ENV Covers Dialogue on Adam

My mistake, Mark. I was, for some reason, thinking of the 700 kya A/E as genealogical ancestors.


Which is my point. We do not trust ID people that do not retract their mistakes. Why should we trust EC people that do not retract their mistakes? I hold ID people to this standard, even though I agree that God designed us. Why shouldn’t we hold EC people to this standard, even if we agree that there is evidence for common descent? At stake here is fairness and honesty.

Though Richard Buggs is still wrong on some big points, he also did retract at least one error on the human-chimp similarity. Also, Jim Tour is and ID proponent that retracted his errors. It is rare, but it does happen. That is important. As rare as this is in ID, it is not unheard of. Among EC too, it happens, but not yet with Venema, as far as I can tell.

Yes! That is the exciting thing. This really changes the game for a lot of people. I just gave a very well received talk to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) with Ken Keathley. He called it (and I quote): “a game changer” for their denomination. The way we have been reading Genesis fits closely with how their exegetes read it too. Several people (including YECs) say that affirming de novo creation is surprising and changes their computation.

A key event coming up soon is the Dabar conference. I’m getting a chance to present this to 150 key scholars in the conversation. There are several other events in the pipeline. I’ll be going to Hong Kong University to talk to scholars there about this (see Clinton Ohlers and Andrew Loke), next week I’m going to Northwestern University to give a talk to students about it, and and in July I’ll be doing the ASA seminar. Walter Bradley (another ID fellow) was very enthusiastic the last time we talked about this too.

I’d say we are still very early in the process though. The Genealogical Ancestry PSCF article has been cited about 3 times so far (and it came out just in March), but I’m getting word of more efforts to engage it all the time. My guess is that it will take a few years to fully digest.

One question up in the air, however, is BioLogos. They have yet to publish an article on it. Their Adam and Eve page makes no mention of it. And it is unclear if they will include in their 2019 conference. When do you think they will catch up?


Bugg and Gauger like to make a big deal about how important it could be if there was a bottleneck after 500,000 years… and now it’s 700,000. It’s malarky. The whole point about I.D. is to defend the YEC position. Hardly anybody is going to be an Old Earth Creationist.

The Swamidass Scenario(s) is much more appealing than saying Adam and Eve was Homo erectus!


If so, then I can report with another language that it is philosophically lacking at the same time. Ardent and devout individuated evangelicalism that has been distorted into promoting ‘No Adam’ as you call it.

Trinity Western University has other voices more mature and trustworthy than Dennis’ on this topic, just not any genomicists or geneticists as far as I’m aware. Check out the debate with Chris Morrissey in BC Catholic. He may open a door for Joshua that southerners don’t often appreciate enough or just aren’t aware of with its fruitful combination.

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It’s very hard to guess, but I think it is safe to assume it won’t happen very quickly!

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Why is that? I had thought, naively it seems, that this supports their stated mission.

Novel ideas and insights take time to be accepted, if they are accepted at all.

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What is your critique of his work? He seems to not even attempt to do philosophy or theology, but make pronouncements every now and then. I guess that is philosophically lacking, in a sense. Is that what you mean?

Though I’d rather he refrained from the pronouncements, it is uncomfortably common among scientists. He is not a theologian or a philosopher, so that can largely be dismissed. He is, however, the designated “scientist” in many people’s view to explain mainstream science to religious audiences. It would be great if he could do better with philosophy, but is his job to get the science correct. So mistakes here seem much more important.

Maybe. I saw your post on BioLogos too.

Defending a scientist when he makes an error does not help his case. This has not much to do with the unfortunate choice of the word “heliocentricity.” He still said:

That is just a misrepresentation of where things stand. It is misleading at best, and wrong at worst. If I had written that, and been called out on it, I would retract. That is how science is supposed to work.


I think you should go back to my thread, where the actual page is reproduced… page 55.

I think there is a lot less here to be disputed, or even worthy of dispute, than the inevitably corrupted paraphrasings would lead us to believe.


That is not a paraphrase it is a direct quote.

This really not that complex.

Thought this does not really matter. Bigger questions loom in that the new things we’ve uncovered are exciting. That is what we should focus on.

The text you are quoting is derived from page 55 of his book. And so I wanted to return to the original material to see what all the fuss is about.

But let’s look at the exact quote from his later discussion:

Adam, Eve and Population Genetics: A Reply to Dr. Richard Buggs (Part 1) - #308 by DennisVenema - Faith & Science Conversation - The BioLogos Forum 1

So, first of all, Dr. Bugg writes quotes from page 55:

“It seems our smallest effective population size over the last 18 million years was when we were already human, at around the time our ancestors left Africa…”

"All methods employed to date agree that the human lineage has not dipped below several thousand individuals for the last 3 million years or more – long before our lineage was even remotely called “human”.

Dennis mentions the heliocentric sentence, which is not even mentioned at this point by Dr. Bugg. Dennis proceeds with:

“[The first quote ] is a summary statement of all the lines of evidence in the literature to date that do not provide support for a bottleneck below ~10,000 at any time in the last 18MY (which remains the case).”

[then, the 2nd quote:]

"All methods employed to date agree that the human lineage has not dipped below several thousand individuals for the last 3 million years or more – long before our lineage was even remotely called “human”.

“This quote also remains valid. There are no studies in the literature that support a lower bottleneck, and several that support large Ne values over this timeframe (PSMC and LD studies, for example). If there were (perhaps if I had missed one somewhere?) I’m sure you would point it out if you were aware of it.”

So, skipping the heliocentric sentence, this is what we have.

@swamidass, you can be confident that I will be open to what you can specifically criticize about the first or the second quote.

Where is the “heat”? Where is the problem?

I’d direct you to the TWO large OMISSIONS. That is the problem. Have you read my review of his book?

Venema has taken too much of my time already. He is going to do what he will do. It is his reputation at stake, not mine. And that his is responsibility to protect.

At this point, it would be better to focus on other questions.

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I’ll read it tomorrow… promise! :smiley:

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Bugg and Gauger like to make a big deal about how important it could be if there was a bottleneck after 500,000 years… and now it’s 700,000. It’s malarky. The whole point about I.D. is to defend the YEC position. Hardly anybody is going to be an Old Earth Creationist.

As someone who was associated with the Intelligent Design movement for many years, my reaction to this comment is one of incredulity. Will Dembski, Steve Meyer, Mike Behe, David Berlinski, Doug Axe, Ann Gauger, Casey Luskin - they’re all either old earth creationists or believers in common descent. I could go on and on.

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A post was split to a new topic: Why Does ID Criticize TE

I think this warrants some important clarification, especially in light of the diversity of groups here. @cwhenderson, thanks for pressing me on this.

I do not mean at all to imply that all ID advocates or EC advocates refuse to retract errors. One reason I’ve come to respect @vjtorley and @Agauger is that they have changed their positions, and even publicly retracted points. In this sense, they have “played fair,” and I respect that even though there are significance disagreements that, for example, @Agauger and I have on the science. I’ve already mentioned James Tour as another example, and also Richard Buggs. Another one to watch in coming months is Wayne Rossiter, who wrote Shadow of Oz, and then left the ID movement: https://shadowofoz.wordpress.com/.

On the EC side, some of us are good at retracting errors too. I’ve been really impressed by Jeff Hardin, Jeff Schloss, Darrel Falk, and Ted Davis. However, I have not yet seen any retractions or admissions of error from a large number of others when they have made large mistakes. Of course, the same goes for ID.

To avoid rabbit trails, I’ll leave the names out of those that have not done so (on both sides). That is beside the point. Instead, there is real authority granted to those that can admit error. I’d most like to focus on those that do take a humble approach.

They only way we can make progress going forward is to be honest with data, and admit when we have made mistakes. That is the only way we can build trust with groups that disagree with us. One of the most exciting things about genealogical ancestry, for me, was that it was an opportunity for TE’s to admit they had made an important and substantial mistake, and thereby build some credibility and trust. That is what I’ve been doing over and over again, and it has built trust.

Being stubborn on admitting error, on the other hand, is going to make it much more difficult for the Church to figure out who they should trust. That is why this is such a critical issue for me. We can still disagree at the end of the day, but intellectual honesty is not something optional for me.

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7 posts were merged into an existing topic: Why Does ID Criticize TE?