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Sashatheman

Question - Humans and apes first branching of

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I am going to be the devils advocate here and ask some questions.

 

First of its believed that modern man originated from Africa and branched of from a common ape like ancestor. I always hear creationists and other people who don’t believe in evolution asking the question why are apes not evolving today. I know the answer to that, that’s not my question, what I wanted to ask was, how did first humans branch of from other apes. My guess would be that they were separated from other apes and were met with different conditions. Africa seems to have the same type of natural conditions all around. I would have thought that all the apes at the time would be evolving equally. I don’t understand what made us and how exactly did we branch off.

 

And another question, were there only ancient apes in Africa at that time, or where there apes in other parts of the world as well.

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Now, I'm not an expert in the field by a long shot, but it seems (to me) that apes and humans just developed different ways to cope with the same problem/ecological conditions. Apes did evolve intelegence, but while they left that concept behind in favor of another one, humans kept evolving the inteligence strain (well, some of them;)).

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We didn't "branch off" in the sense that there's us in one group and all the other apes in the other. We are apes just as much as they are. They're our genetic siblings and cousins, not our ancestors. So we did "evolve equally" with the other apes, just in our various different directions. We are NOT more evolved. Anyway, speciation (one species becoming two) does usually happen more or less how you describe - populations become separated and both continue to evolve, but without genetic mixing evolve differently. The exact circumstances of human (or rather human ancestor) speciation remain unknown (although it is important to note that that is NOT the same as saying it is unknown how it COULD have happened - the problem is choosing between plausible theories). Also, why in the world would you think Africa has the same conditions all around?

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Africa seems to have the same type of natural conditions all around. I would have thought that all the apes at the time would be evolving equally. I don’t understand what made us and how exactly did we branch off.

 

From what I think:

 

Their interactions within the enviroment that might be different oppose to soley the enviroment. Hypothetically speaking lets say "tree climbling" was a rare skill for the primates. Within the same enviroment they have predators. Maybe all but 2 or 3 survive, One being a good climber to hide and get food, another was more intelligent for evasion and collection, etc. They produce off spring with the same abilities or develop them from learnt behaviour within isolation from the tree climbers so that the DNA set type stays within the group. Yeah that seems far too random, but it is very possible knowing how DNA and such works. Scary thought knowing that if a primate took a left instead of a right, we might not be here (well you get what I mean).

 

I guess it's quite difficult to account for every single mutation that takes place within beginning of life, so it's hard to see it work progressively in our minds.

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My guess would be that they were separated from other apes and were met with different conditions. Africa seems to have the same type of natural conditions all around.

 

This is what's confusing you. Africa actually has very diverse conditions, from mountains to deserts to seashores to savannahs to jungle to forests. Humans likely evolved from a group of apes which moved into one of these habitats from a different habit.

 

were there only ancient apes in Africa at that time, or where there apes in other parts of the world as well.

 

Apes are a strictly Old World lineage, meaning that apes don't exist in North or South America. In the Old World, apes only exist in Asia and Africa, with gibbons (the closest living apes to monkeys) also inhabiting India.

 

Mokele

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I always hear creationists and other people who don’t believe in evolution asking the question why are apes not evolving today.

This is an easy one to answer: Apes are evolveing today.

 

My guess would be that they were separated from other apes and were met with different conditions.

They would not have to have been seperated, if they had similar areas of occupation, they would have competed for resources and thus they would have stronger evolutionary pressures on them because of this. These pressures would have selected for greater difference between them.

 

As each group found it's own niche they would then have pressure to take advantage of that niche better (be come specialists). There would also have been pressure (most likely from changing conditions) to become generalists. These conflicting pressures is what can cause the variety of spieces that exist.

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As I understand it, our common ancestors with chimpanzees were seperated into a forest dwelling group and a savannah dwelling group. The former evolved into chimpanzees and the latter evolved into early hominids.

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As I understand it, our common ancestors with chimpanzees were seperated into a forest dwelling group and a savannah dwelling group. The former evolved into chimpanzees and the latter evolved into early hominids.

 

Maybe semi aquatic group rather than savannah group, but let's not go there again!

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