Human evolution Intelligent Design

William Lane Craig on Adam and Eve as less intelligent than us

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From Casey Luskin’s review of William Lane Craig’s In Quest of the Historical Adam, with a glance at his article in First Things:

In First Things Craig then proposes that Adam and Eve were not as cognitively advanced as modern humans, and postulates that humanity experienced standard evolutionary changes after Adam and Eve including some that would “emerge slowly through environmental niche construction and gene-cultural coevolution” to evolve the more advanced brains we have today.2 What this suggests is that not only does Craig seem to propose or allow that many (if not all) of humanity’s intellectual abilities evolved via natural mechanisms, but he effectively believes we evolved upward after Adam and Eve — a model which contrasts sharply with the traditional Christian view that humanity has fallen from Adam and Eve’s initial state.

In his book it’s never quite clear if Craig thinks that the specific mutations he discusses occurred via standard evolutionary mechanisms, God’s direct intervention, or some kind of hybrid of the two…

At most, the data he cites simply shows that humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans share certain similar genes and genetic traits which are involved in our brain development and linguistic abilities — genes and genetic traits not found in living apes. This is not at all surprising since Neanderthals and Denisovans were highly similar to us, are thought to have had advanced cognitive abilities, and may even belong within our own species Homo sapiens. The evidence he recounts is not evidence of evolution. Rather, it simply identifies human-specific genetic features that probably help endow us with our advanced cognitive abilities. Merely identifying important genetic traits does not necessarily tell us that they arose by blind evolutionary mechanisms. After all, these traits could have been intelligently designed or even specially created by God in the creation of Adam and Eve.

But Craig’s arguments typically seem to treat these mutations no differently from blind evolutionary events, which suddenly produced humanlike intelligence in some early hominid. Those of us who have been around the debate over evolution for a while have heard these kinds of miracle mutation stories before, and we have multiple reasons to be skeptical.

Casey Luskin, “Missed Opportunity: Passing over Scientific Problems with Human Evolution” at Evolution News and Science Today (November 10, 2021)

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.

You may also wish to read: Evangelical scientists getting it wrong… Casey Luskin: Craig continues to rely upon BioLogos arguments that pseudogenes are “broken” and non-functional junk DNA that we share with apes, thereby demonstrating our common ancestry. Those arguments are increasingly contradicted by evidence presented in highly authoritative scientific papers which find that pseudogenes are commonly functional, and they ought not be assumed to be genetic “junk.”

5 Replies to “William Lane Craig on Adam and Eve as less intelligent than us

  1. 1
    zweston says:

    All these folks are seeming to give into the pseudoscience lobby after decades/centuries of being bludgeoned by the materialists… only just in time to see that they were wrong the whole time. Sigh… I really like Craig for philosophy and his debate particularly on the resurrection, but as we all do, I think Craig has stepped out of his lane and it’s not pretty. Appreciate him very much, not impressed with what I hear about this work.

  2. 2
    KRock says:

    I believe Dr. Craig has always subscribed (or leaned towards) a theistic evolutionary cause for the origin of mankind (or People-kind if you live in Canada). So this really isn’t much of a surprise.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    I agree with Zweston. Dr. Craig has done excellent work in philosophy, but, in regards to empirical science, “I think Craig has stepped out of his lane and it’s not pretty.”

    As far as empirical evidence is concerned, Dr. Craig simply gives far more credence to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinists than is warranted by the empirical evidence itself.

    For instance, Dr. Craig apparently accepts the Darwinian presupposition that only a very few ‘genes’ are needed to explain the brain development and linguistic abilities of humans.

    Yet it is now known that that particular Darwinian presupposition is false. As the following article stated, “It’s now thought that such (phenotypic) traits are the work of thousands of genetic variants, working in concert.

    What If (Almost) Every Gene Affects (Almost) Everything? – JUN 16, 2017
    Excerpt: If you told a modern geneticist that a complex trait—whether a physical characteristic like height or weight, or the risk of a disease like cancer or schizophrenia—was the work of just 15 genes, they’d probably laugh. It’s now thought that such traits are the work of thousands of genetic variants, working in concert. The vast majority of them have only tiny effects, but together, they can dramatically shape our bodies and our health. They’re weak individually, but powerful en masse.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/its-like-all-connected-man/530532/

    Theory Suggests That All Genes Affect Every Complex Trait – June 20, 2018
    Excerpt: Mutations of a single gene are behind sickle cell anemia, for instance, and mutations in another are behind cystic fibrosis.
    But unfortunately for those who like things simple, these conditions are the exceptions. The roots of many traits, from how tall you are to your susceptibility to schizophrenia, are far more tangled. In fact, they may be so complex that almost the entire genome may be involved in some way,,,
    One very early genetic mapping study in 1999 suggested that “a large number of loci (perhaps > than 15)” might contribute to autism risk, recalled Jonathan Pritchard, now a geneticist at Stanford University. “That’s a lot!” he remembered thinking when the paper came out.
    Over the years, however, what scientists might consider “a lot” in this context has quietly inflated. Last June, Pritchard and his Stanford colleagues Evan Boyle and Yang Li (now at the University of Chicago) published a paper about this in Cell that immediately sparked controversy, although it also had many people nodding in cautious agreement. The authors described what they called the “omnigenic” model of complex traits. Drawing on GWAS analyses of three diseases, they concluded that in the cell types that are relevant to a disease, it appears that not 15, not 100, but essentially all genes contribute to the condition. The authors suggested that for some traits, “multiple” loci could mean more than 100,000.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/omnigenic-model-suggests-that-all-genes-affect-every-complex-trait-20180620/

    And as the following article explains, “The three letter word for — the gene FOR something — is the most dangerous word in genetics.” And the craze is not harmless,”

    Gene previously linked to obesity is unrelated – June 29, 2015
    Excerpt: … in the real world of careful analysis, scientists are just not finding the “genes” that the headline writers need. British geneticist Steve Jones points out that most human traits are influenced by so many genes that there is no likely systematic cause and effect:
    “We know of more than 50 different genes associated with height … That has not percolated into the public mind, as the Google search for “scientists find the gene for” shows. The three letter word for — the gene FOR something — is the most dangerous word in genetics.”
    And the craze is not harmless, he warns. …
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....unrelated/

    As should be intuitively obvious, having hundreds, or even thousands, of genes working in concert contributing to a single phenotypic trait creates insurmountable problems for Darwinists and their reductive materialistic framework.

    The next evolutionary synthesis: from Lamarck and Darwin to genomic variation and systems biology – Bard – 2011
    Excerpt: If more than about three genes (nature unspecified) underpin a phenotype, the mathematics of population genetics, while qualitatively analyzable, requires too many unknown parameters to make quantitatively testable predictions [6]. The inadequacy of this approach is demonstrated by illustrations of the molecular pathways that generates traits [7]: the network underpinning something as simple as growth may have forty or fifty participating proteins whose production involves perhaps twice as many DNA sequences, if one includes enhancers, splice variants etc. Theoretical genetics simply cannot handle this level of complexity, let alone analyse the effects of mutation..
    http://www.biosignaling.com/co.....X-9-30.pdf ?

    Moreover, directly contrary to what Darwinists presuppose, and directly contrary to what Dr. Craig has apparently accepted without question, the biological form, and/or ‘blueprint’, of an organism is not even reducible to DNA in the first place.

    Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, simply have no clue how any species achieves its specific biological form.

    As the following article states, “At present, the problem of biological form remains unsolved.”

    On the problem of biological form – Marta Linde-Medina (2020)
    Excerpt: Embryonic development, which inspired the first theories of biological form, was eventually excluded from the conceptual framework of the Modern Synthesis, (neo-Darwinism) as irrelevant.,,,
    At present, the problem of biological form remains unsolved.
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12064-020-00317-3

    As James Le Fanu explains, “Contrary to all expectations, many DNA sequences involved in embryo development are remarkably similar across the vast spectrum of organismic complexity, from a millimeter-long worm to ourselves.7 There is, in short, nothing in the genomes of fly and man to explain why the fly should have six legs, a pair of wings, and a dot-sized brain and we should have two arms, two legs, and a mind capable of comprehending that overarching history of our universe.”

    Between Sapientia and Scientia — Michael Aeschliman’s Profound Interpretation -James Le Fanu – September 9, 2019
    Excerpt: The ability to spell out the full sequence of genes should reveal, it was reasonable to assume, the distinctive genetic instructions that determine the diverse forms of the millions of species, so readily distinguishable one from the other. Biologists were thus understandably disconcerted to discover precisely the reverse to be the case. Contrary to all expectations, many DNA sequences involved in embryo development are remarkably similar across the vast spectrum of organismic complexity, from a millimeter-long worm to ourselves.7 There is, in short, nothing in the genomes of fly and man to explain why the fly should have six legs, a pair of wings, and a dot-sized brain and we should have two arms, two legs, and a mind capable of comprehending that overarching history of our universe.
    So we have moved in the very recent past from supposing we might know the principles of genetic inheritance to recognizing we have no realistic conception of what they might be. As Phillip Gell, professor of genetics at the University of Birmingham, observed, “This gap in our knowledge is not merely unbridged, but in principle unbridgeable and our ignorance will remain ineluctable.”8
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/09/between-sapientia-and-scientia-michael-aeschlimans-profound-interpretation/
    7. James Randerson, “Fewer Genes, Better Health,” New Scientist, July 13, 2002, 19.
    8. Philip Gell, “Destiny and the Genes: Genetic Pathology and the Individual,” The Encyclopaedia of Medical Ignorance, ed.s R. Duncan and M. Weston-Smith (Kidlington: Pergamon, 1984), 179–87.

    And as the following 2020 article noted, “DNA cannot be seen as the ‘blueprint’ for life,”,, “It is at best an overlapping and potentially scrambled list of ingredients that is used differently by different cells at different times.”

    DNA may not be life’s instruction book—just a jumbled list of ingredients – Kimbra Cutlip, University of Maryland – APRIL 22, 2020
    Excerpt: The common view of heredity is that all information passed down from one generation to the next is stored in an organism’s DNA. But Antony Jose, associate professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at the University of Maryland, disagrees.
    In two new papers, Jose argues that DNA is just the ingredient list, not the set of instructions used to build and maintain a living organism.,,,
    ,,, “DNA cannot be seen as the ‘blueprint’ for life,” Jose said. “It is at best an overlapping and potentially scrambled list of ingredients that is used differently by different cells at different times.”
    ,,, In addition, scientists are unable to determine the complex shape of an organ such as an eye, or that a creature will have eyes at all, by reading the creature’s DNA. These fundamental aspects of anatomy are dictated by something outside of the DNA.
    https://phys.org/news/2020-04-dna-life-bookjust-jumbled-ingredients.html

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    And here is a powerpoint presentation by Dr. Jonathan Wells, starting around the 15:00 minute mark, showing that the central dogma of Darwinian evolution, i.e. “DNA makes RNA makes protein makes us”, is incorrect at every step.

    Design Beyond DNA: A Conversation with Dr. Jonathan Wells – video (14:36 minute mark) – January 2017
    https://youtu.be/ASAaANVBoiE?t=876

    Of particular interest, at about the 42:00 minute mark of the “Design Beyond DNA” video, Dr. Wells demonstrated that, during embryological development, information must somehow be added to the developing embryo, ‘from the outside’, by some ‘non-material’ method.

    Likewise, in the following video, and in keeping with the principle of ‘conservation of information’ (Dembski, Marks, Ewert), Douglas Axe states, “there are a quadrillion neural connections in the human brain, that’s vastly more neural connections in the human brain than there are bits (of information) in the human genome. So,,, there’s got to be something else going on that makes us what we are.”

    “There is also a presumption, typically when we talk about our genome, (that the genome) is a blueprint for making us. And that is actually not a proven fact in biology. That is an assumption. And (one) that I question because I don’t think that 4 billion bases, which would be 8 billion bits of information, that you would actually have enough information to specify a human being. If you consider for example that there are a quadrillion neural connections in the human brain, that’s vastly more neural connections in the human brain than there are bits (of information) in the human genome. So,,, there’s got to be something else going on that makes us what we are.”
    Doug Axe – Intelligent Design 3.0 – Stephen C. Meyer – video
    https://youtu.be/lgs6J4LqeqI?t=4575

    I suggest that recent findings in ‘quantum biology’ mesh very well with Dr. Wells’s and Dr. Axe’s observation that “there’s got to be something else going on that makes us what we are.”, and that spatial, and/or positional, information must, somehow, be ‘added from the outside’ by some non-material method in order to explain what we are seeing in embryological development.

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    In short, advances in Quantum Biology have now shown that Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, are not even on the correct theoretical foundation in order to properly understand biological life in the first place,

    As Jim Al-Khalili explains, “,, Physicists and Chemists have had a long time to try and get use to it (Quantum Mechanics). Biologists, on the other hand have got off lightly in my view. They are very happy with their balls and sticks models of molecules. The balls are the atoms. The sticks are the bonds between the atoms. And when they can’t build them physically in the lab nowadays they have very powerful computers that will simulate a huge molecule.,, It doesn’t really require much in the way of quantum mechanics in the way to explain it.”

    Jim Al-Khalili, at the 2:30 minute mark of the following video states,
    “,, Physicists and Chemists have had a long time to try and get use to it (Quantum Mechanics). Biologists, on the other hand have got off lightly in my view. They are very happy with their balls and sticks models of molecules. The balls are the atoms. The sticks are the bonds between the atoms. And when they can’t build them physically in the lab nowadays they have very powerful computers that will simulate a huge molecule.,, It doesn’t really require much in the way of quantum mechanics in the way to explain it.”
    At the 6:52 minute mark of the video, Jim Al-Khalili goes on to state:
    “To paraphrase, (Erwin Schrödinger in his book “What Is Life”), he says at the molecular level living organisms have a certain order. A structure to them that’s very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity. In fact, living matter seems to behave in its order and its structure just like inanimate cooled down to near absolute zero. Where quantum effects play a very important role. There is something special about the structure, about the order, inside a living cell. So Schrodinger speculated that maybe quantum mechanics plays a role in life”.
    Jim Al-Khalili – Quantum biology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOzCkeTPR3Q

    Moreover, everything that is truly important, and that can be said to ‘radically’ differentiate us from all the other creatures on earth, and that truly makes us human and not animals, is immaterial in its foundational essence and character, and therefore it is simply impossible for Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, to ever give an adequate account for how humans came about.

    As Adam Sedgwick scolded Charles Darwin himself, “There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical. A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly.”

    From Adam Sedgwick – 24 November 1859
    Cambridge
    My dear Darwin,
    Excerpt: ,,, There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical. A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly. Tis the crown & glory of organic science that it does thro’ final cause , link material to moral; & yet does not allow us to mingle them in our first conception of laws, & our classification of such laws whether we consider one side of nature or the other— You have ignored this link; &, if I do not mistake your meaning, you have done your best in one or two pregnant cases to break it. Were it possible (which thank God it is not) to break it, humanity in my mind, would suffer a damage that might brutalize it—& sink the human race into a lower grade of degradation than any into which it has fallen since its written records tell us of its history.,,,
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2548.xml

    And as Dr. Michael Egnor, (who happens to be a brain surgeon), explains, “Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts.,,, It is in our ability to think abstractly that we differ from apes. It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. Our difference is a metaphysical chasm.”

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals
    – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,
    A human being is material and immaterial — a composite being. We have material bodies, and our perceptions and imaginations and appetites are material powers, instantiated in our brains. But our intellect — our ability to think abstractly — is a wholly immaterial power, and our will that acts in accordance with our intellect is an immaterial power. Our intellect and our will depend on matter for their ordinary function, in the sense that they depend upon perception and imagination and memory, but they are not themselves made of matter. It is in our ability to think abstractly that we differ from apes. It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. Our difference is a metaphysical chasm. It is obvious and manifest in our biological nature. We are rational animals, and our rationality is all the difference. Systems of taxonomy that emphasize physical and genetic similarities and ignore the fact that human beings are partly immaterial beings who are capable of abstract thought and contemplation of moral law and eternity are pitifully inadequate to describe man.
    The assertion that man is an ape is self-refuting. We could not express such a concept, misguided as it is, if we were apes and not men.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/11/the_fundamental_2/

    Darwinian materialists, with their reductive materialistic framework, are simply not even on the correct theoretical foundation in order to explain what it truly means to be human in the first place.

    Everything that is truly important about being human, (i.e. beauty, love, meaning and purpose for life, morality, even our very own sense of self), becomes an illusion under the reductive materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists.

    And as Dr. Egnor noted, “if your hypothesis is that the mind is an illusion, then you don’t have a hypothesis.”

    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/

    Thus in conclusion, Dr. Craig simply gives far more credence to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinists than is warranted by the empirical evidence itself.

    And again, I agree with Zweston. Dr. Craig has done excellent work in philosophy, but, in regards to empirical science, “I think Craig has stepped out of his lane and it’s not pretty.”

    Romans 1:20
    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

  5. 5
    ycrad says:

    Where can I hit the like button, Bornagain77? Great work! (I really appreciate your so rich and informative comments) God bless you!

    All my respect to Dr. William Craig, a great man, and to his tremendous work in philosophy.
    I can’t comprehend, however, how a professional and so talented philosopher could yield to the “non sequiturs” (and, in an evidential sense,
    the “bait and suit” propaganda.) of darwinism. Our mind is really full of mysterious avenues.

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