T4L: Hello, Dr. Carter! Could you give us the elevator ride introduction to yourself and your ministry?
Dr. Carter: Creation Ministries International was started in Australia nearly 40 years ago. Today, we have an international team of about 30 speakers operating out of seven different English-speaking countries. I believe we employ more PhD scientists than any other Christian ministry in the world. We publish Creation Magazine and the Journal of Creation, dozens of books and DVDs, and host a massive and comprehensive website, Creation.com. I am amazed to even be able to work with so many fine people. As for myself, I have a PhD from the University of Miami. My main focus is genetics, but I don’t work with live specimens or sequence DNA anymore. Instead, I spent my time writing computer programs that are designed to analyze the vast amount of genetic data that is available to us today. Questions like, “Can all people really come from Adam and Eve?” can now be answered.
T4L: What is “short-handed Biblical defense” for a historical Adam?
Dr. Carter: Evolutionists discovered that all men in the world share a very similar Y chromosome. The only way for this to be true is if all men in the world had a common ancestor not that long ago. Of course, they would say that “Y-Chromosome Adam” (by which they really mean “Noah”, but we can forgive them for not knowing their Bible very well) lived hundreds of thousands of years ago. They also believe he was one of many men alive at the time, but that all the others, through nothing but chance, failed to have living descendents today. The Bible, however, directly claims that all men came from a single man that lived not very long ago. So the basic pattern we see is what we would expect if the Bible were true. Also, when we apply real-world mutation rates to the problem, we see that it would not require the “deep time” evolutionists claim to generate the diversity we see in Y chromosomes today.
T4L: And, based on your work, how is science on the side of a historical Adam?
Dr. Carter: While evolutionists have their own way to explain the data, there are many things they did not predict, but the Bible does. First, there is but one historical man who is the ancestor of all men alive today. Second, all men alive today are very closely related. About 500 to 600 mutations separate all men from our common ancestor (Noah). This is easy to account for in the 4,600+ years since Noah gave birth to his three sons,[i] from whom all of us descend.
Even better, the Y chromosome of that man is radically different from that of chimpanzees. I wrote an article about this more than six years ago, but many people still have not heard about this amazing scientific fact. To get the number of differences we see in even six million years (the supposed time since our common ancestor), evolutionists have to believe that the Y chromosome mutates faster than anything we have ever seen. But if it mutates fast, it would not take very long to accumulate the differences we see among men alive today. This puts their ‘Y Chromosome Adam’ in the recent past. So they are stuck both ways. The Bible says that all men are indeed descended from one man (Adam, and then Noah) and that he lived in the recent past. The data support this very biblical idea.
T4L: So, what do you believe is at stake in regards to the Gospel if we reject a historical Adam for another view?
Dr. Carter: Adam is critical for biblical theology. First of all, the Bible claims that death is the punishment for sin (Gen 2:16-17). This is why, to pay for sins, Jesus had to die. Genesis also teaches us directly (Gen 3:17-19), and the New Testament affirms (Rom 5:12), that that sin, suffering, and death came through Adam (see also Rom 8:19-22). If Adam did not exist, we cannot explain why death exists or why the Bible claims it is a punishment. In one very important sense, Jesus Christ is our Kinsman Redeemer (Lev 25:25, Ruth 1-4, Mat 1:21, Gal 3:13). To be saved, one must be related to that Redeemer. Christ is a descendent of Adam (Luke 3:23-38). If Adam was but one of many people alive at some time in the past (maybe a person living in Sumer around 5,000 bc), there should be people alive today (e.g., Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and southern Africans) who are not his direct descendents and therefore cannot be saved!
T4L: What would you say to someone who is considering rejecting the view that believes in an historical Adam?
Dr. Carter: For people who are really struggling with the biblical Adam idea, I like to encourage them that the Big Picture affirms biblical history. The number of differences we see among men today is easy to account for within biblical time. The differences between human and chimps is stark, indicating that we are indeed two separate creations, etc. There is a tremendous amount of data that points to creation and away from evolution.
Adam, our ancestor, fell into sin. We, as Adam’s descendants, have inherited the curse placed upon him. Jesus, or Redeemer, stepped into our place and took on the curse that we deserved. Thus, science affirms the biblical accounts of creation, which are tied in with the biblical account of redemption. There is no reason to reject either side. The whole “Adam” question can be answered to satisfy the demands of both science and Scripture.
This interview first appeared in Theology for Life Fall Issue. To download the rest of the issue click here.
[i] Assuming the Masoretic chronology and a long Egyptian sojourn. See Hardy, C., Carter, R., The biblical minimum and maximum age of the earth, Journal of Creation 28(2):89-96, 2014; creation.com/biblical-age-of-the-earth.