Jump to content

Evolution And.....


PaulS
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm having trouble putting my thoughts together on this matter, so bear with me if you can.

 

I hear/read some Christians talking about the special status of humans as God's stewards of the earth, about how we are eternal beings, about how God just wants us to love one another, about how our souls belong to God, etc etc. Yet I wonder how all this fits together with evolution. I hear language about the relationship between God & human that to me wouldn't seem to work when we were in fact monkeys, or earlier than that, when we were some form of algal slime.

 

Did God feel this way toward humans when we were in fact legless blobs in the primordial ooze? Did we have souls when we were more animal than human, when we were apes and not people? (when we were jellyfish and not apes?) When people say that God just wants us to love one another, do people think God wanted that when we were a type of animal that killed other animals for food/survival/defence?

 

Another post was discussing self-consciousness and how animals compare to humans, but what does that mean for us when we were not human? Did God not exist for us then?

 

The above are not very well formed questions, so I hope some of you can see through my muddled queries and make some sense of them. Your thoughts?

 

Cheers

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did God feel this way toward humans when we were in fact legless blobs in the primordial ooze?

 

This is the major reason evangelicals fear evolution. For, if true, it implies that G-d is of human making and not the other way around.

 

In my mind, there is no question that we have evolved from humble origins. The evidence, should you choose to look, is overwhelming.

 

I have justified this seeming contradiction by realizing that G-d is something we have evolved in our thinking in order to

 

a. understand and come to grips with our mortality

b. organize our tribal units into a more civilized culture

 

It is my hope that we as a species realize that this power of G-d - the power of love - is something that we've evolved within us, and is available not through meaningless rituals, or capitulation to a patriarchal power structure, but by our own human will.

 

NORM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always wondered about our roles as stewards. Now Genesis says that God saw that despite how good the natural world was, there was something in complete about it - that the land needed to be tended. I personally don't think this why God wants us here. We may be put in charge to attend it, but the material universe, not the world mind you, is not for us. This reflects an attitude toward the world which some Christians hold that I don't subscribe to. That is what I can't say that the Bible is the literal word of God. God wants us to tend the land but how does that apply to all creation (the universe)? This is why I think ultimately Christianity is a humanistic religion - despite what Christians say. The goal seems to be that since we've screwed things up so badly, God has to destroy, wipe the slate clean, and "come down" to create everything over again. Still, we consider ourselves to be somewhat special because salvation starts with us and in the end, we are to be put in charge again, perhaps with more supervision this time? We're told to preach the gospel which is not just Jesus' resurrection and our salvation through his blood to other people, but to the whole of creation. Do we preach that to animals? Or did the writers not consider the natural world - animals, etc. - a part of that. If there will be no sea at the end will there be sea animals? God seems to care about animals in the beginning with Noah, but forgets about them at the end, except that it is implied that animals will not try to kill one another. So, do animals do what they do because of OUR sin?

Edited by matt67
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the beginning, roughly 13.7 billion years ago, there was only a desire for relationship. Nothing was known of God or love. To be in relationship there must be two and so there was. In the billions of years of evolution since then the universe and God have evolved. So has love, which is our highest value today. So sometimes it makes sense to say that God is Love.

 

Dutch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel religion and science strengthen each other's belief to provide the highest level of health and well being because they are both concerned with what is true. Expanding the scope and depth of human behavior and our knowledge science and religion were not meant to live alone, but together.

I feel both disciplines are trying to describe the oneness of everything in God or pure consciousness and how it manifest itself into many in matter, plants, unicellular animals, multi-cellular animals, and humans and then returns back again to the unity of pure consciousness to complete the cycle of evolution. Instead of being opponents in trying to popularize their different hypothesis, religion and science complement each other, each faction making a contribution to the whole. I feel evolution and all spiritual paths lead to God’s pure consciousness.

Physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a nonmechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter . . . we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter” (R. C. Henry, “The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436: 29, 2005).

Johns Hopkins physicist professor R. C. Henry suggested that we “get over it” and accept the inarguable conclusion: “The universe is immaterial—mental and spiritual” (R. C. Henry, “The Mental Universe”).

We may believe or not believe in God, but if we break His divine law we’ll be punished. This is the law of nature because we are all connected so we just can’t do what ever we want. This is not a question of religion, but a question of science. We are all spiritual beings, but because of our materially conditioned minds we are under the laws of nature. We can observe this in evolution, species flourishing, suffering and going extinct. The laws of nature are applicable to everything,

whether we believe in God or not, it doesn’t matter. We are all under nature’s law because there is only one law controlling us, and we are all under God’s law because there is only one Go

The fact of evolution is that we live to die because as soon as we are born, we are dying. What is the next step for our species? Physical or mental improvements will only prolong our ultimate end death, but spiritual awakening will lead us to eternal life. It seems that those who are most alive, the life of the body is subordinate to a superior life that is within the self. These individuals surrender to a far more abundant vitality, a consciousness that lives on levels that cannot be measured or observed. It seems they are at peace with everything in a consciousness of unity or love.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul wrote: "do people think God wanted that when we were a type of animal that killed other animals for food/survival/defence?"

 

When we "were?" THAT, Paul, we very much still ARE.

 

Jenell

 

True to a point, Jenell. What I meant was that during our stages of evolution we probably killed automatically as a means to survive. I think the difference with modern humans is now we make decisions about when and when not to kill. I think there's an element of decision making that has entered our gene pool whereas I expect in our earlier origins it was automatic. That said, perhaps we evolved entrely from plant-eating origins and only became meat eaters as neanderthals or humans?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

It is my hope that we as a species realize that this power of G-d - the power of love - is something that we've evolved within us, and is available not through meaningless rituals, or capitulation to a patriarchal power structure, but by our own human will.

 

NORM

 

Excellent thought, Norm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

True to a point, Jenell. What I meant was that during our stages of evolution we probably killed automatically as a means to survive. I think the difference with modern humans is now we make decisions about when and when not to kill. I think there's an element of decision making that has entered our gene pool whereas I expect in our earlier origins it was automatic. That said, perhaps we evolved entrely from plant-eating origins and only became meat eaters as neanderthals or humans?

 

Yes, even most carnivores today prefer not to do the killing themselves and to not think about the killing that was necessary to bring that meat to the supermarket. Maybe, this is one step in that evolutionary direction.

 

I don't think any hominids were vegetarians. It is my understanding that current thought is that the earliest hominids were scavengers (then later, hunter-gatherers).

 

I read a book not too long ago that argued that cooking is what made us human. The author presents a good case. Cooking condenses the protein and calories that are needed to support an big, energy-hungry brain (which consumes about 25% of our energy).

 

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, even most carnivores today prefer not to do the killing themselves and to not think about the killing that was necessary to bring that meat to the supermarket. Maybe, this is one step in that evolutionary direction.

 

I don't think any hominids were vegetarians. It is my understanding that current thought is that the earliest hominids were scavengers (then later, hunter-gatherers).

 

I read a book not too long ago that argued that cooking is what made us human. The author presents a good case. Cooking condenses the protein and calories that are needed to support an big, energy-hungry brain (which consumes about 25% of our energy).

 

George

 

I would like to be a vegetarian, but meat just tastes so good!

 

I think canine teeth do go back to the earliest hominids, so yes, they probably weren't vegetarians at that stage. But I guess at some point along the evolutionary timeline, the earliest relatives of humans must have been vegetarians.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to be a vegetarian, but meat just tastes so good!

 

But I guess at some point along the evolutionary timeline, the earliest relatives of humans must have been vegetarians.

 

 

Yeah, although I think most of the apes do eat meat as well. But, they have smaller brains relative to their body size and larger stomachs (relatively) to allow them to consume larger quantities of raw vegetable matter.

 

We can, of course, live exclusively off of vegetable matter, but we require cooking to condense the nutrients. A number to experiments have demonstrated that exclusively 'eating raw' is almost impossible to sustain us.

 

BTW, the book I mentioned earlier is Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard W. Wrangham. He is a biological anthropologist at Harvard.

 

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have many similarities with herbivores. Long intestines versus short intestines of carnivores, but I feel people can best choose the life style that benefits their life experience. I have been a vegetarian for over 40 years, but my wife and children love meat, which is their choice. When I played football I ate meat 4 times a day to gain and maintain weight. Now, I don't eat meat to experiment with the life experience. I also changed sports to basketball, which I still play weekly. The vegetarian diet has served me well. I am so thankful to still be able to play basketball at 63 with 20 and 30 year olds. I feel the interactions between generations is more important than diet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Soma, as an informed vegetarian, you are aware, know, that you must take extra care in your vegetarian food choices so as to compensate for the nutrients we get from meat in our common diets. And, I'm sure, that this is more difficult and demanding in attention to providing proper and optimum nutrition in children and pregnant/nursing women.

 

I think humans have always be omnivores, even as I pretty sure most, if not all modern day primates are, as well. Even such as are primarily thought of as basically herbivorous do generally also consume such animal protein sources as insects, grubs, worms, and often bird eggs.

 

I think our dentition reflects our omnivorous nature. Our teeth are fashioned to be functional for both ripping and tearing, and to chewing and crushing our food. I think that gives humans the distinct advantage of being able to adapt to either a purely, or at least primarily, meat diet, as the case in most Arctic populations, or purely vegetarian, as yourself has done. However, I think pure vegetarianism that is adequate for healthy survival is almost entirely, if not entirely, possible only for those in an advanced civilization such as out own, where we can choose and have access to a wide variety of foodstuffs not naturally available locally. I suspect the closest humans could come to a nutrionally adequate primarily vegetarian diet would be at least omnivorous to the extent of those primate diets just mentioned, to include animal protien sources such as insects, grubs, worms, eggs.

 

The physical structure of our digestive system, stomach size, and length of our intestines are actually more consistent with omnivore than either pure carnivore or pure herbivore. It has qualities and features actually somewhere in between those. The ratio of size and volume of the belly, abdomen and contents, to overall, total body size, is much generally much greater in herbavores than in carnivores, and ours is somewhere in between.

 

One notable "exception" to this ratio of belly and digestive system to overall body size and mass is also one that seems to be of the sort "that proves the rule" in this correlation to size and complexity and ratio of digestive system is the Giant Panda. This anomaly in the animal kingdom is also the very survival and continued existence of these animals is and likely always will be fragile and precarious. Because their exclusive diet of bamboo is so low in nutrient content and so high in fiber, roughage, and a digestive system not really structured for such a diet, these animals have to eat almost constantly, with even the briefest periods for sleep. This makes them extremely vulnerable to even relatively brief incidents of illness or injury that disrupts their appetite or ability to eat..what might be such minor and transient episodes for most animals, can be and often is fatal to Giant Pandas. Thet simply loose strngth and literally starved to death very quickly if they do not eat constantly.

 

Jenell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to be a vegetarian, but meat just tastes so good!

 

 

...And I would procrastinate if I ever get around to it

 

As far as God and our relationship and our "eternal spirit" (I like that in a poetic way)...

I like the idea that God works with what God has to work with. IMO, God, or rather our perception of and relationship with God has evolved as we did. And our spirits (if indeed we have then, I'm still wondering about that) would have evolved accordingly.

 

But its funny you should bring this up now, because it was something on which I was meditating the other day. I'm sure science has an explaination, but it causes wonder and awe in my when I contemplate "how does a skin cell know to grow skin and not an eye?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...And I would procrastinate if I ever get around to it

 

As far as God and our relationship and our "eternal spirit" (I like that in a poetic way)...

I like the idea that God works with what God has to work with. IMO, God, or rather our perception of and relationship with God has evolved as we did. And our spirits (if indeed we have then, I'm still wondering about that) would have evolved accordingly.

 

But its funny you should bring this up now, because it was something on which I was meditating the other day. I'm sure science has an explaination, but it causes wonder and awe in my when I contemplate "how does a skin cell know to grow skin and not an eye?"

 

That's an interesting point to ponder, Yvonne.

 

On a scientific level:

How do cells know what to do?

"Each cell has a control center called a nucleus. The nucleus contains the information that tells the cell what to do and when to grow and divide. This information comes in the form of genes, which are contained in chromosomes. In the nucleus of most human cells (except for ###### and egg cells), there are 23 pairs of chromosomes. Chromosomes are passed from parents to their children. One chromosome of each pair is inherited from the mother, and the other comes from the father. This is why children look like their parents, and why they may have a tendency to develop certain diseases that run in their families.

 

Within each chromosome, there are many hundreds to thousands of genes. Genes and chromosomes are made up of long strands of a substance called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Each gene is made up of a specific DNA sequence that contains the code (the instructions) for that gene's function. Genes tell the cell what to do. Many genes tell the cell to make a certain protein that has a specific job or function in the body. Other genes help regulate how much protein another gene makes. Each human cell has about 25,000 genes.

A cell uses its genes selectively; that is, it can turn on (or activate) the genes it needs at the right moment and turn off other genes that it doesn't need. Turning on some genes and turning off others is how a cell becomes specialized. That is how a cell becomes a muscle cell and not a bone cell, for example. Some genes stay active all the time to make proteins needed for basic cell functions. Others shut down when their job is finished and start again later if needed."

 

But as you raise, I wonder how the cell or its nucleus 'knows' how to do that.

 

Cheers

Paul

 

Edit to the above post - Is the word (s p e r m) that offensive to our autoblocker?

Edited by Paul Smedley
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service