The main difference between chimpanzees and humans
16. MAN IS SPIRIT
16.1 Michelangelo and the materialist
16.2 Sound samples
16.3 Mind and spirit.
16.4 Humans and chimpanzees are genetically 99% identical
16.5 The nature of the spirit
16.6 Animals have a spirit too?
Many evolutionists are materialists. That is to say, they believe that life is nothing more than a complex biological reaction, only matter, a coincidental (selected by the miraculous natural selection) but glorious concurrence of molecules. There is nothing magical about life. There is no vital force which keeps it going. There is no God who initiated it or maintains it. It is simply a certain form of matter which obeys the laws of physics.
That materialistic view does not hold water. That can easily be seen from the following discussion a materialist had with Michelangelo about his statue of David immediately after he had finished it. (The statue can be seen in Florence, Italy.)
16.1 Michelangelo and the materialist
Michelangelo What do you think of my statue?
Materialist Yes, very beautiful.
Michelangelo I put everything I had into that.
Materialist Whoa, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.
Michelangelo What do you mean?
Materialist Well, there is no real difference between that statue of yours and the pieces you chipped off of it.
Michelangelo What are you saying? You can see at a glance that I invested a lot of time in this statue, can’t you?
Materialist Yes, I can, but there is still no real difference between your David and this lump of rock. It is made of the same material.
Michelangelo Yes, of course it is made of the same material. But just look at it. Those shapes, the shine, the proportions. This statue emanates emotion. It is art, it is life, it is beauty, it is… I have no words for it. You can understand that, can’t you? This statue is… spirit! My spirit is in this statue. I put it there.
Materialist You are really going too far. Just put that thing under a microscope; you won’t see anything, anything at all, of spirit in it. It is pure matter. It happens to have a somewhat different manifestation than the rest of the rocks in here, but...
Michelangelo WHAT! ROCKS? Get out of here, you rascal. Get out of here. I never want to see you here again.
And keep your hands away from my statue.
16.2 Sound samples
Another example shows what is wrong with the materialistic, diminishing view of life.
In Figure 1 you can see the sound waves depicted of the words ‘I love you’.
|figure 1, 'I love you'|
This picture was created by recording those words on the hard disk of a computer and then make them visible in a program for processing sounds. It is called an sound sample. The first small bump is the word ‘I’. The second (large) bump is ‘love’. It starts small, but gets bigger as you speak the vowel. The third one is ‘you’. ‘I love you’.
The sound waves in this picture are a bit compressed. If we zoom in on the word ‘love’, this is what you see:
|Figure 2, 'love'|
The whole phrase ‘I love you’, which looks fairly simple in Figure 1, is seen to be much more complex when you examine it more closely. You see all sorts of regularly recurring patterns, which slowly change into other patterns. Sound waves, as the voice produces them, consist of an entire combination of frequencies and wavelengths It is possible to subject this sentence, which has now been recorded, to a thorough investigation. You can take the sound waves apart and analyze them, take out all the high tones or all the low ones. You can even play with it and make it into strange noises for a rap CD or something like that.
sound waves are the carrier of something greater
What is now important is that the sound waves, which are captured on the hard disk of my PC, are the carrier of something greater. They aren’t just any sound waves, like any other, no, together they form words. If you study the frequencies, you will not see the words, just like you won’t see David if you just look at the stone. In turn, the words are the carrier of a message, a meaning. And that message is again carrier of the emotion: I love you. You cannot measure that emotion. It is already incredibly difficult for computers to just recognize all the words from the sound waves. You need complicated programs for that, which must first be taught what a voice sounds like, and then still make many mistakes. One level higher, comprehending the meaning of the words, is already beyond the capabilities of a computer.
Materialists are like the computer programs which try to recognize the words: they just cannot grasp the idea that matter is the carrier of something greater.
Just as a sound sample is not the same as speech, DNA is not the same as life. If someone says ‘I love you’ to you, your reaction is not to say ‘those are merely sound waves which are organized in a certain complex way, and which now reach my ear’ (with a very few exceptions). The sound waves aren’t the words themselves. They are the physical carriers of the words. In the same way, the molecular basis of life is not life itself, but the physical carrier of life. By fixating too much on the sound waves or on the DNA, you lose the true meaning of things. The statement “life is a complex biochemical reaction” is just as absurd as the statement “language is a complex combination of air vibrations”. You then reduce it to what can be physically observed, analyzed, measured, experimented with. You no longer see the meaning of it. You no longer see the point of it.
Life is not a complex biochemical reaction. Life rests in a complex biochemical reaction. Life is carried by complex biochemical reactions. Life uses biochemical reactions. Life can even resist or influence biochemical reactions. We all know about the phenomenon of placebos; we also know about the will to live or survive, by which people can get better. The spirit is (sometimes) stronger than the body.
the spirit does not function on the level of DNA
The sound waves form words, and the words reflect a thought. The thought is spirit, not matter, and not biochemical matter either. The thought can be expressed just as well by a different medium than sound. By writing, for instance, like this. However, the problem with spirit is that it cannot express itself without the help of matter. Without matter, the spirit is dead, just as speech is impossible without sound waves. And that has caused some people to think and claim that spirit is no different from matter, or that spirit is in matter, or even that there is no spirit. But all these visions miss the fact that matter, the image, the sound waves, writing, DNA, program code, is merely the lowest level that intelligence, thought, and spirit use to express themselves. Materialism, the denial of the existence of the highest level, the spirit, is a gross form of reductionism, of stripping life down to the lowest level, until you realize that there is nothing left.
My own scientific career was a descent from higher to lower dimension, led by a desire to understand life. I went from animals to cells, from cells to bacteria, from bacteria to molecules, from molecules to electrons. The story had its irony, for molecules and electrons have no life at all. On my way life ran out between my fingers.
Albert Szent Györgi, The Living State, Academic Press, 1972, quoted from Biochemistry.
the difference between apes and humans is not at DNA-level
To say that a human is essentially no different than an amoeba, plant, frog, or ape, is the same as if a materialist were to compare two sound samples, one from a human and one from a parrot, which both say ‘I love you’. The materialist will swear that there may be a difference between the two samples, but that it is only a gradual difference. The frequencies differ somewhat, but essentially they are the same. If we try to discuss the difference between ‘I love you’ from a parrot or from a human at the level of the frequencies, the discussion is by definition already off track! At that level, the difference is indeed only gradual. But no one will deny that the parrot will never say it with the same force or meaning as a human. That is precisely why it is so funny when a parrot ‘talks’.
If we try to show the difference between apes and humans at the DNA level, then the discussion has by definition already gone wrong. Then there is indeed only a gradual difference. But that is not because the difference is in fact only gradual. It is because you aren’t looking any farther than the end of your nose! It depends on the way you look at things.
A light has just gone on for the attentive reader. He remembers the law of Midas: the incapability of discovering greater things by a reductionist way of looking at things. That applies to the existence of a Creator®. That also applies to seeing, or discovering if you will, that man is spirit. And thus an ape is not.
16.3 Mind and spirit
Humans and animals can learn. We are more than just our DNA. The ability to learn is undoubtedly genetically determined, but what you learn is not. The ability to remember is perhaps also genetically determined, but what you remember is not.
is behavior genetically determined?
The behavior that lions have displayed and continue to display (living in a group) is learned from each other. That is not hereditary. Animals brought up in captivity cannot automatically survive in the wild, because they do not know how to survive. Young apes that are raised by a false mother do not know how to raise young themselves. The knowledge and the skills are lacking.
Wolves hunt in packs and foxes live solitary lives. Still, they belong to the same genetic sort, the same type. The pack-hunting behavior is taught during the life of the (young) wolf. It can be lost within one generation, if the animal does not grow up in the group with that hunting behavior. It is not genetically determined, except that the wolf’s body is excellent for that kind of hunting. Wolves that could not participate in the hunt died. The wolves with stronger jaws and faster legs survived. Present-day wolves are therefore equipped for their present hunting behavior. But suppose the wolves ate easily for one whole generation, and stopped when the last wolf that had hunted in packs died. There is a good chance that the pack would not survive. They would have to learn to hunt all over again, or find another way of getting food. Perhaps a few are able to survive, that either display another kind of hunting behavior, or are able to slowly pick up the hunting behavior to which their bodies are still best suited. In that sense, the behavior is ‘genetically determined’. But ‘predestined’ is a better word. The behavior itself is not ‘determined’, but the physical equipment for that behavior is.
human behavior is determined by the spirit
A human has a body that is equipped for performing a number of very refined acts (like very mobile fingers which can be used separately from each other) and tends therefore to develop his behavior so that he is able to use that possibility (play the piano, or type in text on a word processor, as I am doing now). The behavior is not genetically determined. The possibility of certain kinds of behavior is. The behavior itself is not determined by my genes, but by my self, which is therefore also not genetic. My self, my spirit, uses my body, but isn’t my body. My self is much more than my DNA. My self is made up of all I have learned, all my experiences, my behavior and my will. Are those things only biochemical reactions in my body? No, those things aren’t biochemical reactions. If that were true, then ‘I cannot do anything about it’ if something happens, or if I do something. I do that because that biochemical reaction takes place within me. There is then no longer such a thing as responsibility.
Let that sink in for a minute.
If life is in fact only a complex biochemical reaction, responsibility does not exist.
No, the biochemical reactions take place because I do something, or want something. The biochemical reactions are the carriers of what I want, learn, know, or do, but they are not equal to those things. My spirit receives signals from the body through the brain. My spirit does not understand those signals if they are not passed on through the brain to me.
the spirit programs the brain
Certain parts of my brain are organized in such a way that they take care of a great deal (most) processes automatically without me knowing about it. Other parts of my brain are programmed by my spirit (!) to automatically perform routines, such as driving a car. That is called learning.
Those acquired routines can take place without my spirit constantly needing to intervene and decide what needs to happen. My spirit only watches over the entire process and can concentrate on the main task. For instance, ‘braking’ and ‘shifting gears’ happen automatically. I no longer have to think about how I have to brake; that routine is programmed in. I only give them command ‘brake’ and the rest happens by itself. If braking continues long enough, I automatically hit the clutch. Of course, various signals reach my brain, which indicate that the clutch has been activated (I feel my left foot descend, I hear the sound of the engine change) but my brain does not actually pass those signals on to me. I instructed my brain to interpret those signals as being the message that the-clutch-has-been-activated. I then taught my brain to maintain the message the-clutch-has-been-activated independently. If I have slowed down sufficiently and I decide that it is time to speed up again, then I give the command ‘accelerate’, and my programmed brain then looks for the right data in order to carry out that routine.
I told my brain that it is allowed to carry out that kind of automatic routines, if the signals that it receives from the body in connection with that routine do not contain anything disturbing. Only if a signal comes from the body that the programmed routine is going too far does the brain alert my spirit, and I need to react in the right way. I could, for instance, receive a warning signal from my brain saying, there is too much noise in the back of the car, I cannot hear the sounds around me well enough any more and therefore cannot properly assess the signals I am receiving and therefore can no longer act automatically, and I need to do something about it. And then my spirit decides what to do: reprimand the children; ask my wife, sitting next to me, to keep the children quiet; or drive very concentratedly. My spirit then takes over some tasks from my brain, or begins to consciously guide them. In this way, I can, for instance, concentrate on assessing the sounds. In that case, I can no longer talk to my wife, because I am busy. Or I no longer allow the process of passing to happen automatically, but consciously (that is the word we then use) pay attention to it.
If there is nothing in all those signals coming in that I have told my brain is abnormal, or that is completely unknown, then my brain simply continues with the pre-programmed tasks. The only thing I do is give the basic commands: faster, slower, right, left, look in the mirror. But even those commands can be taught to my brain so that they can carry them out automatically. For example, while passing a car on the highway. That maneuver consists of a combination of the basic commands, which are always the same.
But you can also tell your brain, for instance, that it should not automatically look in the mirror or over your shoulder, because you think that the risks involved are too great. Your brain will then warn you every time it is necessary. And then you concentrate on that. At that moment, you cannot do anything else that has no already been pre-programmed.
If your brain receives signals of a very serious nature, it warns the spirit that there is something wrong, but it also immediately prepares the body for the actions which will subsequently be undertaken by the spirit. If the car in front of you brakes suddenly, you get a fright and receive a jolt of adrenaline in your blood. That causes the pupils to get smaller so you can see better, the blood vessels in your skin narrow and your heart beats faster, so more oxygen can get through to your muscles and your brain. Why? Because it is necessary for your spirit to be able to call upon every function of the body and of your brain – to the extent that they can be directed by the spirit – and cause them to react immediately, if that becomes necessary. All the functions that cannot be directed by the spirit and are therefore momentarily unnecessary are briefly stopped, such as digestion. (Aren’t our bodies wonderfully put together!)
the brain is not the spirit
Our brain is a fantastic instrument in our bodies, one we can make use of. Our spirit is in constant communication with our brain. If we have taught our brain to interpret a certain combination of signals in a certain way and to react to that, we can then build on that with other instructions. However, the whole system of interpretations, automatic routines, and reactions, etc., that are built up in our brains, are determined by our spirit! Our spirit tells our brain what to do. Our spirit cannot fall back on a function that has not been introduced to the brain. If the routine bring-up-the-clutch-and-push-down-the-gas-pedal has not been acquired, programmed, then our spirit cannot use that acquired and stored routine in our brain. If there is a disorder in the brain, or in the senses, then the spirit cannot make use of that capacity of the brain either. But the brain is not the same as the spirit. The brain is not the spirit. The brain communicates with the spirit. The brain is the instrument the spirit can use to make the body do what it wants it to do.
biochemical reactions are not the spirit
The spirit can program the brain to automatically carry out routines, but it is itself not physical, bodily, biochemical. While the spirit gives the brain instructions, all sorts of biochemical processes are taking place in the brain. Many biochemical processes also take place during the automatic routines allowed by the spirit. There are also many biochemical processes that take place to perform routines that will never reach the spirit’s consciousness. Insulin production in the body is arranged completely outside man’s spirit. A signal will never reach the brain saying, hurry, do something, insulin is running low. What could happen is that a signal appears which means: something is wrong. That is called pain. And then we go to the doctor who understands many of the processes in our body and knows how to find out what is wrong and what he needs to do about it. If he explains it to us, then we can begin to interpret certain signals given by our body as: insulin is not being produced. But that part of the brain that maintains insulin levels will never report directly to our spirit what the problem is.
Medicines and drugs can influence processes in our brains. But they are mere surrogates for what you really feel and perceive. Drugs can influence the stimuli that enter the brain through your senses to such an extent that you start to see ‘strange things’. Walls begin to move, colors change and things like that. The normal order of things in your body and your brain are overthrown. But what you perceive is not real. You may feel happy, or good, in some way, but it is not a real feeling.
Of course, your spirit thinks all of that is very unusual, since you normally do not see all of those things. Those chemicals do not directly influence your spirit, but your brain. And your spirit, which ‘communicates’ with (certain parts of) your brain, flips out when it sees that much disturbance.
What am I getting at with this whole story? It is simple. Man is not just a body. Man is spirit and body. Man is Spirit. The spirit is completely dependent on the body. Without the body, the spirit can do nothing.
a mental handicap is not a handicap of the spirit
When bodily functions are missing or (seriously) damaged, the spirit is limited in how much it can learn or express itself. A person is then physically handicapped. When brain functions are damaged or missing, a person is mentally handicapped. What can a person do when the part of his brain that directs the mouth is damaged? He cannot get control of his mouth and vocal cords, and cannot express himself. And if that part of the brain that directs his arms and legs is also damaged? Then his spirit is incapable of making his body do what he wants it to do. This means that someone could for instance be unable to learn to read and write, and his development will therefore be seriously limited. But his spirit is fundamentally no different from ours! Mentally handicapped people are 100% human! One h u n d r e d percent! Because their Spirit is one h u n d r e d percent human. Man, and that means also a mentally handicapped man, is Spirit. That Spirit is not physical and therefore is not physically or mentally handicapped. The body and the brain are damaged, and that has enormous repercussions in the possibilities such a person has to express themselves and to live. And that affects the spirit, just as someone’s spirit and life are affected if he or she is good-looking or ugly, intelligent or dumb, male or female, and therefore also if he or she is handicapped or not. All these people are 100% human and deserve to be respected as such by us.
body without soul is dead
If the body dies, the spirit has lost its shelter. It has lost all its means of expressing itself. But if the spirit leaves the body, the body will die too. It can be kept alive artificially, but it doesn’t ‘do’ anything anymore. What about the story of the woman who had been in a coma for years, and whose brain was discovered to have wasted away? Her body could be kept alive; her brain could not. Her spirit had left the body. Her brain had lost its function. Even though it received blood and oxygen and everything it needed, just like the rest of the body did, it died off, because her spirit was no longer present.
body and spirit are one
Body and spirit are one. They are not one and the same. They form a complete unit. To say that a person is only a body, albeit with an incredible number of complex biochemical reactions but still only body, only matter, only molecules and atoms is a flagrant denial of reality as we experience it.
our experience is that we are spiritual
Everyone experiences that man is more than his body. However, theory says that man is only matter. That comes from the fact that the ‘precise’ science behind that theory only examines matter, not the spirit. The spirit is recalcitrant and changeable and cannot be contained in formulas obtained by repeatable experiments. That is why it cannot be scientifically examined. Science can examine the body. It can even examine the brain and perhaps also the automated processes which the spirit has taught the brain, and so arrive at a study-of-behavior. But if the spirit wants to, it turns the behavior upside-down. Studying a behavior almost always can only work if the subject under observation is not aware that he is being studied. If he does know, then the spirits can sabotage it by behaving differently. The spirit does not like to be pinned down. Science cannot study the nature of the spirit, because it is not physical, corporeal, material. The body carries the spirit, but it isn’t the spirit.
we have been taught to think materialistically
Science can only research that which is natural. And the spirit of man, that lives in the body and directs that body, causes all sorts of processes in the body that are connected to what the spirit wants and does. That is why science tends to think that the spirit does not exist and that there are only those processes, processes they can observe. The spirit does not allow itself to be measured with instruments. The spirit can only be discovered by the spirit. You feel, know that you are more than a body. We speak of a self, of I want. You think. Your spirit knows that it directs your body. Only, your spirit reads things and sees things on television – things it finds very attractive – and they say that the spirit does not exist. And your spirit has a tendency to believe those things. And to allow its actions to be determine by those things. Because your spirit has been taught to believe only those things which can be proven by experiments. And your spirit has accepted that. And that is why you think that you have no spirit.
16.4 Humans and chimpanzees are genetically 99% identical
This is a very popular and often-heard utterance: we are 99% the same as the apes? What are we supposed to do with that?
This figure was not arrived at on the basis of a comparison of base pairs (the entire human genome has not yet been mapped, let alone that of the chimpanzees). That was estimated on the basis of DNA hybridization. That is to say: by bringing together human and chimpanzee DNA, heating it up, which causes the strands of DNA to unfold or ‘denaturalize’, and then to let them cool off again, which causes the strands to connect into doubled DNA. At certain temperatures, DNA bonds only at those places where the base sequence corresponds closely. By comparing the lengths of human DNA that do and do not connect with chimp DNA, you can get an idea of the similarity between the two. The interpretation of this data, the degree of base pair-correspondence, is therefore a hit-or-miss method!
The figures given vary somewhat. I was able to find the following numbers:
- 60 million differences in base pairs, that is, 2 % difference (Biology, pp. 1045)
- 1.6% difference (Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, pp. 361)
- 96.2% correspondence, Don Batten, Creation ex nihilo 19.1, pp. 21-22
the ‘minimal’ differences are insurmountable
- Firstly, this is not all that amazing, and secondly, we actually already knew that! It is not amazing that apes and humans live on the same earth, chew comparable plants or eat meat, breath the same air and are decomposed by the same organisms when they die. The anthropoid apes are also the ‘highest’ animals we know of. As far as organ complexity, cell structures and behavior are concerned, they are just second to humans. It is not so surprising that the genetic basis of all of that also shows strong similarities. In other words: didn’t we actually know that already? Or couldn’t we have expected it? It isn’t really anything new that they are telling us, is it?
- 7 million years (that is how long ago chimps and humans supposedly diverged) at 1 mutation per generation (of say 20 years) in humans, is far too short for 60 million differences!
- Only one essential gene has to exist, without which no viable individuals could be produced, that does not permit fundamental mutations, and that humans have and apes do not or vice versa, and the gap between apes and humans cannot be bridged!!
- Humans have 46 chromosomes and chimpanzees have 48.
Below you can see a comparison between a few chromosomes from the Human (H, blue), Chimpanzee (C, green), Gibbon (G, purple) and Orangutan (O, red), on the basis of band-patterns of chromosomes (which still says very little about differences in base pairs)
Chromosome H2 is supposedly a joining of two chromosomes from a chimpanzee. However, in that process approximately 125 chimp genes are lost (100,000 genes / 23 chromosomes x 2mm/60mm) and there is one centromeer (the piece of DNA that the ‘arms’ of the chromosomes are attached to) too many.
The few millimeters of difference in H1 also contain an estimated 125 genes. And then there are the differences in bands which haven’t been mentioned yet, and the remaining 20 chromosomes. So if there is a difference of, on average, 125 genes per chromosome, then there is a total difference of 2,875 genes!
- On the other hand, between 1.6% and 3.8% difference would mean that there are between 1,280 and 3,040 genes that are different in chimpanzees and in humans!
- In the context of this book, it can be clear that an estimated number of 2,500 genes that are not shared is ‘somewhat’ problematic for justifying a common ancestry.
the ‘minimal’ differences are proof that man is Spirit
Besides these things, the large genetic similarity between chimpanzee and human is an incredibly strong argument in support of my thesis that man is Spirit! The greater the similarity the better, even! Spirit cannot be contained in genes. The spirit of man uses the body, it lies, rests within the body, but there is no gene that codes for a protein that is the spirit. The spirit is not of the same order as proteins. The spirit is of a much higher order. The co-operation between the genes and proteins is called metabolism. A metabolism is of a higher order than a gene or protein. Perception, the ability to observe and react to observations, is of a higher order than a metabolism. Emotion is of a higher order than perception. And so it continues. The spirit of man is of the highest order. That spirit will not be found, despite the only slightly differing genes, in chimpanzees and gorillas! The spirit of man can be recognized by the self-consciousness of man, the fact that he can make decisions, consider his actions, make choices, has a will, can make plans, think up ideas, is creative, makes art, has culture, stores knowledge, makes technology, penetrates the molecular elements of his existence, speaks a languages, writes books, sells ideas, and above all loves. And by that I do not mean the (animal) sex given us by Darwin …
The slight, genetic differences between chimpanzees and humans cannot explain this ENORMOUS spiritual barrier. That hemoglobin (which transports oxygen in red blood cells) has a somewhat different structure in chimps does not in any way explain the difference in lifestyles, in our beings, does it?!! That chimps have hair and we do not, and that there are a few genes for that which arrange it, does not explain the huge differences between us, does it? Most of the genetic differences are probably this sort of thing, so if you leave those aside and only look at brain capacity and how many genes are involved in that, how many difference do you get then? Half a percent? One-tenth of a percent? Can that tenth of a percent explain the ENORMOUS spiritual differences? The can be only one correct conclusion: man is Spirit, an ape is not.
16.5 The nature of the spirit
Many people will ask, “Then what is the nature of the spirit of man? And where is the spirit of man located? In the cerebrum, or in the cerebellum?”
I think that that question is wrong. That question is a materialistic question. Where is it then? ‘It’ is not an it. You could ask the same question of the sound sample. Where is the emotion located then? Indicate it. At which frequency is the message? Show where the idea that you say is behind it starts and where it stops. Those are the wrong questions. Those questions show that the questioner is looking through the wrong glasses, or maybe is even blind. That questioner has been taught to look at the world in a certain reductionistic way, and because his way of reasoning inherently means that you cannot give a meaningful answer, he thinks he is right. Love, spirit cannot be digitalized or put under a microscope. If you ask me to give you an answer to the question of what the nature of spirit is, where it is, then I cannot answer you. The spirit is not located in one central place in your brain, because the spirit is not tangible and therefore takes up no space.
When does the spirit enter the man? During fertilization? When the brain is complete? When the child is born? And what if identical twins are born? Then two spirits have to come from somewhere?
These questions have the same problem as the ones in the previous paragraph. They assume that the spirit has substance, that it comes to live in the body, like a driver stepping into a car. I think that this image is wrong. I do not think that there are spirits that wait until they are allowed to crawl into a body. I do not think that the Creator® has a supply of spirits stocked up and hands them out to embryos. I also do not think that the Creator® creates a separate spirit for each embryo and adds it to the existing life, because what is then the moment that that happens? It is difficult to speak of this matter (deliberate word choice), because it is not matter, but spirit. Just as proteins are not the spirit, words can only capture, describe, catch the spirit with difficulty, and then the critics do not accept it. The best description I can find to answer the question, which should not be asked, ‘when does the spirit enter the man’, is: the spirit grows in the man. In the fertilized egg cell, everything is already contained that makes that person a human, and yet it is only one cell. Does it already contain spirit? Yes, absolutely. It is already contained in it, but it cannot as yet be expressed in any way. And yet that body is also contained in that one cell, and it is also certain that it will be a human body. Is there one spirit in a baby? Yes, just as a baby also has one body.
Does this spirit arise from nothing, or is that spirit made by the Creator® after all? My answer would be: as the body is also made by the Creator® - apart from the question of whether he only set life in motion once and never looked at it again, or is still actively involved with his creation – in that way, the spirit is also made by him.
And what happens to the spirit when the body dies, is the spirit then also dead? No answer to that question can be given. At least not here. Science ceases to exist with death. Perhaps there are other ways of finding out.
16.6 Animals have a spirit too?
Animals can learn, remember and make decisions. They also have a distinct character. So animals have a spirit too. That spirit is not as well developed as the spirit of a human, in the same way that the body of a human is capable of more refined actions that an animal’s body. Therefore, the difference between the spirit of a human and of an animal is a matter of degree.
Perhaps I should introduce the word spiritual. Man is spiritual and an animal is not. Man searches for the meaning of his existence and wants to give his life substance; animals merely exist. The schematic below could be helpful in understanding the distinction:
There are four ‘levels of existence’ to be distinguished. Objects, plants, animals and humans all ‘exist’, but hey are still fundamentally different from each other.
- Objects are not alive and therefore exist only on an inorganic, physical level.
- Plants also exist on a physical level, but in addition are alive, and therefore also exist on a biological level.
- Animals, like plants, exist on a physical and biological level, but have brains, senses, and the ability to observe, remember and learn and display ‘behavior’; in short, they have a psyche and therefore also exist on a ‘psychological level’.
- Humans have a psyche, just like animals, and are alive, like plants and animals, and are made up of molecules, like objects, but beyond all of that, they are also spiritual.
If you look at the psychological aspect, then you could indeed say that humans and animals differ in degree. The psyche of a man is higher or more complex than that of animas. But that is not the distinction between humans and animals. Man is different because of the spiritual aspect.
For clarity’s sake, I will give a number of examples, of which this spirit of man consists, found in humans and not in animals: Humans can think, keep track of their actions, consider, choose consciously, do not have to live by their whims or instincts, are self-aware, have culture, record history, make art, music, speak, write, laugh, decorate themselves, dress themselves, marry in the town square, in City Hall, or in the church, set up associations, meeting places, clubs, assign value to things, make appointments, produce, do business, have money, accumulate possessions, run a company, go on vacation, have a feel for beauty, form, speak truth, have prisons, have the knowledge of good and evil, are moral, love one another, do good, are religious, believe.
Only by twisting things, if you really want to, can you project such things onto animal behavior, so that you can say, “In a primitive way, these things are already present in animals; it is just further developed in humans.”
Which words can be found to correctly show the distinction? Man is spirit and animals have spirit? Or man has a spirit and animals have a psyche? Or even: animals have a spirit and humans have a soul? I am not really satisfied with any of these alternative. The words that can be used, are used in so many ways and have so many connotations that I have to fall back on cliches like there-are-no-words and our-language-is-too-limited. However, a word to the wise is enough, and perhaps I have been able to get the idea or the concept across…