information as the primary characteristics. [/FONT]

Welcome to CAF. :smiley:

1KE, post 4 has the correct reply.

In addition, it is my understanding that not every Christian Religion has the same belief in Adam and Eve.

The Catholic Church teaches that Adam and Eve are real people according to the first three chapters of Genesis. Therefore, we are real descendants of Adam and Eve. Thus, we are God’s creations through or because of Adam and Eve.

Using Genesis 1: 26-27 as the source, the Catholic Church teaches that God directly creates our spiritual soul at our conception.

Ok so ‘mitochondrial Eve’ and ‘chromosome Adam’ never even met each other, but they procreated with “others” and somewhere down the line of evolvution two humans evolved?

Then these two human type beings were given a soul from God.

Can it be thought like that? Because we know (or do we) that evolvution happens…I’ve not see anything evolve I don’t think. But if we did come from a form of evolvution, that’s how God intended to create the world we live in, and when our progress was complete he gave us the soul.

Where was the wedding of Adam and Eve in Genesis? I must have missed it…:rotfl:

You do not need to be gentle or respectful, as you are factually correct, scientifically speaking (so you are completely entitled to be quite bold and forthright).

Humans are members of the genus/species of Homo Sapiens. We are the only extant members of this species, so we are classified by the (rather redundant) subspecies of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Many species have several subspecies, but humans have only one.

Neither Mitochondrial Eve nor Y-Chromosome Adam were members of the subspecies Homo Sapiens Sapiens. They were members of another Homo Sapiens subspecies which no longer exists. They were fully HUMAN (because they were Homo Sapiens) but they were not members of our exact sub-species (Homo Sapiens Sapiens). The child(ren?) born of Mitochondrial Eve (or her descendants) and Y-Chromosome Adam (or his descendants) were, scientifically speaking, the first actual members of the only Homo Sapiens species on the earth today.

The Catholic Church directly opposes the basic principle of the human cladogram (including the LCA) because each point, following the LCA, is a population somewhere in the thousands.

Can you actually cite that in Catholic theology? Catholic theology does not care about the scientifically-identified genetic individuals known as Mitochondrial Eve or Y-Chromosome Adam (whose names were chosen, LONG after Genesis was written, by scientists, as a reflection of Judeo/Christian creation theology). Catholic theology states that a man (who we call Adam) and a woman (who we call Eve) were the parents of the entire human race. Science is in complete agreement that the genetic material of Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosome Adam are shared by all of humanity, and this genetic material came about by the mating of “Adam” and “Eve” and that all humanity originated from their genetic material (whether they actually mated together or not). By whatever name we call them, there is no conflict between religion and genetics. The only conflict is the religious idea that Adam and Eve mated directly. And, as I said, the science of genetics has dramatically closed the gap between their sharing of our common genetic material. But I maintain that it is not necessary for science to ever postulate that Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosome Adam ever directly mated in order for science to be in complete agreement with Catholic theology. A man and a woman mated with each other, and created the entire human race as it exists today. This fact is undisputed by either theology or genetics. What name theology or sciencea call these progenitors is completely irrelevant.

See my post immediately above. Adam and Eve were (both scientifically and theologically) both fully human (ie, homo sapiens) but were (scientifically) members of a human subspecies that no longer exists (us humans are the only extant species of homo sapiens, redundantly known as the subspecies homo sapiens sapiens).

Adam and Eve were both members of this now extinct human subspecies. There is no genetic reason why they needed to directly mate with one another (or for either to be directly descended from another, as they were both of the same human subspecies).

If the science of genetics has it right (and the goalposts seem to move all the time, as technology evolves), Eve came first, as a member of a now-extinct human subspecies. Adam came later (a member of the same now-extinct subspecies as Eve), and mated with one of Eve’s descendants. This mating gave rise to a genetic mutation which created the homo sapiens sapiens subspecies of humans, which eventually gained dominance and displaced all other human subspecies (including that of Adam and Eve). and is now the only species (or subspecies) of human on the earth. Many species have many subspecies, but we humans are the only subspecies of homo sapiens.

Adam and eve were (genetically) completely and fully human (homo sapiens), but were not exactly the same subspecies of every human currently on earth.

Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 2: 23

Note: The first three chapters of Genesis present important information which is not necessarily in chronological order.

May I gently point to the principle of non-contradiction regarding the designation of a human subspecies of Homo sapiens and the unique peerless human species of Genesis 1: 26-27.

Whoa… wait a minute, there, David. I was pretty much with you, until you ‘crossed the streams’, Ghostbusters-style.

You can make claims about speciation in ‘mitochondrial Eve’ or ‘y-chromosome Adam’, but then to turn around and make pseudo-scientific claims about the actual Adam or Eve isn’t really well-founded. We really can’t say a whole lot about who they were or where they fit into the scheme of things (in an evolutionary context), because we just don’t know. At one point, perhaps, when the science was a bit less well developed, we could blithely make claims about the Scriptural Adam & Eve, but today, that’s fraught with difficulties.

There is no genetic reason why they needed to directly mate with one another (or for either to be directly descended from another, as they were both of the same human subspecies).

:doh2:

sigh.

There is no genetic reason why mitochondrial Eve and y-chromosome Adam needed to mate with one another directly, since what they signify has nothing to do with a particular two individuals.

But, inasmuch as you were talking about the Scriptural Adam and Eve, then yes – from at least a theological perspective, there’s something very important about them knowing each other and bearing children.

If the science of genetics has it right (and the goalposts seem to move all the time, as technology evolves), Mitochondrial Eve came first, as a member of a now-extinct human subspecies. Y-chromosome Adam came later (a member of the same now-extinct subspecies as Mitochondrial Eve), and mated with one of Mitochondrial Eve’s descendants.

Fixed that for ya. :wink:

I think that this is what you were trying to say – 'cause, after all, if you meant Scriptural Adam and Eve, then your statements are problematic – but, just for the sake of trying to avoid confusion, I think we should be a whole lot more precise in identifying exactly whom we’re talking about…

Adam and eve were (genetically) completely and fully human (homo sapiens), but were not exactly the same subspecies of every human currently on earth.

The current mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosome Adam? Yes, perhaps, at this point in time this holds up. However, it doesn’t have to, since these are only designations, and will pretty necessarily point to different people at different points in time, and so, making claims like this – as if these two individuals will always hold these titles – is a bit misleading. Who knows – in another few thousand years, maybe mitochondrial Eve will be a woman who’s living today in Pasadena! :wink:

Maybe, and maybe not. What you wrote is true – until you get to the “humans” part. Science and theology define what it is to be ‘human’ in different ways (in fact, it seems that science is often loathe to even attempt what ‘human’ means, and scientists just generally wave their hands and say, “well… you know… kinda like us”. :rolleyes:)

On the other hand, from a theological perspective, to be human means to have an immortal soul. This definition implies that science can never speak to human-ness, at least as theology defines it.

Then these two human type beings were given a soul from God.

This is why I ‘accused’ David of “crossing the streams:” attempting to meld science and theology together, so that we can create a timeline with both fields’ events of interest, really isn’t easy, if at all feasible. We can’t say how Scriptural Adam and Eve fit in – although some would like to say “nope – the first two homo sapiens were definitely the Scriptural Adam and Eve”, even though we can’t demonstrate this from either theology or science.

So, it’s probably best to define from which field of study you’re speaking, and then discuss events that are solely in that field’s area of interest. :shrug:

Can it be thought like that? Because we know (or do we) that evolvution happens…I’ve not see anything evolve I don’t think. But if we did come from a form of evolvution, that’s how God intended to create the world we live in, and when our progress was complete he gave us the soul.

We can make conjectures – and some theologians are making these kinds of conjectures – but it’s a tricky process. In order to utilize an evolutionary framework in our theological discussions, we need a whole set of carefully-considered ground rules in place, so that our conclusion doesn’t go off the rails in one direction or the other. Is it possible? I think so. Is it a foregone conclusion? Nope.

Not according to the Catholic Church.

The universal Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, paragraphs 355, 360, 361, 366, 374, 375, 376, 380, 383, 384, 386, 389, 390, 399, 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 407, 408, 416, 417 as a start,

Links to Catholic teachings
usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/

scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

What if there were actually LOTS of ancient ancestors at various stages of evolution walking around the planet doing their mating thing…and then one day, God “created” Adam and Even by giving a pair of them HUMAN souls instead of animal souls. :shrug:

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