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Author Topic:   "If I descended from an ape, how come apes are still here?"
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7012
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 91 of 286 (637844)
10-18-2011 9:31 AM


haha, whilst researching the Toumai fossil, I clicked on an Answers in Genesis link for a bit of light relief and found this

1. The definition of the term hominid is still disputed. There seems to be a consensus among evolutionists that there are at least two defining qualifications: (a) bipedal locomotion and (b) reduced canines.

However, this is an improper definition. It is loaded with evolutionary presuppositions that prejudice a fossil toward possible human ancestry without proving it. The biblical distinction that true humans are made in the “image of God” is disregarded. In other words, in diagnosing fossils, the dice are loaded improperly in favor of evolution.

How could scientists have missed the 'proper' definition of a hominid for so long?


Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by Panda, posted 10-18-2011 11:14 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 1942 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 92 of 286 (637868)
10-18-2011 11:14 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by Tangle
10-18-2011 9:31 AM


Tangle writes:

quote:
The biblical distinction that true humans are made in the “image of God” is disregarded.
How could scientists have missed the 'proper' definition of a hominid for so long?

I wonder if they have a jpeg of the image of god that I could borrow...

If I were you
And I wish that I were you
All the things I'd do
To make myself turn blue

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Tangle, posted 10-18-2011 9:31 AM Tangle has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by Straggler, posted 10-18-2011 11:24 AM Panda has acknowledged this reply
 Message 99 by IamJoseph, posted 10-31-2011 2:08 AM Panda has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 93 of 286 (637869)
10-18-2011 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by Panda
10-18-2011 11:14 AM


As God is My Witness...
Image of God
This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Panda, posted 10-18-2011 11:14 AM Panda has acknowledged this reply

  
glowby
Member
Posts: 60
From: Fox River Grove, IL
Joined: 05-29-2010


(1)
Message 94 of 286 (638705)
10-25-2011 1:50 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by NoNukes
10-16-2011 12:50 PM


Re: Dogs and Cats
NoNules writes:

"you just need to establish that the question is irrelevant."

I agree, but I avoid saying it in conversations with them. Sometimes they are just confused or curious about evolution. Suggesting that their questions are "irrelevant" puts them on the defensive and they put up a wall to understanding.

I think that a good number of people who ask, "Whey are there still apes/monkeys?" are willing and able to understand the answer. I've successfully described it to their satisfaction a couple of times, but failed a lot more often ... sometimes because I couldn't manage to connect the dots for them, or bored them beyond their attention spans; but mostly because (it seemed) they were uncomfortable with how evolution seems to dethrone man as The chosen species.


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Tangle
Member
Posts: 7012
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 95 of 286 (638814)
10-26-2011 9:36 AM


Ok, here's the final story (I haven't changed the ring species part)

“If we descended from apes, how come apes are still here?”

What’s wrong with this picture?

Well nothing or pretty much everything – depending on what you think it shows.

If you see it as man evolving from million year old ape-like ancestors, you’re right. But if you see it as a picture of how monkeys change into people, that’s probably why some people ask the question:

“If we descended from apes, how come apes are still here?”

To ask that question means that there’s a vital piece of information missing from the questioner’s understanding of what evolution is. That vital piece of information is the concept of the tree of life, that all things are related to each other.

An evolution scientist on hearing that question will sigh deeply or change the subject quickly because religious fundamentalists regularly use it as a really bad argument against evolution.

A more tolerant scientist may ask you a question back. Such as:

"If Iceland was colonized by Scandinavians, why are there still Scandinavians?" Or

"if I'm descended from my grandfather, how can I have cousins?"

That’s something to think about because it does provided the answer. Meanwhile here’s fuller explanation.

Chimpanzees are apes and one of our closest animal relatives - their scientific name is Pan troglodytes. Now, imagine that you are standing face to face with a chimpanzee - let’s call her Pan.

Now imagine that with your left hand you are holding the hand of your mother and that your mother is holding the right hand of her mother and so on for thousands of generations back into the past. By doing this, you know as an absolute certainty that you are descended directly on your mother’s side to everyone in the chain.

Imagine that Pan is doing the same but with her right hand.

You now have two imaginary lines of women and female chimps holding hands going backwards in time - like a railway track with women and chimps lining each side.

You can now walk down the centre of the rails and look carefully at your mother's family line and the chimp's family line going back millions of years.

So what would do you see?

Walking back about 200,000 years on the human side you see a mother who’s husband was a chap science named Heidelberg Man (Homo heidelbergensis ) she’s distinctly human, using tools and standing upright, probably hairless and very tall – the males are up to 7 feet tall. This is the first different species that we’ve come across in our chain. But you wouldn’t be able to tell exactly when H. sapiens merged into Heidelberg because each mother would look almost identical to the next – you can’t see the join. The changes from mother to mother are so gradual that you only see a change by comparing mothers thousands or millions of years apart. We only now know that Heidelberg is different from us because we’ve found his fossilised remains and we can compare it to ourselves today.

This is why there’s no such thing as a transitional fossil or a missing link; every fossil is a transitional fossil and every living species is in transition to the next – if we had a fossil for every mother in the lines, even the experts wouldn’t be able to say where a separate species had been formed. We can only guess with hindsight.

If you find this hard to grasp or you think it’s impossible for one species to change slowly into another we can see it happening today. For example, we call species that change slowly over geographic areas rather than time, ring species.

Here in the UK the Herring Gull and the Lesser Black-backed Gull are distinct and non-interbreeding species. But if you physically follow the Herring Gull west towards North America it gradually blurs into something more like a Lesser Black-backed Gull. It carries on changing towards Siberia and when it finally returns to Western Europe the Herring Gull has become a Lesser Black-backed Gull and the two species don’t interbreed. At no point in the ring can you say exactly where it changed species – it’s a gradual merging of characteristics over distance.

As you walk back further, at about 500,000 years ago, you’d see a branch form and go off sideways from our human line, these are the Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis). They lived along side us but developed separately. There may even be Neanderthal mothers in our line, because we think that for some time there was interbreeding.

And so on down the line of mothers through increasingly apelike creatures until at about 2.5 million years ago we reach an animal called the Southern African ape (Australopithecus africanis). This creature is small – around 4 feet, with a brain a third the size of ours and although she stands upright like us, she’s covered in hair and is distinctly apelike. Some people think that this is roughly where chimps split from the human line but modern molecular genetics tells us that it was earlier.

We have to walk much farther down the lines to get to where most evolution scientists think chimps branch off - somewhere about 7m years ago. This mother would have looked something like a chap called ‘Taumai’ (Sahelanthropus tchadensis). He has the same brain size as a modern chimp but his face is a little more like a human than a chimp.

No one knows for sure whether Taumai is the point where chimps start off on their own line but we do know one thing for certain:

Wherever the split actually happened, at this point in the two lines of human and chimp descendants you would see that the right hand of a mother from the chimp line is now holding the left hand of a mother from the human line.
The lines have met – the ancient chimp and the ancient human have the same mother.

This mother starts the lines to both Pan and you, so Pan is your distant cousin. And both you, the human, and Pan, the ape are still here.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by NoNukes, posted 10-26-2011 9:10 PM Tangle has not yet responded
 Message 104 by glowby, posted 11-02-2011 11:25 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 96 of 286 (638911)
10-26-2011 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Tangle
10-26-2011 9:36 AM


If you see it as man evolving from million year old ape-like ancestors, you’re right. But if you see it as a picture of how monkeys change into people, that’s probably why some people ask the question:

“If we descended from apes, how come apes are still here?”

I don't buy it. Even if people think that the picture shows a single animal changing, the picture doesn't imply that all apes made such a change.

Second, if the picture is a problem, then the misconception that there shouldn't be any more apes ought to go away with a brief explanation of how evolution in general actually works.

Anyone who persists beyond a brief explanation is probably a fanatic. Leave him be.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Tangle, posted 10-26-2011 9:36 AM Tangle has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by IamJoseph, posted 10-31-2011 2:13 AM NoNukes has responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 3645
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 97 of 286 (638931)
10-27-2011 3:14 AM


So Exactly What Mistake are They Making?
To start off, I have to agree that this has to be the ace-number-one-ichiban stupidest creationist claim ever. I was personally shocked when I first heard it uttered in earnest circa 1984 and I have only heard it uttered in earnest a few times since. If we "evolutionists" were to present it in a creation/evolution forum, the creationists would deservedly complain that we were setting up strawman arguments. And yet there actually are creationists who would present this argument.

First possible mistake that they are making: when a new form evolves, the old form vanishes. This is the mistake that I see being answered with the example of Scandanavians colonizing Iceland, so why are there still Scandanavians? When the first tetrapod first pulled itself out of the ocean onto the dry land, did that instantaneously empty all the oceans of all life? That is the logic and that is ridiculous ... even to a creationist.

Second possible mistake they are making: evolution works by one group out-competing another group. The winning species continues to exist while the losing species ceases to exist. So, since we out-competed apes, why are there still apes? Since they had been out-competed, they shouldn't exist anymore. So why do they still exist?

I tend to hold to the second misunderstanding being the case. Of course, since the creationist mind is impossible for us normals to fathom ... . And yet, I would hope that they are at least capable of thinking to be able to survive in everyday life. Like one friend's complaint about Lucy Ricardo, that she couldn't have survived in real life.

Much of evolutionary theory, especially PuncEq, relies on the idea of allopatric evolution. "Other Country" -- basic knowledge of Greek and Latin roots really should be a pre-requisite. You have an interbreeding population living in a geographical region. A sub-population splits off and moves into a different environment. Because that sub-population lives in a different environment than that of the original population, it adapts to that new environment -- let's face it, if it didn't change to adapt, it would never have survived. But what about that original population living in the original environment? It was already adapted to that original environment, so wouldn't it still survive in that environment?

OK, the original population doesn't need to change, whereas the allopatric sub-population had to change. And eventually become a new species. Both the original species and the new sub-species survive. Why does the new species exist? Because it has adapted itself to the new environment. Why does the old species continue to exist? Because it is still adapted to the old environment that it contines to exist within.

Therein lies the basis of the disconnect. It isn't any question of a new form instantly and magically causing all other forms to cease to exist. It is a question of the new forms magically out-competing all other forms into extinction.

Isn't that what most people learn that evolution is about? Competition. Only one winner. So if one species out-competes another, then why would that loser species continue to exist? We "vastly superior" humans (Mark Twain did very eloquently differ -- Letters from the Earth, share and enjoy!) "out-competed" the apes, so why are there still apes? OK, the other apes remained in the forests, an entirely different environment than that of our ancestors who moved out into the savanna grasslands. Did our ancestors compete against the apes who remained in the forests? No, they competed against the ones who also moved out into the savanna. And how many other hominids or even Homo's have survived? Only Homo sapiens sapiens, and none other. Of course, the other apes, the ones who had remained in the forest, remain in the forest.

That is the part of evolution that those creationists do not understand.


Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by Tangle, posted 10-27-2011 4:22 AM dwise1 has not yet responded
 Message 102 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-31-2011 6:37 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7012
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 98 of 286 (638934)
10-27-2011 4:22 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by dwise1
10-27-2011 3:14 AM


Re: So Exactly What Mistake are They Making?
Makes sense, I'll a add a sentence or two on that......

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by dwise1, posted 10-27-2011 3:14 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
IamJoseph
Member (Idle past 1897 days)
Posts: 2822
Joined: 06-30-2007


Message 99 of 286 (639374)
10-31-2011 2:08 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by Panda
10-18-2011 11:14 AM


There 1200 in the Vatican and a huge one in Rio.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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IamJoseph
Member (Idle past 1897 days)
Posts: 2822
Joined: 06-30-2007


Message 100 of 286 (639375)
10-31-2011 2:13 AM
Reply to: Message 96 by NoNukes
10-26-2011 9:10 PM


Q: The better question is when will humans evolve to a higher species already so that their past human relics won't have the acumen to understand their higher species - if they are still around.

A: After too long a period than it can be denied.

Conclusion: Those who have no proof make sure it is far, far away.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 101 of 286 (639376)
10-31-2011 3:02 AM
Reply to: Message 100 by IamJoseph
10-31-2011 2:13 AM


Huh??
IamJoseph writes:

Q: The better question is when will humans evolve to a higher species already so that their past human relics won't have the acumen to understand their higher species - if they are still around.
A: After too long a period than it can be denied.

Maybe it has already happened. It's already the case that I cannot understand you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by IamJoseph, posted 10-31-2011 2:13 AM IamJoseph has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16097
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 102 of 286 (639384)
10-31-2011 6:37 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by dwise1
10-27-2011 3:14 AM


Re: So Exactly What Mistake are They Making?
To start off, I have to agree that this has to be the ace-number-one-ichiban stupidest creationist claim ever.

I put it third, after the argument from population growth and Bananas The Atheists Worst Nightmare.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by dwise1, posted 10-27-2011 3:14 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 1942 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 103 of 286 (639391)
10-31-2011 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by IamJoseph
10-31-2011 2:08 AM


IamJ writes:

There 1200 in the Vatican and a huge one in Rio.

No there isn't.

Edited by Panda, : No reason given.

Edited by Panda, : No reason given.


If I were you
And I wish that I were you
All the things I'd do
To make myself turn blue

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by IamJoseph, posted 10-31-2011 2:08 AM IamJoseph has not yet responded

  
glowby
Member
Posts: 60
From: Fox River Grove, IL
Joined: 05-29-2010


(1)
Message 104 of 286 (639688)
11-02-2011 11:25 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Tangle
10-26-2011 9:36 AM


I like very much the converging line of maternal ancestors, as an aid to explaining the connection between humans and chimps. I had a chance to try it in a conversation recently, and it worked very nicely. I think the imagery it generates helps the listener focus on the narrative; and the thought of holding hands with mom (with grandma right beside her) makes the "lecture" seem a lot less lecture-like or confrontational.

The conversation was with a 30ish single mom who was virtually oblivious to evolutionary concepts. Although she is Very Religious, she hadn't apparently been indoctrinated with much YEC/ID propaganda (yet). She didn't ask, "Why are there still apes?" but when we talked of recent books we'd read, mine were mostly evo, and she confessed utter ignorance of it, and asked, "Are we really monkeys' uncles?"

I answered, "Yeah, sort of ...", and then tried the "man-chimp mom-chain" thing. We were happy with the results.

I didn't go into the specific species of hominids we'd meet, walking down the lines. I think that would've just made her eyes glaze over. Instead, I described the very gradually changing stature of her grandmas - our grandmas - becoming almost imperceptibly shorter, squattier, hairier, etc. over the ages; but perhaps getting taller, lankier, nuder instead, from time to time, down the line. I would have liked to describe the chimp moms' line, but I know virtually nothing about chimp evolution.

The only problem I see with the mom-chains narrative is that it might reinforce the idea that evolution progresses like a chain or ladder, despite the fact that the story describes two branches. After telling of the chains joining, I was tempted to move forward again to some hypothetical point in the human chain, and describe an extra branch that would have led to the Neanderthals (the one non-human hominid species that everybody has heard of). But having seen the light come on in my subject, I didn't want to chance dimming it in that moment.

I wonder if the explanation could be enhanced by telling the possible locations of their ancestors back through time, with ours moving through Europe to Africa to meet theirs in the homeland of our common grandma. Again, I wish I (we?) had more to tell of the chimps' adventures.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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amp1022
Junior Member (Idle past 2662 days)
Posts: 13
Joined: 02-05-2012


Message 105 of 286 (651417)
02-07-2012 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by glowby
11-02-2011 11:25 PM


The conversation was with a 30ish single mom who was virtually oblivious to evolutionary concepts. Although she is Very Religious, she hadn't apparently been indoctrinated with much YEC/ID propaganda (yet). She didn't ask, "Why are there still apes?" but when we talked of recent books we'd read, mine were mostly evo, and she confessed utter ignorance of it, and asked, "Are we really monkeys' uncles?

You convinced an uneducated mother that she is related to monkeys? That is your argument? Wow, have you recently talked a fish into drinking water or sold a block of cheese to a mouse? I am impressed really, that you actually had the nerve to try to brag about confusing the hell out of a woman who was probably perfectly content believing there was a loving caring God out there looking out for her and her children. Whether it is true or not, do you inform a child that he/she can develop a brain tumor at any time and die? Honestly, your kind of a jerk.


Common sense will answer most questions that science struggles with.

This message is a reply to:
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