Did we evolve from apes?

  1. In a documentary about Darwin's theory of evolution, it said that Darwin had the view that humans evolved from apes millions of years.

    I find that strange because apes still exist today. Why did some apes (millions of years ago) change and changed drastically to become entities like us and some have not change at all?

    Or are the apes today evolved from more primitive entities millions of years ago? So in a few millions years of time the descendents of today's apes will become humans like us today (provided that the environment has not drastically changed)? And the descendents of today's humans will have evolved into another speices which is much more superior than humans today?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Integral

    Integral 7,345
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This is a common misconception which the anti evolution crowd loves to promote. Closer to the facts is that man and ape evolved from a creature which was neither man nor ape.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2006
  4. selfAdjoint

    selfAdjoint 8,147
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    According to current thought, the humanoid line and the basic chimp line diverged from a common ancestor about 6 million years ago. The chimps then further diverged into the common chimps and the bonobos, while the humanoid line produced several species of which the only remaining one is us.

    Note that the different anthropoids flourished in different environments - humanoids eventually moved out of the trees into the plains, while chimps remained in the forest - so there wasn't a replacement but a radiation.
     
  5. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,081
    Gold Member

    I wonder if that "documentary" is 'for' Darwinism or 'against' it.

    It does appear to be propogating the great "anti-Darwin" lie.
     

  6. So you think that "Darwin had the view that humans evolved from apes millions of years." is anti-Darwin? The documentary said that Darwin didn't explicitly state in his 'Orgin of Species' that man descended from apes because of fear of public anger but one did not have to go far to make this connection after reading his book.

    The documentary was made by a professor of history and philosophy of science. It seemed that the film was only trying to state the facts and since its theme was to tell the life of Darwin, I would think it was 'for Darwinism'.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2006
  7. Do you know what this common ancestor about 6 million years ago was?
     
  8. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    What is the name of the documentary? Who is this "professor"?
     
  9. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Does the fact that this professor was not a biologist say anything to you, pivoxa15?
     
  10. The documentary was part of a series called 'Great Scientists' made by MAXWELL'S COLLECTION
    This particular one was called DARWIN

    It was written and presented by Prof Allan Chapman from Oxford University and he is a historian of science.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2006
  11. The film's purpose was to tell the life and achievements of Darwin, not our present view of evolution today so I think a historian of science is very appropriate.
     
  12. Integral

    Integral 7,345
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    So it should be viewed as a history of the theory of evolution rather then a source for understanding the Theory of Evoution.
     
  13. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,081
    Gold Member

    Yes.

    Far as I know, he stated that humans and apes descended from a common ancestor. His detractors simplified it and bastardized it into a lie used by Fundamentalists to make evolution an unpalatable theory (because it plays into their tendency to choose to believe things are how they want them to be, not how the evidence tells them it is.).
     
  14. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,081
    Gold Member

    Well, it was an ape-like creature - a proto-ape.

    (That's not the same as an ape. Apes have had just as many years of evolution as humans have.)
     
  15. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,081
    Gold Member

    No. Apes will continue to evolve on their own, but they will follow their own path.

    Do not make the mistake of assuming (as many do) that the chain of evolution from "bacteria through to human" is in any way equivalent to "inferior up to superior", or that it is an inevitable path.

    (Stephen Jay Gould points out that if we rewound the "Earth Biology" movie and played it forward again, we would get utterly different results. There are whole phyla of critters that existed in the PreCambrian that have nothing to do with anything alive today. It is mere dice-rolling that one of them led to us.)

    Thus, apes will evove based on what helps them survive. Intelligence is only one experiment of nature's.
     
  16. I only whant to say about evolution for this moment, will be the human able to not exterminate a competitor... evolving in our world... remember "competiotion the 'strongest' win"?
     
  17. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,081
    Gold Member

    I'm afraid I don't really know what you're trying to say.

    Are you asking if we can co-exist? Well, we did wipe out H.neanderthal.

    Humans breed too fast and demand too much in hte way of resources to exist peacfully with other species.
     
  18. Sorry, english is not my natal language.

    Yes, I was refering to co-exist, but lets see before co-exist, such specie should start to evolve, for example the other day I saw a documental about a bird called "kya" in Europe and aparently is very intelligent more than apes (before they where near to exterminated, now they are protected), even in group, supose that for a moment this birts start to evolve and start do things that the human do like create start fire, modify rocks for use as tools...

    What we will do?? exterminate them¿?¿?¿? even before they are able to become as intelligent as us... when such specie start his FIRST ERA, perhaps we will exterminate them.


    I remember now a movie called "mimic", a specie of cockroach modified by human that his life cycle was modified evolve to become like-humans, but the first human that see them, exterminate all the colony ;)... :lol:.
     

  19. That is interesting. The film said that in another book of Darwin's 'The Descent of Men' it stated clearly that we descended from apes. So you are suggesting that this historian of science got his facts wrong?

    The presenter said that from the fossil records at the time, there was evidence that apes and monkeys existed long before people had.

    Could it be the case that Darwin himself thought that we descended from the apes but more recently, evidence and evolutionary science suggest otherwise?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2006
  20. ShawnD

    ShawnD 986
    Science Advisor

    If that is the case, try not to hold it against him. He didn't have squads of nerds trying to link humans to apes, and humans really do seem to be much different than any other species, so that would somewhat point to us being relatively new. I'm not sure what fossils say.
     
  21. arildno

    arildno 12,015
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The proto-human was in all probability a creature that ought to be called an ape, so yes, we have descended from some ape.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?