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Creation Vs. Evolution: In the News

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TIME Will Tell...Or Will It?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The expression “time will tell” is a generally understood and accepted truth. What may be virtually impossible to prove in the here and now likely will be revealed over time. In time, we may know whether a person is lying or speaking the truth. Time will tell if your favorite sports team will win a championship. And, time can reveal the effects of decisions made by world leaders. Time has a way of clearing the murky waters of the present. Unfortunately, TIME (the magazine) does not.

For years, TIME magazine has spotlighted the theory of human evolution, attempting to sell it as fact by offering misconstrued, inadequate evidence. In August 1999, a partial skull was pictured on the cover of TIME alongside the words, “How Man Evolved.” Less than two years later, in July 2001, TIME displayed an illustration of one of our alleged ancestors (Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba) on the cover, along with the words, “How Apes Evolved” in uppercase bold font. Fast-forward to October 2006, when TIME attempted to explain “How We Became Human.” This time a monkey and a baby are pictured side by side on the cover.

“How Man Evolved.” “How Apes Evolved.” “How We Became Human.” Based upon such audacious titles, one would think that TIME would tell exactly how apes became human. The truth is, however, TIME has failed lamentably. As usual, TIME has allowed propaganda to take precedence over proof.

In 2001, TIME plastered an artist’s rendition of the face of Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba on the cover and hailed it as a human ancestor from more than 5 million years ago. Yet, in perusing the article, one quickly discovered that this “ancestor” was known only by a few bone fragments and teeth found over a period of five years in five different locations. What’s more, only one bone fragment (a piece of the right mandible) came from the creature’s face. Yet, TIME took an illustrator’s “hunch” of what kadabba’s entire face looked like and placed it on the cover along with the headline, “How Apes Evolved.” In truth, TIME gave no evidence for how apes evolved into humans. If Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba was the height of a modern chimp, had a brain the size of a chimp, and “its body was similarly proportioned” to a chimp (“Earliest..., 2001, 87[4]:12), perhaps kadabba was just a chimp? (For more information on Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba, see Harrub, 2001.)

The latest human evolutionary mumbo-jumbo from TIME is nothing new. Michael D. Lemonick and Andrea Dorfman assume that apes and humans are “evolutionary cousins” because of similarities between human and ape DNA. However, similarities in DNA (or internal body structures, organs, etc.) do not prove ancestry. (Apologetics Press has addressed this issue adequately in the past; see Harrub, 2005; see also Harrub and Thompson, 2002.) Creationists have long recognized similarities between animals and humans. In fact, such similarities should be expected among creatures that drink the same water, eat the same food, breathe the same air, live on the same terrain, etc. But, similarities are just that—similarities. Evolutionists interpret these similarities to mean we all share a common heritage, yet they cannot prove it.

Ironically, though the October 6, 2006 cover of TIME was titled, “How We Became Human,” the feature article bore the heading, “What Makes Us Different?” In actuality, the bark had no bite. The TIME reader never learns “How We Became Human.” In fact, notice one of Lemonick and Dorfman’s admissions:

...[G]enes alone don’t dictate the differences between species; the changes, they [scientists—EL] now know, also depend on molecular switches that tell genes when and where to turn on and off. “Take the genes involved in creating the hand, the penis and the vertebrae,” says Lovejoy. “These share some of the same structural genes. The pelvis is another example. Humans have a radically different pelvis from that of apes. It’s like having the blueprints for two different brick houses. The bricks are the same, but the results are different” (168[15]:48, emp. added).

The fact that TIME never gets around to telling us “How We Became Human” is further clarified in the final paragraph of the article:

...[E]volution is a random process in which haphazard genetic changes interact with random environmental conditions to produce an organism somehow fitter than its fellows. After 3.5 billion years of such randomness, a creature emerged that could ponder its own origins—and revel in a Mozart adagio. Within a few short years, we may finally understand precisely when and how that happened (168[15]:53, emp. added).

The truth is,TIME doesn’t know “how we became human” anymore than apes know how to read TIME. So why is this most recent issue labeled “How We Became Human”? For the same reason previous issues were titled “How Man Evolved” and “How Apes Evolved”—to sell an unproven, unprovable theory as fact, using the power of propaganda.


“Earliest Human Ancestor Found?” (2001), Current Science, 87[4]:12, October 12.

Harrub, Brad (2001), “Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba or ‘What Bone is the Toe Bone Connected To?’,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL:

Harrub, Brad (2005), “Initial Sequence of Chimp Genome Reported,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL:

Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2002), “Do Human and Chimpanzee DNA Indicate an Evolutionary Relationship?,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL:

Lemonick, Michael and Andrea Dorfman (2006), “What Makes Us Different?,” TIME, 168[15]:44-53, October 9.

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