Choosing Choice, Man’s Superior Trait

I wanted to write something light-hearted today but I thought that I would build on yesterday’s post and give you something to think about.

I said in an earlier post that man was a superior to any other species.  Also in the comment section of one of the posts I said that I would explain further.  My Christian worldview is that I, a human, am made in the image of God and that have His likeness and through Christ I can have His Nature.  I recently asked an evolutionist why was man so superior given the nature of evolution.  They responded by asking why I thought man was superior.

The evolutionist leans toward the notion that all species have been evolving concurrently and that one species is not more “evolved” than the other.  Each species is evolved the correct amount for its environment.  For example, the Shark is consider to be near perfect for its aquatic environment and has not evolved or changed for millions of years.  But Sharks are limited in their environment and have not conquered the waters entirely.  Humans however have conquered or are in the process of conquering every barrier/limitation known.  The Shark has limited vision and has depths that it can not reach.  You would think that after a million or so years that it would have conquered every square inch of the ocean, sea or river.

We, humans, speak in terms of man being more evolved than other creatures, and this is true.  We are more advanced in every facet of existence: communication (spoken, unspoken, written, and sign language), technology, philosophy, industry, agriculture, astronomy, psychology, medicine, welfare, all social aspects, morality, music, art, poetry, culinary art, sculpting, etc..   Humans can survive or adapt to any climate, and if we can not do it by our natural bodies we will create a machine that will allow us to exist in that environment.

We have scaled the Himalayas, the highest peak on the Earth.  No other species has ever recorded an accent to that magnitude.  Divers have gone miles under water, we don’t have the equipment yet to go the ocean floor in some of the underwater canyons, but they continue to go deeper with every upgrade in equipment.

We created an airplane to release our restriction from flying naturally.  Our airplanes can travel higher and faster than any creature on earth.  They can travel several times faster than sound!  Some airplanes can actually leave the earth’s atmosphere.  Man has breached space, leaving earth’s gravitational pull; we overcame the law of gravity, if only briefly, gravity still exists it is just not as concentrated in the expanse of space.  Solar Systems, Galaxies, Asteroids, and Comets still flow in gravitational alignments.  Our machines overcame the gravitational limitations of our planet.

We created automobiles to travel around the Earth’s Crust.  Other species are no longer needed to aid us in transportation or leisure travels.  Traveling takes hours or days, when it used to take weeks, months and/or years.  No other species has even attempted to make such a vehicle.  The thought has not crossed their mind.  It has never been recorded that the animals on an island built a craft, sailed to another place and began to procreate in that place.  If an animal, other than the species of fowls, is on an island they have no way of getting off that island, and even birds have their limits.  I suggest you read “Kon-Tiki” to see what humans are capable of doing with some wood and rope.

Our language ability is unparalleled by any other species.  Other species may have verbal and non-verbal forms of communications but humans have created multiple forms of written language.  We have maps, dictionaries, thesauruses, libraries, books,  and legal documents all to help us better communicate with each other; no other species has this ability, nor do they possess the capability to even know to desire this capability.

What about music?  Is there any other creature that can create music, other than with verbal utterances or mimicking?  Has an ape ever fashioned wood in to the shape of a cello or violin and added stings (of different thickness for different sounds) and grabbed a long slender piece of precise wood and carbon-fiber material to drag along the strings to make such a sound that will pull tears from your eyes and break your heart, or give your heart wings to soar above even impending doom (the violinist on the Titanic were playing as it sank)?

Music, the creation of music, is so unique to man.  It is so emotional and so connected to parts of us that we aren’t even aware of, that we are often taken off guard by its beauty and sadness and so easily swept away by its tide.  Music is the perfect culmination of Pitch, Tone, Keys, Chords, Cadence, and Tempo that even the slightest off-key note or out of tune string can ruin the emotional connection.  Not everyone can create beautiful music but everyone can recognize music apart from chaotic racket or some one attempting to create music.  I spend a good deal of time trying to create music, and sometimes I succeed but not always; it is a craft and an art that is not instantly in our control, but one strives to conquer the demanding perfection that music is.  Anything other than perfection can not called music but it is merely called noise.

I could go into many more aspects of human superiority in the physical arena but let us move along.

Do you know of any other species that cares some much about the welfare of other species and considers it immoral to treat them with cruelty?  Not only are we empathetic towards other species but we also have created reserves for species on the brink of extinction to re-populate.  Doesn’t this go against survival of the fittest?  Regardless, of your response, can you name any other species so determined to see the unmitigated existence of other species?  Are ants rallying around each other to make sure that the earth-worm population is getting the correct nutrients, after all they are using the same dirt for their mounds that the earth worm fertilizes by defecation?  Are the Lions are making sure that the Zebra population has adequate food and water so that the Zebra can survive as a species.  No, Lions prey on the weak and sickly.  Lions are not concerned that if they kill all the Zebras that they might die.  Can a Lion choose to go hungry or cut back on their appetite so that other species can enjoy the warm summer days?  Why hasn’t the Lion learned how to eat grass and roots?  There are plenty of nutrients in foliage, and the Lion is surrounded by trees and roots.  Alas, they will die if they don’t kill and eat flesh.

We have zoos where we keep other species to show them off.  We domesticated dogs, cats, horses, mice, and birds as pets.  We have strict laws that punish anyone in America if they kill a bald eagle because it is our national bird.  Why are we so protective of other species?

Humans have learned how to survive on more than what we can kill.  We can not only forage for food like animals but we can grow and harvest food.  No other species understands science of agriculture.  They don’t plant fields of rice, corn, or wheat.  They can not know how to read the soil to see what nutrients are missing.  I have never seen or heard it be recorded that horses were plowing a field by themselves and planting alfalfa.  The human species can also go to remote, barren areas and with the technology of irrigation make fruitful what has been barren.  We have broken the natural barriers of agriculture and can even create a seed that will produce twice the crop that it previously would have.

Humans have less physical limitations than any other species: We see in color.  We are a bi-pedal species.  We have oppossable thumbs.  We stand erect, not slumped of slouched.  We can run, walk, jump, fight, climb, sing, and swim.  Our brain capacity is greater than any other species, and we only use up to 20% of its capacity.  And what physical limits we do have we are able to overcome with ingenuity and technology.  With the advanced me of computers and television a person can be seen in thousands of places at the same time.  Our weapons of war are so precise that we can launch a rocket, fly it to calculated location, navigate streets and buildings and hallways, and explode it when and where we like.  The greatest advancement that others species have, beside physical and instinctual means of protection, is the occasional orangutan will use a rock or a club.

Not only are we light years ahead of other species in physical abilities and adaptations but we have one thing that separates us from all other creatures, Moral Choice.

The extinction of all species lies in the hand of Humans.  One push of a button could send the world in to nuclear devastation, wiping out every species.  No other species has that kind of power or that kind of responsibility.  We can in a short time annihilate any species we want, but we don’t.  We choose not to, why?  We have found that not only do we think it is wrong, but that we need other species and they need us.  The destruction of the ecosystem would cause great peril to every species including Humans.  We have a lot of power, but we don’t have unilateral, ultimate power, that is only for God.  Our moral conscience guides us to make right and wrong decisions.

Is there any other species that is even aware that they need other species?  Can Lions Communicate to the Zebras that if they don’t stay healthy and continue to try and escape the hunt of the Lion that both species may die off.  But yet Humans both know and choose to create environments to protect other species while in turn protecting and furthering our way of life.

We can fly to remote areas of the world, rescue dying species, heal them and put them in protective preservation so that they will survive.  No other species has that kind of empathy or technology.  It appears more like we are gardeners and care takers, than distant relatives.  We even give names to all the species that we know about and quickly assign names to new ones.  I remember reading about a Man who was in charge of the Earth and tend it like a garden.  He also was in charge of naming all the animals.  Yes, the first man Adam.  We carry out what was commanded of him in the Garden of Eden to this day.

Morality is the main difference between humans and all other living things.  We are driven by our conscience, not our instincts.  Our instinctual responses can be overridden by choice.  For example, two male elk may fight to the death over the right to mate with a female in heat.  This very same scenario may be true of humans, but it doesn’t have to occur.  Humans can choose to take a life or choose to spare it based on compassion, empathy, guilt, fear or regret.  Elk don’t have the luxury of choice; they either win the fight, get wounded and run off, or get wounded and die.  Human males can engage in dialogue, resolve the matter with communication, or simple let the female decide who she would rather be with.  And even then sexual intercourse may not enacted, as it is not an instinctual act to engage in but a choice.  Humans can choice to engage in a riotous sexual romp, wait until they are committed/married, or simple disregard the notion and go their separate ways.

We are guided by our conscience, we make decision based on our moral insight.  We have choice, freewill to live and act any way we choose.  We can choose to destroy, reject, hate, murder, etc.. or we can choose to protect, save, be merciful, etc..   Our conscience is innate, as well as morals, but we can alter our morals by changing our worldview.  If we remove God from our worldview, our morals shift.  We may move to a harm vs benefit morality, which is very dangerous, because it changes with each creature within the human species.  If you remove God then you remove the possibility of absolutes.  There are no more lines of distinction.  Morality becomes based on perception and mood.  It is something that can be bent at will or complete disregarded on a whim.  How can you build your worldview on a morality that is ever-shifting?  How can you ever trust yourself to know what is right, when your environment dictates your perception and mood?  Would you have the same perception about murder if you were beaten and starved than if you were living an opulent life where everyone adored you?   Some people don’t have the luxury to weigh out harm vs benefit, is murder still murder?  Is it still “wrong” to take a life, to end someone’s existence?  How do you know?  The Bible tells us not to murder and our conscience agrees, but if you take away the Bible and take away consequence, your conscience can be bent by rage, disdain, or pent up ire.  Then your harm/benefit can be manipulated by irrational rationalizing.  What is there to stop you?

So in response to the notion that humans are “not” more evolved than any other species, I say that you have to look at humans from more than just a microscope.  There is not a more perfect creature for Earth than humans.  If we did evolve, it would appear that the “organisms” evolved into a more perfect machine than any other species.  We are nearly limitless in our capabilities, we have less limitations than any other species.  It is a shame that our species expires out so fast.  If we live a couple hundred years, who knows we may have already colonized several galaxies.

Humans are more than cellular biology.  We emotive, creative, empathetic, sympathetic, compassionate, and spiritual philosophers on subjects that Sharks, who have had millions of years to contemplate, can’t begin to comprehend.  All they comprehend or care about is killing the frightened seal swimming for its life.  After millions of years, you think the Shark would get bored of hunting seals and find alternative sources of food.  Is it the thrill of the hunt that keeps it going? Or the lack of mental/moral capacity that limits him from knowing?  Or is the Shark content to eek out its existence incessantly and essentially chasing its own tail.

This is why I call Evolution an unproven theory.

It may be able to answer a micro-evolutionary quandary or two but it can not even begin to answer the evolution of empathy, morality, creativity, philosophy, technology, music, compassion, etc..  If we evolved with no intelligent design, no God, no Order then every aspect of life has to have evolved, everything had to evolve by happen stance and chance.

The precision of Music had to evolve out of the undecipherable noise of Chaos.  The compassion of empathy had to evolve out of the instinctual need to kill for survival.  When has anarchy ever birthed governance?  Does a species have to be both bi-pedal and have opposable thumbs to have contemplative thoughts and philosophical meanderings?  Why are there no other species challenging us for dominance?  Why does man dominate (or dominate if he chooses to) every aspect of life for every other species?  Food for Thought!

Today I have a Choice.  I can choose to look at the enormity of life and called it a freak accident, or I can choose to see the infinite creativity and inexplicable beauty that surrounds me and call it Creation.  I can choose to ignore the complex simplicity of existence and reject the Creator or I can be humbled by the vastness of impossibilities and acknowledge my maker.  I choose to fall down to my knees and worship the Him, I choose God.  What will you choose?

19 thoughts on “Choosing Choice, Man’s Superior Trait

  1. “We, humans, speak in terms of man being more evolved than other creatures, and this is true.”

    Not really. We’re just smarter. Which is great, but it doesn’t make us more evolved. It just means we evolved in a different way that gives us an advantage under certain circumstances. Under other circumstances, we don’t have an advantage. The simplest example being if you jump into the water in just your skin with a shark. Then you can see who is more ‘evolved’.

    “What will you choose?”

    I don’t choose my beliefs.

    But if I had to choose, I’d rather be a smart ape than a fallen creation.

    • Intelligence is a part of evolution, right? And by jumping into the shark infested waters with nothing but our skin, would prove to be very unintelligent. Although the guys who re-enacted the “Kon-Tiki” raft actually caught sharks with their bare hands and killed them for their supper; all they had was a raft.

      And you actually have chosen. The choice of being a smart ape may keep you from being eaten by a shark, but little else. In a few years you will die and what did your all your intelligence garner you? A few more years perhaps, but to do what? I’ve no idea what the benefit of being intelligent is, and for that matter it appears that also being an empathetic and emotional creature are quite a disadvantage. It would have been better if man had less of both intelligence and emotions. But now I am aware of time, pain, love, longing, wonder, imagination, art, music, science, etc. Do or can I just ignore these? It seems to me that we should have never evolved to such intelligence if there was no purpose or practical use for such intelligence.

      I will also die in a few years but I chose to be a fallen creature. I believe there is redemption and eternity for a fallen creature. I stake my life on it, and for that I have hope.
      If you haven’t gone to The good person test. I would like to invite you to do so. It will only take a minute of your time. Thanks for your comments! I appreciate them, truly.

      • So our intelligence doesn’t serve an evolutionary purpose?! Our intelligence is merely random happenstance. I would say that our intelligence is responsible and necessary for our survival. Or else we’d both be in a plain/hill somewhere fighting each other for the flesh of another species or some wild harvest of plants. But we get our sustances from the grocery. Our homes are well insulated, unlike caves or broughs where our neighbors seek shelter. If our intelligence evolved, it must be necessary and for a purpose. As well as emotions, spirituality, and philosophy. Evolution may have started randomly but can a species evolve beyond what is necessary? The environment dictates the changes, what in our DNA made us develop functions that aren’t necessary for survival? We share the same environment that every other land mammals does, but we are the only species with the luxury of such intelligence that we create our own environments and our dictate our own future; cloning, survival in space, etc. The fact that were are the only species that can create art and contemplate our existence is an impossibility in a random, purposeless universe.
        Would you checkout The Good Person Test, I’d appreciate it. Feel free to continue commenting further on these points.

      • To clarify a statement I made in my last comment, I don’t believe in a theory of a Random beginning. I chose to believe Gen. 1:1. I didn’t want there to be any misunderstandings.

  2. Since evolution is a random process and is not directed, nor working towards a goal – the idea of one species being more evolved than another is a non-starter and has no meaning, evolutionarily speaking.

    Every species has evolved from the last common ancestors – that some species have changed very little (sharks, crocodiles) and other species have change substantially doesn’t mean that one is more evolved.

    It’s a matter of being sufficiently evolved to thrive in an environment with enough mutations for the population to respond to environmental stressors, like a chance in water acidity or climate changes.

  3. I am saying that evolution has no purpose, so whatever arises, is random

    evolution is not a guided or directed process nor is it progressing towards anything

    that humans have intelligence and have been able to change their relationship with nature – in that we no longer are subjected to natural birth rates, infant mortality and have eliminated many of the diseases that used to eliminate humans – was not the goal of evolution – humans are the current apex species, that doesn’t mean we will continue to be

    especially if we can’t adapt to the environmental impact of our civilization

  4. re: good person test

    I really have no idea what that’s supposed to test, since the commandments aren’t any basis for a genuinely moral code

    since they are primarily concerned with blind worship of authority and do not allow for rule conflict or situational context

    • ???
      It is not only the basis for a genuine moral code, it is the foundation of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” Both Jesus and Paul said that the essence of the 10 commandments can be summed up in this, Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself. In Romans Paul gives tells us why it is in fact a genuinely moral code:
      Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
      Rom 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
      Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
      -But if you have lied, stolen, coveted, had sex or lust with anyone who isn’t your wife, disobeyed your parents, created your own gods, or rejected God then you have broken the law. I doubt anyone would disagree that these are not a good basis for a moral code. Most civil laws are rooted in the 10 commandments: fairness, honesty with others. But we are predisposed to commit sin, and no matter what we try to we can never be “good”. We are going to fail.
      -Where do you get your basis from, yourself, your friends, your parents, men/women of history? Can you truly trust any of those people? Even the most honest person can and has lied to themselves to indulge in some aspect of life, meaning that they didn’t have pure motives. The Bible gives clear, concise guidelines for sin. I would encourage you to read the Book of Romans, it explains the nature of sin and the law.
      I appreciate your comments and that you took the time to read everything. I don’t ask questions to incite a debate, I am genuinely concerned for your soul, so I hope you don’t misread any negative tone into my responses. Have a great rest of the day.

      • My site is about more than just polemics, that is only one phase of it. I have poetry, songs, and stories. I am not interested in debate, you will need to go elsewhere to find it.

        I am compelled to share the Gospel with everyone I meet, whether on the street or on the web. I have presented it, what you do with it is up to you.

        As for sin, your conscience bears witness that you have broken God’s law and therefore have missed the mark of being “good”, whether you place any value in it’s weight in no way diminishes its actual validity or authority. You will one day die and then you will know for sure if you were right or wrong. I pray that you do not wait that long to consider the Gospel.

        I hope one day you will reconsider your disclaimers and declarations. I really do care about your welfare and your life; every soul is worth saving, even if you don’t believe you have one.

      • lying is a pretty small transgression, and is very dependent on the what and the why of the lie

        as for trust – that’s tricky – it depends on what you are trusting someone to do, can they be relied on to act in anticipated ways

    • The Commandments, aside from religion actually serve very functional Purposes in society. If people obeyed them and lived accordingly you’d have a society with no murder, lying or theft. The absence of Adultery would have prevented Aids and countless other viruses. And if everyone worshiped the same God, and lived accordingly with His law, I don’t believe one single war that has happened in the past or is going on now would have happened/ be happening. I do agree, to some extent, with your phrase “situational context”. That’s where having, not a fair, but a Just God comes into play. However, the only reason that people need to bend these commandments and break them is because they have already been broken in the past. For instance, what if you’re parents are mean cruel heartless people, in that case, I’m certain you’d be forgiven for not adhearing to their word (but they were already not living by God’s word to begin with). Or when a police men has to take the life of a Gunmen (but once again, already not living by God’s Code). Sin breeds Sin, But Goodness also breeds Goodness. You can say a Lot of things about Religin and God, You can even say that he doesn’t exist because we are, in fact given that right. But God is No Fool, and his Laws are the Key to an Airtight Functioning peaceful Society, which it seems to me is what Everyone is looking for.

      • the commandments serve no social purpose and there are several differing versions of them all trying to control mostly private behaviours.

        AIDS was not spread because of adultery, it was spread through a variety of vectors, but mostly, because of highways in Africa and then global tourism. Largely down to puritanical denial that people are sexual and will have sex – if we had a healthier attitude towards sex, there’d be a lot more widespread use of contraceptives and disease transmission retardants.

        Religion and customs are a big part of how diseases are spread

  5. we are not the only species with artistic sensibilities

    many animals gather items and arrange them in a purposeful way to attract mates – bower birds come immediately to mind, since they were featured in a national geographic magazine a few months back

    we are not even the only species to use tools

    we aren’t even the only species to bury their dead – crows and elephants do this

    as for self awareness, many animal species have been mirror tested and passed

    we don’t know what gorillas and other primate think, but spending any time with intelligent animals, you get a sense of their personalities without anthropomorphizing them

    and pondering our existence is all fine and good, but not a one of us has come up with an answer we can all get behind

    • Those things you mentioned are very far off from the things I mentioned. Man doesn’t spend years learning how to play a cello to get a mate, he does it because music resonates in his being. It has nothing to with his survival or the procreation of his species, it has to do with beauty and imagination. Picasso didn’t paint on canvass to make his house more enticing to a female, if that were the case he would have painted the house. He painted what he felt; from his emotions he brought forth a creation.

      Also personalities are noted behavioral traits, I don’t think I said we had better personalities, I said we are dominant in every aspect of life. Has there ever been another species build a shelter, store food, and genuinely care about another species for moral reasons? Using a tool is not the same as building a near exact ecosystem particular to other species so they can continue their existence, or create a machine capable of leaving Earth’s gravitational pull to enter outer space.

      And why do we have to agree with the nature of our existence in order for it to be correct?

      • the nature of our existence will occur, whether we understand it or not

        existence is existence

        we’ve existed without arriving at a mutually agreeable assessment of it’s nature for, well, depending on how long humans have been around and what we interpret as human, a long time

  6. “I am not interested in debate, you will need to go elsewhere to find it. ”

    Then you might want to just shut off your comments.

    “As for sin, your conscience bears witness that you have broken God’s law and therefore have missed the mark of being “good””

    Maybe your conscience does. Mine doesn’t.

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