Reviewing Adam and the Genome

A post from 2017:

I depart from Adam and the Genome’s main thesis. Critical information was left out of this book about genealogical science.

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Could you go into more detail here? Why do you affirm a historical Adam? Is it necessary in order to accept the bible as inspired? Is it theologically necessary? Presumably you are not affirming Adam based on scientific evidence.


Well I trust scripture, and it seems that it teaches AE are real, and there isn’t any scientific evidence against that teaching. Beyond that, I’m pretty much an agnostic on the details.


What are your reasons for trusting scripture? Why do you take Genesis 2 literally but not Genesis 1? We’ve been over much of this in various threads, but I don’t recall that you participated.

I trust scripture because of what I found in Jesus: Peace Be With You.

Even a literal reading of Genesis 1 is consistent with evolutionary science, so I don’t understand that question. Perhaps @deuteroKJ can help you here.

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But is it necessary to believe every story in the bible to find belief in Jesus?

It certainly is not, unless you consider the days both not days and not sequential. And if so, aren’t you reading it non-literally? One can certainly interpret “let the earth bring forth” in an evolutionary way, but plants before animals and plants before the sun just won’t go.



I think you mean something different by “literal” that do the exegetes :). Even when read literally, Scripture doesn’t speak with scientific precision. It’s purpose isn’t to give us a detailed account from a global point of view.

One way to understand Genesis 1 is as a telling in six ordinary days, in a localized area. This makes sense when you consider the original language and intent. That’s just one way to resolve the conflict, and there are others.

Regardless, I’ll not sure if Genesis 1 and 2 should be read literally, and I’m not clear why anyone would care my personal views on that regardless.

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@swamidass I’m also curious how you handle this.

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Pure curiosity. Thanks.

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@swamidass’ views about Gen. 1 being read “literally” but also affirming Adam and Eve as real people in history can fit well with John Walton’s views on Gen. 1 being about “functional creation”, for example.

Fair enough :slight_smile: .

Have you read this yet? A Telling in Six Ordinary Days I’ve since learned others have called this “Proclamation Day”, and it is an example of a literal reading entirely consistent with science.

As for what I personally believe, I’m not sure exactly, largely because I see legitimacy to several layers on the text. It’s hard to rule out all of them, and I think it’s probably a combination of several layers being true.

@dga471, that’s right in that Walton takes the days to be literal ordinary (approx 24 days).

While everyone should agree there is a functional layer to the text, I’m not convinced (as Walton holds) that the functional layer is the only layer, to the exclusion of a material layer.

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I’m not convinced either that the functional layer is the only one there. But going back to the OP, there are really good reasons to think of A&E as real people from Scripture, even if one accepts a “Framework” or “analogical days” interpretation of Gen. 1, and even accept Gen. 2-3 as having many symbolic and literary elements (as Jack Collins does). The use of Adam in the NT is an example of a strong reason.

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Yes, I find it a tortured and incredible interpretation, unsupported by the text or by anything else.

Why, any more than the use of any Greek god in any mythological reference is a reason to believe that the god exists?

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Well many Christians believe as an article of faith that the Bible is inspired, but Greek myths are not.

But does “inspired” mean “literally true in all respects”? Surely there’s a middle ground here.

No, it doesn’t. Still, you don’t have to hold to a YEC-type hermeneutic to interpret Paul’s statements in Romans 5 and 1 Col. 15 as requiring the existence of a historical Adam. The GAE itself is already sort of a middle-ground.

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But do you have to interpret those statements that way? Is that necessary?

I personally think it’s necessary in order to hold a coherent, robust view of the authority of Scripture. And I think it’s also necessary to uphold the existence of a historical Fall. Without a historical fall, you have to re-imagine large parts of Christian theology entirely. Some people have tried to do that, but I find them personally unconvincing.

So there are good reasons to hold to that from both hermeneutics (how our theology matches the “data” of Scripture) and systematic theology (how Christianity as a philosophical system is internally coherent).

(I also acknowledge that there are Christians who disagree with me. But the existence of people who disagree does not necessitate a complete loss of epistemic confidence in one’s own views.)

This is yet another reason to be glad I don’t have to deal with religion.

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