This article is from
Creation 14(2):9, March 1992

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Letters to the Editor

Pygmy chimps?

Dear Editor, Further to the Focus item (Vol. 13 No. 3) ‘Was Adam a pygmy?’ The Austrian Lamarckist Alfred Greil in 1953 was already a vehement defender of the notion that the pygmies of the ‘Hylaea’ of the central African Ituri jungle descended directly from chimpanzees.


He dedicated his book to the memory of Lamarck and Haeckel. Referring to evolutionary doctrine as ‘degrading’, he said: ‘Nothing has been given to man; everything is based upon the inheritance of successful adaptations, won by tiresome effort.’ In his view, the more ground-based chimps had changes in their nutrition and way of life, also changes in the way in which food was obtained. These environmental changes caused heritable changes in their intra-uterine development in the direction of ‘Adam’, while the ‘conservative’ chimpanzees remained what they were.

Joachim Vetter, Germany.

[As Dr. Vetter and most readers are aware. Lamarckian ideas (such as giraffes’ necks becoming gradually longer as successive generations made an effort to eat leaves from higher tree branches) have been discredited for many years.—Ed.]