Evolution, Genetics and the Historical Adam

The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) hosted the Evolution, Genetics and Historical Adam Conference on Friday, April 7 from 3-8:45 p.m. in the Ledford Event Room. Approximately 20,000 people tuned in via Facebook Live and 120 people attended in person to hear the lectures of Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson and Dr. Dennis Venema.

Dr. Ken Keathley, professor of theology and director of the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture moderated the lecture.

“The historicity of Adam has become perhaps the most significant theological issue facing evangelicals today… Drs. Jeanson and Venema did an excellent job of presenting their respective approaches to integrating scientific and biblical evidences,” said Keathley.

Dr. Jeanson is a research biologist with Answers in Genesis and holds a Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University as well as a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and bioinformatics from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. During his lecture, he argued for a new origin of species rather than making the assumption that genetic variance only comes through mutations.

“Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence,” said Jeanson, believing that scientific evidence fails to reject the modern young-earth creation view.

Dr. Venema has been a professor of biology at Trinity Western University since 2004 and has been a fellow of biology for the BioLogos Foundation since 2011. He received his Bachelor of Science with honors in 1996 and Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Venema argued that evolution was a part of God’s design.

“I believe that evolution is the mechanism God used to create biodiversity on earth,” said Venema.

Dr. Bruce Ashford, SEBTS provost and dean of faculty, said he appreciated that this type of dialogue could occur between two differing viewpoints.

“I’m very thankful for this event and the type of scholarship it promotes; that those of differing theological convictions can argue together toward truth, and do so with Christian grace and civility,” said Ashford.

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