Reworking the Science of Adam


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #21

It’s not hostility. It’s condescension.

@gbrooks9 sees the condescension too.

Except my colleagues understand what I mean and find it an important and interesting conversation. Why do you think this does not make sense to them?


(George) #22

Perhaps you do… but the tone of your writing seems designed to provoke. Is it really necessary to have such a tight grip on the words you will allow others to use? The words you use seem much more appropriate to the founder of a 70 year old 501©(3) than someone seeking to engage in a conversation of exchange.


#23

“Y-Chromosome Adam could not possibly be the Adam of Scripture.”

Great. Yet again we are agreed.

Then which one is meant in the title: “the Science of Adam”? Or do you mean both at the same time?

Since you asked, a more suitable title imho would be “the science of Y-chromosomal Adam from an evangelical Christian perspective” or “scientific reflections on Biblical Adam” or something like that. More accurate, less prone to misinterpretation and no conflation. Unless, that is, you have some reason for wanting conflation (nice spin = double meaning) in the title as it stands.

As to your work, I’m aware of it and have read some of it. I believe it’s moving in the right direction from a field that is often highly distorted, hungover from selfish genetics, etc. You’ll eventually find predecessors for the genealogical claim, which has been made for decades, Joshua. Just go searching.

For viewers, you and Dennis make a fun match for each other on this topic as duelling evangelicals.

It helps nevertheless that you have said and plan to continue saying genealogy vs. genetics as loudly as possible everywhere, given your field of work. It’s going to get harder for you playing sides if your ‘defense of genealogical Adam’ gains dialogue space. Having blunt conflationary titles like the one in this OP don’t help. Stubbornness will only make it worse.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #24

I intentionally meant that to mean both:

  1. The science pertaining to the Biblical Adam
  2. The science of universal ancestry

Clearly you do not like it, but this is just a blog post and a workshop title. Not sure if it will stay around much longer than that.

Please do tell me the predecessors. In the PSCF article, I cited David Opderbeck and Jon Garvey, and have since learned I should have also included Steven Schaffner. If you know others, I would love to know who they are, so they are appropriately acknowledged.

You are right now an outlier. No one else has raised this issue. I’ll wait to see if others arise. If they do, you are more than just idiosyncratic, but correct. At that point you can be sure I will use different language in the future.


#25

I asked:

"Are you suggesting that there currently exists a field of study that is or should be called ‘the science of Biblical Adam’?

You answered:

No, I am not saying that at all.

So we were expected to take you at your word. Yet now you’ve updated your position. So now you’re saying not “the science of Biblical Adam” but rather only “The science pertaining to the Biblical Adam”. Have I read what you wrote accurately?

“You are right now an outlier. No one else has raised this issue. I’ll wait to see if others arise. If they do, you are more than just idiosyncratic, but correct. At that point you can be sure I will use different language in the future.”

LOL. Just don’t ever change your thinking (using language) until you first have a crowd to join and do it with you, Joshua. :wink:


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #26

No. There was no update to the position. I do not think there is a scientific field of study devoted to studying Adam. I do think there is science that pertains to theology of Adam. The word “of” can have both meanings, and perhaps that what is confused. At this point, we are just going round in circles though.

Sounds like we agree that:

  1. Genetics is not genealogy.
  2. The Biblical Adam is not Y-Chromosome Adam
  3. There is a lot of misunderstanding about how science interacts with theology here, that needs to be corrected.

That is a lot of common ground. I’ll take it.

Thanks, I think. It seems he got the short end of the stick.

Of course you know that’s not the case =). I want to see more evidence that this is confusing to people. I’ve changed my language on topics like this in the past. I would do it again.


(George) #27

@auntyevology,

By linking both phrases, @swamidass is making for a pretty specific intention.

Have you actually read his primary articles on the matter? I get the impression you really have no idea what he’s talking about.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #28

I get that impression too.


#29

Sounds like we agree that:

  1. Genetics is not genealogy.
  2. The Biblical Adam is not Y-Chromosome Adam
  3. There is a lot of misunderstanding about how science interacts with theology here, that needs to be corrected.
    That is a lot of common ground. I’ll take it.

Yup. Let me add to 3. that I’m not a-philosophical (without philosophy) when it comes to correction.

I intentionally meant that to mean both:
The science pertaining to the Biblical Adam
The science of universal ancestry

That’s what I called ‘conflating’ above and shows why clarity of communication is so important given how many times this pathway has been tread by others.

“By linking both phrases, @swamidass is making for a pretty specific intention.”

Yes, he is. And he’ll have to face the music for that if he proceeds, just as @Revealed_Cosmology noted.

Guys, leaving aside your false impressions & innuendo, it frankly doesn’t take much reading of @swamidass to ascertain the position he is trying to make in ‘science and religion’ discourse. His work is in no way for me a surprise to confront and to work with. It is one voice in ‘science and religion’ discourse using old ideas in new ways.

I do not think there is a scientific field of study devoted to studying Adam. I do think there is science that pertains to theology of Adam.”

The bold part puts us now in agreement (regardless of study/studying repeat). Then why not title the workshop “Genetics and Genealogical Science as it pertains to Theology of Adam” or “Why Biblical Adam cannot be studied scientifically?” In short, calling something loosely (haven’t really thought it through) “the science of Adam” and then speaking as you do is a imho a bad idea. Take it as advice only.


(Curtis Henderson) #30

I have some advice, as well. If you want your comments to be taken as advice, you should offer them as advice rather than an odd mixture of condescension, confusion, and confrontation. What you claim you are doing in this conversation and what you are actually doing do not match up.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #31

The meaning of pun:

exploiting the different possible meanings of a word.

The meaning of conflate:

to fuse into one entity; merge

Conflation is exact opposite of a pun. In a pun, we use one word to mean two things, but it is pun because can distinguish the two things still. In conflation we treat two concepts as the same thing, even though they are two. It seems you mistook a pun for conflation. It is common for people to do this, so I should be careful to clarify (and I am) that it is merely a pun, and there are multiple distinct concepts.

Similar conflations occur with the word “human” and “ancestry”, and I’ve been leading the effort to clarify our terminology in these places. Conflation is so common in this conversation, that is hard for people to recognize puns, or to even articulate where they are conflating.

It sounds also like you are confused by my meaning because you have not engaged deeply. Writing that “it doesn’t take much reading”, suggesting you have not done much reading. It is very likely you just do not know my position.

Instead of just dismissing it, consider reading for example the PSCF article, and tell me if I misstated anything there. That would be helpful.

http://peacefulscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/PSCF3-18p19-35Swamidass.pdf

It is hard to tell if this is dismissive citation bluffing, or if you really have something to offer. Can you clarify? Do you really know people who have put this forward before? I’d really like to know who. At this point, I’ve only identified 3 people, and only 1 (@jongarvey) has done much theological development from it.

This is distinct from Kidner’s, John Stott’s, and Dennis Alexander’s proposal, and from Homo divinus in catholic thought. It also has distinctions from John Walton’s model, and many others. This is not a big surprise, because most of the key papers were published post 2004, or even post 2015. We just did not know much of the science I’ve been relying on several decades ago.

So, if you do know someone, please do let me know. I’d like to make sure they are appropriately acknowledge, and to incorporate any of their insight.

If you are just dismissively citation bluffing, stop.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #32

4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Patrick’s Objections


(system) #33