Not an Evolutionary Creationist


(Jordan Mantha) #1

This is a bit confusing to me. I know you don’t want the label, but virtually everyone else would put you solidly in the theistic evolution or evolutionary creation camp (and the vast majority of people are not going to distinguish between those two terms). Both terms (theistic evolution and evolutionary creation) existed before and outside of BioLogos so even if you disagree with them (and even that seems minor) I’m not sure that you’re outside of what people would consider TE/EC.

Webster definition of Theism:

belief in the existence of a god or gods
specifically: belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world

I seems like you would be a theist, more than a theist for sure, but at least a theist.

I’m also not sure how you can talk as much as you do about neutral theory, common descent, etc. and say that the “evolutionary” or “evolutionist” isn’t a proper descriptor. Again, maybe it’s too narrow, but I don’t see how it’s actually wrong.


Purpose Nation: Fazale Rana (RTB) on Genealogical Adam
(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #2

Why isn’t it enough for Dr. Swamidass to say he is a Christian and that he is a professional in the field of Evolutionary Science?

Adding adjectives to evolution like theistic evolution or evolutionary creation actually is contrary (and possibly detrimental) to Dr. Swamidass’ professional standing as MN is what other scientists expect of Dr. Swamidass in his research and professional work.


(Jordan Mantha) #3

It doesn’t mean much of anything on the science/secular university side of things, but within the Christian community the distinctions can be important. If @swamidass says he’s a Christian scientist and not a TE/EC then people will assume he is OEC or YEC, which I don’t see.

Saying “Adam & Eve could have been created de novo and/or are a historical couple whom we are all genealogical decedents of” doesn’t seem like enough of a distinction to be outside the TE/EC camp. So I kinda wonder where all this is going. I don’t think I care either way, just to be clear, I just find it bit odd how much Josh distances himself from BioLogos when what he says sounds more similar to them than any other of the “traditional” camps.


Purpose Nation: Fazale Rana (RTB) on Genealogical Adam
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #4

Well I am not TE/EC. I am not defined by my view on origins. I am not here to advocate for my personal view of origins. I instead aim to be honest about what I have seen in science. Have you read this article yet? http://peacefulscience.org/confessing-scientist/

Thanks.

@Patrick gets it.

TE/EC is not helpful in the Church context either. At PS, I am hopeful we can form a community around the questions rather than specific answers, that can include all sorts of views.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #5

Why are distinctions within Christianity important? Can’t you just say you are a Christian? Or do you have to be a right or left wing Baptist or Presbyterian who was once a Methodist but now is a semi-concordist fundamentalist and an Evangelical on Thursdays?


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #6

To be honest, I’m surprised by this too. I did not expect that this would be such an anathema at BioLogos. I have no hard feelings towards them. I had originally imagined I’d be working with them too. It just seems we have very different values.

I encourage anyone who wants to still work with BioLogos. They certainly need the help. No one needs to choose between BioLogos and PS, but I know that (1) I’m not currently welcome there and (2) I’m not sure I want to go back any ways.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #7

BioLogos kicked him out of their forum. Why should he have any goodwill towards this Templeton funded organization?


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #8

I do have good will towards them. I just I am not with them any longer. We parted ways.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #9

Having goodwill with people is a good thing but goodwill to an institution/organization is another.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #10

If BioLogos was true to its mission, I am sure we would not be in conflict. I really hope that someday they return to the best version of what they could be. Such an organization would be really positive contribution to the dialogue. I hope that comes about. So I do have good will towards BioLogos.

At the moment, I niether welcome there, nor am I aligned with their values. We are going different directions. Who knows, maybe they picked the right direction. It just isn’t for me.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #11

I allow for the de novo creation of Adam. That is in direct conflict with BioLogo’s official position. Most people can tell the difference.


(Robert Byers) #12

Oh yes thats right. i should of remembered that from previous threads.
Biologos folks don’t see any Adam. Were they there? if god did create mankind he would leave a record. He did!
Its so unlikely Hebrew scholars long ago made up this great lineage, names and ages, from Adam to Christ.
Why such a conspiracy of deception of these old Hebrews?? In law one gets a fair trial before told one is a liar.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #13

Biologos is a Templeton funded 501C corporation with a mission aligned to the Evangelical Christian right opposed to the perceived damage YEC is causing to young Christians who are leaving Christianity in the millions. You can’t have goodwill towards an institution or a 501C corporation. Perhaps you can have goodwill with specific people who work at Biologos but not with an organization itself.


(Curtis Henderson) #14

That depends on what you mean by “BioLogos folks”. There are several, even in leadership roles that would support Adam and Eve as historical figures instead of complete myth. It might be a good idea to be careful with the stereotypes.


(Jordan Mantha) #15

I did read the article shortly after I joined the forum. I was a bit confused then, and still am. It’s not a big deal, but as someone who has some pretty similar aims, but in a different context, it’s interesting to see how it gets worked out. You are honest about what you’re seeing in science, but you also talk a lot about theology. This makes things kinda murky. The problem is you may not be defined by you view on origins, but you certainly will be judged by them, for better or worse. Most people will see you as TE/EC and so I’m wondering if you can really make a distinction there. Historical Adam is not enough.

But it is the way it is. And this community is full of answers, or at least arguments (mostly in a positive sense) about those answers. It’s not like we ask questions and then say “and we don’t care what the truth is”, we are just more open to honest discussion, which can be very different than other online forums.

I don’t see so much different values as it taking a while to turn a large ship. I’ve followed Scot McKnight’s blog for about a decade now and I have a hard time believing that he would just discount Genealogical Adam. I think Genealogical Adam will catch on and be a common, if not most common, position of evolutionary creationists. It’s just takes a while since for a while the biologists within TE/EC have said the genetic bottlenecks would rule out a historical Adam.

Well, sociologists of religion could probably help with that. I just usually say we like to shoot ourselves in the foot whenever possible.

The longer answer is that this doesn’t have nearly as much to do with the science as it does with the way that people look at the Bible and how it relates to belief. If you look at the faith statements of many churches, they start with a statement on the Bible (inerrancy, verbal plenary inspiration, etc.) before talking about God, Jesus, etc. So if you start messing with that, it’s a big deal. Ask Christians if we believe in Jesus because of the Bible or if we believe in the Bible because of Jesus, that will get people fired up.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #16

How about this. Under the right leadership, BioLogos could do a lot of good, and I hope that happens. In fact, it is even possible they could remove Peaceful Science’s reason for being. I would welcome that if it could ever happen, and nothing we are doing here at Peaceful Science is zero-sum with them. I hope they go real good in the world.

Maybe that is not good will in your books, but that I what I feel about them.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #17

Leadership roles at Biologos? There is no leadership at Biologos. It is a tool of Templeton. Just because someone has the title of President of an organization doesn’t make them a leader.


(Jordan Mantha) #18

But they would see both as TE/EC, that’s all I’m trying to say.


(Brad Cooper) #19

Well, something happened that I thought wouldn’t happen… I’m agreeing with @Patrick =) Thankfully, I also believe in miracles.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #20

Biologos is not a large ship. Not even a yacht. More like a lifeboat attached to sinking ship.