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“‘Oliver’ is a habitually bipedal ape that has captured the imagination of both laypeople and scientists. He has been touted as a relict australopithecine, a bigfoot, or even the result of a clandestine human-chimp hybridization experiment. After years of lively debate, Oliver’s DNA was sampled to settle the issue and perhaps provide us with a breathing version of the missing link. The results are in … and, alas, Oliver is just a standard-issue chimpanzee with a penchant for walking.”
Originally posted by Aeons
The question then becomes - what the hell are we going to do when we take responsibility for the fact that our "not human" companion/sibling species start showing signs of intellect, conscious thought, etc because of us?
Originally posted by UnitedSatesofFreemasons
yeah crazy cool right! He is a Chimp for sure, but his DNA has very distinct
The problem is that it (The term Missing Link) implies that something is missing. I suppose in one sense something is: the fossils of 99.99999 per cent of all the animals and plants that have ever lived. But in the specific sense of "a fossil that is neither entirely an ape nor entirely a human but somewhere between the two", there are lots and lots.
Wikipedia, the journalist's friend, has a wonderful list of so-called "transitional fossils" (my favourite is Tiktaalik, the halfway house between a fish and an amphibian), and in its "Human evolution" section, it lists:
• Ardipithecus, "Intermediate between the last common ancestor of chimps and humans, and the australopithecines"
• Australopithecus, "Intermediate between extinct quadrupedal and bipedal apes. While the relationship between some species are being revised, Australopithecus afarensis is considered to be, by most experts, the ancestor to all later hominids."
• Homo habilis, "Perfect intermediate between early hominids and later humans, possibly ancestral to modern humans."
• Homo erectus, "Ancestral to modern humans and neanderthals."
Where among these do the apes stop and the humans begin? Some want to call Australopithecus a human, some an ape, although as you can tell from the Latin names (Australopithecus, "southern ape"; Homo habilis, "handy man") the consensus is the latter. There is a serious campaign to get modern chimpanzees reclassified into the Homo genus, because they're so similar to us; the line between humanity and ape is completely arbitrary. Australopithecus sideba is later than Australopithecus africanus, and shares many features with early Homo. So it is, if you must, the missing link between Australopithecus africanus and Homo habilis. But now we have a problem. There's a missing link between Australopithecus sediba and Homo habilis! And – look – another between Australopithecus africanus and sediba! Now there are TWO gaps! This point has been made before, but it's a serious one. The fossil record is remarkably full, given the hugely unlikely set of circumstances required to create a fossil.