The Genealogical Adam and Eve is now available for pre-order. The final manuscript is with my publisher, and requests for endorsements are out. We are wrapping up final reports on the grant, which funded two workshops this last year to revise the book. Pictured above, Jon Boyd from IVP Academic is my editor, and he provides this summary of the progress so far. Soon, there will be more opportunities to connect with Peaceful Science as we launch the book and as an organization. Come join the fun!
The channels to recruit, acquire, and digest peer feedback on Joshua Swamidass’s book manuscript of The Genealogical Adam and Eve were unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the developmental phase of a book’s lifecycle. And now, further down the line, I can say that the face-to-face workshops, as well as the additional readers who read and commented on the manuscript, have made a dramatic impact to both shape and improve the content of the book. This was possible because Josh worked his own and others' networks to invite a range of participants with diverse disciplinary expertise. He demonstrated openness to challenging feedback as well as assessment of the strengths of the project, its research basis, and the various theological implications. Onsite during the workshops, he kept the conversation on-topic and afterward he remained open to written feedback from participants and other readers.
As I commented toJosh and Walter Rogero in an earlier report, I was impressed by the huge volumeof input provided by workshop participants (and other readers who couldn’t makethe face-to-face sessions). This came both in the form of both overarching,structural feedback as well as discipline-specific, “nitty-gritty"corrections and affirmations from various specialists. Response includedtheological, biblical, scientific, and (last but not least) rhetoricalsuggestions, and I believe the reading team left no stone unturned, nor did Josh.
Much of that feedback I had the privilege of seeing myself. More importantly I’ve seen the quantum improvements such input made in the manuscript at each stage of its development: from the initial submissions to me at IVP Academic, to the complete drafts that were sent to workshop participants in advance, and ultimately to the fully revised manuscript. His final revisions after our production-copyediting phase have been far more than the small “corrections” typical from most authors, since Josh has continued thinking about and digesting both feedback and new ideas. Frankly, since he has proven so open apt at refining the final product, I’m looking forward to the moment when I can tell him, “Stop! That’s it! We have to lock this down.”
The manuscriptthat’s now being readied for layout and the press bears little resemblance tothe earliest version–and it’s obvious to me how much of what Josh has beenhearing has made it into the book. That, in addition to being a very good thing,represents the great opportunity he’s taken advantage of to make this bookimmeasurably more helpful for readers than if he were operating alone. It’samazing to me the volume of notes he received via one channel or another andthe way he’s been able to digest them rapidly for inclusion in one form oranother for the book.
Needless to say, the proof is in the pudding, but the final, published product is now just a few months away, and we at IVP Academic have been encouraged to see the truly unique, communal development process that Josh has embraced for this project.