Christianity Today just posted their interview with Joshua Swamidass about his new book, the Genealogical Adam and Eve:
Here are some quotes from Dr. Swamidass:
"There are three main audiences to whom I’m speaking.
One audience is my secular colleagues in science. Most of them aren’t Christians, but they want to effectively engage the public, including the religious public.
The second is nontraditionalists, such as evolutionary creationists at organizations like BioLogos who have been pressing the scientific case against Adam and Eve for a long time. I’m really trying to encourage them to take a more welcoming approach to traditional theology.
The last group is traditionalists: people who feel committed to a traditional interpretation of Scripture. I’m inviting them to engage with evolutionary science. I realize that many of them think that evolution is a myth. That’s okay. We can still recognize together that evolutionary science isn’t actually in conflict with their beliefs."
"There’s been a lot of conflict about how science expresses its understanding of Adam and Eve. It has to do with misunderstanding the word ancestor . We can understand it in the genetic sense, meaning someone we get our DNA from. Or we can mean it in a genealogical sense, meaning someone whose lineage we descend from.
Why is that important? Scripture doesn’t tell us about genetic ancestry. It does , however, tell us about genealogical ancestry. … Well, Scripture can’t possibly be talking about genetic ancestry. It has to be talking about genealogical ancestry.
That recognition really opens up an immense amount of space for theology. As Christians, we’ve had a lot of anxiety over what science is telling us about Adam and Eve. But these conflicts are based on what science says about our genetic ancestors. If we focus on genealogical ancestors instead, there might be far less conflict than we first imagined."
" My book doesn’t exist to challenge the evolutionary science. The two starting points are: Humans share common ancestry with the great apes. It really looks like God created us through a providentially governed process of common descent. The second idea is: It seems like there’s no moment when our ancestors drop down to a single couple in the last few hundred thousand years.
People have taken those starting points and concluded, first, that the human population never gets down to a single couple; and second, that Adam and Eve, if they existed, must have shown common ancestry with the great apes…
… the story of Genesis could be true as literally as you could imagine it, with Adam being created by dust and God breathing into his nostrils and Eve being created from his rib. But evolution is happening outside the Garden, and there are people out there who God created in a different way and who end up intermingling with Adam and Eve’s descendants. It’s not actually in conflict with evolutionary science."
Have any of you read his book?
Do you find this GAE hypothesis helpful for science/faith dialogue?
I have a lot of church friends who cannot accept the idea of human evolution, so I am interested to see how conversations might develop around this GAE hypothesis, and if it will help people be able to embrace both a traditional view of the scriptures, while accepting evolutionary science. I am particularly intrigued, because the book has been endorsed by a wide variety of people: atheist scientists, theologians and old earth creationists (Reasons to Believe), as well as BioLogos’ Darrel Falk