If humans evolve from apes, why didn't all apes evolve at the same rate?

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  • #26
Even though that whole debate is off topic...
Why would it matter how harsh or rugged an environment was? It would only be important to have a few individuals that were well off. To do that all you need is inequality. All civilizations on Earth are capable of extreme inequality no matter how tough or rich their environments are. All that is needed is a division of labor.

I don't agree with the line of reasoning that says that one culture is more advanced than another because of specific discoveries or inventions and then compares this to evolution somehow even if it is a distant comparison. This is abuse of the word evolution and leaves too much room for misinterpretation. I've seen arguements that compare evolution to progress in many forums on the internet. When these arguements stray too far off course into conjecture about evolution as progress then a golden calf is created (or should I say golden strawman?)
 
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  • #27
apeiron
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When these arguements stray too far off course into conjecture about evolution as progress then a golden calf is created (or should I say golden strawman?)
There is obviously progress from bacteria to man of some kind. You just need an objective measure to talk about it objectively. Which is why measures of relative complexity are useful here.

Humans for example can access many more states of being than a bug. We can count the number of states (even if roughly) to get a measure of our relative complexity.
 
  • #28
mgb_phys
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There is obviously progress from bacteria to man of some kind. You just need an objective measure to talk about it objectively.
The obvious objective measure from an evolutionary point of view is the number of copies of the gene that spread into the environment.

In which case it's the bacteria's planet, always has been - always will be.
 
  • #29
apeiron
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The obvious objective measure from an evolutionary point of view is the number of copies of the gene that spread into the environment.

In which case it's the bacteria's planet, always has been - always will be.
I would agree that this is another definition of success. Especially because bacteria were here long before us and will be here long after us. So their entropic footprint would be larger in both space and time.

But to capture what is meant by "progress" - as in A is better than B, rather than A is simply larger than B - relative complexity would seem the right kind of metric.

Also, is it really fair to weigh the combined effort of probably a billion species (the bacteria) against just a single one (humans)?

I think that already conceeds the fact that there is something extra we want to be able to measure.
 
  • #30
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Current Biology, Volume 20, Issue 4, R162-R165, February 23, 2010 had a special issue that I think is very informative and beneficial to our topic of discussion. I’m still reading through these articles, which are free and appear so far to me to shed further light on Homo sapiens (humans). In the meantime, I thought of sharing it with those who might be interested. :biggrin:

Global Genetic History of Homo sapiens: Special Review Issue
Guest Editorial
Archaeogenetics — Towards a ‘New Synthesis’? pR162
Colin Renfrew
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(09)02071-5

Reviews
The Evolution of Human Genetic and Phenotypic Variation in Africa pR166
Michael C. Campbell, Sarah A. Tishkoff
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(09)02065-X

The Archaeogenetics of Europe pR174
Pedro Soares, Alessandro Achilli, Ornella Semino, William Davies, Vincent Macaulay, Hans-Jürgen Bandelt, Antonio Torroni, Martin B. Richards
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(09)02069-7

The Human Genetic History of South Asia pR184
Partha P. Majumder
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(09)02068-5

The Human Genetic History of East Asia: Weaving a Complex Tapestry pR188
Mark Stoneking, Frederick Delfin
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(09)02067-3

The Human Genetic History of Oceania: Near and Remote Views of Dispersal pR194
Manfred Kayser
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(09)02120-4

The Human Genetic History of the Americas: The Final Frontier pR202
Dennis H. O'Rourke, Jennifer A. Raff
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(09)02066-1

The Genetics of Human Adaptation: Hard Sweeps, Soft Sweeps, and Polygenic Adaptation pR208
Jonathan K. Pritchard, Joseph K. Pickrell, Graham Coop
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(09)02070-3


I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I am.

Thanks,
Mars
 
  • #31
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I think both humans & apes had a (Common Ancestor).
 
  • #32
CRGreathouse
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But to capture what is meant by "progress" - as in A is better than B, rather than A is simply larger than B - relative complexity would seem the right kind of metric.
And how would you define that? Be careful, too, if you use the concept of an "individual" in your definition, unless you also define what that means.
 
  • #33
DaveC426913
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The obvious objective measure from an evolutionary point of view is the number of copies of the gene that spread into the environment.

In which case it's the bacteria's planet, always has been - always will be.
Rather than the number of copies, how about the pervasiveness? i.e the number of distinct biotopes they are able to occupy?

Bacteria are so successful I can't even imagine an environment where other species might exist where they do not.

i.e. if it can't support bacteria, it can't support any life.
 
  • #34
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hominid evolution...


Humans evolved from an earlier common primitive primate ancestor, which existed some 14 million years ago, where the existing primate evolutionary branch split into the hominid branch, of which Homo sapiens is the only extant species, and all other primate branches.

The rate at which evolution occurs for any given branch of life, and also the rate at which new species are generated, is an extremely sophisticated university level subject. Please consult my references listed below for a much broader understanding.

Reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution#Common_descent"
http://mikeely.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/human-evolution-tree.jpg" [Broken]
http://www.cs.ucr.edu/~eamonn/shape/phenogram_primate.bmp" [Broken]
http://www.peripatus.gen.nz/paleontology/Wood2002Fig2.jpg" [Broken]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godinotia" [Broken]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primate#Evolution"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plesiadapis" [Broken]
 
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  • #35
mgb_phys
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I think both humans & apes had a (Common Ancestor).
Humans are apes.
Humans and Chimps had a common ancestor, then a bit longer ago that species and gorillas had a common ancestor - all of those were apes.
 
  • #36
D H
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Humans are not apes, they are hominids, Humans and Apes are both primates.
You are dealing with some rather dated nomenclature, Orion1. DNA analysis pretty much killed that old classification. Humans are now classified as apes (a superfamily). We are in fact classified as one of the great apes (the family Hominidae), along with orangutans, gorillas, and chimps. The close association between humans and apes goes a lot deeper than familiy. we are classified along with chimps and gorillas at the subfamility level (Homininae) and along with chimps at the tribe (between genus and subfamily) level (Hominini). The difference between humans and chimps is very, very slight. We are apes.
 
  • #37
970
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primate evolution...


Wikipedia said:
An ape is any member of the Hominoidea superfamily of primates, including humans. Due to its ambiguous nature, the term ape has been deemphasized in favor of Hominoidea as a means of describing taxonomic relationships.

Until a few decades ago, humans were thought to be distinctly set apart from the other apes (even from the other great apes), so much so that many people still do not think of the term "apes" to include humans at all. However, it is not considered accurate by many biologists to think of apes in a biological sense without considering humans to be included.

hominoid taxonomy has undergone several changes. Genetic analysis shows that apes diverged from the Old World monkeys between 29 million and 34.5 million years ago. The lesser and greater apes split about 18 million years ago, and the hominid splits happened 14 million years ago (Pongo), 7 million years ago (Gorilla), and 3-5 million years ago (Homo & Pan).
Thanks for the modern taxonomic clarification.

Is the superfamily Hominoidea 29 million to 34.5 million years old?

Wikipedia said:
The New World monkeys split from the Old World about 40 million years ago, while the apes diverged from the Old World monkeys about 25 million years ago.
Does the superfamily Hominoidea branch from the superfamily Cercopithecoidea at this point?

One of the earliest primate fossils discovered thus far in the fossil record are called Godinotia, and is 49 million years old, and the primate lineage is thought go back to at least 65 million years, even though the oldest known primate from the fossil record is Plesiadapis, which is 55 – 58 million years old from the Late Paleocene.

Was Godinotia a prosimian that evolved from Strepsirhines 49 million years ago?

Plesiadapis is a member of superfamily Plesiadapoidea, did Hominoidea and Cercopithecoidea originate from Plesiadapoidea?

Wikipedia said:
Haplorrhini and its sister clade, Strepsirrhini ("wet-nosed" primates), parted ways about 63 million years ago.
Did all primates originate from Strepsirhines and Haplorhines 63 million years ago?

Reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ape" [Broken]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ape#Changes_in_taxonomy"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ape#Classification_and_evolution"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godinotia" [Broken]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plesiadapis" [Broken]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_World_monkey" [Broken]
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_X5FQxL_6WOA/SSqRje9lngI/AAAAAAAAAKQ/jVAZ2KbbA2c/s1600-h/famtree4.gif"
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_X5FQxL_6WOA/SSqRPKgKzXI/AAAAAAAAAKA/3AyBCZEkwPg/s320/phillytree.gif"
http://kevinunderhill.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/10/20/primates_tree.gif" [Broken]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strepsirrhini" [Broken]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplorrhini" [Broken]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosimian" [Broken]
 

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  • #38
apeiron
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And how would you define that? Be careful, too, if you use the concept of an "individual" in your definition, unless you also define what that means.
I did offer a measure of complexity....

Humans for example can access many more states of being than a bug. We can count the number of states (even if roughly) to get a measure of our relative complexity.
 
  • #39
D H
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Civilisations rise and fall for a variety of internal and external reasons.
Sheer, dumb luck is one of the big factors leading to the rise of civilizations while plain old bad luck certainly helps civilizations fall. You mentioned East Africa, mgb. Bad luck for them that the fertile Sahara turned back into the desert Sahara.

Civilization rose in the Fertile Crescent and China in part because those people were in the right place. South Africa has an equally nice climate. The Fertile Crescent had wild sheep, goats, horses, cows. South Africa has antelopes, zebras, and cape buffalo. Antelopes are too jumpy, literally and figuratively, to domesticate. Zebras and cape buffalo are amongst the meanest of animals. Bad luck for civilization in southern Africa. Sheer dumb luck that sheep, goats, horses, and cows happen to have the traits that make them domesticable.
 

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