Polygenesis: Breaking News

Courtesy of here.  These bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees) have been observed making stone tools on their own initiative.  The tools are remarkably similar to those made by by early hominids.

This is relevant to my ongoing series on the Fall, particularly my follow-up on polygenesis, because it emphasizes once more how much closer so-called sub-human primates are to us than previously thought.  I’m not suggesting that humans ever have–or even could have–interbred with bonobos.  Despite their genetic closeness to us, there is no evidence that such has ever happened.

Nevertheless, that a primate that is, relatively speaking, farther from us than the early members of the genera Homo and Australopithecus, is able to perform actions previously thought restricted to the latter genera gives indirect but strong evidence of the possibility of the interbreeding of various humanoid species.   That many different species besides H. sapiens were adjacent in time and location to it is ever-clearer from the fossil record.  If even members of the genus Pan (pygmy and common chimps), which split from the common lineage we both share over six million years ago,  have human-like tool-making capacities, it is even more likely that closer species and genera, with a closer date of lineage split, may have been sufficiently similar in behavior and physiology to interbreed, perhaps frequently.

In my mind, this gives even greater motivation to work out the theological implications of a possible polygenetic origin of humanity.  News like this makes the issue ever less abstract.

Part of the series Legends of the Fall.

Also part of the series Polygenism Revisited.

Posted on 24/08/2012, in Bible, Christianity, nature, philosophy, religion, science, theology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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