Since the creation of Adam and Eve — according to the Bible, or the evolution of humans, if you prefer Darwin — it seems humankind has been hurling itself towards self-annihilation and the destruction of the planet. Creationists would say that goes back 6,000 years. According to scientists, it’s more like 2-3 million years ago, but it appears the pace has picked up dramatically in the last few hundred years.
Where can we turn to save ourselves and the earth from ourselves? Could a coalition of religion and science lead the way out of our dilemma?
What if they could work together towards a truer understanding of who we are, where we came from, and why we are so torn between destructive behavior and the need to live together in peace and harmony?
An area that clearly needs new understanding and attention, if we are to “save” ourselves, is the creation myths of various religions and early cultures throughout history. They could use some updating.
A good example is the Judeo-Christian creation story in the Bible. God makes Man, and then decides Man shouldn’t be alone, so one night, when Man is sleeping, God opens him up, removes a rib, and makes for him a mate — Eve. They are told not to eat the forbidden fruit, but she is tempted by Lucifer, eats it and gives some to Adam. They are kicked out of the Garden, and told they and their descendants will have to work for a living for the rest of their lives.
Perhaps science can contribute to our common understanding of what this story means, and what really happened in the Garden. It might give us some clues as to how to control our wild, destructive nature.
Science has been trying to shed light on the origin of our species through years of painstaking research and investigation by paleoanthropologists, geologists, archaeologists, and others. This is the story of human evolution.
Religion fiercely resisted at first. But in time most major religions have accepted the scientific theory by adding that God is the force behind evolution.
Today, only a small group of religious fundamentalists cling to creationism — a “literal” understanding of the story in Genesis that God made everything, including humans, whole and complete in one fell swoop in just six days.
Human Evolution from 10 million to 30,000 years ago
Let’s take a closer look at how humans actually developed over thousands and even millions of years. Hopefully it will inform our understanding of how God created us as well as why we are such a conflicted species. An interesting quote from the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, shows how far back God might have been preparing the evolution of humans.
“It was about 250 million years ago that God created these huge animals [dinosaurs] but this was the foundation needed to create human beings.”
(“God’s Day Address,” Sun Myung Moon, Punta del Este, Uruguay, January 1, 1999)
The evolution of Hominids refers to the scientific classification for the Family of apes, which includes humans. Hominin is the sub-group or tribe of humans and other related species that diverged from chimpanzees between 7 to 10 million years ago, according to DNA evidence.
Paleoanthropologists study the fossilized bones, stone tools, and geology and climate of ancient times in their quest to piece together the puzzle of human evolution. Not long ago, scientists were said to be looking for the “missing link” between apes and humans. After much research, discovery and dating of fossil remains — primarily in Africa — they now believe they have a rather comprehensive timeline of the ancestry of humankind going back to species which descended from the apes.
Much of the study of human evolution focuses on the dramatic changes in the anatomy of the various discovered species. Some of the key characteristics looked for are the changes in leg and foot bones that allowed newer species to be able to become bipedal or walking on two feet. Another is the transformation of the hands with the formation of a thumb that would give humans the ability to hold objects and make tools (try to pick something up or fix something without using your thumb and you will immediately understand how crucial that was).
Other indicators of human evolution are increased braincase, and changes in the jaw and teeth of early ancestors. Over time, they have changed as humans’ diet changed. Scientists also believe that it could have been as early as two million years ago that the larynx in early hominins began to develop, which would eventually give humans the ability to talk, together with advances in cognitive abilities to create language.
These early humans were given names such as Australopithecus anamensis (4.2-3.9 million years ago, or mya); Australopithecus afarensis (3.7-3.0 mya) and Paranthropus boisei (2.3-1.4 mya). Through reconstructing their fossilized bones, scientists determined that all these species walked upright, made tools and had diets of fruit, nuts, plants, and meat. The famous fossil remains dubbed “Lucy” was an Australopithecus afarensis. She was a very significant discovery, as it was believed that this species was a direct ancestor of the genus Homo, which is the family of humans, yet still more closely related to the apes. The find was made in 1973 by American anthropologist Donald C. Johanson in Ethiopia.
“Lucy” skeleton (rear) with model discovered in Ethiopia in 1974.
In 1961, renowned British paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey discovered the more advanced tools and fossil bones of a new species in the Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, which he named Homo Habilis of 2.4-1.6 mya. Scientists say this species descends from Australopithecus, and is the closest ancestor of our genus Homo. In a sense, he could be considered the missing link between apes and humans.
Homo Habilis was nicknamed “Handy Man,” because of the variety of stone tools found with his bones. Scientists say that differences in his teeth and jaw from Australopithecus indicate that he he ate more meat. His body was strong, but lightly built, and more resembling Homo Sapiens than the earlier ape-like species.
Hominins continued to evolve, and scientists continued to discover newer and more advanced species, such as Homo Erectus, 1.8-30,000 ya, who are thought to be the first to use fire around a million years ago.
Between 600,000-450,000 years ago, the species Homo Heidelbergensis — believed to be descendant from Homo Erectus — lived in Africa and migrated to Europe and is considered the direct ancestor of both Homo Neanderthalsis, 430,000-40,000 ya in Europe, and Early Modern Humans, 300,000 ya (Homo Sapiens) in Africa. Homo Heidelbergensis had large brains, strong muscular bodies, and hunted very large herd animals with quite complex stone toolkits. They are the first to make spears.
Homo Neanderthalsis lived primarily in Europe. They were semi-nomadic, following the herd animals, and lived in caves. They were generally shorter than us, but much more solid and muscular. Their life was quite challenging, as they lived in the middle of the Ice Age. They were supreme hunter-gatherers of the Stone Age peoples, dieting on a variety of meat, plants, marine fish, and shellfish. They may also have engaged in symbolic “burials.”
In a wave of migrations out of Africa, scientists say modern humans arrived in the Middle East along the Mediterranean Sea sometime between 90,000-70,000 years ago, and permanently settled there perhaps 50,000 years ago. It is at this time, too, that scientists believed humans developed a spoken language and practiced ritual burials.
This was around the time of the Cro-Magnon peoples, some 40,000 years ago. They were even more highly skilled at hunting than the Neanderthal. They invented the bow and arrow; the sewing needle for making the first real clothes, and many other stone and wooden tools that made them well-adapted to their environment.
The following quote from Rev. Moon’s early disciple, Rev. Young Whi Kim, offers a glimpse from a religious point of view of how God was working in nature to prepare humankind for our role in His creation. Interestingly, it seems to coincide with the scientists’ timeline for the completion of the evolution of Hominins from Homo Habilis to Cro-Magnon:
“Scientists have studied the universe and discovered that the oldest stars are some 12 billion years old, so this means that the universe and God are 12 billion years old.
Then how old is the earth? Scientists say it is about 4.5 billion years old. And how old are Adam and Eve? . . .Scientists have worked hard to find out when man came into existence. Of course there is no accurate record, but most scientists assume that a being similar to man existed about 2 million years ago and that modern man first came into existence about 30 thousand years ago. So Adam and Eve are about 30 thousand years old.”
(January 27, 1985, “The Source of Our Happiness (To Blessed Couples)”)
We understand evolutionary theory in terms of genetic mutations developing in a species, and through the unconscious process of natural selection in nature, mutations that are adaptable to the species’ environment will survive, and those that aren’t will not. In this way, a species changes over time, and new species are created.
Nature provides for all species food, clothing (outer skin, hide, hair, fur, feathers, fish scales, etc.) and shelter for raising young and for protection from the elements. Therefore, according to evolutionary theory, for any species to survive, it must adhere to Nature’s rules: Eat the food Nature provides each species with its particular digestive system; wear the “clothes” Nature provides; and use the shelter provided by Nature, according to the adaptability Nature selected for each species.
But in a very strange “quirk of Nature,” early Hominins decided to do it their own way, seeking food (meat) that their bodies weren’t readily adapted to killing, cutting up, chewing or digesting. So they had to figure out how to make tools to kill and cut up meat, and dry it over hot rocks to make it digestible. Then over time, an odd thing began to happen which seems contrary to natural selection and adaptability to the environment. Early hominins began to lose their hairy, thick-skinned bodies and were becoming, as we would say today, naked. In this state, they were compelled over time to learn how to make clothes. Did God intervene in His own process of natural selection with the goal of instilling in hominins the capability of making tools to make clothes, thus bypassing Nature?
Next, instead of being obedient to Nature and being content with adapting to their African environment, they migrated all over the world — even during the harsh Ice Age. Humans weren’t able to live outdoors in all these different environments without adequate clothes and shelter, which nature no longer automatically provided them. So on their own, they adapted by living in caves until they learned how to make houses.
In other words, some force contrary to natural selection seems to have been working to lift humans in our evolutionary journey right out of the domain of Nature — against the process of evolution followed by all other species on earth — to the point that humans could decide to live in any environment on earth, and self-adapt in ways of their own choosing, ignoring the natural selection process of Nature.
I believe this force was God, slowly modifying the genetics, anatomy and consciousness of Hominins for millions of years with the goal of finally removing humans from the controls of Nature, so that what God declared in Genesis 1:28 could be realized:
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
But this was going to prove to be a proposition filled with great risks. Would they become good or bad lords of the Creation?
Adam and Eve in the “Garden of Eden”
We now arrive in our discussion of human evolution and the biblical creation story at that critical crossroad in human history — the birth of Adam and Eve. It is the final stage of the evolution of humans from the earliest hominins millions of years ago, to Early Modern Man or anatomically modern humans, who migrated out of Africa and settled in the Middle East. It is also the final development of the physical body of humans, which at the time of Adam and Eve needed to be infused with an eternal spirit, to make Early Modern Man fully human in God’s eyes.
We can imagine a place somewhere in the Middle East such as present-day Turkey, where a tribe of Early Modern Humans were living along the banks of a river. A woman is about to give birth to a baby boy. God intervenes and puts an eternal spirit into the baby, and Adam is born. At a later date, another woman is giving birth to a baby girl — God intervenes again, and Eve is born.
Adam and Eve were uniquely different from their parents and the human Stone Age tribe to which they belonged. They were fully human in that they received eternal spirits that would allow them to communicate with God, the angelic world, and become the bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds, and transition into the spiritual world after their deaths. They were to be the Lords of Creation. We can speculate that until their birth, no other Hominin had an eternal spirit, nor did any enter the spiritual world after death.
But sadly, God’s hope, and humankind’s long arduous journey to arrive at this crucial time in our history ended in failure. Adam and Eve, torn between their Stone Age culture, God’s commandment and Lucifer’s evil interference, were unable to open up a new world of love and peace both for themselves, their descendants, for God, and for the whole of creation.
The following quote from Rev. Moon illustrates the awful consequences of Adam and Eve’s inability to fulfill God’s dream:
“Perfected Adam and Eve would have communicated directly with God using their five spiritual senses, and at the same time, they would have freely worked with the creation using their five physical senses. They would have lived as true masters, true parents, and true kings representing both the spiritual and physical worlds.
But, with the fall of the first human ancestors, all humanity descended into a hopeless hell from which they could not escape by their efforts alone. Their five spiritual senses became completely paralyzed. They fell into a state similar to that of a blind man whose eyes only appear to be normal to an observer but do not function at all. Forced to live with just their five physical senses, they became only half human. They could not see God. They could not hear His voice or feel His touch. So how could they experience His love as their own Parent or understand His suffering heart?”
(Sun Myung Moon, “The Messiah and True Parents,” Seoul, Korea, January 27, 2004)
If we go back to Genesis, we can see that some reconstruction is needed to the biblical story written around 1450-1410 BC. That’s nearly 3,500 years ago, in a time when people had very little if any real factual knowledge of past history apart from oral tradition, or any scientific knowledge.
Mammoth-hunting in a swamp.
More or less 30,000 years ago would put Adam and Eve’s birth in the middle of an Early Modern Human tribe, perhaps Cro-Magnon. The daily lives of these people was both hard and dangerous. Their lifespan was about 30 years. Children must have been taught at an early age to help in the vital chores that their survival depended upon. The men went on hunting parties and probably brought boys as young as 10 to learn to hunt. The prey were very large and dangerous — animals such as mammoth, bear, elk, buffalo, wild ox, as well as reindeer. As they hunted, they also had to be on the lookout for lions, tigers, wolves, and other predatory animals that roamed the Middle East and Europe in that era, and who were their competition.
Back at camp, the girls must have been helping the women make clothes, cook, etc. By the time they reached puberty, boys and girls were most likely mating and starting new families. The very survival of the tribe depended upon a minimum number of families banded together to share the work and keep themselves fed, clothed and protected.
In this kind of environment, Adam and Eve were born and lived. By no means was it paradise on earth. If God and the angels were communicating with them since childhood, it very likely could have been in a way that conflicted with the lifestyle of the tribe. They must have been under great pressure to play their parts in the life of the tribe, but also comply with God’s wishes, and especially his commandment, “Don’t eat the fruit.”
With the wisdom and knowledge brought to us by the intense and hard work of paleoanthropologists, we can now speculate as to the real nature and risk of God’s efforts to create “man in his image” so that we could inherit the awesome responsibility of becoming the caretakers of the whole cosmos — both the physical and the spiritual worlds.
Only God knows the reasoning behind His decision to develop humankind in the way He did, placing us in a wild and dangerous environment, among predatory animals. It created in early humans a desire to become like them, craving meat, learning to kill, to thirst for blood, and become territorial and extremely aggressive. It might be that God knew that humans needed the special kind of nutrition in meat to stimulate thought and creativity in the brain, and for the changes He required in the human body to give us the dexterity necessary to make tools.
Another reason might be that God knew it would take enormous drive and aggressiveness for humankind to “subdue” the earth and have “dominion” over the creation. Early hominins gained those qualities and they were inherited by their descendants. God’s hope might have been that these animalistic, aggressive traits would have later been tempered by Adam and Eve coming into contact with God’s love as their spiritual senses opened.
It was a great gamble on God’s part, because if Adam and Eve were to fail, they would doom humankind to descending into a life where they were “half-human,” chained to the physical world and its material, predatory instincts, in a manner that made us more cruel than wild animals. That animal instinct is so strong in humankind that for thousands of years, right up to the present, autocratic leaders of nations have acted much like predatory animals, ready to pounce on another nation that it sees infringing on its territory; ready to go to war to protect its possessions; even feeling justified in conquering the territory of weaker nations and enslaving its people. It is relentless and never-ending.
Religion and science have the knowledge and stature to bring humankind to a realization that we belong not to just this earthly realm, but to both the physical and spiritual worlds. As astronomers and astrophysicists investigate black holes in the universe, they are already peering into the spiritual world but don’t quite recognize what they are looking at. Religion can help them understand and broadcast to the world that we are eternal beings.
Religious leaders have been focused perhaps too much on salvation and the afterlife and need the wisdom of science to remind them that God has given us the responsibility of loving and caring for each other while we’re on earth, as well as taking care of our planet.
We need a new, more realistic creation story to help us better understand ourselves, coupled with a realization that we are the bridge between two worlds and must re-envision our purpose while on earth, while looking forward to eternity in heaven.
This realization must be considered as or more important than economic growth, political partisanship, blind greed for material wealth, or the adherence to religious doctrines that promise rewards in heaven.
Just maybe, science and religion can guide us and our higher instincts to truly meet God, open our spiritual senses and become “fully human.” Then we can finally fulfill the dream of a world of peace and love for God, humankind and our planet.♦
Henry Christopher (UTS Class of 1980 and 2006) worked at the Washington Times as a graphic artist from 1982-2002. He spent two years in Seoul, Korea, as director of the GOP program for Western second generation teenagers of the Unification Church. Upon returning to the U.S., he became UTS Admissions Director in 2004, and opened a Community Relations office to create a working relationship with the residents in the hamlet of Barrytown and Town of Red Hook in New York. Presently, he is UTS Financial Aid Director and oversees the affairs of international students studying at UTS in the U.S.
Photo at top: Depiction of Homo Habilis tribe hunting big game animal.
This is a good example of a serious searcher integrating both received religious and scientific knowledge. The idea of becoming a co-creator, not limited to the “laws of the jungle,” is what enables civilization to arise. Instead of hunting and gathering, or killing and stealing, to provide sustenance. Farming and industry enable human beings to live without depleting the earth’s resources. Unfortunately, we are still evolving as a species, and current wars and political corruption indicate that a large portion of society has not embodied the consciousness of civilization. “Fallen nature” is self-centered animal behavior rooted in survival instincts that need to be “socialized and civilized” by true parenting.
We are at a point in the evolution of the species where production and the Ten Commandments at the basis of civilization have spawned a complex set of social institutions, but today we witness people using those institutions like hunter-gatherers — stealing their resources or using their power for taking things from individuals. The US founders were highly advanced in their desire to create a framework for productive self-sufficient people to prosper. On the other hand, Marxism-Leninism was a form of “hunter-gather” consciousness betrayed by the slogan “seize the means of production.” The fact that so many people resonate with this appeal shows how powerful those natural survival instincts are when people are insecure and lack self-sufficiency as individuals or societies.
The next stage is to develop “anti-virus” protected social institutions that cannot be hijacked by hunter-gatherers but are led by skilled producers and problem solvers. The US Founders reflected a great deal of this consciousness, enabling civilization to grow by attempting to remove fallen nature — or hunter-gatherers — from the institutions of governance and replacing them with co-creators. We need to go beyond what they did and apply co-creatorship not only to governance but to all social institutions.
Thank you for this, Henry. It really does sum up the essence of what it means to be human and how we got to ‘today’ and what our destiny is, or should be, regardless of our approach, be that ‘spiritual’ or ‘scientific’.
I would love a follow up on the black hole piece and some insights into why that is a ‘portal’ to spirit world. Some popular science fiction, especially movies such as ‘Interstellar’ seem to nod in that direction and the idea that time and space can somehow be traversed or transcended by love or spirit, at least that is my very basic comprehension of it. But it has never been definitively explained to or understood by me, as I guess, science speaks one language and religion another … and maybe without being fluent in both, one is always in the dark.
It’s not easy for the layman or ordinary person to get a true ‘handle’ on these themes in my opinion. I wonder does UTS or any other academy offer any new courses that deal with this area or is it well-covered in existing Theological/Philosophical modules somewhere?
Thanks for your comments. I think we all are laymen/women in this area of science and religion but it is fascinating, and I think Hollywood and other media often dare to see a little further into this vast unknown space. I am definitely in favor of UTS adding some courses to study and discuss the possibilities of bridging science and religion.
Thank you for starting the conversation, Henry. I like the speculative adaption of the Adam and Eve story to emotionally bridge the gap between evolutionary science and religion. I agree that we need both areas to work together for the sake of the planet, and this is the type of piece that can help stimulate that.
For me there is a deeper issue between the two areas that needs to be resolved before they can actually work together. That concerns the nature of spirit. The central issue I see between science and [Western] religion is the nature of spirit. Conflict over evolution is most likely a consequence of this more fundamental division. Our inherited concept of spirit cannot, even in principle, be investigated experimentally. Therefore science is unable to address it in any way, leaving an unbridgeable divide.
As Unificationists, we are called to a substantial unity between science and religion. We intuitively grasp that helping the planet emerges from this unity of the two areas, but we have not investigated this unity based on our own thought. Rather we look to other thought for a solution. Personally, I have found that the ontology of Divine Principle provides a basis for unification not found elsewhere, and I would hope that we could begin to seriously study this aspect of Divine Principle.
David, thanks for your comments.
I wish I had some training in scientific methods, but I have a great interest in it and how science can make some breakthrough in the “conflict” between the nature of spirit and scientific investigation. There are some areas I see on the frontiers of science that are begging for a bridge into the spiritual world, such as Einstein’s efforts to find a unified theory of everything; the research of astrophysicists into black holes, suggesting that they are gateways to alternate universes, and the puzzles of quantum theory that say sub-atomic particles seem to be in more than one place at the same time. Don’t you think Einstein was on the right track, and there must be a scientific method that is valid for all that phenomena? There must be a “scientific method” in the spiritual world that scientists — like Einstein — are now using to discover how their world functions!
Yes, science is fascinating, and beautiful, and opens our mind to many possibilities. We see possibilities for coming together, and as religious people we want science to work seamlessly with our faith. The problem for me is that those concerned with unification generally accept their religious explanation without question and look to science to change. Yet looking to science for the solution is, for me, looking in the wrong direction.
Divine Principle comes as a new religious truth, not a new scientific truth, and an aspect of our faith is that this new truth will bring unification between science and religion. In other words the solution to the problem of science and religion does not lie in science, but in Divine Principle itself.
Divine Principle points us in a direction that is very hard for religious people to take. It tells us that it is our religious explanation that needs to change first in order to be consistent with experimentally supported science. Generally religious people resist doing this (see your article) and existing approaches to unification do not take this path. I believe that we have been coming at the problem backwards.
Regarding the roles of, and relationship between religion and science, I like the tone Divine Principle takes in the Introduction:
“Religion and science, each in their own spheres, have been the methods of searching for truth in order to conquer ignorance and attain knowledge. Eventually, the way of religion and science should be integrated and their problems resolved in one united undertaking; the two aspects of truth, internal and external, should develop in full consonance. Only then, completely liberated from ignorance and living solely in goodness in accord with the desires of the original mind, will we enjoy eternal happiness.”
Neither science alone, nor religion —- even DP -— can do the job without the other. It is very interesting that Einstein couldn’t come up with a theory of everything, or the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics haven’t been able to be integrated. I think the reason is that as Rev. Moon points out, humankind became “half-human” as a result of the Fall, and that we lost our spiritual senses and could only operate in the physical world with only our five physical senses. That may hold the clue to how science and religion can work together to help explain both the physical and spiritual worlds.
Science actually has stopped short of fulfilling its mission because half-humans can’t create a science that explains matter and energy in relationship to both the physical and spiritual realms. Science needs religion or spiritual people with their five spiritual senses open to help fill the gap between the theories of the macro and micro aspects of the universe and find out what may be on the other side of black holes -— the spiritual world.
Then religion can go beyond preaching to “just believe,” but can use the new science and the development of everyone’s spiritual senses to explain and show us the full reality of both worlds. (After writing this I laughed, because it sounds like a sci-fi movie!)
Yes, I like the introduction to Divine Principle too, and I agree that a major problem is that our spiritual senses are not open so we do not routinely perceive the spirit world. I know it sounds like science fiction, but it is correct. Ultimate healing of the world involves establishing cooperation between the spiritual and physical worlds (including angels). Healing environmental issues in particular I believe will take cooperation with the angelic realms. However, I don’t think science has stopped short of its mission. Here is where I see the contribution of Divine Principle to lie.
In the scientific method the bottom line is experiment. It is experiment that makes scientific knowledge different from, and more reliable than, any other form of human knowledge. Experiment also limits science to the natural world, and science is necessarily naturalistic. This naturalism is quite proper for science. Without it, it would no longer be science.
Now, when we think of spirit world we generally think of something that is supernatural. Where super in this context means above or beyond. The meaning is similar to the meaning of meta in metaphysics, which means beyond physics. So a supernatural spirit world is something that is beyond natural. This automatically sets it beyond the scope of scientific explanation too.
Divine Principle brings a new religious truth. In its foundational ontology I see the basis for a fully natural explanation of spirit world that does not require any new scientific theory. That is, it offers the possibility of a radically new perspective on spirit. One that is compatible with existing science. Further a natural, rather than supernatural, spirit world moves religious thought into the realm that science can address. This, for me, is the path to unity that Divine Principle opens.
This is indeed very exciting. I think I am basically saying the same sort of thing as you, but perhaps not in a proper scientific manner. If there had been no Fall, and we were “fully human” with the ability to naturally live and communicate in both the physical and spiritual worlds, then there would be no metaphysical or supernatural distinctions. Everything would be natural for us in both worlds.
Logically, it seems that there would be a science of the spiritual world to explain that reality, and that would somehow mesh with the science of the physical world, so that Einstein could have his theory of everything. I wrote a piece in the AU Blog a few years ago called “A Layman’s Cosmology: Speculation on the Origin of Existence and God.” In it, I quote Rev. Moon when he said that God was born from one seed of love. I took that to mean that the “stuff” that makes up existence, that is eternal, are pre-Big Bang atoms made of + and – parts that contain all the fundamental elements of God and the cosmos, ie., internal and external, male and female, time and space, energy and matter, etc. Something like this would connect everything in both realms, and allow for -— I would hope -— a seamless science that would explain the reality of both worlds — of everything! That could be the basis of the unity of science and religion. Now that’s some real sci-fi!
Yes, that is pretty much it. Everything is natural in both worlds, and we should experience both. That is where I think we are going. I just hope we get there in time.
I found the essay interesting and thrilling. I have to say that I found it more convincing for the questions it raises than for the answers it provides.
Generally, people writing on a possible “convergence of science and religion” raise the two following questions:
– Can scientific knowledge and holy scriptures converge on some explanations of phenomena?
– How could they work together, on which grounds?
Here the author comes up with a different approach, he addresses the “why?” and the “what for?”
According to Henry Christopher, the question is why science and religion should work together, and what for? His anwer is mostly to help us suffer less and live a better life (be more happy). I agree.
1. This is perfectly in line with the General Introduction of Exposition of the Divine Principle, pp. 1-7: science and religion both have appeared to dispel our ignorance. There is internal ignorance, as well as external ignorance etc …
2. Therefore, internal seekers (spiritual leaders) as well as external seekers (scientists, explorers or inventors) should be seen as the most influential people in human history. Actually, according to Michael Hart, it is exactly the case. In his ranking of the 100 most influential people of all time (1992), Hart suggests that the top 10 is equally occupied by 5 internal seekers and 5 external seekers:
2. Isaac Newton
3. Jesus Christ
6. Apostle Paul
7. Ts’ai Lun (Cai Lun)
8. Johann Gutenberg
9. Christopher Columbus
10. Albert Einstein
Whether we agree or not with details of Hart’s ranking (OMG, Jesus is only number 3?!) this view is perfectly in line with the core idea of the Introduction of the Divine Principle expounded above.
Before entering more detailed discussions, I would say, however, that after my 47 years of Unificationism, I have not fundamentally repudiated Kant’s warning. I was often told that Kant was wrong, and that we can prove the existence of God through the Principle. I have listened to all arguments, but I have found out that very few Unificationists have really studied the devastating arguments of Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason (ontological argument, cosmological argument). When I met Dr. Sang Hun Lee, I had the impression that he agreed with Kant but could not declare it officially in the present state of immature philosophical culture in our movement.
As we all know, Kant was a man of science and of reason. Besides, he was a devout Christian, a God-fearing man. He is certainly the most Abel-type thinker of all time, and so much of Unification Thought bears heavy, and indeed good influence from Kant (I rejoice). Kant is the best antidote to Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Sartre, Heidegger, and all the dialecticians and atheists of modern times. Kierkegaard is respectable, but did not understand Kant.
One of Kant’s most famous statements was, “I have found it necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith.” Anyone who does not know Kant may think that this is completely stupid. Actually, it is very wise and is consistent with the Bible: the Bible is not a book to prove God’s existence, it is a book about God’s activity.
A blood test absolutely proves that I am the son of my biological father. It does not say anything about our relation as two persons. A father is ontologically very different from a genitor.
The Bible assumes the common sense intuition that a Creator exists, and testifies about His acitivities through revelations. It is a holy book, not a treatise of philosophy. Our Divine Principle, therefore, does not try to prove that Adam and Eve, or Lucifer, or Noah … existed. It would be a waste of time. Forever, I think.
The question is not to know whether God exists or not, but who He is for us.
With these reservations, I am open to any discussion about a possible congruence between religion and science but fundamentally skeptical about its usefulness. Even in the ideal world, it will not change, I believe.
Laurent, you bring in Unification Thought. This brings up a whole host of other issues. The most significant one is that the fundamental ontology of Unification Thought and Divine Principle are not the same. Consequently, though being related, they are two distinct and fundamentally different thoughts.
Of particular significance for this discussion is that there is no place in the ontology of Unification Thought for a spirit world. Unification Thought loses the insight of Divine Principle that can bridge the gap between science and religion. It steers us away from a real unification of science and religion, and your skepticism is perhaps inevitable.
On the other hand I believe that a true unification of science and religion is what can/will fundamentally transform culture. The central importance of this is why Father started the science conferences before any of the other organizations in our movement that exist today. This is also why he asked WRIST to develop technology to communicate with spirit world. Such technology would catalyze a profound worldwide cultural transformation.
I am aware of some of these issues. Personally, I remember how spiritually dense were workshops with Dr. Lee. I am not sure what to think about his messages from spiritual world, but this impressive collection is probably one element to balance your view about Dr. Lee. He is one of the most spiritual leaders I ever met, and his testimony is one of the deepest I ever read. But some people view things differently, I accept that.
The ICUS was a tremendous initiative. We now have to show our credibility. The international Highway Project is an excellent project to bring all religions and all scientific fields together. Let us do it, and we can then start a good discussion on science and religion, otherwise I feel that we are very theoretical.
Epistemologically speaking, the problem is tough. Science works on objective phenomena which can be reproduced, because they follow the laws of nature. The very fundamental tenets of the scientific method (observation, hypothetico-deductive reasoning, experiments), can only apply metaphorically to spirituality.
I did fundraising in a “scientific way”. I would go to a city, and would announce in advance that “on this day, and given the current situation of the Providence, my own spiritual status, and so on, I cannot but bring this very precise amount of money. It is already done, the law of cause and effect is going to work”. Any good fundraiser can accumulate scores of experiences like this. We may write a book about the science of fundraising, its laws, etc. … It would be interesting for scientists, statisticians, probabilists, etc., to study together with us. But in the end, it would prove what? By definition, the free will is completely beyond science, and it will always be?
Anyone not familiar with Kant’s discussion on the ontological and cosmological argument shoud try to study them. It makes us humble. My professor of philosophy told me, “Ladouce, if you read Kant, you won’t become a Moonie.”
So I read the 3 Critiques thoroughly to please my professor and joined the UC. My professor cried, that was because he did not read the Principle, whereas I had read all of Kant before joining.
And Kant has always been with me, over the years. If someone told me, “If you read the Principle, you will go over Kant”, I shall smile. I am sure that Kant is very sorry for his own warnings, because he would surely like to attend True Parents more. But first, we ourselves have to understand deeply what he said.
Laurent, thank you for your comments. I also find it an exciting topic of discussion. I am stimulated by your mention of Kant, and I will read some of his works.
I am actually quite interested in what you explain are the two more common questions regarding science and religion working together:
“Can scientific knowledge and holy scriptures converge on some explanations of phenomena? — How could they work together, on which grounds?”
As I mentioned in my article, and in reply to David Burton, I intuitively feel a key to these questions lies in that quote from Rev. Moon in which he says Adam and Eve, and their descendants became “half-human,” and couldn’t communicate with God, angels or the spiritual world. As a result, we do not have a “natural” way of communicating with, or understanding the spiritual world. So we use terms such as metaphysics and the supernatural only because we don’t have the normal, natural use of our God-given spiritual senses. God made us to be the bridge between the two worlds. The energy and matter of the two worlds must be of a commonality that allows for an integrated understanding of both realities.
I believe that Einstein was right in seeking a scientific theory of everything, because the very foundation of the realities of both worlds must be the same and should be able to be explained with one common science and/or philosophy of reality. It just seems logical to me.
We need to recover the use of our spiritual senses and become “fully human” to bridge the divide between science and religion and the physical and spiritual worlds. In one or two of Rev. Moon’s last speeches, I remember him saying he wished we could quickly open our spiritual senses so that we could know for ourselves what he had been telling us for years.
All of this, of course, is just speculation from a layman’s point of view.
This topic is truly exciting and you skillfully contribute to keep it uplifting.
You wrote: “Our Divine Principle, therefore, does not try to prove that Adam and Eve, or Lucifer, or Noah … existed. It would be a waste of time. Forever, I think…”
It’s true that DP doesn’t prove that Adam and Eve, Lucifer or Noah existed.
But I don’t agree with the second part of the sentence, probably for the rest of eternity…
Science doesn’t compete with religion. They are complementary holy tools to help us discover more precisely who God is and understand His wondrous ways.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
“Never lose an opportunity for seeing anything that is beautiful;
For beauty is God’s handwriting — a wayside sacrament.
Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower,
And thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”
Science and religion are both sacred and we should ceaselessly keep studying them in depth. Even though our thirst for meaning might be unquenchable and even if it means challenging our own set beliefs and proper certainties. By all means we have to encourage new discoveries.
Faith at odds with logic and intuition which is not backed up by facts may lead us elsewhere than where we think we are going.
Pseudo-science, obscurantism and charlatanism therefore should be exposed and forgotten if we are to progress in our capacity to know God more intimately and more passionately embrace His mind and heart. Aren’t we forever destined to more fully cooperate and make His glory manifest?
I fully agree with the Divine Principle statement that religion and science have been the two paths to overcome human ignorance and make the world a better place. Both are needed to make human beings ever more happy, internally and externally.
Having said this, their methods of investigation are different. I have quoted Kant. Truly, his arguments are not easy to understand. But no Unificationist has challenged them.
In the Cheongshim complex of Korea, we have the spiritual training center (Cheonbo) on the one hand and the hospital on the other hand. These are two separate worlds, two methodologies. We used to have a psychiatric hospital there, a few years ago. It was using exactly the same protocols as any other psychiatric hospital in the world. After the patients were doing better, some of them could attend spiritual activities, but very slowly. I hope that this is clear for everyone. These were side-by-side activities;
Another German author gave a warning similar to Kant. Goethe created Faust, one of the most fascinating myths of the modern times. Faust believes in science and technology, which will improve the human condition. All his life, Goethe kept wondering if Faust will finally overcome the devil’s temptation. This myth has daunted the German culture. Germany was able to master science and technology better than any other nation. It has also produced some of the deepest warnings on the excess of science, its capacity to destroy all of us.
Kant and Goethe both were men of balance and harmony. They both wanted spirituality and science to progress. They urged religion and science never, never, never to be triumphant
Religion and science should both be humble, serving the community. They should not boast anything. Our own Creator is so humble and discrete. When we go in the nature and pick up any fruit, it is not written “made by God”, it is so fabulously “natural”. Science may reconstruct the apple and explain its ingredients. But the unity of this apple that I eat now, its texture, taste, smell, remains a pure mystery.
And poetry may tell us better than religion how the divine is in here.
Our movement has promised many things, heralding a message of salvation. We are now asked by God to be really humble, test our ideas, serve others genuinely and see if our ideas make sense and change the real world. I am sure they can, because I have faith.
But I see that our movement remains so simplistic and dogmatic on many issues. It has stopped questioning, as if it had all the answers ready made. When I joined this movement, it was not like that. We had a deep respect for science, but we did not think at all that we have the science with us. Later on, we stopped being a movement dealing genuinely with science and focused only on inter religious work. Not a very wise choice, I have to say.
Let us have humilty, from the Latin word humus, meaning the earth. We are saved by the earth as much as we are saved by heaven.
Regarding specific details, we surely need a precise methodology. For instance, both religion and science are interested in understanding the origin and the genesis of the universe, of life, of human beings.
Let us take the origin of the universe. In the current state of science, we know that the universe in which we live is not the Absolute. It is not eternal. It is an entity which seems to have a beginning in time and is thus contingent. It exists as a matter of fact, but it does not appear to be self-existing. Moreover, this universe is a system where information and order have increased locally. The English language distinguishes stuff (unorganized entity) and matter (organized). By definition, matter includes organization. A brick is the material of a house, it is a component of a whole, etc. …
This is what Aristotle called Eidos and Hyle, and we say seong sang and hyeong sang.
In this universe, we observe that there is law and order, for instance in the solar system and even more so on the earth. Here, Aristotelian philosophy and formal logic are very helpful. The fact that more and more complex and organized beings appeared on earth, and more and more quickly surely challenges the second law of thermodynamics. And to explain all this by random mutations does not make sense.
Leibniz thus asked, why is there something rather than nothing?
And modern astrophysicist Hubert Reeves added, “Why is there music rather than noise?”
From all of this, human beings have always inferred that probably a transcendant cause is the origin of this all. This inference is good, and needed, but will never be scientific, and cannot be.
Kant knew that, he respected very deeply this common sense. But he warned that this is beyond the field of science and reason.
In the Critique of Practical Reason, which deals with doing good, he states that every man knows in his conscience what his duty is, and does not need to be taught. It is something inborn in us.
Likewise, common sense knows that there certainly is a God. Kant deeply, deeply respected this common sense. But, in the discussion about the cosmological argument, he asks science and logic to be humble. They will never prove anything.
Religion also, should be extremely humble.
Its belief in God is to be demonstrated through good deeds, not through dry logic and dogma. We may teach the parallels of history 100 times, and we should do so, but then what? All DP lecturers have observed that it worked 40 years ago, but today, people are just “interested” to be informed about that. It rarely has a decisive impact.
Religious people have to perform healings and miracles, when science and technology are absent. The Gospel of Luke details an incredible number of medical miracles performed by Jesus. And yet, as we know, it helped the people for a while, but it did not convince and persuade anyone about who Jesus was.
Before Christ appeared, scientific medicine had already developed quite much and it has developed and blossomed in the Western world through a good harmony between religion and science, most of the time. I am sure that Christ prefers good hospitals, preferably with a Christian leadership of course, rather than miracles.
I once had an interesting discussion with a student in science. “Why do you praise Mother Teresa so much?” he asked me. “In terms of saving human lives, Louis Pasteur has done for mankind much more than dozens of Mother Teresas.” This student insisted that Mother Teresa is first of all a voice, a spiritual leader. In terms of medical efficiency, her contribution was very small. Science and religion should both be humble.
My own father was a surgeon. He did not believe in God. Shortly before he died, I often had very personal conversations with him. At the age of 90, he told me, “Laurent, do you know how many lives I have saved in decades of working with patients?” My own consience was really stirred. In many years of Unificationism, I could not save even 10 souls. And I could not convince my own father, just win his respect and love gradually through good deeds.
You bring up a lot of things. It would take too long to address everything here. However you do touch on what I see to be the central issue for uniting science and religion.
You say, “This is what Aristotle called Eidos and Hyle, and we say seong sang and hyeong sang.” No, I don’t agree with that. Your statement is pure Dr. Lee. Eidos and Hyle have nothing to do with Divine Principle. This is another place where Unification Thought parts company with Divine Principle.
Kant died just before John Dalton published his atomic theory in the early 1800s. Both events together represent a symbolic transition from what went before to what is now. Atomic theory initiated a paradigm shift in our scientific understanding of the universe. It also marks where scientific thought separates from, and falsifies, the ontology of Western religious thought. Aristotle’s Eidos and Hyle are not compatible with atomic theory. Today the scientific offspring of Dalton’s atomic theory is the Standard Model of Particle physics, which, together with relativity, provides our fundamental description of existence.
The ontology of Divine Principle is also an offspring of atomic theory. It is a new religious truth precisely because its explanation of existence begins from atomic theory rather than Eidos and Hyle. This new approach is absolutely needed because the ontology that underpins Western religious and philosophical thought (including Kant’s) no longer agrees with our observation of existence.
David, I was not good in chemistry and cannot answer anything. I apologize.
Regarding the seong sang/hyeong sang theory of Dr. Lee, I find it more consistent that the Divine Principle.
Dr. Lee’s approach is neither theological nor scientific; he was using the resources of philosophy to raise questions which are difficult both for faith and for science. He was proposing a methodology for the good use of thought.
His thought is sometimes taught as the official ideology of Unificationism. My encounters with Dr. Lee convinced me that he had a deeper purpose. His purpose was to discuss many questions and not supply the answers but the methodology to do research on them. Unfortunately, not enough research takes place. The International Educational Foundation conducted a good program of research based on Dr. Lee’s theory of education.
You and some scientists have tried to do research in the field of science and physics. I somehow understand your points about his ontology, but may not agree, without offending you. Maybe because I don’t know enough science.
We don’t need an in depth understanding of science in order to appreciate Divine Principle. However in order to let Divine Principle speak for itself in our mind and heart we do need to put aside our religious preconceptions as far as possible when we come to read it. Doing so is a more difficult a task than it seems, one that I would suggest Dr. Lee was not able to do.
The foundational insight/revelation at the root of the ontology in Divine Principle is that existence emerges from particles in relationship. Read the first part of the Principle of Creation again with that in mind. This is what makes it compatible with science.
I do not question Dr. Lee’s motivation for writing Unification Thought. Divine Principle provides just a bare bones explanation and needs additional explication if it is to transform culture. There is need for something like Unification Thought. I also see that there are important additional insights in it which significantly add to and enhance the explanation of Divine Principle.
Dr. Lee claims Unification Thought is the philosophical explanation of Divine Principle, and in his layout uses the organizational divisions of the Western philosophical tradition. However he does far more than just use the subject areas, he also puts the content of traditional Western philosophy in subject position over the content Divine Principle. In doing so he has created, perhaps inadvertently, a whole different thought — his own thought, one that has lost the ability of Divine Principle to unify with science. Unification Thought is not what it claims to be.
I know Dr. Lee’s thought is sometimes taught as the official ideology. This is despite the fact that Unification Thought was not one of the eight textbooks that Father designated (Divine Principle was). For me this is a big problem, and I put it to you that this general acceptance of Unification Thought within Unificationism has delayed, and is continuing to delay, the providence to unify science and religion, which unity in turn would provide a basis to transform culture.
There is work going on. I have been working on this for more than twenty years, and for perhaps ten of those was part of a group trying to keep Father’s dream of a spirit world machine alive, but the prevalence of the old religious truth within Unificationism is hard to push against.
Thank you, David.
Well, I appreciate, we have food for thought and possibly for another article to be published on the AU Blog. But it may be a bit distracting, now. Maybe we need Henry Christopher to put us back on track and discuss some other points of his essay. I have the feeling that many other topics can be discussed.
Laurent and David,
Yes, there are plenty of points we could discuss and speculate upon that connect to this article. But in my mind, there is none as crucial as discovering the process by which individually we can perfect ourselves, so that a world of peace and love can be established before we destroy ourselves.
Humanity has proven over and over that we will use every new weapon we invent to kill one another, including nuclear weapons. I can only think of one way to short circuit this madness. That is to prove to ourselves — to absolutely know, not just believe — that when we die, we all go into the spiritual world. This to me must be the real immediate goal of the unity of science and religion. To bring this awareness to all humankind. That’s something worth talking about and trying to figure out.
David and Laurent,
But here is another point of discussion that might be of interest:
Accepting that Adam and Eve were not alone in the “Garden,” but among a family and tribe of other humans, suddenly led me to think of something quite new. I always wondered about Lucifer having a sexual relationship with Eve. It just struck me as odd. But what if Lucifer -— in order to wrestle control of humans away from God to him as their new “father” — influenced Eve and another young man in the tribe to engage in a relationship? A being without an eternal spirit. That would really throw a monkey wrench in God’s plan. Eve realized too late the mistake she made, and tempts Adam. But Eve actually gets pregnant from the first relationship. Even though she returns to Adam, her first son Cain is not Adam’s son, and Adam can’t love him the way he loves Abel. This sets up a bitter relationship between Cain and Abel, leading to murder. This storyline makes for a real human drama.
In an evolutionary scenario, we can imagine that Adam and Eve would have been part of a population, probably a small population, that was on the verge of a transition, a transition to beings that have an individual spirit that remains after physical death.
If we accept Adam and Eve as individual human beings rather than as symbolic of the ancestral population itself, then they were probably the first to pass that threshold to an individual spirit. We are not limited to one scenario for what went wrong, but even if nothing had happened their children would have had to mate with people outside their family.
Your scenario is a possibility, but why move away from the explanation in Divine Principle? One of the new aspects of Divine Principle is that we have a spirit body as well as a physical body, something that is not possible in traditional ontology. Angels too then would also have a spirit body; they are not just disembodied mind. A sexual relationship between an angel and Eve would be possible without the angel entering another physical being. We understand that their spiritual senses were fully open.
My thoughts run along similar lines as yours regarding Adam and Eve’s children mating with other early modern humans, and that presumably would have been within God’s plan if Adam and Eve had mated according to God’s will. The pure blood lineage would have been secured. But if Eve had eaten the “fruit” inappropriately with a human other than Adam, that seems to me would have been the cause of the changed of the blood lineage. Could the physical blood lineage be corrupted by mating with an angel? Although it was wrong under the circumstances for Adam and Eve to mate before their time, did that change the pure blood lineage? Maybe not.
“Could the physical blood lineage be corrupted by mating with an angel?” Now that is a good question. I think I would have to say that it couldn’t. However I would temper that by looking at what the consequence of the fall was.
My reading of Divine Principle is that the consequence of the fall for each individual was not something physical. Rather their mind came to be divided, and it was that division between original mind and fallen mind that has been passed on through the lineage. So yes, lineage (blood) is important, but I would say that the fall did not directly affect the physical body.
P.S. In traditional thought, mind is indivisible and could not be divided into original mind and fallen mind. In this ontology original sin must then be something associated with the physical body. Whereas in Divine Principle mind is divisible and original sin is this division in our mind rather than anything physical.
I think it is clear in the Divine Principle that the root of sin — an illicit sexual relationship, or original sin — is the physical fall. The original sin is what has been passed on to all humankind through blood lineage. This is the very reason for the need for a change of blood lineage which Rev. Moon has spoken so frequently about. The spiritual fall is the turning of Eve’s mind to begin to think and feel like Lucifer.
Henry, I am not altering the sexual basis of the fall. We say spiritual and physical fall because of the planes the relationships occurred on. However, what was inherited was not physical.
When Adam united in oneness with Eve, he inherited all the elements Eve had received from the Archangel. [EDP, p. 65]
So what did Eve receive?
Accordingly, when Eve became one with Lucifer through love, she received certain elements from him. First, she received feelings of dread arising from the pangs of a guilty conscience, stemming from her violation of
the purpose of creation. Second, she received from Lucifer the wisdom which enabled her to discern that her originally intended spouse was to be Adam, not the angel. [EDP, p. 64]
These are not physical elements. Eve received nothing physical from the angel. So she passed on nothing physical to Adam. Their physical bodies were unaffected. These elements from the angel led to an inheritable connection to Satan in the human mind, not the body. It is the actions of the body, stemming from the divided mind, that are divided. Not the body itself, and not a division of our mind from our body.
This doesn’t alter the need for a change in lineage — at least not before Satan surrendered in 1999.
When we acknowledge that Adam and Eve belonged to a human tribe of early Homo Sapiens, it now opens the biblical story in Genesis to a whole new avenue of inquiry. In my article, I have suggested that through human evolution, we inherited certain aggressive, predatory animalistic type traits that have caused us to be a highly conflicted species. I think science confirms this and even says that psychological disorders are also inherited genetically.
So when we talk about the root of sin and the nature of the original sin and how it was passed on from generation to generation, we can conclude that unwanted elements inherited by humanity came from both the spiritual and the physical fall which corrupted our blood lineage. The DP says that the propensity for humans to desire immoral sex is a direct result of “…the original sin [that] has been perpetuated through lineal descent…. This is because the root of sin was solidified by a sexual relationship that binds one in ties of blood” (read “it’s in our DNA”).
This brings us to the speculation that with the coming of Adam and Eve, the physical evolution of humans had come to a conclusion. God did not want Adam and Eve to inherit certain aggressive, predatory and sexual inclinations that developed in early hominins and early modern man that were apparently needed up until then for survival and to prepare humans to be strong enough to become the lords of creation.
I suggest that the commandment not to eat the fruit was, among other things, to warn Adam and Eve not to engage in any relationships with members of their tribe, because it would allow these undesirable traits to be inherited by them and passed on to their descendants. Lucifer knew this, and maneuvered to make sure humankind did inherit those traits, instead of God’s love.
Extremely interesting hypothesis. That is where I think we should do research. This is the most interesting part of the discussion for me so far. Please keep our brains alive. I want to know more.
Henry, I concur with Laurent. This is an interesting take on our origin story. Thank you for your article. This type of speculating is very thought-provoking.
Thank you, Henry Christopher and David Burton, for opening a most important discussion of the two essential questions for which all human beings — including Unificationists — are still desperately searching for satisfactory answers: the reality of the “spiritual world” and a clear explanation of “original sin”.
You have mentioned Rev. Moon’s teaching that human beings have become “half-humans” since they lost their awareness of the spiritual world. It seems that until today humankind could only rely on the very rare psychics’ episodic and unclear testimonies to get some hints of the unseen. That made it very difficult to prove a reality which, unlike ourselves, 17 years old Adam and Eve could fully perceive.
For Unificationists however, there luckily exist now among us not only one mature original sinless couple whose spiritual eyes are fully open, but 14 second generation grown-up individuals born themselves without original sin from this unique original sinless couple. Can’t we then benefit directly from these precious full-humans’ testimonies? Never in all human history has such a great opportunity ever existed. Do you know if such precious testimonies have been recorded yet? If not, I think it’s not too late. We have here a promising gold mine of information for researchers. Wouldn’t it be even more convincing than the “Clouds of Witnesses” received in 2001 through Mrs. Young Soon Kim that appeared in the Washington Times with Rev. Moon’s approval?
On our odyssey towards enlightenment haven’t we learned from the scientific approach which requires double-checking facts and potential new discoveries? That’s indeed a safe way for science to go beyond science fiction and religion beyond religious fiction.
Thanks for your comments. I think it is a brilliant idea to gather spiritually open second generation as a team to investigate the spiritual world and help us in this research!
An Institute for the Unity of Science and Religion needs to be started at UTS in Barrytown for this work!
Since God gracefully endowed us with Heart, creative imagination, logic and learning abilities, we should try to make good use of these. We know so little and there is so much to be discovered! There are quite a few institutes studying parapsychology, like the Rhine research center in the US. They investigate the rare psychics’ special abilities while others collect “near death experiences” in trying to demonstrate the reality of the invisible spiritual world. A scientific approach to these phenomena is as needed as promising.
David Burton’s research and work towards developing means to communicate with the spiritual world must also be encouraged.
It is very important to study and compare various testimonies to catch not just a glimpse but a clearer picture of what is going on in “the other world”.
It would also permit us to separate the “wheat from the chaff” for alas there are a lot of charlatans who just spread confusion through fake testimonies.
One could object that our dear second generation Unificationists being the fruit of the love between two “half-humans” coming from the fallen lineage might not have their spiritual senses fully open. Therefore we might not get so many testimonies from them (It would although be very interesting to compare with the rest of the population).
For the sake of efficiency, I was then suggesting to firstly collect and thoroughly study testimonies from contemporary sinless individuals born as true children of God. Those are logically entitled “full humans”, since unlike me, they should have their spiritual senses wide open as Adam and Eve’s children would have had if the fall had not occurred.
Finally after 12 billion hectic years of preparation, God’s ideal is now in our midst. In spite of all our inadequacies let’s therefore be sure to not miss this unique opportunity to validate and testify of what is a much bigger step for humankind than the moon landing.
Applied Unificationism is definitely the proper place to carefully analyze the amazing various implications the Divine Principle teaching is leading us to.
What is also interesting is that there are no distinctions of good and evil in nature. If you look at videos of lions for instance tearing apart a baby animal and eating it alive, we feel how gruesome that is, but we don’t say it is evil. I assume those characteristics are part of the natural order made by God and carried on in generation after generation of lions’ DNA. But we can say that their blood lineage is not sinful.
If we are descendant from hominids (the family of apes) and through an evolutionary process carried out in numerous species of hominins (the family of humans) over millions of years, we can also say the traits that God gave them that they passed on to subsequent generations are also part of the natural order of things and their blood lineage was not sinful.
It appears that God slowly began to separate humans out of the natural order, to stand outside of the controls of nature, so we could actually “subdue the earth” and be the caretakers of the natural world.
I would say a real miracle was taking place with the birth of Adam and Eve. A completely new cosmic order was being initiated by God. Humans were going to become the Lords of Creation and have dominion over the physical and spiritual worlds, including the angelic kingdom.
It apparently was going to take place with the consummation of the wedding of Adam and Eve. They were going to be elevated out of the natural world of all species, and it seems like God was going to make a major alteration of their physical genetics while infusing them with His love. Like a cleaning up of their genetic makeup that related them solely to the animal kingdom and empowering them with the cosmic, core eternal energy of God and existence, His Love. Hominins were going to become the Children of God.
Lucifer must have know this, and out of jealousy, interfered with the key process through which this was to be carried out — the sexual act. Lucifer chained humankind back to the physical world so that genetically we were still animals, and spiritually, we could not link with God’s love. This must be why eating the fruit unwisely became the root of sin, transmitted to all humanity and cutting us off from God. We are not fully human. We are closer to the lions and tigers, but while their behavior is not sinful, in us it is. Of course, we retain enough of God’s love to make us the conflicted species that we have become.
I think these conjectures are not a great departure from the Genesis story or the explanations in the DP, but more like a modern, realistic interpretation of them.
I sincerely appreciate your remarkable efforts and your well-documented research towards combining scientific and religious understanding of creation. Our most crucial objective ultimately remains to collectively understand our role of responsible caretakers in order to prevent our destruction of God’s creation.
Your creative proposal to update the Genesis story is just fascinating and truly the most plausible explanation I ever heard of until today. IMO, it still raises however puzzling issues concerning the first two full humans’ original awareness and huge responsibility to achieve God’s ideal on earth:
– Can we imagine that God as a loving parent and incomparable brilliant creator of a billion years project couldn’t foresee nor prevent the “fall” and its disastrous outcome through a crystal clear message to guarantee the fulfillment of His original ideal?
– Isn’t it rather problematic within any project which absolutely requires full cooperation to obey unclear ambiguous orders? This would undoubtedly be the safest highway towards failure. It can’t but lead to disaster.
– Could it be that God’s commandment was a last minute ambiguous notice destined to His beloved children, these two most precious but immature youngsters who had finally appeared on earth?
– In order to avoid any monkey business, that clear commandment must have then been not simply a vague “multiply” but, “don’t ever have sex except with each other and make sure to teach your children to only have sex with each other. Never mix with surrounding half humans, for it will only bring a cosmic tragedy”.
Without this sine qua non prerequisite, God’s ideal couldn’t but fail.
BTW, wouldn’t a similar issue arise when considering the mission of the messiah within the Unificationist perspective of salvation? (This being another very interesting discussion topic: universal salvation versus the sole messianic lineage)
I agree that the seemingly simplistic commandment to not eat of the fruit sounds like not enough instruction for the young Adam and Eve, but that is all we are given in the Bible story. Surely God was guiding them in a more detailed way, but then we can imagine that the role of Lucifer was to also closely guide and protect them from mistakes. However, he had his own plans. I would think that the cultural mating habits of the early modern human tribe –whatever they were — were the dangers God wanted Adam and Eve to avoid. Did a dominant male mate with most of the females?; Did they mate for life, or did males mate with many different females and perhaps the children were taken care of communally? We don’t know. But it must have caused considerable stress for Adam and Eve to follow God and appear “anti-social” in the eyes of the tribe by rejecting their ways. It’s all very interesting to contemplate.
There is indeed little we are given in the Bible to figure out what did happen with the illiterate first human beings. So we are left with just our creative theological speculations about the possibly symbolic legend of Genesis.
It obviously takes great faith, imagination and confidence to extrapolate theologies wholly based on a mythical biblical story.
However, can rearranging Genesis mythical stories to elaborate new speculative scenarios with added speculations on the fate of the same unknown characters really be called “a new truth”?
As long as science can back up one’s beliefs everything is fine.
Problems arise when scientific discoveries contradict accepted beliefs in inaccurate “revelations” like those who long led humankind to believe the earth was not only flat but also the center of the universe.
Therefore we can’t but welcome and gratefully salute every effort that can help towards uniting science and religion.
I do feel uplifted when reading with an open heart what you have been inspired to write here:
“…Adam and Eve… were going to be elevated out of the natural world of all species, and it seems like God was going to make a major alteration of their physical genetics while infusing them with His love. Like a cleaning up of their genetic makeup that related them solely to the animal kingdom and empowering them with the cosmic, core eternal energy of God and existence, His Love. Hominins were going to become the Children of God.”
Would you believe I consider I have myself been through such a process?
Isn’t it simply linked to “salvation”?
Isn’t actually this ceaseless Divine transformation operating within human hearts once one come to experience God’s love the real enlightenment and supreme bliss humankind is today longing for?
Your essay is so refreshing. It truly deserves to be studied for both its intellectual rigor and its undeniable uplifting spiritual breath.
It’s a non-dogmatic pleading and a loving invitation to transcend ourselves and humbly live up to universal supreme values.
A beautiful way to remind us that God can truly enjoy reaching us incognito through a layman’s humble authenticity…
Thank you for your kind words. I do agree with you that an experience of God’s love is available to everyone as sort of a sampling of who we are to become and how that would feel. I too many years ago had such an experience in Barrytown early one morning as I watched the sun rise. I think it was similar to when Christians say their sins were washed away in the love of God. In an instant, God washed away my “sins” from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet and filled me with a love that lasted the whole day. And it was a love I felt for everyone I met that day. I thought this must have been what Adam and Eve felt before the Fall. The next morning I was back to my “normal” old worries, fears and inadequacies. In terms of DP, we want to know how to “perfect” ourselves, or be united in love with God. Knowing more clearly what happened to Adam and Eve which blocked them from that end is important, I think, since we are all directly connected to their mistakes and to God’s hope for us all.
That is, Eve “eating the fruit unwisely” with a member of the tribe.
WEF: This is how many humans have ever existed, according to researchers (about 109 billion):
Thank you for this precious surprising information. Science is definitely merging with religion for us to grasp a more accurate understanding and a more genuine appreciation of God’s mathematical wondrous divine unfolding.
Therefore Unificationists and all humankind as well can’t but be about to witness the imminent glorious Pentecost Rev Moon had so often prophesied. The time is now ripe for our 109 billion ancestors — who have all recently become “absolute Good Spirits” (amidst 300 billion other unidentified spirits) through the unexpected Cheong Pyeong Providence — to efficiently intervene together for the final victorious cosmic showdown and the establishment of God’s lasting glory all over the land.
At last we’ll see this world of Peace where “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” Isaiah 2:4.