Re: [asa] Was Adam a real person?

From: Bethany Sollereder <>
Date: Sat Apr 12 2008 - 13:52:16 EDT


I appreciate the implications of your post, namely "Perhaps Bethany has
taken this position also as a result of Denis' influence?". But in fact,
you are wrong to imply this. I did not come to my views as a result of
Denis Lamoureux. I was a strong supporter of evolution long before I knew
such a person even existed. I came to my views that evolution was not in
conflict with the Scriptural accounts of creation while I attended Vanguard
College, a Pentecostal College that is, indeed, in Edmonton. I have never
attended the U of A, where Denis works, nor have I ever taken a course of

All this to say: I came to my views on Genesis 1-2 by looking at the
literary genre of the passage, by looking at the evolutionary nature of the
world around me, and by thinking logically. Please don't conflate me with
Denis just because we happen to share the same small corner of the earth.

Bethany Sollereder

On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 3:05 AM, Gregory Arago <>

> "Obviously, they wouldn't have used this term [cosmogenic myths], so yeah,
> that's a little anachronistic too. But I don't think its anachronistic as a
> category in the way "science of the day" is anachronistic as a category.
> "Science" by definition means natural explanations for natural phenomena,
> doesn't it? If one thing is certain, it's that "methodological naturalism"
> would have been utterly, incomprehensibly foreign to the ANE peoples." -
> David O.
> This is why David repeated the question to Denis about whether or not in
> his view, 'science' today consists of 'natural explanations for natural
> phenomena.' Later he clarified: "I am using a term they would not have used
> to describe what they were doing. You are using a category of activity in
> which they were simply not engaged." In terms of speaking in the realm of
> PoS, David's question is justified, though it might not show up on the radar
> of a biologist himself or herself. Bethany may not see the point, and is
> quick to side with Denis, perhaps at least because she is from Edmonton and
> knows Denis personally, but from a PoS perspective it is quite relevant.
> Bethany even admits it was not 'naturalistic' and therefore, by inference,
> does not count as 'science,' i.e. what Denis is arguing with 'ancient
> science.'
> Tell me please, who can better say what 'science' is and/or is not: those
> who are doing it or those who are studying those who are doing it and how it
> is being done? This is an inside/outside question.
> Denis uses Walton to (kindof) answer David's questions: "Mythology in the
> ancient world was like science in our modern world..."
> This gives the nod to David's use of 'cosmogenic myths', if Denis admits
> that the 'science' of today was the 'myth' (and not the 'science') of
> ancient time. I see no conclusion 'ergo ancient science' that Denis later
> posits. He seems to be contradicting himself with a weak PoS.
> Further, Denis, speaking through Walton: "our modern scientific approach
> attempts to understand cause and effect based on natural laws.
> This answers David's question that yes, Denis believes that 'science'
> today is 'natural explanations of natural phenomena.' Of course, I have many
> times challenged this definition of 'science' today by pointing out there
> are other categories than simply 'natural' upon which one can apply their
> 'scientific methods.' Some scholars, who are more aware of culture,
> language, society and other respective 'categories' are able to agree that
> one should speak about 'natural science' in regard to 'only natural things'
> and about other categories or types of science when dealing with other
> categories. This is far away from the thread topic now, but let me bring it
> back by saying that anthropology, sociology and psychology also qualify to
> contribute on the question of 'Was Adam a real person?,' disciplines in
> which neither Denis nor David is schooled in.
> To the question, please gentlemen, correct me if I'm wrong, Denis' answer
> is "No - Adam was not a 'real' person," while David's answer is "Yes, Adam
> probably was a 'real' person." But David, like myself, is not exactly sure.
> Denis seems to be very sure that 'Adam was not real' after going back and
> forth between various YEC and OEC positions and other things in the past.
> Perhaps Bethany has taken this position also as a result of Denis'
> influence?
> As for me, I take a middle ground position. I'm not sure, since I wasn't
> there and the 'evidence' (that which I know about) is mysterious. Here I
> rather think that those who believe in a 'not real Adam and Eve' should
> better jump to George's thread and speak about 'representation' or related
> things. That is, rather than trying to convince those who do believe in
> 'real Adam and Eve' to change their minds. In my view, one doesn't need to
> commit to one view or the other to qualify as being a scientifically-minded
> Christian. Perhaps greater unity could be found by admitting that both
> perspectives are incomplete and at best imperfect. There is a historical
> 'reality' to what happened; one day we shall see more clearly than we do
> now. In any case, our current knowledge is not worth boasting about.
> Bernie writes: I believe that God-directed evolution. Is that
> "scientific?"
> No, the 'belief' is not scientific.
> Bernie also writes: We've always had science, but the methods have
> changed.
> No, this is not accurate. It has been pointed out to him already. Who is
> the 'we' and what is the 'science' - there was no word that corresponds to
> the meaning we use now. It is like saying there was lots of 'information' in
> the European Enlightenment when the word 'information' was rarely used and
> not current language to the philosophes. To argue using the term
> 'information' before it was ever used is the (a) meaning of 'anachronism'
> (M-W "a person or a thing that is chronologically out of place").
> It seems that Denis and David agree on this - 'science' as it is
> understood today did not exist in the ancient middle east. The problem is
> over whether to call it 'Old World Science' or 'Ancient Science' or
> something else. The main point remains, regarding the OP, that Adam and Eve
> are not explainable nor explainable away by either contemporary or past
> 'sciences.' One needs other areas of knowledge to supplement the discourse.
> The millions of years vs. thousands (Dick Fischer represents Adam and Eve in
> the thousands - a target for Denis' respectful mockery) question is one,
> ensoulment another, consciousness questions linger, polygenism vs.
> monogenism another, etc. Denis seems to take a strong-TE/EC position, which
> is one that both David and I and others at ASA disagree with.
> Bernie's persistent use of the unscientific word 'memes' is a case in
> point. How about we balance the absurdity by saying that the phrase 'science
> evolves' is just a cosmogenic myth?!
> As it is, speaking now in a domain I am currently working in, the 'when
> did science begin' question is primarily an origins question, not a process
> question. This is something that TE/ECs, just as evolutionary philosophers,
> process philosophers and process theologians, are constrained to properly
> address due to their dependence upon 'evolutionary processes' in their
> descriptions and explanations. Evolutionary theory has indeed contributed to
> 'ousting Adam and Eve' more than just about any theory in modern science!
> Gregory

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Received on Sat Apr 12 13:53:39 2008

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