A documentary called ‘Who’s Aping Who?: Social Climbing’ was broadcast on National Geographic TV on April 2, 2003. The documentary reflected one of National Geographic TV’s most frequently encountered forms of Darwinist propaganda. Yet again, National Geographic TV strove to show similarities between great ape and human behaviour and to make people believe that apes and human beings are related. This article reveals the inconsistency of National Geographic TV’s Darwinist claims.
The Secret Agenda Behind the Propaganda
One frequently finds in evolutionist publications that parallels are drawn between great apes, in other words chimpanzees, bonoboes, orang-utans and gorillas, and human beings. Certain examples of intelligent behaviour, of chimpanzees in particular, are described in these publications. For example, a circus chimp sharing the same house as his keeper taking a bottle of coca-cola out of the fridge, removing the cap and drinking it; another chimp sitting with a lap-top computer and playing with the keys; and yet another animal sitting and eating at a restaurant. Thus there is an attempt to portray the chimpanzee, suggested as being man’s closest ancestor, as the closest to man in terms of intelligence, too.
However, all these superficial accounts are all simple deceptions. The chimpanzee behaviour shown on our screens and equated with that of human beings, using such products as coca-cola and lap-top computers, is the result of a simple punishment and reward method. Chimpanzees are encouraged in such behaviour by means of rewards. The same methods are used to train dogs, pigeons, tigers and many other animals to perform tricks in circuses.
Do chimpanzees not display any social and intelligent behaviour in the wild? Of course they do. Yet these are not sufficient to build an evolutionary connection between human and chimpanzee behaviour. That is because in nature there are living things that display far more intelligent behaviour than that of chimpanzees. Furthermore, these creatures are much further removed from man on the imaginary evolutionary family tree than chimpanzees are. Bees use geometry in the construction of their hives, termites are capable of using an impressive knowledge of construction in making what we might refer to as their skyscrapers, beavers build dams, crows are able to display a use of tools that no chimpanzee can match, and schwarzula bees even engage in farming. The fact that, like human beings, some living things apply a knowledge of geometry, or engage in engineering or farming, does not make them relatives of man. All the evolutionary connections between man and chimpanzee and based on intelligent behaviour, as well as the propaganda based on these, are actually ‘hollow.’
The Financial Factor
The National Geographic Society, which undertakes the dispersion of the idea of evolution to all parts of the world and distributes millions of dollars in funds to that end, heads the list of those institutions which refuse to abandon this ‘hollow’ propaganda. Evolutionist primatologists have for years been carrying out studies monitoring apes such as the chimpanzee, bonobo, orang-utan and gorilla in their natural habitats in an effort to prove the co-called evolution of man. These people easily secure the funding for their research from National Geographic.
In their research evolutionist palaeontologists record the social relations in great ape communities and the methods used by these animals to resolve problems in their daily lives with great care and attention. They interpret all the information they obtain in the light of their Darwinist beliefs and attempt to equate the relationships they observe among apes with the political, moral and social relationships observed in human societies. These scientists have undertaken to construct similarities between man and great apes. They are perfectly well aware that in the event that they fail to come up with any similarities, or rather fail to come up with new theories and to interpret the facts in a Darwinist light, their sources of finance will be cut off. For that reason they force themselves to exert their imaginations as much as possible and make as wide-ranging claims as they can. That is why they generally come up with exaggerated or even ‘comic’ interpretations. The place where these interpretations, which even a child would find laughable, are aired is National Geographic TV.
The documentaries ‘A Tale of Three Chimps’ and ‘My Favorite Monkey’, aired by National Geographic TV last February, represent typical instances of this. These documentaries, to which we responded on our website in the article ‘A SERIES OF BLUNDERS REGARDING MONKEY INTELLIGENCE FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TV’ are full of comparisons which lack any scientific nature and could only be of any use in comic stories. To such an extent, in fact, that in one of these National Geographic TV suggests that human beings’ habit of going to the hairdresser is an evolutionary extension of the way monkeys groom each others’ fur. The TV channel seriously describes how this grooming relaxes monkeys which are thus freed from ticks and parasites, and that human beings relax when they go the hairdresser, for which reason this behaviour is common with the other primates. These totally nonsensical Darwinist fantasies were continued in National Geographic’s latest documentary and in increasingly ‘original’ comparisons.
National Geographic TV’s Latest Gaffes
The documentary ‘Who’s Aping Who?: Social Climbing’ tries to establish a similarity between the internal relationships in chimpanzee communities and those established by human beings in the political arena. It describes how in politics those people who wish to come to power can only do so with the support of high-prestige individuals, for which reason they engage in intensive lobbying activities aimed at such individuals. According to this, politicians seek to impress women by kissing babies at election time, thus ensuring voter support. In a similar fashion, it is suggested that a chimpanzee wishing to become leader of the group also has to cuddle babies and groom other chimps at election time.
While this is being explained, the example is given of two close friends in a group of chimpanzees and the solidarity displayed by them during a time of food scarcity. In the footage, the keepers leave far less water melon than appropriate for the number of monkeys concerned in their play area, after which they withdraw. The monkeys rush towards the few slices of melon, and a chimp which manages to secure a piece then withdraws to a secure place to eat it. At that exact moment, his friend who had previously licked his fur clean and removed the parasites from it appears and leans towards the melon. The chimpanzee in possession of the melon agrees to share it, without chasing the other animal off, and the pair eat the fruit together.
National Geographic TV claims that even friendships such as these are political and that chimpanzees which rise to leadership roles can at any time be stabbed in the back. It suggests that the favours performed give rise to a feeling of gratitude in the future and will enable help to be forthcoming one day in a moment of need.
As we can see, National Geographic TV is resorting to forced comparisons. The existence of relationships based on personal interest and strength does not prove that these animals are evolutionary relatives of man. It is a known fact that such relationships are to be found not only among chimpanzees but also among all creatures which live in groups. Male lions, for instance, kill and devour male lion cubs so they do not rival them in the future. According to the National Geographic TV logic, this is exactly the same as many struggles for power in kingdoms in the past. This method resorted to by lions to maintain their leadership positions is more effective than that employed by chimpanzees. However, such behaviour does not demonstrate that the lion is man’s evolutionary relative.
One of the similarities National Geographic TV seeks to establish between man and the chimpanzee concerns their ability to recognise the faces of other individuals and to perceive their emotional state.
Reference is made in the programme to an experiment on this subject. The chimpanzee in question is first shown pictures of mother chimpanzees and then of their young and is asked to put the two together. When the results are evaluated it appears that the animal has scored a 75% success rate. The footage then shows images of human children playing and describes how important it is for one child to recognise the faces of the others. The film describes how when a child establishes who he will be friends with when encountering a group for the first time he makes use of ‘facial expression,’ an international language. National Geographic TV states that it is easy to tell whether the other side is angry, or excited or calm, and it here resorts to Darwinist terminology.
This ability of human beings is then suddenly linked to imaginary ancestors, and the following claim is made:
‘This ability may be a skill which greatly benefited our ancestors. Just like present-day chimpanzees knowing which members of the group are related. This is one of the secrets of successful social progress.’
It is an evident truth that this ability is useful in the integration of an individual into the community. Yet establishing similarities between man and chimpanzee based on this ability does not show that the two are evolutionary relatives. Darwinist terminology, such as ‘social animal’ and ‘our ancestors’ does not change this situation, because many other living things are able to recognise individuals from within the group. Elephants, for instance, thanks to their powerful memories, can easily recognise another hostile elephant they met years previously and warn the herd of the danger. The latest study revealing that other living things as well as chimpanzees possess a recognition capacity came from researchers from Washington University. The researchers revealed that crows which stole food from one another could recognise their own relatives, and that they refrained from stealing food from these, and that even if they did steal from them they did not use aggressive methods.
As we see, elephants and crows are highly skilled at recognising other individuals and establishing relations with them according to their degree of proximity. However, it is not of course possible to look at these abilities and maintain that man is an evolutionary relative of the crow or the elephant. National Geographic selects and employs only those data which suit its own ideology, in other words it distorts the facts.
All the interpretations put forward in the programme rest on Darwinist preconceptions. The primatologists quoted in the film employ expressions which clearly indicate this. One primatologist says the following when describing chimpanzees weigh each other up in their relationships:
‘They cunningly weigh each other up. The small twinkles in their eyes seem especially human-like to me.’
Another primatologist engages in speculation regarding the intention underlying leadership and cooperative relationships between chimpanzees, and says:
‘It is very difficult to imagine that there is an exchange system among chimpanzees along the lines of ‘You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ without a component of memory, gratitude or obligation. These are complicated concepts, but I am determined to assume they exist in the chimpanzee.’
Social Darwinist Propaganda from National Geographic
Darwinism, a discredited theory whose scientific invalidity has been demonstrated, appears to be inexplicably influential over National Geographic TV. The channel describes man’s social structure in Darwinist terms. It applies the Darwinist slogan of the fight for survival and the survival of the fittest to the human social structure, speaks of an imaginary ‘process of socialisation,’ and reflects this as a chain of relationships of self-interest:
‘The exchange of favours is an ability which both mankind and great apes learn at an early age. It is part of making friends and influencing people which helps to force one’s enemies into a corner when the time comes. We are all in a constant push and shove for position. The result is a complex club where everyone can understand everyone else’s characters and how to make use of them. We all know how frightening entering that elect club is.’
These expressions clearly reveal the model of society envisaged by National Geographic. A model of society in which conflict prevails, in which good deeds are performed only in the expectation of receiving something in return, and in which people will be wary of others. The TV channel isolates such essential human qualities as tolerance, justice, compassion, trust and brotherhood from that model. The reason for this is that the channel regards mankind as merely another species of animal. By denying that man is a rational, virtuous being possessed of consciousness, it portrays human beings as a species of animal, all fighting for their own advantage.
We would like to remind the National Geographic team that engaging in propaganda on behalf of this ideology, which is devoid of any scientific foundation and human values, serves to damage social peace, security and happiness. Calling people away from human, ethical virtues for the sake of an outdated ideology such as Darwinism can have nothing but damaging consequences for society.
This propaganda is as much unrealistic as it is damaging to society. Modern science shows that claim that man and the chimpanzee evolved from a common ancestor is nothing but a myth. National geographic must accept this fact and use the money it spends on supporting a myth on activities of benefit to society.2003-04-02 00:00:00