I agree. This is the kind of parsing to which I referred in my previous post. One minute a term means X, the next minute it means Y, then still later it’s swapped out for Z. It feels horribly like a bait and switch is happening each time.
It is possible one could recognize a sharp species boundary at a point when the number of chromosomes changed, making interbreeding difficult although probably not impossible. That did happen once between the chimp split and us but I doubt it was at a human-defining moment we’d think much of. Other than that I couldn’t say.
So the number of chromosomes changed in only two individuals? How is that possible? And they happened to find each other and mate?
It would change in one first (identical twins tangent … no, not going there) but then they’d have a kid? And either inbreeding, or the chromosome number isn’t as much of a fertility issue early on as it becomes later.
His clarification was about three words. What you appear to be going off of is your further clarification/restatement which he agreed to, which is fine for some purposes, but not for saying he should put a retraction in the next edition of his book.
I really wish you would stop saying “adams”. The Hebrew in Gen. 1:26 is adam, which is a collective noun meaning “mankind”. It is not a Hebrew plural, formed by adding -im, so what you’re doing is, in effect, talking about “mankinds” every time you say “adams”.
In any case, if you’re trying to define a theological category of “adams” in contrast to the biological category of “mankind,” I reject the distinction. We can have a theological definition of mankind and a biological definition of mankind, and they may be entirely different. But that is a far different thing than saying God created a “theological mankind” separately and at a later date than his creation of “biological mankind.”
All of humanity developed through one evolutionary process of creation. That is parsimony.
Biological Definition of "Mankind"
I agree. Some of this word play is just becoming silly and I am quickly losing interest in this thread. I’m interested in if Homo sapiens, a species that is 350kya give or take ever dipped down to two. And the way I read Dennis’ book was that the view that we are the descendants of two individuals that were created de novo is false and this as certain as heliocentrism. I couldnt care less if Erectus dipped down to two. And as someone who dedicates much of his time to Erectus, the view that Adam couldve been Erectus just doesn’t match the data. I just want to know did our species ever dip down to two and is if even possible without that pair being descended from a larger pre Sapiens ancestral population?
Lynn has the correct sense of things. I too am not really interested in grammatical hair-splitting! Nor do I see a need to revise the book. “Descending from just two people” is talking about populations and genetics, not genealogy. Yes I was aware of the genealogy issue - that is why “only” is in there. In other places, I’m careful to say we don’t descend “uniquely” from just two people, etc.
Oh, and chromosome number change by fusion isn’t a speciation mechanism (in vertebrates, anyway). It happens in one individual, who then mates with others with the usual set. In the human lineage, this occurred before Neanderthals and Denisovans branch off.
48 --> 47 --> over time, more individuals with 47
47 mates with 47 —> some have 46
Over time, 48, 47 become less common, and our lineage fixes on 46.
Thanks for the clarification! Does it not cause fertility issues at all, or just not issues sufficient to prevent offspring?
Perhaps we misunderstand each other - I read your statement to mean there should be two classifications of humanity (eg non-theological and theological). The subsequent comments show some type of biological change and this excites others into speculation regarding Adam and Eve.
I think I will leave this conversationit at this point.
I don’t personally think that, but yes, that is how some people talk about it. There is the species Homo sapiens (biological human) and then people speculate that within the species (or an earlier one) there arose a group or a couple that were the first “theological humans;” the first to have a relationship with God, or moral accountability, or an eternal soul, or the image of God, or whatever it is that one uses to define “human” theologically.
The fertility issues are mild.
This sort of thing still happens - there’s an example of a man in China with 44 chromosomes - his parents both have 45, and the fused pair they have they inherited from a common ancestor.
For what it’s worth, I think that a number of folks here (or perhaps just @swamidass and I) don’t even necessarily feel this distinction is the best way forward for ourselves, but have been exploring it for the sake of those who cannot bear to accept evolution if it means jettisoning a singular historical Adam.
This sort of “saving the phenomena” approach seems to be tiring folks on this thread, though, and it’s not properly speaking the topic of the thread…
Yay! Have folks actually agreed on something? Isn’t it the same thing we started with?! Can I go back under my rock now .
It seems to me there are as many versions as people to promote them.
I think we begin with one human species, and within these one couple that were created by God for a special relationship wit Him, that communed with God in a sacred place. We may draw an analogy from today - all of us are human, but some of us are Christians. With Adam and Eve, we draw on the Bible for understanding and read this into the entire doctrine of salvation in Christ.
We could also say that God is miraculously transforming the vision of astronauts so that a truly flat earth appears round. We could also say that the sun only appears to be the gravitational center of our neighborhood in space due to miraculous, divine interventions in our observations, but in fact the sun and planets revolve around the earth in conformance with Calvin’s exegesis of many Bible passages.
You offered your observation as an olive branch to those who disagree with you, Joshua. Your motives are admirable. However, sometimes the doctor has to tell her desperate patient that he has stage 4 cancer, and sometimes the scientific community has to tell a religious community that some tenet of their traditional natural history does not comport with reality.
The genealogical Adam idea is a worthy idea, though. Worth further investigation, for sure.
Grace and peace,
The Big Tent ... and Genealogical Adam!
To join in this humorous vane, we may also marvel at the mysterious “natural” force(s) that miraculously made all manner of “pre-humans”, and once it saw the required genetic diversity was achieve, it culled this helpless population (of an unknown but large number) into just the right bottleneck, (of an inferred but smaller number) at just the right time, to give us our indisputable modelling of the current human genome - but wait, this clearly is as certain as the round (as opposed to a flat) earth, and wait, there is more astronomy to leave us with complete certitude.
Just having some fun.
Grace and Peace,
@Swamidass has done a lot of nice work on this idea, and it’s a valuable contribution to the conversation. He is also motivated to bring unity to the church wherever possible, and for that he has my respect. It’s not for everyone, but it’s quite important for some of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Big Tent ... and Genealogical Adam!
This seems to be mixing issues. Partly my fault. So sorry about that.
Adam and Genome’s final theological point is against a genealogical Adam. Its sounds like you will continue to leave no mention of the fact that genealogical universal ancestors are common and recent. That leaves key information out. I’m not sure that is upfront given what we all know now.
Also genealogical science is part of population genetics. Moreover the the theological section focuses on genealogical ancestry, not genetic ancestry. Intentionally excluding established and relevant science is not going to serve readers. It’s certainly not upfront.
Thanks for the kind words. I hope you at least make mention of it. Yes, Scott McKnight (and you) do not think its important or taught in Scripture. I respect that, and being convinced this way I see why its not important to you. However, its only plausible to take that position for theological reasons, not scientific.
I was surprised when he disagreed with it on scientific grounds too. He is seems to think it is pseudoscience. No surprise, on the other hand, because there is no mention of it in Adam in the Genome. How could he know unless scientists are upfront with him?
However, it is a side issue to this thread. Sorry about raising it here.
Much more importantly, however, is how you plan to rework the sections involving the claims that @RichardBuggs have raised. Clarifying how you plan to revise those sections would be interesting. It seems worth revising both to fix some of the errors, and also for clarity. Any thoughts on that yet?
The Big Tent ... and Genealogical Adam!