The Bible Is a Parable: A Middle Ground Between Science and Religion
evolving last stage. Both fit the standard scientific definition of man as a thinking, tool-
making, social animal.
Many will rise to take exception to the idea of man even being a part of the animal
world. But, the bulk of archaeological findings as presently interpreted, along with the
great mass of findings of biological inheritance just begs to find the exception that will
disprove that we arose from out of the animal world to become something different. Even
the Bible makes reference to Man‘s carnal or animal- like nature.
So when did mere hominid become Man? The so-called Homo erectus seems to have
been a simple, tool- making animal, which assumes an ability to retain in memory certain
procedures of manufacture along with an occasional fortuitous accidental improvement
that he could then purposefully replicate. He was social and, it is theorized, the first
hominid that walked fully upright with a striding gait equivalent to ours. But his remains
show these traits apparently fully matured which would have taken hundreds of
thousands of years of development based on the relatively slow process of biological
Some where within that miasma of inherited change from an ancient hominid with
arms almost as long and strong as his legs, who, it has been theorized, could only stand in
a stooped crouch, to that of a fully upright Homo erectus, ancient man emerged. At what
point can we say that proto- man became man?
From psychology we get the principle that Man is self-conscious. He is aware of
himself as a separate individual within a gro up. From early childhood he recognizes his
image, or reflection, as a representation of himself. Animals, it is easily shown, do not
have that ability, reacting to a reflection of themselves instinctively as if another
individual were intruding into their domain.
Could this then, be the gift that allowed Man to rise from out of the ordinary to
become extraordinary? Awareness of self could have been the beginning of future
abstract thought. But, if a gift, in what manner was it bestowed, and, when did He
become aware of it?
Is the soul that religion tells us God gave to Man, the gift of self-awareness?
Man is the animal that knows,
And knows that he knows!
—Morris L. West, Shoes of the Fisherman
Whither Comest Thou?
-Then the lord God planted a garden in Eden, to the east, and placed in the garden
the man that he had formed. The Lord God planted all sorts of beautiful trees there in the
garden, trees producing the choicest fruit | (Gen. 2:8–9, TLB).
Archaeology and that part of biology, the study o f genetics, tell us that the hominid
branch of the suborder of primates arose on the continent of Africa. Because we
purportedly share a common ancestor with our blood cousins the simians, hominids most
likely arose in equatorial Africa also.
That portion of the above quotation -Eden, to the east | creates a question. To the
east of what? The difficulty with a parable, a simplified example of the real thing, is
confusing the example with what might be the much larger reality.