23 Mar 2015
"What is man?"Â - asked David in his Psalms thousands of years ago.Â It is striking that the relevance of this question has not decreased in the twentieth and twenty first centuries.Â Whether a man is only an animal or, maybe, he is just a complex combination of chemical compounds, or, maybe, he is much more than all this, some great creation? The desire to know the history of man's origin is quite natural, as people have not always existed on the Earth.Â That is why, the problem of Creation and understanding of human nature is central problem of people of all ages.Â This question can be considered from different perspectives: from the standpoint of theology, religion, anthropology, philosophy and history.
Views and ideas on the origins of humanity
The origin ofÂ manÂ is the subject ofÂ speculationÂ since ancient times andÂ led to the emergenceÂ ofÂ variousÂ myths in different people,Â who believed thatÂ the first humansÂ were created by gods from stones,Â animals, etc.Â The ancientÂ Greek thinkersÂ had different views on the origin of man:Â someÂ believed that manÂ is eternal, second believed that he was born from marineÂ sediments.Â WithÂ the spread ofÂ Christianity peopleÂ accepted the idea thatÂ man wasÂ createdÂ andÂ inspiredÂ by God.
Many people believedÂ that a manÂ isÂ the most highly developedÂ animal,Â "the top ofÂ the evolution" of the animalÂ world, heÂ is mortal,Â andÂ hisÂ lifeÂ has noÂ higherÂ meaning.Â Others believeÂ thatÂ manÂ is notÂ the "top",Â butÂ onlyÂ a veryÂ selfishÂ animalÂ who tendsÂ toÂ pleasure and enjoyment. So, humans belong to the natural world, until the physical and chemical processes in their body depend on nature.Â
If we consider the philosophical approach, then we need first to say that in humans there is an element that is "above" the natural world.Â There are different views on this, as, for example, Greek philosophers said this element was mind, and Aristotle proposed a definition of man as a rational animal.Â (Stevenson 2004)
ButÂ mostÂ importantÂ isÂ the factÂ ofÂ humanÂ consciousness thatÂ "elevates"Â himÂ above the natural world.Â Â Human consciousness is ascensionÂ of naturalism in the understanding of man, since he is not only a natural being, but also a spiritual being. (Wilson 2004)
In the XVIII century, many thinkers (such as Lord Monboddo, Herder, Rousseau, Kant, etc.) suggested the evolution of man from the great apes in savages, and later in modern humans.Â In a more clear way this idea was developed by Lamarck in the beginning of the XIX century in his "Zoological Philosophy".Â Later t theoryÂ of development and evolutionÂ in variousÂ formsÂ has beenÂ to explainÂ various scientists. Those who support this theory believe that man was not created by anyone, but occurred in the development of lower organisms.Â For example, the French scientist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck said that some species of monkeys, under unfavorable conditions of existence, were to descend from the trees and acquired the habit of walking on two feet. Bipedalism led to strong changes of the body, and "quadrumanous" monkey turned into "bipedal", who gradually settled around the Earth. Gradually in new species began to developed the consciousness... (Bowler, 2003).
The theory of evolution has become one of the most prevalent theories of human origins.Â Â This theory was developed by Ch. Darwin, who introduced the history of development of the organic world of the Earth carried by the interaction of three main factors: variability, heredity and natural selection.Â Evolutionary theory suggests that man evolved from apes, being changed under the influence of external factors and natural selection.
The evolutionary theory of anthropogenesis is supported with a large number of facts - paleontological, archaeological, biological, genetic, cultural, psychological, and others.Â However, many of these proofs may be interpreted ambiguously, allowing opponents of evolutionary theory to challenge it.
BiblicalÂ Creation ofÂ the world
"The Bible" tells that a man was created in God's will and in accordance with His plan (Gen.1: 26).Â In the all-powerful Word of God was hidden a great creative force to create the world, and then a men.Â When God created a man he said: " Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, inÂ The Image Of GodÂ created He him; male and female created He them." (Genesis 1:26-27 KJV)
A man was created in a special act, and, unlike the animals, in the image of God, that means a man is intelligent, free, creative and moral personality. Like God, man is gifted with the following qualities:
- Creativity (Genesis 2:20);
- The mind and the ability to cognition (Genesis 2 :19-20, Col.1: 9; Rim.12: 2;);
- Willy (Luk.23: 25; 2Petr.1: 21);
- The ability to choose and evaluate (Genesis 2: 17; 13:11);
- The ability to love (Genesis 2: 24). ( McFarland 2009)
A manÂ is the imageÂ andÂ likeness ofÂ God, isÂ a spiritual being,Â risingÂ overÂ the naturalÂ andÂ socialÂ world,Â andÂ ableÂ to transform it andÂ dominateÂ overÂ it. In Genesis 2 we canÂ learn more about howÂ man andÂ woman were createdÂ : "And The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul... And The Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him ... And The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which The Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (Genesis 2:7,18,21-23)
That is,Â the biblicalÂ interpretation ofÂ creation of manÂ is the mostÂ commonÂ that is primarilyÂ due toÂ the importantÂ role ofÂ religionÂ inÂ people's lives. BiblicalÂ CreationÂ is veryÂ important forÂ people, as itÂ defines theÂ essence ofÂ man:Â ManÂ is notÂ justÂ a body, andÂ heÂ was createdÂ "inÂ the imageÂ ofÂ God and for eternalÂ communion withÂ God".Â This meansÂ thatÂ people areÂ moralÂ andÂ spiritualÂ creatures withÂ the abilityÂ to trust,Â to chooseÂ to love, etc.Â CreationÂ is the basisÂ forÂ ourÂ worshipÂ to God andÂ HisÂ worship:Â "Let them praise theÂ name of theÂ Lord,Â for he commanded, and they were created"Â (PsalmÂ 148:5).Â Thus,Â worshipÂ is a gratitudeÂ to the Creator. ( McFarland 2009)
At the presentÂ time,Â we canÂ hearÂ that the questionÂ of creation of humanity is asked ratherÂ strictly: either theÂ idea of Creation orÂ the theory of evolution.Â However,Â such aÂ statementÂ seemsÂ incorrect, sinceÂ many modernÂ scholarsÂ noteÂ that theÂ ideaÂ of CreationÂ of humanity by God,Â the Creator, does not denyÂ the scientific theories. The religious world does not contradict the scientific, that can be proved by the fact that many prominent world scientists were deeply religious people: for example, Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Mikhail Lomonosov, Pavlov, Albert Einstein.Â That is, the science also does not deny the idea of the Creation of humanity by God.
Each of the ideas, assumptions and theories about the origin of humanity has a right to exist and has its supporters.Â Yet, the biblical Creation of the world and man is the most important for people, regardless of their scientific views.Â The idea of man's creation by God is the basis of religion and faith of millions of people, the basis of their ideology and view on all the existence of humanity.
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