This morning I got an email from Darrell Falk, president of the Templeton-funded website BioLogos, who was upset because I had supposedly misconstrued a recent post on Adam and Eve. The author, preacher Daniel Harrell, had offered a way to reconcile science with the existence of a historical Adam and Eve, suggesting that perhaps Adam and Eve were real people but had God-given DNA that was tricked out to make them look older than they really were. His other suggestion was that perhaps Adam and Eve were still real people, but two very special, God-chosen people that were embedded in the evolutionary lineage of Homo sapiens.
It’s not true, said Falk, that all of us at BioLogos believe the apparent age hypothesis, and he asked me to retract my statement implying that they did.
I won’t retract it. If you read Harrell’s post, you’ll see that in no way does he deny the “apparent age” theory; he leaves it as an open possibility for Christians. And that was the post I was criticizing. Other BioLogos folks apparently do reject it, because it’s simply dumb and also implies a duplicitous, manipulative God.
But I also criticized Harrell’s second suggestion, because there’s simply not a shred of evidence that Adam and Eve, even in the “specially-selected-human” sense, ever existed. If BioLogos is really anxious, as it claims, to harmonize science with scripture, taking the scientific facts as paramount, they’d simply and flatly reject the existence of a historical Adam and Eve on the grounds of no evidence—just as they’d presumably reject the existence of unicorns, or the Loch Ness monster, or Santa Claus.
The reason they don’t jettison the whole Adam and Eve story is, as several commenters have pointed out here, because the historical existence of this pair plays a critical role in the Christian myth of sin and redemption. If they didn’t exist, what did Jesus die for? And so BioLogos makes a fool of itself trying to comport science with superstition.
I didn’t publish Falk’s email because I don’t put private emails on this site, but Richard Dawkins, who got a similar email, has posted it, presumably with Falk’s agreement, and adds a link to BioLogos’s “explanation” that they didn’t all subscribe to the “apparent” age theory adumbrated by Harrell. And Dawkins adds his own email response to Falk, telling him in no uncertain terms how fatuous it is to waste time trying to show believers how science could accommodate Adam and Eve:
Dear Dr Falk
Certainly, I am happy to suggest that our website people might post your article, and I am copying this letter to them to call it to their attention. But I didn’t misunderstand Daniel Harrell’s essay. It never for a moment occurred to me that he, or Biologos, could possibly be supporters of Option #1. Of course I understood that he was advocating the marginally less fatuous Option #2. It was Option #2 that I was referring to as ‘ridiculous’, because it is an attempt to reconcile science with the book of Genesis. Why on Earth would anyone want to reconcile science with Genesis, given that there is no historical reason to suppose that the author of Genesis, a scientifically illiterate scribe writing probably as recently as the 8th century BC, had any knowledge or authority to pronounce on the subject of human origins? I still earnestly hope – and believe – that Francis Collins would disown the article, or at least feel embarrassed by it. If he would not, he is unfit to hold high office in the scientific establishment of the United States.
Now I don’t for a moment expect that BioLogos will admit the sheer silliness of their many posts on Adam and Eve, or stop their attempts to show that Biblical superstitions are credible even when supported by NO evidence, but they are feeling the sting that comes from seeing that they look ridiculous. They should realize that this kind of desperate apologetics turns thoughtful people off on religion, as several ex-Christians have testified on this website. And I wonder if the Templeton Foundation, which is desperately trying to distance itself from this kind of woo, is aware of how their BioLogos money is being used.