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Does Adam and Eve mean everyone is related?

Does Adam and Eve mean everyone is related?
Giorgia from Kent (age 5-14)

Are we related to Adam and Eve?
Tai from Kent (Age 5-14)


6 Responses

  1. The idea of being of the same species was historically base on the ability to breed and so produce offspring that could themselves breed. So a horse and a donkey can breed, but the offspring are infertile, hence, donkeys and horses are not the same species. More recently with the advance in DNA technology, species have started to be defined in terms of the % of shared DNA sequence they have. The more distantly two organisms are related, then the less % similarity of their DNA. This being the case, there is a marked decrease in similarity in DNA homology as we cross race and geography boundaries. Isolation of individuals can cause DNA to become more varied more quickly due to exposure to a different selective environment. If we look at the human genome as a whole, there is no doubt that we do all share a common ancestor, and so are indeed related to each other. As for the Adam and Eve aspect, it depends upon your religious beliefs…

  2. If you believe that Adam and Eve were the first two human beings that God made, then yes everyone is related.

    If you believe in evolution and that we share a common ancestor with the chimps then everyone does not come from just two people.

    Melissa Wragg

  3. Adam and Eve is a religious concept and [is no scientific evidence to say] they actually existed. This idea is synonymous with the Earth being around 6000 years old. This is impossible as the Earth is around 4.2 billion years old. We evolved from ape-like ancestors via a gradual process known as speciation.

  4. There is also a mathematical answer to this because you have two parents, they each had 2 etc. By the time you go back 30 generations (may be 600 years) then you reach a point at which you have more ancestors than there were people in the world. So logic says we are all distantly related although not to just two people.

  5. We are all related by being members of the same species. Our genes are our own but not restricted to us as individuals – all of them are represented in other humans. Human beings seem to be more closely related to one another than is true for many species. Chimpanzees, for example, are more genetically diverse. It may be that there was a bottleneck in human population some time ago, and ultimately we are descended from a limited number of individuals, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years ago. So how closely related are we? Reckoning a generation as about 30 years, each of us is descended from 32 great-great-grandparents living about 150 years ago. Allowing the same for each of them, we are descended from 1024 (32 x 32) people living about 300 years ago. But that translates to each of us being descended from just over a million people (1024 x 1024) about 600 years ago. This is a paradox, because around 700 years ago we would have more ancestors than the population of Britain, and 1200 years ago the number would exceed a billion – more than world population at the time. In reality, many of the ancestors must be the same people represented many times. In the past most people did not travel far, so they took mates nearby, and stayed quite closely related. Modern genetics allows quite good estimates of how far back you have to go to find someone who was the great-great-(etc.) grand-pappy of everyone who is in the world today. Or similarly the great-great-(etc.) grand-mammy. Plots based on variations in the Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA (inherited down male and female lines respectively) consistently place these individuals between 100,000 and 150,000 years ago. It is appealing to think of them as a sort of Adam and Eve, but that idea is a bit misleading: we have probably inherited most of our genes from other individuals who lived at the same time.

    Professor J.A.J. Gowlett

    Research pages:

  6. The traditional belief in Adam and Eve as two sole first parents would imply that all their descendants, the only true human beings with spiritual souls (as opposed to other subhuman primates), would be related. Strong theological and philosophical evidence/arguments support this belief, while modern science offers skepticism based on molecular biological inferences drawn from Human Genome findings. Still, since the inductive method of natural science can never demonstrate that some historical fact, hidden deeply in the recesses of the distant past, must be impossible, it remains reasonable for educated people to affirm belief in a literal Adam and Eve. For more details of this analysis, see my commentary at http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2009/07/catholic-philosopher-dennis-bonnette.html .

    Dennis Bonnette, Ph.D.
    Full Professor of Philosophy (Retired)

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