Invention and imagination are awesome, and uniquely human, abilities. Where did they come from? Why do we create?
Human creative genius has left its mark on our world. It has advanced civilization by improving human living conditions. Think about the creative inventions that have drastically altered and improved our lives: airplanes, cars, light bulbs, telephones and television, just to name a very few. Man is virtually defined by creativity—in manufacturing, art, literature, music, humor, and virtually every other field of activity.
Every human is a creator. The photographer John Loori wrote: “Creativity is our birthright. It is an integral part of being human, as basic as walking, talking and thinking.” The playwright Julia Cameron writes: “Creativity is the natural order of life.” The historian Paul Johnson writes: “Creativity, I believe, is inherent in all of us.” Creativity expert Michael Michalko writes: “We were all born as spontaneous, creative thinkers.” Tom Wujec, creative director of Digital Media Services at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, writes: “We experience creativity every time a fresh idea pops into our minds. And we can summon creativity when we need it.”
In November 2011, Time published a special edition titled “The Invention Issue.” This issue featured 50 of the latest ideas being developed into new products. Here are some examples: a 3-D transistor that will use half the power and be about 37 percent more effective; an artificial leaf that will convert the sun’s rays into storable chemical energy; a tiny rectangular camera that captures an entire light field, allowing the photographer to refocus a picture after it is taken; an led light bulb to replace the incandescent and fluorescent; and a surveillance device that looks like and flies like a hummingbird. Truly amazing.
These creations are a reflection of the human imagination at work. Man has an almost limitless imagination. Humans use creativity so frequently, we miss what a miracle it is to be creative. Creativity didn’t begin in our technological age. Human creativity helped bring about the technological age.
Only man has the ability to create pictures in the mind and then manipulate materials from the earth to bring into reality what was imagined. Imagination ignites creativity and gives the human mind its uniqueness.
It is imagination that opens the door for us to meditate on our origins and our destiny.
Where Does Creativity Come From?
One theory of human origins postulates that millions of years ago, life began on Earth from a mathematically impossible chemical reaction—maybe caused by a lightning strike to a slimy pond of chemicals—that over eons of time, through incredible non-intelligent processes, first formed into a microscopic acid, then to an amoeba, then to a slug, eventually to an ape, and finally to a man who can sit down, be still and think back historically, asking himself: How did I come to be here?
Yet chemical soup can never ponder how it got to be chemical soup. Though man is made from the elements, he is far more than a bowl full of chemicals. So at what point did chemicals and lightning and the passage of time supposedly create the inimitable human mind?
Intelligent, sincere scientists have devoted lifetimes full of imagination and creative thinking to discovering man’s origins. Yet they are fighting a losing battle. No matter how much men dissect, investigate and postulate, the knowledge of origins has to be revealed by an Originator. The real truth of origins and why man is on Earth is known, is extremely well documented, and is so much more inspiring, rational and satisfying than the wild imaginations of evolutionary theory.
Education, religion and science could get a lot further down the path to understanding human origins and purpose if the people studying origins simply took a fresh look at the abilities of their own minds.
Man a Creator
We tend to overlook the fact that men, women and children are highly creative creatures. In fact, humans are the only creatures on Earth that are truly creative. Don’t be fooled by discussions of spiders’ webs or song thrush nests. Man is the only being that can imagine and then bring into existence what he imagines, whether architecture, art, literature, mechanical inventions, music or sculpture.
Creativity is a highly advanced mental process that involves dreaming or imagination, development and innovation. Let’s be honest: No other creature—ape, chimp, bird, dog or dolphin—can create.
So, shouldn’t this tell us something? Where did we get such power?
Experts studying creativity have uncovered that creative talents and traits are passed on from previous generations. Most great artists, musicians or writers were children or grandchildren of artists, musicians and writers. It is so simple. If we use our imagination and go back a multitude of generations and ask where humans got their ability to be creative, it is not so difficult to understand the answer to that question.
The gifted historian Paul Johnson gives us his insight on this question. In his book Creators, he writes: “We are the progeny of Almighty God. God is defined in many ways: all-powerful, all-wise, and all-seeing; everlasting; the lawgiver; the ultimate source of love, beauty, justice and happiness. Most of all, He is the creator.” Read that quote again. It is from a historian. Could humans be creative because we obtained our proclivity for creativity from our most distant ancestor—God?
To fully understand our origins, the fact that we do create should point us in the direction of God—not an ape. Human imagination and creativity is a key that unlocks the mystery of our true origins and our future.
Let Us Make
If you think about it, even the scientists hypothesizing about man’s origins use imagination and creative thinking. They just use it in a wrong way. Human imagination has to be governed by revealed truth and law, or it becomes fiction—either fruitless or extremely dangerous.
God, who is the Creator of all, is also the Educator. He has made it plain that man is not an animal—did not come from animals—and has a future far greater than animals and angels.
Our all-wise God tells us how we came to be: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
Here is fantastic truth that should fire our imaginations. Here is the sought-after truth of origins so simple to grasp. Man is not made after the ameba, ape, cat, chimp, dog, horse or zebra kind. Man is made after the God kind! In Luke 3, the genealogy of Jesus Christ states specifically that Adam was the sonof God. Literally, God is the Father of the human race.
In this age (now coming to a close) we are created physical sons. However, in the soon-coming World Tomorrow man will be given the opportunity to become Spirit-born sons.
In his book The Incredible Human Potential, Herbert Armstrong explained, “Man, to be born ultimately into the very God Family, was designed to have godly-type mind—ability to think, to reason, to make choices and decisions, capable of forming ethical, moral and spiritual attitudes.” Feel free to request a free copy of this amazing book.
Man was created with a mind like God’s, only much inferior. In a limited way, man has the ability to create things from material substances using his mind and hands, just like God. This is the only viable explanation as to why man is so highly creative.
God intended man to use his creativity to subdue and rule over the Earth and its creatures (Genesis 1:28). God put Adam’s creative mind to work immediately by having him give names to the animals (Genesis 2:19). Coming up with a proper name to describe unique traits in each individual animal required a finely tuned process of creative thinking. Eve was also created with incredible creative ability.
Cause of Trouble
Our first parents rejected God and His revealed knowledge and the code of law that would produce all happiness. As a result, Adam and Eve’s creative ability became a source of tragic trouble for them and the family that came from them. Genesis 3 shows that Adam and Eve fell under the control of Satan the devil. Jealous of such a marvelous human mind and its potential, this once-righteous being began to influence men to use their minds for evil purposes. Moses tells us: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6). As mankind turned further and further away from God, men, women and children used their imaginations to create evil. Verse 11 in this same chapter says the Earth was full of violence.
God did not create man to make a violent world. Yet, things got so bad on the Earth that God grieved over the creation of mankind. Man had become so evil in his imagination and actions that God decided to teach man a painful lesson about the destructiveness of sin. He brought about a worldwide flood, destroying all breathing life, including man. However, God spared Noah, his family and enough animals to start over. Did man learn the lesson?
Unfortunately, it was not long until man again degenerated in his thinking. Moses explains, “And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city” (Genesis 11:6-8). Prior to this scene at the tower of Babel, mankind had only one language. Communication flowed easily, and men used their imaginations collectively to rebel against God. Essentially, they decided to build a tower tall enough so God could not drown them again for their disobedience. They put their imaginations to work. They developed engineering skill. They brought their mental pictures into reality. They fashioned building materials from the earth. They built.
God recorded for our education, now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. This is an astounding verse. It reveals that man, given enough time and the right resources, can create what he imagines—both good and evil. At the tower of Babel, God saw clearly that man, under the influence of Satan, would develop the technology to destroy himself and the entire Earth. So God put a time delay on what man could accomplish by introducing a multitude of human languages. The confusion created short-circuited man’s creative advance to self-destruction.
Created to Create
When we take an honest look at our world today, we can see that God’s time delay on man’s creative accomplishment has been lifted (Revelation 10:6). Our world is full of marvelous inventions that have made human life so much easier. Yet, on the dark side, man’s creative genius has developed horrific inventions, including weapons of mass destruction that can wipe all life off this planet.
Jesus Christ prophesied that just prior to His Second Coming, our world would be just like Noah’s world (Matthew 24:37-39). Men’s imaginations would be set on doing evil continually (Genesis 6:5). There is no better way to describe the shape our world is in. Men, women and children imagine evil, and then do what they imagine. Thus, we have a world ready to choke on its own filth and blood. Who is to blame? Certainly not God. We have done this to ourselves—with Satan’s help, of course.
Current news and Bible prophecy show us that our world today is just like Noah’s time. We can expect to see unparalleled world upheaval and violence. For a short time, our generation will suffer as no other (Matthew 24:21-22). Much of this suffering will come as the result of the wrong use of our imaginations.
Yet there is great hope: God is not going to let us destroy ourselves. He does plan to step in when we are at the brink of total destruction; when we are ready to fully learn the lesson that rebellion against God can never bring about goodness and happiness.
There is an incredible future just ahead for all mankind. What does that future hold? Men will finally be properly educated about God and His purpose for creating man. Brought to his knees, man will finally be willing to learn and admit that God is not only the Creator but also the great Lawgiver. To learn about God and His purpose for man, human beings will study creation, including the universe.
Discussing God with the Romans, Paul said, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20; English Standard Version). Much of what man wants to know about God and himself has been right before our eyes all along. Instead of looking down and digging in the earth for his origins, man should have been looking around him and up into the heavens for answers. This incredible Earth and the universe could never have come into existence as a result of chance or happenstance.
By studying the Earth and the universe without prejudice, we can gain awesome knowledge. Request our booklet Our Awesome Universe Potential. This free, full-color publication will give you breathtaking details on what we have learned about the Earth and universe from one of man’s most incredible inventions—the Hubble telescope. Combining this knowledge with what is revealed in the Bible, this booklet will show you how the Earth and the universe reveal that a Being of incredible power, intelligence and creativity, with skilled talent for design and engineering, brought into existence a wonderful planet, nestled in just the right place of a vast, expanding universe, made perfect to support microscopic, plant, animal and human life.
Is there a connection between man and the universe? The Bible reveals that there is a surprisingly stupendous tie between man and the countless numbers of stars and galaxies stretched across the vastness of space. Paul revealed, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:19-21; esv). There is a stunning history behind these verses. Even more, there is extraordinary promise and a future as vast and limitless as the universe.
Our Awesome Universe Potential fully explains the history and the promise. This booklet will prove to you that man is destined to take responsibility for finishing the creation of the universe now suffering from decay. It is our awesome destiny to be born into the God Family and bring life to myriads of lifeless planets scattered into the deep blackness of space. What a truth! Man was created to create! And as God’s own sons, we will use that creativity forever.