Are Adam and Eve Just an Allegory?

Are Adam and Eve Just an Allegory?Why is the Bible so controversial? The History Channel’s recent Bible series has sparked many water cooler and media conversations. One of them has important implications: Were Adam and Eve real people?

I am not a scientist, and I do not play one on TV. But I certainly believe that Adam and Eve were real people. Why? Because I believe Jesus was who he said he was: God’s only begotten Son, and clearly he believed they were real.

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.
In short, the Bible’s argument is: No sin of Adam, no need for Jesus.

But has science proven there was no Adam?

How can we understand overwhelming claims of “scientific facts” backing up the theory of evolution? Well, there are minor biological changes in nature. Some people call this “micro-evolution,” 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 is 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, 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.

In a TV interview, Dr. Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution, once told me, “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, that 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. Then I explained that I was working on a film (The Case for Creation, a type of Scopes Trial in reverse) and asked if we could interview him for it. Unfortunately, he did not agree with our premise so he did not want to participate.

He said the letter was accurate but nonetheless, he still believed in evolution. He said we just have not yet discovered the right mechanism to prove the evolution theory. But if the evidence is not 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 is allegorical).

In 1912, scientists discovered a human skull in England with an ape-like jaw. They named him Piltdown man. This was, they said, evidence of true evolution in progress: a real ape man. He was put into the textbooks, encyclopedias, museums and even in dictionaries. Finally, the missing link was no longer missing.

But, of course, in 1953, Piltdown man turned out to be a deliberate hoax.

A geologist friend of mine does not 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.”

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 am sure we would disagree on many specifics. Regardless of that opinion, millions of intelligent truth-seekers today believe in a real Adam and Eve.

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is co-host of and spokesman for Truth that Transforms with D. James Kennedy (formerly The Coral Ridge Hour). He has also written or co-written 23 books, including The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation and Answers from the Founding Fathers. Jerry co-wrote (with Dr. Peter Lillback) the bestselling, George Washington’s Sacred Fire. Visit for more information.

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