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  #1  
Old May 20, '12, 7:52 am
patrick1945 patrick1945 is offline
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Default "infusion" of the Human Soul?

Watching a PBS program dealing with evolution, I got to wondering. Does the Church have a position as to what stage of human evolution God first "infused" a soul into homonids?

For example, was it "homo erectus" or "homo habilis" or some other stage of evolution?

Or, was God more subtle than that? For example, did infusion occur when homonids first became self-aware or when they first believed in a greater power?

Thanks very much.
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  #2  
Old May 20, '12, 8:23 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

I believe the only stage at which it is possible to pinpoint the creation of the human soul is the moment when our ancestors distinguished between good and evil for the first time but of course it is impossible to discover precisely when that transformation occurred.It is probably linked with belief in spirits.

PS There seems no reason why we should exclude the existence of animal souls.
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  #3  
Old May 20, '12, 8:51 am
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Swiss Guy Swiss Guy is offline
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

No. The first time a human existed was when they got a human soul. That's one of the things that makes us unique.
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Old May 20, '12, 9:09 am
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Theophorus Theophorus is offline
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

There is a ban on evolution threads on the forums, so we can't really discuss this in terms of evolution of the body. But leaving aside this material aspect of humanity, The Church maintains that humanity came into being when we received our individually created rational souls from God.

Tonyrey the Church would say that animals do have souls that is non-rational life principles which inform the matter which makes up the animal but we don't believe them to be immortal in the same way human souls are.
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  #5  
Old May 20, '12, 9:10 am
patrick1945 patrick1945 is offline
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

"Swiss guy"...that's my question. At what stage of human evolution did God create the soul for humans? At what point did He say, "this is human".
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  #6  
Old May 20, '12, 9:11 am
GEddie GEddie is online now
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

1) Animals do indeed have a soul, by definition. The Latin word for soul is anima.

The Church position is that the animal soul does not survive death but the human does. The human soul also has functions the animal does not, such as a conscious mind. But both versions keep their respective bodies alive.

2). The human soul is not, a priori, related to evolution. Each human embryo receives it's soul at conception; it is not "procreated".

Presumably, that happened for the first time when an animal embryo appeared with the DNA for a head that would hold the human soul.

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  #7  
Old May 20, '12, 9:25 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theophorus View Post
There is a ban on evolution threads on the forums, so we can't really discuss this in terms of evolution of the body. But leaving aside this material aspect of humanity, The Church maintains that humanity came into being when we received our individually created rational souls from God.

Tonyrey the Church would say that animals do have souls that is non-rational life principles which inform the matter which makes up the animal but we don't believe them to be immortal in the same way human souls are.
Is it an infallible doctrine that animals are excluded from heaven and separated forever from those who love them?
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  #8  
Old May 20, '12, 9:47 am
GEddie GEddie is online now
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

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Originally Posted by patrick1945 View Post
"Swiss guy"...that's my question. At what stage of human evolution did God create the soul for humans? At what point did He say, "this is human".
We can't tell.

The human soul does not fossilize, because immaterial. It needs a human head to live in. Heads do fossilize, although not always well.

But there is no visual difference between a large skull that once held a human soul, and one that did not.

ICXC NIKA
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  #9  
Old May 20, '12, 10:07 am
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

What? No cats in Heaven? Unthinkable!

Btw - not allowed to discuss evolution? Whose idea was that...? Why....? Or is that banned too?
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Old May 20, '12, 10:29 am
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Theophorus Theophorus is offline
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

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Originally Posted by tonyrey View Post
Is it an infallible doctrine that animals are excluded from heaven and separated forever from those who love them?
That's not what I said.

I said that by nature Animal souls do not survive death, and since they cannot, as non-rational beings, cooperate with grace so as to gaze on the Beatific Vision, again they cannot by nature gain heaven. Now whether God chooses in some way to sustain the animal soul beyond it's natural capacities we do not know.

The unique nature of the Human soul as rational was defined at the ecumenical council of Vienne in 1311.

St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa (part I, question 75, article 3) likewise states that animal souls are not immortal by nature.

Incidentally since the goal of Heaven is the attainment of the Beatific Vision of God, I doubt we will be looking at much else but His infinite and Absolute Goodness, Beauty and Truth.
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  #11  
Old May 20, '12, 10:31 am
Robertanthony Robertanthony is offline
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick1945 View Post
Watching a PBS program dealing with evolution, I got to wondering. Does the Church have a position as to what stage of human evolution God first "infused" a soul into homonids?

For example, was it "homo erectus" or "homo habilis" or some other stage of evolution?

Or, was God more subtle than that? For example, did infusion occur when homonids first became self-aware or when they first believed in a greater power?

Thanks very much.
Hi patrick1945, I failed physics two years in a row back in HS. Now that my science credentials are established (sic), I'm not a good swimmer in the sea of theories, hypotheses, ideas (sometimes conflicting) that exist concerning Evolution. The Church has two binding teachings concerning the origin of life/the universe/humans : we have to believe that all of humanity stems from the same couple and that this couple are the first humans to inhabit the Earth (human=endowed with aGod-infused, immortal soul). and that the universe, and concomitantly time, was created by God from naught. The rest is up to you and up to what science can determine as reasonably plausible, as sure,accurate, irrefutable knowledge of what was going on 10s of thousands of years ago is not possible in Robertanthony's humble opinion. Wait for Heaven to get all the facts right. Whoever says Heaven will be boring?
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Old May 20, '12, 10:39 am
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

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Originally Posted by GEddie View Post
We can't tell.

But there is no visual difference between a large skull that once held a human soul, and one that did not.

ICXC NIKA
Where does it say that the human soul resides in the head?

I agree with a previous post that we probably got our soul when we were able to distinguish good from evil.. Hence where the story of Adam and Eve fits in.
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Old May 20, '12, 10:49 am
JNdoum JNdoum is offline
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

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Originally Posted by GEddie View Post
1) Animals do indeed have a soul, by definition. The Latin word for soul is anima.
Just as a side note, the word which animal comes from is the Latin word animal, animalis (n), which means a living being or animal. The word anima, animae (f), actually means breath or wind. animus, animi (m) is the Latin word which means rational soul. We get words like animated, animate, inanimate, etc. from it, while animal is unrelated, at least in the English sense. I believe in Latin it came more from anima, in the sense of "breath of life." I only know this because I am a Latin student, so as for the last sentence I am not entirely sure. But as for the rest, I am positive. Animus and anima are two very different words, much like servare, which may seem to mean "to serve," but doesn't. The word for "to serve" is servire, and servare means "to save." Latin's weird like that.
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Old May 20, '12, 11:10 am
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Guy View Post
No. The first time a human existed was when they got a human soul. That's one of the things that makes us unique.
Infusion of the soul occurred when God said "let us make man in our image", and "breathed the breath of life" in to him, to make him "a living soul" (nepesh); the rational, immortal soul (not shared by any animal) is the image of God; becoming Christ-like, that is, holiness, is the likeness of God. Man did not exist before he had a soul; souls did not exist before man existed. The two were created at the same time, and this is as far as the Church proclaims (that we are descended from original parents, and the universe/multiverse was created ex nihilo: "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth, of all things seen and unseen"...); as to date it, this is an impossibility in any model of creation, whether you believe in a young universe (and/or earth), an ancient universe (and/or earth), are a progressive creationist, a strict creationist, a theistic evolutionist, or an intelligent design advocate.

Essentially this - the soul makes the man, by definition. Beyond that, I'm not a believer in evolutionary doctrine/the modern Darwinian synthesis (pardon the pun), but when man first got a soul is simple: it is when man first came to be. As for when man first came to be, that's the challenge to answer. You can chime in with me and read Genesis and the genealogies literally (which still doesn't allow precise dating of Adam, as Genesis is silent on how long he was without Eve, and after that, how long until they Fell); you can hew to theistic evolutionary doctrine, to progressive creationism, to the framework hypothesis, to any of a hundred varieties of old-earth creationism, to intelligent design (i.e. evolution with God strapped on), and I'm sure there are plenty more - none allow the date to be precisely fixed, and for those that lay claim to a common ancestry/common descent, one can only date it very inaccurately, to "modern man" (likely sometime in the last 500ka according to the commonly used scientific/geologic dating system; cut two zeros off the end and you'll have a more accurate answer).
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Old May 20, '12, 11:20 am
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Default Re: "infusion" of the Human Soul?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyrey View Post
Is it an infallible doctrine that animals are excluded from heaven and separated forever from those who love them?
It is an infallible doctrine (not proclaimed as such from the Pope, but a logical impossibility, which holds the same weight: the Church need not say that it's impossible to square the circle in Euclidean space in order to make it true), that the animal soul dies with the animal body. That God could recreate the animal perfectly - to the quantum or even sub-quantum level - at some future point is entirely possible. The animal soul has no rationality, and, thus, no way to gain heaven; and, for the same reason, can do nothing to merit hell.
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Above all things Truth beareth away the victory: ... great is Truth, mighty above all things. - III Esdras 3:12,4:41
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