Jose Carillo's Forum


This section features discussions on education, learning and teaching, and language with particular focus on English. The primary subjects to be taken up here are notable advocacies and contrary viewpoints in these disciplines and their allied fields. Our primary aim is to clarify matters and issues of importance to language and learning, provide intelligent and useful instruction, promote rational and critical thinking, and enhance the individual’s overall capacity for discernment.

Human genome research casts doubt on Adam and Eve story

A central tenet of Christianity is that all of humanity is descended from a single human couple, Adam and Eve, who were created by God shortly after He created the world. But based on the recent mapping of the human genome, which is the entirety of the hereditary information encoded in human DNA, even conservative scholars are now saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account.

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, engraving by Albrecht Durer, 15th century

In “Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve,” an article that came out in the August 9, 2011 issue of the website, Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports that there is now a growing cadre of Christian scholars who are convinced that the Adam and Eve story runs counter to all of the genomic evidence that have been assembled by scientists over the last 20 years.

Dennis Venema, a biologist at Trinity Western University, says there is no way humanity can be traced back to a single couple. He explains that based on the mapping of the human genome, it is clear that modern humans emerged from other primates as a large population, and they did so long before the Genesis time frame of a few thousand years ago. He says that the genetic variation of people today is such that scientists couldn’t get that population size below 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history.

Venema, a senior fellow at BioLogos Foundation, a Christian group that tries to reconcile faith and science, says there’s only one possible way for humans to have come from just two ancestors: “You would have to postulate that there’s 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.”

To many Christian evangelicals, however, the conclusions drawn from the evidence of the huge variation of the human genome are heresy. “From my viewpoint, a historical Adam and Eve is absolutely central to the truth claims of the Christian faith,” says Fazale Rana, vice president of Reasons To Believe, an evangelical think tank that questions evolution. Along with other evangelicals, Rana, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ohio University, believes the Genesis story because it makes humanity unique, one created in the image of God and not a descendant of lower primates, and it also explains how evil came into the world—when Adam and Eve decided to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit.

Read Barbara Bradley Hagerty’s “Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve” in now!

In “The Visionary,” an article that came out in the July 11, 2011 issue of The New Yorker, Jennifer Kahn profiles Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist who helped pioneer the field of virtual reality. A technology expert who has come to dislike what modern technology has become, Lanier last year published “You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto,” a provocative critique of digital technologies where he called Wikipedia a triumph of “intellectual mob rule” and described social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter as dehumanizing and designed to encourage shallow interactions.

Read Jennifer Kahn’s “The Visionary” in The New Yorker now!

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