Behe, Lents, Swamidass, and the Genealogical Adam & Eve

Continuing the discussion from Swamidass' Review of Jay Johnson's Review of Genealogical Adam & Eve:

I received an unsolicited email from Dr. Robert “John” Mitchell last night. By way of reminder, here’s what Swamidass had to say about my review of GAE in his post at “Peaceful” Science:

S. Joshua Swamidass Confessing Scientist
Several things make this “review” misleading:

  1. @Jay313 himself, in the article, acknowledges that his point is exaggerated: “ the title of this article is an exaggeration. Genealogical Adam and Eve aren’t dead ;”. In the discussion he also misquotes and quote mines the book and my posts at BL (where I’m no longer allowed to post).

  2. (Actually #4 - JJ) @Jay313 quoted 5 scientists, but none of these scientists appear to have read the book. Instead, they seem to be commenting on @Jay313 description, which we have reason to suspect. I’ve reached out to these scientists for whom I can find contact information. … It does not seem like much more of a response is needed to this article at this time.

Jay again. As a journalistic courtesy, I always send a copy of every article to any sources I have quoted. In three decades as a working journalist, I have never once had a source accuse me of misquoting them or taking their words out of context. The first sentences of Dr. Mitchell’s reply say it all:

Hi Jay,
Thank you for sending me your review. I think it was very fair and even handed, if one can be in such perilous terrain (for academics I mean). The great difficulty I have is that one’s faith was never to be subject to rational or scientific explanation. It seems that in those societies that are becoming increasingly secular leads to a push by some of those of faith to try and rebut evolutionary claims of scientists with ridiculous notions

What does this have to do with Behe and Lents? I was reminded of an exchange on PS when everyone was high-fiving their negative review of Behe’s book, Darwin Devolves, and Lents made this comment:

If Behe had done what I did (contact the authors of the papers he discusses), he might have avoided all the errors he made.

Hmmm. Swamidass’ entire thesis rests on one paper by Douglas Rohde. I took the liberty of emailing him Feb. 13, 2019:

Dear Dr. Rohde,
I was wondering if you had heard of Dr. Joshua Swamidass or his “Genealogical Adam” theory? He makes use of your 2004 Nature paper on the recent common ancestry of all living humans to postulate that a literal Adam and Eve living around 6000 years ago could be the “genealogical parents” of everyone alive. I think there are serious problems with his use of your model, so I decided to go straight to the source. The article in question is The Overlooked Science of Genealogical Ancestry in the ASA’s journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. Sorry to bother. Thanks in advance for your time.

Dr. Rohde replied:

Hi. Thanks for the reaching out. I had not seen that paper, or heard of the author. I’ll take a look at it when I have a chance.

Pot, meet kettle. After a few emails, I warned Dr. Rohde that he could be stepping into a hornet’s nest, since Swamidass and “Peaceful” Science specialize in controversy, and he stopped replying. Dr. Rohde works for Google now. Make of that what you will.

Someone please tell Swamidass that his argument is with the facts, not me. All of my sources and facts are legitimate, well-documented, and not going away.

Facts are stubborn things ; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. – John Adams

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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