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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Richard Dawkins and co. are a great help in this area.  The anthropology course she took, do you know if it was an introductory course and what college?  I had to take an introductory science at BU for my Art History course of study and this course was pretty comprehensive and informative.  It was a very long time ago but I do remember a great deal about DNA, RNA and how all of it is related and how it is a primary mechanism in evolution.  I do not know for sure, but I do not think that evolutionary studies discusses "macro" v. "micro" because small changes can happen over very large periods of time that will produce a new species.  There is an essay in Richard Dawkin's book "The Devil's Chaplain" that can explain it much better than I.  I have just finished reading the book and it was very very informative on many subjects, but mostly sciences  

 

I often tell folks who give me grief over evolution not to get a flu shot.  Perhaps we can breed them out of the species one day.

 

I think this may have just been an introductory course but she told me today that this is going to be her new major. She's currently attending a local tech college but is going to transfer to the University of South Carolina. I doubt they teach anything other than evolution.

This video from my page might help.

I saw this video when you first posted it. I tried to find the full show but was unable to. I'd love to watch all of it! :)

Hi Scarlette, my response to you (as an Anthropology Minor from Ohio State University) **Save your Jim Tressel jokes for the end please** is that Anthropology is the study of humanity. It is generally divided in to Physical (along with Forensic), Cultural (along with Archeology) and Linguistic. Your sister's response in your original post is very vague and I can't really speak on it except to say that there is nearly nothing in Anthropology that would support anything except your argument. And, just as a matter of clarification, human beings share 97% of their DNA with Chimpanzees and 98%-99% (depending on the study) with Bonobos, our nearest relative, (although many people have never heard of them).

 

I say "nearly nothing" because I was actually in a Evolutionary Anthropology class once that the whole class centered around human evolution from common hominid ancestors. When finals rolled around, "christians" in the class were offered alternative tests that would not have any questions or answers on it that would conflict with their personal religious beliefs. I felt like requesting the alternative test for the 'easy A' but I didn't feel like writing "God did it" 100 times.

 

 

When finals rolled around, "christians" in the class were offered alternative tests that would not have any questions or answers on it that would conflict with their personal religious beliefs 
wow. that's pretty, well, grotesque.

Thank you very much for your response. You've helped clear up a few things (specially the chimp & bonobos DNA). She says she's going to pursue this as a major. Hopefully, a few upper level classes will have her seeing the facts. 

 

""christians" in the class were offered alternative tests"

 

I really don't understand this. There are plenty of Christians who know that evolution is a fact. They somehow work into back into their theology. . . These type of people need to be more vocal against creationism. [I don't think the majority of people know what's going on in our school systems]

 

"Even if evolution is completely wrong, if you elect to take the class then you should be objectively tested on the information as it is understood at the time of the test."

 

I completely agree.

Oneinfinity - It is grotesque and unfortunately, absolutely true. I have never been in a physics class where you could take an alternate test where the Earth is the center of the universe or or a math class where you didn't have to utilize the religiously offensive concepts of zero or infinity. For some reason, evolution is unique in that everyone can have a subjective opinion despite the data. Even if evolution is completely wrong, if you elect to take the class then you should be objectively tested on the information as it is understood at the time of the test.
Some of the most impressive research being done to date regarding evolution and related topics, is coming to us via the field of Bioinformatics with emphasis in Computational Evolutionary Biology.  Not sure how interested you might be in this but I think if you really want to present some awesome evidence then familiarize yourself with this field of study :)  Hope this helps!

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