Jim Tour Endorses The Genealogical Adam and Eve

@jongarvey, could you add to this?

No. I’m not. I’m saying they are the first and initially only human persons within the scope of Scripture, and they are also ancestors of everyone (or nearly everyone) across the globe by AD 1, even if they are as recent as 6,000 years ago.

I understand GAE is postulating Adam and Eve as universal genealogical ancestors. I don’t understand what import the word sole is meant to carry.

The sole means that they exclusively alone are the progenitors of their own lineage. That’s true for all of us of course, but in their case membership in their lineage connects us to the story of scripture in a particular way.

I’m still confused. My initial attempt to parse that came out as a claim of a genetic Adam and Eve (no interbreeding with other humans). If I stick a universal in before progenitors, I’m nearly back at the interpretation you just rejected - but there aren’t any other progenitors of Cain, Abel and Seth, so that distinguishes them from other universal progenitors of later populations.

However, have you definitely adopted a creationist rather than an adoptionist model? - because under an adoptionist model there are other, earlier, universal progenitors. I thought I had read here that the GAE didn’t take a position on that issue.

That would be true only if their descendants interbred only among themselves. Otherwise, there is no lineage that can be singled out. Human populations aren’t a lineage but a network. There’s no “sole” or “exclusively alone” or anything else like that.

This, incidentally, does demonstrate that people are indeed confused by your language.

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To give my full explanation requires a chapter or more, so I can’t do so adequately here. However, part of the answer is, as you rightly say, the intended scope of Genesis and the Bible:

This is true, because the Bible’s entire purview is the new creation in Christ, whose first stirrings are in Eden.

That aside, in Generations I spend some time discussing from linguistic and cultural aspects how the Hebrew term 'adam must almost inevitably be the word used to cover any people outside the garden, however they differ or resemble Adam. This is so even if the word’s primary application is to “children of Adam,” developing in Hebrew long after a time when no people the Hebrews would customarily encounter would fail to be Adam’s descendants.

One comparison I use briefly is the way we now find ourselves confused in whether to describe Neanderthals as “humans” or not, though that English word developed to cover only modern man. Any Homo sapiens meeting with Neanderthals would undoubtedly have some unique term for them - which need not have any more pejorative intent than one tribe’s name for its neighbours.

Early societies, in fact, more often than not name themselves something like “the people,” only subsequently referring to outsiders by that term. Examples include the Bantu in Africa, and the “Folk” of East Anglia, whose term for themselves gradually passed into English so that it refers to everyone.

We are talking, though, about fully modern humans outside the garden, and the uniqueness of Adam and his line, in my view, is primarily one of calling into spiritual relationship with Yahweh. This is certainly a new kind of humanity, but no more minimises the status of Adam’s contemporaries than does the fact that Christians, according to gospel teaching a new creation of the Spirit of God, live alongside - and very often marry - those who are not so re-created. Some might describe that as “becoming fully humanin Christ” but even they would imply no sub-humanity to the rest of the race.

In fact, this example is less an analogy than a partial antitype of how Adam actually differs from his peers.

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Absolutely their linage interbred with others, so what you say does not follow.

Yes there is. If you map out who the descendents of AE would have been, you’d see a pyramid with a single couple at the top, who are AE. Yes there would be other people interbreeding into AE’s lineage, but AE’s lineage begins exclusively with them. It is in that sense that they are sole progenitors. If AE did not exist, there would not be any genealogical descendents of AE.

Only them, solely AE, sit at the headwaters of the lineage of AE.

Of course, there are other universal ancestors too, but they aren’t AE. Some of them are likely more recent than AE also, but we never claimed that AE were the most recent (vanishingly unlikely) or only universal ancestors (logically impossible).

Of course people are confused. Never disputed their confusion. That is an inevitable feature of (not to be presumptuous) a perspective or paradigm shift. It is an issue of translation between two different angles or periscopes on the same physical reality.

Yes, it begins with them, as would anyone’s lineage used in this sense. But the beginning of a lineage is not the same as sole progenitors. Redefining terms makes for confusion. Though I know what you’re saying, many other people will not unless you explain it, and the confusion could best be fixed by not using that language in the first place.

Beg pardon?

I don’t think that’s the problem. The problem lies with the language you use to explain the scenario. Different language, less potential confusion.

Typo now fixed.

I’m not redefining the term. I’m recovering it’s meaning in relation to the doctrine of monogenesis. This is in fact central to my point.

Yes the problem is with a difference in language. I’m not the problem here though. The very recent and scientized definition you are using is the problem.

OK, thanks for the explanation. I guess the book will explain this further. :slight_smile:

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Agree to disagree.

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I’m further confused. I see GAE as a polygenist hypothesis, not a monogenist one; it divides humanity into two groups, with different origins, regardless of whether you call one group true humans, theological humans or textual humans.

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I think the correctness of your word choice here depends on what your goal is. If your goal is to communicate solely with yourself, then you’re fine. If your goal is to communicate your ideas to any other speaker of English on the planet, then by referring to Adam and Eve as “sole progenitors” of humans you will inevitably fail to achieve your goal.

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Wouldn’t Adamic and non-Adamic humans be clearer and more natural labels?

I don’t think that you can avoid that confusion. Once you’ve gone beyond labelling one pair of universal genealogical ancestors as Adam and Eve, and introduced the further postulate that the descendants of Adam and Eve - Adamic humans - are in some non-trivial way different from everyone else, i.e. non-Adamic humans, you’ve effectively adopted the belief that Faizal Ali ascribes to you, and are just arguing about the labels used.

I recall a thread here discussing whether non-Adamic humans have immortal souls. That’s an example of the cans of worms that you’re opening.

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And looking at a thread from last March I see some shockingly racist opinions being expressed about non-Adamic humans.

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You can also find some shockingly racist statements about non-white people in present era which are still standing on this forum despite being called out by several members here.

Quite correct.

That part’s not right, though. You are speaking figuratively: you’re using hyperbole, since your wife is not the only woman even in your relational world. Hyperbole is a form of figurative language. (The meaning ‘relational world’ itself might be considered figurative language, a metaphorical meaning added to the prior meaning of ‘physical world’ – which itself was a meaning shift from the previous meaning of ‘age of humans’. The distinction between literal and figurative is hardly clear-cut and changes over time.)

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Congrats on the endorsement from James Tour! I didn’t know you were acquainted and even friends with Dr. Tour.

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