Pharyngula

The apologetic gang at BioLogos is complaining again — Jerry Coyne, Richard Dawkins and I didn’t understand their recent piece by Daniel Harrell on Adam and Eve, and oh, it is so hard to be the ones in the middle of all those atheist and creationist extremists.

Note to BioLogos: squatting in between those on the side of reason and evidence and those worshipping superstition and myth is not a better place. It just means you’re halfway to crazy town.

The core of Falk’s article consists of complaining that we didn’t understand what they were talking about, and took their article out of context. Unfortunately, as Falk attempts to restate the original bogus argument, it becomes apparent that the only ones who were clueless and confused were the theistic evolutionists. What they were doing in the original article was distinguishing between two alternatives: #1, Adam and Eve were created literally as the Bible says, and #2, that Adam and Eve were historical figures who were chosen by God out of existing populations that had evolved as science explains. #1 is patently ridiculous, as they admit, and comically, they argue that #2 is eminently reasonable and supportable by science, and assume that therefore all our criticisms must have been made under the misapprehension that we thought BioLogos was endorsing #1. No! We can read, and we could see exactly what they were saying with their goofy dichotomy, and we’re saying the whole effort to reconcile science with the book of Genesis is a misbegotten waste of time — we were addressing #2, not #1. (Although Harrell also argues that #1 could be true, since his god can do anything).

#1 and #2 are both wrong, and there is also a #3. There was no Adam and Eve. There is no reason to believe there was; the authors of the book of Genesis had no source of information about prehistory, no authority to outline anything but their own recent history, which they were only able to do rather poorly and inaccurately, and the whole story was simply made up. Furthermore, this fable of a few unique individuals founding the whole human race is contradicted by the evidence: we are descended from populations with a pattern of continuous variation, grading over long ages from species to species to species. Not only is it irreconcilable with the Genesis myth, but there is no reason to expect it would be.

What they are attempting to do is shoehorn the evidence into their theological preconceptions. They need to face up to facts: it’s not a shoehorn in this case. When you’re reduced to using a hatchet and a sledgehammer to wedge the divine foot in, the shoe simply doesn’t fit.