Human Rights for Chimpanzees
Ecclesiastes 3:21: Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
I loved the zoo, when I was a boy. How we used to laugh at the antics of the chimpanzees at their “tea parties”! We were amused that they wore clothes, as they performed activities that looked vaguely human. Well, we kept on laughing, until we decided that it was an improper anthropomorphism, and the events were banned.
The media have recently reported talk of reclassifying chimpanzees, because the researchers claim (wrongly) that chimps are very closely related to humans – even more closely than they are related to other great apes, such as gorillas and orangutans.
The physical similarities between humans and apes are supposed to be evidence for a common ancestor. These similarities, however, are exactly what we would expect, if humans and chimps had a common designer, rather than a common ancestor. That designer is, of course, God.
Classifying chimps as humans could presumably lead to chimps being granted protection under human rights legislation. How would such legislation affect the actions of law enforcement officers, in the event of a chimp escaping from a zoo? In one such incident, a chimp was assumed to be potentially dangerous, and was shot dead.
The writer of Ecclesiastes draws a distinction between animals and humans, observing that “the spirit of the sons of men... goes upward, and the spirit of the animal... goes down to the earth”. Evolutionary philosophy is leading to absurd conclusions, and it is only a biblical worldview, from which flows common sense.
Prayer: What is man that You are mindful of him, Lord? Thank You that You cared for me, and sent Your Son to die for me. Amen.
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