The Animal Ancestry of Man

The following excerpt is taken from “What is the Origin of Man?” by Maurice Bucaille pg. 122-123:

Today, we know that the first wave of humans appeared on earth some five million years ago (six million years ago for certain researchers, and less for others). The waves that were to follow have also been more or less precisely located in time. What gaps still remain, however, in our knowledge due to the rarity of fossils! What large quantities of statements have appeared concerning the supposed relationship between human groups and the lineage that produced the apes (which is placed next to tge human lineage on the genealogical table), none of which is supported by any valid argument! What else are they but simple hypotheses designed to square with certain researchers’ preconceived ideas?

The very small quantity of paleontological specimens documenting the origins of mankind should make us proceed with extreme caution. There can be no doubt that  many fossils exist which have not yet been discovered; some of them never will be. Chronological data bearing on apes and humans alike may one day be modified by future discoveries. Whatever happens, however, there are solid arguments to reject the theory that man is descended from the apes.

Even if it becomes possible to trace the human lineage much further back in time than the oldest human forms at present thought to be known, we shall never arrive at the idea that man was born of simian forms, whose descendants are today’s great apes.

While discoveries made over the last few decades have gradually pushed back the appearance of the first human forms to more and more distant periods (from hundreds of thousands to millions of years), the basic problem remains the same. Whatever the answer, the discoveries do not indicate that man is descended from a fully developed lineage of apes.

For a detailed study on hominin evolution and comparison of the human lineage with the apes, please see the following post:

The Four Waves of Hominds

‘In the above reference Dr. Maurice Bucaille has outlined the four main waves of hominids (Australopithecus, Pithecanthropines, Neandrathals, Homo Sapiens) and established that among these, an evolution has undeniably occured (What is the Origin of Man, pg. 98). He differed however, with regards to the concept of Evolution itself (i.e. he rejected Darwinian evolution and believed in Creative evolution). His conclusion on this topic was that there are only two possibilities:

  1. That humans have an animal ancestry NOT in anyway related to the apes.
  2. That the first man and woman started the human race some five million years ago and the humans found in paleontology are descendants of these two.’

(See what is the origin of man, pg. 199-201)

In his book, What is the Origin of Man, Maurice Bucaille has at several places repeated this idea; namely, that evolution has undeniably occured in the fossil record of humans and IT IS AS OBVIOUS AS THE EARTH BEING ROUND. It is to be kept in mind that Maurice Bucaille was not any amateur in this field; he was an expert and cited only experts to support his views. He was also a Quranic commentator known as one of the best of the modern era. He was such an authority that if someone of his caliber stated this idea as fact, it is most likely 99.99% to be true.

However, he certainly made a mistake concerning who Adam (peace be upon him) was.

Based on his views, he was absolutely sure that hominid evolution had occurred, so how could there be a first man except only if we push back the appearance of humans millions of years back? This was his honesty, otherwise, it is clear from the Quran and Hadith that Adam was NOT a primitive human or Australopithecus, but was a fully developed Human (Homo Sapien) like us (see for example Quran 7:11 where only after creating and fashioning humans does God command the angels to prostrate to Adam).

Thus, with this line of logic, it is impossible to say that there was ever a first man as ‘if evolution has undeniably occurred among the fossils known today, then Adam could only have been among the final form’. Thus, humans must’ve had an animal ancestry NOT in any way related to the apes and the historical Adam must’ve been the first Prophet sent to humanity and not the first man.


Bucaille, Maurice (1983). What is the Origin of Man? The Answers of Science and the Holy Scriptures. (p. 98, 122-23, 199-201).