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Today’s question, in his book The Genealogical Adam and Eve, Dr.Joshua Swamidoss argues that Adam and Eve were created and then mingled with existing pre-humans. Is this scriptural?
Excellent question. Dr.Joshua Swamidass is a scientist, physician and associate professor of genomic medicine at Washington University in Saint Louis. He wrote the book, ‘The Genealogical Adam and Eve’. To summarize, he writes that the story of Adam and Eve is consistent with Darwinian evolutionary views of human history. He hypothesizes that human-like beings evolved from other animals as Darwin suggested and then God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. These both groups came together and produced the current human race. He says that his hypothesis settles the conflict between science and scripture because it supports the scientific view that human beings evolved from animals and the scriptural view that God created Adam and Eve. He calls it ‘peaceful science’.
William Lane Craig more or less follows similar ideas about human origins. Dr.Swamidass and Dr.Craig have been collaborating with each other on origins issues. If one blindman leads another blindman, both will fall in a ditch. Both Dr.Swamidass and Dr.Craig fell in a ditch. Why am I saying it? I made a couple of videos on Dr.Craig’s views on human origins . Everything I said in those videos is also applicable to Dr.Swamidass.
I would like to say 3 things about Swamidass’ views.
- Dr.Swamidass’ views are against the Bible.
He wrote in his book, “This book is written following the rules of secular science”. You should never write a book for Christians using the rules of secular science. The Bible is the authority for all our beliefs concerning our origins. Current secular scientists believe that God has no role in the creation of man. How can you use their rules when you inform Christians? That is not right. Swamidass has tried to put Adam and Eve into the larger story of Darwinian evolution. In his book, the Bible’s Genesis account becomes a chapter in the larger book of Darwinian evolution.
The Book of Genesis clearly teaches us that God created Adam and Eve. It says nothing about pre-humans. It says nothing about people outside the Garden. So, when the Bible is silent, we should be silent. We should not add our own speculations to the Bible, especially the speculations you borrowed from Darwinian thinkers.
Apostle Paul wrote, in Romans 5:14
“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come”.
Death came into the human race through Adam. There was no death before Adam’s sin. Dr.Swamidass says there was death before Adam and it was a good thing. He says death before Adam had a good purpose. That is ridiculous. There was no death before Adam. There is nothing good about death at any time in the history of the universe. God is the author of life. He is not the author of death.
Also, let us see 1 Corinthians 15:47
“The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven”
The first man Adam is from the earth while the second man, Jesus is from heaven.
In Greek, this truth is presented more clearly and beautifully.
Ho protos anthropos ek ges choikos
Ho protos: the first man
Ek ges: came from earth
Choikos: made of dust
Choikos: made of dust: That takes us back to Genesis chapter 1, where we read that God created Adam out of dust. Adam came from the dust. Apostle Paul made it crystal clear in this passage that Adam was created from dust.
Then he says, ho deuteros anthropos ou ouranos. The second man, our Lord Jesus Christ, came from heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:45
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit”.
Dr.Swamidass says pre-humans are equally human as Adam. They cannot be. What does it mean to be human? First and foremost, it means to have a living soul created in the image of God. Apostle Paul writes that first man Adam was made a living soul. There were no living souls before Adam. There were no humans before Adam. So, Swamidass’s views are against the Bible.
2. It is against science
Lots of things are being sold under the banner of science in our time. The real science must involve observational investigations. To make this clear, let me show an illustration.
You start with an observation. Then you create a theory. Using that theory, you make a prediction. You design an experiment to test the prediction. You perform the experiment to see whether it’s results are consistent with your observation, theory and its predictions. Let us take Newton observing an apple. An apple falling to the ground. Based on that observation, Newton formulated a universal theory of gravitation. Based on Newton’s theory, a French mathematician named Urbain Leverrier wrote to a German astronomer in Berlin with instructions on where to look for a new planet, Neptune. They found a new planet exactly where it was predicted. That is the power of science. That is the power of Newton’s laws of gravity. Radio Waves were predicted mathematically before they were discovered, Higgs boson was predicted mathematically before it was discovered.
An apple falling to the ground. We can all see apples falling to the ground. It happens in the present. It happens again and again. Science can only investigate events or phenomena which are recurring and independently verifiable.
How did the first apple come into existence? How did the first living cell come into existence? How did the first human come into existence? Those things happened in the past. They are not under the purview of science. The debate over our origins cannot be settled by scientific method because the scientific method is not equipped to see into the past to investigate unique events like the origin of the first living cell or the origin of the first human being.
You might ask, what about all the fossils discovered by paleontologists such as Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo florensis etc. They were all fossils of either apes or human beings or their mixture. Often, they find one bone and they construct the rest of the skeleton out of their imagination. Sometimes they dig up bones belonging to an ape and of a human at the same site, club them together and say they belong to a pre-human. So, the fossils of so-called pre-humans should not be trusted.
Historically, both philosophers and people looked to the scriptures for answers to the questions of origins. The scripture instructs us to believe it for the answers to the questions of origins.
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible”. Hebrews 11:3
“All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made”. John 1:3
Swamidass would want us to believe in what he calls ‘mainstream science’ rather than the Word of God. But the problem is that mainstream science is not equipped to answer the questions of our origins. They have varied, often conflicting opinions. Some scientists believe that the universe is 14 billion years old. Others believe this universe is part of a multiverse which is hundreds of billions of years old. Some others believe the universe is eternal with no beginning. Which of these views is mainstream? Which of these views is scientific? Science can only investigate current events. No scientist is alive when the first living cell came to existence or when the first human being came to life. Only the Word of God can be and should be our source to answer questions of origins.
Throughout his book, Swamidass repeats ad nauseum and says, ‘I am a scientist’, ‘I am a scientist’. So, if you are a scientist, you should realize that observational science cannot settle this question. Do not hand over ‘origins’ to so called scientists. They are Darwinian atheists in the garb of scientists.
3. It is against Darwinism
Finally, and ironically, Dr.Swamidass’s views are against Darwinism. Let me show you one more illustration here on the progress of science.
You can see how the cycle of scientific method progresses. From Identifying patterns to making hypotheses to making predictions and then to doing observations, experiments and gathering data – preconceptions play a role. Today’s evolutionists always make atheistic preconceptions on their scientific projects. They say, ‘whether it is the universe or a planet or a living cell or a living human, it always happens without a Supernatural agency. Everything is natural without any role for God’.
Charles Lyell, who was chief inspiration for Charles Darwin, once said that his goal was to ‘free science from Moses’. Charles Darwin had the same goal: to free science from Moses. Until Darwin came along, science was under Moses and his Book of Genesis. Moses told us what happened in the beginning and how the first human beings arose.
Now, Darwinists successfully occupied academia, science and public education. Charles Lyell could smile from his grave. Science has been freed from Moses. Science was practiced in a Creationist worldview when it was under Moses. Now, it is practiced in a materialistic and naturalistic worldview under Darwin. Having successfully liberated science from Moses, why would any Darwinist take it back to Moses? Adam and Eve are protagonists in Moses’s account of origins. They have no place in Darwinism. Darwinists would laugh at Mr.Swamidass’ conclusions. So, some humans evolved from animals. Then God created Adam and Eve, and both mingled with each other? Where did you get this nonsense? No serious evolutionist would take such propositions seriously. Charles Darwin allowed no place for God in human origins. They don’t believe in God opening the Red Sea before Israelites or in virgin birth or in resurrection or in the second coming. They adhere to their naturalistic materialism with complete devotion. It is the Christians who bend over backwards to accommodate naturalistic evolution into the Word of God. Ironically, even though Dr.Swamidass wants to impress evolutionists by placing Adam on Darwin’s tree of life, they are not impressed because it is against the spirit of Darwinism.
Swamidass reminds me of Asa Gray, a great American botanist of the 19th century. He considered himself a Bible believing Christian. While working as a professor of botany at Harvard University, Gray regularly corresponded with Charles Darwin. In January 1839, he visited Kew Gardens in London and had lunch with Darwin. Gray told Darwin that there is a place for God in the origin of man. Darwin was not convinced. However, that would not deter Mr.Gray from going on a crusade to convince creationists that Darwin’s account of human origins is compatible with the Bible. We have Asa Grays in every generation who would pluck out Adam and Eve from the Book of Genesis and transplant them into Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. But the graft cannot survive because it is neither Biblical nor Darwinian.
Dr.Swamidass’ views are neither scriptural, nor scientific nor Darwinian. He created a chimera. It has no basis in reality. His website is named www.peacefulscience.org. His goal is to bring evolutionists and creationists together so that they can make peace with each other. That is childish and naive. You cannot bring evolutionists and creationists together in peace, it is like trying to bring God and Satan to have lunch together. The worldviews are colliding here. The story of human ancestors told by Darwinian evolutionists and the story of Adam and Eve, you cannot merge them, they are irreconcilable. One is built upon atheism or deism and the other is built upon God-centric theism. You should not try to bring them together in peace.