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Christine O'donell Ponders Why Aren't Monkeys Still Evolving


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Yes, we almost certainly killed off the Neanderthals. Still, before we killed them off, we shared the planet with them and homo florensiensis. The point of all that was that a species will often evolve in multiple directions, and that when the resulting species end up competing for the same resources, one may drive the others two extinction, reducing the diversity someone may otherwise expect from species evolving in multiple directions.

 

That is rather debatable. They could have died off from a drastic climate change that diminished their vital food supply; there are also some evidence that there was some sort of trade between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.

 

Wouldn't the drastic climate change affect the Homo Sapiens in the same area?

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I think the Neanderthals didn't migrate the same way as Homo sapiens. What saved our species was that our ancestors traveled from Africa up through middle east, Asia, India, and Russia.

 

If you can, rent the video "Journey of Man," by Dr. Spencer Wells. He tracks the migration of early man (yes, "man", not men or human, because he's tracking the Y-chromosome.)

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I think the Neanderthals didn't migrate the same way as Homo sapiens. What saved our species was that our ancestors traveled from Africa up through middle east, Asia, India, and Russia.

 

If you can, rent the video "Journey of Man," by Dr. Spencer Wells. He tracks the migration of early man (yes, "man", not men or human, because he's tracking the Y-chromosome.)

 

Still there were Homo Sapiens in the same area, and they survived, otherwise, the ones with some Neanderthal ancestry would not have passed their genes on to any of us today. I have no doubt that climate change played a part in the demise of the Neanderthals. I would imagine that Neanderthals could have migrated out of the areas most effected by climate change if those areas were not occupied by Homo Sapiens. Of course, I'm speculating here. This is a subject that interests me, and I'll look more into it. In any case, there's a good reason why there are not other hominid ape species today.

 

EDIT:

 

I just added "Journey of Man" to my Netflix queue.

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I think the Neanderthals didn't migrate the same way as Homo sapiens. What saved our species was that our ancestors traveled from Africa up through middle east, Asia, India, and Russia.

 

If you can, rent the video "Journey of Man," by Dr. Spencer Wells. He tracks the migration of early man (yes, "man", not men or human, because he's tracking the Y-chromosome.)

 

Still there were Homo Sapiens in the same area, and they survived, otherwise, the ones with some Neanderthal ancestry would not have passed their genes on to any of us today.

Or our ancestors traveled away from the Neanderthal group. The Neanderthals died out and our ancestors re-populated the area later, bringing back the genetic markers from the interbreeding.

 

I don't remember exactly when Neanderthals died out, but I think it was during the early ice age. Perhaps our ancestors were a bit smarter and could figure out better ways of protecting themselves from the cold? It would be the effect of us being the lucky winners in mutation lottery. :grin:

 

I have no doubt that climate change played a part in the demise of the Neanderthals. I would imagine that Neanderthals could have migrated out of the areas most effected by climate change if those areas were not occupied by Homo Sapiens. Of course, I'm speculating here. This is a subject that interests me, and I'll look more into it. In any case, there's a good reason why there are not other hominid ape species today.

Agree. And Neanderthals existed in many other areas as well, so I think it's a mystery that they all died out too. It can't be environmental pressure only.

 

I think there might be some validity to rivalry between the species. We just happened to be better in killing them and take over. :shrug:

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On a side note, and slightly related, I have a question. First off, let me say that I don't give a flying fuck how we got here. We're here, and that's what's important. But in a recent conversation with my mom, she used similar logic to "disprove" evolution. Can someone here enlighten me?

 

She said, if we evolved from apes, why are there still apes, but no tranitional forms of ape-man. I had no answer, because I don't know a thing about evolution...plus, like I said, I don't care. But I suppose I am curious. So, why apes, and no ape-men?

 

***EDIT***

 

I think I may have found my answer via Google, but if anyone still wants to explain in simple terms (or not so simple terms) I'm still game.

 

We did not evolve from the apes that are alive today. Both us and the apes alive today share a common ancestor. They are just as evolved from that ancestor as we are. We are "cousin" species. To ask why they aren't turning into us is just as silly as asking why your cousins aren't turning into you. Why would they, they are just as valid as you are.

 

As far as transitional forms go, every speciesl is a transition between what came before and what has/will come after

 

 

Thanks, Stucker... I was reading all the posts hoping someone would chime in with this clarification or I was going to. Humans didn't evolve from monkeys or apes, but all primates (including monkeys, apes, humans, and a few outliers) evolved from a common ancestor. There are many many examples in the fossil record of various branches between that distant ancestor and modern humans, although no straight line from there to here can be reliably drawn.

 

When I saw the clip of O'Donnell saying that on TV, I was speechless. I know that there are a lot of misconceptions about evolution, but it's just sad that even so-called intelligent, educated people get the most basic things about it wrong. And it seemed sadly obvious that no one else (including Bill Maher) knew enough to correct her on this common error. Not just that evolution is true, but it has nothing to do with us evolving from chimps.

 

And btw - All life is constantly continually evolving, including humans.

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For those wondering if O'Donnell still believes evolution is a myth, she refused to answer the question when she was asked but apparently believes local schools should be allowed to vote on whether or not they get to violate the separation of church and state: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/13/delaware-senate-debate-christine-odonnell-chris-coons_n_762025.html

Blitzer asked O'Donnell whether she still stands by her 1998 comments that evolution is a "myth." "That should be decided on the local community," said O'Donnell, who then tried to change the subject. Blitzer repeatedly pressed her for her beliefs, to which she replied, "What I believe is irrelevant, because what I will support in Washington, D.C. is the ability for the local school system to decide what is taught in their classrooms."
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