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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   (theatlanticwire.com) divider line 25
    More: Interesting, scientists, apes, King Richard III, creationists, diet sodas, Stony Brook University, dietary habits, rats  
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2719 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Feb 2013 at 10:28 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-02-08 02:06:54 AM
2 votes:
If you could convince creationists that the rats were Mormon, they would be all over that shiat.
2013-02-08 12:05:05 AM
2 votes:

aerojockey: I always liked the creationist logic.

Me: "What's so bad about being descended from apes? How do you know that wasn't God's plan?"

Creationist: "Because being descended from apes deprecates the value of human life; they are making us out to be animals. That's why I believe in the story of Genesis literally."

Me: "But in Genesis, God said, 'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return'. Does it really deprecate human life more to be descended from apes than it does to be descended from dust?"

Creationist: "...."

But seriously, setting aside the religion chat, this is a pretty cool story.  Mammal relationships has really been a sticky point for a long time and this isn't going to make it any better.  More accurate, but also more sticky, since it refutes a lot of common knowledge.



If we were created from dust, then why is there still dust?
2013-02-07 10:39:11 PM
2 votes:

Old enough to know better: Humans, and every other mammal species. Duh.


Yeah and we were all reptiles before that, and fish before that and sea cucumbers before that and strands of RNA before that.  The creationists have a lot of things to feel uncomfortable about descending from after apes.
2013-02-07 10:35:18 PM
2 votes:
If the thought of descending from apes make creationists retch, wait until they hear that scientists now think humans descended from rats.

Wait until they hear about number agreement.
2013-02-07 09:26:16 PM
2 votes:
I guess it's nice to know which ancient rat we descended from, but I thought we already knew that all mammals came from some small rat-like creature that survived the dinosaur extinction event.
2013-02-08 12:27:30 PM
1 votes:

Mentat: Ned Stark: Semantic? You're the one playing word games to avoid uncomfortable truths.

New world monkeys split off long before there was any division at all between old world monkeys and apes. If they are monkeys, and old world monkeys are monkeys but apes are not monkeys, then the group monkeys is polyphyletic. Two seperate branches on the tree of life that never touch but are inexplicably the same thing. Its nonsensical.

What's next? Humans aren't mammals but share a common ancestor with mammals?

==

A monkey is a primate of the Haplorrhini suborder and simian infraorder, either an Old World monkey or a New World monkey, but excluding apes and humans. There are about 260 known living species of monkey. Many are arboreal, although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent. Unlike apes, monkeys usually have tails. Tailless monkeys may be called "apes", incorrectly according to modern usage; thus the tailless Barbary macaque is called the "Barbary ape". The New World monkeys (superfamily Ceboidea) are classified within the parvorder of Platyrrhini, whereas the Old World monkeys (superfamily Cercopithecoidea) form part of the parvorder Catarrhini, which also includes the hominoids (apes, including humans). Thus, as Old World monkeys are more closely related to hominoids than they are to New World monkeys, the monkeys are not a unitary (monophyletic) group.


Thank you exactly restating my point by quoting the old, broken definition of monkey and explaining what's wrong with it.
2013-02-08 10:10:40 AM
1 votes:

Uncontrolled_Jibe: 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
[img51.imageshack.us image 560x525]

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.


Great, thanks to your semantic disagreement,. the whole Theory of Evolution is disproven, therefore the Garden of Eden must be real and President Romney must never fly the same plane as Vice President Palin.  Thanks a lot


Semantic? You're the one playing word games to avoid uncomfortable truths.

New world monkeys split off long before there was any division at all between old world monkeys and apes. If they are monkeys, and old world monkeys are monkeys but apes are not monkeys, then the group monkeys is polyphyletic. Two seperate branches on the tree of life that never touch but are inexplicably the same thing. Its nonsensical.

What's next? Humans aren't mammals but share a common ancestor with mammals?
2013-02-08 08:45:44 AM
1 votes:

I saw this story at a competent science news source:


Family resemblance. The ancestor to all placental mammals was a tiny insect-eating creature that evolved soon after the mass extinctions that wiped out the dinosaurs. Although generally similar in appearance, the shrew-sized Ukhaatherium nessovi (inset), which lived alongside dinosaurs, wasn't a placental mammal.


Do note that:

1) Rodent ≠ rat.
2) The scientists do not propose that we are descended from a rodent.
3) They present evidence on the nature of the common ancestor of placental mammals which includes humans, rodents, and bunch of other stuff like elephants,  whales, horse, etc.  Basically all mammals except for the egg layers and the marsupials.
4) There description of the common ancestor hardly surprising though some scientists will argue that it lived earlier than this study suggests.

We can conclude that you should not get your science news from The Atlantic.  It is almost as bad as getting your facts from a fark.com headline.
2013-02-08 06:43:32 AM
1 votes:

Fuggin Bizzy: "Descended from?" "Evolved from?" Bullshiat, we are rats. We eat anything we lay our paws on, despoil everything around us, kill each other in large numbers for no reason whatsoever, and there are over 7 billion of us - constantly gnawing, biting, scratching, killing, infecting, and breeding. How are we not rats?


No tails.
2013-02-08 06:15:01 AM
1 votes:

dehehn: Old enough to know better: Humans, and every other mammal species. Duh.

Yeah and we were all reptiles before that, and fish before that and sea cucumbers before that and strands of RNA before that.  The creationists have a lot of things to feel uncomfortable about descending from after apes.


If they need to feel uncomfortable about something, my first pick would be all the clerical child farking and the unaudited fraud, but that's just me.

What happened in the Cretaceous/Paleogene Boundary stays in the Creataceous/Paleogene Boundary.
2013-02-08 05:39:52 AM
1 votes:
Humans didn't descend from apes, subby; humans *are* apes.
2013-02-08 04:07:46 AM
1 votes:
Great Porn Dragon:   And yes, it's pretty much precisely this reason why rats (and, to an extent, rabbits) tend to be used as lab animals--with the exception of a few quirks of metabolism (which, interestingly, tend to be sex-based and relate to things carcinogenic in rats but not humans), rats work similarly to how primates work. :D

Yeah, there's some weirdness there, such as orange juice can give male rats cancer.

(There is also the bit on how Norway rats in general are wonderful, affectionate, smart little critters whose only real downside as companion animals is that they are pretty much the metaphorical lights that burn twice as bright but half as long.  Then again, having been owned by rats, I speak from some experience there.)

Know that pain all too well.  Our last one passed the day before my birthday.  This first time we're been ratless in almost 10 years.  It feels weird not having whiskery little noses poking out of the cage as soon as I start moving in the bedroom.
2013-02-08 02:58:27 AM
1 votes:

SevenizGud: If the thought of descending from apes make creationists retch, wait until they hear that scientists now think humans descended from rats.

Wait until they hear about number agreement.


Yeah, I've heard some say "I don't believe in evolution because I don't like the idea that I'm related to a monkey." As if reality cares what the hell you like or not. I don't like morons like them, but sadly that doesn't prevent them from existing.


KrispyKritter: keep pretending theories are facts, morans.


2/10. You'll probably get some bites.
2013-02-08 01:52:47 AM
1 votes:
a) The fact that we're related to rats (albeit more distantly than primates) is not a huge shocker, as it's been known for some time that the clade including rodents and lagomorphs is a sister clade to primates and their closest ancestors (basically, if Rhesus monkeys are our cousins, rats are basically our aunts and second cousins :D).

And yes, it's pretty much precisely this reason why rats (and, to an extent, rabbits) tend to be used as lab animals--with the exception of a few quirks of metabolism (which, interestingly, tend to be sex-based and relate to things carcinogenic in rats but not humans), rats work similarly to how primates work. :D

(There is also the bit on how Norway rats in general are wonderful, affectionate, smart little critters whose only real downside as companion animals is that they are pretty much the metaphorical lights that burn twice as bright but half as long.  Then again, having been owned by rats, I speak from some experience there.)

b) The critter the article talks about is not strictly a rat, or a rodent, or a member of Glires per se--it's actually an even more important beastie, as it looks like it could be either a good candidate for Most Recent Common Ancestor of all placentals or at least very close to the Most Recent Common Ancestor.  (This is not the common ancestor of Michael Jackson and Ben; this is more the most recent common ancestor between you, your dog, the elephant at the zoo, the "FARK YOU I'M AN ANTEATER" subject, and Bessie the Cow (each of which are in a separate major clade of placental mammals respectively).

c) It's more likely that this was close to the Most Recent Common Ancestor and not the Grandmother Of All Placental Mammals--what this analysis indicates is that it's closer to being a stem placental more than anything (and there have been analyses that have placed this critter as a sort of "ur-ungulate" and some that have even challenged its status as a placental); there are some analyses that put them possibly as a basal boreoeutherian (one of the two or three major uber-divisions of placental mammals, a rather large group that includes not only us and Ben the Rat and Bugs Bunny but also bats and most domesticated animals from pigs to cows to horses to dogs and cats and ferrets; even the clade which includes whales and hippos is in that mess) which is NOT quite as strict as being the Grandmother Of All Placentals (for one, it'd not include afrotherians--pretty much the proboscids like elephants and their kin as well as aardvarks--and it wouldn't include the weird-ass xenarthans (whose very name pretty much means "weird-ass critters"--armadillos, anteaters, sloths, etc. whose general clade split from the mainstream of placental mammal evolution fairly early)).  Some scientists even think this little thing could have been the ancestor of the general clade that includes whales and hippos on one end (yes, hippopotamuses are now known to be the closest living relatives of whales) and the even-toed ungulates on the other.

Of course, part of the difficulty is that whatever clade that little Protoungulatum is in (so named originally because it was thought to be an "ur-ungulate") is a bit hard to determine because pretty much all the mammals around at that time were really only starting to specialise (we now know thanks to the same fossil beds that have yielded spectacular feathered non-avian dinosaur remains that there was SOME specialisation going on in the late Cretaceous, but not to a huge degree, and things still tended to run from "shrewy bitey thing" to "tasmanian-devil-esque bitey thing" in levels of specialisation and size).  Hence why this study is kind of a Big Deal. :D

At best we can say that this was not a rat (true rats are a specific subgroup of rodents) but it might well have been either the grandmother or great-grandmother of us, rats, and bunnies. :D
2013-02-08 12:55:17 AM
1 votes:
i182.photobucket.com

i182.photobucket.com
i182.photobucket.com

I don't know...these guys are usually better to each other than we are...
2013-02-08 12:42:02 AM
1 votes:

MrEricSir: But what species did God evolve from, that's the real question. So far I haven't found any creationists who've been able to answer that one.


Jehovah started out as a Hebrew god of war. Which is why He's such a bastard in the OT. (Kind of throws a monkey wrench into the whole Christian "God is love" mantra. You guys should have jettisoned the OT and started from scratch.)
2013-02-07 11:52:03 PM
1 votes:
Well that would explain Republicans.
2013-02-07 11:26:00 PM
1 votes:
"Descended from?" "Evolved from?" Bullshiat, we are rats. We eat anything we lay our paws on, despoil everything around us, kill each other in large numbers for no reason whatsoever, and there are over 7 billion of us - constantly gnawing, biting, scratching, killing, infecting, and breeding. How are we not rats?
2013-02-07 11:10:11 PM
1 votes:

namatad: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikaia

Pikaia is not impressed


images4.wikia.nocookie.net

Pika... nyaa?
2013-02-07 10:43:22 PM
1 votes:
We're all descended from creationists. So why do we still have them?
2013-02-07 10:06:50 PM
1 votes:

Philbb: I guess it's nice to know which ancient rat we descended from, but I thought we already knew that all mammals came from some small rat-like creature that survived the dinosaur extinction event.


Shrews?
2013-02-07 09:21:34 PM
1 votes:

DesertDemonWY: If humans descended from apes and rats, why do we still have apes and rats?

[www.gpb.org image 391x310]


Have you noticed that most of the people who want to outlaw abortion are people you wouldn't wanna f*ck in the first place?
2013-02-07 09:00:43 PM
1 votes:
If humans descended from apes and rats, why do we still have apes and rats?

www.gpb.org
2013-02-07 08:49:00 PM
1 votes:
Wait until they find out we're descended from amoebas.
2013-02-07 08:41:49 PM
1 votes:
Its really more about descent from common ancestry. That's the highest form of patriotic.
 
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