Did a single first pair of humans (Adam and Eve) ever exist? Join us this Friday at 4:00 pm MT for an epic discussion with Dr. Simon Southerton about Mormonism’s core doctrine of Adam and Eve. We will analyze the conflicts between the undisputed fact of human evolution and the belief that all humans descended from a single couple of humans in Jackson County, Missouri. We will break down the different ways in which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its apologists have responded to conflicting scientific evidence and the ongoing debate regarding the existence of pre-Adamites. In addition, Dr. Michael Westaway will be joining us to speak about his groundbreaking research regarding the Mungo Man, the oldest and most famous human skeleton in Australia dated at 42,000 years, which was voted in the top 10 papers of the year by Science magazine in 2016.

Show Notes: 


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  1. Cory Larsen March 8, 2022 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Very interesting. But, in my opinion, misguided. Hear me out.

    You are falling into the same trap as most church believers, in that you are fixating on determining whether or not the Adam and Eve story is a historical fact- and if it not then the implication is that it is meaningless. I take a much different view, based largely on the efforts of Joseph Campbell. You stated toward the end of the discussion that stories like the flood all have a kernel of truth. If you look for historical truth then you are missing the point. Such stories are myths, and the essence of a myth is to be a metaphor. The Adam and Eve story is a powerful metaphor for the choice each one of must face at some point in our lives to leave the comforting but ultimately stifling confines of our childhood confines and become actualized adults. In my opinion the LDS church could wow the world by declaring that as its true belief. You don’t need apologists for that. And there is no conflict with science for that. Our most vital ritual- the temple ceremony- is plainly “merely” a reenactment of the Hero’s Journey. Again, if you insist that it depicts actual events you entirely miss the point. Just some thoughts.

    BTW, Simon, I lived in Canberra in the early 90s while working at the ANU. We may know some of the same people. Thank you.

  2. Craig Paxton March 9, 2022 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Cory, The church is built on the foundation of a literal, historical, physical Adam & Eve. An Adam that assisted in the creation of the earth, an Adam, who is the father of all humanity, an Adam that held priesthood keys which he handed down to successive prophets who followed him, i.e. Noah, Moses, Abraham etc. How exactly does a “metaphor” assist in the creation, have offspring or pass down priesthood keys? I’m sorry but Mormonism and its truth claims rises or falls on the reality of a literal Adam & Eve. Adam & Eve along with the Fall, are the lynch pin of Mormon Doctrine. You remove a physical Adam and his fictional fall from the equation and you remove the need for a Christ or the need for an atonement. The entire plan of salvation falls apart if you make Adan a metaphor.

  3. Su March 11, 2022 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    I love this series. I have a background in science so it’s not surprising that I do.

    One of the things I have always hoped is that being a Eurasian, I may have fragments of both Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA.

    Back in the ‘90’s when I was a university student I was also blown away by the knowledge that mitochondria was most likely a separate bacteria that became integrated and most likely had a symbiotic relationship with our very early ancestor.

    The idea that we need another microorganism in order to efficiently create energy (ATP) is utterly fascinating.

    Now, I get to have these discussions with my daughter who is working on her honours year in archaeology as well as forensic science.

    Thank you to Simon et al.

  4. Rex March 16, 2022 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Cory, I agree that it would be better if we all took the metaphor route. However that puts Christianity, and all monotheistic religions in a bind. Christianity, and Mormons rely on Adam and Eve being literal due to the demand of the Christology, If there was no literal Adam and Eve, experiencing a literal fall, then there would be no need for a literal Savior, and the entirety of Christ becomes metaphor. Again I’m okay with that as well, as I don’t believe in any of it on a literal basis. However I do admire some aspects of Christ’s life and teachings ala the Campbell model, but you’ll have a tough time with the literal demands of the Christology (resurrection, vicarious sacrifice for the forgiveness of our fallen state) as metaphor. It may work in a tiny niche, but not in the community that we swim in.

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