Greg Cootsona: The "Science of Adam" Workshop


On August 8 - August 10, we will be holding office hours with @Cootsona.

Greg Cootsona is Lecturer in Religious Studies and Humanities at California State University at Chico and directs Science and Theology for Emerging Adult Ministries (or STEAM), a $2 million grant funded by the John Templeton Foundation and housed at Fuller Theological Seminary. STEAM is designed to catalyze the engagement of faith and science in Christian ministries with 18-30 year olds. This is the funding source for the Inquiry into Common Ground, that funded some of my efforts this last two years.

Mere Science and Christian Faith

His recently published book will be one topic of conversation. In this book, he kindly references the genealogical Adam:

And so we come to position two, which falls somewhere between YEC and a typological but nonhistorical Adam and Eve. In summary, this view takes in modern scientific consensus on the age of the earth and development of hominins but says, “Hey, wait! We can’t simply jettison Adam and Eve as real, his- torical people. There are biblical and theological commitments that are wrapped up in this.” Position two is convinced that Adam and Eve are in some ways historical figures (this is the view of John Walton, S. Joshua Swamidass, C. John Collins, and Tim Keller), but generally sets out a period of time for common descent with other primates and then designates a point when God decided to set Adam and Eve apart as the first and original image-bearing Homo sapiens. The period of time between Adam and Eve and us varies. Swamidass, professor of labo- ratory and genomic medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, has called attention to genealogical science, which demonstrates the plausibility that we all share common genealogical ancestors very recently. (He also concludes that there is no evidence against the special creation of Adam, ancestor of us all, within a larger population.)

This section is notable for two reasons. First of all, @Cootsona is one of those people I affectionately call a “no-Adam Christian”, even though he would probably prefer “figurative Adam Christian.” No-Adam Christian has a ring to it though, so we’ll use that. Any how, @cootsona has been one of several people who have been stable dedicated supporters of my work (@TedDavis is another) even though they do not personally affirm a historical Adam. They have been fair, and advocated for positions not their own. This deserves our respect and admiration.

Second, the work I put forward on genealogical science first became clear to me on a STEAM retreat, two summers ago. Greg @Cootsona was among the first few people that saw the figure I made that week in Catalina, which eventually ended up in my Sapientia article:

I want to talk to @Cootsona about his book, but also about what values are driving his effort to seek peace in the Creation Wars.

The ASA Workshop on Reworking the Science of Adam

The second thing for us to discuss is the upcoming Workshop on the Science of Adam. At the time of this discussion, it will have completed. @Cootsona is one of the participants in this workshop, and we should both have stories to share.

If you are going to be at the ASA workshop too, be sure to join us.

Looking forward to the discussion!

Announcing the ASA "Reworking the Science of Adam" Panelists