What is the soul? A biologist reflects on our spiritual nature

What is the soul? A biologist reflects on our spiritual nature

The soul is not a scientific concept. In the same way that science cannot prove or disprove the existence of God, I don’t think science can prove or disprove the existence of the soul. To me, the idea of a soul is bound in with the question of God, and if God exists, then we have in the Abrahamic tradition, in the broadest sense, we have a promise of immortality, we have a promise of eternal life. And to me, that promise is transfixed in the idea of the soul. What is my evidence for this? I don’t have evidence. But what I would say is that if you accept the accounts of the Gospels, which I think any Christian must, what I base that promise on is very simple. And that’s in the words that Jesus spoke during the Crucifixion. And if you remember the narrative, there’s a thief crucified  on either side of Him. One of the thieves says, „If you’re so powerful, get us down from these crosses.” And Jesus ignored him. And the other thief knew very well who Jesus was and said, „Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And to him, Jesus turned and said, „I say to you, this day, you will be with me in paradise.” To me, that’s the promise of what the soul means. I don;t see the soul as quasi-genetic. I don’t see it being passed form father to son, from mother to daughter. Rather, I see in the soul, basically the psiritual reflection of our individuality as human beings. We are creatures made of matter and energy. That much is true. Scripture tells us that we were formed out of the dust of the earth. And to me, the concept of the soul is really the promise of eternal life, a promise I cannot test scientifically, but which I accept as a person of faith.

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