Looking at William Lane Craig’s Book (2021) “In Quest of the Historical Adam” (Part 1 of 21)

0001 William Lane Craig publishes a work of erudition, titled, In Quest of the Historical Adam: A Biblical and Scientific Exploration (Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI, ISBN 978-0-8028-79911-0).  The bibliography contains over 250 references.  

Part One discusses what is at stake.

Part Two covers the Biblical “data” concerning Adam and runs 210 pages.

Part Three covers scientific evidence about the start of humanity (broadly defined) and runs 117 pages.

0002 Overall, the first two-thirds of the book discusses the importance of the historical Adam and explores what types of stories are contained in Genesis 2.4-11.  Then, the final one-third addresses the question, “If humanity descends from a single couple, then where would we locate that couple in the scientific story of human evolution?”

0003 Clearly, this professor would have been assisted by glancing at the masterworks in the Razie Mah series, The Human NicheAn Archaeology of the Fall and How To Define the Word “Religion”, available at smashwords and other electronic book venues.

0004 Why?

Every sentence in this book is well composed and carefully reasoned.  But, Craig’s quest ends at a location that is anything but.  He writes (more or less), “Adam may be plausibly identified as a member of Homo heidelbergensis, living 750,000 years ago.”

The quest ends where the book should have started.

Then, the title could have been, “What if Adam and Eve are really the first humans?”

What if, indeed.

0006 Craig’s argument presumes, all along, that Adam and Eve are the first humans.

In this examination, I do not neglect the opposing question, “What if they are not?”


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

0112 This is the last blog concerning this particular book.  I post this blog first, because WordPress places the latest blog closest to the top for each month.  Chronologically, the first blog in a series appears last on the month’s list and the last blog eventually appears first.  There is a certain logic to this, which I appreciate and adjust my posts accordingly.  My goal is to limit my examinations to one-month duration.

0113 I summarize.

0114 First, Part Three of Craig’s book associates to Genesis 1:26, the intention of man.  The time frame corresponds to the period after the domestication of fire and before the speciation of anatomically modern humans.  Our religious sensibilities evolve during this period, as discussed in the e-masterwork, The Human Niche.

0115 Second, Part Two of Craig’s book attempts to define Genesis 2:4-11 as mytho-history.  The attempt turns Craig’s definition into an inquiry concerning the first singularity.  The first singularity associates to the start of the Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia.  The hypothesis of the first singularity explains why our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.  The consequences of the first singularity are captured by the stories of Adam and Eve.  This is a theme in the e-masterwork, An Archaeology of the Fall, by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues.

0116 Third, Part One of Craig’s book sets a path to a category-based nested form, defining3 the stories of Adam and Eve2as emerging from (and situating) Jewish covenantal history (meaning1), the ancient Near East and Genesis 1-11 (presence1), and the notion that Adam originates humanity’s tragic flaw (message1).  The categorical structure of definition is introduced in the e-masterwork, How to Define the Word “Religion”.

0117 Fourth, Part One presents ten family resemblances characterizing the term, “myth”.  These family resemblances associate to all the elements in a three-tier interscope.  The interscope is a relational structure, presented in the e-work, A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.

0118 Fifth, Part Two fills in the interscope of myth with the ten family resemblances, leading to an understanding that Genesis 2:4-11 and the origin stories of the ancient Near East pertain to the same prehistoric events and processes, occurring during the Ubaid, the Uruk and the Sumerian Dynastic archaeological periods.

0119 Sixth, Part Three fails to capitalize on the fact that both the Genesis Primeval History and the origin stories of the ancient Near East portray a recent creation of humanity.  This failure follows a lacuna in the modern discipline of Anthropology, which does not envision that our current Lebenswelt is not the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

Why does modern Anthropology not register the first singularity?

Modern Anthropology self-identifies as science.  Modern Anthropology belongs to the waning Age of Ideas.  

The hypothesis of the first singularity belongs to the dawning Age of Triadic Relations.  Peirce’s philosophy opens a new, semiotic consciousness.  That consciousness calls for a postmodern Anthropology radically different from what modern intellectuals call “postmodern”.

0120 My thanks to William Lane Craig, for demonstrating the beauty of good English prose, even while missing the mark in his quest for the historical Adam.


Looking at John Walton’s Book (2015) “The Lost World of Adam and Eve” (Part 1 of 22)

0001 In this series of blogs, I examine John H. Walton’s book, The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2-3 and the Human Origins Debate, published in 2015 by Intervarsity Press.  John Walton is a Professor of the Old Testament and has published other commentaries.

0002 I examine this book from the point of views of (A) natural philosophy and (B) the hypothesis of the first singularity.

0003 From the first point of view (A), what Walton calls, “archetypal”, may also be construed as “noumenal”, as opposed to “phenomenal”.   According to Comments on Jacques Maritain’s Book (1935) Natural Philosophy, modern science construes each thing as a noumenon and its phenomena.  A noumenon is the thing itself.   Phenomena are its observable and measurable facets.  Science models phenomena.  Science cannot address the noumenon, the thing itself.

0004 So, how we recognize noumena, things themselves?

Noumena are the subject of philosophical inquiry.  Aristotle’s hylomorphe is the first step in philosophical inquiry.  We perceive the thing itself, directly, as a dyadic relation containing two contiguous real elements.  Aristotle calls the two real elements, matter and form.

What about the contiguity?

The contiguity will be placed in brackets.

I will use another one of Aristotle’s terms for the contiguity.  The term has been the subject of a lot of wooly thinking.  So, the choice is rich, in more ways than one.

0005 According to Charles Peirce, the category of secondness, the realm of actuality, consists in two contiguous real elements.

According to Aristotle, the hylomorphe is (basically) matter [substantiates] form.  The verb, “substantiates”, is the same as the noun, “substance”.

Here is a picture.

Figure 01

0006 Human recognition of hylomorphes is immediate and intuitively natural.


We evolved to recognize noumena, things themselves.

This is how the ancient world thinks.  Greek philosophers ask, “Why are there things instead of nothing?”  The answer ends up with Aristotle’s proposal.  The hylomorphe is the portal to natural philosophy.  Natural philosophy considers things in themselves.

0007  Today, science-lovers fixate on phenomena, such as the observable and measurable aspects of a thing, called “original sin”.  Then, they they build models for how Adam could be the direct cause of this thing.

In contrast, Walton argues that the civilizations of the ancient Near East look at this issue from the noumenal side.  Adam is contiguous with what is wrong with the world.  Paul wrestles with this hylomorphe in his famous letters to the Corinthians and the Romans.

Figure 02

0008 From the second point of view (B), Walton’s propositions appear more and more like a noumenon whose phenomena yield a novel scientific hypothesis.  This novel hypothesis is formally proposed in the masterwork, An Archaeology of the Fall, available at smashwords and other e-book venues.

In 2015, John Walton and his collaborator, N.T. Wright, are not aware of this novelty.  The hypothesis of the first singularity changes everything.

0009 In the conclusion, Walton states that his book demonstrates that Genesis 1 is concerned with God’s ordering of a grand sacred space with the goal of coming into relation with us.  Genesis 2.4 starts with God planting humans within a sacred space, within the grand sacred space, only to find that we bite.  We bite into the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Isn’t that smart?

0010 We deceive ourselves.

We introduce chaos into God’s order.

Oh, I meant to say, it is Adam’s fault.

0011 Weirdly, this sounds a lot like all the other origin stories of the ancient Near East, especially the ones recovered by archaeologists from royal libraries that burnt to the ground thousands of years ago.  Cuneiform clay tablets fire into brick.  The bricks retain their integrity even when buried by detritus. Then, they are excavated by modern archaeologists.  Then, archaeologists miraculously find a way to read the script.

0012 Walton has the advantage of these archaeological discoveries.  Walton has the advantage of new scholarship on Paul and the Jewish civilization during the Second Temple Period.  Yet, he writes in the twilight of the Age of Ideas.

0013 This examination brings his propositions into the dawning Age of Triadic Relations.

Walton sets forth 21 propositions.To these, I attend.


Looking at John Walton’s Book (2015) “The Lost World of Adam and Eve” (Part 22 of 22)

0187 Proposition twenty-one?

Humans can be viewed as a distinct creation and a special creation of Ged, even if there is continuity, as far as genetics and natural history are concerned.

0188 However, there is a twist in human evolution.

The twist does not alter our genetic make-up.

The twist does not involve any phenotypic alteration.

The twist involves an immaterial change in cultural evolution.

The semiotics of speech-alone and hand-speech talk are radically different.

0189 Our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

0190 John Walton writes, in 2015, without knowing about Razie Mah’s three masterworks.  All are available as smashwords and other e-book venues.

The Human Niche covers the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

An Archaeology of the Fall dramatically renders the first singularity.

How to Define The Word “Religion” confronts the nature of our current Lebenswelt.

0191 Every proposition in The Lost World of Adam and Eve is touched upon by these three scientific works.

Walton’s excellent book is published in the twilight of the Age of Ideas.

All the material that he covers asks to be re-articulated, in order to move into the dawning Age of Triadic Relations.

0192 My thanks to John Walton (and collaborator, N.T. Wright) for their engaging effort.  The science has changed.  It is time to put pen to paper, again.


Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 1)

0001 Why would a Catholic priest podcast on the topics of myths, monsters and mysteries?

Are these actualities somehow related?

Perhaps, they are nested.  Mysteries are locked within monsters.  Monsters are contained in myths.

The outside is myth, the middle has monsters, and the center holds mysteries.

In addition to nesting, the title tells a story. A story has a beginning, middle and end. This podcast title opens with myths, proceeds to monsters, then resolves in mysteries.

Two approaches complement one another.

0002 Why?

Each word in the title labels an actuality.  These actualities fit into one another.  These three actualities tell a story.

0003 Our world is full of stories.  Some are fantasies.  Some are histories.

Fantasies have no foundation in real human events.  So, the story is not real.

Histories are founded in real human events, but often the story is incoherent.

Myths seem to blend these two poles.

Fantasies illuminate how we (humans) think.  For myths, Jungian psychologists investigate this particular topic, revealing universal mental habits.

Histories tell of what happened, by connecting various evidentiary dots or exploring clues.

The magic of myth is simple.  It holds historic dots and clues within itself, long after what happened has passed into the mists of time.  Myths are repeated with such accuracy, that dots and clues may remain for centuries, even millenia.

Consequently, there is no coherent discipline investigating how myths address something that actually occurred.

0004   Can I say that all stories contain clues.

These clues reveal something real. 

 On one hand, this something pertains to human psychology.

On the other hand, this something includes human witness.

0005 Are these poles to a continuum?

Here is how that might look.

Figure 01

Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 2)

0006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker sets out on a quixotic quest.

On first listening, he appears ready to deliver insights in Jungian psyhcology and critical aesthetics, as if these will imbue actuality into myths.

On second thought, he touts his book on who the magi actually are.  They are not Persians.  They are traders, located between Persia and Jerusalem.  They are in transit between both civilizations.  He follows clues in the infant narratives.  He examines archaeology.  He looks at historical documentation.

0007 What does this mean?

Think of a real historical event as a grain of sand.

Think of human psychology as the maw of an oyster.

The grain of sand enters into the maw of the oyster and then, over time, something mysterious happens.  The grain of sandgives rise to a pearl.  

The pearl is like the myth.

0008 In sum, the continuum expressed in the previous blog will not suffice.

There are two real elements, the grain of sand and the pearl.  The grain of sand cannot be recognized within the pearl, but it stands as its origin.  The two elements are contiguous, like matter and form.

0009  For Aristotle, matter and form are contiguous.  The technical term is “hylomorphism”.

Here is a picture.  

Figure 02

0010 For Charles Peirce, the category of secondness, the realm of actuality, consists in two contiguous real elements.

An entire series of comments are published in smashwords on the proposal that Aristotle’s hylomorphism coincides with Peirce’s category of secondness.  This is a portal to the Fourth Age of Understandingthe Age of Triadic Relations.

One way to write the contiguity between matter and form is matter [is contiguous with] form.  Matter and form are real elements.  The contiguity is placed in brackets. The word, “substance”, labels the contiguity between matter and form.  Or, should I say, “being and form”?

Figure 03

0011 There is a beauty in this configuration.

There are two terms that scholastics used regularly.  One is the Latin word, esse.  Esse is translated as being as existent, in contrast to ens, being as being.  Esse concerns presence. The other word made it into English, essence.  Essence concerns form. 

As it turns out, these two terms apply the Arisotle’s hylomorphism.

Here is a picture.

Figure 04

I coin a new word, esse_ce, which sounds the same as esse, but is defined as being [substance], in contrast with essence, which is [substance] form.

0012 What does this have to do with Longenecker’s podcasts?Perhaps, Longenecker aims to discuss the esse_ce and essence of myth.


Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 3)

0013 Now, I travel in a little circle, turning around Peirce’s secondness and Aristotle’s hylomorphism.  One is postmodern.  The other is premodern.

0014 Myth is a hylomorphism, which may be depicted as follows in the style of Peirce’s secondness.

Figure 05

0015 Peirce’s secondness is one of three categories.  It is the realm of actuality.  Secondness consists in two contiguous real elements.  The two elements are real.  The contiguity, placed in brackets, conveys a feeling of causality.  A myth is a story. Its real origin hides within.

0016 A myth does not seem like a thing.  A pearl does. A pearl serves as a metaphor for myth.  If it were not for science, we would not know that a grain of sand gives rise to a pearl inside the maw of an oyster.  This implies that the real world event may be known from other inquiries, not from the story itself.

Here is a picture.

Figure 06

0017 Aristotle’s hylomorphism applies to things.  A pearl is a thing.  A thing has two real elements, matter and form.  Matter has two facets.  If material, matter is called “matter”.  If immaterial, matter is called “being”.  Being is relational.  The Latin word for being is “ens”.

I label the contiguity between matter and form with the word, “substance”.  The term, “substance”, has quite a history.  So, it should be fine if a thing is matter [substance] form.  Note how the contiguity could just as well be a verb, “substantiates”.

0018 Now, many of us have heard the term, “essence”.  Essence is all about form.  Indeed, I suspect that essence captures one facet of Aristotle’s hylomorphism.

There is another, less well known, scholastic term, “esse“.  Esse is Latin for being as existent.  I will now make up a word, esse_ce, which is a complement to essence.  Esse_ce captures the other facet of Aristotle’s hylomorphism.

0019 Here is a picture of the myth, with esse_ce and essence denoted.

Figure 07

0020 Ah, in myth, both esse_ce and essence share the contiguity between a real event and its story.

Isn’t that curious?

Even more, I can extend this pattern to the pearl.

The esse_ce of a pearl contains a grain of sand.

The essence of a pearl is a translucent spherical form.

0021 A pearl serves as a metaphor for myth.I have come full circle.


Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 4)

0022 When Father Longenecker begins his discussion of myth.  It seems that he is discussing Jungian psychology.

Jungian psychology investigates the way that the mind works, especially in regards to the so-called “collective unconscious”,  mental habits common across civilizations.  This corresponds to essence.

Essence contributes to the realness of the story.

0023 However, there is the complement to essence, esse_ce, that is discovered through independent inquiry.  One could label this inquiry, “science”, but the modern term means building mathematical and mechanical models.

The premodern term for “science” is “natural philosophy”.  Natural philosophy seeks out a thing or process or event, tries to explain it, and reaches understanding of the thing itself, not the observable and measurable facets of the thing.  

The thing itself has a hylomorphic structure.

0024  So, an independent inquiry, having great compatibility with natural philosophy, may try to figure out the real event that hides within and gives rise to myth2.  The discovery of the event is prophetic, since it cannot be predicted by examining the story itself.  Only after the discovery of the event, does the myth become more that pure essence (fantasy).  The story gains esse_ce.

Esse_ce contributes to the realness of the myth in ways that essence does not.

0025 Here is a picture.

Figure 08

Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 5)

0026 Now, I want to offer an example. This example may take Father Longenecker by surprise.  It is the story of Adam and Eve found in the early chapters of Genesis.

Many argue that the temptation of Eve is pure fantasy.  It is pure essence.  There is no esse_ce.  Really, a talking serpent?

0027 Longnecker may speak of the essence, using Jungian psychology.

I will offer a picture of the esse_ce, using the evolution of talk, as opposed to the evolution of language.

Figure 09

0028 Two works shed light upon the esse_ce of this myth. One is a scientific proposal, The First Singularity and Its Fairy Tale Trace.  The other is the dramatic fiction, An Archaeology of the Fall.  The evolutionary backdrop for both is found in The Human Niche.

0029 What is the evolution of talk, in a nutshell?

Starting with the adaptation of walking, characteristic the genus, Australopithecus, the foot is enslaved and the hand is freed.  The hand is free to gesture.  Why gesture?  Manual-brachial gestures convey intentions during team activities.  Why engage in team activities?  That is how a band of walking apes survives.

Homo habilis and erectus adapt to the opportiunity that manual-brachial gestures offer. Gestures convey intent (message), content (meaning) and role (presence) during team activities.  The semiotic qualities of hand talk are iconic (images) and indexal (indicators).  So, a referent defines the message, meaning and presence of its word-gesture.

Hand talk is crucial for team activities, such as gathering seasonal vegetables and hunting or scavenging game.

0030 On top of that, word-gestures should differ from one another, fitting Ferdinand de Saussure’s definition of languageas two related systems of differencesparole (manual-brachial gesture) and langue (particular sets of messages, meaning and presences).

0031 The domestication of fire allows hand talk to become a team activity in itself.  Hand talk expands from team-activities to something more general (that is, conversation).  A full fledged grammar develops, all in the milieu of hand talk.

The generalization of talk is very successful, expanding brain volume and group size.  

0032 Humans evolve in social circles of increasing size.  Larger circles have different dynamics than smaller circles.  Bands are permanent.  Bands gather in community.  Communities are semi-permanent.  Communities gather into mega-bands.  Mega-bands are seasonal.  Mega-bands gather into tribes.  Tribes meet occasionally.  

Adaptation to gatherings of the larger groups includes the use of the voice for social synchronization.  When the tribe gathers, time is limited.  Everyone must quickly get in sync.  The voice comes under neural control for singing.  The Neanderthal and the Denisovan most likely practice lingusitic hand talk and sing.

0033 With the speciation of anatomically modern humans, around 200,000 years ago, the voice is exapted for language.  The voice joins hand talk.  From the very start, Homo sapiens practices hand-speech talk.

Hand-speech talk lasts for hundreds of thousands of years, until…

Something weird happens.

0034 Slightly before 7800 years ago, one culture drops the hand talk component of hand-speech talk.  The Ubaid of southern Mesopotamia forms when rising ocean waters fill the formerly dry-lands of the Persian Gulf, pushing a river and coast dwelling mesolithic culture into the same territory as a dry-land stock-breeding culture.  The cultures meld, despite thier vastly different traditions.  Their way of talking breaks down into pidgin. The resulting creole is unrelated to any family of languages.  This creole is the Sumerian language.  Sumerian is a linguistic isolate.

0035 The Ubaid culture is the first speech-alone talking culture.  Speech-alone talk has very different semiotic qualities than hand-speech talk.  Speech-alone talk cannot image or point to anything.  So, the referent cannot define the word.  Instead, message, meaning and presence is projected into the mind, as if there is a referent that is pictured or pointed to.

0036 Does that sound like the snake-like serpent talking to Eve?

The snake says speech-alone words and Eve projects message, meaning and presence into the forbidden fruit.

This is what we do in our current Lebenswelt of speech-alone talk.  Such projection is not possible in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, of hand and hand-speech talk.

0037 Needless to say, this shift in the semiotic qualities of talk potentiates the formation of unconstrained social complexity, including civilization.  Speech-alone talk spreads to the far corners of the Earth, on the wings of power and wealth, the fruits of unconstraind social and labor specialization.

0038 Yes, the key to the talking serpent is this: The serpent has no limbs.  It cannot engage in hand talk.  Therefore, it presents an image of the actualization of speech-alone talk.

How creepy is that?

The talking serpent is more real that anyone imagined.

The talking serpent is a clue to the esse_ce of the story of Adam and Eve.

0039 Fr. Dwight Longenecker is onto something.  The stories of the Bible have esse_ce and essence.

Longenecker’s work on the infant narratives stands at the threshold of the use of both Jungian psychology and independent inquiry to address revelation.  Real world events, like grains of sand, hide within Biblical stories, embodying pearls of revelation.  In myth, esse_ce meets essence.


Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 6)

0040 The esse_ce and essence of myth coheres to the dyadic structure of Peirce’s secondness.  It also expresses Aristotle’s hylomorphism.

The esse_ce of myth is an intimation of a real world event.

The essence of myth is explored with Jungian psychology.

These two approaches complement one another.

0041 What does this have to do with monsters?

Monsters appear in myths.  And, we perceive them as monsters.

There are monsters in the content of myth.  Then, our perception constructs thier monstrosities.

0042 On the content-level, the myth, a story told by a story-teller, is an actuality2, emerging from the possibility of common attention1, in the normal context of what is happening3

The following formula is introduced in A Primer on The Category Based Nested Form.  In a normal context3, an actuality2 emerges from (and situates) the possibility of ‘something’1.  The subscripts refer to Peirce’s categories.

0043 Here is a picture.

Figure 10

A situation level emerges from (and situates) a content level, according to A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.

Monsters appear as content in myths.

This content is then situated by the human imagination.

0044 A myth2a is situated by possibilities inherent in the imagination1b, giving rise to a phantasm2b, in the normal context of what it means to me3b.

The two-level interscope is typical for sensible construction.

Figure 11

0045 Each column produces a virtual relation.

The imagination1b virtually emerges from (and situates) common attention1a.

Phantasms2b virtually emerge from (and situate) the telling of a myth2a.

What does it mean to me3b virtually emerges from (and situates) what is happening in the story3a.

0046 Jungian psychology studies the ways that imagination1b situates myth1a.  Imagination picks up on essence.  Essence associates to form.  More than that, essence goes with the filling in of a form (that is, [substance] form).  The way that form is realized addresses the question, “What do the various features of the story mean to me3b?”

But, the phantasm2b is not pure fantasy.  It is not solely essence.  The imagination also brings experience into the picture.  For this reason, the child perceives a myth as literally true and the adult senses that the myth is a mix of fact and fiction.  The more experience one has, the more important the matter that goes into the story becomes.  Or, should I say, “being”?

0047 Experience includes one’s own personal accounts.  Experience includes one’s traditions.  Experience includes encounters described in myth.  Experience is both practical and theoretical.

Experience tells us that something real is going into the essence of the myth.  The esse_ce may be taken to be literal (making the story a historical documentation) or figurative (making the story a fantasy) or any mix of the two (bringing us back to the continuum in the first blog).

There is a continuum between matter, which is material, and being, which is immaterial.

Both contribute to esse_ce.

0048 So, what is going on in one’s head when one encounters a myth?

The mind3b constructs a phantasm2b that appropriates the structure of Aristotle’s hylomorphism.  Actuality is dyadic.  A myth2a is actual.  So, the phantasm2b uses imagination1b to construct the same dyadic structure, but in a way that reveals the monstrosity1b in monsters2a.

0049 Here is a picture of what the phantasm constructs.