Is support of de novo creation motivated by fear?

Yes, that’s covered by “doctrines they fear will be affected”, and also a greater fear of “But if I’m wrong about this what else am I wrong about?”. The point is that it’s not science or hermeneutics which is motivating their concern. It’s tradition and fear.


The “fear” theory is troubled with evidence. Both Collins, Keller, and Ken are have been wrestling with this for years. They have not ignored the evidence, but have been trying to piece things together. Fearful people do not engage as deeply as have these three.

Instead, we could just take them at their word. They say it is a matter if integrity for them. I see no reason to doubt this. In fact, it makes much more sense of their behavior and their history.


It’s not “troubled with evidence”, it’s right out in the open. Their fear is that abandoning a de novo Adam is an abandonment of inspiration.

I do. That’s precisely why they say things like this.

And I do think in the end, even if I could be wrong on reading that text, I’ve got to have my reading of the text correct my understanding of the science.

But if you go back to the text, and you come to your conclusion as far as you can say, “Before God I’m trying my best to read this as I think what the Scripture says.” Right now, it says to me, you know, there is an Adam and Eve, and everyone came from Adam and Eve, and they were a special creation , and so even though I don’t have an answer to my scientist friends, that is where I stand.

They can’t accept science if it conflicts with what they think the text says, because to do so would infringe on their understanding of how the Bible communicates inerrantly. The statement “I’ve got to have my reading of the text correct my understanding of the science” is one which Galileo would have recognized. This is not a case of “Evidence first, interpretation of the text second”.

Isn’t the point being made by @swamidass and endorsed by guys like @NLENTS that science cannot rule out a “special creation” of Adam and Eve?
As @NLENTS pointed out in his endorsement of the book…

As a secular scientist, I was seriously skeptical of this book. Nevertheless, Swamidass has ably shown that the current evidence in genetics and ancestry is compatible with a recently de novo –created couple as among our universal common ancestors.

Do you feel there is sufficient scientific evidence to rule out a de Novo creation?

No. I have always believed in a de novo creation of Adam and Eve. This doesn’t address what I quoted and wrote.

You can’t be claiming that scientific evidence negates the concept of original sin right?

After all what does science have to do with the concept of Sin?

No. I haven’t said anything about science negating original sin. Science isn’t necessary to negate original sin, Scripture does that. I’ve mentioned some people being concerned that specific interpretations of Adam’s origin and descendants negate original sin.

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@Jonathan_Burke, those quotes do not look fearful at all. They look pretty confident.

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You don’t think Keller is concerned that accepting a non historical Adam will have potentially dangerous implications for inspiration and other doctrines? Of course he is. That’s exactly what he’s afraid of. He’s also scared of "If the we’re wrong about this what else is wrong?.


No fear here? Just confidence?

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I am sure there are fearful people out there. This quote here does not have fear in it. It is just a logical argument.

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Of course it has fear in it. That’s exactly what slippery slope arguments are all about; fear of consequences.

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You’re probably right that there is fear somewhere, but accusing your opponents of being motivated by fear is not a rational argument against their position. It’s basically only a form of speculation about their motives. What is the point of obsessing over this? Does it lead to anything productive?


They are not my opponents, and I am not arguing against their position. Have you forgotten that I believe in a de novo historical Adam and Eve, just as they do?

This is not a matter of obsessing. It’s a matter of understanding people in order to figure out the arguments which will reach them most effectively. If you don’t understand their real motivation, you won’t reach them. I’ve spent a couple of decades living around people who think and feel like this, and who use all the same arguments, so I am very experienced with the situation. And it’s not just about them, it’s about reaching the people they influence, people who may end up with a shipwrecked faith as a result of finally realizing they’ve been completely led astray.


Is support of de novo creation motivated by fear?

That’s ultimately irrelevant, so I personally don’t weigh too much into such questions, no matter how interesting.

de novo creation (like Jesus feeding the 5000 by creating matter that looks like cooked fish and bread) was real or its not. The question of the feeding of 5000 is extensible to other de novo creations like postulated by Creationists.

What do you think is a better way to reach them?

Theologically. And yes I do recognize that this is not what Peaceful Science is set up for.

That’s quite vague. What does it mean to theologically reach them? Wedgeworth’s argument, for example, is mostly theological already. And that’s what we’ve been trying to argue about. Can you elaborate or give an example?

As I recall, the GAE includes a theological argument that they endorsed.

I really don’t understand why you are pressing for @Jonathan_Burke. If the goal is to:

If that’s the goal the GAE worked for at least some of them. Whatever fear they had was overcome. That’s good news.

Perhaps a better line of inquiry would focus on understandint why the GAE was effective when other approaches were not.

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But the GAE itself is not a theological argument, it’s an argument that a particular theological interpretation cannot be completely ruled out by science. It is intended to preserve specific theological doctrines, not challenge them.

I have already commented on that repeatedly, not only in this thread but in many others. The GAE is effective for them precisely because it preserves their theology without requiring them to examine or justify it. In doing so it enables them to retain their fear of theological change, and impress that fear on others.

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