Thanks for the work

Just a note of thanks for the work from an utter layperson. This subject has been something that has interested me on and off for a long time but my lack of expertise always leads me to give up when hard science starts to be discussed. I am just too aware of the possibility of superficial understandings and aware that without taking up an advanced degree level education in the relevant fields I will never really understand the issues in their complexity.
I appreciate your willingness to state areas of agreement on the science even when you don’t agree with the overall position.


Thanks @ho_idiotes. Hopefully we can help you understand. Most of this isn’t too hard. It just becomes hard with obfuscation :slight_smile:.

That makes you wiser than most.

The benefits of much study in language and realising that even a word such as “the” can spawn an industry of book writing and theses!


So tell us more about yourself, and this argument about the word “the.”

And what do you think of the GAE?

I am a layperson with a strong interest in the Greek that the New Testament and Septuagint were written in (my username is a bit of a pun off the Greek word for layman ἰδιώτης but also the etymological root of our modern term “idiot”).
Brief summary on the word “the”, from a Greek perspective. There is a question around how to account for the use and non-use of the article (sometimes translated as “the”) and what is signifies. Some of the options for usage as examples which aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive:

  1. It signifies that the referent is known and definite
  2. it signifies that the referent is cognitively accessible (not necessarily know)
  3. it signifies that the referent has been introduced into the discourse already, but then how to account for it not being used in some instances that meet that criteria
  4. some instances will be grammaticalised features that are more a formal marking of a construction than anything else, but what stage of this process is the language in?
  5. Usage and non-usage with names is certainly an interesting one, with issues such as place names taking up a decent chunk of the literature I have read.

It does end up with interesting exegetical decisions, such as in the LXX Genesis 1:26 whether the “man” introduced there lacks the article as it is intended to be seen as “a man” or “mankind”, with the subsequent referent in 1:27 “the man” referring back to a single individual or a more generic “mankind” introduced a verse earlier.
Genesis 2:7 similarly uses an article which could be seen as referring back to the previous referents, but what i find interesting there is that there has been a break in the narrative - often in Greek a break in narrative would have the previous referents re-introduced as discourse participants without the article and then picked back up with it. I don’t have the Hebrew knowledge to assess it as a translational phenomena here which almost certainly is a factor with the ambiguity in the word “Adam”
The above is just a quick off the top of my head to give context relevant to this forum. It certainly would need padding out and is just meant as a summary of a non-exhaustive selection of options. That’s without even hitting the linguistic material from specific theories such as relevance theory.

GAE has been great to get stuck into, I am only half way through but I have listened to a lot of your presentations and discussions on youtube. I have been struggling with the issue of evolution and Genesis for a long time, fairly sure human evolution from a common ancestor between us an apes genetically is a real thing. In many ways I would now see myself lining up with William Lane Craig at the moment as he is formulating his views in dialogue with you. I am, however, troubled by Garvey’s book which is making sense to me as I read it in tandem with yours.
Ultimately, just glad to have another tool in my toolbox for thinking about the issues without having an absolute choice between Genesis OR evolutionary science with a common ancestor. I am not firmly decided on what I believe here yet, but hope to get more ideas from your blog and forum.