Must Catholics believe as an article of faith that all human beings have descended from two real human beings, Adam and Eve?
I have learned that all catholics must believe as an article of faith that all human beings have descended from two real human beings, Adam and Eve, who had no antecedents. Science has traced human lineage back several million years. We have, in our DNA, strong evidence of our development over very long time spans. My question is, if science proves beyond a doubt, by DNA or other evidence, that we have no linkage to those two distince parents Adam and Eve, how might the church respond to this, since it is in obvious contradiction to church teaching?
Contemporary Catholic biblical scholars tell us that the stories found in the book of Genesis are not meant to be a source of historical or scientific fact as we understand those terms today. Rather, they are meant to convey religious truth. In the words of one Catholic spiritual leader, “the purpose of the Bible is not to tell us how the heavens go, but how to go to heaven.”
Pope John Paul II,in his message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (October 22, 1996), observed…