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Essay about Transcending Evolution: The Human Consciousness, or The Soul

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The Human Consciousness, or The Soul


In 1838 Charles Darwin wrote in his journal "Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work worthy the interposition of a deity. More humble and I think truer to consider him created from animals". (Rachels, 1990) Daniel C. Dennett refers to Darwin's theory of evolution as a universal acid, a theory so powerful it seeps through every traditional concept and leaves behind a revolutionized world-view, resulting not only in a fundamental shift in the way in which we perceive ourselves as human beings, but more importantly, in the death of God. (Dennett, 1996) The moral implications of evolution are devastating: to reduce man to a by-product of an algorithmic process is to say that man is nothing more than an offspring of the Earth when man was quite content to think of himself as an offspring of something much more celestial. Evolution appeared and threatened to downgrade man to a modified version of ape, and rather than throw up its hands and surrender to its earthly existence, man decided to unleash its only weapon against evolution: and what of consciousness? How does evolution explain the phenomenon of consciousness? This paper will argue that consciousness is capable of existing outside of evolution and, using the Quran as the primary religious text, set the stage for a potential rebirth of God.

There exists startling anatomical, molecular, and fossil evidence supporting the theory of the descent of man from primates, more specifically from apes. For example, certain enzymes and other proteins, such as hemoglobin, are virtually identical in both humans and chimpanzees. (Mayr, 2001) It is thought that the most important event in human history occurred in the step from the Australopi...


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... controlled by the randomness of chance. The answers to our existence may not always be out of reach, but in the meantime, it can not hurt to tell stories of our creation and hope that these stories are sufficient enough to satisfy our hunger for purpose.


Citations

The Holy Quran: Translation and Commentary. Edited by A. Yusuf Ali. Ouloom AlQur'an Est.: Damascus, 1934

Dennett, Daniel C. Darwin's Dangerous Idea. Simon & Schuster: New York, 1995

Macphail, Euan M. The Evolution of Consciousness. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1998

Mayr, Ernst. What Evolution Is. Basic Book: New York, 2001

"Origin of Man in Islam: Creation or Evolution." Available On-line at: http://www.geocites.com/speed_of_light_quran/islam_creation_evolution.htm

Rachels, James. Created From Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinians. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1990


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