“If you agree with me that population genetics calculations are incompatible with the Roman Catholic position on Adam and Eve…” – Eddie
Well, I don’t agree with you and neither do many (likely most) Catholic thinkers, e.g. Feser, Kemp, Flynn and Bonnette. Bonnette wrote: “A literal Adam and Eve remains rationally, scientifically credible.” See “Must Human Evolution Contradict Genesis? in which population genetics is discussed.
My position on the question of historical Adam and Eve is plain and simple: I accept the Church’s teachings, which means that I accept historical Adam and Eve. To do this I have had to reconcile modern evolutionary theories in cosmology, biology and palaeontology with classical views of the origins of mankind and original sin. I do not think that Christians (or Muslims or Jews or Baha’is) should jettison historical A&E simply because pop geneticists (or anyone else) say they must.
The catechism of the Catholic Church is quite clear about this (Eddie even admits: “the Catholic position is very exact”). Likewise so is Orthodox catechism. However, the SBC’s statement about historical A&E quoted above, is just as clear and exact. I agree with all of them.
As far as I understand, Jews, Muslims and Baha’is hold the same official position regarding historical A&E. We are all “children of Adam” or of the “Tribe of Adam” or as C.S. Lewis wrote “sons and daughters of Adam”. It’s not as if ‘theologically liberal verging on heretical’ evangelical Christians will erase this tradition with the ‘magic of genomics’ that they learned from others. If one were to include Hindu or Buddhist or Indigenous origins stories that speak against (or rather, just not for) historical A&E, then that would be a different conversation. But this conversation is one in which some evangelical Christians seem to think there is no orthodoxy in their churches’ teachings about historical A&E and that therefore they are ‘free/welcome’ to embrace heterodoxy.
If Eddie wants to try to ‘understand’ my position, then he should read Ken Kemp’s article, “Science, Theology and Monogenism”. It is the closest ‘text’ to my view and Kemp says it better than I do, taking into account modern genetics. Kemp takes an actual ‘orthodox’ position, which Eddie himself appears to lack, perhaps from lack of awareness or what seems to him like a false contradiction. So does Mike Flynn.
I agree with GJDS, who also questions whether Eddie’s position is “theologically flawed”, in saying “The term historical Adam has a far wider implication than a biological theory of origins”. At the end of the day, the point is that that one’s position and belief is not simply an ‘academic exercise’, but rather a personal commitment. If Eddie has academically ‘misunderstood’ the Catholic Church’s teachings, that is one thing; but to actively deny historical A&E in his heart (and all the implications that follow from that) is quite another.
“As far as I can tell, this conclusions contradicts the teaching of the Church of Rome. If someone can show me that I have misinterpreted the teaching of the Church of Rome, I will gladly retract my statements.” – Eddie
Kemp, Flynn and Bonnette, all Roman Catholics, can show you your misinterpretation better than I can. I posted Kemp’s article 3 years ago on BioLogos, likewise on a thread where BioLogos folks were making anti-historical A&E claims as if genetics overturned/trumped Church teaching. Yet they surprisingly hadn’t come into contact with thinkers who accept traditional teaching re: theological monogenism in dialogue with contemporary genetics. I wondered why they hadn’t found such writings yet and still wonder.
“I’m asking Gregory to choose between the teaching of Rome and ‘consensus science’ as represented by BioLogos.” - Eddie
That is not an appreciated thing to ask; nor is being imputed as ‘indignant’ or ‘agonising.’
To be clear and specific: I accept theological monogenism and believe this can be reconciled with either scientific monogenism or scientific polygenism. But I reject theological polygenism as inconsistent with Church teachings. If people are not familiar with those terms, then imo they should familiarise themselves with them. Several links have been provided for this purpose. If people want to promote theological polygenism at BioLogos, then at least that will be more ‘frank’ than being uncommitted/fence sitting.
“You are using a technical term, ‘monogenism.’ I believe that Dennis already pointed out the historical ambiguity of the term, and I will not answer yes or no to a question based on a technical term whose meaning is ambiguous.” – Eddie
Dennis Venema first used the term ‘monogenism’ himself in the OP opposing W.L. Craig’s ‘genetic monogenism’ (apparently a combo term Dennis made up). I agree that ‘monogenism’ is the right technical term to use. Venema then questioned the meaning of ‘polygenesis’ when I asked if that that is what he believes and later gave a genetic/palaeontological definition of polygenesis that is distinct from theological polygenesis.
Let’s leave it up to Dennis to clear up the mess in the “Adam, Eve and Human Population Genetics” thread. It seems possible that Venema could even be a theological polygenist and a co-Adamist, but he should be free to speak for himself on the topic without someone putting words in his mouth.
Do I think a thread specifically on ‘monogenesis vs. polygenesis’ at BioLogos would be a good idea? Definitely, yes.