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Apes are fun to watch at the zoo. Like so many other animals, they have many endearing qualities that remind us of ourselves. The similarities are real, but they don’t mean we have family connections. Instead, the similarities point to one Designer, as the Creation Museum’s new ape-or-man exhibit explains in detail.
An exhibit to be installed this summer at the Creation Museum near Cincinnati tackles one of the icons of evolutionary thinking: homology. Homology refers to features that are similar among different animals, especially bones or DNA. For example, you may have heard that chimp and human DNA are 95–99% similar, or that our skeletons closely resemble chimp skeletons.
Some people attempt to explain these similarities with evolutionary ideas. They say that humans and chimps have similar DNA and bone structure because we inherited those traits from the same ancestor—a chimp-like creature that lived millions of years ago. Many people consider homology to be proof of evolution because they think that common ancestry is the only explanation for such similarities.
But they have overlooked another, more reasonable explanation for homology. In His wisdom, God created the very best designs for certain functions, and He used those designs in various living things because many organisms carry out similar functions.
In much the same way, engineers use a wheel for cars, trucks, motorcycles, trains, and other rolling vehicles, not because they came from the same assembly line but because wheels are the best shape for rolling heavy objects. In other words, common design is a good argument for a common designer.
In fact, human engineers and architects recognize the genius of designs in nature, even if they fail to give the Creator credit. God beautifully designed both humans and chimps to serve Him in their different capacities.