From: John W Burgeson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Sep 19 2003 - 11:28:27 EDT
Wally wrote: "I suspect that many resist the notion of evolution and an
old earth partially because it is difficult to sort out just when
"creatures" became mankind and to whom does salvation by Jesus Christ
I think Wally is dead on, here. It is an interesting question, one which
I've just taken up a study of in the last month or so. The data on Glenn
Morton's site seems to be both respectable and pertinent to this
My focus is very narrow -- when did "spiritual" humanity begin? The
salvation question is tied to this, of course, but the primary one has to
be established first. I can accept an answer to the 2nd one by observing
that, since I'm not God, I can leave that problem in His hands.
Julian Jaynes, in his 1970s book "The Origin of Consciousness," has
additional interesting data which seems to bear on the question. I used
to reject his thesis; now I am not so sure.
I have a chart with Glenn's data, culled down for a High School SS class
I'm teaching, on page 7 of my web site. But I encourage you to look at
Glenn's site. He and I argue over the significance of some of the data
points, for instance I do not find the evidences of compassion (1.7Myr),
right-handedness (1.9Myr) or living north of 40 degrees latitude (1.4
Myr) particularly persuasive of "spirituality." Nor "over the horizon
sailing (140Kyr)." But the use of grave goods (350 Kyr) and animal hide
work (1.6 Myr) are both hard to discount, as are a number of other data
Almost all of Glenn's data points can be "explained" by some ad hoc
argument as not indicating the existence of "spiritual" humanity. But ad
hocs are not really very satisfying.
Terry asked me a week or so ago what my position was on the question. I
told him then I did not have one; that I needed to study the data more
first, and since it was an area far outside my expertise, I might never
take a position. As a philosophical progressive creationist, I can come
up with scenarios which "fit." How well they fit is another matter.
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