The Creation Myth

If Creationism (the nudist escapade story in Soyinka’s words) is a fact then we can understandably say that it was not included in the plan of creation for mankind to be happy. Because the sweetest apple was planted nowhere but at the center of the garden. Was it supposed to be perpetually tempting or what?

Again, concerning creation, what can we say is the purpose of the life of tiny living organisms which are not visible to our eyes but which cause us diseases. Are these also created? By who? I have speculated before that maybe the devil also created certain microorganisms in imitation of the creator if there is one. And for god so loved the world that when he found out that the devil was antagonising him he kicked the devil out into the world.

Do you eat chicken, beef or mutton? Do you think these animals scream in excitement when being slaughtered for their meat? What would make one think one deserves eternal life when one slaughters animals enmass for their meat daily? Is it moral to eat other living organisms. If our immortality is as a result of we having violated life, then that makes more sense to me than to say we die because someone ate an apple many thousands of years ago.

Happy sunday!

Those who followed this blog recently, welcome to a meaningful and a meaningless blog.

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African Concept of Human Personality

In this post I shall briefly explain how our African ancestors conceived of human personality and personhood. First of all, our ancestors were ideologically both creationists and evolutionists. They believe that the supreme God (Mawu) and his servant gods created the universe and everything in it. Man was created as an imperfect being and kept in a cave. Initially he could not speak but could only growl or make grunting noises like an animal. With time man emerged out of his cave and acquired human qualities such as bipedal locomotion, speech, thought, reason, conscience and virtue etc. This implies that the earliest man was probably a hominid. This concept contrasts sharply with the Christian creation story at Genesis 1, where everything was said to have been created almost instantly and perfectly. How then do we explain genetic defects such as premordial dwarfism, hunchbacks etc. and when I was Little I knew a man with twelve toes and twelve fingers. I bet all this people will wish they were not “perfect.”

Within African setup, when a baby is born, he or she is considered a non human visitor until after eight days. If the baby dies before the 8th day no funeral was held and no one was expected to cry or weep. The idea is that the baby is an animal – comprising pure ID (Instinctual Drives in freudian terms) and not fully human yet. Within the child’s ID is the mother’s blood, the father’ spirit and a soul from God. So the child is formed by three components coming from three different sources. The child’s life, as he survives and grows, is perpertually animated by these three factors. When he or she grows old and eventually dies, he loses the blood and spirit which he acquired from his parents but his soul is not lost. It returns to Mawu (the Supreme God) who is believed to dwell beyond the stars. The servant gods that dwell among the people and take possesion of animals, trees, rocks and rivers are never called “Mawu” but rather “Trorwo” meaning deities.

Please note that the practices described here are carried out by the Ewe tribe to which I belong. Different tribes have different ideas and practices though the differences are not very drastic. Also there are two forms of African personality: Indigenous African personality lived by our ancestors and contemporary post colonial personality emphatically espoused by Kwame Nkrumah, Leopold Senghor, Julius Nyerere etc. which stems from indigenous roots. 

God’s Boredom After the Sixth Day

I had argued with myself on several occasions as to why an almighty being will need rest at all. It was only six days, and he had created man, his finest handiwork and had retired the next day. I suspect he must have created the ape earlier, either to keep himself company or to mock man especially fearing that man, his finest creature, will eventually betray him and go out of control. Ofcourse gods have fears too. They fear that their subjects might abandon them and once abandoned they cease to exist. It happened many centuries ago in far away Europe where Heine attested to seeing the abanboned gods Zeus, Hera, Apollo, etc including their roman relatives in exile on a distant island with a hairless goat who later turned out to be one of thier human servants. They had been driven away by a new protestant god. Under such circumstances, the old gods lived as refugees and took on such menial jobs as wood chopping, says Heine. In Africa, things were a little different. The old gods fled in tumult and instead, took possession of rivers, rocks and trees. They didn’t flee into exile because apart from Madagascar there were no islands in Africa.

Interestingly, it was not mentioned anywhere in the bible that the Jewish god ever resumed work after the seventh day. Could it be that he never resumed work and had similarly fled into exile following the divine tragedy involving Angel Lucifer and his cohorts. Or he likely may have retired to some distant island and let humanity devise ways and means of settling their own disputes? And was that not a good thing for a god to have done for himself since he was already tired while the devil was always working? Could it be that the evil demon is more hard working since he never needed rest? If Lucifer rested a day, all of the world’s problems will be solved that very day and humanity will regain consciousness.

Anyway, so much to ruminate on this sunday. I believe I have, at least, reminded you of interesting questions as regards the genesis anecdote and god’s boredom after the sixth day. “Let there be light” and yay there was light! How amazing. Why can’t this be simply followed by “Let there be peace” for the world to experience peace and….”Let there be joy” for everyone to be healed and be happy? I guess it will be too much work. Happy rest day.

Holes In The Theory of Evolution

I’m speaking here of the idea that humans and other mammals evolved from a common ancestor. This common ancestor is not always named. Once upon a time it was “Lucy”, then came Homo erectus, after that, “Turkana Boy,” followed by Neanderthal and now we have a new South African neighbor called Homo naledi (That sounds like na lady?). So are….are we gonna have “na gentlemen” in the near future? ….Very funny mind games!

Secondly, there are questions that I want answered by evolutionists. Kindly note that the core concept of evolution, including natural selection, was based on Darwinian principles and according to Richard Dawkins, Darwin was completely wrong about genetics and hereditary. So this leaves us with his classification simply based on anatomy. I have faced many objections from proponents of evolution saying that the theory was not based exclusively on similarities in anatomy. So what new evidence do they have?

Questions:

(1) If evolution is a fact how did the human heart evolve, since all locomotive mammals and possibly other organisms must poses a heart from the moment of existence.

(2) If evolution is a fact how did the sexes of animals originate? Since micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria, protozoons and even trees are asexual.

(3) Evolutionists have consistently failed to show us all the “missing links” between chimp and human, fish and bird, amphibian and reptile, cockroach and spider etc. Please show us all the missing links.

(4) Every organism, even of the same parentage, has a unique immune system (please don’t confuse it with antibiotic resistance) that, after first infection, automatically gives the organism a lifetime immunity from the disease. Will you say such a specialized system evolved or was designed?

With this unanswered questions, I think I have punched four holes in the theory of evolution, case closed. Evolution is even more of a philosophy than a science because it is not immediately observable. DID anyone see one organism transform into another? DID Darwin see it? DID you see it? If no, case closed.

Determinism And Freewill Are Opposite Ends of the Same Phenomenon

Determinism is a philosophical theory holding that all events are inevitable consequences of antecedent sufficient causes; often understood as denying the possibility of free will. I, for instance, do not know if determinism is a continuum, permeating all aspects of our lives but what I do know is that we have freewill, to a great extent. This freewill which I speak of is nonetheless limited in certain respects by no other concept but determinism. We cannot decide on how the natural world or the universe is organised. We cannot decide on what gases to breath in or what food or herbs to eat (we can’t eat plankton) or what anatomy to have as humans. We can only decide on our abstract wishes and desires – things closely related or emanating from us.

So I am tempted to conclude that maybe what we call “Determinism” and what we call “Freewill” are the polar opposites of the same phenomenon. In other words, to the extreme left is determinism and to the extreme right is freewill. And that humanity is moving from the former to the latter. The reason for the unending argument between proponents of the two theories is that philosophy itself (logic) has an inherent problem – in that it cannot tolerate ambiguity or gradations. Neither does it tolerate any concept resembling the gestalt one. A conglomerate concept handed down by nature is often broken down by philosophers into individual parts and then these philosophers spend the rest of their lives struggling to derive meaning from the separate ideas, when in fact by grouping these ideas, we could instantly arrive at something meaningful.

Let us test this idea (determinism and freewill as opposite ends) with a historical event like the second world war. Determinists will say that the war was bound to happen due to certain “antecedent sufficient causes” whether or not Hitler became chancellor of Germany at the time or whether any humans triggered it.  Proponents of freewill will say that the war occurred because of our thoughtless actions or mistakes as humans. But the fact remains, something good came out of the war, and that is the union of world nations. So we can say these two opposing concepts are a linear process juggling humanity back and forth depending on certain individual elements. African societies typically embrace determinism to a fault. In fact the typical unlettered African believe his actions or even his fate (misery or death) simply as by-products of certain divine arrangements and he is right in some respects. Perhaps we can say everything begins with Determinism and ends with Freewill. What are your thoughts?