Gods love and the primitive nature of early hominin minds

I would speculate quite the opposite. instinct is overcome by being rational. instinctive reactions are protective in bypassing decision processes which can take to much time, as risk / benefit analysis takes time and learning. take the trust of a horse, a flight animal, to its rider sitting on its back for an example. now one could think this to be emotional, but is the prioritisation of an emotional response over the instinctive behaviour irrational or rational? is the decision to die for another person a rational or an irrational decision?

It may be helpful to practice being open to the possibility that modern man’s YEC interpretation of Genesis is still an interpretation of God’s word. A human presumption that the text means certain things and little else. Often with utter disregard for other careful interpretations, historical context, and Christian and Jewish history. I’m not YEC anymore but I feel your frustration. I was absolutely marinated in YEC world. I needed answers and needed them quick. I still struggle with that mindset. And it’s not all bad. In fact, most people aren’t demanding answers near enough. Anyway, I realize you post a lot and have probably heard the same song and dance a hundred times. But I do sympathize with you. I know the feeling of “wanting answers” and weighing that ambiguousness against the comfort and simplicity YEC seems to provide. You may not ever leave YEC, but I know the road out is long and lonely.

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What continues to emerge from Anthropology and a variety of more recent finds of hominid related fossils is how complex the story of human origins is with a lot of genetic cross-over and evidence of interbreeding as they spread across various parts of the globe. These are things Moses or other biblical writers never knew or had revealed to them.

We then must consider about what is meant about being “Image of God”. Is it our intellectual abilities and greater consciousness of the world and our selves? Jurgen Molten suggested it is about our capacity for relationships as in the love within Trinity and we are evolved to be relational beings with greater move towards divine love. From that point of view earlier hominids were also relational and we can go further they they could in that capacity to know and love that is our prime purpose in our existence and for which we have evolved. Of course God loved them all as God loves all evolved creation but we are God’s highest intention as beings capable of divine love,perfected even more in Jesus Christ.

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As far as I understand, ‘the image of God’ is a description of the role of humans in the creation of God, rather than being a description of how we look or feel. If we think that God is a spirit rather than a material entity, it would be odd to think that our material body would somehow be a visual image of God. We have been given the role of a vice-regent or steward in the creation, representing the true King of the creation, the Creator (YHWH-Elohim).

Edit:
John Walton lists four categories how the expression ‘image of God’ could be understood, in the book ‘The lost world of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2-3 and the human origins debate’. The four categories are:

  1. the role and function that God has given humanity;
  2. the identity that he has bequeathed on us;
  3. the way that we serve as his subsitute by representing his presence in the world;
  4. it is indicative of the relationship that God intends to have with us.
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I would not disagree with you about our intended role in creation, in that having become beings to whom God has given the best potential for relationships in divine love we. are to be guardians and stewards of creation. That role is marred by our disobedience , selfishness and sinfulness in which we have not been living in that intended love. We have (in Existential terms elaborated by Paul Tillich) become estranged from all we are intended to be and nothing except divine grace can cure it and get us back to who we are to be.

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Dr. Michael Heiser and others have pointed out that given the temple inauguration genre in the first Creation account the image of God has nothing to do with any quality, it has to do with being the image that represents the deity in a temple. Jesus actually expresses this when He tells the disciples “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father”.

So thinking, creating, loving, and the rest aren’t themselves the image, rather they are what an imager of God does.

BTW, Dr. Heiser has pointed out that if the image of God is some quality in us then there’s no real argument against abortion because the unborn doesn’t have those qualities – but if the image lies in just being human, then all abortion is murder.

Or any other quality.

It worth pointing out that what normally gets translated as “Let Us make man in Our image” can also be rendered as “Let Us make man as Our image”. That makes humans the “idol” in God’s creation-temple that represents the deity.

I’m going to get picky here . . . “God is spirit” is how it should be stated. Saying God is “a spirit” suggests that He’s just one among all the spirits there are; saying “God is spirit” is a statement of His nature over against the material.

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I was taught that in elementary school some 60 years ago. Then Jane Goodall saw chimps using tools. After that, other animals were observed using tools — even crows.

This is missing the crux of my argument entirely. I don’t deny that some animals are capable of using existing objects as very primitive tools. The human capability of utilizing tools isn’t limited to what we can find existing in our environment in this same manner. We modify our environment to create tools, and we then utilize those tools to fashion even more complex tools. We are peerless in this regard.

The difference being that while our ape cousins occasionally stumble across a tool and its use, humans have the drive to make new and better tools.

In the apes, laziness is laziness; in humans, laziness is often the mother of invention.

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If you have a tool that works well enough, why waste energy to plan something different?

In nature, animals need to preserve energy to survive. Lazy humans can waste energy to planning a perpetual motion machine or arguing in social media because many areas can provide surplus energy to these humans. Using an optimization viewpoint, animals try to find a solution that gives most energy (or other resource) with minimal loss of energy. Humans aim to something different. It is an interesting question to think: what is the motivation of lazy humans?

I guess tool making has become an advantage during the history of humanity and that has favored humans with innovative minds. At first, the advantage has probably been getting more food during lean periods or getting access to better areas. Today, perhaps the motivation is more often curiosity, a hope to solve a problem, or greed - greed because societies that value ‘self-made men’ often serve the idol of money (wealth).

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