Here are some reasons why I don't believe Adam and Eve:
- Archaeologists, biologists and scientists have all proven that humans share homologous traits with chimpanzees which would have made Adam and Eve chimpanzees.
To be fair, we DID NOT descend from chimpanzees. Modern humans and modern chimpanzees descended from a common ancestor. But then again, we have common ancestry with all primates, all mammals, all vertebrates, all chordates, all animals, all unikonts, and possibly all eukaryotes. We have some degree of genetic homology even with bacteria.
My point is that there's no way to superimpose evolutionary biology onto the Adam and Eve story.
With one exception:
Mitochondrial DNA, which is transmitted solely matrilineally, can be used to study the maternal ancestry of populations. And there IS a mitochondrial "Eve". In other words, within the timeline of Homo sapiens
, all extant humans can be traced back to a mitochondrial "mother". However, this does not prove that it was a single person -- it was more likely a small population. I believe they've done the same with some patrilineally-inherited Y chromosome determinants too.
Justin, I think you're being a bit uncharitable with religious allegory. All religions have creation stories, and all societies have foundation stories. The historicity of Adam and Eve (very doubtful), Abraham (more likely), Moses (yet more likely), King David (very likely), etc is irrelevant to the belief system in which they take part. And while for centuries some people have thought of the world as 6000 years old (even Shakespeare mentions this), it's only been a major contention in the last couple hundred years.
Societal constraints on women are rationalized
by the Adam and Eve story, but if it weren't that it would be something else.