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Introduction

SOUL-SUBSTANCE THEORY

Alfred Wallace, the partner of Charles Darwin, considered the human brain to be an unexplained anomaly in the theory of evolution. He wondered aloud whether ‘some unknown spiritual element’ might account for the exceptional artistic and scientific abilities that apparently emanated from the human brain.

Might a spiritual element, or soul-substance, be a driving force behind the process of evolution?

To modern scientists, the idea of spirit, or soul, is anathema, since it is impossible to observe such a substance directly, or to prove its existence by other means. To suggest that such spirit, or soul, played a crucial role in evolution (not just in man but in all creatures) is to speculate beyond the permissible boundaries of modern science.

Nevertheless, the rules of modern science are not necessarily the dictum of reality, and it remains perfectly possible that a fifth element, whether it be called spirit or soul, is indeed the driving force behind life on our planet, and indeed in the wider Universe. For an illustration of how this might work, based on Socratic and Platonic concepts of reality, see the Postscript to my book ‘The Atlantis Secret’.

How might such a soul-substance have influenced the process of Darwinian evolution?

A possible scenario is that soul-substance, present in the DNA of all living organisms, senses any changes to the organism’s environment and reacts intelligently to ensure its survival. This mechanism would lie dormant for the vast majority of time, only to be activated in times of acute crisis. Members of a species might thus acquire a new characteristic – one key to its future survival – virtually overnight. And this essential genetic improvement would then obviously be favoured by natural selection. In this way, evolution, seen as a whole, would occur not via descent with modification driven by statistics and chance, but rather via descent with modification driven by intelligence – the intelligence that was immanent in the soul-substance.

This same soul-substance would also account for the consciousness that is present in humans and, one presumes, other living organisms.

This is, of course, complete speculation, but many of us might sense, intuitively, that it is true.

Conclusion

The soul-substance theory is complementary to existing Darwinian theory, and might help to explain how Homo erectus became Homo sapiens virtually overnight in the evolutionary scheme of things. Intriguingly, it would imply that man’s gift of intelligence, artistry, music, et cetera, is not unique, but is rather shared by all other species as an innate potentiality.

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