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Joe Varghese

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According to the evolution theory, if humans evolved from apes? Are there still apes in the wild, which are turning humans?

I have always been baffled with this question. I do think it could be my minimal knowledge about the evolution theory, or my way of understanding it. However, I always wanted someone to correct me on this.

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  • Mar 16 2012: That's... not quite how it works. Apes didn't "turn into" humans. There was a common prior ancestor that both apes and humans shared that gave birth, through differing mutations and population sequestering, to the ancestor of humans and the ancestors of apes. So that would result in some ape species having "human traits." But it is unlikely that current apes will ever evolve into Homo-sapiens. they would be some other advanced version born from their own genetics. Think of a root system that keeps branching but none of the branches join together.
    • Mar 17 2012: Max,

      I assume you mean "So that would result in some nonhuman ape species having "human traits." "

      Of course the ape species that has the most human traits is homo sapiens sapiens, i.e. humans.
      • Mar 17 2012: Silly me, I forgot for a moment that we are still apes, haha! Yes I meant non-human ape species.
  • Mar 16 2012: Hi Joe,

    There are two ways to answer your questions, "yes" and "no".

    The "yes" answer is based on taxonomy. If you look at wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ape) you will see that humans are members of the hominidae family, which in turn is a member of the Hominoidea superfamility, which is commonly referred to as the "apes". So in that sense, you and I are apes and our parents were apes, so we are in fact descended from apes. And since every generation is one small step in the process of evolution, humans have evolved from other humans, and since humans are apes, then humans have evolved and still are evolving from apes.

    The "no" answer is based on the theory of evolution. Humans did not evolve from gorillas, or chimpanzees, or orangutans, or bonobos, nor did those modern species evolve from humans. All apes, including humans, evolved from earlier forms of apes. The last common ancestor of the great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos and humans) lived about four to eight million years ago. The precise sequence of species from which humans evolved is still a matter of ongoing research, but there is no dispute among the scientific community that humans did evolve from earlier species.
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    Mar 22 2012: Yes, there are many. They are just taking their time, watching, waiting, weighing the options before they decide among themselves whether or not they actually want to become human.
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    Mar 21 2012: I do remember Darwin ever mentioning that we came from apes. I remember him stating we have a common ancestor and we are closely related to our ape cousins but I don't think he ever said we "came" from apes...and he never implied that evolution happens over night...it took us millions of years to get to where we are at right now and i'm sure it will take just as long for us to evolve again (if that happens to be the case)
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    Mar 21 2012: Hi All,
    Thanks a lot for all your replies. I got the point. But at times I do feel that the evolution theory still has gaps that needs to be answered.

    Kindest Regards,
    Joe.
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      Mar 21 2012: and you don't feel that physics has gaps too? math also has gaps. let me tell you an example: all our cryptography techniques are based on the assumption that P =/= NP. P and NP are two calculation complexity groups. if P turns out to be equal to NP, all our password hashing and cryptography algorithms become unsafe.

      if you are such a worrying type, it is a much more severe danger than "gaps" in evolution theory.
  • Mar 16 2012: Joe,
    This topic is addressed with quite a lot of detail in Part III of The Urantia Book (Urantia Foundation, Chicago www.urantia.org) in which there is a narrative of beginning of all life to the appearance of first humans and more to include the genesis of mankind. You might be surprised to learn of a Sangkik family that suddenly appeared with six colored races in the western India highlands.

    I suggest this book for a substantial resource on many topics.

    Peace,
    MK