Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Evolution is as true as gravity

In response to a very uninformed letter to Mmegi, entitled "We have never been gorillas".

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Your correspondent, Shine Namane, who wrote a letter last Friday entitled "We have never been gorillas" doesn't seem to understand anything about evolution.

To begin with he suggests that evolution has taught us that human beings were "originally a gorilla or a chimpanzee". This is simply not true. Our current understanding of humanity's origins is that both humans and chimpanzees evolved from a common ancestor, another species that is now extinct. Nobody in the world believes we're descended from chimps or gorillas.

He also suggests that "christians believe that evolution is a lie". Again untrue. The Roman Catholic church accepts evolution. So do the Anglicans and Methodists. It's actually a fairly small set of fundamental biblical literalists who believe that the Bible accurately describes the origins of either the universe or life.

He also seems to overlook, or perhaps he simply hasn't seen, the vast amount of evidence for evolution. Museums around the world are stocked with transitional fossils, the DNA evidence is overwhelming and evolution can even be seen to happen in certain species that conveniently reproduce very quickly.

Mmegi readers shouldn't infer from Mr Namane's letter that there is any real intellectual and academic opposition to evolution. Darwin's theory of natural selection is as respected as Newton's theory of gravity or Einstein's theories of relativity.

Finally, far from being "degrading", "ridiculous" and "a lie", a truthful understanding of our origins can only give us a better sense of our place in nature, something that the enlightened see as magnificent, awesome and uplifting.

1 comment:

Enter_Skitarii said...

The timing seems a little too coincidental, so I get the feeling the author of that letter is a Seventh Day Adventist. They had a bible study session covering evolution the weekend before last, which I critiqued in my blog: http://zomgorlackthereof.blogspot.com/2011/03/sabbath-school-260211-its-devils-work.html