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descent from Chimpanzees/apes....why are there still Chimpanzees and apes? ....and if we "evolved" from them...why isn't there a middle-level evolutionary species somewhere? Doesn't make sense to me...there should be 4 or 5 different levels of evolution on this planet depending on how long the species had to evolve and climatologic events/situations and the separation of the continents.

I was watching the "Planet of the Apes"...therefore my curiosity. monkey.gif

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Warning this could be a very long answer. Preamble, I received my undergrad degree in anthropology with a concentration in primatoloy (study of non-human primates). I will try to be as brief as possible, but the answer is complex.

Long story short version:

There were transition species about 2.5 million years ago. Once the chimp/human line split there is no need for any more transition species. Finding the transition specie was difficult, but we believe the last common ancestor fosil was discovered about 5 or 6 years ago in Tanzinia or Kenya (don't remember). Thus, to say that we are decended from Chimps is wrong. Chimps and humans have a common ancestor that we both derived from.

In terms of human-like species there have been at least 8 if not 12. Current Homo sapien sapien (us) are the latest in a long line. Our line out competed all other lines of Homo between 100-32,000 years ago.

Oh, and for those of you who ask why aren't humans as hairy as chimps, the short answer is we are! We have exactly the same number of hair folicules per sq. inch. Its a matter of hair length and corseness. Why don't people have a lot of long, corse body hair? It appears to be an adaptation to living in the African savannah instead of the rain forests. Less hair means faster evaporation of sweat, meaning better cooling for long runs and during hunts. By the way chimps and gorillas do sweat. The worst smell I have ever encounterd was from a gorilla who had to come in for medical attention and he had to stay in a metabolic enclosure. Think of the worst body order you've ever encountered, multiply by 10, and then be in an encolosed concrete room. I nearly passed out!

Hope this answers the question without stepping on too many toes.

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Long story short is we didn't descend from chimpanzees or apes, we have common ancestors.

Not quite. Chimps, gorillas, orangutuans, and the human line are all APES. We all descended from a common ape ancestor.

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Warning this could be a very long answer. Preamble, I received my undergrad degree in anthropology with a concentration in primatoloy (study of non-human primates). I will try to be as brief as possible, but the answer is complex.

Long story short version:

There were transition species about 2.5 million years ago. Once the chimp/human line split there is no need for any more transition species. Finding the transition specie was difficult, but we believe the last common ancestor fosil was discovered about 5 or 6 years ago in Tanzinia or Kenya (don't remember). Thus, to say that we are decended from Chimps is wrong. Chimps and humans have a common ancestor that we both derived from.

In terms of human-like species there have been at least 8 if not 12. Current Homo sapien sapien (us) are the latest in a long line. Our line out competed all other lines of Homo between 100-32,000 years ago.

Oh, and for those of you who ask why aren't humans as hairy as chimps, the short answer is we are! We have exactly the same number of hair folicules per sq. inch. Its a matter of hair length and corseness. Why don't people have a lot of long, corse body hair? It appears to be an adaptation to living in the African savannah instead of the rain forests. Less hair means faster evaporation of sweat, meaning better cooling for long runs and during hunts. By the way chimps and gorillas do sweat. The worst smell I have ever encounterd was from a gorilla who had to come in for medical attention and he had to stay in a metabolic enclosure. Think of the worst body order you've ever encountered, multiply by 10, and then be in an encolosed concrete room. I nearly passed out!

Hope this answers the question without stepping on too many toes.

If that were at all true..

Why aren't there new species of something being born every day. Are you saying Evolution just stopped?

With thousands of species having the possibility to evolve, isn't it strange that there isn't any evolution taking place right now?

Morever, evolution says A turns into B then to C...

Well, if A turns into B, do you know how much A turning into B would have to happen before B could procreate with B?? Many B's would die... Many of them. However, in this whole Evolution theory, it's funny how they can never find fossils of the Missing Link?

The theory of Evolution would have to admit to Evolutionary Spurts... Where many A turn to B at the same time... then nothing for a long time then another Spurt to take it to C. However, that makes no sense either. Biology is based on Chemistry. Chemistry doesn't happen in Spurts. Chemistry happens, many times, in a predictable manner. So again.. the question: Why has evolution Stopped?

If you can't answer that question, then you presume that homo sapien is the end all and be all that man will be on the evolutionary chart. That suggests more of a self worship than it does a true theory.

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If that were at all true..

OK, I will go into it more detail by answering your question. This is an internet chat board so the answers will have holes as I am not about to write a book about evolutionary theory. If you really are interested I can point you to many excellent books on the subject.

Quote:


Why aren't there new species of something being born every day. Are you saying Evolution just stopped?

With thousands of species having the possibility to evolve, isn't it strange that there isn't any evolution taking place right now?

Simple answer, evolution occurs daily. Example 1, new flu strains every year. Example 2, poison resistant rats. Example 3, drug resistant TB. Example 4, HIV. Example 5, other bacterium that are discovered at a constant rate in labs and around the world. What you are getting at is why don't we see new large animal forms. The answer is that evolution takes some time to work on larger organisms that have slower reproductive rates that microscopic organisms, such as bactirium or a virous. One of the issues in speciation that hasn't been completely worked out is the hard definition of a species. General definitions never hold up to full scrutiny (no definition does). Thus, we have to work through what is considered a species.

[qoute]

Morever, evolution says A turns into B then to C...

Well, if A turns into B, do you know how much A turning into B would have to happen before B could procreate with B?? Many B's would die... Many of them. However, in this whole Evolution theory, it's funny how they can never find fossils of the Missing Link?

The theory of Evolution would have to admit to Evolutionary Spurts... Where many A turn to B at the same time... then nothing for a long time then another Spurt to take it to C. However, that makes no sense either. Biology is based on Chemistry. Chemistry doesn't happen in Spurts. Chemistry happens, many times, in a predictable manner. So again.. the question: Why has evolution Stopped?

If you can't answer that question, then you presume that homo sapien is the end all and be all that man will be on the evolutionary chart. That suggests more of a self worship than it does a true theory.

Umm you are talking about so called transition species. There are plenty of them in the fossil record. In humans it is fairly easy to see changes over the past 500,000 years. As we get further into the past there are multiple issues. First, fossilization is not common. Certian ecological conditions must be met for it to occur. Some of those conditions are not -present in some environments, therefore the missing-links as you call them, may not have made fossils. Second, we haven't found all of the fossils, but every time a new one is found it fills in the picture a little better. Third, we have only looked for fossils in limited areas. Some areas where creatures were 100 KYA are now under water. We are developing techniques to do underwater archeaology/palentology, but its expensive and hard to do.

To answer your presumption that biologists don't think evolution takes place in spurts is an argument that occurred 20 years ago. The vast majority of evolutionary biologist now say that evolution occurs in several manners. Drift, which is a slow process when groups of the same species become genetically isolated from one another. Over time the inherent differences in gene pool plus environment can lead to speciation. Second, punctuated equilibrium. This is where you get a bottle-neck event, such as a local environmental disaster. Here the environmental conditions change rapidly so only a few members of the local species survives. This actually happend for H. sapien about 120 kya. Estimates are that the population dropped below 10,000 for the entire planet. That 10k gave rise to us.

The assumption of humans at the end-point of evolution is a Cartesian falacy that no biolgoist would ever say. What you can say, is that currently humans are the current line of Homo. That is it. But you can say that about any currently alive specie.

Further, I know some argue that H. sapien sapien (modern humans) have stopped evolution. I find that to be a poor statement. Evolutionary pressures opperate on differentials in off0-spring survival. The more copies that a gene puts into future generations is the more fit. It really is that simple in Darwinian terms. The notion of "only the strongest survive" is garbage. Its only the the best reproducers survive, as long as those offspring also reproduce. Evolution is not an end-point game. Its a process that describes the changes in genetic and phenotypic structures through time.

I hope this clarifies.

NOTE- not edited for typos. I don't have time right now as I have an important meeting to get to. I will clarify points as needed/ requested.

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If that were at all true..

OK, I will go into it more detail by answering your question. This is an internet chat board so the answers will have holes as I am not about to write a book about evolutionary theory. If you really are interested I can point you to many excellent books on the subject.

Quote:


Why aren't there new species of something being born every day. Are you saying Evolution just stopped?

With thousands of species having the possibility to evolve, isn't it strange that there isn't any evolution taking place right now?

Simple answer, evolution occurs daily. Example 1, new flu strains every year. Example 2, poison resistant rats. Example 3, drug resistant TB. Example 4, HIV. Example 5, other bacterium that are discovered at a constant rate in labs and around the world. What you are getting at is why don't we see new large animal forms. The answer is that evolution takes some time to work on larger organisms that have slower reproductive rates that microscopic organisms, such as bactirium or a virous. One of the issues in speciation that hasn't been completely worked out is the hard definition of a species. General definitions never hold up to full scrutiny (no definition does). Thus, we have to work through what is considered a species.

Anything can change when you introduce new toxins into it's system. However, with evolution, we're not talking about new toxins. We're talking about sparodic change over time with no true driving force. Evolution has to have a cause. What's the cause for evolution as it has been explained to us??? Natural Selection has no driving force. If Natural Selection were true even in a microevolutionary understanding.... there would be no disease.... Your body would naturally correct itself and make itself stronger. And let's not even begin to talk about microevolution and aging?? How can something evolve (to become better (natural selection)... yet as time goes by....we know that man gets weaker... No. What does happen is that your body does not naturally correct itself over the micro or the macro span of time. It corrects itself when it is introduced to different "invaders" which it must learn to adapt to. However, that's not evolution. That's adaptation.

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The assumption of humans at the end-point of evolution is a Cartesian falacy that no biolgoist would ever say. What you can say, is that currently humans are the current line of Homo. That is it. But you can say that about any currently alive specie.

Further, I know some argue that H. sapien sapien (modern humans) have stopped evolution. I find that to be a poor statement. Evolutionary pressures opperate on differentials in off0-spring survival. The more copies that a gene puts into future generations is the more fit. It really is that simple in Darwinian terms. The notion of "only the strongest survive" is garbage. Its only the the best reproducers survive, as long as those offspring also reproduce. Evolution is not an end-point game. Its a process that describes the changes in genetic and phenotypic structures through time.

When talking about species... There haven't been the formation of a new species in our lifetime or in any lifetime in I would say the past 2000 years. I would say many species have gone extinct in that period, however, you can't find evidence of a species of animal coming out of another species of animal during that time. Maybe there's that bottleneck you speak of... or maybe it just doesn't happen.

Also, when you look at life from a evolutionary perspective, you just totally ignore "life's origin". You have to say it must be chemically possible. I disagree. It is extremely improbable that proteins and nucleic acids, both of which are structurally complex, arose spontaneously in the same place at the same time. Yet it also seems impossible to have one without the other. Therefore it must be chemically impossible to have life happen on it's own.

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“Anything can change when you introduce new toxins into it's system. However, with evolution, we're not talking about new toxins. We're talking about sparodic change over time with no true driving force. Evolution has to have a cause. What's the cause for evolution as it has been explained to us??? Natural Selection has no driving force. If Natural Selection were true even in a microevolutionary understanding.... there would be no disease.... Your body would naturally correct itself and make itself stronger. And let's not even begin to talk about microevolution and aging?? How can something evolve (to become better (natural selection)... yet as time goes by....we know that man gets weaker... No. What does happen is that your body does not naturally correct itself over the micro or the macro span of time. It corrects itself when it is introduced to different "invaders" which it must learn to adapt to. However, that's not evolution. That's adaptation.”

This is all over the place. First I strongly suggest you do some independent reading on Darwinian theory from a biologist. Dawkins is a good starting point.

Let me make something crystal clear. Evolution is not about getting “stronger”, evolution is about creating a series of solutions to a set of survival problems. Any single mutation may or may not improve an organisms ability to do something, but that improvement comes with a cost of time, energy, and the possible reduction in the ability to do something else. Organisms evolve to find solutions to environmental problems. When environments change some organisms will have mutations that are better suited for that environment and some won’t. Those that are better suited leave more descendents. This process is called adaptation and is one of the blocks of evolution. The other block is descent through modification. Even if an organism can adapt, e.g. survive in a given environment, if it doesn’t reproduce then it hasn’t evolved.

In regards to what you call microevolution, I have no idea what you are referring to. All species that we know of have the capacity to evolve. To say that a virus or a bacteria is not an organism is patently false. All life derives from bacteria, or possibly viruses. Thus, just because I gave you immediate instances of natural selection but they didn’t meet your assumptions does not invalidate them. But let me give you a more complex version. You can take fruit flies and mutate them rather rapidly. You could, given a couple of years, create a type of fruit fly that can’t breed with the originating fruit fly specie. This has been shown in the lab. It can be done with fish as well. The reason we can do it with fruit flies, fish, worms, bacteria, insects, is that the generation times are very fast. Fruit flies have generation times measured in days. Humans have generation times measured in decades. Evolution takes time or a bottle neck. We haven’t been H. sapien sapien long enough to have time catch up with us. Nor have we had a bottle neck recently.

Aging is a whole another topic that I can get into but I need to do some more reading. When I last looked at the aging stuff it was about 10 years ago. What it comes down to is that cells have to make a tradeoff between how many times they can replicate and how well they retain their original information. Essentially the more replications possible the more likely it is that their will be a problem in the replication. Energy inputs can, in theory change this, but as far as I know this hasn’t been completely worked out yet.

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The assumption of humans at the end-point of evolution is a Cartesian falacy that no biolgoist would ever say. What you can say, is that currently humans are the current line of Homo. That is it. But you can say that about any currently alive specie.

Further, I know some argue that H. sapien sapien (modern humans) have stopped evolution. I find that to be a poor statement. Evolutionary pressures opperate on differentials in off0-spring survival. The more copies that a gene puts into future generations is the more fit. It really is that simple in Darwinian terms. The notion of "only the strongest survive" is garbage. Its only the the best reproducers survive, as long as those offspring also reproduce. Evolution is not an end-point game. Its a process that describes the changes in genetic and phenotypic structures through time.

When talking about species... There haven't been the formation of a new species in our lifetime or in any lifetime in I would say the past 2000 years. I would say many species have gone extinct in that period, however, you can't find evidence of a species of animal coming out of another species of animal during that time. Maybe there's that bottleneck you speak of... or maybe it just doesn't happen.

Also, when you look at life from a evolutionary perspective, you just totally ignore "life's origin". You have to say it must be chemically possible. I disagree. It is extremely improbable that proteins and nucleic acids, both of which are structurally complex, arose spontaneously in the same place at the same time. Yet it also seems impossible to have one without the other. Therefore it must be chemically impossible to have life happen on it's own.

In regards to chemical combinations giving rise to life. Let me go through the probablities with you. Very simply, the Earth is 4 billion years old. Now the number of chemicals needed to interact the right way for life to occur is relatively small. But over 4 billion years, the probability of that interaction occuring is astronomical. I remember the lotto odds discussion so I am not going to work through the mathmatical proof of this. Again, READ A BOOK and you'll have a much better understanding of the process. I would suggest Climbing Mount Improbible by Richard Dawkins.

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It is extremely improbable that proteins and nucleic acids, both of which are structurally complex, arose spontaneously in the same place at the same time.

That seems more improbable to you than an omnipotent being just coming to exist by chance?

Given the nearly infinite size of the universe and a nearly infinite amount of time for it to happen, it doesn't seem that unlikely to me that conditions that are condusive to the creation of life would happen eventually somewhere, sometime. And they've done experiments to show how the conditions of early earth generated organic compounds.

The amount of evidence supporting evolution is overwhelming. If people weren't afraid of the ramifications on their beliefs (i.e. if there was no religion), no one would be arguing it. Hell no one really does in most of the rest of the civilized world.

You have to understand that the timescale of evolution is in the thousands or millions of years. And I believe they have found examples of evolution that have happened pretty recently although I don't recall the species off the top of my head.

I think human evolution will be pretty slow if not non-existing from here on out because we thing we're smarter than we are. When babies have mutations we try to "fix" the babies, hence altering their fitness. Maybe siamese twins are supposed to take over the world! But we'll never know, because we split them all.

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