Even if more than one can be true … it seems unlikely that all the scenarios are equally true (or even equally likely!).
I got this kind of objection from BioLogos many times…
And yet, really, BioLogos folks are not really doing anything differently than we are.
They wanted Creationists to be more figurative in interpreting Genesis. But if one Creationists preferred one Figurative interpretation … no one seemed to object or even care if another brand of Creationist arrived and wrote vigorously in preference to a different figurative approach.
At the core of it, BioLogos simply wanted a literal interpretation to be abandoned… they weren’t interested in how you shaped your figurative “spin” to match one’s metaphysics or theology.
Here at Peaceful Science … why would we care which Genealogical Adam scenario a Creationist felt most in sync with ? … if at the end of the day, the Creationist is satisfied that he has a de novo Adam and Eve to embrace … and no longer has to dump millions of years of Evolutionary evidence to do it!!!
But aren’t orangutans subject to physical death too? I thought the point of Adam’s descent spreading to everyone was so that the gospel could also be spread to them. That implies that the gospel would not be spread to non-descendants. If there were a truly isolated tribe, they wouldn’t be on the list. And wasn’t Adam’s original purpose to tend the garden? How do you get any other purpose from the text?
The Hebrew terms for “tending” and “keeping” the garden are also used of service in the Temple later. They were closely discipled by the “Angel of the LORD” (the preincarnate Christ) himself, to spread the wisdom and knowledge He communicated to the rest of a waiting world, as the first “priests” with reliable special revelation. All of which requires not only the ability to process human language, but also to contemplate a spiritual nature, beyond the “merely” physical. This is the theological backdrop in answer to your question.
Excuse the multiple posts, but something led me down a rabbit hole, and I have questions. Does your genealogical model incorporate a bottleneck of 6 in Adam’s descendants after the flood, and does it suppose that all Adam’s descendants were gathered at Babel during the building of the tower?
And I’m assuming that when a decree goes out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed, that’s not intended literally as all the world, but how do we know when biblical language changes from the regional and some human groups to the global and all human groups? (Using varying definitions of “human”.)
(S. Joshua Swamidass)
Split this topic
This is critical. Humanity is not just the descendants of Adam. Humanity bears the image of God.
If there is no qualitative difference between Adam and Eve and those outside(atleast in a spiritual sense). Then what exactly does bearing the image of God mean?
The second issue is that the “textual definition” of “human” is connected to salvation. The humanity that can get saved is the humanity that Jesus was a part of/bore. @swamidass.
No, it doesn’t. It depends on whether you read Genesis 1 where it says “Let us make man in our image”, etc. That’s where “image of God” comes from, and it applies to the people created in Genesis 1. The question would be whether Genesis 1 is talking about the people outside the garden and/or Adam and Eve. The assumption of GAE is that it’s talking about the outside folks, as I understand it.
It is for these reasons I think most Creationists who favor one or more of the Genealogical Adam scenarios will settle for a time frame of somewhere between 6000 and 8000 ya for dating the de novo creation of Adam and Eve.
The further back they attempt to place de novo creation of this pair, the more questions they have to resolve on their own about how to define what a human is.
Science will have its own definition of “human” and its own scientific criteria.
But Biblically-Speaking, and as a Theological or Metaphysical stance, only God knows exactly when the evolved population qualifies as “human”.
Perhaps God, because of his very granular form of perception and intelligence, doesn’t even bother with a population-wide definition. He can literally count off the number of “humans” there were in the evolving population day-by-day.
At some point, 51% of the population qualified. Then 66%. Eventually, the day came when 100% of all the population qualified as human.
I would hazard the guess that this Theological Definition (which only God knows) probably agrees with the Scientific assessment (but for different reasons) significantly past 40,000 years ago. How much more? I don’t know.
But I think going past 40,000 years, despite @Agauger’s sense of zeal for the matter, is rather irrelevant to the usual Creationists … because agriculture doesn’t appear to be dramatically older than 7000 to 10,000 years ago.
Here I am referring to all the silly questions people imagine about these other hominid species (in addition to the Neanderthal)… and how it will, or might, affect interpretations of Genesis.
I don’t think any of that will have much traction on the interpretation of Genesis. Fortunately, it is the Creationist bias that is being engaged (from a theological viewpoint). So… it will be interesting to see whether they WANT to engage it… or if they continue to want to ignore it.