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John Michell Mysteries


ARCHIVE for Wednesday 29th August 2001 - Descent from the Apes

Are we really descended from apes? That is what we are taught at school. But it is still only a theory . No-one has ever proved it. Many people are suspicious of that theory , and I am one of them - in good company with Sir Fred Hoyle and other distinguished scientists.

Charles Darwin (1809-82) invented the theory of evolution. But he admitted that he could not prove it. He hoped that evidence for it would be found in the future. Yet studies of rocks and fossils have never produced that evidence. There are no missing links , between different species.

In 1912, the bones and teeth of an 'ape-man' were dug up at Piltdown in Sussex. For 40 years they were shown in text-books as evidence that Darwin was right. But Piltdown man turned out to be an evolutionists' fraud. An early evolutionist was Lord Monboddo, an eighteenth-century Scottish judge. He had heard from travellers about orang-utangs in Asia - that they used walking-sticks and could be taught to play notes on a pipe. Monboddo concluded that apes were human beings in the wild state. If properly brought up and educated, he thought, they would be at home in human society. He believed that babies are often born with tails, but midwives quietly remove them.

Religious fundamentalists - who believe that every word in the Bible is literally true - tell a different story. They rely upon Genesis, where it says that God created the world in six days. He began with heaven and earth, and then he made plants and animals. Finally he created us, "in his own image".

Which side are you on, the Creationists' or the Evolutionists'? I often hear that question, but I never give a straight answer to it. That is because I do not know how life began, or how we first appeared on earth. It is a complete mystery. One thing we do know is that our bodies belong to this earth and are similar to those of other animals. But mentally and spiritually we are quite different. We are the only creatures who can read and write articles like this one. And we are the only creatures capable of destroying this earth and everything in it. That is why it is important to consider who we are and where we came from. Are we beasts and killers by nature? Or are we good souls, fallen into bad habits but still capable of redemption?

The search for ape men

Scientific expeditions in search of the 'missing link' concentrate upon the earth's wild places. A British team, led by Dr Myra Shackley, explored Outer Mongolia, looking for 'almas' - primitive mountain folk. The Mongolians know them but avoid contact. The expedition found footprints and other evidence, but could not capture or photograph an alma. That is what usually happens in these cases. So is there really a 'missing link' creature, hiding out in the wilderness? Or is it all just rumour and imagination?

If you have a favourite mystery subject - from spontaneous human combustion to ancient Celtic ritual sites, write to John, suggesting a theme. And if you have any answers or theories about the mysteries John will be highlighting, he would particularly like to hear from you.

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John Michell is a prolific author. Below are just two of John's books which might interest you. We have arranged with our friends at The Daily Mirror for website visitors to order books mentioned on this site.

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Unexplained Phenomena, A Rough Guide Special
(co-author Bob Rickard, rrp 12.99) at the special Mirror Direct price of 9.99 + p&p.
Who Wrote Shakespeare?
(Thames & Hudson, rrp 8.95) for the Mirror Direct special price of 6.95 + p&p.
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