Anyway, taking it seriously.
Anyone remember our recent Uncommon Descent contest, to name our earliest ancestor that was, according to one theory, a pig-chimp hybrid (the winner was pimp).
It arose out of a Phys.org story that appeared to take the idea seriously, though other science publications have decidedly not done so, with respect to similar claims. We had thought the hypothesis was a joke, actually; it lends itself to that interpretation, readers must admit, and hoaxers are not in short supply.
But the fallout caused Phys.org to look more closely and they now say, warming a bit more to the idea,
Most of us are familiar with the platypus. A paper published in Nature a few years ago demonstrated that the platypus genome contains both bird and mammal chromosomes, and therefore that the vastly different bird and mammal sex chromosome systems have been successfully bridged by this creature. This example is not offered as any kind of proof. But it does suggest that sometime, long ago, a cross occurred that would have been even more distant than that between a chimpanzee and a pig – one between a otter-like mammal and a duck-like bird. And if such was the case, the hybrids from the cross must have been able to produce offspring (otherwise they would have died out, and the platypus would not exist today).
Under the alternative hypothesis (humans are not pig-chimp hybrids), the assumption is that humans and chimpanzees are equally distant from pigs. You would therefore expect chimp traits not seen in humans to be present in pigs at about the same rate as are human traits not found in chimps. However, when he searched the literature for traits that distinguish humans and chimps, and compiled a lengthy list of such traits, he found that it was always humans who were similar to pigs with respect to these traits. This finding is inconsistent with the possibility that humans are not pig-chimp hybrids, that is, it rejects that hypothesis. More.
Question of the day: Will taking this “pimp” stuff seriously lead to a surge in Biblical creationism? Or similar hypotheses? I mean, if according to the latest theories, we are all just scattered pimples, why … 😉
Hat tip: Philip Cunningham