Dealing with Death

Does death mean “no more?”  Does it mean that our thought process ends with our being brain dead?  Or is death the beginning of something altogether foreign and new to us?

Of course, nobody knows the answer to these questions, but scientists do discuss the law of conservation of energy and mass as a known.  Following this law, energy and matter can neither be created nor destroyed in our recycling universe, but may be transformed.  Does this mean that your thinking cannot die?  If your brain is no longer functional, your thinking may evolve into a new form.  Since awareness could be converted to something else, thoughts still may exist outside our bodies after death.  Unfortunately, it is not likely that your thinking will ever stop.

The best thing that could possibly happen is for us to die and stop thinking.  Death, then, would be the end to consciousness.  We could welcome death if this were the case.  There would be no pain, no suffering, and no consequences after death.  We would have absolutely nothing to worry about.  Since we are all sinners, we all could breathe easier since our poor choices in life would have no repercussions.

If we died and our thinking terminated at that point, we could easily deal with death.  Death would be the same as nothing, and everybody should be able to deal with nothing happening.  Everything would end and there would be no more.  Believe me… that would be a good thing.

That would be a great ending for us because most of us feel guilty about something and those who don’t should.   And the bad choices we made in life would have had no consequences after death.  Of course, society, family, and peer pressure still would provide their own consequences for your sins during your lifetime.  But there would be no afterlife to worry about.

So, the real problem in dealing with death occurs if our final breath does not stop our thinking.  If we are still aware after we die, we definitely have a problem.  Most likely, the afterlife will be strange and scary for us.  How do we prepare for a nightmarish unknown?

Quite frankly, I don’t know.  There are many religions to study and select your favorite.  But I am concerned that religion, by itself, will not be sufficient.  I fear that beliefs that are lukewarm to warm will not serve us well during the high stress of facing the unknown.  Attending church and praying to God probably are not going to help that much either.  So, how do we deal with death if we are still thinking?

It seems logical that there is a Creator outside this universe, since we live where nothing can be created.  And I believe that it is critical to make contact with this Creator before we die and certainly after we die.  How do we do that?  Again, I don’t know.  But it makes sense to attempt to unify with the Creator in some manner.  If you have sufficient faith and trust in the Creator and allow Him into your thoughts, you will be on the right path.

There are no guarantees that the path will be smooth.  I’m fairly confident that we will be tested on that journey through the afterlife.  But your beliefs in the Creator must be powerful enough to withstand the chaos and darkness so that you can find the light from your guide and ally along this road.  Never give up on the Creator because only He can remove you from the eternal damnation of being stuck with your own thoughts for infinity without any diversions.

Now, that would be Hell!

Evolution for Afterlife

We are all familiar with Darwin’s theories of evolution during life, but very little has been written on evolution after life.  If you believe that there is nothing after life, then you will not be interested in this discussion; however, you might want to read this just in case there is something waiting for us after we die.  Since it is impossible to say with certainty that there is nothing after we die, it might be good to at least think about the possibilities.

You have heard stories about parents who wanted their children to have a better life and sacrificed their own lives to provide an education and whatever else they could to give their children a better chance than they had.  Evolution is a part of that process.  Survival of the fittest is one of the evolutionary principles that generally create a better and stronger species.  The weaker and less efficient members of that population die or don’t reproduce.

We know that Homo sapiens was lucky to become the dominant species.  If the dinosaurs had not suffered a mass extinction, mammals would not have had the opportunity to flourish.  And our species was nearly wiped out several times, but it fortunately survived the eruption of Mt. Toba and the ice ages.

So even though we consider ourselves as the ultimate species at the top of the evolutionary peak, this is not true.  Consider the source of that belief.  Our species consists of very fragile animals that cannot survive in extreme conditions.  The species has only existed for a short period in geologic time.  Our selfish tendencies will eventually doom us.  We would rather satisfy our individual needs than do the right thing to protect our progeny.  An example is our inability to preserve our environment for future generations.

We attempt to improve ourselves during our lifetimes, but our humanness limits our ability to evolve into selfless creatures.  Perhaps the best we can hope for is that we would sacrifice our lives to protect our children.  So, it may be that any significant evolution of man must occur after death.  Assuming that we are still conscious after death, we may have the opportunity to evolve into a much better entity.

The Bible indicates that there are three Heavens (2 Corinthians 12:2).  We can only speculate on these different Heavens, but there may be three separate tests for each Heaven.

The first Heaven probably is the obvious one where Christians go if they believe in Jesus who died for their sins.  But Jews and Muslims also know this Heaven as a place where believers of God are admitted.  Other religions and beliefs are not excluded from this Heaven.  This destination is not an exclusive club for Christians, Jews, Muslims, or any religion.  But your choices made during life may be a part of the judgment, including analyzing your actions as evidence that you actually believed.  So, this Heaven perhaps is the easiest to reach as long as you believe.  There may be a clear division between believers and nonbelievers.  The Bible refers to an abyss between the two groups.  Near-death experiences consistently refer to crossing over.

We apparently will retain at least some of our senses to detect this Heaven.  This is the Heaven that has been seen and heard by those who have had near-death or death experiences.  It probably is a beautiful and peaceful place, but still should be within the confines of God’s created, closed universe.  This is where we may see and talk to relatives and friends who predeceased us, angels, and Jesus and Abraham, all in recognizable human form.  This probably is by design so we will feel welcome and will not be afraid of unfamiliar forms and entities.  The face of Jesus will be comfortable and familiar to us, so we may see Him here.  But the face of God might be more hidden from us in this Heaven.

The second Heaven may require an evolution of spirit, going from selfish, centrist thought to “big picture” thinking.  In other words, you become less important as an entity as the whole becomes more important than your part.  This Heaven, more than likely, is reached through your thoughts.  You may find the mid-Heaven quite a bit more difficult to reach since there may be temptations in the first Heaven that impede your progress.  However, if you become one with God, you should be able to avoid selfish and prideful thoughts.  Some religions teach this unification, which is critical in order to evolve and transfer into the second Heaven.  Reaching this goal requires much more than a belief in Jesus or God; it requires a complete makeover of your personality, focusing on the universe that is beyond you.  I have no idea about the structure of this Heaven, but it probably is still within the border of our closed universe.  We may be judged by our actions in the first Heaven to determine if we will be permitted to transition to the second Heaven.

The third Heaven probably is God’s universe, which is outside our known universe.  The law of conservation of energy basically states that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed in a closed universe.  So, God’s creation probably occurred outside our closed universe in God’s kingdom.  The transformation that is required to reach this kingdom may be of such a magnitude that I would be surprised if many souls ever made it.  In fact, the Bible, including the teachings of Jesus, is very clear that only a very few make the grade to reach God’s kingdom.

Pastors rarely will discuss the three Heavens and even less often will mention the difficulty in reaching the third Heaven, God’s kingdom.  It would be too controversial.  The pastors would be run out of town.  Most believers only want to hear about the first Heaven, which is the easiest destination.  So, ministers focus on how members of their church can reach the first Heaven.  It would be difficult to sell Christianity or any other religion if people had to work too hard at it.  So, don’t expect too many articles on evolving from the first Heaven to the second and third Heavens.

The significant evolution of our spirits must occur after we die.  My wife and I look forward to the Heavens as a challenge.  We will do our best and reach as many Heavens as we can.  We believe we have a chance to reach the second Heaven, so we will prepare ourselves as much as we can during our lifetimes to be ready for whatever happens.

If there is no afterlife, then all will be still when we die, and we will not suffer from our beliefs.  However, if there is an afterlife, then we will be well served by our preparation for consequences.  The free will that God gave us must have some significance.  As religious existentialists we believe that free will without the consequences of God would be quite absurd.

Also, it seems logical that a creation must have a Creator and that a design must have a Designer.  If I were an odds maker, I would say that it is more likely than not that there is a God.  If I were a gambler, I would place my money on God not only because of better odds, but also because of the consequences if you are wrong.  Even if the chances of there being a God were one in a million, I would still bet on God because if I’m wrong, it will not cost me anything.  But if I don’t pick God and I’m wrong, it will cost me everything.

My wife and I have taken a vow of abstinence for the past twenty years.  We will die without having sex again.  This may seem a bit extreme, but believe me, getting to the other Heavens requires extreme effort.  It will not be easy, no matter what religion and beliefs you have.  You must be willing to sacrifice yourself and your desires.  My wife and I study the Bible together as we prepare for our final days.  We are not perfect, but we work toward reaching the final goal.  If you get halfway toward your goal each day, you will never reach the goal, but you will keep edging closer.

It is interesting that many people do not like their lives, their work, their sex lives, their sex (male or female), but there are days when my wife and I find that we don’t like our species.  We apologize for this, but sometimes, we like our dogs better than humans.  In fact, we hope God has animals in the first Heaven.  We feel confident that the second and third Heavens require a complete transfiguration from our species into something altogether different and, of course, becoming a better entity through the evolution for afterlife.  Good luck.  We all will need it.

Stromatolites – Our Ancient Ancestors

Our earliest ancestor was a plant, not an animal.  This most ancient ancestor was a stromatolite dating back more than 3.5 billion years ago or about a billion years after our earth was first formed.   Stromatolites consist of blue-green algae that aggregates, creating layers.  Even though most of our early ancestors have gone extinct, stromatolites still exist today.  A large population is located in the Hamelin Pool in Shark Bay in western Australia.

Stromatolites were the most abundant fossils found in rocks dating to the Precambrian era, from the origin of Earth about 4.5 billion years ago to 544 million years ago.  Stromatolites became prolific starting about 2.5 billion years ago, releasing oxygen into the environment which set the stage for animal life.  Both plant and animal kingdoms diversified over the years, but stromatolites remained the same since they were able to adapt to many environments and did not require diversification to survive.  They formerly existed all over the world, but today they are endangered.

Over billions of years, both plants and animals evolved into large trees and dinosaurs, but there were many mass extinctions that cut off the branches in our family tree.  One of the most widely discussed was the death of the dinosaurs, which occurred about 65 million years ago.  The K-T boundary or thin geologic line representing the end of the Cretaceous and beginning of the Tertiary ages included iridium.  Iridium is found primarily in meteors.  This was strong evidence of when the large mountain of a meteor about six miles wide crashed into the Yucatan Penninsula near the town of Chicxulub in Mexico.

Scientists are fairly confident that this meteor caused significant stress on the dinosaur population, but are not certain if this event could have accounted for the mass extinction by itself.  However, if you examine the effects of the meteor’s impact, it might be sufficient.  The impact set off volcanic eruptions, massive earthquakes, and tsunamis, all sending dust and debris into the atmosphere, where it blocked sunlight for centuries.  This created a nuclear winter with temperatures plummeting.  There were wildfires all over earth, causing acid rain.  This sounds pretty convincing, but there is one more piece to this puzzle.

About this same time, a large volcanic eruption occurred in the Deccan Traps located in the northwestern part of the Deccan Plateau in India.  It may be the largest volcanic province in the world, consisting of more than a 6,600-foot depth of basalt lava flows covering an area of 190,000 square miles.  When the event occurred, some estimates show that 580,000 square miles were impacted.  This would have been a significant event, which when combined with the meteor could have been too much for the dinosaurs.

Some scientists believe that the Deccan Traps eruption occurred first about 66 million years ago, lasting for thousands of years, and then the Yucatan meteor smashed into the earth about 65 million years ago, causing a double whammy which wiped out the dinosaurs.  However, it may be more than a coincidence that the Yucatan impact area is on the opposite side of the world from the Deccan Traps.  If you place your finger of your right hand on the area where the meteor landed and a finger of your left hand on the Deccan Traps on a globe of the earth, these locations are eerily opposed to each other.

I don’t believe in coincidences.  I would argue that the time lines need to be reexamined.  It is more likely that the meteor stuck first, which triggered the great Deccan Flats eruption.  Whether this occurred 66 or 65 million years ago is not known, but it must have been closer in time than scientists believe.

Mammals were able to survive these events and over time, an animal called Homo erectus popped up in the east African rift zone about 2 million years ago.  These hominids were able to stand upright, so we believe that we descended directly from them.  Homo sapiens seem to have entered the scene about 500 thousand years ago, and the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, which is very similar to modern man, can be found about 200 thousand years ago.

Our subspecies just barely hung on after the mega-volcanic eruption at Lake Toba in Indonesia about 75,000 years ago.  This was the biggest eruption that we know about during the history of earth, which caused a nuclear winter just like the Yucatan meteor and Deccan Flats eruption.  Our species came very close to being wiped out.  There were only about a thousand of our species that survived this event, which explains why all humans are so genetically similar.  After surviving the ice age, our species started repopulating the earth about 10,000 years ago.

So the bottom line is that Homo sapiens sapiens has not been king of the earth for very long.  In the great scheme of things, we should examine all our ancestors and realize that we are very insignificant in the great scheme of things, not only in the amount of time that we have occupied the earth, but also in our vulnerability to changes.  We have been very fortunate that we are right in the middle of a warm, moderate period, but will we survive the next ice age or cataclysm?  Time is really not on our side.

Instinct vs. Choices

Homo sapiens have been provided some instincts such as self preservation and species preservation, but we seem to be different than all the other animals on this planet in that we also make choices, unrelated to obtaining food, shelter, or sex.  As an example, we may make decisions based on whether we consider the act as being right or wrong.  This seems to separate us from the others in our animal kingdom.

This gift of a decision-making process does not come without consequences, though.  Even if you do not believe in consequences in an afterlife, there are consequences within our lives.  If you choose the door with the tiger behind it, you will, more than likely, be eaten.

Biological psychologists wrestle with some very difficult questions.  (1) Can our minds work independently of our brains?  (2) Why do humans have an ethical basis for their decisions?  (3) How does heredity influence behavior?  We will discuss these questions later to see how they impact our choices.

But let’s start with instinct.  Instinct is a label for a category of behaviors that are found in different species.  When we say that female elephants take care of their babies based on a maternal instinct, this is only a label that does not explain how the behavior developed in elephants.  But these labels are important and seem fairly consistent throughout the animal kingdom.  Many species have a maternal instinct, which helps preserve the species.  Some biological psychologists avoid the term instinct as being offensive to their studies, but it is very beneficial when talking in general terms.

There is a strong maternal instinct in our species.  Our brains are hard-wired to protect our young since this allowed humans to survive predators in the wild.  Many mammals have young that are not strong enough to run away from a hungry predator, so an instinct to preserve our species is deep within us.  Humans don’t wonder whether there will be consequences to us.  We react instinctively when we protect our young.

Now, let’s examine choices.  When our species makes a decision, is it because biological factors forced a behavior or did they enable the behavior to occur?  For example, there are areas of your brain that increase the likelihood of you being pushed into aggressive behavior.  But you will make choices on your response to that force.  Your past experiences, the current social setting, the legal consequences, and current motivations will all come into play when you make a decision.  When murderers were asked if they chose to commit the murders, they answered in the affirmative.  You make choices every day and there are always consequences, which temper your decisions.

So, let’s examine the first question above:  can our minds work independently of our brains?  There are two theories:  (1) the dualists believe that our brains interact with our minds, while (2) the monists believe that the brain is a machine and consciousness is irrelevant to its functioning.  Most religions follow dualism since when our brains die, we arguably continue thinking with our minds.  And our ethical and moral values play a significant role in making choices.  Descartes, a French philosopher, was a dualist who believed that there was something other than the brain that recognized that “I think, therefore I am.”

If you believe that we respond like machines, then we really don’t have any choices.  We are predestined to do everything that we do.  We would be hard wired to make decisions.  If this were true, wouldn’t we all be making the same basic decisions?  For example if we found a lost wallet with $100,000 inside it, would everybody make the same decision on what to do with the money?  You would have some people who would return the wallet and money and others who would return only the wallet and pretend that they found it without the cash inside.  The final choice will be based on many complex factors and should not be a typical mechanical decision.

This is a transition to the second question: why do humans have an ethical basis for their decisions?  Is there a part of our brain that has a conscience?  There may be parts of the brain that may be stimulated to provide relief from pain or depression.  But it is not known if the brain can be manipulated to provide a conscious in the decision-making process.  In other words, can a portion of the brain be stimulated to make a person make better choices based on something other than personal gains?

The answer why our species seems to be unique when it struggles with ethical decisions is based on many factors.  Certainly, how we are perceived by others, our religious beliefs, and how penal systems will respond to our actions may forge a conscious.  Man struggles mightily with ethics, so there must be some reason that is lodged somewhere in our thoughts, different than in our brains.

Then the final question is: how does heredity influence behavior?  An ontogenetic explanation of our behavior starts with our genes and traces how the genes combine with the influence of the environment and our experiences to produce the final outcome.  The genes that were more successful were passed on to future generations as the genetic makeup that had weaknesses were phased out over the years.  For example Homo sapiens probably had a conservative gene that made our species more cautious and patient in our responses.  Those of our early species who were too impatient were eaten by predators, so natural selection preserved those genetic propensities to take our time and think things through before jumping into harm’s way.

As we discussed, birds do not need to be taught how to build nests since that behavior is largely instinctual.  However, humans need to be taught nearly everything we do.  We have a survival instinct for ourselves and our species, but we make most of our decisions with our minds in gear, not our brains.  We make many conscious choices every day based on our individual moral fiber.  So it may come as a shock to many people that genetic differences are also an important determinant of variation in a wide range of human behaviors.  A growing list of behaviors— including major measurable aspects of personality, political conservatism, religiosity, occupational attitudes, social attitudes, marital status, and even television watching—have all been shown to be inherited traits.

In conclusion, our decisions frame who we are and who we want to be during our lives.  But our decisions also play a significant role in the afterlife.  In other words if you are still thinking when you die, then your brain will decompose leaving your mind to continue into the afterlife.  The choices that you made during your lifetime will follow your thoughts after death.

Has Man Been Around for Millions of Years?

How long has man been around on our planet?  Well, it depends on your definition of man.  If by   man, you mean Homo sapiens, then the answer is no.  We have only been on earth for about 200,000 years.  But if you mean man to include our ancestor, Homo erectus, the answer is yes.  We have been around about two million years.

The ultimate common ancestor of all modern people was an early Homo erectus in Africa who lived at least 1.8 million years ago.   Early African Homo erectus fossils, dating back to about 1.8 million years ago, are the oldest known early humans to have possessed modern human-like body proportions.  These features are considered adaptations to the loss of earlier tree-climbing adaptations, including the ability to walk and possibly run long distances.

The most complete fossil individual of this species is known as the ‘Turkana Boy’ – a well-preserved skeleton, dating around 1.6 million years old.  Microscopic study of the teeth indicates that he grew up at a growth rate similar to that of a great ape.  The Turkana Boy does not look much like modern man.  Actually, he looks more apelike.  But there is fossil evidence that this species cared for old and weak individuals.  The appearance of Homo erectus in the fossil record is also often associated with the earliest axes, the first major innovation in stone tool technology.

The earliest skeletal evidence of modern man, Homo sapiens, also came from Africa.  These finds were about 200,000 years old.  They then appear in Southwest Asia around 100,000 years ago and elsewhere in the Old World by 60,000-40,000 years ago.  This evidence seems to support the argument that Homo sapiens came out of Africa, sometimes referred to as the “replacement model.”

The alternative model was called “regional continuity,” which theorized that Homo sapiens originated regionally rather than out of Africa.  The DNA data seems to support the regional theory.

Geneticists at Oxford University found that the human betaglobin gene is widely distributed in Asia but not in Africa.  Since this gene is thought to have originated more than 200,000 years ago, it undercuts the claim that an African population of modern Homo sapiens replaced East Asian archaic humans less than 60,000 years ago.

It is apparent that both the complete replacement and the regional continuity models have difficulty accounting for all of the fossil and genetic data, so it might be best to take a middle position, the assimilation theory.  It takes a middle ground and incorporates both of the models.

Gunter Brauer, of the University of Hamburg in Germany, proposed that the first modern humans did, in fact, evolve in Africa, but when they migrated into other regions they did not simply replace existing human populations.  Rather instead, they interbred to a limited degree with late archaic humans resulting in hybrid populations.  In Europe, for instance, the first modern humans appear in the archaeological record rather suddenly around 45,000 years ago.  The abruptness of the appearance of these Cro-Magnon people could be explained by their migrating into the region from Africa via an eastern Mediterranean coastal route.

They apparently shared Europe with Neanderthals for another 12,000 years or more.  During this long time period, it is argued that interbreeding occurred and that the partially hybridized predominantly Cro-Magnon population ultimately became modern Europeans.  In 2003, a discovery was made in a Romanian cave named Peştera cu Oase that supports this hypothesis.  It was a partial skeleton of a 15-16 year old male Homo sapiens who lived about 30,000 years ago or a bit earlier.  He had a mix of old and new anatomical features.  The skull had characteristics of both modern and archaic humans.  This could be explained as the result of interbreeding with Neanderthals according to Erik Trinkaus of Washington University in St. Louis. 

Alan Templeton, also of Washington University, reported that a computer-based analysis of 10 different human DNA sequences indicated that there has been interbreeding between people living in Asia, Europe, and Africa for at least 600,000 years.  This is consistent with the hypothesis that humans expanded again and again out of Africa and that these emigrants interbred with existing populations in Asia and Europe.  It is also possible that migrations were not only in one direction–people could have migrated into Africa as well.  If interbreeding occurred, it may have been a rare event.  This is supported by the fact that most skeletons of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon people do not show hybrid characteristics.

Bonobos vs. Common Chimpanzees

There are two species of the genus Pan of chimpanzees:  one is bonobo, Pan paniscus, and the other is the common chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes.  The bonobo and common chimpanzee were separated by the Congo River in Africa, and they actually evolved into two distinct species.  These monkeys were not very good swimmers, so the bonobos lived on the southern side of the river, while the common chimpanzees lived on the northern side.

The bonobos are a very peaceful species, while the common chimpanzees are very aggressive.  Humans are related to the common chimpanzees, so some scientists believe that Homo sapiens inherited our aggression from the Pan troglodytes.

During scientific experiments, the bonobos who have been provided food will open doors for other bonobos to ensure that they all share the same meals, while common chimpanzees are genetically predisposed to protecting their own interests and will aggressively fight others who attempt to take their food.

It is interesting that the bonobos are down to a population of somewhere between 29,500 to about 50,000 and are on the Endangered species list.  Even though some of this reduction in species is because of habitat destruction and hunting by our species, it may also be because of the timidity in its genes.

The bonobo and common chimpanzee species separated about a million years ago, and Homo sapiens branched out from the common chimpanzee side.  Recent genome analysis shows that the common chimpanzee is our closest living relative.

The bonobos are recognized as being capable of “altruism, compassion, empathy, kindness, patience, and sensitivity” by primatologist Frans de Waal, who studied them in captivity for many years.  Most studies indicate that bonobos have matriarchal behaviors.  The females seem to have a higher social status, and the males derive their status from their mothers.  The males are less aggressive in their roles.  In short, bonobos are similar to the hippies of the 1960’s and 1970’s in that they have communal sexual activity that seems to decrease tension.  They also are known to share their food in communal style living.  Their sexual activity is not monogamous and is not limited to one gender.  They have no self-imposed restrictions on having same gender sex.

De Waal describes the bonobos as extraordinarily peaceful, and he documented how the species resolves conflicts with sexual contact which has given the monkey a famous hippie saying, “make love, not war.”  Scientists noticed social mingling occurs, in which members of different communities have sex and groom each other, behavior which is unheard of among common chimpanzees.

It is interesting to note that recent studies appear to show that there are significant brain differences between bonobos and common chimps.  The brains of bonobos are more developed with larger regions that may be developed for the feelings of empathy and in sensing distress in others, which may make them less aggressive and more empathic than the common chimpanzees.

The aggressive gene, appear to be a dominant force in survival for not only the common chimpanzees, but also for most of the other primates, including Homo sapiens.  However, it will be interesting to see if this holds true as our species becomes more dominant and overpopulates our world.  Currently, the population of humans is about 7.24 billion, and scientists predict that we will be at about 8 billion by 2024.

Some believe that this is like packing more gunpowder into a powder keg.  Eventually, it will explode in a very self-destructive manner.  It is quite likely that man’s aggressive heredity was important in survival when our numbers were down to perhaps a thousand after Mount Toba, a super-volcano, exploded about 74,000 years ago, creating an ice age that nearly wiped out our species.  This is probably why Homo sapiens have little diversity in its genetics.

It would be quite anthropocentric of us to claim that we are a superior species and are God’s chosen one since we have only been around a short period of time on a geologic scale.  We might boast that we have done a remarkable job in overpopulating the earth, but that is a specious species claim.  We could legitimately argue that our propensity for aggression was helpful when we were on the ropes with only about a thousand of us in the world, but that aggression may be our downfall as we reach the 8 billion mark.  It does not take a genetic scientist to predict the outcome of having too many aggressive animals in one cage.

You may think that I am arguing that we would have been a better species if we had come from the bonobos rather than the common chimpanzees, but that is not even close to the truth.  Quite frankly if we had come from the bonobo family, we probably would not have made it much past the Mt. Toba eruption.  It was probably our fierce aggressive spirit that kept us going and saved our species.  In other words, if we all joined the ranks of the drug-induced passive world of the hippies, we would eventually be wiped out, either by a more aggressive species or those Homo sapiens who did not become hippies.

All I am saying is that this aggression could also be our undoing as we overpopulate the world.  It is only a matter of time before a highly aggressive group like a terrorist organization obtains nuclear capability and is not afraid to use it, even if it is self destructive.  Humans have now reached the pinnacle of aggression, so that we are ready to die as long as we can kill others in the process.  Suicide nuclear or biological bombers could be the next step.  If we can set off enough nuclear weapons, we could create a nuclear winter, much like Mt. Toba did 74,000 years ago.

But I believe our species is aggressive enough that if a thousand of us survive the nuclear holocaust or biological weapon release, whichever occurs first, that a hearty group will fight back in an effort to repopulate the earth again.  But don’t ask me if we deserve to rule the world again.

Ganging Up On Others

There have been gangs since early man.  There is strength in numbers, so if early hominids wanted to bring down large game, they had to form a hunting team.  Because of man’s human nature, these early teams more than likely became gangs, which are defined to be a group of people working together, sometimes for selfish needs or control.

Prehistoric man, recognizing the power wielded with these associations, formed not only hunting parties but also war parties that would joust with other groups for prized hunting grounds.  Weapons used by gangs may have evolved over the centuries, but the basic elements for gangs have remained the same.

Gangs typically were formed based on long-time associations in specific geographic areas.  In early days, gangs were created among workmen in shops in the United Kingdom.  However, gangs quickly evolved into power hungry associations, which carried a negative connotation.  For example, an Irish community called Hell’s Kitchen in New York was a springboard for many Irish gangs, including the vicious Gopher Gang.  Many gang members grew up and formed close friendships and loyalty over the years.  They were fighting for their “turf.”  The New York gangs were very active, leading up to mass killings in gang wars of the 1860’s.

Gangs seem to be more prominent in larger cities, but with drugs penetrating smaller communities and rural areas, gangs have spread throughout the United States like cancer.  The early gangs, primarily in New York and Chicago, competed for control of illegal drinking during prohibition.  The gangs became more sophisticated as they became the mafia and other business-like associations.  One of the famous lines became, “It’s not personal.  It’s business.”

But today, youngsters are enticed into a lucrative drug business run by gangs.  Gangs are so widespread that they have captured a large segment of American society either as gangsters or drug users or other victims.  Gangs are so pervasive with international connections, including the Mexican and South American cartels and the Russian mafia, that it is impossible to conduct business as usual in the United States.

The prognosis for America is not good.  Our government, like Boss Tweed in New York, utilizes the gangs for their benefit.  Politicians can gather more votes and obtain more money by working with the gangs.  Are all politicians on the take?  I don’t know, but we know that many are and those who are not can be eliminated easily.  And once politicians take their first taste of graft or payoffs, they are hooked.  If they try to get out of taking additional bribes, they will be turned in for the original crime.

The gangs are becoming so powerful that they will be the source of all future government and leadership.  If you go against them, the gangs will kill you and your family.  They will gang up on you, and you will have nowhere to go.  This environment is fertile grounds for a totalitarian government.

 

Discrimination Is “All About You”

I have heard younger generations say, “It’s all about you.”  This is their way of saying that the person being honored with the comment only thinks of themselves and not other people.  Unfortunately, I hear this phrase more frequently in today’s environment.  It seems that politicians do not stand alone in a modern society that has evolved into narcissists.  Currently, a majority of Americans takes care of itself first and foremost.

What has that got to do with discrimination and racism, which is like a resistant blood stain on a white sheet?  Well, discrimination is also “all about you.”  If you belong to any group that feels superior to others, then you are guilty of discrimination.  As an example, if you belong to a soccer team that is winning most of its games and you taunt the other teams as being inferior to your team, you are guilty of discrimination.  As we will see later in the article, there are degrees of discrimination, some being much worse than others.

Bullying of school children by other students is in the news today because sometimes the child being discriminated against brings a weapon to school and starts killing other students.  Bullying through social media is getting out of control.  All these are signs of increasing discrimination by younger generations who are full of themselves.  They only think about themselves.  By hazing other students, it makes them feel superior to their targets.      

I can remember racist comments made in Kentucky when I was growing up and when I was a young adult.  I didn’t have any friends in these hate groups, but I always wondered what was behind the bitterness.

It seemed like the members of these group gatherings felt better since they found somebody else to put down and criticize.  They, in effect, were able to elevate their status above another group simply by discriminating against them.  They wanted to be members of an elite group.

Throughout history, we have seen discrimination against religious groups, races, cultures, nationalities, sexual preferences, poor people, and sometimes, just those who look and act differently than others.  And discrimination is not always the majority against a minority.  History is replete with occasions when totalitarian leaders, who were motivated by a quest for personal power, murdered or imprisoned thousands who represented the majority interests who opposed their leadership.

But there is one thing that can always be said about discrimination:  it is based on selfish needs and desires.  Those who discriminate are satisfying a personal interest.  For example, high school students may form cliques who make fun of “nerds.”  They may bully them on a daily basis, perhaps calling them “geeks” in the hallways and in classes, making fun of them.  These cliques are formed to make them feel important and better than others.  These students feel that life is all about them, and their egos are puffed up as they continue their taunting sessions.

I was in Air Force ROTC back in the late 1960’s and remember how I felt walking across campus being called a “baby killer.”  I wondered why the other students discriminated against me when I had not done anything except take military classes and have a short haircut.  The students who did not like the military were perfectly within their rights to express their opinions about the Vietnam War, but when they burned down my ROTC building and punctured the tires of military students’ cars, they were satisfying their personal needs to place themselves at a higher level than us.  In effect, they believed they were smarter and ethically superior to the military, including ROTC students.

I joined a fraternity in order to get dates because girls would not date somebody with short hair.  But things did not get better because I joined a fraternity.  The members of the fraternity abused the pledges, both physically and mentally.  I watched the members carefully and they seemed to inflate their egos by being able to treat the pledges like second-rate members.  It was all about them.  They had no interest in making the world a better place by encouraging pledges to be better students.  They only cared about making themselves feel superior. 

After completing pledging and becoming an active member of the fraternity, I refused to participate in the abuse and slave rituals, instead requiring the pledges to study for an hour before I would sign their pledge books.  Other members of the fraternity had the pledges do their wash, polish their shoes, get their dinner, or wait on them in some manner.  I did not participate in the physical abuse heaped on the hapless pledges.  It seemed rather barbaric to me and accomplished nothing more than to make the pledges want to do the same thing once they were active members.  It was all about them. 

The active members of the fraternity tried to “black ball” or eliminate me from their group because I did not conform to their standards.  I found out that groups who discriminate try to cull out those who do not join in that discrimination.  It seems that the glue for the groups is discrimination of some kind.  That, sadly, is what keeps them together.  And that discrimination seems to be focused on building up one group and tearing down another.

One definition of discrimination is a difference in treatment or favor on the basis other than individual merit.  This is an interesting definition since it points out that discrimination may also occur when institutions and businesses select individuals for school or jobs based on their belonging to a race, nationality, or religion, rather than based on the merit of selectees.  This is sometimes referred to as reverse discrimination.  All forms of discrimination are based on satisfying selfish interests. 

Does this mean that all forms of discrimination are harmful?  There are degrees of discrimination.  If you are interviewing six people for one job, you will have to discriminate between these six in order to select the person you deem best for the job.  This type of discrimination may be based on comparing education and experience.  This type of discrimination is reasonable.  But you also may discriminate based on the appearance of the individuals.  If a gentleman wears a nice suit and another wears tattered jeans, you may pick the man wearing the suit even though he did not have a strong background in education and experience.  This type of discrimination may be unreasonable.   

Let’s examine laws that discriminate against those who commit crimes.  Are these discriminations acceptable?  I believe so because they are moderate in their approach.  In order for society to avoid, anarchy, chaos, and disorder, there must be consequences administered to those who harm society. 

The problem is where to draw the line.  For example, should society be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals?  Since this is discrimination against a sexual preference, rather than a crime against society, these laws should not be permitted.  Some might argue that homosexual activity harms a society which is based on male-female marriages and families, but this makes little sense.  Homosexual activity, although clearly a sin under the Bible, does not appear to have any more negative impact on society than adultery, also a sin according to the Bible. 

However, sexual predators who attempt to rape others or have sex with children would be harmful to society, thus laws against these activities make sense and should be permitted discriminations.  We may not like to admit that we discriminate on a daily basis, but we all do.  We prefer to have friends who are like us, not necessarily based on race, but on creed.  We like to surround ourselves with people who think like us. 

Is this type of discrimination, based on creed, problematic?  It could be.  A healthy society needs to be creative and should not stifle new thinking.  If everybody thought the same way in a society, it would not be long before those who thought differently would be singled out as being bad for society.  An example is when Darwin came up with the theory of evolution.  This type of thinking is accepted today, but it initially had a difficult road as hard-line religious thinkers discriminated against those who championed this new thought.  However, the opposite may be true today.  Many who believe in evolution are making fun of Creationists.  Those who discriminate improperly may become those who are discriminated against in the future.  Neither form of discrimination is appropriate for a vibrant society.

The bottom line is that discrimination is all about you.  That means that you can change things for the better.  It is not practical to attempt to eliminate all discrimination, but it is possible to focus on improving society and our world through moderation.   

Scientific Evidence of God

About 16% of the world’s population is not affiliated with a religion, which makes it the third largest group coming in behind Christians with 31.5% and Muslims with 23% of the world population.  Overall, 84% of the world’s inhabitants, which it estimated at 6.9 billion, identify with a religion, according to the study entitled “The Global Religious Landscape” issued by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.  The unaffiliated category covers all those who profess no religion, from atheists and agnostics to people with spiritual beliefs with no link to any established faith.

But the most interesting aspect of this Pew Forum study was that religious affiliations are growing throughout the world, but are declining in America.  In 2007, about 15% of American adults were not affiliated with a religion.  But in 2012, the unaffiliated group of adults increased to 19.6%.  This is about a 1% increase each year.   The agnostics are about twice as large a group as the atheists, but those who are nonbelievers through apathy or beliefs without a God or lack of information or distractions of life are, by far, the leading cause of this loss of Christians in the United States.  We cannot determine with certainty what is causing this 1% loss each year, but it may be from an increase in immigrants and younger adults who are unbelievers entering this census each year.

So, what could you say to turn the tide of nonbelievers?  Well, it is difficult to determine since there are many reasons for this upswing in America.  For example if the problem is primarily because of apathy and distractions by worldly problems and materialistic and self-serving concerns, then a logical discourse on why you should believe in God is probably not going to change anything.  Sometimes, it takes a life-shattering event to stem the tide of disbelief.  In other words, if we saw that earth was in the path of an asteroid that was going to cause a global disaster, killing off over 90% of our population, you would see a sharp rise in believers.  It is human nature for this to happen.  You turn to God when you need God and sometimes not before.

However, since there are some who can be persuaded by logic, I will offer three items of scientific proof or evidence:  (1) cosmological evidence, (2) teleological evidence, and (3) metaphysical evidence. 

First, cosmological  evidence.  As you gaze at the night sky, you see the evidence.  The universe is vast, stretching out for millions of light years in all directions.  Since the speed of light is faster than the speed of the expansion of our universe, there is much of our former universe that cannot be seen because the light of that time period has long passed us.  So, we are limited in what we can see.  Only about 4% of the universe is visible anyway as dark matter and dark energy comprise about 96%.  And if the universe is closed, it could be an ellipse like many of the other orbit in our systems, thus making it impossible for us to view the entire universe.  This may be analogous to standing on earth and trying to see the entire world.  The point is that we are impressed by the visible evidence and might be even more impressed if we could see the entire universe.

Some scientists might argue that this elegant universe could have just popped into existence from nothing, but there is little logic in that.  How could you even define nothing without something?  We know we are living in something, so how would you reverse engineer something back to nothing?  I suppose that if you had exactly the same amount of matter and anti-matter, they would cancel each other out.  But you would still have the energy that remained from the annihilation. 

In a closed universe like we probably have, matter and energy can only be transformed.  The total amount of matter and energy can neither be destroyed nor created.  In effect, creation had to occur outside our universe.  Scientists might argue that there was no creation since our universe has always existed in a perpetual recycling pattern. 

However, the Big Bang is the accepted theory that disproves the perpetual universe.  There is strong evidence for the Big Bang theory, including background noise of the event still being heard today.  It is not likely that we will ever see any evidence of the Big Bang because the light from that event would have long passed us unless it circles back around and laps us in a cosmic orbit.  So, the Big Bang is perhaps the best scientific evidence of creation. 

Of course, scientists can always ask what happened before the Big Bang.  The answer is that we do not know.  But if there were a creation known as the Big Bang, then there had to be a creator because creation must logically have a creator.  Even if you still believe that our universe was created from nothing, there must have been a creator to accomplish this.  But logically this does not work because the creator is something and with creation, there is always something that creates and something to create from.

When Frank Borman, the American astronaut, returned from Apollo 8’s flight around the moon, he was asked by a reporter if he saw God.  Borman smiled and said, “No, I did not see him, but I saw his evidence.”

Second, Teleological Evidence.  The design in nature is astounding.   The strands of connecting gasses and dust clouds in the universe stretching out to clusters of galaxies start to look like fibers of connecting tissue in our bodies.  The universal laws of physics and relativity and genetics and evolution and quantum mechanics are all elegant in their design.  The fragility of life that is found in the “goldilocks zone” where everything had to be just right for it to even exist also points to a design. 

Many believers argue that evolution runs counter to God’s design.  This simply is not true.  There is no conflict between God’s design in nature and the laws of evolution.  Clearly, the finches on the island of Galapagos developed their different beaks through adaptation, allowing them to break open the unique seeds on the island.  Survival of the fittest applies as well without disproving God’s design.  Darwin’s theory fits in rather nicely with nature’s design.

And who could examine DNA and not believe in a design and designer?  And who could examine the micro-world of quantum mechanics and not believe in a design and designer?  The complexity of both of these sciences is mind-numbing.  And just like in our discussion of a creation and a creator, a design begs to have a designer.  Some scientists argue that the randomness of the quantum world can satisfy the need of design through its roll of the dice.  But even Albert Einstein said, “I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos.”

The mechanism of quantum theory could be like an engine propelling our universe in perpetuity, leaving the question of who designed the quantum world?  In effect, even if the quantum world is the basis for the recycling in our closed universe, it is still in our universe and had to be designed like all the other designs in our universe.  Thus, behind the elegant designs within our universe is a designer.

Third, Metaphysical Evidence.  This is the evidence that transcends physical evidence.  When we look through our eyes, we see a physical world.  All our senses detect this physical world, but sensory deprivation would leave us with a metaphysical world.  If we were not distracted by the physical universe around us, we could focus more on this metaphysical world. 

As an example, we know some things without experiences to guide us or a priori.  We intuitively know that we should not do certain things because they are wrong.  Our conscience is our moral compass that helps us in making choices every day.  No scientists has dissected a brain and discovered the conscience yet, probably because it is beyond physical.  This concept of doing the right thing originates somewhere or from something.  Perhaps it is similar to how birds instinctively know where to fly in the fall.  They don’t have maps or a global positioning system.  Yet, they know how to fly to a specific location each year.  This is metaphysical evidence of something higher than us, giving us innate guidance as part of creation.  But this is different than God creating physical things.  This is God creating metaphysical things.

In many ways, this may be the most important evidence of God because it is something inside us that we subjectively know.  The first two sets of evidence relate to objective tests, but the metaphysical evidence is deep inside you.  You either know it exists or you don’t. 

My guess is that atheists would say that they know that this evidence does not exist, and I cannot argue against them since, as I said, the test is very subjective.  However, I can state with certainty that I detect the Holy Spirit within me, enhancing the conscience.  I sometimes describe the Holy Spirit as my conscience “on steroids.”  It seems to me that if I feel guilty if I do not do the right thing, and the atheist says that he does not feel guilty because there is no right thing, these two statements cannot both be correct. 

Which one is wrong?  Well, it seems logical that the positive statement disproves the negative statement.  I would not feel guilty unless there were some emotions precipitating that feeling.  It is more likely that there is a conscience than there is none, because if there were no conscience, right and wrong would not exist and the atheist could not say there is no right thing.  The atheist would not know of the existence of good to deny its existence.

Relativists believe that everything is relative and that there is no absolute good or absolute evil.  They might say, “There are absolutely no absolutes.”  Since the absolutes cancel each other out, making the statement nonsensical, there must be absolute good and evil.  Mankind has dealt with good and evil since the Garden of Eden.  It has carried forward through the centuries and is part of our metaphysical being.  We have been given free will and so we make choices every day.  The consequences for our decisions are provided in some cases by society through peer pressure and laws, but the internal personal moral code is the primary barometer of the pressure you place on yourself for your acts.  This freedom of choice was given to us by a creator and the consequences are administered by the same creator.  

One of the gifts of Christianity is God’s grace, forgiving our sins through the death of Christ.  This allows us to erase the guilt within our souls, giving us a clean slate so that when we are thinking in the afterlife, we will not agonize over our past sins, punishing ourselves for what we either did or failed to do.

So, do you believe?

Evilution

Darwin’s theory of evolution is sometimes suggested as being counter to religious beliefs.  This simply is not true.  The “monkey trials” may have made good drama in “Inherit the Wind” and may have made William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow more famous, but evolution and the Bible work hand-in-hand.

Clearly, God made finches and there is nothing in the Bible that indicates that finches cannot adapt to their environment.  The continuous improvement of species is part of God’s nature.  The survival of the fittest is not invalidated in the Bible.  Darwin’s evolution fits nicely in the palm of a Creator’s hand.

The part of man’s evolution that is evil is not Darwin’s theory, but it is man’s humanness.  The changes in society over the years, which have progressed: (1) from satisfying basic needs, (2) to addressing society’s needs as most important, (3) and finally to today where individual’s needs are paramount, may be explained by Darwin’s theory of evolution, a process of changing from a worse to a better state, thrown into reverse.  This theory might be renamed “evilution,” the process of changing from a better to a worse state.

“God bless America” became “God bless me.”  Then, it became “Bless me.”  Now, it is only “Me!”  The survival of the fittest may apply, promoting those who are willing to do whatever it takes to make their lives better.  These are usually the mean and evil spirited of our species.  All of our species are endowed with a generous amount of humanness, but as generations pass, there are more who have hardened hearts. 

And our species has adapted to a new environment where everybody focuses on themselves.  All aspects of society change, as well, adapting to this new world.  If it is all about the individual, marriages become disposable, family life is less important, laws restricting people from doing what they want are eliminated, and religion and ethics take a back seat to individual rights.

Analyzing the last paragraph, you might say that America has emphasized and supported frontier individualism, so why is individualism a bad thing?  Well, it is not the same type of individualism.  The 21st century individualism is not the same as the18th, 19th, and even 20th century individualism. 

Today’s individualism is “all about me.”  How you look, how many expensive toys you have, your car and house status are the important traits.  The old individualism was being able to survive in a difficult environment on your own or with family.  That is not an issue today.  The old individualism was individualism with a conscience.  That is not the case today.

So, who cares?  As long as people do what they want and don’t hurt anybody what’s the problem?  If they like dope, let them smoke dope.  If they are “try-sexual” and want to try anything with anybody, then let them because they aren’t hurting anything.  If our country is deep in debt, don’t worry about it.  We can print more money.  That doesn’t hurt anybody.  All these things may not hurt anybody immediately, but eventually we are no longer conscious of our conscience and our social systems are destroyed.

In other words, the system of democracy will evolve by adapting to these changes in our society until it is destroyed, which is the unfortunate end result of all systems.  Thus, man’s systems will all fail through “evilution” or entropy because of the humanness of man.  God’s system will not fail because evolution is part of God’s natural progression of improvements and there is no failure in the created world. 

Why do we know our universe was created?  Most scientists believe that evidence proves that there was a Big Bang.  The Big Bang was our view of the creation of our universe.  Only the Creator saw the creation from the other side. 

How do we know that the created universe will never fail?  Most scientists believe that in our closed universe that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed.  In other words, our created world cannot fail or be destroyed.  Energy can transform to matter and vice versa, but the total amount of energy and matter in our universe will always remain the same. 

But man’s governmental systems will all fail, whether they are democracy, oligarchy, theocracy, socialism, communism, or totalitarianism; it is important to remember that our lives are short and our afterlives are long.  Live the short life as best you can, but focus on the much more important afterlife.

Evolution generally leads to an improvement and more control since it is a scientific process that was part of creation.  Typically, those adaptations which serve the species better are passed on to subsequent generations.  “Evilution,” on the other hand, leads to chaos and failure since it is mankind’s perversion of systems.

If our species creates “evilution” during our lives, does what we select in life follow us into the afterlife?  If we focus on ourselves during life and are still thinking about ourselves when we die, then that is all we will carry into the afterlife.  Can you imagine “evilution” forever?  Can you imagine what it would be like living with yourself for eternity?  If you are thinking at death and you do not believe in God, then you will certainly be lost in a chaotic environment that you cannot possibly imagine during your life, but that you certainly will imagine through your worst nightmares when you die. 

As Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”  If you believe in God and are thinking about God, then God’s evolution could also be found in the afterlife.  Nobody knows exactly what will happen in the afterlife, but God’s world is a controlled, peaceful world following His natural processes, perhaps including evolution.  By continuing to believe and think about God, you may evolve and develop in His universe. 

We all know we are sinners during our lives, but does this humanness follow us into the afterlife?  Does it follow us even if we believe in God?  If we are sentenced to living like in the movie, “Ground Hog Day,” for the rest of eternity that could be worse than a death sentence where we just stopped thinking.  I believe that God’s world has plenty of room for adaptation and evolution, so that we can develop into a better thinking entity or soul.  Otherwise our humanness in life, even though forgiven at death by God, would follow us into the afterlife where perhaps God could no longer forgive it, especially over eternity.

Some of the early Christian Gnostics believed that shedding your bodies and material things would free individuals from the created world, restoring a lost union with God.  They did not believe that humanness would follow man into the afterlife since it would be left behind in the material world.

The discovery of one’s true self can result from the teachings of Jesus.  In effect, you become one with God.  And some of the Gnostics believed that anybody could be the son of God, just like Jesus, simply by following the teachings of Jesus and uniting with God.  In other words, when you entered the afterlife, if you were thinking of God as the truth, then you would merge into God as another son like Jesus.

Why were the Gnostics dismissed and the other books about Jesus, primarily Gnostic, not included in the Bible?  Well, the Gnostics believed that religious truth could be discovered by individuals without the help of religious leaders.  The First Council of Nicaea, a council of Christian bishops convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine in AD 325, had no use for Gnosticism because it opposed organized religion and its leadership.  The Nicaean Council attempted to reach consensus of what Christianity would be from that point forward, of course, leaving out all the Gnostic books and theology.

The Gnostics were early existentialists similar to Soren Kierkegaard who believed that the individual with a conscience would be going one-on-one with God in the afterlife and that religious leaders were irrelevant for this future event.  In effect, entering the afterlife was a mystical experience with your individual thought process taking you where it led you.  If you linked with God, then you would have control over the situation; whereas if you were separated from God, then you would be lost forever in a deep, dark pit of chaos.

The Bible mentions two separate judgments:  first, at death when God’s grace grants you passage into Heaven based on only your belief; and the second, where your actions may be judged with appropriate consequences.  Some theologians believe that the second judgment is really only evidence that you do, in fact, believe.  In other words, if you truly believe in God, then you will follow God’s law and your conscience and act accordingly.  But the Bible references consequences administered after a final judgment before God, much like a trial with punishment.       

God creates everything and then man makes choices during his life of the creations in front of him.  God does not make him choose from this menu; he does that on his own.  That’s called “free will.”  Man makes decisions and then there are consequences waiting around the corner.  Nobody knows for certain what the consequences will be, but it will certainly be chaotic and out of control.  When we dive into the afterlife, nobody has a clue exactly what is going to happen, but it will be a surprise.  If you do not have a strong belief in God, you will be caught in a giant rip tide that will take you out to sea.

We can speculate that there may be two paths:  one to Hell and one to Heaven.  Hell could be chaos with an escalation in punishment depending on some “evilutionary” theory of consequences, but nobody knows.  The best approach in the afterlife might be to follow the path of Jesus to Heaven, the controlled universe which offers peace for eternity, hoping for continual improvement through evolutionary development of our souls.  It also would be very helpful if we left our humanity behind when we entered God’s kingdom. 

Bottom Line:  “Evilution” should never deter you from the straight and narrow path of Jesus.