This is a most stimulating & instructive discussion between Joshua Swamidass and William Craig that tries to integrate the latest scientific and paleoanthropology findings, biblical hermeneutics, philosophical and theological anthropology.
Some challenging questions that arise from the discussion include the following:
1) What criteria would a scientific-theological model of human origins need to fulfill before it can be accepted as scientifically plausible and hermeneutically consistent with divinely revealed scripture?
2) Does the fossil evidence confirm that there are different ancient human races? By what criteria do we determine whether early hominids that are genealogically different from Adam are human or not? Cognitive, rational consciousness?
3) How would the Adamic race that is created in the image of God (which makes them bearers of intrinsic value and spiritual qualities) be regarded differently from early hominids? Did Christ die for these non-Adamic hominids if they display rational and aesthetic consciousness?
3) Have recent advances in genetics and paleo-anthropology ruled out the possibility that the present human race was descended from a primal human pair? Note that making a distinction between “genealogical ancestor” vs “genetic ancestor” affects how we determine whether the origin of Adam is recent or ancient.
To be honest, I don’t agree with some of the theological positions expressed by Craig and Swamidass. But the discussion between them serves as an excellent example of how Christian scholars can confidently, but non-dogmatically address the controversial and contestable question of human origins without falling either into defeatism (new scientific evidence demands we abandon the classic orthodox doctrine) and defensiveness (traditional literal interpretation of Genesis trumps any new ‘evidence’ from modern science).
Enjoy and be challenged to widen your scientific and hermeneutical horizons.
Kairos Forum on Genesis, Adam and Evolution: Three Video Recordings