“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
- Albert Einstein 1879-1955: Science, Philosophy and Religion (1941)
Our Origins, beliefs and spirituality
In nearly every religion and faith there are attractive symbolic stories told of our creation as a human race. Discussion continues as to the division of myth from reality in these stories and in the ongoing debate concerning “Intelligent Design”
Turning to science we can piece together the most up to date scientific viewpoint of our creation - though the mystery of the sudden jump in evolutionary terms from ape to man very much remains.
Scientists estimate that our Universe was formed over 15 Billion years ago and that our solar system was formed 4.6 billion years ago with our planet being formed just over 4.5 Billion years ago.
Scientists assess that life developed gradually thereafter over the first 4 Billion years, probably initially microbes and then followed according to fossil evidence by multi cellular life form leading to earlier life forms.
Approximately 200,000 years ago anatomically modern humans — Homo sapiens — evolved – the oldest fossils of which dating back to around 160,000 years ago. Humans now inhabit every continent, with a total population of over 7 billion.
The extraordinary growth in hominid brain size remains a mystery and a major point of contention among anthropologists. Our brains today weigh roughly twice as much as our similarly sized earliest human relative, Homo habilis of two million years ago. Today the average newborn's brain consumes an amazing 75-per cent of an infant's daily energy needs.
The first humans to show evidence of spirituality are the Neanderthals (usually classified as a separate species with no surviving descendants); they buried their dead, often apparently with food or tools.
From these early years of the human journey onwards an increasing number of humans became to believe in an intangible spiritual world beyond their existence.