Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? What Does the Science Say?
by Alisa Childers
In a previous post, I argued that Adam and Eve’s historical existence is biblically affirmed and theologically necessary—but what about the evidence? Has science disproved their existence? Is the Genesis account just a quaint fairy tale invented by ancient Jews who were trying to figure out where they came from? What does the science actually say? First it must be noted that science doesn’t say anything. Scientists do.
Scientists gather evidence and then interpret that evidence to form a conclusion. Each scientist has certain pre-conceived biases, assumptions, and philosophical commitments. This is why different scientists can come to such radically diverse conclusions, even though they are working with the same evidence. This will be important to remember as you read through this post. Let’s look at 3 different pieces of evidence and see how they might interact with the biblical account:
1. Out of Africa
Has science disproved the existence of a literal Adam and Eve? If you were to ask just about any scientist 30 years ago, they would say unequivocally, “Yes! Science has shown us that humans can be traced back not to one primordial couple, but to many diverse populations of archaic human forms from all over the globe.” That is what is called the “multiregional hypothesis,” and today it is rejected by the vast majority of evolutionary biologists.
What is now more widely accepted is what is called the “Out of Africa Hypothesis” which claims that modern humans first appeared 50,000 to 100,000 years ago in one regional location, East Africa. From there they spread throughout the globe.
What does this mean for Adam and Eve?
Although the Out of Africa Hypothesis certainly doesn’t prove the existence of a literal Adam and Eve, it is definitely one step closer to agreement with the biblical account. The Bible teaches that when Adam and Eve were created, they were placed in the Garden of Eden. It’s exact location is debated, but the Gihon River described in Genesis 2 flows out of Cush, which is most likely modern day Africa…
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