Monday, March 5, 2007

Maybe he was right.

Reprise:  Limitations on the Discussion


James Ussher made the remarkable statement that the world began sometime in 4004 BC.

This has been the butt of centuries worth of mocking, maybe even justified mocking. But let us turn this idea on it's head just for the sake of argument. Let us take the step of saying that that perhaps mankind came into being around 4004 BC.   There can be not proof for this, just a different way of looking at the problem.

I am not going to argue that the universe came into being in 4004 BC. I am not stupid. The evidence for the age of the the universe at approximately 13.7 billion years is too solid to ignore.

I will not argue that the earth came into being in 4004 BC either. I feel comfortable with the age of the earth at around 4.5 billion years.

Nor will I be caught into the trap that the bodily form that man inhabits came into being in 4004 BC. The bodily form that we use has been around quite some time, thank you very much.

What I will propose is that to be a member of mankind is to:

  1. Possess a soul.
  2. Have the same basic set of genes as >99% of the current human population
So what I posit as a working hypothesis is that the first ensoulment of mankind took place in a couple of folks in the middle east around 4000 BC.   The physical bodies (which we share >99% sequence homology with) prior to that time were for all intents and purposes, animals as they did not possess a soul.  From a straight biological point of view, we are of a common species with these "pre-men" and it would be impossible to differentiate them from ourselves morphologically, as the lack of a soul precludes them from being man.

This cannot ever be proven. Perhaps it is merely a facile argument to rationalize my personal faith. That being said I will work on this idea over time and add supporting evidence if I can find it and if I think of anything to refute it, hopefully I will be intellectually honest enough to include that as well.

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