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The Sacred Cosmos: Christian Faith and the Challenge of Naturalism. 4. Human Nature: Embodied Self and Transcendent Soul, Part 1. Sunday, January 31, 2010 10 to 10:50 am, in the Parlor Presenter: David Monyak. Primary Reference.

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The sacred cosmos christian faith and the challenge of naturalism

The Sacred Cosmos:Christian Faith and the Challenge of Naturalism

4. Human Nature: Embodied Self and Transcendent Soul, Part 1

Sunday, January 31, 2010

10 to 10:50 am, in the Parlor

Presenter: David Monyak


Primary reference
Primary Reference

  • The Sacred Cosmos: Christian Faith and the Challenge of Naturalism, Terrence L. Nichols, Brazos Press, 2003. (Reissued Jan 2009 by Wipf and Stock)


Primary reference1
Primary Reference

  • The Sacred Cosmos: Christian Faith and the Challenge of Naturalism, Terrence L. Nichols, Brazos Press, 2003. (Reissued Jan 2009 by Wipf and Stock)


Dr. Terrence Nicholsis Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul

Academic History

Ph.D. - Marquette University

B.A. - University of Minnesota


The sacred cosmos christian faith and the challenge of naturalism1
The Sacred CosmosChristian Faith and the Challenge of Naturalism

  • Jan 3. God and Nature

  • Jan 10: Origins: Creation and Big Bang

  • Jan 24: Evolution: The Journey into God

  • Jan 31: Human Nature: Embodied Self and Transcendent Soul, Part 1

  • Feb 7: Human Nature: Embodied Self and Transcendent Soul, Part 2. Conclusion: A Sacred Cosmos


O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For the Human Family, Book of Common Prayer, p. 815


This week 4 human nature embodied self and transcendent soul part 1

This Week: Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.4. Human Nature: Embodied Self and Transcendent Soul, Part 1


Introduction naturalism

Introduction: Naturalism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Introduction the challenge of naturalism
Introduction Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.The Challenge of Naturalism

  • Naturalism is the philosophical theory about reality that declares:

    • nature is all that exists,

    • there is no reality that is greater than and independent of nature,

    • there cannot be any hope of an afterlife, nor any means to really transcend our natural condition.


Introduction can naturalism explain the world
Introduction Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Can Naturalism Explain the World?

  • How well can Naturalism actually explain the world and humanity?

  • We have been considering naturalistic versus Christian explanations for:

    • the origin of the universe (Jan 10)

    • evolution (Jan 24)

    • human nature (today).


What is a human being

What is a Human Being? Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


What is a human being do we have souls
What is a Human Being? Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Do We Have Souls?

  • We can distinguish two primary perspectives on the human person:

  • 1. “Dualism:” we are beings composed of a body and a soul

    • body: material and mortal

    • soul: non-material; can survive the death of the body

  • 2. “Monism:” we are “psychosomatic” unities

    • A single, purely material being, with a thinking brain


What is a human being do we have souls1
What is a Human Being? Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Do We Have Souls?

  • Christianity, Judaism and Islam have traditionally affirmed that we have an immortal soul that:

    • survives after the death of our body

    • that will someday be reunited to a new resurrected body

  • Modern science however holds we are psychosomatic unities, single purely material beings.


What is a human being a psychosomatic unity
What is a Human Being? Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. A Psychosomatic Unity

  • There are two camps in the view we are psychosomatic unities:

  • 1. Reductionism:

    • there is nothing in the person that cannot be explained by physics, chemistry, and biology

    • since physics, chemistry, and biology are largely deterministic, free will is suspect, an illusion


What is a human being a psychosomatic unity1
What is a Human Being? Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. A Psychosomatic Unity

  • There are two camps in the view we are psychosomatic unities:

  • 2. Emergentism

    • Complex systems like the human brain, develop qualitatively new properties, properties of the whole

    • In particular: a consciousness with true freedom of action.

    • Such emergent properties are “causally effective:” they can influence and change their component parts (“top-down” causality)


What is a human being a psychosomatic unity2
What is a Human Being? Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. A Psychosomatic Unity

  • Note you can be a Christian and still believe we are psychosomatic unities, without a soul.

  • We profess in the Creed not a doctrine of an immortal soul, but a doctrine of the resurrection of the dead.


What is a human being outline
What is a Human Being? Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Outline

  • Review biblical and historical views of the nature of human beings.

  • Review modern views of human nature, including:

    • modern science’s account of the evolution of human beings

    • results from neuroscience

  • Review problems with the view that we are psychosomatic unities:

    • problems with the Reductionist view

    • problems with the Emergentist view (in Part 2)

  • Lastly look at how we might view ourselves as beings with both a body and soul in the 21st century (in Part 2)


Biblical and historical views

Biblical and Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Biblical historical views ancient israel
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Ancient Israel

  • The general consensus of modern scholars is that the Hebrews thought of the human being as a totality, a psychosomatic unity.

    • There was no separated soul to carry the personality after death.

    • There could be no person without the body

    • The only hope for immortality was the resurrection of the whole person, such as in the book of Daniel.


Biblical historical views ancient israel1
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Ancient Israel

  • Nichols notes he disagrees with this modern consensus, and sides with Old Testament scholar James Barr, who writes:

  • … it seems probable that in certain contexts the nephesh is not, as much present opinion favors, a unity of body and soul.... It is rather, in these contexts, a superior controlling center which accompanies, expresses, and directs the existence of that totality, and one which, especially, provides life to the whole …

nephesh = Hebrew for “living being (breathing creature).” In the Greek Septuagint, nephesh is mostly translated as psyche (psyche in English = breath, spirit, life, soul)


Biblical historical views new testament
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.New Testament

  • The general consensus of modern scholars: the New Testament view is that the human person is a psychosomatic unity, a unity of soul, body, flesh, which together constitute the whole man.

  • The New Testament teaches the resurrection of the body as the hope for a future life:

    • Jesus’ teachings (Matthew. 22:23-33 and parallel passages),

    • Paul (1 Cor. 15 and elsewhere)


Biblical historical views new testament1
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.New Testament

  • Nichols again disagrees with this consensus and makes a case New Testament views are more diverse.

  • He again quotes James Barr (The Garden of Eden and the Hope for Immortality):

  • The New Testament certainly says little directly and specifically about the immortality of the soul; but it has a reasonable degree of mention of immortality, and it certainly has an awareness that things of the body and things of the soul could take different directions.


Biblical historical views christian tradition
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Christian Tradition

  • In early Christian tradition, the survival of a soul after death seems to have been presumed.

  • The early Christian apologist Justin Martyr wrote in his Dialogue with Trypho that after death, the souls of the righteous go to some “better place,” and the souls of the wicked to some “worse place,” to await judgment.

Justin Martyr 100-165 AD (martyred in Rome under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius)


Biblical historical views christian tradition justin martyr
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Christian Tradition: Justin Martyr

  • Justin notes that the soul is not naturally immortal (as in the Greek philosophy Platonism)

  • Rather, God gives the soul life:

    “the soul shares in life, when God wants it to live.”

Justin Martyr 100-165 AD (martyred in Rome under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius


Biblical historical views christian tradition augustine
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Christian Tradition: Augustine

  • Augustine wrote that the human being is a “rational soul using a body” and was convinced of the immortality of the soul.

  • The powers of reason and understanding are present in the soul from infancy, and awaken and develop as the child ages.

Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 AD


Biblical historical views christian tradition augustine1
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Christian Tradition: Augustine

  • Augustine argued everything God made is good, including the body.

  • The corruptible body is a load on the soul (as written in the book of Wisdom 9:15), but that is only because of the sin of Adam (= “original sin”):

    The soul is weighed down not by the body as such, but by the body such as it has become as a consequence of sin and its punishment

Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 AD


Biblical historical views christian tradition augustine2
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Christian Tradition: Augustine

  • Augustine never solved the problem of how the soul was related to the body.

  • The soul, he thought, was a substance, yet the body was also a substance. And yet the human being was a single composite substance.

  • He realized that this caused philosophical problems, but he could not resolve them.

Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 AD


Biblical historical views christian tradition aquinas
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Christian Tradition: Aquinas

  • Thomas Aquinas argued that the human person was a unitary substance, a unitary being, composed of two principles:

    • 1. the soul

    • 2. the matter of the body.

  • The person was a soul-body composite, in which the matter of the body was “formed” or organized by the soul.

Thomas Aquinas,

1224-1274 AD


Biblical historical views christian tradition aquinas1
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Christian Tradition: Aquinas

  • Aquinas felt the soul was the “Aristotelian form” of the body.

  • The soul or form was the dynamic internal organizing principle for the body.

  • The soul or form contained within it a final end or goal which the organism strives to fulfill.

    • In the case of a human, this intrinsic end or goal was to know and love God.

  • Without the soul or form “informing” the body, the body would have no form or organization of its own.

  • This form could exist on its own, apart from the body.

Thomas Aquinas,

1224-1274 AD


Biblical historical views christian tradition aquinas2
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Christian Tradition: Aquinas

  • Aquinas did not think that the human soul was created at conception.

  • He suggested the developing embryo first had a simple plant soul, then an animal soul, and only in the last months, after the brain had been formed, a fully human soul.

    • Aquinas opposed abortion because it interfere with God’s will that an embryo become a human person, killing it before God could give it a human soul.

Thomas Aquinas,

1224-1274 AD


Biblical historical views christian tradition protestant thought
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Christian Tradition: Protestant Thought

  • John Calvin taught that the soul was immortal:

    … there can be no question that man consists of a body and a soul; meaning by a soul, an immortal though created essence, which is his nobler part.

  • The Westminister Confession, following Calvin, affirms that the soul is immortal, is judged immediately upon death, and goes to heaven or hell, there to await the resurrection of the body

John Calvin, 1509-1564


Biblical historical views christian tradition protestant thought1
Biblical, Historical Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Christian Tradition: Protestant Thought

  • Lutheran confessional documents say little about the state after death.

  • Luther does suggest, in the Smalcald articles, that the saints in heaven might pray for us (article 2).

Martin Luther, 1483-1546


Modern views

Modern Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Modern views rene descartes
Modern Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Rene Descartes

  • Modern conceptions of the human person are usually said to begin with Rene Descartes.

  • Descartes rejected Aquinas’s Aristotelian view of form and final cause, and embraced the new atomic and mechanistic theory of matter.

Rene Descartes, 1596-1650


Modern views rene descartes1
Modern Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Rene Descartes

  • The body, he said, was governed by simple mechanical principles.

  • The mind however, could make free decisions, and so was not governed by mechanical or physical principles.

  • The mind therefore must be an immaterial substance, free and immortal.

Rene Descartes, 1596-1650


Modern views rene descartes2
Modern Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Rene Descartes

  • There are two substances, in the human being:

    • 1. the material body, characterized by extension in space, a res extensa (extended thing),

    • 2. a mind, which is not extended in space, but which thinks, a res cogitans (thinking thing).

  • This is “Cartesian” “mind-body dualism”

Rene Descartes, 1596-1650


Modern views problem with mind body dualism
Modern Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Problem with Mind-Body Dualism

  • The great problem faced by any such mind-body dualism is:

    How does the substance of the mind interact with the substance of the body?

    That is: How can the immaterial mind affect the material body?

  • Decartes suggested there was a connection in the pineal gland.

    • Somehow, the mind affected the pineal gland, which in turn affected the body.


Modern views problem with mind body dualism1
Modern Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Problem with Mind-Body Dualism

  • A later follower of Descartes, Nicholas Malebranche, suggested the only connection between the soul and the body was God.

    • When the soul decided to do something, God caused the body to do it.

    • Every occasion was caused by God, hence this idea was known as occasionalism.


Modern views twentieth century
Modern Views Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Twentieth Century

  • Descartes’s dualism, which separated the mind and the body, lasted down to the late twentieth century, when it lost credibility:

  • Evidence from modern science seemed to support the view we are psychosomatic unities, pure material unitary beings:

    • 1. Evolutionary science showed human beings emerged by degrees from primate ancestors.

      • We different from animals only in degree, not in kind.

    • 2. Modern neuroscience strongly reinforced the scientific conviction that the mind has its roots in the brain.


The evolution of human beings

The Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Evolution of human beings 18 to 12 million years ago
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.18 to 12 Million Years Ago

  • 18 to 12 million years ago (Middle Miocene geological Epoch): the basic anatomical form of large hominids (= biological family that includes extinct and extant human beings, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans) first appears in Africa.


Evolution of human beings 8 to 5 million years ago
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.8 to 5 Million Years Ago

  • 8 to 5 million years ago (Late Miocene geological Epoch): tree-loving, apelike animals with long arms and legs abound in east Africa.


Evolution of human beings 6 to 5 million years ago
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.6 to 5 Million Years Ago

  • 6 to 5 million years ago (during Late Miocene geological Epoch): chimpanzees (our closest living relative) diverge from the common ancestor shared with the line from which human beings will rise.


Evolution of human beings 5 to 3 million years ago
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.5 to 3 Million Years Ago

  • 5 to 3 million years ago: African climate becomes drier. More open savannas encourage endurance, high mobility, bipedalism.

  • Several pre-human species identified from this period in East Africa:

    • Ardipithecus ramidus (4.5 million years ago)

    • Australopithecus anamensis (4.2 to 4 million years ago)

    • Australopithecus afarensis (3.5 to 3 million years ago)


Evolution of human beings 5 to 3 million years ago1
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.5 to 3 Million Years Ago

The Australopithecus afarensis creature discovered in 1974 named “Lucy” lived 3.18 million years ago


Evolution of human beings 5 to 3 million years ago2
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.5 to 3 Million Years Ago

  • 3.5 million years ago: two Australopithecus afarensis creatures walked over a layer of soft volcanic ash in what is modern day Tanzania, leaving footprints that hardened and were preserved.


Evolution of human beings 5 to 3 million years ago3
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.5 to 3 Million Years Ago

  • They walked upright, with a rolling, slow-moving gait, hips swiveling at every step


Evolution of human beings 3 to 2 million years ago
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.3 to 2 Million Years Ago

  • 3 to 2 million years ago:Australopithecus afarensis) diverges into several new species:

    • Australopithecus africanus

    • Australopithecus robustus

    • Homo habilis (“handy person”), the first stone toolmaker


Evolution of human beings 3 to 2 million years ago1
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.3 to 2 Million Years Ago

  • 3 to 2 million years ago:Homo habilis

    • About 4 feet, 3 inches

    • Brain 600-700 cc (modern humans: 1200 cc)

    • Used a stone hammer to shear sharp stone flakes off from stone cobbles

    • Carried the tools around so that the stone flakes could be manufactured when and where they were needed (to butcher a freshly killed animal)


Evolution of human beings 2 million to 500 000 years ago
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.2 million to 500,000 years ago

  • About 2 million years ago: the earth enters the Pleistocene geological Epoch, the last ice age, and begins a long period of continued climatic fluctuations between warmer and cooler conditions.

  • At 780,000 years, the earth’s magnetic field abruptly reversed, causing greater variations in weather patterns.


Evolution of human beings 2 million to 500 000 years ago1
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.2 million to 500,000 years ago

  • About 2 million years ago, a new human species appears, Homo erectus (earliest forms also called Homo ergaster)

  • Brain: 775 to 1300 cc (modern humans: 1200 cc)

  • About 5 and a half feet tall.

  • Larynx structure suggests Homo erectus not have the ability to produce a great variety of sounds.


Evolution of human beings 2 million to 500 000 years ago2
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.2 million to 500,000 years ago

  • Body of Homo erectus is remarkably modern in appearance; skull and jaw more primitive.

  • Stone toolmaking much more sophisticated: “Acheulian hand axes” developed

12 year old Homo erectus boy


Evolution of human beings 2 million to 500 000 years ago3
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.2 million to 500,000 years ago

  • At some point, Homo erectus learned to domesticate fire.


Evolution of human beings 2 million to 500 000 years ago4
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.2 million to 500,000 years ago

  • Also, at some point between 1.5 million to 500,000 years ago, Homo erectus followed mass migrations of mammals from Africa and colonized Europe and Asia


Evolution of human beings 2 million to 500 000 years ago5
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.2 million to 500,000 years ago


Evolution of human beings 500 000 to 100 000 years ago
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.500,000 to 100,000 years ago

  • About 400,000 to 300,000 years ago: a more advanced human form appears in Europe, arising from Homo erectus and foreshadowing the later Homo neanderthalensis (the Neanderthals)


Evolution of human beings 500 000 to 100 000 years ago1
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.500,000 to 100,000 years ago

  • About 300,000 to 200,000 years ago: Homo neanderthalensis (the Neanderthals) appears in Europe.

  • Brain: 1100 to 1200 cc (modern humans 1200 cc)

  • First to make composite tools (e.g. stone spears on wooden shafts)


Evolution of human beings 500 000 to 100 000 years ago2
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.500,000 to 100,000 years ago

  • The Neanderthals were felt to have speech, although they were not as articulate as modern humans.

  • They were skilled hunters, using clubs and spears, pursuing game of every size.


Evolution of human beings 500 000 to 100 000 years ago3
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.500,000 to 100,000 years ago

  • The Neanderthals buried their dead, although there is no evidence of accompanying grave goods.

  • The Neanderthals died out about 30,000 years ago, unable to compete with the influx of modern humans Homo sapiens sapiens

  • DNA extracted from a Neanderthals thigh bone showed sufficient differences with modern human DNA to conclude the two species could not interbreed.


Evolution of human beings 500 000 to 100 000 years ago4
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.500,000 to 100,000 years ago

  • Meanwhile, in East Africa Homo erectus was evolving

  • About 200,000 years ago: a new species, an archaic form of Homo sapiens arose.

  • 120,000 to 100,000 years ago: modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens appeared in East Africa, and soon after began to spread into Europe and Asia.


Evolution of human beings 100 000 to 15 000 years ago
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.100,000 to 15,000 years ago

  • Over the next 85,000 years, Homo sapiens sapiens, spread to every continent of the world, culminating with their colonization of the Americas about 15,000 years ago.


Evolution of human beings 100 000 to 15 000 years ago1
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.100,000 to 15,000 years ago

  • Around 60,000 to 50,000 years ago, Homo sapiens sapiens appears to have had an “aha” moment, with a sudden flowering of tool technology, art and symbolic thinking.

  • The Homo sapiens sapiens in Europe – called Cro-Magnons – were making personal ornaments such as necklaces by 40,000 to 30,000 years ago.


Evolution of human beings 100 000 to 15 000 years ago2
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.100,000 to 15,000 years ago

  • Cro-Magnon paintings dating to 31,000 years ago were found in the Grotte de Chauvet cave in SE France in 1994.

  • Human art was global by 25,000 years ago

  • At a 28,000-year-old site of in Russia, three individuals have been found buried dressed in clothing sewn with more than three thousand ivory beads. In addition, they had carved pendants, bracelets, and shell necklaces buried with them.

    • This burial of the dead with grave goods suggests a belief in afterlife.


Cro-Magnon Art in the Grotte de Chauvet cave Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Cro-Magnon Art in the Grotte de Chauvet cave Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Cro-Magnon Art in the Grotte de Chauvet cave Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Evolution of human beings summary
Evolution of Human Beings Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Summary

  • The human evolutionary process is usually viewed as supporting the view we are psychosomatic unities, have emerged gradually from primate ancestors, differing from them only in degree, not in kind.

  • However one can also read it as a process guided by God with the creation at some point of a human soul, the source of the religious consciousness exhibited by early humans and all modern cultures.


Neuroscience

Neuroscience Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Neuroscience mind and brain
Neuroscience Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Mind and Brain

  • A connection between the mind and brain has always been appreciated – a knock on the head makes that clear.

  • Modern neurosciences however has re-enforced that connection with an enormous expansion of knowledge.

  • Many functions can be localized to a particular area of the brain:

    • the ability to understand speech

    • the ability to recognize faces

    • the ability to voluntarily move a particular part of the body


Neuroscience mind and brain1
Neuroscience Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Mind and Brain

  • Brain damage can dramatically alter emotions, social and moral behavior:

    • Case of Phineas Gage:

      • in 1848, an exploding charge sent a tamping iron through the front part of his brain, entering his left cheek and exiting through the top of his head.

      • he remained conscious, however afterwards his personality changed.

      • He had been efficient and capable, but now became feckless and irresponsible, and his likes and dislikes, his aspirations, his ethics and morals were altered

    • The brain deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s disease can have profound effects on a person’s personality.


Neuroscience mind and brain2
Neuroscience Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Mind and Brain

  • Most neuroscientists believe that all mental events are directly explainable by brain processes.

  • Neuroscientist Michael Arbib writes:

    Mind has properties (self-consciousness, wonder, emotion, reason) that make it seem more than “merely material.” ... Nonetheless, I believe that all of this can be explained in terms of the physical processes of the brain.


Reductionistic naturalism

Reductionistic Naturalism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Reductionistic naturalism definition
Reductionistic Naturalism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Definition

  • One response to the psychosomatic unity of the person is “Reductionistic Naturalism”

  • “Reductionistic naturalists” believe that the person can be completely explained by the action of her parts.

    • The human person is fully the product of his or her genes, chemistry, and physics.

    • There is no soul or vital force or anything in the person.


Reductionistic naturalism we are neural nets
Reductionistic Naturalism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.We Are Neural Nets

  • Francis Crick writes in his book, The Astonishing Hypothesis:

    The Astonishing Hypothesis is that 'You', your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.

Francis Crick, 1916-2004, Co-discoverer of DNA


Reductionistic naturalism we are neural nets1
Reductionistic Naturalism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.We Are Neural Nets

  • Crick maintains:

    • There is no real “I” behind the eyes of a person, only sophisticated neural nets which determine our behavior

    • “I” is an illusion

    • Free will is an illusion

  • Crick is contemptuous of philosophy and especially of religion; the only satisfactory method of explanation is natural science:

    The aim of science is to explain all aspects of the behavior of our brains, including those of musicians, mystics, and mathematicians.


Reductionistic naturalism we are neural nets2
Reductionistic Naturalism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.We Are Neural Nets

  • A corollary of Cricks position is that we should be able to construct “thinking” machines that are also “conscious.”


Emergentism

Emergentism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Emergentism definition
Emergentism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Definition

  • The other response to the psychosomatic unity of the person is “Emergentism”

  • Emergentists agree with reductionists that the action of the parts of the human affects the whole.

  • They agree that there is no immaterial soul, and therefore that humans only differ from animals by degree.


Emergentism definition1
Emergentism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Definition

  • But emergentists hold there are unique properties that emerge at the level of the whole, properties that are not predicable of the parts.

  • These new emergent properties (such as consciousness) can be sources of causation – they can effect their parts and their environment in a top-down causality.


Emergentism definition2
Emergentism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Definition

  • Ian Barbour writes:

  • I take emergence to be the claim that in evolutionary history and in the development of the individual organism, there occur forms of order and levels of activity that are genuinely new and qualitatively different. A stronger version of emergence is the thesis that events at the higher levels are not determined by events at lower levels and are themselves causally effective


Emergentism consciousness
Emergentism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Consciousness

  • Consciousness cannot simply be reduced to the brain or to its parts.

  • In philosophical language, mental events are said to supervene on physical events but are not identical with them.

    • That is: they depend on the physical events of the brain but also transcend those events.


Emergentism causally effective
Emergentism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Causally Effective

  • Emergent properties, especially consciousness, can effect causal changes in the neuronal networks of the brain, and can therefore initiate free decisions.

  • Nobel laureate Roger Sperry writes:

  • As a brain scientist, I now believe in the causal reality of conscious mental powers as emergent properties of brain activity and consider subjective belief to be a potent cognitive force which, above any other, shapes the course of human affairs and events in the world.


Emergentism emergentism and christianity
Emergentism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Emergentism and Christianity

  • There are many emergentist who are Christian.

  • They believe emergentism can preserve what is most preciously human: the subjective aspect of our consciousness, our freedom, our sense of moral responsibility, our sense of being in relation with God.

  • There is no immortal soul, so for an emergentist, our only hope for an afterlife is a belief in bodily resurrection.


Criticism of reductionistic naturalism

Criticism of Reductionistic Naturalism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Criticism of reductionism there is no i
Criticism of Reductionism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.There is No “I”?

  • Can we really think of ourselves as nothing but neural networks that respond in a deterministic fashion to whatever stimuli are presented to us?

  • Is it really true, as Crick writes:

    “I” do not decide; it is the neuronal networks in my brain that react, as they have been programmed to do.


Criticism of reductionism free will
Criticism of Reductionism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Free Will

  • Free will is the freedom to choose and to act

    • freedom from external constraint

    • freedom from internal constraint

  • We cannot live without daily making “decisions,” and it seems that the belief in free will is implied in the very act of our deliberation in making decisions.


Criticism of reductionism can one idea lead to another
Criticism of Reductionism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Can One Idea Lead To Another?

  • The whole process of argument, in philosophy, law, and natural science, presumes that one idea leads to another, and so causes it.

    • “Doctrine of mental causation”

  • Yet if every idea is correlated with a particular state of a neural network, and that state is caused by a previous state of the same network, it is hard to see how ideas can “cause” other ideas.


Criticism of reductionism loss of moral responsibility
Criticism of Reductionism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Loss of Moral Responsibility

  • If free will is an illusion, it logically means there cannot be moral responsibility.

  • No person has the freedom to do other than what he or she in fact does.

    • Thus those who have sexually abused children in their care are not culpable, for they could not have done otherwise.


Criticism of reductionism problem of qualia
Criticism of Reductionism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Problem of Qualia

  • It is not clear that Reductionism can explain the problem of qualia.

  • Qualia are the subjective, experienced contents of consciousness.

  • Example: everyone is able to picture things in their minds, say a familiar face, a landscape, or a simple object, like a red bowling ball.

  • But there is no screen in the brain on which such an image appears. The data encoding for an image of a red bowling ball might exist in the brain. But where does the mental image exist?


Criticism of reductionism problem of qualia1
Criticism of Reductionism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Problem of Qualia

  • A computer can store the data encoding for an image of a red bowling ball, but cannot produce the actual image without projecting it on a screen.

  • So how can we “imagine” visual images in our minds?

  • What we experience, and the physical network that encodes it in the brain seem to be entirely different, not just by degree but in kind.


Criticism of reductionism problem of qualia2
Criticism of Reductionism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Problem of Qualia

  • To put it another way: how is it that I experience an image, when (according to the Reductionist like Crick) there is no “I” to see the image?


Criticism of reductionism hard problem of consciousness
Criticism of Reductionism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Hard Problem of Consciousness

  • The problem of qualia is part of what has been called the “hard problem of consciousness”:

    • How do physical processes in the brain give rise to subjective experience?

    • Why are these physical processes accompanied by conscious experience at all?


Criticism of reductionism hard problem of consciousness1
Criticism of Reductionism Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Hard Problem of Consciousness

  • A thought experiment proposed by philosopher David Chalmers:

    • Suppose that Mary, a neuroscientist, knows everything about the brain processes responsible for color.

    • But also suppose Mary has lived in a black and white room all her life, and has never experienced color.

    • She knows all about the physical and neural processes responsible for color, but she has never had the subjective experience of color.

    • It follows there are facts about conscious experience that cannot be deduced from physical facts about the functioning of the brain.

  • Reductionist naturalism, therefore, cannot explain subjective, conscious experience.


Next Time (Feb 7): Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.5. Human Nature: Embodied Self and Transcendent Soul, Part 2. Conclusion: A Sacred Cosmos


Sources of graphics used in this series
Sources of Graphics Used in This Series Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • Dark Energy Dark Matter: The Dark Side of the Universe, Sean Carroll, The Teaching Company

  • Cosmology: The History and Nature of Our Universe, Mark Whittle, The Teaching Company

  • Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition, Alex Filippenko, The Teaching Company

  • Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations, Brian M. Fagan, The Teaching Company

  • Biology: The Science of Life, Stephen Nowicki, The Teaching CompanyUnderstanding Genetics: DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications, David Sadava, The Teaching Company

  • Evolution, Douglas J Futuyma, Sinauer Associates

  • History of Christian Theology, Phillip Cary, The Teaching Company

  • Wikipedia

  • Astronomy Picture of the Day

  • HubbleSite

  • Millennium Simulation Project

  • The Equations, Icons of Knowledge, Sander Bais, Harvard University Press, 2005


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