Wrestling with the theological implications of Dr. Swamidass's suggestion


#1

If I understand Dr. Swamidass’s suggestion, the scientific evidence is consistent with the possibility of a large pre-Adamite human population, but also a recent creation of Adam and Eve to which we could all trace our ancestry.
What would the theological problems be with such a scenario? One of them might be the spiritual status of the pre-Adamite population. We need not assume that this population was in some way less human than Adam and Eve. It could be that they were every bit as human, physically, mentally, and spiritually. If so, what would have been the point of a recent, special creation of Adam and Eve? One idea that comes to mind is that It could be that this was God’s initial step in the redemption of humanity. Perhaps the pre-Adamite population had already been tainted by Satanic influence. If so, then the creation of Adam and Eve was the beginning of God’s redemptive act. If Adam and Eve had resisted Satan’s temptation, would they have been able to redeem the rest of the human race in some way? We don’t know. Adam and Eve did not resist temptation. Yet, even so, we are told in Genesis 4:26,

“At that time people began to call on [or proclaim] the name of the Lord [Yahweh].”

So there would at least be the positive result of introducing knowledge of the true God. And from Adam and Eve would come Abraham and Sarah, with the miraculous birth of Isaac, and eventually the miraculous incarnation of Jesus, the Son of God, through whom all peoples (even pre-Adamites) are blessed.

So if Swamidass’s suggestion is correct, we can see how it would fit into a certain pattern consistent with Biblical revelation.


(Peaceful Science) #2

Hello @Bilbo,

Just to help you out, i would encourage you to read over the posts at the Hump, and post excerpts here with your questions. I’m sure people will jump in. In particular, @TedDavis I am sure can help with the historical context of racism and racist theology, and @Jon_Garvey has posted more about a genealogical Adam than anyone, including myself.

The good news is that there are versions of the traditional interpretation of Scripture that are entirely 100% consistent with the genetic evidence. If if you are told this is outside the BioLogos tent, have no fear. You, in this case, have solid science on your side. Moreover, there is exactly zero reason to be concerned about racist theology, as is often suggested. I cannot make that case right now, as I am focused on the scientific side. @Jon_Garvey can, however, explain that. I would start with these posts:

http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.uk/2017/09/08/the-creation-of-adam/ <— this one is on Keller
http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.uk/2017/10/06/the-racist-adam/ <-- this one is on racism

http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.uk/2017/08/25/hump-articles-on-genealogical-adam-hypothesis/

Have fun. This is a great moment figuring out your position.


#3

Hi @Swamidass,

I read the first two of Jon Garvey’s articles that you cite. I suppose there could be numerous theological explanations, assuming your hypothesis is correct. I think I’ve presented one of them.

If I had to guess as to why you are now a persona-non-grata at BioLogos, it would be that you have countenanced a non-natural explanation for the origin of (some) human beings, and that the objection of racism has nothing to do with it. Since I already think there is something to ID, your hypothesis isn’t a problem for me.

However, BioLogos does countenance non-natural explanations for God’s redemptive acts in history. My proposed explanation has the advantage of making a recent special creation of Adam and Eve simply another one of those redemptive acts. Perhaps if you adopted my explanation, BioLogos might let you back in their club.

If not, I guess you could start a club of your own.


#4

Hi @Swamidass,

I’m glad you liked my last comment. Should I take it as an indication that you agree with it? Do you think you were kicked out of the BioLogos club because you countenanced a non-natural explanation for an event that wasn’t considered a redemptive act of God?


(Peaceful Science) #5

Unfortunate I do not have time to engage you on the forum right now. I very much appreciate your support and encourage the theological direction you are taking. Regarding BioLogos give us some time and i’m sure this will pass. Let’s not speculate about unknown things so wildly.


#6

Hi Dr. Swamidass,

Theologically, I’ve been pretty open to EC for a long time. I’ve been open to there being a literal Adam and Eve. I’ve been open to there not being a literal Adam and Eve.

I’ve noticed that when BioLogos people talk about accepting belief in supernatural events, they seem to confine it to God’s redemptive acts, and to exclude everything else. So I tried to offer a theological explanation that would place your hypothesis within the “redemptive acts” category, in case that was the problem you were having. Whatever the problem, good luck working it out.


(Ronald Myers) #7

This is definitely an idea to explore. Entirely evolution or special single creation have been at loggerheads fro a long time. It is time to look at other options which is precisely what Dr Swamidass is doing.