Did man ultimately evolve from apes? One popular argument that Christians like to use to combat ape ancestry in their lineage is the question, "If we came from monkeys or apes, then why are there still monkeys and apes?" It seems like a very valid point on the surface, but when witnessing to an evolutionist, the question doesn't fare so well. At this point, the evolutionist would tell you that he doesn't believe that we came from the apes that you see today, but ape-like creatures. He believes that so many millions of years ago we shared a common ancestor, but we branched off and went different directions. So, we are related to modern day apes, but didn't evolve from them. Don't feel bad if you've used this argument before, because the evolutionist's answer is not based on observable science, but evolutionary assumptions.
The funny thing is, many of man's so called, "ape-like" ancestors have scientific names, which include the word pithecus (derived from the Greek meaning "ape"). One of the most famous is called "Lucy", or scientifically, Australopithecus afarensis (meaning "southern ape"). But what does the bible say, and what is the evidence that we came from ape-like creatures?
God plainly tells us that on the same day that He created all animals that walk on the earth, Day 6, He created man separately in His image and that man had dominion over every other living thing on earth. This is clearly not what is taught in the evolution arena. Here is a quote from a Holt Biology textbook:
What do we see here? Laying the millions of years’ reference aside, we see many times in just a short paragraph that we are considered equal with animals. Are we primates? Are we mammals? We've been taught these things from a very young age, right? Our five flexible fingers may fit us into these definitions, but I think the purpose of these classifications is to put us on an equal plane with animals for evolutionary purposes. This teaching is clearly in opposition to God's Word and what He tells us about man's position. Paul made this statement in 1 Corinthians 15:39:
The bible clearly teaches that man is not an animal. So as Christians, trusting in God's Word, know that man's ancestry goes back to Adam - a fully human Adam; while evolutionists assume we came from ape-like creatures.
Since evolutionists don't believe we came from any ape alive today, they turn to fossils of humans and apes to try to find evidence of human ancestry. Specifically, they are looking for anything that appears to be intermediate, or forms between our ape-like ancestors and modern day humans. If fossil apes are found that appear to be intermediate, they are called hominids. Living apes are called hominoids because they are similar to humans but did not evolve into them. Yet, they are willing to accept mere similarities between fossilized bones of extinct apes and the bones of living men as "proof" of our ape ancestry; doesn't make much sense.
Regardless, the evidence must come from the fossil record. Unfortunately the fossil record of man and apes is very sparse. Approximately 95% of all known fossils are marine invertebrates, about 4.7% are algae and plants, about 0.2% are insects and other invertebrates, and only 0.1% are vertebrates (animals with bones). Finally, only the smallest imaginable fraction of vertebrate fossils consists of "primates" (humans, apes, monkeys, etc.)
Because of their rarity, many of those who specialize in the evolution of man have never even seen a hominid fossil, and far fewer have held or studied one. But what is the evidence that some evolutionists claim is in the fossil record? In the next study over this topic, we'll take a closer look at the evidence and we'll see firsthand that Genesis holds up under any scrutiny. The evolutionary theory is constantly changing and man's ideas are constantly changing; but God's Word is the same yesterday, today and forever. Let's put our trust in a foundation that is stable and sure.
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