A Series of Blunders Regarding Monkey Intelligence
National Geographic TV broadcast two documentaries in April 2003 in its Europe edition. Called A Tale of Three Chimps and My Favorite Monkey, these documentaries bore clear similarities in terms of the message they sought to give. The consecutive broadcasting of these documentaries by National Geographic TV, their subject matter, and their timing indicated that deliberate evolutionist propaganda was going on. This channel, which in March 2003 brought us the fairy tales of "the dog that entered the sea and became a whale" and "the fish that left the sea and grew legs" in its Great Transformations, this time offered us another story and tried to inculcate the suggestion of the alleged evolution of man.
The documentary "A Tale of Three Chimps" dealt with chimpanzees working in a circus, and "My Favorite Monkey" was about the tailed macaque. Throughout both of these films frequent examples were given of what appeared to be intelligent behavior in monkeys, and the impression was given that since monkeys are so-called close relatives of man, their intelligence is correspondingly high. The aim of this article is to reveal the twisted Darwinist interpretations given in both documentaries.
Claims That Chimpanzees and Manare Brothers or Genetic Relatives are Untrue
Right at the beginning of the film there is talk of chimpanzees' being a "brother species" to man and it was said that scientists realized the similarities between the two species before their genetic proximity was confirmed.
National Geographic TV's view of monkeys as a "brother species" to man is nothing more than Darwinist prejudice and rests on no scientific findings. There is absolutely no evidence to support the claim that man and apes evolved from a common ancestor. In the face of the picture presented by the fossil record, evolutionist paleontologists admit that they have abandoned hope of finding a missing link between man and the chimpanzee.
The claim that a "genetic proximity" between man and ape has been confirmed is a deception, pure and simple. Genetic proximity is a scenario produced as the result of a distortion of data regarding human and chimpanzee DNA with the aim of supporting Darwinism. However, this scenario is rotten to the core, because it claims that DNA emerged by means of so-called random evolutionary mutations. The fact is, however, that the effects of mutations on organisms are inevitably harmful, and may even have fatal results. DNA contains meaningful information recorded in a special encoding system. Random mutations in genes cannot possibly add new information to the DNA of the organism and turn it into a new species. All experiments and observations on mutations demonstrate this.
Moreover, the invalidity of the figures put forward in this genetic proximity propaganda has also emerged in new scientific discoveries in recent months. The findings of a California Institute of Technology geneticist have revealed that the genetic difference between man and chimpanzee was three times greater than had been claimed.1 It was revealed that there is absolutely no scientific proof of a point that is so frequently stressed in evolutionist propaganda. (For more details about the scientific discoveries which have undermined the scenario of human evolution, see Darwinism Refuted, by Harun Yahya at www.harunyahya.com under the subtopic "Refutation of Darwinism.")
The National Geographic TV documentary, "My Favorite Monkey," states that man and apes possess a similar physiology, and this is portrayed as evidence of evolution. Space is devoted to the comments of a veterinarian regarding a monkey which was brought to him for treatment. The veterinarian states that some of the medicines he used for the monkey were actually human medicines, and cites this as evidence that the two species are related.
The fact, however, that medicines can prove to be effective in both species provides no evidence for the theory of evolution whatsoever. The comparison is merely one made in line with Darwinist prejudices. It is quite natural that similar chemicals should benefit both man and apes. Both species share the same biosphere and the same carbon-based organic molecules. This common structure applies not just to man and apes, but to the whole of nature. For instance, human beings produce medicine from the blood of the horseshoe crab. Yet this does not mean that man and the horseshoe crab are related. On the other hand, kidney transplants carried out from chimpanzees to human beings represent a serious blow to the claims of similar physiology. Dr. Keith Reemtsma of Tulane University carried out more than a dozen such transplants from chimpanzees to human beings in 1963, but all the patients died.2 That is because the chimpanzee metabolism worked faster, for which reason the cells in the tissue of the chimpanzee kidney rapidly consumed the water in the bodies of the human recipients.
National Geographic TV's Propaganda Tactics
The propaganda tactic so often resorted to in documentaries on National Geographic TV consists of showing examples of intelligent behavior by apes and then drawing comparisons between them and human beings. This tactic can be seen in expressions like "they are intelligent animals," "their needs closely resemble those of human beings," and "like us, they feel the need for personal bonds and interpersonal relationships."
The commentary in My Favorite Monkey mentions that apes produce creative solutions in the face of problems in nature and that they are intelligent problem-solvers. It says the line between human and ape behavior may be very unclear.
In another narration, it is stated that they resemble us physically; we use them in space and medical research. Also, they resemble us socially, but we keep that to ourselves. Family life is very important among members of the macaque species and we are so closely related that …
Yet the inconsistency of constructing an evolutionary link between man and ape in respect of intelligence and interpersonal relationships is quite evident. There are other animals far superior to apes when it comes to intelligence and relationships. Bees, for instance, are able to employ the kind of architecture in building their combs that only a mathematician's calculations could match.3 A geometrical plan can be seen in the comb, one that allows the least possible material to be used in the construction but the greatest possible amount of area for storage. (In the identification of such an "optimal" design the area and circumferences of different geometrical shapes need to be calculated, and the geometric shape with the highest area/circumference ratio should be selected.)
In the same way, beavers are able to build their nests against the current in the middle of rivers, employing the kind of engineering abilities used by man in constructing dams.4 Termites build magnificent towers capable of comparison with our own skyscrapers, and set up air-conditioning systems, special storage chambers and agricultural areas inside them. The fact, of course, that they display a visibly sensitive mathematical and geometrical knowledge in their buildings and use engineering techniques does not imply that we are related to bees, beavers, or termites.
Neither is the fact that monkeys feel the need for interpersonal bonds and relationships evidence for evolution. Creatures that have no possible relation to human beings also enjoy similar bonds and relationships. Penguins, for example, raise families full of love and loyalty. Dogs are much more faithful and friendly in the relationships they establish with human beings. Doves enjoy close relations with their mates. Budgerigars exhibit enormous interest and devotion to one another, and also to human beings. Yet these features do not make penguins, doves, budgerigars, and dogs our relatives.
On the other hand, these animals do reveal the invalidity of the theory of evolution's claims regarding the origin of their intelligence and behavior. Despite the fact that the creatures we have just listed are located on branches of the imaginary evolutionary tree far more distant from man than are chimpanzees, they are still able to display behavior much closer to human intelligence than that of chimpanzees.
Honeybees reveal yet another contradiction which the theory of evolution is quite incapable of accounting for. The theory seeks to account for level of intelligence by the development of the nervous system. For instance, it links the fact that man is the most highly developed living thing to his having the highest brain/body ratio. According to this logic, chimpanzees, with a much more complex nervous system than that of bees, should be far superior to them. Yet the truth is actually the exact opposite. The fact that a creature much further away from man on the imaginary evolutionary tree than the chimpanzee is able to display the kind of complex behavior seen in man, despite its being a simple organism, – the way it calculates the surface area and circumference of the hexagon and measures internal angles, for instance – definitively invalidates the evolutionist claims with regard to ape intelligence.
Beware the Monkey Culture Distortion
In the documentary My Favorite Monkey it is suggested that the tailed monkey known as the macaque possesses the ability to develop complex behaviors, and to teach them to individuals and so hand them on to subsequent generations. This is described as a kind of "monkey culture," on the grounds that such learned behavior falls within the meaning of culture.
It may be suggested that the behavior models peculiar to one living species are an indication of "culture." However, as we have stated above, "human-type" behavior or the demonstration of a "human-type" culture in certain aspects by a living being is again no evidence for the theory of evolution.
National Geographic TV engages in two major distortions here. First, the example is given of a macaque washing the sand off a potato in the sea before eating it. Second, an adult macaque is shown forcibly taking the stones a younger monkey is playing with out of its hand.
It is stated that the washing of the potato in water is behavior that was first developed by one macaque in the group and then taught to the others. This is taken to be a sign of culture. The taking away by the adult of the stone the younger macaques are playing with is compared to the way that children playing in a nursery take each other's toys. It is suggested here that the way the adult engages in a display of strength by taking it away from the younger animal shows that macaques imbue the stone with a kind of social significance.
The fact that a monkey engages in "humane" cleaning and displays a "toy" culture cannot be put forward as evidence for evolution. Evolutionists persistently fixate on monkey culture, and are accustomed to portray this as a whole entity, based on particular communication between monkeys. The aim here is to install the idea in people's minds that human culture is a phenomenon which emerged with evolution, and that among animals the nearest level to human culture is that exhibited by monkeys.
Yet the wild bee known as schwarzula or the leafcutter ant exhibit an even more complex culture – that of agriculture. Schwarzula engages in "livestock rearing" by making use of secretions from a species of larva it gathers up and collects in its nest. Leafcutter ants engage in "agriculture" by growing fungus.5 Another species of ant collects resin from trees and uses this as an antiseptic to purify its nest from germs. This is a sign of a "culture of medicine." The way that creatures which (according to evolutionists) are "simpler" than apes and much further removed from man than apes, are able to display such complex examples of culture is enough to invalidate the evolutionists' claims of a link between "monkey culture" and man.
As we have seen, National Geographic TV's distortions are insufficient to account, according to the theory of evolution, for behavior and culture among animals that are similar to those in man. Moreover, the examples we have cited of behavior and culture in bees, ants, beavers, dogs, and doves raise certain questions that can never be answered in terms of the theory of evolution: How did these creatures come by the necessary information to accomplish such complex behavior? How are they able to interpret such information? How is it that tiny insects are able to display more complex behavior than apes, alleged to be man's closest relatives?
You can ask these questions to the evolutionist of your choice. It is absolutely certain that the reply will demonstrate the total quandary they find themselves in. Those with rather more experience will try to gloss over the matter by saying such behavior depends on "instinct." Yet that fails to save the theory that is deadlocked. "Instinct" is nothing more than a name generated for this evolutionary quandary.
It is obvious that instinct does not stem from the living thing itself, but is inspired by a superior intelligence. It is God Who inspires the behavior in bees, beavers, dogs, doves, and chimpanzees. Every living thing displays the characteristics God set out for it. The fact that the chimpanzee is an animal, which man finds amusing and which is able to obey his commands, stems from the inspiration God places in it. The truth of this can be seen in the verse of the Qur'an; "Your Lord revealed to the bees…" (Qur'an, 16:48)
Monkey Blunders from National Geographic TV
The claims put forward in the comparisons between the tailed macaques and man in the documentary "My Favorite Monkey" are so utterly inconsistent that the film gives the impression of having been prepared as an entertainment for children. For instance:
The experimental monkeys sent into space are referred to as heroes, and we are told, had it not been for them man could never have taken the giant leap into space that he did. This is a totally baseless comment: The monkeys sent into space did not "succeed" in doing anything. The rockets they were placed into were controlled from earth, and the monkeys were just tightly strapped into the cabins and used as experimental subjects. Furthermore, even if we do allow a measure of heroism in the experimental animals used in space research, then rats and dogs must also be included, since these too were used in craft sent up into space.
It is also stated in My Favorite Monkey that apes have been of major use to man in the medical field. We are told how, as a result of research on rhesus monkeys, the Rh tests were developed. Obviously, though, the use of an animal in medical research does not make it a relative of man, in the same way that the use of bacteria in the development of antibiotics does not make them relatives of man.
In that same documentary, a comparison is made between the way that monkeys groom each other to remove fleas and parasites and the way that human beings go to the hairdresser, and it is suggested that going to the hairdresser is parallel social behavior to being groomed for fleas.
This claim must represent a "shining example" of the way in which National Geographic TV's Darwinist fantasies know no limits. Maybe in future programs this creative imagination could be used to engage in speculation regarding the origin of the human habit of going to the theatre by showing two groups of apes, the one watching the other group playing. That is, of course, if termites are not rediscovered with their construction abilities and put forward as man's nearest ancestors!
Macaques' jumping onto jet skis, skiing, or sitting and eating in restaurants with their owners does not make them relatives of man. It is clear that such behavior does not have its roots in ape etiquette or culture. Such behavior is the result of punishment and reward training, and has no more significance than a circus show. Indeed, dogs, birds, and dolphins are also used in such shows and demonstrate impressive abilities. National Geographic TV is using and distorting such images of monkeys to implant in people's minds the idea set out in evolution that the monkeys are man's closest relatives.
These documentaries broadcast on National Geographic TVonce again show that the channel is a blind and dogmatic supporter of Darwinism. The claims put forward about animal behavior and intelligence make no scientific statement at all. This channel, which declares the apes sent into space to be heroes and tries to establish an evolutionary link between monkeys grooming each other and human beings going to the hairdresser, is trying to cover claims that even children would find laughable with a scientific veneer. We recommend that if the channel is to defend the theory of evolution, it should try to find more rational and logical arguments with which to do so.
1. "Chimps Humans only 95% Similar," http://www.cnn.com/2002/ TECH/science/09/24/humans.chimps.ap/index.html
2. Daniel Q. Haney, "Scientists choose a transplant donor that's smart, plentiful and kind of cute," Associated Press, 08.04.2001. http://www.boston.com/news/daily/04/pig_transplant.htm
3. The Miracle in the Honeybee, Audio Book: 3. http://www.harunyahya.com/m_audio.php#a8
4. Harun Yahya, For Men of Understanding, Ta-Ha Publishers, January 2001
5. Harun Yahya, The Miracle in the Ant, Goodword Books, 2001