- What separates humans from other organisms, and by how much? Dexterity (opposable thumb), Lifespan, Sociability, Speech, Bipedalism, Hairlessness, 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 the outer space. Humans dominate by far all other organisms and, unlike them, we continue to improve. While we can live everywhere and can survive where no others can, even our partner species (a select group from the beginning) have not progressed one bit despite our best efforts to bring them closer to our level. The capability gap between us and our companion organisms (human intervention aside) increases all the time as our abilities continue to grow, while theirs are perpetually stationary. This is why we no longer need them for their capabilities (transportation, power, security, food gathering and pest control), instead keeping them only as pets and food products.
- Is there a credible developmental path from ape to human? 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 all birds, many lizards, rodents and more, yet none of these shows human-comparable 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 in elephants and dolphins does not lead to bipedalism, dexterity, new diet and so on. In a “blind, unguided and purposeless” universe, this unbelievable series of events would not have happened once and only once. Yet this assumed series of unbelievable freak accidents is just a continuation of an even less plausible series including abiogenesis – also a singularity since abiogenesis is not currently observed and since all organisms show commonality (they would be different if product of different abiogenesis episodes), the Big Bang (another singularity), 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 from bipedalism to superintelligence? 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 species. And even after some cleanup, we’re still left with Neanderthals and Denisovans that successfully mated (fertile off-springs) with Sapiens despite being labeled “separate species”.
- Humans are truly exceptional
- There is no plausible developmental path from ape to human
- Humans just a “freak accident of evolution” is likely just fantasy
- “Natural selection” cannot explain “humans from apes”
- The fossil record does not support the “human evolution” story
Con: What about the phylogenic tree derived from metabolic enzymes matching the morphologic tree?
Pro: Read about hypothesis testing. What you’re describing is not it (it’s just curve fitting). Furthermore, this would be like third and forth-order evidence and an argument from ignorance when in fact we have second-order evidence as shown in this OP and elsewhere (first-order would be direct observation which is missing).
Con: What makes hominids distinct is our ability and willingness to cooperate.
Pro: That’s another “just so” story (without justification): a. Compare to other social animals and learn this is a random “explanation”, b. There’s no link between “social” and intelligence, dexterity, bipedalism, hairlessness, etc., c. When a group of apes “decides” to become social, either they all become social or the less social die out, d. If turning social would be feasible, we would see grades of social development among chimps, etc. and then also grades of bipedalism, etc. – see b.
Con: Evolutionary analyses show the very same degree of divergence in other lineages as between humans and chimps.
Pro: There are way too many unique human characteristics and they all supposedly appeared in a timeframe in which all other comparable organisms have remained virtually unchanged. Where is the outstandingly handy feline? The biped canine? The talking seal? The superintelligent bear? And where is another family with another member that combined ALL these characteristics and more while its relatives remained ordinary?
Con: Evolutionary analyses show the very same degree of divergence in other lineages.
Pro: Not at all. There is absolutely no animal family with so many and extreme differences between one member and all others: Dexterity, Lifespan, Speech, Bipedalism, Hairlessness, Diet, and – most importantly – Superintelligence.
Con: The various Homo species diverged from the chimp lineage while living in separate habitats. We both survived because we occupied different ecological niches.
Pro: There’s no evidence for this. Like humans, chimps live successfully in rainforests, humid and dry forests, wet savannas, wooded savannas, and sometimes in grasslands and shrub-lands. As omnivores we always had similar diets (environment allowing) which we also share with bears, monkeys, and many other omnivores. We all gladly share environments and seek one another’s food. A comparative analysis with other animal families like felines and canines shows that human “evolution” is simply not justified on the basis of “niche specialization” especially when all other supposed branches remained virtually unchanged.
Con: Humans are just the first species to reach this level. Something has to be the first at something.
Pro: And who will be second? Dolphins? Are they painting underwater caves already?
Con: Bacteria, fungus and insects all dominate us number wise, biomass wise and habitat wise.
Pro: Irrelevant. Makes no sense to compare humans and bacteria/fungus/insects number wise. Also, insects cannot live in outer space.
Con: Both chimps & humans had a common hominid ancestor some 5 mill. yrs ago
Pro: Even with the Hollywood artistic license, this 25 mya looks just like a chimp today: https://www.livescience.com/32029-oldest-monkey-fossil-found.html. See? No evolution.