What People Believe About Evolution, Human Origins, and the Beginning of Life

Book Excerpts

THE HUMAN QUESTION – Chapter 2, Pages 17- 23

One out of every four Americans believe we can communicate with the dead. A comparable number think the sun revolves around the Earth, not vice versa. Many of us believe strongly in something despite a lack of reliable evidence to support it. Our beliefs are the result of normal mental processes operating on information in unusual ways. We think we base our opinions on facts and experience, but personal bias shapes them. Our emotions conspire with logic to generate beliefs that can persist despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Rarely is this more evident than in our beliefs about human origins.

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THE HUMAN QUESTION – Chapter 9, Pages 215-217

Two little girls were on a class field-trip to the American Museum of Natural History in New York. They ran excitedly into a room filled with life-size models of early human ancestors.

“Look, monkeys!” yelled the first little girl.

“They’re not monkeys,” corrected the other girl. “They’re humans. They just look like monkeys because humans evolved from monkeys.”

“Really?” said the first little girl, obviously amazed.

“Yes, I think so,” replied her friend.

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THE HUMAN QUESTION – Chapter 11, Pages 255 – 257

All the hard evidence that has come out of the ground, or has been extracted from test tubes, tells us that life has evolved naturally
Gaps in the fossil record? What gaps? Detailed fossil sequences in thousands of animals demonstrate the obvious steps of evolution and common descent.

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