Today’s post is from Jon. He teaches our Equip.U classes on Wednesday nights, runs the creation museum and has a passion for teaching the word of God.
Recently a friend of mine drew my attention to an ad in the Globe and Mail (Friday, January 10, 2014). It was a full page donated to soliciting funds for the Jane Goodall Institute. The ad featured a chimpanzee’s face with the phrase, “Cousin, we need to talk.” The rest of the ad reads:
It’s been seven million years since we shared a mother, but we still share almost 99% of our DNA. Since we’re family, I’m asking for your help. Your donation to the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada gives us a fighting chance against deforestation, poaching, and other threats that will wipe out our species in the wild in as little as 15 years without help from people like you. You wouldn’t turn down a relative in need. Especially since we still have so much to learn from each other.
There is a lot that needs to be said about this plea for money – much more than I can share in a short blog. Nevertheless, here are some thoughts from a Christian perspective. From a Christian perspective, we ought to appreciate and protect many of the wonderful creatures that God has put here. We ought to be responsible custodians of this planet, and I am all for protecting wild animals and their habitats. No problem. But the rest of what this ad says, and the philosophical foundations for it, are dubious to say the least. Let’s examine some of them briefly.
“It’s been seven million years since we shared a mother.” This is pure fantasy. There is no way the people that wrote this ad could possible know this. In fact, there is much that outright negates it. According to the Bible, it has only been about 6,000 years since human beings shared a mother, and her name was Eve. We are not related to the chimps by root or branch.
“We still share almost 99% of our DNA.” Wrong again. The 99% figure from the 70’s and 80’s was just an estimate. Now that both genomes have been mapped, we now know that we are far less similar genetically. After all, how can we be 99% similar genetically when the chimp genome is over 12% longer than our own?
“Since we’re family, I’m asking for help.” On the evolution view, all living things are family. On this view, I am justified in helping the weeds in my garden instead of harkening to the pleas put into the mouths of chimps by the Jane Goodall Institute. Again, if genetic similarity is the determining factor (which the ad seems to imply), then I am justified in channelling my resources away from chimps, and over to organizations dedicated to helping human beings!
The entire ad is a plea for people to do the “right” thing. The problem is, given a non-Christian world-and-life-view, there is no objective standard according to which human thought and conduct ought to conform. How strange it is that those that produced this ad wish to ignore and deny God, and yet at the same time affirm that which only He can provide. How much more consistent it is to take God at His word. In doing so we will see ourselves as creatures made in His own image and likeness, with an objective reason for conserving the amazing species that share this planet with us.