Did we evolve from apes?

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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?
 

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  • #2
Integral
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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.
 
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  • #3
selfAdjoint
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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.
 
  • #4
DaveC426913
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I wonder if that "documentary" is 'for' Darwinism or 'against' it.

It does appear to be propogating the great "anti-Darwin" lie.
 
  • #5
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DaveC426913 said:
I wonder if that "documentary" is 'for' Darwinism or 'against' it.

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

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'.
 
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selfAdjoint said:
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.
Do you know what this common ancestor about 6 million years ago was?
 
  • #7
Evo
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pivoxa15 said:
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'.
What is the name of the documentary? Who is this "professor"?
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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Does the fact that this professor was not a biologist say anything to you, pivoxa15?
 
  • #9
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Evo said:
What is the name of the documentary? Who is this "professor"?
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.
 
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russ_watters said:
Does the fact that this professor was not a biologist say anything to you, pivoxa15?
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.
 
  • #11
Integral
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pivoxa15 said:
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.
So it should be viewed as a history of the theory of evolution rather then a source for understanding the Theory of Evoution.
 
  • #12
DaveC426913
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pivoxa15 said:
So you think that "Darwin had the view that humans evolved from apes millions of years." is anti-Darwin?
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.).
 
  • #13
DaveC426913
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pivoxa15 said:
Do you know what this common ancestor about 6 million years ago was?
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.)
 
  • #14
DaveC426913
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pivoxa15 said:
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?
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.
 
  • #15
rea
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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"?
 
  • #16
DaveC426913
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rea said:
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"?
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.
 
  • #17
rea
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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:.
 
  • #18
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DaveC426913 said:
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.).

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?
 
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  • #19
ShawnD
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pivoxa15 said:
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?
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.
 
  • #20
arildno
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The proto-human was in all probability a creature that ought to be called an ape, so yes, we have descended from some ape.
 
  • #21
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Just a quick point. As it stands, from a biological perspective human beings are apes. We are part of the ape superfamily.
 
  • #22
DaveC426913
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detta said:
Just a quick point. As it stands, from a biological perspective human beings are apes. We are part of the ape superfamily.
I thought we were primates - one of which is apes, another of which is human.
 
  • #23
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rea said:
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 don't know what we would do. It probably won't happen. What if different races split off into different species or sub-species? How are the different races different from species?
 
  • #24
selfAdjoint
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Mk said:
How are the different races different from species?
According to the most-used definition of species, races can interbreed and produce fertile offspring; species may be able to interbreed but the offspring will be sterile (like the mule, offspring of an ass and a horse).
 
  • #25
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DaveC426913 said:
I thought we were primates - one of which is apes, another of which is human.
To clarify, all monkeys and apes belong to the order of Primates. Within the Primates, gibbons, great apes, and humans are all in the superfamily Hominoidea. Within Hominoidea, there is the Hylobatidae family (gibbons) and the Hominidae, which is great apes and humans. Within Hominidae, it splits again between subfamilies Ponginae (orangutans) and Homininae (African great apes and humans). Here's a diagram showing the phylogeny for primates: http://genomics.senescence.info/evolution/primates.gif

Note that gibbons (Hylobates lar) are in a different family than humans and great apes, but are still considered apes because they are members of the superfamily Hominoidea. In this taxonomy, humans are considered to be closer to the great apes than gibbons, but gibbons are still considered apes. It would be odd to say that humans aren't apes, but are closer to the great apes than another kind of ape.

Basically though this is all terminological. Most people willl separate humans from apes just for convenience of recognition. Also, many people who study human evolution are studying the differences between humans and other apes so they separate humans and apes. It's a difference between the technical and the everyday. When many people use the word animals, they don't usually refer to humans but humans are animals. Technically, the correct term is non-human animals but its really not necessary to say that in everyday language.
 

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