But if we find sequences of a hundred ancient genomes from France who lived in the century following, and it traces back to the same father or the mother of the same father, we can pretty sure that this wasn’t a special creation but instead a man who had a lot of decedents and who had a mother. You can’t have that with GA as he has to have been specially created leaving no evidence of his contribution genetically be yet in the genealogical of everybody.
You write: “Now I’m having trouble seeing any difference between YEC
ad-hoc explanations and GA ad-hoc explanations. I’ve been quite
critical of the YEC explanation for dispersal after leaving the Ark.
How did sloths get to South America. I’m told they had “strong
wanderlust” and embarked to go right over the land bridge and get as
far away from the ark as possible. I’m told they were swept up on
vegetation rafts and rafted over the south america. These are
extremely unlikely scenarios that don’t deserve serious attention but
for GA we can invoke these same sorts of explanations because our
model is right and so its ok to toss around any explanation we want to
make everything else fit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m wanting this to
work but I’m getting worried that I’m being asked to gasp way too many
Joel, you have probably heard the phrase, “In for a penny, in for a
pound”? So let me itemize what I think your penny applies to:
Unless you are a Unitarian Universalist like I am, one’s Christian
stance is anchored on the idea that Jesus was born a Son of God, and
that when he died on the cross, he was resurrected. (It is well
beyond the scope of this list to entertain all the thoughts that run
through my head regarding just these two miraculous benchmarks for the
Having one’s faith thus anchored, PeacefulScience.Org asks even the
most science-minded of Christians to embrace at least one more pair of
miracles: that in the midst of a fully evolved human population (or
adjacent to them), God used miraculous special creation to create
Adam, and a related act of special creation to create Eve. This
event doesn’t require archaeological proof, but should be placed in
time and space at a time when it is conceivable that Adam’s
instruction in garden work would make sense integrated into the human
For those Christians who are further anchored by Paul’s Romans 5,
and its implications regarding Original Sin, then there is probably no
strong reason why such a Christian would object to the idea that God
made sure that the minimum amounts of human migration would come to
fruition in order to make Adam and Eve one of the Universal Common
Ancestral pairs of all humanity alive at the time of the birth of
If one is a Christian who is not particularly dependent on a
literal interpretation of Romans 5, the genealogical universality of
Adam/Eve can have a lesser importance.
I have long assumed that Patrick’s memory isn’t what it used to be.
I just want to make sure that the theology of GA stays in the theology domain. Because if it leaks into the physical, or historical domains, science has a way of slamming the door on such things and I wouldn’t want to see your fingers getting caught in the slamming door. Science is very good at falsifying claims. You will never know where the next result will come, falsifying what you thought was impossible to falsify. So be careful about being too specific on GA, especially with respective to a specific place and time. One you specify either a place or a time for GA, you run the risk of science saying that isn’t true.
GA rests on being outside of science, and that it can’t be proven to be impossible to have a special creation of GA that leaves no evidence of occurring. However, if you claim some specificity of this special creation like where or when, it gets into the physical realm and science can falsify the claim.
Remember that you are trying to take a character in an story (Adam) and make him a real historical person. Saying that Adam is a special creation with unknown details is probably all you need to say about him.
I agree with most of what you are writing here, but it does not follow from the arguments you were making, which were not valid.
That is not necessarily true. You know that right? There are a very large number of specific places and times we can place Adam that cannot be ruled out by science. Science has some pretty severe limits here.
Right now that may be true but as the resolution of genomics gets finer and finer, the region size and time period gets smaller and smaller. For example, lets say you put GA in Southern Iraq 6000 years ago. Science can come along and say only these people with these genetic markers were living in this region at this time period. You can counter with, “that’s exactly how God made GA with those genetic markers and characteristics” But then science comes out and definitively say that these people’s were definitely NOT in the genealogy of those people 5000 miles away and three centuries hence. You’re screwed. You have to move your GA to another time period and another region. You are going to need finer and finer fine tuning of GA to make him invisible to science falsification.
There is a remedy for this. Just keep GA as a special creation that you are agnostic about the details. He could have been specially created anywhere and any time God wanted to. Science can’t get near it. Can’t be falsified.