Introduction To Beliefs On The Origin Of Mankind

 

If there is one contentious question that has always haunted mankind, then it must be pertaining to the origin of mankind. It is clearly understood that people have to know where they came from so as to have a clear understanding about their destiny, and even make predictions pertaining to the future. Of course, many people understand that the past carries some secrets that would aid the modern man to live his life in the right way and possibly foretell the future occurrences. Needless to say, there has been tremendous literature written to explain the origin of the universe and mankind. These have shaped people’s understanding pertaining to their origin with some having more weight than others. In this research, I sought to know the beliefs that people have pertaining to the origin of mankind. The research mainly involved asking people questions pertaining to their age, education levels, beliefs about the origin of human beings, how they formed them, as well as whether the beliefs have changed or been modified, and the causes of such modifications (if any).

Three theories pertaining to evolution were explored including Theory of Creation, Big Bang theory and the Evolution Theory. The Theory of Creation is mainly rooted in biblical and other religious teaching pertaining to the origin of man. This theory underlines the notion that human beings were created from dust by a Supernatural Being, thereby signaling the beginning of the human race.  It states that the Supernatural Being (God) created the entire universe in 5 days through His Word of Mouth, but created human beings out of or in His own image. He first started with the man and then carved a woman out of one of the ribs of man (Tomkins, 34).  These two people named Adam and Eve were essentially the pioneers or the father and mother of all creation. They had their own offspring who intermarried, multiplied and formed the various cultures, groups and religions that are present today. The Big Bang Theory, on the other hand, is based on the observation made pertaining to the fact that the other galaxies move from the earth at an incredible speed and in all directions, pointing out that they may be propelled by an explosive force that dates back to the beginning of the universe (Palmer, 45). Scientists believed that, prior to the Big Bang, the whole universe including planet earth was compressed into dense and extremely hot mass. The theory outlines that, the incomprehensible state existed for milliseconds after which a massive blast allowed for the springing of every known energy and matter from unknown and ancient type of energy (Tomkins, 76). The Big Bang theory maintains that, within a fraction of a second after the explosion (big bang), there was a massive expansion of the universe in incomprehensible speed from the pebble-sized origin into enormous scope. Proponents of this theory note that the expansion is still ongoing albeit at a slower pace over the millions or possibly billions  of years that the whole universe has been in existence.

The evolution theory, on its part, holds that human beings evolved from apelike ancestors that used to live on the planet millions of years ago (Palmer, 21). It proposes that man emerged as a species so as to produce varied ethnicities that are seen today, via varied genetic and environmental factors. The theory is built on three fundamental principles including microevolution, natural selection and speciation (Tomkins, 45). Microevolution may be defined as the occurrence, as well as build-up of mutations pertaining to an organism’s genetic sequence. Natural selection, on the other hand, underlines a technique by which species’ members who are most fit survive and pass their genetic components to their offspring while the weak ones die off as they are incapable of competing with other animals (Palmer, 23). Speciation occurs in instances where species’ members mutate to such an extent that they are unable to breed with animals from the same species. In such a case, the new population would be reproductively isolated from other members who belong to the same species or rather the former community (Tomkins, 56).

The responses derived in the study underlined the changing ideas and beliefs pertaining to the creation.  One of the clearest things from the study was that the biblical theory of creation was held as the most viable. Many people believed, or previously believed that the human race started through creation by a Supernatural Being (God) and multiplied as to fill the earth. This notion was held by individuals irrespective of their religion, whether Muslims or Christians. All the interviewees admitted that the theory of creation had been of incredible influence in their lives especially in the formative years. They acknowledged that the theory of creation was imparted in them by their families, who took them to varied religious places from where they learnt the creation theory and came to believe it as their origin or source.

However, the theory of creation was relegated to the periphery by most individuals who were learned or at least had a college education. Most people with a college education believed that the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution held a more conclusive or factual explanation as to the origin of human beings. Their notion pertaining to this theory was rooted in the “apparent” scientific facts pertaining to the two theories, which seem to underline the provable nature of the two theories. This also underlines the importance or the fundamental role played by education in shaping an individual’s beliefs and ideas pertaining to varied aspects of human beings. This is especially considering that most of the respondents previously held on to the belief that human beings had their roots in creation, only to have them changed by their education and scientific “facts”.

In addition, the research results found that the Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory are mainly held by individuals aged below thirty years. Their main contention with the theory of creation revolves around the notion that there was not sufficient proof or evidence supporting the notion of creation of human beings. They felt that most people questioned the efficacy or the soundness of the theory that was based on faith rather than intellect and provable facts. This is what has pushed the young generation to the other two theories that come with seemingly sufficient proof as to their authenticity, as well as the fact that they seem a bit evident. In addition, some doubt the entire notion of the existence of a higher or Supernatural Being in the first place. Their doubt is mainly founded on the fact there were so many wars, destruction and deaths, all in the name of religion. In essence, they thought it was illogical to believe in a God who allowed such ills to happen in the society.

This, however, does not undermine the fact that there were some people who believed right from the beginning that the theory of creation was insufficient in explaining the origin of mankind. For this group, their idea as to how human beings came to be has always been based on the Big Bang and the Evolution Theories. Nevertheless, their ideas pertaining to their religious beliefs have been modified, thanks to the confusion that reigns supreme in the religious world. They view religion as a technique of keeping people apart or separating them. They believe that as much as religion would have come in handy in explaining some of these things like the origin of man it has been replaced by factual science. In essence, they may be basing their arguments on the insufficiency of creation theory on the inadequacy of religions as compared to other ways of explaining the occurrences of the world.

In conclusion, the origin of the world and human beings has been a contentious and controversial issue for a long time. Numerous theories have been crafted to explain the origin of the universe and human beings. Some people believe in the creation of human beings by a Supreme Being, others on the Big Bang Theory, not to mention the Evolution of Human beings. In this investigative study, it was evident that most people had been adherents of the creation theory irrespective of their religion. However, education and especially science-based theories of the origin of human beings such as evolutionary theory and the Big Bang theory have taken the center stage especially among the educated and young people as they view them as more evidence based.

Works cited

Palmer, Ernest G. Origin of Man. New York: Kessinger Publishing, 2003. Print

Tomkins, Stephen. The Origins of Humankind. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Print.

 

 

 

 


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