Saturday, September 04, 2010

Evolutionary theory in light of genetics


"My grandpappy wasn't a chimp"!

Well, err... how true. Every evolutionary scientist in any field would agree 100%. One assumes that the person stating such must know it by this point in the game. To not know would be a case of willful ignorance at best and an outright lying attempt to create a straw man at worst.

What is true about our relationship with chimps is that of all the other animals on the planet, we share the closest common ancestor with the chimpanzee. Somewhere between 5 and 10 million years ago there was an ape or ape-like mammal which was ancestral to both modern chimps and modern humans.

We've known this (or something very close to it - some argued it was gorillas) for over 100 years. Every other piece of evolutionary datum supported this conclusion. But then along came post Crick/Watson genetics. Within the past quarter century or so we have had enormous new batches of datum to work with. This info could have overturned the earlier findings. Instead, it nailed the case shut.

By the same science we use to show whose blood is at a crime scene or, more pertinent, who the daddy is, we have been able to show which species is the closest genetic family member to H. sapiens. And it's the chimps and bonobos. By the very same process of showing who are siblings and who is parent, we can see that chimps and bonobos are, at the species level, our nearest living relatives in the animal kingdom.

Unless a creationist is willing to go on record as not believing that DNA can prove paternity, then they must admit that we are not only related to chimps, but that we are closer relatives of theirs than we are with gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, baboons, spider monkeys - all progressively more distant relatives - just as all earlier evolutionary science had predicted.

It's one thing to claim some unproven god belief. It's quite another to deny scientific facts, which resolutely disprove any claim that ones particular god created various animal species independently of each other. I like to think such people are ignorant. If they aren't, they are liars.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're a chimpion :)

PhillyChief said...

My guess would be that Creationists wouldn't disagree with the genetic findings, but disagree with how they came to be. For instance, b├ęchamel and mornay sauces only have some cheese separating them, but both require a watchmaker, I mean cook, or whatever. Praise Jesus! ;)

Gideon said...
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