Debate:If it could be unambiguously demonstrated that man is NOT the most evolved animal, then would this support or refute ther idea of Creation by God?

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A recent report in New Scientist see http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/mg19426006.000-chimps-are-the-most-refined-ape-of-all.html.team found that 233 chimp genes, compared with only 154 human ones, have been changed by selection since chimps and humans split from their common ancestor about 6 million years ago (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0701705104). In the research Jianzhi Zhang and his colleagues at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, compared DNA sequences for 13,888 human, chimp and rhesus macaque genes.


This research appears to demonstrate that chimps are more evolved than humans, and if this is correct, has some implications for the creationist's claim that we were made in god's image. If this is true, then god would appear to be less evolved than a chimp.

More seriously, it is difficult for the creation story to account for the history that can be read into the succession of DNA sequence changes, and in particular, to account for why god's chosen species should require fewer changes to 'get right' than chimpanzees. --Felix 11:13, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

The question makes the assumption that evolution starts with a primitive form and progresses to an advanced form. That's not strictly true. Unfortunately the article evolution won't help clarify how evolution works. Try another encyclopedia. The question is daft becuse it is based on a misunderstanding of evolution.

I completely doubt the validity of any of their research. But if it is true that humans have had less microevolution than chimps, I think it shows that, since humans were created in God's own image, it takes fewer changes to get it "right". I think, physically, we have always been alright. --<<-David R->> 11:25, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

Auld Nick is right of course, nothing is "more evolved" than anything else by the standards of the question. Certain species are more suited to survive and reproduce within their environmental niche. That's all. Anything that is ill-suited to survive in its niche is likely to become extinct - it isn't "less evolved". The "most evolved" species is whichever one has undergone the most genetic mutations since it diverged from the first concestor. That could just as easily be a fly or a germ as an ape or homo sapiens.

Olly 11:29, 26 April 2007 (EDT)


Some responses

To David R: First of all the question does not assume that anything starts off being 'primitive', and moves onto something 'advanced'. You have inserted this language into the debate, not me. In addition, how can you doubt the validity of their research without actually reading it? What on earth can you mean by the statement "physically, we have always been alright"; physically, we have fitted into the ecological niche that we are fit for. It seems to me that 'alright' is a judgemental term about quality.

To Olly You are wrong. The notion of 'genetic distance' between two species is a demonstrable fact. We can analyse DNA to find out the number of base pairs that are different, and can determine how far apart two species are. What will be contentious to the creationists is to go that step further and say that two species which are close genetically, such as humans and chimpanzees have evolved from a common ancestor. In these terms, the chimpanzee appears to have undergone more genetic mutations than humans (a lot more), so in that sense it is more evolved. I am not saying that chimpanzees are the 'most evolved' animal on the planet, just that they are 'more evolved' than humans, by virtue of having a greater number of base pair changes from their common ancestor. Their survival is a function of the base pair changes, and for the purposes of this debate, is totally irrelelvant. --Felix 14:28, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

Felix, thanks. I understand what you're saying and of course you are right - but I still maintain that nothing is "more evolved" in the sense of the original question. Obviously the original question is yours so we are at cross-purposes here. The only sense in which "God" might be involved in evolution is if evolution were in fact leading to a predefined "ideal" species, which creationists believe to be homo sapiens. I don't think you or I believe that to be the case - and creationists (here at least) reject evolution, let alone natural selection, as the cause of the variety of species. So it's rather moot. Apologies for my contrariness, I can't help it I'm afraid. --Olly 05:28, 27 April 2007 (EDT)


This argument does not mean Chimps are "better" than humans.

Being more evolved means that species has been under a greater pressure to evolve or that the species has become a specialist, very well adapted to its own environment. It does not mean it's the most successful or robust species on Earth: Chimps are better suited to survive in a jungle environment and have greater physical strength than humans, but humans can survive pretty much everywhere and are more intelligent. Cockroaches reproduce faster, can eat almost anything will survive a nuclear war and are able to thrive everywhere except the polar regions, even though they are relatively primitive.

Check out the "perfection" paragraph on the natural selection article.

Middle Man

Question

Isn't God the most evolved animal? Not in the "advanced" sense, but in the "alive the longest" sense. Just read your Bible, God goes from nasty and vindictive to kind and loving. I'd call that "evolution", or at least, "personal growth". PBUH, Human 21:40, 28 April 2007 (EDT)