Thank you for setting up this Side Comments thread, Joshua.
I have perused your paper but not fully digested it. I appreciate the work you have done. I see the value of rigorous science. I also see value in pointing out that Adam and Eve could have lived as recently as 6,000-10,000 years ago.
But does such a late date fit other scientific evidence and Biblical or theological requirements?
For example, it is important that Noah and his family be the only humans who survived the flood. Theologically, this flood might be regional as long as Noah and his family were the only survivors.
I’m not an expert in geology, but I just did a quick check and see that about 7,500 years ago there was a massive Black Sea flood. Is there any reason that the human population could not have been reduced to just eight persons around that time?
Welcome to the conversation @Ronald_Cram. It is great to have you here, and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts as you process more. In particular, it was great seeing your work at Factbridge (http://www.factbridge.org/), including your respectful treatment of Francis Collins.
It seems like you are a theistic evolutionist with some ID leanings. Am I reading you correctly? Or are you more old earth creationist?
Any how, getting to your question, this is something we have not discussed enough on the forums yet. I think that @anon46279830 has spent a lot of time on. I’d be curious his thoughts, also maybe @jongarvey has some comments.
My initial response is to suggest that the flood killed off all the (1) known (2) male lineage of Adam (3) in the region. This satisfies the text of Genesis, and is consistent with the doctrine of inerrancy. It is a plain reading, meaning an explanation of what happened as would be understood by plain senses.
And it keeps the tens of millions of people living across the globe living their lives like the flood never happened. It also allows the genomes of 3700 ancient people going back to 10,000 years ago to match up with the genetic diversity of the millions of genomes sequenced to date that shows a continuous lines from 40,000 years ago to today. 33,000 generations of millions of people. Continuous. Worldwide. Millions of People. 33,000 generations.
Yup, and Scripture doesn’t speak about them, so no contradiction. Scripture is silent on many things, like nuclear power, germ theory, CRISPR, DNA, the age of the earth, quantum mechanics, and the big bang. I’m fine with that. It focuses on more important things, like the origin of injustice in this world.
Yes, You have your priorities right. You can be a great scientist, humanist, and good Christian all at the same time. Thanks for the discussion on Neutral Theory of Evolution. The papers cited and the explanation on this blog was really impressive scientifically. Now I can honestly say that I learned important current science on Peaceful Science.
I have great respect for Francis Collins. But no, I don’t consider myself to be TE. I’m more OEC and a follower of Hugh Ross.
However, I am willing to be convinced by the science. Right now I don’t find the evidence that evolution is responsible for the diversity of life to be compelling. The Cambrian Explosion is a bit troubling for that view.
The difficulties of abiogenesis holds particular interest for me. I consider myself to be a budding philosopher of science. Although at my age, I may never bloom. My philosophical interests are in epistemology, logic, philosophy of science (specifically philosophy of physics), philosophy of religion and philosophy of life with a passing interest in political philosophy.
I do appreciate your work and your desire for peaceful discussion.
How long do you think the Cambrian Explosion was? What objection do you have with the prevailing theories of why it took place? To be clear, this does not mean God did not inspire mutations or species (maybe He did), but this is not a challenge to our current understanding of evolution. What makes you think it is?
Maybe God did inspire the first cell direction. I think you have a better theological grounding for de novo Adam. That seems like it actually might be the teaching of Scripture. Genesis, however, does not speak of cells.
I’m glad you are here. This forum is surprisingly (and thankfully) full of OECs like you. I think that is a legitimate position, even if the OEC arguments against evolution are weak. Science does not consider God’s action. Maybe He just did something different than we can figure out with a neutral look at the evidence.
Hi! I don’t think a Black Sea flood date would be early enough to allow an entire human population to have perished and repopulated the world, on genetic pronciples. But of course there are also extensive remains of human beings worldwide before that date - I have older mesolithic remains within a mile or two of my house in England.
Under Genealogical Adam, however, a Flood at that date, or more in line with a Meopotamian flood c2900, is little problem. As Josh says, the Bible account is about the descendants of Adam, who might well be in an area restricted enough to perish in a large flood (Black Sea or Meospotamia). And there is still ample time for Noah to become a universal common ancestor, even if the text requires that all Adam’s descendants perish.
For myself, I prefer the later Flood date to mesh better with other evidence from ANE literature, etc, but it doesn’t affect the science significantly.
Regarding the flood, I have become convinced that part of the answer is taking a new look at the science and part of the answer is taking a new look at the scriptures. The church has early Genesis wrong. They are not seeing Christ in the text when its really all about Him. Now I can go on about this subject way beyond most people’s level of interest. I don’t want to do that to you right off the bat. So I will just say that, in addition to that book, I have a series of 20 minute videos showing where the scripture talks about a population of humans outside the garden as well as Adam and Eve, and where a close look at the text shows that the sense in which the flood would cause global destruction is not that all would drown in the flood, but rather if the line of Messiah was cut off then the world would never have a savior. And I have a video showing that the bible assumes that there were other survivors after the flood, besides the clans of Noah. If you are willing to endure any of that let me know and I will post a link.
Thus is frustrating because one misunderstanding is built on another, and by the time we get to the flood people are so used to a particular train of thought that you can’t just fire off bullet points and expect it to make any sense. So it does take a whole book to start from the beginning and lay it out properly.
I guess I could point him to Genesis 11:1-4 and wonder, if the clans of Noah were in one place, who was the “whole earth” doing the speaking? And if there was no one else around then why are they worried about “making a name for themselves”? Who were they trying to impress?
Also, Ronald could get a concordance and see that when Yahweh says that he will destroy the men whom He has made in 6:7 there is a different Hebrew word for “destroy” than what Elohim is saying when He frets about the end of all flesh in 6:17. Some of the confusion is our translations which translate DIFFERENT Hebrew words into the SAME English word!