Why are there still apes?

Uploaded by deathray32 on 02.01.2012

If humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes?
If God created humans from dust, why is there still dust?
You're not taking my question seriously. Why must you atheists always mock religious beliefs
in your smug superior way?
Actually, I'm trying to point out the flaw implicit in your question. Let me try another
way. If English evolved from German, why do some people still speak German?
Because some people still live in Germany.
But there's nothing magic about a place that makes you speak the language that is generally
spoken there. Once people started speaking English in England, why didn't they start
speaking it in Germany as well?
Because once a group of people moved from Germany to England, they were separated from
the population left behind in Germany. The two groups developed in different ways and
were subject to different influences, because there was limited communication between them.
Yes, you're quite correct. And precisely the same reason explains why there are still apes.
Actually, humans didn't evolve from apes. Rather, humans and apes evolved from a common
ancestor. However, in general, it can happen that part of a population of animals splits
off and goes to live in a separate environment. For example, imagine a colony of seabirds
on a cliff on the mainland. When the colony gets too crowded and there are no more nesting
spaces, some birds establish a new colony on an offshore island. After many generations,
the two separate populations, which are subject to different environments and population pressures,
may diverge so much that they become separate species, unable to interbreed.
The important point here is that evolution is not something that happens to an individual
animal. Nor is it some magic force that affects every member of a species around the world
at the same time and in the same way. Instead, evolution operates at the level of a population,
in response to changes in the environment experienced by that particular population.
That's interesting. But I still have a basic problem with the concept of evolution. Minor
changes between related groups of seabirds are one thing, but a triangle cannot evolve
into a square. Micro-evolution may be possible, but not macro-evolution.
You have to get out of your head the idea that a species is some kind of Platonic absolute.
Species are just classifications thought up by humans to deal with the diversity of nature.
There's no sharp dividing line between two closely related species. It's only as two
populations develop in separate ways over long periods of time, or as you look at two
species that are further apart on the family tree of nature, that the differences become
Creationists often claim that evolution must be false because nobody ever saw a frog suddenly
turning into a horse or giving birth to a horse. But this is a very stupid and ignorant
argument because frogs and horses are very far apart on life's family tree. To find their
common ancestor, you would have to go back 300 million years. However, there's no denying
that they do in fact have a common ancestor, because you can trace their ancestry through
their DNA, their morphology, their fossil records and so on.
In effect there are three trees of life, based on DNA, morphology and the fossil record.
If evolution were false, there would be no reason to expect any trees of life. But instead
we find that the three trees, based on entirely separate lines of evidence, coincide exactly.
This is overwhelming evidence for the theory of evolution and the idea that all life is
related and has a common ancestor, which I think is a very awe-inspiring idea, far more
so than the just-so story in the Book of Genocide - sorry, I mean Genesis.
I still find evolution distasteful. Surely it degrades human life to be told that we
evolved from pond slime, and so we are nothing but pond slime.
As opposed to dirt, like God used to create Adam? Anyway, your argument refutes itself.
If we evolved from pond slime, then we are, by definition, no longer pond slime. Besides,
there's no room for value judgments in science. You must follow the facts where they lead.
As Richard Dawkins points out, the theory of gravity doesn't force you to push little
old ladies off tall buildings.
Well, if believing in evolution makes you happy, so be it. Goodbye.
I don't "believe" in it, I accept it because it is by far the best theory to explain the
facts. You are entitled to your own beliefs, but not your own facts. I'll see you later.