Prior to 2006, to attend a baseball game at the old Busch Stadium, we had to pass an advertisement for the St. Louis Zoo that summoned us from a small bus stop. Its graphic design urged us to see the Chimpanzees, who had 98% of the same DNA as humans. For several years this seed of Darwin upset me to no end.
Its relative importance was explained to me a few years later when I was hosting a radio program for Phyllis Schlafly some years later. Our guest had written The Politically Incorrect Guide to Evolution. My last question to him broached my concerns with the zoo’s chimps. He said that it was true but that 2% made a big difference.
My relief prompted me to say: Wow, that’s great! Now I can stop shaving my back. Though I never did visit my distant forebears at the zoo, its very thought recently reminded me of the film franchise, The Planet of the Apes whose first installment debuted in 1969. It starred such luminaries, as Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, and Kim Hunter. Written by Rod Sterling of The Twilight Zone TV Series, by 1973 the series had had five such pictures.
The films told the story of an astronaut crew who crash-land on a strange planet in the distant future. Although the planet appears desolate at first, the surviving crewmembers stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes have assumed the role of the dominant species and humans are mute creatures wearing animal skins.
After the incident involving a little boy who fell into the Gorilla cage in Cincinnati a few months ago, a radio talk show host raised the obvious question, if Evolution is true why are there still any apes?
I thought it was funny so I tweeted it. Was I surprised by the response? I have posted over 3,000 tweets in two years but never have I had such response. A choir of male atheists descended on me en masse. For several hours over a day and a half I fielded their questions, accusations and insults with an aplomb that brought me back to my days on the radio at WGNU in St. Louis. During the course of my 28 years countless people had assailed virtually every moral, social and economic belief I held. So I was used to the vitriol.
The discussion ran the gamut of ideas from fact vs. theory, or what a hypothesis was, Creator or Intelligent Designer vs. a random event, based on natural selection. I stuck to my belief that both Creationism and Evolutions are theories that must be accepted, mostly on educated guesses and faith. Another cited about every science he could think of to second this idea. One tweeter said that religion was stuck in the Amber (a hard fossil resin) of mental dereliction. Another sent a placard that said: No God! No Master!
They assured me that there was enough circumstantial evidence that Evolution was now an accepted fact and what I believed was myth and superstition. Sure, just like the Global Warming hoax or is it now Climate Change?
Like most such discussions, they never solve anything but they expose a person’s mental underpinnings. I have known for many years that these men’s entire worldview was based on Darwinian thinking. His was the linchpin that held their personal universe together. I was an unwanted intruder, who threatened their peace of mind…and they had to silence me. One writer even suggested such.
When I taught history many years ago, I always traced the origins of this kind of anti-God thinking. Before the Enlightenment God had been at the center of His universe, thanks to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
The Enlightenment had moved God to the other rim of this universe. Oh, He was still there. He just wasn’t that important to mankind. Our Enlightened species had replaced him as the focal point of intellectual curiosity and truth. However, the one facet of His power they could not eliminate or explain away in secular terms was the Metaphysics of His creative powers. That kept Him in the game of life.
Thanks to Charles Darwin and his many acolytes who followed him over the years, Science had finally found a way to erase God from public consciousness. Science was now the new god of man. The laboratory is now the new temple of worship for man and millions of atheists have worshipped at its altars ever since. The one positive I took from the discussion was the need to read more on this subject that may serve me better in the next confrontation.
My original question about apes? No one answered it though they all smugly pretended they had a sufficient answer. One of my last acts was to post a chart that demonstrated evolution by having a creature come out of the water, who morphed into several larger species, including apes before standing up straight and walking like a man. In their collective imagination, I think they all believe that apes are superior and living on another planet…just like in the movies.