Wednesday, September 07, 2011

"10,000 Parents, Not Just 2!!" Really? If So, So What?

The latest hot-biology stuff posits that there may be up to 10,000 "parents" of the human race.

Well, there may be 10,000 antecedents; but not necessarily "parents."

Remember the old "necessary, but not sufficient" from Phil 201?  The inestimable treasure Feser lays it out.

To make a human being, then, it is not enough to make something having all the sub-conceptual or sub-intellectual capacities of the human body.  An animal having all those capacities may well look like a human being, and indeed have all the genetic and phenotypic attributes of a human being short of those phenotypic traits indicative of intellectual activity, such as language.  Perhaps it would look and act like the apparently sub-rational “humans” in the original Planet of the Apes movie.  But it would not be a human being in the sense in which A-T philosophers and Catholic theology understand “human being.”  For our nature is simply not exhausted by whatever traits flow from our genetic endowment.  “Human being” as used in A-T philosophy and Catholic theology is a metaphysical concept, and does not correspond exactly to (even if it overlaps with) the modern biological concept homo sapiens sapiens.  (In fact, some A-T philosophers would hold that the specific genetic and phenotypic traits typical of homo sapiens sapiens are not even essential to human beings considered as a metaphysical category: Anything that was both animal and rational would arguably be “human” in the relevant sense, even if it had a body plan radically different from ours.  See Oderberg’s Real Essentialism for a useful discussion.)

Plenty more at the link, including the discussion of why "10,000 antecedents" is not germane to ensoulment.


jimspice said...

I thought just recently you alluded to being a "new earther" or at least an "anti-evolutionist." If so, why waste your time pondering such things.

Dad29 said...

Neither. The evolution theory may or may not be fully substantiated (you say yes, others differ); and I never commented on 'age of earth.'

The position Feser lays out is exactly what I agree with, however.

jimspice said...

Guess I just assumed from your recommendation of Coulter's article you were validating her claims.

And you know what they say about people who assume? Dang, those are some mighty fine lookin' individuals.

jimspice said...

OK, so I actually read it to the end this time.

Wow. Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisovensis must be grateful they didn't survive into a time that they would be so regarded. Maybe that's why slavery was OK in biblical times; the enslaved were considered soulless.

So I assume (hard habit to break) that you are not of African descent. That means 4% of your DNA is likely neanderthal. Does that give you only 96% of a soul? And does the fact that ethnically "pure" Africans are the only humans to be able to claim 100% Homo sapien sapien DNA also grant to them full soul status? And is this the reason it's called soul music?

Sure, you could always drop back the time frame a bit to where we all shared a common ancestor, and that group would also likely fit all of criteria from the linked article. But you'd just run into a different set of not-quite-there relatives that branched out even earlier, but were still reproductively "compatible"

By the way, why is the "T" in "A-T philosophy" not another "A?"

Dad29 said...

A lot of material that I re-post here is material I endorse.

SOME of it is material on which I don't have an opinion--but it's interesting.

Coulter's essay--if all her assertions are true--falls into the 'interesting' category.

It's fun to watch some people's heads explode, even via the combox.

Capper is a great example.

Dad29 said...

the enslaved were considered soulless

Really? Certainly, in societies where the soul was not a defined component, that would have been true...

That means 4% of your DNA is likely neanderthal.

According to the spouse, you're off by a factor of 4,000%.

only 96% of a soul?

Same 4,000%, different direction.

But you'd just run into a different set of not-quite-there relatives

Yup. They're called "in-laws."

It's "Aristotelian/Thomistic" philosophy.

jimspice said...

Yeah, I know what the "T" stands for, but I think it should be "A" for "Aquinasian" or something. But I suppose that sounds too much like it could refer to the Chines Olympic Swim Team. I just always confuse all the Thomases. More, Aquinas, Jones. You know.