John McCain is a temporal anchor on American politics, and he’s dragging the rest of us back in time to the Vietnam era when black & white militaristic thinking got us bogged down in an unwinnable war. Oh, wait. I think I’m confusing him with the present day incarnation of John McCain who helped get us bogged down in Iraq. Perhaps, John McCain is Dr. Who, and enjoys sticking his big nose in other people’s business because he has a god complex. Ever since the US presidential election, I have to admit I can’t recognize the real John McCain. For example, does he support nation building or not?
Yes, why don’t we publicly take sides in Iran and further fan the flames of Islamic extremists? Then all we’ll need is a fatheaded congressman suggesting we send a team of advisers to Iran to help the protesters liberate the country. Apparently, someone in the US State Department already made a play and requested that Twitter delay its site maintenance so the Iranian people could still communicate their protest strategy.
I long for the day when politicians will sit twiddling their thumbs, not thinking about how to spread democracy around the world. Aren’t their domestic plates full enough?
Let’s gain some wisdom from the story of an ancient Roman politician named Cinna in his campaign for power:
They contributed money and military forces, and he was joined by many more people, including some of those who were influential at Rome, who found political stability not to their taste.
From The Civil Wars by Appian
Does an old, war dog like John McCain live for peace or conflict? I wonder.
By the power invested in me by the natural world, I now pronounce you man and ape. You may kiss the bride. Smootchie! Smootchie! Enjoy the honeymoon.
(According to a recent study chimps are better than humans at short term memory recall.)
Of course, the evolutionary link between human and ape is a major thorn in the ass of creationists. Some are known to actually proclaim, “I ain’t descended from no monkey”. Darwinians reflexively respond with the DNA evidence, which indicates a 98.89% genetic similarity between humans and chimps. Creationists scoff. But I think part of the problem is a lack of perspective on the part of creationists. In chapter 6 of his book, “The Descent of Man”, Charles Darwin wrote about the classification of humans as special. He said:
“If man had not been his own classifier, he would never have thought of founding a separate order for his own reception”
Would space aliens find humans so morphologically and behaviorally distinct from apes? The anatomists of the 19th century, long before the availability of genetic analysis, saw a staggering number of similarities between the greater apes and man. Anatomist T.H. Huxley wrote extensively on the “resemblances and differences in the structure and the development of the brain in man and apes”. He noted:
“[T]hat the difference between the brain of the chimpanzee and of man is almost insignificant, when compared with that between the chimpanzee brain and that of the Lemur [the lower apes].”
The sheer weight of all the evidence, not just one portion of it, drew most 19th century investigators to conclude that man and apes share a common ancestor. But the creationist modus operandi is to isolate and mangle specific data, and to ignore the big picture. However, by posing a ‘what if’ argument we can see that the objections proffered by creationists are emotionally based and ego driven. For instance, would creationists hate evolution as much IF it showed that apes descended from humans instead of the other way round? Under such a scenario the relationship of humans to apes doesn’t sound as objectionable. Human dignity is preserved. Humans remain at the top of creation. Unfortunately, for creationists it ain’t true.
Also, how can the human species be defined objectively? Darwin noted that a distinct classification point would be difficult to establish:
“In a series of forms graduating insensibly from some-ape like creature to man as he now exists, it would be impossible to fix on any definite point when the term ‘man’ ought to be used”
We can see that only by narrowly construing the evidence and ignoring valuable biological comparisons can the creationist perspective survive.