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.”