2/05 - Matt writes ...
Mr. Niednagel - Is man an ape? I know God made us in his image but does this mean physically or spiritually? ... we are clearly a mammal. Doesn't our skeletal structure also make us primate? And aren't the primates we most closely resemble apes? Even the physiology of our feet look extremely close to the "hand feet" of chimps and gorillas ... As a creationist I have been struggling with this question for some time and am hoping you can help me.
Thanks for writing, Matt, and submitting a thoughtful question. Indeed, no argument. Humans resemble monkeys and apes more than any other species of animal. Even further, we can likewise be classified as mammals (hair, live young, etc). However, the entire similarity concept is a matter of perspective, and when light is cast from all perspectives, the picture becomes more clear.
Let's start with the physical (or visible) aspect, as you mentioned regarding feet, etc. True, apes have hands and feet that resemble ours (although I could go into depth regarding the differences). Consider, however, that the same could be said about a dolphin with a shark ... dorsal fin, flippers, and similar overall shape. Yet, genetically, a dolphin is closer to a mouse. Know what else is interesting? Men and mice share 99% of their genes, and yet, again, don't resemble each other. Visible similarities can mean very little, such as when comparing a salamander with a lizard. Nearly identical physically, yet vastly different creatures. Or again, a horse with a deer. Same overall shape (legs, back, etc), yet diametrically opposed. All throughout nature we can see similarities, but when we take into account the thousands or even millions of differences (especially from a genetic aspect), they really aren't as similar as some may want you to believe.
From an internal aspect, as has been shared, similarities again can mean little. According to evolutionary scientist Steve Jones, "We also share about 50% of our DNA with bananas and that doesn't make us half bananas, either from the waist up or the waist down." And, although man shares 90% of his DNA with baboons, "just a few percentage points can translate into vast, unbridgeable gaps between species."
In short, Matt, the fact that humans resemble monkeys and apes in some ways should not trouble you. The same comparisons can be made throughout all of nature, and even evolutionists will agree that many such cases hold no significance.
Thanks for writing,
|Cryptozoology - The study of the hidden animal world, cryptozoology is a science of speculation and surprise, involving the search for animals thought to be extinct to new creatures never before identified.
Creation vs Evolution - What was popularized in 1859 by former Christian turned agnostic, Charles Darwin, has in our day become one of the most hotly contested and sharply dividing issues to be found anywhere.
Dinosaurs - Considerable controversy surrounds dinosaurs, from their place in history to their color, habits, and overall physiology. As viewpoints collide, the search for answers continues.