You know God is real right? We are not from monkeys so you really need to stop telling people this..
My favorite misconception about evolution.
If you are going to deny the fact of evolution you need to understand how evolution actually works first.
The quick answer is that humans didn’t actually evolve from monkeys. But we did both evolve from a common ancestor who happened to look more like an ape than a human.
So where did the ape-like ancestor go? Why did this ancestor evolve into humans and modern apes?
This is where evolution comes in. Evolution is a natural process that changes all living things over many generations.
Evolution requires at least two things. First, we all have differences in our DNA, the instructions for making every living creature. These DNA differences lead to various eye colors, skin colors, blood types, and all of the other variation that exists between each of us.
Some of these DNA differences don’t matter. Others can be bad and cause diseases and even death. And some of these differences in DNA can help a person to live longer or stay healthier. For example, one DNA difference seems to make people more resistant to HIV and maybe also smallpox and the plague.
Second, evolution requires that DNA be passed from one generation to the next. This way, any survival advantage can be passed from parent to child.
Combining these, evolution works because animals (or other living things) with beneficial DNA differences usually survive longer and are able to have more kids. And those with bad DNA changes often die before they can have kids. Over time, more and more animals have the good DNA, and fewer have the bad DNA. This is called natural selection.
So now that we understand evolution and natural selection, how can this explain why we have humans and apes?
One way natural selection can work to evolve new species is if the old species gets split into two groups. The two groups have to be separated in different environments for a long time. This is what might have happened to cause modern apes and humans to appear. The story probably went something like this.
Sometime between eight million and five million years ago, Africa had more rain and was covered by forests. During this time, an ape-like species (our common ancestor) lived in these forests. They were quite successful and spread all over the continent.
Then the climate began to change, the land began to dry out, and the forests began to disappear. Some of these ape-like creatures continued to live successfully in the woods. But others were forced to leave the woods and go into the open fields of grass.
What works best for survival in the grasslands is different than what works best in the forest. Once our ancestors found themselves out of the woods, they couldn’t hide from predators as well, and food was not as plentiful. Many of these ape-like creatures living in the grasslands could not survive.
But some of these creatures did survive- those that could walk on two feet, for example. Walking on two feet may have helped them to run for longer distances to get away from predators. It also may have helped them to find food from further away and have free hands to carry it back home. Whatever the reason, those that could walk on two feet were surviving more often.
The ape-like creatures that could walk on two feet had kids that were also more able to walk on two feet (this is controlled by one’s DNA). So every generation, more and more of the surviving population could walk on two feet. The others got killed off by predators and/or starved to death.
Over many generations (and a few million years) living in separate places, we ended up with two different species. The ones in the grasslands walked on two feet, learned to make tools and work in groups, and eventually evolved into us. Those that stayed in the forest evolved into modern apes. Of course, those in the forest also changed after many years to survive better in the forest.
So there you have it. We didn’t evolve from apes; rather, apes and humans evolved from a common ancestor. Natural selection doesn’t care about whether a species is smarter or more progressive. It only cares about whether a species can survive long enough to find a mate and have kids.
Thus, the reason that modern apes are still around is that they have been successful at surviving in their environment. And we are still around because we have also been successful at living in our environment. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that after 5-8 million years, we still share 98% of the same DNA with our distant cousins, the modern apes!
Sources: Dr. Kim Matulef, Stanford University, PBS.org, Berkley.edu, me:)
I wanted to make a follow forever because people ask me pretty often for Christian blog recommendations, and because I love you guys and want you to receive recognition for your awesome blogs! I also think that people don’t realize just how many Christian tumblrs there are, and this is only a fraction of them, really. So here’s a list of my favorite Christian bloggers:
There are thousands upon thousands of layers in the earth’s crust. However, scientists have grouped the layers into major groups. The most recent three layers are the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic. These layers represent the last 500 million years of life on earth.
In the Paleozoic, you find fish, amphibian, and reptile fossils (in that order), but never dinosaurs, birds, modern mammals, or even flowering plants.
Think of that: despite the billions of plant fossils in the Paleozoic layer, nobody has ever found one fossil of a flower, including any kind of deciduous tree or even a single blade of grass. Why not? The obvious explaination is flowers had not evolved yet.
The next layer, the Mesozoic, is often called the age of dinosaurs. The Mesozoic has dinosaurs like crazy. Of course, dinosaurs are reptiles and that’s why you won’t find any until after the Paleozoic which contains the first reptiles. The Mesozoic also has the first flowering plants, birds, and mammals, though few if any birds or mammals that we know of today.
On top of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic is the Cenozoic. This is the current layer that is still being deposited in oceans, deserts and swamps all around the earth today. The Cenozoic is the first major layer where we find modern mammal fossils like cats, dogs, monkeys and humans. This layer, or “era” is often referred to as the age of mammals.
These three layers make up a sort of 3-layer cake. Just like a cake, the bottom layer went down first, followed by the middle and the top. Since fossils progress from fish at the bottom to humans at the top, we have clear evidence that life evolved through time.
A preacher thundering from his pulpit about the uniqueness of human beings with their God-given souls would not like to realize that his very gestures, the hairs that rose on his neck, the deepened tones of his outraged voice, and the perspiration that probably ran down his skin under clerical vestments are all manifestations of anger in mammals. If he was sneering at Darwin a bit (one does not need a mirror to know that one sneers), did he remember uncomfortably that a sneer is derived from an animal’s lifting [of] its lip to remind an enemy of its fangs? Even while he was denying the principle of evolution, how could a vehement man doubt such intimate evidence?
Part of the reason that children are afraid of the dark may be that, in our entire evolutionary history up until just a moment ago, they never slept alone. Instead, they nestled safely, protected by an adult, usually Mum. In the enlightened West we stick them alone in a dark room, say goodnight, and have difficulty understanding why they’re sometimes upset. It makes good evolutionary sense for children to have fantasies of scary monsters. In a world stalked by lions & hyenas, such fantasies help prevent defenceless toddlers from wandering too far from their guardians. How can this safety mechanism be effective for a vigorous, curious young animal unless it delivers industrial strength terror? Those who are not afraid of monsters tend not to leave descendants. Eventually, I imagine, over the course of human evolution, almost all children become afraid of monsters.