RE: [asa] Evolution of the Soul

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Mon Sep 25 2006 - 12:02:04 EDT

If by evolution one understands a truly physical (material) theory,
then how to understand concepts like soul, spiritual, rationality,
consciousness, life, etc. seems to me to become insurmountable problems
in such scientific theories of the physical aspect of Nature.





From: [] On
Behalf Of Gregory Arago
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2006 10:54 AM
To: ASA list
Subject: [asa] Evolution of the Soul


Given that a majority of people on this discussion list are both
scientists and Christians who accept evolution as the vehicle (or
mechanism) through which God created the world, there is a question that
has returned to me that I would like to ask you now. It comes from
reading the work of Nikolai Berdyaev, the Russian religious philosopher
who was exiled and lived in Paris after the Russian Revolution(s).
Berdyaev writes about 'the genesis of man in God and God in man.' It got
me wondering how an evolutionary theist, theistic evolutionist (TE) or
evolutionary creationist would understand the appearance, emergence or
genesis of God in humankind, whether God would appear from within or
from outside of the human mind/body and how the connection would
(originally) be made.


Berdyaev writes: "For if there is such a thing as a human longing for
God and a response to it, then there also must be a divine longing for
man the genesis of God in man; a longing for the love and the
freely-loving and, in response to it, the genesis of man in God."


My questions to those at ASA are the following: What do we know about
the evolution of spirit or the evolution of the image of God? Was there
an 'intervention' in the process of transformation in the morphology of
species change between quadruped and biped, in the case of where human
beings (supposedly) 'evolved' from ancestor beings, when something
non-natural or extra-natural was involved? Could it be said that God
(has) evolved in God's relationship with human beings? Did knowledge of
God and relationship with God evolve 'into' human existence, based on
the physiological capacity of having a larger brain and evolving
language? Or do human beings and also all of matter contain (a kind of)
spirit from the 'big bang' that was realized in a personhood sense
somewhere along the timeline of life on earth?


A book and an article, both of the same title, have been helpful for me
on this topic: "The Evolution of the Soul," by Igor Sikorsky (1949),
father of the modern helicopter, and The Evolution of the Soul by
Richard Swinburne (1986, 1997), current philosopher of religion at
Oxford University. Both books accept (natural) scientific evolution as a
reality and discuss the spiritual life of humanity in the light of
philosophical and theological understanding.


Gregory A.



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Received on Mon Sep 25 12:03:30 2006

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