Are we smarter than our ancestors? Do present day humans make better use of their brains than did cavemen and women?
If you look at intelligence as gathering useful information about the physical world—information that leads to new technology—it seems obvious we modern humans are ahead on that score.
But in terms of abstract thought, and understanding the true nature of reality, I think we have slipped a bit. Actually we have slipped a lot. This cognitive slip amounts to a condition where the human mind only understands and believes what the eye surveys. This is called naturalism. In some cases naturalism causes an outright denial of God, but even in those who are considered religious, the Holy Word is taken simply at face value.
In previous posts, I have pointed out that Scripture is a multidimensional document. This allows an Infinitely wise God to reveal eternal truths to us on different levels. On higher levels, the narratives contain a “quantum language” whereby ordinary words gain expanded meanings.
In my previous post I developed a simple children’s story to communicate the idea (or provide a strong hint) that the animals depicted in the biblical story of Noah’s Ark represented “animated” qualities of the human heart. In other words, a quantum language in Scripture would not portray things of the physical world as mere physical things, but as various aspects and qualities of the human spirit.
For instance, the Lord Himself is called a “Lamb” to communicate the gentleness of love, not His physical form. How else do we make sense out of the biblical passage in Mark (16:15) to “preach the Gospel to every creature”? An animal could not respond to the Gospel. But the things of the human heart most certainly could.
How are we to imagine a harmonious future world where “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah, 11:6)? Would such a biblical prophecy make more even sense if a child came into the world for the purpose of helping humans find inner peace from a reconciliation between all their conflicting worldly passions, emotions, and drives?
How are we to comprehend God’s direct command in Genesis for the human species to have complete dominion over the earth and all its creatures as representing the foresight of Infinite Divine Wisdom? Such a command, literally interpreted, can only lead to the extinction of animal species, cruelty, and destruction of the ecosystem. However, such things make more theological sense if this divine command means, on a higher level, that humans must gain some control over the things of their inner world – these are the passions, appetites, intentions and various emotions of our inner world.
This kind of interpretation, which views animals as representing the fauna of the human heart and will, requires an elevated mind (as opposed to a sophisticated or cultured mind).
Now for the real shocker – prehistoric art has nothing to do with the things of nature. It has everything to do with the inner world of the human spirit.
So, the next time you come upon a picture of prehistoric cave art depicting animals, please keep in mind that these images are much more than early human attempts at naturalism. Early humans loved nothing more than to assign spiritual qualities to the things of nature.
There was never a time that humans did not know of God. This knowledge is what made them human. When God made the Holy Word available to later generations, its narratives preserved the same correspondences between natural and spiritual levels of meaning that our remote ancestors embraced.
I am sharing this important information with you so that you might gain a new measuring stick and perspective on the degree to which the modern human mind has become seduced by the five senses.
My apologies to anyone who feels I have stepped on their academic sensibilities.