Category Archives: Genealogical Adam
When I wrote The Generations of Heaven and Earth, whose central theme is the Genealogical Adam and Eve paradigm, I spent some pages discussing the status of those people “outside the garden,” on the assumption that an Adam and Eve around the Chalcolithic period, as suggested by the text, would have had many contemporaries. By that time, after all, and indeed very much earlier, human traces are known from all around the world.
The old critical scholars, back in the days when there was a liberal source-critical consensus, used to say that Genesis contains two incompatible creation stories, the first from the “E” source and the second, the Eden narrative, from “J.” Or at least that was the gist, as many scholars seemed to assign odd verses to a different source at a whim. But they had a point: if Moses wrote Genesis, or the bulk of it, and Genesis 2 is a re-focused view of the creation, then he left in some inconsistencies at a rather fundamental level, beyond merely a shift of imagery.
In a recent post, I critiqued “Old Adam” views of Genesis 2, mainly on biblical grounds. Rejecting such views either means embracing “No Adam” theories (including, of course, “Metaphorical Adam” theories), requiring a complete heterodox re-working of Jewish and Christian theology, which I won’t discuss here, or accepting a “Young Adam” within the last few thousand years.
Months ago I was put in touch with Rob Rowe, who has a YouTube apologetics channel based in Australia. I heard nothing until yesterday, when on a couple of hours notice he set up a livestream to discuss The Generations of Heaven and Earth, which together with Q&A lasted over two hours. Fortunately I hadn’t forgotten too much of what I’d written.
For Christians (and Jews and others) seeking to maintain the historicity of a first human couple, Adam and Eve, there are really three broad ways to proceed. My aim here is to cast doubt on one of them, from a biblical standpoint, and so I’ll break the usual pattern of such discussions by stating my own position first, and then leaving it to one side!
A couple of new reviews have appeared on my book Good’s Good Earth, in Studies in Christian Ethics and Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, the latter of which rolls it together with a review of Generations of Heaven and Earth. You can find them by linking to the respective book tabs on the menu above, and clicking on the “Endorsements and Reviews” links.
The Genealogical Adam and Eve paradigm, as described in my book and that of Joshua Swamidass, makes a recent Adam plausible in the context of the mainstream sciences. Some objectors to this “recent Adam” interpretation wants to put Adam and Eve much further back in the past (which is equally compatible with GAE), and their main reason is the status of the “people outside the garden” in our scenario.
I guess it’s not too vain to include a review of The Generations of Heaven and Earth here. It was mentioned in a question to Joshua Swamidass in an interview about his own book on Adherent Apologetics. Thanks to whoever asked it! Here’s the clip:
Peaceful Science has just published an interview-style article on the last book here. Hope you’ll find it helpful.
Anyone who reads The Hump regularly is well aware of the answer I found to the apparent scientific impossibility of an historical Adam and Eve. After all, that is the subject of the book of mine that came out last month, The Generations of Heaven and Earth.