Delineating Humans And Apes


So a lady on here recently asked how I dilineate humans from apes and I wrote a rather long response which I’m decently proud of and don’t want to waste. As such I’m going to share it as a myTake to see what y’all think, and for easier access in the future if I need it.

*Before I go further I should state that I’m not a biologist of any stripe. I’m just a curious guy who reads on my own, so if there are any biologists out there who note I got something wrong I apologize and please correct me*

We’re in this family because we’re all large tailless primates with enlarged craniums, prognathous (projected) jaws (although reduced in humans we still have them), we all have the same dental formula, none of us have ischial callocites (think of a baboons butt), and we’ve got opposable digits (although humans lost that in our toe-thumbs). Another shared characteristic of the other three is that all have baculum (penis bones) which humans normally do not although we sometimes get them in atavism.

The common ancestor of all hominidae is believed to have existed ~14 million years ago (mya).

Delineating Humans And Apes
After hominids we split from our orangutan friends to make hominine ~12mya.
Delineating Humans And Apes

Then we split with our Gorilla friends ~6mya and from our chimp friends in homininan ~4mya.

Delineating Humans And Apes

So enough of the cool science stuff and back to the question. “Were the first humans apes or something between apes and humans.” I already answered the first that yes they were apes just as were still apes. All creatures are taxonomically classified in the same group as their parent species because they retain traits indicative of that taxon whether or not they form a new species. So we’re still apes for the same reason that we’re still bilateral deuterostomes and vertebrate mammals. To your second question, yes, the first “humans” (genus homo) were something between our common ancestor and us. Other species of homo (humans) included rudolfensis, erectus, habilis, sapiens, and us Homo Sapien Sapiens. Not all were as complex as us and all others died off for one reason or another.

Delineating Humans And Apes
Lastly you ask, “Where do you draw the line between ape and human?” As I said we are ape, but I think what you’re actually asking here is a moral rather than scientific question about how I dilineate the difference in value between humans and other apes. To that I would firstly say tribalism plays a part. I’m human and thus humans are obviously more important to me than other apes. Secondly humans are far more complex and as a result have a greater capacity for pain and pleasure. This means that doing something bad to an innocent human is worse than doing something bad to an innocent orangutan because the harm caused is greater.

Hope that helped a bit.”

Thanks for reading, any clarifications are appreciated.

Delineating Humans And Apes
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Most Helpful Guys

  • goaded
    Here's something I wrote on the subject nine months ago...

    I'm not religious, but even the Catholic Church is accepting of evolution.

    There has been 150 years worth of biologists, any of whom would have become instantly famous if they found anything that really disproves evolution. Instead, scientific and technological advances have reinforced the evidence for evolution every step of the way since Wallace and Darwin proposed it.

    Humans are related to dogs, birds, and whales, and insects and jellyfish, for that matter, you just have to keep going further back in time to find a common ancestor.

    The common ancestors of chimps and humans lived about 7 million years ago, the common ancestors of chimps, humans and gorillas lived about 10 million years ago. You can keep going back, the common ancestors of all four-legged animals (including all mammals, lizards, dinosaurs and birds) were around 395 million years ago, vertebrates (anything with a backbone) 500+ million years ago, back to single celled creatures 2100+ million years ago.

    You are descended from your great-great-great grandparents, right? They're not still around, but there's a good chance you have fourth or fifth cousins also descended from the same couple. They probably don't look as much like you as your siblings or first cousins do.

    Now, try imagining your 50th cousins, descended from a couple who lived in about the year 1000 (I could be one of them!), you wouldn't recognise them as family.

    Your 500th cousins would have had a common ancestor living about 9000 years BC and be spread all over the world.

    Keep going back, and imagine your 5000th cousins, or your 50000th cousins. Some of them might be quite a bit hairier than us and live in trees.

    The common ancestors and their peers have long ago turned to dust, or (very rarely) fossils, but their descendants, who all looked very much like their parents, now look very different from their distant ancestors and very different to each other.
    LikeDisagree 2 People
    Is this still revelant?
  • Hurdleez-Swampede
    There is much evidences that humans and apes did not come from each other but that we were wonderfully created by God.

    You may say but 3 of these 4 are creation sources and you're right but the source doesn't matter if they provide the evidences showing we aren't the same nor came from them.
    LikeDisagree 4 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • ladsin

      Well. I’m game to talk it out, but first you have tot ell me whether or not you read the myTake.

    • Read about 50 to 60% of it but I don't hold an evolutionists' perception as towards our existence. I think there is greater reasons to believe evidences lead to God creating creatures differently.

    • ladsin

      Ok. I’ve been trying this question out on a few people, but I haven’t determined whether it yields any results or not yet.

      Do you accept that you’re a vertebrate mammal?

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Pink2000
    We did not come from monkeys 😐😒Delineating Humans And Apes
    LikeDisagree 7 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • Monkeys and apes are not the same thing. 🙃

    • Pink2000

      @TacocaT6969 monkeys apes you know wtf I meant. We didn’t come from monkeys , apes, fish , nothin

    • admles

      Evolution doesn't even say that.

      It says that Humans and Apes descended from a common ancestor. Apes went one way, we went another.

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • TacocaT6969
    Was that a question or a statement?
  • Secretgardenblood
    Good take
    Like 1 Person
  • Joker_
    I agree
    Like 1 Person
  • humanearth
    I would say human first then ape
  • monkeynutts
    Yeah I'm a real ape.
    • ladsin

      I can tell from the pic.

  • Anonymous
    >I wrote a rather long response which I’m decently proud of and don’t want to waste
    >Has a political compass avatar

    The cringe is enough to kill any interest to take you seriously from this point.
    Disagree 1 Person
    • ladsin

      >Goes anony
      > finds joy in ridiculing people’s interests.

      Garbage human

    • Anonymous

      Where in the world are you being ridiculed? Way to play the victim card for a libertarianesque moron who's gonna preach later about personal responsibilities.

      Learn to properly write in your language as well.

    • ladsin

      Saying it’s cringe-y to demonstrate interest in science certainly seems to be a form of ridicule.

      Also if you want to critique my grammar in the comment section of an online forum you’re welcome to. It’s just not an interesting use of my time.

      What my political beliefs has to do with science is rather unbeknownst to me, but you can explain if you’d like.

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  • Anonymous
    I recently read that humans are the only animals that know that sex leads to pregnancy. Obviously, all animals have sex. But only humans know that pregnancy is a potential result.
    Like 1 Person
    • ladsin

      Hmm. An interesting idea. I hadn’t thought about that. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but humans obviously have the greatest capacity for forward thinking as a benefit of our enlarged frontal lobes. So it may be plausible.

      That said the sex practices of other species are rather varied and I think some could be understood as a recognition of pregnancy. Ie copulatory vocalization in female chimps has been noted, among other things, to be a method of calling other males over to engage in coitus. There are three primary reasons she does this. 1) If the male is low status he’s attacked by the other chimps and this unable to finish copulating this preventing a weaker baby. 2) To get other chimps to engage in essentially an orgy ensuring that no single male knows who the father is preventing infanticide. 3) If the male is strong enough he will beat away the other chimps and finish copulating this she gets good seed. Obviously ascribing intent to non-human animals is a form of anthropomorphizing and not a great practice, so I only mention that as a possibility.

  • Anonymous
    It's pretty simple. Humans build societies. Apes demand reparations.
    LikeDisagree 3 People