Uploaded on Aug 4, 2009
http://facebook.com/ScienceReason ... AronRa reveals a controversial new taxonomy stating that humans and other apes not only evolved directly from monkeys, but that we are in fact still monkeys right now.
Please SUBSCRIBE to Science & Reason:
Turns out we DID come from monkeys!
In an earlier video, AronRa listed many of the taxonomic traits identifying humans as primates. In another video, he also explained why we are more specifically classified as a species of apes. But he deliberately omitted an intermediate stage between those two apparent levels, because its one that evokes so much resistance it really requires separate discussion just for that one grade alone.
No-one argues whether were vertebrates or placental mammals, even though that also means were animals. The fact that were apes can now be verified just as easily. For a while, most people thought the word, ape referred only to extant non-human pongids also known as great apes. There was no consideration given to lesser apes, nor to any of the many ancient apes we kept finding fossils for. Mainstream science sources are just now starting to realize that the word, ape means a lot more than just chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, and that it includes a few extinct hominids that are more humanoid than any of these.
So there was a problem with our old method of classification, and it had to be fixed. Over the last two hundred and fifty years, weve kept patching up the original seven-layer system by adding a suborder, infraorder, superfamily, subgenus, and so on - til we cant even tell how to rank the labels anymore. Thats when we figured out that there are no ranks! So we dropped the labels and found a new system, one that isnt so arbitrary. See, the problem with Linnaean taxonomy is that some of it is subjective. Its usually based on morphological similarity, and sometimes on opinion, and loathsome opinions at that. There's often no way to prove whether Linnaean classification was even correct because he didn't rely on the rigid sort of rules that phylogenetics does.
We used to say that men didnt evolve from apes, but that men and apes shared a common ancestor. Now we have a better understanding of what an ape is, and that our common ancestor actually would have been classified as such, and so should we be. This rule of monophyletic hierarchy should apply to everything including the race of cat-people from the science fiction comedy, Red Dwarf.
Creationists try to ridicule evolution through the implication that we came from monkeys, and those who know the difference are quick to point out that apes are not monkeys. For one thing, apes dont have tails. But theres more to it than that. For example, we can tell that a Barbary ape isnt really an ape, its a tailless monkey; the same way we can tell that a glass snake isnt really a snake; its a legless lizard. There are so many distinctions that even if we found a snake that had legs, (and we have) wed still know it was a snake.
But snakes are a subset of the order, Squamata; That means lizard. If snakes evolved from lizards, do they stop being lizards at the moment they become snakes? And when exactly is that moment? It turns out this is another confusing convention in Linnaean taxonomy which is corrected by cladistics. Paraphyletic groups shouldnt exist in phylogenetics, nor would systematic classification permit the emergence of new species to add another equivalent category. Instead existing branches split into successive subsets that are each monophyletic, sharing a common line of descent from which they can diverge but never detach. This means snakes will always be a subset of lizards and apes would still be monkeys.
All clips/images used in this video are either copyright-free or covered under "fair use" for nonprofit educational purposes (Title 17 § 107 of the USC).
Standard YouTube License