Re: Jacob: Was Evolution & Identity of the ID designer

Date: Sat Dec 07 2002 - 10:33:56 EST

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    In a message dated 12/6/02 10:59:16 PM Eastern Standard Time,=20 writes:

    > The interpretation by Augustine is an allegorical one, and in my view it h=
    > the same value as the interpretation of the rabbis in Midrash Genesis =3D
    > Rabbah; they suggested that God favored Jacob because he was a "dweller in=
    > tents," meaning, they said, that instead of running around and =3D
    > getting into trouble like Esau, he spent his time in Torah school! When=20
    > you interpret a text allegorically, you can make it mean anything you =3D
    > want.

    I find an interesting rhetorical device in these arguments. when I quote=20
    augustine I am told he didn't read the original hebrew, so his allegorical=20
    interpretation is suspect. Here above, I am told that the interpetation of=20
    the rabbis has the same value as augustine's. I am certain the rabbis read=20
    hebrew but here the rabbis' interpretation is suspect because they say=20
    (allegorically) Jacob was a "dweller in tents."=20
    You suggest when interpreting a text allegorically, one can create ANY=20
    allegory one wants, but is that what the authors of genesis did, create ANY=20
    allegory or did they create an allegory which has its own laws, its own=20
    science and runs as a thread through genesis?

    I suggest the allegories in genesis always conform to a Darwinian perspectiv=
    because that is the secret knowledge hidden in the Bible. In Adolphe Frank's=
    The Kabbalah we find," The story of genesis (The creation) is not to be=20
    explained to two men, the story of the Merkaba (the heavenly chariot) not=20
    even to one, unless he be wise and can deduce the wisdom of his own accord."=
    And then we find, "If we are to believe Maimonides, the first half of the=20
    Kabbalah entitled "The story of Genesis" taught the "science of nature."=20
    from The Kabbalah, The Religious Philosphy of fthe Hebrews, Adolphe Frank,=20
    Bell, NY, translated from the French

    God always favors shepherds over landed agriculturalists (as in Cain and=20
    Abel) and there is an allegorical (and scientific) reason for that which I=20
    will not entertain right now but I would like to point out that you have=20
    unwittingly supported my allegorical interpretation by quoting Hebraists as=20=
    have in quoting Adolphe Frank, also a Hebraist.

    Up until now, we have been speaking of an allegory underlying the story of=20
    Jacob and Esau and Jacob and Laban's flocks and continuing with Jacob's sons=
    all the way to Joseph's emergence as ruler over his elder brothers. We see=20
    that allegory in augustine's remark. The rule underlying the allegory is tha=
    cunning or intelligence is favored by God but the allegorical thread begins=20
    earlier in genesis. The source of the allegory is the fall of adam and eve:

    from Natural Selection and the Nature of God

    richard faussette all rights reserved 2002

    "In the beginning=E2=80=A6=20

    When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the =E2=80=9Ctree of the knowledge of g=
    ood and=20
    evil=E2=80=9D the =E2=80=9Ceyes of both of them were opened and they discove=
    red that they=20
    were naked; so they stitched fig-leaves together and made loincloths=E2=80=
    =A6=C2=A0and hid=20
    from the Lord God.=E2=80=9D (Genesis 3: 6-7) =20

    Adam and Eve=E2=80=99s eyes are opened, their nakedness is revealed and they=
    They see something they could not see before, something upon which they=20
    suddenly and intensely focus, they feel shame and they feel fear. From these=
    lines in Genesis you can readily discern two states of the human mind: a=20
    prior state of consciousness and an emerging and =E2=80=9Cfallen=E2=80=9Dcon=
    sciousness that=20
    sees. You can also infer from the Biblical text that this prior state of=20
    consciousness does not have an experience of self since Adam and Eve do not=20
    feel shame until after they have eaten the forbidden fruit. One is=20
    necessarily ashamed of one=E2=80=99s self. Without a sense of self, what wou=
    ld one be=20
    ashamed of?=20

    The Bible speaks of two states of consciousness. Do scientists speak of two=20
    states of consciousness? Do they speak of a unique consciousness that only=20
    man possesses? We know they do. But scientists use language peculiar to=20
    science and religious men use language peculiar to religion, so you have to=20
    penetrate the language to discover the religious in the scientific and the=20
    scientific in the religious. Here in Genesis was a transition from one=20
    consciousness to another. Scientists also speak of a transition from one=20
    consciousness to another, only they call the transition an evolution.=20
    Scientists also say the consciousness of lower forms of life is relatively=20
    inflexible and grounded in instinct while man=E2=80=99s current consciousnes=
    s is=20
    largely learned one life at atime. If Adam and Eve=E2=80=99s eating of the f=
    fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is the pivotal event=20
    that marks the Biblical transition from one consciousness to another, what i=
    the corresponding pivotal event that marks the scientific evolution from one=
    consciousness to another? What do scientists say about =E2=80=9Cthe beginnin=
    Scientists claim irrefutable evidence that some time around 4 million years=20
    ago man=E2=80=99s hominid ancestors left the safety of the jungle canopy for=
      the open=20
    African savannas. Over countless generations they evolved to walk upright on=
    two legs. Once their hands were free and had evolved flexible opposing thumb=
    to manipulate objects, man=E2=80=99s ancestors made tools and began to learn=
    sophisticated survival strategies. One of the things they did was use the ne=
    tools and the learned strategies to kill others of their own kind. When a=20
    number of individuals were required to manufacture and deploy an effective=20
    tool or mount an effective strategy, again over countless generations, our=20
    ancestors evolved speech to facilitate communications. They learned to=20
    tolerate one another in greater numbers in their efforts to organize and=20
    defend themselves from other groups of early men. The escalating conflict=20
    caused by the freeing of the hands for technology naturally selected for=20
    bigger brains that could juggle more behavioral alternatives. The behavioral=
    repertoire expanded rapidly. As the behavioral repertoire expanded, man foun=
    himself consciously choosing from among a growing number of behavioral=20
    alternatives and his unique sense of self emerged; a consequence of having t=
    consciously juggle many behavioral alternatives in his struggle for survival=
    He began to abandon behavior governed by instinct and increasingly relied on=
    behavior acquired by learning. These two kinds of behavior correspond to two=
    levels of consciousness; one common to all the living organisms that precede=
    man on the evolutionary ladder and another unique to man. The Bible in its=20
    first few lines also speaks of two levels of consciousness; one common to al=
    the living organisms that preceded man on the evolutionary ladder and anothe=
    unique to man. According to Genesis, man=E2=80=99s current consciousness is=20=
    and a return to man=E2=80=99s prior state of consciousness is to be desired.=
    consciousness that emerged from the evolutionary expansion of the behavioral=
    repertoire is the common state of the human mind. It is unique in the scope=20
    of its potential behavioral alternatives. Imagination resides in=20
    consciousness and we boast that man is only limited by his imagination.=20
    However, there is a distinct disadvantage to having many behavioral=20
    alternatives. You no longer know what choices to make. Decisions had been=20
    fixed to a much greater extent in the prior state of consciousness, one=E2=
    behavior was regimented and instinctual; a manifestation of inborn tendencie=
    that were unlearned responses to stimuli. Now behavior would be learned one=20
    life at a time and decisions would be consciously made rather than=20
    reflexively intuited. Then the pivotal event(s) in human evolution=20
    corresponding to Adam and Eve=E2=80=99s eating of the forbidden fruit is the=
    expansion of man=E2=80=99s behavioral repertoire accompanied by the rapid=20
    evolutionary growth of the brain culminating in man=E2=80=99s =E2=80=9Cknowl=
    edge of good and=20
    evil.=E2=80=9D What Genesis does not specifically say about either of man=
    =E2=80=99s two=20
    states of consciousness is easily inferred from the Biblical text. According=
    to Genesis, in man=E2=80=99s original state, before:=20

      =C2=B7 The rapid expansion of the behavioral repertoire
      =C2=B7 The enlargement of the brain
      =C2=B7 And the emergence of self-consciousness=C2=A0

    He generally knew what to do, had little or no sense of self=E2=80=A6 and co=
    therefore not imagine fear. In man=E2=80=99s current state, again according=20=
    Genesis, he often doesn=E2=80=99t know what to do, he does the wrong thing,=20=
    he is=20
    self-conscious and he =E2=80=9Chides from God.=E2=80=9D Those scientific cat=
    egories of=20
    instinct and acquired behavior are embedded in this religious language. If=20
    you behave instinctively you intuit what to do and do not have to make a=20
    decision based on what you have learned previously. An organism that behaves=
    instinctively cannot behave otherwise and does not make conscious mistakes.=20
    On the other hand, if you rely on acquired behaviors you have learned, you=20
    must consciously choose from among many possible behavioral alternatives in=20
    any given situation. You are prone to error and your awareness of that fact=20
    generates anxiety.=20

    Given these few lines from the Bible, literally read, it became clear to me=20
    that if one wanted to attain the original state of consciousness, the one Go=
    intended for us, one would have to abandon one=E2=80=99s self-consciousness=20=
    and learn=20
    to intuit appropriate behavior. I believe I am reading Genesis correctly whe=
    I say; one could then stand in God=E2=80=99s presence without fear. Despite=
    countless artistic renderings of a celestial Eden, the Catholic catechism=20
    defines heaven very simply as being =E2=80=98in the presence of God.=E2=80=
    =99 The hunger for=20
    spirituality, then, is the natural desire of an evolved self-conscious mind=20
    to return to a time (the beginning) and a place (paradise) before men made=20
    tools and plotted the murder of other men, when a man=E2=80=99s behavior was=
    intuitive, and he could stand in the presence of God without fear. In the=20
    Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says, =E2=80=9CWhen you disrobe without being ashame=
    d=E2=80=A6 you=20
    will not be afraid.=E2=80=9D Jesus=E2=80=99 once cryptic words from this Nag=
      Hammadi text=20
    from 1st century Egypt dovetail perfectly with the nature of the fall in=20
    Genesis. The fall brought shame and fear. Returning to God would remove them=

    Comparing the specifics of the Biblical tale of Adam and Eve to major events=
    in man=E2=80=99s evolutionary development we have easily identified a plausi=
    evolutionary counterpart for each Biblical fact. The comparison suggests tha=
    our awareness of God biologically evolved with self-consciousness. Adam and=20
    Eve, Biblical archetypes of the human condition, did eat the =E2=80=98forbid=
    fruit=E2=80=99 from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The allegori=
    es in=20
    Genesis regarding human consciousness chronicle scientific facts. Those=20
    scientific facts cannot contradict Scripture. They are Scripture. "

    a gif image of a table illustrating the allegorical elements is attached.=20

    What I am proposing is that the allegories in genesis are not ANY allegories=
    but that they are specific and refer to human intelligence and breeding, a=20
    "science of nature" as Frank, the Kabbalist and Hebraist suggests and I offe=
    the fall of Adam and Eve above as the origin of the allegorical thread which=
    as I have discussed in previous posts we can follow all the way to Joseph an=
    Egypt. Because human consciousness came about through learned behavior as=20
    opposed to animal instinct, the allegorical thread that runs through genesis=
    from Adam to Joseph teaches that learning/intelligence is the way back from=20
    the fall to God.=20


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