The Genealogical Adam Need Not Be Concordist

@randy, for the record, I am not putting forward a concordist account of Genesis. I’m more concerned with the concordism used to argue against it.

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Can you expand this a bit? If it’s not concordist, it seems to me to be at least providing support for concordist interpretations.


At BioLogos concordism means reading science into scripture. It means eisegesis. In no way does the GA support eisegesis.

There are other meanings of the word “concordist”, that this does support, but this is generally not what BioLogos means. We had a long conversation with @deuteroKJ over this: Concordism and Genesis 1-2.


Right, I know we had this discussion, but the purpose of the Genealogical Adam, it seems to me, is to provide a scientifically defensible position for “lining up” the story of Adam & Eve/Garden of Eden with modern genetics. That seems to me to lean towards concordism.

There’s not a lot of difference between:

I’m showing that science does not rule out a historical Adam & Eve, given these parameters


Adam and Eve are historical figures, here’s a scientifically defensible way to say that.

The later seems concordist to me.


It all depends what you mean by concordance.

If you mean consilience, in that we see two different accounts of the same reality, I would agree. If you mean that Genesis is describing real people in a real past, I would agree with you too.

If you mean eisegesis, the whole point of a Genealogical Adam is to argue against this sort of concordism. Scripture does not speak of “humans” and “ancestry” in the same language as science. Reading in scientific precision in to Biblical terms, this eisegesis, is central to the BioLogos argument against Adam and Eve. I disagree with eisegesis in all its forms. It is indefensible because it is the negative type of concordism.

Concordist is not in the eye of the beholder. In the negative sense that BioLogos uses it, it means reading scientific knowledge into scripture where it cannot properly be found. Inferring real historical referents is not concordism because it does not require scientific knowledge to understand Scripture this way. One might as well understand the claim of the bodily Ressurection, and the existence of Jesus too, as “concordist” on these grounds. Moreover, I’ve done a lot of work to show, the evidence in science is non-interacting with this claim.


Dr Swamidass,Thank you. I did not perhaps use the clearest word. I replaced the word “concordist” with historical Adam and Eve. Correct me if you feel appropriate, please.

I believe that you and the folks at Biologos both have earnest love for God,. Thanks for your penetrating discussion. .

I tend to be on the Lamoureux side, but we can always end every conversation with prayer meeting or sit down for a beer (in this Baptist’s, case, a hot chocolate) together. At bottom, we are followers of Jesus and seekers of the truth.

Pray for me, because I’m a Mr Mom today–my wife is at Mom Con for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) in Louisville and I have to take my 3 kids everywhere. I already mixed up my boys’ school backpacks :slight_smile:


Hahahaha… Funny how life changes. Fifteen years back, I’ll guess you’d never have envisioned typing that sentence!! :smile:

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It is indeed wonderful–but I am an old dad–I was (gulp) 32 15 years ago. My kids at 10, 8 and 5 now. I couldn’t find a wife to take me till I was 35–but I’m grateful :slight_smile: My own mom is here, helping me with my preschooler.

It’s really hard at church, when people ask me if they’re my grandkids. One patient approached my wife, saying, “I know your father so well”! (we’re not THAT far apart! I have grayer hair than most my age).

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I was a married at 26 and a dad at 28. I was much more patient at 35. Your kiddos are surely fortunate because of that. People will always say dumb things… nice that you can be there to give them grace when they do. Others would certainly not be so generous. Look upon it as a ministry!! :slight_smile:

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Oh, I’m still learning the patience issues; but I think it’s actually funny. Grey hair gives a false impression of wisdom when you’re a family doc, though. Thanks :slight_smile: Being married earlier on is a good idea–but some of us take longer to grow up. My brother was married earlier, as you were.

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Quite so, Josh. If there are grounds for treating an ancient text as basically historical, it’s not an error to demonstrate corroborative evidence, whether that be historical or scientific. The only objection to this is some kind of claim that Scripture describes a different world from the physical one, which would render attempts to make links between the two impious.

That might be the case if you dug up the grave of a rich man called Lazarus and purported to prove that the parable of Dives and Lazarus was historical. But in the case of Adam and Eve, their historicity was assumed by all generations of theologians until deep time and evolution seemed to be against it; and only at that time did it become popular to see them as purely allegorical or typological figures.

Geneaological Adam is, in fact, only a correction of false scientific assumptions.


That is a key point. Far from reading science into scripture, it is a corrective to dysconcordism.

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I only wish to point out that Aquinas didn’t treat genesis as historical either. Of course he did go in the opposite direction, believing that everything was created simultaneously but still, the point stands.

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I’m fairly certain he viewed Adam And Eve as real people in a real past.


True. I merely wished to point out that he too thought that story of Creation wasn’t completely accurate and that some stories from the Old Testament were more about morality then historicity thus, if science shows that some stories are not accurate we should look again and find another way to interpret them.


I’m fine with that. However Denis Lamarauox and many of the scholars at BioLogos argue that a real Adam in a real past is, by definition, concordism. Such a position is absurd. In the same argument some will insist Scripture teaches genetic sole progenitorship, for the purpose of saying it teaches incorrect science. This is a type of dysconcordism which is deeply destructive to honest dialogue.

@randy, you say you are with Denis on this. How do you justify reading science into scripture?

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@randy would you like to invite Lamarauox to an Office Hours here?

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@pevaquark, if we don’t already have enough on our plate, at some point we should deal with this too. I know this came up last time the GA was discussed. The misinformation in that thread was thick.

That’s great. I just think we need to begin with being accurate and rigorous about what science is actually ruling out first.

Thanks @randy.

I saw an interesting thread at BioLogos:

It seems they believe they are being misrepresented somehow on this thread. I invite them to explain how. I would really hope that we are not misrepresenting them. Ironically, the only reason this thread was started was because I am not allowed on their forum. No matter. They are still welcome here. They are always welcome to join us here and explain.

BioLogos, please help me understand what we missed about your position?