Coyne: The return of Adam and Eve as real people

4 Likes

Congrats @Faizal_Ali for the in-depth review of your review by Coyne.

3 Likes

I would respond but I’m banned on Jerry’s web site.

5 Likes

Honesty, this is a pretty friendly review from Jerry Coyne. He understands the science in the model correctly, and even says that Swamidass’ aim is honorable, even if he disagrees it’s going to be effective. The several questions he and @Faizal_Ali raise are common and I would say understandable theological objections (e.g. one instance of de novo creation opens the door to any number of miracles).

6 Likes

Lol this could be the start of a superhero cartoon:

“Well, Joshua Swamidass at Washington University, with the help of his secular friend scientist Nathan Lents”

6 Likes

Coyne calls GAE bogus accomodationism; I call banal scientism Coyne’s fear that allowing for the possibility of miracles somehow perverts science. “Evidence” as Coyne construes it is not the only source of knowledge or reasonable belief, and recognizing this evaporates most of his concerns. Ironically, his citation of Hitchen’s Razor is a good example of this. Hitchen’s Razor is asserted without evidence, and so can be discarded without evidence. (As a normative claim, there can’t actually be any evidence for it. At most there could be evidence that it is a good pragmatic principle, but it’s a further, non-empirical step to draw a normative principle from a pragmatic one.)

Rather confused by how he says that GAE must fail because the Adam and Eve story can’t be taken metaphorically; since GAE shows precisely how the Adam and Eve story can be taken literally while still comporting with what we know from science. I’m also confused with his demand for a model for the transmission of original sin, as if this is problematic. Just because genetics from a particular ancestor are diluted in inheritance, doesn’t mean everything must be diluted that way. Why should it be that way for original sin?

Also confusing, why does Coyne think it is a problem for GAE that there were earlier, genetic “Adam and Eves”?

4 Likes

Does he demand it? It seems like he asks the question and looks forward to my answer. I wish it had been that way with evolutionary creationists!

The last few chapters of the book are his answer and I’m looking forward to his response.

2 Likes

Said every crackpottery-peddler ever. So what, other than evidence, is a reliable source of knowledge?

1 Like

Coyne has publicly stated he is open to the idea of intelligent design

Edit: read here:

Since there is no explanation given for how this original sin is transmitted, or in what form, or even any evidence that it exists, how is that not a problem?

I mean you can of course just imagine a mechanism and not bother with this pesky evidence thing, but then why bother doing science in the first place? Why even bother with a GAE story that is supposedly compatible with scientific evidence if you can just say evidence isn’t necessary?

2 Likes

Questions are not problems. Personal ignorance is not anything more than ignorance @Rumraket. I like Coyne’s approach of asking a question. It is a totally answerable question, and that is where a lot of the fun will be. Come join the fun!

1 Like

Sure they are. All unknowns are problems to be solved.

I like Coyne’s approach of asking a question. It is a totally answerable question, and that is were a lot of the fun will be. Come join the fun!

So what is the answer? What evidence is there that original sin it exists? And how is it transmitted?

2 Likes

I suppose we will have that conversation after the book comes out. :slight_smile:

1 Like

We’ve been here before. Testimony.

1 Like

10 posts were split to a new topic: What is Evidence?

My exact reaction.

This post by Jerry is a good example of why I suggested that Jerry is of the anti-religious kind of atheist.

1 Like

Why do we even assume (as Coyne seems to imply) that the transmission of original sin is genetic or biological, as opposed to sociological or spiritual? After all, human behavior is a combination of genetics and nurture. If the latter is the case then it could be that looking for scientific evidence would not be the right way to assess the plausibility of the model.

1 Like

I want to ask a related question: @swamidass, you’ve commented that it is very probable that the GAE are genetic ghosts, in that we likely cannot find any genetic material from them in our genome. That being said, it is clear that both Adam and I share the same broad anatomical features that make us homo sapiens. If genetics is not the cause of that, then what is? Shouldn’t there be something in my genes that I have in common with Adam and all other human beings?

1 Like

Well, to be fair, so am I.

1 Like

Of course, about 99.9% of it. But the question is whether you inherited any of it from Adam, and the chances are you didn’t.

3 Likes