Question about when humans started to have souls

Hello, I have had this question for a very long time and I was hoping to get some thoughts. I have been a Catholic all 34 years of my life…but I often find myself questioning things. There seems to be strong evidence for the evolution of humans for millions of years. What are thoughts on when people actually became people and started having a soul? I don’t believe the Earth was created in 7 days 10,000 years ago (give or take a few thousand years) per what Genesis says, I believe that was a story to more or less give a reason for our being. However now that we know that we evolved into being (at least that is the majority thought) how do we know when we went from being animals to being people, with souls and believers in God? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

1 Like

There’s a good show above…you can watch if you sign in with your TV provider…“the hunt for our ancient ancestors”…I haven’t watched all of it as yet…but very interesting…seems we interbred with other species before we got to where we are now…so yes…many questions to think about.

1 Like

Well, one thing is for sure we are the only animal that ponders these questions.
Were we come from, who made us, what is a soul.
Now we believe that everything that is alive has a soul, a spirit that keeps the thing alive. A rock does not have a spirit although some ancient cultures ascribe “spirits” to inanimate objects.
Funny that word “inanimate”, the Merriam-Webster dictionary says this:
inanimate

adjective

in·​an·​i·​mate | \ (ˌ)i-ˈna-nə-mət

Definition of inanimate

1 : not animate:

a : not endowed with life or spirit an inanimate object

b : lacking consciousness or power of motion an inanimate body

2 : not animated or lively : dull
Anyways many more thoughts on this.
Peace!

Well, this is from my hypothesis and may not be Catholic teaching. Again, I don’t struggle with evolution because Darwinists can’t confront the question of abiogenesis. Also, while I don’t think the world is ten thousands years old, I also don’t believe it is millions of years old. I find Darwinists are pulled to assume a long time span in the millions to account for randomness becoming order statistically.

So, the way I see things theologically is Adam and Eve are the representation of the first people. Again representation, as opposed to the only people. Then in Genesis before the flood, right after Adam and Eve, the Bible presents there are other people. Again, atheist see this as a flaw in the Bible but I don’t see it as a flaw but rather these are the primitive people we keep finding bones about. Then with Noah, who again is a representation of a kind of person called to God, God flooded the world to preserve the animals and humans he chose. However, I do believe Noah existed but is only one example. I also believe in Moses, but he is not an example but a specific person.

Again, theologically that is how I think of it but it may not be official Catholic teaching. Finally, I don’t think man is any more or less advanced than ten thousand years ago. So, Darwinists assumption that contemporary man has some how evolved beyond that of previous generations doesn’t hold. I base that on my familiarity with Plato and Homer and other Ancient Greek writing and compare it with what is being written today and clearly there work is superior. I also compare it to the fact there is no written work since the Bible that is like the Bible.

Question about when humans started to have souls

When Adam and Eve - first parents of Humans - were Created by God

Ref: JESUS Himself (Get to Know Him)

along with

Genesis - The rest of Sacred Scriptures - and Catholic Magisterium

1 Like

Thanks man, I have gotten to know Jesus. I was raised in a strong Catholic household and went to Catholic Schools through high school…and most of them (including Jesuit Priests) didn’t teach that Adam and Eve was an actual true account but more of a representation.

1 Like

Of course they wouldn’t…

Jesus promised that False Shepherds Must inveigle themselves into positions of Teachings.

_

2 Likes

Thanks for your thoughts. You do make some good points and you are right that not everything is solved with evolution. I do believe the Earth is billions of years old but yes perhaps you are right that Adam and Eve represent early man…perhaps when God started reaching out to his creation and effectively when free will came about. I guess nobody was back in cave times to tell us whether or not God reached out to these people. As for Noah I don’t really believe that story but I do go back and forth because around the world from cultures that never intersected (except maybe the earliest of man) they have a flood story…so perhaps there was multiple floods around the world.

Anyway, again thank you for the thoughts…they are reasonable and actually make sense.

There was a discussion of this for a bit over on a thread I started. As that thread has gotten long, I will pull some links to specific comments to put here, but the short answer is, we can’t really know. It does seem that it would have been quite some time ago. At least 50kya, or 500kys to include all descendents of homo heidlebergensis; or you could push back to homo erectus.

This is the whole thread, and that discussion was more towards the top where we got into human behavior and the soul. I will try and pull out the interesting comments tomorrow.

I was listening to a Pints with Aquinas episode and one of the guest of that particular episode suggested that the first humans acquired souls when they developed language.

Phew…that is a long thread. I’ll have to take a closer look at it when I have some time. Thank you for linking it :slight_smile:

1 Like

Definitely long, but luckily the relevant bits are in the first 300 comments or so. :+1:

Humans evolved for millions of years, yet there are now scientists who think language appeared all at once, perhaps 75000 years ago. I assume that would be the first true humans, ie body and soul.

That would make sense to me. Part of me just wishes I could not be so analytical and take what is taught at face value. I believe in God as even if the universe has been expanding for billions of years…something can not come from nothing, so something had to put it into place. Regardless if there is a life after death (which I tend to think there is) I still stand by the thought something created the universe, and to me it is God.

1 Like

Time to bust out the coffee and start reading all of them lol

1 Like

Do you mean language in general, or recursive language. Some sort of complex language would have existed since at least homo erectus. There is a theory the recursive language developed more recently. We can’t really know for sure.

From Wikipedia (quickest source of reference)

Scholarly opinions vary as to the developments since the appearance of the genus Homo some 2.5 million years ago. Some scholars assume the development of primitive language-like systems (proto-language) as early as Homo habilis (2.3 million years ago) while others place the development of primitive symbolic communication only with Homo erectus (1.8 million years ago) or Homo heidelbergensis (0.6 million years ago), and the development of language proper with Anatomically Modern Homo sapiens with the Upper Paleolithic revolution less than 100,000 years ago.[43][44]

1 Like

Not a matter of “can’t confront” but rather “lies outside the theory”. Theory of Evolution speaks only to development of life, not origin.

No assumption involved - just use of known properties of matter to determine the age of objects.

I know of no “Darwinist” who claims that significant evolution has happened in humans in the last 10,000 years - the time span is simply too short for that sort of change. The closest one might find (as far as I am aware) is a general reduction in the average size of jawbones, causing a higher incidence of impacted wisdom teeth (aka Third Molars), and a few individuals who never grow them. Also, evolution doesn’t have a direction, so speaking of “higher” or “beyond” is not correct.

3 Likes

Sounds fairly accurate. I wish they had defined what they mean by “language proper.” That is not actually very precise.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.