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It’s tragic that academic nonsense may make great apes extinct

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From human evolution specialists Bernard Wood and Michael Westaway at The Conversation:

The question of where we humans come from is one many people ask, and the answer is getting more complicated as new evidence is emerging all the time.

We now realise that modern humans are just one of the African great apes. Bl21So when and how did this radically changed perception come about? More.

That’s nonsense and it will doom great apes. But we can be pretty sure post-moderns won’t care as long as they can blame someone else for whatever happens and their therapists give them something to make them feel better.

Non-post-modern reality: Great apes are not “entering the Stone Age;” they risk extinction. IQ tests are not “unfair” to apes; apes just do not have human intelligence.

And that’s what matters. That’s why we are classifying and protecting apes, not the other way around.

There is something grievously wrong with a model of science that cannot take so obvious a fact as the difference between humans and apes into account even when great apes risk extinction, and can’t do a thing about it.

See also: Claim: Bonobos help strangers without being asked, therefore humans are not special. Actually, even cats will sometimes help others but that has nothing to do with whether humans are special.

19 Replies to “It’s tragic that academic nonsense may make great apes extinct

  1. 1
    goodusername says:

    That’s nonsense and it will doom great apes.

    How so?

  2. 2
    JSmith says:

    I don’t understand the vehement opposition to the idea that we are a great ape. Yes, we have a larger brain that gives us capabilities that the other great apes don’t have. But they have capabilities that we don’t have.

  3. 3
    News says:

    ! and 2: There is no fair fight between reason and unreason.

  4. 4
    JSmith says:

    News

    ! and 2: There is no fair fight between reason and unreason.

    In this we agree. When is the reason for your claim going to be provided?

  5. 5
    Mark from CO says:

    I admit this may be a very simple-minded and illiterate response to the question whether there is any real difference between humans and great apes (not to mention any other living creatures).

    May not be much, but man, not the great apes, can make conscious decisions that can wipe the great apes off the face of the earth. May not be much, but man, not the great apes, can make conscious decisions that can save the great apes from extinction. I know… the ability to make life and death decisions are not that significant in the grand scope of things.

    Mark from CO

  6. 6
    Latemarch says:

    GoodUsername@1

    That’s nonsense and it will doom great apes.

    How so?

    If we are great apes then there is no reason to preserve the great apes.

    I know idiocy. But that will be the outcome.

  7. 7
    goodusername says:

    If we are great apes then there is no reason to preserve the great apes.

    I know idiocy. But that will be the outcome.

    I’ve never seen that line of reasoning before.

    If that’s the case, I guess all the other vertebrates are doomed? 😉

  8. 8
    mike1962 says:

    We now realise that modern humans are just one of the African great apes.

    Credibility… lost.

    We now realize that modern computers are just an extended abacus.

  9. 9
    rvb8 says:

    Mark @5,

    you’re right it isn’t much.

    Because we are more intelligent and can, ‘make decisions’, on the preservation or destruction of a species, in no way invalidates our being cladisitcally grouped with great apes.

    We are, ‘out of Africa’, our closest relations are, ‘great apes’, also, ‘out of Africa’.

    One more thing, our ability to wipe out, or preserve a species seems to you to be a virtue, it’s not.

    The ability to preserve as many species as we can, while also safe guarding the environment would be a human achievement; we are eons away from this enlightenment, as we continue to burn, murder and mutilate.

    So I say, let the monkeys take control, they can hardly do worse!

  10. 10
    Tom Robbins says:

    If we descended from this great ape, then why is the Y chromosome so different in Human’s than in apes? It’s as different as night and day. And why do we have a different number of chromosomes. Hell we don’t even know how chromosomes come about, but we are willing to just assume that modern man descended from apes – not to mention we have no credible lineage from ape to man in the fossil record – They offer up two or three transitional forms? There should be thousands. Oh and on the chromosome questions, don’t give me that bizzare fusion narrative, another just so story to make it fit a worldview.

  11. 11
    daveS says:

    I, for one, would like to know more precisely what the difference is between:

    A: We now realise that modern humans are just one of the African great apes.

    and

    B: We now realise that modern humans are one of the African great apes.

    Is A false and B (possibly) true?

    In the context of the article, it looks to me as if the “just” is there to stress the fact that although humans formerly were considered to quite distantly related to these great apes, now we’re all grouped together in one happy family (and allegedly this revision reflects the objective “fact” that humans are more closely related to these other apes than previously thought). Instead of two families, we have “just” one.

    When we take the quote out of context, we might interpret the “just” to mean something different from what the author intended.

  12. 12
    LocalMinimum says:

    rvb8 @9:

    If we are simply apes, our destructive proclivities are simply the product of Evolution, the process which has produced all species to this point and surmounted many an apparently impossible challenge.

    So, why should we lose faith in Nature now? Surely it will find a way to carry life forward, perhaps even to greater capability as a result of the selective challenge that is humanity!

  13. 13
    ET says:

    JS:

    I don’t understand the vehement opposition to the idea that we are a great ape.

    Of course you wouldn’t. But for most people the idea is not only untestable, it’s just another way for liberals to belittle humans and make us into something less than we are.

  14. 14
    JSmith says:

    Using the modern taxonomic nomenclature (Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, etc.), any non-biased classification based on similarity would place humans in the same family as the African great apes. The only reason that humans are placed in their own family is arrogance.

  15. 15
    ET says:

    JS:

    Using the modern taxonomic nomenclature (Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, etc.), any non-biased classification based on similarity would place humans in the same family as the African great apes.

    That is OK as Linnaean classification doesn’t have anything to do with evolutionary relationships:

    Most of us are accustomed to the Linnaean system of classification that assigns every organism a kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species, which, among other possibilities, has the handy mnemonic King Philip Came Over For Good Soup. This system was created long before scientists understood that organisms evolved. Because the Linnaean system is not based on evolution, most biologists are switching to a classification system that reflects the organisms’ evolutionary history.

    Cha-ching. Linnaean classification was created under the assumption of a common design.

    The only reason that humans are placed in their own family is arrogance.

    The only reason that humans are said to be related to other primates is ignorance.

    Strange that we have mapped the human and chimp genomes and yet no one has been able to link the genetic differences to the anatomical and physiological differences between the two. And with only an alleged less than 2% genetic difference, plus the 90% alleged junk, that should have been easy to do unless it cannot be done because there aren’t any such links.

  16. 16
    goodusername says:

    ET,

    That is OK as Linnaean classification doesn’t have anything to do with evolutionary relationships

    Glad to see that you realize that. So often people assume that the reason anyone says that humans should be grouped with apes is because of evolution. But going back to the time of Linnaeus, most of those who have studied anatomy and taxonomy have agreed that humans should be grouped with apes (and this includes Linnaeus).
    And genetic analysis agrees with what anatomists have for centuries been telling us. In fact, we’re genetically closer to chimps than chimps are to other apes.

    Cha-ching. Linnaean classification was created under the assumption of a common design.

    Yes, but the assumption of common design isn’t the reason he chose to organize organisms the way he did. The reason he organized organisms into a tree-like structure is because he recognized that there were patterns in nature that lent to organisms to fit naturally into such a scheme. And, again, going back to Linnaeus, there were those (most famously Buffon) that recognized that such a scheme screams of evolution.

    Linneaus himself wasn’t an evolutionist and he tried the same scheme on things like rocks. Obviously, rocks are similar to each other, but there’s no pattern to the similarities of rocks that lend themselves to being organized into a tree-like taxonomic structure, and, obviously, this scheme failed for rocks (at least for reasons obvious to evolutionists).

    Strange that we have mapped the human and chimp genomes and yet no one has been able to link the genetic differences to the anatomical and physiological differences between the two. And with only an alleged less than 2% genetic difference, plus the 90% alleged junk, that should have been easy to do unless it cannot be done because there aren’t any such links.

    Wait, what? I must be mis-reading this: are you saying that “there aren’t any such links” between dna and anatomy?

  17. 17
    rvb8 says:

    Tom Robbins @10,

    using chromosome numbers as a way to differentiate us from the rest of nature is a really bad argument, this is because so many other living things contain so much more, ‘information’, than we do.

    Complexity;
    If we are the greater creation why do lower animals have more, ‘information’; genes. Great apes 48 pairs, lowly humans 46? Of course evolution explains this elegantly; God was not available for comment.

    Humans; 46.
    Great Apes 48. Whoops, design error?
    Tobacco plant; 48. Error?
    Potato; 48. Error?
    Pineappe; 50. Should I say that again? Pineapple, 50. Design error?
    Sun Bear; 74. 74???
    Hedgehog; 88. Yawn, this is becoming laughable.
    Field horsetail, a plant; 216. What was the designer thinking?
    Atlas Blue Butterfly, a living thing; like you, kind of; 448-452, we’re not sure.

    Tell me again about the greatness of a designer that puts more, ‘information’ in, supposedly less important stuff?

  18. 18
    ET says:

    goodusername:

    I must be mis-reading this: are you saying that “there aren’t any such links” between dna and anatomy?

    Wait, what? For one it seems that DNA doesn’t determine what will develop but it does influence and control development. But with respect to chimps and humans there aren’t any links between the genetics, that 1-2% difference, and the anatomical and physiological differences observed.

    Remember, “Planet of the Apes” and “The Island of Dr. Moreau” ae fantasies

  19. 19
    ET says:

    rvb8- Alternative splicing, look it up. And DNA is only part of the information system inside of living cells.

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