googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Are Humans “Naked Apes”?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Are Humans “Naked Apes”?

This is a picture of me. Really. My blog is not about me even though I constantly write in the first-person voice and often use myself as an example to make a point. In this post, I again intend to use myself as an example to make a point.

I've recently grown a goatee. I'd never had one before. I did have a mustache for more than 20 years and even grew a full beard a couple of times but for the last 2 or 3 years I've been clean shaven. My facial hair grows pretty quickly and when we were vacationing recently, I had gone several days without shaving. My wife asked me to try one so I trimmed it up and returned to work with a goatee. I still haven't decided if I like it or not but my wife really likes it so I'll probably keep it for a while.

My beard grew in a lot grayer this time than it was the last time I had one. When I was young, I had coal black hair. The gray makes my beard seem a little thinner than it really is but you can still see in this pic that it's a little bushy. I'm probably ready for another trim. I noticed too that my hairline has receded a little. Wow! I'm looking old. Bear with me because I'm going somewhere with all this.

So, I'm online the other day watching a YouTube video and the speaker flashes a picture of a chimp on the screen. It was a tight shot of just the chimp's face and I noticed something that I hadn't noticed before. Compare the picture of the me to the chimps. Do you notice anything different about our hair? In case the answer isn't immediately obvious, let me point it out:


Men grow facial hair on their upper lip, jaw, and chin. We also have hair on our brow ridge (aka, our eye brows). Chimps have virtually no hair around their mouth nor on their brow ridge. Isn't that interesting? It goes further than that though. You can see in this picture that the chimp has a heavy coat on its shoulders and arms but the hair is much thinner on its chest. The other picture of a reclining chimp shows not only thinner hair on the chest but also its arm pits. Human males, on the other hand, have thicker hair on their chests and under their arms but much thinner hair on their shoulders and arms.

Humans have been called, “naked apes.” As the name suggests, humans are considered by evolutionists to be merely another species of ape – one which has lost its heavy coat of fur. It's a little more complicated than that though. You see, evolution is supposed to be about descent with modification. If humans and chimps share a common ancestor, evolution should predict that we have hair patterns similar to our ancestor. But we don't. The closest similarity is the top of our heads. Everywhere else, where chimps have the most hair, we have the least and where we have the most, chimps have the least.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to have noticed this. I've heard it suggested that humans have facial hair for warmth because our clothes cover our bodies but not our faces. Such an explanation is blatantly circular. Why would we need to start wearing clothes in the first place except that we lost our fur? And even if we accept the explanation, it still doesn't explain why humans have heavier hair under their arms.

Good theories are supposed to make predictions. If evolution were true, we should see similar hair patterns between humans and chimps. The ad hoc explanations about why it isn't this way are “just so” stories invented simply to ignore another failed prediction of evolution.

6 comments:

Josue Cruz-Perez said...

Never noticed before. Another difference is that our head hair and beard doesn't stop growing, but our eyebrows do stop. No animal has hair/fur that doesn't stop growing (except lambs, which points out to the opposite direction of the evolution theory)

Steven J. said...

If evolution were true, we should see similar hair patterns between humans and chimps.

Come, this is too timid, too cautious. Predict boldly! "If evolution were true, we would expect humans to have scales and lay eggs." After all, we share ancestors with animals that do so, and those common ancestors surely themselves laid eggs and had scales.

Or, conversely, if evolution -- branching descent with modification -- is true, we should expect humans to diverge in various respects from our closest relatives (how else would we know that they were a different species)? Since we don't know the fine details of population genetics and environmental factors over six million years of African history, it would be very hard to predict in detail exactly what differences should arise, but we should expect to have some traits that are conspicuously modified from chimp traits.

Side note: chimps evolved also from that common ancestor. Chimps have, e.g. multiple copies of a gene which exists in humans only in one copy; the lack of "broken," pseudogene versions of this gene implies that the human condition is more primitive. You don't have a human lineage diverging from an unchanging chimp lineage, but two lineages diverging from the common ancestor, each acquiring its own differences -- some of which, perhaps, have to do with hair.

Anyway, creationists are studiously unimpressed when, e.g. a group of Italian wall lizards stranded on the island of Pod Mrcaru for a few decades evolve valves in their stomachs, which the ancestral wall lizards lacked. They see no evidence of profound evolutionary change when E. coli bacteria -- one of whose classic identifying marks is their inability to digest citrate -- evolve the ability to digest citrate. Another bacterium evolves the ability to digest nylon? "It's all microevolution! It's not the sort of drastic change that evolution requires!" creationists assure us.

But having thick, long hair where chimps have short, fine hair, and vice-versa, is apparently the sort of incredible, huge change that evolutionary processes could never account for. What should shared fingernails, fingerprints, vermiform appendixes, blood types, etc. count for, when chimps have hairier arms (not really more hair follicles, but coarser, longer hair popping out of those follicles) than we do?

Evolution does make predictions. It is hardly coincidence that, e.g. human cytochrome-c is more similar (indeed, identical) to that of chimps than to that of, say, dogs or pigs -- yet there is no design reason to expect this, since cytochrome-c does the same job in all organisms and since humans have diets at least as similar to those of dogs or pigs as to those of chimps. Or, given that, e.g. humans and rhesus monkeys have identically-disabled GULO pseudogenes, one could successfully predict that chimpanzees would also have identically-disabled GULO pseudogenes -- yet again, there seems no way to derive that prediction from design.

RKBentley said...

Josue,

Thanks for your comments. I'm a little surprised at myself for not having noticed it before because it's rather obvious once it has been pointed out. I was aware that our hair continues growing while chimps' hair doesn't but I didn't know that was also the case with lambs. When different species which are not closely related have a trait in common, it undermines the argument that other species have similarities BECAUSE they're closely related.

I always appreciate you visiting. God bless!!

RKBentley

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

You said, “Come, this is too timid, too cautious. Predict boldly! "If evolution were true, we would expect humans to have scales and lay eggs." After all, we share ancestors with animals that do so, and those common ancestors surely themselves laid eggs and had scales.”

This alleged common ancestor of all living things didn't have scales. Neither did it have hair, feathers, or even skin. It didn't have bark or leaves. It didn't have bones, blood, sap, seeds, eyes, or organs of any sort. For evolution to happen, species must acquire novel traits. To turn a hairless reptile into a hairy mammal, you have to add hair! I hear constantly that evolution is descent with modification and can only work with structures already present but it's all a lie. Evolution is ONLY about completely novel traits appearing in populations generation after generation.

You said, “[Creationists believe] having thick, long hair where chimps have short, fine hair, and vice-versa, is apparently the sort of incredible, huge change that evolutionary processes could never account for.”

I think you're mistaken about what I've said. Note carefully that I never said evolution couldn't account for it – I said that descent with modification doesn't predict it.

I've heard it asked by evolutionists why people have facial hair at all? They claim it's vestigial (at least, that's what they claim when they're not claiming it serves the purpose of keeping our faces warm) which means they suppose we descended from a hairy ancestor. So evolutionists indeed point to our body hair as evidence for their theory. But if evolution is true why have we gained/lost hair in exactly the opposite places that chimps gained/lost hair? It's not what descent with modification would predict but, yes, I'm sure evolutionists can invent a fanciful story to account for it.

You said, “What should shared fingernails, fingerprints, vermiform appendixes, blood types, etc. count for, when chimps have hairier arms (not really more hair follicles, but coarser, longer hair popping out of those follicles) than we do?”

Did you know the possums have appendixes? I've discussed the appendix many times. It appears in many species of mammals but not every species and it follows no discernible pattern along the so called tree of life. Why is sharing an appendix with chimps evidence that we're closely related to chimps but not evidence that we're closely related to possums?

You said, “given that, e.g. humans and rhesus monkeys have identically-disabled GULO pseudogenes, one could successfully predict that chimpanzees would also have identically-disabled GULO pseudogenes”

You're saying that humans and primates share this BECAUSE they're related. You're evolutionary description of similar traits is hardly a prediction. An inability to produce vitamin C is not a PREDICTION of evolution.

Josue just pointed out that our hair continuing to grow is a trait we share with lambs. This could possibly be due to a mutation – I don't know. Regardless, is it evidence that we're closely related to sheep?

Human and ape genes are no where near as similar as evolutionists herald them to be but I know we are more like chimps than other animals. Maybe that particular part of our genome is simply more prone to failure. Do you remember the old TVs that had knobs to change the channels? Do you recall all the times you saw people with TV knobs broken off so they had to change channels with a pair of pliers? Even DESIGNED parts can be prone to failure.

Thanks for your comments as always! God bless!!

RKBentley

Steven J. said...

To turn a hairless reptile into a hairy mammal, you have to add hair!

Hair is a modification of scales; the detailed similarities in how they are formed are a staple of biology texts. Hair isn't "added" to some organism that had nothing that could be modified to make hair. More generally, a ball of undifferentiated cells is a modification of a single cell (daughter cells simply stay attached rather than separating). Skin is a modification (or, as we see it in common land animals, multiple successive modifications) of the outermost layer of cells. Bones are a modification of muscle tissue, theorized to originally be a means of storing calcium. Tissues in general are a modification of originally undifferentiated cells, or of other tissues into multiple tissue types.

Note carefully that I never said evolution couldn't account for it – I said that descent with modification doesn't predict it.

The theory doesn't predict today's price of gold, either -- or even that anyone will care what the price of gold is. There are myriad things that the theory doesn't predict, and myriad other things that it does.

Maybe that particular part of our genome is simply more prone to failure.

Unlikely. The equivalent gene in most mammals seems to be transmitted reliably. Presumably, every species produces an occasional mutant whose GULO gene is disabled -- which would kill the organism in short order, normally. GULO pseudogenes are found in species that eat a lot of fruit and so don't need to be able to make their own vitamin C. Guinea pigs have a GULO pseudogene, but it's disabled by a different mutation from the one in apes and old world monkeys. It's the identical method of disabling the gene, in supposedly unrelated ape, human, and monkey "kinds," that is the tell-tale evidence of common ancestry.

This could possibly be due to a mutation – I don't know. Regardless, is it evidence that we're closely related to sheep?

You surely know the analogy: shared right answers on a multiple-choice quiz prove nothing; maybe both students are smart. A single shared error proves little or nothing: perhaps there's a common way to get the problem wrong. But a pattern of multiple shared errors is damning. On an essay test, even identical right answers look suspicious, since there would be multiple possible ways of phrasing a right answer (note the analogy to the multiple ways of disabling a gene to produce a pseudogene). So even if it turned out to be the same mutation in Ovis and Homo, if it's only one similarity, it might be sheer coincidence. The overall consistent pattern of shared similarities matters.

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

1) Are leaves modified hair? Is bark modified scales? According to your theory ALL biodiversity shares a common ancestor – that includes flora and fauna. So the cells that you say modified through descent to form skin, hair, scales, and bones must necessarily have also modified differently to form leaves, nuts, bark, and wood in plants. Flowering blooms are unique to plants. Hair is unique to mammals. It's laughable to expect anyone to believe the two are homologous yet evolutionists have no choice but to make that laughable claim.

2) If evolution predicted the price of gold with the same precision as it predicted anything else, I would feel safer burying my money in a mason jar in the backyard. But that is not my point. I hear constantly how successful theories should make predictions. Failed predictions are evidence against the theory. Is evolution a good theory or not? Do you remember just a couple of months back when I pointed out how evolutionists use the near universal of appearance of 7 cervical vertebrae in mammals as evidence of common descent? The common trait might be explained by shared ancestry but it's not a prediction of it because a similar phenomenon doesn't appear in other classes of animals. So your theory doesn't really explain why only mammals have a common number of neck bones nor does it necessarily predict it. Likewise, you say we have certain features in common with chimps because of shared ancestry; Yet, in the case of our hair patterns, we grow hair in exactly the opposite places that chimps grow hair. So similarity between our species is cited as evidence for evolution but stark differences aren't evidence against your theory? Can you at least see why I say your theory isn't really predicting anything?

Thanks for your comments. God bless!!

RKBentley