The St. Louis Public Radio website has a news article about their interview with Dr. Swamidass.
The article quotes Dr. Swamidass as saying:
"What if the traditional account is somehow true, with the origins of Adam and Eve taking place alongside evolution?”
Doesn’t that sound like Dr. Swamidass is saying that there is scientific evidence for both Common Descent evolution and for Special Creation? After all, Dr. Swamidass is a scientist. Dr. Swamidass was invited onto this public radio station only because he is a professor of science at Washington University in St. Louis. Everyone listening thought that this was a scientist being interviewed about science (not a theologian being interviewed about theology).
The news article about this interview goes on to say:
“What is new is Swamidass’ work with genealogies. Based on that, he finds that it would actually be possible for everyone on earth to include in their ancestors a Middle Eastern couple living 6,000 years ago. And that, he says, has profound implications.”
Is that an accurate summary of what Dr. Swamidass said during this interview?
And if this is what Dr. Swamidass said, doesn’t that sound like Dr. Swamidass was saying that there is scientific evidence for BOTH Common Descent evolution AND for Special Creation? Genealogical evidence is scientific evidence, right?
In a very recent post by Dr. Swamidass, he states that the central thesis of this book is this:
“The traditional de novo view of human origins is entirely consistent with evolutionary science, so we should make space for it. Making space for it is good for science, society, and the Church.”
If a SCIENTIST writes that, surely he must be saying that there is scientific evidence for the “traditional de novo view of human origins” (which I take to mean the Bible’s creation story for Adam and Eve). If there were no scientific evidence for the Bible’s creation story for Adam and Eve, how would any scientist-qua-scientist be justified in believing in it or in “making space for it” in the science curriculum or in science textbooks, or be justified in communicating this on public radio programs?
As a theologian, or as a personal religious believer, anyone can believe or say whatever they want. There are no restrictions in theology or religion. Any belief is possible in theology and religion, as seen in the profound diversity of churches and religions. But scientists must confine themselves to what can be reasonably established by the scientific method. Right?
So if a scientist goes on an NPR-affiliated public radio station and announces that Adam and Eve actually existed, and that they had no ancestors, isn’t he going to be necessarily understood as making SCIENTIFIC claims regarding those matters?
If the scientist does not intend to make scientific claims about those matters, shouldn’t he say something to make abundantly clear that he’s proposing those things merely as matters of faith and not of science?
I do accept and realize that Dr. Swamidass wrote above in this thread the following:
" Science does NOT indicate Adam and Eve had no ancestors. Rather the evidence does not tell us either way about the de novo creation of AE within a larger population. No evidence for or against it."
As we all know, ever since Darwin the dominant idea among scientifically-minded people has been that the Bible’s story of human origins has been debunked and discredited by the sciences of biology and geology. But Dr. Swamidass, in that quote above, is disagreeing with that consensus. He’s saying that there isn’t any SCIENTIFIC evidence FOR or AGAINST the Bible’s story of human origins. In making that assertion, isn’t Dr. Swamidass making a scientific claim? I think so. So, it seems undeniable that Dr. Swamidass is aiming to shift or alter the consensus science regarding human origins. So, it seems undeniable that when Dr. Swamidass was talking on the radio yesterday in St. Louis about Adam and Eve actually existing and having no biological ancestors, he necessarily was making a scientific claim. He was claiming that, per science, the Bible’s story of human origins is not debunked, not disputed, and nor excluded by science or from science. That’s new. That’s science, or proposed science.
That’s Creation Science, isn’t it?
That simply must, I think, be seen as giving scientific credibility to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. Correct? It’s “making space” for Creationism. It’s a scientist arguing that we all must “make space” for Creationism. If someone argues in favor of making space for Creationism, isn’t that a form of Creationism?
I suspect that the people at the public radio station, where Dr. Swamidass was interviewed yesterday, were alarmed by his teaching of Biblical Creationism, and by his statement on the air that he believes in the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Why do I suspect this? Well, read the title that they gave to their news article about the interview:
“Wash U’s Dr. Joshua Swamidass Builds Bridge Between Science And Creation Myths In New Book.”
Notice that phrase “Creation MYTHS.” Of course, if the Bible only had a creation myth, there’d be no need to reconcile it with science, any more than there’s a need to reconcile “Star Wars” or Homer’s “Odyssey” with science. And notice that the title used “Myths” in the plural, when in fact the interview did not discuss any creation story other than Adam and Eve. The radio station needed, I think, to suggest that Dr. Swamidass was “ecumenical” or “interfaith” in his orientation, when in fact he is not. He is a Bible-believing Christian–a type of person that rarely if ever is interviewed on public radio.
When I have more time, I will obtain and read Dr. Swamidass’ book.
By the way, if anyone finds my comments here to be ignorant, so be it. Perhaps they are ignorant. I am not a scientist. I just want to make clear that I am not being deliberately ignorant. I am not trying to provoke or troll anyone.
I am sincerely concerned about the wave of religion-based denialism that I see as sweeping across America, on such topics as vaccines, climate change, genocide, impeachable presidential crimes, racial identity and civil rights, women’s rights, use of nuclear weapons, and evolutionary science.
Here is the link to this news article that I have been quoting:
Dr. Swamidass interview on St. Louis Public Radio