Adam and Eve Vindicated
Biblical Monogenism Defeats Biological Polygenism
Recent findings of Neanderthal fossil remains reveal a stunning gender asymmetry in both Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans, which geneticists have not yet been able to explain. They also have a hard time understanding why Neanderthals went extinct, while Homo sapiens exploded. Abaelardus reviews their recent findings, and shows that the existence of two parents of all mankind is not so preposterous after all.
Two recent findings of Neanderthal fossil remains reveal a stunning gender asymmetry in both Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans.
(i) Some 300 thousand years ago, females from a Homo sapiens tribe were adopted by an early Neanderthal tribe, and bore fertile progeny. All progeny of contemporary Neanderthal mothers went extinct. The only surviving late Neanderthals stem from those adopted sapiens.
(ii) Presently living American and Eurasian populations carry Neanderthal genes. Repeated hybrid mating events must have occurred in our evolutionary history, exclusively involving sapiens mothers and late Neanderthal fathers.
Geneticists are perplexed with regard to this gender asymmetry. They have no explanation for the extinction of Neanderthals, either. Possibly, geneticists are too much focused on point mutations in genes, without considering that the genome determines the behavior of a species in a given environment. The latter field of investigation belongs to anthropologists and behaviorists. They do consider human behavior, but on one hand, they lack the authority to speak out on human genetic history, and on the other, they do not dare to tread that particular domain of human behavior, which makes it so special: its spiritual nature. As long as we have to do with the poor scientific progress of geneticists, behaviorists, and anthropologists, the answers to the most basic questions concerning the origin of man shall are not likely to be answered on the short term.
On the other hand, those answers are not likely to proceed from Christian bigotry, either. In the traditionally bigot perspective, the bodies of Adam and Eve were made in some particular way, involving either earthly dust or human ribs, depending on the Genesis verses selected. That perspective is incompatible with genetic findings: specifically, with the polymorphism of the human immune system. Moreover, it hardly agrees with Jesus’ repeated comments of the primacy of spirit over matter.
For these reasons, Abaelardus proposes that Adam and Eve do represent historical characters (who happen to be the only ancestors of all mankind), though not the first two individuals of a completely new species. The Bible itself mentions that, after Cain had slain Abel, other people walked the earth. Moreover, with whom would Cain beget progeny? With his full sister, or with another female of his species? Given the genetic data, one is strongly encouraged to conclude that those other people, Cain was afraid of, were of the same tribe to which Adam and Eve belonged. The only difference between them and our ancestors was that God breathed the spirit of life into the nostrils of the latter, and not for the former. The idea that Adam and Eve introduced a new kind of behavior might not be so preposterous after all.
This view on the creation of Adam and Eve is fully compatible with both the Biblical texts and with present-day scientific findings. It raises plenty of questions concerning the process of ensoulment, though. These lead the author to address the nature of causality, and most specifically, its application to how a human soul directs a body without transgressing the laws of physics. For sure, that has little to do with Descartes’ original proposal, which was purely mechanical, whence in obvious contradiction with physical lawfulness.