William Lane Craig’s new book on Adam and Eve given semi-laudatory review—in

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A couple of points in the review cry out for explanation:

  1. Why, if Craig concludes that Genesis 2 is mythical, does Paul’s reference to that story then become historical?

  2. Why does Craig need a bottleneck at all? Granted that there is some particular mutation needed for full humanness, why can’t Adam just be part of a large population, into which this humanness allele just diffuses and eventually becomes fixed in the ordinary way?


Craig’s actual genre designation is mytho-history, with the “myth” part not defined as the opposite of history, though it does qualify the type of historical precision expected. (So, you’re right, it definitely needs explanation.) I haven’t read the book yet to know how Craig argues “historical” from Romans 5. (In some online convos and interviews I’ve seen, the argument for an historical figure includes NT texts but also theological reasoning.)

As I understand his position (and if I understand the heart of your concern), one of Craig’s biblical-theological non-negotiables is that A&E are the sole progenitors of every “human” who’s ever lived. This is where his GAE model differs from that of @swamidass (including a different understanding of human and divine imageness).

BTW, I’ll be part of a panel at Southeastern Seminary at a conference in the Spring reviewing a new four-views book on Adam, with Craig as one of the main authors. I’ll be jotting down any questions/concerns on this thread to incorporate in my review.


Sole progenitors of “humanness”, allowing for interbreeding between AEs lineage and others.

Using different definitions of “human”, the GAE does the same thing, without having AE as the headwaters of humanness.


Excellent take on it, I think, by Coyne. I really have no idea why Science would take any interest in anything Craig has to say. It’s obvious that while science might inform theological views, theological views can in no way inform science.

By the way, the review is ALSO excellent. I recognize that Shaffner and Coyne are in partial disagreement here but it’s an excellent review.


This article by Coyne isn’t a review. He hasn’t read the book, and it seems he is deeply confused on its core claims. So it’s really just a snap reaction to hearsay about a book.


@glipsnort did not accurately characterize the hermeneutical argument in that point. He didnt have much space, though. So maybe that’s why, but Craig’s argument is notable for largely sidestepping Romans 5.


True, and I didn’t call Coyne’s reaction a review. But he is on point, I think: Craig’s attempt to provide some reconciliation between science and the text is not worthy of the attention of Science. Once one has established – and the GAE certainly does this – that readings of the story exist which render the proposition non-testable and non-scientific, and hence evasive of any meaningful scrutiny, Adam and Eve can be of no use to science at all.


As I have learned here, “sole progenitors” doesn’t necessarily mean what it sounds like. Even “sole genetic progenitors” seems not to mean what it sounds like. Of course if there’s interbreeding with other populations, even thousands of years later, these sole progenitors are not in fact sole progenitors. The terminology is a mess that serves to muddy his position. I’m curious why he needs to make this claim, however hedged and vague it is.

So what he’s talking about could be as little as a single allele at a single locus? And Adam could indeed be one member of a much larger population?


No that’s not what he proposes. It’s a >500 page book. If you’ve been paying attention here, you’ll know the scientific key points already.

My proposal that the users of that confusing term shift to saying “bole benetic brogenitors” fell upon deaf ears, or, as I call them, “beaf beers.”


It’s quite characteristic of you to say what something isn’t without providing any information on what it is, or even any sort of link or hint. Is there something in your childhood to account for that? It’s most annoying, and I encourage you to resist this tendency.

So, what is the correct understanding?


Life is busy and I get tired of repeating myself.


Homo Erectus was fully human with language and culture. It is time to give credit where credit is due. Homo Erectus invented language and made itself human. The real Adams and Eves were the worldwide Homo Erectus people who were the most advanced creatures the world had ever seen.

How language began | Dan Everett | TEDxSanFrancisco - YouTube

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Just a simple link to where you said it the first time would be sufficient.

I find this odd too. There are lots of scientific issues that could have been discussed on that space, but they gave it to a review on a theological subject no one has any means of ever understanding or figuring out… unless God himself clarifies.

Joshua, if you are " tired of repeating [your]self", may I suggest that this condition is largely self-inflicted.

As I previously pointed out:

Yes, it is possible to redefine words to mean something other than their consensus meaning, but then you must perforce accept all responsibility for any misunderstanding and confusion that this redefinition entails. You must also accept the high probability that others will continue to use the word in its consensus meaning, and that you will lack any power or authority to enforce your own idiosyncratic meaning.

Where people insist on using “sole” in this idiosyncratic manner, and on making cryptic comments (rather than waiting until they have time to be more forthcoming), then I suggest that they bear the responsibility for dealing with the consequences of their own poor communication.


Well, at this point, we can just read WLCs book for ourselves!

We could, indeed, though that does nothing to resolve the point. And I would not wish a WLC book upon any otherwise innocent person.

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