No. It is transparently a strawman argument. Anti-traditional theology. Anti-de novo creation. For no defensible reason.
I was just asked by a leader at BioLogos to do the same. So I have a rewrite on hand. Links are missing. Kudos for the leaders at BioLogos that are choosing to engage. There is no reason to press this disagreement further.
Were Adam and Eve historical figures?
At BioLogos, we are passionately committed to taking the Bible seriously and to seeking a scientific understanding of God’s creation. How do the Bible and science inform our understanding of Adam and Eve?
We are also persuaded by the scientific evidence that human beings evolved, sharing common ancestors with all other life on earth. Furthermore, it increasingly appears that our ancestors were never a single couple in, at least, the last half million years.
Traditional de novo view
Traditional interpretations of Scripture should not be lightly dismissed, but neither is it responsible to ignore or dismiss the results of scientific inquiry simply because they appear, superficially, to conflict with traditional interpretations.
In one traditional view, Adam and Eve were created de novo—they were created by God as fully formed “humans” (as understood in theology), roughly 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. God made them quickly and completely as fully formed humans with no biological ancestors. In this traditional de novo view, Adam and Eve are “sole progenitors”: they were the first two humans, and they alone gave rise to all other humans. The good news is that some traditional de novo views of human origins (including this one) are entirely consistent with evolutionary science. This is a recent correction to our understanding of how evolutionary science interacts with theology of Adam (and is defended by S. Joshua Swamidass).
As surprising as this conclusion sounds, it is possible because genetic and genealogical ancestry are different things. We emphasize that genetic ancestry pertains to DNA, and is very different than the ancestry of which Scripture and traditional theology are speaking. In truth, everyone had missed this for a long time, and we wonder if fixing this error sooner could have reduced confusion in the Church about the impact of evolutionary science on Adam.
Considering Other Options for Understanding Adam and Eve
For those that find value in affirming the traditional de novo view, they might be drawn to a Genealogical Adam (as proposed by S. Joshua Swamidass). Here, we only need to allow for God having created biologically-compatible people outside the garden, with whom Adam’s offspring would eventual breed, thereby becoming ancestors of us all. Adam and Eve would be ancestors of all “humans,” and could have lived as recently as 6 thousand years ago.
Still, we also want to dignify the full range of views on Adam in the Church. Theology of Adam was never added to the creeds, because the Church Fathers have, traditionally, indentified the foundation of our faith with Jesus, not Adam. For this reason, it is in the spirit of traditional theology on Adam to consider other options too, as this reminds us our foundation is in Jesus, not Adam too. We feel there are several options open to those who desire to remain faithful to Scripture and take science seriously.
Some Christian leaders (such as Billy Graham) are open to models that see evolution as compatible with Adam and Eve as real historical people. In one version, John Stott suggests that God entered into a special relationship with a pair of ancient historical representatives of humanity about 200,000 years ago in Africa. Genesis retells this historical event using cultural terms that the Hebrews in the ancient Near East could understand.
In another version (defended by Denis Alexander) Adam and Eve are recent historical representatives, living perhaps 6000 years ago in the ancient Near East rather than Africa. By this time humans had already dispersed throughout the earth. God then revealed himself specially to a pair of farmers we know as Adam and Eve—real people whom God chose as spiritual “recent representatives” for all humanity.
Other Christians, such as Alister McGrath and C.S. Lewis have suggested a non-historical model. In this view, the early chapters of Genesis are symbolic stories in the genre of other ancient Near Eastern literature. In this view, Adam and Eve were not historical figures at all, and the early chapters of Genesis are symbolic stories in the genre of other ancient Near Eastern literature. They convey important and inspired theological truths about God and humanity, but they are not historical in the sense people today use the word.
Of course, there are still important questions that arise. In this spirit of all great theology, including traditional theology, BioLogos is actively promoting dialogue and scholarship on this issue. While Christians may disagree about how and when God created the first humans, we can all agree that God made humanity in his image, all people have sinned, and that salvation is found in Christ alone.