Intro: Over the last 10 years or so, my wife and I have had many interesting discussions surrounding the whole creation vs. evolution debate. She and I don’t agree on every point with respect to some creationist concepts, but one thing we both are not able to wrap our heads around is the idea that we – at some distant point in our prehistory – were nothing more than pond-scum; that all humanity started out as some biological soup. Shakespeare once referred to mankind as the ‘Paragon of Animals’ and quite certainly, we humans are very different from than anything else observed in nature. Not every human trait or characteristic can be adequately explained by the scientist’s ‘go to’: evolution. And as for the rest of ‘creation’, it too maintains and displays a level of complexity that defies the premise set forth by modern science; that all animal species known today are the result of ongoing transitions from some other kind of species – the result of millions and millions of years of change. Feel free to join in the discussion. All we ask is that you stay on point and avoid a religious mentality that proffers a bullyish insistence that ‘science/the bible says it is this way and therefore it is more true’. Let’s keep it interesting, shall we?
IF EVOLUTION IS A FACT, THEN HOW COME WE HUMANS NEED CLOTHING?
Just yesterday afternoon, Nancy and I spent our time doing something we never do; watching a hockey game. It was the New Year’s Day ‘Winter Classic’ featuring the Detroit Red Wings vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs. The temps in Ann Arbor were just frigid – minus 11 Celsius – and probably a lot colder than that if you factor in the wind-chill, yet the stadium was packed with over 100,000 fans! Not just Detroit fans either, Leaf fans as well.
As we watched in the comfort of our living room, the camera would often pan from the hockey players to the crowd where you’d witness their hopping up and down not to cheer their team, but to keep themselves from freezing to death. I suggested that, ‘maybe folks aren’t as cold we think thanks to the BTU’s being given off by their bleacher buddies’. Nancy just looked at me like, ‘Riiiiight’.
It was then I stated the simply obvious: “If evolution is a reality, how is it that we – the most evolved species on earth – haven’t anything in the way of natural defences against the cold, namely warm fur or feathers?” Nancy chuckled as she too recognized the conspicuous problem. Every creature known to man can survive its own environment (and sometimes far less favourable environments) thanks to either fur, scales, feathers or exoskeletons but we can’t! Plop us down naked in the middle of a snowstorm and we’re dead inside of an hour. Leave us in a desert and we’re toast in as little as 4 days. And even if you set us up in temperate climates, we can’t be ‘naked and afraid’ for long without something killing us due to our ‘parts’ being exposed. Think about it.
Central America could be considered the ideal climate for the human body. But 100’s of thousands of people died during the making of the great canal in Panama. From being over-worked? Nope – the culprit was malaria, a disease spread by a tiny insect that literally gets under our skin. Canada’s favourite humourist, Rick Mercer, has encouraged schools throughout the country every year to contribute to the ‘Spread the Net’ campaign that serves to protect people from the mosquito bites that can lead to certain death in places we oxymoronically refer to as ‘Tropical Paradises’. Malaria isn’t the only disease spread by mosquitoes in such places either, Dengue fever is another killer transmitted by them. Heck, a whole plethora of skin diseases are possible due to the many parasites that will find their way onto our epidermis or exposed orifices.
Here in North America, on a really nice summer day in the forest, one might think you could exist safely as a naturist/nudist but in reality you could pick up the tick responsible for carrying Lyme’s Disease and not know you have it ’til it’s far too late. West Nile (again, mosquito-carried) virus has led to several deaths in our part of the world too.
The evolutionist might say that humanity’s random demises caused by viruses, insects or plagues is the ‘cost of doing business’ with the planet and that even other mammals die from such diseases as well. The North American little brown bat populations, for instance, are threatened by a fungus that attacks their faces and wings and somehow confuses their hibernation cycles which results in their premature emergence into cold, wintry air instead of the warm spring climes. In this case, the animal’s being introduced into an unsuiting environment is affecting its numbers and survivability. There are rare but similar goings on with other species around the globe.
Though this may be the case, one cannot dismiss easily the fact that if it weren’t for humanity’s capacity to use logic/intelligent pragmatism and come up with some defensive coverings (we now call them clothes) we wouldn’t have survived ANYWHERE on this planet for very long. Sure, other animals construct nests, dig dens or sometimes even utilize their own bodies to protect themselves and their young, but in a high majority of cases the animal survives independently from its creations. Man does not.
Right from the get-go, we all begin this life as an ‘infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms’. 1 What other creature on the planet is born so utterly helpless (and remains that way for so long) save for man?
If we evolved to be the highest form of intelligence on the planet (dolphin-lovers are vehemently shaking their fist in disagreement with that suggestion), it seems rather incongruent that our physical selves didn’t catch up. We are not presently evidencing ANY new physical changes that would allow us to survive without clothing the way the rest of the mammalian world does. Your uncle’s disturbing abundance of chest hair may give you pause with respect to his mammalian origins, but he is very much human and his hirsute predisposition wouldn’t save him from dying of exposure after toppling his canoe in an icy lake. Toss your ‘stupid’ golden retriever into the same lake, mind you, and she’ll come out shaking half of the lake’s volume all over you and begging you to throw another stick to her in the freezing water.
All this points to one thing: we humans are a separate and distinct creation that were given unique bodies and intelligence that no amount of evolutionary time elapses or supposed beneficial mutations can account for. It appears that we were made to be highly dependent beings – dependent for survival first on our parents and thereafter on our ability to create things from our surroundings that protect our bodies from harm. Truly, we were initially constructed by some Supreme Intelligence that oddly wanted us to be both dependent and yet creative within the framework of our challenging world.
If anybody has any other way around this problem, we’d sure like to hear about it.
Until then, we will conclude our thoughts on the matter with the words of John Stewart,
© 2014 Flagrant Regard
Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [All the world’s a stage]
Psalm 8:4-8 (The Voice Translation)
I can’t help but wonder why You care about mortals—
sons and daughters of men—
specks of dust floating about the cosmos.
But You placed the son of man just beneath God
and honored him like royalty, crowning him with glory and honor.
You ordained him to govern the works of Your hands,
to nurture the offspring of Your divine imagination;
You placed everything on earth beneath his feet:
All kinds of domesticated animals,
even the wild animals in the fields and forests,
he birds of the sky and the fish of the sea,
all the multitudes of living things that travel the currents of the oceans.