Helpful Quotes by Burke on Genealogical Science

Science
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #1

Some excellent references from @Jonathan_Burke (thank you).

#1 is here: Popular Science Monthly/Volume 28/January 1886/Natural Heirship: Or, All the World Akin - Wikisource, the free online library

(this is already quoted extensively by me).

(this is already discussed at length)

Very helpful @Jonathan_Burke.

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Comments on The BioLogos Statement on Adam and Eve
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #2

Interesting information about Henry Kendall the “Missionary Statesman”. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23324681

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(Jonathan Burke) #3

Kendall is the best I’ve found so far, since he not only proposes a genealogical GAE but does it on the basis of science and maths (his book is titled “The Kinship of Men: An Argument From Pedigrees, Or Genealogy Viewed As A Science”), and since he appears to have been aware of Mendelian inheritance, and proposes the ancestors are undetectable. His view is really aligned to yours on all the key points.

However I’ve also done a lot of reading on the history of pre-Adamism (David Livingstone has done the best work here), and I think it’s useful to observe how the general idea of pre-Adamic humans who intermarried with Adam and Eve’s children, has real antiquity.

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Comments on The BioLogos Statement on Adam and Eve
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #4

Livingstone is great, and I referenced him a lot. @TedDavis helped a great deal, and pointed me to Blair Nelson.

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(Jonathan Burke) #5

I can hardly think of a better source than Ted Davis. He would have an encyclopedic knowledge of this stuff.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #6

He did not know of Kendall. So kudos to you.

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(Jonathan Burke) #7

Wow, that’s a a surprise. I hope he thinks Kendall will be useful.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #8

Your reference there was helpful.

You say many other people hold to a GAE in evolution. Who?

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #9

I just ordered his book. Can you give me some choice quotes?

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(Jonathan Burke) #10

Among people who accept evolution in my community, there are quite a few people. Others have already moved on to a non-literal Adam, which they think is an easier “fix”, but I prefer the principle of lectio difficilior potior.

Outside my community, I used to see it quite a lot when I was involved in debating Genesis 1-3 issues on various online forums. I used to encounter RtB people (who were pretty reasonable but kind of just “stuck” in their conservative paradigm, though Hugh Ross’ material helped me out a few times I have to say), the usual YEC crazies threatening everyone with hell, the cdesignproponetists, and more careful views like GAE, but it wasn’t called GAE back then.

People didn’t usually have a specific name for it, which make it harder to search for these days. The term “common ancestor” was used. I discovered it as a result of the initial excitement over Mitichondrial Eve and Y-chromosome Adam way back in the 1990s. Around that time, fundamentalists were loudly declaring science had “found” Adam and Eve. I was one of the more skeptical people who decided to look into the matter further, and quickly found it was being massively misrepresented by the fundamentalists (as usual).

However it did introduce me to the whole concept of thinking in terms of genealogical ancestry rather than genetic ancestry. Genealogical ancestry made more sense to me in terms of Cain’s fear and his wife on the one hand, and the Genesis genealogies on the other hand (which demonstrate the Genesis record was intended to be understood genealogically; those genealogies are actually fantastic when read properly).

I found other people had already written about this, but I would have to dig around to find the sources I was reading at that time; this was over 20 years ago. I know I was reading a lot of PSCF back then.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #11

That’s not the GAE…

(Jonathan Burke) #12

Yes it’s not the GAE. Keep reading and you’ll find me say “I was one of the more skeptical people who decided to look into the matter further, and quickly found it was being massively misrepresented by the fundamentalists”. I then went on to say how it did get me interested in approaching the topic from a genealogical perspective, which is what led me to GAE later.

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(Jonathan Burke) #13

From Kendall’s “Natural Heirship”.

“All the world are found akin, not by going so far back as Adam, or even Noah, but within historical times.”, Henry Kendall, “Natural Heirship: Or, All the World Akin,” Popular Science Monthly 28.19 (1886).

From Kendall’s “The Kinship of Men” (this is his version of the “genetic ghost”).

“His [the ancestor’s] part in the building up of any human fabric rapidly becomes insignificant . Something seems bent on working him out . As it does with his name and memorials—destroying the writing he has left behind, filling up the lettering on his tombstone with moss, wiping out all traces of him from the earth —so it does with himself and all that vitally represents his personality in the persons of his descendants .”, Henry Kendall, The Kinship of Men: An Argument from Pedigrees; Or, Genealogy Viewed as a Science (Cupples and Hurd, 1888), 33-34.

From a nineteenth century source citing Kendall with approval.

“To show the importance of this phase of the situation I may say that in the space of a few generations the blood of every human being is so diverted that there is some strain of it in everyone .This was demonstrated by Kendall in his little work “The Kinship of Man,”, in which he shows that as each man has two parents, and these parents have two each and so on, in the brief space of thirty generations, of 33 1-3 years each, the number of parents would be represented by the enormous total of one billion seventy-four million and some odd persons.”, Illinois General Assembly Senate Vice Committee, Report of the Senate Vice Committee Created under the Authority of the Senate of the Forty-Ninth General Assembly as a Continuation of the Committee Created under the Authority of the Senate of the Forty-Eighth General Assembly, State of Illinois … , 1916.

I don’t have time for mow now, but I can look later.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #14

Is this in reference to Adam?

(George) #15

@Jonathan_Burke

I thought you made an excellent observation a day or so ago about the BioLogos resistance to pre-adamite ideas.

Which researcher or philisopher do you consider to be the first to suggest this:

“A pre-Adamite population into which Adam and Eve married”?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #16

That idea goes back thousands of years.

(George) #17

@swamidass

Yes im sure. But what document is the first to treat the topic. Ill even accept authentically old but anonymous documents!

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #18

@TWReynolds you will want to look this up. He was arguing for kinship between Europeans and Indians. What an interesting person to focus a dissertation on :slight_smile:. I’m curious what he thought of manifest destiny.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #19

Show me who please. I’m not going to be able put them in my book, but I want to know. I know that Davis Young argued against it, based on incorrect science (largely matching Venema). He is quoted.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #20

Alright @Jonathan_Burke. Here are the two paragraphs I have added, even acknowledging you. Did I get it right?

Henry Kendall, a Presbyterian minister,[1] published an article in 1886 in a popular science magazine, and then a book The Kinship of Men an Argument from Pedigrees; or, Genealogy Viewed as a Science (1888).[2] Using a mathematical argument, Kendall concluded everyone on earth was genealogically related to one another in the very recent past. As far as I know, Kendall was the first to realize this. As pastor, his insight did not find its way into the primary scientific literature, but he deserves credit here.

[1] Goslin S. Thomas II, ‘Henry Kendall, Missionary Statesman’, Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society , 27.2 (1949), 69–87.

[2] Henry Kendall, ‘Natural Heirship: Or, All the World Akin’, Popular Science Monthly , January 1886 https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Popular_Science_Monthly/Volume_28/January_1886/Natural_Heirship:_Or,_All_the_World_Akin; Henry Kendall, The Kinship of Men an Argument from Pedigrees; or, Genealogy Viewed as a Science (Boston: Cupples and Hurd, 1888).

Chang’s work echoed Kendall’s argument from 111 years before.

In fact, the missionary Henry Kendall proposed a genealogical Adam and Eve in his 1888 book.1 Kendall understood we were all one family, linked across the whole globe. His calculations, moreover, were almost correct, off by merely a factor of two.

Every individual living before Christ who has descendants at all has them in us.

This fact, he argued, disproved racist polygenesis. We are all equal heirs of our ancestors, so it was a “great and grievous wrong” that wealth was hoarded by a few.2 Before DNA was discovered, Kendall might even have predicted genetic ghosts.3 I do not know how, but somehow Kendall’s insight was forgotten.

[1] I am very grateful to Jonathan Burke for directing me to these references and quotes. Kendall, The Kinship of Men an Argument from Pedigrees; or, Genealogy Viewed as a Science .

[2] Kendall, ‘Natural Heirship: Or, All the World Akin’.

[3] “His [the ancestor’s] part in the building up of any human fabric rapidly becomes insignificant.” Kendall, The Kinship of Men an Argument from Pedigrees; or, Genealogy Viewed as a Science .

Once again thank you. I really wish you would have shared the reference a long time ago, but this is immensely helpful. Thank you.

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