MANILA, Philippines – When man discovered chimpanzees, orangutans, and gibbons in the 18th century, it sparked the idea of ape to human evolution due to the striking similarities observed by the European naturalists.
Over the years a tremendous amount of fossils forms known as hominids, have been discovered which are widely regarded as evidence that ape to human evolution did exists.
This idea back then and even today was considered controversial because it clashes with the beliefs of creationists and conservatives who refused to believe that human could be descendants from such animals.
In 1735, Swedish zoologist and taxonomist Linnaeus was the first to categorize human and apes in the same taxonomic order although he made no explicate links between their evolution. This however certainly encouraged more naturalists to view the two species as related.
A French naturalist and soldier, Jean-Baptiste Lamark, in his book Philosophie Zoologique (1809), was the first of the naturalist to publicly propose and explicitly state that humans did evolve from apes.
A passage from his book states, “Certainly, if some race of apes, especially the most perfect among them, lost, by necessity of circumstances, or some other cause, the habit of climbing trees and grasping branches with the feet, … , and if the individuals of that race, over generations, were forced to use their feet only for walking and ceased to use their hands as feet, doubtless … these apes would be transformed into two-handed beings and … their feet would no longer serve any purpose other than to walk.”
The infographic below outlines some of the similarities and differences the humans and ape share from a behavioral and anatomical standpoint. - Rappler.com
Welcome to Rappler, a social news network where stories inspire community engagement and digitally fuelled actions for social change. Rappler comes from the root words "rap" (to discuss) + "ripple" (to make waves).