Youtube: The Cradle of Humankind
A combination of the fossil record and research into DNA indicates that the origin of our human species is found in east Africa, a region that has, in fact, been designated as the cradle of humankind. Here, some of the earliest known fossils of our prehistoric ancestors, dating back millions of years, have been discovered. Studies in human origins reveal there have been many branches of our family tree that have gone extinct.
This, I’m sure is among the reasons that prominent researchers in this field – Donald Johanson and Richard Leaky, for example – have declared themselves atheists. Their understanding of the human being is quite different from that of the ancient Hebrew, who depicts the first humans, Adam and Eve and their descendants, as a fully developed modern species.
While the literalist sees the Bible as a transmission from God to humankind, in truth it is a transmission from human beings to human beings. The shortcoming in science is found in its materialism, defining the human being by brain size and bone structure. Both systems appear to leave out a critical element that forces them into an either/or mentality, fueling the ongoing battle between science and religion. This critical element is the human soul.
The physical body is but the vehicle of the soul. That this vehicle has undergone dramatic changes through the eons can hardly be disputed. However, brain size and skeletal structure do not determine soul size. My understanding of the changeless spiritual reality from which we arise has caused me to conclude that the soul has never evolved. At any given moment in our history, it is the physical aspect of our being, not the spiritual, that has adapted to its environment. The spiritual is an infinite reservoir of intelligence that has enabled this adaptation to occur.
We can think of the physical body itself as the cradle of humankind, as it cradles the soul, allowing us to interface with the material environment as we find it. From this perspective, the notion of a complete soul inhabiting an evolving body can help us strike some measure of balance between our empirical and spiritual interests.