Looking at William Lane Craig’s Book (2021) “In Quest of the Historical Adam” (Part 10 of 21)

0051 Part Two consists of six chapters, arranged into an A:B:C:C’:B’:A’ semitic textual structure.

A:A’, chapters 2 and 7, pair the nature of myth with Adam in the New Testament.  In the New Testament, Adam is treated as a real person associated with something that really happened.  The New Testament is a historical document. But, the stories of Adam and Eve are myths, according to ten criteria proposed by experts on folklore.

B:B’, chapters 3 and 6, pair the first six criteria that characterize myth with the question, “Are myths believed to be true?”

C:C’, chapters 4 and 5, pair the four remaining criteria that characterizes myth with the question, “Is Genesis 1-11 mytho-history?”

0052 According to An Instructor’s Guide to An Archaeology of The Fall, the semitic textual structure asks the reader to recognize a possibility.  That possibility should be apparent by the pairings.  The possibility is a myth, arising in history,while at the same time, veiling the historical events or processes giving rise to the myth.

0053 A mytho-history is more than a myth in history.

A mytho-history tells of something that really happened.

But, we cannot figure out what that something is, without independent information.

0054 I start with A:A’.

The initiation and culmination of the question, “Who is Adam?”, bookends the combined Old and New Testaments.  Even more curious, in the middle, Adam and Eve are rarely mentioned, while the lessons of the preceding Creation Story are frequently celebrated.

One answer to that riddle is found in the January 2022 blog, Looking at Mark Smith’s Book (2019) The Genesis of Good and Evil.

0055 In the beginning (A), Adam coheres to the meaning underlying Genesis 2.4-11.  Adam is the first in the line of the Jewish covenant.  The covenant manifests God saving His people from their difficulties and… yes… transgressions (T2).

0056 In the end (A’), Adam associates to the presence and message underlying Genesis 2.4-11.

0056 For presence, the stories of Adam and Eve are set in the very ancient world of the Wet Neolithic Period of southwestern Asia.  This is the same time when the Ubaid culture gels on the edge of the infilling Persian Gulf.  Four rivers flow into the expanding Persian Gulf.  Two are the Tigris and the Euphrates.  The other two are now dry wadis.

These points are discussed in the February 2022 blog, Looking at Carol Hill’s Article (2021)”Original Sin with Respect to Science”, at www.raziemah.com.

On top of that, Genesis 1-11 reads like a text written on a cuneiform tablet, buried in the ruins of a royal library, and excavated and translated by an enterprising archaeologist.

0057 For message, the stories of Adam and Eve memorialize an apparently historical incident or process in the manner of myth.  Adam and Eve open the door to sin and death.  The door opens further with the stories of Cain and Abel.  The door is wide open with Lamech.  Lamech, who has two wives, kills a fellow, who has no wife.  The door is off its hinges as elitist sons of gods pluck the daughters of men for their desires.  God laments the course of human events.  Then, comes Noah’s flood.

0058 Surely, after Adam, humankind tends to destroy what God has made good (T1).

But, “humankind” is not all humanity.

“Humankind” consists of those doomed to humanity’s tragic flaw.

Genesis 2:4-11 tells of the Ubaid, the Uruk and the Sumerian Dynastic of southern Mesopotamia.

Humanity’s tragic flaw starts with the Ubaid, then spreads across the planet, on the wings of mimicry.

No one can figure out what really happened in the stories of Adam and Eve, without using independent information from archaeology and other disciplines.

0059 Such is the drama of the masterwork, An Archaeology of the Fall, by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues.


Looking at William Lane Craig’s Book (2021) “In Quest of the Historical Adam” (Part 11 of 21)

0060 In the beginning of the Bible, Adam associates with myth (A).

In the end of the Bible, Adam associates to history (A’).

0061 What is the nature of myth?

Myth characterizes the presence1 underlying the actuality of the stories of Adam and Eve2.

What does the “literature” of the ancient Near East and the stories of Genesis 2.4-11 have in common?

They are both mythologies.

0062 Many very well educated know-it-alls have thought long and hard on the nature of myth.  There is no precise definition.

Craig lists ten “family resemblances” or “characteristics” (M1-M10).  Each of these characteristics can be associated to one of Peirce’s categories.  Thirdness is the realm of normal contexts. Secondness is the realm of actuality.  Firstness is the realm of possibility.

0063 Here is a picture of the first four family resemblances (M1-M4).

Figure 07

0064 Not so surprisingly, the first four family resemblances congeal into a category-based nested form.

0065 Here is a picture.

Figure 08

A sacred normal context3 brings traditional narratives, handed down for generations2, into relation with the possibilities inherent in ‘objects of belief’1.


Looking at William Lane Craig’s Book (2021) “In Quest of the Historical Adam” (Part 12 of 21)

0066 Other family resemblances also associate to elements in the category-based nested form.  Here is the next match.

Myths associate to rituals (M8).  M8 fits the normal context of ritual3.

Deities are characters in myths (M6).  M6 associates to actuality2.  Deities are real characters, not imaginary ones.

Myths anchor present realities in primeval times (M7).  M7 matches potential.  Primeval times (as possibilities) anchor the present.

0067 Here is a picture.

Figure 09

The normal context of ritual association3 brings the actualities of dieties2 into relation with the potential of anchoring present realities in primeval times1.

0068 The remaining three family resemblances also constitute a category-based nested form.

Myths are located in a primeval age or another realm (M5).

Myths express correspondences between nature and deities (M9).

Myths contain fantastical elements that are not troubled by logical contradiction or incoherence (M10).

0069 Here is the nested form.

Figure 10

The normal context of a primeval age3 brings the actuality of correspondences between nature and divine2 into relation with the possibilities inherent in fantastical elements that defy logical contradiction or coherence1.


Looking at William Lane Craig’s Book (2021) “In Quest of the Historical Adam” (Part 13 of 21)

0070 The three nested forms of family resemblances constitute a nested form.

0071 A nested form?

An interscope is a nested form composed of nested forms.

The three-level interscope is introduced in A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.

A perspective level (M1-M4) brings a situation level (M6-M8) into relation with the potential of a content level (M5, M9-M10).

Figure 11

0072 Why is this interscope important?

According to Comments on Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky’s Book (2016) Why Only Us?, the three-level interscope is a way to picture langue between conversational partners. 


According to Ferdinand de Saussure, spoken language consists in two arbitrarily related systems of differences, parole(speech) and langue (what goes on in our minds when we talk).

When two people are in conversation, the discourse tends to fill in the empty-slots of a three-level interscope.  Here, Craig reports on the conversations of folklorists, language specialists, anthropologists and theologians, who agree that myths share ten family resemblances.

0073 Neither Craig nor those who he reports on know that these ten items associate to the nine empty-slots of a three-level interscope.

When a three-level interscope is fully manifest, as it is here, an inquirer gains satisfaction.

We can have an enriching conversation about myth if we cover all the elements in the interscope pictured above.


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.


Looking at William Lane Craig’s Book (2021) “In Quest of the Historical Adam” (Part 15 of 21)

0083 Can the myth interscope be used to express a link between the civilizations of the ancient Near East and Genesis 2:4-11?

Yes, Craig spends two chapters (B and C) discussing each criterion for myth (M1-M10) and showing how each applies to the Primeval History, as well as to the origin myths of ancient Mesopotamia.

0084 Craig writes beautiful prose.  Every sentence is well constructed.  Part Two exhibits the semitic textual style.  Here, the pattern is A, B, C, C’, B’, A’.

Chapter 2 covers the nature of myth (A).

Chapter 3 addresses the perspective and situation levels of the interscope of myth (B).

Chapter 4 moves to the content level (C).

Chapter 5 asks whether the term, “mytho-history”, applies to Genesis 1-11 (C’).

Chapter 6 asks whether myths are believed to be true (B’).

Chapter 7 addresses how the New Testament regards Adam as historic (A’).

0085 The first movement (A-C) asks the reader to recognize the possibility that Genesis 2:4-11 has all the family resemblances of myth.

In particular, Genesis 2:4-11 bears a family resemblance to origin myths of the ancient Near East.

The next movement (C’-A’) is crucial.  The origin myths of the ancient Near East are, from a Western point of view, historical, in so far as the cuneiform tablets bearing this literature come from archaeological sites.

Thus, the stories of Adam and Eve, along with the origin myths of the ancient Near East, may be labeled, “mytho-historical”.

0086 These myths are associated with certain periods in the archaeology of southern Mesopotamia, the Ubaid (7800-6000 years ago), the Uruk (6000-5000 years ago) and the Sumerian Dynastic (starting 5000 years ago).

Perhaps, the term, “mytho-archaeological”, is more accurate.


Looking at William Lane Craig’s Book (2021) “In Quest of the Historical Adam” (Part 16 of 21)

0087 For example, Genesis genealogies resonate with various Sumerian, Akkadian and Babylonian king lists.  The term, “resonate”?  Think “re-” (again) and “-sonate” (sound).

0088 These king-lists key into the situation level of the myth interscope.

Figure 13

0088 The situation-level potential situates the entire content level, where divine-nature correspondences2a emerge from (and situate) the potential of fantastical elements1a, in the normal context of a primeval age3a.  The genealogies and the king lists1b are scaffolding that are situated by a perception that the gods2b (or God2b) live, today, as well as in distant times.  The perception2b that the character of the gods2b has always been operational since the beginning1b is itself a ritual association3b.

0089 The content level says, “This is our story.”

The situation level says, “Our story brings the past into the present and the present into the past.”

Both Genesis 2.4-11 and the origin stories of the ancient Near East are mytho-historical texts that address the same prehistoric drama.  They represent two trajectories within one multifaceted sequence of events, occurring before history can be written, because writing is yet to be invented.  Writing starts during the Uruk.  At first, writing is used record economic transactions.  Hundreds of years later, the Sumerians write their origin myths onto clay tablets.

0090 In Part Two, Craig demonstrates that the mytho-historical stories of Genesis 2:4-11 apply to events associated to the Ubaid, Uruk and Sumerian archaeological periods.

But, in Part Three, Craig locates the historical Adam with the ancient hominin species, Homo heidelbergensis.

0091 With that in mind, allow me to restate the question posed in point 0039.

Why do Genesis 2:4-4 and all other origin stories of ancient Mesopotamia describe a recent creation of humans?

Why do they only describe our current Lebenswelt?

Why can’t they acknowledge the Lebenswelt that we evolved in?

0092 The answer is obvious.

Our current Lebenswelt cannot see into the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

The storytellers cannot see beyond the horizon of the first singularity.

This answer also appears in Comments on Daniel Houck’s Book (2020) “Aquinas, Original Sin and the Challenge of Evolution, by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues.


Looking at William Lane Craig’s Book (2021) “In Quest of the Historical Adam” (Part 17 of 21)

0093 I return to the nested form obtained from examining Part One.

Part Two transforms the definition of Genesis 2.4-11 as mytho-history into an inquiry into the reality of the historical Adam.

Here is how the definition in Part One transforms at the end of Part Two.

Figure 14

0094 Craig’s definition of the stories of Adam and Eve as mytho-history changes the presence underling the Primeval History and initiates an inquiry into the Ubaid, Uruk and Sumerian Dynastic archaeological periods.  The presence underlying Genesis 2:4-11 (and the origin myths of the ancient Near East) describes a recent creation of humans by God (or gods).  By “recent”, I mean, the start of the Ubaid.

0095 Does this fly in the face of the scientific narrative of human evolution?

Does the start of the Ubaid mark a (yet to be appreciated) transition in human evolution?

0096 Why haven’t archaeologists proposed such a transition?

Well, it turns out, they have.  A rule-of-thumb gained currency in archaeology in the first half of the twentieth century.  It goes like this.  The further from southern Mesopotamia, the later the civilization appears.

0097 In sum, the stories of Adam and Eve associate to a prehistoric trauma, corresponding to the start of the Ubaid.  In this trauma, the traditions of the deep past cannot be remembered, so humankind must be created from scratch (as far as mythology goes).  The trauma (represented by Adam’s story) originates humanity’s tragic flaw.  This flaw touches base with the first theme (T1).  Humankind tends to destroy what God has made good.

0098 Chapter 6 (B’) poses the question, “Are myths believed to be true?”

The answer is, “Yes, if every element in the three-level interscope is filled in.”

Intellectual satisfaction proceeds from a completely associated three-level interscope.

The proof is in the way that the ten family resemblances of myth associate to all elements in the three-level interscope.

Myths that contain all family resemblances offer understanding.

0099 Understanding?

Is “understanding” is another way to say, “This is the way it must be.”

Not all historical processes and events are accessible to Western scientific articulation.  For example, a prehistoric event cannot be fully described as history.

It can be described through myth.

0100 In the case of Genesis 2:4-11 and the origin stories of the ancient Near East, these historical events and processes associate to the Ubaid, the Uruk and the Sumerian Dynastic.

In other words, prehistoric events are memorialized as myth, in Genesis 2:4-11.

We know that they associate with the start of civilization in the ancient Near East.

We can also imagine that Genesis 2.4-11 contains clues that point to those prehistoric events.


Looking at William Lane Craig’s Book (2021) “In Quest of the Historical Adam” (Part 18 of 21)

0101 ‘Something’2, captured in the stories of Adam and Eve2, transforms Craig’s definition3 into an inquiry3.

The presence of the ancient Near East and Genesis 2:4-111 is located in the Ubaid, Uruk and Sumerian Dynastic of southern Mesopotamia.  In particular, the historical Adam is united with a primeval… er… primordial trauma corresponding to the start of the Ubaid.

0102 At the time of Christ, no one knows this.  Instead, everyone understands that Adam originates humanity’s tragic flaw.  Adam and Eve are regarded as causes, in the scientific sense of the word, rather than signs.

0103 Today, I suggest that the stories of Adam and Eve are signs of the start of the Ubaid.  The Ubaid associates to the start of civilization of southern Mesopotamia.  The Ubaid also marks the start of our current Lebenswelt and the beginning of the end of the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.


Looking at William Lane Craig’s Book (2021) “In Quest of the Historical Adam” (Part 19 of 21)

0104 In Part Two, Craig’s definition3 turns into an inquiry3.

The actuality2 of this inquiry3 concerns the contiguity between the archaeological periods of southern Mesopotamia2 and the Genesis Primeval History2.

The meaning1 and message1 remain the same.  But, the presence1 corresponds to the start of our current Lebenswelt.  Our current Lebenswelt manifests humanity’s tragic flaw, where humankind tends to destroy what God has made good.

0105 Here is a picture.

Figure 15

0106 Yes, our current Lebenswelt (of speech-alone talk and unconstrained social complexity) is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in (of hand-talk and hand-speech talk and constrained social complexity).

The hypothesis is scientific.  A change in the way humans talk potentiates unconstrained social complexity, such as civilization.

0107 Yes, Craig’s failure to identify Adam with the start of the Ubaid stems from a failure in the scientific imagination.

Craig imagines that there is only one creation of humans.

The hypothesis of the first singularity changes all that.

0108 Consider two e-works for a direct discussion: The First Singularity and Its Fairy Tale Trace and Comments on Original Sin and Original Death: Romans 5:12-19.

Also consider a fictional account where the hypothesis is presented in dramatic formAn Archaeology of the Fall is accompanied by an Instructor’s Guide, for adults who want to lead discussion seminars for high school and college students.

0109 ‘Something’ that is captured in Genesis 2:4-11 and the origin myths of the ancient Near East is brought to consciousness in the New Testament (C’).  The resurrection of Jesus calls all humankind, in our current Lebenswelt,because we are the ones who suffer from the tragic flaw originated by Adam.  We are the ones who live in the Lebenswelt initiated by the Ubaid of southern Mesopotamia.