A G+ discussion led me to do some thinking. The discussion centered around a paper that (my debate opponent claimed) supported the story of Adam and Eve. The paper, he claimed
No original couple. Sorry the science says otherwise.
The paper we were talking about is Sequencing Y Chromosomes Resolves Discrepancy in Time to Common Ancestor of Males Versus Females by G. David Poznik et. al. The whole point of the paper is that it’s a revised date range for the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of all human males on the planet.
Previous research suggested that the MRCA of males (the so-called Y-Chromosome Adam) was several hundred years prior to the MRCA of all human females (the so-called Mitochondrial Eve). This paper shows that the male and female MRCAs might have been closer together in time than we originally thought. It’s not that big a deal. Science changes. But does it support the idea that the Biblical Adam and Eve existed?
Of course not. If you look at the calculated age ranges for the two, from the data sets in this paper, the possible MRCA for the males ranges from 25,000 years to 625,000 years. For the females it’s about 15,000 years to 400,000 years. That’s a period of 375,000 years where they overlap. So saying that two humans whose lifespan was probably less than 4 decades were a couple when their possible range is 375,000 years… well… that’s a bit much to conclude.
Actually, I’ve been thinking about this a little more and it’s even worse for YECs than we even thought.The MRCA isn’t Adam and Eve according to their myths. They’ve been looking for the wrong stuff all along.
The male MRCA according to Bible mythology is Noah. That was the most recent population bottleneck in human history (according to myth). Noah and his three sons were on the Ark and were the only surviving males of the human species. So, what YECs should be looking for is the human male MRCA that is contemporary with a mass extinction event and a world-wide geological discontinuity. All around 2298-2297 BC (according to various Bible timelines).
The female MRCA is a little trickier, since Noah’s wife and the wife’s of the three sons were also on board. The MCRA could have been one of those four, but I don’t think it likely. That’s because they needed the genetic diversity. Desperately.
I think it more likely that the female MRCA was someone from that same village, probably less than four generations in the past. Unless one or more of the son’s wives were from another village. That would push the MRCA back even farther in time.
So even if the Bible is correct about such things (it’s not), then there is still a minuscule chance that the most recent common ancestor of all humans were an actual mated pair.
Of course, this is pure myth. It’s like arguing who’s faster: Superman or The Flash. But it does show the poor reasoning ability of creationists. They so desperately need that imprint of reality that comes from science, but they can’t even get that right. They are so fixated on the Bible, that they can’t understand how it could possibly interact with reality (poorly).