Gauger: Reflections on Our Ancient Past

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This statement betrays a lot.

This alternative is one most scientists choose to ignore since it does not fit with methodological naturalism (MN), the philosophical position that only “natural” explanations are allowed in science. Natural explanations include only those things that can be detected, measured, or weighed using scientific equipment. Notice that MN automatically excludes intelligent design or any event like the de novo creation of anything.

She says that methodological naturalism only allows “natural” explanations. True. She then says that this “automatically excludes intelligent design”. That is only true if “intelligent design” proposes a non-natural explanation. According to her own words, intelligent design proposes a non-natural explanation. Cdesignproponentists just can’t help letting the mask slip.


The more significant thing she says is that sole-genetic progenitorship does not preclude interbreeding of other lineages into AE’s lineage.

This is very similar to WLC and RTBs (@AJRoberts) position.

@glipsnort @NLENTS @John_Harshman

I get flack for my use of the term “sole genealogical progenitorship”. However the confusion about that term just reflects the confusion about sole progenitorship, which just never excluded interbreeding in theology. There was a massive misunderstanding here between worlds.

Then the fault lies with choosing that name for the concept. “Sole” apparently doesn’t mean “sole”.


Perhaps but that’s how the term has always been used by the theological community.

What we had here was a failure of translation. The theological meaning of the term sole-progenitor was never intended with scientific precision.

sole - soul. I always got that mixed up. My shoe has a sole but an MRI can’t find my soul.

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Yes, but the inquiry into AE was never a good fit with ID anyways. I’m not sure I see any connection really. Maybe if someone offers Gauger a job somewhere else to study this she’d leave.


I honestly believe she could do better science and better theology if she wasn’t shackled by the Disco Institute.


What who had here? And I didn’t know that precision in language was limited to science.


Well it does mean something precise, just not what scientists think it means.

Could you provide some references to the historical use of “sole progenitorship” in theology that involve additional progenitors? I don’t know what kind of context you’re talking about here.


Well, I did just write a book on it…and my historical argument is very far from exhaustive. I hear others are planning to add to it.

Whatever the case with history, the people we are dialoguing with have been clear what they mean. That includes Gauger, RTB and WLC. We could add to that group with many many more people.

I agree. For example, here’s Fazale Rana.

Giving up the historicity of Adam and Eve as humanity’s sole progenitors has wide-ranging implications for key theological doctrines.

When he says “humanity’s sole progenitors” does he mean “two humans who interbred with other humans or non-humans and became the progenitors of some humans”? If so, it’s not clear from this.

Here’s another example.

Evolutionary creationists are drawing attention to the evidence in God’s creation that humans evolved. Genetics and fossil evidence clearly point to humans arising through an evolutionary process, with modern Homo sapiens emerging roughly two thousand years ago as a population of several thousand individuals. These findings are quite different from the traditional view of Adam and Eve as sole progenitors living about ten thousand years ago.

Here’s another one.

First, the scientific evidence does not rule out the historicity of Adam and Eve ; it only rules them out as sole progenitors.

And another.

Modern evolutionary biology and biblical criticism negate the historical existence of Adam and Eve as the sole progenitors of the human race.

Examples can be multiplied massively. In the nineteenth century in particular, as soon as evolution arises, we see concerns over the idea that this will threaten the doctrine of Adam and Eve as “sole progenitors”.

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But I’m asking you to support a rather specific claim you made here, about the historical theological meaning of ‘sole progenitors’. I’m not just trying to be difficult(*): I find the claim baffling, given my understanding of how ‘sole’ works in English. I’d like to know if I’m wrong.

(*) Note: not just trying to be difficult. This is the internet, after all.


If I’m reading that correctly her position is that all human DNA is inherited from a single pair, and not from any of their contemporaries. Coalescence is real, but the coalescent individual differs for different bits of DNA. The odds on all coalescent individuals having inherited the relevant bit of DNA from Adam and Eve, and not from a contemporary must be pretty long.

There is an implication that chimpanzees (and gorillas?) are descended from Adam. (See MHC allleles. ) But perhaps they’re not human because they also inherited some DNA from another individual. I see cans of worms.

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Prof. Behe looks at all design thru a naturalist interpretation… and most YECs don’t want to talk about that.