Denial of an Evolutionary Past
You’re an animal. In fact, you’re an ape! Yes you’re an ape, your spouse is an ape, your mother and father are apes, your grandmother is an ape, and every person you know or don’t know on the planet are all apes. Megan Fox, Salman Rushdie and Sacha Baron Cohen, all apes. And some of you don’t like it. Why is this?
It’s for a few reasons. One being that you look at the other animals in the world and think of them as stupid, or dirty, or food, and you couldn’t possibly be like that, could you? Or is it because animals don’t have a soul, don’t have language, don’t have religion, or don’t brush their teeth? How could you, a perfect being, one who can appreciate music, art and architecture, a person like you whose ancestors built the Sistine Chapel, how could you possibly be “just an animal”?
Well my question to you is “How can you deny it?”
We share over 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees. No we did not evolve from chimpanzees, but both humans and chimpanzees did evolve from a common ancestor, an ape, less evolved than either species, and from that point of divergence, we both went upon our own evolutionary paths. Chimpanzees continued to live in the forests, where they developed into what we see now, a social and intelligent ape. Humans took another path and evolved on the grasslands, eventually developing cities, societies and binding societal moral contracts that we all follow.
The simple fact that you think you could not have evolved from an ape says a lot about you. It says that you think of yourself in high esteem, that you feel you are better than other animals on earth, and most likely, you think that it is God that made you special. Hey, if in fact you deny evolution, you probably think that the world is somewhere between 10,000 and 6.000 years old, and that god made the universe in 6 days.
But just take a minute, instead of looking at the world around us and seeing what makes us unique, why not look and see what makes us the same. Our chimpanzee cousins have similar body structures to us; arms and hands, heads with two eyes a nose and mouth, ears. They communicate to each other much like we do, albeit in a simplified fashion. They care for their young and the live in communities with tight-knit familial groups. The use simple tools to extract food from hard to reach places. They feel pain, stress, anger, grief. They are apes, and so are you.