Addresses of All Authors

Marcus Ross: 515 Alleghany Ave., Lynchburg, VA 24501 USA

Todd Wood: P.O. Box 1076 Dayton, TN 37321 USA

Peter Brummel: n/a

Author's Biography

Marcus Ross is an educator, researcher and CEO of Cornerstone Educational Supply. He is trained in vertebrate paleontology and served for sixteen years at Liberty University as Professor of Geology and Director of the Center for Creation Studies. He resides in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Peter Brummel is a student and hominin fossil aficionado. He was awarded the 2022 Sanders Scholarship from Core Academy of Science. He currently resides in Indiana.

Todd Charles Wood is a researcher, teacher, and lecturer with twenty years' experience working in young-age creationism. He is especially known for his studies of created kinds and fossil hominins. He is currently president of Core Academy of Science and resides in Dayton, Tennessee, home of the Scopes Trial.

Presentation Type

Full Paper Presentation


The issue of Adam and Eve’s historicity has become an increasingly important point of discussion among Evangelical Christians. For those who hold to an ancient Earth, questions about Adam and Eve relate to their time of creation, species identity, and even their very existence. Recent proposals among old-Earth creationists and theistic evolutionists are perhaps more diverse now than at any other point in history. These include Adam and Eve as:

· Mythological or typological characters with no historical referent.

· Historical persons ca. 750,000 years ago, assignable to Homo heidelbergensis.

· The first anatomically modern Homo sapiens ca. 100,000 years ago.

· The first people to receive the Image of God (the first so-called Homo divinus), though not the first Homo sapiens.

· Uniquely created Homo sapiens who become the genealogical (but not biological) ancestors to all living people.

· Two members of Homo sapiens chosen to represent all human beings via a unique covenantal relationship.

Given current trends, it seems increasingly likely that young-age creationism may soon be the only origins viewpoint that fully affirms the historic Christian doctrine of Adam and Eve as the sole progenitors of all human beings. It is thus incumbent upon young-age creation to develop a thorough and robust account of human history from Adam through to Abraham so that we may offer a substantive account which remains true to key biblical affirmations and is accurate with regard to current extra-biblical evidence. Our proposed paper is guided by the Creation—Fall—Redemption—Restoration metanarrative of scripture and anchored to the historical tie-points of Adam and Eve’s creation on the sixth day, their fall into sin, a global Flood, and God’s dispersal of people at Babel. Our goal is to identify the common features of creationist thinking on biblical studies, theology, paleoanthropology, and archaeology and thereby develop a compelling framework for understanding physical evidence pertinent to human origins from a creationist perspective and highlight areas of uncertainty and questions for future research.

Toward that end, our synthesis begins with a holistic, theological definition of humanity and a discussion of the challenge of identifying “humans” from physical remains. We then describe approaches that can be applied to the problem, including morphological analyses and evidence of behavior. We recognize a core set of hominin taxa that are widely accepted by creationists as human: Homo sapiens, Neandertals, and Homo erectus. We also recognize a set of taxa that are widely accepted as nonhuman apes, namely the Paranthropus species, Australopithecus afarensis, and Au. africanus. We also review several contested cases, emphasizing how poorly known some of the named hominin taxa really are.

Following this we place the hominin fossil record into a relative biblical timescale. We note that evidence of death, disease, and interpersonal violence locates these remains after the Fall. Moreover, we develop two novel arguments based on cave formation and stone tool provenance to place these fossils in the post-Flood period. We affirm a universal human dispersal at Babel and briefly discuss creationist views on the post-Flood timeline. As a final constraint, we note that Abraham can be firmly situated within the Bronze Age, where archaeological and paleogenetic data suggest that the Ancient Near East was occupied by Homo sapiens at that time.

We present this synthesis as a coherent statement of creationist thinking with novel arguments and evidence that reinforce the consensus. Nevertheless, we recognize shortcomings and areas that need additional work. First, absolute geological dating must be more carefully addressed. Second, biological mechanisms responsible for human fossil diversity are not agreed upon and need further study. Third, the relationship between creationist paleoanthropology and archaeology, particularly Ancient Near East archaeology, requires further investigation. Despite these open areas of work, the synthesis developed here represents the best approach to maintaining traditional theological commitments to the historicity of Adam and Eve.

Tentative Outline of the Paper

I. Introduction to the issues

II. Theological insights into humanity

a. The Image of God

b. Humans as descendants of Adam and Eve

c. The Fall: sin, death, and other consequences

III. Anatomy and activity: Who is likely human and why?

a. Essentialist vs. non-essentialist approaches to anatomy and identification of humans vs. nonhumans

b. Historical overview in young-Earth writings

c. Consensus cases of humans and nonhumans

d. Contested cases of humans and nonhumans

e. Inferences of human identity from tools, behaviors, and other non-skeletal evidences

IV. General temporal and geographic setting of the hominin fossil record

a. Theological constraints: human fossils are post-Fall

b. Geological constraints: human fossils are post-Flood

c. Geography and stratigraphy of notable hominins

V. Humans in the immediate post-Flood world

a. Biblical chronology and the genealogies of Gen 5 and 11

b. Babel and the dispersal of humanity

c. Historical constraint: Abraham lived during the Bronze Age and was a member of Homo sapiens

VI. Summary and conclusions


Biblical Studies


paleoanthropology, hominin fossils, young age creationism, historical Adam, Tower of Babel




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