It has been postulated that one of the corollaries of the evolutionary process, inevitably, would be the invention of God. This hypothesis theorizes that the transition between homo erectus and homo sapiens brought about our ability to observe the heavens and muse about the formation of everything we observed. Mental inquisitiveness, unfortunately, preceded mental capacity and technological contraptions. Thus, the only recourse left to our ancient ancestors was to posit a divine entity as the creator, sustainer, and primal causeof everything. But of course! It just makes sense. Right?!?
What is odd is that most ancient peoples postulated God with similar characteristics. All powerful, determining the seasons, controlling natural phenomenon, providing rewards for worship, punishment for disobedience, etc. Almost certainly this was mere coincidence, given their observations of similarly unexplained wonders. Yet as homo sapiens developed communities they invented different regional names for God— Ra, Adi Purush, Zeus, Thor, I AM WHO I AM, Jesus, Allah, YHWH (יהוה), Baha, Ahura Mazda. To this day, there are ancient animistic deities yet being discovered. Each “religion” then created initiation rites, ritual celebrations, and taboos (sins).
Religion dominated both the ancient world, stemming from some common root in a time before recorded history, and continued developing in civilizations such as Egypt, Teutonic Europe, Mesoamerica, and Asia. Except for a brief period when the Greeks blended religion and science, religion’s prominence, at least in the West, held firm until the 15th century. Then the Renaissance in art and the Enlightenment in science supplanted religion and seized center-stage as the rational explanation of the universe and its mechanisms. The Modern Era was launched. “God” and the church became overshadowed by the “scientific method.”
However, today, as I snatch moments to ponder our universe and the religious wonderings in our past, I wonder…, I wonder if our ancient ancestors didn’t know something about the universe, the stars, and creation that we, in this postmodern, postChristian world, have lost? Were they in closer proximity to an actual Creator than we might imagine? Maybe they were not trying to explain the universe through “religion” but simply reporting, with some variation, what they already comprehended and understood as the true nature of things.
Maybe it wasn’t God who was invented…, but us.
Have a nice week,