DID MAN EVOLVE FROM CHIMPANZEE
OR GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE?
SLAYING OF A PROVOCATIVE THEORY BY A BIBLICAL FACT
Robert Y. George B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Science Advisor, L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture, Southeastern Baptist
Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina
This essay lends firm support to the conclusion reached by the author in a recent dialogue with a theologian (George and Little, 2013) the first step necessary to dispute the theories of the anthropologists concerning human origin. This essay aims to prove that man is the product of divine creation by the triune God and therefore, not a terminal node in evolutionary sequence of primates. While respecting and recognizing the illustrious efforts of noted anthropologists such as Donald Johnson who unearthed the fossil Lucy and the remarkable discoveries of three generations of the Leakey family (Louis, Mary, Richard, Meave and granddaughter Louisa), this author is in deep disagreement, not with their findings of rare but fragmentary fossils, but with their theories linking these fossil species of the genera Australopithecus and Homo to the origin of man. The second part of this essay addresses the concerns of this author on the attempts by museum scholars such as Dr. Potts of the Smithsonian Institution and Dr. Mayr of the Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) to stretch from the works of these above-mentioned leading anthropologists to imaginary exhibits of cultures of Neanderthal man (Homo neanderthalensis). I question heir far reaching conclusions on human origin. Likewise, British historian H. G. Wells, eugenics scholar Francis Galton and geneticist Bryan Sykes made big blunders with their questionable discoveries. Nevertheless, American zoologist Louis Agassiz researched on the Ice ages and glaciations that in essence support the view that man appeared in the scene less than 15,000 years ago a conducive climate. Adam was created of soil in divine breath and Eve from the rib of Adam in the ‘Garden of Eden’ was a divine act. This author, as elucidated in this chapter of his book (George, 2014) entitled “God and Man: Divine Design Defined”, is clearly in agreement with sequential steps in the evolution of primates and broadly endorses some ideas of theistic evolution as presented in the book “Language of God” (Collins, 2006) and Collins and Giberson, 2010), and Denis Alexander (2008)). However, this author makes a genuine argument in this chapter , by and large, in consort with Pope Benedict’s 2011 books on the gospel, not to get carried away by anthropologists’ authoritative theories on human origin because there is overwhelming spiritual and scientific evidence to accept the truth that man is truly the product of divine creation by God, the maker of heaven and earth.
The book “0n the Beauty of Earth: Christian Vision for Creation Care”
(Bouma-Prediger, 2001) appeared at the dawn of this century with such profound questions like (1) “What do sand hill cranes and Chinook salmon have to do with God?” (2) How can Berry assert that polluting a stream is worse than killing another human being or cursing God?” (Berry, 1992), (3) What connection is there between Christian faith and ecological practices? And what is theologically at stake in the debates and discussions surrounding caring for the earth? In my view, all these questions make sense when we read in Genesis Chapter 1: 27-28. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over everything living thing that moveth upon the earth”. Therefore, it is very important to understand that humankind was created by God for stewardship of the earth and to be more precisely “Care-Takers” of all living and nonliving entities. This conclusion was reached in a 2-days symposium on Christian Creation Stewardship on May 6-7, 2012 in North Wake Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. This symposium goal was to bridge the widening gap between science and ecology, as emphasized in a dialogue between a scientist-believer and a theologian-philosopher (George and Little, 2013).
In the beginning, the triune God was alone there (Ex Nilho). The Bible tells us that ‘Creator God’ made heaven and earth and less than 10,000 years ago, God created man in His image. Nevertheless. anthropologists failed to accept the word of God and came up with their own theories on the human origin. The time has come to make a sincere effort to prove that man is really unique and was created by the act of the Providence because God was genuinely keen to uphold the purpose of keeping the beauty of the earth and all God’s creation.
The uniqueness of humankind is obvious not only by man’s physical resemblance to the Creator or possessing the image of God but also because of speech, art, culture, intuition, intelligence, ethics and many other attributes not seen in great apes that include orangutans, gorillas or chimpanzees and the hominids of the genera Australopithecus and Homo (Tattersal, 1997). Humankind is not a species of the genus Homo and man’s uniqueness is explained more recently from genome interactions with environment, behavior and culture (Varki et al., 2008). However, the question of the position of man amongst all living creatures on the earth is not just a biological question but also a fundamental theological theme for discussion in the classrooms in all educational institutions, particularly theological seminaries of all denominations. This, in essence, is the focus of this essay.
The placement of Homo sapiens as a species on the top of Darwinian evolutionary tree at the apex of primate branch aroused controversies and outright objections from priests to the Pope. Faith in God and His creation, as narrated in Genesis chapter one, places man not as an animal but as a divine creation and with dominion (not domination) over creation. Ever since the publication of Darwin’s “Descent of Man” (1871), man as an evolutionary biological entity was amplified by biologists and by paleo-anthropologists from Johanson and the five members of the Leakey family (Louis, Mary, Richard, Meave and Louise). We need to revaluate carefully into what these anthropologists ascertained on human evolution and raise critical questions concerning the merit of their findings. In essence, our proposed research is bound to invalidate the Leakeys’ theories associating taxonomically humankind with apes and hominids on the basis of ‘best available science’.
We must admit the truth that the pinnacle of God’s creative activity is His creation of human beings, both male and female. To be more like Him that anything else God created. Is it appropriate to use the word man to refer to the entire human race? Women object to the term man to represent them and they prefer to use gender-neutral term such as humanity, humankind, human beings or human race. In Genesis 1: 27 we read: “When God created man, he made man in the likeness of God. Male and female He created them and blessed them and named them Man.” The Hebrew term translated “Man” is Adam, distinct from woman (Genesis 2: 22). The theological issue implies whether there is a suggestion of male leadership or headship in the family. God chose to refer to human race as ‘man’.
God created man as unique to His own glory. From John 17: 5 and 24, we see that there was love and fellowship among members of the Trinity for all eternity. God did not crate us because he was lonely. Nevertheless, God created man for Hi glory. This is the point. This point is seen in Isaiah 43: 7; Eph. 1: 11-12; and 1 Cor. 10: 31. Scripture tells us that we are important to God, far more than all other created order. We mankind are important to God Himself. Theologian Grudem (1999) asks: “If we are truly important to God for all eternity, then what greater measure of importance or significance could we want? As a goal, this essay focuses primarily to prove how truth was twisted by prominent evolutionary biologists and anthropologists to write profusely in scientific articles and books to claim that man is not God’s creation but a mere extension of the evolutionary process from higher apes. Let me reevaluate in this essay the writings of these scholars.
DISCOVERY OF LUCI
Much of the fossil evidence in support of evolution of man comes from the work of a family that includes anthropologists Louis Leakey and his wife Mary Leakey and amateur anthropologist and their son Richard Leakey and his wife Meave Leakey in east Africa and their daughter Louisa Leakey. When Mary Leakey discovered the foot print fossils first, she published the theory that those footprints are really the first evidence of the ancestor of man being bipedal and walking on the feet in Tanzania roughly 3.7 million years ago. This fossil was glorified as ‘Luci’. Subsequently another anthropologist Donald Johnson discovered the fossil ‘Luci’in rock, dating back to 3.5 million years, the fossil as tall as 3 ft. Donald had his attractive field companion/author Kate (see photo below) to explore the fossil beds of Tanzania. My argument here is this: Luci was a fossil ape but nothing to do with human origin. It is bold speculation that these apes were wandering in the forests of Tanzania 3.5 million years ago as if they are the seeds sown by God with the hope these higher primates will evolve not by microevolution but by macroevolution to become ‘man’. Such a conclusion is preposterous and has no scientific validity, whatsoever!
Lt. Donald Johnson and Rt. Kate Wong, his coauthor of the book
“Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins”
Prof. Thomas Woodward, a prominent advocate for the theory of “Intelligent Design” (ID Concept), presented a lecture on Charles Darwin on Nov. 9, 2009 at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina and he showed a tree of life illustration with a poodle on the top of one of the branches of the evolutionary tree. In the Q & A period, I asked him: “Why did you chose dog as the apex of evolution in his slide on the tree of life”. He explained that he left out the primates. He was wrong. In this chapter, I am focusing on the evolution of primates with an effort to clearly separate humankind from all monkeys and apes. Woodward sent me a copy of his book “Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design” (2007). ID is besides the scope of the present discussion on human origin in this essay and therefore, let us look at the existing theories on human evolution.
First, I must establish the fact that genus is simply a convenient taxonomic entity to accommodate species of similar external morphology or anatomy. It is artificial and usually the splitters in the field of systematics create genera with such liberal definitions whereas the so-called lumpers place numerous species under one genus. This taxonomic style is clearly seen in Johnson’s treatment of the primate genus Homo, as pointed out below.
The evolutionary tree given by Johanson and Wong (2009) with ramification of branches of hominid evolution, is misleading and was questioned by Ian Tattersal of the American Museum of Natural History later in the year in the Gibraltar symposium (September 16 – 20, 2009) in honor of Charles Darwin’s publication of his book “Origin of Species” 150 years ago in 1859. The question, posed in the conference with 100 paleo-anthropologists in Gibraltar, revolved around two basic issues: (1) “What were the evolutionary origins of the Neanderthals, and (2) How early did Homo sapiens begin their highly successful colonization of the globe”. According to Jonansen and Wong (2009), about a million years ago H. heidenbergensis evolved into two species, one H. neandherthalensis that became extinct recently and the other H. sapiens (humankind, erroneously placed in the primate genus Homo) that now dominates the earth today. Nevertheless, the Bible tells us that God created heaven and earth around 6600 or so years ago. About 8300 years ago climate warmed and reached a steady state with subtle oscillations.
Figure showing the sudden climate change about 8300 B.P. as evidenced from the scientific records in oxygen isotope ratios (Delta 18 O) in the Greenland GISP 2 Ice Core
I have discussed below in detail how Neanderthals are not human and their fossil skeletons were first discovered in the Paleolithic era in the Neander valley in Germany in 1856. Cro-Magnon man was even more advanced than Neanderthals and their fossil was first discovered in a cave called Pro-Magnon cave in France in 1868 by Louis Lartet. In my opinion. Humans are not at all related to Pro-magnon man who is more muscular, larger cranium and brain and lived in huts, wore skin-clothes and other rituals like dancing and singing (ven Humpback whales sing!). Co-magnon man lived between 35,000 and 10,000 years ago and overlapped Neanderthals also. These two are two distinct species of higher apes and in any way related to human. Their presence preceded the big change temperature of the earth about 8300 years ago, as shown in the figure above. Creation of man by God definitely took place after this huge thermal change at 8300 years ago.
PRIMATE GENERA HOMO AND AUSTROLOPITHECUS
Neanderthals, characterized by their unique skull shapes and stocky or rather robust body, were found as fossils both in Europe and Asia at least 130,000 years ago. DNA research revealed that their common ancestors H. heidelbergensis lived in Africa about 500,000 years ago (Science, 13, Feb, 2009, p. 870). Two more hominid lineages may have also lived in Europe at the same time, as shown in the diagram below.
There are several controversies among anthropologists concerning the validity of the species assigned to the genus Homo. For example, Jean-Jacques Hublin, Max Planck Institute in Leipzig believes that Neanderthals originated from H. rhodesiensis (based on a skull discovered in Zambia). In 1990, thousands of fossil bones were discovered at a cave site in Sima de los Huesos in northern Spain (Science, 2 March 2001, p. 1722). These fossils were identified as H. heidelbergensis. 220,000 years old skulls from Steinheim, near Stutgart, Germany might belong to H. rhodesiensis. Sima fossils were dated to 350,000 years ago. However, he controversy about his age was raised by James Bischoff of US Geological Survey and he thinks that error was in the dating methodology and his use of more recent uranium-series dating put the age as 530,000 years.
It is still not clear whether Homo sapiens evolved from H. heidelbergensis or H. rhodesiensis. In 2007 Michael Petraglia (Oxford University) published a paper (Science, 6 July, 2007 p. 114) to show evidence that hominids (possibly Homo sapiens) making sophisticated tools were established in South India (Kurnool District) by 74,000 years ago. In Yemen, at the site of Shi ‘bat Dihya 1, French scientists discovered stone tools that were dated by optically stimulated luminescence as 70,000 years.
Jared Diamond, in his book on “The Third Chimpanzee” (2006), presented a map (see below) that illustrates the stages in the spread of the human ancestors from their African origin to populate the world. Estimated tears before the present for each geographic area is shown in this map. I do not question the age as one million years Homo erectus entered Europe from Africa since I do not consider Homo erectus as the species from which man originated. Evidently conducive climate conditions enable these apes to wander into northern continents where the ice receded in the interglacial period and created habitats for the apes to colonize alien lands from the ancestral home of East Africa. These apes are genuine end-points of theistic evolution that occurred prior to the creation of man by God and I do not question at all the evolution of primates, culminating in the higher apes.
The routes of dispersal of these hominid species from Africa into Arabian peninsulas and India is also illustrated in the figure below, originally presented by Michael Balter (Science, 9 October 2009 vol 326 p.225.).
The fundamental question here is: Do these hominid species using stone tools 74,000 years ago represent an end of an evolutionary branch of advanced primates terminating in the culmination of chimpanzee but not the modern humans (scientifically labeled as Homo sapiens)? This inquiry is the main highlight and primary focus of this essay from both theological and biological perspective.
Christian Geologist and my former faculty colleague at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, wrote a book on “Creation and the Flood” (Young, 1977) and devoted the 7th chapter (Whence Man?) of the book to refute the theory of theistic evolution that. affirms the belief in monotheism and the Biblical God, but wrongly believes also that man evolved from ape-like ancestors. Dr.Young was annoyed by the view of the theistic evolutionist that their theory of man evolving from chimpanzee does not do any damage to Christian faith. He quotes Bubbe (1968): “the reliability of the Bible and the vitality of a life with Jesus Christ do not depend in any way on the proof or the disproof of the general theory of evolution.” On the other hand, Davidheiser (1969) claims that “If man evolved, Christ was just a reformer and not the Redeemer; Christ was a martyr and not the Savior.” Whitcomb and Morris (1961) earlier in a book on “Genesis Flood” argued that Adam and Eve were special creations of God and in my opinion and in agreement with my discussions with my friend in Christian theologian Professor Bruce Little of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the creation of man by God occurred between and 8400 and 4200 BC whereas Noah’s flood occurred around 2400 BC. This chronology tells us that the final generations of Adam and Eve, after 1800 or about 6000 years since the creation of man in the Garden of Eden, were virtually killed in the flood except for the family of Noah.
Noah releasing the animals from the ark after the flood. Note the rain-bow above, echoing the Babylonian creation myth, where the god Marduk hangs his bow in the sky after defeating Tiamat, a monster representing the water of ‘Chaos’. This mosaic is from St. mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy, built in 1071 AD). Let me also point our that the modern human races originated from the Noah’s family members above (4 men and 3 women). The mosaic may not be accurate in precise depiction of these seven persons.
Noah was chosen by God since he was good God-fearing man and the Sumerian king of Shuruppak. Since the deluge in 2900, over a period of 700 years man left the Fertile Crescent and inhabited the far-off lands, radiating into different cultures, developing different languages. That is why in 2200 BC at the Tower of Babel, there was this strange mixture of many tongues!
Genesis 2: 7 deal with the origin of man and Genesis 2 is history in real world time and space. The text reads: “Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living soul.” This event is a pure miracle. Man has a body made from dust and a soul imparted by God’s breath of life. We now have no idea how much time it took for God to transform dust to human body. Young’s Hypothesis # 1 is that “God possibly produced a pre-existing creature and permitted through time to develop a human body. When body became sufficiently human, God breathed a soul into the body so that man became truly man ”
“Nephesh” is the Hebrew word for soul. a word commonly seen in the Old Testament.
The word “nephesh” occurs four times in Genesis 1. In Genesis 1: 20 it is “the moving creature that has life”. In verse 21 it is “living creature that moveth.” In verse 24 “the living creature.” In verse 30 “everything — wherein there is life.” The animals created on the fifth and sixth days did not posses souls but just bodies.
Young’s Hypothesis # 2 comes from his statement: “The plain reading of the text of the text of Genesis 2: 18 – 25, in the light of historical nature of Genesis 2, would seem to indicate that there was a lapse of time between the first appearance of Adam and the appearance of the first woman, Eve.” Moses provides considerable detail in the account concerning the creation of Eve. It was Moses. Intent to point out the purpose of woman. The woman is for the man. This is Young’s Hypothesis # 3 and it simply reaffirms that woman was created from Adam’s rib to be his help.
Apostle Paul speaks of the relationship of man and woman in I Corinthians 11: 8 – 9: “For man Is not of the woman; but the woman of the man; neither was the man created for woman; but the woman for the man.” Apostle Paul further elucidates woman’s role in I Timothy 2: 12 – 13 wherein he asserts” “He will not allow woman to teach, nor to usurp any authority over man, but to be in silence because Adam was first formed before Eve.” In evolution, sexes arise simultaneously but in creation, however, there is a temporal priority and this, in essence is the “Uniqueness of man.”
Young (1977) argued that the Biblical idea of the origin of man and the evolutionary origin of man are mutually exclusive. Any pretension to assume that theistic evolution is in agreement with Biblical narrative of creation of man is misleading. Young clearly asserts his point as follows: “There is no point in Christians’ retreating on this question simply to gain favor with the scientific community. Biblical Christianity must challenge science at this point.” I am appalled that Pope Benedict recently gave his papal voice in support of theistic evolution. In my opinion, the Pope is saying that I am also a scientist and therefore, let us avoid controversy by accepting science on the question of origin of man by theistic evolution
Wolpoff Theory of Human Origin:
Palaeoanthropologist Milford Wolpoff and collaborators published a paper in Science on the question of modern human ancestry (Wolpoff et al., 2001) to follow up the views of Disoteli (1999) who entitled his paper: “Human evolution: Origins of modern humans still look recent”. There are essentially two opposing theories on human origin. One, known as the ‘Multi-regional model’ proposes that modern humans arose independently in different regions of the world, with sufficient gene flow between the regions to maintain the unity of the species that share origin from common ancestor, possibly Homo erectus, living one million years ago in East Africa. This hypothesis implies that H.erectus evolved into H.sapiens in East Africa and H.erectus migrated to different regions of the old world and speciated into H.sapiens independently with phenotypic characters like skin color matching the climatic conditions of the different biogeographic zones. In contrast the second hypothesis, known as the ‘recent replacement model’ proposes a single population (H.sapiens) of African origin expanded and replaced archaic populations (including Neanderthals) throughout the world, beginning around 200,000 years ago.
Wolpoff (1998) supports the multiregional model and also performed genetic (DNA) studies to reevaluate the Neanderthal sequence data. Using a pair-wise approach, he compared the Neanderthal sequence to a sample of 2051 modern human sequences, noting that 25 of the 27 differences between them varied within modern humans. On the basis of further comparison among 994 modern sequences of known geographic region, Wolpoff (1998) concluded: “the most surprising finding was that several of the humans were found to differ each other more than the Neanderthals differs from some humans”.
Prof. Milford Wolpoff, University of Michigan-Ann Harbor
Did monkeys march on the evolution-road from Austrolopethecus to Homo?
The genus as an artificial assemblage gives some clue about accommodation of closely related species within a single taxon. The genus closest to Homo is the primate genus Australopithecus. The genus first appeared in the Paleocene about 60 million years ago. In the long chain of events, that succeeded one after the other since the Paleocene origin of primates, we can broadly recognize the following six major trends: (1) Suitable skeletal modifications to enable bipedal locomotion, (2) Increased use of the forelimbs as “Hand” with better dexterity and manipulation, (3) More dependence on visual perception as opposed to olfactory perception with the eventual evolution of forward-directed eyes, (4) Changes in the jaw structure and dentition to suit a mixed diet, (5) Gradual expansion of the cranial capacity with brain volume reaching as high as 900 cubic centimeter, and (6) Sophistication of behavior such as strategy of single birth (not litters), parental bonds, cultural and social habits and linguistics (language origin and ramifications). The shift from quadripedal to bipedal mode of life was one of the most significant paradigm evolutionary upward mobilties, as illustrated below to demonstrate the shift from Australopithecus to Homo. This is the view of anthropologists.
While discussing human morality, Ian Barbour (2002) indicated from the observation of Franz de Wall) of chimpanzees in captivity that the behaviors (compassion and kindness) of these apes revealing as “forerunners of human morality. These behavioral traits of chimpanzees also exhibited sympathy and care. Chimps attempt to mediate or intervene in fights between combative males and even promote reconciliation. After all, the chimps and humans are 99% similar to humans in gene composition and did the 1 % dissimilarity come about in simple mutation or shift in gene sequence and by the Darwinian process of microevolution, man evolved from chimpanzee? This argument by anthropologists and evolutionary biologists is highly questionable. Tattersal (1998) added adequate points to affirm the uniqueness of mankind.
Theologians do not accept microevolution as a fact but not macroevolution. George (2012) discussed the pros and cons of macroevolution and firmly questioned Wilson’s theory of linking community evolution of social insects such as ants with human societies. Wilson’s sociobiology theory also links monkey community organization with human society evolution. However, humankind is unique as God’s special creation. This message is the crux of this essay what argues with scientific thrust and with scriptural evidence the creation of man in the image of God.
Big Step according to anthropologists: Quadripedal to Bipedal Transition
Austropithecus afarensis, the most advanced of all other species of the genus evolved into the most primitive of all species of the genus Homo and H. habilis became the first upright and walking species in East Africa. Thus far, on the basis of fossils five species of Australopithecus are recognized. These species are: A. garhi (separate branch) and the other branch with A. robustus, A. africanus, A. aethiopicus and A. Boisei.
According to Johansen and Wong (2009) there are eight species of the genus Homo from fossil evidence and this includes humankind or Homo sapiens. Adam was God’s creation. On this premise, this author refutes the assumption that humankind should be placed in the genus Homo that includes the following seven species: H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. erectus, H. floresiensis (in one branch) and on another branch H. antecessor evolving into H. heidelbergensis that in turn evolving into H. neanderthalensis. The theory of Johasen and Wong (2009) and many other anthropologists that H. heidelbergensis also evolved into H. sapiens is rejected in this essay.
Furthermore, this essay supports some ideas emulating from the discoverer of Human genome Dr. Francis Collins as written in his book on the ‘Language of God’. His firm stand on the theory of theistic evolution is questioned, not acceptable to genuine Christian scientists. These new ideas also reject the ID scholars and the so called “Young Earth” advocates. Nevertheless, I do not wish to make any compromise with Francis Collins, if he believes that man is also a product of evolution. I am fully convinced that the Creator created ‘Man’.
Contrasting skeletons of human and ape
WORK OF LOUIS AND MARY LEAKEY
Louise Leakey was born in Kenya in 1903 and his father was a British missionary. His childhood was spent in Kenya and he spoke the local language ‘Kikiyu’. Louise went to England and graduated from Cambridge University. He spent his professional life in Kenya as an archaeologists digging for ancient cultural artifacts in Rift Valley, Kenya. During World War II he was a spy for the British military and upon his return from the espionage service, Louise discovered the fossil Proconsul, a pre human creature. Subsequently during the Olduvau Gorge Expedition, his second wife Mary Leakey (also an archaeologist whom he first met in Cambridge) found a unique fossil skull, which they named as Zinjanthropus (Zinj). This fossil was scientifically described by Louis Leakey as Australopithecus bolsei. By the University of California at Berkeley geologists the rocks formation of this Kenyan valley was dated by C-14 techniques to n age of 1.75 million years. Louise Leakey’s protégée Jane Goodel followed the Leakey tradition to work in Africa but she was not researching fossils but living chimpanzees and their behavior from evolutionary perspectives.
Louis Leakey (1903 – 1972)
Jane Goodel is not an anthropologist like Louis but she was really his student who took up a life-long career as an ethologist or behavior scholar specializing on the behavior of chimpanzees. She clearly established the fact that unlike human beings, chimps have a brain that can not think of its past nor of the future, implying that humankind alone is unique and has a purpose for life. Jane and also influenced Louis to believe that there is an obvious link between soul and heart and therefore, science and religion. This consensus and conscience can be seen distinctively in Jane’s 1999 book entitled: “Reasons for Hope: A Spiritual Journey” (Goodal, 1999).
Jane Goodal’s story is also a reflection of her background. She was born in Singapore where her father Mortimer Goodal was in the military and gave his daughter Jane a Chimpanzee toy named ‘Jubilee’ (after the Chimp in London Zoo). She grew up in England in a small town Bournemouth and at age 23 moved to Kenya and became Louise Leakey’s secretary. She accompanied Louis and Mary Leakey in their early field trips to Serengeti Plain in the years when there was virtually no tourism there. She fell in love with the chimpanzees in the wilderness and also with the photographer from the National Geographic Hugo von lanwick whom she married in 1964. Their son was named Louis. After they divorced, she married Derek von bryceson, the only English man elected to the Kenyan Parliament and he became the director of the National parks in Tanzania. After his premature death in 1979 as a cancer patient, Jane devoted her life fully to study chimpanzee behavior and also promoted wildlife conservation.
Jane Goodal and her chimpanzee friend!!
Jane Goodal is now my neighbor since she joined Duke University Primate research group in 2011. I reject her theory that the chimpanzee using a stick to catch ants in an anthill is comparable to the behavior of man using a fish-pole to catch fish. This empty and provocative theory is about as appalling as Edward O. Wilson’s far reaching theory, as elucidated in his infamous book infamous “Sociobiology’ (Wilson, 1972).
It is appropriate here to discuss a paper in the prestigious American journal ‘Science’, published online in July 2011 by the Princeton University endocrinology professor Laurence Gesquire who synthesized his nine years of research on baboons in Kenya. He and his co-authors concluded that the top-ranked alpha males are stressed more severely than their competing beta females in chasing female mates. One of the co-workers in this team Dr. Thore Bergman, a biological psychologist at the University of Michigan, stated succinctly that “Being at the top of the totem pole may not be all it’s cracked up to be”. Researchers at the Primate Research center in Nairobi, Kenya figured out that metabolites of testosterone level and the stress hormone glucocorticoid in the fresh poops of alpha and beta males revealed the highest quantities in the top alpha male. The advantage of being at the top – better access to food and fertile females – would translate into a stressful life. Essentially high stress levels eventually wear out The Bible recommends marriage as the union one man and one woman but man chases women and some have harems as alpha males in the primates like baboons but this does not at all suggest that man evolved from higher primates and I argue here that man is unique and a creation of God who also was the Creator of all created order, including baboons that evolve from lower primates. Making unacceptable statement such as “Mere fact that the male baboons communicate a threat by staring and raising the eye-brows and stepping angrily on the ground with fore-legs” cannot convince me that man evolved from such higher primates. Man thinks, speaks intricate languages and blushes but primates do not.
The anthropological research of Louis Leakey was continued within his family with his wife Mary making major discoveries of finding unusual hominid fossils in her archaeological digs in East Africa. She also had a profound influence on her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter to continue the family tradition.
Australopithecus boisei (=Paranthropus bosei)-Note the big wisdom
teeth and molar adapted for chewing a vegetarian diet.
In 1978, Mary Leakey made a major discovery when she found a fossil that turned out to ‘Luci’ (previously described by Don Johanson on the basis of fossil foot prints). This fossil was described as Australopithecus afarensis.
Mary Leakey (1913 – 1996)
The Leakeys also unearthed in the years 1961 – ‘64, several hominid fossils including Homo habilis (the hairy man), from a 1.44 million years old volcanic mud bed. H. habilis was found as fossil, living side by side with H. erectus 500,000 years ago.
WORK OF RICHARD LEAKEY AND HIS WIFE MEAVE
On October 13, 2008, I met in Wilmington, North Carolina the author of the book: “Origins: What New Discoveries Reveal About the Emergence of Our Species and its Possible Future” (Leakey and Lewin, 1977). Leakey was an invited speaker at the Kenan Auditorium at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where I was Professor of Biological Sciences for 32 years. He came to the stage limping, since he lost his legs and walked with artificial legs that propelled his body for bipedal movement. He was a guest professor at Stonybrrok University in New York since he was expelled from Kenya after directing the Natural History Museum in Nairobi. Leakey did his work on human fossils, following the footsteps of his parents who did the original research on human fossils. Unlike his parents Dr. Louis S. B. Leakey and Dr. Mary Leakey and Richard never went to college to study anthropology but he was a field guide to anthropologists and learned as an amateur and then became an expert. Richard Leakey followed the example of Charles Darwin who also never received formal graduate education in biology but became after the Beagle voyage the foremost expert as an amateur naturalist, becoming a genius (see George, 2009).
I also had the opportunity to meet Meave Leakey also at the Kenan Auditorium in the of Spring 1999 and she presented a rather eloquent lecture in support of human evolution and elucidated her own theory that bipedalism led to dextral manipulation that in turn culminated in brain development. She also confessed about the paucity of human fossils in East Africa and the lack of funding for further field fossil explorations. I question also her wisdom in erecting the new genus Austrolomesus just on the basis of a mere half of a lower jaw!
Louise, the daughter of Richard and Meave Leakey, went to college to study anthropology and then became a field fossil hunter in the tradition of the family. Louise Leakey discovered and described Kenyanthropus platyops. A 3.5 million years old fossil from Lake Turkana. I had the joy of listening to Louise speaking with such charm, enthusiasm and energy advocating her thesis and that of her parents as well as grandparents to pronounce to vast audiences in many a platform, loudly saying “Let me tell you all about our ancestors”. My essay is to reject her statement and claim that great apes (60 species of upright apes are known) and the fossil hominid species of the genera Australopithecus and Homo are really at the apex of primate evolution but humankind is the creation of the Creator.
Meave Leakey and Louise Leakey
According to Richard Leakey, Homo habilis originated about 2 million years ago from Luci or Australopithicus afarensis which Johansen described in 1979 This hominid species originated from a Pliocene ape-like primate that was known as the “southern ape-man” who lived in South Africa about 4 million years ago and this ape-man was 5 ft tall, bipedal, and with a brain capacity of 400 t 800 cc. This ape-man was placed under the genus Australopithecus.
NEADERTHALS HAVE NOTING TO DO WITH HUMAN ORIGIN
The prevailing notion among the anthropologists that H. hyderbergensis evolved into H. neanderthalensis is not questioned in this essay but the hypothesis that humankind belongs to the same evolutionary branch as these two hominid species is rejected firmly on both biological (genetics) and theological basis. In the 1993 book, authored by Christopher Stringer and Clive Gamble, the Neanderthal story was told eloquently under the title. “In Search of the Neanderthals: Solving the Puzzle of Human origins”.
Hominid primate species H. neanderthalensis
I am presenting arguments here not to dispute the existence of the hominid species Homo neandethalensis but to show evidence that these primates were not human ancestors and obviously led a life somewhat adapted to use tools intelligently and use caves as their homes. Neanderthals lived in central Europe as late as 32,000 years ago, primarily in the Dusseldorf area in the Neander valley of Germany where fossils were first discovered. Subsequently H. neanderthalensis fossils were found elsewhere as far east as Iraq. The fossils skulls were unique morphologically with large front teeth and a prominent nasal zone that projects conspicuously outward from the face. The brain size was large, as much as 1500 cc. The robust body was probably an adaptation to cold climate to conserve energy with an altered ratio of weight to surface area.
Just recently in 2010, Prof. Z. Toao, with 17 co-authors published an elaborate online paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences with a title “Symbolic use of marine shells and mineral pigments by Liberian Neanderthals”. They argued that the Neanderthals used marine shells of the bivalve Glycymeris insubrica which they collected fro mm the seashore and made holes and decorated with paints and used as necklaces and other ornaments.
The Neanderthals lived in the Ice age, one before the last Ice age. They used stone tools, the “mousterian” type, for scraping, cutting and boring. The most advanced intelligent behavior in these primates was respect for the death of their fellow inhabitant since they buried the corpses with flowers, as evidence from discovery of fossil pollens. Anthropologists identified from a burial of a Neanderthal in northern Iraq pollen from seven species of wild plant flowers. The Neanderthals lived in Iraq 45,000 years ago and then abruptly disappeared. However, in Europe Neanderthals lived 32,000 years ago as seen from fossil evidence. I had the good fortune to participate in a German expedition in 1984 at the Neanderthal valley cold mine near Duisburg to look for Neanderthal and other mammalian (including mammoth) fossils. Photo below shows the expedition team.
Fossil Explorers: Lt. To Rt. Capt. Aust, Prof.George and Capt.Cox
What Hominid species succeeded the Neanderthals?
Recently another theory emerged on human origins just on weak evidence of a discovery of 40,000 years old fossil finger discovered in the frozen Siberia. The discovery was linked to the good old theory that the ancestors of modern man, which I do not believe, marched triumphantly out of Africa about 50,000 years ago. DNA evidence, according to the new discovery, pointed out that roughly 30,000 years ago a mysterious group of ancestors of modern man, known as Denisovans, moved to Asia from Africa. British Anthropologist Christopher Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London advocates the discovery of Denisovan as strong palaentological evidence to prove that modern man is a hybrid species. The pathetic fact is that the Denisovans are based a tip of a fossil finger of a girl and a molar tooth of a young adult. The paper in Nature was coauthored by Dr. David Reich, a geneticist from Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary anthropology in Leipsig, Germany have developed the genomes of both the Neanderthals and Denisovans. They concluded that today’s humans outside Africa carry an average of 2.5 % of Neanderthal DNA and people from parts of the Oceana in Asia carry about 5% of the Denisovan DNA. A third group of extinct humans also lived about 17,000 years ago in the islands of Flores in Indonesia and the anthropologists named it as Homo florasiensis.
The fossil evidence for Denisovans came from the Denisova cave in the Altai mountains of Siberia. Prof.John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison visited this cave in Siberia and found that this cave has a high arch like a Gothic cathedral and chimney to the sky Prof. Peter Parham of Stanford University believes that the Neanderthals and Denisovans had lived in Europe and Asia for many thousand years before the modern man showed up. Let us admit the truth that the Neanderthals and Denisovans (based on just feeble evidence from a fossil finger and a molar) were just a terminal branch of primate evolution and therefore, I dismiss the appalling claims to link Neanderthals to us, the man who God created as Adam less than 10,000 years ago.
It is possible the disappearance of the Neanderthals was attributed to another hominid species known as the “Promagnon” with similar brain size but rounder skulls and lighter skeletons. Fossil evidence suggests that Neanderthal and promagnon coexisted for a period but promagnon competed and succeeded the less intelligent Neanderthals. The burial habit of promagnon was more elaborate and their stone tools were more sophisticated. The Cro-Magnon fossils were found from Czechoslovakia to France. The presence of large number of horses in these fossil sites suggest that they possibly used horses for hunting. They lived in the last Ice age and hunted the wooly mammoth, which later became extinct. The Cro-Magnon also lived in caves and left behind painting in caves that include the wooly mammoth and the wooly rhinoceros. These hominids were evidently meat-eaters.
At the peak of the last glaciations 20,000 years ago, Alaska and Siberia were joined together by the Bering land bridge. Likewise, Greenland and North America were joined together and therefore, the northern hemisphere was one huge continent. Perhaps this continental configuration persisted until about 12,000 years ago when “God’s Creation of MAN” from the earth occurred, as narrated in Genesis chapter 1. We have now evidence of the “ATLANTIS” civilization of Pluto 10,000 years ago and emergence of the period of pyramids in Egypt, co-existing with Hebrew civilization 6000 years ago, followed by Greek, co-existing with the Dravidian civilization in India and also the Arabic civilization. Then came the Roman Empire, followed by British and now the American, after subduing the communist Soviet ambitions.
In 2010, anthropologist Dr. Ed Green from UC-Santa Cruz published a paper in ‘Science” on the basis if DNAs extracted from Neanderthal bones, that most human beings today contain still fragments of Neanderthal DNA. He argued that Neanderthals and modern man lived together in Europe and western Asia for 10,000 years and possibly conjugated until Neanderthals disappeared 30,000 years ago. We must bear in mind that these Neanderthal researchers, led by Dr. Svante Pablo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, constructed the Neanderthal genome from three bone fragments found in Croatia’s Vindija Cave. This discovery was made by using a sterile dentist’s drill. These scientists removed 400 milligrams of bone powder, a small biomass about the size of a tiny pill. They compared DNA extracted from 5 people, one from southern Africa, one from western Africa, one from China, one from France and one from Papua New Guinea. They found that the Neanderthal DNA was slightly more similar to the 3 people living outside of Africa. These authors speculated that the Middle East was the meeting place where Neanderthals met human species 50,000 to 80,000 years ago and conjugated to produce progeny that subsequently spread throughout Europe, Asia and beyond. This theory is questionable on basis of the pathetically feeble evidence and statistically insignificant small sampling of DNA.
The hypothesis, discussed above on feeble scientific data, is illustrated in a simple figure below. (1). In East Africa, about 350 + million years ago, the dichotomy of Neanderthals and modern man occurred genetically. Therefore, Africans do no harbor Neanderthal DNA today. (2) Subsequently, the Neanderthals migrated to both Europe and Asia from Africa, facilitated by the thawing of the ice in the north and favorable climate for moving northward from Africa. (3) The migration of the modern man from Africa occurred just about 100,000 years ago, primarily into the Middle East. What is weak about this theory is the question: Why Neanderthals preceded moving north about 200, 000 million years after the genetic divergence from modern man? I reject this hypothesis on the grounds that modern man was creation of God whereas the Neanderthals are the apexes of primate evolution. (4) It is obviously incorrect to assume that there was interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern man between 30,000 and 80,000 years ago. (5) It is also preposterous to conclude that modern man carries 1 to 4 % of the Neanderthal genes.
It is appalling to conclude, from feeble evidence of two pieces of fossil bones, that the
Neanderthals had a cousin in Asia called “
Jared Diamond, in his book “The Third Chimpanzee”, discusses the human evolution in the chapter on “The Great Leap Forward”. He constructed a speculative human evolutionary tree, shown below, to point out that “several branches of the human family tree have become extinct, including those belonging to the robust australopithecines, Neanderthals and an Asian population contemporary with Neanderthals.
HUMAN RACES: FROM H. G. WELLS TO BRYAN SYKES
Historian H. G. Well’s Theory on Human Races
The notorious historian at the peak of the British Empire felt the need to tell the full story of man and the history of the world in 1920 and wrote his classical treatise: “The Outline Of History” (Wells, 1920, revised in 1931). He included “The Races of Mankind” as Chapter 11 of Book 1 in his book. He opened this chapter with a statement that “It is necessary now to discuss plainly what is meant by a phrase, often used carelessly, as “The Races of Mankind”. Obviously, man so widely spread and subjected therefore to different climates, consuming very different food in different regions, attacked by different enemies, musty always have been undergoing considerable local modification and differentiation. For thousands of years there have been two sets of forces at work, one tending to separate men into a multitude of local varieties, and another to remix and blend these varieties together. Man began his journey as a hunter-gatherer and a wanderer.
Wells, being a Darwinian thinker and an apparent believer in evolution of man with the origin from prehistoric and plaeolithic stocks such as Neanderthals and therefore he never brought up the human races arising out of the ‘Garden of Eden’ or in other words Adam and Eve. The Paleolithic man ranged widely and was distributed, thinly indeed but uniformly, throughout the world. When the Dutch in 1642 discovered the island of Tasmania, southeast of Australia, they found the original Tasmanian people who later became extinct.
The human race found in Africa south of Sahara, according to Wells, is characterized by “ black skin, flat nose, thick lips and frizzy hair. On the contrary, men in eastern Asia are characterized by yellowish skin, straight black hair, and high cheekbones. In the north in Europe, men are found to be with light skin, blue eyes and mostly blonde hair. However, in the Mediterranean there is the “prevalence of light-skinned people with dark eyes and black hair. In southern India, we find brownish and darker people with black hair. In his own words, H.G. Wells called this analysis of human race as “loose-fitting generalizations”. He also discussed about primitive black people in the Andamans off India and found these people uniquely called the ‘Asiatic Negroid’. Wells hypothesized that “possibly more ancient races of men were all dusky or black and fairness is new”.
In the north the “Caucasian” race is broadly divided into two main subdivisions, one as round skulled (Brachycephalic) and the other as long-skulled (Doliichocpehalic) peoples. For example, the mountain people of Central Europe have more brachycephalic people but those in Scandinavia are primarily dolichocephalic. H. G. Wells also discussed the so called “Belt of Huxley” that proposed a common origin of Egyptians, Sumerians and Dravidians of India, perhaps a long belt of browned skinned men from India to Spain in the early days. (See the branch combing these three peoples in the diagram below). According to Wells, the original American population belonged to the Mongolian Race and seems to have reached the American continent by way of Bering Strait at an early Neolithic state of development. Over acres of seasonal grass they became nomadic, f0ollwing the bison. In the far north they followed the caribou and the reindeer. In the tropical forests in lower latitudes, the American Indians became hunters of birds and small game. In fertile areas with rivers, elaborate social order evolved, land was irrigated and buildings of stones were built, adorned by elaborate carvings and fabulous designs and empires like the Mayan civilization arose.
Since the ancient civilizations before Christ, the world witnessed the rise of Roman Empire after the Greek, then Mogul followed by the British Empire from late 17th century to the middle of the 20th century. Historian Arnold Toynbee, referring to shifts in Empires, stated: “Growth takes place whenever a challenge evokes a successful response that, in turn, evokes further and different challenge. We have not found any intrinsic reason why that process should not repeat itself indefinitely, even though a majority of civilizations have failed as a matter of historical fact”.
Mixing of races during the European colonization led to evolution of new cultures and races. The Goanese in India was an example of the product of mixing of 2 distinct races. In the second half of 20th century American superpower emerged after the long cold war, which ended with the collapse of the Soviet-style communism. Immigration from one nation to another was catalytic in mixing of races. Nevertheless, we see clearly the following basic human races: Grimaldi branch (Black), Nordic branch (White), Mongolian branch (Yellow) and Egyptian-Dravidian branch (Brown), as illustrated below by H. G. Well in a complex ramification of branches from the later Paleolithic races which arise from “True Man”.
H. G. Well’s Illustration of the Origin and Ramification of Human Races.
Francis Galton’s Bold and Provocative Theory
Francis Galton was profoundly influenced by the book his cousin Charles Darwin wrote in 1859 on “Origin of Species”. Galton was particularly interested in Darwin’s chapter on “Variations of characters under domestication. Galton extended the variation concept to human populations with a goal of improving the British Society by encouraging marriage between people of higher and intelligent classes in society. He wrote his views in a 1874 book on “English Men of Science: Nature Vs Nurture.” In 1883 he coined the term ‘Eugenics’ and reported his ideas to improve human society in a book entitled: “Inquiry into Human Faculty Its Developments.” The science of Eugenics entered into the American society eventually.
Implementation of Eugenic Law In North Carolina
In 1965 I came to Duke University with a new job as Research Oceanographer at the Duke University in North Carolina. I came to the South from Seattle in the Northwest where in the sixties the race relationship between the white and black Americans was not as pronounced as in North Carolina. Prof. C. G. Bookout, who was then director of the Duke University Marine Laboratory at Beaufort, took me to his home after visiting the magnificent Duke Chapel in the Duke campus. I spent the night in his house and then went in the following morning to the downtown Durham. I saw signs in the water fountain, one saying, “Black” and another with a sign “White Only”. This was a shock and my first exposure to the South.
When I came to the Duke University in 1965, I learned that North Carolina government made laws to sterilize thousands of alack people by adopting the Francis Galton’s eugenic theory that supported to eliminate the “ugly and unwanted citizens” to improve the society. The state Eugenic board approved 7,600 people between 1929 and 1974. Two thousand North Carolina citizens were forcefully sterilized and many of them still live in North Carolina. NC Governor appointed a task force in 2012 to compensate these victims of eugenic law, a blatant act of discrimination. The task force’s recommendation sum of $ 50,000 to each surviving victim of eugenic law may only represent a “tape” that may hide the wound but will never heal the wound.
Stephen Gould’s Unfounded Speculations on Human Races
Harvard evolutionary biologist late Dr. Stephen Gould always impressed me with his eloquence and prolific life style in writing book after book to reaffirm his opposition to Christianity with his profound atheistic views that far exceed his colleague Prof. Edward O. Wilson with whom I developed a good friendship and collaboration. Gould (1985) wrote his sixth book “The Flamingo’s Smile” (as if Flamingoes have teeth and they can grin) and in this book Chapter 12 deals with “Human Equality is a Contingent Fact of History” (whatever contingent means!!). Let me address some of the points Gould brings up in this debate on where man stands in the history of life on earth.
First of all, I disagree with Gould when he makes the statement in this chapter that when he was in the African Savannah he says “ I felt kinship with Australopithecus africanus which lived here3 million years ago”. I am sure there is some truth in his statement that this ape lived 3 million years ago but I do not believe that we evolved from this primate. Man was created by God. I also disagree with Gould when he talks about the evolution of human rather loosely in this chapter. He points out that in the theory of separate creation of white race evolved independently from all other races, as advocated by Coon (1962). Carlton Coon divided humanity into five major races – Caucosoids, Mongoloids, Australoids, African Cangoids and African Capoids. He theorized that these five races came about in the period of Homo erectus, which then evolved, separately into Homo sapiens of five races. This theory is opposed to the conventional Darwinian concept of speciation wherein races do not evolve in to separate species. The most fundamental definition of a species revolves around the fact that all populations or races of a species share the same gene pool and produce a progeny or offspring when they mate or interbreed. Male or female of a primitive African race will conceive a baby when mating with the opposite sex of the most advanced European race, Aryan or otherwise.
Gould was in South Africa in 1984 in Kruger Park area when he gave his series of lectures on racism. He admitted in this chapter on “Human equality is a Contingent Fact of History” that he was a visitor in a nation most committed to myths of inequality – yet the savannas of this land staged an evolutionary story of opposite import. I too went to South Africa in 1983, just a year before Gould went, but not to give lectures on racism but to confront racism in its ugly form before the nelson Mandela’s noble venture that led to independence and liberation of the native Africans from the yolk of long colonial era. I went there as an invited speaker and under the sponsorship of the US National Science Foundation to participate in the Fourth SCAR (Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research) Symposium on Antarctic Biology, held at Wilderness, South Africa, during September 13 to 16, 1983. I arrived in a posh hotel in Wilderness (See photo below) two days earlier on September 11, 1983 after a week in Cape Town, visiting a friend (Prof. John Day). In the evening of September 11, an event that occurred to me, possibly one of most memorable days in my entire life (just as September 11, 2001 became an event most horrific in the history of the world when the tall ‘Trade Centers’ in New York City was struck cowardly by hijacked commercial planes flown by Arab extreme al-Queda invaders).
Let me narrate what really happened. On the evening of September 11, 1983 I walked to the beautiful Wilderness Beach for spending an hour leisurely on the sand and in the waters between the tides, as I normally do back at home in the lovely Wrightsville Beach of North Carolina. Lo and behold, I saw a sign that displayed a warning: “This Beach is for White people only and colored people are not allowed”. I looked at my skin that is dark (pigmented). I refused to obey the warning because of my pride and firm belief that all people are crated equal. A gentle man came to me and asked: “Did you see the warning sign”. I told him affirmatively “YES” and also told him that I am one of the distinguished guests from America to address an international science conference to take place in this Wilderness Hotel. This stranger, who confronted me, quietly left the scene!
Symposium Group Photo in Front of Wilderness Hotel
(I, only guy with dark skin, standing in front row, Number 2 from the left)
I saw next morning in the local news paper a brief report that an “American scientist of Indian origin refused to obey the warning and strolled and bathed in the Wilderness Beach”. Several years later, I was at the top floor of the US State Department for a reception to South African Prime Minister Hon. Nelson Mandela when he received the Fulbright Medal of Honor. I was invited as the founding President of the North Carolina Fulbright Chapter and had the privilege to spend at least 5 minutes with Mr. Mandela in a friendly discussion on Mahatma Gandhi’s days in South Africa. I vividly remember his swift answer to my comment to him: “You are like Gandhi, in playing a pivotal role in liberating people and making them equal citizens, you in South Africa and Gandhi in India”. Mandela replied promptly: “ Sir, do not compare me with Gandhi and he was great man”. This reply vividly illustrates that Mandela is a great man and I was really overwhelmed by his simplicity and humility.
Today in 2011 we have in America a President whose father is an East African from Kenya. What a dramatic change in a nation where people of African origin were openly discriminated for much of the life of this great nation where equality of all human races is slowly but surely emerging but yet not there fully in the strictest sense of the term. Stephen Gould narrated his views of human equality or inequality wit several conflicting hypotheses. In his so called “Genealogy- The First Argument Hypothesis”, Gould even draws from the Bible evidence for the “Monogamy Hypothesis” wherein the common origin of all people is advanced from the primeval couple – Adam and Eve. Then he brings up the opposing “Polygamy hypothesis” wherein he claims that Adam and Eve were ancestors of white people only. God created the lower races separately. This is blasphemy! Polygamy, as Gould puts it, “held surely the edge as a compelling justification for slavery and domination at home and colonialism abroad. American polygamist Morton (1839) wrote: “The benevolent mind mat regret the inaptitude of the Indians for civilization. The structure of the mind of the American Indians appears to be different from that of the white man… They are not only averse to the restraints of education, but for the most part are incapable of a continued process of reasoning on abstract subjects”. James Watson, ho discovered DNA structure with Francis Cricks in the late 1950s, held the view as late as in the 1990s when he was refused a platform to speak in London when he opened expressed his view that genetically the white man is superior to the African Americans!!
Gould (1985) also advanced tow opposing hypotheses which he labeled as (1) Geography –First Argument and (2) Geography Second Argument. In the ‘First Argument’ Gould argued that the notions of Aryan supremacy led anthropologists to assume that the vast “challenging” reaches of Asia, not the soporific tropics of Africa, had prompted our ancestors to abandon an apish past and rise toward the roots of the Indo-European culture. In fact the goal of the ‘Gobi Desert Expedition’, sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, was actually organized to discover the true ancestry of mankind from Asia. Nevertheless, the expedition did not achieve the original goal but rather discovered new Dinosaur and dinosaur egg!!!
In the “Geography second argument” hypothesis, Gould (1985) emphasized that Africa had kindled our origin but not our intelligence. Human ancestors migrated out of Africa, again to mother Asia, and there crossed the threshold to consciousness as Homo erectus (Java and Peking man). He concluded that we emerged from Apes in Africa: “We evolved our intelligence in Asia”. Coon (19620 also made the statement: “If Africa was the cradle of mankind, it was only an indifferent kindergarten. Europe and Asia were our principal schools. If Coon and Gould are still with us in 2011. I am afraid they will both declare” America is the Secondary School now and China may be the center of Higher Education in 2100 unless we change the course now. In his final analysis Gould comes up with is the “Geography – The Modern View” wherein he argues that Homo sapiens evolved later from an Asian stock of the Homo erectus. Gould gives me an impression of a guy who is fund of imaginations and prolific writings that often contradict his won arguments. Gould id really a “Gumbo man” with a mixture too may hypotheses. My judgment on Gould is rather straightforward and unfortunately he died premature and not with us to come up with a rebuttal of view that clearly supports the creation of man, not evolution of man.
Oxford Geneticist Bryan Sykes strikes on the facts of human origins
In 2003, I gave up my tenure deliberately to become a retired professor because I decided to devote my life fully in search for truth. One avenue in my pursuit of the truth was of course the question of human origin. In the same year I invited Prof. Jarle Ove Stromberg and his wife Elizabeth Stromberg, both professors in the filed of biology at the University of Goteborg in Sweden. I first met them in 1965 at the University of Washington when we all did our postdoctoral research there. Jarle and I kept in touch with each other for 5 decades and collaborated on many projects, including a sojourn in Antarctica to study the embryology of the Antarctic krill. I was a guest professor in Sweden for many summers and in 2003 Jarle came to teach a course with me at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. All our collaborations over the years had nothing to do with human origin. However, on the day Elizabeth and Jarle left for Sweden, they gave mea book as a token of gratitude for hosting them. This book (Sykes, 2003), entitled “The Seven daughters of Eve: Science that reveals our genetic ancestry” by Bryan Sykes, Professor of genetics at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University.
Sykes was a reputed scientist and was even called the scholar who solved some of the hottest debates about human origins. He is an outstanding geneticist and his expertise on the application of DNA on human affinities from different geographic regions of the world has given us a better understanding of the human geography. Sykes derived his knowledge on human genetics from the so-called mitochondrial DNA that is uniquely different from the nuclear DNA. Let us first understand the differences. The figure below shows oval-shaped mitochondria in a cell and in Fig B. you can see the aggregation of mitochondrial DNA as enlarged by an electron microscope.
A. Mitochondria and B. Mitochondrial DNA
The big discovery of DNA structure was made in the mid-50s of the 20th century by the American scientist James Watson and the British scientist Francis Crick Together they discovered that DNA is a double helix and the only way the two strands of DNA molecule can fit together properly was if every ‘A’ (adenosine base) on one strand is interlocked with a ‘T’ (Thymine base) directly opposite to it on the other strand. This is pretty much like the fitting of jigsaw pieces. ‘A’ will fit perfectly with ’T’, but not with ‘G’ (guanine base) or ‘C’ (cytocine base) or with another ‘A’. In precisely the same manner, “G’ and ‘C’ on opposite strands can only fit with each other, not with ‘A’ or ‘T’. That is why the 2 strands retain the coded genetic secret of sequence or information. For example, the sequence ‘ATTCAG’ on one strand has to be matched by the sequence ‘TAAGTC’ on the other.
Now, as the next step let us understand how amino acids (the basic bricks or foundations of protein) are synthesized. Bryan Sykes explained the process of amino acid synthesis eloquently. In his own words: “ The DNA sequence of the keratin gene begins like ATGACCTCCTTC ‘’’’etc. This is a small part for making keratin. The cell reads the code in groups of 3 symbols. Thus, ATGACCTCCTTC becomes ATG – ACC – TCC – TTC. Each triplet specifies a particular amino acid. The first triplet ATG is the code for the amino-acid methionine. ACC stands for threonine, TCC stands for serine, TTC for phenyllalamine and so on. This is the genetic code which is used by all genes in the cell nuclei of all species of plants and animals.”
I learned how incomplete our knowledge on genes is when I fist met the famous geneticists Dr. Bruce Roe when he came to Boone, North Carolina to give a key-note address in the 63rd annual meeting of the Association of the Southeastern Biologists. (ASB). I wrote an article in the journal of Southeastern Biology (Vo. 49(4): 369-372) about what I learned from Prof. Roe. Let me briefly highlight what he said. He concluded that the recent successful completion of the human project, under the direction of Dr. Francis Collins (author of the book on “Language of God”), is just the beginning to decipher human genes and therefore the dictionary on human gene is now completed but the we have a long way to go to complete the “Encyclopedia of human genes”. The figure below shows the 23 pairs of chromosome located in the nucleus of each human cell. Genes are housed in the chromosomes and each gene is an assemblage of the double helix DNA, composed of the sequence of the base pairs (e.g. AT. CG).
Cell showing the nucleus with chromosomes and the DNA double helix.
Dr. Roe also confessed that his success in discovering and sequencing all the genes in human chromosome 22 in his university laboratory in Oklahoma was attributed to his cooperative efforts with both his graduate students (30 in number) and undergraduate students (170 in number). He told the audience that in the beginning of the 21st century we learned that the total number of genes for sequencing to complete the human genome project is no longer 100,000 genes as originally envisaged but the actual number is 40,000 genes. He attributed the reduction to narrower coding region and also deletion of pseudogenes and silent genes. When Harvard’s James Watson first launched on the hu8man genome project as the director of this great and ambitious science program, the cost for this effort from the tax payer’s dollars was 3 billion dollars, calculated on the basis of one dollar per base-pair. Dr. Roe announced the good news that in 2001 the cost per base pair became just one cent, a 100% reduction in the human genome project and this expedited the full completion of the human genome project in our lifetime.
In February 2001, 30% of the human genes were sequenced and rapidly the progress in sequencing genes attained enormous success and din April 2002, 80% of the 40,000 human genes were sequenced. In reality, this adds up to 2, 869,462,520 base-pairs (ACTG). Dr. Roe then asked a crucial question to the audience: “Look at your neighbor on the right or left, no matter what race or ethnic background or relations (wife, husband, sister, brother, cousin etc.) and tell them that you are 99.8% similar in gene sequence and just.2 % different from each other. It is also true that human beings are about similar in gene sequence to a bacterium, the lowest organism in the tree of life.
Most importantly let us look at the fact that humankind and chimpanzees (species Pan troglodytes) DNA are 98.8 % identical. However, recently David Nelson, a geneticist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas concluded on the basis of a more sophisticated method of sequencing genes established the similarity between man and chimpanzee DNA as 95 % similar (not 98.5%). The DNA of mice is 50% similar to human gene or DNA. Presumably, investigating the fundamental difference between human and chimpanzee genome could provide some fascinating insights into the language, intelligence, and other attributes that define man as unique.
A BOLD NEW SCIENTIFIC THEORY: “NOAH EMERGES TO END
ADAM’S GENERATIONS WITH THE BIBLICAL FLOOD”
We read in Genesis as God said to Noah: “I have determined to make an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence. Because of these unpardonable sins, for my part I am going to bring a global flood of waters on the earth, to destroy under heaven all flesh in which there is breath of life; everything on earth shall die.” On that day all fountains of the great deep burst forth, and windows of heavens were opened – The waters swelled so mightily that all their high mountains under heaven were covered for one hundred and fifty days. George and Little (2014), in a paper in preparation for publication in the British Journal NATURE, argues that this global flood is really not what Whitcomb and Morris (1961) wrote in their famous book “The Genesis Flood” that occurred in 4500 BC as a local flood north of Black Sea. However, George and Little (2014) provide scientific facts to date the global flood that Noah encountered about 8500 BC way after the end of the last ‘Glacial Period.”
Way back in 1820 a pious man of God, ordained to bear the cross around his neck, Reverend William Buckland rolled up his sleeves to tell his audience at the Oxford University where he was also professor of Geology. The title of his talk was “The Connection of Geology with Religion Explained”. In a nutshell, he revealed the truth about the Biblical narrative on creation and deluge recorded in Mosaic writings. Britain’s famous geologist Charles Lyell, the mentor of Charles Darwin, was one of the pupils of Prof. Buckland in Oxford. Another pupil of Buckland, Henrick Creswicke Rawlinson was the first to decipher the cuneiform letters on a tablet that had the engravings of the story of the Biblical Great Flood.
Buckland, after ’writing his magnus opus describing the universal flood, met with Louis Agassiz who became the chief architect of the Ice Age Theory. Agassiz proved that the snow cover of Greenland was only a thin skin of a monstrous ice sheet that buried practically the entire northern land mass. As the glaciers melted, in the European continent, the Black seas were born like a huge fresh water lake north of Turkey and west of Romania today. The Biblical flood was really a tsunami-like process that threw sea water from the Mediterranean through the Marmara Sea into the freshwater Black-Sea that with the flooding of Mediterranean sea water became a half saline sea when Noah’s Ark was thrown in, killing all people of Adam’s origin, inhabiting the fertile crescent. I met Romanian oceanographer Dr. Marian Gomoiu when he came to Duke University in 1965 and proposed to him my idea to explore the Back Sea for the singular purpose of studying the floors of the Black sea, not only for the life on the bottom but also for looking for remnant of Noah’s arc. We discovered the lifeless floor of the central Black sea and the low-oxygen-adapted marine life at the peripheral Black-Sea but we never found the Noah’s arc. However, now other American Oceanographers, William Ryan and Walter Pitman, were more successful to discover the myths and facts about Noah’s Ark and Noah’s Flood (Ryan and Pitman, 1998).
SMITHSONIAN HUMAN ORIGIN EXHIBIT: IS IT JUSTIFIED?
Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC plays in pivotal role in educating the public with well-organized and well-funded exhibit halls with displays of original discoveries and also wax or bronze or other models to tell a story. Recently (from 2007-2009) I was involved actively with Dr. Stephen Cairns, the Curator of Corals at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in conducting roundtables, workshops, symposia (George and Cairns, 2008 a & b) on our current state of knowledge of corals and coral reefs, particularly the deep-sea corals since these animals built of calcium carbonate (calcite or aragonite) are getting threatened by ocean acidification, as a consequence of decreasing pH of oceans as a consequence of flux of carbon dioxide into the sea surface from atmosphere. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provided a funding in the tune of $ 50 million to develop a coral exhibition hall to educate the public about the endangered coral reef ecosystems.
In 2010 a new exhibit hall on human origin, with funding to the level of $ 20.7 million (with a space of 15,000 sq.ft), was inaugurated and opened to the public in the “David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins (NMNH). This display tells the story of how human evolution occurred, on the basis of fossils unearthed by anthropologists like Dr. Rick Potts at the Smithsonian Institution. A time tunnel introduces the so-called human ancestors over several million years with simultaneous climate change sequences as driving force for human origins. Anthropologist Rick Potts has also published for this event his book, “ What Does It Mean to Be Human?” To depict how the human ancestors looked like, the display (opening to the public on March 17, 2010) exhibits bronze models shown below:
Paranthropus boisei that lived up to 2.3 million years go had powerful wisdom teeth and an enormous jaw, a “vegetarian and a chewing machine” On the right, Dr. Potts standing near the Bronze model of Mr. Heidi, Homo heidelbegensis.
“Mr. Heidi” has large and rise nose to warm the air it inhaled, an adaptation for cold environment. The first exhibit is Homo erectus that presumably emerged 1.8 million years ago and lived with the contemporary species Paranthropus boisei that lived between 2.3 and 1.2 million years ago. Paranthropus literally means “next to man”. The exhibits include H.erecturs, then H. heidelbergensis, then H. neanderthalensis, then H. floresiensis (lived a mere 18,000 years ago) and then Cro-Magnon man.
I have earlier presented my theory that the Neanderthals were really apes and not at all a close kin of humankind although Smithsonian anthropologist Ralph Solecki unearthed fossilized Neanderthal skeletons of eight adults and two infants from burials in age from 65,000 to 35,000 years at sites in the Northern Iraq. This finding proved that Neanderthals has an erect posture and bipedal walking style dissimilar from the stooped posture and bent knees of the chimpanzees and gorillas. Furthermore, there was some evidence of an advance culture with respect for the dead and a community life with remarkable social habits among the Neanderthals, as depicted in the “artist’s poetic speculation of a burial ritual”, as shown below. The close resemblance to modern human appetence in this painting is definitely stretched too far by the imagination of the artists from the 1950s fossils from the Shanidar cave in the Kurdistan area of Iraq.
Neanderthal Burial Scene (from Owen Edwards’
article in Smithsonian magazine (March, 2010)
Did the Neanderthals, who lived side by side with Cro-Magnon man, somehow became extinct? Did they succumb to the more intelligent Cro-Magnon culture? Is their demise attributed to climate change, as proposed by Rick Potts? He postulated the view that around 33,000 years ago, there was a southward migration of Neanderthals from central Europe as glaciers advanced south and they settled in the wooded areas of Iberia (present day Spain and Portugal, including Gibraltar). However, the more intelligent and resilient populations of Cro-Magnon populations out-competed the more primitive Neanderthals. Moreover, the Pro-Magnon, with warmer clothing and skilled tools for hunting, moved back to northern cold areas.
Rick Potts does not fully endorse the Darwinian concept of the “Survival of the fittest” in the light of climate change impacts since he claims that the “fittest” keep changing, with ongoing climate change. He has coined the new term “Survival of the versatile”. In my recent article (George, 2009) I have discussed the concern of the Harvard conservation scientist Edward O. Wilson who concluded that the thin membrane-like biosphere with all the biodiversity will collapse and disintegrate solely because irresponsible behavior of one species Homo sapiens over the next few centuries, rather than millions of years as in previous 5 mass extinction processes on the Earth. Tom Potts also expresses deep concern about this “element of instability, which causes uncertainty about precisely how we as mankind should respond”. Nevertheless Rick Potts strikes an optimistic picture about our future. He concludes: “By virtue of our evolutionary history, we have amazing social abilities – the ability to help one another – the ability to innovate technologically and the ability to change our minds and build new understandings of the world. Those traits have never existed in any other species, including out early ancestors”.
In the article by Gibbons (2010), she argues, “hominid evolution produced many species. Some overlapped in time. All but one – Homo sapiens – us – ended in extinction” (as shown in the figure above). This diagram also shows when the different hominid species lived in a scale from 7 million years ago to today. I am not questioning the existence and extinction of the hominid species but I am saying is that humankind is unique and not an endpoint in the evolution of the hominid species that first originated with the appearance of Homo habilis more than 2 million years ago and co-existed with H. erectus and Paranthropus boisei and P. robustus from 1,4 to 1,8 million years ago. It is evident from the fossil skull of H. erectus that the prominent eyebrow ridge shown in the two figures below, also characteristic of H.neanderthalensis, is totally lacking in humankind (us).
Skull of Homo erectus
Skull of Homo neanderthalensis
Louis Agassiz and the ‘Pangenesis’ View of God’s Creation of Man
Enormous recognition was given to Charles Darwin in the year 2009 as his 200th birthday was celebrated, His controversial book, “The Origin of Species” receives severe criticism from theologians even today. However, another equally important and prominent Darwin’s contemporary Jean Louis Rodolpha Agassiz (1807 -1873), born just 2 years before Darwin, was not given appropriate recognition by both scientists and theologians alike. Unlike Darwin who did not obtain genuine academic degrees at master’s and doctoral level in biology (see George, 2009), Louis Agassiz was educated in Germany with a Ph.D. from the University of Erlangen and a M.D. in medicine from Munich. His scientific discoveries include the unfolding of life beneath the Ice Sheet that covered much of northern North America and northern Europe from 30,000 to 10,000 years ago during the last Ice Age.
Figure showing the Wisconsin Ice Sheet over much of the United States of America
Louis Agassiz, along with several glaciologists, clearly concluded, “The Great Sheets of Ice, resembling those now existing in Greenland, covered all the countries in which unstratified gravel (boulder drift) is found now”. Just when Darwin came up with the provocative theory of Origin of Species, Louis Agassiz immigrated to the United States and founded the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) in the Harvard University in 1859 and directed it until his death in 1873. Agassiz was a believer and a dedicated Christian all his life and vehemently opposed Darwin’s ideas espoused in the book “Decent of Man”. However, Agassiz saw in the United States what did not exist in the mainland Europe – that is human slavery, primarily in the South. His first encounters, according to Harvard’s paleobiologist Stephen Gould, was the reason for the theory of Agassiz about his view of human origin. This theory is labeled as “Pangenesm” which Agassiz believed and advocated. This view was also known as the genre of scientific racism. Agassiz did not refute the creation of all plant and animal species by God by he believed that God created man not just in the Garden of Aden (Genesis Chapter 1) but elsewhere in many regions of the world. This explained the yellow race in China, brown race in India, black race in Africa, white race in Europe and so on.
In Agassiz’s own words, the theory of Pangenism for different human races is summarized as follows: “These included Western American Temperate (the indigenous peoples west of the Rockies); Eastern American Temperate (east of the Rockies); Tropical Asiatic (south of the Himalayas); Temperate Asiatic (east of the Urals and north of the Himalayas); South American Temperate (South America); New Holland (Australia); Arctic (Alaska and Arctic Canada); Cape of Good Hope (South Africa); and American Tropical (Central America and the West Indies).”
True perception of the ideas that Agassiz so boldly esposued on human origin come today not from any of his professinal writings but rahter evealed lucidly from the biographic writings of his second wife Elisabeth Cary Agassiz (Agassiz, E, 1890). With is MD from Munich, Agassiz was appinted to teach at the Medical School in Charleston whree he encourtewred slaves and he then began his research on the differences among human races. His views are found in altter Agassiz wrote from Cambridge to Mrs. Houldren in July 1852 after a lenghty sojourn as guests of Dr. and Mrs. John Houldren (John was author of the book on the ‘Herpetolgy of South Carolina’). Let us look at the theroy Agassiz on human races.
- Agassiz questioned the explanation of origin of man as Adam and Eve in one spot in the ‘Garden of Edens’. He boldly postulated many centers of creation of mankind, contrary to what is narrated in the Bible. In hs own words, “the difficulty has, no doubt, arisen more from the circumstance that inquierer sought for evidence of the unity of all races, especially the results to agree with the prevailing interepretation of Genesis; and on the other from zoological point of view in weighing the diffrerences observed. Again, both here set aside all evidence not directly derived from the examination of the races themselves”.
2. Agassiz advocated the application of the same rules used to distinguish the
difference between monkeys to the differences between races. This is the
fundamnetal blunder he committeed in equating man to monkeys, depite his belief
in creation and his self-identification as a ture Christian.
- Agassiz felt that among monkeys there are diferent families As taxonomic entities
But thereis no clear recognision of families of men such as Indo-German, Semetic etc. He believed that the subdivion of monkeys was purely based or founded upon the form of the nose – New world mnkeys having a broad partision between nostrils whereas the Old world monkeys with narrow partision between nostrils.
4. Agassiz came up with a provocative hypothesis that negroes and Austrlaina (he
meant Aboringines) have broad partision between nostrils as the new old
monkeys that are more primitive than old world monkeys. He also pointed out tha
features like thick lips, projection of cheek bones and wooly hair are characteristic
of negroe race. His sojourn in Charleston in the 1850s and his encounters with
slaves led him to these conclusions that later proved to be wrong and also placed
him as unpopular among a circle of peole in Boston.
5. Agassiz made statements that proved to be racial. He stated “South American (new
world) monkeys differe from Chimpanzees, Orangs and gibbons and their
espective species differ no more than the Greeks, Germans, Arabs, Chines, tartars
and Finns. He stretched his arguments farther to say that “races among men are
nothing more than what are called species among certain monkeys”.
6. Agassiz stated “Upon the narrow strip of land along the Gulf of Guinea from cape
Palmas to gaboon live two so called species of chimpanzees; upon the islands of
Sumatra and Borneo live three or four orang species; upon the shores of the gulf of
Bengal, including the neiborhood of Calcutta, Burma, Sumatra, Java and Borneo
live 10 o rmore species of Gibbons, all of which are the nearest relatives of human
family. This view is contrary to his Chritan belief and contradicts his ealier
pronouncement that God Created man in different cnetr of origin and not just in the
Graden of Aden.
7. Agassiz stated “I have alluded to negore race but not to the American Indians.
Connections can be traced between the eskimos, American Indians of the mainland
USA, those of Mexico, Peru and Brazil
Agassiz’s racial theories have, in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, been considered as tarnishing to his scientific record, occasionally prompting the renaming of landmarks, schoolhouses, and other institutions which bear the name of Agassiz (which abound in Massachusetts). Opinions on these events are often torn, given his extensive scientific legacy in other areas. On September 9, 2007 the Swiss Federal Council (Government) acknowledged the “racist thinking” of Agassiz but declined to rename the Agassizhorn summit.
Agassiz gave popular lectures to slaveholders in the South to justify the treatment of the black as an inferior human race that was created by God in Africa (not evolved). His stance in this view was considered somewhat radical in his time in 1860s). Ironically his successors in the Harvard MCZ, a century later in 1960. such as Ernst Mayr, Stephen Gould and Edward O. Wilson opposed the theories of the founder of their Institution Louis Agassiz and wrote book after book to proclaim their profound views in support of Darwinism and not Agassizsm. They did this as agnostics or atheists or humanist as in the case of Wilson. The Pangenism idea, though advocated by Agassiz, went against orthodox Christians and standard reading of the Bible in the 19th century which implied all human stock descended from a single couple, Adam and Eve. Louis Agassiz argues that there is a need for independence between religion and science although, he unlike many contemporary polygenetiscist maintained firmly his Biblical faith and he went to church to worship God.
A century after Louis Agassiz died (1873), Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) was under the direction of another European born zoologist Ernst Walter Mayr who headed MCZ from 1960 to 1970. Mayr was as prolific as his colleagues like Stephen Gould and Edward O. Wilson at MCZ with 14 books written between 1942 (when he authored “Systematics and the Origin of Species”) and 2001 (when he authored his last book “What Evolution Is”). Except for two books written in 1945 and 1946 on the birds of the Philippines and Southwest Pacific, the other twelve books focused on evolution. Mayr criticized the application of mathematics to the evolutionary process as another leading evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane did in his writings. He also criticized the gene-centered view of evolution as advocated by Columbia University’s evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky and also his colleague Edward O. Wilson at the Harvard University.
Ernst Mayr at 100 in 2005 at the Museum of Comparative Zoology in Harvard
Ernst Mayr, in support of the conservation of nature, expressed his view that Man must realize that he is part of the ecosystem and his survival depends on not destroying the ecosystem”. However, the persistent destructive behavior of man at the beginning of the 21st century, is altering the atmosphere with excessive emissions of green house gases, thus causing global warming and excessive nutrient loading of our estuarine and riverine ecosystems, thus killing the fishes and ruining the ecosystems and excessive over-fishing in the so called “commons” of the blue ocean (beyond national jurisdiction in the high seas, thus pushing to extinction such majestic fish species like the Atlantic blue fin tuna. Ernst Mayr lived a full life of 100 years (1904 to 2005) and his friend Robert Trivers of Rutgers University wrote in the obituary: “ May God rest Mayr’s’s soul and bless”.
Mayr, in his last book “What Evolution Is”, in Chapter 11 wrote on “How did mankind evolve?” He addressed the controversial question of how did Australopithecus differ from the genera Pan and Homo? Australopithecus africanus was discovered in 1924. Homo was acknowledged as an ape because of its upright posture and bipedal locomotion, Mayr argued that since these two features were considered as characteristic human properties, australopithenes are ranked with humans. This is where Mayr went wrong. The graceful human bipedalism should not be confused with the walking style of apes. From evolutionary perspectives the upright posture evidently freed arms and hands for other functional roles, for making and using tools. This, in essence, led to increase in cranial volume and brain size. However, the assumption that “bipedalism is the stepping stone for rhumanization”, as Mayr put it is misleading. When the uniqueness of mankind is established, as in the discussions in this chapter, Mayr’s theory of linking apes to man simply evaporates and becomes meaningless.
Mayr eloquently describes the fundamental shifts in the distribution of early man as influenced by environmental and climate changes. His discussion revolves around anatomical features in the species of the genus Homo. He points out that the brain size rose quickly and more than doubled in Homo erectus. The teeth, particularly molars, became much smaller. The arms shortened and the legs lengthened.
The evolution of the species of the genus Homo, as presented by Mayr (figure given below), is contrary to other theories of human origin. He concludes that H. erectus and H. rudolfensis appeared about 1.9 million years ago, as shown below but the former evolved further but the latter ended in a blind end (becoming extinct). He also places H. eragster derived from H. erectus in Africa about 1.6 to 0.6 million years ago. He concludes that H. sapiens appeared on Earth just 0.2 million years ago He presents arguments in a rather confused way that H. heidelbegensis and H. neanderthsalensis evolved from H.ergaster in West Asia and Europe but H.erectus evolved independently in East and South Asia as H.erectus descendants, as depicted below.
Ernst Mayr, in the diagram given below on evolutionary chronology, speculates that Homo sapiens lived on the earth from as early as 200,000 years ago, as evidence from fossil bone and skeletons of apes rather than human beings. Creation of man by God is very recent, less than 20,000 years ago. He may be right that Neanderthals lived from 500,000 to 270,000 years ago but the Neanderthals, as I have shown in this essay, are not ancestors of modern man. I agree with the theory that the ape-like Homo erectus walked with a bipedal mode and as weather conditions warmed up, moved out of East Africa and entered other continents between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago.
Ernst Mayr’s Diagram of Evolution of Humankind from Apes in Africa.
Professionally Mayr was trained as an ornithologist and his indulgence in speculations and somewhat misleading theories of human origin is questioned by this author, despite the vast knowledge of Ernst Mayr as one of the outstanding zoologists of the 20th century. The basic disagreement essentially boils down to Mayr’s assumption that modern man evolved from apes and the author’s belief that God crated man in His image in the Garden of Eden, uniquely different from apes that were also products of God’s creation.
GENETIC BASIS FOR ELEVATING HUMAN KIND AS UNIQUE
Linus Pauling, the twice Nobel-Prize winner for both chemistry and physics, contributed so much to decipher the true structure of protein and the helix arrangement of the 4 bases and the sugars as DNA molecule. However, the Harvard biochemist in collaboration with Francis Crick of Cambridge University first published in nature in 1954 the “Double Helix” structure of DNA. These findings gave us I recent time a better perception of the micro evolutionary pathways. Molecular biology also revealed that certain evolutionary or mutational changes in the DNA base pair sequences and in the structure of protein are not necessarily influenced by natural selection. Recently the molecular too, looking at nucleotide sequence patterns in DNA became a powerful method for studying micro and macro evolutionary pathways.
Using both fossil DNA and fossil structure (skull, jaws and dentition in particular), anthropologists have postulated theories to say that the Hominoids branched off from the monkeys about 33 million years ago, the gibbons branched off about 22 million years ago, orangutans about 16 million years ago and the hominids (both genera Australopithecus and Homo) branched of from the African apes 6 to 10 million years ago.
The myth of human origin as proposed by different schools of anthropologists poses controversies as follows: (1) Anthropologist Christopher Singer of the British Museum in London believes that hominid departure from ape line was 15 to 20 million years ago. (2) Anthropologist Vincent Savitch and Alen Wilson of the University of California at Berkley used a different approach by looking at blood albumen protein and antibody reactions and concluded that chimpanzees originated about 5 million years ago but the baboons originated about 30 million years ago. (3) David Pilbeam of Yale University contradicted the findings of the Berkley scientists and postulated his hypothesis on chimpanzee’s origin 10 million years ago. (4) Anthropologist Charles Sibley presented arguments that the hominid line with man at its apex took off from the chimpanzee about 5 – 7 million years ago (see the 2 figures below, one showing the tree of primate evolution in 50 million years, the other showing the branching of old and new world monkeys and the hominoids.
Amongst the great apes, the chimpanzees are the most advanced as shown in the figure below but I question the validity of placing humankind originating from the same branch as the chimpanzee and this disagreement is strictly based on genetic evidence, as discussed below.
In 1991, Ijado et al. published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences to provide scientific evidence to establish their theory on the “Origin of Human Chromosomes”. According to these authors, the chromosome 2 in humankind resulted from the fusions (as shown in the figure given below) of two chromosomes in Chimpanzee.
The controversy revolving around the validity of the human origin form chimpanzee saw a clear mile-stone in the ‘Science’ by King and Wilson (1975) paper with the title “Evolution at two levels in Human and Chimpanzee” They postulated their hypothesis on the basis that the average human polypeptide resembles more than 99% to that of the chimpanzee. However, several years later, Jorgensen et al (1992) argued strongly in a paper in the U.S. ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’, that there are “dramatic DNA sequence evolution” existing between the chimpanzee Pan troglodytes and the human Homo sapiens, while establishing that the Chromosomes 14 & 22 in the chimpanzee are homologous to human chromosomes 13 & 21.
Every gene is composed of DNA, a linear array of the four bases A, G, C, and T. Original estimation of the number of human genes was around 100,000 but then it came down to 70,000 (Shouse, 2002) and many of the genes are non-coding junk-genes. Now the number is 25,000 as successfully established in the ‘Human Genome Project’ that looked at 30 billion base pairs (Tanks to the great efforts of Craig Venter and Francis Collins, the author of the great book “The Language of God”.
At the end of each chromosome is a string of repeated sequence of genes called telomere. Chimpanzee telomere has kilobase of Dna (1 Kilibase = 1000 base pairs, eg. AG, CT etc) but humans are unique with shorter telomere of just 10 kilobases long (Kahua, 1999, Gagneux and Varki, 2001) Their conclusion amplified the original finding of Gibbons (1998) published in Science with the self-revealing title, “Our genes make us UNIQUE” and that of Schurder (1999), also published in Science with a title, “Humans are really different”.
Cheng et al. (2005) made an important discovery, while making a genome wide comparison of segmental duplications in recent chimpanzees and humans. They found that 33% of the human segmental duplications are not encountered in chimpanzees. Another significant contribution to ascertain that humankind is really UNIQUE came from the work of Bakewell et al., published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They proved that positive natural selection was in operation in chimpanzee evolution but not in human. They concluded that there is evidence for “reduced efficiency of natural selection in humans”. on the basis of evaluation of 14,000 genes. This finding, in essence, refutes the anthropocentric view that great advancement of Darwinian selection underlies human origin. Their work does not provide support for the chromosomal speciation hypothesis and also rejects the ‘brain-gene acceleration’ hypothesis for human origin.
FRANCIS COLLINS AND “THE LANGUAGE OF GOD”
The great American Physician-Geneticist Francis S. Collins (photo on the left) authored a thought-provoking book entitled:”The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief”, published by Simon and Schuster in 2006. Collins was the leader of the Human Genome Project (HGP) and President Barack Obama appointed him in 2009 as the Director of the US National Institute for Health (NIH).
In his famous book on “The Language of God” Francis Collins draws substantial ideas from the writings of Christian scholars like Saint Augustine and C. S. Lewis and also from atheists like Charles Darwin, Theodosius Dobzhansky and Stephen Hawkins. The core of Collin’s thesis revolves around his fundamental belief that Science and Faith coexist in harmony. This principle is defined as BIOLOGOS, which, in essence, amplifies his five basic beliefs (of which 4 are in agreement with the belief of this author but one dealing with man origin is in total disagreement with the author’s belief. The four mutually agreeable beliefs are: (1) Universe was created by God with the BIG BANG about 14 billion years ago, with full adherence to the Christian belief of ex nilho (2) Mechanism behind the origin of living organisms still remains obscure but origin of life was really a part of God’s original creation plan. (3) Once life began, no special further intervention by God were needed and (4) Humans are unique because they defy evolutionary explanations; humans are characterized by spiritual nature, consciousness of human morality and therefore, humans posses the knowledge of right and wrong.
Despite the immense contribution to knowledge by Francis Collins in bridging Science and ‘Christian Theism’, this author disagrees with Francis Collins in his belief that “Humans are part of the process sharing a common ancestor with the great apes” and the apes are basically at the pinnacle of theistic evolution. as depicted in the tree of life diagram given below. This disagreement is what this chapter is all about and in essence I firmly believe that mankind was God’s special creation and the apex of the tree of life.
TREE OF LIFE WITH PRIMATES AS APEX
(After Cuenot, presented by Teilhard de Chardin’s book on “The Phenomenon of Man”
SOME BROAD AGRREMENT WITH VIEWS OF ARNOLD (2005)
In a classical article Arnold (2005) posed the crucial question: How do scientific finding on human origin rerlate to the Bible? He reached the following conclusions.
- Humans have significant qualitative differences in cognition and behavior from non-human animals.
- Human anatomy is not as important as human cognition and behavior. Culture is much more significant human trait than anatomy.
- Palaentological record of human-like fossils is not useful for understanding human origins.
- Cain, son of Adam, was “tiller of the ground”, is the first graduate of agriculture, trained by his dad Adam (as Jacob was the first animal or sheep breeder).
- Earlier Hominid lived 7 million years ago as Sahelanthropis tchdensis but as hominids (higher primates) and not human.
- Only humans have the gene FOXP2 for language.
- God used evolution as His tool to create a good model for human anatomy.
- Creation of human (Adam) in His image was a divine intervention.
- God caused the body to evolve over time and place His image (This is what Francis Collins also considers as theistic evoltion which Pope Benedict endorsed.
- Creation of Eve (female) was an event of sexual dimorphism, s envisioned by God but Eve was also created in the image of God.
SOME CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
- I made a genuine effort in the beginning of the essay to show how the anthropologists like the five Leakeys gave a impression that all their fossil discoveries in East Africa only proved the evolution of monkeys to great apes but not creation of man by God. They were in denial.
- I also clearly established the myth of the Neanderthal man, not at all related to humankind either in morals or ethics. .
- I also explained that creation of man was an act of God, perhaps at a time the earth’s thermal conditions were warm and conducive, as seen from scientific evidence of climate records in the Greenland ice cores.
- I disagreed with theories concerning multiple origin human kinds from Homo erectus and discussed how the human races ramified in geographic distribution after Noah’s flood, prior to the Biblical patriarch Abraham and his Jewish descendents, namely Isaac, Jacob and his 12 tribes spreading in the ‘fertile crescent’ and Joseph ending up with Pharaohs in Egypt. We see the first evidence of a great civilization with Pyramids in Nile delta, followed by the ancient Hebrew civilization after Moses led the Jews to Israel where King David and King Solomon ruled, followed by King Herod at the time of birth of the Son of God Jesus Christ.
Let me now discuss some theological perspectives with focus on the uniqueness of man and views on the ‘Meaning of Life’, as interpreted by Professor J.P Moreland of Biola University and author of the book “Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity” (Moreland, 1987). According to Moreland, Christianity’s fundamental foe is “Nihilism’ as advocated by the pessimistic philosophy of Frederick Nietzsche. In essence, nihilism simply considers life as absurd and purposeless. It implies that human history has no goal or end. “Human beings are modified monkeys. Humans are the chance product of random mutations, natural selection, and the struggle for survival. There is no life after death.
Francis Crick, the great English geneticist who shared the Nobel Prize with Harvard University’s James Watson in 1957, concluded as a nihilist that science has shown that life is meaningless (Crick, 1981). Science allegedly shows that the cosmos is just a brute given, that final causes or movements toward goals are not part of the natural world, that man is the product of blind evolutionary forces, that man is a biochemical animal who does not survive the grave and who must struggle for survival during his brief stay on a small planet in a spatially and temporally immense universe which is silent and uncaring (Peacock, 1979). Secular humanism is on a par with nihilism with reference to the purpose or meaning of human life Both nihilism and humanism are horrible views that must be negated by the proof that man is God’s special creation in His image.
To prove the uniqueness of man we need to focus on “Christian Theism” which firmly disputes the theory that atheistic evolution as the only account for human life and morality the epistemological problems can be solved in ‘Christian Theism’ by supplementing natural laws. According to ‘Christian Theism’ God works all things together for those who love him. God guarantees the sum mum bonum, harmony of happiness and the moral right. God has created human nature such that doing the right will bring happiness in the long run, as Immanuel Kent argued, the presence of an afterlife and the omniscience and omnipotence of God provide a rational justification for acts which appear to pit happiness against duty.
Moreland (1987) explained that “according to Christian theism, cosmos exits to glorify God, to promote the good of God’s creatures. especially man.” Human history with battle between good and evil since the ‘Fall’ in the Garden of Eden tells us that the ultimate destiny is the Kingdom of God after the second coming of Jesus with small percentage of living and dead assured of a place in heaven and large percentage ending up in Hell or the Kingdom of Satan. The reward of the righteous, for those who trusted Jesus and led a life in accordance with the dictates of morality, is the kingdom of God. Humans are creations of God, they have value in that they bear His image, they are objects of God’s love and affection and there is life after death.
As early in the peak of ancient Greek civilization, philosopher Plato pointed out in the Euthyphro, either something is moral because God commands it or God commands it because it is moral. In the former case, God’s commands are entirely arbitrary, his authority reduces to his power, and God becomes a bear wilier of morality. Morality is grounded in God’s nature. Christian theism holds that human life has value and purpose because humans reflect God’s very nature and the purpose of human life and history also reflects God’s nature. In sum, it is both rational and prudent to wager that Christian theism is the best answer to questions about the meaning of life and uniqueness of man.
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