Continuing the discussion from Becoming Adam: GAE book review:
For the sake of gathering things into one place:
My review can be found here: Becoming Adam: Podcast + Blog
Joshua’s blog post is here: https://peacefulscience.org/isolation-tasmania/
Joshua’s PS forum “reply” is here: https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/jay-johnsons-review-of-the-gae-the-question-of-tasmania-and-realism-in-science-and-scripture/8674/9
I’ll start from the bottom with the forum. Joshua says:
In the discussion he also misquotes and quote mines the book and my posts at BL (where I’m no longer allowed to post).
He provides no evidence, just an accusation. [content removed by moderator] If there are any “misquotes” or factual errors, I would be glad to correct them. [content removed by moderator] I requested a review copy, and the IVP PR dept. emailed a PDF of the first proofs. Out of courtesy to the overworked editors, I didn’t mention the numerous errors, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if some wording or page numbers changed prior to printing.
As to quote mining, that’s a spurious claim not worthy of response. [content removed by moderator] “Quote mining” is finding a quote that seems to make the author say the opposite of what the author meant. Providing a short quote that is representative of the author’s thinking is not quote mining. Brevity doesn’t make the quote untrue.
Jay313 makes no mention of the actual conclusions of the chapter (p. 78). I state that the isolation of Tasmania may be real, so the total universal ancestry of AE at 6,000 years ago is legitimately disputed. He seems to be very contentiously agreeing with my point.
Let’s look at the actual passage: “Moving Adam and Eve slightly back in time overcomes most scientific objections. Theology does not make claims with scientific precision anyway, so nearly universal ancestry by AD 1 may be sufficient for the doctrine of monogenesis.”
I said in my review that I would return next week to address GAE and original sin. If you want a preview, the “conclusion” of the chapter is an excellent example of the “death-by-a-thousand-qualifications” that I mentioned. Swamidass spends a whole chapter on “The Myth of Isolation,” and then concludes that it really doesn’t matter anyway. Boy, that’s going out on a limb.
While I’m at it, I should also mention that “monogenesis” crops up at least a dozen times early in the book, but Swamidass doesn’t bother to define it for the reader or explain why it’s important until Chap. 8. This is just basic stuff.
Jay313 makes no mention of nearly universal ancestry,
Oh, I’ll be mentioning it quite a bit in the next installment. The Tasmanians were “nearly” sinners, I suppose?
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. I’m happy to correct any errors that scientists find as they read the book for themselves. Please report errors here: The Genealogical Adam and Eve, Erratum
This isn’t moving the goalpost; it’s lifting the goalpost by crane and depositing it outside the stadium.
None of the scientists appear to have read the book? He must be joking. Imagine how that would play out. “Dr. O’Connell, would you be willing to answer a few questions about a new theory called Genealogical Adam and Eve? … Great! Thanks! I’ll send you the book, and after you’ve finished reading the entire thing … Hello? Hello? You still there, Dr. O’Connell?”
Of course they’re responding to my summary description, which I borrowed directly from Joshua Swamidass and Nathan Lents. What possibly could give him “reason to suspect” that I lied to them about GAE? Again, Swamidass throws out spurious accusations with no evidence.
It does not seem like much more of a response is needed to this article at this time.
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Turning to the blog post, “How does the isolation of Tasmania …,” the first paragraphs say:
Consider everyone who lives across the globe from AD 1 onward. It is possible, or even likely, that everyone in this group is a genealogical descendent of a couple in the Middle East that lived just 6,000 years ago? Our best estimates of universal ancestry tell us the answer is yes.
Is the second sentence meant to be a question or a statement? In any case, he should go ahead and stop claiming that 6,000 years ago is likely, and the “best estimate” that he links is his own paper. Science says 6,000 years ago is extremely unlikely because of Tasmanian isolation. If the magic 6,000-yr figure isn’t driving the bus, why fight so hard to retain it?
Science progresses as we diligently work to falsify our hypotheses.
This is almost laughable. Someone (me!) provides a challenge to the hypothesis, and Swamidass, who constantly reminds in the book that he is a scientist, [content removed] and resorts to all sorts of spurious claims against me rather than addressing the evidence.
In the case of Tasmania, I find that the assumption may not be valid from 6,000 years ago to AD 1, but we cannot say for sure.
At the moment, we can say with near certainty that the assumption IS NOT valid.
For this reason, there is legitimate dispute about the genealogical isolation of Tasmania.
No scientist who has studied Tasmania disputes the isolation of Tasmania. The only one who disputes it appears to be Swamidass.
Moving Adam and Eve slightly more ancient takes the Tasmanian objection off the table entirely.
Exactly. It’s not hard. But I have a prediction: Despite saying this, Swamidass will continue to claim 6,000 years because it’s all about the magic number.
The figure visualizes how I summarize my findings. My precise scientific argument is nuanced and complex.
I would characterize it as a lack of parsimony, but your mileage may vary. Over and out.