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Science Forum

  1. 13 Apr '08 20:20
    if evolution is real and we originated from apes... why are there still apes in the world? more to the point, why are they not progressing from ape to human...?
  2. 13 Apr '08 23:24
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if evolution is real and we originated from apes... why are there still apes in the world? more to the point, why are they not progressing from ape to human...?
    Whether speciation events happen because of sympatric or allopatric reasons, it has no bearing on whether the ancestral species becomes extinct. If there are available niches for both to persist then we have no other reason to expect otherwise. Ancestral species will only go extinct if they are no longer adapted to the present environment, or they are out competed.

    Its a common mistake to believe humans are the pinnacle of evolution, this is a more clementsian old school theory. We obviously have more brain power than other apes, but they also have advantages over us. This is no different from all life on the planet.

    The reason we don't see apes evolving into humans now is because those exact conditions that facilitated our own evolution no longer exist. Remove humans and a niche appears.............. who knows what would fill that niche?

    Despite the above, apes are still evolving, as is every living thing on this planet.
  3. 14 Apr '08 10:43
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if evolution is real and we originated from apes... why are there still apes in the world? more to the point, why are they not progressing from ape to human...?
    To add to timebombted's excellent answer:
    1. We are apes.
    2. We and the other currently living apes are all descended from a common ancestor ape.
    3. We have all evolved since then.
    4. The direction evolution of a given species takes is both guided (by the environment) and random. Divergent evolution results from different environments and random factors. Divergent evolution is more common than convergent evolution because of the variety of environments and the random factors.
    5. When a species gets divided into two separate populations, divergent evolution takes place - over time resulting in two or more separate and unique species.
  4. 14 Apr '08 14:08
    Originally posted by timebombted
    Whether speciation events happen because of sympatric or allopatric reasons, it has no bearing on whether the ancestral species becomes extinct. If there are available niches for both to persist then we have no other reason to expect otherwise. Ancestral species will only go extinct if they are no longer adapted to the present environment, or they are ou ...[text shortened]... niche?

    Despite the above, apes are still evolving, as is every living thing on this planet.
    thanks for the answer; however, i would have to disagree with you on one issue, "Its a common mistake to believe humans are the pinnacle of evolution"....

    could an ape or an ant design a pc, could a lion make us get to the moon.... yes, all life is equal, but this is more a spiritual belief than a scientific one
  5. 14 Apr '08 14:48
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    could an ape or an ant design a pc, could a lion make us get to the moon.... yes, all life is equal, but this is more a spiritual belief than a scientific one
    Can a man fly like a bird? Can a man dive to 1000 m depth?
    I think that a man without tecnology is a rather lame species.
  6. 14 Apr '08 15:26
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Can a man fly like a bird? Can a man dive to 1000 m depth?
    I think that a man without tecnology is a rather lame species.
    Quite. It's a bit disingenuous to take the things we know humans are good at (yes, we're the most intelligent animals on the planet), and conveniently decide that this is how we're going to determine the pinnacle of evolution.
  7. 14 Apr '08 15:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by mtthw
    Quite. It's a bit disingenuous to take the things we know humans are good at (yes, we're the most intelligent animals on the planet), and conveniently decide that this is how we're going to determine the pinnacle of evolution.
    I don't even know if humans are so intelligent after all.
    We destroy our planet, we blow atom bombs off, we burn oil and fill the atmoswhre with CO2, we elect Bush for president... twice...
  8. 14 Apr '08 16:01
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if evolution is real and we originated from apes... why are there still apes in the world? more to the point, why are they not progressing from ape to human...?
    If the Founding Fathers of the U.S. were originally of British origin, how come there still British people in world? Why are they not becoming Americans?
  9. 14 Apr '08 16:04 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    I don't even know if humans are so intelligent after all.
    We destroy our planet, we blow atom bombs off, we burn oil and fill the atmoswhre with CO2, we elect Bush for president... twice...
    Fair point. OK, for some measures of intelligence we score higher than other animals.

    And as for the last point, less of the "we"
  10. 14 Apr '08 16:09
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    thanks for the answer; however, i would have to disagree with you on one issue, "Its a common mistake to believe humans are the pinnacle of evolution"....

    could an ape or an ant design a pc, could a lion make us get to the moon.... yes, all life is equal, but this is more a spiritual belief than a scientific one
    Evolution is not about superiority - it is about increasing the numbers and survival of your offsprings*.

    Therefore, it is impossible to say that one species is superior to another - what you can do, is ask what species has greater fitness in a given environment.





    *And, sometimes, of other relatives who share genes with you.
  11. 14 Apr '08 16:17
    Originally posted by mtthw
    Fair point. OK, for some measures of intelligence we score higher than other animals.

    And as for the last point, less of the "we"
    I have thought about our so called intelligence...

    Say that whole humanity is died away, only a small group of people survives, me included. We have no technology left, no clothing, no food supplies, no nothing, we have only the intelligence and experience we have in our brains.

    How would we start a new civilization? We can't build new computers, we cant build a car. What can we do? I'd say nothing. We are back to stone age. We can throw stones after animals to get some meat, but can we even light any fire to cook the meat? I say no. I don't think we even survive. The human race is gone for ever.

    Humans are not intelligent, if we have to start from the beginning again.
  12. 14 Apr '08 16:27
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    I have thought about our so called intelligence...

    Say that whole humanity is died away, only a small group of people survives, me included. We have no technology left, no clothing, no food supplies, no nothing, we have only the intelligence and experience we have in our brains.

    How would we start a new civilization? We can't build new computers, we ...[text shortened]... s gone for ever.

    Humans are not intelligent, if we have to start from the beginning again.
    Intelligence is not knowledge but the ability to create it and posses it(among other things).
  13. 14 Apr '08 16:44
    Originally posted by Retrovirus
    Intelligence is not knowledge but the ability to create it and posses it(among other things).
    Exactly.

    So if this little group can't survive in the nature of their own, then they can't be intelligent. Not becase that the individuals are not intelligent (they can be very intelligent) but that human kind is not intelligent, as a species.

    If you take a rabbit of its cage and put it out in the nature, or a cow, or a hamster, then they will survive, they can maage and survive as a species. Some will be eaten by predators, of course, but only as individuals, the group in a whole will survive. (? well, better than humans anyway.)
  14. 14 Apr '08 17:32
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Exactly.

    So if this little group can't survive in the nature of their own, then they can't be intelligent. Not becase that the individuals are not intelligent (they can be very intelligent) but that human kind is not intelligent, as a species.

    If you take a rabbit of its cage and put it out in the nature, or a cow, or a hamster, then they will surv ...[text shortened]... t only as individuals, the group in a whole will survive. (? well, better than humans anyway.)
    That's not intelligence, that's fitness.
  15. 14 Apr '08 20:51
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    thanks for the answer; however, i would have to disagree with you on one issue, "Its a common mistake to believe humans are the pinnacle of evolution"....

    could an ape or an ant design a pc, could a lion make us get to the moon.... yes, all life is equal, but this is more a spiritual belief than a scientific one
    wow thats so loaded with assumptions. maybe its not so intelligent to spend major time, effort and resources going to the moon etc when mankind is still dying of hunger and killing each other all over the world? maybe its actually more intelligent to swim the ocean living off plankton, like the whale. the hitchikers guide to the galaxy made an interesting point when late in the storyl ine, it transpired that it was actually the mice who were running a global experiment with us as the guinea pigs