The Genealogy Adam and Eve – Part Four
Q. It is on human evolution that your contribution to the discussion is useful in a number of ways. But you seem to be saying that evolution applies to “humans” outside of the Garden of Eden, but not to those in there, not to Adam and Eve about whom you use the phrase creation de novo. I suspect that your scientific colleagues who are not Christians would call this special pleading. How would you respond to this review?
A. My colleagues, to their credit, have been largely positive, even enthusiastic. They don’t usually call it special pleading. The reason is that the scientific argument I am making is unassailable. The science is solid, and I haven’t distorted or exaggerated the scientific case. The quality of our scientific argument matters to secular scientists, ultimately, much more than our specific conclusions.
Ironically perhaps, the main arguments against a de novo creation of Adam and Eve are driven by Christians, not by lay scientists, based on theology and exegesis. I talk about it in my book. Ultimately, the de novo the creation of Adam and Eve closely resembles the virginal conception of Jesus.
Do we trust the scriptures? What does he teach? Science is simply no longer the source of the challenge on this point.
This is also an important finding, as it challenges the reasoning of just about everyone in the conversation. The Intelligent Design community explains its lack of progress in the scientific community due to an impenetrable anti-supernatural bias. But even several atheist scientists have approved or given positive reviews of my book.
Many creationists reject evolution because it conflicts with de novo creation. They can still reject evolution, but that is no longer a good reason to do so. Evolution and de novo the creation of Adam and Eve can be true at the same time. Again, oddly enough, most of the objections to de novo creation seem to come from Christians, not lay scientists.
For example, William Lane Craig claims in his book that the special creation of Adam and Eve is not scientifically plausible, so it is obviously a myth. We can be sure that this is an invalid argument. Science doesn’t tell us that de novo creation is not plausible. There is an argument to maintain that Scripture does not require us to assert the de novo creation of Adam and Eve. Corn of novo creation was the traditional reading of Genesis, in that this is how almost everyone has read Genesis for most of history. For this reason, de novo creation enjoys the advantages of being the “default” position. So it can’t be ad hoc, nor a special plea. This is exactly how most Christians read Genesis, and it does not conflict with the science of evolution. So why exactly would we reject it? What drives us from the traditional position? I am puzzled, I have not yet found a good answer to this question. Maybe by rejecting de novo creation is only one of these historical “bad turning points”?
I know the exegesis which suppresses creation de novo. These can be faithful readings of scripture, and many faithful Christians understand scripture this way now. But historically, it seems the only reason these alternative readings arose was a deep misunderstanding of what evolutionary science demanded.
Knowing what we know now, why do we need these new readings? Why not just stick with the traditional view? I have yet to hear a serious or coherent answer to these questions.