an atheist viewpoint

thoughts from a non-theist

The Problem of Adam and Eve

When an article has this quote at the start you just know things aren’t going to go particularly well. Why? Read that quote, then read these quotes from Vonnegut

How on earth can religious people believe in so much arbitrary, clearly invented balderdash?….The acceptance of a creed, any creed, entitles the acceptor to membership in the sort of artificial extended family we call a congregation. It is a way to fight loneliness. Any time I see a person fleeing from reason and into religion, I think to myself, There goes a person who simply cannot stand being so goddamned lonely anymore.

and 

I am of course a skeptic about the divinity of Christ and a scorner of the notion that there is a God who cares about how we are or what we do. … Religious skeptics often become very bitter towards the end, as did Mark Twain. … I know why I will become bitter. I will finally realize that I have had it right all along: that I will not see God, that there is no heaven or Judgement Day.

and 

I am an atheist (or at best a Unitarian who winds up in church quite a lot).

Unsurprisingly answersforatheists.com fails to point this out, preferring to give the impression that Vonnegut was a believer. It’s outright dishonesty and they’ve not even started the article yet!


So, the ‘Problem of Adam and Eve‘, just for fun, let’s break it down point by point…..




OBJECTION: There is no evidence for the ancient existence of Adam and Eve. The Idea of all humanity emerging from a single pair of humans is primitive and preposterous.


The actual objection is that biologists have a very clear understanding of the evolution of man, including many transitional forms as we clawed our way up the food chain. The idea of all of humanity emerging from a single pair of humans isn’t just preposterous, it’s also demonstrably untrue.

The Answer Is Emerging from Science
Of all ancient creation stories, the Bible is uniquely thorough in describing the first human couple (see Genesis 1-2). Scripture claims that all humanity arose as a result of the final creative act of God, and this created couple lived in the “Garden of Eden” (an area typically identified near the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, in present day Iraq). Interestingly, human evolutionary science increasingly acknowledges a number of similarities with the Biblical account: 




Now, it’s important that you keep part of the above in mind – ‘the “Garden of Eden” (an area typically identified near the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, in present day Iraq)’ – it’ll be important in a little while

Humans Emerged From a Recent Time in History
Recent discoveries in “evolutionary genetics” have revealed that modern human females can be traced back genetically to a source population that lived from 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. In a similar manner, human males have been traced back to a period in time from 60,000 to 90,000 years ago. Science affirms that humans appeared on the scene relatively late in history; much later than other mammals and animals. This is consistent with the Biblical record which claims that Adam and Eve were the last of God’s creations.

Later than what other mammals and animals? There are other species that appear after us! Does that mean your god made them later? Of course it doesn’t! The order in which various species arose is irrelevant to this debate. And ‘This is consistent with the Bible record…’? No it isn’t! The Bible very clearly states that the World and everything in it was created in a week, by god, around 6000 years ago! In fact the Genesis text is very clear to emphasise the literal days, and a reading of the original Hebrew shows that the writers believed them to be actual periods of 24 hours, and not geological ages as some apologists have claimed. I’m not even going to bother going into how wrong your interpretation of the science is when it comes to males and females (do you think that human women existed BEFORE human men??)

Humans Emerged From a Limited Region in the World
In addition, this same research (performed on recent archaeological discoveries) indicates that modern humans emerged from a single geographic region rather than from a number of different areas around the globe (as was once thought by scientific naturalists like Franz Weidenreich and Milford H. Wolpoff). The dominant view held by scientists (known as the “Out of Africa” hypothesis) identifies the northeastern African continent as the locus for modern humans. Interestingly, this location is at or near the presumed location of the “Garden of Eden” as described in the Bible.

This is where the point from earlier is important. The Garden of Eden is, according to this same article ‘…an area typically identified near the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, in present day Iraq…’, not ‘at or near’ North Africa at all! I love the way they’re using an hypothesis that contradicts the Genesis myth as a way of supporting it!

Humans Emerged From a Very Small Population
“Evolutionary genetics” research has also discovered that the mitochondrial genes in all humans (uniquely inherited through the mother) are remarkably similar, leading researchers to identify a common feminine ancestral source identified as “Mitochondrial Eve”. While this does not necessitate the existence of a single original female (the lineage of other existing females may simply have been extinguished), it is consistent with the Biblical narrative. In addition, scientists like Spencer Wells have examined the Y chromosome in modern males and have discovered that all male humans are patrilineally descended from a single source (described as “Y-Chromosomal Adam”). Like the evidence from mitochondrial DNA, this discovery is consistent with the Biblical account.



Read about Mitochondrion here, whilst answersforatheists.com have got a couple of the facts right (maternal inheritance for example) they miss out loads of other important information, like the fact that the same maternal inheritance is seen in practically every living thing. It proves nothing about an actual Adam and Eve.


Science affirms the Biblical claim of human origin as described in Genesis. 

No it doesn’t.

All humans can be traced back to a single man and woman. 

No they can’t

Studies demonstrate that “Mitochondrial Eve” is considerably older than “Y-Chromosomal Adam” and we would expect this to be the case, given that the most recent common ancestor of all males would be Noah and not Adam (Noah’s sons shared his Y-chromosome, but his four daughter-in-laws may not have been siblings and could have traced their genetic lineage further back to Eve). 

That’s just nonsense, only an idiot would believe that.

In addition, the Biblical account places the origin of humanity in a single location at or near the Middle East, and describes the emergence of human beings relatively recently in the history of the planet. While the scientific evidence does not necessitate the Biblical narrative, it is certainly consistent with it. 

No it isn’t. The scientific narrative places the origins of man far further back in history, by many magnitudes, and has them originating in Africa, not the Middle East!  

Every time I look at an article on either answersforatheists.com or pleaseconvinceme.com I’m struck by the astonishingly piss poor arguments presented. Even when they’re making up their ‘Atheist Objections’, carefully ensuring that they can be easily refuted by religion, they STILL can’t present a convincing point of view.

As I’ve already said though, these sites, despite their claims to the contrary, are absolutely not aimed at atheists. They exist purely to give the impression to other believers that the non-believer isn’t on sound foundations. By presenting a watered down, weak version of evolution and atheism and presenting them as genuine,the writers are being dishonest, and are knowingly lying to other believers. 

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