Ecological functions served by humans from homo erectus to h. Sapiens until roughly 20,000 years ago?

It seems h. erectus begin using fire roughy over a million years ago. In what ways prior to early civilizations, “ walled cities “ did humans act as the image of god being stewards of the land? Thoughts?


Im confused…God said he made man in his own image at the time man was created.

Irrespective of whether or not man is 6,000 years old, how is it you ask this question given biblically we have always been in his image?

So for @SkovandOfMitaze being created in the image of God confers a responsibility.

While for @adamjedgar being created in the image of God confers an entitlement.

Do I have that right?


This post is just not you. If evolution is not something you believe in, its thread is going to be one you don’t like. It’s not a post for young earth creationist. It’s made for those so accept that the earth is several billion years old.

Yes, I think being made in the image of god is about our roles. If anyone disagrees theologically, hopefully they can just focus on the scientific aspect of what we were performing as animals part of an ecosystem prior to civilization as we known in the several thousand years.

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No it does not. Those words are not in the Bible. This is something you have added to the Bible.

Why do some people add stuff to the Bible in order to make it disagree with science. I think it is because they want to be the spokesmen for God with all the authority over reality. So they don’t like scientists giving a better understanding of reality. Anything which challenges their use of religion for personal power must be opposed.

Oh… and entitlement? That changes religion into something evil. It agrees with Weinberg’s claim that to make good people do evil, that takes religion. But truth be told it isn’t just religion which makes people feel entitled. Ideologies can do that too.

So back on track since this is not a discussion to debate living mud golems 6,000 years ago.

One of things I’ve noticed that I imagined goes back as far as human and fungi interactions go is that many mushrooms realer several million to close to a billion spores a day. Most mushrooms can’t be eaten raw due to the chitin and some of the sugars in them. Given that fire goes back a million years as humans begin to learn to cook animals they presumably would have learned to cook with mushrooms.

When foraging mushrooms one thing that happens is that you’ll walk several miles through the same ecosystem collecting mushrooms along the way. You are supposed to place them in a mesh bag or a basket so that as you walk the spores are released. You can often find a lot of popular mushrooms along trails and they think it may be because of a constant flow of foragers collecting mushrooms and in the or less of carrying them back the spores are spread all throughout the ecosystem.

Dispersing seeds and spores seems to be something that naturally occurs through most animals eating habits. From squirrels burying acorns that germinate to birds dropping seeds miles away as they fly.


So that is your example of ecological functions served by hominids. Something no different than animals. For me that only suggests they are not humans.

It is after your 20,000 year mark when the human mind was brought to life with abstract ideas.

Yes I would say that is an ecological function served by humans. Yes I think humans are animals. I think in the same way chimpanzees and monkeys and ants all serve as a part of a habitat system so did humans. We know some animals have/had very specialized unique functions like elephants that reshape habitats and how large fruit was dispersed by things like the giant American ground sloth.

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There is nothing about self awareness or morality in any of those passages. (AND Ephesians 4:24 is not even about the creation of mankind but about our recreation in Christ)

Neither of these (self awareness or morality) are a difference between human beings and animals. The only difference is language with its vast representational ability to handle abstractions like love and justice… or to conceive/perceive/communicate of/with nonphysical being like angels and God.

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I do not. Our bodies are animals to be sure. But human beings are more.

Of course.

But I think the responsibility which went with being “made in the image of God” is considerably more than that.

Perhaps that is what is confusing about this topic. You simultaneously single us out and erase the difference from other animals. Your topic could easily have been “ecological functions served by animals.”

I think this article by @Jay313 might be of interest here:

I thought his approach particularly interesting: he breaks down the history of the human species into three stages: “innocent animal” then “immature child” then finally “guilty adult”. This being the case, the Fall would describe the transition from the second stage to the third:

The overall story is fairly straightforward. Parsimony is a good thing. Begin with the concept that God desired to make a creature capable of fellowship and love both for God and others. “Let us make…” is a statement of purpose, of telos. Likewise, the imago Dei is a vocation that all of humanity is called to fulfill. But we could not achieve that end without mature moral judgment – the knowledge of good and evil. The animal kingdom exhibits behaviors humans would label “good” or “evil,” yet neither we nor God hold them morally responsible for those choices. Animals, like infants, are “innocent,” which Kierkegaard rightly observed simply means “ignorant.” Human evolution gradually moved toward greater and greater levels of sociality, communication, and “love,” but we learned those behaviors over millennia, and for most of that time, “good” and “evil” were simply behaviors, not abstract concepts. Humanity from erectus to early sapiens was in a transitional period that resembled childhood. Like children, their brains were still developing, and they were learning language and morality, but none of those capacities had reached the point that either God or modern adult humans would consider them “guilty” of moral evil. There’s a reason why societies don’t put 6-year-olds in jail. The final phase in moral guilt is represented by the woman’s mature reasoning and selfish choice in Genesis 3, followed by shame and consequences. Innocent Animal-Immature Child-Guilty Adult. It really is that simple.


the article is ignoring the fact that Genesis specifically says animals and humans were made on day 6…the same day.

Are you proposing gap theory for day 6 of creation?

What about the birds and fish who were not created on that same day? How many separate lines of creation of living things are you now proposing…according to evolution isnt there only one?

I also have a problem with a claim in that article…it asks the question “how could the population all fall at the same time?”

Where does the author get such a claim from exactly. The bible doesnt say that there was a population at the time of the fall. Some of the individuals on these forums claim that Adam and Eve were taken out of an existing population and placed into the garden where they were taught morality.

If that is the case, how can it be said the rest of the population outside the garden also fall?

'you see…the inconsistencies show up false doctrine immediately. It gets even worse when the author proposes that the solution is that the population all fell at ROUGHLY the same time. So now we are playing with big and little numbers…big and little sin. If its just a tiny bit of error, then effectively nothing wrong has occured. So if its roughly about right, then we can simply ignore Genesis 1:26&27 and the bible statement that the animals were also created on the same day.

I’ll read it. But I don’t believe in original sin or any fall. I believe animals are humans and that we were set apart because we evolved to the point a conversation could be held with us in a way no other animal could have it. God then told us kind of what he’s wanting from us and that thing he wants from us is to bear his image which is love and justice in this world. A wolf can’t really a squirrel. We as humans can. I feel like most of the responsibility he expects from us as far as stewardship goes is to undo all the damage we have caused. Once we get to where are have undone the damage, then we can begin to take it further.

So since bearing the image of god is acting as his idol on earth, as in we are living idols reflecting our god’s will on earth , within the strict circles of ecology, I believe that means we should be making this earth better for all including wildlife. At this moment that is predominantly through fixing the mess we have created. I’m curious how we would have made this a garden world prior to all the mess we created and that would mean what was the ecological niches we served by existing before it was all just exploitation at the damage of nature.

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at what point does the idea of making the world a better place cross the line where one believes one can save oneself from" the wages of sin is death"?

I ask this becaues i get this feeling that an evolutionary idea of" we can evolve into better humanity" is what is being proposed. That is kinda heading down the pathway of mormonism is it not?

I guess what i am saying is, if we have the belief that man cannot of his own accord live free of sin, wouldnt that also mean our sinful nature is unlikely to ever treat or truly make the environment better? It seems to me that the bible joins the moral damage with the environmental damage.

One of the odd spots for me is humans as apex predators because tools work as an extension of ourselves. A wolf has to chase down and catch a deer and use its teeth and pack to tear it apart. But we don’t. It seems that even spear’s potentially predate our species.

Oldest Javelins Predate Modern Humans, Raise Questions on Evolution. ( it’s behind a paywall but I used reader mode to read it anyways ).

Seems potentially close to 300k years ago non Sapiens species of humans were using javelins. Seems a bit challenging to imagine humanity with even technology of weaponizing stones, sticks and fire. Maybe looking at how chimps, bonobos and gorillas contribute to their habitat would better show off how we potentially did.

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Slow down and read the question: it couldn’t have been asked unless “we have always been in his image”.

I’m not seeing that; what I see is a misunderstanding of what skovand wrote.

= - = + = - = † = - = + = - =

He’s operating with the “image as attributes” model, which could be considered something added to the scriptures since the concept isn’t clear to modern humans – as opposed to the “image as relationship” model, under which we were given attributes sufficient for living as the image of God but how well we each do that is another matter.


At what point are those two concepts even related???

Various cultures have learned to treat the environment better because they recognized that it is in their interest to do so. “Sinful” does not necessary mean “barbaric”.


We make lots of assumptions about animals and earlier forms of humanity that seem to have little solid evidence to support them. Sometimes I look at my dog watching TV and wonder to what extent she is a sentient being. And sometimes I catch my dog looking at me and wonder whether she is thinking, “Is he a sentient being or just someone I have trained to feed me?” I see the same thing with earlier forms of humanity when we decide that they were less intelligent than us because they had smaller skulls. At the same time, we joke about how much smaller our computers have become and how much more work they can do in a smaller form.

If humans at various levels of evolution have been using fire for so long, it is likely that they would reflect the nature of a God who creates and what is created is good. Take the longest continuous culture on the planet, that of the Australian Aborigines, who are thought to have entered Australia some 65,000 years ago. They had fire and used it for much more than cooking their food. Needing to temper the ferocity of brushfires, they did precautionary burns that reduced the fuel available for wildfires in the summer. This is a skill that has come to the fore with global warming and the terrible fires we have seen in summer around the world. Europeans have sought to imitate them, and they have suggested that the Europeans are not quite doing it right. The use of fire can lend itself to a lot of creative acts for good.