THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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59. Different populations of Earth have formed contrasting ideas about creation, depending on their degree of scientifc advancement. Reason, supported by science, recognizes the implausibility of some theories. The explanation given by the spirits confirms the theory that has long been recognized by the most enlightened people.


Arguments against this theory are that they contradict sacred texts. However when we examine these statements carefully they show us that this contradiction is more superfcial than genuine. It results from the interpretation that has been given to allegorical expressions.


Adam, widely regarded as the frst man and sole ancestor of the human race, is not the only point that caused religious convictions around the world to change. At one time, the movement of the Earth so blatantly contradicted the Bible that every type of criticism imaginable was fred against it. Despite this, the Earth continued to move in its orbit, and people today couldn’t possibly object to this fact without jeopardizing their own sanity and credibility.


The Bible also states that the world was created in six days, and establishes the date of creation at about 4000 years before Christ. According to the Bible, Earth did not exist before that time and was created out of nothing at the time of creation. Yet science has undeniably proven otherwise. The history of Earth is irrefutably written in fossils, proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that the six days of creation are successive periods, each of which may have been millions of years. This is not a matter of opinion, but a fact that is as indisputably certain as the movement of the Earth, and one that theology itself can no longer refuse to acknowledge. This admission provides yet another example of the errors we commit by attributing literal truth to fgurative language. Should we conclude that the Bible is one giant error? No, but we must admit that people have defnitely blundered in its interpretation.


Science, in studying the geological records of the Earth itself, has determined the order in which the different species of living beings appeared, and this order matches the sequence indicated in the Book of Genesis.


The main difference is that Earth was created according to the laws and action of the forces of nature over millions of years. It did not spring miraculously from the hand of God in a few days and it was not formed by the whim of Divine will. Does this eclipse God’s power or strength? Is the result of creative energy less sublime when it does not happen instantaneously? Of course not, and anyone who does not recognize the magnifcence of the Divine in this evolution of eternal laws is quite foolish. Science, far from diminishing the glory of Divine power, shows us that action from a more sublime perspective is consistent with our notions of God’s power and majesty precisely because the work was carried out without disregard for the laws of nature.


Modern science, in agreement with Moses, states that humanity appeared last in the creation of living beings. However, Moses places the great food as having occurred 1654 years after the creation of the world, while geology shows that the great natural disasters occurred before the appearance of human beings. To date, the earliest strata contain no traces of humanity’s presence, nor that of the animals coexisting with it. Nothing conclusively establishes that this is impossible. Since many discoveries have already raised questions about this, it is possible that at any moment the material certainty of the anteriority of the human race may come to light, showing us that in this case, as well as others, the Biblical text portrays an allegory. The question to be examined here is whether the great food is the same suffered by Noah or if the amount of time required for the formation of sedimentary layers and rock formations containing fossils does not allow this conclusion.. If eventually traces of the existence of human beings before the great food are discovered, it is evident then that either Adam was not the frst man, or that his creation dates back closer to the dawn of time. There is no arguing against fact if supporting evidence is found. This fact would have to be acknowledged, in the same manner that the movement of the Earth and the six periods of creation were also acknowledged.


The existence of humans before the great food is still hypothetical. However, the same argument cannot be made against the following considerations: In stating that human beings frst appeared on the Earth 4000 years before Christ, and if the entire human race, with the exception of a single family, was wiped out 1650 years later, that means that the populating of the Earth dates back only to Noah’s time, which is only 2350 years before Christ. However, when the Israelites relocated to Egypt around 1800 BC, they found the country to be a very densely populated, advanced civilization. History also shows that, at that same time, India and various other countries were also populated and fourishing, not to mention other nations that claim to date back further in time. We must therefore presume that, from 2400 BC to 1800 BC---that is 600 years – the descendants of a single individual were able to populate every known country and even those that were unknown which, we have no reason to believe, were devoid of inhabitants. We must further presume that humankind was able to evolve from being unaware to the highest degree of intellectual development, in this brief stint of time, which completely contradicts anthropological theory.


The diversity of the human race supports this opinion. While differences in climate and lifestyle clearly change the physical characteristics of humans, we know the extent to which these adaptations may occur as a result of these infuences. Physiological examination conclusively proves that there are fundamental differences between the races that are too great to have been caused by climate differences alone.


The crossing of races diminishes extreme characteristics by creating new varieties rather than reproducing the extremes. This process presupposes the existence of separate races, but how can this be explained if all of humanity can be traced back to a single ancestor and a short period of creation? How can we deduce, for example, that Noah’s descendants, in such a short time, had transformed into Ethiopians? Such a metamorphosis would be as implausible as a wolf turning into a sheep, a beetle into an elephant, or a bird into a fsh. No preconceived opinion or belief system can resist the evidence of facts. If we believe that humans existed before the most widely accepted time of creation, that there is a diversity of origins, that Adam lived 6000 years ago populating a country that until then had been uninhabited, that Noah’s food was a local catastrophe mistaken for the great geological disaster, and if we make the proper allowances for the allegorical expressions that are characteristic of the eastern style and common to the sacred texts of all religions, every diffculty disappears.


This is why it is important to be careful in literally interpreting fgurative statements of belief systems, which, like so many others, could someday enjoy a retraction from those who currently oppose them. Religion, rather than fearing the discoveries of science, should allow itself to be bolstered by it. This union is the only way that religion can arm itself against skeptics.

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