After yesterday’s fun post about chicken and, ultimately, dinosaurs, today’s assignment is on immortality.  I am hesitant to write about this because I don’t like to speculate on things I don’t know about – it is hard to imagine what may happen when we shuffle off this mortal coil.  Biologically our drive is to reproduce.  Darwin’s ideas on natural selection are often called survival of the fittest.  But Darwin’s point wasn’t that people/plants, microorganisms/whatever do whatever it takes to survive; they do what it takes to ensure survival of offspring.  Fr. Tarazi likes to quote an Arab saying: “whoever reproduces has not died”.  Interestingly, the word for soul in Hebrew – nephesh – literally means a living thing.  In Arabic a common term is nephse shei – “same thing”, with shei meaning thing.  So the semitic idea of soul just means the essence of what someone is – your soul is who you are.

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