The Humility of Our Scholars

Darrel Falk, People like me, stuck in a specific genetic paradigm, were wrong. The humility of our scholars opens a better way forward for everyone.

A humble account of science brings us to a surprising finding. Entirely consistent with the scientific evidence, Adam and Eve, genealogical ancestors of us all, could have been recently created from the dust and a rib in the Middle East. The traditional de novo account of Genesis is consistent with science, as long as we allow for people outside the garden that God created in another way. Evolutionary science, therefore, only expounds the mystery outside the Garden, without challenging traditional understanding of Genesis.

This is the premise of my book, The Genealogical Adam and Eve. Endorsements are slowly rolling in. Soon, I will announce the scientist writing the forward for the book. Shortly, I will receive a typeset version of the book, just in time to send to the printers for the December 10th release. Exciting times are ahead.

“We Were Wrong”

Dr. Darrel Falk’s endorsement is particularly notable for its humility. The text here might be edited a bit before final publication, and the full endorsement can be found elsewhere, but a few sentences are worth sharing now. Falk understates his importance in the conversation,

I am one of the many scientists who have maintained that the existence of Adam and Eve as ancestors of all people on earth is incompatible with the scientific data…

Falk understates his significance. He was among the leading voices who put forward the scientific case against a traditional reading of Genesis. Falk wrote an influential article with Dennis Venema in 2010. Then in 2011, Christianity Today responded, in large part, to Falk’s work in making this known. They published a cover article on “ The Search for the Historical Adam.” The article quoted Falk, and other scientists, as the explained how the findings of population genetics ruled out Adam and Eve, ancestors of us all.

In his endorsement, Falk explains the impact of this upcoming book on his understanding of Adam and Eve.

In this book, Joshua Swamidass effectively demonstrates that people like me, stuck in a specific genetic paradigm, were wrong…he shows how a traditional understanding of the Genesis narrative, including the sudden creation of Adam and Eve, is fully compatible with science…

In the endorsement of a book, I have never seen such a forthright and humble admission of error. Falk explains that he, and other scientists, “were wrong.”

We were wrong, but now we stand at a threshold. It is time to revisit the conversation put forward in the 2011 Christianity Today article. With new understanding, it seems there is far less conflict than we first imagined. There is opportunity now for a durable rapprochement on Adam and Eve.

Some versions of the traditional account of Adam and Eve, ancestors of us all and de novo created, are consistent with mainstream science.

“The Humility of Our Scholars”

The theological response to the challenge from population genetics was found inadequate by many theologians. It seemed we faced in impasse. The editors of Christianity Today offered wise counsel in that same June 2011 issue,

At this juncture, we counsel patience. We don’t need another fundamentalist reaction against science. We need instead a positive interdisciplinary engagement that recognizes the good will of all involved and that creative thinking takes time. In the long run, it may be the humility of our scholars as much as their technical expertise that will bring us to deeper knowledge of the truth.

In reading Falk’s endorsement, I am reminded of this counsel. Patience. Creative thinking takes time. We need a positive interdisciplinary engagement. It might be the humility of our scholars that brings us to deeper knowledge. It seems that Falk’s humility is one of these things of most importance.


A few days ago, Justin Taylor from The Gospel Coalition discovered Falk’s endorsement on the publisher’s website. He tweeted a simple response to Falk.

Justin is right to exclaim. Yes, this is a major step forward in our understanding. Perhaps even more significantly, Falk displays the humility we too rarely find in our leaders. He is to be commended.

I work with students in many contexts. I listen to them. They want a different society that what they have been given. This next generation wants a better way. They want humble leaders who are worthy of trust, who admit when they make mistakes and change.

This is that better way.

Feature image from Pixabay.

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