We had an opportunity to visit the Bronx Zoo lately. The most incredible part was the Congo area which featured gorillas. The animals seemed to enjoy a relatively peaceful existence in a simulated natural setting. The visitors were the ones 'closed in', walking through the exhibit. It was impossible not to thoroughly enjoy the wrestling of the baby gorillas.
When walking through the exhibit we came face to face with a mother gorilla suckling her baby.
We were no more than four feet away, separated by thick glass.
The mother had a virtually indescribable look of serenity and calm as she gazed straight into the faces of the humans staring at her.
It is always dangerous to ascribe intelligence to animals–but there was no denying the impression that there was thinking on some level, emanating from the mother gorilla.
Also, I believe that most human beings, upon gazing into the eyes of a large gorilla, cannot avoid the obvious kinship.
Of course the science of genetics, anthropology and DNA comparisons have unequivocally identified the relationship between humans and apes. Genetically we are closer to chimpanzees than to gorillas but the connection is quite obvious.
To those religious conservatives who question evolution I have only one question–why should you? The science is clear. The Biblical story is metaphoric at best.
And in truth, there is no reason why human beings cannot possess a divine soul, regardless of who their bodies are genetically related to. If we acknowledge that the soul uses the body as a vehicle for spiritual development during one's lifetime, than who really cares if our body is closely related to that of the great apes?
Why should evolution be a threat to any metaphysically minded individual? The answer is clear–it shouldn't!!