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Did people know they were people or did they still think they were monkeys (NL)?

Many peoples modestly called and still call themselves ‘people’, like the Ainu in Japan or the Inuit of the Polar Circle as do many others. Prehistoric groups of people like the Neanderthal may have had the same habit. By doing so, they clearly marked the difference between themselves and the world of animals to which they surely counted the monkeys. We should forget either, that to be able to compare one selves with a monkey, one first needs to know one. A medieval European didn’t know any monkeys, so the question for them was irrelevant. At least for the period of time we can oversee by using religious texts, people believed to be created by Gods. The understanding that there may have been an evolution is very young and started in the 20th century. The most well-known representative of this school was the English Charles Darwin. And first since his time stems the popular misunderstanding, people evolved from monkeys. In reality it has always been clear that both are simply akin.

Interestingly nowadays there is especially in the USA a growing number of people who deny the evolution. These so called Creationists refer to the Ussher-Lightfood calendar which was calculated by the English archbishop James Ussher (1581 – 1656), based upon reported bio data and family trees from the Bible. According to him, the exact date of Creation was October 23rd in the year 4004 before Christ …

Roeland Paardekooper
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