From Amoeba to Moral beings:

The Evolutionary Emergence of Life, and of Free-Willed-beings created in the Image of God.

 

The First Moral Beings on Earth

According to the theory of evolution, the emergence of Man is approximately described by the following dates [ Y.A.  denotes "years ago"][1]:

 

Early Hominid

YA = years ago                3,000,000 YA = Australopithecus

Homo Erectus

700,000 YA = Java Man

500,000 YA = Peking Man

Homo Sapiens

120,000 YA = Neanderthal Man

Homo Sapiens Sapiens

100,000 YA = Modern Man [Between 200,000 and 40,000 YA]

 

The Evolution of Morality

According to the scientific origin theory, we have been billions of years in developing:  from big bang to home planet, from inorganic matter to life, from simple life to ape, and millions of years more from ape to man.  However, it was only approximately 100,000 years ago that there appeared an ancestor we could identify as a member of our species: a truly sapient [thinking] creature, the first of Homo Sapiens Sapiens.  Clearly, then, even if the universe is 15 billion years old, morality could only have emerged in the last 100,000 years[2].

   The essential human qualities we associate with a human, as opposed to an animal or a computer, are those of moral behaviour and the idea of moral accountability. These qualities, when they first arose among Homo Sapiens Sapiens would almost certainly result in the formulation of religion. Thus, the earliest religions would follow not too long after the first stirrings of moral consciousness. When one actually reviews the cultural history of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, one makes an interesting discovery - it becomes clear that religion as we know it developed only in the last 5,500 years. 

 

A Short History of Major Cultural Developments[3]

10,000 YA                                  Painting[4], burials

                                          BCE

5000 YA                                             3000       Writing, farming

4000 YA                                             2000       Abraham: Monotheism formulated[5]

3500 YA                                             1500       Moses .  Hinduism formulated

3000 YA                                             1000  King Solomon: philosophy, ethicalwriting, poetry

2600 YA                                               600      Isaiah (Yeshayahu)

2500 YA                                             500 Ezekiel(Yeheskel),Buddha,Confucius,Lao-Tze                                                2400 YA                                               400   Greek Science/Culture/Philosophy:

                                                                              Socrates, Plato, Aristotle Etc.) 

1900 YA          =        CE   100          R. Akiva; Christianity (spread of);

1400 YA                                             600         Islam

  300 YA                                             1700       Newton

  140 YA                                             1850       Darwin

    80 YA                                              1900       Einstein

 

Thus, Man's brain had developed about 100,000 years ago. His cultural abilities - painting, pottery and so on - developed perhaps 15,000 years ago. The first glimmerings of thought about death and life - the first burials - took place about 10,000 years ago, and the first religions were developed about 4,000 years ago.

The emergence of the first true moral being, with sufficient intelligence and understanding to make a free choice would presumably  occur somewhere between the time that man began to think of death and a possible afterlife, and the time that religious thought and attitudes were first developed .

  According to the chronology of the Biblical geneologies, this occured roughly 6,000 years ago - 2,000 years before the first religion developed, and about 4,000 years after the Cro-Magnon culture's cave-wall paintings.

We would then add one stage onto the chain of human development

                Early Hominid           3,000,000 YA = Australopithecus

                Homo Erectus                700,000 YA = Java Man,   500,000 YA  =  Peking Man

                Homo Sapiens            120,000 YA =  Neanderthal Man

                Homo Sapiens Sapiens   100,000 YA =  Modern Man [ 200,000 -60,000 YA]

*** Homo Sapiens Voluntas  6,000 YA =  Moral Man             [6]  [7]

 

We can see that:

 

1.            Man as a race achieved his modern type of intellectual capacity only 100,000 years ago, and prior to that many modern concepts - such as "morality" - were likely beyond the conceptual ability of man' evolutionary ancestors.

2.            All the world's religions were founded in the last 4,000 years, so that 4,500 years ago there was no real conception of a Gd, of moral responsibility, of purpose to a human life, and so on [8] .

      3.    The vast majority of our scientific knowledge was unknown only 500 years ago, and science had its rudimentary beginnings only 2,500 years ago.  The great ideas which are the foundations of our society - ideas of religion, philosophy, culture and science - are relatively recent innovations[9].

 

The Creation Account and Subsequent Chronologies

 

              After the Eden account, there follows the story of Cain and Abel, and then a chronology of 'Adam' and his descendants. The chronology speaks of Adam "who was created as male and female", implying that it is the Adam of the creation account. If one understands both the creation account and the Eden account as referring to an individual, and to the same individual,  then the Adam of the Eden account is the being who was created on the sixth day, and it is his chronology which is provided. The chronology concludes with the birth of Noah, and later the chronology of Noah's descendants is provided, ending with Abraham. From Abraham there are various passages providing chronological information leading to the time of the entry into the land of Israel, and from there to the time of the Persian conquests and so on. Since the time of the Persian conquests are known to historians from non-Biblical sources, one can construct a comprehensive chronology from the time of Adam to our day, and this provides us with a figure of about 6,000 year

              However, of course the Adam of the chronology may not be the same Adam as the creation account, just as the creation and Eden account seem to speak of two separate Adams, "adam" being simply a generic term for "a man". Also, the chronologies speak of lifespans of many hundreds of years, and may well be allegorical, not historical. However, those who assumed that the creation account is a literal account of the actual creation of the physical universe and that the chronologies atre meant literally, concluded after adding up all the figures given in the various chronologies that Adam must have lived about 6,000 years ago.

 

Adam and the Emergence of Moral Beings on Earth

 

              As indicated above, the first moral beings on Earth may well have emerged approximately 5,000 to 10,000 years ago, and the chronologies of Genesis place "Adam" as having lived about 6,000 years ago.  Therefore, whether one interprets the "Adam" of Genesis as an individual named 'Man', or as the race 'Man', one can identify this "Adam" with the first moral beings who emerged on Earth - either the first such individual, or the race of moral man as a whole.

 

The Creation and Eden Accounts

 

               In the Biblical perspective which sees the purpose of the existence of the universe as tied up with the emergence of moral beings within it, it is appropriate that humanity should be considered as having begun with the emergence of the first moral being, and that the universe itself should be considered as having begun its relevant existence only with the emergence within it of moral beings, in Genesis symbolized by the enigmatic and ambiguous "Adam". Thus the creation account, reflecting this perspective, collapses into a very brief discussion the creation of the universe and its subsequent development until the emergence of Adam, and commences its recital of history with the emergence of the first moral being - symbolized by Adam - rather than with the big bang, or with the dinosaurs, or even with the pre-moral Homo Sapiens.


The Evolution of Adam

 

"Thus from the war of Nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and wonderful have been, and are being evolved."     

       The closing paragraph of Charles Darwin's "Origin of the Species". 

 

Part I:

 

 Scientific Monogenesis[10]

 

 It has long been recognized by many evolutionary biologists that all life emanates from a common source. The famous mathematical-physicist Hermann Weyl writes as follows[11]:

"Considerations of evolution in the large will of necessity lead to the question of the origin of life. The evidence of genetics makes one incline to see in life the chance success of a play of creative accidents. Not some predictable macrophysical or macrochemical process, that with a certain natural necessity came to pass at a certain stage of evolution  - and would repeat itself wherever the appropriate conditions prevailed - seems responsible for the historic beginnings of life, but a molecular event of singular character, occurring once by accident, and then starting an avalanche by autocatalytic multiplication (P. Jordan). Jordan adduces as a strong argument for this opinion "the fact that all the more complicated molecules found in plants and animals, especially the protein molecules, are stereochemically different from their mirror images". Indeed had they an independent origin at many places and many times their levo- and dextro-varieties should show nearly the same abundance. Thus it looks as if there is some truth in the story of Adam and Eve, if not for the origin of mankind then for that of the most primitive forms of life."

 

It is now becoming evident however, that there is yet more truth to the story of Adam and Eve:  a specific gene has been traced in the various races of Man which indicates that it derives from  a common ancestress who lived about 100,000  years ago. 

               In this way comparative genetics indicates that all mankind existing today is descended from one genetic line, which mutated from the parent line about 100,000 years ago [12]. Thus even according to evolutionary theory, all humankind is  descended from one original progenitor just as in Genesis. Fittingly, evolutionary geneticists have dubbed her "Eve" [13].

 Genesis and scientific theory are therefore in agreement that the universe emerged out of nothing, and is not eternal; that all life is descended from a single original life form; and that all Mankind is descended from one unique ancestral human being.

 

The Emergence of Moral Man

 

              Physical science does not generally recognize free will as a qualitatively unique physical phenomenon, but rather as a psychological phenomenon, and therefore evolutionary genetics can consider an intelligent conscious being with free will as genetically identical to one lacking free will. Therefore fossils and skulls may not be relevant as indicators of whether or not their owners were free-willed.

              It is also not clear if one can ascribe different types of behaviour to true moral beings and to non-moral beings who imagine themselves to have free will, and therefore it is not clear if archaeological evidence can ever be used to distinguish between the remains of a civilization of moral beings and those of non-free-willed beings. Therefore although there are various theories and pieces of evidence which help determine when humans of one type or another emerged, it is not clear when free-willed moral beings first emerged.

              One can suppose however that since moral beinghood requires intelligence and foresight in addition to free will,  that the emergence of moral beings was somewhat after the emergence of ordinary Homo Sapiens. Indeed, as we saw in a previous chapter, it may perhaps have been relatively recently - about ten thousand years ago.

              One could consider Cro-Magnon Man as the first to have been capable of free will, and perhaps it was a genius from this stock who first formulated a moral code, and who taught morality to his contemporary latent moral beings. Alternatively, it may be that an additional mutation was responsible for the aquisition of free will, and the first such mutant descendant of Cro-Magnon Man was the first moral being and the father of a new race of moral beings.

              The emergence of the first moral being or society may be the event which is referred to in Genesis, in the allegory of the eating of the Tree of Knowledge and the consequent understanding of the concepts of good and evil.

 

Adam's Birthdate

 

          The date of the creation and of the emergence of Adam - the first moral being - is not given explicitly in the Bible and is not referred to anywhere else in the Bible. A putative date can be computed via the geneology given after the creation account, however in it we are told of life-spans of almost a thousand years, so that the geneology is apparently not refering to ordinary physical ages and dates, leaving the date of the emergence of Adam unspecified.

              Genetics does not deal in categories of purpose, and therefore the ability to exercize free will and become a moral being is not considered genetically significant. Genetically speaking, the first human may have lived long ago, however with respect to the category of purpose relevant in the Bible, the first true human was the first moral being, and we - who are moral beings - are its children.

              In the terms of reference of the purpose of the  human race in the Biblical context, it was the emergence of Moral Man which allowed the onset of purpose.

              Biblical perspective classifies beings according to categories relating to purpose rather than to evolutionary-genetic development. From this perspective, the predecessors of the first  moral man are classified with the animals since they lacked intelligent free willed consciousness. Only the moral being is a 'human' being, and can be classified as being 'in the image of Gd', so that the title of ëfirst human beingí is bestowed on the first of ëMoral Maní. The Bible essentially begins with the emergence and moral development of the first such beings since their prior evolutionary development is not of direct relevance from the perspective of the category of purpose.

              Genesis and the origin theories agree that the race of modern man 'began' at some point, that there was a 'first man'. However from the categories of science and of religion 'human' is defined differently, and therefore the date of emergence of the 'first human' is different. Although Cro-Magnon Man may have existed for about 90,000 years before Adam, we are told that it was Adam who was the first human, and the only human of his time, since he was the first Moral man, and for a while, the only one.

 

Part II:  Adamís Predecessors as Inhabitants of the ëPrior Worldsí

 

There are statements in the Talmud and Midrash to the effect that "Gd created and destroyed worlds" prior to the creation detailed in Genesis[14]. It is not clear however whether this implies the creation of worlds prior to the very  creation  of heaven and earth - that is, the creation of prior universes - or if it is referring to the creation of planets within the universe whose creation is described in Genesis. And, if it refers to the creation of planets within the universe of Genesis, it is not clear whether the reference is to planets other than earth, or to the planet earth prior to the creation of Adam.

Indeed, another Talmudic statement declares that the destruction of an individual is considered as the destruction of a world. Thus, if God ëcreated and destroyed worldsí on planet earth prior to the emergence of Adam, this would mean that Adam was not necessarily the first human on our planet. Indeed, the Tifferet Yisrael[15] stated that fossil remains may bear witness to such pre-Adamic man. Similarly, according to R. Shimon Schwab, Adam was not necessarily the first human-like being[16] - there may have existed beings without free will, beings not created ëin the image of Godí.

We can perhaps interpret the "creation of worlds" as taking place via a divinely instituted natural law - via an evolutionary process. One could then say that life - and man - originally arose on Earth via evolution. Then at some stage Gd "destroyed the world" which arose this way - that is, caused an evolutionary or climactic change such as for example caused the disappearance of the dinosaurs and later of Neanderthal Man, the ice ages and so on - and created Adam as described in Genesis - that is, caused the emergence of the first moral being.

 

Part III: The origin of the soul, and its transmission

 

               According to religious  philosophy, Man is connected to the spiritual realm and posseses a non-physical aspect - a 'soul'- as  distinguished from the animals. Since the soul is by definition a spiritual entity, not a physical one, we encounter the age-old philosophical problems relating to the difficulty of a purely spiritual entity interacting with a purely physical entity - a form of the mind-body problem.

In Genesis, the soul-body issue is referred to in the phrase “and the spirit of God hovered above the waters”, where it was from the waters that life emerged, and especially in the almost shocking statement that after causing man to emerge from the physical elements at hand, “God breathed into him the living spirit.... creating him in the image of God”.

 

The genetics of soul

 

              In order to listen to the radio, one must have, as a necessary condition, a functioning, powered radio.  However, this is not a sufficient condition. There must also be a transmitter which is broadcasting, and among other things, the radio must be tuned to the same frequency as the transmitter.  Similarly, one can distinguish between the necessary and sufficient conditions to be fulfilled in order for a being to possess a soul.

              In order for the spiritual realm to interact with a physical being as a soul does, it is necessary that the being be of a highly developed type with a certain genetic structure.  This however is not a sufficient  condition, as it is also necessary that there be the transmitter, in this case the spiritual realm reaching out to the physical being.  In addition, the being must 'tune' its consciousness to the proper channel.

              This genetic potential  to tune in to the spiritual can be inherited genetically.  The spiritual realm is constantly reaching out to man, and anyone with the potential[17] can tune in if they choose to do so.  Thus, a 'soul' is more of an interaction, a reception, than an entity by itself.  It is not a 'thing' that can be inherited or given.  Rather, it is 'a phenomenon' available to all beings with the requisite genetic structure.

              Thus physical birth can allow transmission of a transcendant 'soul' from a mother, and the origin of a transcendant soul can coincide with a particular physical genetic development, so that the first being to evolve with sufficiently 'advanced' genes would  possess a soul , and pass it on genetically to its progeny.

 

Summary

 

Genesis relates those points most relevant to the category of purpose: the universe is a purposive creation; God is involved in the universe, intervening in affairs in order to further a divine plan, including the evolution of moral man; humanity is imbued with a spiritual nature in addition to its physical, evolved, animal nature; and mankind possesses the ability to distinguish good from evil, and the moral responsibility to choose the good.

After presenting these ideas in the metaphorical language of the creation and Garden of Eden accounts, the Bible goes on to relate the history of the first individuals to encounter the divine, and continues with the revelation achieved by their descendants, and the commandments to all humanity - all within the context provided by  Genesis of a purposive universe directed towards moral activity.


Ch 28: The Age of the Universe

 

Introduction

 

              The determination of the age of the universe is in some sense straightforward in modern cosmology, with an answer somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 billion years. Yet, as we shall see below, in other more subtle senses it is perhaps impossible to actually determine the age of the universe,.

              The weight of scientific evidence points to the origin of the universe in a big bang billions of years ago. Nevertheless, as we have seen quantum metaphysics points to the possibility that the big bang and subsequent events occurred in a 'superposition of states', with the universe beginning its true physical existence only when there emerged within it the first free-willed consciousness, and so the emergence of the universe and the emergence of a moral being are juxtaposed.

              This result of quantum metaphysics also implies that the universe is essentially only as old as the first moral being, and since the earliest moral being we know of would be some version of modern humans, the age of the universe would be computed in the thousands of years (probably between five thousand and a hundred thousand years) rather than in billions of years[18].

              From the viewpoint of Genesis and of standard cosmology - and as opposed to the view of Aristotle and Spinoza - the universe began some finite time ago, rather than being eternal. How long ago? The answer depends on the perspective: if of standard cosmology then the universe began in a big bang fifteen or so billion years ago; if of quantum metaphysics combined with Genesis, it began with the emergence of moral man some thousands of years ago.

 

              Alternative Definitions of Time passage

 

              Even from the standpoint of standard cosmology, the question of the age of the universe is a difficult one for various subtle reasons.

              One such reason has to do with the idea of a clock. There can be only one universe, since by definition of the word universe we mean 'everything that exists'. But if there is nothing other than the universe, then the clock which tells us how old the universe is must be part of the universe itself.

              A clock can keep time, and we can use it to measure the amount of elapsed time since it was first put into operation - but we would need a second clock to determine how much time had elapsed from the time of the creation of the first clock until its initial operation, and so on and on...... Furthermore, no actual clock could have existed in the conditions obtaining in the early universe (extreme high temperatures etc.) and progressively more sophisticated clocks would be required the closer to the origin that one wished to probe. In any case, at the earliest time, when all was chaotic energy, matter as we know it did not exist, and certainly no known type of clock existed.

              In addition, since no clock can exist independent of the universe, then whichever type of 'clock' will be used to tell the age of the universe, it must necessarily be part of the universe itself. There is therefore a problem in defining the age of the universe[19]. Scientific estimates place it at about fifteen billion years, but the closer one gets to the origin of the universe, about fifteen billion years ago, the fuzzier the definition of the elapsed time[20].

 

Time, Consciousness, and Creation

 

              Even the definition of  the elapsed time since the big bang is not necessarily an objective one. Color is a mental sensation, subjective, and would not exist in a universe without mind. So too the very idea of a flow of time may be subjective, a property of consciousness rather than of the universe in of itself.

              Take a film-movie of the universe from big bang to the end and then lay it out on a surface and view all the frames simultaneously. There is no time, all is simultaneous. Cut the film into separate frames and then shuffle them and number them in the new order, and then show the movie. Nothing in the history of the universe has changed, only the order in which the events are viewed by the viewer. The change is in the consciousness of the viewer not in the universe.

              The equations of physics are symmetric with respect to time reversal - they are the same whether we suppose time flows forwards or backwards. In fact, from the laws of nature themselves there is no reason to suppose that there is a flow of time at all - no past present and future - but rather all of space-time exists as a whole.

              Time is not a true parameter in physics - it is inserted by consciousness, which perceives the universe within the conceptual framework of time. As a result, in a real sense it can be said that when consciousness did not exist, time did not exist, so that the universe-clock can be said to have begun ticking only when consciousness arose within it.

               There was in this sense no time before there was conscious life in the universe, so that the the universe can be said to have 'begun' when it was first perceived by a conscious being.

 

              How old were you when you were born?

 

              If the universe indeed emerged into existence as postulated by Wheeler, how old is it? How old was it when it was born?  One second after the initial observation of the moral being was it one second old or was it fifteen billion years old?

              If the universe emerged into existence with the first observation of the first moral being, does the ëtimeí that ëpassedí in the non-full-reality of the quantum superposed states count as real time? Do we count the age of the universe from the emergence of the moral being or do we add 15 billion years to this?

              If the flow of time, the division into past present and future, is a mode of perception of consciousness rather than an objective feature of the universe, then is there any meaning to assigning a flow of time prior to the emergence of consciousness?

             

Metaphysical Definitions of "The Age of the Universe"

From the perspective of scientific cause and effect and step by step development - the standard origin theory - the universe begins with the big bang even if this big bang can emerge into existence only with the emergence of moral man, especially as from this perspective moral man is an incidental development, not designed, and the universe is therefore 15 billion years old. However, from the perspective of the Bible, since the universe was created as a purposive one, and begins to have purpose and meaning with the emergence of the first moral being, the universe can be said to be only as old as moral man, as in Genesis - especially as moral man served as the template for the blueprint of the universe and the big bang.   

       From the metaphysical perspective, the universe begins when non-simulatatable, non-extrapolatable history begins  and so it is only as old as the amount of time elapsed since this primary stage. To determine the age of the universe from this metaphysical perspective, we must therefore determine at what point the universe began its real - non-extrapolatable - existence,  and isolate the true primary stage of the universe.

 

The Onset of Non-Extrapolatable Existence

 

             In a universe without free will, in theory the big bang can be extrapolated using the laws of nature to compute the paths of possible histories up to the end of the universe. However, in a universe in which free will emerges, the extrapolation can continue only up to the point of emergence of free will. Beyond that point, it is impossible to predict what paths the universe can take, or what probabilities to assign to these paths[21].

A universe which is extrapolated past this point contains a history of events which may seem to have been free willed, and for which Man was morally responsible, but were actually neither real nor free.

Thus the latest point at which an extrapolated universe would optimally  begin to unfold in reality - rather than as an extrapolation - is that at which free will emerges, or when the first free-willed choice is executed.

Furthermore, as we have seen, since purposive meaningful activity begins only with the emergence of a moral being, prior existence of the universe would be meaningless from the perspective of the creator, and therefore the point at which a moral being emerges is also the earliest point for a purposive extrapolated universe to begin its existence.

From this perspective, the universe is only as old as the time elapsed since the emergence of moral beings within it, that is, thousands of years rather than billions.

 

The Initial Stage of Existence: Four Perspectives

 

·         There is no objective meaning or purpose to existence other than that which life creates for itself, free-willed consciousness is a side effect of the development of the universe,  and the universe begins with a random big bang fifteen billion years ago.

·         quantum metaphysics: the universe begins actual physical existence only upon the emergence of a moral being;  therefore this emergence is the first stage of the existence of the universe and the universe is one or several hundred thousand years old.

·         the strong (religious) anthropic principle: The primary stage in the creation of the universe is that of the design of the moral being, which then serves as the template for the design of the universe as a whole; laws of nature, and initial conditions (big bang). This design did not occur 'in time' but is 'logically prior' to the creation[22]; no 'date' can be set for it, and the 'age' of the universe has no quantitative meaning in this sense.

·          Biblical perspective: there is objective purpose to existence and meaning to life, the big bang was designed to produce life, to produce moral beings. At the level of ideation, intention, and design, the moral stage of the universe - symbolized in Genesis by Adam in the Garden of Eden - precedes the big bang, and serves to specify the design of the big bang. The true initial stage in the creation of the universe is that of the design of the moral being, and the creation and Eden accounts can be the description of the construction of this design, and also of the creation of the universe from this description. The big bang itself and all its development until the emergence of the first moral being are teleologically secondary, and in a sense thematically irrelevant, and would not be part of a description of creation. The true first stage of existence of the universe as a teleological and purposive entity is that of the emergence of the moral stage, and it is this event which would take central place in any creation account. The universe 'began' immediately after the emergence of the first moral being, and so in Genesis the creation and Eden accounts are juxtaposed [23].

               

Solipsism of the Moment

 

  We saw that the past exists only in our memory, and although the universe exists now as you read this it is possible that it did not exist any time in the past i.e. that the universe was created just now, or at any point in 'the past'.

      Indeed, according to quantum physics, there is a non-zero probability - non-zero but so close to it that it is virtually indistinguishable from zero to most intents and purposes - that a universe such as our own would pop into existence spontaneously without any prior cause, complete and developped as it is now, with all its artifacts, fossils, memories and so on, and then cease to exist spontaneously immediately thereafter. There is no way for us to know that we are not inhabiting such an ephemeral universe[24].

    The age of the universe is then indrterminate, since it can logically have begun its existence right now or at any time in the past. From the scientific perspecrive of course there is no particular eason to suppose that the universe originated other than in the big bang 15 billion years ago, while from the Biblical perspective it might be reasonable to suppose that the universe originated at the onset of meaning and purpose from the perspective of the creator - specifically at the moral stage, with the onset of free-willed moral choice.

    As there is no operational distinction between the two, there is effectively no conflict betweeen the two perspectives.

    From the scientific perspective it is irrelevant and scientifically meaningless to ask when the universe 'actually' began its existence, since all is exactly as though it arose in a big bang15 billion years ago -  the universe is 'big-bang-emergent' - so that we must employ the big bang model to learn scientific facts about the universe.

     From the Biblical perspective on the other hand, the question of whether or not our universe is big-bang-emergent is not as relevant as the issues of moral choice and of moral responsibility, which are central to the issue of meaning and purpose of the existence of the universe - especially so as the big bang itself which science describes is in this perspective a derivative stage - the specifications of the big bang are teleoderived from the moral stage.

    For all intents and purposes, from the scientific perspactive the universe is 15 billion years old whereas from the Biblical perpspective it is only as old as the existence of free moral choice.

 

The Scientific and Biblical Perspective  [Merge this with previous section]

                As we saw in the discussion of solipsism and Occam's razor,[25]the question of whether other minds exist is unanswerable as there are no observable consequences of either possibility, and therefore the issue is irrelevant to science. Similarly, whether or not there exists a creator is unanswerable as there are no observable consequences of either possibility - the universe could have been created in any manner at all, and then subsequently manipulated by a sufficiently advanced being into the universe as it is now, with this performed in such a manner as to have left no trace of these manipulations accessible to human scientific investigation.

As a result, the question of when actually the universe emerged into existence in not truly a scientific question, as it is clear that the universe could have emerged into existence right now or at any previous time either spontaneously or via the action of a creator, without our being able to detect how it emerged or when.

 What is instead of relevance, what is a meaningful question, is what the evidence available to scientific inquiry implies as to the origin and development of the universe, and the elapsed time since this origin. Science has found that all the evidence available to scientific investigation - as opposed to evidence gained via other possible means such as revelation - reveals that the universe emerged from a big bang billions of years ago, and has evolved into the universe as we now know it in the intervening time.

Accounts of the origin and development of the universe as related from the understandings of other perspectives, relying on knowledge obtained from other sources than scientific investigation - as for example is the case with the Biblical creation and Eden accounts - are of no relevance to science, and neither conflict nor support science, as they relate to a different realm of discourse.

 

Summary and Conclusion                                              

              The question of the age of the universe is therefore more one of metaphysics than of physics - indeed, there is no scientific means of distinguishing between a universe created this very instant, one which emerged from a big bang fifteen billion years ago, or one which emerged retroactively upon the observation of a moral being . 

              From a perspective in which there is no objective meaning or purpose to existence other than that which life creates for itself, free-willed consciousness is a side effect of the development of the universe, and the universe begins with a big bang fifteen billion years ago[26].

              From the perspective of the anthropic principle, the universe is designed to produce moral beings, and therefore in a teleological sense the onset of its true existence is at the emergence of the first moral beings; the universe is said to exist telologically speaking only since the emergence of the first moral beings (perhaps a mutant form of Cro Magnon between 100,000 and 5,000 years ago) just as Genesis implies that the universe is only as old as the first moral beings to arise in it, Adam and Eve (who are implied to have lived about 6,000 years ago).

              Similarly, from the viewpoint of quantum metaphysics the universe begins its true physical existence, its actual history, only with the emergence of the first moral beings, just as Genesis implies.

               Finally, from a perspective such as that of the Bible in which there is objective purpose to existence and meaning to life and the universe was designed to produce life, to produce moral beings, the true history of the universe begins - as in Genesis - with the onset of moral history, with the emergence of the first moral beings. 


God as Quantum Observer

 

 

Introduction

 

                Our exploration of quantum metaphysics familiarized us with the idea that it is conscious observation which brings into true physical reality that which was previously only existent as a quantum probability wave, and that in the cosmological context the universe can be said to have begun its true physical existence only upon the emergence within it of a conscious observer.        

                This idea has other cosmological implications as well: since no human consciousness can observe the entire universe, the reality status of the large part of the universe not being humanly observed is cast into doubt. Inevitably, large parts of the universe will be left 'unrealized' unless there is some mind which can observe the entirety, and with this implication quantum metaphysics may seem to point in the direction of a mind 'outside' the physical universe.

                Is such an entity then within the purview of science?

                Science deals with that which can be tested, with phenomena which can be verified by scientists in various countries independently of their beliefs or their culture or language. This is not to say that scientists consider all else uninteresting or insignificant. Rather, science limits itself to certain types of phenomena, and makes no judgment or indeed reference to matters outside its purview. No unequivocal demonstration of the existence of a such a Mind has ever been presented that convinced scientists everywhere, no experiment has been devised which would point to its existence in a manner convincing to all laboratory workers, and therefore the subject of such a Mind is not considered generally to be of relevance to scientific endeavor. The topic therefore remains within the bounds of speculative quantum metaphysics rather than of physics itself.

                From the Biblical perspective however, there is a Mind which is creator of the universe and of all laws of nature, encompassing all of its creation, and sustaining its existence.

               

Schroedinger's Cat and Wigner's Friend

 

                The eminent physicist Erwin Schroedinger, one of the founders of quantum physics, suggested an interesting mental exercise, of the type termed by scientists a 'thought experiment', designed to illustrate some of the interesting ramifications of quantum theory.

                In order not to alienate cat lovers, we stress that this is recommended only as a thought-experiment: put a cat into a closed box containing a poison and a triggering mechanism to release the poison. The trigger's activation depends on the outcome of a random quantum event in the box, so that poison is released or not released into the cat's body depending on the outcome of the inherently random quantum event.

                Since the state of the cat is dependent on a quantum event, its state can only be described by quantum physics. In terns of physics, the totality of information regarding the cat is contained in its quatum wavefunction. While in the box, this wavefunction is the sum of two other wavefunctions - the wavefunction for the state of being dead by injection of poison plus the wavefunction  for the state of being alive.

                Of course when the box is opened, the cat will be seen to be either dead or alive - that is, the wavefunction has been collapsed to assume one of its possible components. The wavefunction of the cat is either one corresponding to 'dead already ten minutes', or 'alive but angry at being locked up in a box for ten minutes'. However, relative to those outside the box, the cat was in a combined state of 'dead plus alive' until the box was actually opened.

                 Wigner then asked what would be if a person [later dubbed 'Wigner's friend'] were in the box. As we have seen, the wave function of a sysem is collapsed when the state of the system is measured, or observed by a conscious being. Of course the person in the box would know if he were alive, and he would not feel himself to be in a combination of states. However, for those outside the box, he is in a combination of states until they open the box.

                Similarly, for anyone who enters the room ten minutes after the box is opened. Until they are apprised of the result, relative to them the original observers are in the following combination of states: 'saw ten minutes ago that the person in the box was dead' plus 'saw ten minutes ago that he was alive'.

                The person who was in the box and the observers in the room, form a quantum state in regards to the observer waiting outside the room. Just before the one outside the room is apprised of the result, the people inside the room comprise the state: 'the person in the box has been dead twenty minutes with the others mourning him already for ten minutes' plus 'the person who was in the box is alive and joking for the last ten minutes with his friends who opened the box ten minutes ago'. However, as soon as those outside the room are told the result, the wavefunction is collapsed to only one of its components.

                 Since all events are at their most fundamental level quantum events, all chains of events must be described by quantum wavefunctions. Until the result of a chain is known, the wavefunction is a combination of all the possible wavefunctions and as seen in the previous example, the chain can easily lead to large scale phenomena involving many people. As a result, all events are quantum events - not only microscopic events involving fundamental particles, but even events involving many people have to be described by the wavefunctions of quantum physics.

 

Universal Consciousness

 

Since all physical interactions extend out to all distances,  everything in the universe interacts with every other part[27]. As we have seen, Bell's inequality has shown the interconnectedness of the most distant parts of the cosmos. Thus the entire universe is a system, with all parts interacting in an inseparable manner. As Rambam put it:  "Know that this universe, in its entirety, is nothing else but one individual being."

Since the universe is one interconnected whole, the universe as a whole can possibly be considered as a quantum wave function[28]. One could then ask what then collapses the wave function of the entire universe - what measurement can there be which can measure the state of the entire universe. Some scientists have speculated that it is a network of observations of conscious beings, and therefore that the universe can reach full physical reality only when there exists within it a society of conscious beings able to observe the entire universe - perhaps by being so numerous and thoroughly spread out that they can in the totality of their observations encompass the entire universe.

Within the Biblical perspective, this is indeed part of the mission of humanity: as the blessing to humanity and the summation at the conclusion of the creation account states - in its midrashic and kabbalistic interpretation: "be fruitful and multiply and fill the physical universe....which God created for humanity to complete"

 

Creation as the "Observation" of Gd

 

  We have seen previously that "the wave function" is collapsed only when a measurement is made and recorded.  However, from the perspective of the Bible, prior to the emergence of man and his technology, only Gd could made such a 'measurement'. As a result, one could postulate that it is Gd's  'observation' of the universe which would cause it to emerge into reality.          Indeed, according to Midrash [29]:

 

INSERT HEBREW TEXT:

   `nlr `xae `ziixe`a lkzqd.   Gd "looked" into the creation blueprint - the Torah - and thereby created the universe. That is, the universe emerged into existence via an observation by Gd on the  pseudo-real  blueprint-universe.

The Torah is the blueprint of creation, and it is the Torah which governs the functioning of the universe: by looking at the Torah - observing - Gd created the universe. Each act of observation maintains the universe's existence, so that the universe is constantly being created anew - as the Midrash states, "Gd  renews the creation every passing moment".

This idea was also proposed hundreds of years ago by the philosopher Berkeley, who considered all of reality to be existent only in that it was perceived by God, however now there is a motivation for this idea not only for philosophical reasons but also from quantum metaphysics.

 

 

"And God Saw That it was Very Good"

 

After creation of the big bang, the universe - as a quantum system - could be only in a "superposition of states". It would not emerge into true reality until Gd chose to 'observe' it. Thus the universe would develop simultaneously along all possible paths until God 'observed' it.

This 'observational creation' can take place at the big bang or at a later stage, however there is a particular point at which the collapse into a unique history is most likely to occur: when the universe has developed to the point at which the desired moral being has  evolved on the optimal path. God could then pick out this desired potential universe from among all its parallel paths, and cause only it  to emerge into existence by observing it. This would be the genuine act of creation - creation of 'the best of all possible worlds'. As the end of the creation account states: "and God saw all that He had done, and it was very good"[30].

 The emergence of the universe into existence would then have taken place with the emergence of the first moral being - as implied in the juxtaposition of the creation account referring to the emergence of the universe, and the Eden account referring to the emergence of the first moral beings.

 

Traditional Jewish Sources

 

The idea of Gd bringing the universe into existence via the operation of  an act of observation can alo be found in other traditional Jewish sources. According to the Zohar[31], the universe was created and is maintained via Gd "observing" Himself.  Rambam states that Gd is the "ground of being' of the universe and "knowing Himself, Gd knows all" [32].

 According to Ramban[33], there are various levels of physical reality: the bringing forth into actual reality was accomplished via Gd's 'words', or 'verbal commands' ["let there be ..."] whereas the permanence of the things called into existence was granted by Gd's 'seeing' them ["and Gd saw that it was good..."]. The terminology also indicates, continues Ramban, that the coming into existence of all creation was via an act of Will, and the continuing existence of all creation is dependent on Gd's Will. Should there be a lack of the Divine will regarding the existence of some entity, it fortwith ceases to exist[34][35].

This of course parallels the quantum metaphysical concept of the bringing of the universe into actuality via free-willed observation[36] [37] [38].

 


The Universe of the Spiritual Forms and Man's Free Will

 

 

Introduction

 

             Creation consists of two parts: the physical and the spiritual.  There is a parallel between the two: the transcendental forces of the spiritual realm are the roots of all that is in the physical realm, and the two can interact via acts of man's free will.  These spiritual Forces were created first; the existence of the physical universe emanates from them.  Therefore, it was only after the creation of the spiritual 'forms', and after their methodology of interaction was set, that the corresponding physical universe and its physical law could be created.

 

 

The Creation Accounts

 

            We can in fact interpret the first creation account as a description of the creation of these forces - that is, a description of the creation of the universe of spiritual forms. The second account then tells of the emergence of the active ingredient which can uniquely manipulate this realm - free will. Free will is that which connects the spiritual and the physical, and it is free will which allows and causes the emergence of the physical universe from its spiritual counterpart.

            The third account then states that the physical realm was created.

 

 

The Universe of Spiritual Forms, Free Will, and Potentiality

 

The universe of spiritual forms was the "blueprint" of the physical universe, and thus it was created first. The only process which can directly affect the spiritual forms, are acts of human free will: it is only a free willed being which can cause the potentially existing physical universe to emerge into existence from its blueprint universe of spiritual forms, just as is the case with the observer bringing the physical universe into reality from within the potential universe of quantum pseudo-reality.

As stated above, the blueprint for the creation of the universe is the universe of the spiritual forms and their interactions.  The physical entity corresponding to this blueprint is the Torah, which gives the rules of interaction between the physical and spiritual universes. 

           Gd created a parallelism between the spiritual and physical universes:

        "He made this world corresponding to the world above, and everything which is above has its counterpart here below...and yet all constitute a unity."[39] [40] 

 

These 'Forces' are 'Potential Forces': concepts are conceived potentially among the Forces and are then translated into physical actuality.  The universe of the Forces is therefore known as the universe of thought.

The Forces are the ground of existence of the universe [41]. 

Thus, the most basic level of reality is that of the universe of thought, of potentiality. The physical universe derives its reality from this thought-universe of potentia - and the connection between the two is man's free will. Indeed, only an act of free will by a moral being can bring the physical universe into existence.

 

Man's Free Will as Catalyst of Creation:

                                                             Traditional Jewish Sources

 

 Genesis tells us that Gd rested, after creation, from all His work "which he created to do".  The midrash explains that the words "to do" [zeyrl] means "everything that Gd created, requires the 'doing' of man". Thus man is partner in creation and in our scenario his free will - and role as observer - brings into actuality the universe created by Gd.                   

Another source relates to the Tree of Knowledge. According to our speculations here, the universe emerged into full existence when human free will emerged, symbolized by the partaking of the  Tree of Knowledge. That eating of the  Tree of Knowledge could enable man to bring an entire universe into existence is an idea actually found in the Midrash[42].  There we are told of the Rabbinic opinion that the snake tempted  Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree by telling them that "from this tree Gd ate and created the universe" and that "Gd does not want you to eat of the Tree because he does not want you to create other worlds".

 

Summary

 

 Since it is only free will which can bring forth the physical universe from the potentiality of the universe of the spiritual forms, the universe cannot emerge into physical reality until the emergence of a moral being.

Both quantum metaphysics and the Kabballah therefore indicate that the universe would begin its existence at the emergence of the first true moral being - giving a creation scenario entirely parallel to that portrayed in Genesis.

............

In addition to the physical universe, Gd created man, and did so "in the image of Gd" - i.e. possessing free will, which is the Gdly attribute of transcending causal necessity. Free will is thus the cause of the existence of the universe both in potential (Gd's Will) and in actuality (man's free will).

............

Man is created in the image of GOd, and the physical universe is the image of the Spiritual Forms. (The mishkan is the image of the higher mishkan, and of the physical universe etc)

Creation via the Will of Gd

 

One can interepret the passage at the end of the first creation account as implying that the universe was created in one instant - after being created in thought - as an expression of Gd's (Free) Will:

 

INSERT HEBREW TEXT

z` dyr mini zyy ik mlerl `id ze` l`xyi ipa oiae ipia" :fi :`l zeny

 ."ytpie zay iriayd meiae ux`d z`e minyd

that which He wished had come into existence = "ytpie"

"Guide": very end of I:67:   (`n) epx`a xake ,ytp on lrtp `id ytpie :fq :`  lk ly lrtl d`ivie evtg znlyd epipr didie ,oevxde dxhnd epiprye ytp.oipr `id dlrzi eil` qgia dxn`py ytp oexkf lke" :`n :`  epevx

ivtga epipr ,dyri iytpae iaal xy`k exn`a (hl) epl miiwy itk oevxd

.ipevxe

According to Ramban[43] and Rambam[44], the universe first existed in a state of non-form, with a potential for physical existence.

    Furthermore, as stated above  Ramban teaches that [45] Gd's word brought things into existence, while Gd's observation  gave full reality of concrete existence to the entities created previously only in Mind - and all this was an expression of the Free Will of Gd. [46]   [47]  

 

The Universe As Gd's Will

 

                The Divine Will is both the 'cause' of the existence of the universe, and also its 'ground of being'. If Gd actively Wills the universe to cease to exist, it of necessity automatically does so. Further, if it  is not Gd's Will that the universe exist, the universe has no ground of being, and does not exist.

                 We can speculate that there is a connection between the universe having been infused with free will  and that as an emanation of Divine Will, the universe itself is, in its essence, Will. 

 Man, although ostensibly a physical being, bears within him the 'breath' of Gd, and is created in the 'image' of Gd, in a universe created out of the Will of Gd;  it is fitting that seemingly-physical man can possess free will.

                 The universe emerged into existence as the actualization of Gd's Will.  The purpose of the creation involved the activity of a being infused with the Divine ability to employ free will. Fittingly it would be the emergence of free will in this being which would provide concrete reality to the universe created from Gd's Will[48].

                Perhaps therefore, it is the purpose of man to return the cosmos to its former state: To restore the exclusivity of the Divine Will  by  developing  one's own will to conform to the Divine Will - thus  realizing fully one's status of a being 'in the image of Gd'; to restore the Divine unity  by "cleaving unto Gd" "with all one's one's heart, with all one's soul, and with all one's might", by "walking in My ways"and by "being Holy as I [Gd] am Holy"[49].

                  [50]

 

.……………..


The Evolution of Life:

from Amoeba to Adam

 

                One of the most fascinating questions addressed by science is that of the origin of life, and more specifically, the origin of humanity.

                In addition to the interest of the question as part of a quest for theoretical understanding, there are practical dimensions as well. Certainly one would expect that the process whereby life and humankind arose left its traces in humanity, and that an understanding of this process would allow us greater understanding of self. Furthermore, an understanding of the process might allow us to simulate it and become creators on our own.

                The question of origins has indeed occupied great thinkers for millenia, and has culminated in the theory of origins presented by modern science, including genetics, radioactivity and its genetic effects, the idea of random mutations, selection of the fittest, paleontology, geology, anthropology etc.

 

Origin Theory, Creation, and the Emergence of Humanity

 

                One can claim that if correctly presented, the scientific origin theory cannot be untrue.

                The scientific origin theory is based on assumptions, observations and logical reasoning. Indeed scientific knowledge in general is not a list of facts, but rather a compendium of assumptions, observations, and the conclusions reached on the basis of these assumptions and observations. If the assumptions are untrue, or the observations inaccurate, or the logic faulty, then of course the conclusions may well be untrue.

                A scientific statement should perhaps really be formulated as follows: 'if the following assumptions are valid, and the following observations accurately represent the reality, and the logic is valid, then the conclusion is that....(and if these are not valid, then the conclusion may be invalid.)".

                When completely and precisely formulated in such a manner, any such scientific statement should be incapable of being untrue[51].

                Astronomical observations, calculations, assumptions and extrapolations have revealed that there is a pattern to the motions of the stars - they are all receding from each other. This, together with other data and certain assumptions has led to the conclusion that the large scale structure of the physical universe is dynamic, and that it was different in the distant past than it is now. Similarly, geological and paleontological discoveries have led to the conclusion that long ago the earth and its inhabitants were quite different than they are now.

                These conclusions lead to the further conclusion that the earth did not always exist, and that it did not always contain humans.

                If one assumes that humans are purely natural beings rather than possesing a soul, or perhaps even without free will or even true consciousness, and one adds the assumption that all events follow patterns - 'natural law' - then the conclusion from all these observations and assumptions is that humans arose via the actions of natural law alone.

                Given this conclusion, one naturally begins to seek the mechanism whereby this can occur within the framework of the operation of the laws of nature.

                The answer was found in the laws of probability, physics, and  genetics, and in logical reasoning. From probability, it is seen that given sufficient time and scope, almost anything physically possible can and will happen. In particular, given the conditions prevalent on earth long ago, atoms would eventually combine to form various types of combinations of atoms - molecules - and with enough time available self-replicating molecules will form[52].

                Common sense shows that non-viable molecules will produce fewer and less successful copies of themselves, and eventually the more viable will dominate. Due to the nature of quantum physics, and other mechanisms, some of these copies will be inexact. Most of these inexact copies will be nonviable, and will not produce copies, but a very few here and there will be even better than the original, more developed, more successful.

                 If one cuts out all the letters on the page of a book, and throws them repeatedly into the air, each time a different combination will result, the vast majority of these combinations being meaningless. However, eventually the original order will reappear. It may require a few billion years of throws, but it will eventually occur. Similarly, given sufficient time, throwing scrabble letters together will eventually result in a meaningful combination.

                Analogously, under the appropriate conditions and with sufficient time available, it is almost inevitable that beings with the physical qualities of humans would eventually emerge. 

                This is however not meant to imply that humans did necessarily emerge in this way, or that science even claims that they necessarily did. Rather, one can state that given the assumptions that humans did not always exist, that they arose according to the laws of nature, that self-replicating molecules arose naturally, that the laws of physics as we know them are accurate, that there was sufficient time, and so on, then humans would arise as a result of the operation of natural law.

                This formulation is then merely a matter of stating certain observations made on the universe about us, some assumptions about these and about the nature of reality, and certain conclusions based on these assumptions. It entirely sidesteps the question of whether or not some agency may have created the universe and perhaps designed natural law to achieve the result of human development, and the question of whether or not the assumptions are correct, and therefore whether the conclusions are in fact correct. Formulated in such a manner, the origin theory cannot be untrue, and therefore cannot conflict with anything.

                Even if it were the fact that the universe was created and designed by God, and that humans are the product of a special act of creation, it may nevertheless be the case that the universe was designed in such a way that even had such a special creation not taken place, nevertheless humans would eventually have arisen 'naturally'. If this is so, then one could say that although human origin was actually not via the mechanism of evolution, the theory of evolution is nevertheless in fact quite correct.           

                Furthermore, even if one maintains that humans possess a non-physical component which could not possibly arise through the action of natural law - such as a soul or perhaps even a consciousness or free will - nevertheless the theory of evolution could still be a correct description of how the physical aspect of a human being could arise naturally - a theory of the evolution of the body and brain rather than of the mind and soul.

 

            Emergence of Existence: Purpose and Chance

 

The Religionist view

 

As we mentioned in an earlier chapter, according to the religionist the universe and the laws of nature were designed so as to develop living beings, and were invested with whatever inherent properties and qualities are requisite in order to guarantee that intelligent life develop from it at some stage[53]. 

We drew the analogy between the growth of a tree and the emergence of consciousness. The combination of seed, earth, environment, and laws of nature together possess all the properties necessary for the development of a tree from the seed. Similarly the combination of singularity [54], space-time-energy-matter, big bang, and laws of nature would possess all the properties necessary for the development of free-willed consciousness from the  initial singularity.  [55]

  Further, we pointed out that if it was desired to created not merely a universe with life but rather a moral  universe, then there would be created a big bang and appropriate "natural law" containing the ingredients necessary to ensure[56] the eventual emergence of moral beings  [57] . [58]

 

Purpose vs. Chance

 

To the religionist, the origin theories could be studied as revelations of Gd's Will and  manifestations of Gd's Design. The conflict between the religionist and the atheist would center not on the origin theory itself, but rather on its interpretation - the essential issue being that of purpose vs. chance.

Atheists would claim that the universe and its life are products of chance; the fact that a singularity existed, that it developed into a big bang, that this evolved into a universe, that the universe evolved life in it, would not be accepted as being due to design - instead it would be considered as the result of chance.

                                Religionists, on the other hand, would claim that both the universe and life are the products of careful design and deliberate creation: the system of big bang and its concomitant natural law being specifically designed and created so as to produce moral beings.  Neither side would be able to refute the other since they agree on the observable facts and disagree only on the aspects which are not empirically confirmable. Thus, the religionist could maintain that man has a divine purpose in life, while the atheist would deny this[59].                               

                As illustrated by the anthropic principle, there are argument which can be put forward to butress support for the belief in a design to creation, and there are counterarguments employing opposite reasoning as applied to the identical data. The question of the underlying orign of life and existence in general does not seem answerable via the mechanism of publicly communicable unambiguous conclusions of rational thought. The conclusions reached - even the questions asked - will depend on opinions and beliefs which are formulated on evidence and sources of knowlege or understanding not accessible to scientific arbitration.

 

Conclusion

 

                From a perspective in which there is no objective meaning or purpose to existence other than that which life creates for itself, and which investigates only that which can be measured objectively, the answer to the question of the origin of life can be provided only by knowledge gained from the physical universe, by the evidence which can be measured and independently verified by others. From this perspective it is clear that the universe begins with a random big bang, and that life evolved by chance.

                From the perspective of quantum metaphysics, the existence of beings such as humans is indispensable to the existence of the universe itself, as the universe begins actual physical existence only upon the emergence of a moral being.

                From the perspective of the teleological anthropic principle and of the Bible, life is programmed into the universe - indeed the universe is designed to produce moral beings.

                From the perspective of a search for meaning and purpose, and an inquiry into the 'why' of existence, the questions addressed by science and the scientific method of obtaining answers may not be relevant. It is only relevant in that it is interesting to know what type of conclusions would be reached by different types of inquiry. However, the truly relevant questions and answers are those which address the fundamental questions of 'why' which science excludes from its purview, and which access sources of understanding which are outside the realm of acceptable sources which scientific inquiry has established for itself.

                Neither of these three perspectives can be proven by employing scientific means of analysis, inquiry, and proof, and the three are compatible in the sense that acceptance of all perspectives simultaneously leads to no physically measureable contradiction. Nevertheless, obviously accounts of the origin of life and of humanity which are written from the different perspectives will necessarily differ, and a comparison of these is meaningful only when the fundamental perspective underlying the various accounts is given appropriate consideration.

                The Biblical creation and Eden accounts are in this perspective not meant as substitutes for other approaches to the same subject - they instaed represent a particular perspaective on these issues - the perspactive of a document communicated to humanity by a creator of a purposive teleo-derived moral universe.

 



[1]The dates given below are rough approximations - new discoveries often cause significant revisions. They are only meant to give an idea of the progression - the exact timing is of no relevance here.

[2]The time-spans for geological and astronomical events are in the billions and millions of years and therefore because of the evolutionary theory and the theory of the big bang, many people tend to think in terms of billions of years. As a result it is surprising to them that our species, homo-sapiens-sapiens, evolved "only" 100,000 years ago, when life had begun already billions of years previously.

[3]   Intended only as a sample - no intent is made to compare the value of any one development to any other.

[4]    on cave walls in what are today Spain and France.

[5]The name of the ancient lawgiver Hammurabi can be related 'midrashically' to that of Abraham: HAM|UR|AB = AB|RA|HAM.      Indeed according to the midrash Abraham's name is an acronym for AV HAMon Goyim  ('father of many nations), leaving out an explanation for the 'r' part of his name. This 'r' in the name  can perhaps be a reference to Abraham's birth place, Ur: his name then deriving from: AV HAM of UR  = Av'r'ham = Avraham = HAM UR AV  = Hammurabi.

[6]The hypothesis that the emergence of moral man took place only 6,000 years ago is quite plausible.  In fact, the development of homo sapiens sapiens to moral man in only 70,000  years (approximately) was a remarkably quick process compared to the development during the millions of years before then.  It is almost miraculous that moral man is already 6,000 years old: one might have expected him to appear much later, not much earlier.

[7] The  amount of time which has passed since creation is of no importance to Jewish law, and is not of crucial importance to Biblical interpretation. Nevertheless, since the traditional age of 6,000 years agrees so well with our tracing of the cultural and moral development of man, we will make no attempt to justify a different age.

[8]Paganism is not always conducive to the idea of morality.  As far back as 6,000 years ago - 2,000 years before the introduction of the first monotheistic religion - mankind probably had only a potential for conceiving of the concept of "morality". 

The early pagan belief was essentially that many gods ruled the world and were themselves bound by their limited powers and by the constant strife between gods.  These gods were believed to be dependent on man's gifts and sacrifices, which could occasionally persuade them to perform favors to individual men or groups of men.

According to the early pagan conception of 5,500 years ago, the  gods ruled arbitrarily and were not bound by any rules of fair conduct, justice, kindness, etc. to man.  There were no rules given to man whereby he might achieve the immortality of life after death - no code of ethics to follow in his man-to-man dealings and no set code for man-to-god interaction. The idea that all men are equal, that one should love one's fellow man, that life has meaning, and that therefore the taking of life is bad, that there is some reason that man should be what we call "moral" - all these did not exist and thus neither did "moral" man. Man's body was formed millions of years ago, and his brain 100,000 years ago,  but his "soul" is only 6,000 years old.

[9]6,000 years does not seem like a long time for moral man to have been in existence. However, this is an illusion created by the overwhelming scientific and cultural stores of knowledge available today.  It surprises us to see how much we have achieved in so short a time.

[10] Monogenesis:  the doctrine that only one individual was created, and that the entire human race  descends from this one individual.

[11]  Weyl p299.

[12]   [Such mutations are exceedingly rare and would not occur twice in exactly the same way and thus it is quite certain that there was only one such mutation, and we are all descended from that one mutant[12].

      See also Appendix: "All Men are Brothers".]

[13]     See "In Search of Eve" by  Rebecca L. Cann  in "The Sciences":  Sept/Oct. 1987 and  "The Search for Adam and  Eve" "Newsweek" Jan 11, 1988. See also Appendix  at the end of this chapter.

[14]The creation and destruction is not necessarily total.  'Creation of worlds' may refer to major changes in existing entities, rather than creation where nothing was before, and 'destruction of worlds' may refer to major surgery rather than to total annihilation. See for example Rambam (“Guide”) regarding the hyperbolic language occaisionally employed by the prophets.

[15] [Rabbi I. Lifchitz] "Drush Or Ha'chaim", 3: about one third from the beginning: "mikol he'amur": found in  "Yakhin U'boaz" mishnayot, after Sanhedrin.

[16] See discussion in next chapter.

[17]     All mankind, and perhaps to a certain degree all living beings since they, as man, are called "ruakh" and "nefesh" in the Bible.

[18] This  equation of the age of the universe with the amount of time that moral beings have existed is not only in line with the emphasis in Genesis on moral history, but also stands in analogy to the possible implication in Genesis that the first moral being, and the universe, emerged only a few thousand years ago: Calculations of the chronologies provided in Genesis, when interpreted literally, and in conjunction with certain interpretations of the connection between the creation and Eden accounts, and of the creation account itself, have led to a figure of approximately 6,000 years for the elapsed time since the emergence of the universe and of the first moral being.

[19] See Joe Rosen  American Journal of Physics  INSERT SOURCE, quote.

[20] There are actually a few different types of 'time' defined in this context.

[21]  The whole point of free will is that there is no way for free willed decisions to be predicted or simulated (e.g. on a computer) since free will is beyond determinism or probability.  As a result, there is an absolute significance to the decision made at each juncture.

[22] and so we call the design of the moral stage the 'primary' rather than the 'initial' stage of creation..

[23] The first creation account can be e.g. related to  the construction of the blueprint, the Eden account related to the emergence of moral beings, and the 'second creation account' [Gen. 5: x - x]  related to the actual creation of the universe from the blueprint and the onset of full physical existence with the emergence of the first moral being.

[24] This is a type of 'uncertainty principle' which spreads the origin of the universe over all possible points of origin.

[25] The next 4 paragraphs were the "Conclusion" section of Ch:'Solipsism...Occam'. They were replaced by a different conclusion, to make the chapter fit in with the Mind/Body theme of that section rather than the inst un theme more appropriate in this section.

[26] According to our speculations, it is only free will which can bring forth the physical universe from the potentiality of the universe of the spiritual forms. Thus the universe cannot emerge into physical reality until the emergence of a moral being, just as is the case of quantum physics, as discussed earlier.

Both quantum metaphysics and the Kabballah therefore indicate that the universe would begin its true existence at the emergence of the first moral being - giving a creation scenario parallel to that portrayed in Genesis, and providing a thematic link between the creation and Eden accounts.

[27]      Technical caveat: Unless they were outside each other's light cone at creation.

[28]      Whether or not one can define a universal wave-function is a matter of debate.

[29]      Midrash Rabbah Gen. 1:2

[30] these words appear fter the conclusion of creation, and before the story of the onset of free-willed consciousness.

[31]       Zohar on "khokhma"

[32]          See Rambam Yesodei Torah 2:10 [last line]. "rceid-ed" dxez iceqi zekld

'HU HAYODEA...'ETC. = THOUGHT = KNOWLEDGE = COLLAPSE OF WAVE PACKET].

[33]      Ramban on Gen. 1:3

[34] In Ramban's words: ".. the bringing forth of things into actual existence is called 'amirah' [saying]. Thus: And Gd said 'let there be light'...The word 'saying' here indicates Will...And the permanence of things called forth is called 're'iyah'....The purport of the word "seeing" ["and Gd saw that it was good"] is thus to indicate that their continuing existence is at His Will .."

[35] The final act of bringing the universe into physical reality was the act of observation, and free willed choice of Gd. [Ramban: "it was good" - implying that otherwise, Gd would not have let it remain in existence. That is, Gd decided freely to have it continue to exist - with the concept of free willed choice related here to the concept of 'good'.]

[36](that is why dkld (edut) can change ze`ivn(metziut)) INSERT HEBREW SOURCE

[37] `le mlerd `xapy mcew ze`xaidl ehnewy zexec rax`e miraye ze`n."e`xapmcew mlerd on xiardy zexec (974) c"rwzz lr :ehnew xy` lr :i"yx crl iphnwze" oeyl ,ze`xaidl exfbp ;ze`xaidl ehnew ;o`xa `le dxez ozn .(fh aei`) "did dn miiwl ,dxez ozn mcew zeidl ze`xaidl mdil` xfbp :mlerd `xapy mcew seql ozpdl dxez dzid diie`x ,(dw milidz) "xec sl`l dev xac" xn`py  seql dpzpe ,ocxhe cnr ,dxez `la miiwzn mlerd oi`y d`xyke - xec sl` 1000-n 974 exqgy ixd)  .epax dyn cr oey`xd mc`n = zexec e"k

([:gt zay i"yx]i"yx] A reference to the idea of an instant universe in classical Jewish sources is the idea that 974 generations of men preceded Adam (Gr 10:10) but that these generations were created only in thought [ (Chagiga 13B. Rashi's commentary).  (see Note #3).R. Bakhya[Bekhayeh] on Gen I:3 (very end) says they were wiped out in thought  ,which means they had been created  in thought.

[38]self knowledge= self referential:  knowledge = observing = collapse of wave packe:"Mekhadesh ha'briya.." = by constant observation, Gd collapses the universal wave packet [if such can be defined].

[39]   Zohar: Exodus 20a :#359: commentary on: "and Moses shepherded Yithro's sheep".

[40]    See Ramkhal [Luzatto] "The Way of Gd" ["Derekh Hashem"].

[41]  In the word of R. Aryeh Kaplan[41]:  "Man's thoughts and the information in his mind are therefore considered part of the physical world, see Yad, T'shuvah 8:3.  The universe ..... of the Forces is Beriyah (Creation).  Besides meaning Force, the word Koach also means "potential".....Concepts are conceived potentially among the Forces, and then translated into action..... The Kabbalists therefore speak of the world of the Forces as the universe of thought....."

[42]      Genesis Rabbah 19:6,

[43]  Commentary on Genesis I:1. (?)

[44]  "Guide" : II:26

[45]      Ramban on Gen. 1:3

[46]       Zohar: Bereisheet 29a [p.111 eng.], and 29b [p112 english].

[47]And according to the Zohar, Gd created the universe from thought:

"having decided to create the universe, Gd traced and built, but the aim was not attained until Gd enfolded Himself in a covering of a supernal radiance of thought and created therefrom a universe.

"in the beginning Gd created" = "bereisheet Gd created", but "bereisheet " = "bekhokhma", that is, "in Wisdom". Therefore, one reads "In Wisdom Gd created.."

  Ohr and Shefa: 'Ohr' is the term used for the 'shefa' - sustaining abundance, plenitude - which comes down to the universe from Gd. It is the Will of Gd as it manifests itself in the physical universe. [therefore it is  also Nature] Therefore "vayehi ohr" [according to Gra] = retroactive expression of Will of Gd.

[48]This is yet another connection between the creation, free will, consciousness, self-reference, and self-causation.  [and reflexivity]

[49]    [ "ve'dovak be'ishto' : 've'atem ha'dvekim b'hashem..' : 'vehayu lebasar ekhad'?

[50] It was Gd's will that a universe be created. The universe emerged into existence. As soon as the universe existed, there would probably not also exist the Divine Will to create the universe. Similarly, as long as it was the Divine Will to create a universe, it must have been that the universe was not existent. Thus, the Divine Will to create the universe does not coexist with the universe itself. One can then perhaps say that it was the Divine Will itself which was transformed into the existence of the universe: thus, the universe is an 'emanation' of Gd.

[51] One of the most difficult part in formulating such a statement is in recognizing all the assumptions that are inherent in the situation. For example it was clear to the ancient Greeks and later mathematicians that parallel lines never meet. However, two thousand years later it was realized that this assumed that space is flat rather than curved - the fact that space could be curved was not realized until then.

[52] For an explanation of how this can be possible, see a text on molecular biology.

[53] The belief that life could arise via natural processes in a created universe is not contrary to religious belief at all: for example, many religious leaders believed in spontaneous generation without this seeming to them to be counter to their religious beliefs. [See chapter 3]. Thus the religionist believes that Gd created the universe, and studies the laws of nature  as reflections of how the Divine Will operates.

 

[54]     The universe 'began' as a 'point' - a singularity - and exploded in a 'big bang' to form the universe as we know it.

[55] Even if free-willed consciousness is a holistic emergent phenomenon, science would still assume that such a phenomenon would arise only under very specific conditions, and that these conditions would themselves arise as a result of a chain of cuause-effect stretching from the the initial conditions of the universe.

[56]    Problems raised by quantum indeterminacy are dealt with later.

[57]     Ramban states that Gd gave the waters the power to bring forth "a living soul" - that is, life. See also Midrash Gen.R. 8:1 on Gen. 1:26 ['let us make man'] and see ref. to Midrash Thilim "and the spirit of Gd hovered" , this is the spirit of Adam. Also see Gen. R. 17:1 which states that 'the spirit of Gd hovered' represents onr of the ten ma'amarim (essential creative acts).

 We can thus understand the passage "and Gd breathed into man  'nishmas khayim' " as implying a potentiality placed in the creation [see e.g. the Midrash regarding the creations created at dusk on the sixth day] which would be activated when a potential moral being emerged, or we can understand it as meaning a special Divine intervention at the time of the emergence of such a being.

 Therefore for those who might insist that free willed consciouusness can be achieved only via Divine bestowal,  in the text above    read: "Gd could certainly ensure the emergence of  a being capable of serving as a vessel for the Divine gift of free willed consciousness." 

According to Rambam ["Guide" II:6], any act of Gd - any means by which Gd's Will is carried out in the physical universe - is termed an 'angel'. Since the laws of nature were created by Gd, according to Rambam the category 'angel' includes natural forces such as the elements, and the formative power in a seed. Thus, when it is said that Gd Willed a certain event or process to take place, what is meant is that it occurred via an angel -  for example by the action of 'the laws of nature'.

Therefore, to say that Gd Willed that Man possess a consciousness, or a free-willed consciousness, is to say that Gd gave these properties to Man via an angel, or equivalently, via the workings of 'natural law'.

[58] Consciousness can be a property of all fundamental particles, since all is derived from God. It can be inherent in the universe to be activated by a compex brain, or it can evolve at a certain point, corresponding to "and God breathed into man the soul of life".

[59] The Genesis-Science Conflict for the Biblical Religionist

 

The actual conflict between religion and the scientific origin theories actually arise only when the religious beliefs involve belief in specific mechanisms and dates for the creation of the universe and the emergence of life.  The Biblical creation account describes creation as taking place in six days, in a specific manner, culminating in the special creation of man - and all this about 6,000 years ago.  This of course seems to violently clash with the details and overall mechanism of both the theory of the big bang, and the theory of evolution.   

The Biblical religionist can - like the non-biblical religionist - legitimately reject the philosophical interpretation of the origin theory.  He can also accept some of the basic scientific ideas of the origin theory as valid. However, it would seem that  the Biblical religionist - unlike the non-biblical religionist - cannot accept the specifics and details, and must  therefore reject the theory as a whole.

 


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