Alan Templeton Endorses the GAE

“In Judaism there is a blessing for almost everything. There is a blessing one should say upon encountering a religious scholar and a different blessing for encountering a secular scholar, as both types of scholarship are valued. In this book Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass earns both blessings. Dr. Swamidass is a scientist by profession and a devout Christian who thinks deeply about theological questions. He uses cutting-edge theory from population genetics concerning the difference between genealogical ancestors versus genetic ancestors (a small subset of the former) and applies it accurately and with rigorous scientific logic to the theological issues surrounding the biblical account of Adam and Eve. Many theological issues arise from Adam and Eve, such as race and racism, and Dr. Swamidass approaches these issues in a manner that values and incorporates both science and religion. Books dealing with science and religion often emphasize conflicts while others present them as non-overlapping methods of knowledge that are largely irrelevant to one another. Dr. Swamidass shows in this book how science and religion are both valuable methods of scholarship that can display a positive synergism in which neither discipline has to retreat from its fundamental principles in order to deepen our insight into the science/religion interface. Both scientists and people of faith should read this book to learn that conflict and irrelevancy are not the only ways in which science and religion can interact.

Alan R. Templeton, Charles Rebstock Professor Emeritus of Biology and Statistical Genomics, Washington University in St. Louis, and Institute of Evolution and Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, University of Haifa, Israel

Dr. Templeton is one of the giants of population genetics, who played an important role in demonstrating that polygenesis is false, and that all humans are the same race. He is known, also, for this textbook on human population genetics.


I was truly touched by this part of his endorsement, and asked him about these blessings. For the secular scientist:

Blessed are You, LORD our God, Master of the universe,
who has given wisdom to flesh and blood.

For the religious scholar:

Blessed are You, LORD our God, Master of the universe,
who has given wisdom to those in awe of Him.


I dont get this. A blessing to a secular scientist is “wisdom to flesh and blood?” The best chapter in the Bible about wisdom given to flesh and blood is described in Proverbs 8 that is encapsulated with this near the end of the chapter: “And now, O sons, listen to me:
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;
all who hate me love death.”

Hearing “instruction” about God and listening to Him in His Word as an active Creator of plants and animals, sustainer of nature who remains outside of it, and one who made Adam and Eve, the first humans, and then altering this to fit the opinions of man which include common descent evolution, God creating natural evil out of His nature and calling it “very good,” humankind not created in Gods image but evolved from primates etc does not seem to meet the standards of wisdom gven to flesh and blood as described in this Proverbs chapter. Sorry.

Oh geesh Greg.

The Jewish blessing to the secular scientist refers to the fact that God has imparted wisdom to man, and given him the ability to discover, comprehend and articulate to the world the complexity and intricacy of what God has designed. The secular scientist is one who operates in a secular environment.

Not everyone is a religious scholar (theologian.) Many, if not most, are secular scholars (doctors, geologists, physicists, biologists.) This is not referring to atheism. It is referring to operating within the realm of God’s creation (his general revelation) for one group, and within his Word (his special revelation) for the other.