What Does it Mean to be Human?

Drawing on recent scientific arguments including evolutionary explanations of morality and the latest experiments in neuroscience, as well as his own experience as a medical doctor and lay magistrate, Paul Coulter draws together a Biblical understanding of what it means to be a human being.

What Does it Mean to be Human?
An enquiry from science, philosophy & Christian theology


1. Who Am I to Tackle the Question?

Paul Coulter begins his extensive study of what it means to be human. In this first chapter, he lays out some of the difficulties in tackling the question.

2. Why Ask the Question?

The author asks why it is important to consider what it means to be human. In this second chapter, he lays out some good reasons why we should seek an answer to the question of human identity.

3. Is There Anything Unique About Homo Sapiens?

Paul investigates what the physical, biological and social sciences have to say about Homo Sapiens.

4. What is the Human “Mind”?

Paul explores the nature of the human mind and considers the limitations of science.

5. Volition and Morality

Paul Coulter considers what morality and free will tell us about human beings, with a critical analysis of some of the latest experiments in neuroscience and arguments for the evolutionary basis of morality.

6. Consistent Naturalism?

Paul Coulter considers whether naturalism can ever, in practice, provide a consistent worldview and a satisfactory answer to the issue of human identity.

7. Genesis 1 and 2 on Mankind

Paul Coulter examines the Scriptural evidence for what a human being is, starting with Genesis.

8. The Rest of the Story

Paul Coulter examines the rest of the Christian story for further insight into the human condition.

9. Christian Ethics

Paul Coulter considers the consequences of his study of what it means to be human for Christian ethics.

10. A Choice to Make

Paul Coulter concludes his study by emphasising a choice that we all have to make.


About the author

Paul was born and raised in Northern Ireland, where he lives with his Malaysian Chinese wife and their two young children.  His background is in medicine, but he also holds degrees in theology and medical genetics.  After leaving his medical career he spent six years in church based ministry including four with a Chinese Church in Belfast.  Currently he sits as a lay magistrate in Belfast, lectures part time in a Bible College and is studying for a PhD in theology.  He is passionate about the word of God, the local church and relating the Bible’s message to contemporary culture.  Nothing excites him more than seeing Christians growing in their faith and living lives of total surrender to Christ in the freedom of God’s grace and truth.  If you would like to contact Paul or find out more about his writing or his Bible teaching please visit his personal website: www.paulcoulter.net

© 2010 Paul Coulter
This article is reproduced here by the kind permission of the author.