Yesterday’s National post had a story about how a new fossil has been discovered that scientists believe (hope or wish) serves as the missing link on the evolutionary chain between monkeys and man.
Before I go any further I want to be clear where I stand on the evolution debate. There are, in this debate two fanatical opposite extremes (#1 Slime crawled out of a randomly occuring sea fifty quazillion years ago, yea evolution, take your god talk and stuff it! and #2 On April 11th, 6771 BC God popped off every form of life that ever existed in exactly 6 days never mind that there wasn`t a sun until day three) I am on neither one of those teams.
As a science teacher I have seen that life on earth is in a constant state of adaptive change. I believe in structural and adaptive change in individual species but no one has ever explained to me how a species with 18 pairs of chromosomes can become a species with 23 pairs of chromosomes.
For example, Arctic Hares are rabbits like Buddy here that have small ears, big feet, and are white and they have adapted to be well suited to the environment in which they live. Arctic hares that have long ears are more likely to die from infection caused by frostbite. Arctic Hares who have small feet cannot evade predators as easily on snow covered surfaces. Arctic Hares like Bullseye down below with black stripes are going to be picked off easily and will never have a chance to reproduce. I believe that a population of rabbits in the Arctic will adapt certain traits and characteristics that will give them survival advantages in the environment they are in. Where the modern application of Evolution breaks down for me is in the conclusion that species come into being through random genetic mutation. I cannot see any scientific evidence that a species of field mouse will eventually become a species of squirrel through evolution, no matter how long you give it. Random genetic defects for the most part do not give an animal a survival advantage. Usually they give an animal cancer!
So along comes this monkey Ida that is 47 million years old and has some characteristics of a man and some of a monkey. Evolutionary scientists are crowing that this is finally the piece they have been waiting for. Now they can connect humans with monkeys. What I don’t understand is why it is dismissed out of hand that this might just be an unusually ugly monkey. I know some people who are ugly enought that they would pass for good looking monkeys. One example can’t be used as conclusive evidence of a process over all creation! How can an example of a process assumed to be true be used to prove the same process?
And if we evolved from monkeys why are there still monkeys?