Why Can’t Homo Sapiens Hold It Together?

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Neanderthals, A Culture That Survived (Approximately) …
400,000 Years

The Neanderthals have a long evolutionary history. The earliest known examples of Neanderthal-like fossils are around 430,000 years old. The best-known Neanderthals lived between about 130,000 and 40,000 years ago, after which all physical evidence of them vanished.

From my perspective, the answer is trivial.

Homo sapiens, in reason, produce civilization. However, civilization undoes the conditions under which reason is produced (specifically, suffering precipitates homo sapien problem-solving). In other words, human success eliminates problems. Thus, homo sapien civilization inevitably collapses in upon itself. Neanderthals, by contrast, do not make civilizations. Thus, their culture does not fail.

This is why the biblical story of Adam and Eve is an excellent hypothesis for pre-history humans.

Humans, in nature (i.e., the garden), have necessarily more sustainable cultures being hunter-gatherer cultures. Here, the suffering of the people is not undone by any civilizing system and the fight for survival is ever-present. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve’s suffering is potentially interrupted when they bite from the Tree of Knowledge, producing, over time, human civilization. This success is short-lived, however. This is because, presently, individual humans lack the means to fully disseminate, intergenerationally, their capacity to reason (i.e., divine grace); thus, human civilization inevitably fails. In other words, what was gained from the “apple bite” is not transferred to subsequent generations. Without reason (obtained through problem-solving), later generations do not understand and thereby lose the capacity to keep their complex civilization working.

YES. Homo sapiens are the smart ones. However, they must earn this intellect via problem-solving (using divine grace, I might add). Critically, however, homo sapiens have not yet learned how to maintain their wisdom through disseminated intergenerational communication. Therefore, in time, homo sapien civilizations must always decline and fail. Human civilization simply forgets what it knows.

After the fall of Rome, Christianity was humanity’s first attempt to fix this problem (offering the means to preserve intergenerational wisdom). Although somewhat accidentally, Christianity produced a civilization that could put a man on the moon (in just a few thousand years). By contrast, neanderthals produced a people that could only make better arrowheads (over hundreds of thousands of years). The comparison is stark.

Below is the history of Western Civilization. God, or absolute truth, is key. Claiming to know God’s truth, i.e., religion, is not. Christianity must help humans pass reason (divine grace) from generation to generation. It should not claim to be the source of truth (Papal Infallibility). That’s the difference and the problem and why Christianity struggles.

The Rise and Fall of Reason in Western Civilization