29th September 2023

I recently bought a new car – well, new to me and five years newer than the old one. I feel slightly virtuous because, while it is not all-electric, it is what is called ‘A Hybrid’.

That means that some (most?) of the time it is propelled by the internal combustion engine, burning petrol, and the rest of the time by an electric motor, which in turn has been charged while the car is going. All very complicated, but I am told it does help reduce the CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

That word ‘Hybrid’ set me thinking. According to one dictionary it means:

“An animal that has been produced from two different types of animal”.

Maybe that could suggest a definition of human beings – not two animals maybe, but animal and spirit. The body derives from our animal ancestors but God has given us our soul.

Anthropologists explain how humans have evolved – apparently the earliest were in East Africa. But that is just the ‘animal’ origin. When was the soul added? Is that the significance of the Adam and Eve story? Then there are the other similar species, notably the Neanderthals, who, we are told by some, may have interbred with early humans (hybrids?) – did they have souls?

Well, maybe these are questions for the theologians and anthropologists to argue about. For you and me let’s just be thankful God saw fit to put souls into our human bodies – at least, I think that is where they are for the time being.

David T Roberts