This is fascinating: science finally begins to unravel Bible stories among believers. I mean, the idea of all of humanity spawning from two people (one of whom magically created from the other’s rib) is simply preposterous, but people actually believe this stuff as if it’s 100% fact! But now some cracks are beginning to show as Christian scholars are beginning to admit that yes, maybe some of what we believe is utter bullshit.
Venema says there is no way we can be traced back to a single couple. He says with the mapping of the human genome, its clear that modern humans emerged from other primates as a large population — long before the Genesis time frame of a few thousand years ago. And given the genetic variation of people today, he says scientists cant get that population size below 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history.
To get down to just two ancestors, Venema says, “You would have to postulate that theres been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence.”
Venema is a senior fellow at BioLogos Foundation, a Christian group that tries to reconcile faith and science. The group was founded by Francis Collins, an evangelical and the current head of the National Institutes of Health, who, because of his position, declined an interview.
And Venema is part of a growing cadre of Christian scholars who say they want their faith to come into the 21st century. Another one is John Schneider, who taught theology at Calvin College in Michigan until recently. He says its time to face facts: There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence.