Say what? Darwin ‘renounces’ his ‘ape theory’ in posthumous chat, Russian priest says
Being dead for more than a century seemingly poses no communication barrier for the renowned British naturalist, who recently shared some wisdom found in the afterlife with a Russian priest... according to the cleric himself. Artemy Vladimirov offered a vivid recollection of the 'conversation' with Darwin during a Russian Christian TV program that he hosts.
I am no fan of the ape theory, so as a priest I was interested in a chat. ‘Charles, how are you there?’ I told his tomb. ‘What do you say now, are there missing links between species, between a zebra and a giraffe?’
To which Darwin 'responded': “Father, don’t be tempted by my theory. I was a fool when I put forward this hypothesis and now I regret it… You personally have links with neither a bear nor a pig.”
While it cannot be said for sure whether the priest was joking, it still seems he was just making a tongue-in-cheek allegory. The tale was told as part of a discussion on different funeral traditions and whether God will resurrect those whose bodies were cremated rather than buried. In case you were wondering, Vladimirov said He certainly will when the time comes.
The origin of the giraffe was one of the puzzles for evolution scientists contemporary to Darwin and famously a focus for his debate with fellow researcher Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. Darwin argued that the animal’s spectacularly long neck was results of generations of breeding and better survival chances of those who could reach higher for their food. Lamarck believed that individual ancestors of giraffes developed slightly longer necks over their lives.
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