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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:36 am 
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The following is based on notes from a book by James Arraj.

Human Origins

The story of our origins has been transformed during the last 150 years by paleoanthropologists assiduously piecing together the family tree of the hominids from which we have descended.

The general picture looks something like this. The hominids split off from the line that was to lead to chimpanzees some 5 to 7 million years ago in Africa. The earliest hominids like Ardipithecus ramidus led to a whole family of Australopithecines, the first of which had been described by Raymond Dart in South Africa in 1925, and the most famous of which was Lucy, an Australopithecine afarenis found in Ethiopia by Donald Johanson in 1973. The picture we are familiar with from museum exhibits of a single line of descent leading from these hominids to the earliest members of the genus Homo might be giving way to a more complicated one in which various hominids appear to have coexisted at the same time, and it is not quite clear just when the genus Homo started. Let’s put its beginning with Homo habilis some 2.5 million years ago who appears to have made crude tools called by the anthropologists Olduwan which they used to cut meat off of bones and crack them open to extract the marrow. But significantly, these tools remained unchanged for a million years.

By 1.2 million years ago a new tool kit appeared called the Acheulean, created perhaps by Homo erectus. These tools, as well, remained unchanged for another million years. Homo erectus was the first hominid to spread out of Africa, and its remains have been found as far afield as Java and the Republic of Georgia.

By 600,000 to 500,000 years ago we find Homo heidelbergensis who might have been an ancestor to both the Neanderthals and the more anatomically modern humans in Africa. It is also the most likely candidate for the creation of more refined tools.

During the course of these millions of years there are two facts that are particularly important for us. The first is an increase of brain size, which went, no doubt, with an increase in brain complexity. The second is the fact that with the emergence of each larger and more complex kind of brain there appeared a more sophisticated tool kit. We could say: new brain, new tools, and then a long period in which the tools, and presumably the brain, remained unchanged.

The Neanderthals appeared some 250,000 years ago and were to survive in Europe to beyond 50,000 years ago. Their brains were larger than any of the other hominids that had preceded them, and their tools, called the Mosterian, again remained stable over long periods of time. Their use of fire and the possession of a rudimentary material culture made them appear as likely candidates for being the ancestors to modern humans, but recent archaeological and genetic evidence seems to rule this out.

About 130,000 to 50,000 years ago while the Neanderthals were alone in Europe, various anatomically near modern humans began to appear in Africa, but despite how anatomically close they were to modern humans, their tool kits were static like the Neanderthals, and they did not appear to be more culturally advanced than them.

These modern near humans were replaced in Africa by modern humans some 50,000 to 45,000 years ago. These modern humans soon appeared in Western Asia, and Eastern and Western Europe, and replaced the Neanderthals, but now the relationship between brain change and tool kit that we have been seeing has been definitively broken. Anatomy and cultural change have somehow become unlinked. These new hominids have undergone some profound transformation which has been called a great leap forward, or a cognitive revolution. They seem to burst out of Africa and colonize the whole world in a relatively short period of time, and their culture appears qualitatively different from what went before. They make fine tools and complicated weapons. They utilize not only stone, but bone, antlers and ivory. They sew clothes and build dwellings, and therefore can enter environments where no hominids had ever gone before. And they create beautiful art. And unlike the hominids of the past, this cultural revolution does not appear connected with some anatomical change in brain size, and it doesn’t stay stable over long periods of time. These humans are continually innovative, and through what they create, whether it is ostrich shell beads and ornaments found in the caves of Africa, or the great cave art of Europe, we recognize these hominids as ourselves.

What caused this transition which was more like a super-transformation, or revolution? A variety of hypotheses have been brought forward: new techniques to procure food, new social structures, and so forth, but these appear to be more the effect of the transformation rather than its cause. Jared Diamond suggests a genetic mutation that effected the anatomy of the vocal tract, making spoken language possible, and Richard Klein looks to another genetic mutation that would have affected the neurological basis for spoken language.

Modern genetic studies, often controversial themselves, appear to converge with and roughly confirm this picture. Studies of mitochondrial DNA point to an "African Eve" from which all humans today descended, and studies of the Y-chromosome suggest a single African male ancestor, perhaps some 35,000 to 89,000 years ago. Further, genetic studies also make it appear improbable that there was significant interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans, or that the modern populations of Asia have some kind of genetic inheritance that cannot be traced to Africa and the modern humans that arose there.

Fact:
The general picture of a sudden transformation leading to modern humans seems well supported, although its timing is still debated.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:49 pm 
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The following is an imaginative recreation of what it could have been like at the beginning of the human race:

(Take note that this is a somewhat dangerous procedure because, by way of reaction, we tend to lose sight of the theological elements brought to us by the genuine traditions of original sin. Nevertheless, theological imagination has a role to play in deepening our own understanding.)

Imagine a small band of hominids living somewhere in Africa some 50,000 years ago. These hominids, anatomically like modern humans, were much more intelligent than we might expect. They could make a variety of tools, had tamed fire, engaged in communal hunting, had a rudimentary type of communication, and so forth. They stood at the very threshold that separates true human beings from even the most intelligent hominids.

Then two children were born to this band, children who were the first true humans because God gave them spiritual souls. They would have been nurtured by their hominid parents, and would have learned the quasi-culture of the band, but they were truly different. In the depths of their spiritual souls flashed creative intuitions that lay at the roots of abstract language, art, innovative technology, and genuine self-consciousness and freedom, and an awareness of God. As these children grew, they soon outpaced their parents and were drawn to each other. They instinctively recognized each other as different from the rest of the band. They could look into each other’s eyes and see true self-awareness.

As their intuitions began to flower, they realized that they were being called by God to build a human community that would dwell in God’s presence. This calling could have taken place in the depths of their hearts without necessarily being accompanied by elaborate conscious conceptualizations. But they rejected this calling, and freely and knowingly turned away from God. They frustrated in its tenderest beginnings the role they were meant to play in transmitting both nature and grace to their descendants. (This is the main concept of original sin.)

Reflections

The effects of original sin and all sins are social, as well. We literally cannot exist physically, psychologically, intellectually or spiritually outside of the human community. We are members of the one human race that gives birth to us, and all our actions for good or for ill reverberate throughout this community. The actions of the first humans had a devastating impact on all their descendants because they stood at the very beginning, and had the task of transmitting both nature and grace. But we, too, in a lesser way, are meant to transmit nature and grace to all those around us and who will come after us, and the effects of our bad actions are transmitted to them, as well. We have an instinctive understanding of this. We realize how powerfully we have been impacted for both good and for evil by those around us, and even those far distant from us in space and time. But what we want to focus on is the embodiment of these influences in our social structures. These structures are natural and normal expressions of our social natures. We create schools, hospitals, corporations, and so forth, but they, too, have a dimension that can be seen as a result of original sin and subsequent sins. They take on, for example, a certain life of their own, and can even lose sight of the very purposes for which they were created. Then we have schools that extinguish the love of learning, hospitals that spread disease, and corporations that wrench the pursuit of profit out of a truly human context.

The point of these examples of the possible impacts caused by original sin and subsequent sins is not to push us into a pessimism that sees sin behind every tree and under every bush. Each of these areas has a progressive and salvific side. We do not just live in a fallen world, but a fallen-redeemed one. The passion of Jesus and his death ends in the resurrection. The distortions of our souls and social structures, however powerful, need to be seen in the context of the greater power of the grace of Christ. But if we learn to see the world through the optic of original sin, then perhaps we can learn to act in a more determined manner to remedy some of these ills.

Based on notes from the book “Can Christians Still Believe?” (by James Arraj)

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Let my thoughts come to you, when I am gone, like the afterglow of sunset at the margin of starry silence. -- Rabindranath Tagore


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:29 pm 
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TheEnigma wrote:
The following is an imaginative recreation of what it could have been like at the beginning of the human race:

(Take note that this is a somewhat dangerous procedure because, by way of reaction, we tend to lose sight of the theological elements brought to us by the genuine traditions of original sin. Nevertheless, theological imagination has a role to play in deepening our own understanding.)

Imagine a small band of hominids living somewhere in Africa some 50,000 years ago. These hominids, anatomically like modern humans, were much more intelligent than we might expect. They could make a variety of tools, had tamed fire, engaged in communal hunting, had a rudimentary type of communication, and so forth. They stood at the very threshold that separates true human beings from even the most intelligent hominids.

Then two children were born to this band, children who were the first true humans because God gave them spiritual souls. They would have been nurtured by their hominid parents, and would have learned the quasi-culture of the band, but they were truly different. In the depths of their spiritual souls flashed creative intuitions that lay at the roots of abstract language, art, innovative technology, and genuine self-consciousness and freedom, and an awareness of God. As these children grew, they soon outpaced their parents and were drawn to each other. They instinctively recognized each other as different from the rest of the band. They could look into each other’s eyes and see true self-awareness.

As their intuitions began to flower, they realized that they were being called by God to build a human community that would dwell in God’s presence. This calling could have taken place in the depths of their hearts without necessarily being accompanied by elaborate conscious conceptualizations. But they rejected this calling, and freely and knowingly turned away from God. They frustrated in its tenderest beginnings the role they were meant to play in transmitting both nature and grace to their descendants. (This is the main concept of original sin.)

Reflections

The effects of original sin and all sins are social, as well. We literally cannot exist physically, psychologically, intellectually or spiritually outside of the human community. We are members of the one human race that gives birth to us, and all our actions for good or for ill reverberate throughout this community. The actions of the first humans had a devastating impact on all their descendants because they stood at the very beginning, and had the task of transmitting both nature and grace. But we, too, in a lesser way, are meant to transmit nature and grace to all those around us and who will come after us, and the effects of our bad actions are transmitted to them, as well. We have an instinctive understanding of this. We realize how powerfully we have been impacted for both good and for evil by those around us, and even those far distant from us in space and time. But what we want to focus on is the embodiment of these influences in our social structures. These structures are natural and normal expressions of our social natures. We create schools, hospitals, corporations, and so forth, but they, too, have a dimension that can be seen as a result of original sin and subsequent sins. They take on, for example, a certain life of their own, and can even lose sight of the very purposes for which they were created. Then we have schools that extinguish the love of learning, hospitals that spread disease, and corporations that wrench the pursuit of profit out of a truly human context.

The point of these examples of the possible impacts caused by original sin and subsequent sins is not to push us into a pessimism that sees sin behind every tree and under every bush. Each of these areas has a progressive and salvific side. We do not just live in a fallen world, but a fallen-redeemed one. The passion of Jesus and his death ends in the resurrection. The distortions of our souls and social structures, however powerful, need to be seen in the context of the greater power of the grace of Christ. But if we learn to see the world through the optic of original sin, then perhaps we can learn to act in a more determined manner to remedy some of these ills.

Based on notes from the book “Can Christians Still Believe?” (by James Arraj)



Pwede pwede.

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“You create your own universe as you go along.” ― Winston Churchill

"When a table is normalized, the non-key columns depend on the key, the whole key, and nothing but the key." - a DBA


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:57 am 
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**** Africa, pilipins is where the first human came from :D :D :D this is pruf

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Hell or in anguish is where prayers are mostly uttered, and it's significantly less in heaven. - Joseph S


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:21 am 
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`` IF the annunakis were written in every sacred books, people today
will believe ET's were here before in mankind's polluted history.
..''

`Image'''

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