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(The Atlantic Wire)   If the thought of descending from apes make creationists retch, wait until they hear that scientists now think humans descended from rats   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, scientists, apes, King Richard III, creationists, diet sodas, Stony Brook University, dietary habits, rats  
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2744 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Feb 2013 at 10:28 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-02-08 02:08:01 PM  
The idea that all mammals descended from a small shrew-like creature was included in the 1980 series Cosmos with Carl Sagan. Why anyone is pretending this idea is news is beyond me.
2013-02-08 02:21:06 PM  
so they finally proved evolution!

somebody say hallelujah!
2013-02-08 07:01:35 PM  

Feral_and_Preposterous: [ image 645x523]
[ image 320x240]
[ image 300x300]

It's not always so good to be the king.

We were headed in the right direction for a while, anyway.
2013-02-08 08:15:08 PM  
Just wait until they hear we decended from protein strings !
2013-02-08 08:36:13 PM  

Ned Stark: Jim_Callahan: Ned Stark: Mentat: Creationist:  I did not come from a monkey!
Scientist:  No, you and monkeys share a common ancestor.
Creationist:  I'm not a monkey!
Scientist:  No, you're a subspecies of ape.
Creationist:  Do I look like a chimpanzee?
Scientist:  Well, yeah, just with less hair and longer legs.
Creationist:  I am not a monkey's uncle!
Scientist:  Look, I'm trying to explain this-
Subby:  Hey!  We're descended from rats!
Creationist:  RAR
Scientist:  Goddamnit.

Its really very simple
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Monkeys are a distinct branch of the tree, we're all primates, but apes/humans are hominoid branch and monkeys are  Cercopithecoidea or  Platyrrhini depending on whether they're old-world or new-world monkeys.

So, no, we're not monkeys.  We are apes, though.

Old world monkeys and new world monkeys can't both be monkeys if apes are not also monkeys.

Well, nowadays the great apes (including humans--we're descended from apes, and are apes, and we're even very special apes that named a whole clade of apes for our nuclear-poo-throwing selves :D) are considered a clade of Old World monkeys (that are distinct from some of the "non ape" Old World monkey clades), and Old World monkeys (including apes) and New World monkeys are basically in a "monkey clade" higher than that.

(Really, the best way to think of how cladistics gets handled nowadays is to think of nested trees.  Both folks who've done geneaology (who aren't programmers) and folks who've done object-oriented programming (of everything from C++ programs to modern police scanner programming) can be familiar with the subject, and you can actually get the basic concept with even Windows or Linux directories--basically "hominin ape" is a nested folder within "apes", which is a nested folder within "Old world monkeys", which is a nested folder within "monkeys", which is a nested folder within "non-strepsirrhine primates", which is in turn a nested folder within "Primates", which is in turn a nested folder within "Archontoglires, aka the rat-bunny-primate clade", which is in turn a nested folder within "Boreoeutherians, aka those critters that tended to have had their earliest ancestors evolve in what are now parts of North America and Europe and Asia", which is in turn a nested folder within "Eutherians or placental mammals"...and this pretty much keeps going till we hit the root of the tree of life itself.  It's actually a nicer way to see relationships between critters, even if it CAN make subdivisions within the old Linnaean system a biatch and a bastard at times. :D)

As someone put it, "Wait till they hear we descended from protein strings!" :D   Or more properly, "Wait till they hear we're all descended from levorotatory DNA and RNA strings wrapped up in protein, and that the major energy-producing bits of cells in multicellular life are descended from rickettsia bacteria and blue-green archaeobacteria!" :D  (Which actually IS the working theory behind how mitochondria and chloroplasts came into being, actually--early rickettsia (in the case of animals and fungi) and blue-green archaeobacteria (in the case of plants and greenish and reddish quasi-plant-like life) seem to have set up a symbiotic relationship with early eukaryotic cells to the point neither of us can live without the other anymore. :D)

Of course, this also means that humans are technically more related to rats and guinea pigs and rabbits than dogs or cats :D  This doesn't make eating cuy or fried squirrel or hassenpfeffer cannibalism, though :D
2013-02-08 08:41:18 PM

Until the process reverses itself.
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