Among such eternally prevalent questions such as “Where do we find an honest politician?”, will Telkom ever get some competition, and did Bill Gates’s wife marry for money, is the question where did we come from.
In the last few weeks science has been stripping off its white cloak, swinging it over its head and shooting tequila out of small little beakers. All the fuss has been created by two US scientists working in Senegal for Cambridge University.
They’ve observed chimpanzees using spears to hunt. The researchers have witnessed 22 cases of female chimpanzees making spears and using them to hunt bushbabies. By way of background: the chimps live in a harsh area where their traditional diet is not easily maintained. The males have taken to killing small mammals with their bare hands, but the females don’t have the strength.
Tearing a suitable branch from a tree, the females strip it down to a stalk, using their teeth to sharpen the end to a point. They then repeatedly stab at the terrified bushbaby until its dead. And then they eat it.
But that’s not all. It get’s so hot in the summer months around there that the chimps have taken to living in nearby caves.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry but it doesn’t take a doctorate and an IQ of 180 to realise that this is a fairly remarkable set of observations. And I won’t insult you by pressing on any further about the implications of these discoveries.
We’ve now seen with our own eyes what scientists have been saying since Darwin peeved off the whole world by commenting on some finches. Evolution is happening and is apparent in its most obvious form: adaptation.
Adaptation to the environment is what challenged ancient humans to cultivate their food, instead of running around after it. It’s what pressured great whites to jump three metres clear of the ocean to catch seals off Hout Bay. And in the absence of abundant food, it’s pressuring chimpanzees to hunt and find shelter in caves.
I can’t express how excited I am about what these chimps are up to. Personally, and for millions around the world, it’s a watershed moment.
But it’s still not enough. Across the Atlantic we have millions of dollars being spent on a creationist museum, where amongst other things, they’re going to try and show the world how Noah ushered baby dinosaurs onto the ark…to save space of course.
There’s something brewing here. It’s a war of beliefs, a war of truths, a battle for our understanding. It’s Religion Pty Ltd versus Science Inc.
Back to that original nagging question, monotheist religion has had a monopoly over the answer for a very, very long time. And while this has been broadcast from the pulpit, Darwin and crew have been quietly sitting in the back row, piecing their version together. And slowly but surely, they’re shaping a better, clearer product.
Back in school, I was taught that God would wait for me to come to him. As I understand it, that’s the fundamental basis of faith.
I’m sorry chaps but that approach isn’t going to cut it anymore. Your product is lacking compared to what we can get from Science, Inc. You may have to start a bit of marketing.
I suggest a few TV channels, perhaps a bookshop, a few radio stations, hey, maybe even a museum.
Oh wait, you’re already on it.