blog 4

Its incredible to learn how much alike non human primates and primates are related. It makes me realize why they are unbelievably crucial to study of how we evolved into what we are today. In the article “Our True Dawn” I was surprised to find out that some of our findings turn out to be wrong. It says “New estimates for when our lineage and chimps went their separate ways suggest that some of our established ideas are staggeringly wrong. If correct, they demand a rewrite of human prehistory, starting from the very beginning.” This idea is unfathomable to me, how can this possibly be true. If this is so how did we evolve into homo sapiens? We have an unbelievable amount of characteristics alike it just doesn’t make any sense what so ever to me. It also says if we were to start from the beginning we need to start at the very first human fossils. If this is so it might not be possible at this point in time to figure out what our answer is because they are very hard to read and interpret what they mean. Although geneticists have a lot of DNA that have great traces of our species past which hopefully can tell us common ancestry and lineage. This is a very interesting topic to me because there is also the religious aspect of the argument. If we didn’t come from non humans primates some people might believe in the big bang theory. I am not currently someone who believes in this but if we cant prove the ancestry then what else is there to believe? It makes a very good point though that as two species grow together and are the only two that interact they will eventually interbreed based on population declination. Also in the article about chimps giving us the inherent trait of human aggression makes so much sense to me based on how protective and aggressive chimps naturally are. On the other hand just expecting humans and monkeys to be violence just because of there violent past isn’t really a very good justification. In the article it makes a good point about how it can be the environment that both the monkeys and humans were forced to live in. if they weren’t violent and protective their families would not flourish and have happy lives to spread their population and in turn become a stronger species as a whole. All of these article really open my eyes about the other side of the primate family and make me realize how a civilized culture like ours can completely relate to a culture in the jungle because of our natural instincts of wanting to protect the ones we love and make sure they have a happy life at all costs. A family of monkeys is going to do whatever they need to do to achieve this. Also a homo sapien family is going to make money and provide for their family so they can lead a great life and also protecting them from danger at all costs.

2 thoughts on “blog 4

  1. I was as surprised as you to learn that some aspects of how we look at human prehistory might be wrong! I wonder if these differences will have a great effect on how we study human evolution. I also, like you, found similarities in how aggressive chimps are versus how aggressive humans are. I definitely agree that the environment that people or animals live in affects their tendency towards violence or aggression a lot. For example, the chimps that were living in close contact with another group of chimps were more likely to be violent than ones in the same group living in the same area. I think your connection of primate instincts to human instincts is a very important one and definitely should be taken into account when studying human evolution.

  2. The thing about “rewriting human prehistory” is that it really isn’t saying very much. Hundreds of discoveries are made each year, based on the discoveries of the years before and advances of technology. Massive shifts in our knowledge are not uncommon, but more and more ideas endure our repeated scrutiny, we become that much closer to the truth.

    I’ve always found it interesting that some have compared the lifestyles of chimpanzees and bonobos to make arguments on how humans should live. It’s hard not to when chimps engage in war and infanticide while bonobos seem to live incredibly peaceful lives. There might be some things to be learned from comparing the two that might assist us in achieving a more peaceful world. At the same time, neither species is “better” than the other. They are results of millions of years of evolution to adapt to their unique, but changing environment. There are no species “better” than the other. Simply by being able to continually exist, that species is as successful as any other.

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