[ @swamidass, you might enjoy this history trip down memory lane … ]
Perhaps it was 3 or 4 years ago when I bumped into an article by Coyne in which he used the amazing phrase “half way to crazy town!” The point he was making is that trying to formulate some kind of compromise with Creationists wasn’t much of a solution - - if it means it puts you on the road, “half way to crazy town!”
So when I decided to google that phrase and Coyne’s name, I was pretty surprised to see that one of the uses of the term applied to a video/article by the Rev. Daniel Harrell, published at BioLogos in 2010! [The BioLogos page is dated 2013, but the Coyne reference is separately dated to 2010: By pharyngula on June 24, 2010. [aka Paul Z. Meyers]
So, did Coyne get the expression from Meyers? I won’t try to decide at this point. But Meyers says he and Coyne and Dawkins are “confused” by a BioLogos article/video. Here’s the core part of the transcript (with links at the bottom). The Reverend Harrell says:
"Something that has been helpful to me is that I don’t think that a historical Adam and Eve is problematic from a Biblical historical context. I think Adam and Eve as the first humans is what the problem is."
“You could say, and I think we’ve had some pastors say, that God does this special creation thing of Adam and Eve in the context of the evolutionary epic. God could do that, and that’s fine.”
“I don’t think you have to say that. I think you could also say that God specially selects Adam and Eve for this covenant relationship, much as he did with Abraham, say, in the Biblical epic, and so Adam and Eve become representative of the kind of relationship that God intends to have with all people.”
“That is a point of possible convergence that allows those who are very worried about a historical Adam and Eve to breathe easier, and those who are very concerned about integrity with DNA findings and evolutionary science to also breathe a bit easier because at least there’s a possibility of hermeneutics.”
With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, we can see why Rev. Harrell’s explanation landed like a dead mackerel on Ham’s kitchen floor! The Reverend did not address Original Sin. He thought that he had done something clever by making Adam a human analog to Abraham. Abraham was chosen… Adam was chosen. Brilliant!
Unfortunately, Romans 5 is based on more than that - - it’s based on the Creationist position popular in the Western world - - that Paul was specifically alluding to Original Sin, and the role that Adam played in it by being the First to break God’s moral commandment.
And yet even with this barely effective olive branch offered to the Creationists (it was really more like “just one olive”… rather than a whole branch), Meyers and the zealous Atheists blow a gasket, throw a rod and they could probably feel the cold fingers of death down the back of their necks!
Here’s much of what they wrote:
The apologetic gang at BioLogos is complaining again — Jerry Coyne, Richard Dawkins and I didn’t understand their recent piece by Daniel Harrell on Adam and Eve, and oh, it is so hard to be the ones in the middle of all those atheist and creationist extremists.
Note to BioLogos: squatting in between those on the side of reason and evidence and those worshipping superstition and myth is not a better place. It just means you’re halfway to crazy town.
“The core of [the] article [an article I could not identify by Falk] consists of complaining that we didn’t understand what they [BioLogos] were talking about, and took their article out of context. Unfortunately, as Falk attempts to restate the original bogus argument, it becomes apparent that the only ones who were clueless and confused were the theistic evolutionists.”
What they were doing in the original article was distinguishing between two alternatives:
#1, Adam and Eve were created literally as the Bible says, and
#2, that Adam and Eve were historical figures who were chosen by God out of existing populations that had evolved as science explains.
**[The irony is quite vivid… they despised solution #1, but now people wonder if this **
isn’t the only way left to go - - but not as the first couple ever! ]
#1 is patently ridiculous, as they admit,
and comically, they argue that
#2 is eminently reasonable and supportable by science, and assume that therefore all our criticisms must have been made under the misapprehension that we thought BioLogos was endorsing #1.
"No! We can read, and we could see exactly what they were saying with their goofy dichotomy, and we’re saying the whole effort to reconcile science with the book of Genesis is a misbegotten waste of time — we were addressing #2, not #1. (Although Harrell also argues that #1 could be true, since his god can do anything).
#1 and #2 are both wrong, and there is also a #3. [That] … there was no Adam and Eve […at all!].
Sometimes, you need to take a little sight-seeing trip down the road to see exactly where we need to go next!
The link to the crazy town mention!