Gorillas—Just Like Us?

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The Cincinnati Zoo has a brand new addition to the gorilla exhibit. One of the gorillas, called Asha, gave birth to a healthy baby gorilla. Now, this is very exciting, and I’ve enjoyed many family outings to this excellent, well-known zoo (located about 30 minutes from our Creation Museum)—despite its evolutionary content.

But the Cincinnati Enquirer’s write-up about the baby gorilla includes some claims that are clearly driven by an evolutionary view of the world. The reporter writes that the “dad Jomo walked out into the public space and gave the crowd a serious look” and that the mom “Asha stood back and sized up the situation . . . cautious and maternal.” He finishes his very human description of the gorillas with the following:

And these are not just anthropomorphic projections. Ron Evans, curator of primates at the zoo, said the behavior of gorillas is acutely similar to that of humans. “Mom always holds baby real tight,” Evans said. “If you ever have a questions about why a gorilla does what it does, remember this: It’s because they are just like us.”
Evolutionists are always claiming that humans and apes are not that different, even to the point of ignoring DNA evidence to the contrary!

If we are similar like Evans says, I wonder if he would risk living in the enclosure with the gorillas. He says that “they are just like us,” so it should be no problem living in the enclosures with the gorillas, right? If not, then is it due to the fact that we are acutely different after all?

I asked Dr. David Menton, an AiG speaker and a former professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, to comment on the Cincinnati Enquirer article and Ron Evans’ remarks about gorillas and humans:

It is certainly true that baby animals are cute—even a baby rhino is cute. The article and accompanying photos clearly intend to anthropomorphize gorillas using terms such as “mom,” “dad,” “child,” “boy,” and “girl.” An abortion would have been unthinkable for this family. The “dad" is described as giving the crowd a “serious look” and even a “glare” that actually revealed his thoughts: “I’m a 400-pound silverback, do not even think of doing anything dumb around my baby.” Now who dares claim that gorillas are not essentially human? After all, they think pretty much the same thoughts as we non-gorilla humans do. And mom walked out and sat down in her favorite spot with “her 1-week-old child.”

Apparently Ron Evans understands that these are “anthropomorphic projections”—he just insists that’s not all they are. He claims that gorilla behavior is not just similar to human behavior but rather is “acutely similar.” Obviously, he believes that any difference in behavior between a gorilla and a human is at most trivial. For compelling evidence, he points out that “mom holds baby real tight.” But Evans outdoes himself when he claims that “if you ever have a question about why a gorilla does what it does, remember this: It’s because they are just like us.” So why do gorillas in the wild make a nest of sticks in a tree to sleep in? Why, because they are just like us. And why do humans compose music and write books? Because they are just like gorillas.

You can find out more about homology and the supposed similarities between humans and apes—as well as an excellent video of Dr. Menton speaking about these issues—on our “Human Evolution” topics page.

To learn the truth about where humans and gorillas came from, make sure you come to the Creation Museum where children 12 and under are free for 2014 with a paying adult.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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