Human evolution Intelligent Design theistic evolution

Casey Luskin: The mytho-history of Adam, Eve, and William Lane Craig

Spread the love

Craig got swapped into the production at the last minute… Seriously, Luskin is reviewing, over a series of posts, William Lane Craig’s In Quest of the Historical Adam. Long a defender of orthodoxy, Craig seems to want to prune the orthodoxies he is expected to defend:

You’ll never find a specific sentence in Craig’s book that says, “Genesis 1-11 makes statements that are factually and historically wrong,” but a careful reading shows this is what he believes and intends to argue. Craig argues that Genesis 1-11 contains, in his words, various “inconsistencies” and “fantastical elements” that “if taken literally, are so extraordinary as to be palpably false” (pp. 104, 203). This is certainly a major part of his conclusion that parts of Genesis are “myth.”

Because God can perform miracles, Craig is careful to justify excluding miracles from those elements that he considers mythological, “fantastical,” or “false.” But he doesn’t seem to apply this rule consistently, and many of Craig’s judgments here seem subjective. That is, they appear to be based upon his personal feelings about what a reasonable God would do, much like Stephen Jay Gould’s dubious arguments from incredulity about how a “sensible God” would never create certain features of biology. (The Panda’s Thumb, p. 20.) For example, Craig believes that God walking in the Garden in Genesis 3, the lack of an explanation for the origin of Cain’s wife in Genesis 4, or Satan speaking through the serpent, represent “inconsistencies” or “fantastical elements.” But many Christians would not see these elements as problematic in any way. It’s also difficult to see how Craig’s form of subjective analysis could prevent many other stories throughout the rest of the Bible from suffering a similar “mytho-historical” fate — for example Egyptian magicians performing miraculous signs in Exodus, or even Satan possessing certain figures in the Gospels.

Casey Luskin, “Is Genesis “Mytho-History”? As a Guide to Scripture, William Lane Craig’s Book Falls Short” at Evolution News and Science Today (November 9, 2021)

But the pruning process in which he is engaged can never really stop. The “sensible God” is most likely the one looking back at us from our medicine cabinet mirrors.

You may also wish to read: William Lane Craig on Adam and Eve as less intelligent than us Whatever else Craig’s view is, as Luskin notes, it is a far cry from the Scriptural traditional assumption that the unfallen Adam and Eve were our betters and that we have all deteriorated as a result of sin. Adopting Craig’s view is bound to have worldview consequences.

6 Replies to “Casey Luskin: The mytho-history of Adam, Eve, and William Lane Craig

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    It’s a provocative thought. Did devolution lose a set of genes for altruism? Does the creation story remember an earlier and more empathetic form of humanity? After losing or weakening the empathy muscles, we need religions and dogs as moral prostheses.

  2. 2
    chuckdarwin says:

    Mytho-history? Sounds more like pseudo-history to me…..

  3. 3
    ellijacket says:

    I appreciate a lot of what Craig has to offer, but I do think he’s doing a poor job with this particular subject matter.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    In a subsequent article Casey Luskin observes that “in his book In Quest of the Historical Adam William Lane Craig is highly reticent about criticizing evolutionary science.”,,,

    Lessons from the Evangelical Debate About Adam and Eve – Casey Luskin – November 15, 2021
    Excerpt: in his book In Quest of the Historical Adam William Lane Craig is highly reticent about criticizing evolutionary science. That’s the case even when genetic and fossil evidence pose potent challenges to a mainstream evolutionary view. This reticence is common among evangelical elites. As soon as someone recommends challenging evolutionary science, many intellectual evangelicals immediately have a gut response warning that it’s dangerous to do this. We’re told that the history of science and faith is littered with examples of religious people trying to stand against science — especially evolution — only to get mowed down by its inexorable progress. Doesn’t questioning Darwin risk our looking foolish before the world? Isn’t it wiser to just shut up, get out of the way, and let evolutionary science speak without challenge?
    William Lane Craig is to be commended for trying to see if a historical Adam and Eve existed, even as he tries to fit them within an evolutionary model.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/11/lessons-from-the-evangelical-debate-about-adam-and-eve/

    Well much like the little boy in Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (1837), (a little boy who could care less about men vainly ‘preening and pretending’ to be smart before other men), I am far less reticent, than William Lane Craig is, in pointing out the blatantly obvious fact that the Darwinian Emperor, as far as empirical science is concerned, is naked as a Jaybird.

    But more importantly than what I might personally think, the empirical evidence itself could care less about men vainly ‘preening and pretending’ to be smart before other men.

    As Richard Feynman beautifully and succinctly put it, “It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is … If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”

    “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is … If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    – Richard Feynman

    And it is the empirical, (and mathematical), evidence itself that falsifies Darwinian claims for human evolution at every turn.

    November 2021 – ,,, the evidence from the fossil record refutes Darwinian evolution
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/evangelical-scientists-getting-it-wrong/#comment-740239
    November 2021 – ,,, the evidence from genetics, (and the mathematics of population genetics), when viewed in its entirety, instead of just piecemeal as Darwinists are prone to do, actually falsifies, instead of supports, the Darwinian claim that humans evolved some chimp-like ancestor.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/evangelical-scientists-getting-it-wrong/#comment-740245
    November 2021 – ,,, Human exceptionalism refutes Darwinian evolution
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/evangelical-scientists-getting-it-wrong/#comment-740249

    Moreover, after pointing out the fact that the Darwinian claims for human evolution are contradicted at every turn by the empirical evidence itself, it began to dawn on me, (as bad as the empirical evidence itself contradicts Darwinian claims for human evolution), that Darwinists have no earthly clue whatsoever as to how individual persons might come into being.

    Which is to say, although Darwinists offer endless ‘just-so stories’, and/or ‘narratives’, as to how humans, as a species, might have come into existence ‘gradually’, via the unguided processes of natural selection and random mutation, Darwinists, (in what makes the ‘problem’ of explaining the origin of the human species pale in comparison), have no clue whatsoever why I, as an individual person within the human species, should come into existence as a unique individual.

    In fact, within the reductive materialistic framework of Darwinian evolution, my sense of self, my sense of “I”, is held to be merely a ‘neuronal illusion’.

    Which is to say, Darwinists simply deny that I really do exist as a individual person within the human species.

    The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness – Monday, Jan. 29, 2007
    Part II THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL
    Another startling conclusion from the science of consciousness is that the intuitive feeling we have that there’s an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of the senses and pushing the buttons of the muscles, is an illusion.
    Steven Pinker – Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University
    http://www.academia.edu/279485.....sciousness

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.,,,
    – Alex Rosenberg – Professor of Philosophy Duke University – The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    Jay Richards: “Oddly, the scientific materialist has to deny the existence of scientists.”
    Sam Harris (a scientific materialist): “The self is an illusion.”
    – Michael Egnor Demolishes the Myth of Materialism (Science Uprising EP1)
    https://youtu.be/Fv3c7DWuqpM?t=267
    – Naturalism requires us to believe that our minds are an illusion. But, as neurosurgeon Michael Egnor says, “if your hypothesis is that the mind is an illusion, then you don’t have a hypothesis.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/hush-the-universe-is-learning/

    etc.. etc.. etc…

    To say that Darwinists, (in their claim that consciousness is a ‘neuronal illusion’), have failed to explain the existence of individual conscious persons is an understatement. To claim that our sense of self, our personhood, is merely an neuronal illusion is, in effect, the deny that conscious persons even exist in the first place.

    Yet, whatever nonsense Darwinists may try to claim to the contrary, I KNOW that I really do exist as a real person. In fact, it is, by far, the most certain thing that I can possibly know about reality. Everything I can possibly say, or think, about reality starts with the fact that I really am a conscious, thinking, person.

    As Eugene Wigner himself pointed out, “The principal argument (against materialism) is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied.”

    “The principal argument against materialism is not that illustrated in the last two sections: that it is incompatible with quantum theory. The principal argument is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied. On the contrary, logically, the external world could be denied—though it is not very practical to do so. In the words of Niels Bohr, “The word consciousness, applied to ourselves as well as to others, is indispensable when dealing with the human situation.” In view of all this, one may well wonder how materialism, the doctrine that “life could be explained by sophisticated combinations of physical and chemical laws,” could so long be accepted by the majority of scientists.”
    – Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, pp 167-177.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/physicist-eugene-wigner-on-the-principal-argument-against-materialism/

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    This denial by Darwinian materialists that I really do exist as a real individual, and conscious, person, as an “I”, is simply self-refuting nonsense, i.e. insane.

    As David Bentley Hart succinctly put the self-refuting position that Darwinists find themselves in, “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”

    The Illusionist – Daniel Dennett’s latest book marks five decades of majestic failure to explain consciousness. – 2017
    Excerpt: “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”
    – David Bentley Hart
    https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-illusionist

    Shoot, even William Lane Craig himself, in his debate with the atheist professor Alex Rosenberg (Duke University), pointed out the “incandescently obvious” fact that the most certain fact that a person can possibly know about reality is the fact that they really do exist as a individual, conscious, person, i.e. as an “I”:

    8.) The argument from personal existence
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not exist.
    2. I do exist!
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.
    – William Lane Craig – Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

    So since the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinists for the existence of individual persons collapse into the self refuting nonsense of denying that we even exist as real individual, conscious, persons in the first place, exactly how are we to give a coherent ‘scientific’ explanation for this most certain fact that we an possibly know about reality, namely for the fact that we really do exist as real individual persons?

    Well, in the Bible we find the following fairly specific claim as to how individual persons came into being.

    Psalm 139:13-14
    For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

    Well, do we have any ‘scientific’ evidence for the biblical claim of God knitting us, our ‘inmost being’, together in our mothers’s wombs?

    Short answer, YES. we most certainly do!

    Longer answer, advances in quantum biology now offer us very strong empirical evidence suggesting that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.

    (November 2021) – The implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’, cannot be created nor destroyed, quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every important biomolecule in our bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, of course, being the fact that we now have very strong empirical evidence suggesting that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.,,,
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-how-information-becomes-everything-including-life/#comment-739816

    Personally, I consider these recent findings from quantum biology to rival all other scientific discoveries over the past century. Surpassing even the discovery of a beginning of the universe, via Big Bang cosmology, in terms of theological, even personal, significance.

    As Jesus once asked his disciples along with a crowd of followers, “Is anything worth more than your soul?”

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Quote:

    “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
    George MacDonald – Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood – 1892

    Supplemental note:

    Scientific proof of a higher, eternal and ‘heavenly’, dimension, that exists above this temporal realm, comes to us from no less than special relativity itself,
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/stephen-meyer-can-you-have-an-expanding-universe-without-a-beginning/#comment-738170

  6. 6
    tjguy says:

    Little by little, Craig is embracing the conclusions/interpretations of scientists who ditch God from the get go and try to explain the world without God. But, to remain consistent, he needs to ditch a lot of what the Bible says as well. He is straying further and further away from orthodoxy in his attempt to seem credible to atheists and scientists. Personally, I think God is perfectly capable of defending himself. Craig, in seeking to “defend” God, actually denies God and His Word. I just don’t think this is the way to proceed. Jesus did not get down on hand and knee to beg people to believe in Him. He simply spoke the truth in love. He let large crowds walk away from Him even – in Jn. 6. It doesn’t seem that his goal was to get as many shallow converts as possible. Rather He wanted men and women who truly believed Him, trusted His Word, and were ready to be seen as fools for the sake of the gospel. God’s word is truth. It is our only protection from deception and heresy.

    Romans 3:4 “By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

    Let God be true though every scientist were a liar. I’m not saying that scientists purposefully lie, but by promoting their Materialistic version of the universe, while denying God, this is the end result. They end up promoting lies and one day this will be revealed. God will be vindicated even if it means that every scientist ends up being labelled as a liar.

Leave a Reply