Re: continued human evolution

John P. McKiness (
Fri, 24 Apr 1998 19:19:36 -0500

At 04:11 PM 4/24/98 -0400, George wrote:
>David Campbell wrote:
>> >Now my question. Are we humans still evolving (speciating into some
>> >other species)? If the answer is in the affirmative, what about the
>> >man Jesus who lives today in flesh and blood, is he speciating too
>> >into another god (sounds like mormomism doesn't it)?
>> There are some ongoing physical changes, e.g. increase in average height
>> and decrease in jaw size, that show shifts since Jesus' day. We change our
>> environment to suit ourselves rather than adapting to it, so it seems as
>> though only something drastic would cause more significant mutation. The
>> problem of species definitions also arises here.
>> I don't think such physical shifts would affect our relationship with God.
>> Glenn Morton strongly argues that previous hominid species have also been
>> human in the sense of made in God's image; this would imply that future
>> species could be incorporated, too.
>> C.S. Lewis suggested that becoming a Christian could be viewed as the next
>> step in human evolution. Although I think he was thinking more
>> teleologically than is accepted in modern evolutionary thought, it is an
>> idea worth further examination, at least as a metaphor.
> Teilhard de Chardin argued that the superpersonal Body of Christ
>is the next stage in evolution: As individual cells evolved into
>multicellular organisms [I know that's a sloppy way of putting it],
>individual persons are to come together into a corporate entity whose
>head (in the Pauline sense) is Christ. The idea has a good deal to
>recommend it - I Cor.12 e.g. But it needs clearer working out than
>Teilhard gave it.
> (Of course one has to recognize the distinctive role of the Holy
>Spirit in the life of the Church/Body of Christ - but the Spirit is also
>"the lord and giver of life" - i.e., all life.)
> George
>George L. Murphy

I would add to this discussion that with the development of culture it is
culture which has increasingly insulated us from natural selection factors
and it is culture as an extension of us which has been evolving since its
development and not us physically. We in fact show the affect of being
domesticated by culture (modern Homo sapiens show more physically juvenile
traits of the earlier members of the genus than their adult traits just as
in domesticated animals -- dogs, sheep, cattle -- where juvenile physical
characteristics and docility are retained in the adult unlike the condition
seen in wild adults).