Announcing the ASA "Reworking the Science of Adam" Panelists

Continuing the discussion from Reworking the Science of Adam:

I’m happy to announce details for the upcoming ASA workshop on Reworking the Science of Adam (

Reworking the Science of Adam

Facilitated by S. Joshua Swamidass and Jeff Schloss
Friday, July 27, 2 pm–5 pm

What does science tell us about the theology of Adam? What scenarios does the evidence rule out? What scenarios are possible and plausible? Honest scientific answers to these questions are critically important. These conflicts drive opposition in the church to a scientific understanding of our origins.

The last year has been notable for several major developments, all of which will be covered in this workshop. More than one correction has been made to our understanding of how evolutionary science interacts with the theology of Adam. For example, a paper published in PSCF shows, with genealogical science, how Adam and Eve could have been ancestors of us and de novo created, as recently as just 10,000 years ago. A much larger range of historical Adam scenarios are possible. A larger range of theological positions are consistent with the genetic evidence. There is, now, an opportunity to rework our understanding of the science of Adam.

Joshua is a physician, scientist, and assistant professor of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine at Washington University in Saint Louis. He leads a computational biology group that studies information at the intersection of biology, chemistry, and medicine. He also is a speaker for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Veritas Forums. Recently, he served as a science adviser for AAAS Science for Seminaries, and now blogs at Peaceful Science (


Name Panel Affiliations
Jeff Schloss Moderator
@AGauger Science Panel Discovery / Biologics Institute
Steve Schaffner Science Panel Broad Insittute
Ben McFarland Science Panel Seattle Pacific University
John Hilber Theology Panel Grand Rapids Theological Seminary / The Creation Project
Greg @Cootsona Theology Panel STEAM
@TedDavis Theology Panel Evolutionary Creation
Walter Bradley Theology Panel Discovery Institute


Hour #1: Presentation (Dr. Swamidass)

  • 5 Minutes: Intro by Dr. Schloss
  • 10 Minutes: What is Human?
  • 10 Minutes: New Findings in Genealogical Ancestry (Genealogical Adam)
  • 10 Minutes: New Findings in Genetic Ancestry (TMR4A, Gauger/Torley Model)
  • 20 Minutes: Q&A.
  • 5 Minutes: Response by Dr. Schloss

Hour #2: Scientific Panel (Moderated by Dr. Schloss)

Hour #3: Theological Panel (Moderated by Dr. Schloss)

Details to Note and Thanks to Give…

  1. The Schedule is designed to maximize questions and interaction, about 2.5 hours of the 3 hour slot will be Q&A time. We are looking forward to seeing interactions between others develop over this workshop.

  2. Jeff Schloss will be the moderator of the workshop. Jeff is a good friend and supporter of me this last year, has graciously agreed to wrangle this circus. He has an important addition he will be bringing to the table at the end of the first hour too.

  3. The panels include three no-Adam Christians, including Steven Schaffner, Greg @Cootsona, and @TedDavis. To their credit all three have been fair, and even enthusiastic supporters of new paths to peace for theology not their own. These guys are not involved because they think a historical Adam is required, but because they aim to serve the Church with an accurate account of science.

  4. BioLogos was invited to participate on the panel, but they opted instead to attend without representation on the panel. We are glad to have them there, but I want to be clear that they were invited.

  5. Reasons to Believe was invited to participate, but unfortunately is not attending this years ASA. So they will not be attending. They were not excluded, and we had really hoped to have their participation.

  6. Several other scholars wanted to be here but could not come. Of note, Keith Fox from the Faraday Institute was scheduled to participate, but personal issues prevent him. Denis Alexander, Darrel Falk, @sygarte, @jack.collins, and a large number of other people were invited. There has been high interest in this workshop, and I expect many of them will be listening to the audio recording after the fact.

  7. All these scholars agreed to come before funding was established. Ultimately, @Cootsona gave us permission to use STEAM funds for this purpose, so each panelist will have a modest budget to cover costs. Still, the fact that they were willing to do this without pay is very notable. Also, very warm thanks to @Cootsona for helping us pay some bills.

  8. We will be holding office hours with @Cootsona to discuss the panel August 8 - August 10. Greg Cootsona: The "Science of Adam" Workshop. I hope you can join us for this.

  9. We recently set up a facebook page for Peaceful Science, and will try live streaming the workshop. You can find the page here, I know that @AJRoberts is interested in watching, and hopefully we’ll be able to overcome the technological challenges. If you will be at the conference and want to help make this happen, please let me know.

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@swamidass Joshua, this looks great! You have a lot of super panelists lined up. I really hope it can be live streamed. I know others at Dabar hoped the same.

Just to be clear, no one from Reasons to Believe is attending this year’s ASA. So the bit about us attending but not participating in the panel is inaccurate. I would have come specifically to participate in the panel, and I appreciate your invitation to do so, but organizational constraints did not make this possible.

Hope this panel gets a lot of attention and contributes to the ongoing dialogues.



Thanks for clarifying. I’ll edit the post.

I’m sad to report that Tom McCall had to cancel last minute. In his place, The Creation Project is sending John Hilber (, an OT scholar. We had an enlightening conversation at Dabar about Relevance Theory, the Genealogical Adam, and Inerrancy. His contributions to this ongoing conversation are going to be important.

About Relevance Theory, it is worth reading about…

I wonder if Biologos chose not to participate in the panel because of the risk of the general public assuming that the opinions of the particular individual representing them was thereby reflecting Biologos’ official position on all of the topics. (I realize that Biologos is not as “big of a tent” as some of us might wish—but they are certainly much broader in range of opinions than some of the best known origins-ministries.)

I can certainly understand why various organizations might find such panel participation a complicated decision.

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If that is the case, the feeling is mutual. At least at the moment, I am NOT in the BioLogos camp. I am not a theistic evolutionist. I am not an evolutionary creationist. I have theological, ecclesial, and scientific objections to their position. I affirm evolutionary science, but rather than advocate for evolutionary science per se, I have found much more important things to advocate.

Every time I’m grouped in with them, I struggle to navigate how to make these differences clear.


13 posts were split to a new topic: BioLogos and the ASA Workshop

I have a feeling I’ll back whatever @TedDavis says. :slight_smile:

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