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Question from Bernadette on 6/9/2014:

I have an 18 year old friend who is agnostic...he asked me this question; thank you for your help...I know you can help me :) if there were only two humans to start the human race that now numbers 8 billion how did the human race not go sterile an effect known to occur when people reproduce with members of closely related family over multiple generations due to mutation

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 7/20/2014:

Dear Bernadette,

The argument you quoted is aimed at denying that Adam and Eve are the parents of the whole human race. It assumes that the children of Adam and Eve would have to commit incest with each other. Incest over a period of time is known to kill off a line. The fact that 8 billion human being exist means that the human chain was not cut off. Consequently, the objection goes, there must have been many pairs that started the human race. The children of one pair could then marry the children of another pair. Hence no incest. A person would have to know a great deal about genetics to evaluate this argument. Now the Church is no expert in genetics. She goes by what God has revealed. So the question is this: Do we believe what the Church says? Or do we leave that belief aside and go by the teachings of genetics. But since genetics is still in its infant stage, it will take a long time for science to settle the matter of whether the human race come from on pair or from many different pairs. So it comes down to this; Do we accept the teaching of Pius XII on this matter or do we reject it because of some theorizing about genetics. Obviously you agnostic friend is voting for genetics. You'll have a very hard time talking him out of it.

Dr. Geraghlkty

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