Adam’s Complexion and Hair Color

Recent genetic discoveries coupled with Scriptures lead us to an intriguing possibility: Adam had red hair and a ruddy, or rosy, complexion. This notion is based on the following three pieces of evidence:


(1) The name Adam means “red.”

(2) Adam’s complexion was tuned for the early atmosphere.

(3) Neanderthal had a ruddy/rosy complexion.

(1) The name “Adam” means “red.” Look it up in any dictionary in any language and it means “red.” It comes from the Hebrew word “adam” which means “red” (Strong’s ref H119, H120). So, why would God call the first human “red?” I have known several people in my life who were called “red,” and they all had red hair and rosy complexions. We also know that the Bible proclaims that the life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11). Adam was formed out of the dust of the ground (also from the Hebrew H119 meaning redness), received the breath of life, and became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). The blood is arguably the center piece of creation: it gives us life and is the source of redemption (Hebrews 9:12). If Adam was, in fact, rosy, his complexion would display this center piece of the creation – the blood.

(2) Adam’s complexion was tuned for the early atmosphere. The early atmosphere was different from what we have now. The fossil evidence shows us that there were giant dragonflies, mammoth millipedes and huge cockroaches, just to name a few. These insects could not survive in our present atmosphere and would have required 30 to 50 percent more oxygen than we have presently.(Ref 1) This early atmosphere would affect the vitamin D production in humans. It is known that rosy complexioned people are very efficient at producing vitamin D from sunlight. It follows that the complexion of those who occupied the Earth before the flood were various shades of “rosy” in order to optimize vitamin D production. Then, the darker shades of skin pigment were activated after the flood to accommodate the new ecosystem. Had the darker skin pigments been activated before the flood, there could have been problems with inadequate production of vitamin D which typically result in rickets, bone deformities, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, asthma, cancer, and/or physiological problems. These ailments would not be consistent the Creators proclamation that the entire creation was “very good” (Genesis 1:31) in the beginning.

(Technical note: Increased oxygen, by itself, would not significantly reduce the amount of ultraviolet radiation on the surface of the Earth, but ozone which does filter ultraviolet radiation is a product of oxygen. The assumption being that a higher percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere would result in more protective ozone layer.)

In the beginning, God gave the command, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth.” We can be confident that He also gave man the genetics to provide the optimum skin and hair color to fulfill this charge. Then, after the flood, when Noah disembarked from the Ark, God again gave the decree to “fill the earth.” Again, with this decree, we can be assured that the Creator activated the proper DNA, optimizing skin pigment variation. If one looks at the present distribution of skin pigmentation on the globe, it is obvious the darker skin colors inhabit the equatorial regions and the lighter skin colors occupy the more northern and southern latitudes.

(3) Neanderthal had a ruddy/rosy complexion.

We at Genesis and Genetics have concluded that Neanderthal is, in fact, antediluvian man (i.e. pre-flood man) (Ref 2). If we are correct, Neanderthal is the key to understanding Adam and our roots. Two Neanderthals have been sequenced for the Mc1R gene (this gene is known to determine rate and type of pigment production thereby determining hair color and skin color). The two Neanderthals had the Val92Met (Ref 3) and Arg307Gly (Ref 4) variations of this gene, both of which are known to produce red hair and rosy complexions. It is important to point out that one Neanderthal fossil was found in Italy and the other found in Spain, leading us to suppose they were not closely related. It is not known whether these variations in Neanderthals are dominant or recessive; it is also not know if the Neanderthals had one or two copies of these variations. Therefore, we must wait to know how much variation in hair color and complexion the Neanderthals had. Today, approximately one percent of the world population has red hair. So, if Neanderthals had the same mix, the probability of testing one Neanderthal and finding it had red hair would be 1 in 100. The probability of finding two unrelated ruddy Neanderthals would be 1 in 10,000. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider that a greater percentage of Neanderthals had red hair and rosy complexions than modern humans and they inherited them from Adam.

Neanderthals have been of keen interest among anthropologists for many years. There are many Neanderthal fossils and DNA sequences which have inspired scientists to make replicas based on the best evidence. These replicas of Neanderthal generally have red hair and rosy complexions.


Adam’s hair color and skin complexion have been a great mystery, but we are getting closer to the answer. Based on the Biblical meaning of the name “Adam”, the knowledge of the early atmosphere characteristics, and the consideration that Neanderthal is Adam’s close offspring, we at Genesis and Genetics are persuaded that Adam had red hair and a rosy complexion.


(3) Qiliang Ding, Ya Hu, Shuhua Xu, Chuan-Chao Wang, Hui Li, Ruyue Zhang, Shi Yan, Jiucun Wang, Li Jin; Neanderthal Origin of the Haplotypes Carrying the Functional Variant Val92Met in theMC1R in Modern Humans. Mol Biol Evol 2014; 31 (8): 1994-2003. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msu180

(4) A Melanocortin 1 Receptor Allele Suggests Varying, Science 318, 1453 (2007);Carles Lalueza-Fox, et al., Pigmentation Among Neanderthals DOI: 10.1126/science.1147417


Suggested additional reading:

Where does Neanderthal fit in the Bible?

Neanderthal and his Biblical Identity? – Genesis and Genetics

Keywords: Adam complexion, Adam’s skin color, Adam hair color, Neanderthal hair color, Neanderthal complexion, antediluvian complexion, antediluvian hair color, Adam skin color


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7 thoughts on “Adam’s Complexion and Hair Color

  1. Thanks for you are doing at Genesis and genetics.
    How would explain the more than 34 skin colours. Will you say it environmental factors.
    How then will you explain the fact the two different people live in the same environment have different skin colours even after several years living in that environment.
    Thanks once again.

    1. Thank you for your questions and interest in the things of God. I believe that before the flood there was much variation in complexion and hair color; however, the variation was in tune with the atmosphere and diet. Diet can also provide vitamin D as is demonstrated by the Eskimos who live in total darkness for a good portion of the year. After the flood, the DNA expressed complexions that were again diverse, but in tune with the post-flood atmosphere and diet. I personally believe that there was a DNA reset after the flood to optimize the physiology for the new world. Then after Babel, the darker complexioned people migrated to the areas where they felt the most comfortable. We, at Genesis and Genetics, don’t believe in evolutionary adaptation; we believe that any mechanisms for adaptation are built in to our DNA. Also, let me say that all complexions and hair colors are beautifully and wonderfully made. So, in summary, we feel that complexion distribution in the world is not environmentally driven; it is driven by the personal desire of the individuals in the early stages of human migration from Mesopotamia (Babel etc.).

      Concerning your second question: any person can live anywhere in the world no matter their complexion; they retain their complexion due to genetics (DNA) and/or epigenetics (expression mechanisms). They may not like the climate, but they can have a happy and long life there.

      Hope this helps

  2. Hi. I’ve actually read the original DNA studies on Neanderthals. (4 in total) Bottom line, 1) We are not as close as you (or so many articles), suggest to Neanderthals based on these studies. In fact, researchers were shocked when the DNA did not map to Cro-Magnon. Contrary to all these articles out there, Cro-Magnon had virtually no Neanderthal DNA. The numbers are so insignificant the original studies concluded almost no relationship. So many scientist (and journals), balked, they did repeated studies with the same results. Despite this, articles began cropping up saying everything from 3% to 30%!!! Based on the actual studies, scientist have continually pushed out the bridge between modern humans and Neanderthals because of the lack of genetic overlay and yet these articles to humanize Neanderthal persist. Most recently, I read they now are saying the branch split 500,000 to 750,000 years ago. Prior the number was around 350,000 years. Why? because the hard genetic evidence shows no relationship. 2) Cro-M was a special creation about 75K to 125K years ago who did advanced art, religion and music. If you use 40 years for a generation, “Mother Eve” (a Cro-Magnon), lived in North Africa around 75,000 years ago and was related to every human on earth. 3) Scientist have blind faith that Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon’s are related so they make up all this nonsense about Neanderthals being modern. (The latest article I’ve read suggest Denisovan’s created a sophisticated bracelet that is clearly Cro-Magnon). It’s all nonsense. The best research shows the Neanderthals’ probably could only grunt and if it was verbal speech it would be almost be unintelligible or baby talk at best. (the size of the brain is not an indicator of intelligence…see pre-WWII Japanese brain sizes contrasted with today). I appreciate the articles and research but you are giving too much credit to these “publish or perish” archaeologists who continually fabricate and often blatantly lie about their conclusions. I believe Adam and Eve were multi-dimensional creations who were tasked with changing the 3-dimensional world where Eden was placed. (until the fall into the same 3-d world). How do I know this? Jesus’ resurrected multi-dimensional body (Luke 24) and Paul and Peter telling us we will have the same body (return to the garden). It seems to me as a bio guy, if your conclusions that Adam and Eve were perfect genetic creations, (which I agree with), there is not enough time from Adam forward to have that many hybrid variations to create a Neanderthal. (see above) If I’m wrong you can explain it to me on the way up but Neanderthal’s were not related to Adam. God bless. Great Website!

    1. Arasel,

      Another name for Hottentots is Khoikhoi, a beautiful people in sub-Sahara African. They have melanin, pigment that produces dark skin. However, we are creationist and do not believe that the Khoikhoi people are ancient; we believe that all mankind came from Adam 6000 years ago. We also believe that at the time of the flood, the Creator required the human genome to express the various pigments. Looking at world population studies, it is obvious that the darker pigments are close to the equator and the lighter pigments are in the northern and southern latitudes. Therefore our human migration model predicts that after Babel, the darker pigmented people migrated toward the equator and the lighter pigments to the northern and southern latitudes. Babel is at 32 degrees latitude, midway between the equator and livable north. As we said in our blog skin color is an important variable in the processing of vitamin D.

      Thank you for your very good question. Hopefully this will help.


    1. According to the Bible, men are from earth and women are also from earth. Adam formed from dust and Eve formed from Adam’s rib.

      Please Read: 
      Gen 2:7  then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 
      Gen 2:8  And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 
      Gen 2:9  And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 
      Gen 2:10  A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 
      Gen 2:11  The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 
      Gen 2:12  And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 
      Gen 2:13  The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 
      Gen 2:14  And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 
      Gen 2:15  The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 
      Gen 2:16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 
      Gen 2:17  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 
      Gen 2:18  Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 
      Gen 2:19  Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 
      Gen 2:20  The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 
      Gen 2:21  So 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. 
      Gen 2:22  And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 
      Gen 2:23  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 2:24  Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 


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