I feel that many people reject common descent because they feel dehumanized by being “related” to other creatures on the earth. You know that once I felt the same way. I can accept common descent or reject it. As you know, I am a historical linguist. We study the relationship of different language families and cognates as well as older forms of languages. When one studies Indo-European languages and notices the relationships between them, one can see that English, German, Dutch, and the other Teutonic languages are related. I was noticing my cat’s face this morning and there are similarities between dogs, cats, and humans. Our faces are built on a similar structure. Could the Designer have made us on similar models, and the answer is “yes.” Does that mean that common descent is true and the answer is no. The Designer could have used the same model for all mammals; however, it could give a strong argument for common descent. Therefore, we need to stay fellow scholars no matter what religion or philosophy one should have and research this topic more deeply. Does anyone agree?
I’ve been lucky enough to have a close encounter with a chimp. We looked each other right in the eyes. And the feeling I got. The connection I felt. I got chills. I just wanted to say to him, “I love you, man. You’re family.” And I thank God for giving me the opportunity to experience that connection.
My wonderful wife has bought for me the Billy Graham/David Frost book written in 1997 which contains Billy’s statements on conservative Theistic Evolution and his willingness to accept the theory as a Southern Baptist. It is an interesting book, and I plan to read more tonight after reading more of my German novels. I hope that some of the rest of you will be interested in the text.
I’m not sure it dehumanizes us any more than saying we are made from the “dust of the earth.” There is a paradox in our natures. We are both continuous and discontinuous with other animals. Both things are true.
I see you point, although that is how I felt. I feel that it depends on how they feel. I still feel dehumanized in a certain sense today; however, as a linguist I cannot deny similarities today. The late Dr. Graham makes feel differently now. But I do know scientists who are against common descent. Look at Liberty University today.
Charles, what part of common descent do you think dehumanizes us? Even if common descent were not true, most people would still accept the following:
We are made from similar designs as other animals.
We are made from the same material (organic molecules, or “the dust of the earth” - the same earth that gave rise to animals on the 6th day).
We clearly have intellectual, moral, and spiritual capabilities that are markedly more advanced than other animals.
Additionally, for me, common descent or not, in both cases God is the Creator, whether through the process of evolution or miraculous direct creation. (In fact I think the physical laws that make natural processes, such as evolution possible are just as mind-blowing and miraculous!)
So in both cases God has the right to decide that we are in His image and are given dominion over all the “works of His hands” (Psalm 8).
In light of the above facts, I don’t think Common Descent changes the situation by much. What do you think?
Even though I feel that evolutionary creation is probably true, there is still a part of me that the appearance given by science of ancient man is rather making human beings no more than primitive animals. That is the reason I walk the tight rope between progressive creationism and evolutionary creation. I am no follower of Ken Ham. I am either a Hugh Ross or a Denis Lamoureux. But the common ancestry theory makes me uncomfortable. I could express what that feeling is, but I would rather not. It is nothing perverted, but let’s say it has to do with three times of the day. God bless and have a good evening.
I feel moved to quote the following lines from Psalm 139:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
We now know many facts about reproduction and embryology. Does that change the truth of any of the above verses? NO! God is what “breathes fire” into the facts, laws and equations. Similarly, evolution & common descent or not, all of us are knit together lovingly by God.
That is an excellent quote, and I respect your knowledge. I hope we get to be friends. You remind me of myself when I was young. I was reading Dr. Billy Graham’s book with Sir David Frost. It was the part about evolutionary creation. After I finished, I thought that God is so wonderful in his creation. My wife is going to purchase Dr. Denis Lamoureux’s book, I love Jesus and I accept evolution, for me for Christmas. May God bless you in your ministry, for science is part of God’s ministry. Grow in your faith and bring people to Christ.