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Author Topic:   Why are there no human apes alive today?
Admin
Director
Posts: 11467
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 1051 of 1075 (626578)
07-30-2011 5:28 AM


Discussion of ERVs is now Off Topic
There should be no further discussion of ERVs.

Discussion from here until summation time at around 1120 messages (I'm increasing the limit by 20 because of my own posts) should be about classification from a Linnaean perspective, specifically:

Question: Morphologically, should humans, chimps, gorillas and orangutans be grouped together at some level of a classification hierarchy?

The evolution side should explain why humans, chimps, gorillas and orangutans are placed within a single group, and the creation side should explain not just why they shouldn't be grouped together, but how they should be regrouped and why.

In referring to this grouping participants shall use the name Hominidae. This is the family familiarly known as the great apes, but the term apes is still in dispute and so cannot be used in the discussion.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

Replies to this message:
 Message 1053 by Nuggin, posted 07-30-2011 11:37 AM Admin has acknowledged this reply
 Message 1065 by ZenMonkey, posted 07-30-2011 10:35 PM Admin has acknowledged this reply
 Message 1072 by Taq, posted 08-01-2011 1:34 PM Admin has responded

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 92 days)
Posts: 2284
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(3)
Message 1052 of 1075 (626591)
07-30-2011 8:30 AM
Reply to: Message 1046 by Mazzy
07-29-2011 10:31 PM


Definitions and Classifications
Hi Mazzy,

I think the question is akin to asking me what any mythical creature may or may not look like for example a gorgon.

Right! Excellent example.

Say I claim to have a genuine fossilised gorgon in my garage. How can you tell if it's real?

Well a first step would have to be defining what a gorgon looks like. Unless we can agree that a "gorgon" is a female humanoid with snakes for hair, we will be unable to properly examine my evidence.

If we cannot define what a "gorgon" is, we will be unable to make any comparisons.

So, for example; what is a Hufflegurgble? Do any live today? Are there any fossilised Hufflegurbles? How common are Hufflegurbles?

Can you answer those questions? No, of course not. I haven't defined my terms. The questions cannot meaningfully be answered without further definition of exactly what a Hufflegurble is. Without such definitions any statement we make about Hufflegurbles is meaningless. They might be non-existent, or they might be common, with "Hufflegurble" merely being an alternate name for a blackbird. Until you can define terms you just don't know.

I most certainly do not have to describe a mythical being any more than you need to describe what a Nephalim may look like if you were refuting their existence.

But you don't have to. The Bible decries the Nephilim (Note spelling).

quote:
We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.

So they were big. Very big. So we can now examine this evidence and come to a conclusion; any hominid shorter than modern humans is clearly not a Nephilim.

This is a nonsense Granny. You and others are requesting a differentiation of fossil evidence, not a desription of a person an entire dating system is based on.

No. Please don't get hung up on the example.

What I am asking you to do is to define what set of criteria you are using to make judgements about the interrelatedness of species or the lack thereof. If you refuse to define terms, you cannot possibly have a robust system for even describing species, let alone making judgements about their ancestry.

Would you be put off if I demanded such a thing, then called you rude because you could see no sense it it? Indeed, I'd say you would.

Well it looks like you're wrong. since I've done that above, without taking offence. If you want to claim that Nephilim existed, we must first define what you mean by that. This is only reasonable.

No I think evolutionists like to dance around with silly requests and never ending straining of mute points to avoid having to answer the important issues, like why call Turkana Boy a rise to humanity when it is clearly an ape.

Moot points, not mute. And Turkana Boy is now off-topic.

This is called straining a useless point and avoiding the real comparisons that we are meant to be discussing.
Potential evidence to refute me may look like actually coming up with some skull, rather than fragment, that looks intermediate, which you cannot do.

This is, of course, a pathetic pile of piffle, since many skulls have been depicted on this very thread that display both ancestral ape traits and modern human traits. If that is your definition of intermediate, it has already been met.

Whatever I come up with past a mix of human and apes, I really would have no clue.

Yes, you have demonstrated that with great aplomb. In point of actual fact you (by which I mean you specifically) have been unable to identify Lluc's skull, unable to differentiate the skulls of a human and an orang and now you claim that you would be unable to tell the difference between a cat skull and a dog skull.

I believe you. Have you ever considered that you're just not very good at identifying skulls?

As I have said a dog can look like a dog but clearly they are very different species.

Oh dear.

You are trying to force me into the folley of your own taxonomic system and I will resist.

No. I would be perfectly content for you to bring yourself up to date with the system of classification designed by the great creationist Carolus Linnaeus, in 1758. As I previously pointed out, the Linnaean system places humans and other apes together as primates. Your repeated falsehood about classification systems being "evolutionist" devices are complete rubbish.

The rest of your post descends into irrelevant rambling, so I think I'll leave it here.

Mutate and Survive


On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1046 by Mazzy, posted 07-29-2011 10:31 PM Mazzy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1057 by Mazzy, posted 07-30-2011 4:18 PM Granny Magda has responded

  
Nuggin
Member (Idle past 837 days)
Posts: 2962
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 1053 of 1075 (626609)
07-30-2011 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 1051 by Admin
07-30-2011 5:28 AM


Re: Discussion of ERVs is now Off Topic
The evolution side should explain why humans, chimps, gorillas and orangutans are placed within a single group,

See pages 1 through 50 for 49 pages of repeats of the points made on page 1.


and the creation side should explain not just why they shouldn't be grouped together, but how they should be regrouped and why.

"Jesus hates monkeys."

Why this thread is this long boggles the mind.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1051 by Admin, posted 07-30-2011 5:28 AM Admin has acknowledged this reply

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1036 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


(1)
Message 1054 of 1075 (626612)
07-30-2011 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 1047 by Mazzy
07-29-2011 10:56 PM


Re: On to classification.
Mazzy writes:

Do you know what off topic refer to? We could spend the next month discussing this alone. So unless you think these organisms are Homo erectus or something close to them, you are what is called straining a useless point and playing "make one mistake and you're gone", as well as going off topic....Sorry I am not a child anymore.

I don't beleive that this is an off-topic request at all. I clearly stated that I wasn't trying to drag us off into a discussion of the particulars of any of the species used as examples here. All I'm asking is for you to show us how to use barimology to determine if two species belong in the same barim or not.

You're claiming that humans do not belong in the same taxon as the other Hominidae. You're making the claim. I'm leaving to more knowledgable people than myself the burden of explaining why the currently accepted classification system makes humans a member of a larger group instead of a distinct group unto themselves. All I want is for you to support your clam by giving the rational basis for separating human beings from the others.

If you can't show us how barimology works to determine groupings among other organisms, how can we know whether or not your placement of humans in one group and the other Hominidae in another is valid? Talking about differences in skull configurations and the relative lengths of limbs is all fine and good. All we want to know is how how similar two things have to be to be in the same kind/barim, or how different they have to be to belong in different kinds/barims.

Edited by ZenMonkey, : No reason given.

Edited by ZenMonkey, : No reason given.


Your beliefs do not effect reality and evidently reality does not effect your beliefs.
-Theodoric

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1047 by Mazzy, posted 07-29-2011 10:56 PM Mazzy has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 837 days)
Posts: 2962
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


(1)
Message 1055 of 1075 (626618)
07-30-2011 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 1054 by ZenMonkey
07-30-2011 12:43 PM


How Barimology works
If you can't show us how barimology works to determine groupings among other organisms, how can we know whether or not your placement of humans in one group and the other Hominidae in another is valid?

There are two rules of barimology.

#1) Whatever I say goes
#2) Jesus hates it when you explain

That's it.

No two creationists will ever agree with each other on any of the rules. And no single creationist will keep and use the same set of rules for more than a day.

I've had creationists argue that barimology uses shared features - like wings on all birds, only to then turn around and claim that bats are not in the same barim because their wings "don't count".

Trying to get them to explain "their rules" is like trying to get a child to explain how "the floor got turned into lava" as they jump from couch to chair.

It's a GAME for children. There aren't any "rules".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1054 by ZenMonkey, posted 07-30-2011 12:43 PM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1060 by Mazzy, posted 07-30-2011 4:49 PM Nuggin has responded

  
Mazzy 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1116 days)
Posts: 212
From: Rural NSW, Australia
Joined: 06-09-2011


(1)
Message 1056 of 1075 (626619)
07-30-2011 3:50 PM


Hi everyone.

Can anyone explain to me why these Homo erectus skulls are classified as Homo Erectus?

These have fangs as you can see.

Is having fangs, or not, any part of being Homo Erectus?

Given the sexual dimorphism of many non human primates how do you apply this knowledge in ascertaining some range for male and female skulls that are often very different eg gorilla?

The reason I ask is many times only teeth or a tooth is found and they are often classified on some basis.

So let's say researchers found a solitary canine and dated it to say 2mya can your researchers tell it is human?

How would they know it is not an ape tooth, given apes were around also?

I am also very curious as to why there is such a lack of chimpanzee ancestors in the fossil record.

These are very obviously apes to me. They show huge discontinuity to mankind today and appear to be demonstrating nothing more than the sexual dimorphism that may be expected within ape variation. Although this is not always clear cut, I am curious why these have not been classified as the decsendants of chimps or some other non-human primate.


Replies to this message:
 Message 1058 by Capt Stormfield, posted 07-30-2011 4:32 PM Mazzy has responded
 Message 1063 by Malcolm, posted 07-30-2011 7:41 PM Mazzy has not yet responded

  
Mazzy 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1116 days)
Posts: 212
From: Rural NSW, Australia
Joined: 06-09-2011


(1)
Message 1057 of 1075 (626623)
07-30-2011 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 1052 by Granny Magda
07-30-2011 8:30 AM


Re: Definitions and Classifications
Right! Excellent example.

Say I claim to have a genuine fossilised gorgon in my garage. How can you tell if it's real?

Well a first step would have to be defining what a gorgon looks like. Unless we can agree that a "gorgon" is a female humanoid with snakes for hair, we will be unable to properly examine my evidence.

If we cannot define what a "gorgon" is, we will be unable to make any comparisons.

So, for example; what is a Hufflegurgble? Do any live today? Are there any fossilised Hufflegurbles? How common are Hufflegurbles?

Can you answer those questions? No, of course not. I haven't defined my terms. The questions cannot meaningfully be answered without further definition of exactly what a Hufflegurble is. Without such definitions any statement we make about Hufflegurbles is meaningless. They might be non-existent, or they might be common, with "Hufflegurble" merely being an alternate name for a blackbird. Until you can define terms you just don't know.

Granny Magda. let me tell you that I have scoured the forums and have friends I caught up with last night that have years of experience on foums. Most are evolutionists. I asked them about this last night and they have never heard of anything more ridiculous.

I also have never heard of anything more ridiculous. This is a game you are setting up apparently out of desperation.

I have asserted a theoretical asumption, mankind was created, and reflected the evidence that supposts same. If it is irrefuteable and unfalsifiable then I have done a great job of it as now it is not unlike your own theory of common descent which is also unfalsifiable.

See if you can address my last post re the skulls with fangs because I think it is a nonsense that these, and many others, be classified as any sort of Homo regardless of any other features that could be derived due to diet or environment etc. The fangs are definitive in being ape-like rather than human like.

You are trying to set up some bogus precedent that I am not going to engage in. So if you intend to waste the post space left with this ridiculous line then I can do no more than ignore it.

Let me say this for fun...A human intermediate should not have the capacity for sophisticated speech and their fossil, when they are found sufficiently complete, will reflect same.

Edited by Mazzy, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1052 by Granny Magda, posted 07-30-2011 8:30 AM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1059 by Granny Magda, posted 07-30-2011 4:42 PM Mazzy has not yet responded

  
Capt Stormfield
Member
Posts: 192
From: Vancouver Island
Joined: 01-17-2009
Member Rating: 4.8


(3)
Message 1058 of 1075 (626626)
07-30-2011 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 1056 by Mazzy
07-30-2011 3:50 PM


These have fangs as you can see.

Actually, what you are seeing are cuspids that look pretty much the same as human teeth. You may have been confused by the fact that the lack of adjacent teeth and the missing buccal plate of bone exaggerate their apparent length.

The upper photo clearly shows the Cemento-enamel junction (the diagonal brown line) on the upper right side. The tooth would originally have been anchored in bone almost to this level. The anatomy and profile of this tooth are just like a human.

In the lower image the lack of posterior teeth has allowed the jaws to overclose. This gives the misleading appearance of fangs. Your inexperience in this field has, once again, led you to misinterpret what you are seeing.

And yes, I am a dentist.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1056 by Mazzy, posted 07-30-2011 3:50 PM Mazzy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1068 by Mazzy, posted 08-01-2011 12:53 PM Capt Stormfield has not yet responded

Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 92 days)
Posts: 2284
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(1)
Message 1059 of 1075 (626628)
07-30-2011 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1057 by Mazzy
07-30-2011 4:18 PM


Re: Definitions and Classifications
Hi Mazzy,

Granny Magda. let me tell you that I have scoured the forums and have friends I caught up with last night that have years of experience on foums. Most are evolutionists. I asked them about this last night and they have never heard of anything more ridiculous.

I do aim to please.

I also have never heard of anything more ridiculous. This is a game you are setting up apparently out of desperation.

In which case you'll be able to show me a picture of a Hufflegurble.

No? Then you have to admit that you can't judge whether an object falls into a category (or not) without first defining that category.

Unless I define what I mean by the nonsense-word "Hufflegurble", you can't say whether or not you've seen one.

Similarly, until we can agree upon a definition of what would, hypothetically, constitute a human/ape transitional fossil, you can't say that none exists.

Unless we can define and predict what observations we would expect to see, given any particular theory, we can't test that theory. In order to test any theory against the evidence, we have to understand what we are actually looking for. We have to understand what the theory actually predicts. Defining what you would expect to see in a transitional fossil is a vital first step to testing the proposition that transitional fossils exist.

See if you can address my last post re the skulls with fangs...

You mean the post with the big pictures of extinct hominids, that you posted after Admin told us that extinct hominids were off-topic? I think I'll pass on that thanks.

Let me say this for fun...A human intermediate should not have the capacity for sophisticated speech and their fossil, when they are found sufficiently complete, will reflect same.

Off-topic or not, I can't resist...

That is exactly what the fossils show. Sophisticated speech seems to have been a very novel innovation in the human lineage. If that is your criterion for transitional status, then the fossil record bears it out very well.

That's evidence for human evolution.

Mutate and Survive


On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1057 by Mazzy, posted 07-30-2011 4:18 PM Mazzy has not yet responded

  
Mazzy 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1116 days)
Posts: 212
From: Rural NSW, Australia
Joined: 06-09-2011


(1)
Message 1060 of 1075 (626630)
07-30-2011 4:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1055 by Nuggin
07-30-2011 3:23 PM


Re: How Barimology works
Nuggin says

There are two rules of barimology.

#1) Whatever I say goes
#2) Jesus hates it when you explain

That's it.

No two creationists will ever agree with each other on any of the rules. And no single creationist will keep and use the same set of rules for more than a day.

I've had creationists argue that barimology uses shared features - like wings on all birds, only to then turn around and claim that bats are not in the same barim because their wings "don't count".

Trying to get them to explain "their rules" is like trying to get a child to explain how "the floor got turned into lava" as they jump from couch to chair.

It's a GAME for children. There aren't any "rules".

I believe we have been restricted. I have been cautioned for less than this. Are you trying to get me into trouble here? I am fairly clear that it is I that will pay the price.

We are restricted in our discussion. If you have a problem with that take it up with admin.

I will not find it hard to find the discontinuity between a dinosaur and a bird. Baramins works differently to the species and Linnaeus system and it is just as well because it is a mess anyway. If not then you will have no trouble answering my skull questions posted earlier. The variation of baramins I use is not the same as you have experienced. As you should be aware I oppose some creationists re Erectus. Maybe on another thread after I am done with this one I will be happy to engage in debate about it.

"Raptors look quite a bit like dinosaurs but they have much more in common with birds than they do with other theropod dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus," Ruben said. "We think the evidence is finally showing that these animals which are usually considered dinosaurs were actually descended from birds, not the other way around."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/...ases/2010/02/100209183335.htm

This article shows that even your evolutionary researchers are not happy with the current dino to bird thing. Yet if I err you will try to pin this as a total refute.

If this is where you hope to head then let me say your theory of evolution has been falsified hundreds of times at least.

I have shown why the best fossil evidence you have for human ancestry can be just as easily classified as an ape.

In the end there will be no resolve as it is facing off theory against theory, your 100 years worth against my 5 minutes. However we will not get anywhere if we broaden the discussion as this alone will last for weeks with no resolve as to whether or not there are intermediates.

In other words, my being able to apply my version of baramins effectively or not, has no bearing on whether or not human-apelike intermediates ever existed.

What I lke most about evolutionists is their constant request for perfect clarity when they themselves have none.

Pages are slipping away, and so far and only one poster, I think it was Malcolm, has come close to entering into anything that looks like a discussion.

Can you answer my skull questions? Or are just good at asking a plethora of questions with little knowledge of the science you are defending?

Edited by Mazzy, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1055 by Nuggin, posted 07-30-2011 3:23 PM Nuggin has responded

Replies to this message:
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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 837 days)
Posts: 2962
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 1061 of 1075 (626632)
07-30-2011 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 1060 by Mazzy
07-30-2011 4:49 PM


Re: How Barimology works
We are restricted in our discussion. If you have a problem with that take it up with admin.

The restriction is to the topic of how and why humans and apes are classified as part of the same group.

You are claiming that they shouldn't be because of "barimology".

As such, the fact the "rules" (haha!) of barimology are ABSOLUTELY on topic.

I understand that you don't WANT to have to discuss the rules because doing so will make it obvious that you are just using the term "barimology" to mean "Whatever the F I want goes".

But complaining that it's off topic won't ACTUALLY make it off topic.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1060 by Mazzy, posted 07-30-2011 4:49 PM Mazzy has not yet responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 11467
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 1062 of 1075 (626634)
07-30-2011 5:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1060 by Mazzy
07-30-2011 4:49 PM


Re: How Barimology works
Hi Mazzy,

I was gratified to see this, I was afraid you weren't able to read my messages:

Mazzy writes:

We are restricted in our discussion. If you have a problem with that take it up with admin.

So imagine my disappointment when the very next paragraph began like this:

I will not find it hard to find the discontinuity between a dinosaur and a bird.

I'm not sure why you brought up the dinosaur/bird issue. Nuggin didn't mention it. ZenMonkey (Nuggin was replying to ZenMonkey, not you) didn't mention it. And I've said that the topic concerns classification of humans, chimps, gorillas and orangutans, and not any extinct species.

I'm going to suspend you for 24 hours, not because you've done anything wrong, because I'm not sure that you have. But you're not at all forthcoming about why you are having so much difficulty understanding what people say. It often seems that you haven't read a message, or at least a great deal of a message. You mentioned several times in email that you have difficulty viewing posts. Please send me a PM and let me know if you are still experiencing this difficulty and whether this explains why it often seems that you haven't read what people are posting to you. If this is the reason then we should fix this problem before discussion resumes.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
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Malcolm
Member
Posts: 149
From: Scotland
Joined: 05-08-2006


Message 1063 of 1075 (626647)
07-30-2011 7:41 PM
Reply to: Message 1056 by Mazzy
07-30-2011 3:50 PM


These are very obviously apes to me. They show huge discontinuity to mankind today and appear to be demonstrating nothing more than the sexual dimorphism that may be expected within ape variation. Although this is not always clear cut, I am curious why these have not been classified as the decsendants of chimps or some other non-human primate.

Well that second image is a Neanderthal and not Homo erectus. In Message 1036 the skulls I posted for comparison were of a Neanderthal and Chimpanzee (so not a ploy by me to use an extreme example as you suggested). In comparison to Homo erectus, the Chimpanzee skull has an extended snout and a much smaller cranial capacity. In fact we see this general trend in the skulls ascribed to human evolution of a gradual increase in cranial capacity and reduction in the length of the snout. I would guess that these are two of the criteria used by palaeontologists/anthropologists to identify and differentiate species. Of course they would also look at clues from the rest of the skeletons as well, which would also preclude them being descendants of modern Chimpanzees.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Coyote
Member
Posts: 4857
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.0


(1)
Message 1064 of 1075 (626648)
07-30-2011 8:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1063 by Malcolm
07-30-2011 7:41 PM


Morphometrics
In fact we see this general trend in the skulls ascribed to human evolution of a gradual increase in cranial capacity and reduction in the length of the snout. I would guess that these are two of the criteria used by palaeontologists/anthropologists to identify and differentiate species.

One of the most useful tools in physical anthropology and paleontology is multivariate statistics (one of many tools used in morphometrics). Among these statistics is multiple discriminant function analysis. This statistic is very useful for establishing groups and degrees of relationship among those groups, using some or many metric measurements.

Common measurements of skulls would include those reflecting cranial shape, which would provide a three-dimensional estimate of cranial capacity. Other measurements would include those for prognathism. There are potentially hundreds of measurements you could take from a skull and mandible, but not that many are needed: some measurements are repetitive, and some are more useful than others.

For anyone wanting more information, google some combination of "hominoid" or "hominid" and "morphometrics" or "discriminant function analysis." You'll find lots of papers.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1063 by Malcolm, posted 07-30-2011 7:41 PM Malcolm has responded

Replies to this message:
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ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1036 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


(6)
Message 1065 of 1075 (626690)
07-30-2011 10:35 PM
Reply to: Message 1051 by Admin
07-30-2011 5:28 AM


Classification of H. sapiens
Admin writes:

The evolution side should explain why humans, chimps, gorillas and orangutans are placed within a single group, and the creation side should explain not just why they shouldn't be grouped together, but how they should be regrouped and why.

Since no-one else has done it yet, here's my attempt at laying out the way that human beings are classified in the modern Linnaean system:

Kingdom = Animalia

quote:
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and independently. All animals are also heterotrophs, meaning they must ingest other organisms or their products for sustenance.

Does this apply to human beings? I believe the answer is yes.

Phylum = Chordata

quote:
Chordates (phylum Chordata) are animals which are either vertebrates or one of several closely related invertebrates. They are united by having, for at least some period of their life cycle, a notochord, a hollow dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, and a post-anal tail.

Do human beings have spinal cords? Check.

Class =Mammals

quote:
Mammals (formally Mammalia /məˈmeɪli.ə/) are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterized by the possession of hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young. Most mammals also possess sweat glands and specialized teeth, and the largest group of mammals, the placentals, have a placenta which feeds the offspring during gestation.

Breath air? I believe so. Backbones? Yes. Hair? Yep, head hair, body hair - got that too. Sweat glands, specialized teeth (not all the same like a crocodile's), ear bones, breasts, placentas? Looks like we qualify as mammals.

Order = Primates

Well, now we're getting a little more specific. Let's look at the list of features that the primates have in common:


  • retention of the collar bone in the pectoral girdle;
  • shoulder joints which allow high degrees of movement in all directions;
  • five digits on the fore and hind limbs with opposable thumbs and big toes;
  • nails on the fingers and toes (in most species);
  • a flat nail on the hallux (in all extant species);
  • sensitive tactile pads on the ends of the digits;
  • orbits encircled in bone;
  • a trend towards a reduced snout and flattened face, attributed to a reliance on vision at the expense of olfaction (most notably in haplorrhines, and less so in strepsirrhines);
  • a complex visual system with stereoscopic vision, high visual acuity and color vision;
  • a brain having a well-developed cerebellum with posterior lobe and a calcarine fissure;
  • a large brain in comparison to body size, especially in simians;
  • differentiation of an enlarged cerebral cortex;
  • reduced number of teeth compared to primitive mammals;
  • three kinds of teeth;
  • a well-developed cecum;
  • two pectoral mammary glands;
  • typically one young per pregnancy;
  • a pendulous penis and scrotal testes;
  • a long gestation and developmental period; and
  • a trend towards holding the torso upright leading to bipedalism.

Well, that's a pretty long list. But if you take the time to think about it as you read it, you will have to admit two things:

1. Sounds like all those features apply to us.
2. They also apply to baboons, lemurs, orangutans, and gorillas. You might be able to find some primates that are missing a feature or two from this list, but all in all, if you can find a critter that matches up to what we have here, you'll have to call it a primate.

Family = Hominids

At last, our final stop on the classification trail. Here's what it takes to be considered a hominid:


  • No tail (last time I looked);
  • males generally bigger than females;
  • hands to do clever things with;
  • omnivorous (though we eat a lot more grains and pizza);
  • gestation lasts about 8 or nine months;
  • usually give birth to a single offspring;
  • helpless young that need to be cared for;
  • which means a delayed adolescence (much longer for some of us than others); and
  • no distinct breeding season (unless you count spring break).

Look at that list carefully, please. It describes us. It describes chimps. It describes gorillas. It describes orangutans. They're apes. We're apes.

Forget genetics. Forget common ancestry. All we're talking about is physical features and behaviors. That's the scientific rational for putting H. sapiens in the same group as those other guys. If you have a rational for a different classification, please let us know what it is.

Human beings are hominids. Period.


Your beliefs do not effect reality and evidently reality does not effect your beliefs.
-Theodoric

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1051 by Admin, posted 07-30-2011 5:28 AM Admin has acknowledged this reply

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