Comment from "Disappointed":
We most certainly did evolve, over the period of millions of years. As a matter of fact, if one were to visit the earth just 30,000 years ago, one would have found not one but several species of "human" forms. Today, scientists from around the world direct major projects pursuing answers to outstanding questions regarding human origins. It is rather disappointing to see very misleading information beingdisplayed and taught regarding our evolution. There is overwhelming indisputable evidence regarding the human career not only as determined by fossil record, but also by genetics and over 96% DNA similarities with Chimpanzees. This uniqueness is also indicative of a shared common ancestor.
We do know that at one time, many millions of years ago, our species did originate in Africa. To believe something in the world of faith and spiritual sense is one thing, but to convey it as scientific fact is another. . . . Disappointed
I am not sure what you are disappointed about. On nearly every point you make, I believe you and I are in agreement. I agree that there is very good evidence, especially from the genetics, that human beings and the great apes have a common ancestor from some time around 8 million years ago. Where did you get the idea that I do not accept this information? Perhaps you think I am some sort of young earth creationist. I am not. You might want to be cautious about labeling and stereotyping all Christian believers.
By the way, we do not know where our species originated. The evidence fairly strongly leans toward Africa, but you would be wise to hold out for the possibility that anthropologists are overconfident about their conclusions. History tells us that time and time again, anthropologists have confidently trotted out favorite theories, only to change them radically at a later date. I will accept as a working best guess that modern humans originated from genetic stock in Africa, but I do not accept this as a given. Because most anthropologists have spent virtually all their time looking in Africa, I am not surprised that their evidence comes mainly from Africa. I understand that this is not the only evidence, and I am prepared to accept this as a working assumption, but the question is an open one.
As for human-like species 30,000 years ago, I believe you might want to check your information more carefully. There is some evidence that a "Hobbit" subspecies might have existed down to 20-15,000 years ago, as evidenced from some fossils on Flores Island in Indonesia, but the evidence here that these are truly a different species (versus a rather small genetic subspecies of modern humans) is very scant. My guess is that this one as a separate species is about a 50/50 proposition. As for Neandertal, they disappeared about 30,000 years ago. There is plenty of evidence for interbreeding of modern humans with Neandertal, to the point that some Anthropologists (although the minority) argue that there were not two separate species, but rather to quite different subspecies. I would say 80/20 that they were a separate species, but that depends on your definition of species.
What are the "several species" to which you refer 30,000 years ago? Anthropologists would posit some where between one and possibly as many as three.
Anyway, what you are so disappointed about from our web site, I am not sure. Well, let me "disappoint" you just a bit. Although I believe that God used evolution to create human beings, it is my opinion that this evolution was not a fully random process, but one which was guided/directed by an intelligent designer whom I call God. I understand that to invoke supernatural intervention into a natural evolutionary process is not strictly scientific, but I believe the evidence we have at hand supports this conclusion. I also believe that God intervened to make humans in his "image," including a soul, a spirit, a "conscience," self-awareness, creativity an ability to understand the universe and an ability to know and have a relationship with God. All of these propositions are outside proof or disproof by genetics or physical anthropology, but the evidence from human nature and from biblical authority leads me to this conclusion.
Other than that, I think our picture of the evidence and the explanation is rather similar.
John Oakes, PhD