In His Own Image


Call Him Adam, call Him Zeke – Early Man lived in fear.

He left His ancestors and near-relatives, the other bipedal primates, in the rainforests of equatorial Africa, and struck out – for better or worse – for the grassy plains of the African veldt.

We can only speculate as to why this choice was made – food shortage; increased competition from other primates; evolutionary changes, from eons having spent on the ground (much like the modern Mountain Gorilla) had made His feet incapable of grasping branches; or possibly something as simple as innate curiosity. Whatever the reason, the choice was made. Man freely left His Garden of Eden, went forth and multiplied, and in a few million years, managed to inhabit the globe, a globe that Early Man could not even imagine existed.

But He took with Him, His fear.

During His millions of years in the African rainforest, He had seen lightening streak across the sky, watched it strike, setting fire to trees and grass. He had heard thunder rumble ominously across the sky. Rain, sleet and snow also came from the sky, where hung the moon, the sun, stars and rainbows – the sky seemed to hold a source of great power. Is there any wonder that Man imagined a powerful being, living in the sky, causing all these natural events, for which He, with His as-yet-limited knowledge, could not envision occurring any other way?

However difficult life in the rainforest may have been, life on the African grasslands held even greater challenges. There, Man was both predator and prey, with neither the strength of His own predators, nor the agility of His prey. If there were a powerful being, living in the sky, making such incredulous events happen, that Man had witnessed but could not explain, surely such a being so powerful could protect Him, keep Him safe from harm and help Him be successful in the hunt for food for His family and His tribe.

Thus, wishes evolved into prayers.

Successes were retold around campfires, while failure meant that He who failed was somehow unworthy.

Ever so slowly, a culture arose that looked to the sky for succor. To put a familiar face on the entity believed responsible for all that happened in the microcosm that was the world of Early Man, He envisioned for Himself a likeness of how He believed such an entity must look.

In doing so, Man created god — in His own image

[note: originally, this post also contained a video, but it has since been lost]

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx

12 thoughts on “In His Own Image

  1. Your blog is brilliant. The video is brilliant. I knew something was wrong with religion when I was to kneel before a Bishop, and kiss his gold ring, Nup, that was the last time I would be subservient to anybody. Also, groups and tribes. Religions of all persuasions, are tribal. There is always a hierarchy, even down to any sport, and they all fight to get to the top of the tree, or Vatican.

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  2. Primitive humans of the earliest civilisations did not understand the natural causes of anything. Out of this ignorance religion was born; then came theology, which is essentially the art of verbally expressing the ignorance of religion {adapted slightly from Draper}.

    NOTORI

    Actively campaigning against the religious indoctrination of children.

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  3. RE: “Actively campaigning against the religious indoctrination of children.” – as, I would hope, are we all —

    pax vobiscum,
    archaeopteryx

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  4. Really enjoy your work. Thoughtful, well done. Tell me/us please, will there be more, on Genesis and the rest of the mythology? Thanks again.

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  5. Yes, there will, John – I intend examining both the entire Old and New Testaments, but I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus this summer. I expect to be back at work on it shortly. Thanks for your interest.

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  6. Brilliant, very brilliant. While reading this it occurred to me that many of the things that could have scared the hell out of our early ancestors were from above; rains, thunder, even the sun no wonder man has always looked to the sky for gods

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