According to the bible, God created Adam and Eve about 6000 years ago...Lets think about some maths:
Two people multiplying to 6.5 billion in 6000 years. Ignoring the whole flood thing, how many children would eve had needed to give birth to to allow for both the genetic variation and the current population of the planet?
Has anyone ever thought about this before? I might attempt the math myself sometime if no one has.
You cannot have a human phenotype with all the alleles possible. My understanding of genetics is that you can only have a few loci with different alleles (eg, black hair, brown hair, blond hair, etc). To have all the genetic variation we have today would mean that adam and eve had dna that was very different that ours today.
I was in hated Catholic school all my youth and that's how the bible was taught, as a metaphor, especially the old testament, which was slightly scoffed at.
No, No, No. You have to do this math after Noah survived the Flood because all the other humans were KILLED! Using Adam and Eve is pointless.
Noah is the key. How many were there in his family after the flood? I forget ... also, Noah lived very long and so did his descendants ...
A guy in my church actually believes the ages are literal. He said our bloodlines has become 'less pure' after so many generations of breeding.
WTF? I questioned him further and he actually thinks it's the BLOOD itself that becomes diluted after generations continue breeding. So people don't live as long anymore ...
Going from Noah onwards is probably better...I believe it was Noah, Noah's wife, Noahs three sons, and Noah's sons wife. 4 breeding pairs... Anyone have info on the supposed date of the flood?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah's_Ark Scroll down to chronology
I have though of this before, but must admit that I've never attempted the calculation. There's a lot to factor in. You have to estimate what year the flood occurred. You need to adjust for the time each new offspring will need to reach sexual maturity. Infant mortality rates undoubtedly differed through the ages. Etc...
Didn't people used to wait several centuries before having children in Noah's time?
The genetic variation problem is solved by Rick Warren in his book "The Purpose Driven Life". In it he states
that God had the wherewithall to give Adam and Eve a wide variety of DNA so that their offspring were not only Middle Eastern but also, Aboriginal, Asian, Caucasian, etc. Imagine the stares she must have received every time she took her brood out to MacDonalds.
Awesome question, but you need to add holy magic into the equation.
But Catholic priests can transubstantiate unleavened bread into actual flesh! You can't deny that that's magic. You just can't.
This would only be a math problem if you believed that the earth is 6000 years old.
The human population did indeed bottleneck several thousand years ago, according to our genetic diversity, exactly. Not to two individuals obviously, but nonetheless. Trying to mathematicise genetics is not very useful as mutations leading to divergent evolution do not obey any mathematical imperatives. Some periods of history have more frequent mutations, other periods less frequent mutations. Some resultant mutations experience less isolation, some more. Genetics, nothwithstanding Dawkins, is not a mathematical endeavour :)