This is one of my wife’s biggest arguments. She will often tell me that she isn’t a decendant of a monkey, but I can be if I want to.
The Watchtower Society has printed a number of articles in their Watchtower pamphlet, as well as a book on Creation vs Evolution. A summary of their beliefs are here. A couple of excerpts:
Would you be happy to go through life with no purpose other than to eat, sleep, and reproduce? The thought repels even dedicated evolutionists. “Modern man, this enlightened skeptic and agnostic,” writes evolutionist T. Dobzhansky, “cannot refrain from at least secretly wondering about the old questions: Does my life have some meaning and purpose over and above keeping myself alive and continuing the chain of living? Does the universe in which I live have some meaning?”
And then they go on to quote some scientists:
Evolutionist Michael C. Corballis observes that “there is a striking discontinuity between humans and the other primates . . . ‘Our brain is three times as large as we would expect for a primate of our build.‘” And neurologist Richard M. Restak explains: “The [human] brain is the only organ in the known universe that seeks to understand itself.”
And that’s just a brief summation, but you get the idea.
This is a very common debate tactic when going arguing against Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I am sure many other Christian religions. The “Many scientists have doubts about evolution,” “The gap between apes and man,” etc. Talk origins does an excellent job of breaking down each of these arguments and many others, and I am paraphrasing from there.
The main argument is that as high as 5% (some articles claim higher) of scientists do not believe in evolution. That number is already pretty low, yet goes down to a whopping 0.15% when you only poll scientists in the relevant earth and life sciences. And this is in the US, where there is a higher percentage of creationists.
On the gap theory, it took MILLIONS OF YEARS for men to fully evolve from apes. Creationists have been arguing the absence of fossils for decades, yet each year more and more fossils are found, with a gradual increase in brain size leading up to humans.
So a brief answer to my wife and other creationists: No, you are not a monkey. You are however a couple of chromosomes away from being one. And that’s ok, it doesn’t make us apes. It makes us the evolutionary descendants of apes.
To me, the Theory of Evolution came easily and at a young age. I couldn’t understand why there was even a big debate about it. The evidence is pretty cut and dry. Yet, here we are 25 years after I knew evolution is what happened, and there are very big debates about it on TV, the internet, and in our daily lives. Intelligent people try and use a book written by men more than 2000 years ago trying to understand the meaning of life and force it to fit their need of a God and afterlife. For a reality check on this see this old post by pharyngula, one of the best I have read.
Lastly, think about this. The airplane was invented just over 100 years ago by the Wright brothers. 60+ years after that we managed to get to the moon. Another 40 years later we have crawlers on Mars and probes leaving our solar system. Where will be in another 100 years? How about 2000 years? It’s not going to happen in my lifetime but eventually we will have enough knowledge to finally rid ourselves of the tales written long ago.
And the people wandering the earth then will be saying “I didn’t evolve from a human!”