I found a wonderful series of articles by someone I really trust on origins issues: Dr. Casey Luskin. He has a long history with the intelligent design movement, starting from when he was a college student. He has a BS and MS in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, a PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and a JD from the University of San Diego.
He has a series of articles up at Evolution News, about Dr. William Lane Craig’s new book “In Quest of the Historical Adam”. I’m not sure if he is done with the series, but I thought that it was a good time to look over what he’s already written.
In the first article he notes that “Craig convincingly argues that mainstream science can be reconciled with a traditional view of Adam and Eve” and “argues that Adam and Eve were real people who could have been members of Homo heidelbergensis”. Craig’s conclusion is that “it’s not scientifically problematic to take a truly “traditional” view of Adam and Eve”.
But Luskin has criticisms of Craig’s views on rival interpretations of Genesis, “As an old earther myself, I was concerned that Craig did not adequately engage with old earth interpretations” and “I believe that young earth creationists will feel that Craig badly misrepresents the scientific claims of their models”.
Craig’s handling of the science:
Craig’s book provides highly informed discussions of the paleoanthropological, archaeological, neurological, and genetic evidence regarding human origins, but his arguments often incorporate evolutionary assumptions which are doubtful. For example, Craig is too credulous towards evolutionary explanations of the origin of the human mind which amount to miracle mutations, as well as common evolutionary notions that pseudogenes are “junk DNA” that support common ancestry. He misses a key deficiency in evolutionary explanations: a conspicuous gap between the genus Homo and our supposed ape-like australopithecine ancestors in the hominid fossil record. Although Craig does not recognize it, key neurogenetic evidence raised in his book actually suggests a potent mathematical challenge to the Darwinian evolution of humans. I also believe he sells Homo erectus short as a potential candidate for Adam and Eve.
[…]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.” In relying upon dubious evolutionary arguments that are increasingly refuted by the technical literature, Craig may be repeating the very mistake that led previous evangelicals to think Adam and Eve did not exist.
There are 6 parts to the review. Here are the links to parts 2 through 6:
- Is Genesis “Mytho-History”? As a Guide to Scripture, William Lane Craig’s Book Falls Short
- Missed Opportunity: Passing over Scientific Problems with Human Evolution
- Traditional or Not? Assessing William Lane Craig’s Model on Adam and Eve
- Lessons from the Evangelical Debate About Adam and Eve
- Lessons Not Learned from the Evangelical Debate over Adam and Eve
If you’re interested in the topics of Christianity and science, this is a great series to read. I love when someone trustworthy reads through a lot of stuff I don’t have time for (I have a day job as a software engineer!) and gives me an accurate summary of the strengths and weaknesses.