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Are You a Human or a Monkey? What Do You think?

According to Darwins timeline of human evolution I may claim that We are monkeys, Can You give scientific proof that We are not animal species?

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    May 19 2012: We are the only monkeys in the world capable of stating that some monkeys are monkeys, and other monkeys are primates! :-)
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    May 20 2012: We are absolutely animal species only....We belong to the category of the apes......We are also monkeys but the most intellectual among the monkeys............
    • May 24 2012: Hi Mr Monkey

      How can u explain the fact that
      we can see monkeys in the cage in zoo?
      • May 24 2012: What's there to explain?
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          May 26 2012: Explain this Gabo: why do those #*@&# monkeys at the San Francisco zoo throw their feces at me but I don't throw mine at them.
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        May 25 2012: Just wait till the aliens come then we'll be in the cage next door!
      • May 26 2012: Hi edward,

        What's there to explain?

        I don't know you other than in this forum, so I don't know what would motivate you to throw faeces at some monkeys in the zoo. I don't know those monkeys, so I don't know what has inspired them to throw faeces at you.
      • May 27 2012: Hello Edward,

        Well, of course we have differences to other primates, otherwise we would all be the same species. I left the emoticon out above too. :-)

        Best!
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    May 17 2012: We all live on the same planet, so much of our plumbing & wiring is, of necessity, similar. We are, in bodily terms, 'an animal species' as you call it, however our mental & spiritual attributes lift us out of the animal kingdom. I have no reason to believe that we are in any way related to apes. I doubt that I could convince a dedicated Darwinist though.

    :-)
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      May 17 2012: The (Catholic) Church recognized Darwin's theory of Evolution a long time ago. The very same Church that once literally sold access to Paradise to people who would pay and condemned a man who said that the Earth evolved around the sun, so we are speaking about a very conservative and dogmatic church here.

      If you have no "reason" to believe that we are related to apes, perhaps you categorically refuse to hear any explanations, and that hundreds of years of scientific research is crap? And, like the Creationists, you might believe that the world was created in 7 days and women come from Adam's rib?

      Then what is a "reason", semantically speaking, for you?

      :-)
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        May 17 2012: Hi Bruno.
        I guess what would help would be an offspring being born with new, useful, DNA information not present in the rest of the species. Better still some novel physical adaption. This shouldn't be a problem if billions of creatures are evolving.
        I am a Creationist, but far from impressed with the above mentioned church. Interesting how everyone immediately jumps from Darwin to religion. Why not stick with the biology ?

        :-)
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          May 20 2012: Peter

          The foundation of modern biology is based on evolution. It explains the similarities and divergence. You might as well take away knowledge of bacteria and viruses from the study of disease.

          I read that chimps have 1 more chromosome that homo sapiens and this was used as an argument against having a common ancestor. Then geneticists found one of our chromosomes has the characteristic of being a merging of 2 chromosomes..

          There is a reason gods and goddess and the supernatural are not in modern science. We find better explanations based on evidence and reason, admit the I don't knows and fix up theories when found to be wrong.

          The Catholic and Anglican church only accept evolution because they can't refute the science. They would love to refute it. Makes it interesting - when were souls injected. Really they have just moved the gap back a step.
    • May 18 2012: I'm curious specifically what you believe in relation to evolution;

      Lets assume that you're right and that humans didn't evolve from apes and were made by God and that all the other animals on the planet were also created by god in 6 days.

      Do you completely reject the existence of evolution? What I mean is, in one million years from now, do you believe that some amount of evolution will have occurred?

      Since just because evolution didn't contribute to our current form, doesn't mean our form won't change due to evolution in the future.

      I'm not really trying to make any point here, I'm just curious.
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        May 18 2012: Hi Luke.
        That's an interesting thought, what will we be like in a million years? Never really thought about it, but let's give it a go. A few thoughts ....
        The moon will be 40 miles further away.
        The sun will be 750,000km smaller.
        A day will be 200hrs long.
        The magnetic field will be long forgotten. All assuming present trends continue. The final two points would probably mean curtains for us lot.
        On evolution.... My opinion is that the first creatures were each given a full compliment of DNA , each according to the kind of the creature. The dogs, for instance, had instructions to produce everything from pekineze to great Danes. This variation allows them to adapt (via natural selection) to suit their environment. Over the years this variation has produced great variety, but creatures always stay within their original kinds, as no new genetic instructions are being produced.
        In our imaginary million years this process would continue as long as the population was sufficient to maintain a healthy & varied gene bank. However, there is a snag. Mutations get into the system with each generation; I have heard estimates from 30 to 200 per generation; I don't think we really know yet. Let's take the 30 & assume a generation turnover every 30yrs. That gives us a tidy million mutations over a million years. Even today we are struggling with disease, I doubt we could survive another million mutations.
        What are your thoughts on the next million years?

        :-)
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          May 20 2012: Peter,

          Forget dog breeds bred by man.

          How do you explain marsupials of Australia filling the same ecological niches as mammals elsewhere. Did god forget to create non marsupial mammals on Australia or did none make it back after the flood.
          We have/had marsupial mega fauna like bison
          Marsupial big cats - Tasmanian tiger
          marsupial hyenas - Tasmanian devil
          marsupial rats, rabbits, flying foxes etc
          marsupial mole
          There is also the platypus - what kind is that?

          Did these evolve/adapt from one kind of marsupial or were they all created.
          Are kanagaroos, koalas, possums, bandicots, gliders, wombats and tasmanian devils an adaptation from a proto marsupial or were they created separately?

          Or perhaps just the tree kanagroos, kanageroos and wallabies adapted from one although they can not interbreed they look very similar and are related via evolutionary theory.

          New Zealand has no land based native mammals at all so birds evolved to the size of horses. Science explains this via evolution with the NZ land mass being separate millions of years before mammals evolved. Did god forget all mammals on NZ or did none make it back after the flood but birds, lizards, and insects did?


          Did the Moa evolve from a smaller flying bird or was it created. Penguins - created or evolved from the proto bird?

          Do you have a list of the kinds of animals. Who decides or how are these defined.

          Does this include the kinds that are now extinct like fathered dinosaurs?

          Are you assuming no mutations beneficial?

          What are your astronomical sources?

          There are many gaps in science, but your rationale seems full of holes once you start poking at it.
        • May 21 2012: The day will be 200 hrs long?

          I can understand that you don't accept the mainstream scientific theories and I can let the other things go on that basis but how could the earth possibly lose so much rotational momentum, even in a million years?

          There's practically nothing to slow it down and the earth weighs so much that it's rotational momentum would be absolutely enormous.

          The only guess I have for this particular prediction is that it's somehow related to the lose of the magnetic field.

          Since you ask, my prediction;
          In reality any evolution will become irrelevant either way since genetic engineering has the potential to render it completely redundant but lets pretend that GE doesn't exist and theorycraft from there.

          Again natural disasters and climate change has the potential to end the human species but again lets pretend that everything will carry on as it is now for the next million years.

          It would be easy to think that hand eye coordination will be a valuable quality but I think we are in a temporary transitional period. I've already seen videos on TED about intercepting the optical signal from the eye to the brain and technology like that has the potential to render any peripheral device obsolete.

          When we are eventually able to control computers and the world around us directly with our thoughts, evolution will swing into action with a heavy bias to mental fitness.

          We may not have strong evolutionary force in the sense of lions hunting down weak group members on the Sahara but we will have evolution through sexual selection.
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        May 20 2012: Hi Obey.

        Did you write all that in one breath. This blunderbuss approach will beat me for sure; I have a life outside TED.

        :-)
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        May 21 2012: Hi Luke.
        The earth's rotation is slowing quite markedly. This is due to the drag that the moon has on the oceans. In effect the earth is transferring energy to the moon, which in turn is accelerating away from the earth into an ever increasing orbit.
        It is calculated that the earth's magnetic field has a half life of 1400 years, this will reduce it to useless in a matter of thousands of years. The field appears to have switched polarity in the past, & some hopeful souls hope that it is merely weakening in order to reverse & come back again. It seems more realistic to accept that it is losing energy just like the rest of the universe, & will expire.
        It seems to be in order to wind red-shift back until we get to the Big Bang. It is instructive to do the same with lunar recession, earth rotation, magnetic field strength, & lots of other observable phenomena with a view to assessing the viability of earth as a life sustaining environment. The window of opportunity is not perhaps as large as many would hope.
        I admire your optimism regarding the future, the world sure is an exciting place, get out there & make a difference.

        :-)
    • May 19 2012: I don't see the "necessity" for there to be animals that if classified would be much closest to us than to other animals. The reason why they are so similar to us is because their species separated from us in evolutionary history at a time closer to any separation from previous lineages. You can't deny that there are way too many options for animals. So that we fall into the classification so neatly is not a "necessity." We are definitely apes by any measure, by any unbiased standard we are definitely apes, definitely primates. Besides this undeniable fact, there is undeniable evidence, that the reason we are apes is because we share closest ancestry with the rest of the apes. Only those who ignore the evidence, or who are rather unreasonable would deny the existence of such clear evidence.
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        May 19 2012: Hi Gabo.
        As I understand it, the proposed mechanism for the introduction of new genetic material is mutation/natural selection.. Excuse my laymen terms. Say we need to make feather from a scale.
        1) A random mutation occurs in an existing gene. There is a high probability it will be 'corrected' by the self checking mechanism, or it may cause death or disease in the host. Assuming it makes it through, it must be, unwittingly, the start of a feather instruction. The odds are veeeeeery long.
        2) Undaunted, a second random mutation must arrive at the correct site, & fill the same criteria. This time the host must survive two mutations fouling up whatever the previous function was. Again the odds are veeeeeeeery long.

        How many mutations do we need before we get a feather? The idea that a chain of more than 3 or 4, of these mutations could arrive & survive in sequence seems to me a miracle. And what do we get; a feather. Not a lot of use without a wing, two wings in fact; complete with bones muscles etc. etc.

        Don't you see how impossible this is ? Yet, by your view, it must have succeeded trillions of times over the years. I know we look, & sometimes behave like, apes, but that doesn't automatically mean that we are related to them.

        :-)
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          May 20 2012: Hi Peter your argument is basically it is hard to comprehend how the physical differences between phyla or animal classes developed.

          Do you believe all birds have a common ancestor or were all bird species created or some mix?

          Isn't it remarkable all animals have to eat or kill other living organisms to survive. This is apparently Yahwehs plan. Most animal embryos have very similar development in the early stage.

          So Yahweh invented the spinal skeleton and though this is good? And then created all the vertebra species from fish to birds to reptiles to mammals including primates and humans. He tried something else with the insects but kept the sexual reproduction and digestive processes etc.

          Yahweh made us so fragile and flawed, susceptible to diseases. I guess Yahweh made bacteria and viruses although these have changed over time. Yahweh gave us nearly the same body as other apes, the same instincts to fight, flee, freeze, and reproduce and then condemns us for it.

          If we are made in gods image then the chimpanzee and bonobo are about 98% in gods image.

          We have the explanation now that fits perfectly - Evolution. But creationists prefer to rely on a pre-scientific belief.

          Its a bit like saying Yahweh sent a plague that killed 50,000 Israelites after David sinned. When it was probably just bacteria. We know viruses and bacteria cause disease now. We have microscopes we don't need a god.

          If we use occams razor what is more likely to explain the similarities the natural process of evolution or some even harder to explain supernatural entity that just made it that way?

          You mentioned the old/young woman optical illusion. This is deliberately made to fool our imperfect brains. Its remarkable that god made life look like it evolved to trick us.

          If humans were clearly different from other animals. If we were the only animal and the rest of life was plants you would have a stronger argument than it is hard to comprehend this from that, or design efficienc
        • May 20 2012: Let's not miss the point Pete. You gave an excuse for there being animals that look like us, I showed you that there is no such a need. Now, if you got that, then we can go to the next of your problems. Did you get that? If not, let's expand: there are plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, archaea, viruses of many types. Among animals, there are so many options: turtles, lizards, dinosaurs, marsupials, birds, mammals. You get the idea, I hope. So, there is really no need for us to be so obviously animals, and so obviously apes, or put the other way, there is no need for there to be animals that would look so much like us. Oh, let's not forget, you believe in an all-powerful god, so what would be the big deal of this god making us truly something else, neither plants, nor fungi, nor bacteria, nor archaea, not viruses, not animals, but something else. Yet, if we look honestly, we are definitely animals, and we are definitely apes.

          This is clear, right? I mean, if we jump to each of your problems with evolution, later you would just repeat everything as if I said and explained nothing, so I rather take one at a time. So, got it so far?

          Best!

          P.S. As an advance on your next problem, of course that we are apes does not necessarily mean that we share common ancestry with the rest of the apes. But it is already quite suggestive. This is but one of many clues about our evolution. Unfortunately for your beliefs, there is undeniable evidence of the common ancestry. No matter how hard you might think that evolution could be, the evidence is irrefutable.
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        May 20 2012: Hi Gabo.
        The reason we are close to apes could be either evolution, or special creation. There is no explanation that would negate special creation if a creator god exists. This is why I home in on the alleged mechanism for macro-evolution. What you can prove aces what you believe every time.
        Please explain in laymans terms how random mutations within the DNA eventually produce a novel feature that can be selected. As I said above the obstacles seem formidable to me, but presumably there is a rational explanation ?

        :-)
        • May 21 2012: Wrong Pete, if a god-creator existed, the evidence would say clearly and loudly that this creator made us through evolutionary processes, not by special-individual-species creation. Remember that yours is but one particular myth among too many other myths, and among many other gods we could imagine.

          So, are we clear about the no-necessity for us to be like apes and vice-versa? Unless you want to deny that the god you believe in is an all-powerful one. I really would like this one out of the way before proceeding. After all, admitting no necessity is not admitting that your god is not there.

          What gives?
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        May 21 2012: Hi Gabo.

        Of course there is no necessity for us to look like apes. However, if you are going to make thousands of different creatures to the same basic format; 2/4 legs, 2/4 arms, 2 eyes, 2 ears, hairy, mouth, teeth, etc; then the probability that some will resemble others is very high.
        The homology argument falls down at the mechanism. You really need to explain the process of an arm becoming a wing, becoming a flipper etc. We're back to mutations again & how a partial wing would be an advantage over an arm, etc.

        :-)
        • May 22 2012: Pete,

          There are plenty of fossils evidencing arms "becoming" flippers, and arms "becoming" wings. None of them seem to involve half wings, nor half flippers for that matter. What about you first go clean up your misconceptions? Look, for example, for whale evolution, avoid the creationist propaganda in the process and actually look at the fossils and diagrams explaining the changes, and such. This requires patience, but at least you would be able to formulate the right questions, rather than having me to explain to you that evolution is not about halved structures, that halved structures is a creationist rhetorical straw-manizing of evolutionary events built with the sole purpose of making you feel as if evolution is a ridiculous proposition.

          Do you think you can do this? That would also partially solve your problems with mutations, since seeing the process "in action" would facilitate your understanding. Let me give you an advance (tad of a socratic method): Do you think that all arms are equally developed, shaped, formed, and useful, all across the animals we see living today? Do you think that we humans have all the exact same arms, same lengths, same musculature, same hair lengths, same everything, or do we survive all right despite wide and long differences?

          That and please do some research. Then we can talk and solve some authentic questions, rather than try and talk away straw-men.

          Deal?

          :-)
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        May 23 2012: Hi Gabo.
        If we start on whales we will get shot down as off-topic. It is a bit of a moving target anyway, Darwin thought a bear, then others a hippo, & today a Sinonyx. I guess hominids would be a better subject, but all we have here is an "Ape-Like Creature " so maybe not.
        This subject has 8 days to go. Your speciality is genomes & such. We can debate bones for ever, but I am asking you about mutations causing macro-evolution. This is your speciality; if you won't explain it then no-one will. Dawkins et al say it's so obvious that it hardly needs explanation. Well it's not obvious to me, & I would very much appreciate an explanation. You're my best hope yet old pal.

        :-)
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          May 23 2012: What you close your eyes for, you can't see.
          Peter, if you prefer your man like God that manifactured all life forms from clay it's fine with me but don't suggest that those that know better have no argument.

          Why would a whale have remnants of leg bones? Maybe God put them there because he wasn't sure yet whether to let them swim or walk and forgot the whole issue afterwards.

          How could creation be measured in days as on the first day earth didn't exist yet to tell the hours with its rotation? Couldn't periodes be a better translation than days to let room for evolution as the creative process?
        • May 23 2012: Pete,

          It was you who started with half flippers and half wings. Not me. But I did not ask you to start talking about whales, I asked you to go and clean up your misconceptions, then ask the proper questions. How am I supposed to start talking about mutations and evolution (however micro and macro), if you will be thinking about how it could be a mutation beneficial if it will produce a half wing?

          Can you understand what my problem is at all? Your misconceptions stand in the way. Actually, if you cleaned those up, you would notice that the mutation problem is no such thing.

          As for Darwin and bears, and hippos, and whatever. Man, you seem quite inclined to misunderstand science. For every problem there is a start. You get this? OK, here is the story:

          1. Darwin imagined a scenario where a bear population might give rise to something like a whale. He did not say that was the exact way it happened. It was speculation.
          2. Some people thought, ok, since whales are mammals, they should have evolved from land-dweling animals. Which kinds of animals could give us clues to the evolution of whales? Let's look around, oh, hippos have quite the life by rivers, more than half their lives immersed in water. Let's look for clues there.
          3. People started studying the embryology and genetics figuring out the closest relatives to whales, and the fossil record showed animals that helped figure these things out much better.

          So, Darwin started with no data. Others followed on the ideas, and data and more data finally gave us much better clues. It is natural that as evidence accumulates we will have a better picture. What else do you expect? Do you think that Darwin's clear speculation (did you read the original?), with no data other than knowing that whales are mammals, was considered the accurate story of whale evolution? Because if so, then you have many more misconceptions to clean up from your mind. All knowledge starts somewhere.

          :-(
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        May 23 2012: Hi Frans.

        I'm merely trying to stick to the subject. Everybody wants to divert me onto God, then I get deleted for going off-topic. Presumably you are on the side of the monkeys, I beg to differ?
        At one time there were over 100 vestigial claimed for the human anatomy; now there are precisely zero. The whale will be the same. At the moment it seems that these little bones anchor the genetalia, as there seems to be a difference in male & female; but time will tell. I'm just grateful I didn't lose my tonsils or appendix like many of my peers.

        :-)
        • May 23 2012: Pete,

          I don't remember asking you anything about "God" here.

          And of course we have lots of vestigial features.

          Best.
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        May 23 2012: Hi Gabo.
        The God comment was a general one, not directed at you personally.
        Our problem is that you think I have misconceptions, & I think it's you who has them. From your point of view I have to agree with you before you can explain mutations. That's a tough call as the only thing that might sway me would be a sound theory on mutations. I understand about science moving on, & having many false dawns on the road to enlightenment; that is only natural. However today it seems like everybody is certain of their facts. I am some sort of moron because I don't accept evolution, but I am finding it difficult to nail down the reason folk are so certain. If there is a tested mechanism for macro evolution, I can understand why you could be convinced. You might even convince me. Thus far, however I have drawn a blank. Micro I get, no problem. Testable & scientific. Macro, no. Speculating about which fossil begat which won't do it either, especially as I believe they are all pretty much the same age. Guess I'll always be a moron.

        :-)
        • May 23 2012: No sir, you don't have to agree with me before I can give you explanations. You have to clean up misconceptions. That's completely different. I know you have misconceptions. If you don't think so, then explain where you get the half wing and half flipper concept other than from creationist quackery (and how that is not a misconception). What kinds of misconceptions do you think I could have? Do you really think that it is me who does not know how evolution works? Do you really think that it is quacks who got it right rather than someone who has actually looked at the data? (Do you really think that I would accept evolution if it was about half wings?)

          Finding out that evolution does not involve half wings, nor half flippers, looking at actual transitions (even if you believe them to be specific kinds rather than transitions), does not mean that you should agree with me before I explain something, it just means cleaning up those misconceptions. This would help you understand my explanations.

          So, is this possible? Can you check and forget half wings and half flippers? If not, then I can't do much. I will explain and you will imagine half wings. I have already explained a bit, so that you get the ideas better, but I can't explain so much anatomical details besides explaining mutations ... anyway, is this clear now? Is it clear that I am not asking you to agree with me but to clean up the quackery about halves?

          P.S. Certainty? We are not certain of everything, but evolution has been investigated for at least 150 years. We have tons of evidence, and we have no option but to accept the facts. Evolution did and it is still happening. We have discovered mechanisms other than natural selection, other than point mutations, all natural mechanisms, of course. But evolution is settled. It is only details and there might be more mechanisms to discover. Not my fault if we are that advanced.
        • May 23 2012: Pete,

          Repeated from above because these are part of the guiding questions to help you understand (I suspect that you skim rather than read):

          Do you think that all arms are equally developed, shaped, formed, and useful, all across the animals we see living today? Do you think that we humans have all the exact same arms, same lengths, same musculature, same hair lengths, same everything, or do we survive all right despite wide and long differences?

          I add this: Do you think that the mutations responsible for all those different shapes, lengths, and hair-nesses (et cetera), and such are/were harmful or rather inconsequential?
        • May 23 2012: If you accept micro evolution then macro evolution comes along for free if you also accept that there has been a very long period of time for it to occur in. It's as simple as that really.

          If you think that the fossil evidence is the result of the biblical flood then why do we not find fossil elephants in Jurassic strata? Why has there never been any example of an out of place fossil in the geological record?

          To remain on topic why do we find fossil evidence, that can be dated by a variety of means, that suggests a 'progression' (wrong word really but it will have to do) from a creature like Orrorin tugenensis to modern chimps and from Orrorin through Australopithecus afarensis, Homo habilius etc to Homo sapiens? Furthermore why does it occur in an order consistant with evolutionary theory if evolution theory is wildy inaccurate?
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        May 24 2012: Hi Gabo..
        Jings, it's getting harder to get replies in the right place.
        Nothing to do with quacks really. If a wing is going to change into an arm gradually, over a period of time, it must logically go through an intermediate stage. The only alternative is for it to change quickly from one to another. So midway through the process it is logically a mixture of both. If a cube changed gradually into a sphere the it would spend most of the process as something else. Seems logical to me, but maybe I'm missing something.
        I see creatures all with all their parts fully operational. I accept that there are humans who are stronger, fitter, more agile, smarter (definitely) than me, so yes some have stronger arms etc., but normally everything functions well enough. I do not see humans, or monkeys, with anything that could be construed as 'evolving' to the next level; we're all the same.
        I think mutations are responsible for the degeneration of our DNA, & that we are on a downward spiral of disease & decay. Your side claims that mutations are partially responsible for one species evolving into another. This is a crucial question; much is riding on it; it's your field, so I'm taking the opportunity of asking politely if you could explain it in layman's terms for us all. My present outlook is irrelevant, this is something that anyone interested at all in the creation/evolution debate would love to know about.

        :-)
        • May 24 2012: Hey Pete,

          But there is quite a difference between something "in between" and "half a wing." So, can we agree to this then? That there is no need to imagine half wings but intermediate things? That would be a huge advance over your cartoon, and will help us advance.

          What makes you think that mutations can only go down? After all, there are plenty of experiments showing that if we introduce random mutations into a gene, and we just put cells containing these mutant genes into an environment they would not survive without a positive mutation, we get positive mutations. Cells with negative mutations die out. But those containing genes with positive mutations reproduce and strive. If mutations could only degenerate DNA, then this would not be possible, would it?

          Please don't miss the point, this is direct evidence that random mutations can be positive, and that an environment can select for such positive mutations. Right?

          After this we can talk about intermediate forms, but clearly mutations are not just degenerative. Can we go to the next phase? Understood that mutations can be positive? Will you please stop the nonsense about "mutations only degenerate"?

          :-)
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        May 24 2012: Hi Terry.
        My view :-

        Micro-evolution. Ability of a creature to adapt to it's environment using existing, inbuilt, DNA programming. Usually driven by natural selection. Testable & scientific.

        Macro-evolution. Ability of a creature (or creatures) to be transformed into a different type of creature by the addition of novel DNA programming via an unspecified source.

        These are two totally different processes, one does not amount to the other with the passage of time. That's how I see it, but it's not my field.

        I think you will find that there are loads of out of place fossils.

        Radio metric dating as you know is calculated using assumptions, & the result is at the mercy of those assumptions. I wouldn't bet my life on it. Check out the RATE Project.

        :-)
        • May 24 2012: Hi Pete,

          You are of course entitled to you opionion, my response to the points raised follows :-

          Regarding macro-evolution The mechanism for novel DNA is not unspecified; it lies in such commonly observed mutational process of recombination, duplication etc such as happens in micro-evolution.

          I can find no information on any genuine out of place fossils. I can find information on a handful of fossils that have been claimed as such but nothing genuine.
          http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/Some_fossils_are_out_of_place

          I was not previously aware of RATE and have now taken a look at it and read Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth, Volume I, straight away I looked at the peer reviewers; nearly all of which are from researchers at christian establishments or from researchers outside the field. References quoted later as scientific are in fact from earlier creationist work or earlier scientifc work later shown to be erronous. The argument seems based on a fantastic fix regarding god intervening and accelerating nuclear decay either/or before the third day when animals/plants are created; doing it deep in the earth before the flood mixed it all up; when the plants and animals were shielded by the ark and flood waters. Thus avoiding everything dying of raditaion poisioning and that the expansion of the universe also does away with the heat problem caused by this accelerated decay. Interesting ideas, not very scientific, the upshot - God cooked the books, to borrow a phrase from accounting. The whole tone reminds me very much of the arguments that can be found put forth by climate change skeptics refuting climate science.

          Interestingly enough though the first website I came a cross with regard to RATE was called - Old Earth Ministries 'bringing the bible and science together without conflict' a christian website disputing the young earth hypothesis including the RATE project, it may be of some interest to you
          http://www.oldearth.org/ratedeception.htm

          Regards
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        May 25 2012: Hi Gabo.
        Yes, I can understand there is a difference between half a wing & an intermediate wing.
        I have no direct knowledge of whether mutations are detrimental or not. It seems to me that if a DNA instruction is carrying out a useful function, & we introduce a random instruction, the odds are in favour of a detrimental outcome. There may be an argument that occasionally we get a good result. as I see it we would need a number of good results end to end. This I find hard to accept. How would the cell know what was a beneficial mutation initially? As we need to get a dozen or so in line before any advantage can be recognised by natural selection?
        I'm all ears.

        :-)
        • May 26 2012: The cell does not know anything. The mutation occurs, and if it is positive for some challenge, then the cell survives such challenge. What's so hard about this? I told you, experiments in the lab demonstrate that this indeed happens, and that this indeed selects for positive mutations.

          Who said we need a dozen or so? One mutation can have effects. Since different mutations in the same gene can have the same benefit, then recombining these mutations can increase the benefit exponentially. Since mutations in different genes can have the same benefits, then recombining these genes increases the benefit exponentially. These have also been demonstrated in the lab. Induce random mutations, put the cell in a challenging environment, only feels carrying beneficial mutations survive, put the cells in a situation for recombination (sexual reproduction does this too), and we see positive results faster than we previously thought possible. All in the lab Pete. This is not "occasionally." This is every time the experiments are performed.

          Most mutations might just look like variability under one condition, but be advantageous under another condition. That's the thing.

          So. Can we forget the "only degenerative mutations" quackery?
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        May 25 2012: Hi Terry.

        In many ways it boils down to my experts versus your experts. It depends on where you personally think the truth lies. This is usually driven by experience. My life has been largely in mechanical engineering. In the cell I see exquisite nano engineering. My whole being rebels against the idea that this could come about by anything other than intelligent planning.
        If we take radio metric dating. There are opinions on both sides; however there is a more basic consideration. Everyone agrees that creatures have to be buried very quickly to become fossils. We have billions of them buried in layers all over the world. In many cases we have trees etc passing through multiple layers. Evolutionists readily agree this had to happen quickly. Why then should we believe then that the layers in general took millions of years to form? To me it just doesn't hang together. I know it's a simplistic attitude, but it has served me well.

        :-)
        • May 26 2012: Nope, it boils down to authentic scientists on one side, versus mere quackery and rhetoric on your side Pete. No way around it. This is plain and consistently true. Your "experts" are nothing but quacks.

          For radiometric dating, we have the data, the many experiments, the evidence, and the methods, the quacks have rhetoric, lies, propaganda, and a talent for misunderstanding.

          We don't have to agree that layers can take millions of years to form. The evidence says so, and if the evidence says so, it is so.
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        May 27 2012: Well Gabo.
        I just don't know how to respond. You get interesting results by cutting & pasting existing DNA in the lab. I don't doubt it, but that falls far short of producing a wing from an arm in the wild.
        Your obvious contempt for your fellow scientists does nothing to enhance your argument.

        :-)
        • May 27 2012: Pete,

          Those quacks are not my fellows. Get this clearly in your head. I go by the evidence, whether the evidence goes against what I have thought, or not. Those quacks have no idea about science, no idea about evidence. They just line up whatever they rather like, misrepresent, build straw men, et cetera. I don't do that. I actually do research and experiments. Your quacks gather misquotes and lie.

          I was not talking about cutting and pasting DNA. Again, one step at a time. The results for positive mutations when mutations happened randomly, and cells put into challenging environments proves that it is indeed true that positive mutations arise, and that they are not only degenerative. Can we agree to this already? We can then go for changes in arm structure. But first you do notice that mutations can be positive. Correct? I am talking experimental evidence. Direct, consistent evidence. Thus, random mutations do produce enough positive mutations even in a limited lab setting, a challenging environment can select such positive mutations. Good so far?

          Let me know, because this is important to understand before we can go to arms and wings. And truly, I get tired of you repeating the same nonsense about "only degenerative mutations" because I have told you about these experiments before. Clearly they show that your assumption is wrong. By the way, they also show that the assumption that most mutations are harmful is wrong, because besides the positive mutations, lots of other mutations do not change the gene's activity too much. Again, consistently across experiments done in different laboratories.

          :-)
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      May 19 2012: Hi Peter, you raise one of the key examples that points strongly to evolution and common ancestry.

      Do you accept that it looks like we could have common ancestry with apes, then monkeys, then mammals, then all vertebrae.

      I accept that a god or goddess could have created us so that we all share similar biology.

      Its remarkable that you see design efficiency where others see common ancestry. We I try and be objective it seems like a huge coincidence that god thought all mammals would have such similar traits and physiology from immune systems, to reproduction, breast feeding, brains etc. Personally I think the tree of life has points so much more strongly to evolution than creation.

      In the end all life shares DNA, you accept micro evolution or minor adaption, but not that the some of these minor adaptations over time might lead to offspring that could not breed successfully with earlier ancestors.

      If a creator god or goddess was going to make it look like we evolved this is what life would look like. Exactly what we have now - shared biology, similarities, commonalities, and things like appendices and nerves that go all over the place the long way around because fish don't have necks but we do now.

      What are the odds that a creator would make it look like we evolved. Is it less fantastic that we have common ancestor or that god made all mammals including humans with similar eyes, 4 limbs (like most vertebrae), ears, digestion, skeletons etc.

      All mammals have the same eyes. In fact fish also have the camera eye. Fish are vertebrae and so are we. Could that suggest a common ancestor?

      Then insects were all created with compound eyes. Isn't it weird that so many animals we call insects have 6 legs, compound eyes, exoskeletons etc. It sure looks like they share a common ancestor.

      I would suggest the tree of life points strongly to evolution, otherwise there are so huge design efficiency assumptions for reptiles, mammals, vertebra, insects. Sexual reproduction etc
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      May 19 2012: So we are not related except for 95% of of body structure and processes.

      Why is it necessary that human be so similar to apes, less so with monkeys, less so with other mammals, less so with other vertebra (birds, fishes_, less so with other animal kingdoms, and even less so with the other domains of life, but nearly all with DNA.

      Why didn't god make us a kingdom to ourselves. Why did he make us mammals?.
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        May 19 2012: Hi Obey.

        Suppose you were given the task of designing a craft to go to the bottom of the deepest ocean. It was to carry passengers who wanted to examine the seabed. We both know it would be one of two shapes because of the pressures involved. It would be either a sphere, or a cylinder with domed ends.

        Same goes for creatures to inhabit land sea & sky. We are at the mercy of the environment. Our sphere didn't slowly stretch into a submarine, they were both designed separately. Likewise God designed many varied creatures to inhabit the earth. It may look like they evolved to some, but to very many others it looks like design. It's like the picture of the old & young woman. It depends how you look at things.
        • May 19 2012: Evolution happened. God cannot go against that statement.
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          May 19 2012: Hi Peter, I agree a creator could have made things look exactly as they are.
          Just suggesting the tree of life, the connections are similarities point more strongly to evolution.
          It's not proof there is no god, or that god did not have a hand in the process.
          Just given our understanding of biology these days I hope you at least accept that the biological similarities suggest we are not that different from the great apes, share a lot with other mammals, and even all vertebra.
          Funny that many sins relate to our animals instincts we share with other animals too.

          Can you see the pattern?
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        May 20 2012: Hi Obey.
        Physically we are similar to the apes. Certainly lots of fossils have been touted as missing links over the years, but most founder under close examination. What people claim as an obvious fact has precious little empirical data to back it up.
        I'll stick with the idea that we were designed to live in a similar habitat until proven otherwise.

        On the tree of life issue. Fact is most go the basic creature structures appear at the bottom of the 'column' & have been going extinct wholesale ever since. The Tree appears to be upside down.

        :-)
        • May 21 2012: Pete,

          Lots of fossils show intermediate structures between humans and other apes. Lots. They start appearing at proper times, first the ones with smaller brains, then those with a bit larger brains, then larger, and so on. They don't "founder" under close examination. Quite the contrary, close examination has taken my breath away, a feeling that appears to be a mixture of awe and fear, by their evident anatomical clues.

          Then there is more empirical evidence, like those fossils occurring close to where our closest relatives live. the genetic evidence suggesting our ancestors coming out of Africa, the genes that have lost their functions in all of us great apes, curiously with the very same mutations, or the viral insertions in the exact same places as if we inherited a virus that infected a common ancestor. Heck, not only that, for several organisms we actually have complete evolutionary fossil histories showing spectacular transitions, beautifully confirmed by the developmental, and genetic evidence. And there is more. That is not something I would describe as "lacking precious empirical evidence."

          The tree of life is dominated by unicellular microbes for billions of years. How can unicellular microbes have all the basic "creature structures" that we witness today?
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    May 25 2012: Zoologically speaking humans are Homo Sapiens. Monkeys (a colloquialism) are not Homo Sapiens.
    According to Phylogeny; Ontogeny; Taxonomy; and my Mom, I am not a monkey.
    Charlie (Darwin) and Dick (Dawkins) say I am a monkey. I don't believe either of them.
    I will check to see if the monkeys have a similar conversation on their internet.
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    May 25 2012: Look up each of these terms. Eukaryote, animal, chordate, vertebrate, mammal, primate, homonid, homo, homo sapien. We are all these things. Each is a smaller and smaller more specialised group, until you get to the last one which is just us.
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    May 20 2012: What does one gain from categorizing what type of animal we are? Are we not simply an animal; human? Perhaps this anthropocentric tendency we seem to perform in cognition should be more illuminated in schools? As to eliminate the thought our "species" is "better" than any other. I mean, a snake is born a snake and a mouse is born a mouse. The snake didn't have a choice of being a snake and wanting to eat the mouse, but he will.

    Maybe we do not have a choice of thinking we are better than others and animals. However, I wager our cognitive abilities are high enough to rationally look passed this bias/misconception of anthropocentrism.
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    May 20 2012: The Chimpanzee created 98% in gods image.

    I guess Yahweh does not have tail. So monkeys are created only 93% in gods image.
  • May 19 2012: "Monkey" is a poor choice of word because it is a colloquial word. We are great apes and primates. There is no denying it. If we wanted to classify humans versus "the animals" we would have a lot of trouble. Example, we put humans on one side, then we try and classify the chimps, we would note that the chimp has much more in common with us than with any other animals. Thus, we would have to put the chimps into the human category, then the gorilla would have more in common with both us and chimps than with any other animals, thus another species of human, then the orang-utan would have much more in common with us, chimps, and gorillas than with any other animals, thus, another species of human ... in the end, I do not know where the classification would actually break and allow us to have "humans" on one side, and the rest of the animals in another. Seems like either we call all the animals "humans," or we accept that we are animals too. I don't think that anybody will be able to show you proof otherwise.
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    May 17 2012: more precisely apes
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    May 17 2012: We know what a monkey is; and prehistoric record of human experiences shows that awareness. No such record reveals an awareness of a physical transition between mankind and monkeys.Like us they knew a monkey for a monkey; nothing in-between this two states of existence.
    So we may share a lot in terms of biological make up and chemical composition; but were never the same or from the same ancenstral state with the other.
    Natural objects are natural because they abide by the laws of nature. Not because nature is a mix of cells dividing and becoming different cells.
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    May 25 2012: Hi John,

    The short answer to your first question is that I am human, not a monkey, not a snail, not a dog, not a walnut tree. I think that we humans are one of many species of animals that can be clearly differentiated from monkeys. Not better, not worse. Different.

    To your second question the answer is quite easy. No. Nobody can give scientific proof that we are not an animal species.

    It would help a little if you stated in your question what your own thoughts are on the subject, and maybe a little bit of your background. I don't see how according to Darwin's theory you can claim that we are monkeys. That shows that you have got Darwin's Theory wrong, and i suspect that you may be also confused about what constitutes "scientific proof"

    cheers
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    May 24 2012: searching Minds- Guiding Spirit
    Search beyond Biological frame- Science to nature and philosophy
    evolution needs to catch-up with creation. see cosmology Vedas interlinks- recent lectures addressed to Vedic groups and medical doctors association
  • May 19 2012: I like Becket's "Waiting for Godot." Some of us wake up in a new world every day. But biology
    is a science. Take Hemphill's arguement that psychology is a science, and this is easier to
    argue. There are positive things to say about the intellignce of various species and other
    things. Good for man, good for the reat apes, and good for whales etc. Monkeys are brighter
    than alot of things. They can also be very cuts. If this is a religious question O.K>
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    Josh S

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    May 19 2012: The hole basis of this question is off. We dont come from monkeys or apes or gorillas or what, but according to evolution we share a common ancestor.

    You cant really call a human a monkey, its like calling a a lion a tiger. They may be very similar and share a close ancestor, but they aren't the same species.
    You asked for scientific proof, the proof is that we are homo sapien, and monkeys are not. Science made up those terms and defined that, so that's the proof in and of itself.

    I think i am a homo sapien, different from monkeys in that i have a much higher thinking capacity in that i can actually comprehend and think about the question being asked.
  • Comment deleted

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      May 20 2012: Depends on the relation one has had with one or other monkey.
      Heard about some that met their cat or dog though.
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    May 18 2012: According to science, we are animal species. Our brains are very similar to apes with the exception that we have an expanded cerebral cortex that leads to higher capacity for thought. We also have altered voice boxes that allow for speech. We have an altered thumb that leads to advanced capacity to use tools. The differences are quite pronounced. Evolution says that it was all accidental. Evolutionists cannot tell us how it happened. I accept that we evolved. I believe that there is more going on than just evolutionary accidents.

    There was an interesting cartoon. The apes were looking at humans and their capacity to kill each other. One ape looks at the other and says "they definitely didn't come from us".
    • May 18 2012: "Evolution says that it was all accidental. Evolutionists cannot tell us how it happened."
      Even Wikipedia can tell you that this is untrue. Evolution consists of several mechanisms, some of which exhibit randomness. That doesn't make evolution purely accidental; nor is it a fault of evolutionary theory that humans find it hard to come to terms with randomness as an explanation. So your belief that there is more going on than 'evolutionary accidents' is correct, evolution is a lot more complicated than that.
  • May 17 2012: As Krisztián said earlier the scrupulously accurate way of stating the facts is that; as a Human I may also be categorised as a type of ape as well, and I may also be categorised as a primate, one thing I definately am NOT though is a monkey. Sorry if this seems a bit pedantic.

    As humans we understandably think of ourselves as special however I don't really see us as that much different from our closest cousins in our animal kingdom, we are just superspecialised at the tool using niche and have the type of brians that facilitate that tool use. Sure we are different from other species that came before us in this super expolitation of tools but for those people who are convinced that humans are something radically different then I would offer the following two TED talks as evidence against this view.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals.html
    http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_savage_rumbaugh_on_apes_that_write.html

    I can think of no convincing scientific argument that we are not an animal species.
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    May 17 2012: No I can't.....
    May be others can who think they don't belong to animal kingdom.....they are something special and somethin different super duper....
    I am defintely human as I can kill recklessly any plant or animal just for pleasure even....
  • May 17 2012: Claiming that people are (not) monkeys is decidedly human behavior. How this would constitute an argument for or against evolutionary theory has always puzzled me.
    • Comment deleted

      • May 18 2012: "Our body is made of earthly, physical stuff but our mind is made of spiritual substance (which is more real than this 'cloudy' material) which cannot be seen with the eye."

        This notion is called dualism and the problem with dualism is that it does not explain how the one world can affect the other. Take, for example, the message that you wrote. On the one hand, there is the spiritual process of formulating the idea behind your message. On the other hand, there is the physical process of expressing it by writing it down. How are these processes linked? Can energy spill over from the spiritual to the physical world? And how would that relate to the law of energy conservation that we observe in the physical world? Furthermore, how does it work the other way around: how do the inputs from your physical sensory system reach your mind? Where is the interface between mind and body and how does it work?

        I have never heard satisfactory answers to these questions and I am quite sure that they do not exist. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that dualism is false. The only reality that exists is the one that we observe and experience. Neither our brain, nor our consciousness is outside of this reality. Our brain and our actions follow the rules of physics and are thus predictable in the sense that physics are predictable. The naive notion of free will, construed as an uncaused cause, is an illusion. So clearly, the idea that free will sets humans apart from other animals is proven wrong.
      • May 18 2012: I have Googled the term 'science of correspondences' and looked at your link. I hope you understand that I will not read 110,000,000 results or even the 328 pages of the book you provide. I understand that a solution to the mind-body problem, should it exist, may require some room to explain. However, I am sure it could be expressed more concisely than a 328 page long theological manuscript.
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          May 18 2012: If Mr Braam comes back after his long weekend only to say that he read that manuscript, all 328 pages, then I will L - O - L.


          But to answer the original question, yes we are animal species. Our bodies are flesh and blood and bone and made of the same compounds, atoms, etc. What is different is that we have a soul, which causes the self awareness that allows us to place a value judgement on what we do.

          But in that aspect I agree with your original comment, that even to have the discussion is decidedly human. Jane Goodall had never told us that gorillas would ever go on Ted and debate whether they are distant cousins of humans.
      • May 22 2012: "But Timo, when you say-- "I am quite sure that they do not exist," -- makes this whole conversation useless to you. It is only meant for those that are reading along and have at least a positive doubt."
        I am not in doubt, but I am always willing to be proven wrong. Otherwise I would have said I am completely sure.

        "The only way anyone may have some idea, is by observing what you do and say. Proof may appear a long time after, but there is never real proof."
        This last sentence makes no sense on its own, nor in conjunction with the previous one. Observation ís proof and it can't get any more real than that.

        "If there is no such thing as Free Will, why raise a child?"
        You seem to imply that raising children etc. is pointless without free will. Firstly, I disagree. Secondly, even if we were to accept it as given, it proves neither the existence nor the non-existence of free will.

        As to your link, the first sentence contends that "the natural objects of the world about us are images, or manifestations to bodily sense, of the spiritual things in human minds." This notion is called idealism, and it denies a mind/body dichotomy by placing everything within the mind (or spiritual realm, however you wish to call it). It is actually a form of monism, although very much unlike the one I am arguing for. As monism, it is quite opposite of the dualistic world view you displayed in one of your previous posts: " We are talking about two different worlds, environments. Everything physical can be proven physically, nothing spiritual can ever be proven physically." Do you now understand the difference between these ideas?
      • May 22 2012: What about observing the setting of the sun? As to your collector's problem: you could find out someone's motivation by simply asking him/her. Or, if you don't trust those results, by doing a more elaborate experiment that can distinguish between the alternative theories you mentioned, if they are indeed mutually exclusive (which I doubt).

        One should raise children if one has the desire to do so. The point of raising children is to fulfill that desire. Of course, this desire may be born out of more meaningful motives. However, such motives are not given by some externally driving force (such as god), but are constructed by people themselves.

        If we do not share an understanding of free will, than this is because you haven't shared how you understand it. I stated that "the naive notion of free will, construed as an uncaused cause, is an illusion." Notice that I do not say anywhere that people do not make choices. That would be a ridiculous claim: I make choices every day and I also experience the volition that accompanies that process.

        No eagles, foxes or any other type of animals are mentioned in the first paragraph of your previous link, I double checked. Although the paragraph's wording is quite confusing, it's first sentence is clearly arguing the exact opposite of what you are.

        You say that "our spirit is the cause of whatever the body does." Sadly, but unsurprisingly, you still haven't answered my original question: what and where is the interface between body and spirit and how does it work?

        In addition, I notice that you seem to (deliberately?) ignore all of my points. You told me: "Don't forget to open your mind". Perhaps you should pay more attention to your own advice.
      • May 22 2012: "Why don't you believe what I'm telling you?"
        I do not believe you because what you are telling me makes no sense at all. You could have clearly stated your assumptions and your reasoning, but you did not. You could have reacted to my arguments, but you did not do that either. Given your inability to make non-rambling arguments and the fact that you completely disregard all facts that do not fit into your extremely narrow world view, I am forced to conclude that there is no use and/or fun in continuing this discussion.
  • May 17 2012: John,
    I believe we can see there is no direct link between ape and man, but as said below, there are similarities. To me there is merit in understanding capabilities of the two; man wins hands down.

    Do you have a strong interest in understanding origins?

    Peace,
    MK
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      May 17 2012: ape is a category, a group of species, one of which homo sapiens is a member. it does not make sense to compare humans to apes. humans are apes. just as they are mammals, vertebrates and animals.
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        May 17 2012: Simple way my understanding is Monkey family members without tail are apes.
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      May 19 2012: Hi Mark. Similarities seems like a rather significant understatement, particularly with other apes, slightly less with monkeys.

      Similar brains, nervous system, circulatory system, respiration system, reproductive, skeleton, limbs. muscles, eyes, eyes, teeth, nails, cells. in fact our entire biology is close to identical. Just a slightly more developed brain and all that brings.

      All the unconscious processes and structure are nearly identical. Just our minds separate us, and perhaps the opposed thumb and slightly better 2 legged stance.