Timeline on Science of Adam

One of the big contributions we made last here was clarifying how evolutionary science and theology of Adam interact. It turns out sole-genealogical progenitorship is possible very recently:

Entirely consistent with the genetic evidence, it is possible Adam was created out of dust, and Eve out of his rib, less than 10,000 years ago in a divinely created garden …Leaving the Garden, their offspring blended with their neighbors1 in the surrounding towns. In this way, they became genealogical ancestors of all those in recorded history. Adam and Eve, here, are the [sole-genealogical] progenitors of all mankind.
A Genealogical Rapprochement on Adam?

Also, in another exchange with @Agauger, Richard Buggs, and Venema , we found out that the genetic evidence may not rule out a sole-genetic progenitorship.

Here are the key publications, presentations, and blog posts in one place, in one tineline. The column numbers correspond to:

  1. De Novo Creation of Adam
  2. Sole-Genealogical Progentiorship
  3. Sole-Genetic Progenitorship
1 2 3
April 2017 X X Lecture at Urbana Seminary
April 2017 X X BioLogos sees draft of Sapientia article
April 2017 X X Blog: The Overlooked Science of Genealogical Ancestry
June 2017 X X ASA Lecture
June 2017 X X Sapientia article http://henrycenter.tiu.edu/2017/06/a-genealogical-adam-and-eve-in-evolution/
October 2017 X X Defense of Keller In Defense of Tim Keller
October 2017 X X Blog: A Genealogical Rapprochement on Adam?
November 2018 X Venema-Buggs Exchange
March 2018 X X PSCF Article https://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2018/PSCF3-18Swamidass.pdf
March 2018 X X X Blog: Reworking the Science of Adam
April 2018 X Forum: The De Novo Creation of Adam and BioLogos
June 2018 X X Forum: BioLogos Allows for De Novo Adam
June 2018 X X X Dabar Conference
July 2018 X X X ASA Workshop

So there is a stray comment from April this year that is really puzzling:

Josh has done important work on recent universal genealogical ancestors that we’ve affirmed as good science and inside the BioLogos “tent”, with the peer-reviewed publication only last month at Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith; the de novo arguments are even newer.
A Flawed Mirror: A Response to the Book “Theistic Evolution” - #7 by DeborahHaarsma - Faith & Science Conversation - The BioLogos Forum

Looking at the timeline, I am a bit confused. Every time I mentioned about universal genealogical ancestry (column 2), I also talked or published on de novo creation (column 1). So what exactly is the author thinking here? Why does she think “the de novo arguments are even newer”? I’m confused.

I agree with you - one of the first things that struck me when I read your original presentation on GA was that it made room specifically for the special creation of Adam - which I didn’t see as necessary. But it certainly arises naturally out of your interaction with the Keller vieo (which also surpised me by his stress on Adam’s creation.)

I guess we all make errors from careless reading or selctive memory.

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If it was “new” then, perhaps she would have been making an honest error when she called Keller anti-science. Is that perhaps the reason?

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Or perhaps Keller is not only anti-science, but a The-Bible-is-flat-wrong-on-all-this-stuff Denialist.:grinning:


I am still stuck on this one. In this scenario Adam and Eve could be the universal genealogical progenitors of all mankind but not the sole genealogical progenitors. At least if their neighbors in the surrounding towns were also a part of “mankind”. They may be the sole progenitors of human “falleness” or whatever term you want to ascribe to the idea that genealogy is necessary for the spread of Original Sin, but not “humanity” period.

I already know I am not the only one confused by this, because there was a lady from some other group who based on the same misunderstanding misrepresented something you said, until you made it clear to her.

As for the “new” part, I do wonder if this is not a creation in the ear of the hearer rather than the tongue of the speaker. That is, you are saying what you have said for some time, but they just then “got it”. They simply confused their “getting it” for the first time with your saying it for the first time.


As a former BioLogos guy, people see (saw?) you first and foremost as a “creation-denying, common descent, it’s obvious the Scriptures don’t mean what they say literally” sort of advocate. Then, you poke your head above the herd and say “wait --science doesn’t negate the possibility of a recent Adam from whom we all descend; it doesn’t even negate the possibility of a de novo Adam” and you blew away all those prejudicial sterotypes.
That’s all it is.
Too many people don’t peer behind or beyond the labels in the culture wars; it’s too likely to make them sympathetic with the “enemy” in a manner that makes them unpopular among their current ideological “in-group,” and the posibility of reconciliation is tossed out in favor of easy conformity to a set of half-truths.
Who wants to take the time to understand, let alone resolve, paradoxes? Well, besides serious students, I mean?


Don’t forget this thread @jongarvey.