A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with my sister. She is part of the "micro not macro" group of Christians. Basically, she believes adaptation occurs but never 'new' species. She also believes that 'god' put us on Earth as we are and we do not have common ancestors with the great apes. I kept asking her questions like "How do you explain the fact that we share 99% of our DNA with chimps?" and her only replies were that what she had learned in her anthropology courses in college has proved all of this to her. 

 

My questions are does any one here have any experience in the anthropology field and what could my sister be talking about? I could never get a straight answer from her as to what exactly anthropology is and what is teaches us about life on this planet. 

 

Tags: anthropology, evolution, science

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I'm not an expert, but in short, "Anthropology" is the study of humanity. For example, Archaeology is a subdivision of (physical) Anthropology, studying the artifacts of past civilizations to see what they can tell us about the people and cultures that left them. Another branch would be Cultural Anthropology which I believe would include things like comparative study of religions, customs, hierarchical structures and such.

 

There's also Paleoanthropology, and here's where the real irony comes in with what your sister was claiming, because paleoanthropology is the study of the human fossil record; and the results of that are pretty well known. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's Paleoanthropologists who have shown pretty conclusively and given us the model that shows that humans evolved in Africa around 200,000 years ago, just as was predicted by Darwin. 

 

So, I don't know, I'd be pretty curious as to what it is she thought she learned in Anthropology that proved that God created the universe and that macro-evolution doesn't occur!

Part of the "Good Lie" for Jesus group?

We will assume she didn't take Evolutionary Anthropology, would have made harder to make her case.

 

Yeah, I was thinking it was mainly the study of human history. This is pretty much the subject of our evolution..It doesn't seem like my sister's beliefs fit in at all here.

She's bullshitting you, she's appealing to an authority that she knows you're unfamiliar with, and making it up as she goes, that's why she won't give you a straight answer.

 

First, has she read On the Origin of Species, Darwin's Ghost, or The Greatest Show on Earth? (I would presume not, as many Christians have never even seen copies of these)

 

Second, I refer you to the following-

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

 

Third, and I believe this was posted on this site previously- 

1. I doubt she's read any of those... maybe I'll put them on her Christmas list.

2. Awesome site! I'll have to refer to some of this the next times this subject comes up.

3. I haven't seen that before but I'm glad I have now! I will also use this in the future..maybe even upload to my facebook lol :) 

 

Thanks!

It's possible to create new fruit fly (drosophila) species in the lab within just a few generations by keeping two groups apart and feeding them different food

 

Heck, point her to animal husbandry. Modern domestic sheep can't reproduce with their ancestors anymore.

Her response to the fruit fly would likely be it's still a fruit fly, not a horsefly.

 

Likewise, with respect to animal husbandry, she would likely respond they are still the same "big picture" animal.  Although the varieties of dogs under domestication should be sufficient evidence for macroevolution, it may be maintained by those who refuse to accept macroevolution that these are still dogs.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macroevolution

Well, you gotta be careful. Two animals are different species if that can't produce offspring with each other. Cattle and dog breeds are not different species since they can still interbreed. The different kinds of dogs are all of the same subspecies: canis lupus familiaris. They don't even have scientific classifications. 

 

Still, you're right if you move away from speciation to macroevolution in general, the widely different breeds of various animals should be evidence enough that radical change is easily possible

I think it might be safe to assume her sister won't accept such "scientific details."

 

And heck, there's no way we came from monkeys- if so, why are they still here and why aren't we still evolving?

 

(sorry for mocking, but I hear such comments all too often)

 

 

I studied Anthropology at University in the 1970's.  It was an exciting time with new fossil discoveries happening all the time.  Anthropology covers an amazing range of topics from primate studies to archeology to medical anthropology and many more sub disciplines. 

 

Maybe her studies were at a bible college because no reputable university Anthropology department would promote or tolerate ID/creationist drivel.

 

Ralph

 

 

She attends a local community college in the Bible Belt... She did mention that her teacher was a Christian shaman. Not sure how that works but maybe the teacher's religion interfered with her teaching standards.

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