Cliff's Edge

Raft Monkeys

Google "raft monkeys" and you will find such headlines as "When Monkeys Surfed to South America."

Clifford Goldstein

When seashells were found in Spanish mountains where, according to the prevailing science, seashells should not be found, François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778) claimed that the shells were leftovers from mountain picnickers, or were dropped by pilgrims on their way to worship at a nearby shrine.

Voilà! With that answer Arouet explained away the recalcitrant data and saved the science.

Science, actually, overflows with insubordinate phenomena, such as seashells in the mountains, that—contradicting, challenging, and not fitting the tradition—must be explained away.

For instance, a species of monkey, platyrrhines, live in South America that, according to traditional science, evolved from African monkeys called catarrhines. However, platyrrhines have existed in South America (the theory goes) for 30 million years. But supposedly the African and South American continents had been split for 80 million years. So how did the platyrrhines end up across thousands of miles of ocean 50 million years after Africa and South America were separate continents?

Unfortunately, rather than acknowledging  “a sinful, unbelieving heart” (Heb. 3:12), the faithful found a way to preserve their Darwinian dogma: raft monkeys.

Google “raft monkeys” and you will find such headlines as “when monkeys surfed to south america.”

Raft monkeys?

Yes. The reason that platyrrhines live in South America when the inviolable tradition of common descent says they shouldn’t be there, is that they rafted thousands of miles across the Atlantic.

A book questioning the idea states: “They propose not that common descent might be wrong, but that monkeys must have rafted across the Atlantic Ocean, from Africa to South America. . . . The ‘rafting hypothesis’ argues that monkeys evolved from prosimians once and only once in Africa, and . . . made the waterlogged trip to South America.”

Google “raft monkeys,” and you will find such headlines as “When Monkeys Surfed to South America.”

Voilà! With that answer the recalcitrant data, platyrrhines in South America, is explained and the theory saved.

Of course, at least two monkeys, a male and female (or at least one pregnant female) had to drift (sail? navigate?) across the Atlantic and acquire enough food and fresh water along the way (maybe the monkeys knew how to fish, capture rainwater, and follow the stars) in order to make a voyage that would have taken months.

Though ludicrous, the raft monkey hypothesis “explains” the contradictory data. Evolutionists do this all the time, actually: make up stories about supposed events millions, even billions of years ago, in order to explain bothersome phenomena.

But don’t creationists do the same? Yes, but we’re supposedly ignorant Bible-thumping buffoons, not sophisticated empiricists following scientific evidence wherever it leads.

And though being farcical with his seashell-eating picnickers in the Spanish mountains, Arouet was mocking the extremes that some go to in order to preserve their sacred scientific dogma. And despite propaganda to the contrary, the evidence against evolution is vast and expansive, platyrrhines in South American being one example of that evidence, and monkeys on rafts another of how far some will go to defend it.

Clifford Goldstein is editor of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.

Clifford Goldstein