Yes I think many evolution theorists have an agenda, as many scientists do (as do many religious people, business people, intelligent design advocates etc.). I looked at several books and they were mostly trying to prove a point. My journey went like this: I could read them all then sort through the ideas. I could read reviews on the books and maybe narrow things down. When I started reading the reviews I came across one reviewer who really seemed to know what he/she was talking about. They mentioned percentages of DNA and writing the authours of one of the text books about errors and getting some changes made but future corrections were ignored. I kind of realized I would need an extensive amount of knowledge to make an informed decision so I put it on the backburner. So when I run into someone who seems very sure of themselves on this issue I ask them where they got their information to check it out for myself. If it is just basic first year university biology, then I have already done that and walked away with unanswered questions. Thanks for your reply.
I took a class that dealt specifically with human origins. The first half of the class was dedicated to evolution and what it really entails. The second half was dedicated to the fossil record...you know, the small, small, biological changes that took place over large, large amounts of time....given enough time these changes accumulate and we first get the mammal, then the primate, then the hominoid...
I assume--and correct me if i'm wrong-- that the agendas you speak of are that certain anthropologists might write about THEIR specific phylogenetic tree. Every anthropologists will have their own tree because nobody can make 100% certain claims that this species lead to this species, which lead to humans....
Many species groups become extinct. How do you separate the groups that became extinct from teh humans? You can't. You can make inferences.
For evolution not to hold, these things ALL have to simultaneously occur:
1. the population must be infinitely large so there are no changes in the gene pool due to chance.
2. there can be no gene flow from outside populations, so this infinitely large gene pool must be isolated...
3. every single member of the "non-evolving species group" (which does not exist) must be equally fertile and reproduce at the exact same rate
4. there can be no environmental factors that favor one gene over another (which would mean that the environment would have to remain stable forever)
5. all matings have to be due purely to chance.
In sum, to say you don't believe in evolution is to say that you believe the human race has always been exactly as it is now, and that the earth's climate/topography has always been exactly as it is now. Evolution simply says that things change. That's it. There is no goal, there is no desired outcome. In fact, evolution doesn't always do a good job-- take the human spine, for instance.