11/24 - Mitochondrial Eve: Should Christians be Worried? – Part I
Published by Stephen Michael Leininger in Stephen Michael Leininger · 24 November 2017
Tags: mitochondrial, mitochondria, Eve, Genesis, Bible, Adam, Africa, mtEve
Tags: mitochondrial, mitochondria, Eve, Genesis, Bible, Adam, Africa, mtEve
Mitochondrial Eve: Should Christians be Worried? – Part I
This blog will discuss the scientific study leading to the discovery of so-called, mitochondrial Eve. Interestingly, researchers "Cann, Stoneking and Wilson did not use the term Mitochondrial Eve or even the name Eve. It appears to originate with a 1987 article in Science by Roger Lewin, headlined ‘The Unmasking of Mitochondrial Eve’ … the concept of Eve caught on with the public and was repeated in a Newsweek cover story … and a cover story in Time on 26 January 1987."
This blog will be presented in three parts. Part I will focus on topics that are necessary precursors to a fuller understanding of the present research in light of the Genesis account of creation in Scripture … to answer the questions: 1) Should Christians be worried that the Bible is wrong; and, 2) Does science refute the historicity of the Bible account of Adam and Eve’s creation? In order to answer those questions more comprehensively, we will be using Scripture and Magisterial documents to show the account of Eve’s creation is meant by God to be interpreted as literally and historically accurate. Furthermore, since Scripture tells us that Adam was created from dust of the earth, understanding the deeper meaning of dust (and salt) when used in the Bible is another goal of this blog. Part II will show why the science behind so-called mtEve did not contradict the literal interpretation of the Genesis account of that creation event. In fact, the science helps to prove that Adam and Eve were created just as Genesis tells us. Part III proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the literal and literalistic interpretation of Adam and Eve's creation are virtually identical, and that alternate hypotheses (e.g., they were born from separate parents, population bottleneck, etc.) are insurmountably problematic from a theological standpoint, even to the point of heresy on at least two points.
Brief Summary of Cann et al. Research on Mitochondrial Eve (mtEve)
In 1987, research undertaken by Rebecca Cann, Mark Stoneking, and Allan Wilson was published in Nature magazine. They concluded that all human beings descended from one female living in Africa approximately 200,000 years ago. They do not suggest that she is the first female human. Rather, travelling backwards through time, it is claimed she was the first female ancestor from whom all subsequent humans share a common set of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). It is also believed that Y-chromosome Adam could have existed at a different time-frame than did mtEve. While we will be challenging some of their assumptions, we will not be attempting to determine the validity of the science or the methodology used by the researchers in order to gain the information necessary to reach their conclusions. Some of the conclusions reached by the research authors will, however, be challenged.
Creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis
In the Bible, the description of the creation of all living creatures is very brief. For example, Scripture tells us “God made the beasts” (Gen. 1:25), and also, “God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves” (Gen. 1:21). Even Adam's creation was quite brief. It says, “God formed man of dust from the ground” (Gen. 2:7). Granted, God goes into more detail about the philosophical substance of man, but not about his actual physical creation. In contrast, Eve’s creation was described by Moses, inspired by God, in greater detail. Why is that? Why is her creation so special, God deemed it necessary to provide a more thorough description? Leaving theological considerations aside for the time being, perhaps it was in anticipation of some future errors scientists would make in interpreting the results of their research relative to the nature of man.
In Genesis, it reads, “The LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man’” (Gen. 2:21-23). According to Scripture, Eve’s DNA came entirely from the cells of Adam. Put another way, Eve’s DNA is comprised entirely and only of Adam’s DNA. This is very similar to Jesus' incarnation entirely from Mary's DNA, but in reverse, so to speak.
Is the Creation of Eve Meant to be Interpreted as Historically Accurate?
In order to properly evaluate Cann’s research, this question must be answered. From the scientific standpoint, evidence suggesting that it should be interpreted as such, as can be seen here. Let’s turn our attention to other evidence for the belief that the biblical account of Eve’s creation should be interpreted literally.
In the Bible, Adam declares Eve to be bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh (Gen. 2:21-23). Was Adam speaking symbolically? In a talk titled, Original Unity of Man and Woman, Pope St. John Paul II tells us about the significance of Adam’s sleep:
Against the background of contemporary mentality, accustomed—through analysis of the subconscious — to connecting sexual contents with the world of dreams, that sleep may bring forth a particular association. However, the Bible narrative seems to go beyond the dimension of man's subconscious. If we admit, moreover, a significant difference of vocabulary, we can conclude that the man ('adam) falls into that ‘sleep’ in order to wake up ‘male’ and ‘female’ [emphasis mine]. In Genesis 2:23, we come across the distinction is-'issah [male and female – JP II] for the first time.
Restated, the very purpose that man (Adam) sleeps, is so that when he wakes up, he’s two … Adam and Eve. Remember, the word “woman” literally means Eve was taken out of Adam. Continuing on, he writes:
In biblical language this [i.e., bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh] is a definition of consanguinity or descent from the same lineage (cf. Gn 29:14). The woman belongs to the same species as the man, different from the other living beings [e.g. hominins—SML] created before. In biblical anthropology, the term ‘bones’ expresses a very important element of the body [as in, Eve’s body — SML]. Since for the Jews there was no precise distinction between ‘body’ and ‘soul’ (the body was considered an exterior manifestation of the personality), ‘bones’ meant simply, by synecdoche, the human ‘being’ …. Bone of my bones can therefore be understood in the relational sense, as ‘being of my being,’ ‘Flesh of my flesh’ means that, though she has different physical characteristics, the woman has the same personality [the word “personality” is used in a philosophical sense, as in body and soul … the human person — SML] as the man possesses.
For Jews, there was no distinction made between body and soul. Since we know Eve did not have the same soul as Adam, the phrase “bone of my bones,” therefore, would necessarily be referring to Eve’s body as coming from Adam’s body. The contribution Adam was capable of making to the “personhood” of Eve, was the genetic material necessary for the building of the body — but not the soul, which came exclusively from God.
Before moving on, let me add that, as part of the science of biblical interpretation (exegesis), it is wise to follow the guidelines set by the Pontifical Bible Commission’s document, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. In it, we are informed that the shortcomings inherent in the historical — critical method of interpreting Scripture require that “each biblical text [must be interpreted] in the light of the Canon of the Scriptures … Each individual book only becomes biblical in the light of the Canon as a whole.”
So, let’s ask some questions relating to Adam and Eve’s creation, then answer them from the Canon of Scripture. Please note: in this blog, the term man, modern man, or human will refer to man who was created in the image and likeness of God; the terms hominin or pre-human will refer to all of modern man’s precursors (i.e. animal humans). For more information about Eve’s creation, see Aquinas’ writings here.
Question 1: – Was Adam the first and only human prior to Eve?
Answer 1(a): In Genesis it states, “There was no man to till the ground” (Gen. 2:5). This clearly excludes earlier hominins, since the “man” that is the subject of this passage is the same man that: A) was created in the image and likeness of God on the sixth day; B) was created after all other biological life was created; and, C) was then placed into the Garden of Eden.
Answer 1(b): Gen. 2:18 reads, “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’” From the standpoint of biologically living creatures, we already know from Genesis, chapters 1 and 2, that there were living creatures created before modern man. Furthermore, God brought the creatures / animals to Adam so that he could name them. This was the way God showed Adam he was different from all the other creatures created prior to him. So when God said “It is not good that the man should be alone” and “I will make him a helper fit for him,” He is referring to a helpmate who is of the same species (made in the image and likeness of God) as Adam; one with whom the entire human race could be generated. Consequently, it would seem the only way to accomplish that would be to create Eve in the manner described in Genesis.
Answer 1(c):Here are three passage that show Adam was the first modern man:
Passage I — “For he who sanctifies [Jesus — SML] and those who are sanctified [all the descendants of Adam, the father of humanity — SML] have all one origin” (Hebrews 2:11). Incidentally, this passage and the one that follows, provides us with a hint as to why it was important for Eve to have been “taken out” of Adam. God intended “original innocence” to be transmitted to all man via the begetting of the genetic family of man. In order to redeem the entire human family, Jesus had to become a member of that same single genetic family, so that he could redeem and purify us … throughout the entire human family. I could go much deeper, but this blog is not the place to do so.
Passage II — “And he made from one [Adam] every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26).
Passage III — “Wisdom protected the first-formed father of the world, when he alone had been created” (Wis. 10:1). Adam is the father of all rational humans, which would include Eve. Technically, however, Adam would not be considered a literal father to Eve because she was not conceived by Adam through a conjugal act, but formed from his donated DNA. Note: in Part II, this fact will play a large part in helping us to understand why the first man and woman had no parents from which they descended.
Question 2: – Was Eve the very first female human?
Answer 2(a): The helpmate referred to above, was described in the future tense. Her creation would occur after Adam, as well as all the other firsts of each kind of biologically living creatures.
Answer 2(b): I have written, on more than one occasion, that the wording used by Moses to describe Eve’s creation perfectly describes the science necessary for God to have accomplished the creation of a woman from out of a man. These writings can be found here, here, and here. This fact alone provides a strong case that the Bible account of Eve’s creation from Adam’s biological material is an accurate historical and literal interpretation.
Answer 2(c): “Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man’” (Gen. 2:23). As discussed in Question 1 above, Adam was the very first man. In light of the very wording used, and the very meaning of those words (according to JP II), it is clear that Eve was created / taken out of Adam.
Answer 2(d): It is a Dogma (infallibly defined Truth that can never be changed) of the Church that Original sin is passed down to succeeding generations via inheritance (i.e., parents salt / dust of DNA). It is logical to assume the opposite is also true. Had Adam not sinned, original innocence would have also been passed down via generation. In order for Eve to have been a helper fit for Adam, she, too, would have to possess original innocence, which would have been the case if she were “taken out of man” prior to the fall (see also Answer 2c).
Answer 2(e): If Eve were not taken out of Adam, then all the passages listed in Answers (1c) and (2c) above, would be false. Also false, would be Genesis 3:20 where it reads, “The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.” Taken alone, alternate meanings for this passage could be entertained. However, when taking into consideration the previously cited passages, I don’t see how an alternate understanding could be possible. Furthermore, “life” for a hominin means nothing more than biological life. Life for Adam and Eve meant body and spiritual soul, i.e., eternal life.
Answer 2(f): St. Paul writes “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin” (Hebrews 2:11). Paul is telling us, Jesus (who is sinless), together with all those who have sinned, come from one origin, which is Adam. Obviously, Eve sinned and was in need of sanctification. Therefore, Eve also comes from that same one origin — Adam.
Question 3: – Was Eve born from some other hominin (pre-human) parents, after which, she married Adam?
Note: All the possible scenarios that start with this premise are highly theologically problematic, even heretical on at least two levels. I lay out the reasons I can say that here.
Answer 3(a): The answers to Question 2 above, would also serve to justify answering no to this question.
Answer 3(b): The laws of philosophy inform us thusly: that which is generated takes on the essence of that which generates. We can see an example of this in the Dogma of Original sin. If Eve were generated by pre-human (animal) parents, then Eve, too, would have been pure animal. If one were to make the claim that, at some point, God breathed a spiritual soul into Eve, then one would have to assert that God annihilated one nature in order to replace it with another. This violates the words of Scripture. This and other reasons lead us to realize the assertion is heretical. More details are in Part III. Throughout history, the thought of a human marrying an animal (no matter how intelligent or closely related in species) is simply repulsive and forbidden (cf. Lev. 18:23, 20:15). See also, Summa Theologiae, II-I, q. 81, a. 1. Furthermore, would anybody seriously consider the offspring of said “marriage” to be human? In fact, the testimony of credible mystics tell us that the Flood was in response to that very reason. See the article on the Beast of Revelation, the Section on Sodom and Gomorrah here.
Question 4: – Could Eve have been formed from the cells of some other, (a) hominin male, or (b) hominin female?
Answer 4(a): In the case of a male hominin, this option is a possibility. However, I don’t consider it likely. If it were God’s intention to use a hominin male’s stem cells to make Eve, necessitating the sanctification and humanization of the donated hominin stem cells, why wouldn’t God simply use Adam’s stem cells in the first place? Adam’s stem cells were already sanctified and a man in the image and likeness of God. I can’t conceive of the benefit of this approach. Furthermore, many of the passages cited above would still be drastically incompatible with this interpretation. An Eve generated from hominins (regardless of whether the donor stem cells were from a male or female hominin) would still violate all the passages relating to everyone descending from Adam.
Answer 4(b): As for a female hominin stem cell donor, that would be contrary to 1 Cor. 11:8 in which St. Paul tells us, “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.”
What is the Meaning of Dust in Scripture? 
All rocks and, therefore, stones (which come from rocks) are formed from two or more minerals (minerals are generally defined as inorganic solids that have a crystalline structure). Some minerals are composed of only one element listed in the Periodic Table. Some are mixed with other elements, such as aluminum, silicon, sodium, and magnesium. Some elemental minerals are classified as metallic, e.g. gold, silver, and copper. The minerals sodium and potassium are both elemental alkali metals that combine with the phosphate minerals of the DNA backbone (the two “sides” of the double helix “ladder”) to make it a salt — a salt that is also dust / stone. Furthermore, the DNA itself has a crystalline structure, as do all minerals. It was x-ray crystallography that showed the “B” form of DNA was in the shape of a double helix. Our DNA is a bonded collection of very, very small stones — dare I say dust. This dust is held together by electrically charged ions and surrounded by dynamically structured molecules of water. One microbiologist tells us that DNA by itself, absent any of the other biological systems that make for a living cell, is nothing more than a rock. That’s right — dust!
Let’s recall the words of God to Adam: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19). Dust/stone is nothing more than pieces of rock that have been separated and gradually worn down to very, very, small mineral crystals, i.e. stones, which are the size of dust. More specific to man in Scripture is the use of the word clay. God revealed to Hildegard, “Out of clay God so shaped humanity that through this tiny spark of the soul we become flesh and blood out of clay.” Clay is composed of two primary substances: A) dust that is even finer than silt, i.e. 2 microns (aka micrometer; two-thousandths of a millimeter) or less; and, B) water. Interestingly, clay soil is generally very fertile. It is also holds on to water and nutrients very well.[23-A] It is analogous to man (made of clay) who needs living water, fertility, and the bread of life.
Considering the size of our DNA (the nuclear volume of an entire sperm cell containing an entire molecule of DNA, is only about 30 microns), the use of clay as a symbol of man in Scripture is significant. In order for clay to be mold-able (technical term is plastic), which is scripturally symbolic of a biologically and spiritually alive human person (e.g., Num 5:16-17; Job 10:9; Is 64:6-8; Rom 9:20-24), it must contain water within its mix. Water plays a critical role in how our dust of DNA functions. Our bodies — including Jesus’ body — are made up entirely of cells which contain within their nucleus, the biological stone/dust/clay of DNA, along with structured biological water. Scripture also tells us we are the salt of the earth.
I know of no one who believes or writes that God is speaking symbolically when we are told we are made of dust of the earth; that all biologically living creatures (man, beasts, birds, etc.) are made of dust (Gen. 2:7, 2:19, and 3:19)! That is because science confirms this to be true. When we die, we decompose into dust. In Sirach it is written, “The Lord created man out of earth, and turned him back to it again” (Sir. 1:5). We also read in Scripture, “Remember that thou hast made me of clay; and wilt thou turn me to dust again” (Job 10:9)? If one interprets Genesis quite literalistically, one would have to admit that only Adam could have been made from actual geological dust — dust of the earth (I will suggest an alternative interpretation in Part II of this blog). For all the rest of us, there are at least two people (our biological mother and father) who can vouch for the fact that we did not receive our dust from the dirt in our parents garden. For all the rest of us (we will talk about Eve later), our body was made through one event, and one event only — the union of a sperm cell (with the exception of Jesus) and an egg cell, both of which contain the dust of DNA.
Everything we are, from the physical body perspective, came from the sperm and egg — and only the sperm and egg. The only material in either of those two cells that could be called dust, is the dust/salt of DNA. If you’re wondering about the cell material (e.g., cell membranes) in which the DNA resides — nope, not salt, not dust! The structural material of the cell is composed of complex chemicals called proteins. Therefore, only the DNA can be identified as dust. Recall that Scripture tells us we are made from the dust of the earth (cf. Gen. 2:7, 3:19, 18:27; Tobit 3:6; Job 10:9; Eccl. 3:20; and many others) and we will return to dust. Ergo, Scripture verifies the fact that our salt of DNA is also dust, i.e., very small stones, but stones nonetheless. To my way of thinking, the above argument constitutes an open-and-shut case. I cannot conceive of how Scripture passages equating man with dust can refer to anything else but the salt/dust of DNA. Let’s look at some passages that link inorganic salt/dust/stone with organic salt/dust/stone:
1) Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread. Satan is evil, but he is not stupid. He would not tempt him this way unless he knew Jesus could do it (Lk. 4:3, Mt. 4:3);
2) God turned dust into gnats (Ex. 8:16-17);
3) God could turn stones into children of Abraham, i.e. members of the Chosen nation (Mt. 3:9, Lk. 3:8);
4) The rebuilt Temple (Jesus’ body, per John 2:19-21) is referred to as the cornerstone (same material, but a much larger version of dust) of the Temple (1 Pt. 2:6);
5) Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Pt. 2:4-5);
6) Multiple linkages made between man and mud / clay (e.g., Is. 64:8; Job 10:9, 33:6; Rom 9:21; Jn 9:11; and many more); and,
7) In Rev. 2:12-17, we read about the church at Pergamum. The people of this church are told, “To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it.” So, what was it that the Spirit wanted this particular church to conquer? Interestingly, none of the other churches were promised a white stone if they conquered their sinfulness. The sin of the church at Pergamum was fornication, both of the flesh and of the spirit. We know this because of the reference to the “teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak.” In order to make God angry with the Israelites, Balaam taught Balak to place stumbling blocks (I am assuming the symbolic stumbling “blocks: were also stone / dust) before them. So Balak employed some of the most beautiful women in his kingdom to lure the men into unclean fleshly and spiritual acts, i.e., sexual intercourse and idolatry (which is considered as an adulterous relationship against God’s covenant with Israel) The stumbling blocks were the DNA / salt / dust /stone bodies of beautiful and desirous women. This is why the Spirit informs them of the white stone. He is telling them, if the men conquer their “lust of the flesh” (impure stone / dust), then, at the resurrection, their bodies will be raised from the dead, be glorified, and become as pure as snow (as clean as a white stone).
Biological Versus Geological Terminology
When I first realized that salt and dust in Scripture are referring to the salt and dust of DNA, I was shocked and puzzled at the same time. I couldn't understand why someone in the scientific community had not already discovered this fact. Only recently was I able to discover what I believe to be the reason.
The main problem, I believe, is in the two separate scientific disciplines and terminologies that are relative to the subject of man's physical creation. They are, biology, organic chemistry, and geology. In the Bible, there are many passages informing us that man was made from the dust of the earth, and to dust he will return after his death. It is clear from all of these passages that God is teaching us something about man's creation, but he is using the geological sciences (i.e, dust of the earth) because this is the terminolgy that people of the first few thousand years would have some degree of understanding about the meaning. Through this geological terminology, they would be given a symbolic meaning of a creation event that, as it would be discovered later, is actually a much deeper concrete reality, i.e., salt and dust are DNA. With this deeper understanding, a better understanding of how the Sacraments, the Mystical Body of Christ, and grace, affect both the body and the spiritual soul. This also leads to a deeper understanding of how Love is expressed into the visible world through the “language of the body,” as Pope St. John Paul II describes it.
Biologists use biological terms to describe chemical reactions, biological functions, etc. They don't think in geological terms, such as what constitutes a rock, stone, and dust. As time and science progressed, God knew that people of our time would be able to put two and two together to produce a biological four, in a manner of speaking. The four being the biological understanding of the concrete meaning of the geological vernacular.
I'm guessing that biologists do not routinely use geology textbooks as part of their biological studies. So, since God is employing geological terminology to reference salt, dust, and stone, let's see how the geological sciences define a stone. “The rocks you see around you - the mountains, canyons & riverbeds, are all made of minerals. A rock is made up of two or more minerals--[SML]. Think of a chocolate chip cookie as a rock. The cookie is made of flour, butter, sugar & chocolate. The cookie is like a rock and the flour, butter, sugar & chocolate are like minerals. You need minerals to make rocks, but you don't need rocks to make minerals. All rocks are made of minerals.” Incidentally, this is why gold and silver are never referred to as a rock or stone. Each only contains one elemental mineral. Instead, they use the term, nugget, bar, coin, etc.
For the benefit of non-biologists I will give some background. In 1953 James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins published a paper titled, “A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid [DNA].” The first sentence in the article reads, “We wish to suggest a structure for the salt [SML] of deoxyribose nucleic acid (D.N.A.).” DNA is a biological salt. The article, published in Nature magazine, includes commentary by Tom Zinnen. He tells us that, after losing positively charged hydrogen ions, the DNA phosphates (phosphate and sugar comprise the backbone of the DNA double helix) become negatively charged. Consequently, they bind to a cation (a positively charged ion) to achieve electrical neutrality - usually, but not limited to, Na+ (sodium) or K+ (potassium). That makes the DNA polymer a “salt" of [Na+] x [DNA-] (sodium phosphate) or [K+] x [DNA-] (potassium phosphate).
Why is this important? This bonding of more than one mineral (an ion of metal and an ion of acid) to the DNA backbone makes it the salt of DNA. By geological definition, it makes the salt of DNA a molecule of rock / stone / dust.
The Hebrew word for dust in Genesis is ‘aphar’, which translates as “dust (as powdered or gray); hence, clay, earth, mud [Strongs 6083].” Even Richard Dawkins has admitted that Genesis may have, indeed, accurately described how man was made. According to the article, “Clay is made up of tiny crystals which when fed with water are capable of growing, splitting off and giving rise to identical (or near-identical crystals)... Mr Cairns-Smith proposed biological molecules like DNA began to associate with these complex crystals and eventually a ‘genetic takeover’ took place.” DNA is salt. DNA is dust. DNA is crystalline.
Over and over again in Scripture, the embodied soul, i.e. man, is referred to as some sort of stone. Whenever we encounter salt, dust, clay/mud, and stone in Scripture, I believe it would be wise to include in our consideration of each passage’s meaning, the knowledge we have gained in this section.
Too see a list of all bogs with descriptions and links, go here: https://www.stossbooks.com/index.php.
. Lewin R (1987), “The unmasking of mitochondrial Eve”, Science, 238 (4823): 24–26, Bibcode:1987Sci...238...24L, doi:10.1126/science.3116666, PMID 3116666.
. Tierney J (1992). “The Search for Adam and Eve”. Newsweek. Carter G. Woodson Institute for Afro-American and African Studies. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
. Lemonick MD (26 January 1987). “Everyone’s Genealogical Mother”. Time. Time Inc. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
. Wikipedia contributors, “Mitochondrial Eve,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mitochondrial_Eve&oldid=810391764 (accessed November 15, 2017).
. All Bible passages quoted in this blog are from the RSVCE translation unless otherwise specified.
. Pope St. John Paul II, “Original Unity of Man and Woman,” (EWTN: Irondale, AL) https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/original-unity-of-man-and-woman-8543, Section 2.
Reproduced from: (L'Osservatore Romano: Vatican State), November 12,1979, page 19.
. Ibid., note #4.
. Pontifical Bible Commission, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, (Pauline Books & Media, 1993), pp 52-53.
. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 92, a. 2 http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1092.htm.
. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-I, q. 81, a. 1, http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2081.htm.
 The majority of this section is taken from chapter 1 and sub-chapter 1(a) of Stephen Michael Leininger’s book, The Science & Theology of Salt in Scripture, Vol. I.
. Dr. Michael Pidwirny. “Composition of Rocks”. Fundamentals of Physical Geography, 2nd Edition (2006), http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/10d.html, 05/07/2009 (accessed 10/10/2011).
. Yinon Bentor, “Periodic Table: Sodium”, in Chemical Element.com, http://www.chemicalelements.com/elements/na.html (accessed 10/11/2011).
. Watson, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, 165-166; 183; 193; and 113-114.
. Ibid., 68-69, 167-168.
. University of Georgia, “Light Shed on Ancient Origin of Life,” Science Daily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307110644.htm: Science Daily LLC, March 6, 2013 (accessed 03/08/2013);
Journal Source: F. Sarmiento, J. Mrazek, W. B. Whitman. “Genome-scale analysis of gene function in the hydrogenotrophic methanogenic archaeon Methanococcus maripaludis.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1220225110.
. MineralTown, “Soil, Sand and Dirt,” http://www.mineraltown.com/infocoleccionar/How_rocks_minerals_are_formed.htm#Crystals, (accessed 10/11/2011).
. Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard of Bingen’s Book of Divine Works: With Letters and Songs. Translated by Robert Cunningham, Jerry Dybdal, and Ron Miller. Edited by Matthew Fox. (Santa Fe, NM: Inner Traditions International/Bear & Company, ©1987) All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of publisher. Kindle Locations 2430 to 2431.
.”Clay,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay, (accessed 10/17/2012).
[23-A] Happy DIY Home, Happy DIY Home, https://happydiyhome.com/how-to-improve-clay-soil/, December 13, 2020 (accessed 2/23/2021).
. Ron Milo, Rob Phillips, “How Big Is A Human Cell,” Cell Biology By The Numbers, http://book.bionumbers.org/how-big-is-a-human-cell/, (accessed 08/23/2016).
. As revealed in detail in The Science & Theology of Salt in Scripture, Vol. II.
 Not resting on this evidence alone, the majority of Volume I of STOSS is devoted to showing that the literalistic interpretation of salt, dust, and stone in Scripture, is also the literal interpretation. An example of a literalistic interpretation is this: If the Bible talks about Jesus being the door, we would interpret that as Jesus being an actual wooden (or some other material) door. The literal interpretation is that which the author actually meant. Using this method, Jesus’ describing himself as the door is really him telling us that it is only through him that we can go to the Father. In some cases in Scripture, the literalistic interpretation can also be the literal interpretation. An example of this is when Jesus describes himself as real food and real drink (John 6:55).
. Ken Ham, “Millions of Years and the ‘Doctrine of Balaam,’” Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/the-word-of-god/millions-of-years-and-the-doctrine-of-balaam/: June 1, 1997 (accessed 05/07/2017).
. cf. Peter Abelard (circa 1100 AD), “The Story of My Misfortunes,” (Third Millennium Media L.L.C., The Faith Database L.L.C., 2008).
 see "halides", specifically halite http://www.mineraltown.com/infocoleccionar/How_rocks_minerals_are_formed.htm#Crystals.
 J. D. Watson, Crick, F. H. C., with commentary by Tom Zinnen, "A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid," Nature (Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum) 171, 737, (April 1953).
 cf. James D. Watson, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA (New York, NY: Touchstone, 2001), 80, 88, 160, 204.
 Dr. Michael Pidwirny. "Composition of Rocks". Fundamentals of Physical Geography, 2nd Edition (2006), http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/10d.html.
 Paul Baldwin, “REVEALED: How life on earth began - and the answer is even crazier than you thought,” Express, https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/752936/Humans-evolved-from-MUD-says-Richard-Dawkins-bible-was-right-evolution-bible, August 31, 2017.