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Today’s question is it right to give the Templeton prize to Jane Goodall? Very good question. Jane Goodall wins the Templeton Prize which is valued at over 1.5 million dollars. It dwarfs even the Nobel Prize if you care only about the money. The Templeton Foundation announced, ‘We are delighted and honored to award Dr.Jane Goodall this year, as her achievements go beyond the traditional parameters of scientific research to define our perception of what it means to be human. Dr.Goodall has caused a revolution in how scientists and the public perceive the mental, emotional, and social complexity of animals,regarding them as extensions of ourselves.
She was the first to observe that chimpanzees engaged in activities, such as creating tools, which were previously believed to be exclusive to humans. She also proved that they have individual personality,forethought, and complex societies, much like human beings. Through her observations, Dr.Goodall showed that under certain circumstances they wage war and also, like us, show compassion. Most importantly, throughout her career, Dr.Goodall has championed the value of all life forms on Earth, changing both scientific practice and culture at large.
‘Raised Christian, she developed her own sense of spirituality in the forests of Tanzania, and has described her interactions with chimpanzees as reflecting the divine intelligence she believes lies at the heart of nature.
In her bestselling memoir, A Reason for Hope, these observations reinforced her personal belief system – that all living things and the natural world they inhabit are connected and that the connective energy is a divine force transcending good and evil’
Dr. Goodall has spent decades studying the behavior of chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania. Her work is great but her worldview is a dangerous falsehood.
Rejection of Revealed Truth
In the Bible, God revealed to us certain truths we can only learn from God. Only human beings are created in the image of God. God created both animals and human beings on Day 6 of creation week. So, it is not surprising to see certain human characteristics in animals and certain animal characteristics in human beings. It’s God’s way of humbling us that he could have created any one of those chimpanzees or gorillas like a human being if he had wished. Yet, the Bible says that only human beings are created in the image of God. Only humans do possess a soul, an eternal soul. Jane Goodall believes that all living things including plants have a soul. She said, “Spiritual force in everything around me. If we have a soul and a spirit, the other creatures do, even the plants”
That is a serious falsehood. Animals and plants do not possess souls or eternal dimension to their existence. Listen to how Templeton introduces her,
‘Raised Christian, she developed her own sense of spirituality in the forests of Tanzania’
Those words embody the spirit of our times. Jane embodies countless young men and women who are raised in Christian homes, but later reject the basic tenets of Christian Faith and make up their own religion out of a spiritual quest either in an African jungle or a Indian ashram or a Zen monastery. They say, “I am spiritual but not religious. I wake up in the morning to the voice of nature, I see the divine in the sound of the air, I listen to the divine voice in the song of the birds, I kiss a chimpanzee to feel a spiritual bond, I hug a tree, I smell a flower to feel oneness with the divine”.
Humans, animals and plants… we all have feelings, we all have emotions, we all have thoughts, we all have souls, we all have values, we all have compassion. Let us take care of each other. Such a worldview is a recipe for disaster. The Bible says that
the wages of sin is death but
the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We are sinners who need a Savoir. God sent His Son Jesus to this world as our Messiah, as our Savior. We should come to Jesus Christ, realize our sinfulness, understand our lostness in sin and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Every human being should do it. . Jane Goodall did not do any of these things. She is 87 years old. I can safely say that she does not have time left on this earth and if she dies in her sins, she will go to hell. Let us hope and pray that she will get saved.
Lord Jesus asked, what shall it profit for a man to gain the whole world but to lose his soul? Jane Goodall gained the whole world but if she does without Jesus as her savior, she would regret forever. That is the eternal dimension of her false worldview.
There is also a scientific dimension to her false ideas. She convinced our generation that chimpanzees are almost human. Francis Collins, another recipient of the Templeton Prize, was so convinced by Jane that he halted all medical research on chimpanzees. Chimps are our cousins and we should not be using them for our selfishness. So, Jane’s worldview has become a blow to medical research on chimps. Every scientist is now going to China to do research on chimps. She is so concerned about animals and plants. Where is her concern for unborn human babies? So, I appreciate her scientific research but I am not buying her anti-Biblical spiritual falsehoods.
Ken Ham did more to improve our understanding of our place in this world. He built a beautiful Creation Museum and Noah’s Ark in Kentucky. They drew millions of people towards an understanding of a biblical worldview.
Jane Goodall should visit the Creation Museum to understand where she should put her scientific research in God’s big plan for humanity. So, I think Ken Ham, not Jane Goodall, should have received this prestigious prize.