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Xavier Zubiri

[This is a translation by A. R. Caponigri of "El origen del hombre", which appeared in Revista de Occidente, Ano. II, 2a er. No. 17 (August, 1964), p. 146-173. Caponigri's translation was published in a book which he edited, Contemporary Spanish Philosophy, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1967, p. 42-75. Unrestricted rights to this translation have been granted to the Xavier Zubiri Foundation of North America. Readers may freely use this material if sources (University of Notre Dame Press, Xavier Zubiri Foundation of North America) are credited. Page numbers from the book are shown in green brackets. Readers are advised that some of the specific anthropological data utilized by Zubiri in this essay have been superceded by new discoveries; however, the philosophical points remain intact.]

[43] The problem of the origin of man was almost exclusively a theological one until the end of the nineteenth century. Since then, surprisingly, the problem has entered a new phase, the phase of positive science. Human paleontology and prehistory have discovered a series of impressive facts whose volume and quality must be considered transcendental, since these scientific facts lead to the idea that the origin of man is evolutional: the human phylum has its evolutionary origin in other animal phyla; and within the human phylum, humanity has adopted genetically and evolutionally distinct forms until it has arrived at present-day man, the only one until now with which philosophy and theology have concerned themselves. Human evolution is certainly a subject which belongs to positive science. Though a question raised by facts, it is nevertheless one which affects philosophy and theology. Leaving aside, for the moment, the theological aspect of the question, the idea of the evolutionary origin of our humanity, though it is a scientific idea, is still an idea, which, like many others, is on the borderline of both science and philosophy. These [44] ideas constitute borderline problems, two-sided problems. And inasmuch as they are two-sided, they should be considered philosophically. Speaking philosophically, what does the evolutionary origin of our humanity mean?


In the somatic, morphological order there is a strict evolution from animal to man. The mechanisms, scope, and character of this evolution might be argued, and are argued. But there undeniably exists a morphological evolution which places man in the line of the anthropomorphous primates, concretely speaking, at the division between the Pongidae and Hominidae. The anthropomorphous Pongidae lead to the great apes: the chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and gibbon. Starting from the same point of reference, the anthropomorphos Hominidae follow a different line of evolution. Paleontologists use the term "hominids" for all the antbropoids which form a part of the phylum to which man belongs. They do so because there have been anthropomorphous members of this phylum which were not yet human but infrahuman (though not apes, as the Pongidae are). These not-yet hominized hominids are the direct somatic ancestors of man. Since paleontology does not yet possess enough fossil remains, it cannot describe with satisfactory precision either the ways in which the hominids proliferated or the precise point of hominization.

However, this undeniable somatic evolution leaves untouched another fact that must be kept in mind and integrated with evolution if we are to explain the phenomenon of humanity completely: the essential irreducibility of the intellective dimension of man to all his sensory animal dimensions. An animal, being merely sentient, always and only reacts to stimuli. There can be, and there are, complexes of stimuli structured as units, often endowed with the character of a sign, and an animal selects from them according to their attunement with the tonic states it feels. Still, it is always a case of mere stimuli. In contrast to this, man with his intelligence, [45] responds to realities. I have always maintained that intelligence is, not the capacity for abstract thought, but the capacity that man has to perceive things and deal with them as realities. Between mere stimulus and reality there is not a difference in degree but in essence. What we are accustomed to call, improperly, "animal intelligence" is the refinement of the animal's capacity to move among stimuli in a very diversified and fruitful way, but always on the level of giving an adequate response to the situation with which the stimuli present it; and this is why it is not, properly speaking, intelligence. In contrast, man does not always respond to things as stimuli, he also responds to them as realities. The richness of man's response is of an order essentially distinct from that of an animal's. This is why his life transcends animal life, and the evolutional lines of man and animal are radically distinct ones which follow divergent directions.

An animal, for example, may be completely classified; man cannot. For psychobiological reasons, man is the only animal that is adaptable to all the climates of the universe, that tolerates the most diverse diets. But this is not all. Man is the only animal that is not imprisoned in a specifically determined medium but is constitutively open to the undefined horizon of the real world. While the animal only resolves situations and makes small predispositions, man transcends his actual situation and produces artifacts that are not only made ad hoc for a determined situation but are also situated in the reality of things, in what these things are "of themselves." Thus, he constructs artifacts he has no need of in the present situation against the time when he might have need of them. He handles things as realities. In a word, while the animal only "settles" his life, man "projects" his life. This is why man's industry is not found to be fixed or to be mere repetition; rather it denotes an innovation, the product of an invention, of a forward-moving, progressive creation. Precisely where the remains of tools allow the discovery of traces of innovation and creation, prehistory interprets them as rudimentary human characteristics. Such is the case with the pebble culture of Australopithecus, which we will speak of later.

[46] This irreducibility does not imply a break, a discontinuity, between animal and human life. Completely the contrary. If the distinction between mere sensation and intelligence which I have just proposed is accepted, it is true that the animal reacts to mere stimuli and that man responds to realities. But in his individual life as well as in his development as a species, the first form of reality which man apprehends is that of his own stimuli. He perceives them not as mere stimuli but as real stimuli, as stimulating realities, so much so that the first function of intelligence is purely biological. It consists in finding an adequate response to, real stimuli. This fact alone proves that the further we descend toward the beginnings of life in both individual and species, the more subtle the distinction between mere stimulus and real stimulus becomes until it seems to disappear-and that is exactly what proves there is no break between animal life and life which is properly human. It is abundantly clear that there is no such break in individual life any more than there is in the zoological scale. The life of the first beings with somatic, and perhaps psychic, traces of humanity, the Australopithecids, approaches very closely the life of other anthropoids. This is why it is so difficult, and at times impossible, to know if a hominid fossil does or does not represent a hominized hominid.


Since the human phylum is constituted by an. intelligence, we find in it a true and strict genetic evolution due above all to the evolution of the somatic structures but also to the evolution of a type of intelligence expressed in industries characterized by an almost perfect evolutionary unity. This means that what we have been accustomed until now to call "Man" in the singular, in reality includes types of humanity that are different somatically and industrially, that is, somatically and intellectively, produced by a true, genetic, intrahuman evolution. It is a question, not of men who are different only in their type of life, but of structurally distinct types, in regard to both their morphology and their [47] mental structures. From among the most outstanding and well-known facts, let us note only some so as to add concreteness to our ideas.

1. From the beginnings of the early Quaternary (the Villafranchian) almost two million years ago, the Australopithecine hominids appeared. They seem to be the first beings who by then possessed traces of rudimentary human characteristics. The oldest relic known is the Chad skull. Later there is, on the one hand, the African group of Australopithecus, with its different varieties, and, on the other hand, Australopithecus of Java. These groups spread until well into the Middle Quaternary (Australopithecus Telanthropus and Australopithecus of Palestine). These, with the ones from Java, are the closest transition to the following type. Together they constitute a quite homogeneous group.

Except for later variations, they have short stature and an appearance similar to that of the Pongidae: a receding forehead and concave face. But their premolars are exactly of the human type and completely distinct from those of the Pongidae. They are almost perfectly biped and erect; their pelvis is already of the human type. This has left the arms and hands free to grasp and shape tools. On the other hand, they have an elongated and shallow brain: a cranial volume of 500 to 700 cc., notably inferior to that of later men but high in relation to the Pongidae and relative to their stature. Some of the skulls, as the Chad skull, present noticeable differences.

Let us take, under the heading of "information," the very recent discovery by Leakey in East Africa (1963-1964) of a fossil dating from the beginning of the Quaternary which he has named "Homo habilis." Some of its structures are intermediary between those of Australopithecus and those of the man who followed; others are more closely related to those of "Homo sapiens." According to this idea, "Homo habilis" would be a direct ancestor of later man, while Australopithecus would constitute a collateral branch of unhominized hominids. To "Homo habilis" would belong the Chad skull, Australopithecus of Palestine, as well as Telanthropus (who, then, should not be called Australopithecine), [48] and perhaps the "enigmatic" Kanam jaw. All of this needs more careful and minute study before it can be admitted.

Australopithecus made rudimentary axes, if you could so call his sharpened pebbles (pebble culture). Considered within an extended temporal perspective, Australopithecus seems to present, according to some (and to this opinion the majority of researchers today incline), traces of a creative innovation differing from the fixity and repetition characteristic of instinct and animal imitation. As such they would exhibit a certain intelligence. In this case, the transmission of these characteristics from some beings to others of the same group would be a first trace of authentic society and tradition, that is, a first outline of rudimentary culture. He would be, then, rudimentarily hominized because he would have begun to have perceived things as realities, as things which are "of themselves." On the other hand, if one does not admit that there is creative innovation in the industry of Australopithecus, then it would be a case of unhominized hominids who would be, perhaps, either the immediate ancestors of man or a collateral branch of hominids that has gradually been extinguished. In Leakey's opinion, there is a pebble culture that is creative, but its producer is "Homo habilis" and not Australopithecus (who, he believes, also made tools from pebbles, but without creativeness).

2. At the beginning of the Middle Quaternary half a million years ago, the hominized hominids (whether Australopithecus or Homo habilis) produced by evolution a clearly human type: Arcanthropus, as Weidenreich calls him. The oldest type is represented by the Modjokerto skull. In order of age, Arcanthropus is followed by Pithecanthropus and Sinanthropus. The Mauer jaw dates very close to Sinanthropus, perhaps before, and the Montmaurin jaw comes later, preceding the next man. There are more recent relics from East Africa related to certain varieties of Australopithecus. After that appear Atlanthropus of Ternifine (Algeria) and, lastly, the Casablanca, Rabat, Temara, and Saldanha men. Arcanthropus, then, stems from Australopithecus or from very closely related forms (Homo habilis?), while the [49] Mauer and Montmaurin men, together with the Morocco and Saldanha men, represent the transition to men of a later type.

Arcanthropus has a dentition of the same type as that of Australopithecus. He has a very rudimentary trace of chin, very strong jaws, very large supraorbital ridges, a very thick skull with a strong crest at the occipital foramen, and a less pronounced occipital curvature than that of earlier types. The brain develops upward, from an elongated to a rounded form, its convolutions are still slight but more pronounced than those of Australopithecus; the frontal lobes are larger but still very inferior; there is probably a predominance of the left hemisphere; its average volume is 1,000 cc. Arcanthropus already produced very distinctive, two-faced stone implements. He did not know how to light fire, but it seems he knew how to use it or conserve it. He did not bury his dead. But the occipital foramen is artificially enlarged, which seems to indicate that he extracted the brain to empty the skull. Was this an anthropophagic rite or simply, perhaps, for the conservation of the skull as a relic of the dead? It is difficult to decide.

3. In the remaining part of the Middle Quaternary, about two hundred thousand years ago, there appeared another somatically and mentally different human type: Paleanthropus (Keith). This human type evolved in different phases. The oldest type is that represented by the pre-Neanderthal men (Steinheim, Ehringsdorf, Saccopastore) and the pre-sapiens (Swanscombe and, much later, the Fontchévade man). Then come the classical Neanderthal men, distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. Those from Palestine are, perhaps, pre-sapiens. Lastly come those which mark the transition to a later type: the Rhodesian man and the Solo man (a descendent of Pithecanthropus).

Their dentition is largely intermediate between that of Arcanthropus and the subsequent man. The older representatives have a less prominent chin (at times almost nonexistent) than that of the more recent ones, a weaker lower jaw than that of Arcanthropus, and concave maxillaries. The skull takes on a new shape but has a regressively lower vault, a receding and flattened [50] forehead, and very large supraorbital ridges with a greater curvature which at times approaches that of later man. The pre-sapiens has a vertical forehead, almost without brow ridges. The bones are not nearly so thick. The volume of the brain is about 1,425 to 1,700 cc., and remains so in later man. The convolutions are more accentuated, with a greater development upward; the frontal lobes are more accentuated but in general still poorly developed, far below those of later man. His culture is typical: a lower paleolithic culture. Some of these men begin to cut typical hand axes that are much more perfect than the previous bifaced ones. Others begin a chipped-stone industry. They live in the open and in caverns. They are nomads; they store goods and hunt. They use fire. They probably painted their bodies somewhat, and some objects might be interpreted as amulets. It seems they wore trophies during the hunt, which perhaps belonged to the ritual of the hunt and which might indicate a certain idea of superior powers. They buried their dead, surrounding them at times with offerings, which denotes a certain idea of survival after death.

4. Only afterwards, in the Late Quaternary, about fifty thousand years ago, did a somatically and mentally different type appear: Neanthropus, often simply called Cro-Magnon man. He is the one who represents, strictly speaking, Homo sapiens. The oldest examples known, until now, are the Kanjera man and, a little later, the Florisbad man, both from East Africa. This is the human type to which we belong. It has typically modern dentition. The chin is well formed; the face short and wide, with a high forehead, elongated nose, and almost no brow ridges. The bones of the skull are less and less thick as we proceed from the Upper Paleolithic to the Neolithic period. The brain has definitely acquired its rounded form, is very rich in its convolutions, which are now permanent, and has fully developed frontal lobes.

In his first cultural phase (Upper Paleolithic), this man now no longer carves axes; he polishes the stone (a flaked-stone industry). He makes awls and bone needles for sewing. He begins to farm and domesticate animals. He produces admirable rock paintings and small relief work, sunken and raised; statuettes that could [51] be fertility idols (the earth mother) and protector idols; all of which indicates that he clearly shows magico-religious practices denoting a belief in spirits to which he makes offerings. He buries his dead, sometimes constructing small burial monuments.

After the last glaciation this man enters into the Neolithic cultural phase. He polishes stone more finely, works in ceramic, and develops textile arts. He constructs huts and sheds and begins shepherding animals. He possesses a clear cult of the dead in that he builds megalithic monuments (domens, menhirs, etc.). He has domestic gods (lares and the like), a god of fertility, and a cult of the bull and of the sun. He begins to use ideographic signs. And he develops an art, very rich in all aspects, at times of a very stylized character. Finally, he enters into a new phase, the metal age-not taking into account copper which could have belonged to the Neolithic phase.

These four types of men (the first hominized ones, that is, Australopithecus or Homo habilis; Arcanthropus; Paleanthropus; and Neanthropus) are not found stratified, but overlapped, sometimes for long periods. For example, we have already said that certain types of Australopithecus are so close to Arcanthropus in time that it is difficult to classify them in one or the other group, since the former extend into the Middle Quaternary when Arcanthropus is already fully developed. The same is true of Arcanthropus and Paleanthropus. And these latter lived at the same time as Neanthropus. As each type begins, it is contemporary with the previous type. We do not know, naturally, the social character of the diverse human types, especially of the more ancient ones, and know even less the social adjustment made between men of a previous type and those of a later type. The ethnology of certain present-day "primitive" peoples, utilized with the utmost prudence, may throw some light on certain aspects of the problem.

The succession of human types is not only a succession but a true genetic evolution. The comparison of the morphology of their fossil remains and the character of the fauna surrounding their resting places clearly suggest this. The evolutional continuity of their industries confirms it. It is not a case of absolute certainty-[52] science never obtains that-but there is the sufficient force of reasonable conviction. Opinions may differ, and do differ at times, about very important details. This is because it is not a case of the totality of one type being the genetic origin of another type.

Within each type there are forms that are surely collateral branches in the evolution of humanity. This is what occurs in general with Pithecanthropus, but even in this case let us not forget that the Solo man is probably a direct descendent of Pithecanthropus of Java. This is even clearer with Paleanthropus. The classic Neanderthal men, in general, are only collateral branches, but the pre-Neanderthal men and the pre-sapiens are in the direct genetic line of Neanthropus. The examples could be multiplied. New facts are constantly coming to light that demand a revision of the description of human types and of the precise genetic expression of their evolution. In fact, as we have already noted, paleontology does not yet know precisely how the hominids spread; nor, therefore, does it know the exact point of hominization. For a time it was thought that some form such as Oreopithecus was an example of what the hominids might have been before their hominization. Today, it seems, the investigators are not so firmly convinced.

We have also indicated the recent ideas in regard to Homo habilis. In addition, interpretation of the pebble culture is in need of more documentation-not only paleontological but also archeological-concerning the character of the culture and consequently the possible hominization of its producers. Finally, the constant discovery of new fossils which are clearly human ones will modify the morphological, geographical, and historical scheme of fossil man and his evolution. All this falls under the responsibility of science. What remains established is the great fact of the existence of very distinct human types linked by a true genetic evolution. And this is the one decisive fact in our problem: man as such is not a reality; only his distinct evolutional types are. [53]


This granted, what does evolution mean? What are all these distinct types of humanity? Let us say first of all that, scientifically and philosophically speaking, these types are all strictly human; they are true men. Speaking philosophically, I think man is the intelligent animal, the reality-conscious animal, something essentially distinct from the nonhuman animal which is endowed only with mere sensation, that is, with a way of perceiving things and dealing with them as mere stimuli. This intellective dimension is found essentially united, in a primary coherential unity, with definite, structural, somatic intrinsic factors, that is, a certain type of dentition, of locomotive apparatus, of hands free for the seizure and fabrication of tools; a certain type of cranial configuration and volume; a certain type of shape and functional organization of the brain; and apparatus for articulate phonation; capable of being used at certain stages in the form of language. Language, in fact, is a question not only of macroscopic anatomical structures for phonation but of functional organization, which is perhaps achieved only in the more advanced stages of hominization.

The specific unity, then, of man is assured: it is the essential unity of intelligence and of a determined type of basic somatic structures. Therefore, in all the men of whom we have been speaking there is what I have called a constitutive scheme, transmitted by generation, that is, there is a true genetic phylum. In virtue of this, the structure is, scientifically and philosophically, a strictly specific structure. Reciprocally, the inclusion of an anthropoid in the human phylum constitutes its strict specific unity with man. (I have elaborated upon this concept of species in another publication, Sobre la Esencia [Madrid, 1962]).

The representatives of all these human types are, then, true men. Upon confirming the innovating and creative character of the industry of Australopithecus, we see that he possesses an intelligence, a true intelligence, no matter how rudimentary, [54] because be apprehends things as realities. He is a true rudimentary man, as we shall see presently.

However, this phyletic, specific unit contains within it great diversity. This diversity refers first of all, not to different types of life, but to psychosomatic structural differences. Types of life are different because the psychosomatic structures that make them possible, and so define them, are different. Arcanthropus and Paleanthropus have different types of life because their structures are different. What we call diverse "Modes" of life are differences within an already structurally defined type of life. Among the different arcanthropes and the different paleanthropes, as well as the neanthropes, some individuals may have had, and surely did have, distinct modes of life. But the different modes of life of Arcanthropus are lives of the same type, a type distinct from that of Paleanthropus. The primary difference, then, is a difference of "type" of life which depends on a difference in psychosomatic structure.

This structural difference is not merely individual. It is something much deeper: a pithecanthrope and a Neanderthaler differ much more profoundly than two Neanderthalers. That is perfectly clear. But we are not speaking of the quasi-structural difference we indicate by names for varieties and races. These differences, including the racial ones, fall always and only within a definite and already constituted primary unit. There are diverse races of Arcanthropus (for example, today it is considered that Pithecanthropus and Sinanthropus are different races), of Paleanthropus (the different Neanderthal men), of Neanthropus (the Cro-Magnon, Grimaldi, and other races in the Upper Paleolithic period). But the difference we are speaking of is a difference between the primary units themselves, the difference that allows us to separate Australopithecus (if hominized), Arcanthropus, Paleanthropus, or Neanthropus. Only within each one of these units can one speak of races or varieties.

That this difference between primary units exists is a fact that leaps to one's eyes when one merely reviews the characteristics which, taken together, distinguish them. However, in spite of [55] being structural, this difference is not specific because we are dealing, not with a difference in species, but with a difference within a species. I will return to this point very shortly. It is in this precise sense that I have called each primary structural unit a "type." In each type the unit of the species has a distinct quality. A pithecanthrope and a Neanderthaler or a Cro-Magnon man are not only different men but are men of different human quality, if I may so put it. The quale of their humanity is different. And it is different as much in regard to the somatic as to the psychic in their structures.

In the first place, each of the types is qualitatively distinct from the others on the level of its somatic structures. The differences of appearance, of cranial volume, and brain development between Australopithecus and Homo sapiens are markedly qualitative. The brain of Arcanthropus is not of the same qualitative type as that of Neanderthal man. There is not the least doubt about this. Human morphology, like that of any living thing, is not constituted by the mere presence of characteristics each one of which is independent from the others. A morphology is the expression of a correlative unity between these characteristics and prior to them. In virtue of it these characteristic differences are not accidental. They are systematic and phyletic differences.

This is why for the paleontologist there is not the least doubt that Homo is a genus which contains various species of men: habilis, erectus, sapiens, etc. They are systematic and phyletic lines within a unique (generic) phylum from which they proceed, at times in branches and not straight lines. Since the taxonomic concept of species is purely systematic and, as such (as is recognized), somewhat indefinite and conventional, it is necessary to complement it with a phyletic consideration. Now, since this phyletic (at least generic) unity undoubtedly exists in humanity (polyphyleticists are an outstanding minority), I prefer not to prejudge here whether the units or systematic branches are or are not rigorously species but, for this reason, to limit myself [56] to calling them qualitatively distinct "types," reserving the word "species" for what the paleontologists call genus. In this sense, I say there are types of men who are qualitatively distinct in their somatic morphology.

Moreover, the differences in the psychic constitution of the human types are also qualitative. As little as we know of them, the remains of their culture oblige us to form this conclusion. It is not by chance that some human types do or think things that did not occur to other types, for example, burying their dead or being farmers instead of mere hunters. The range of possibilities is prescribed by a primary and radical quality of the psychic constitution of each type. There are things which could not have occurred to certain human types, given that these types were of a determined quality. It is not, then, a question of what comes to mind but a question of quality of mental type. And this is above all true of intelligence itself. It is not only that some types of men, for example, the Neanderthal men, are more intelligent than others, for instance, the arcanthropes. It is not a question of "more and less" but of some types which have a class, shall we say, of intelligence distinct from that of the others. The intelligence of the Neanderthal man is qualitatively "other" than that of Pithecanthropus. Only within each type can one say that some individuals are more or less intelligent than others. There were certainly some Neanderthalers who were more intelligent than others. But the radical difference is the qualitative one.

These qualitative differences in psychic constitution could be interpreted in the sense that the psyche of the different human types was "substantially" distinct in each case. But it is not necessary to enter into this dimension of the problem because the undeniable fact that somatic structures determine the qualitative form of the psyche, the forma animae, is more than sufficient. And since the somatic structures are of distinct quality, so, inevitably, are the psychic structures. The unity of the psychic and the somatic is, in fact, in my opinion, an essential structural unity and, is, moreover, bilateral. It is an idea which I have repeatedly put forward. The psyche and the soma are mutually [57] co-determined, not as potency and act, but as two actual realities. The unity of man is an essential unity but not a substantial one. In virtue of this, the relations in this co-determination vary throughout the course of the life of each man. In the germinal plasm it is the somatic structures, the germinal structures (that is, the progenitors), that determine completely the "first" mental state and continue determining for some time the other mental states. This occurs in any human individual at whatever level you consider him. It is in this way that the forma animae takes on its shape. When the moment arrives at Which the psychosomatic development brings into play its properly intellective dimension, it is certain that this dimension determines in good measure the development and the functionality of the somatic structures. But since these structures initially and radically shaped the quality or form of the psyche, it turns out that even in this dimension the intellective function is already at its roots qualitatively distinct between some human types and others. The somatic structures not only permit the use of intelligence but also qualitatively shape this use in all the human types, including our own.

In this manner, each human type has a unitary psychosomatic structure qualitatively distinct from that of the other types. Between these qualitatively distinct human types there is a true and strict genetic evolution, a psychosomatic evolution. The genetic evolution of the structures, in fact, completely determines the quality of the psyche, of the forma animae. In virtue of this, the genetic transmission of the structures determines an evolution in the form or quality of the psychic constitution. Therefore, there is, as I say, a strictly psychosomatic, genetic evolution of the human types. The typification of the species is the product of a strict psychosomatic evolution. Once evolution had begun, it was possible, as I have just indicated, that the functional organization-for example, that of the brain-might be determined in some sense by the use of intelligence within each type. Thus it has been said more than once that the tool precedes the brain and forms it, that it is not the brain that shapes the tool. This being the case, if these organizations were transmitted, the psychic constitution [58] itself would have been one of the factors in evolution. But in order for this to happen, the functional organization acquired by the use of intelligence would have had to affect the structures of the germinal plasm, if it were to be transmissible. Whatever was the case, this psychosomatic structural unity had its beginnings rudimentarily in Australopithecus and Arcanthropus and gradually perfected itself qualitatively and typically throughout the process of evolution. Human evolution is above all an evolution of the typical qualities of the psychosomatic unity.

What is the meaning, the orientation of this evolution? Is it the passage from pre-men to men? I do not believe so. It is undeniable that all of us sense a certain resistance toward calling all these types of "humanity" men. We are accustomed, by a very old tradition, to defining man as a "rational animal," that is, an animal fully endowed with the capacity for abstract thought and for reflection. Such being the case, we resist, with more than enough reason, calling such types as Pithecanthropus, and even more so Australopithecus, men, even though their industry denotes intelligence. But if we force ourselves to call these beings men, we incline toward considering them "rational." Both tendencies spring from the same conception, that of man as a rational animal.

I think that this conception cannot be defended. Man is not a rational animal, but an intelligent animal, that is, a reality-conscious animal. These are two completely distinct things because reason is no more than a special and specialized type of intelligence, and intelligence formally consists, not in the capacity for abstract thought and full conscious reflection, but simply in the capacity to perceive things as realities. Intelligent animal and one rational animal are, then, distinct things. The latter is only one type of the former. And this is just as true if we consider the human individual of our epoch as if we consider his paleontological evolution. In both aspects and dimensions, the intelligent animal is not necessarily a rational animal. The child, only a few weeks after birth, undeniably makes use of his intelligence, but be does not have, until years later, that special use of intelligence [59] which we call "the use of reason." From the beginning the child is an intelligent animal, but not a rational animal.

Now within the interior evolutionary line of the human species, man has been, from his origins in the Quaternary, an intelligent animal and has made use of his intelligence. Even the Villafranchian Australopithecus, if he had had a creative culture, would be a rudimentary but true man. The false identification of the intelligent animal with the rational animal is the origin of many of the doubts about the hominization of Australopithecus, as well as the reason why many speak timidly about whether he had intelligence and was only potentially or virtually what would later be man. I think, on the contrary, that if he possessed a creative culture he would have intelligence, in the sense I have stated it, and then we would have to decide to call him man, not virtually but formally. What is true is that he would be virtually rational. There is no reason why we should reserve the word and the concept of man only for the rational animal. All these types of men have slowly and during many millennia been progressively evolving from their level of intelligent animal to the level of rational animal, whose fullness is Homo sapiens.

When did he achieve this? At bottom, this question is absurd. It would be absurd to try to fix precisely with a calendar or watch in band the precise moment at which a child acquires the use of reason. This acquisition is not a question of "moments" but is a "process" of human maturation, which, moreover, varies with individuals. As such, it is subject to variations, hesitations, and even regressions, even though for only a short time. Maturation is not and cannot be a r ectilinear process. It is equally outlandish to try to fix precisely, chronologically, the evolutionary stage in which "for the first time" humanity became rational, sapiens. It is an evolutionary process of nonrectilinear rationalization which is not completed once and for all in only one human type. Furthermore, it is not even achieved uniformly. Forms appear at times, such as those "pre-sapiens" among the Neanderthal men, which testify to the truth of what we are saying. Within the same [60] period there are points discernible even geographically which possess greater evolutionary potentiality in the line of ascending evolution than others at which, on the contrary, men disappear. Since it is a process, we can only say that there are evolutionary stages such as that of Arcanthropus which with certainty are not rational, and there are stages such as Cro-Magnon man which are fully rational, Homo sapiens. In the meantime, there are men who are becoming rational.

Consequently, man is an intelligent animal and not a rational animal. In virtue of this, it is not necessary to think, even remotely, that the first rational animal on earth was the first man in the evolutional scale nor that the first intelligent animal had to be a rational animal. All the human types prior to Homo sapiens are not "pre-men" but true men; however, not rational, only pre-rational." Only the "pre-intelligent" hominids would be the authentic pre-men. The hominized types prior to Homo sapiens would be progressive sketches oriented evolutionally to the constitution of Homo sapiens, the rational animal. It is not an evolution of the infrahuman to the human, but the human evolution of intelligence to reason. Homo sapiens is not an exception in the evolutionary history of humanity; it is toward him that the evolution is directed.

This is true no matter what concrete detail of data science might possess at any determined moment. These data are necessarily modified and enriched constantly. But the knowledge that we have today is enough to support our affirmation. In fact, throughout the four great evolutionary stages, each of which fills almost all the continents with forms and varieties of great richness, one can discern on a large scale (with all the inexactitude it implies) something like a coordinate or vector of propagation of the human wave that flows from mere intelligent animal to rational animal-a vector oriented by forms which have characters progressively convergent upon Homo sapiens. It starts at the beginning of the Quaternary with the Chad skull (or Homo habilis). It continues, more or less, with Australopithecus of Java, Telanthropus, Australopithecus of Palestine, the Mauer man, the [61] Morocco man, the Swanscombe, Steinheim, Montmaurin, Fontchévade, Kaniera, and Florisbad men. Each one of them, according to the calculations of the majority of the investigators, follows the previous one chronologically and marks one step more in the direction of "sapiensiation." It is the axis of progressive rationalization from the mere intelligent animal to Homo sapiens.

In conclusion, once the specifically human phylum is constituted, all humanity procedes to constitute itself evolutionally through typically qualified, diverse stages, somatically as well as psychically; throughout these stages it ascends from the level of intelligent animal to the level of rational animal.


What we have said does not exhaust all the problems. It all refers to the evolutional structure of an already constituted human phylum; it is what could be called the "typification problem" of the human species. But this phylum is inserted in an animal phylum that is not human, in the phylum of the anthropomorphus primates. It is in this phylum that the zoological fine divides into two phyla: the phylum of Pongidae and the phylum of Hominidae. I have indicated several times that the manner in which the Hominidae spread and the exact point of hominization are not sufficiently known. But this is the affair of positive science and does not directly affect our problem.

What is decisive for our problem is that, at one point or another, there was an evolutional branch, that of the prehuman hominids, which was gradually extinguished, and another, that of the humanized hominids diverging from the other. And it is in this point of divergence, no matter where it is found in the philetic line, that the problem arises for our consideration of what the very constitution of the human phylum is, within the line of the hominids. It constitutes the "hominization problem," a problem prior to that of typification with which we have been occupied until now.

[62] Is hominization evolution? The answer to this question depends on a precise concept of evolution. Evolution, in fact, should not be confused with the causal mechanisms of evolution, neither in the somatic order nor in the psychic order. Evolution and the evolutionary mechanisms are two perfectly distinct things.

Evolution is, formally, a genetic process in which specifically new forms are produced from previous forms, in intrinsic and determining function with the transformation of those forms. But we must understand these expressions correctly. First of all, evolution is the genetic production of specifically new forms. Evolution is not only morphological but also Psychical innovation. This does not mean that the innovation must be progressive. On the contrary, it can be, and is in the immense majority of cases, a dead-end road of very little evolutionary potential (because of too strict a specialization or for other reasons). This new form proceeds from another, or others (polyphyleticism), prior to it and very precisely determined. Birds, for example, can proceed only from reptiles, not directly from echinoderms. And this is true as much for morphological structures as for Psychical structures. The psychic constitution of each animal species springs from the psychic constitution of a precisely determined, prior species, and from it only. In this genetic process, not only is the progenitor precisely determined but the new form proceeds from it genetically and determinately in intrinsic function with it. If this were not so, we would have a systematic causal series, but this series, this system, would not be evolutionary. The concrete function of the specific form of the progenitors consists in this that they intrinsically determine, by transformation of some of their intrinsic structural factors, the structure of the new species, so that the new species conserves those same basic structures in a transformed way. Only then do we have strict evolution. And this intrinsic factor of determination by transformation concerns the morphological as well as the psychical. At the heart of the new morphological structure a psychic constitution begins to take shape which conserves the basic, transformed, intrinsic factors of the psychic constitution of the [63] previous species. The new species has, for example, many of the instincts of the previous one. It has lost some, but the loss, as well as the conservation, is a transformation within the line of the new psychic constitution, and so forth. Taking all these diverse aspects into account together, we say that evolution is a genetic process in which specifically new psychosomatic forms arc produced from other previous ones in intrinsic, transforming, and determining function with them.

Now, in this formal and precise sense, hominization is the evolution of the prehuman hominids to the hominized hominids. It is a genetic process in which the latter proceeds and can proceed only as determined by a transformation of the basic morphological prehuman structures. And in this new transformed structure, and only in it and from it, does there arise a psychic constitution which could not have arisen from the psychic constitution of an echinoderm or of a bird. This psychic constitution conserves, as one of its own transformed intrinsic factors, the basic characteristics of the psychic constitution of its immediate hominid ancestor. For example, the whole of prehuman instinct finds itself transformed, by elevation, in man.

Man has, in a way, far fewer instincts than the prehuman hominid (in this sense, and in many others, including somatic ones, he is the more defenseless animal); and even those which he has conserved are transformed, in the sense of being less "mechanical," so to speak, and open to superior tendencies. But this transformation, whether by elimination of what was useless or by a readjustment of what was conserved, is always a true transformation; and thus transformed, the instinctive sphere of the prehominid is an intrinsic structural factor of the human psychic constitution. We may say the same of the fabrication of tools. Man begins making the same tools as the prehuman hominid. even having learned from him, surely, how to make them. He keeps this animal, fabricating ability, but now transformed into the line of a creative progress.

Intelligence itself grows intrinsically from within these structures, and its growth is determined by the transformation of the [64] structures. Only with the psychic constitution of the prehuman hominid as its basis is intelligence possible and real. A human intelligence could not have come from a bird. Calling the totality of the human psychic constitution an "intellective psyche," in contrast to the nonintellective animal psyche, we would say that the intellective psyche arises intrinsically from the psychosomatic structures of the prehuman hominid in determining and transforming function with them, so that the new species, the human species, includes as its essential, intrinsic factor the transformed conservation of the morphological and Psychical structures of that hominid. Man as a whole, then, is psychosomatically an evolutionary outgrowth; he springs evolutionally from a prehuman hominid.

But this evolution still leaves standing the other question: the question of the causal mechanism of evolution. From this other point of view, evolution is the expression of the causal evolutionary mechanism. It is an exceedingly complex problem in which there are profound discrepancies, both in what refers to the causes of the evolution and in what refers to their manner of acting (whether very gradual or abrupt). Thus, for example, we cannot deny the influence of its medium which leads either to the adaptation or the disappearance of a species. There are other factors: the mode of life, ecological isolation, competition or struggle, selection, genic mutation of the chromosomes which sometimes produces processes of neoteny, and soon. In the case of the medium and of the genic mutations, the cause of evolution is physical. In the case of other factors, such as the mode of life, competition, etc., the evolutional causes are at least partially Psychical. A mode of life, competition, and the like involve undeniably Psychical dimensions, and in this sense the psychic constitution itself is a cause of the evolution.

But the merely physical causes as well as the Psychical ones must affect physically the germinal structures, the germinal plasm, if the change that these causes produce is to be stable. A species is not only a living individual but also an individual which generates others of the same structure, that is, the changes must be hereditarily transmissible. As such, these changes must [65] be produced physically in the structures of the germinal plasm, above all in the genes; it is in them that the "genetic code" of a living being is enclosed.

It is possible also that these factors might have to influence other intrinsic structural factors of the germinal plasm. To avoid prejudging anything that pertains to the merely scientific side of the question, let us call these changes of the germinal plasm, germinal changes. In general, these changes are lethal. But if they are not and if there is an adequate medium for the new living being, we have the constitution of a new specific form, morphologically as well as psychically, since the psychic constitution of the new species arises from the morphological structures. This explains why the new species conserves in a transformed way the Psychical structures of the previous species.

In the case of animals the transformation determines the morphology and the psychic constitution of the new species, and it determines them by producing them itself. The determination here is effective causation. But this is not the only type of evolutional cause because all effective causation is transforming determination, but not all transforming determination is necessarily effective action. An effective transformation certainly intervenes in the origin of the human phylum. The morphology of the first humanized hominid (Australopithecus or Arcanthropus) is not only determined by transformation of the germinal structures but is also effectively produced by them.

But this is not the case with the human psychic constitution. The human psychic constitution is determined in its evolutional origin by the germinal transformations, but it is not produced by them only. Here the causal determination is not effectuation. Mere sensation cannot produce of itself an intelligence: there exists between the two an essential, not a gradual, difference. No matter how complicated the mere stimuli and their form of apprehension are, they can never arrive at constituting stimulating realities and intellective apprehension. At this point the appearance of an intellective psyche is not only a matter of degree but is [66] essentially something new. In this sense, but only in this one, we say that the appearance of an intellective psyche is an absolute innovation.

This does not mean that there is a discontinuity between the life of a prehuman animal type and the life of a human type such as the hominized hominid. Nor does it mean a psychic structural discontinuity. The intellective psyche conserves as its essential intrinsic factor the transformed sense dimension of the prehuman hominid. But the human psyche involves another intrinsic factor which is based intrinsically on the sentient factor but which transcends it. It is the intrinsic factor which we call the intellective factor. Where it is concerned, there is no discontinuity, only transcendence-if one wishes, a continuity in the line of creative transcendence. And since the psyche is not a sum of sensation and intelligence but is intrinsically one psyche, the result is that the human psyche as a whole, the psyche of the first hominized hominid, is essentially distinct from the animal psyche of the hominid ancestor of man. As such, the human psyche is determined by the transformation (by the germinal changes) of the mere hominid into man but is not brought about by the transformation. Because of this it can only be an effect of the first cause, just as at its time the appearance of matter was: it is the effect of a creation ex nihilo.

But it is necessary to understand this statement together with what we have said before, that is, that it must be a creation determined by the transformation of the germinal structures. This is as essential as that it be ex nihilo. Too often one tends to imagine this creation literally, as an external interference on the part of the first cause, God, with the animal series. The intellective psyche would be an external insufflation of spirit into the animal, which by this addition would be converted into a man.

In our case this is a naive anthropomorphism. The creation of an intellective psyche ex nihilo is not an external addition to the somatic structures because it is neither mere addition nor is it external. And precisely for this reason, in spite of this creation, or, better said, because of this creation, there is that genetic origin [67] of man, determined from structures and in intrinsic function with their transformation, which we call evolution. Creation is not an interruption of evolution but is, on the contrary, an intrinsic factor, a causal "mechanism" intrinsic to it. Since this same thing occurs in the generation of every human individual at any level, we would not be diverging from the question by considering this generation and later transposing our considerations to the phylogenetic process.

1. I was saying, then, that the creation ex nihilo of an intellective psyche is not formally a mere addition. The human individual is already integrally constituted in the germinal cell. All that is going to be his individual human substantivity is already in his germinal cell: the somatic germinal structures and his intellective psyche. Looking at the first of these, one might think at first sight that the intellective psyche is a mere addition to the said structures because these structures are purely biochemical and, as such, have nothing to do with the intellective psyche. They would be, at most, materials disposed to receive the intellective psyche in the creative act. But I think that it is not true that the biochemical structures are a mere dispositional cause. They are something more profound. For in the genetic development of that cell there comes a postnatal moment at which those same biochemical structures, now many-celled and functionally organized, will demand for their own viability the use of intelligence, that is, the actuation of the intellective psyche. Now this exigent character is germinally prefigured in the germinal cell.

In this phase there is certainly no actual demand for the intellective psyche, but there is a biochemical structure which in its due time will lead to this demand. Consequently, the very biochemical structure of the germinal cell is not actually but virtually exigent of an intellective psyche. It is a virtual demand, formally included in the potentialities for development of the biochemical structures, that is, it is a virtual but real demand. In consequence, the biochemical structure of the germinal cell is not a mere dispositional cause but something deeper: it is an exigent cause of the human psyche. This psyche is not only a psyche of [68] this body but is a psyche which, because it is demanded by this body, must have as its essential intrinsic factor the type of sentient psychic constitution that this body itself determines. In its turn, the intellective psyche of itself demands a body, and not just any body, but precisely this body with this type of structure and, therefore, with this determined type of animal psychic constitution.

This demand is not a mere addition to the intellective psyche, but an essential of it. Intelligence, for example, is not found oriented from itself toward sensibility but toward this precise type of sensibility determined by somatic structures. The intellective psyche is not pure spirit," but "soul." This is why it is found determined by the body. This exigent intrinsic factor is numerically identical in the soul and in the body, and in this numerical, exigent identity consists the essential unity of human substantivity. This is why the creation of an intellective psyche in the germinal cell is not mere addition, but fulfillment of a biological demand. This fulfillment is certainly creative. We have already said why it is. Creatively, it is a fulfillment of a biological demand of the germinal cell, the contrary of that breach we spoke of at the beginning.

This is what takes place in the hominization of the first infra- or prehuman hominid prior to man. The germinal changes of this immediate predecessor of man are biological exigent causes of the creation of an intellective psyche, of hominization. And, as we have seen, since these structures are somatically qualified, it turns out that they qualify eo ipso the psyche created to meet their demand. The psyche of the first humanized hominid must have been of a very precisely determined sentient psychic constitution, that is, the transformed psychic constitution of the infra- or prehuman hominid. There cannot be a human psyche derived from a transformed echinoderm or bird. It can come only from a transformed hominid because it is this psychic constitution and not another which demands an intellective psyche. A species is [69] not only a living organism but also a living organism such that it can subsist vitally and genetically in a stable manner. Now, the echinoderm is in this condition, but the transformed hominid is not unless it has an intellective psyche. Let us explain.

It is certain that the echinoderms have an immense evolutionary potentiality of progressive character: they are the origin of the vertebrates. But not all of the evolutional lines of the vertebrates are truly progressive. There are collateral branches, such as that of the birds, that possess only slight evolutionary potentiality and do not progress because, being a specializing evolution, they follow a dead-end path. Their psychic constitution, as their morphology, is closed and stable because of this. There is no meaning, then, in speaking of an intellective psyche because it would form no part in the life of the bird. Other branches of the vertebrates are, on the other hand, of great evolutionary Potentiality and as such of a richer psychic constitution: they are the mammals. Among them there are also many collateral branches.

Progress continues only, we might say, in the central branch. But this progress is also formed of evolutional steps. Each stage is morphologically and psychically richer. However, even though full of promise, each stage taken by itself is a closed and stable system in itself. This is why its psychic constitution is only the mere transformation of the sentient psychic constitution of the previous stage. It does not demand an intellective psyche. Only on reaching the stage of hominid does it reach a point at which its further transformation no longer constitutes a stable system in itself.

It is at this point, and only at this one, that the evolutionary potentiality of the echinoderm comes to demand a distinct psyche for its biological stability. A species having the transformed somatic structures that the hominized hominid has, and not possessing an intellective psyche, could not have subsisted biologically with full genetic stability. It would have quickly been extinguished on earth. In its state as pure echinoderm, the echinoderm does not demand an intellective psyche but potentially could very easily come to demand it, though it would come to [70] demand it only, in fact, when it achieved the state of transformed hominid. This potentiality gradually elaborated in evolutionary stages the sentient psychic constitution of the hominid, a psychic constitution which is the work of evolution.

It is only when the hominid is transformed that this sentient psychic constitution, conserved in a transformed way, demands an intellective psychic constitution. And precisely because the sentient psychic constitution of the transformed hominid evolved gradually was there yet no demand for an intellective psyche in the previous stages, nor any reason why it should arise. Hominization, then, is a biological demand. Reciprocally, only a hominid can and must be hominized if it is to subsist as a species. Its sentient psychic constitution is a product of an evolution which starts, at least, with the psychic constitution of the echinoderm but which only in the transformed hominid becomes actually exigent of an intellective psyche.

This permits us to give a concrete content, from the genticoevolutionary point of view, to the definition of man. In saying that man is the intelligent animal, we must fill these terms with a precise content. In my opinion, intelligence is the capacity to perceive things as realities, as things which are something "in themselves," and man grasps this reality intellectively by sensing it. Human intelligence is constitutively sentient: it senses reality; it senses it as the hominid senses his stimuli: by impression. On the other hand, what is animal in the intelligent animal-the animal which intellects sentiently-is not just any animality but a very precise and formal animality: the morphological and psychosensate, transformed animality of the hominid immediately prior to man. Man, then, is the reality-conscious hominid, the hominid that senses reality. His animality is determined by the transformation of the germinal structures of his forebearer.

This causal transformation is effective in what concerns morpbology and the intrinsic sentient factor of the psychic constitution, but it is only exigent and not effective in what concerns the intellective factor. This psyche is intrinsically one, but it has an intrinsic sentient factor, that of the transformed hominid, and [71] an intrinsic intellective factor by which it transcends sensation, though relying on it and receiving intrinsically its mental formation from it. This would mean that Australopithecus (if hominized) or Arcanthropus would be the fulfillment demanded by the phyletic evolution of the hominids. For this reason, because of the creative action-by the creation itself-there is an evolution in this first dimension. This is not the only dimension. For the creation of an intellective psyche, no matter how ex nihilo it is-and it is ex nihilo-is not only not mere addition but is also not extrinsic creation. The exigent fulfillment is, on the contrary, an intrinsic exigent fulfillment. This is the second point we must clear up.

2. According to what we have said, in fact, the intellective psyche would have been created as a determining function of the structures which demanded it, that is, the result would have been only a psyche which was in the structures. But the reality is more profound than only this: the psyche is created from the very biological structures, it springs from the heart of life itself, because the exigent causality of the somatic structures is an intrinsic demand. For this reason, the creative action is not only not merely additive but also is not extrinsic; it is not a mere fulfillment but an intrinsic efflorescence. It is an action that acts intrinsically (ab intrinseco) from within the very entity of the somatic structures; it is a natura naturans, a generating nature. It is not an action juxtaposed with the nature but is what makes a psyche come forth "naturally" from within the somatic structures in the generational act and blossom into life from them.

Because of this anyone who contemplated only the terminal effect, the natura naturata, the nature such as it arises before our eyes, would see the psyche spring forth intrinsically and vitally from the heart of the very somatic structures. It is not an illusion; it is a reality. The scientist's point of view is correct. And, moreover, it is all that science claims to see and can claim to see: how from determined structures a psyche intrinsically determined by them comes into being. Let us repeat this with precision. The psyche is not transmitted from fathers to sons. The psyche is not [72] produced by progenitors. It springs forth vitally in the generational act from within the transmission and exigent constitution of the somatic structures and is completely determined in its first state by them.

Even though the psyche is not transmitted, its first state is formally determined by the progenitors because the somatic structures are transmitted, and these are what determine the first mental state. This efflorescence proceeds in its ultimate root from a creative action which is intrinsic to the genetic action of the progenitors. The progenitors are responsible for the fact that there is an intrinsic creative act. They are the ones who, by their act, vitally and intrinsically determine the creative action. This creative action forms a radical unity with the vital action of the progenitors and makes this action intrinsically one sole, integral, generative, psychosomatic action. For this reason, if generation is understood as intrinsically determined by and from the progenitors, then it is rigorously true that man in his psychosomatic unity, that is, in body and soul, is a genetic outgrowth. In no way can generation be identified with effectuation.

This occurs in each human individual and, therefore, in hominized individuals from the infrahuman ancestors on. In the germinal change that produces the hominization of the somatic structures, there springs forth intrinsically, there arises "naturally" from them by an intrinsic creative action, an intellective psyche. Australopithecus and Arcanthropus spring intrinsically and genetically from the infrahuman hominid. If we contemplated from within the formation of the first hominized hominid, we would see his psyche and his psychic constitution spring up intrinsically from the transformed structures of his prehominid ancestor. This is what the scientist does, or at least, and with complete justification, tries to do. As I said before, it is not an illusion but a reality. And because of this, this psychic constitution conserves the transformed psychic constitution of the previous hominid.

There is, then, a psychosomatic outgrowth which has an intellective psyche. This is what constitutes a new phylum, the phylum [73] of the homines. That is why, if, as we must, we call evolution the vital process in which new specific forms are genetically constituted from other earlier ones, by a transformation which determines them intrinsically, we must then affirm that hominization is evolution.

The transformation determines the arrival of the first hominized hominid. But in what concerns the psyche, this determination is not effectuation but intrinsic exigency. The creative action in our case is only an evolutionary mechanism. It is a factor integrated with the germinal transformation. It is the intrinsic fulfillment this transformation demands. For this reason the creative action not only does not interrupt the course of the evolution but is the mechanism which finally brings it to completion. As I said before, species which had the transformed somatic structures that the hominized hominid possesses and did not have an intellective psyche, could not have subsisted biologically. It would have rapidly been extinguished on earth.

Let us review what we have said. Evolution is a fact reasonably established by science. Admitting evolution does not mean that we admit, on the one hand, the fact of the transformation of the somatic structures and maintain, on the other hand, that the psyche remains unaffected by evolution. No. Evolution affects the psyche. It affects it above all in its "typification." Humanity is gradually constituted evolutionally throughout diverse stages which are qualitatively different not only in their morphology but also in their psychic constitution. And evolution also affects the psyche in the first "hominization." The human psyche can only spring forth from very precise morphological structures, those brought about by the transformation of the germinal plasm of the unhominized hominid. Moreover, the human psyche can only be human by including the animal psychic constitution as its essential intrinsic factor, not just any animalistic psychic constitution, but precisely and constitutively the transformed psychic constitution of its immediate hominid ancestor. And this psychosomatic unity is intrinsically determined of and by the transformation of the structures.

[74] Correlatively, evolution must integrate with itself the advent of an intellective psyche which is essentially irreducible to pure sensation. If evolution is within the competence of science, the characteristic of intelligence is within the competence of philosophy. In recurring to the creative cause, philosophy does so by integrating the creation of the psyche with the evolutional mechanism. The germinal transformation determines the morphology in an effective way, but it determines the intellective psyche in an intrinsically exigent way. In virtue of this, the hominization and typification of humanity is not "creative evolution" but "evolving creation." From the point of view of the first cause, God, his creative will for an intellective psyche is a will for genetic evolution.


At the beginning I said that the problem of the origin of man had been proposed until now only in its theological dimension. And it might be asked how this conception of human origins with which science and philosophy present us can be fitted into theology.

The first thing to say is that the man theology occupies itself with is not necessarily the man which concerns paleontology, prehistory, and philosophy. As I understand it, man is, for science and for philosophy, as we have just seen, the intelligent animal in regard to which the rational animal, the Homo sapiens, is only the final evolutional stage. Now, from the theological point of view only the state of Homo sapiens counts. The man of whom theology speaks belongs only to that stage. The rational animal was raised to a state which we might call "theologal," one described by Genesis and St. Paul. He is no longer a mere rational animal but a rational "theologal" animal. It is not a required elevation, but it is an intrinsic one (ab intrinseco). This is why we say it is only elevation.

Consequently, the whole question is reduced to asking where to place the rational animal in the evolution of humanity and where to situate within the line of rational animal his elevation to the "theologal" state. Now, neither with evolution nor without [75] evolution has the Church ever pronounced anything in regard to these two points. From a theological point of view the prerational types of humanity, whatever in fact they were, would only be evolutionary stages which nature, subject to the partial action of the intellective principle, of the intellective psyche created by God from within the transformed structures of the prefigured hominid, had developed from a mere intelligent animal to be a rational animal. Once this level bad been achieved, its elevation to the "theologal" state did not have to coincide necessarily with the appearance of the first rational animal. The Church has never imposed this chronological coincidence between rationality and its "theologal" elevation. When his time came, the rational animal, the Homo sapiens, was elevated to the "theologal" state, so constituting the man of whom Genesis speaks and from whom all present humanity descends.