figuration of our culture and determine what role falls to us in the near future.

Right from the start we are confronted with interesting and relevant theological questions which I cannot treat in detail here. Consider the whole matter of "the appearance of man." It is certain that mankind arose from within the animal kindgom. From within the class known as mammals there arose the insectivores. The latter gave rise to the primates, and man developed out of that group. Homo transformed the magnificent pageant of biological evolution into history, and God's revelation arose within this history. Divine revelation in history is continued in the history of Latin America too.

If we want to relate our faith to the universe, we must look at the whole ensemble of creation. Only then will we be able to relate our faith to the distant galaxies, intergalactic space, the sun and the solar system, and the animals who frequent the jungle or our fields and city streets. We do not know the precise date when our universe came into existence. It now seems fairly certain that the galaxies expanded from some point. Our own galaxy, for example, is 100,000 light years in diameter and 5,000 light years in depth at its center, having the shape of a plate. That is the "home" in which we live. There are millions of galaxies, the nearest ones to ours being at least a million and a half light years away. In this vast expanse, the solar system is a tiny section. Some five billion years ago the earth solidified within the solar system, setting the stage for the next advance.

It now seems that life appeared on earth some three or three-and-a-half billion years ago. The appearance of life marked a new stage in the whole process of creation, and life too underwent evolution. One-celled organisms were followed by multicelled organisms. In their groping, the latter "discovered" the vegetable kingdom; the animal kingdom developed as a parasite out of the vegetable king dom. The exploratory groping of the animal kingdom led to the discovery of various possibilities: first there were the insects, later the vertebrates. The members of this sub-phylum found many different ways to reproduce. One class came to nourish its young on nutrient fluids generated by the female. Within this class, known as the mammals, are such insectivores as the anteater. About seventy million years ago the tarsiers, members of the insectivore group, paved the way for the first true primates. From the higher primates there developed the first beings we now label homo. As far as we can tell at present, the latter genus appeared on the scene somewhere around two million years ago. One of the oldest fossils of this genus is that of homo habilis, a tool-making creature. So we are dealing with a creature that had fashioned something of a culture, because it had altered its environment to some extent.

Here we encounter a topic that is most interesting and that would deserve a whole book in itself. It certainly would be worthwhile to consider the fact that it is a metaphysics of creation which provides the underpinning for a theory of evolution; evolutionism could appear on the scene only through Judaeo-Christianity. Another interesting question is how God might have created man within the evolutionary process. Such an event is quite possible, as Xavier Zubiri has tried to show in a recent article ("El origen del hombre," in Revista de Occidente, no. 17, 1964). When primates had attained the cranial capacity required for reflective thinking-that is, the millions of nerve cells necessary for such an operation-God could have created the "mark" of intelligence intrinsically within man, within the evolutionary process itself. There is evolution because the will of God chose to be evolutionary in its approach.

I do not want to get sidetracked into a long discussion of this particular subject. But it is important if we are to be able to dialogue with our world. Just remember all the false problems we raise in the Church with regard to evolution ary thought. We never seem to advert to the fact that the Greeks believed the world was eternal because it was divine. The cosmos had to be desacralized before it could be regarded as a creature, as a created reality whose species had a definite origin and starting point. Only such a viewpoint could lead people to realize eventually that the origin of species entailed a process of evolution, that species were not divine as the Greeks had thought. Darwin, then, is a product of Christianity; yet we Christians repudiated him as a pagan. It is one of those strange contradictions in which history abounds, and I want to point it out here even though I cannot explore the issue more deeply.

The further evolution of the genus homo can be represented as a flowering tree of human life. Proceeding through various forms, we ultimately arrive at homo sapiens. This species may have appeared around two hundred thousand years ago. Today all human beings are members of the species homo sapiens. With the appearance of homo sapiens, the whole evolution of the cosmos is concretized in an unfolding process which we call history. The life of homo sapiens today is part of the two-million year history of man's presence on this earth.

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