Re: [asa] Event or process

From: Bill Hamilton <>
Date: Thu May 10 2007 - 21:36:41 EDT

Hi David

The passage you're looking for is Ecclesiastes 3:21:
21 Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal [c] goes down into the earth?"

The Berkely version states this as a declarative rather than a question, uses breath instead of spirit and footnotes the passage with "As anyone who grew up on a farm knows". :-).
Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
248.652.4148 (home) 248.821.8156 (mobile)
"...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31
"A theory that you can&#39;t explain to a bartender is probably no damn good"
--Ernest Rutherford

----- Original Message ----
From: David Buller <>
To: Carol or John Burgeson <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 9, 2007 5:50:17 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Event or process

I'd just like to do a blanket reply to several of the follow-up posts here:


To Bill Hamilton:

I agree 100%


To Christine:

Definitely add Finding Darwin's God to your reading list. Although I would disagree with Miller doctrinally on other issues (he's Catholic, I'm Protestant), it is a very well written, thorough book.


"David--as an aside, from your previous postings I get
the impression that you don't share my belief that
animals have souls and go to heaven--maybe this is
part of our miscommunication/disagreement?"


Animals have a nephesh soul, although they are not in the image of God. More importantly, I do not believe that they have an eternal nature. Remember first of all how we would interpret "the dust of the ground" in Genesis when the Bible is referring to the creation of Adam. We TEs would interpret that to mean "the natural realm." In other words, apart from God's giving him an eternal nature (in my opinion), he had a natural origin. Secondly, remember the passage (I can't remember where) where the Bible says that the "soul" of an animal goes down, into the earth? Borrowing from the earlier definition of the "ground," I would interpret this to mean that the "soul" of animals biodegrades into the earth along with any other part of the animal. It is therefore a purely material, non-eternal, non-spiritual "soul," entirely different from our eternal, spiritual souls, which the same passage says go up (
i.e., transcending the natural realm). This also draws a distinction that Jack drew on a little bit; the animal soul is incapable of existence apart from the animals mind and body, while our souls are.


Perhaps, then this has caused some miscommunication between us, as you do seem to accept some miraculous event where Adam recieved the image of God. You seem to just be using "soul" in a broader context. My question regarding you position is this; do you see Adam as the first man to have an eternal nature?






"An apparent consequence of this idea is that such a soul would seem incapable of existence apart from the body that gave rise to it. Its reality would be akin to that of the aether once thought essential for electromagnetic wave propagation. (This view, incidentally, is compatible with biblical teachings: God saves people, not souls. It is incompatible with visions of ghosts.)"


I'd be interested to hear you back this up biblically. If "God saves people, not souls," than would you say that the would of someone in hell is the same as a soul in heaven, since neither soul has been saved? Also, how could a soul
ever be "incapable of existence apart from the body?" I don't see how this could ever be construed to be "compatible with biblical teachings." By the way, another view compatible with visions of ghosts is that some people have overactive imaginations :-)


To everyone:

In case this has caused confusion earlier, when using the word soul I have generally been referring to an eternal soul, not merely animal cognition. If you have any other questions on what I have written, please ask.


-David Buller




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Received on Thu May 10 21:37:12 2007

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