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Orville Stenerson letter: A creative source must explain human uniqueness

Some time ago, a person claiming to be an atheist wrote that what distinguished humans from other forms of life was their possession of a moral sense. This is true and it enables people to alter or modify their behavior to conform to life's needs...

Some time ago, a person claiming to be an atheist wrote that what distinguished humans from other forms of life was their possession of a moral sense. This is true and it enables people to alter or modify their behavior to conform to life's needs or to higher ethical principles. But there is more that is distinctive of humans.

There is the ability to develop the sciences and mathematics which give new perspectives about the nature of the universe and also the ability to find solutions to practical problems.

There is the ability to create and invent, which has enabled people to radically transform their way of life.

There is the ability to communicate through the spoken and written word, whereby knowledge of the past may be preserved and knowledge of the present transmitted throughout the world.

There is the ability to compose and appreciate music and to present these compositions through a variety of vocal and instrumental techniques.

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There is the ability to create a vast literature of poetry and prose, which dates from ancient to modern times. This has been a source of enlightenment, inspiration and enjoyment for millions of people.

There is the ability to ponder the mystery of existence and to develop theoretical, philosophical or technological systems in attempts to comprehend or interpret that mystery.

There is the ability to conceive of or respond to concepts of higher powers to which are given reverence, devotion or forms of worship.

These are some of the characteristics that distinguish humans from lower forms of life and enable them to escape the otherwise narrow confines of their limited environments.

Because none of these abilities seem essential for survival (no lower forms of life have them) one may wonder whether they came into being through a natural evolutionary process or from a rational creative source.

Orville Stenerson

Fargo

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