Evolving from monkeys?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Mo-Cheynei, Oct 9, 2011.

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  1. grimbeny

    grimbeny Very Well-Known Member

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    Im sorry fugawi, I think you are probably genuinly trying to do your best but I'm not quite sure why you keep using the language normally resigned to christian anti-evolution propaganda. For example missing link. What does missing link even mean?

    What do you mean by this? We can measure the similarity of any two species very easily. Secondly chromasomes are readily rearanged in evolutionary time. If you take the 20 pairs of chromasomes of a mouse and the 23 of a human you will find that none of them match up, but bits of all the human chromasomes will have matches to different spots in the mice chromasomes because the chromasomes have re-arranged.

    This bit just isnt true. Chimps and gorillas both have 24 chromasomes, and humans have 23. However chimps and humans are more closely related than chimps and gorillas so, probably what happened is somewhere in the human linneage after we split from chimps, our ancestors lost a pair of chromasomes, probably by incorporating it into the other 23 sets of chromasomes that we had. "apes" do not have different ancestors to humans. Each linneage has some ancestors that are specific to their own evolution and then going back further each species has ancestors that it shares with other apes.
     
  2. fugawi

    fugawi Well-Known Member

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    Missing link is a nonscientific term for any transitional fossil, especially one connected with human evolution; see Transitional fossil - Missing links and List of transitonal fossils - Human evolution.
    If you still don't understand, perhaps you could say "Common Ancestor".

    Do you understand "Evolutionary time" at all. In the last 4.5 million years, direct ancestors of Homo species have gone through at least 3 significant evolutionary changes with several thousand failed changes that led to extinctions. Gorillas, chimps, orang utans and gibbons also went through major evolutionary changes with lots of extinct failed off shoots as well. What this tells us is that when we broke away from apes, the animal we broke from was possibly a type of Pre Ape like creature, not anything like a chimpanzee. This animal could have looked like anything, a Giant Ground Sloth, a bunny rabbit, simply put........WE DON'T KNOW, science doesn't have any fossil record....AS YET. Science has no fossils beyond 4.5 million years ago along the human lineage so anything beyond this time is in a grey area of we simply don't know.
     
  3. waruikazi

    waruikazi Legendary

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    Not entirely true, there is a fossil that is thought to be 36 million years old that fits into (or very close to) our lineage.
     
  4. grimbeny

    grimbeny Very Well-Known Member

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    The apes are a monophyletic group, which includes humans. By being monophyletic the most recent common ancestor of the apes would itself be called an ape. So we have not broken away from the apes at all because we are apes ourselves.

    Why do you question my understanding of evolutionary time?

    Ofcourse I understand that we have evolved in parrallel ( i mean that we have both evolved through out the period of seperation, rather than parralel evolution) with the modern apes but it is unlikely that the pre-chimp human, was all that different from the animals we now call apes. It shared a common ancestor with todays gorrillas. We can certainly make predictions about what such an animal looked like, and I would suspect that we have fossils for apes that are more than 6 million years old, whether they are a direct ancestor of you and I or not. The question is do you need a direct ancestor to understand what our real ancestor might have been like? Just because we dont have a fossil that we know to be a direct ancestor of ours does not mean that we have no idea what they were like. They were ofcourse an ape.

    Interestingly there was a paper in nature earlier this year McLean et al that shows that human evolution has progressed via the loss rather than gain of genetic material that gave us human specific traits.

    If you want to be philosophical and talk about only things that we "know" then I suspect science isnt for you, because science isnt about "knowing". Only mathematicians can "know" things, and at any moment good scientists will throw away what they have previously understood if evidence suggests that it was wrong, this has happened many many times throughout history.

    Maybe you should do some reading on phylogenetic inference
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  5. fugawi

    fugawi Well-Known Member

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    Haven't heard of that one, but that just re-inforces to a much greater extent what I have been saying. If the human lineage went through 3 major transitional evolutionary changes in 4.5 million years then imagine how much different that ancestor would have been 36 million years ago. Certainly no chimps back then........
     
  6. snakeluvver

    snakeluvver Very Well-Known Member

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    I wish I could read all these posts but I honestly couldnt.
     
  7. MC-Boks

    MC-Boks Subscriber Subscriber

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    So... To get to the bottom of this alien intervention, we need to know just how probable it is. And we can know this if we work out exactly just how improbable it actually is.

    Come on Zaphod, get your ship working on this problem.
     
  8. DeadCricket

    DeadCricket Well-Known Member

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    Bah, no evidence aliens exist? I've got two for that one! :D

    A. Its a whole lot harder to prove that in the amount of planets (I'm not going with the infinite universe thing, just the ones that hubble can presume exist) that earth would be the ONLY one with life. Little arrogant to think we are that special don't you think

    B. Life comes in many different forms! It wasn't all that long ago that we believed that photosynthesis was required for life, turns out that's not even true! What's the other one called? Myosynthedis or something? One single cell of bacteria originating anywhere outside of earths atmosphere would be an alien.

    Remember everyone, the earth was flat at some point. There could be 'alien' forms floating inbetween here and the moon, we just may not know how to see them! Not everything has to fit into our perceptions.
     
  9. Colin

    Colin morelia

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    certain aliens have cloaking technology like the klingons, romulans, asgard etc thats why we can't see them :D
     
  10. crocdoc

    crocdoc Well-Known Member

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    Fugawi, as grimbeny pointed out, humans are more closely related to chimps than chimps are to gorillas. DNA tells a far better tale than chromosome number and our DNA has a 98.6% match with that of the two species of chimps. All sorts of screw-ups can and do happen when chromosomes pair up during meiosis, so producing a new line with a different chromosome number is no big deal and has happened in many evolutionary lines. Think donkey and horse, same genus, different chromosome number (which is why mules are infertile). The Australian elapids have varying numbers of chromosomes. Heck, there are two species of tree frog in North America, Hyla chrysoscelis and Hyla versicolor, that are indistinguishable by external features, yet one has twice the chromosome number of the other. They were very clearly once one species, but then somehow a tetraploid population split off.

    The significance of us being so closely related to chimps is that it doesn't take a huge leap of imagination to picture what our common ancestor may have looked like. Definitely not a ground sloth, but in all probability just another ape - probably similar enough looking to chimps that the average school kid wouldn't be able to tell the difference. It is estimated that the split between humans and chimps took place around 7 million years ago and we have fossil evidence going back almost to that point - the Australopithecines have small brains, brow ridges and large prognathous jaws (sometimes even a sagital crest), which are all ape features, yet had the very human traits of upright stance and non-prehensile big toe. There's an intermediate form staring us in the face already. It's not a common ancestor, but its pretty close to the source.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that all animals have to adapt to their own environment. Something can't just live as a 'missing link'. It'll have features in common with its descendants but will probably also have its own little features as well, so expecting something that is exactly half way between us and the chimps isn't likely to be fruitful.

    The whole concept of 'missing link' itself stems from the way evolution is so poorly portrayed in the media and (unless things have changed) even in school textbooks. Everyone has seen the chart showing a conga line of hunched over hairy creatures gradually going slightly upright as they move forward, until the guy leading the procession is an upright, hairless, man, straight out of Hollywood central casting. That visual is so much a part of our culture that they even use it in a current Red Bull ad. The other mammal always used to show evolutionary process is the horse, again a single line starting with a tiny three toed version and leading to the modern horse. The reason I think these are poor portrayals of evolution is that these two animals, humans and horses, are not the norm and are evolutionary losers when it comes to speciation. There are only a handful of species of wild horses and asses today and there is only one species of human (and a small handful of apes). Most evolutionary lineages don't consist of a single, weedy little line going from one species to the next, but huge branching trees with dozens, sometimes hundreds (or even thousands - think of the murid rodent evolutionary tree) of descendants, many of whom go extinct in the process, but many of whom live. No one ever questions the link between rats and mice, do they, nor needs to see a common ancestor half way between the two to believe they are related.

    Because of these poor examples, the human and the horse, the general public can usually only think of evolution as a straight, single lineage, rather than as a branching tree. That's why the original poster of this very thread was asking why, if we evolved from monkeys, there aren't intermediate forms of monkey-humans running around.
     
  11. Australis

    Australis Almost Legendary

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    Great post crocdoc.

    Hopefully now the search for the crocoduck can end... someone better tell Kirk.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Scleropages

    Scleropages Very Well-Known Member

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    Magical Unicorns.

    Thats all I have to say.
     
  13. Colin

    Colin morelia

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  14. Red-Ink

    Red-Ink Very Well-Known Member

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  15. Scleropages

    Scleropages Very Well-Known Member

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  16. saximus

    saximus Almost Legendary

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  17. waruikazi

    waruikazi Legendary

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    I lol'd at that too! Hahah

     
  18. longqi

    longqi Very Well-Known Member

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    I am living proof of our ancestry


    Just look at my back
    I go in fear when visiting areas where they still hunt Orangutans
     
  19. Bel03

    Bel03 Very Well-Known Member

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    WOW! :shock: This thread is.......different.......maybe if i read it all it may have made some sense........but seriously? If we were created by aliens, BJ wants to phone home! :lol: Sorry, but i love ET!
     
  20. Mo-Cheynei

    Mo-Cheynei Well-Known Member

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    Lol I lost track of this thread a long time ago!!!
     
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