During a recent trip to Ethiopia, home of the famed fossil “Lucy,” US President Barack Obama reportedly got the opportunity to look at and even touch the famous bones of Lucy, supposedly “the most complete skeleton of an early human ancestor ever discovered.” Lucy, an Australopithecus afarensis skeleton discovered in Ethiopia in 1974, is considered by many evolutionists to be “the grandmother of humanity.” Upon touching the bones of Lucy, President Obama is reported as saying, “That’s amazing. So Lucy was on the chain to homo sapiens [sic].”
“Grandmother of Humanity” or Extinct Ape?
Obama went on to say, “You know Ethiopians are an ancient people in an ancient land . . . We honour Ethiopia as the birthplace of humankind. In fact, I just met Lucy, our oldest ancestor. As your great poet laureate wrote, ‘Here is the land where the first harmony in the rainbow was born . . . Here is the root of the Genesis of Life; the human family was first planted here.’” Of course, what one believes about “the birthplace of humankind” depends on what one believes about the past. Since Obama and other evolutionists believe that life, including human life, evolved over millions of years, they will interpret fossils (such as “Lucy”) within the framework of what they believe. Lucy’s fossils don’t demand that she was an ancestor to modern humans. This is an interpretation imposed on the evidence because of the worldview that the researchers approach the evidence with—a worldview that has rejected God’s infallible eyewitness account and instead relies on fallible human interpretation. We can see even more now why President Obama rejects biblical morality concerning marriage—because he rejects God’s Word beginning in Genesis and accepts man’s wrong ideas about the past. The meaning of anything is dependent on its origin. Obama accepts evolution and thus rejects the Genesis account of human origins—so he rejects the biblical basis of marriage and therefore defines this how he wants to.
Now, biblical creationists look at the exact same fossils and reach completely different conclusions because we interpret them through the lens of a biblical worldview. We understand that, according to God’s Word, everything was created fully formed and functioning by God just a few thousand years ago. And humans didn’t evolve over millions of years. They were specially created by God when He made Adam from the dust and Eve from Adam’s rib. Since we have a different starting point, we view Lucy in a completely different way. We interpret her fossils as just another example of variety within the creatures that God made. She is not the “grandmother of humanity;” she’s just an amazingly designed, now extinct, ape.
And the evidence confirms that Lucy and her kind were nothing more than extinct apes. The evolutionary idea that Lucy was a human ancestor is largely based on a set of footprints found at Laetoli in Tanzania, almost 1,000 miles away from Lucy’s final resting place. These fossilized footprints are clearly human—they look no different from footprints that could be made by any person walking down a beach. The problem for evolutionists is that humans aren’t supposed to have been around when these footprints were supposedly made 3.2 million years ago, meaning humans couldn't have made them. So who did? Well, Lucy’s partial skeleton didn’t have any hands or feet, so if she had human feet, she could have done it! As a result, reconstructions of Lucy generally have human-like hands and feet. This interpretation of the Laetoli footprints and Lucy is based completely on a belief in molecules-to-man evolution and fallible dating methods, not on the observational evidence itself.
But as more members of Lucy’s species have been found, it’s become evident that despite the artwork that portrays Lucy as vaguely human-like and walking upright, Lucy was just an ape. Her toes curved like tree-dwelling apes’, her shoulders were like those of apes living today, her wrists look like knuckle-walking apes’, and her hands look like chimpanzee hands. Lucy was not an ancestor to mankind. She was an ape that was well-designed for a life walking on her knuckles and climbing around in trees.
Same Human Family from Lucy or Adam?
Apparently after viewing Lucy, Obama again exposed his evolutionary beliefs when he reportedly also said, “we are reminded that Ethiopians, Americans, all the people of the world are part of the same human family, the same chain. And as one of the professors who was describing the artifacts correctly pointed out, so much of the hardship and conflict and sadness and violence that occurs around the world is because we forget that fact. We look at superficial differences as opposed to seeing the fundamental connection that we all share.” But are we really all “part of the same human family” because of Lucy? Of course not! We are all part of the same human family for a completely different reason.
We do not need to look to Lucy to unite us as part of some evolutionary human family. God’s Word makes it clear that we are all one family, not because of some alleged evolutionary connection, but because we’re all descended from Adam and Eve, who were specially created by God. We do not all belong to different races. We’re all one race—the human race.
Obama seems to suggest that conflict due to racist beliefs is the result of forgetting our shared evolutionary heritage. But, actually, it’s evolutionary ideas that are inherently racist! As one evolutionist, Stephen Jay Gould, once said, “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.” Darwin himself promoted the idea that different “races” evolved at different times and so some groups were more highly evolved than others. Evolutionary ideas have led to atrocities such as Hitler’s death camps, horrible prejudices and injustices towards Australian aborigines, and an African pygmy being exhibited in a cage in the Bronx zoo. And evolutionary ideas of the value of life and morality are responsible for the deaths of millions today in the form of abortion and euthanasia. Evolutionary ideas do not eliminate “hardship and conflict and sadness and violence”—mankind in rebellion against their Creator since the Fall creates these problems and only Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, can eliminate these problems when He returns and establishes the new heavens and new earth.
The hardship, conflict, sadness, and violence that Obama talked about occur partially because people willfully ignore God’s Word and its message that we are all related because of our first parents, Adam and Eve. But, ultimately, these things happen because our first parents chose to rebel against God and their choice brought sin, suffering, and death into creation. And now we all willfully choose to sin against God. It originally wasn’t supposed to be this way! But, praise God, it won’t stay this way. God’s Son became a descendent of Adam, Jesus Christ the God-man. He became our relative and stepped into history, lived a perfect life, and died on the Cross, taking the penalty—death— for us, which we deserve because of our sin. He now offers eternal life to those who will believe in Him and what He has done for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Lucy at the Creation Museum
We have a world-class hologram exhibit featuring Lucy here at the Creation Museum. The exhibit powerfully shows that the artist’s views determine how the fossils are interpreted. Different artists sculpt Lucy differently depending on their presuppositions and what they believe about the past. I encourage you to come to the Museum to see this incredible exhibit—which includes casts of the original fossils—for yourself. Until the end of the year we have a special 2 Buy 2 promotion at the Creation Museum. Buy two tickets and get two free!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.