But it follows that we are also cousins of all other life on Earth. Your pet cat, dog, bird, is your distant cousin, as is the rose, grass and tree in your garden. And also a carrot is your cousin.
The Earth was formed about 4.5 billion years ago. The first cell of living material was formed about 3.6 billion years ago. Not much happened for 2 billion years as this was a huge event. This first cell was a simple cell and is here today as bacteria and is called a prokaryotic cell.
Then it got more complex, possibly by one simple cell getting into another simple cell to make structures within it. This more complex cell is called a eukaryotic cell. After it was formed changes started happening more rapidly. Because changes randomly occurred in the message being passed from parent to offspring organisms evolved into ones that were different to the parents. Gradually over billions of years they became us.
Because all living things were as a result of the first cell formed and the subsequent changes to the first cell all organisms show, in their genes, some similar structures.
Hence your DNA will contain some of the same genes as a goldfish, or a tree, or a bird, or an elephant, or all other human beings, which makes them all your relatives.
70% of the same genes as a sea sponge,
and 85% of the same genes as a mouse,
and 95% of the same genes as a monkey.
You may have seen on the television David Attenborough's First Life: A Journey Back in Time. This book about it will help you show that all life evolved from a simple beginning.
In many parts of the world this is a difficult undertaking when people have fundamentalist views as is the case with Christians who take the bible literally. In both South Korea and Nigeria I found many Christians who were members of a church that believed in the bible literally and hence did not believe in evolution.
I don’t know what the figures are today but just a few years ago in the USA the figures were astounding. Because the majority of the people there did not accept the Theory of Evolution. Only about 40% did which must make it extremely difficult for them to have an understanding of many fundamental biology concepts.
It can be difficult for Biology teachers in such circumstances because it means that they have to ignore the science of the situation and rely on the beliefs of their religion.
Religion or the belief in it can be hindrance to properly comprehending the role of evolution in the development of life on Earth.
I will provide links to some books which will more compelling reasons for not believing in religion.
Of course it is not just Christians who have trouble with understanding our world because of their beliefs. Today there are many religions that make it obvious from the behaviour of their followers that the world would be a much better place if they had no adherents. These particular cousins you do not want to have anything to do with.
It is easy to see why people want religion. Until a few years ago I had not had to face the reality of my time on Earth being finite. I found I had cancer and after it had been diagnosed by the doctors I consulted Google to discover that I was not going to make it to the next Christmas. Big shock. Fortunately the Internet is not a reliable medical opinion and I am still here. Also of course due to the expertise of Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne and the Murray Valley Radiation Oncology Centre at the Private Hospital in Wodonga. Being confronted with the end is scary and is still scary after realising it is on its way. Most of us would no doubt like to live forever, which is something the clergy gives churchgoers.
This is where we need to comment on the wrong idea some young men get. If you have over seventy young women to yourself you will no doubt have to satisfy each of them at least once a week. This means you are going to be doing it on average ten times a day. Ten times each day. And forever. Any married man will tell you that is not heaven, that is hell.
Identify which of the following cousins fits each description.
A pair of cousins
Real Aussie cousin
Very distant cousin
Best friend cousin
Cousins you eat
Happy cousin, Aunt actually
Cousins eating dinner
Cousin you don’t want to annoy
Lots of cousins
Korean cousins with colourful cousins
Cousin having a good time
Lots of feathered cousins
In the disguise of another cousin
Cousins in Lagos