Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Of Men, Apes, God and "I'm an apeman, I'm an ape, ape man, I go ape, man"


I once dared to inform my mother that all mankind originated in Africa. She looked at me as though I were mad. I then went onto say it was thought that the country now known as Ethiopia was where man came from. At this stage my dear old mum looked positively horrified. I stressed that, obviously, it hadn’t been given that name back then as after all the landmasses we are familiar with now were still moving and settling into the continents and sub-continents that exist today. The look on mothers face was a study in compassionate contempt. Like all mum’s she gently corrected her son of his foolish notions. “God made man in his own image,” she declared with some sense of righteous indignation, “white men, black men and all the other races. We know this from the Bible. As for us being related to apes, why the next thing you'll be wanting me to believe is that we all were once black!”
Admonished I dared not argue, how could I?  Funny that, the way the written word overrules all else. I tend to wonder though, if there were a god, why he (?) gave us the knowledge to discover so much only to be told by his followers that it is all hogwash?

As I have said previously, in one of my Saturday Quotes, mankind is, broadly speaking, made of two races: blacks and lesser blacks. DNA has revealed much including how we all have a shared past. Of course with science there are no absolutes for if there were science would be faith and that notion only leads to dogma, ritual and the corruption that is organised religion. Scientists, by virtue of what they are, tend to try and disprove even their own findings. It is called the search for truth and knowledge. Religious zealots assert their beliefs in the absence of facts. It is called stupidity.
"Hairy arsed Apes or Hairless Humans? Choices choices!"
That elusive commodity, truth, persists in dogging our quest to discover more of ourselves. We know at some stage that we and chimpanzees had a common ancestor. What we don’t know, and I have to say yet, is at what point in time that was. How far back do we have to go to find that link?
Hominid fossil remains are as rare as hens’ teeth and are hard to decipher. DNA is better but is only able to reveal ancestry and what species we are.  It is unable to show when we and our fellow apes diverged. The ways to uncover more information are fraught with considered guess work. For example we don’t know how fast our human mutation runs. Many mutations are random. The whole process becomes increasingly difficult to get answers from.

Guesstimates at when this split occurred vary. Some would suggest 4 million years ago, others 6. However, it would appear to be a lot further back than either of those figures and might even be as long ago as 10 million years. We do know that the Earth was covered in apes some 15 million years ago.
"Just because I found the lady chimp attractive doesn't mean I slept with her!"
Whatever the truth is it will take time and the advancement of science to uncover it. We will get there eventually.

Of course faith and relgion have accepted, in some quarters, that evolution only demonstrates God's will. Many Christians say Darwin was only illuminating God's work, revealling it in ways we could understand. There are even some who now suggest that Darwin, as he lay on his death bed, converted to Christianity. There is no evidence to substantiate  or corroborate this. Faith remains blind. Science still seeks the truth.

There remains one question still unanswered but often asked: if we were made in the likeness of God is that deity then a hairy arsed, banana eating primate? Maybe Charlton Heston can supply some info on that. After all he has acted as Moses and been a castaway on the Planet of the Apes.
"Come to think of it, my Mum's side were distinctly human looking."

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all words and art are copyright © of Russell 'C.J' Duffy.To view my books on Amazon/Kindle go here: https://www.amazon.com/author/russellduffy -- For another side of CJ go here: sOMeThiNg For tHE wEeKeND, SiR?

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