0036 Of course, none of this sign business shows up in Loke’s chapter three, concerning the time span of creation, or chapter four, concerning the process of evolutionary creationism.
Nonetheless, the sign business is relevant because we are moving upstream from the falls along the metaphorical Nile. Yes, this is the one on the map that we altered with a pencil.
0037 We regard the seven days of creation (A), while looking though abstractions that are typical of our current Lebenswelt (B). In doing so, we cross a epistemological boundary between scripture and science (C), which must imply that a conversation may take place. But, can a conversation proceed if one of the conversants says that each Genesis day is literally true and is composed of what we current label a “day”? Yes, if the Creation Story is a sequence of visions (D).
0038 Here is a picture of the corresponding Greimas square.
0039 The focus is the first Genesis Creation Story (A, sign-vehicle).
The contrast is the idea that each day keys into Peirce’s typology of natural signs (B, sign-interpretant).
The actual correspondences (C) speak against the idea (B), just as any application of an idea speaks against the idea. Since when are ideas perfectly applied?
0040 For example, the end ofday three associates with the earliest photosynthetic life, which looks like slime. Yes, mats of green or red or purple slime, bearing according to their slimes. So, the visionary must be a little perplexed.
In day three, the Genesis text breaks the previous pattern, by mentioning two creations in one day. The associations are to the formation of the earliest continents and to the earliest appearance of life on Earth, which includes photosynthetic bacteria, which form colorful mats on most anything wet. In fact, the slime looks like anything but fruit trees bearing fruit and plants bearing seed. These bacteria do not have chloroplasts, the photosynthetic organelle in almost all multicellular plants. They are the precursors to chloroplasts.
0041 Consequently, the application of the idea of sign typology requires some interpretive flexibility.
0042 But, that does not mean that the interpretant of sign-typology does not work. Rather, the idea seems even more promising, because the vision (D) is necessarily mind-boggling.
0043 Consider three titles.
The Creation Story and Evolution
Genesis One As A Sign of the Evolutionary Record
The Creation of Man and Human Evolution
These titles are over twenty years old.
Yet, they are as fresh as the dawn of a new Age of Understanding.
0044 In chapter one, Loke describes three types of concordism.
Type A seeks to describe scientific information from scriptural passages.
Type B seeks to interpret scriptural texts in light of modern science.
Type C affirms that the Bible should be interpreted according to proper hermeneutical principles, such as taking into consideration its Near Eastern context, including Near Eastern literary genres.
0045 Clearly, the proposition that the first chapter of Genesis is a sign of the evolutionary record dovetails into all three, except for one caveat. Replace the word, “science’, with the word, “semiotics”.
0046 Type A’ seeks to describe semiotic information from scriptural passages.
What semiotic information?
When reading a passage from any particular day in the Creation Story, ask first, “Is this an icon.”. Can the evolutionary record be seen as an image of this verse? If not an icon, ask second, “Is this an index?” Does this verse point to either the corresponding evolutionary era, or to the location of the visionary, or to what the visionary must wondering. If not an index, ask third, “Is this a symbol?”
0047 Here is an example.
Day two associates to the formation of the Earth and Moon. During the formation of the solar system, the Earth forms as a super-hot little planet sweeping in debris within its orbit around the early Sun. From the point of view of someone on the surface of the nascent planet, the firmament appears as “the waters above” separate from “the waters below”. At the time, both the Moon and the Earth, are molten. The molten above separates from the molten below.
The separation is an icon. It is also an index, once God names one of the waters. God calls the firmament, “heaven”. The name serves as an index, but also as a symbol of what this means to the visionary.
So, I wonder, “Why this particular semiotic information? Why does Peirce’s typology of natural signs allow me to appreciate the sign-vehicles of the Genesis texts as sign-objects in the evolutionary record?“
Could it be that sign-processing is particularly relevant to how humans came to be?
Is sign-processing a human adaptation?
Are sign-interpretants built into our bodies and souls?
0048 Type B’ seeks to interpret scriptural texts in light of modern semiotics.
Can the associations in Type A’ be called an interpretation of scripture?
Or, do the associations in Type A’ call for an interpretation.
What do these types of semiotic information imply?
0049 Perhaps, Genesis One embodies more than an ancient Near Eastern depiction of the formation of God’s tent of the heavens and the earth. It also serves as a lock, whose key is a principle that constitutes an adaptation into the human niche. Sign-processing flows out of the headwaters of De Nile and carves the landscape above the treacherous falls.
0050 Type C’ is the same as type C. The hermeneutics of the book of Genesis must take into account the genres of ancient Near East literature. However, we must keep in mind that, even in the time of Moses, this literature is ancient. By the time the so-called “redactor” starts weaving the various stories in Genesis into a (more or less) coherent frame, the oral traditions are so old that no one is aware that the Near East is littered with these odd little hills, containing the burnt remains of royal libraries, where clay cuneiform tablets have been fired into bricks.
0051 Thank God that these civilizations slavishly follow the writing techniques of their forefathers, the Sumerians, who carve out cuneiform wedges from wet clay tablets. Whenever an ancient royal library burns, the clay tablets convert into brick tablets, capable of retaining their integrity while buried for thousands of years.
Archaeologists rejoice. A handful of recovered cuneiform tablets convey a message that not Moses, nor Saint Paul, nor Saint Augustine, nor Saint Thomas know. Genesis One is a sign of one of the most ancient civilizations on Earth.
Genesis One can only be viewed as a sign of the evolutionary record in light of Peirce’s typology of natural signs.
Genesis One is also a sign of the oldest civilization of the ancient Near East.
0053 During most of the Bible’s theodrama, no one apparently knows this.
The stories of the Old Testament are remembered and retold by itinerate bards, as well as by temple priests. The prophetic stories are collected, redacted, written, promulgated, misinterpreted and then fulfilled in the death and resurrection of one of those itinerate preachers, who started out as a carpenter.
The Bible, the union of the Old and New Testaments, promises the salvation of all who are baptized in the water of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, that miraculous former carpenter, serves as the New Adam.
During this entire time, the so-called “literature of the ancient Near East” is the Father’s secret. Yes, everyone knows that the Near East is ancient. But, no one remembers that these ancient civilizations have voices of their own. No one knows about the cuneiform tablets buried in those dusty tells. The West recovers fragments. Revealing fragments.
0054 Why does God empower a secularizing West, still animated by Christian curiosity, to recover some of this long-buried literature?
Why does God reveal this secret in the middle of the modern Age of Ideas?
May I call the revelation, “a divine accommodation”?
0055 The title of chapter two of Loke’s book is “Divine Accommodation and Its Implications for Biblical Anthropology”.
0056 What is the concept of divine accommodation?
The scriptures work according to a human mode of understanding, following appearances in the common manner, and taking into account the human point of view during particular historical moments. Divine accommodation is relevant even when the historical moment passes and fades from memory. After all, what does our modern Age of Ideas have in common with the ancient Near East?
The theologian and biologist Denis Lamoureux responds to the challenge of divine accommodation by separating the messages of the Old Testament from the presences of premodern prescientific ancient Near Eastern conceptual frameworks. For example, ancient Near Easterners regarded the heavens and the earth as surfaces. Here is the inspiration for the medieval alchemist’s vision of a mundane and a celestial earth. What happens above, happens below. One system dwells between two surfaces.
0057 The god of the storm rules between the mundane and the celestial earths. What better way to portray the tempestuous nature of human affairs, in our current Lebenswelt, against the eternal rhythms of earth and sky?
0058 But, can we, mere mortals, extract message from presence without distorting meaning?
Lamoureux’s project poses a paradox. It holds the message of the Book of Genesis in high regard. It aims to disregard the… um… presence of the world in which the book is told. The messengers of Genesis live in the cultural world of the ancient Near East. The dramas of the Old Testament take place on the stage of a grand theater that we, moderns, now realize has a life of its own. Yes, the life of the ancient Near East permeates a document that comes from God and thus, cannot error.
0059 Perhaps, there is another way to understand…
What if even the apparent errors manifest divine intent?
After all, most of the apparent scientific errors reflect the premodern cognitive frameworks of the ancient Near East.
0060 What if the truthfulness of scripture is not restricted to literal words on physical pages. It makes me wonder. What is “truth”? Where did I hear that question before? Is truth the opposite of false? Or, is true the opposite of deception? Is truth correct and honest? If so, then how can truth survive even one civilizational turning? A civilizational turning? Yes, a civilizational turning occurs when a civilization realizes that everything it knows is wrong.
The book of Genesis tells of many civilizational turnings. The stories of Adam and Eve correspond to one. Perhaps, the stories of Cain and Abel correspond to another. The civilizational turning between Cain and Lamech is as clear as day. Lamech turns God’s protection of Cain completely around. Biblical turnings occur within the civilizational turnings of larger Near Eastern societies. The Genesis genealogies are lists that keep track of names, despite civilizational changes. No doubt, on the celestial earth, a story attends each name.
0061 If the history of the USA is any indicator, a civilizational turning occurs every orbit of the protoplanet Pluto, around 248 years. The American revolution starts in 1776 AD. America grows into a nation, then an empire, and then the empire collapses in 2024. The stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Lamech may correspond to three Plutonic orbits.
Three fairy tales for three Plutonic orbits.
0062 One can say that the fact that the Bible is written in the literary genres of the ancient Near East is divine accommodation.
One can also say that Biblical inerrancy proclaims that the apparently erroneous “sciences” of the ancient Near East are part of the revelation. The presence of the ancient Near East cannot be separated from the message of divine revelation.
0063 This implies that there is a hylomorphic aspect to Biblical revelation.
What is a hylomorphe?
A hylomorphism consists of two contiguous real elements. Aristotle’s hylomorphe has two real elements, matter and form. For nomenclature, I place the contiguity in brackets. I suspect that a familiar term fits as a label for the contiguity,producing the hylomorphe, matter [substance] form.
0064 Similarly, Biblical inerrancy and divine accommodation are two real elements. These two elements stamp a common metal.
0065 The normal context of modern Christian Faith3 brings the common metal ofBiblical inerrancy and divine accommodation2 into relation with the possibility of Biblical and historical interpretation in the modern and postmodern age1.
0066 How can this be?
The recovery of cuneiform texts from ancient Near Eastern civilizations during the modern era gives me information that not even Moses was aware of. The stories of Adam and Eve trace back to the earliest stages of Mesopotamian civilization. The Creation Story is a sign of the evolutionary record and a sign of the ancient Near East.
0067 What is so important about the first civilization on Earth?
Remember the analogy of the great river running north from eastern Africa through Egypt, to the Mediterranean Sea? The southern and elevated part is De Nile. Then, there is the imaginary falls (which is really a series of boat-crushing rapids). Then, there is DeNial, running to the Sea and the start of history. The Lebenswelt that we evolved in corresponds to De Nile. Our current Lebenswelt corresponds to DeNial. We, in our current Lebenswelt, are so estranged from the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, that all written origin stories of the ancient Near East (except for the anomalous Genesis One) depict a recent origin of humans.
0066 In some of the written origin stories of the ancient Near East, humans spring from seeds in irrigated fields.
On other stories, humans are fashioned from the blood of a defeated deity.
All are in accord in this one regard. Humans are recent things.
0068 Witness the stories of Adam and Eve. The manufacture of each person is quite specific. They are fashioned during the Wet Neolithic of southwestern Asia (and northern Africa) at the confluence of four rivers, two of which are the Tigris and Euphrates. The scene is depicted in Razie Mah’s masterwork, An Archeology of the Fall, as an island that rises out of river mud. There, a garden grows.
The apparent error that four rivers flow out of Eden is not an error at all. It is merely an appearance that locates the witness on the island. On top of that, the other apparent errors of the making of Adam and Eve point to the genre of fairy tales. Many aspects of the stories of Adam and Eve point to the location and timing of the Ubaid of southern Mesopotamia. Many aspects point to the genre of fairy tale.
0069 When the modern inquirer stands at the bottom of the rapids separating DeNile from DeNial, which are really the same river, running from east-African highlands to Mediterranean-delta lowlands, we may correctly and honestly describe these the rapids as a giant waterfall, hundreds of feet tall. No boat can pass from DeNial to De Nile, not even one carrying the (allegedly) feather-light soul of the Pharaoh. Similarly, we, in our current Lebenswelt, cannot navigate back to the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.
The disjuncture is so great that scientists, fixed on accounting for the metaphorical lands around De Nile, cannot imagine the waterfall. Instead, they see a series of rapids, which they label, The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution, or The Copper Age, or Trends towards Urbanization, or A Transition from Down-The-Line Trading to Organized Long-Distance Trade.
0070 Of course, what scientist would model a series of non-navigable rapids with the conceptual apparatus of a huge impassible waterfall?
Oh, that is precisely what the writers of the ancient Near East do.
They cannot see the highlands above the rapids. So, the Lebenswelt that we evolved in never comes to view. The waterfall is so tall that it reaches from the earth to the heavens. Or is it, from the heavens to earth?
0071 So, versus 26 and 27 of sura 15 of the Qu’ran says that humans are molded from dry clay. And the jinn? They are created from the scorching fire. Perhaps, the jinn are associated to the same roaring fires that burned ancient royal cities and kilned cuneiform clay tablets into brick.
0072 Why do scientists not imagine the waterfall that is witnessed by every recovered origin story of the ancient Near East (with one exception)?
The scientific story of human evolution, dutifully recounted by Loke in section 5.1, is radically incomplete, because it cannot account for the testimony of all the written origin stories of the ancient Near East. At the start of our current Lebenswelt, humanity is born again.
0073 Loke does not know about The First Singularity and Its Fairy Tale Trace, by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues. Loke has not heard about An Archaeology of the Fall.
Loke is not alone. There is a scientific hypothesis that agrees with all those written origin stories of the ancient Near East. Human evolution comes with a twist. The Ubaid of southern Mesopotamia is the first culture on Earth to practice speech-alone talk. At the time, all other contemporaneous Epipaleolithic and Neolithic cultures practice hand-speech talk. Today, all civilizations employ speech-alone talk.
0074 The scientific hypothesis of the first singularity allows the Christian theologian to see the actuality inherent in the coincidence of Biblical inerrancy and divine accommodation.
0075 If the Bible is inerrant, then the fairy tales of Adam and Eve are not in error. There may be no talking snake, as envisioned. But, there is a historical Adam and Eve, deep in the founding of the Ubaid of southern Mesopotamia, who practice speech-alone talk and who make a tragic decision.
Who remembers this decision?
The women of the family of Seth, the women of the family of Noah, and the woman of the family of Terah fashion a fairy tale. Generation after generation, mothers tell their children this fairy tale, with utmost fidelity. Why such fidelity? They know that this story goes back as far as anyone can remember.
0076 If the Bible accommodates for the ways of humans, the genre of fairy tale fits the concept. In our current Lebenswelt, we are exiles from the Lebenswelt that we evolved in. The story of Adam and Eve accommodates to those who tell origin stories.
Perhaps, it is fitting that the women of Israel bear this tradition. The stories of Adam and Eve are not explicitly recounted in the later books of Moses, which stand in the purview of priests and similarly appointed men. These fairy tales are only included in the writing of the Old Testament by an alleged “redactor”, perhaps because the bards of Israel start their traditional recitations with their mothers’ fairy tale. The stories of Adam and Eve shift attention, from the grandeur of the Creation Story, back to the mundane lives ofthose who God has chosen.
These stories are like water landing from a waterfall as high as the eye can see.
0077 At this point, I am able to formulate the vision that Loke strives to achieve.
The stories of Adam and Eve clearly are fairy tales. They are precisely the type of stories a mother tells her children. And yet, they come from the Bible, which has no errors, because it is the word of God. Well, the Bible is the words of God. The Word of God is Jesus, the Christ, the fulfillment of all that goes before. Jesus is the penultimate in divine accommodation, as well as the penultimate in Biblical inerrancy.
For today’s Christian, confronted with the intransigence of science and confounded with the falsities and the deceptions of modernity, the stories of Adam and Eve do not sound like anything a scientist would describe. For that, Christians are ridiculed by the very people who claim that the Bible is simply another tale from the ancient Near East.
Yet, in that observation, there is an opportunity. According to Loke, the Pentateuch must be interpreted as events, occurring on a small stage, within a larger stage, the theater of the ancient Near East. Once this type of concordism becomes routine, then the wonders of the coincidence of Biblical inerrancy and divine accommodation may play out and expand the extent of God’s revelation to include that larger stage.
0078 The only requirement is for the stories of Adam and Eve to somehow connect to the start of the grand stage, the start of civilization in the Near East, as well as throughout the world.
That requirement is satisfied in the scientific hypothesis of the first singularity, which proposes that speech-alone talkenters a world filled with hand-speech talk with the Ubaid of southern Mesopotamia.
The stories of Adam and Eve associate to the start of the Ubaid, as well as the earliest adoption of speech-alone talk, as well as the initiation of our current Lebenswelt.
0079 Here is a picture of Loke’s vision.
0080 As soon as this dyad in the realm of actuality is formulated, Loke’s vision unfolds.
Yet, Loke knows nothing about the first singularity.
This is a rare moment in history. No one knows that great questions have been addressed by a novel scientific hypothesis. Why civilization? Why are the timeframes of the Lebenswelt that we evolved in so different than timeframes in our current Lebenswelt? How are we tied to the origin of our current Lebenswelt?
Loke knows nothing. And yet, because he has read and contemplated the scriptures, he knows everything.
0081 Now is a good time to note how current literature, such as Loke’s book, may be re-articulated and re-interpreted in light of three new hypotheses on human evolution, contained in Razie Mah’s masterworks, (1) The Human Niche, (2) An Archaeology of the Fall, and (3) How To Define the Word “Religion”. The hypotheses that (1) the human niche is the potential of triadic relations, that (2) our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, and that (3) spoken words are defined by their potentials, in addition to the fact that they occupy positions in two arbitrarily related systems of differences, change the face of scientific inquiry into humankind.
0082 With these three hypotheses, the Christian can now picture the Pentateuch as revelation, as well as a testimonial available to scientific inquiry. We also have testimony from royal archives throughout the ancient Near East, in the form of recovered and translated cuneiform tablets. Thus, God’s revelation enlivens ancient testimony about the current human condition, bringing that testimony to life.
0083 Are revelation and ancient testimony two faces of one coin?
I return to Loke’s third chapter, discussing the time spans of creation.
0084 There are two concerns for the modern Christian.
One pertains to the time scales reported in the Genesis text.
The second pertains to the time scales of the evolutionary record.
The first is revelation. The second is scientific testimony.
0085 If the revelation is a vision, then the scientific testimony includes all of evolutionary history, from the start of our solar system to the start of our current Lebenswelt. The two coincide when one reads the Biblical text through the lens of Peirce’s typology of natural signs. In this, the revelation itself testifies to the fact that one of humanity’s crucial adaptations involves sign-processing.
0086 Here is a picture of the nested form corresponding to Loke’s integrating approach.
0087 God’s revelation extends to the times above the waterfall, which stand beyond the direct remembrance of those who live in the times below the waterfall.
Genesis One portrays the creation of the tent (or temple) of the heavens and the earth. At the same time, using Peirce’s typology of signs, the six days of creation are signs of corresponding evolutionary epochs.
Genesis 2.4 introduces the stories of Adam and Eve. These stories are fairy tales, concerning two figures living near the start of the Ubaid. Adam and Eve are the parents, not of all humanity, but the lineage of Seth. Noah is born in the lineage of Seth. Abraham is born into the lineage of Noah. Moses is born in the lineage of Abraham. David is anointed king over the people who followed Moses. Jesus is born into the lineage of David.
0089 Remember the Greimas square?
Here is the Greimas square for the map of the Nile, imaginatively relabeled with a pencil.
0090 The waterfall is an imaginary construct, marking the location of a series of unnavigable rapids. It is the focal term (A).
The Ubaid of southern Mesopotamia is clearly manifest in the archaeological record by 5800BC. That is 7800 years ago. I denote this year as 0 Ubaid Zero Prime, that is, 0 U0′ (spoken, “Zero Uh-Oh Prime”).
0091 Imagine going over a waterfall so tall that, by the time of landing, you do not remember that you went over some sort of edge, long long ago.
Yes, that sounds like 0 U0′.
0092 Perhaps, I can picture a series of rapids, where each rapid is so turbulent that one hardly remembers the previous one. Or maybe, one remembers only half of the previous turbulence. After four rapids, each lasting around two-hundred and forty-eight years, one remembers only one-sixteenth of the first rapid. After another seven-hundred and fifty years, one remembers less that one percent of the original rapid. Perhaps, people only remember the first rapid as some sort of fairy tale.
0093 The Ubaid nominally starts at 0 U0′.
The next archaeological period, the Uruk, begins around 1800 U0′.
That corresponds to seven Plutonic years.
In each Plutonic year, civilization emerges, grows, matures, becomes feeble, and descends into the underworld.
Recall, only a single Plutonic year describes the rise, growth, maturity, corruption and self-destruction of the United States of America, from 1776 to 2024.
Imagine such change seven times over.
Who could remember?
0094 The lowlands of DeNial (B) contrast with these rapids. The lowlands hit their stride in the Uruk.
The Uruk expands, in an organized fashion, into territories occupied by other Neolithic cultures. Uruk invents the pottery wheel, then the cart wheel. Uruk domesticates the donkey. Uruk invents writing. Uruk conducts long-distance trade, which is very different from traditional down-the-line exchange. Uruk builds towns. Uruk sends emissaries to distant lands. Uruk demands corvee labor and compensates with rations using standardized bowls.
Neighboring hand-speech talking cultures do what every culture does when exposed to a budding civilization with wealth and power. They mimic their neighbor. They drop the hand-talk component of their hand-speech talk. They adopt speech-alone talk. Then, they too, begin to forget the time-less world of hand-speech talk. Why? Speech-alone talk and hand-speech talk have radically different semiotic properties.
0095 Speech-alone talk is purely symbolic. Spoken words can label anything. On the map, I write the name of the river, running through Egypt, on its way to the Mediterranean, where history begins. I write the name, “DeNial”. Sure, it is a joke, of some sort. At the same time, the label shows that any spoken word can be placed anywhere, even on a map of a river, when the official name is different. Yes, we pretend that our spoken words are full of meaning, presence and message, when they really only placeholders in two arbitrarily related systems of differences, parole and langue. Spoken words fill empty slots in a network of empty slots.
Isn’t that what the structuralists have been telling the modern West for the past century?
0096 The uplands of De Nile (C) speak against the lowlands of DeNial (B).
Hand-speech talk pictures and points to its referents. So, the referent exists and the gestural-word pictures or points to the referent. Symbolic operations enter the picture only because one manual-brachial word gesture must be sufficiently distinct as to not be confused with other manual-brachial word gestures. Symbols have that character. Each symbol is distinct. Distinctiveness allows speed in communication. Manual-brachial word gestures, even though grounded in the sign-qualities of icons and indexes, are sufficiently symbolic as to support symbolic operations, otherwise known as grammar.
Hand-speech talk is fully linguistic. Hand-speech talk is grounded in the natural sign-qualities of icons and indexes. Hand talk has trained us to expect that our words refer to real things, not abstractions or made-up realities. We innately expect our words to refer to things and states of things.
0097 The river of time (D) contrasts with the uplands of De Nile (C), because it includes that short river running through the lowlands (B), just beyond the falls (A). As far as human evolution goes, De Nile (C) runs for millions of years while the entire river (D) runs only 7800 years longer. All written history occurs within that short period of 7800 years. Everyone who we know, as historical figures, live in our current Lebenswelt (B).
0098 Here is a picture of the Greimas square for the waterfall, in terms of Earth years.
0101 Our current Lebenswelt (B) contrasts with the first singularity, because it follows the event. Our current Lebenswelt (B) is characterized by speech-alone talk. Speech-alone talk allows explicit abstraction, along with implicit abstraction. Explicit abstraction involves symbolic labels (spoken words) and the mental manipulation of such labels (symbolic operations). Implicit abstraction does not require spoken words and is very difficult to explain using spoken words.
0102 The Lebenswelt that we evolved in (C) contradicts our current Lebenswelt (D). The Lebenswelt that we evolved in(C) is characterized by hand-talk and hand-speech talk. Hand talk relies on sign-processing, which is the fundament for implicit abstraction. Implicit abstraction has nothing to do with labels and symbolic operations. Rather, implicit abstraction engages sign-processes, starting with sensation, opening to perception and (eventually) initiating judgment. Implicit abstraction allows us to understand actualities2 by intuitively recognizing the appropriate normal context3 and potential1. This is what we evolved to do.
The Lebenswelt that we evolved in (C) complements the first singularity (A), in so far as scientists, in our current Lebenswelt (B), who cannot imagine the first singularity (A), also cannot imagine the ultimate human niche as the potential of triadic relations (C).
0103 Human evolution (D) contrasts with the Lebenswelt that we evolved in (C), speaks against the first singularity (A), and compliments our current Lebenswelt (B).
Human evolution (D) is a scientific construct. The Lebenswelt that we evolved in (C) is the world of signification of our distant ancestors. Scientists do not want the construct of human evolution (D) to have a discontinuity (A). Why? They rely of the principle of uniformitarianism in order to understand the prehistoric past. If there is a twist (A) in human evolution (D), then this principle does not apply. Scientists are thrown in the same basket as the rest of us (B), wondering whether the labels that we use to perform symbolic operations are as good as we presume they are.
0104 Of course, Loke takes us into the next Greimas square.
Here is where Loke’s theoretical construction begins.
0105 Here is the first applied Greimas square appearing in this examination of Loke’s book (point 0011).
0106 The title, “Image Bearer of God”, is the focal term (A). God makes him in His image. Male and female He creates them. Does this sequence reflect some chauvinistic attitude of the ancient Near East? Is this an artifact of translation? Right after the Creation Story, God directly fashions Adam from the earth and Eve from Adam’s side. Theologians may debate, but the debate somehow does not recognize that the Genesis Creation Story is distinct from the Primeval History. In the creation story, the humans are images of God. In the stories of Adam and Eve, two people are fashioned in order to hold the title, “Created in the Image of God”.
Loke cites John Stott’s 1984 book, Understanding the Bible, and proposes a way to appreciate how there is no incompatibility between evolution and the Bible. If Adam is the first human, then he is simply the first person to be labeled, “created in the image of God”. Stott calls Adam, Homo divinus. I call him, “Earth man”, in acknowledgement of his humble beginnings. Loke calls him, “Image Bearer of God”.
In the end, we are talking about a label. This label may be placed on any individual in the Homo genus. Plus, this label may be applied to other humans along various lines of descent, including those outside of biological generation.
0107 Other titles have been given to humans (B). Aristotle calls us, “political animals”. Porphyryr calls us, “rational animals”. Saint Paul calls us, “inheritors of Adam’s sin”. Rene Descartes calls us, “thinking things”. Biologists name us, Homo sapiens. John Deely calls us, “semiotic animals”.
0108 None of these appellations are as grand as the title, “Image Bearer of God” (C), awarded to Adam and Eve. This title (C) stands against all other titles (B).
0109 Here I consider that Adam, as the first bearer of the title (C), stands in the same position as the world of original justice (formulated for Adam before the Fall, by medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas) (C) as well as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in (C), 1.8Myr to .78Myr (C) and the uplands of De Nile (C).
0110 Humans, in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in, practice hand-speech talk, which embodies the semiotic qualities of hand talk. Language evolves in the milieu of hand talk, long before our species appears. Speech is added to hand talk at the dawn of our own species, Homo sapiens.
0111 Hand talk manifests the semiotic qualities of icons (images) and indexes (indicators). This facilitates sign-processing because referents (which are things that can be pictured or pointed to) are natural sign-objects. I call the cognitive processing that proceeds through sensations (content) to perceptions (situation) to judgment (perspective), “implicit abstraction”. Today, this cognitive cascade is intuitively obvious and is difficult to put into spoken words.
0112 How does this apply to Loke’s concept that Adam is the first to receive the label, “Image Bearer of God”?
There are no gestural words in hand talk for “image” or “God”. Certainly, there is a term for “bearing”, as in “carrying”. But, there is no hand talk word for “bearing”, as in “holding a title”.
0113 The task is easy for speech-alone talk, since speech-alone talk is purely symbolic. One can attach a label to anything.
Similar labels apply to humans in our current Lebenswelt, as evidenced by the philosophical debates on how to describe humans (B).
0114 What does this imply?
The endowment of the appellation onto Adam (C) occurs in a world that practices speech-alone talk (hence, the explicit abstractions can be uttered). However, this world is not aware that speech-alone talk is any different than hand-speech talk (C). Why? No civilized person practices hand-speech talk. So, how would anyone know?
It is as if Adam stands at the bottom of the falls, looking up, and not realizing that he has tumbled from a world that no longer exists. Or, it is like Adam, standing at the top of the falls, does not recognize that one more step…
0115 God warns Adam. Do not eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
0116 The divine comedy is brought to pure what-if-ness when theologians, after the revelation of Christ, try to come to terms with how God labels Adam and Eve. They do so by committing the error embodied in the spoken words. They think that there must be truth in labeling. They attempt to figure out the meaning, presence and message behind the term, “image of God”, as it applies to Adam and Eve… um… before the tumble over the watery edge.
Early theologians characterize the Biblical “image of God” as one who exercises rational powers, moral sensitivity, fellowship with God, a sense of beauty and, of course, language… that is… speech-alone talk, which characterizes our current Lebenswelt.
0117 Adam names the animals. Surely, that seems like the way that hand-speech talk works. The gesture-word images or indicates its referent.
Note that Adam does not name that tree in the middle of the Garden. The name of that tree is full of explicit abstractions,such as “knowledge”, “good” and “evil”. These terms cannot be conveyed using manual-brachial gestures. But, they can be uttered by a talking snake.
0118 Thus, the hypothesis of the first singularity assists me in showing that adam as humanity (D), contrasts with Adam, the one who is created to fit the title (C), contradicts the title of “the Image Bearer of God” (A) because Adam (and really, most humanity, even today) innately thinks in terms of implicit abstractions rather than labels, and complements “human” as defined by philosophers in our current Lebenswelt (B), because speech-alone talk allows reflection and analysis not available to hand-speech talk.
0119 The stories of Adam and Eve, plus the naming of Adam as “an Image Bearer of God”, are tightly knotted word-games.
0020 Adam and Eve are commanded to obey only one rule. Do not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What can we say about the name of the fruit, rather than the name of the tree. Can the fruit be called either “intelligent” or “stupid”?
Surely, Adam and Eve would not eat a fruit called “stupidity incarnate”, because they are intelligent.
But, what about a fruit called, “intelligence incarnate”?
Surely, they would eat such an admirable morsel, if only to discover their stupidity.
0121 Once in prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945 AD) discovers a label for all the incredibly well-educated and academically certified people who bought into the charisma of the National Socialists of Germany. He calls them, “Dummheit”, too stupid for words.
The so-called “Fuhrer” has a way with words. So do his propaganda-saturated followers, with advanced degrees in symbolic enumerations, deification studies and medical codification. They are sophisticated and up to date. They know how to label people, not as image-bearers of God, but more like… bodies with tattoos. Everyone can recognize the explicit abstraction. Here are the tattoo-bearers of a God that does not recognize the Fuhrer’s authority.
0122 That is the crux. It is all about spoken words. Speech-alone words do not picture or point to their referents, like the gesture-words of hand-talk and hand-speech talk. Speech-alone talk attaches labels to all sorts of parts and wholes. These labels promote explicit abstractions, which may seem logical, yet be totally in error. Yes, spoken labels can create cognitive structures that are completely internally consistent, hence logical, hence intelligent, yet unfathomably stupid. Thus, explicit abstraction (B), the stuff of intelligence and stupidity, stands in contrast to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (A).
0123 Here is a picture of the next Greimas square.
0124 God labels the tree of knowledge of good and evil using speech-alone talk (A).
In contrast, speech-alone talk allows explicit abstractions (B), yielding either stupidity or intelligence.
Next, the implicit abstractions characteristic of hand-speech talk (C) contradicts the explicit abstractions potentiated by purely symbolic terms (B) and complements the idea that an adequate name for the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is “intelligence” and “stupidity”.
Um… how come there are two names attached to the same fruit?
0125 Consider Adam’s implicit abstraction in the Genesis story. He implicitly abstracts a message. When put into spoken words, this message does not sound precisely intelligent. Adam says (more or less) “The woman that you made for me, she gave me the fruit and I ate.”
If I were God, I would have replied, “I gave you the title of Image Bearer of God, and you behave this stupidly?”
0126 The set-up for the drama of the Fall (D) lies in the fruit. The explicit idea that Adam and Eve will die when they eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (B) supports the implicit abstraction that the fruit is poisonous (C). The fruit (D) sets Adam and Eve up for the drama of the Fall, because it is not poisonous. Rather, the fruit (D) speaks against the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (A) in the same way that a fruit (D) causes one to ignore the tree(A), along with that ridiculous commandment.
In short, the fruit (D) is not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (A).
Rather, the fruit (D) is “intelligence incarnate”.