William Lane Craig Ends His Search for Adam and Eve

Dr. Craig explains what we learned over the last two years in studying Adam and Eve in science, Scripture, and theology. This conversation follows on from his scientific summary of what he learned here: https://peacefulscience.org/wlc-genet….

Dr. Craig and Dr. Swamidass are writing a joint book, a sequel to The Genealogical Adam and Eve, that explores different ways of understanding an ancient genealogical Adam and Eve. Interview date: May 21, 2020

Craig later clarified some of his comments in this follow up: The Historical Adam: What’s at Stake? | Reasonable Faith



Are these the words of Dr. Craig? I copy them from another thread… I think news is being made faster than I have been comprehending!

“In conclusion, Adam and Eve may therefore be plausibly identified as members of Homo heidelbergensis and as the founding pair at the root of all human species. Challenges to this hypothesis from population genetics fail principally because we cannot rule out on the basis of the genetic divergence exhibited by contemporary humans that our most recent common ancestors, situated more than 500 kya, are the sole genetic progenitors of the entire human race, whether past or present.”

(Published here with permission, this is the transcript of a Defenders class by Dr. William Lane Craig on May 10, 2020.)

I’m not sure I understand the significance of this phrase: “Craig ends his search for Adam & Eve”.

Does this mean he accepts common ancestry of humans atleast at the level of genus?


WLC has no problem with common ancestry of humans with the great apes and does not believe AE were de novo created.


In other words, he’s proposing a population bottleneck of 2 individuals, possibly forming an instant new species, with no interbreeding with other species of hominin. Thus he rejects the evidence that this is not the case.

Well almost.

He is open to AEs lineage breeding with others. So he doesn’t even need a genetic bottleneck.

He is not discussing the origin of a new taxonomic species.

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Of course he needs a genetic bottleneck, or at least he wants one. The reason he wants A&E to be H. heidelbergensis is so the bottleneck he wants can’t be ruled out. And the instant speciation is clearly part of his scenario too.

Interestingly enough, that just is not the case. I know this for a fact. He calls his model an “ancient genealogical adam and eve” model for a reason.

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How does he treat the offspring of interbreeding with other hominids? Do they possess the image?

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It seems that the answer is “yes.”

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But how does he define the image then? Is it structural?

He prefers calling it substantialist. He is a substance dualist too. Think of his position as a modified version of Kemp’s Catholic position, perhaps with different motivations.


Perhaps we should both look again at that article you posted by WLC.

Since he holds to a creationist view of the soul (Doctrine of Man Pt. 8 | Defenders Podcast | Reasonable Faith), possibly he views God as divinely creating the image-bearing spiritual soul every time a descendant of Adam has a child, regardless of the other parent. Is that accurate? But this would basically introduce continuous miracles into the process, although it applies to the spiritual soul, not anything material, so maybe that’s OK.

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I thought most substance dualists hold that non-human animals have souls. Just not as mentally rich as ours because of the underlying neuroanatomy. But souls nonetheless. People like Moreland and Swinburne hold to this. If at some point God created the soul in the evolutionary history of life for brains to evolve around why would would all these creation of souls for adam’s descendants be necessary?

(WLC’s not a Thomist, so maybe the following doesn’t strictly hold for him.) But a Thomist would say that there’s a substantial difference between an animal soul and a rational soul, in that the latter contains an immaterial component, which needs to be directly implanted by God instead of arising from material processes.


I was quite surprised when I read and heard your various comments that allowed for a “bottleneck of two” in the midst of an evolved population!

At first I was shocked… what could Joshua mean… and then I remembered some of my own postings PRIOR to your “exit” from BioLogos…

I discussed the implications of letting God “be the judge” of what is human or not human… and that in an evolved population of primates, there would unavoidably always be a FIRST HUMAN (or two, if God wanted to double-down on his providence).

And that this FIRST of all humans (or FIRST TWO of all humans) could either co-opt the rest of the primate population… or the First Two could separate themselves and go ahead and create a brand new population that would qualify as human.

Of course, once you had settled into the GAE scenarios, the FORMER option (co-opting the existing population) easily became the more reasonable approach!

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Certainly most Christian groups would not be shocked by the idea of a continuous miracle of “soul-creation” with each birth. But this is only necessary if someone is keen on Original Sin being a viable form of metaphysics. And so there would certainly be a distinct predisposition for anyone who holds to Original Sin to also believing God miraculously produces souls.

At the end of the day, don’t most Christians think God has already created souls, maybe from the dawn of creation, which he unites with biological bodies as he so desires?

That’s what the Roman Catholic Church believes, for example, and many Protestants as well.

That’s called pre-existentianism, originally held by Origen (as Craig says in the link I gave above), and many would regard that as not orthodox.



So the “safe” and “more orthodox” view would be God making new souls, “in real time”, as biological births are brought on by human behavior.

Sounds fine to me… if I believed in Original Sin.