Where humans came from is a question that has been asked ever since the beginning of time. Some people believe we were created by a god. Others believe we were created by multiple gods. However, anatomical and behavioral similarities with modern apes, along with fossil evidence of our evolutionary history, give proof that humans evolved from an apelike ancestor and are in reality, still apes.
Before I can jump into my reasoning behind this, I must give some background information on evolution.
First of all, what is evolution? Evolution is a theory first proposed by Charles Darwin in his book the “Origin of Species” in 1859. The theory is used to explain the diversity of all living things on earth.
Evolution works by using the fact that when two organisms breed, there are slight mutations. Organisms with mutations that help them survives and they live to pass those mutations on to their offspring. Organisms with mutations that do the opposite die off and the mutation is removed from the gene pool.
Over time a great deal of these mutations build up to the point where the organism is a totally new species. A great example of this is polar bears. Polar bears evolved from brown bears. Brown bears that lived in the snow could be spotted pretty easily. Every now and then a baby brown bear was born with white fur. White fur was harder to spot in the snow, so they survived and passed down the white fur gene to their offspring. In that area all the brown bears couldn’t compete with the white ones and died off, leaving just white bears, to be known as Polar bears.
One of the most common misconceptions about evolution is that evolution works like a straight line, one species morphing into the next. That is not h...
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...lity, still apes. Now for a bit of a recap.
Evolution is a theory that is used to explain the diversity of life on earth, first theorized by Charles Darwin in 1859. Evolution is caused by random mutations during reproduction, and only the beneficial mutation survives.
Humans and chimpanzees are 96% the same genetically. 98% if you ignore the duplications in the genes. Not only that, but Humans and modern apes are remarkably similar anatomically, with the same bones, muscles, and not to mention, hands. To top it all off, humans and apes aren’t that different behavioral wise. Chimpanzees use tools, walk upright occasionally, have a primitive language, and live in family groups.
Lastly, the dots that connected us to our apes past. All the way from Australopithecus, to Homo habilis, to Homo erectus, and ultimately to Homo sapiens. We can’t forget our upright pal Lucy.
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