Are Adam and Eve Just an Allegory?
How is it that the Bible is so controversial? The recent series on the History Channel on the Bible has sparked many water cooler and media conversations on various aspects of the Scriptures. One of them has important implications: Were Adam and Eve real people?
I’m not a scientist, and I don’t play one on TV. But I believe they were. Why? Because I believe Jesus was who He said He was—God’s only begotten Son, and clearly He believed they were real. I believe Jesus was the Son of God because historically He rose from the dead.
Jesus quotes from Genesis 1 and 2 (chapters with Adam and Eve) as the Word of God.
The Apostle Paul said that death came into the world through the first Adam. Jesus was the Second Adam, who came to save those who believe in Him from spiritual death.
John Hancock, John Adams, and Ben Franklin learned their ABCs with the “New England Primer,” which says for the letter A: “A, In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.”
In short, the Bible’s argument is: No sin of Adam, no need for Jesus. But hasn’t science proven there was no Adam?
How are we to understand claims of overwhelming “scientific facts” backing up the theory of evolution? Well, there are minor biological changes in nature. Some people call this “micro-evolution” (if you will)—which simply refers to a limited range variation within a species or kind. In Genesis, God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind.” That’s why some dogs are poodles and some dogs are great Danes while both still remain dogs.
Critics note that Darwinists have tried to make a word game by using undisputed microevolution, (if you want to call it that), which can be observed everywhere, and claim it as proof of macroevolution—the theory that one species can change into another and that all life evolved ultimately from a common ancestor.
Dr. Jonathan Wells, Author of “Icons of Evolution,” once told me in a TV interview, “The evidence for microevolution is abundant. We see minor changes within species everywhere we look. The evidence for macroevolution is missing. The interesting thing here is that before Darwin, microevolution wasn’t called evolution at all. It’s just minor changes within existing species. Darwin didn’t call his book, how existing species change over time. He called his book, “The Origin of Species,” and for that, there’s just about no good evidence at all.”
The late Dr. Colin Patterson, paleontologist at the British Museum, wrote a letter in 1979 saying in effect there are no definitive transitional forms in the fossil record, chronicling evolution (“gradualism”) in progress: “So, much as I should like to oblige you by jumping to the defense of gradualism, and fleshing out the transitions between the major types of animals and plants, I find myself a bit short of the intellectual justification necessary for the job.”
Patterson, author of the textbook, “Evolution,” also said in that letter: “I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them.” (This letter was written to the late Luther Sutherland, who reproduced it in his book, “Darwin’s Enigma.”)
I called Dr. Patterson in 1987, and he verified the authenticity of the letter. Great, I said, then I explained how I was working on a film (final name: “The Case for Creation,” hosted by the late D. James Kennedy—a type of Scopes Trial in reverse) and asked if we could possibly interview him for this. No way did he want to participate because he didn’t agree with our premise.
He told me on the phone that the letter was accurate (there are no definitive transitional forms between species in the fossil record), nonetheless, he still believed in evolution. He said we just haven’t discovered yet the right mechanism to prove evolution. But I ask: If the evidence isn’t there for the premise, then why should we assume the evidence is there for the conclusion?
Why do so many today back off believing Adam and Eve were real people? They assume that evolution (macro-evolution) is proven; therefore, we have to reinterpret that part of the Bible as allegory. (I see nothing in the text of Genesis that would imply it’s allegorical.)
In 1912, scientists discovered in England a human skull with a jaw like an ape. They named him Piltdown man. This was, they said, evidence of true evolution in progress—a real ape man. He was in the textbooks, encyclopedias, museums, and even the dictionaries. Finally, the missing link was no longer missing.
But, of course, Piltdown man turned out to be a deliberate hoax. That aspect was discovered in 1953, after four decades of providing alleged evidence for human evolution during a critical time for the theory to gain wider acceptance.
A geologist friend doesn’t discount evolution, but he also believes in a real Adam and Eve. He told me, “I am not going to try to change the Bible based on science, and I’m not going to change the science based on the Bible. Someday we’ll understand it all. Being truthful is important.” I agree with his statement (but not his position).
He once read in an old geology book, “The work of God cannot contradict the Word of God.” (That must have been an old book.) He added: “It is believed there were a first man and woman in the sense of human genetics—Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam. These terms are widely used in scientific papers.” I’m sure we’d disagree on many specifics. Regardless of that opinion, millions of intelligent truth-seekers alive today believe in a real Adam and Eve.