This is likely going to turn into a main blog post. For this reason, please clarify any questions that arise as you read this. This is central to the mission of what we are doing here.
There has been a lot of public and private conversation about what the @swamidass model “is,” and how to protect the great thing happening here from being lost.
Many have defined (variously) as:
- The recent genealogical Adam model, with various levels of specification (The Genealogical Adam).
- The ancient genetic sole-progenitor models (that have aided@vjtorley and @Agauger).
- The De Novo creation of Adam (in defense of Tim Keller)
- A sequential reading of Genesis 1 and 2 (i.e. @Guy_Coe and @jongarvey )
- A particular understanding of the Image of God (in contrast with @anon46279830).
- Convincing everyone that evolution true, or that 1-6 is true.
Notice the fixation on Adam? Notice the internal contradictions too? Notice the absence of science? Notice the absence of Jesus?
NONE of these things are the @swamidass model. It not my goal to promote any of these things here at Peaceful Science.
Rather, I am pursuing Peace in the Creation Wars, presenting science as theologically neutral as possible.
I believe that peace is possible when we place our own theological concerns behind those of others, and meet the where they are, helping them understand how mainstream science can be understood in light of their own beliefs. It is of central importance to me. Rather than trying to poke holes in other models, I want to find ways for other’s beliefs to make sense alongside (not within) mainstream science. Peaceful Science is not and never was meant to be a place to refine a single model of origins, or be a platform for advocates to push their personal view. Instead, we want to slow down, hear people, understand what is important to them, and help them refine their own understanding (see Larkin's Take on Adam)
You can see this at work in several examples:
We are trying to help RTB test their model (@AJRoberts) , and see how it could work with the evidence. I’m on their side here. I want their model to work, and will be disappointed with them if it runs aground the genetic evidence, even though it is not my preferred model: http://peacefulscience.org/assess-rtb-model/
We’ve encouraged and anticipated the Lutheran Option by @CPArand. Without giving any spoilers, this has nothing to do with Adam and Eve. It is a distinctly Lutheran path to coming to peace with mainstreams science that will serve many of the lutherans here (e.g. @J.E.S, @Philosurfer, @JustAnotherLutheran), and probably many others (e.g. @scd).
We’ve put forward the parable of the 100 year old tree, for YECs to make sense of the evidence for evolution. Here God makes a tree that is simultaneously 1 week and 100 years old, and had a blast as several theologians used it. http://peacefulscience.org/100-year-old-tree/
We’ve welcomed atheists on the forum. This is intentional, because atheists are not usually an more evil than Christians. Often they are friendly, and we find common values. We want to come to peace with atheists too. Why an Atheist on the Forums?
We’ve argued on behalf of Catholics (though I am not a Catholic) to show how both (1) sole-genetic progenitorship might be possible in the distant past (@Agauger, @AntoineSuarez, @vjtorley) and (2) a demonstrate A Catholic Approach to the Genealogical Adam.
We’ve engaged the grand questions, hoping to find a confident voice in a scientific world. That is why we’ve recently highlighted @AndyWalsh’s new book, as an example of one such confident voice (The Axiom of Belief). It is the same reason we will be hearing more from @sygarte, and his new book Finding my Faith. It is the same reason I post here about the Veritas Forums (Veritas Forums the Week Dad Died (January 2018) and What are Veritas Forums?).
We are inviting as many people in as will respond to the call to peace. This place is meant to be common ground, where everyone is welcome, respected, and heard. Where everyone can confront their cartoon understanding of reality and step in the possibility of a greater reality. Many invitations are going, and we await with excitement those who want to join the party. On the horizon is a public dialogue (in which everyone can participate) with @rcohlers on Divine Action (July 17-19, Clinton Ohlers: Two Parables on Divine Action), and maybe a book club too on @AndyWalsh’s book (Fall 2018, Considering a Peaceful Science Book Club).
We are explaining the rules of the game, so students can confidently enter science. Following the rules, they might be able to find a voice, and not anger people by ignorantly being impolite (https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/the-rules-of-the-game/226).
Look for the patterns here. There is a dedicated and sustained effort to put the needs of others before ourselves. We are not seeking to promote our view of the world, but to serve the common good with an accurate account of science. Everything is being done to bring new voices to the conversation, including yours, including people you do not see yet. This is so much bigger than me alone. I will fade. Of that I am sure.
So what is the @Swamidass model? Far more than a rhetorical flourish, this is my attempt to encounter the creation war with Jesus, the One who rose from the dead. This is my attempt to follow Him. My model, my prototype is Jesus. Of course, I am not always a very good follower of Him, and this has consequences. I tell you that Jesus is my model, however, so you know what lies at the heart of my effort to seek the common good. This is the only honest answer for me. My model is Jesus.
That being said, in different communities, I will be associated with different things.
At BioLogos, for now, in makes most sense to associate me with A) The Genealogical Adam model, B), the De Novo Creation of Adam and C) the quick retraction of scientific errors. For many, that will be their first introduction to me. That will probably be the model associated with me regarding Adam, whether or not I personally hold to it. So, at BioLogos, feel free to call this the @swamidass model. A+B everyone knows there, but do not neglect C.
At Reasons to Believe, I will probably be known for (A) helping them test their model and maybe also (B) originating a RTB version of The Genealogical Adam. Feel free to identify me with this in these places.
At ASA, I will probably be associated for bringing scholars together from across the spectrum. The ASA workshop is important, you will see soon when I release the panelist list. http://peacefulscience.org/reworking-adam/ Also, soon, we start to see no-Adam Christian allies arise, like @Cootsona and @TedDavis and @acuriousmind. We are not a place merely for historical Adam Christians. Soon OEC leaders to will emerge, like @KenKeathley very soon too. Everyone is welcome here. This community is not predicated on agreement.
This may seem impossible, a fools errand in an entrenched and stagnant conflict, all to common in our fractured society.
I see some thing greater. There is a hidden order, and it is beginning to emerge. Come join us at Peaceful Science, serving the common good with an accurate account of science, free of theological agenda.
Come seek peace in the tiresome creation war.