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Adam, Eve and Science

Many Atheists and Darwinists have argued that modern biology refutes the possibility of a first human couple , Adam and Eve, using the implications of population genetics. Francisco Ayala has argued in ‘The Myth of Eve: Molecular Biology and Human Origins’ that there is too much genetic diversity to have passed through a bottleneck of just two individuals. However, in the book, Science & Human Origins, in the very last chapter on ‘The Science of Adam and Eve’, Ann Gauger, Senior Research Scientist at Biologic Institute, has offered a critique of this claim. Gauger lists five assumptions that undergird “the equations used to reconstruct these trees, and to calculate ancestral population sizes.”

These assumptions are:

  • Fixed population size.
  • No migration.
  • Random mating.
  • Constant mutation rates.
  • No selection.

Using a case example of the HLA-DRB1 histocompatibility antigen, Gauger shows how assuming these factors can yield misleading results. Replying to Ayala, she explains that he “inadequately controlled for two of the above assumptions,” i.e. the assumption of no selection and a constant background mutation rate. Furthermore, she explains, using a different portion of the gene which does have a “mutation rate close to the genomic background,” yields a different result, 7 alleles as opposed to Ayala’s 32. Considering this she says

We have dropped form an estimated 32 lineages based on DRB1 exon 2 comparisons, to seven lineages using DRB1 intron 2 comparisons, then to between three and five ancestral haplotypes, when the whole region is considered. This is remarkable reversal. What once seemed to be a rock-solid argument against the existence of a first couple has now dwindled considerably. The genetic analysis indicates that a first couple is possible

Gauger also discusses some interesting gene phylogenies that are difficult to account for within the paradigm of common descent. Thus she concludes

Adam and Eve have not been disproven by science, and those who claim otherwise are misrepresenting the scientific evidence.

The existence of the first couple is also in confirmation with God’s final revelation. God says

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other [Quran 49:013]

In my previous article I had described the purpose for which God created humans on earth. In the upcoming article, God willing, we will discuss the story of Adam and Eve in much detail.


About Kashif Zuberi

Student of Knowledge

One comment on “Adam, Eve and Science

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