Asking questions and searching for answers is something that most scholars value. When your job is reconcile a literal Christianity with science, it’s work that can get you fired.
In her NPR report Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve, Barbara Bradley Hagerty explains the dilemma:
This debate over a historical Adam and Eve is not just another heady squabble. It’s ripping apart the evangelical intelligentsia.
“Evangelicalism has a tendency to devour its young,” says Daniel Harlow, a religion professor at Calvin College, a Christian Reformed school that subscribes to the fall of Adam and Eve as a central part of its faith.
“You get evangelicals who push the envelope, maybe; they get the courage to work in sensitive, difficult areas,” Harlow says. “And they get slapped down. They get fired or dismissed or pressured out.”
Harlow should know: Calvin College investigated him after he wrote an article questioning the historical Adam. His colleague and fellow theologian, John Schneider, wrote a similar article and was pressured to resign after 25 years at the college. Schneider is now beginning a research fellowship at Notre Dame.
The article goes on to suggest that the question of Adam and Eve, who genetically cannot account for the variation in human beings, may be the Galileo moment for evangelical Protestants, alluding to the controversy in the 1600s with the Roman Catholic church.