Comment to 'Was Darwin's theory of evolution correct and humans evolved from apes?'
  • Hello Sasha,

    Now that is a tricky question!

    Before I start: I am fond of what scientists could find out about our origins so far – and I tend to believe them – unlike maybe others, even if there might be still some gaps and insecurities;)

    Scientists could date back the birthdate of humans in Africa who have lived about 4,4 million years ago in recent years,

    But it remains still a mystery what lead to the "birth" of mankind.

    Darwin’s ideas that he took from extended studies in many regions around the world were much disputed at the time. But later added fuel to misleading ideologies as we all know now in the late 19th and 20th century, with devastating consequences.

    His theory of the “survival of the fittest”, especially. Those nations/races who thought themselves to be superior at the time abused his thoughts to build up their cases. They believed that they had reached the top and therefore had the right to rule others -> see white supremacy, for instance.

    This reminds me of what they have found out about decision making. The gut feeling comes first, the explanation for the decision follows later.

    Modern biological and neurological science has finally proved them wrong. The genomes of all people around the world differ by so very little that there is absolutely no reason for the superiority of any race on earth!

    But much of Darwin’s competition theory is still in place. There, he has a point. But with respect to mankind it is not at all about biology or our brain, it is about everything else!

    Now, back to the question at hand:
    We have a much better picture nowadays of where it all started and how mankind has spread over the planet thanks to a technology based on the measurement of radioactic isotopes in bones developed around 1950. It is an effective and accurate method to date back remainings over thousands of years. All sorts of human/humanoid skeletons around the world were measured that way during the last decades, with astonishing results!

    A distinct geographical area, a "graben" in Africa, situated in nowaday's Ethiopia, is said to be the “melting pot” of mankind. The oldest skeleton they found there dates back 4,4 million years from now. But the upright walking happened even earlier, they say.

    Could it be that in this enclosed area, certain habits like social interactions fostered the developement of the brains? They think so, but it is hard to say and quite difficult to prove...

    What they guess is that long before humans began talking with each other only around 100'00 years back or so, they must have understood one another through making sounds and, most emportantly, by reading and understanding each others emotions on their faces and body language much better than monkeys could.

    That is what they concluded after studying the brain activities, it’s structure and developement and the DNA with nowadays' technologies and compared them to our next of kin, the Shimpansees, and other species. These buggers (monkeys), by the way, are not fools at all, but by doing experiments in behavior with them, scientists found that the gaps between monkeys and men are too substantial in terms of social behavior and brain capabilities. They might develop into so intelligent creatures like we are now in another 6 million years, in case they are going to survive us;)

    Now, that is the theory of the scientists. But...

    -> Could aliens have helped to create mankind?

    Some people claim that the emerging of humankind could not have happened without interfering forces/aliens from outside, coming from the universe most certainly. Sort of mental training, maybe, by visitors from outside our galaxy? But there is no hint to that as far as we know that they found on earth to prove that. So it remains speculation or, as I would put it,  stuff for science fiction novels.

    -> Is the creation of mankind God’s work?

    Many people believe, that a miracle like our world and mankind can only be God's work. Some take that belief literally from the old scriptures and stick to it. Personally, I wonder how many people in our world today still see it that way and do not approve of any scientific approach or theory.

    Now, people have always tried to find answers to unsolved questions. I guess, modern science has come a long way and got rid of many superstitions that had prevailed over large periods. 
    I tend to believe in science more than in other possible explanations. There is no point, in my view, to take religious scripts literally. Naturally what we know about many things does change over time. It should not threaten our beliefs and put us in an awkward position. But this is a matter open to discussion, and deeply religious people might disagree.

    But I guess there might be other ideas out there, whether or not we have developed from monkeys?

    And you might have some ideas about what within us shows that we still tend to act like shempansees, or even worse, sometimes…J

    Have a good day!

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    • Hi Urs! 

      Thanks so much for sharing so many thoughts with us!

      I'd also stand with the scientific community that it was probably evolution that has helped to form the homo sapiens. But I do believe there are some gaps in our knowledge and it's not entirely clear at what time humans jumped from the state of apes to being creatures capable of using a language. Who knows maybe it took some aliens to help make this transition. 

      As for Darwin's theories fueling some Nazi ideologues - that's very interesting. I haven't heard much of it, thanks for bringing that up! Indeed, humans often tend to distort narratives and fit them into what is beneficial to them. Nazis definitely misused Darwin's theories.. 

      As for religious viewpoints, I doubt that the scripture and other religious scripts contained any scientific facts. But before the death of God (as Nietzsche formulated it) these scripts had allowed humans to navigate the world and explain the unexplainable. They have some heuristics and little wisdoms that have been compiling for many centuries.

      The good thing about religious texts is that they made humans humble before the nature (or be it God as they claim) rather than making humans arrogant and capable of daring to challenge the nature and coming up with crazy ideas that justify their darkest intentions.. 

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      • Hi Sacha,

        Many thanks for replying!

        Just one small remark on religion.

        For a long time Christians believed what they could read in a popular Latin Bible and, later, in the translated German Bible of Luther as well who was a protestant:

        "Subdue the Earth".
        In German:
        "Mache Dir die Erde untertan."

        But, as funny as it appears, there had been a slip up in the translation from the original text in Hebrew.
        There it's all about being a good shepherd...

        So much for taking a sentence out of its context and translate it so it perfectly fits your own personal view on your world...;)

        But I totally agree with you that religion helped people (or, at least, most of them) to feel humble towards God and Nature, and that is a good advise, indeed.

        Not much of that humbleness is left, nowadays. I guess, we might pay the price now for some sins committed over the last decades/centuries.

        On the other hand:
        It is hard to believe, but we have to remind ourselves that in the 1950 the population on earth amounted to only 2,53 billion humans, whereas in 2020 population has reached a high point around 7,79 billion.
        That is a challenge, of course, for all of us, in terms of resources, biodiversity, toxic substances and we might end up struggling for survival.

        No one can be blamed about that growth in my view, it is just a matter of fact.
        The only thing we can do is to try and find a way to slow it down and deal with the consequences.

        -> Have you ever thought about adding a chat on how to get a grip on growth of population or climate change on Keenston?

        Or do you fear that this topic would lead to heated debates?
        I wonder what your viewpoint is on that.

        Have a nice Weekend now!

        Very kindly,

        P.s: I saw that you explained why members should contribute to the website. I would be happy to do that if you tell me how to go about it.
        And what do you think: would it be wise to sort of suggest topics to you before opening up a new topic? Or do you trust your members on being wise enough...?;)
        On some platforms, things tend to get out of hands, unfortunately!

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        • Hi Urs, 

          Thanks again for so many interesting insights! 

          Checked the Russian translation of Genesis 1:28 and it also basically says "subdue the Earth" (наполняйте землю, и обладайте ею).. 

          Who knows, perhaps if the Bible had been translated properly, people would've been a little less zealous in subduing the Earth :D

          I wonder what's going to be the sense making mechanism in the decades and centuries ahead since the religious mechanisms (at least in the Christian world) are gradually dissipating.. Is it going to be consumerism and constant pleasure seeking, politics or maybe a new religion? Or who knows, maybe Christianity will come back. At least in Russia it seems like religion is getting slowly back to some layers of society. Very interesting how it will pan out. 

          If you could participate/create your own debates, I'd be super happy! Whatever you feel like is worth doing, please do:) I'd only kindly ask that you write your thoughts under one of the opinions, presented in the debate, like in this example  Or maybe under both opinions if you like - some  thought on the "pros" and some on the "cons".  That would be wonderful! So that then other users could respond to certain theses. If the debate is public, debate visitors can vote for a certain opinion based on what they've learned from reading different theses.  

          Let me create a couple of debates on over-population and climate change:) we could start from that

          Thanks a lot! 


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