Saturday, August 25, 2007

Chimp-Gorillia split conflated to be something amazing.

So, there I am surfing my forums and such and I see that human-chimp split is pushed back to 10 million years as a thread title. Now this just doesn't work. First, humans aren't that different from chimps. I mean very little evolution and 10 million years is just too big. So I check out the article which actually says ape-human split, based on some 10 million year old fossil find of teeth that look vaguely gorilla.

So, in the end, no. First off, humans never split from the ape group, that's a lie we tell people because, telling them they are a type of ape kind of pisses them off. The last thing we apes like is having poo tossed at us, so we tend to cut humans out of the entire animal kingdom.

'Apes' is a pretty big category. Because it includes gorillas, chimps and orangutans means it obviously includes humans, if it's not specifically excluding them for no reason at all. This part of the family tree is called chimps (two out of the three have chimp in the name), calling it human-ape is just confusing on both sides. First it's the chimp side and second it's still all within the ape group.

The traditional date is 8 million years for the gorilla-chimp split. This fossil suggests, with extremely weak evidence, that we should say it's 10. These are obvious ape teeth from something that had a gorilla like diet, beyond that who knows.

\ \
\ -- Bonobos

(not to geologic scale, excluding lots of critters)

No comments: