Friday, June 20, 2014

Why Are There Still Monkeys and Apes?

Ever since I’ve joined Twitter back in 2009, I am astonished to see the number of people who believe in the LITERAL TRUTH of the book of Genesis, and have general misconceptions about Atheism altogether.  For some reason, I thought people were smarter than this.  But with almost HALF OF AMERICA believing in Creationism, I guess the only surprise I should feel is that the number is so high!
So rather than get in yet ANOTHER debate as to “Why are there still monkey’s”, I’ve decided to compile all my answers to some of the most common BONE-HEADED questions here:

 The Top five are:

  • Atheism is a religion / It takes just as much faith to be an Atheist.
  • Why are you mad at God?
  • It’s only a THEORY!
  • Evolution is a religion / Evolutionism
  • If Humans came from monkeys / apes, why are there still monkeys / apes?

Atheism is a religion / It takes just as much faith to be an Atheist.

It’s not, and no it doesn’t.  Let’s look at the word itself. Atheist.
A – meaning without
THEIST – God/Religion.
Atheist – without God or Religion.
Now what is Faith?
Also, for something to be a religion, you need to have a God or Deity to worship and give obeisance to. As I’ve pointed out above, people who are Atheist are without Gods or Deities, so there’s nothing to worship or give obeisance to.
It really is THAT simple. 

Atheists do NOT worship Christopher Hitches, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, or any other “famous” Atheists.

I cannot claim with absolute 100% certainty that there is no God, but so far, the lack of evidence of any God has compelled me to highly doubt it.  And I was raised Catholic here guys, and had a Catholic education. So when I say Lack of Evidence…I’ve been shown what a Catholic believes. I was raised in it, and I dismiss it because it cannot be verified. So, since I cannot find evidence that gods, miracles, and other supernatural things are real, I’m not going to spend too much time thinking about it or worrying about it.

Now can I be wrong?  Yes. But let me counter with a question.  If God does exist, has he been a good custodian of us and our world?  Death, sickness, poverty, tyranny, and countless other miseries trouble humanity.  If this is the handiwork of a divine being, then he should be rebelled against and overthrown, not given obeisance, obedience, and reverence.

So to even get me to believe in a God, you must do two things:
1.       Empirically prove to me that your God exists. 
2.       Prove to me WHY he deserves the love and worship that you give him.

Prove God DOESN’T exist:
This is a sub-section that I really shouldn’t have to address, so I’ll let Ms. Hermonie Granger explain my feelings on this.
<sigh> Emma Watson's eyes...
You might say that without a God, how do I know right and wrong? Where do my Morals come from?
I’ll let Steven Fry take it from here. He says it more eloquently than I ever could.  Mr. Fry, if you please?

One final question for you. Are you willing to admin the possibility that your God doesn’t exist?

Why are you mad at God?

I’m not, though I have had some very good reasons to be. I recently lost my Dad to Brain Cancer.  I watched him deteriorate from a strong, proud, and oftentimes stubborn man, to a man 1/10th of what he was.  After his brain surgery he could barely move, couldn’t read very well, couldn’t write, couldn’t do simple math.  His muscles atrophied so he couldn’t walk. Towards the end he didn’t know where he was half the time. The only thing he DID know for certain were his dog, and his grandkids. My family prayed, and prayed AND PRAYED for him to at least be wheelchair bound. I respectfully remained silent, knowing that science had done all it can, and the rest were up to my dad. Am I mad at God for making my dad suffer for seven months before taking him? No. I’m not.
I’m mad at Dad, for not trying just a little harder, though that’s probably unjustifiable on my part.
I’m mad at the Cancer industry, because the amount of money funneled into Cancer Research, we should have a cure by now. It’s a several billion dollars a year industry. We’ve put men on the moon for less money than goes into Cancer Research.
I’m mad at myself because we SAW the warning signs months before, but couldn’t convince him to go get checked out.  Hindsight is 20/20.
And I hate Cancer itself because it’s 1/1000th our size, and it can kick the living shit out of us before killing us.
Am I mad at God?  Do I hate God?
No.  You can’t be mad or hate something that doesn’t exist. To do so otherwise is folly…

It’s only a THEORY!

Anti-Science people LOVE to spout this one. They’re under an old misconception that Scientific Theories are the same as “guesses” and because they’re “not promoted to science law” they’re not true.  All it really shows is their scientific ignorance.  But I can try to change that right here:
What is a Scientific Theory?  I’ve done a L.M.G.T.F.Y. for all anti-science people here and can sum up the answer thusly:

“A Scientific Theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation. It is confirmed with enough evidence and facts, that it is unlikely that any new evidence will alter the core of the Theory itself. Through the Theory, we can make predictions about the natural world, even if we don’t know all the facts.”

Scientific Theories are explained by facts. Scientific Theories do not get promoted to law

Now, can a Scientific Theory be proven false?  Yes it can, and it has been in the past. Luminferous aether, Phlogiston, The Geocentric Universe, and the Young Earth theory were once widely held Scientific Theories, that science has found new evidence to discredit them. Although to be fair…those theories were not backed up with any modern science, but rather ancient beliefs, and scientific methods that have no bearing in today’s world.

Scientific Theories are not guesses, and they don’t get promoted into law. They get challenged constantly, and if they are proven, they remain Theories. If not, they get falsified. Science corrects itself, and it doesn’t rely on any religious beliefs or texts to do it for it. Science leaves religion at the door, and says, “Okay…is this really true, or have I missed something? Let’s look at all the evidence I got, and see if I can find more to back it up, or to falsify it.”
Science will NEVER SAY, “Huh…looks like religion was right after all.”

Bonus Question:  What are the three Laws of Robotics?

Evolution is a religion / Evolutionism

No it’s not. Evolution is a Scientific Theory. See above re: Atheism / Religion.
We do not worship Charles Darwin, and Origin of the Species is not our Bible.

But let me ask you this. If you think the Theory of Evolution is a religion (aka Evolutionism), it there also:
  • Gravitationalism…?
  • Plate Tectnoicism…?
  • Atomicism…?
  • Relativityism…?
The above are also Scientific Theories, yet you don’ t conclude those are a religion as well do you? Why pick on Evolution alone?


If Humans came from monkeys / apes, why are there still monkeys / apes?

Ah the big one.  The one I see from @TakeThatDarwin’s retweets about 50 times a day.  It’s 2014 people! WHY ARE YOU STILL ASKING THIS QUESTION?!
But you’ve asked it so I’ll try to answer it in plain English.
Now pay attention because this is the very important part…

We didn’t come from monkeys or apes!

I’ll say that again.


<whew> calming breath.

Okay to go any further, I want to clarify two points:
Evolution does NOT say the following things:
  • Human came from apes
  • Humans came from rocks\pond scum
  • Humans came from nothing
Nor does Evolution have anything to do with the following:

With those misconceptions out of the way, we can say that Evolution says that we’ve all started out as living single celled organism, and through mutations, natural selection, adaption, and a sprinkling of good old fashioned chaos, life evolved into all the varied and wondrous forms of life on this planet. 
We as humans share something in common with trees, grass, shrubs, giraffe’s, elephants, dogs, cats, whales, the Infulenzia Virus…basically anything alive on this planet. We all came from one source.
What that source is...we don’t know exactly. We have some good ideas, some educated guesses, but Evolution doesn’t state the source. It assumes life is already here, and takes it from there. And it’s not a straight line progression into something, with something else (humans for example) being the end goal.  It’s a wiggly, ziggly, wibbly wobbly timey wimey…(…wait that’s Dr. Who…)…progression that keeps going based on environmental factors and doesn’t stop or end.
Evolution is a great big ball of wibbley wobbley timey wimey...
 What we humans, monkeys, apes, and all primates DID come from is a common ancestor.  Around 65 million years ago, a group of small, nocturnal and arboreal, insect-eating mammals called the Euarchonta begins a speciation that will lead to the primate, treeshrew and flying lemur orders.
From there we go to:
  • 63 Ma - Primates diverge into suborders Strepsirrhini (wet-nosed primates) and Haplorrhini (dry-nosed primates)
  • 30 Ma - Haplorrhini splits into infraorders Platyrrhini and Catarrhini. Platyrrhines, New World monkeys, have prehensile tails and males are color blind.
  • 25 Ma - Catarrhini splits into 2 superfamilies, Old World monkeys (Cercopithecoidea) and apes (Hominoidea)
  • 15 Ma: Hominidae (great apes) speciate from the ancestors of the gibbon (lesser apes).
  • 13 Ma: Homininae ancestors speciate from the ancestors of the orangutan…
…do you see where I’m going here?
It’s a loooong slow process, taking millions of years… Our Species (Homo sapien) first appeared about 160 thousand years ago.

Humans didn’t COME from monkeys and apes. Modern day monkeys and apes didn’t EXIST 25 million years ago. Human, monkeys, and apes, came from a Common Ancestor (a primate), which speciated several different times to form modern humans, monkeys and apes. We are related on biological level with modern day monkeys and apes. We are all primates. So when I say that humans ARE apes, I mean that we are all:

Kingdom: Animalia – (Oh…we’re animals too)
   Phylum: Chordata – Vertebrates (anything with a backbone)
      Class: Mammalia – Mammals (Mammals like Dogs, Cats, Zebras…ect)
         Order: Primates – (APES, MONKEYS…ect…)
            Family:  Hominidae (Great Apes)
               Genus: Homo (Humans and archaic humans)
                  Species: Sapiens (Modern day humans)

The pictures below can explain better.
Basic Human Taxonomy
Now if you have any scientific evidence that proves any of what I said above false…then I suggest you submit it to the National Academy of Sciences, get it peer reviewed, and go collect your Nobel Prize.

Otherwise, stop asking why there are still Monkeys and Apes, because I just freeking told you why!

And one final note:  The answer is never...EVER...Magic.

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