In Discussing Creationism Part XV, I gave this quote by Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher from the 1700's. He said that "[A]n orang-utan or a chimpanzee may develop the organs which serve for walking, grasping objects, and speaking – in short, that he may evolve the structure of man, with an organ for the use of reason . . . (Kant, 1798 in Anthropology). Some Evolutionists use this quote to support their argument. I wanted to find the context of this quote and found it in Kant's Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View from the Unversity library. It is in the section On the Character of the Species.
In this section, Kant asked what makes a species different from another. He stated that there has to be another species to compare the other with in order to define that species. Since there is not another animal that has the same ability to reason, it was impossible to characterize this ability. Reason must've come about due to man's own abilities. It is the absence of any other animal with the ability to logically reason that sets him apart from other living beings.
Kant differentiated man from other animals by their ability to manipulate (which he refers to technical gift), pragmatism and morality. Note that that the translation used in the following pages are different from the one originally used.
Kants stated that it doesn't matter if man walked on all fours because man's other attributes aren't the way they were originally either. His point here is not evolutionary but rather to show that man has the ability to manipulate matter as they have their hands free. "The characterization of man as a rational animal is found in the form and organization of the human hand, its fingers, and fingertips." This is a characteristic that is shared with monkeys and apes and this is why the comparison was given.
Kant does make reference to the Creationists' belief in Adam and Eve. Kant ponders why God would create a human couple without the ability to kill animals naturally for food or protection as humans have no claws or fangs. Man was also created without the ability to swim without instruction. Kant is not a Biblical thinker.
Man was created as a herbivore. See Genesis 1:29-30
"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so."
As for the inability to swim and the threat of drowning in their ignorance, Kant failed to recognize that Adam walked with God in the garden. God was man's teacher and He created man with the ability to learn and adapt oneself to different environments.
click on image to enlarge:
Discussing Creationism: The Initial Argument
Part II: Two Questions about the Ark
Part III:The Volume of the Ark
Part IV: The Weight and Sturdiness of the Ark
Part V:What is a Myth
Part VI: Gilgamesh
Part VII: The Biblical View of Noah
Part VIII: Gathering of the Animals
Part IX Evolution
Part X The First Evolutionist
Part XI The Notebook
Part XII Erasmus Darwin
Part XIII Aristotle
Part XIV Middle Ages
Part XV Kant's Quotation