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Thursday, February 21, 2008

And so what if grandma WAS an ape?

Columnist Chuck Norris laments:
We teach our children they are nothing more than glorified apes, yet we don't expect them to act like monkeys. We place our value in things, yet expect our children to value people. We disrespect one another, but expect our children to respect others.

Hmmm. It seems to me that the mistake begins with the assumption that if we share a common ancestor with apes, we can make an excuse of that if we behave as they would.

What if you shared a common ancestor with a vexatious gossip? Should you gossip? If I share a common ancestor with a career criminal, should I commit crimes?

And when it comes to apes, any common ancestor that we share is so long ago now that it is most unlikely that our behaviour is in any way controlled by that relationship. If the theory of common descent is correct, we also share a common ancestor with horseshoe crabs and tyrannosaurs. So? What reasonable person would claim that that should affect our behaviour?

It all reminds me of a hilarious column by a rabbi on the common ancestry of the human, the monkey, and the banana ...

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