The Skeptic: Leaving the Garden

Does any one know how to get the complete version of this article?

MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, THIS BOOK illustrates the futility of attempting to either shoehorn the Bible into science or science into the Bible. To his credit S. Joshua Swamidass seems to be attempting more to make evolution palatable to evangelical Christians than to attempt to convert scientists and secularists to Christianity.

Dr. Swamidass’s basic thesis is that, while humans evolved over hundreds of thousands of years from australopithecines, as evolutionary science and theistic evolutionists assert, God created Adam and Eve supernaturally from dust in the Garden of Eden. Despite this miraculous origin, Adam and Eve were not genetically different from the divinely evolved humans outside the garden. Thus, their offspring were able to interbreed with the outsiders (solving the troubling question of where Cain found his wife) and spread their genes through the entire population.

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Bought the issue, was let down both by the horrendous Pocketmags online reader as well as the review, which didn’t say anything interesting. It basically says that “we shouldn’t believe in the GAE because there’s no scientific evidence for it.” Unsurprising coming from a secular skeptical publication. But they seem to understand the main points of GAE and don’t attack the book’s scientific points.

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He does seem confused in this point. How did he miss genetic ghosts?

How did he reason to this?

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All fine up to the end, where the review misunderstands the central thesis of GAE:

@Nlents, @jongarvey and @dga471, The Skeptic invited me submit a response to the review. That is kind of them. What do you think?

I gotta see the article first. Can you send it to me by email? It will be out in eskeptic eventually.

In principle, yes: you have a good track record in relating to skeptical persons, so that a bad response to what you say would reflect on others, not you.

There seems broad agreement here that several of GAE’s arguments have been misunderstood, so why not correct them rationally?

Okay, I read it. They engaged with the scriptural implications much more than I thought they would and largely left the science alone. I guess that says something? Ordinarily, as I think I told you before, I do not see the need to “respond to every response.” However, since they actually invited you to respond, I think I would. I would just pick a couple specific points and re-emphasize your position. If it were me, I would leave all the scriptural stuff alone. Neither you nor they are theologians or historians. Instead, I would go an entirely different way and point out the stuff that they failed to mention at all… that this provides a scientifically sound way forward for biblical traditionalists to embrace evolutionary science while maintaining their dearly held beliefs. I’m surprised (given my conversations with this reviewer) that they chose to ignore that whole topic.


Yeah that’s my general idea. I think it’s big of them to have me respond.