Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Family values

In a famous exchange at Oxford in 1860, Bishop Samuel Wilberforce is said to have sarcastically asked Thomas Huxley, who became known as "Darwin's Bulldog", whether he claimed descent from an ape on his grandfather's or his grandmother's side. There was no clear winner of the debate at the time, though the Darwinists have subsequently carried the day in the scientific world and among most educated people.

Now comes news that will further discomfit creationists and advocates of human exceptionalism. It seems that we may be not merely related to chimpanzees, but actually descended from them. We may be the result of matings between earlier humans and chimpanzees. This casts new light on the meaning of "family values". That bonobo behind the bars in the zoo may be your aunt or uncle.

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