I am not a monkey!

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!”

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11 Responses to I am not a monkey!

  1. Joe says:

    We essentially are apes. Not monkeys though. Monkeys have tails.

  2. cragar says:

    I agree. I was quoting my wife. :-)

  3. Matt says:

    Imagine if we did have tails, though. Imagine the uses! You could use a prehensile tail to steer your car while you were eating lunch..

  4. Or talk on your cell phone.

  5. The Coming End of Current Creationism!

    On or before August 15, 2007, a book is scheduled to be published.
    It’s title is “Moses Didn’t Write About Creation!!”, written by
    Ephraim. The “Big Bang” and evolution theories, plus the doctrines
    of current creationist factions, shall be exposed as being in error.

    After fifteen years, the truth of Genesis will finally be available to
    the public, blowing all previous (false) attempts to explain Genesis
    “out of the water”. This book will be the most notable biblical
    authentication since the Dead Sea Scrolls. The ignorance of
    Creationism and Theology about Genesis “come to life” for all to
    see, and the theories of secular science will see their last days as
    being credible explanations of our origins and prehistoric past.

    It is also the only book to explain the events that lead to the
    Extra-Celestial Civil War, also known as “the war in Heaven”.
    Comprehensive coverage of the war is given, when it ended, and how
    it affected the 4+ billion year history of our universe.

    Herman Cummings
    PO Box 1745
    Fortson GA, 31808
    Ephraim7@aol.com
    (706) 662-2893

  6. um….I’m sure the upcoming book will make some valid points.

    But will it, once and for all, “expose” the opposition, “blow it out of the water?” Such as has never been done before?

    These days, books are a dime a dozen that “expose” ideas the author doesn’t agree with. We’ve written quite a few ourselves.

    Creationists have been exposed. Evolutionists have been exposed. Also religionists, atheists, Republicans, Democrats, philatelists and plumbers.

    One might even quote scripture:

    “But there is nothing carefully concealed that will not be revealed, and secret that will not become known.” Luke 12:2

  7. Matt says:

    I find it quite interesting that the findings of this still unseen/unread book have failed to be presented for peer review and/or critical analysis.
    I therefore have to assume it’s a load of bollocks.

  8. cragar says:

    OK Herman, I’ll be waiting with bated breath.

    And it’s been known Moses didn’t write the first five books of the Bible for decades now.

  9. Herman Cummings says:

    It’s a matter of “correct interpretation”. Mose authored Genesis, but the
    subject matter was not “Creation Week”. The book reveals what theology has
    failed to understand. The work has been sent to the printer, published by
    PublishAmerica.

  10. The book “Moses Didn’t Write About Creation!”
    is now available.

    Paperback: 432 pages
    Publisher: PublishAmerica (August 6, 2007)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1424182204
    ISBN-13: 978-1424182206
    Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
    Purchase at:
    http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?catalogid=20664

    The book is also available at AbeBooks.com, Alibris, Amazon.ca,
    Amazon.ca Marketplace, Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr, Amazon.jp, Biblio, Booksamillion, The Book Place, The Good Book Guide, Bookfellas, Pickabook, Powell’s Books, TextBooksRus.com and Sprintbooks.

  11. Camille Chu says:

    I think that when you state that x number of scientists do not believe in the theory of evolution, you are broadening the definition of scientist.
    How can anyone disagree with what are empirical truths, or facts.
    Science tests and proves all theories.
    Religion is based in myths and faith in the unknown.
    Social scientists claim that those that “have found god”, are more likely to be happy, as they have found a way to associate from their own responsibility as a human being with god’s will.
    So long as they don’t try to sell me anything then I am happy to leave them to their blissfulness.

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