Evolution and Religion

A big obstacle in unifying science with religion comes from the point of view that science deals with facts and religion deals with values. They each address quite different topics so some people feel there is no need to waste time trying to forge them together. Let them each do what they do best.

My new book project entitled “Proving God” will challenge this assumption. In my previous post I pointed out that the laws of physics somehow emerged from of a non-local and non-temporal void (that is, if you believe, like most scientists and theologians, that the universe had an actual beginning).

What is most conspicuous about the creation of the universe is that it not only entailed a distribution of energy and momentum but an ongoing process of self-organization. This organization of the cosmos continued to increase in the complexity of biosystems that ultimately led to the human brain. Whether this happened by design or chance scientists know that it is a fact that the manifest universe and organic life could not have come into existence unless the constants of nature met very tight tolerances. Did this “fine-tuning” of the universe, which allowed for the increase of intelligence and consciousness to emerge, have its origins from a creative principle operating in the pre-space void?

In the neo-Darwinian synthesis, which includes microbiology and genetics, evolution occurs from the ongoing strategies of genes to ensure reproduction under the pressures of a changing external environment. New species are the result of these survival strategies. However, the evolutionary trajectory has led to the human race, which enjoys first-person phenomenal experience. So evolution has a complex creature where values are very important.

All human values are derivatives of love. Affection, emotion, appetite, and intention all give focus to human cognitive function and steer it towards some valued goal. This is where religion enters into the picture of evolution. The human mind, which does not operate in space, can continue to develop and raise its level of complexity by adopting a more universal and noble love. What we love defines how our thoughts and ideas are put into some corresponding order and structure. In the same way that a human ear has evolved to be a subject for sound, human ideas represent the higher-ordered forms and subjects of our affections. Our thoughts and ideas are the non-material forms and bio-structure of what we love and intend. This creates our spiritual body.

Religion, which serves as a guide for choosing the optimum values for living, can therefore be looked at as a Divine strategy by which humans can extend evolution and bio-complexity into a non-physical domain. We call this realm heaven.

It is rational to think that the constancy and fine-tuning of laws in the universe is a faithful articulation of first causal principles. If the universe is self-consistent then the perfection of bio-complexity will more perfectly express the first principles of creation. Humans who raise their hearts and minds to spiritual love and its inclusiveness have successfully created a complexity of spirit that mirrors Divine Love. The ultimate scheme of creation and evolution is to create angels from the human race. This completes the dynamic and holistic process of creation emerging from an eternal non-physical reality and merging back into it. What do you think?

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4 thoughts on “Evolution and Religion

  1. EVOLUTION AND RELIGION

    Linda Austin says:
    January 24, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Are you saying a spirit is a sort of embodiment of one’s thoughts?
    “The ultimate scheme of creation and evolution is to create angels from the human race.” Do you believe in reincarnation so that spirits can someday become perfect angels, or do you think imperfect spirits “die” into heaven and new ones are created with each baby born…in which case the perfect spirit is a Darwinian goal. My head hurts now, GodGuy!

    Reply
    thegodguy says:
    January 25, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    The soul uses the mind to create a spiritual body within our physical body. Our mind, which consists of both volition and thought, is our spirit. The soul is created by God and is completely developed at our birth. But our spirit is the outcome of the values we choose in life from free will. It can mature and gain stature throughout our life. The spirit finds its embodiment from the ideas of our understanding because what we love and intend puts on form and structure from our thinking. Love adapts form (information) to its own disposition. The soul complies with the spirit to make this happen.
    The mind does not operate in space nor is it under the constraints of physical law. For instance, you can share half of your knowledge with a friend and still keep ALL of your knowledge. You can’t do this when you share half of a physical apple with a friend. In spite of the fact that the mind operates beyond space it can take on perfect human form (it is who we really are). It chews, ruminates, and digests ideas so that they will enter into the fabric of our being in the same way that our digestive system prepares terrestrial food to become the fabric of our physical bodies.
    The result of spiritual growth is non-physical bio-complexity, which Darwinian theory simply doesn’t address. Religion is God’s strategy to provide a means for humans to choose the best values so that the spiritual body can evolve properly. Heaven is not a place you go to, but is something you become.
    I do not subscribe to reincarnation. Yet, even reincarnation would be ineffective if it did not lead to a complete reconstitution of our inner being. This topic is multifaceted and is discussed in greater detail in my next book entitled “Proving God.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting ideas, a lot of which I agree with.
    But I’m not sure what you mean by basic concepts such as God, mind, spirit, soul. It would be easy to get confused if we don’t agree on these concepts.
    Also when dealing with the realm of values and the inner/subjective I’m not clear that one can ‘prove’ anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course, anyone can make such claims: the proof is in the details. And there are certainly many details known today about the world that could not have been known in the 18th century. It is therefore a challenge to present Swedenborg’s ideas again in relation to what we now know about physics, biology and neurology. Sylvia certainly rises to that challenge.

      Ian J. Thompson

      Like

    • The soul uses the mind to create a spiritual body within our physical body. Our mind, which consists of both volition and thought, is our spirit. The soul is created by God and is completely developed at our birth. But our spirit is the outcome of the values we choose in life from free will. It can mature and gain stature throughout our life. The spirit finds its embodiment from the ideas of our understanding because what we love and intend puts on form and structure from our thinking. Love adapts form (information) to its own disposition. The soul complies with the spirit to make this happen.
      The mind does not operate in space nor is it under the constraints of physical law. For instance, you can share half of your knowledge with a friend and still keep ALL of your knowledge. You can’t do this when you share half of a physical apple with a friend. In spite of the fact that the mind operates beyond space it can take on perfect human form (it is who we really are). It chews, ruminates, and digests ideas so that they will enter into the fabric of our being in the same way that our digestive system prepares terrestrial food to become the fabric of our physical bodies.
      The result of spiritual growth is non-physical bio-complexity, which Darwinian theory simply doesn’t address. Religion is God’s strategy to provide a means for humans to choose the best values so that the spiritual body can evolve properly. Heaven is not a place you go to, but is something you become.
      I do not subscribe to reincarnation. Yet, even reincarnation would be ineffective if it did not lead to a complete reconstitution of our inner being. This topic is multifaceted and is discussed in greater detail in my next book entitled “Proving God.”

      Sylvia Edward
      Thegodguy

      Like

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