Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham, a Young Earth Creationist, has offered a rebuttal to a recent argument made by world-famous primatologist Jane Goodall that humans inherited their "evil dark side" from ape-like ancestors.
Goodall told The Mirror earlier this month that her nearly 60 years of research on chimpanzees has led her to realize that the warlike nature of primates is quite similar to that of human beings.
"I didn't know chimpanzees can rip your face off. There was no one talking about that," Goodall, now 83, says of when she began studying chimpanzees in Tanzania.
"Sometimes I was frightened of things like leopards, but it was the life I'd dreamed of and nothing could deter me. I had a feeling nothing was going to hurt me because I was meant to be here," she recalled.
Speaking about her son, Grub, who she had with husband and National Geographic photographer Baron Hugo van Lawick, she recalled: "It was dangerous for him at Gombe. Chimpanzees eat other primates. They have been known to take infant humans. I wasn't going to risk my little precious son."
She detailed the dark nature of some of the groups of chimps that would viciously fight against rival groups for years, until the opposition had been completely wiped out.
"I'd no idea of the brutality they could show. War always seemed to me to be a purely human behavior. I've come to accept that the dark, evil side of human nature is deeply embedded in our genes, inherited from our primate ancestors," Goodall said.
Ham argued that Goodall is making the mistake of adapting a naturalistic evolutionary idea about humans.
"We don't have a 'dark, evil side' because we inherited it from some ape-like ancestors; we are sinful because we are descendants of Adam. You see, Adam, the first man, rebelled against God and brought sin and death into Creation (1 Corinthians 15:22). The Bible tells us we all sin because we sinned in Adam and continue to sin (Romans 5:12)," he wrote on AiG earlier this week.
"And Adam's sin is the reason chimps can be brutal and engage in 'war.' Adam's rebellion broke creation and now everything groans, including animals such as chimps (Romans 8:22). Our world isn't the way God made it! Creation, in the beginning, was "very good" (Genesis 1:31), but, because of sin, it isn't any more," he added.
As for whether using tools makes chimps more human, Ham pointed out that research has shown that many other animals, including elephants, sea otters, and crows can, and do use tools, yet no one is arguing that they are closer to humans.
"Most importantly, we aren't human because we use tools — we're human because we're made distinct and unique by God, in His image (Genesis 1:27)," he continued.
"According to evolutionary ideas, we're just animals, and chimpanzees are our evolutionary cousins. But God's Word gives us a very different perspective on who we are. Genesis tells us organisms were created according to their kinds (mostly the family level of classification) — that means the different kinds are not related to each other, and we're not related to them either."