Allen S. Maller

Adam and Eve are third stage Homo Sapiens

A great deal of unnecessary conflict and misunderstanding has been caused by the careless use of the terms ‘human’ and ‘man’ to describe the increasing number of fossil finds of tool using biped primate species some, but not most, of them ancestral to Homo Sapiens.

I shall try to refer to each distinct species by its scientific name only. Most people think that the name ‘human’ or ‘mankind’ should be reserved only for our own species-Homo Sapiens.

Not using the name ‘human’ and ‘man’ carelessly would help resolve some of the conflict between most Darwinists and many religious people.

In addition, religious people can find new insights into the teachings of Genesis by understanding the evolution of Homo Sapiens spirituality.

Modern Homo Sapiens (HS) evolved physically about 150-200,000 years ago, about 50-150,000 years after Homo Neanderthal (HN) who inhabited Europe and parts of north western Asia from about 300,000 to 35,000 years ago.

HN were well adapted to the cold and were very muscular and had slightly larger brains than HS.

Increasing mental capacities were productive from a tool making and social interacting perspective, but these same increasing mental capacities sometimes had negative side effects such as anxiety, stress, self imposed tension and neurosis.

Any genetic adaptation that increased individual and community levels of social and individual trust, confidence, and optimism would in turn help correct or ameliorate individual mental disabilities due to negative mental states.

Such genes would be selected for, and would spread throughout that population. If that gave the group better survival rates and increased population growth, the genes would keep spreading.

Spiritual activities among HS have evolved over the last 100-150,000 years. If one takes seriously the Biblical claim that humanity was created in the Divine image, or the Qur’an statement that humans were created to be vice-regents with God, spiritual evolution testifies to the creation of creatures who are social co-creators of purpose driven non-material responses to environmental and social challenges.

The evolution of spiritual activities that enhance the successful survival of humanity is not only concerned with enhancing the survival of our own species. With the recent domestication of plants and animals; and the very recent industrial revolution, humans acquired a great deal of responsibility for the evolution and survival of many of the species on the planet itself.

Thus the behavior of religious people themselves now becomes a factor in the evolution of life on earth.

The first challenge to self-conscious, articulate HS is also the ultimate one: death. Homo Sapiens is the only living species that knows in advance that death is inevitable. Genesis 2:17 teaches “on the day you eat it (the tree of knowledge of good and evil you will know) you will surely die.”

Elephants, Chimpanzees and Orangutans have been observed to mourn for a dead child, but no other living species practices ritual burials with symbolic grave goods. The intelligent minds of HS responded to the death of loved ones by creating funeral rites and rituals of ancestor worship.

Evidence from Qafzeh cave in northern Israel of ritual burial and grave goods (red ocher and mollusk shells of an inedible species) goes back 100 -120,000 years or more.

It is also possible that nomadic hunter-gatherer bands in Africa used the skulls of important individuals in community rituals over many centuries. Two HS skulls from Herto in Ethiopia, well worn through handling, have been dated to more than 140,000 years ago.

These ritual activities strengthened feelings of kinship within and among hunter-gather bands enabling them to be more stable, grow larger and survive the potential split of the band when its number one leader died.

It is not just chance that the first moral issue that HS become self-aware of, way back in the Garden of Eden, was being naked. HS is the only living species that clothes itself. (Genesis 3:7) Evidence of textiles from more than 20,000 years ago has been found in the cold climates of ice age Europe.

However, the origins of clothing in Africa are the not the result of ice age climate but the result of concepts of modesty.

Self-aware intelligent minds became moral minds and then became modest minds. Recent DNA studies of body lice that must lay their eggs in clothing, show that these lice evolved from pubic lice that adapted to clothing that covered the pubic area.

According to a 2003 study led by Mark Stoneking, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, this genetic adaptation took place 42-72,000 years ago.

A newer study recently published in the January, 2011 issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution, indicates a date of separation between body and clothing lice of 83.000-170.000 years ago. Thus, HS have been clothing themselves for about 100-140,000 years.

Thus long before HS exited Africa and the Middle East and started to live in very cold climates, and long before rules about property became important, rules of probity were important, and became another source of religious evolution.

The age when sexual modesty became evident is important. The Bible states that the first thing humans became aware of after internalizing the knowledge of good and evil was their nakedness.

If this occurred 70-120,000 years ago it fits right in with increasing evidence of more rapid spiritual and technological development.

The tool kit of Homo Erectus, a species prior to HS, changed very slowly over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. Early HS tools changed more quickly over the course of tens of thousands of years. But about 60-90,000 years ago the pace of change increased substantially for HS both technologically and spiritually.

Reports published in the journal Nature Genetics in March 2015, by a team of geneticists who have taken the whole genome sequence of 10,000 people in Iceland, indicate that primitive Adam, i.e. pre-modern Homo Sapiens, lived not so long ago.

The team calculated a new estimate for the last common ancestor of all males by looking at the rate of mutation in the male Y-chromosome. Previous studies had just used parts of the human genome to make their estimates.

The geneticists now believe that the last common ancestor of all humans lived about 239,000 years ago, which is 69,000 years younger than a previous estimate of 308,000 years ago, and much closer to the fossil evidence for the origin of pre-Modern Homo Sapiens. (3/26/15 BBC News

Modern Homo-Sapiens, based on the Bible’s criteria for what it means to be a human being created in the image of God, originated about 50-100,000 years prior to Adam’s first farming activities, about 8-10,000 years ago. (Genesis 3:10)

Thus, Homo Sapiens developed in three stages. The first stage was anatomically modern Homo Sapiens; whose bones and body look like ours.

The second stage was culturally modern Homo Sapiens; whose arts look like ours.

The third stage was spiritually modern Homo Sapiens; whose sacred scriptures look like ours.

It is only with the development of agricultural villages and writing that the third Adam and Eve can be inspired by prophets to give birth to the revealed religions that determine, for both weal and woe, so much of human life today,

And this is why Genesis tells us that only in later generations did the descendants of Adam begin to use the name of God written in the Bible (YHVH Genesis 4:26) “Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD-YHVH”

About the Author
Rabbi Allen S. Maller has published over 850 articles on Jewish values in over a dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim magazines and web sites. Rabbi Maller is the author of "Tikunay Nefashot," a spiritually meaningful High Holy Day Machzor, two books of children's short stories, and a popular account of Jewish Mysticism entitled, "God, Sex and Kabbalah." His most recent books are "Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms' and "Which Religion Is Right For You?: A 21st Century Kuzari" both available on Amazon.
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