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So here is my theory on Adam and Eve, summarized from the previous two posts: Adam and Eve were not the first humans or the only humans to live in their time. Instead, they were the first ones to be made in the image of God, and they eventually became recent common ancestors to all of humanity. "Ancestors" here should be understood in the spiritual sense: we inherit from them both the image of God and the effects of their original sin. Because this is a spiritual heritage, it is not limited to transmission only through biological reproduction. It can be transmitted through any loving relationship that shapes the identity of the beloved. This most commonly takes place between parent and child, but it can also happen in any other analogous relationship.
Now, I am not qualified to give an estimation for the pre-European MRCA of the Native Americans. The details of the human migration to the Americas is still being debated even among the experts. Like many other aspects of my theory, there is still much to discover. I will, however, note that even after the Beringia land bridge disappeared, people could have easily moved from Asia to America. Crossing the Bering Strait is risky for a single attempt, but easy for a people group over the course of many millennia. You can even just walk across the frozen sea if the conditions are ideal. So overall, there is no insurmountable barrier to the idea that a descendant of Adam and Eve could have crossed over into the Americas as recently as 5000 years ago, then become the spiritual MRCA of the Native Americans.
How about isolated peoples, such as the Sentinelese? The Sentinelese live on a remote, isolate island while maintaining a prehistoric society, and violently resist contact with the outside world. Due to their isolation, little is known of their history, but they may have been living on their island for tens of thousands of years. Could they still be the descendants of Adam and Eve?
There are simply too many unknowns to say for certain. Were they always as resistant to outside contact as they are now? Were they perfectly consistent in their "death to outsiders" attitude, for thousands of years? Did anyone ever leave the island, receive the image of God, then go back? Given that there has been nonlethal contact with the Sentinelese people just in the last fifty years, it would be premature to say that they definitively cannot be the descendants of Adam and Eve.
In dealing with any of the questions above, keep in mind that even if Adam and Eve could not become humanity's common ancestors by the time of Christ, it's not fatal to my theory. My theory could even handle merely biological humans existing today. Even if one of the above objections were shown to be valid, it would only make my theory slightly less robust, as I would then have to address the issue of "merely biological humans" with more care.
Still, isn't there a lot of opportunity for something to go wrong with the theory? For instance, what if it could be conclusively demonstrated that the Americas were completely isolated after 15,000 years ago? Or what if a better estimation for the time to MRCA gives a value of 100,000 years in the past, making Adam and Eve far too recent even after taking spiritual propagation into account? These potential problems are actually good things: that means my theory is falsifiable. And I do expect the details of my theory to be falsified to some extent. Right now there is simply too much missing information. We don't know the details of human migration into the Americas. We don't know the history of isolated peoples, or their frequency of contact with outsiders. We don't know what better and more extensive genetic testing may reveal about the history of humanity. The estimations for the time to the MRCA could use a great deal of improvement. As I am not a geneticist, anthropologist, archaeologist, or a historian, I will submit my theory to possible modifications based on future discoveries in these fields. I may have to modify details such as exactly when Adam and Eve became ancestors to all humans, or exactly how their descendants spread out. I believe this to be the wise course of action: to wait for the science with a willingness to revise my theory, rather than declaring the correctness of my theory with insufficient information.
But having said all that, I believe that the core of my theory is pretty solid. While it's still falsifiable, it rests on well-established biblical, historical, and scientific facts which are unlikely to be overturned. Overall, I consider my theory about Adam and Eve to be more certain than a "working hypothesis", but perhaps not quite certain enough to be a full "theory". I will therefore conclude, with some significant confidence, by restating the summary that began this post: Adam and Eve were not the first humans or the only humans to live in their time. Instead, they were the first ones to be made in the image of God, and they eventually became recent common ancestors to all of humanity. "Ancestors" here should be understood in the spiritual sense: we inherit from them both the image of God and the effects of their original sin, and this inheritance is propagated through identity-shaping spiritual relationships, rather than just through biological reproduction.
You may next want to read:
Interpreting other Bible passages (Part 1: Cain and Abel) (Next post of this series)
Adam and Eve were historical persons. Who were they? (Part 1)
What is "evidence"? What counts as evidence for a certain position?
Another post, from the table of contents