Ross’s arguments do seem to be important so I leave them out. Here are my comments on your answers to Nelson.
I am certain, however, that this is a misdiagnosis. I found space for a literal reading of Genesis, including the de novo creation of Adam and Eve. There was no need to challenge MN. If Nelson’s telling were correct, this should not be possible.
My response: Your complaint here against Nelson is weak. Nelson would not have missed this obvious fact. Nelson challenges MN as related to your study, and probably rightfully so, by your insistence that evolutionary origins – in every way, a “science-only” dialogue – be found alongside theological origins.
More to the point, MN is neither a premise nor a presupposition in my book. Most clearly demonstrating Nelson’s error, MN certainly does not influence the analysis as he supposes.
My response: I think you are missing his complaint. While MN may not come into play in mainstream science and while it may in fact to you be “unrecognizable”, it most certainly is germane to the conversation when one wants to impose evolutionary origins alongside a de novo creation of Adam and Eve! So, in reality, it was your mix of traditional theology and modern-day science that prompted the discussion of MN in the first place. Nelson was right to bring it up.
Supposedly because of MN, a genealogical Adam and Eve is undetectable to genetic science. However, undetectability is a finding that follows from understanding the limits of genetic evidence, not a starting presupposition .
My response: Here you are trying to move a theological A&E over to an exclusively genealogical A&E to help make your argument against MN. But this distinction completely fails given that we know no “Adam and Eve” outside of theology.
He quotes the “most telling sentence” in the book: “As a scientist in the Church and a Christian in science, I see firsthand the strength of evolutionary science. What version of theistic evolution could be theologically sound? ” Nelson truncates the quote; tellingly, he leaves out the next sentences:
This question, I hope, can be received with empathy by a new generation of theologians. Help us find a better way.
My response: But your inclusion of what Nelson omitted does not help reveal any weakness in Nelson’s argument that you have pre-defined all the rules of the dialogue. By making any discussion outside the bounds of “evolutionary science” and “theistic evolution” irrelevant to the game in play, you immediately exclude millions of Christians, and not just YEC, who simply do not want to participate in your game.
I don’t want to grandstand and GAE is obviously not meant for people like me or Ross or Nelson, so I already feel left out, unimportant. For that reason, I will wrap up my thoughts in the next post and go straight to what I feel Dr S’s true motivation is in his effort. And, no, it will not all be bad. I do have a positive comment to make.