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Author Topic: When and how were all of the races created?  (Read 5127 times) Average Rating: 0
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Truth_or_Bust
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« on: January 19, 2006, 10:21:54 AM »

Greetings!

Please suffer a few most-likely uninformed questions from this catechuman.  I have been trying to figure this out just using the Bible and I thought I would ask these questions here before I visit my priest on Sunday.

A) If Adam was the first man then when and how were all of the different races created in the Bible?
 
B) What race was Adam?

C)  Is there any Orthodox scholar who asserts that the creation story is not literal but rather a parable (or something to that effect)?

Thanks in advance for any comments on these items.

God Bless,
T
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2006, 12:01:54 PM »

I'm sorry, but we're not all omniscient here.

But to try, I think they came from the descendants of Noah....his sons came out with different looking charactaristics and they evolved from them.  I'll let others expound on this if they want.
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2006, 12:23:38 PM »

Perhaps before the flood, there were even more races than there are now!   Shocked 
For as long as I can remember thinking about it, I've always assumed that Noah and his wife had the genes for all the charachteristics that we have today, but when their children spread out, they were pretty much stuck with only a few charachteristics.  It's the same with animals.  If you were to take one type of squarrel, divide the group in half, place them in isolated locations where they could survive, eventually you'd have two different looking groups of squarrels.
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2006, 01:07:52 PM »

I am not sure how "Orthodox" my answer is, but at an OCF meeting a few years ago, I remember this question being posed to Abouna Mikhail, and he stated that at the occurrance of the Tower of Babylon, in addition to the mixing of language, there was a physiological change as well. 

Perhaps Cleveland could shed some light on this subject, as he is familiar with Abouna Mikhail.  By the way, I hope no one reads in my post that I am questioning Father Mikhail's legitimacy as a priest.  I have a lot of respect for him.  I am not sure whether this is a Coptic understaning, or universally accepted as Orthodox.  On my own, I have not been able to find the answer to this question.
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2006, 01:23:11 PM »

Quote
A) If Adam was the first man then when and how were all of the different races created in the Bible?

Think of it this way, for a God who could create a billion billion stars, a universe to boggle the mind, and the wonderful human body, is it really too far a stretch to say that he added a bit of flavoring in the form of race to Adam's genetic makeup?ÂÂ  I would agree with what others have said, though, I have heard that the actual manifestation of races (as we see them today) came through Noah's sons after the flood (Gen. 10, especially v. 32, where it mentions populating the nations/earth, which might also mean that they were of different races as well)
 
Quote
B) What race was Adam?

White!  ÃƒÆ’‚ No, just kidding. Smiley  Pan-racial maybe? That is to say, something so pure and integrated that he was all races simultaneously?

Quote
C)ÂÂ  Is there any Orthodox scholar who asserts that the creation story is not literal but rather a parable (or something to that effect)?

Yes, there is probably some difference of opinion on the matter.
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2006, 04:54:31 PM »

Well does this really matter? Can't we leave some things to our imagination? Do we really need to know all about how God created the world?

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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2006, 10:24:46 PM »

Well does this really matter? Can't we leave some things to our imagination? Do we really need to know all about how God created the world?



Well, if the mankind story in the Bible is to be taken literally - like a page out of history book - then the above questions are valid for the sake of understanding.  If, however, the mankind story is not literal, then I would agree with your statement.  I have no problem with a non-literal understanding of the story in as much as it would render the question irrelevant.  That's why I added the question about the existence of Orthodox scholars who hold that "non literal" position.  If there are some Orthodox scholars who hold that position, could somebody please point me in that direction?  I'd like to look into that perspective.

God Bless,
T
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2006, 11:23:22 PM »

Bp. Alexander of South America (ROCOR) of blessed memory had some non-literal* articles on his site; The Six Dawns (Part 1) (Part 2) by Alexander Kalomiros might also be of some interest (Fr. Seraphim Rose responds to some of Kalomiros' thoughts here).


* This is assuming that a "non-literal" view would be something other than a young earth, literal 6 days of creation, view.
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2006, 12:38:50 AM »

Richard Swinburne, the Orthodox philosopher of religion, suggests in his 1990 work Responsibility and Atonement (published by Oxford University Press) that evolution is entirely reconciable with traditional Christian teachings on the Fall, making a non-literal reading possible.
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2006, 12:45:07 AM »

I am not sure how "Orthodox" my answer is, but at an OCF meeting a few years ago, I remember this question being posed to Abouna Mikhail, and he stated that at the occurrance of the Tower of Babylon, in addition to the mixing of language, there was a physiological change as well.ÂÂ  

Perhaps Cleveland could shed some light on this subject, as he is familiar with Abouna Mikhail.ÂÂ  By the way, I hope no one reads in my post that I am questioning Father Mikhail's legitimacy as a priest.ÂÂ  I have a lot of respect for him.ÂÂ  I am not sure whether this is a Coptic understaning, or universally accepted as Orthodox.ÂÂ  On my own, I have not been able to find the answer to this question.

Did not the Nubians who were a race of color of the upper Nile predate the tower of Babylon?

JoeS
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2006, 12:49:03 AM »

Did not the Nubians who were a race of color of the upper Nile predate the tower of Babylon?

JoeS

What about the Darwins law of adaptation?  Maybe humans who inhabited regions that were constantly very hot and sunny develop a darker skin and those of northern regions because of the snow and cold weather develop almond shaped eyes to deflect the reflection of the snow.  Ahhhh, Im not sure of any of this but its a thought.  BWDIK.

JoeS
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2006, 01:37:27 AM »

yo homies...

Adam was black, you heard!

(actually that's what Black Christians believe, along with Jesus.  I consider that quite comical).

God bless.
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2006, 11:48:26 AM »

Bp. Alexander of South America (ROCOR) of blessed memory had some non-literal* articles on his site; The Six Dawns (Part 1) (Part 2) by Alexander Kalomiros might also be of some interest (Fr. Seraphim Rose responds to some of Kalomiros' thoughts here).


* This is assuming that a "non-literal" view would be something other than a young earth, literal 6 days of creation, view.

Thanks guys for all your responses.  This is a fascinating topic and these are great bits of info.  I will begin to read the links today.  A non-literal approach has always appealed to me but coming from a protestant background it is considered heresy to not take the Bible literally. 

Thanks again!

God Bless,
T
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2006, 12:04:40 PM »

Many/most Orthodox theologians don't hold that the Genesis accounts of creation are meant to be understood literally. The proper context and meaning to be found in Genesis (AKA what the account actually MEANS) is a vast area for you to explore. You should be able to find plenty enough on the topic.
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2006, 01:33:36 PM »

Thanks guys for all your responses.ÂÂ  This is a fascinating topic and these are great bits of info.ÂÂ  I will begin to read the links today.ÂÂ  A non-literal approach has always appealed to me but coming from a protestant background it is considered heresy to not take the Bible literally.ÂÂ  

Thanks again!

God Bless,
T
Except for when Jesus tells us to eat his flesh and to drink his blood for our salvation- he wasn't being literal there...   Cheesy
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2006, 05:10:12 AM »

What about the Darwins law of adaptation?  Maybe humans who inhabited regions that were constantly very hot and sunny develop a darker skin and those of northern regions because of the snow and cold weather develop almond shaped eyes to deflect the reflection of the snow.  Ahhhh, Im not sure of any of this but its a thought.  BWDIK.

I think that may have played a process in further changing Noah's descendants. Combined with initial differences, its enough to explain what we have today.

B) What race was Adam?

If we look at the three main categories today, we have Caucasoids, Mongoloids, and Negroids. I assume Adam may have looked fairly Middle Eastern, as that is a place where each of the three categories of humans are fairly well mixed into one.
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2006, 02:47:33 PM »

Quote
Many/most Orthodox theologians don't hold that the Genesis accounts of creation are meant to be understood literally.

That is a fairly broad statement.  A good number of Theologians within the Church think just the opposite - so you can hardly say "most" in your statement....
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2006, 07:47:38 AM »

"Race" is actually a social concept, not a scientific one. With the mapping of the human genome it has been discovered that genetically speaking there is only one human race.
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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2006, 12:08:23 PM »

"Race" is actually a social concept, not a scientific one. With the mapping of the human genome it has been discovered that genetically speaking there is only one human race.
I got this off wikipedia:
Every human being shares more than 99.9 per cent of their DNA with everybody else, and the tiny variations that remain differ more within ethnic groups than between them, a major review of the evidence says.

This is exactly what some scientists were saying when they were trying to demonstrate how close we were related to chimpanzees.  The fact that races have 99.9% of the same genes does not mean that remaing 0.1% does not result in significant differences.  If race was entirely a social construct then how do you explain stories like this:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10944284/
Your claim is more political then it is scientific.
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2006, 05:00:17 PM »

While I would agree that most of the perceived racial differences are just sub-cultural, that is not always the case. For example, when I was in College I read in a Pscyhology textbook that it had been demonstrated in scientific studies that some Native American groups generally have a better sense of balance than whites or hispanics.
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« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2006, 05:25:16 PM »

Your claim is more political then it is scientific.
It's not my claim.
It is the claim of Dr. J. Craig Venter, head of the Celera Genomics Corporation which mapped the human genome, and other experts.
http://www.augsburg.edu/education/edc210/race-myth.html
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« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2006, 06:10:49 PM »

It's not my claim.
It is the claim of Dr. J. Craig Venter, head of the Celera Genomics Corporation which mapped the human genome, and other experts.
http://www.augsburg.edu/education/edc210/race-myth.html

The claim is still political, which should be apparent from some of the arguments made, in the article I read:

Quote
"There's no scientific evidence to support substantial differences between groups," [Dr. Eric Lander] said, "and the tremendous burden of proof goes to anyone who wants to assert those differences."

First off, this is inconsonant with logical reasoning, ultimately the burden of proof is upon anyone who wants to make a statement, whether that statement is that 'substantial [racial] differences' (whatever 'substantial' means) do or do not exist. Someone concerned about honest dialogue would be willing to offer evidence and engage the issue, not simply try to duck the question by shifting the burden of proof. Second there is evidence for racial differences in the form of not only brain size, skin colour, or bone structure differences (though I guess from the article we should imply that these are not 'substantial' in the opinion of those being interviewed) but also in adiction tendencies, heard disease, and various other medical conditions (but maybe this isn't 'substantial' either, who knows). While humans may only differ by .1% it should also be noted that Chimpanzees share 99.4% of our genome with us. If .6% genetic difference difference is enough to create a distinction in not only species but genus (though there has been some debate as to whether Chimps should be in the same genus as humans, though certainly not species), surely there can be enough variation in .1% of genetic material to justify a differentiation by race, which is a subgroup of a species.
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« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2006, 06:14:51 PM »

To address the original question, there are many great articles on the evolution of humans in general and sub-groups of humans in particular in countless textbooks and scholarly journals, to say nothing of popular literature. Unfortunately I lack both the time and competence to fully describe the process of biological evolution on this forum. However, it should be noted that this is ultimately a scientific question, and like in the heliocentric vs. geocentric or flat earth vs. round earth debate, it is unnecessary to rely upon literally interpreted biblical accounts, especially in light of the fact that Philo of Alexandria was interpreting the creation account in an allegorical manner even before Christ.
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« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2006, 06:43:13 PM »

it should also be noted that Chimpanzees share 99.4% of our genome with us. If .6% genetic difference difference is enough to create a distinction in not only species but genus (though there has been some debate as to whether Chimps should be in the same genus as humans, though certainly not species), surely there can be enough variation in .1% of genetic material to justify a differentiation by race, which is a subgroup of a species.

Actually, some scientists do contend that chimpanzees should be considered the same species or a subspecies of human.  Others argue that they should at the very least be part of the genus Homo.  It seems that others appear happy with the status quo.
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« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2006, 07:17:42 PM »

Actually, some scientists do contend that chimpanzees should be considered the same species or a subspecies of human.  Others argue that they should at the very least be part of the genus Homo.  It seems that others appear happy with the status quo.

If we came after them, wouldn't we be a sub species of chimps, and not vice-versa?
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« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2006, 07:21:51 PM »

I agree with GiC.  It is shown that the more distant in relation humans are, the more variation the gene pool becomes and thus the healthier offspring become.  People even usually comment that the best looking children are "interbred".

One can also see the same thing with dogs.  Dogs are "stupider" when they are pure bred according to some research.

God bless.
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« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2006, 07:56:47 PM »

Bp. Alexander of South America (ROCOR) of blessed memory had some non-literal* articles on his site; The Six Dawns (Part 1) (Part 2) by Alexander Kalomiros might also be of some interest (Fr. Seraphim Rose responds to some of Kalomiros' thoughts here).


* This is assuming that a "non-literal" view would be something other than a young earth, literal 6 days of creation, view.

Wow.  I just read both the Six Dawn essays.  Amazing.  This statement from the essay is quite an eye opener and completely opposite of what Protestant theology teaches:

"Adam is neither the biological nor the historical forefather of mankind, but the first-made ontologically, not only of mankind, but of all creation. He is the root of the universe we see and know today. He is the man chosen by God to recapitulate in his person all of creation as God had formed it so it could survive the angel Satan's assault and its consequences. "
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« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2006, 08:08:42 PM »

"Adam is neither the biological nor the historical forefather of mankind, but the first-made ontologically, not only of mankind, but of all creation. He is the root of the universe we see and know today. He is the man chosen by God to recapitulate in his person all of creation as God had formed it so it could survive the angel Satan's assault and its consequences. "

What does that mean in English?  Shocked
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« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2006, 08:17:33 PM »

Actually, some scientists do contend that chimpanzees should be considered the same species or a subspecies of human.ÂÂ  Others argue that they should at the very least be part of the genus Homo.ÂÂ  It seems that others appear happy with the status quo.

I haven't seen an argument that chimps should be classified as the same species as human, though I have read arguments for why they should be of the same genus...would you happen to have a link to an argument along these lines? If so it would be most appreciated, thanks.
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« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2006, 08:25:21 PM »

The answer to your question depends on whether one accepts the Out of Africa or the multi-regional hypothesis.

Peace.
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« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2006, 08:32:27 PM »

If we came after them, wouldn't we be a sub species of chimps, and not vice-versa?

We didn't come from them, we both came from similar ancestors, most estimates I've read say that chimps and humans had a common ancestor about 6 million years ago. And no, they wouldn't be regarded a sub-species of human, but rather humans, chimps, and probably bonobos as well would be regarded as seperate species under the genus of 'homo' ...or if the were to be regarded the same species as Pravoslavbob sugested some scientists are arguing then we would be all sub-species under a general species name. But in short they are either a sister species/sub-species as we have common ancestors but both species have evolved beyond that point.
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« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2006, 09:59:14 PM »

Agreed.
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« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2006, 12:56:11 AM »

Agreed.

If man came from apes, why are there still apes?
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« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2006, 01:32:35 AM »

If man came from apes, why are there still apes?

Because evolution stops for each creature at a place where it is best for survival in a given environment, not at what we would think of as "best", ie humans.  Chimpanzees are much better at exploiting the ecological niche of forest edges and tree tops than we are, so they dominate there.  Also, did you truly read GIC's post and consider it?  We didn't evolve "from" chimps or other extant apes.  There was a common ancestor 6 million years ago.  One branch went one way and ended up being well adapted in one niche and another went the other way and did well in another niche. 

There are lots of primitive or less advanced things about the human organism that have not evolved further because they were not needed to help us dominate or do well in our particular niches.  Consider our eyes.  Really, human eyes are not that efficient compared to those of many other animals, but they serve the purpose they need to for us, and so they haven't changed in a long time.  Sometimes, organisms even become more primitive in order to better exploit the ecological niche that they live in.
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« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2006, 05:27:52 AM »

There was a common ancestor 6 million years ago.

What is our common ancestor, then?
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« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2006, 09:52:45 AM »

What is our common ancestor, then?

The closest hominid species that we know of to our common ancestor, and perhaps one of our common ancestors, is the recently discovered (2002) Sahelanthropus tchadensis:

This species was named in July 2002 from fossils discovered in Chad in Central Africa (Brunet et al. 2002, Wood 2002). It is the oldest known hominid or near-hominid species, dated at between 6 and 7 million years old. This species is known from a nearly complete cranium nicknamed Toumai, and a number of fragmentary lower jaws and teeth. The skull has a very small brain size of approximately 350 cc. It is not known whether it was bipedal. S. tchadensis has many primitive apelike features, such as the small brainsize, along with others, such as the brow ridges and small canine teeth, which are characteristic of later hominids. This mixture, along with the fact that it comes from around the time when the hominids are thought to have diverged from chimpanzees, suggests it is close to the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees.
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« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2006, 09:56:07 AM »

Most recently, there was a fossil find in Spain that some hypothesize might be a common ancestor to humans, chimps, orangutans, and gorrillas. ÂÂ  Tentatively dated to around 13 MYA, Pierolapithecus Catalunicus seems to predate the Chimp/Human split by some 6-7 million years. ÂÂ There are several fossil species that are dated proximal to the this split, and there is quite a bit of argument whether they actually are common ancestors to both, or are forerunners of Australopithecines and/or Homo or phylogenetic dead ends. ÂÂ Ardipithecus Ramidus is dated to 4.4 MYA, Orrorin Tugensis is appx 6 MYA, and the newly discovered Sahelanthropus Tchadensis 6-7 MYA. ÂÂ They are all very ape-like, and evidence of bipedalism is scant.

You can read more below:
http://www.geocities.com/palaeoanthropology/Aramidus.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/species.html#tugenensis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahelanthropus_tchadensis
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« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2006, 10:51:40 AM »

Hey,

Now that we're on the subject I have two questions:

1.  Did an Adam and an Eve exist, or did they represent a couple of human beings that existed?
2.  Did male come before female?  How can we interpret the "ribs" issue of Eve out of Adam?

I found this interesting website on ribs, and wondering if someone can comment on it:

http://www.bible-quotes-science-info.com/art/human-evolution-timeline.htm

Comments?

God bless.

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« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2006, 12:20:11 PM »

Hey,

Now that we're on the subject I have two questions:

1.ÂÂ  Did an Adam and an Eve exist, or did they represent a couple of human beings that existed?

Considering the meanings of the words, Adam essentially meaning 'human' and Eve essentially meaning the 'living one' it seems quite plausable to state that they were possibly even regarded as allegorical stories when they were written, intending to give a general overview of the creation of mankind rather than trying to trace an indivudual life.

Quote
2.ÂÂ  Did male come before female?ÂÂ  How can we interpret the "ribs" issue of Eve out of Adam?

Our old testament professor actually had some exegesis on this subject, Genesis being one of his favourite books of the Bible. The word Adam refers to humanity in general and before the creation of Eve would have embodied both masculinity and femininity, namely all of humanity. Ultimately masculinity and femininity are dependent on each other for their meaning and definition, i.e. masculinity cannot exist without femininity and vice-versa. Thus, Adam was not actually male until the creation of Eve as female, as one could not exist without the other and as prior to the creation of Eve Adam would have embodied both male and female. Unfortunately I am not the hebrew scholar that our Old Testament Professor is, so I cannot provide you with the detailed reasoning (plus, are hebrew fonts even supported by this site?), but it does make sense from both an etymological and philosophical standpoint.

Quote
I found this interesting website on ribs, and wondering if someone can comment on it:

http://www.bible-quotes-science-info.com/art/human-evolution-timeline.htm

Comments?

Sounds to me like he's stretching it, despriately trying to save the inerrancy of scripture, even going to the extent of claiming that the original authors of the scriptures understood chromosomes, but didn't write it because no one else would understand. A more reasonable explination would simply be to admit that the authors of the scriptures lacked the scientific understanding we enjoy today, not only on this issue but also on issues such as a round earth, heliocentricism, and disease.
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« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2006, 04:22:25 PM »

If man came from apes, why are there still apes?

If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?  Huh
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« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2006, 05:55:08 PM »

The closest hominid species that we know of to our common ancestor, and perhaps one of our common ancestors, is the recently discovered (2002) Sahelanthropus tchadensis:

This species was named in July 2002 from fossils discovered in Chad in Central Africa (Brunet et al. 2002, Wood 2002). It is the oldest known hominid or near-hominid species, dated at between 6 and 7 million years old. This species is known from a nearly complete cranium nicknamed Toumai, and a number of fragmentary lower jaws and teeth. The skull has a very small brain size of approximately 350 cc. It is not known whether it was bipedal. S. tchadensis has many primitive apelike features, such as the small brainsize, along with others, such as the brow ridges and small canine teeth, which are characteristic of later hominids. This mixture, along with the fact that it comes from around the time when the hominids are thought to have diverged from chimpanzees, suggests it is close to the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees.

So where is the common ancestor today?
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« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2006, 06:17:19 PM »

So where is the common ancestor today?

Extinct...or perhaps more accurately it evolved with its offspring eventually becoming either chimps or humans depending on enviromental factors, while those offspring that did not evolve to better adapt to their enviroment were at a disadvantage for resources and survival in general, and hence died out...natural selection.
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« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2006, 06:20:17 PM »

So where is the common ancestor today?

Even though you are evidently a complete sceptic and will not even remotely entertain a belief in evolution (or so the rhetorical nature of your question would suggest) I will offer this answer.

MANY species have become extinct since life first appeared on earth.  This is because, at some point, they cease to be able to compete successfully in their ecological niches, or they are driven to extinction by an ecological (and/or geological) catastrophe. 

Really, the basic premise of evolution simply cannot be in doubt.  The specific ways in which it happened cannot always be exactly determined, but literal creationists just show themselves to have their heads in the sand or worse: they display massive ignorance when they deny any form of evolution outright.  If you want to appear to be an anti-intellectual zealot who is incapable of independent thought, then I would encourage you to walk on this path.  I also hasten to add that, ironically, many philosophers and members of the scientific community show themselves to be incapable of opening to different lines of thought or to the "supra-rational" (as opposed to what they would call the "irrational") when they deny categorically that God has brought about changes in the cosmos that amounts to "creation".  I believe in creation and evolution.  I find it difficult, however, to justify certain things concerning the Fall and how ecology and evolution work.  It's an interesting puzzle, but it may remain a mystery to us....
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« Reply #43 on: January 24, 2006, 06:24:49 PM »

Extinct...or perhaps more accurately it evolved with its offspring eventually becoming either chimps or humans depending on enviromental factors, while those offspring that did not evolve to better adapt to their enviroment were at a disadvantage for resources and survival in general, and hence died out...natural selection.

Yes, this supplements my comments.
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« Reply #44 on: January 24, 2006, 06:31:58 PM »

Extinct...or perhaps more accurately it evolved with its offspring eventually becoming either chimps or humans depending on enviromental factors, while those offspring that did not evolve to better adapt to their enviroment were at a disadvantage for resources and survival in general, and hence died out...natural selection.

If chimps or humans are different, it seems to be that they changed to adapt to a new environment, right? That means that they would be living in two different envoronments, and hence little/no competition. Makes no sense.
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