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Father Of Us All?

Commentary by Roger Oakland
www.understandthetimes.org

It is common logic that mankind had to have an origin. But where did we come from? Were our ancestors monkeys that swung from the trees or is it possible that humans walked upright on the ground from the very beginning? Who is the father of us all - a man or a monkey?
              
Those who hold to an evolutionary worldview are convinced that man has evolved from brute ape-like creatures. From time to time, this lineage designed by scientists with proper "scientific credentials," is updated by some new discovery. Someone, somewhere, discovers a newer and supposedly older fossil that adds credibility to the idea that monkeys and men are cousins.

An announcement of this nature was made July 2002. One British newspaper reported: "Harvard University expert Daniel Lieberman, one of the few scientists to have seen the skull, said its discovery would send shockwaves through the scientific community, adding 'it'll have the impact of a nuclear bomb.'"  1

Prof Michel Brunet of Poitiers University in France was the man responsible for this new explosive fossil find. He said in an interview: "It is a lot of emotion to have in my hand - the beginning of the human lineage. I have been looking for this for so long."  2

Consider the significance of Prof Brunet's statement. As a professor and practicing paleontologist, Brunet had attained what all evolutionary scientists dream of accomplishing - he had searched for and then actually found the "father of us all." Imagine the odds of something like this actually happening?

The fossil skull named "Toumai," is claimed to be one million years older than any other human-like fossil ever found. Of course such a very old fossil of an alleged ancestor of mankind is a newsworthy item. When scientists find something so important they immediately become very famous.

Time magazine ran a full feature article on this amazing new discovery. The leading paragraph stated: "This chimplike creature roamed the woods of Central Africa 7 million years ago. Today it's shaking up the human family tree."  3

While enthusiastic claims make it sound like this fossil is one of the most important ever found and has proven conclusively that man has ascended from the apes, I am not quite so convinced. For example, consider what the authors of the Time article "Father of Us All?" stated: "In life, the creature probably resembled a chimpanzee more than anything else. This animal probably shared the forest with apes and monkeys and, like them, spent some time up in the trees. It may have walked upright, which apes rarely do for very long at a stretch. But at a casual glance, it would have seemed to our eyes, like just another chimp."  4

So what is there about this find that convinced Prof Brunet and others that this skull belonged to an ancestor of the human race? If the creature "probably resembled a chimpanzee more than anything else" or "at a casual glance, it would have seemed to our eyes, like just another chimp," would it be possible that it "probably" was "just another chimp"?

How Old Is That Man?

According to evolutionary experts, the fossil skull found in the African country of Chad added further insight into the origin of man. "Toumai man," claimed to be 7 million years old, is the oldest member of the linage of man ever discovered. But how did scientists actually determine the age of this proposed human ancestor? Was there a tombstone buried along with the fossil inscribed with the date of death?  Furthermore, what method was used to date the fossil? Can the age be verified using accepted documentation that is reliable and of course scientific?

We can answer these questions by referring to the Time article.  We read: "Ideally, the researchers would have preferred to find bones sandwiched between layers of volcanic ash containing potassium and argon, as these can be precisely dated by tests involving radioactive decay. Unfortunately the geology at Toros-Menalla did not cooperate. But the scientists found something nearly as good. The site was replete with fossils from all sorts of other primitive animals, including fish, crocodiles, rodents, elephants, giraffes, aardvarks and more - 42 types in all. Many were identical to specimens that have been radiometrically dated with great precision elsewhere. As a result, a team led by Vignaud confidently pinpointed the skull's age between 6 million and 7 million years, probably much closer to the latter."  5


It is interesting to note that the age assigned to the skull is based on "precision" dating of fossils found at "another location." Now think about this carefully. Is this science at its best? Or is this an example of enthusiastic speculation masquerading in the name of science?

If I were a qualified paleontologist who claimed to be open-minded, I would want to have my questions about this find answered before I jumped on the evolutionary band wagon. For example, how certain are we that scientists can actually "pinpoint" with "confidence" and great "precision," the exact age of any fossil?

Furthermore, we know that volcanic rocks deposited in the last century and dated by potassium-argon dating methods have given erroneous ages of formation of millions of years. How reliable are these so-called scientific dating methods that seemed to be designed to support the evolutionary time scale of millions of years? Better yet, how reliable is the theory of evolution?

Our Very First Steps

It is always an exciting moment. Every couple who has had a child can recall the exact moment and the exact location. It was the day their baby took his or her first step. What excitement! For the first time, a crawling creeping little bundle of joy defied gravity, rising up from all fours to the bipedal position - the term scientists use to describe those who can walk on their own two feet.

According to evolutionists, there was a day when our great-great-great-great grandfather (a monkey-like creature on his way to becoming man) took his first baby-step for mankind. I suppose to be fair and gender correct, I should say it may have been our great-great-great-great grandmother (Ms. Monkey) who was on her way to becoming a human by making the effort for slide down a tree, lose her tail and begin to stand up. Whatever the case, according to evolutionists, walking upright was a great day for mankind.

Now, how and why this individual actually walked upright, still remains a hotly discussed topic among the faithful adherents of the evolutionary worldview. It seems few who are certain what triggered the emergence of the earliest bipeds.  While most agree walking upright was the key to setting the monkey-to-man lineage in motion, there are still a number of facts to be sorted out.

For example, consider how the Time article attempted to resolve this important question of how and why man began to walk. We read: "A decade ago, the leading theory suggested that climate change had dried Africa out, replacing the forests, where apes thrived, with grasslands. A walking ape would be better suited to this environment, since tree climbing would be useless. Standing would give a better view over the top of the grasses of potential enemies. Also, a vertical position would offer less exposure to the rays of the sun." 6 

This idea was widely accepted as the explanation, allowing natural selection to do its job. Walking upright would produce better vision and less sunburn, the story goes. However, a problem developed as the result of new data emerging. Scientists like Tim White, from University of California, Berkeley, discovered that early ape-men also lived in partly wooded areas and not just grassland areas alone.  Obviously this created a major problem with the "how-did-man-learn-to-walk-on-two-legs" question. What other evolutionary forces were important in forcing our ancestors to take their first baby steps. If trees were around, then our ancestors wouldn't have had to stand up to see - they could still climb a tree.

The Time article provides insight to this dilemma: We read: "An ape walking on two legs could traverse these open expanses, much as the earlier theory contended, to get to a safe habitat in the next forest over. With its hands free, the ape could carry extra food. The best male upright walkers could bring back more food for the females of the species, increasing their chances of winning a mate and passing on their genes…"  7

Are you convinced with this new idea that is supposed to explain why you and I walk on two legs? If this is true, what will happen to our generation who don't walk? Most men I know drive to the store for groceries today. Does this mean their legs will end up falling off or evolving into something else?

Evolutionists, convinced man has ascended from the apes, refuse to look at all the evidence and even reason logically. Why?

If man has always been man, then we have been created. If we have been created, we are accountable to a Creator. The Bible tells us the Creator is Jesus Christ.

Those who do not believe that God is the Creator will find out that God created when they stand face-to-face with God. For example, Charles Darwin, an evolutionist here on earth,
upon his death would have discovered who the Creator is and what He has done.
It seems to me that it would be wise to consider the facts about the ape-man lineage while one is still living. If you have accepted that the "father of us all" is a monkey, you may be deceived.

 




Footnotes:

1 Martin Newman, Metro, July 11, 2002, page 3
2 Ibid.
3 Michael Lemonick and Andrea Dorfman, "Father of Us All," Time, July 22, 2002, page 41
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid. page 44
6 Ibid. page 47
7 Ibid.

 

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