No, humans did not evolve from monkeys, but did we evolve from apes then? Well turns out even though we are more closely related to apes than monkeys, we still didn’t evolve from them. So who or what did humans evolve from? Scientists believe that humans share a common ancestor with modern African apes (gorillas, chimpanzees). This ancestor lived five to eight million years ago, but hold on if this was true wouldn’t this mean that humans and apes would be exactly the same?
According to evolution we would be, but the ancestors species diverged into two separate linages one being the apes and chimps and the other one being an early human called a hominid. There were many different hominids but over time the hominids who didn’t go extinct, evolved and diverged thus becoming a new species. The statement that humans come from monkeys is a misconception because if that were true then we would have no monkeys, but instead all of those monkeys would be humans; that or the monkeys would be slowly evolving into human like creatures over time.
The theory of evolution completely refutes this statement for the reasons stated previously. The theory suggests that we didn’t come from monkeys or apes but from a common ancestor this can be depicted by a tree of life with many branches. The tree is the common ancestor and the branches are the many species that came from that ancestor. Over time some branches fall off while others flourish turns out we were one of the flourishing branches.
The evidence that this is in fact a misconception is fossils and modern day observations. Scientists have found many different kinds of hominid fossils. They are all significantly different and some share the traits of monkeys and apes while some share characteristics of humans nowadays. For example homo sapiens being the ones mostly related to us have a large brain size a forehead that rises sharply, eyebrow ridges that are very small, a prominent chin and a much lighter bone structure than past hominids.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 29 September 2016
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