Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Monkey Business

Sometimes, even we at Holier Than Thou have to feel a bit sorry for our friends on the Religious Right, who face such internal turmoil over seemingly simple scientific concepts the rest of us pretty much take for granted.

After all, conservative Christians have been struggling for decades to come to terms with evolution. Some would rather believe it makes perfect sense that Noah loaded thousands of species of animals onto an ark a few thousand years ago and hit the high seas or that dinosaurs are really demons or that the ancient rock record is the work of the devil. That makes more sense to them than the fact that man, and therefore they, evolved from apes through natural selection over hundreds of thousands of years. Now that’s just plain crazy talk.

But now, thanks to research conducted at Harvard and MIT, comes scientific evidence that early man not only evolved from chimpanzees, but he also did WHAT with them?

A. Had them as pets
B. Ate them
C. Had sex with them
D. Prayed with them

C: Yes, thanks to the wonders of genetic anthropology, scientists now believe that well past the point in our evolution when primitive humans were walking upright, they were still having sex with — and interbreeding with — chimps, creating somewhat of a hybrid race before the two evolutionary lines ultimately went their separate way for good.

So, not only will our conservative Christian friends continue to lose sleep over the fact that they are descended from animals, but now they can also fret over the fact that their ancestors were still having “relations,” to put it politely, with those animals well after becoming human.


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