Does Evolution Allow for De Novo Creation?

Adam
Theology

#1

I always knew evolutionary science was willing to accept miracles!


Coyne: AAAS and Swamidass in WIRED Article
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #2

Science is silent on miracles. It does not accept them.


#3

I don’t know if you accept the de-novo creation of Adam and Eve or are just leaving it open as something that science has not reached a consensus on.

What I would propose is that science does not accept miracles because miracles are not consistent with science. If this is true then a de-novo creation of Adam and Eve would not be consistent with evolutionary science. Just so you understand my line of reasoning.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #4

@Mung, I explain it here:


(George) #5

I think you understand that lots of Evolutionists do NOT accept miracles.


#6

Yes. I in fact stated the reasons why I think that the de-novo creation of Adam and Eve is not consistent with evolutionary science. Do you have any thoughts on that?

If someone said that old earth creationism is consistent with evolutionary science, what would you say to that?


#7

When @swamidass is talking about GA Adam or de novo creation, I doubt he’s talking about evolutionary science but rather whether it would ‘contradict’ evolutionary science. Now, considering that science is based on MN, it obviously would, in a certain way, contradict it, but that’s probably not what he’s talking about.

Or, at least, that’s how I understand it.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #8

@swamidass is using his scientific credentials, credentials that he has work his entire life to create, enhance, and keep credible, to write a book that is in no way evolutionary science, but a musing of modern fairy tale. The central premise of the book is about how characters in an ancient creation story COULD by the grace of the Christian God, be actually part of every human’s genealogy. No evidence of this is provided, just a mathematical statement that such an event wasn’t impossible to have happened. And because this special couple is now part of our genealogy, we can be assured that we were made in the Image of God, have immortal souls, and have original sin. Wow, what an amazing piece of nothingness from an MD, a scientist, a tenured professor.


(The Honest Skeptic) #9

I’m not thinking you’ve made your reservation for the inside, front cover reader recommendation! :slight_smile:


#10

Hi Patrick,

The current discussion in this thread is not about Joshua’s book. It’s about whether miracles, such as the de-novo creation of Adam and Eve, can be consistent with evolutionary science.

As an ID supporter I am all for it. I would like to be able to argue that Intelligent Design is consistent with evolutionary science. :slight_smile:


(George) #11

@Mung

Yes i sure do!

The miraculous events of the special creation of 2 humans is different from 6 days of creation of the whole earth.

The parallel is closest to the special creation of Jesus by God: Christians (especially those in the science professions) can believe in a virgin birth “by miracle” - - without having to dispose of the careers…or believe Adam played with baby dinosaurs.

This is also true if one is inclined towards an historical Adam and Eve, because of Paul’s comments in Romans 5.

On an Old Earth, where humans evolved from earlier primate populations, as long as we have anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 humans (made by God using Evolutionary mechanisms)… the special creation of just 2 humans would be impossible to detect, and impossible to refute … and yet (!) crucial to many Evangelicals due to theoligical concerns!

@swamidass would concur im sure!


(John Harshman) #12

What it appears that Swamidass is saying is that science can’t tell us that Adam and Eve weren’t created, since there are no conceivable data (given the genealogical Adam theory) that would tell us it had happened or not happened. The genetic Adam is another matter, but that isn’t being discussed here.

Still, even though empirical data can’t be brought to bear, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to propose such a thing. The entire species evolved in the ordinary fashion from a long lineage shared with other species, except for those two individuals who were specially created to merge undetectably into the crowd? Huh. And if we accept that, wouldn’t we have to accept the possibility that the chipmunk you saw outside your window yesterday might have been created too? Can we in fact be assured that any organism or object we see was not poofed into existence some time before we saw it? That seems, carried to its logical conclusion, fatal to science and in fact to any knowledge in ordinary life.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #13

You don’t see there is any reason to affirm a de novo Adam, so it makes no sense to you. I agree.

Others do see a reason to affirm a de novo Adam, for reasons outside science. There is no evidence against this position (in the precise context I laid out), so we have to be honest about this, regardless our personal position. Maybe they are wrong, maybe they are reading Genesis wrong, but there is not scientific evidence against them.

As for the de novo Chipmunk? Even YECs find that absurd. There is no equivalent of Genesis 2 for chipmunk Adam and Eve. If there was a group of people claiming to have found revelation of a Chipmunk genesis, we should be careful to explain what exactly the evidence does and doesn’t say, even if we found said Chipmunk Genesis absurd.

This is a question of honesty.


(John Harshman) #14

Well of course Genesis doesn’t refer to de novo chimpmunks; that’s not part of the human origin story, and a story doesn’t include everything. Just because the story doesn’t mention chipmunks is not evidence against chipmunk creation. On what grounds, then, should we doubt that God sometimes creates de novo chipmunks? Just because a book we consider revelation doesn’t talk about it? It would seem a double standard.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #15

Science should not say that Adam and Eve were de novo created. Acts of God and miracles are not part of science.

In the thought experiment of a de novo Adam, however, we can’t disprove it with evidence. If someone has good reason to believe this, they are not in conflict with science because the evidence is silent here. It is up to them to figure out by other means what to believe about this.

I am saying we would treat the de novo chipmunk Genesis the same way, with tolerance. We can think that this chimpunk cult is absurd and wrong, but we can’t tell them we have evidence against their position. You can think that Christians are absurd and wrong for believing in a de novo Adam, but you can’t tell them there is scientific evidence against this position. That is all I am saying.

To make the case against de novo chipmunk and Adams, you’d have to delve into the trustability and interpretability of the Scripture that seems to make these claims. Certainly an interesting effort, but also outside of science. Far from a double standard, I’m saying we can treat it consistently without any damage to science. Rather, this approach is honest, and would only increase the trust people have in science.


(John Harshman) #16

Agreed.

But does anyone actually have good reason to believe it? Is “I need it to be true to support my theology” a good reason? Or “It says so, or so my interpretation is, in a book that I need to be believe, in that particular interpretation, to support my theology”?

I think that the end of that road is Last Thursdayism. Why should we doubt Last Thursdayism? It seems you attach all significance to scripture: what scripture says is true, and what it doesn’t say we don’t have to think about. That sort of thinking would be inimical to science unless one maintains an imprenetrable NOMA firewall. Which I suppose is what you are proposing here.


#17

That’s why I brought up Old Earth Creationism. But perhaps I confused it with Progressive Creation.


(Dan Eastwood) #18

I don’t know about anyone else, but Chipmunk Genesis is going to have me chuckling for the rest of the day! :slight_smile:


#19

Huh, if God created Chip and Dale first… Well, let’s just say that it has some interesting implications.


(John Harshman) #20

Chip and Dale, not Chip and Gail!