What separates humans from other organisms, and by how much? Dexterity (opposable thumb), Lifespan, Sociability, Speech, Bipedalism, Nakedness, Body Size, and Diet, all separate humans from others, but none is more important and more off the chart than our Intelligence. And from these gifts, humans developed even more abilities; some natural like thick fur on demand, flight, excellent sensors, and powerful actuators; while others completely new like handling fire, writing, and life in outer space. Assuming no hidden flaws that doom us eventually, humans dominate by far all comparable organisms, and not just by surviving where others don’t, but also when judging by the limitations in our partner species (a select group from the beginning) despite our best efforts to bring them closer to our level. In fact, the capability gap between human and our companion animals did not decrease at all from when our species first interacted – our abilities grow every year, while theirs is stationary.
Is there a developmental path from ape to human capabilities? Many triggers have been hypothesized: “bipedalism due to climate change”, “aquatic ape hair loss”, “killer ape”, “increased brain size due to better nutrition or fire or language”, etc. However, none of this stands up to scrutiny. Bipedalism is common in animals including birds, lizards, rodents and more, yet none of these shows superior intelligence. Venturing into new habitats due or not to climate change is very common for most animal families, yet despite dramatically different lifestyles, members of the same family are more or less equally endowed. The naturally hairless and the language-rich species are not known for superior intelligence. Finally, better nutrition leads invariably to larger populations and sometimes to larger body sizes (within limits), but never to human-level intelligence. And while larger body size generally comes with increased cranial capacity (used as a proxy for intelligence of the fossilized) the relationship between cranial capacity and actual intelligence is tentative at best, especially when comparing across animal families.
What if humans are just a freak accident of evolution? While the most important, intelligence is not the only feature separating humans from apes. Not one but a series of freak accidents would have had to happen on the transition path to human. These accidents would be independent of each other given that bipedalism, hair loss, language and diet do not lead to human-level intelligence as seen, but also given that superior intelligence as shown by elephants and dolphins does not lead to bipedalism, dexterity, new diet and so on. In a purely probabilistic universe, there is no reason to assume an unbelievable series of events happened once and only once. Yet abiogenesis is supposed to be another series of unbelievable freak accidents leading from the inert to life precisely once since abiogenesis is not currently observed and since all organisms show commonality (wouldn’t they be different if product of different abiogenesis episodes?). And so is the Big Bang and the “arising” of everything else. This many “freak accidents” do make a pattern …that indicates pure fantasy.
Can “natural selection” explain the humans? No. Both supposed evolutionary branches survived and developed in the same African environment. Why “struggle for survival” did not eliminate either one of the branches has yet to be plausibly explained. In addition, the supposed “common ancestor” is a regular chimp, so no evolution of any kind on that branch of the “common tree”. Why then would the human branch explode with changes? Felines, canines, bovines, and primates ex humans are all more or less the same on all family branches. There is no feline/canine/bovine/etc. human equivalent. No “evolutionary arms race” can possibly account for human brains being able to make sense of the quantum and the cosmos – notions far removed from everyday survival. As far as we know, no other organism has such a removed capability inexplicable on the account of “natural selection”.
The fossil record lends no support for human evolution for several reasons: it is sketchy at best inviting proponents to make whatever desired of it via artistic license, is static hence one must presume evolution to see evolutionary links (the animation movie), and fossils are not positively linked to one another hence likely part of other animation movies altogether. Along the years, we have seen an inflation of hominid “species” as everyone that found a bone or two claimed they discovered a new one. And even after some cleanup, we’re still left with Neanderthals and Denisovans that successfully mated (fertile off-springs) with Sapiens despite being “separate species”.