Does the discovery of 'African Eve' support Biblical monogenism?

I would honestly like to know.

Peace.

No, HECD (Alec) explained this in an earlier thread which recently cropped up again.

mt-Eve lived about 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. Y-Adam lived about 40,000 to 80,000 years ago. They were not husband and wife and they would not be the “biblical Adam/Eve” interpreted strictly literally since there were other humans existing at the time. mt-Eve is defined as “the most-recent common ancestor of all humans alive on Earth today with respect to matrilineal descent.” Here is Alec’s article on misconceptions about Mitochondrial Eve. The book Journey of Man by Spencer Wells discusses Y-Adam from a genetics standpoint.

As for “biblical monogenism” depends how one interprets Genesis 1-11. Different views there, although it seems clear Adam/Eve are historical according to the Catechism. Much else there is symbolic or figurative according to same Catechism.

Phil P

I care more for patristics than I do for catechism.
As for the question of common descent, I know nothing of absolute certainty despite my knowledge and education of the subject. Either way, only God can create a human soul.
Until creationists are able to explain endogenous retroviral insertions, I’ll more or less be on the fence.

From your other post in the older thread:

<< On the other hand, it is hard for me to ignore that ‘from the dust of the ground’ means ‘from the dust of the ground’. Though we share much of our DNA and morphological features with chimps, it is none the less still possible that we are a specially created species. >>

Cardinal Ratzinger comments on this from his book In the Beginning:

“What is the human being? The biblical account of creation means to give some orientation in the mysterious region of human-being-ness. It means to help us appreciate the human person as God’s project and to help us formulate the new and creative answer that God expects from each one of us. What does this account say? We are told that God formed the man of dust from the ground. There is here something at once humbling and consoling. Something humbling because we are told: You are not God, you did not make yourself, and you do not rule the universe; you are limited. You are a being destined for death, as are all things living; you are only earth…”

AND

“All of this is well and good, one might say, but is it not ultimately disproved by our scientific knowledge of how the human being evolved from the animal kingdom? Now, more reflective spirits have long been aware that there is no either-or here. We cannot say: creation or evolution, inasmuch as these two things respond to two different realities. The story of the dust of the earth and the breath of God, which we just heard, does not in fact explain how human persons come to be but rather what they are. It explains their inmost origin and casts light on the project that they are. And, vice versa, the theory of evolution seeks to understand and describe biological developments. But in so doing it cannot explain where the “project” of human persons comes from, nor their inner origin, nor their particular nature. To that extent we are faced here with two complementary – rather than mutually exclusive – realities.” (In the Beginning… : A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (Eerdmans, 1986, 1995)

Catholic doctrine addresses “What we are” and “Who did it” while science addresses “How we got here.” We could be specially created as well (Adam from nothing, Eve from side) but such miracles are outside the domain of science.

Phil P

[quote=PhilVaz]Catholic doctrine addresses “What we are” and “Who did it” while science addresses “How we got here.” We could be specially created as well (Adam from nothing, Eve from side) but such miracles are outside the domain of science.
[/quote]

Yes, of course. This reminds me of the op-ed I wrote on Intelligent Design:

Prepare yourself for the religious right’s latest attack on the science classroom. Following the defeat of “scientific” creationism, anti-science has resurfaced in the form of Intelligent Design. This Trojan horse, calculated for maximum political appeal, is more Orwellian than George Orwell himself.
In his novel 1984, Orwell warned of a future in which language is reversed to suppress reality. As the despotic Big Brother proclaims, “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength”. With the Intelligent Design movement, religion becomes science as ignorance becomes evidence.
Science and religion are best understood as two separate domains. The method of science is to find natural causes to what we observe in the natural world. The purpose of religion is to connect with something higher than ourselves. One seeks to understand the Creation while the other provides a relationship with the Creator.
Science has succeeded so far in explaining the diversity of life. Universal common descent, the observation that any two species share a distant evolutionary ancestor, is one of the most well-attested facts of natural history.
Biological evolution doesn’t intend to discredit religion any more than plate tectonics bolsters atheism. Nonetheless, religious fundamentalists introduced the “alternative theory” of Intelligent Design to Christianize the science curriculum.
In the public square, design theorists insist that their movement is inherently religion-neutral. The source of design, they contend, could have been space aliens. When the cameras are off, their true colors shine through.
“Not only does Intelligent Design rid us of this ideology, which suffocates the human spirit, but, in my personal experience, I’ve found that it opens the path for people to come to Christ,” claimed William A. Dembski, a leading proponent of Intelligent Design.
The “suffocating ideology” that Dembski speaks of is methodological naturalism, the rule of thumb that science must avoid appealing to the supernatural. Divine intervention, therefore, lies beyond the realm of scientific investigation. Dembski, as a philosophizing mathematician, is an unqualified authority on the nature of scientific methodology.
Phillip E. Johnson, retired law professor of UC Berkley and founder of the Intelligent Design movement, is another unqualified authority on biological evolution.
If Johnson understood the nature of science, perhaps he wouldn‘t have said to the L.A. Times that “We are taking an intuition most people have, the belief in God, and making it a scientific and academic enterprise.”
For many people, the existence of God is a profound reality but never should one abuse biology to prove theology. Such overstepping of bounds would be a mockery not only of science but the mystery of faith.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Faith is not, however, the litmus test for scientific inquiry.

Peace.

Though I understand that Creation is an unscienific concept, I am none the less fond of it. How would the Christian faith as we know it make sense without a historical Adam?

"Do we as Orthodox Christians take the Genesis account of Adam and Eve literally, or are they figurative characters? (June '01)

Let’s look at two “rock solid” sources in order to answer this question. Our first “rock solid” source is the God-inspired Holy Scriptures themselves. And let’s, for a moment, leave aside the Old Testament Genesis account to which you refer and look rather at the New Testament. In the Holy Gospel according to St Luke the Evangelist (3:23-38), we find the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ which begins with St Joseph the Betrothed (who, the Evangelist says, people “supposed” was the father of Jesus) and ascends to “Adam the son of God.”

Our second “rock solid” source is the Synaxarion or Great Synaxaristes which is a muti-volume set of books in which are listed the commemorations for each day of the year with an account or description (some brief and some rather extensive) of each. When we look in the volume for December, we find a listing under December 18-24 which is titled “The Sunday before the Nativity which is also known as the Sunday of the Holy Fathers.” The account of that commemoration enumerates all of the ancestors of our Lord Jesus Christ beginning with “Adam and Eve the First-created.”

Now we all know that to be listed in a genealogy as a progenitor or ancestor, one must be a person and not a figurative character – people, not ideas or concepts, beget and bear children. So to answer your question, yes, the Church takes literally that there was a first-created male human being who is called by the name ADAM ('adam in Hebrew, which is etymologically related to 'adamah meaning “earth”) and that there was a first-created female human being who is called EVE ('hawwah in Hebrew, which is etymologically related to hay meaning “life”)."
antiochian.org/1307

This is directed to Pensees. The photo you display on your posts is of Jesus in the movie The Last Temptation of Christ. That offends me as that was a blasphemous movie and any photos from it are not appropriate in these forums!!!

[quote=PhilVaz]No, HECD (Alec) explained this in an earlier thread which recently cropped up again.

mt-Eve lived about 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. Y-Adam lived about 40,000 to 80,000 years ago. They were not husband and wife and they would not be the “biblical Adam/Eve” interpreted strictly literally since there were other humans existing at the time. mt-Eve is defined as “the most-recent common ancestor of all humans alive on Earth today with respect to matrilineal descent.” Here is Alec’s article on misconceptions about Mitochondrial Eve. The book Journey of Man by Spencer Wells discusses Y-Adam from a genetics standpoint.

As for “biblical monogenism” depends how one interprets Genesis 1-11. Different views there, although it seems clear Adam/Eve are historical according to the Catechism. Much else there is symbolic or figurative according to same Catechism.

Phil P
[/quote]

Phil is very fair iin pointing out that the concept and actuality of a Most Recent Common Ancestor in the maternal line (also known as mitochondrial Eve or African Eve) does not in itself support the idea of biblical monogenism.

But I go further - the molecular evidence is such that living humans cannot possibly be the biological descendants of a single pair of parents. The lineage leading to modern humans cannot have been fewer, at its minimum size, since the time of the divergence of the human and chimpanzee lineages, than about 10,000 individuals. Modern humans are, without doubt, biologically polygenetic. I have posted the evidence for this 2.71828 times before. Should I do it again?

Alec
evolutionpages.com

[quote=thistle]This is directed to Pensees. The photo you display on your posts is of Jesus in the movie The Last Temptation of Christ. That offends me as that was a blasphemous movie and any photos from it are not appropriate in these forums!!!
[/quote]

On the issue of whether or not the film is ‘blasphemous’, I’d recommend this article:
The Last Temptation Reconsidered
Carol Iannone
firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9602/iannone.html

Hebrews 2:18
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted,
he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Peace.

Alec << Modern humans are, without doubt, biologically polygenetic. I have posted the evidence for this 2.71828 times before. Should I do it again? >>

NO, you have already disproven the Catholic faith. We don’t need to see that again…

Pause…

Just kidding. :smiley:

Possible theological scenarios:

Adam, Eve, and the Hominid Fossil Record

Another one, more “out there” (Adam/Eve lived about 150,000 years ago and were Neandertals)

Hominization: On the Origin of Mankind and a Story of the Fall

Phil P

<< On the issue of whether or not the film is ‘blasphemous’, I’d recommend this article: The Last Temptation Reconsidered >>

Naw dude, you gotta find a similar picture from The Passion by Mel Gibson and use that instead…searching… :smiley:

HERE USE THIS :thumbsup:

Phil P

[quote=PhilVaz]<< On the issue of whether or not the film is ‘blasphemous’, I’d recommend this article: The Last Temptation Reconsidered >>

Naw dude, you gotta find a similar picture from The Passion by Mel Gibson and use that instead…searching… :smiley:

HERE USE THIS :thumbsup:

Phil P
[/quote]

I don’t know, man. I’ve heard Christians say that the film is blasphemous or is at least unnecessarily grotesque.
I’ve seen both films and don’t have much of a problem with either.

[quote=Pensees]I don’t know, man. I’ve heard Christians say that the film is blasphemous or is at least unnecessarily grotesque.
I’ve seen both films and don’t have much of a problem with either.
[/quote]

The Passion of the Christ may be gory but it is not blasphemous.
The Last Temptation of Christ is blasphemous!

[quote=thistle]The Passion of the Christ may be gory but it is not blasphemous.

[/quote]

Perhaps The Passion could be considered blasphemous if it contains things that never happened for the sake of shock value.

Have you seen the film?

Catholics were advised not to watch it because it is blasphemous. I made sure I read about it though as confirmation of that.
I haven’t seen the Da Vinci Code either but I know that is all lies about Christ and the Catholic Church.

If you want to take this further a separate thread could be started as I sort of hijacked this thread and folks might want it to get back on track.

[quote=thistle]Catholics were advised not to watch it because it is blasphemous.
[/quote]

Ah, I see. You believe it is blasphemous because other people have told you it is blasphemous.

[quote=thistle]If you want to take this further a separate thread could be started as I sort of hijacked this thread and folks might want it to get back on track.
[/quote]

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=90780

Peace.

[quote=PhilVaz]Alec << Modern humans are, without doubt, biologically polygenetic. I have posted the evidence for this 2.71828 times before. Should I do it again? >>

NO, you have already disproven the Catholic faith. We don’t need to see that again…

Pause…

Just kidding. :smiley:

Possible theological scenarios:

Adam, Eve, and the Hominid Fossil Record

Another one, more “out there” (Adam/Eve lived about 150,000 years ago and were Neandertals)

Hominization: On the Origin of Mankind and a Story of the Fall

Phil P
[/quote]

Hmm - I like *your *article. The second one falls on the rather elementary basis that H neanderthalensis is not a direct ancestor of H sapiens.

In actual fact, this issue of monogenism/polygenism is very diifferent from the case with evolution as far as the Church goes. In the case of evolution, the church wisely makes no doctrinal statement. In the case of monogenism, the church is painting itself into a corner: the evidence that the lineage leading to modern humans never had a population less than about 10,000 individuals is very strong. Human beings are biologically polygenetic, so that creates a problem for the doctrine.

One way of resolving that is to postulate that humans are spiritually monogenetic (ie all living humans are decended from - amongst other people in the same generation - a couple, Adam and Eve, who are biological common ancestors for today’s human population), at the same time as being biologically polygenetic (biologically decended from many people in each generation, including Adam and Eve’s). That’s a reasonable solution except that it necessarily demands that, at some point in the past, the human population was neither spiritually nor biologically monogenetic.

Alec
evolutionpages.com

It’s possible that Adam and Eve were specially created while all other humans were descended from other forms. This would solve the problem of where Cain’s wife came from.

In discussing the origin of man with an old earth creationist, my good friend proposed ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ as an evidence for Biblical monogenism.

"in genetics, popular term for a theoretical female ancestor of all living people, also known as mitochondrial Eve. In 1987 biochemist Allan C. Wilson proposed that all living human beings had inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from a single woman. Using statistical and computer analysis of mtDNA—which is almost always inherited by a child from the mother—from people of various ethnic groups and assuming a slow, constant rate of genetic mutation, Wilson concluded that the oldest mtDNA was African and that every person’s mtDNA stemmed from one woman who lived about 200,000 years ago. (He did not suggest that this woman was the only female ancestor alive 200,000 years ago.) Critics questioned the appropriateness of the mtDNA samples used in the study and argued that computer analysis of the data was flawed and that Wilson’s conclusions were not supported by the fossil record. A further study using more diverse mtDNA samples and supporting Wilson’s theory was published in 1991, but other computer analyses of mtDNA samples have indicated that several different “family trees” can be constructed from the same data and that the order in which samples are analyzed by the computer program affects the results."
encyclopedia.com/html/E/Eve-gen.asp

While Wilson himself did not suggest that this woman was the only female ancestor alive 200,000 years ago, what would prevent other rational persons from arriving at this conclusion? In an area of knowledge where absolute certainty is impossible, it is not surprising that different people would arrive at different answers.

Even if this were a small ancestral group instead of one woman, wouldn’t that rule out fossil forms that existed much earlier than 200,000 years ago as our direct ancestors? If there is a substantial gap between our own species and the nearest fossil ancestor, would that not pose a problem to Darwinian gradualism? In other words, if H. erectus became extinct 250,000 years ago, from whom did we come from?

[quote=Pensees]In discussing the origin of man with an old earth creationist, my good friend proposed ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ as an evidence for Biblical monogenism…

While Wilson himself did not suggest that this woman was the only female ancestor alive 200,000 years ago, what would prevent other rational persons from arriving at this conclusion?
[/quote]

The following evidence is what prevents other rational persons from concluding that 'Mitochondrial Eve was the only female ancestor of extant humans alive 200,000 years ago: the molecular evidence disallows the possibility of a bottleneck of two individuals in the human lineage.

The key finding is that analysis of common alleles in highly polymorphic loci in human and chimpanzee indicate no severe bottleneck since the divergence of human and chimpanzee lineages.

This is supported by:

  1. analysis of the major histocompatibility complex - specifically the human leucocyte antigen - DRB1:
    Ayala, ‘The myth of Eve, Molecular biology and human origins’, Science 270, 1930 - 1936
  2. Beta-globin:
    Harding et al, ‘Archaic African and Asian lineages in the genetic ancestry of modern humans’, Am J Hum Genet 60, 772 - 789
  3. Apolipoprotein C II:
    Xiong et al, ‘No severe bottleneck during human evolution; evidence from two apolipoprotein C II alleles’, Am J Hum Genet 48, 383 -389

Rogers and Jorde, ‘Genetic evidence on the origin of modern humans’, Hum Biol 67, 1 - 36, show that a modest bottleneck of 10,000 individuals is consistent with the data.

This minimum population size of 10,000 individuals throughout hominid history is also supported by mitochondrial genetic diversity:
Takahata, ‘Allelic genealogy and human evolution’, Mol Biol Evol 10, 2 - 22;

By Y-chromosome data:
Hammer, ’ A recent common ancestry for human Y-chromosomes’, Nature 378, 376 - 378

By nuclear DNA:
Takahata et al, ‘Diversion time and population size in the lineage leading to modern humans’, Theor Popul Biol 48, 198 - 221

All of this evidence refutes the possibility that humans derive genetically from two individuals within the last 6 million years.

At its absolute simplest, if we consider a highly polymorphic locus like DRB-1 in the Human Leucocyte Antigen complex we find 58 human alleles. By carrying out analyses of the pan-specific alleles we can determine the likely coalescence dates of alleles, by derivation of a phylogenetic tree from pan-specific divergence of individual alleles. That indicates that all 58 alleles persisted through the last 500,000 years of human evolution. The 58 alleles coalesce to 44 lineages by 1.7 Myr BP and to 21 lineages by 6 Myr BP (the approximate date of divergence of human and chimpanzee ancestors). Since anatomically modern humans emerge at 195,000 years BP and culturally modern humans at 50,000 years BP, and the human lineage polymorphism at this locus is 58 alleles during this period, this puts a mathematically logical lower limit on the minimum human populatrion size during culturally modern human existence of 29 individuals which in itself destroys the concept of monogeny.

Formal population genetics demands a much larger population than 29 individuals for the maintenance of 58 alleles in a situation of neutral drift and balanced evolution (where heterozygosity has more fitness than any homozygosity), and the conclusion from these quantitative evolutionary analyses is that the minimum human population bottleneck was around 10,000 individuals.

Even if this were a small ancestral group instead of one woman, wouldn’t that rule out fossil forms that existed much earlier than 200,000 years ago as our direct ancestors?

Why?

If there is a substantial gap between our own species and the nearest fossil ancestor, would that not pose a problem to Darwinian gradualism? In other words, if H. erectus became extinct 250,000 years ago, from whom did we come from?

Homo antecessor, Homo heidelbergensis and archaic Homo sapiens.

Alec
evolutionpages.com

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