Did we really descend from apes?

19 Feb

First of all, let me start off this with the statement that I think Darwin’s Theory of Evolution works…for most species on this planet.  I don’t think it conflicts with the idea of God, no matter what name is given to the Creator, or conflicts with the Christian concepts of creation.   I guess I figure that our Creator was powerful enough to put into place the system for change and natural improvements.  It makes sense to me, after all, if we are creating something, we like to make it self-perpetuating and self-repairing, don’t we?

So lets get off the Darwin soap box and get down to the nitty gritty.  Man is an apelike creature, we can see the resemblance any time we’re at the zoo.  But did we descend from a common ancestor?  Granted, as we look at the gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees at the zoo, we can make some rapid mental connections with some of our less-evolved relatives, outlaws, and acquaintances without a huge leap of imagination being required.  That doesn’t make it true, though.

For centuries, mankind has been searching for the “missing link” between “us” and “them.”   We’ve seen some really ugly apelike creatures being dug up.  I don’t know about you, but I just don’t feel much affinity to these ancient apes as far as being our ancestors.  They seem less like us than chimpanzees and bonobos of today.

Then there is the intelligent design crowd, which technically includes both creationists and the advocates of some superior intelligence’s interference with our development from an apelike ancestor…or even created in the likeness of that extraterrestrial with special adaptations to this planet.  There’s a lot of merit to the idea, especially since we’ve never really seen a lot of concrete connection with the early apes and early man, like that “missing link.”  It’s not impossible, this deliberate improvement over the original design.

The idea that our Creator took some clay and formed the first man from the clay is a great story, but it leaves out all of the nuts and bolts of that creation.  It’s been simplified for people who didn’t understand how DNA could influence how a person looked and maybe even acted.  If we take that story, and look at it again…

The Creator took some of the Earth and made man in “his own image.”  That could be interpreted to mean that the early apes literally gave birth to an infant with utterly different DNA…or that their DNA was used to create a new species that resembled the creator rather than the genetic parent.  Is that possible?

We are just embarking on the voyage through DNA and genetically modifying organisms.  Where once we needed many generations to introduce a new mutation or characteristic to a species, now we can do it by merely splicing in the desired gene, but only in simpler organisms.  Genetically modified corn is now plaguing the planet.

There are old stories and legends about our creation everywhere.  Some are obviously fanciful tales that merely created an acceptable story about how man came to be.  Others are filled with tantalizing tidbits that indicate there is potential for a deeper meaning.

The story about a race of “people” that came here, intending to mine for minerals on this planet, but were unable to live outside of their domes.  They created a race to work the mines, and another race that acted as overseers, able to interact with the miners and the ones who lived within the domes, sort of “half gods” in the eyes of the simple miners.  Eventually, the “gods” left, leaving behind the “half gods” and the “miners” who worked the earth.  These “half gods” interbred with the “miners” until eventually…there was no difference between them, and the half gods died out, leaving behind a new species known as “man”.

Others believe that mankind is the remnants of a race that roamed the stars, somehow marooned here on this planet, doomed to being bound to the planet by either accident or design.  Some believe that mankind has risen to reach to the stars…over and over, only to have some great calamity (or outside force?) send them crashing back to the stone age to begin the climb all over again, in hopes that we someday manage to rise above our baser nature and become enlightened beings before we venture into the galaxy away from our own solar system.

Great stories, but do they have merit?  Could they be true?  It’s not impossible.  We have the stories of extraterrestrials visiting this planet from long, long ago and continuing today.  We have unexplained things, ranging from human footprints in the mud alongside of dinosaurs’ prints to an ancient map that shows the continent of Antarctica as it looks beneath the ice.  How could these things happen?  Is it possible?

Today, we’re in the midst of the Information Age.  We’ve gone through the Industrial Age and had a brief sojourn in the Space Age.  We’re told we’re approaching the point of change, of beginning another era in our own story.  How can we end the Information Age so quickly?  How can we possibly have a date in mind, such as December 21, 2012, to embark on this new era?

Politically, we’re faced with many, many problems, world-wide.  Unrest, inflation, economic instability, food shortages, oppressive governments, fuel shortages, rising prices, rising unemployment, reduced standards of living…mankind is not a happy camper and has far too much time to brew unrest.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize…we’re on the brink of something, all right, but the Dawn of a Golden Age might not be as close as “The End of The World” is.

People are restless, searching, hungry, angry, and fearful.  Is there even time left after all of that turmoil to dream of enlightenment and Truth?

I look around, and I think about the potentials for massive calamity, we have put all of the pieces into place to “do it again.”  Will we destroy ourselves in our attempt to rise above ourselves?

That cliche about there can never be CONstruction without DEstruction occurring first comes to mind.  Is that what we are embarking upon?  Will we survive this round of destruction  or will we fade away like the dinosaurs before us?  Can’t we find a better way to rise above ourselves than by nearly destroying ourselves?

Is this series of destructions and ressurrections all a part of our Creator’s plan to force us to “grow up” as a species before we embark on any real voyages into our own galaxy?

I think about the line from the Bible where Jesus says that his father’s house has many mansions, or something along those lines.  It implies that there are many such worlds as ours, all with similar origins.  Are we really so vain to think that our God was so pleased with us that He never tried again?  Or that we were the first world to be created?  Or even the best?

Part of me wonders about these other worlds, these other creations.  Are they like us, bipedal and humanoid?  Or are they…different?  Are they beautiful in our eyes…or would they frighten us?  Are they genetically similar or radically different?  Do they love like we can?  Do they hope like we can?  Can they dream like we can?

Someday, maybe we’ll find out.

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