Most of you have heard about the bizarre article that appeared a couple of days ago in the Daily Mail, published in London. It produced a few chuckles on the blogosphere. Their headline was: ‘Humans evolved after a female chimpanzee mated with a pig’: Extraordinary claim made by American geneticist. The article said, with some bold font added by us:
The human species began as the hybrid offspring of a male pig and a female chimpanzee, an American geneticist has suggested. The startling claim has been made by Eugene McCarthy, who is also one of the world’s leading authorities on hybridisation in animals. He points out that while humans have many features in common with chimps, we also have a large number of distinguishing characteristics not found in any other primates.
Eugene McCarthy? Isn’t that the same guy who ran for U.S. President back in 1968? Well, maybe not. Anyway, the newspaper went on to say:
What’s more, he suggests, there is one animal that has all of the traits which distinguish humans from our primate cousins in the animal kingdom. ‘What is this other animal that has all these traits?’ he asks rhetorically. ‘The answer is Sus scrofa, the ordinary pig.’
Among the characteristics McCarthy thinks we inherited from our swinish ancestors are “hairless skin, a thick layer of subcutaneous fat, light-coloured eyes, protruding noses and heavy eyelashes,” which are “unmistakeably porcine.”
It’s quite a theory. We understand that McCarthy hasn’t been able to get it published in any reputable journal — despite being described as “one of the world’s leading authorities on hybridisation.” It appears only on McCarthy’s own website — in the tradition of other great pioneering ideas, like The Time Cube. Not only that, but we can’t find the guy listed among the faculty of the University of Georgia, where he’s supposed to be a big-time geneticist. But maybe he’s there and we couldn’t navigate their website properly.
Your Curmudgeon, being the universal standard of sanity, propriety and rectitude, ignored the story. But now we’ve become aware of an outfit that is taking it seriously. Who could that be?
Actually there are two creationist groups that have dealt with it. WorldNetDaily, which will publish virtually anything as long as it’s whacky, ran a story on it: Claim: Humans came from chimp mating a pig.
But what really got our attention was an article at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog. It was written by Bruce Chapman, whom we affectionately call “Chappy.” He’s the founder and president of the Discovery Institute. Chappy is a big deal in the intellectually exciting world of intelligent design, and whenever he speaks, people listen.
Chappy’s article is: Meet Ma and Pa. He says, with bold font added by us:
As the Daily Mail and others are reporting, a geneticist in Georgia contends as a scientific proposition that man descended from pigs as well as chimp-like apes [link to the newspaper article].
No problems … yet. Then Chappy declares:
Since his is only a variation on Darwinian theory, not a repudiation of it, Dr. Eugene McCarthy’s notion is to be treated with professional respect. His work is to be covered seriously.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Doesn’t Chappy’s brain have the capacity to filter out obvious nonsense? Probably it does, but he may have a blind spot when the subject is evolution. There isn’t much more to his post. Here’s the rest of it:
Now, if his speculation were deeper and dealt with the increasingly daunting problems with Darwinian theory and with the growing evidence of intelligent design, he would have to be ignored or attacked for positions he does not hold.
That’s it. That’s the whole thing. What does it mean? What is Chappy trying to say? The best guess we can come up with is that we’re getting close to the end of the year, and it’s time to request additional millions from his generous patrons. Chappy undoubtedly knows what they like, so perhaps what he wrote is aimed at them.
Seen in that context, Chappy’s post makes sense. If some billionaire thinks that creationism (ooops, we mean intelligent design) is the only way to save the world from believing that we’re related to apes — and now swine — then he’ll write a big check and give it to the Discoveroids. Nice work, Chappy!
Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.