The Big Tent ... and Genealogical Adam!

(Phil) #122

Funny how different posts can interact. I was thinking about how you really cannot argue the evidence so long as the reading supersedes everything else. It is futile. On another post, Elle and several others commented on how we believe the bible says what we have heard others say about it, but often do not study it ourselves. Even when we do, we see it through the lens of what we have been taught. While I still get sucked into those conversations debating the science, it frustrates me, and I think I will try to avoid those and instead focus more on the interpretation. Even that gets frustrating when YEC folks insist that their "plain"reading is not interpretation but is straight from the mouth of God. Regarding GenAdam, I think it is in the same boat: it will not be accepted until one is open to reading the text differently.

(Christy Hemphill) #123

LOL. You said it, not me. :slight_smile:

(George Brooks) #124


I agree with your view.

Now ask: if you have a YEC falling through all these decision points
( like the bouncing marbles shown below ), is it a shorter walk to keep the miracle
AND Evolution?: "Yeah, I get to keep my miraculous Adam & Eve!!!"

Or is it a shorter distance to eliminate the miracle entirely and to marvel at “such a clever” allegory?
"It’s too hard to keep both thoughts in my head … I better just dump Adam!" [ < Oh really?]

I know what my answer would be!

(Phil) #125

I am glad I do not have one of those on my desk, I would never find the time to waste on Biologos.

(Christy Hemphill) #126

But the question should always be “what is true” not “what helps convince people”

The way you describe it, GA seems mostly concerned with salesmanship, not truth. I don’t really care if GA helps sell evolution. Yelling over and over “you can’t prove scientifically it’s not true!” really just isn’t compelling to me.

(George Brooks) #127


I think you are letting your emotions get you carried away.

We have tried to teach TRUTH…and they oppose it completely. @swamidass can certainly vouch for that truth!

Genealogical Adam says the following things are True:

  1. It is true that “absence of evidence of an Elephant” is much more convincing than “absence of evidence of a flea”.

  2. It is true that if God impregnated a mortal woman with an infant God, and arranged for the adult to survive His execution, then it is equally believable that God could have performed 2 more miracles (creating Adam & Eve).

  3. It is true that God can engage the Universe with miracles or with natural lawful processes, just like God in the Bible could make rain appear through miracles or through the use of evaporation and condensation.

  4. It is true that it is sensible to accept the preponderance of natural evidence for the extreme age of the Earth, and for the creation of humans by means of Evolution from the primate branch of the animal kingdom.

These are four truths. They are not four proofs. Do you see a lie anywhere here?

Is it also true, @christy, that you would tell a Creationist to reject any version of the Genealogical Adam scenario - - because there is no Proof?

(Matthew Pevarnik) #128

I am still distracted by that little marble sand thing. Definitely got to find one and put it on my growing list of ‘impractical things I like that cause my wife to roll her eyes.’

(George Brooks) #129


Go ahead… make her dreams come true !!!

At the very least … it’s a great demo for showing RANDOMNESS!

(Christy Hemphill) #130

What? Are you just saying that because I’m a woman?

(GJDS) #131

Hi Phil,

I do not understand this (a re-occurring theme from me :grinning:). The bible provides genealogies spanning from Adam to Christ. The paper that has sparked the debate shows that it is possible to account for the current population by computing genealogies going back about 10,000 years. This surely fits well with a clear reading of the bible.

The debate(s) branch of, and ‘mutate’ (as is so often the case), until it gets bogged down on evolutionary/cultural debates that imo have little relevance to biblical teachings.


This is a grotesque distortion of the Christmas story.

(George Brooks) #133


No, I don’t think so. It struck me as an odd way to justify avoiding the Geneal.Adam scenario.

Here we are, faced with YECs who reject science almost wholesale, and this is a way to get some Creationists to accept Evolution (you know, what really happened) - - and yet I’m supposed to step back from the Scenario because it isn’t able to prove some thing that nobody will ever know what really happened.

(George Brooks) #134


How the Christmas story is described is not really the point.

The point is that Christians already accept at least two major miraculous events… and yet for some reason, folks here at BioLogos get all bent out of shape when someone suggests that another 2 miracles (de novo Adam/Eve) is not really going to be a problem for Creationists who would otherwise reject all the physics and biology that makes Evolution credible.

(George Brooks) #135


In this case, the stumbling block is the brand new notion of suggesting to Creationists that it is alright for them to continue believing Adam and Eve were specially created.

(Christy Hemphill) #136

Says you. I still haven’t met a real live Creationist who had a “come to Darwin” moment because someone offered him the great savior of science, Genealogical Adam. (What the heck is Geneal.Adam? Did you guys decide that was cool or something? Shouldn’t it have a little TM after it or something?)

It’s not “getting bent out of shape” to say you don’t like the Genealogical Adam model all that much. It’s just saying you don’t like the model all that much.

This isn’t a brand new notion, George. I (and others) have said all along that I don’t care if Creationists stay Creationists. They can believe in a specially created Adam and Eve all they want to. I think they should accept EC as another faithful option for Christians. If they need me to say I believe Adam and Eve were recently specially created in order for my EC beliefs to be deemed not heretical, than that’s too bad.

(George Brooks) #137


Well, let’s look at your last paragraph first. I happen to agree with you on that point.

I don’t really see Geneal.Adam as having much to do with them getting you to believe anything special. Evangelicals will always have some hoop or another to jump:

“Pre-Millenial?! Are you crazy? Post-Millenial is the only way to go… yadda yadda…”


“TULIP is just dead!” “Really? Not in my valley!”

And naturally, we aren’t trying to apply too many limits on how to apply Geneal.Adam to YEC theology; the logic of Geneal.Adam is pretty streamlined:

"Point 1: No Christian can deny God’s ability to specially create just 2 humans."
"Point 2: Nor should a Christian deny God’s capacity to use the natural processes scientists have successfully documented all around us."

I see Geneal.Adam to be more about getting pro-Evolutionists to tolerate minimal creationism as a default position, while pro-Creationists come to accept Evolution as part of God’s second Book.

You say this isn’t a new idea … and when you recall that there’s nothing new under the Sun, I suppose I can agree with that. But it is new enough that it riles the Evolutionists to even consider allowing God to do a miracle that sounds like Genesis 1 . . . but the time has come to let go of some of those biases.

(GJDS) #138

The description of Adam and Eve, the garden of Eden, and what God has revealed to us on these matters have nothing to do with evolution or anti-evolution. The error from both groups has been to highjack the conversation, motivated by some type of culture war mentality.

No scientist can,(or would care to) argue concerning a description where ‘red dirt’ becomes a man - it is obvious the writer has something else in mind, something non-scientific. Thus arguments from both camps would be irrelevant.

However, for those of us who consider the bible to be given to us for instruction in the faith in Christ, the genealogical Adam point of view is consistent with the approach shown in the bible, which shows us that it began with Adam and culminated in Christ.

(Christy Hemphill) #139

You are misinterpreting what “riles” people. It has nothing to do with allowing miracles.

(George Brooks) #140

I was in a pretty long and difficult discussion with an atheist micro-biologist. He was “aghast” at the idea that I would say “it is fine for a Creationist to continue to assert Adam was made from dust and Eve from a rib, as long as they no longer rejected the overwhelming amount of evidence in support of Evolution.”

I had to talk him down from a figurative roof, so that he wouldn’t suffer any allegorical “splats”!

@Christy, If you were going to name “the one thing” that riles you about Genealogical Adam, what would it be?

(Randy) #141

I think we all agree that GA has a seat at the table. Bringing your cool toy will attract a big crowd!

@gbrooks9 Mr Brooks, Brother Chris @aarceng helped me contact Dr Robert Carter from CMI (who reviewed @DennisVenema “s Adam and the Genome”) . I already passed this by Dr Swamidass in October, and he was going to address it further after talking about other projects. I think he said it would help his discussion

Here is his response. He said “I appreciate Joshua’s efforts”

"I am aware of Joshua Swamidass’ writings on this subject. …He solved one issue, but left many other unanswered. For example, the origin and definition of sin 1, the origin and meaning of death, and the reason Jesus had to die 1 to pay for sins. All of these are addressed using straightforward biblical reasoning. His evolutionary approach leaves them all unsolved.

"If A&E were members of a larger society, they may have become the genealogical ancestors of the entire human race. That is simple math. But they would also not have contributed any DNA to the modern human race unless they were extremely lucky. So they are not the genetic ancestors. I believe this is something foreign to the entire concept of people being ‘of Adam’, etc.

"Swamidass does a good job summarizing and explaining one of my favorite topics: genealogical vs. genetic ancestry, but this has been known since late 1990s. His only unique contribution is to suggest that, just maybe, God created Adam and Eve from scratch, but that they just happened to genetically and morphologically match the other humans who lived at the time. My question is simple: why? Why not just say we evolved from apes and get on with it?

"Regarding the ‘sons of God’ section, see this section 1 of the book Alien Intrusion for the best analysis of the topic I have read to date. Also important would be my article How Old was Cain when he Killed Abel?


“Robert Carter”

Again, I think this is a place to discuss ideas as brothers and sisters in Christ. We support everyone’s right to an opinion. I think it was helpful to hear his side. I am sure Dr Swamidass will have an excellent review on Peaceful Science. It is also helpful to hear a theologically and scientifically different position.

George explores the meaning of concordism and the marketing of GA to creationists