Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Archive, on Chimps and Humans

…to say that humans are over one-third daffodil [based on their DNA] is more ludicrous than profound. There are hardly any comparisons you can make to a daffodil in which humans are 33% similar. DNA comparisons thus overestimate similarity at the low end of the scale (because 25% is actually the zero-mark of a DNA comparison) and underestimate comparisons at the high end.
The problem is that in being told about these data without a context in which to interpret them, we are left to our own cultural devices. Here, we are generally expected to infer that genetic comparisons reflect deep biological structure, and that 98% is an overwhelming amount of similarity. Thus “the DNA of a human is 98% identical to the DNA of a chimpanzee” becomes casually interpreted as “deep down inside, humans are overwhelmingly chimpanzee. Like 98% chimpanzee.” ….
…whatever the number is, it shouldn’t be any more impressive than the anatomical similarity; all we need to do is to put that old-fashioned comparison into a zoological context.
The paradox is not that we are so genetically similar to the chimpanzee; the paradox is why we now find the genetic similarity to be so much more striking than the anatomical similarity. Scholars of the eighteenth century were overwhelmed by the similarities between humans and chimpanzees. Chimpanzees were as novel then as DNA is now; and the apparent contrast between our bodies and our genes is simply an artifact of having two centuries’ familiarity with chimpanzees and scarcely two decades’ familiarity with DNA sequences. (What It Means to be 98% Chimpanzee by Johnathan Marks :28-31)


The primates confirm the predictions of message theory. There are large gaps, and there is no clear-cut phylogeny.
The apes thwart any attempt to separate man from nature: they unify man with nature. The apes possess innumerable similarities to us. The apes show that we are a part of this unified collection of objects. We are a part of the biotic message, so we must draw the same conclusions about our origins. The apes make it abundantly clear-The designer of earth’s diverse life forms and the designer of man are the same. Our designer authored the biotic message.
Kenneth Miller writes:
‘The big emotional issue among creationists is human evolution. It might be safe to say that all their previous arguments exist only to support the notion that humans are in no way linked to the other animals.’ (Miller, K., 1982, p 9-10, my italics)

Miller is mistaken. Creationists are not saying that humans are “in no way linked” to other animals. On the contrary. All organisms are linked by design, not descent. This has been part of the creationist thinking from the beginning. Because of this, the discovery of the apes in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries did not frighten them.

‘Now you would have thought that the discovery of these half-animal, half-men [apes] would have most profoundly scared and upset people-this evidence of a link between animals and man. And yet the literature of that period contains no evidence of any such frightened references.’ (Medawar, 1982 p 106)
(The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory by Walter ReMine :323-324)

Dawkins on the same topic, perhaps citing his own imagination and mythology as the equivalent of evidence as he sometimes does:

The rise of Darwinism in the nineteenth century polarised attitudes towards the apes. Opponents who might have stomached evolution itself balked with visceral horror at cousinship with what they perceived as low and revolting brutes, and desperately tried to inflate our differences from them. This was nowhere more true than with gorillas. Apes were ‘animals’; we were set apart. (The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins :108) (He cites the “distinquished philosopher” Peter Singer approvingly in a footnote in the same chapter, yet as I recall Singer approves of infanticide.)

In another section he argues rather ignorantly:

Many of our legal and ethical principles depend on the separation between Homo Sapiens and all other species. Of the people who regard abortion as a sin, including the minority who go to the lengths of assassinating doctors and blowing up abortion clinics, many are unthinking meat-eaters, and have no worries about chimpanzees being imprisoned in zoos and sacrificed in laboratories. Would they think again, if we could lay out a living continuum of intermediates between ourselves and chimpanzees, linked in an unbroken chain of interbreeders like the California salamanders? Surely they would. Yet it is the merest accident that the intermediates all happen to be dead. It is only because of this accident that we can comfortably and easily imagine a huge gulf between our two species-or between any two species, for that matter.
(Ib. :303)

Note the way that the Darwinian mind constantly works towards citing imaginary evidence, so by the end of his paragraph he’s treating his imaginary ancestors and imaginary events in the past as if they are a reality which must be “imagined” away by others. Ah well, it bears repeating that he’s the one imagining things! It's a "huge gulf" as he puts it which can be observed empirically. That is simply a fact. And if one does away with the mental illusions typical to Darwinian reasoning (in which the imagination is somehow transmuted into “evidence” while the actual evidence that we can observe empirically and verify now is lost), it’s invariably the case that the Darwinist is relying on imagining things and passing it off as "science." That’s been my experience, at any rate. Also note his ignorance, he should know that if there were actual evidence for his imaginary ancestors it wouldn’t make a huge difference. Does genocide happen among humans? Of course. Do people who know that they have the same ancestors still kill each other? Of course. Is common ancestry among humans or chimps any safeguard if the Darwinian creation myth is true? Of course not, Jews were experimented on by Nazis who firmly believed in Darwinism and the Nazis advanced anti-vivisection laws at the same time that they performed experiments on Jews. There is no reason to become a vegetarian or to stop experiments on animals if the Darwinian creation myth is true, he seems to be playing pretend again by imagining that Jewish ethics are linked to Nature based paganism or the merging of basic natural categories but they aren't.

No comments: