No, We Did Not Evolve From Monkeys
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No, We Did Not Evolve From Monkeys

Clearing up the murky idea of Darwinism

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No, We Did Not Evolve From Monkeys
The Huffington Post

The theory of evolution is a long studied, ever improving, highly polarizing topic. The argument for it suggests that through a process called “natural selection” living things improve the parts of their bodies that help them survive. It is through this that we have such specialized things such as the keen eyes of the eagle. Charles Darwin was able to see it by looking at the beaks of finches. He realized that among the Galapagos Islands there were different feeding opportunities available for the birds of each island and while the birds were of a similar origin, their current appearances set them very much apart. The basic explanation for this was that the birds who had the beaks capable of reaching the food were able to eat. Thus they were able to survive, and then eventually able to reproduce. By doing this they passed on the trait that allowed them to reach the food. With this successful trait, these birds survived more often and thus reproduced more often creating a larger population of birds that we now know today.

A great way it was explained to me was by using moths. If we look at species of moths across the planet we see that they can take on all kinds of colors. If we think about the most common (brown) it is actually quite easy to explain why that is the case. Here it is. The majority of tree trunks are brown. Moths, do not fight their predators, they hide from them. If a predator is hunting and two moths, one brown one gray land on the same tree, one of them is going to be spotted and eaten. Purely because more brown trunks exist than do gray ones, the brown moth has a way higher chance of not being seen and living to reproduce. It must be distinguished that this process takes thousands of years to fully unfold and does not take place fully over a matter of a few generations.

When looking at the development of humans, it is not quite this easy. All humans worldwide have relatively the same genetic attributes. So in order to look at our genetic development, we must look at something that is genetically similar to us. Enter the Chimpanzee. Like humans, it is also a primate. Out of the known animals, it is the most similar to humans. Now this is where the common misconception about evolution arises. People seem to have convinced themselves that we evolved from monkeys. This is simply not true. The notion that there was a monkey that became human is not faithful to the actual idea of evolution.

If we are to expand on the development of humans we must become familiar with the term, “common ancestor.” This, in basic terms, is the process in which a species of animal exists within two areas in which different adaptations are necessary. Eventually, these adaptations took place so much that they became two separate species.

It is because of this process of having a common ancestor that we can explain how similarities between us and apes exist. At one point, millions of years ago, there existed a creature that modern scientists would probably refer to as “the missing link.” This is quite literally the link between us and chimpanzees. So no, we did not evolve from monkeys.

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