Time Defines Our Origins
Time, although amorphous and indefinite, is as much a part of who we are as any other factor. It defines us as much as our environment, our culture, and our beliefs, although it usually forgotten or passed off as self-evident. On a personal level, it identifies generations and ages: we are old, adolescent, children, adults, and baby boomers. Historically, it delineates whole civilizations, from medieval to classical, from prehistoric to modern. Over millennia, time defines our origins as a species, through creationism or evolution, divine intervention or natural selection.
First, how does time define our origins? Obviously, our concept of time determines which version of origins we subscribe to. If we believe the universe is infinite or that it began billions years ago with the big bang, then our beliefs are deterministic. Man is just the product of evolution and causal laws. But if we view time with a distinct beginning and end, we would more likely believe in a divine power that maintains control. According to a number of cosmologies and religions, the universe began at a finite, not very distant time in the past. For example, St. Augustine calculated that the divine creation of Genesis occurred around 5000 BC (Hawking).
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