Wednesday, August 10, 2005

ID rhetoric - Part 4: Not from apes
Utah State Senator Chris Buttars (R - of course) has a letter in USA Today on evolutionists and their crazed battle to remove all mention of God from our schools.
These vehement critics claim that there are mountains of scientific proof that man evolved from some lower species also related to apes. But in this tremendous effort to support Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, in all these “mountains of information,” there has not been any scientific fossil evidence linking apes to man.

The trouble with the "missing link" is that it is still missing! In fact, the whole fossil chain that could link apes to man is also missing! The theory of evolution, which states that man evolved from some other species, has more holes in it than a crocheted bathtub.

I realize that is a dramatic statement, so to be clear, let me restate: There is zero scientific fossil evidence that demonstrates organic evolutionary linkage between primates and man.

That, of course, is the crux of the issue. Evolutionary theory wouldn't cause any more excitement among fundamentalists than big bang theory does were it not for biologists claiming that humans are a normal part of nature. Sure, a few fundamentalists get bent out of shape over the idea of the universe being billions of years old, but most of them can't get that fired up about something that doesn't threaten them personally.

Human evolution is different. They see, in the idea that humans evolved, a repudiation of the idea that humans (or at least male humans) were made in God's image through a special act of creation. If we are an equal part of nature with other living things, the whole business of souls becomes very hard to explain. Christianity is very hierarchical (which is odd when you think about its origins). Anything that knocks us off of out perch at the very top of creation is a threat to the theological structure.

This hierarchical theology has to some very ugly attitudes during the last two thousand years. Most of the nastiest acts of discrimination in the West, while not always flowing directly out of religion, usually find religious defenders who find that some people are more like God than others and--surprise!--they just happen to be members of God's favorite group while the others are not.

Less commented on, is a tendency by some varieties of Christians to despise nature, even though it's God's creation. Many end-timers expect God to destroy this despised earth and provide a better one for the millennium. Of course, some parts of nature are more despised than others. Apes, by their very resemblance to humans, mock our pretensions of divinity. To be descended from the great apes is an insult piled on top of the indignity of being part of nature.

If being descended from the great apes is too much for Creationists to contemplate, let me set their fevered minds at rest. They are not descended from the great apes. Secularists are descended from the great apes; Creationists are descended from the chattering little monkeys.

John Cole has some more on Sen. Buttars.

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