Looking at William Lane Craig’s Book (2021) “In Quest of the Historical Adam” (Part 14 of 21)

0074 Once again, here is the myth interscope.

Figure 12

0075 Now, I enter the topic of human evolution.

In our current Lebenswelt, speech-alone talk is fully symbolic.  We can discuss all the elements in the above figurebecause we can attach purely symbolic labels to each one.  We call the process, “abstraction” (or better, “explicit abstraction”).

In the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, hand and hand-speech talk words picture and point to their referents.  Even though symbolic operations undergird fully linguistic hand talk, the sign-qualities of icons and indexes characterize each manual-brachial word-gesture.  Consequently, explicit abstraction is constrained in hand-talk and hand-speech talk.

0076 Looking at the above figure, I suspect that I can convey stories that fill in the content and situation level elements, using fully linguistic manual-brachial word-gestures.  In other words, I can tell stories of the divine, just as the North American Plains Indians and the Australian Aborigines do with their hand-talk.  I can fill in the content and situation levels.  Plus, I can fill-in the perspective level through implicit abstraction.

0077 But, I cannot explicitly abstract any of the elements of the above interscope.


Explicit abstraction requires purely symbolic words.  Hand talk and hand-speech talk words are icons and indexes (in addition to being symbols).  They are not purely symbolic.

In conclusion, in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, I cannot picture or point to the elements in the above interscope.

But, I can fill in the content and situation levels with hand-talk.  I can implicitly abstract the perspective level.  I can live the perspective level.

In our current Lebenswelt, I can label all the elements of the interscope with purely symbolic spoken words.

This is the missing ingredient that Craig does not realize as of 2021.

Our current Lebenswelt is not the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

0078 Hand-talk is the milieu in which language evolves.  In hand-talk, the relation between parole (the gestural utterance) and langue (the meaning, presence and message underlying the utterance) is motivated by the natural sign-qualities of icons (images) and indexes (indicators).

Yes, hand-talk pictures and points to its referents.  It does not label them, as happens in speech-alone talk.

0079 Before the first singularity, humans and their ancestors have no gestural-words corresponding to the spoken words, “sacred”, “tradition”, “narratives”, “objects” or “belief”.

These words are explicit abstractions, requiring speech-alone talk.

In hand talk, what is there to picture or point to?

Yet, at the same time, we somehow lived all these words.  Implicit abstractions are built into our bones.

0080 One of the great failures of evolutionary science has been a failure to recognize that Peirce’s concept of natural signs applies to talk, as opposed to language.  Talk is not the same as language.  Language consists in the symbolic operations underlying talk.  Language evolves in the milieu of hand talk.  Hand talk solves the problem of reference. Icons and indexes are recognizable natural signs.

The evolution of talk is not the same as the evolution of language.

0081 Yes, a few evolutionary biologists argue that hand-talk is the medium in which language evolves.

0082 Yet, they face a huge problem.

Today, everyone practices speech-alone talk.

We have done so as long as anyone can remember.We have done so since the time of Adam and Eve.