Discussion on the Premier Christian Radio programme Unbelievable on Saturday 14th August 2021. The topic was introduced by Justin Brierley and debated between William Lane Craig and Joshua Swamidass. I support William Lane Craig in principle, though not entirely in details.
Yes, Neanderthal was fully human. Yes, he also was a descendant of Adam.
I do support belief in a historical Adam who is at the root of humanity.
Genesis is rightly described by William Lane Craig as mytho-history. Genesis is figurative. It uses metaphor to express deep theological truths. This Biblical truth must be contrasted to myth as in made-up-story. The idea of the existence of prehistoric hominin / hominid non-humans is a myth that is untrue.
Each of God’s creations was whole, complete and perfect. Mankind was one of these creations.
He created them male and female, with the power of language, each possessing a soul.
God has never created a half-creature. He did not create a ‘hominid’ or upright walking, human-looking, non-human nor cause it to evolve from apes.
The historical Adam could be located 6000 years ago in the Neolithic, or come from prehistory 750 000 years ago with Homo heidelbergensis, or be located at the origin of the genus Homo some 2-3 million years ago.
Primitive members of the genus Homo; Homo habilis, the tool-maker or Homo ignis (Homo erectus), the fire-maker may have looked slightly different to ourselves and have a low hair-line on the forehead, but these were full human beings. Even the oldest fossils of all belonging to the human line, when reconstructed with human features rather than ape features, come out looking human.
The status of early, primitive members of the human line, in the eyes of the Creator, was that of having the original perfection and dignity of Adam and Eve, although we know they fell.