Book Review: The Genealogical Adam and Eve by S. Joshua Swamidass

Yes. He won’t even say he believes his own idea.

Actually, he did, and then he didn’t, and then he did.

Keep any eye on if you want to read a real review.

I think you have misunderstood the Biologos effort. They are building a set of long-term resources for the church (and, yes, the world), and have only existed for a decade. It is far too early to say what the long-term result will be.

I think Joshua’s thesis is very useful, and I believe that it will be helpful. How helpful? Still too early to tell. I’m really glad he’s published his book, is going on a book tour, and runs a good forum.



" Biologos has largely failed in its effort to get bible-believing Christians to accept evolution as described by “mainstream science"

I agree that this is a mis-statement of BioLogos’ efforts. BioLogos seems to concentrate more on getting EC accepted in the Christian community as a faithful position to hold. I think some inroads have been made, though there is still work to do in that regard. It also works to provide a community framework to assist those navigating rough waters in their journey.


Personally, I struggle with this approach for personal and philosophical reasons. But before I slam my gavel down and take off my wig, please could someone help me understand Joshua’s motives? What is his hoping to a achieve by not outlining his own theological commitments?

Congratulations and best wishes to Dr Swamidass and to you, Mr Moore. May the book bear the fruit that God intends.


So do a lot of folks. Like population geneticist Graham Coop, for instance:

It's a neat parlour mathematical trick and a mathematical true that genealogical CAs exist. However, saying that this reconciles science w. the idea of Adam and Eve, sweeps a lot of stuff under a very patchy, ugly carpet. 5/n

— Graham Coop (@Graham_Coop) October 6, 2019

Swamidass identifies as TE/EC in this old post from 2016. “I, for one, am a theistic evolutionist (evolutionary creationist) that (sic) beleives (sic) in a historical adam and eve (sic). So does John Walton too. … So there you have. I just defended a YEC. =)”

He stopped identifying as EC because … well, who knows? I suppose because it was inconvenient for marketing a book on 6000-yr-old Adam to YEC.

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Absolutely, and all of that has worked and been very valuable for me. I appreciate BioLogos’s resources that are aimed at educators and homeschool teachers, which acknowledges some of the many ways that lay-level women like me help to shape this multifaceted conversation. It’s not all about scientists and theologians. Still, I do hope this book helps people and gets them asking questions they may not otherwise have asked.


I agree. Biologos has been uniquely helpful for me, too. I encourage those who can to join me in supporting it financially, as able, too.!/donation/checkout


A great observation. Thanks for the remiinder.

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My guess is that his goal is to break down barriers within the church, and that identifying with a specific theological position on this question would trigger tribal loyalties. But I don’t know – why don’t you ask him?


C S Lewis, “Mere Christianity”–one of my favorite works. :slight_smile:–is an example of that type. Great point!

Ah, so you imply that my review is not real? Great way to convince me, and a good example of what I am talking about when I say Biologos has largely failed to convince people. (I realize that Jay does not speak for Biologos,)

I may have. Perhaps I should have said “mostly failed so far”. But I also think a key to continuing on with any endeavor like this is a little self-reflection and adjustment on how it can be done better.

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You can post links to your stuff in any thread, just not in an OP.

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Josh offers an account of his motivations of his motivation here. Read and judge for yourselves


Thanks that is helpful.

How would I go about doing that? I’ve seen the book in passing (it was on pre-pub at Logos not that long ago) but in truth in this is the first I’ve heard of the author (as far as I can recall).

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He’s got a discussion forum, There’s even a pinned discussion thread about the excerpt from the book (but I’d suggest reading the excerpt before going forward).


Thank you for that clarification.

I figure a part of it is to stay “honest broker” of a dialogue, which is hard to do as someone on one of the teams. A big danger is that it will just become another “team” instead of true facilitator. BUT based on my own sorry nature I always assume that even the best motives of others are mixed. So instead of attempting to scrutinize their motives, I just try and evaluate their arguments. I figure if I want to scrutinize the motivational purity of anyone deeply enough I can always find an excuse to not hear what they are trying to say- but that would be me sealing myself off from ideas I don’t want to consider. IOW my own motive in doing that may be worse than whatever flaw in their motives I am using to shield myself from having to consider their ideas. Maybe that’s just me, but I doubt it.


Yeah… :roll_eyes: evolution and science are doing this fine all by themselves. The real role of Biologos is provide a way for this not to equate with a rejection of Christianity.


“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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