I have been operating under conflicting assumptions. There have been two streams of thought, undercurrents actually, which have been carving subtle grooves into my thought processes, causing a contradiction of which I was consciously unaware.
I am a Christian who strongly believes in the Creation account recorded in the opening chapters of the book of Genesis. I believe that after God created the universe and the earth and made it perfectly habitable, He then created the animals, and finally, man. The man handcrafted by God is named Adam in Scripture, and we are told that from him woman was also created. This man was the crown of creation, the peak of God's handiwork, made in God's own image, and perfect in every physical way. His brain, fresh from "the factory", must have operated at optimum capacity.
There is another assumption, held openly by those who don't believe that our universe and everything in it was created by a loving and wise God. Believing that the origin of the human species was the result of a long process of evolution- the details of which theory I needn't expound upon here- we all understand the concept. But the idea that we have evolved from simpler beings and have, as it were, improved over time, is actually quite the opposite from the understanding of our minds and bodies having been crafted by a Creator at the beginning, and slowly suffering a decline ever since.
From the pinnacle of creation, the human race has encountered diseases and circumstances which have reduced us rather than improved us. Oh, the past couple of hundred years have brought vast leaps in nutrition, medicine, and technology which have introduced improvements in our circumstances and contributed to longer life-spans. But those life-spans pale in comparison to our original fathers who lived for hundreds of years each. Over all, humanity has been in a physical decline since the our first parents. Furthermore, science now tells us that a person only uses, on average, 10% of their brain's capacity. What a waste.
My dilemma, operating quietly in the back of my mind, has been in my amazement at the intricacy of thought and philosophies of ancient people. We will be studying the Medieval Period in our next year of home education, and I'm staggered at some of the reading we'll be doing. In Sunday school our class is studying the book of Job, believed to be the most ancient account in the Bible, and the scope of language and the thoughts captured in the book is, to today's standards, immense. I mean, if the book of Job were written today, his friends would have come to comfort him by saying, "Dude, I'm feelin' ya."
I realized this morning that my amazement was stemming from a renegade notion that the ancient people were lesser thinkers than today, when, in all actuality, today's thinkers are far inferior to the ancient people who lived without distractions, fully experiencing reality, and having complete use of their minds.
Oh, may I better use my own mind, thoughts and words to understand and bring glory to my Creator, who in wisdom and love fashioned me and placed me when and where I am, and may I impress upon my children the dire importance of the same.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
declares the LORD."
"How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
... Search me, O God, and know
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous
way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!"
-Psalm 139:17, 23-24
*Disclaimer- This is not a blanket condemnation of "thinking people" of modern times. If you know someone who is a true thinking person, thank him or her today!