Human beings have been given the wonderful gift of consciousness. We are aware of ourselves and our environment. We are able to appreciate the aesthetic beauties of the earth. We can readily perceive the past — or think we can — and the present and the future. We have the ability to perceive good and evil.
But what are the origins of human consciousness? How and when did we come to have this marvelous gift?
Man Looks at the Problem
Evolutionists have proposed to explain the origin of the physical being called man. But evolution offers no viable explanation for the existence of consciousness — not even the vastly inferior animal consciousness that was before man’s. Eminent scientist and Nobel prize winner, Sir John Eccles, has said:
“The genetic code and natural selection explains quite a lot. But not how I came to exist. It doesn’t explain even the origin of consciousness, even animal consciousness. If you look at the most modern texts on evolution you find nothing about mind and consciousness. They assume that it just comes automatically with the development of the brain. But that’s not an answer” (International Herald Tribune, March 31, 1981).
But if evolutionists cannot really explain the existence of consciousness, the Holy Scriptures do.
God Gives the Answer
The biblical book of Job contains some of the most beautiful poetic language in English literature. But the intrinsic worth of this ancient work goes far beyond mere beauty of language. It records a conversation that the man Job had with the Creator God.
The Almighty had asked the patriarch Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements — surely you know!” (Job 38:4-5, RSV).
These verses reveal that intelligence vastly superior to man’s was present at the time of creation. Further, the same verses show that God possessed by his very nature the marvelous attribute of consciousness. Man was nowhere around at the time. He took no part in the creation work.
Centuries after Job died the prophet Isaiah was privileged to record God’s Word to the children of Israel in a similar vein. “Thus saith the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth — Who was with me?” (Isaiah 44:24). (more…)