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Apes Essay

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From Apes to Humans? Not Likely

The claim being addressed is, “If we descended from apes, why are there still apes around?” Enough has been learned this year in order to refute this claim. “Archeologists estimate that modern humans have been on the Earth for about 200,000 years.” So if we came from apes, why are we coexisting today? Talk Origins likens this question to “if Americans and Australians descended from Europeans, why are there still Europeans around?” We did not simply start out as apes and then evolve into humans. But what apes and humans do have in common, is a common ancestor.
The theory that humans used to be apes is just based on a lack of knowledge. First of all, I believe that whoever made this claim does not mean ape, but they mean gorillas. Humans are apes and so are gorillas. However, humans did not evolve from gorillas. They are both part of the Hominidae family. Characteristics of this classification include bipedal locomotion, teeth structure, increased brain size, and manual dexterity. This transformation is seen in all Hominids over millions of years. Below, is a table that shows the transformation of each Hominoid over millions of years:

Whoever made this claim clearly does not understand what an ape is. An ape is simply a name used by taxonomists to classify organisms that share certain characteristics such as the previously mentioned ones. Taxonomists, "using morphological, behavioral, genetic and biochemical observations, taxonomists identify, describe and arrange species into classifications, including those that are new to science." It is commonplace to go to the zoo and see the gorilla exhibit and immediately call them apes. Yes, gorillas are apes, but technically ape covers a whole gro...

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... Eventually, after living apart for so many generations, the different breeds of finches were unable to mate with each other. This scenario could possibly be similar to the relationship between humans and gorillas. We share a common ancestor, but due to many generations of filtering out unfavorable traits due to the different environments; humans and gorillas cannot breed and are completely different species.
In conclusion, the first problem of this claim is not knowing that humans are in fact apes. Perhaps whoever made the claim implied modern day apes, but that is not clear. Either way humans did not evolve from gorillas and the reason that different species of apes coexist today is because of natural selection in different environments. Like the finches, all apes share a common ancestor, but through millions of years of evolution, new species have been created.
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