I am reading a new book just out this past December entitled “The Genealogical Adam and Eve”, by S. Joshua Swamidass. (published Dec 10, 2019).
Why am I interested in a scientific study of Adam and Eve? Because I believe that true science and the bible cannot be in conflict, since the One True God is the Author – both of creation, and the scientific laws which govern it, as well as the Bible, His Word.
The Bible very clearly tells us in Genesis of the first man, Adam, and the first mother, Eve. It describes how they lived in a real place, near real rivers, and that they resided in a real beautiful garden called Eden, set aside by God for them to inhabit and enjoy. It talks about a real temptation that happened, and how they disobeyed God’s one command, turning to their own way, hoping to make of themselves Gods. There was a real Fall from grace, and real sin entered the world, bring corruption and death to all. Adam died physically at 930, a long time by our standards. But God knew from the start this would happen, and so began His plan of redemption, culminating in the birth, sacrificial death, and resurrection of a Savior of all humankind, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, this is not the view of most people. Most assume that the Adam and Eve spoken about in the Bible are mythical in nature, having been supplanted by the teachings of “modern evolutionary science”. They are told – in schools, the media, and even in entertainment – that we are all the descendants of apes, who were the descendants of lower forms of life, all the way back over millions of years to some single cell in some primordial soup.
Popular science, the media, and education are all trying to tell us that Adam and Eve are a myth. But if that is true, then one must ask – was there ever an Eden, was there ever a temptation, a rejection of God’s command, and a turning away to sin? Was there ever indeed a Fall? If not, then why is there a need for redemption, or a Savior?
But what is there WAS a real Adam and Eve, and the Genesis account is TRUE? What if – what if science is not really disproving the Genesis record at all? Then we have to come to a very different conclusion – that we are all descendants of this first couple, all the product of the Fall, and ALL in need of redemption and a Savior.
Now, I don’t believe in the pure Darwinistic evolution that teaches that all of the wonder we see and experience around us in creation is the product of blind evolution chance acting on mutations over billions of years. I see evidence for adaptation, and changes within species over time to adapt to environment. But I don’t see the argument for macro evolution – simpler forms of life evolving into more complex forms as a result of blind chance mutations – at all compelling, given all that we know about the design inherent in living things. the math involved, and the sparsity of evidence in the geological column. .
But leaving that aside, even if evolution were to some degree true, does that prove that there was no first man and woman – an Adam and Eve from whom we are descended? This book take on that questions seriously. In The Genealogical Adam and Eve, S. Joshua Swamidass tests a scientific hypothesis: What if the traditional account is somehow true, with the origins of Adam and Eve taking place alongside evolution? Building on well-established but overlooked science, Swamidass explains how it’s possible for Adam and Eve to be rightly identified as the ancestors of everyone. His analysis opens up new possibilities for understanding Adam and Eve, consistent both with current scientific consensus and with traditional readings of Scripture. These new possibilities open a conversation about what it means to be human. In this book, Swamidass
- Untangles several misunderstandings about the words human and ancestry, in both science and theology
- Explains how genetic and genealogical ancestry are different, and how universal genealogical ancestry creates a new opportunity for rapprochement
- Explores implications of genealogical ancestry for the theology of the image of God, the fall, and people “outside the garden”
Some think Adam and Eve are a myth. Many (including me) think evolution is a myth. Either way, the best available science opens up space to engage larger questions together. In this bold exploration, Swamidass charts a new way that shows that there is no conflict between mainstream science and the Christian faith on this issue.
The latest science shows that indeed we may ALL be the descendants of a real Adam and Eve who dwelt in a real garden of Eden – exactly as the Bible describes.
Link to more information about the book: https://www.ivpress.com/the-genealogical-adam-and-eve