Video trailer for the Crossway Theistic Evolution book

A friend posted this on Facebook - and it features @agauger as well. I missed this when I first went looking for info on the book, so perhaps other folks missed it as well.

The Most Comprehensive Critique of Theistic Evolution Yet Produced

This is the book being discussed in the other thread, right?

I’ll definitely check that book out when I can.

If anyone can get this book before me, tell me if they say things like these, so I don’t have to waste my time:

Michael J. Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box, writes,

Theistic evolution means different things to different people. This book carefully identifies, and thoroughly debunks, an insidious, all-too-commonly accepted sense of the phrase even among Christians: that there is no physical reason to suspect life was designed, and that evolution proceeded in the unguided, unplanned manner Darwin himself championed.


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There is a TOC and a couple of chapters available and I do believe the book repeats pretty much every thing you listed. You can get the pdf here.

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Thanks for this.


On the page that has the video, they have the “Annotated Table of Contents” mentioned by @Bill_II above:

And in it, @agauger describes (“lucky”) chapter 13, which introduces chapters 14 to 16:

The Battle over Human Origins (Introduction to Chapters 14–16)
Ann K. Gauger

I had thought she was going to focus on the difficult area of the “first cell”.
But heck no… I’m looking forward to hearing Dr. G’s explanation for why
she chose the stance that we see described below.

“The origin of humanity—where we came from—is an issue
with many ramifications. It impacts our self-understanding in
multiple ways. Did we evolve from a common ancestor shared
with chimps, or might we have a unique origin?”

“Mainstream science says that it is incontrovertible that we are
the product of evolution. Is it therefore necessary to adapt our
understanding of Scripture, or might the science be overstated?”

“This short chapter, along with chapters 14–16, will argue that the
question of our origin is far from settled, and that there are scientific”
arguments to be made in favor of a unique origin for humanity. There
is no need to change traditional scriptural interpretations based on
inconclusive science."
[End of Annotation]

In just these few words above, she trashes the whole scope of
primate evolutionary processes as “inconclusive science” on the
matter of connecting the human primate (with all of its shared
primate glitches) as essentially without merit.

While on our forums she has thrown dust in the air over whether humans
took a million years or some other “Old Earth” span of time, the whole
time her position is that humans did not emerge through common descent,
and that there is no need to change our understanding of humans being
formed by God in miraculous acts of creation.

Dr. Gauger, would you dispute the idea that you appear to be the living
exemplar that someone can appear to accept the Earth as an “Old Earth”,
and still dispute that humans are the result of two things:

  1. God’s evolutionary guidance, and
  2. Common Descent from life that laid the floor plan for Primate design?

In maintaining that stance, you are showing that you are not any different
from all the other I.D. proponents, because you don’t just have expectations
that there are key parts of Evolution that required God’s miraculous involvement,
but that Evolutionary processes are so feeble, that God created humanity
separately and miraculously, rather than attempt the use of common descent
and natural selection to do so.

In chapter 15, Dr. Gauger joins Hossjer and Reeves on the topic of human uniqueness… uniqueness that is so divergent from our Primate cousins that “there is not enough evolutionary time for all these coordinated changes to have happened by the mutation/selection process.”

I think Dr. G. is missing an empathy gene. Our discussions here on these pages quite clearly touched on a God-guided timeline of mutations and of natural selection steered by changes in the ecosystems.

I would hazard a guess, however, that Dr. G is not phased at all by the hyper-inflation since the landing of the Ark that is necessary for all the species the world contains today.

While some creationists tackle the whole notion of evolution producing large changes between fish and tetrapods, tetrapods and repties, reptiles and mammals, and land-based mammals into marine mammals…
Dr. G. disputes the modern theories for how primate modification could be conducted by God through evolutionary processes.

15 Evidence for Human Uniqueness
Ann K. Gauger, Ola Hössjer, and Colin R. Reeves

"Taken together, these species-specific
genetic differences contribute to our anatomical and physiological differences with chimps. In addition, there is not enough evolutionary time for all these coordinated changes to have happened by the mutation/selection process. Thus the evidences for common ancestry put forward by various scientists are not as solid as they might seem.

And now for Chapter 16…

16 An Alternative Population Genetics Model
Ola Hössjer, Ann K. Gauger, and Colin R. Reeves

What can be said about human history from DNA variation
among us today? Population genetics is used in academia to infer
that we share a common ancestry with apes; that most of our
human ancestors emigrated from Africa fifty thousand years ago;
that they possibly had some mixing with Neanderthals, Denisovans,
and other archaic populations; and that the early Homo
population was never smaller than a few thousand individuals. It
uses mathematical principles for how the genetic composition of
a population changes over time through mutation, natural selection,
genetic drift, and other forces of change. In this chapter we
investigate the assumptions about this theory and conclude that
it is full of gaps and weaknesses. We argue that a unique origin
model, where humanity arose from one single couple,
seems to explain data at least as well, if not better.

We finally propose an alternative simulation approach that could
be used in order to validate such a model.

Is this really the same person that came across so objectively on the
issues of “bottleneck analysis”?

"In this chapter we investigate the assumptions about this theory and
conclude that it is full of gaps and weaknesses. We argue that a
unique origin model, where humanity arose from one single couple,
seems to explain data at least as well, if not better.

@DennisVenema or @cwhenderson, please advise.

Stephen Meyer writes the following on p. 56 of the General Introduction (included
in the pdf after the annotated table of contents):

“In chapter 8, I team up with Ann Gauger and Paul Nelson to show
that many mainstream evolutionary biologists have now rejected orthodox
neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory precisely because they recognize
that the mutation/natural selection mechanism lacks the creative
power to generate novel biological form.”

“In support of this claim, we describe some of the new theories of
evolution (and evolutionary mechanisms) that mainstream evolutionary
biologists are now proposing as alternatives to textbook neo-Darwinism.
Yet we also show that none of these new evolutionary theories invoke
mechanisms with the power to produce either the genetic or the
epigenetic information necessary to generate novel forms of life.”

Meyer and Gauger makes it sound like animal life is incapable of
accumulating small changes into impressive aggregations of novelty!

The Hippo-like mammal that began to wade out into the waters
(first to escape predation and perhaps eventually to exploit new
food sources), doesn’t turn into a whale over night!

His body lengthens… his limbs bit by bit respond to the marine
environment (like so many other marine mammals have done).
The nostrils move higher on the head.

Eventually 2 limbs become flippers… and then 2 other limbs
virtually disappear. Whale lungs do not turn into pianos. They
still have lungs. And they still have live births that require mother’s

Where do these folks get their impression that these changes are
just impossible to imagine?

It does strike me as a little curious, @agauger, why none of these gaps and weakness have not been mentioned here. I would be interested in reading about your unique origin model and why it fits data at least as well, if not better, than existing explanations.

I’m surprised not to see a chapter by Ken Ham, given the fact that the book uses so many of the same arguments that he does.

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Ditto. I’d be interested as well.

I’m looking forward to this book being awarded a Noble prize for science. ??? Surely, a theory that is peer reviewed and is a credible critique and alternative to the currently-held incontrovertible scientific models will be up for a Nobel Science Award. I mean, surely?

Up to now, this is my biggest argument against YEC: Where are the science awards? If what you propose has scientific credibility then surely this would be the ultimate test of that.

This is the question any YECs here need to try to answer: why no YEC theories have ever received any established scientific recognition.

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I finally watched this video. It’s amazing to me how many different ways they can misrepresent evolutionary creationism in under 10 minutes. What strikes me most, though, overall, is the utter lack of engagement with actual evolutionary creationists.

Okay, so you don’t want to invite a BioLogos rep to be a voice on your video. I get that. But at least interact with the EC literature. Say, “We see Polkinghorne saying X. But what he fails to talk about is Y.” Or, “McKnight and Venema present X and Y as preferred options. But they’re wrong because Z.” Or… anything with actual names of evolutionary creationists. Then I could say, “Well, I actually disagree with Polkinghorne on that. But at least I respect that the editor is targeting an actual viewpoint held by an actual EC thinker.”

Otherwise it just looks like they’re spooking their target audience of Western Evangelicals with The Big Theistic Evolutionist Bogeyman™ and then putting all sorts of wonderful things in his mouth: “TBTEB is a deist! TBTEB exalts science above Scripture! TBTEB has foolishly put his trust in a failing theory!” If this is what people are watching and reading, it’s no wonder if people come away agreeing with them…


Nice work watching the video. Perhaps something like this also could be relevant to the tactics you are reporting:

Really helpful article! Yes. One of the most obvious examples of paltering is when they talk about all the shakeups in neo-Darwinian theory. Yes, there are new horizons opening up in biology over the past 20 years. (I mean, so far as I can tell, as very much a layman.) But to whatever extent this is true, it’s fleshing out evolutionary theory, not doing away with it. But the way they talk about it, you’d think evolution was a theory in crisis…

They routinely explain this away as bias from the foolish scientific establishment…

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I mentioned this to @BradKramer and @jstump the other day in an email, and I’ll share it here as well. Recently on Facebook I saw someone who was a non-biologist EC interacting with someone who was presenting the fact that we sometimes see certain genes in humans as more closely related to gorillas as some sort of problem for evolution. The EC fellow responded with a very lay good summary of incomplete lineage sorting that showed that the anti-evolution argument was spurious. From the language the EC used it seemed to me that he had gained this understanding from BioLogos, most likely from posts that I’ve written on the topic over the years.

I’ve always been in this for the long game. As more and more Christians learn about the evidence for evolution, the claims of the ID movement lose traction with them.


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