Why William Lane Craig Grew Interested in Adam

One reason WLC became so interested in this topic is that the scientific understanding being put forward by Rana, Venema, and others was in such disarray. The reason that Mouflon sheep paper became important for RTB was only because Venema was pressing a wrong-headed argument against a single-couple bottleneck. Of course, the use of that paper to rebut all population genetics estimates was totally overreaching.

WLC was left totally confused by this debate, until we talked:

Notice that WLC absolutely cares about the evidence coming from science. He only asks that it be explained to him carefully and clearly without polemics. The existing organizations out there totally failed at this. They were far to interested in getting him to a predetermined conclusion, scientific accuracy of the argument be damned. For that reason, and for good reason, he was distrustful of what he was hearing.

Observing this as a person new to his work. WLC is far more engaged with science than most philosophers, and most Christian leaders. Far more engaged. I’ve been really impressed by his nuanced grasp of big bang cosmology, and he appears to have run circles around Laurence Kraus on this.

My sense is that WLC sensed that the historical Adam question:

  1. Was immensely important for the Church.
  2. Was beeing horribly mishandled by all the major organizations here.
  3. The science was complex and interesting, and was being misrepresented by Rana and Venema and others.
  4. He did the math and his killer instinct kicked in. This is a place to do significant work.

That, I think, is why he is here pursuing this question. It is not because he does not care about the evidence. He seems to deeply care about it. When is book comes out, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has better science in it than Adam and the Genome.



I very much enjoyed this quote from Lane’s Dabar article!

I see that it reinforces the current “state of the issue” which is:

There are limits to what Science can confirm or deny… in this case the limit is a wall of genetic “statistical noise” that descends on the human genome about 500,000 years ago (sometimes i like to say Half a Million years ago!).

This wall is likely to push back a little further as new techniques are debeloped that produce more faint details from “working the full range” of human allele diversity - - rather than focusing on just a handful thst we understand currently.

While some earnestly expect hominid hybridization to bring the wall of noise closer to the present day, the reality is that the more we learn the more we are able to see through “the wall”… pushing the wall further away from the “current 10 years ago” viewpoint.

And while some ID teams hope these studies will give them, and Old Earth Creationists in general, some additional “disputational leverage” with mainstream evolutionary views … it will also carry a solid slice of ID “professors” well past the 6000 year Biblical time frame at the very least… and more and more solidly past the 10,000 and even 50,000 year thresholds!

Nothing is likely to stop the advancement of seeing through the current wall of noise currently at Half a Million years ago!

Simultaneously, however, the ability of science to “see” the impact of a single mated pair (our de novo Adam/Eve), when we have zero information of the pair’s genetic baggage provided by God, is unlikely to ever reach a point where science can confidently say: “… and so we know God could not have made such a couple 6000 to 10,000 years ago, because the couple’s impact on the larger, Evolved, human population is not found!”

Science is unlikely to ever say this because there doesnt appear to ve any tools that enable us to see the impact even if we were 100% certain the de novo couple existed!

Typo: B.illion corrected to Million!

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Half a billion years puts you in the Cambrian. GA would be a squid.

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I think you meant half a Million there.

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Now thats funny… i have to find all the posts where i said BILLION, and correct that “B”!