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Of Monkeys and Men

By Richard Gunther


It is undeniable that, at least superficially, apes are similar to humans. Chimpanzees and orang-utans especially have many things in common, such as the use of sounds and facial expressions to communicate - a little like human speech, the ability to walk upright - a little like human locomotion, and the use of their hands to manipulate objects, or tools. Some primates have even learned how to use a simple form of sign-language, and many examples of problem-solving have been recorded.

Evolutionists, who believe that humans are but a branch of the primate family tree, have been thrilled at some of these similarities between humans and apes because such similarities seem, to evolutionists, to be ‘proof’ that evolution is correct. It also appears that humans have more in common with apes than was first thought. But the question we must ask is : Do similarities prove common origins? The answer has to be "No".

Some examples of similarities exists in the mechanical world. There are many different kinds of vehicle (trucks, cars, trains, skateboards, trailers, lorries, motorbikes, farm bikes, scooters, bicycles, etc) and they all have wheels under them, but it would be absurd to suggest that all vehicles come from only one factory. In the Vegetable kingdom on could look at leaves and list the hundreds of different types, but nobody would suggest that all the trees in the world came from one tree which then diversified. In the Animal kingdom we could use any number of similar examples, such as legs, eyes, body hair, ears, tongues, and in every case it would be apparent that while two animals might share the same organ, they would never be considered the offspring of the one parent. For example, kangaroos, whales, snakes and birds all have tongues, but each animals is so different from the others that a common origin would be considered out of the question.

Evolutionists might here suggest that, given enough Time, anything is possible. In fact the whole Theory of Evolution demands that, over millions of years, a whale may turn into a kangaroo, or a snake, or a bird. This, they claim, occurs through two processes - natural selection and mutations.

Before we examine the question to which this essay is addressed, we must take a diversion and look at the proposed methods of evolution, because as long as there is the possibility that apes might evolve into men, we may not be able to show that apes and men represent two completely different and unconnected family trees with no common origin.

Natural selection.

Evolution is not something anyone can examine. All evolution, it is claimed, happened in the past, so there is no way anyone can produce observational facts. Evolution should be occurring today, but there is no evidence of that, because today’s science of genetics has established that in order to have any major changes in a species, new information has to be added to the DNA, and there is no known mechanism for this to happen.

Evolutionists cling to the idea that, given enough time, and given enough opportunities, DNA will accidentally assemble itself. The main way this selection can occur, they say, is by a thing called natural selection (formerly ‘survival of the fittest’). From the very first living cells, they say, right through to today’s highly complex creatures, natural selection is still helping to weed out the stronger from the weaker. There is no disputing the fact that this happens. Out of a litter of six, two die because they are small and weak. Out of a a hundred eggs, ten are eaten because their shells were thinner than the others. It is an efficient way of ensuring that only the best survive, and disadvantageous characteristics are not passed on.

But does natural selection drive evolution? Absolutely not. It is not capable of creating anything radically new. It cannot produce new information or add anything to the genetic make-up of the organism. All it does is conserve a species and helps to prevent deterioration.

The truth is, genes, DNA and alleles carry only a limited number of possible variations. A giraffe may have only one maximum length for its neck, and never any more than that. The sugar beet, selectively bred for centuries to gain the maximum sugar content, has never gone past a certain percentage. The Guinness Book of Records has documented many extremes past which no animal of vegetable will probably never pass because the extreme are also the limits to which the genetic variety will allow. No amount of ‘natural selection’ will ever alter the internal genetic blueprint, so acquired characteristics are absolutely unable to produce a new type of giraffe, let alone a new creature. The amount of time used is irrelevant. Billions of years would never make the slightest difference to the genes. Breeders might continue to cross-fertilise the best sugar beet with the best for a million years, but not a single molecule of extra sugar will be obtained.

Another example of this unchangeable rule is : the pigeon. Over the years many hundreds of different types of pigeon have been artificially bred, and a huge variety of shapes has been produced, but no new type or species of bird has ever appeared. Pigeons have remained pigeons, and pigeons have bred only with pigeons. The gene pool allows for great variety but never any more than that.

With dogs it is exactly the same. There are hundreds of breeds, with a wide variety of sizes, colours, coats and temperaments, but no new species of dog has ever been produced. All dogs are inter-fertile. The same can be said for horses, and cats, budgies, cows, and other animals which man has selectively bred over a long period.

Cross-breeding of the same species utilises the available gene pool, but it never adds anything to the genes - that would be the only way a new species could ever appear. Cross-breeding is an artificial form of natural selection, yet even under these intensive conditions, no evolution has occurred.

Another evolutionary belief is that the finches on the Galapagos Islands, (called Darwin’s finches) demonstrate evolution. There are several types of finch on these islands, all with specialised beaks and behaviour. These birds, it is claimed, represent several new lines of finch, each of which will eventually evolve into a separate species. In other words, given enough time, none of these finches would eventually be inter-fertile. This assumes that chromosomes and genes can be altered radically enough, without any direct intervention by Man, to produce any kind of creature.

But when Darwin wrote his book, he knew virtually nothing about genetics. Those finches are simply expressing different alleles, just as pigeons, dogs and cats do today.

It used to be theorised, before genetics became a science, that changes could occur through mutilation. This has also been proved utterly without foundation. For example, if a dog’s tail is clipped, it does not have puppies with short tails. Neither does foot-binding produce babies with small feet. Mutilation affects only the living organism, never the DNA. Obviously mutilation of the parent makes no difference to the offspring. The mutilation theory came out before genetic laws of inheritance were discovered.


Another proposed way for animals to evolve is by mutation, but mutations have been found to be either disadvantageous to the organism, or deadly. For example, fruit flies have been bombarded with radiation over successive generations, in the hope that some ‘lucky mutation’ may occur, producing a fruit fly with some advantageous mutation. No such event has ever ocurred. All the fruit flies, (which represents hundreds of generations) have come out deformed and less viable than their parent to survive in the wild.

One theory which evolutionists hold is that random damage to the DNA may produce a new variation of DNA from which may come a new and improved organism. Ultraviolet light has been put forward as one possible agent for this. But when we consider how astonishingly complex DNA is, it seems highly unlikely, to say the least, that a burst of disruptive damage could ever make an improvement. It would be like shooting an orchestra with a shotgun and expecting the music to go from amateur to professional. Random damge to something complex seldom does anything but hinder or destroy its viability - as anyone who has a computer knows. Even a slight change in the stream of binary data can shut the whole computation process down.

It is theorised that, with successive generations, slight changes may occur in the DNA. These deformities, or breakages, or chance mutations may be beneficial or harmful to the organism, depending on its circumstances, and the beneficial changes will be retained. But this theory falls down because inherited changes, or mutations, are never beneficial - except in artificial environments, i.e. deformed goldfish, or pugdogs.

The fossil record shows : 1. No transitional forms, and 2. That plants, animals and insects are all basically exactly the same today as their fossilised counterparts. Many creatures in the fossils are larger, such as the dragonfly, but no substantial difference exists between fossils (supposedly) many millions of years old, and modern organisms. This shows that DNA has been faithfully replicating good copies since the first creatures appeared on earth. It also suggests that the Bible is right when it says that God created life, and programmed it to produce copies of itself.

If evolution was true, we would expect to find evidence of both natural selection and mutation in the fossil record. In Darwin’s day a large number of bones had already been excavated, but nothing like the millions of specimens available today. Darwin himself noted that there was nothing in the fossil record to indicate slow, gradual change of organisms, but he presumed that the evidence was lacking only because the fossils were so few.

But many years, and millions of fossils later we are at the same dead-end. Despite the literally tons of fossils available today, there is still no evidence that animals, or plants, or insects, changed from one species into another.

Out of all the millions of fossils now discovered, not a single transitional form has ever been found. Surely, with all the fossils now available, we would expect to find just one series, showing how fish grew legs, and/or mammals, or reptiles grew wings. Surely, out of all the hundreds of tons of bones spread out in thousands of glass cases and along museum walls we would find something to show how tyrannosaurus rex and other huge creatures evolved from tiny animals?

But in the fossil record all the basic kinds of animals and plants appear abruptly without ancestors. The fossil record represents two things : 1. The sudden appearance of life, fully complete and viable, and 2. Mass extinction of life all over the planet.

The fossil record actually indicates mass extinction of plants, animals, birds and insects by violent water-action because fossils appear in sedimentary rock, which is formed by water action and sediments. Some creatures were buried alive while still eating, or giving birth. Millions of fish were buried and covered so quickly they had no time to decompose. Huge creatures like the largest dinosaurs were buried and swept together in heaps before they could escape. Most fossils are jumbled, torn apart, caught in positions of pain as they perished. Vast forests were swept into heaps and buried, becoming the huge coal mines of today. Other mountains of organic matter were piled up and covered, becoming our oil and gas reserves.

If apes and humans have no common origin, i.e. a single family tree, then there must be some other explanation for the appearance of apes and humans. Creation is the only logical alternative, but if it is accepted, it brings with it many other things, such as belief in a Creator, accountability to that Creator, and the possibility of a day of judgement. In short, once Creation is accepted, the end result is Christianity, because Jesus Christ claimed to be the Creator and Redeemer of this world and all that is in it.


"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made". John 1:3

"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not". John 1:10

"Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator". 1 Peter 4:19

But despite all the science-based evidence that evolution has no reasonable foundations on which to base its theories, there are still many people who cling tenaciously to the Theory, so we will examine some of the claims about apes and Man, and see how they stand up.

The first claim that is occassionally made is that ‘life’ came from Space. The theory is that some primitive life, perhaps in the form of bacteria, landed on earth as it piggy-backed its way on a meteorite or comet.

This theory has several in-built flaws.

First, the heat which objects encounter as they encounter earth’s atmosphere is so intense that any living cell would be vapourised in seconds.

Second, even if ‘life’ did come from Space, it could not be anything but what it is, since evolution is impossible. Natural selection and mutations do not provide viable mechanisms for new information to be added to DNA, so if bacteria came from space, that is all it would ever be.

Third, the theory that ‘life’ might come from space begs the question. Even a single cell is an absolutely bewildering example of complexity, and it is impossible for anything this complex to appear fully functional and complete spontaneously. (It is ironic that, having proved beyond a shadow of a doubt in the 18th century that life could not spontaneously generate, i.e. Flies from mud, maggots from meat, mice from fatty rags, geese from barnacles) today’s ‘modern’ scientists are claiming exactly the same thing!)

Fourth, even if ‘life’ did come from extra-terrestrial parts, we still have no idea how that original ‘life’ came into being, or how it launched itself so successfully across the near-absolute freezing void of Space, nor how it survived the millions of years of travel, nor how it survived its violent, fiery crash-landing on earth, nor how it managed to mutate so successfully into so many life-forms.

The second claim is that because apes behave in similar ways to humans, therefore there must be a biological link between them. Similar behaviour proves similar origins, right? To see where this kind of faulty reasoning leads to consider the following :

In 1999 New Zealand’s Parliament considered a bill to give great apes certain legal rights. Other people are calling for a U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Great Apes. People in the U.S. are considering a lawsuit on behalf of a chosen chimpanzee to set a legal precedent.

Though thoroughly secular, the journal ‘New Scientist’ took a strong stand against the lawsuit, pointing out that humans and chimps do indeed have a lot of DNA in common, but they also have a lot of material which is not similar, and humans have more DNA than apes. Genes, said the journal, are not ‘cake recipes’, that is, by mixing the same ingredients in different ways you don’t get the same cake. A few genes different (like ingredients) can make a completely different creature (cake).

The journal also cited Ronald Nadler, a psychology professor at Yerkes Primate Centre, who said that just because the great apes look like us, researchers get "sucked in" to overemphasising the similarities, and overlooking the differences, which he says are "substantial". He agreed that chimps should not be "sitting alone in their cages" but they did this because they were distressed, and not because they were human. (New Scientist, Feb.13,1999, p3, 20-21)

But if apes and humans are close enough to share legal rights, we ought to extend the principle further. If evolution is true, then all animals ought to have legal rights. And having included animals, from elephants to snails under a general Bill of Rights, should we not also include plants? Working from the simple premise, we are forced, logically,to ridiculous conclusions.

Human and chimpanzee DNA.

The idea that humans and chimps have close to 100% similarity in their DNA is worth consideration. Figures such as 97%, 98% and 99% are quoted, depending on who is telling the story, but what are we to think about this finding?

We have already seen that similarity in structure is not proof of common ancestry. The Porshe and the Volkswagon are both cars, but they come from different factories. The fact that they are similar in some ways is because of 1. The laws of Nature, and 2. The designers were all human. The fact that chimps and humans are similar is because 1. They are part of a whole earthly biosphere, and 2. They were both designed by the same Creator.

Alternatively, what if humans and apes were totally dissimilar? This might lead us to think that there were at least two different Creators. If all animals were totally different from each other, we might conclude that there were thousands of Creators. The fact that apes and humans are similar indicates that there is unity in Creation. The same God created all life using the same materials, but with different combinations and designs.

We know that DNA in cells contains much of the information necessary for the development of an organism. In other words, if two organisms look similar, we would expect there to be some similarity also in their DNA. If it was not so, then the whole idea that DNA carried the information to ‘make’ organisms would have to be questioned. Because chimpanzees and humans are the most similar, we would expect their DNA to be similar too.

But going even further from this point, it is also true that human DNA shares some similarities with all other DNA in all other living things. For example yeast. Because human cells can do many of the things that yeast can do, human DNA shares similarities in the coding for enzyme sequences and proteins.

But what of the claims about human and chimpanzee DNA being up to 98% similar? Human DNA has some three billion nucleotides in sequence, but neither the human nor the chimp DNA has been anywhere near fully sequenced, so it is premature to make such estimates.

Also, let us imagine that there is exactly 96% similarity, leaving only 4% difference. In that 4% we would find 120 million base pairs, or the equivalent of 12 million words, or 40 large books of information. In just 4% we have a tremendous amount of additional information, which could represent some hugely significant differences between humans and chimps.

By way of illustrating this point further, read the following two sentences and see if there is any difference between them :



What percentage of these two similar sentences is different? The first sequence of letters contains 50 letters, while the second sequence contains 52 letters. The percentage difference is therefore very close to 98%, so we would expect to find that both sentences mean much the same thing? Logically yes, but in practice, no. When it comes to DNA we have the same problem.

Apes produce apes.

Because DNA is the origin of the information for all offspring, it is important to realise that, unless new information is added to the DNA, it can produce only what it is designed to produce. This is profoundly important, not only for Creationists, but also as a barrier to prevent change from one species to another.

Put simply, chimpanzees produce only chimpanzees, human produce only humans.

A chimpanzee may be given fantastic attention from birth, and it may learn a thousand new skills, but it will not produce offspring with these new abilities. All its offspring would have to be given the same treatment to get the same results. Abilities are not inherited. Brillian human parents may give birth to average children, while the reverse may also happen.

The Creationist is happy with these science-based facts because they indicate that God created all the different kinds, or species and from those first parents have come all the successive generations - all the same as their parents, except for the variations in size, colour and so on.

Apes and human language.

One way in which evoultionists argue human and ape common ancestry, is by pointing at similar abilities between apes and humans. But here too, the same inconsistencies exist. The use of language actually argues against evolution far more strongly than for it.

In order for humans to use a language, they first need to learn it. Left in isolation, or in the ‘wild’ humans do not learn to speak a language if they have no contact with other speakers of a language. (i.e. The ‘wolf boy’ of India, who was incoherent for years. ‘Tarzan’ was a notable exception, being able to speak good English almost immediately)

The fact that humans can speak a language is because they have a portion of their brain specially designed to operate one. A language requires a vast number of operations - the words must be processed, analysed, placed in correct grammatical sequence, shaded with emotion, produced through a highly complex movement of vocal chords, mouth and tongue. Chimpanzees have no ‘speech centre’ in their brain, so they could not speak a language even if they were taught from birth. Chimps and other apes communicate in other ways, but never by words.

But the fact that a language has to be learned means that in order for humans to speak a language, they had to be taught it from infancy by parents who could already speak a language. This means that, at some point in the past, humans suddenly acquired the ability to speak a language, which means that it is reasonable to believe that languages were created.

If we take the evolutionary view, we have some huge problems. Grunts, squeals and clicks cannot become sophisticated language, because language must be learned. All a primitive human, in the evolutionary picture, would pass on is more grunts, squeals and clicks.

But further to this, it turns out that there is at least one parrot that can rival chimps (and dolphins) in creative language and complex reasoning. But birds are not supposed to be closely related to humans because they have much smaller brains.

An African grey parrot called Alex, trined by Irene Pepperberg at the University of Arizona, according to Irene, "speaks English and means what he says". Alex can count up to 6, and can recognise and name some 100 objects, including their shape, texture and colour.(Scientific American, April 1996, page 23)

There are some claims that chimps and orang-utans can recognise themselves in a mirror, and are therefore self-aware, but self-recognition is not the same as the human ability to be self-aware.

Daniel Povinelli from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, a committed evolutionist, has, after many years research, come to the (rather grudging) conclusion that : "chimps may not develop a mental understanding of themselves and others, at least not to the extent that pre-schoolchildren do." He says that "Humans operate in a mental realm that may stay off-limits to apes and other animals . . . By 3-5 years of age, children conclude that their peers behave according to unseen beliefs, intentions, and other mental states" while "chimps may not try to decipher other’ minds in this way". (Science news, Vo.149, No.3, Jan.20, 1996, page 42-43.)

In another study of apes and communication, some researchers have successfully taught chimpanzees some basic communication skills using a specially designed keyboard with 400 image-labelled keys linked to a voice synthesizer. Despite the appearance that the chimps were using language in the human way, the chimps were merely associating symbols with needs, such as "I write give grape" and "Please buy me a hamburger".

Two problems with this kind of research emerge. One is the evolutionary bias of the researchers, who jump at anything which looks remotely like evidence for their theory, and the second is the editing such experiments go through, with ‘unsuitable’ responses being down-played, and ‘good’ responses being emphasised.

A note on "yeti" and "Bigfoot".

These are two sources of stories about man-like monsters which some evolutionists like to believe because the existence of such creatures seems to support the evolutionary story of apes changing into men.

The Yeti, or ‘Abominable Snowman’ (‘Abominable’ means utterly detestible) or yeti by the Tibetans, is said to inhabit the Himilayan mountains at about snow level. It supposedly walks upright leaving huge footprints, is covered with coarse black or reddish hair, and has a face like a gorilla. It first came to the public’s notice in 1921, after English explorers on Mt. Everest reported seeing huge human-like tracks in the snow. However, no scientists has ever reported seeing such a creature. Sir Edmund Hillary believed that the huge footprints were "a small group of fox or dog tracks melted together by the warmth of the sun" (Merit Students Encyclopedia, 1:16, 1968)

Another explanation is "At certain gaits bears place the hindfoot partly over the imprint of the forefoot, thus making a very large imprint that looks deceptively like an enormous human footprint positioned in the opposite direction" (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1:35, 1992)

The Bigfoot. This is another mythical monster, also called Sasquatch by Indians, which is believed by some people to inhabit north-western U.S.A and western Canada - a sort of north-American counterpart to the Yeti. It has been variously described as "a primate ranging from 6 to 15 feet tall (1.8-4.5m), standing erect on two feet, often giving off a foul smell, and either moving silently or emotting a high-pitched cry. Footprints have been measured up to 24 inches (60 cm) in length and 8 inches (20 cm) across."

A set of huge footprints was first discovered in 1811 by the British explorer David Thompson, and since then there have been hundreds of claimed sightings, and even alleged photographs and filmings, some of which have been proven to be fake.

None of the purported evidence has been verified, and most scientists do do recognise the creature’s existence.

But even if such a creature was found, it would not be a ‘missing link’ because it would have DNA, like all other creatures, and therefore it could produce only copies of itself and nothing else.

Finally, the most damaging information which strikes at the heart of the ape-human question, is the New Testament. This book describes the coming of a man called Jesus Christ, whose birth was fortold hundreds of years before. Not only that but his upbringing, manners, powers, and lifestyle were also outlined accurately. Jesus lived like no other man ever lived. He worked miracles before hundreds of eye-witnesses. He healed the sick of every disease they had, he restored the limbs of the crippled, and he raised the dead. He lived so perfectly morally even his enemies could not find any fault with him, but in anger they pushed him to the cross on the charge that he claimed to be the Son of God. This means they took his claims seriously, and not as an idiot.

Three days after the Romans had Jesus crucified, he came back to life and showed himself to many people over a period of fifty days, teaching, and encouraging them, then he rose into the sky, promising to return.

If humans are related to apes, who was Jesus, and where does he fit into the Theory of Evolution? He claimed to be the Saviour of sinful humans. He claimed to be the Creator of this world and all life on it. He claimed to be the only way to heaven, the source of truth, and the means whereby people may obtain forgiveness and eternal life. This is the most important question to answer.

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