The biblical version of human origins
My peer chose the Biblical version of human origins as the alternative model. The model presupposes the use of the Bible to explain phenomena, but it is not very homogenous. The relevant beliefs can range from fundamentalism, which requires perceiving the words of the Bible literally, to more liberal approaches, which interpret the Bible in multiple ways (Jurmain et al. 46). Also, the Bible might contain contradicting concepts that require interpretation.
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For example, the idea that Adam and Eve were the ancestors of all humans does not coincide with the fact that Cain had a wife and was fearing retaliation for killing his brother from other people (Moritz 2). Thus, the Biblical model is comprised of rather diverse perspectives and ideas.
Religious explanations of human origins do not typically presuppose scientific proofs (Jurmain et al. 45). Additionally, it may be difficult to discuss the evidence of the Biblical model due to its inconsistency. However, my peer demonstrates that certain events described by the Bible can be evidenced to have occurred. For example, the peer points out the multiple cases of migration depicted in the Bible. They might indeed reference the actual migrations from Africa. Since the migration of people from Africa is proved, it can be suggested that this evidence supports the Bible-based model as well (Jurmain et al. 289).
Thus, some of the specific elements of the Bible might find a form of support in the currently available facts. The Bible may have preserved the perspectives of the witnesses of some of the events of human history. Consequently, it may be reasonable to search for some additional evidence that would support specific events described by the Bible in other historical documents and relics. If the limitations of non-scientific literature are considered, the Bible can offer some information about human history. As a result, I like my peer’s proposal. Studying the model may be interesting from the point of view of investigating the relics that provide some information about human history.
The study of burials
One of the exhibits offered by the Institute of Human Origins is titled “Why Bury the Dead”. In it, the Institute discusses the possible causes and consequences of the practice of burying the dead. In particular, the Institute reports that burial is the form of disposing of bodies that is helpful to archeology. Also, the Institute demonstrates that the cultural implications of burying the dead are diverse. For instance, the bodies of the dead may be sacred in one culture and meaningless in others. Therefore, the study of burials can offer insights into the diversity of human cultures and worldviews.
Neandertals are evidenced to have buried the dead (Jurmain et al. 275). However, the Institute amends that no definite statements are possible due to the lack of evidence. Still, some of the excavated Neandertal burials contain additional objects, including weaponry and grave goods. Likewise, the specific positions of the buried might indicate purposeful burials. Also, the Institute exhibits the “Flower Burial”: a Neandertal burial, the soil of which contains the pollen of multiple types of flowers. It may be explained by the practice of burying people with flowers, but other factors may also be the cause of the soil’s content (Stiner 255).
The Institute maintains that no definite statements can be made about the cultural and religious aspects of Neandertals’ burials. For instance, the burial of a person with a weapon might imply that Neandertals believed in the afterlife. However, since no written proof of the idea exists, this supposition cannot be confirmed. In effect, the supposition might provide more information about modern perspectives on burial practices.
Still, the studies of the burials of the Neandertals, as well as those of any other culture, contribute to our understanding of the development of human society. By comparing burial practices and underlying beliefs of the modern and ancient people, it is possible to find similarities, differences, and trends that affect human culture, which contributes to our knowledge of modern humans.
Institute of Human Origins. ” Becoming Human.” Institute of Human Origins. Web.
Jurmain, Robert, et al. Essentials of Physical Anthropology. 10th ed., Cengage, 2017.
Moritz, Joshua M. “The Hermeneutics of Science and Scripture and Emergent Levels of Meaning.” Theology and Science, vol. 12, no. 1, 2014, pp. 1-5.
Stiner, Mary C. “Love and Death in the Stone Age: What Constitutes First Evidence of Mortuary Treatment of the Human Body?” Biological Theory, vol. 12, no. 4, 2017, pp. 248-261.