A look into how close humans and chimps really are.
Individuals in a species show a wider range of variation. This variation is due to difference in their gene. individuals with characteristics most suited to the environment are more likely to survive and reproduce. The gene that allow these individuals to be successful are passed on to their offspring. Individuals that are particularly poorly adapted to their environment are are less likely to survive and reproduce. This means that their genes are less likely to be passed to the next generation. Given enough time a species will gradually evil, or become extinct.
History museum notes.
Has culture driven human evolution? Think back to when we first got the capacity for cumulative cultural evolution- this refers to our abilities to think and accumulate over generations; by starting of with a simple tool, then each generation adds something different resulting in complex one. The tool will get so complex it would be unrecognisable to the first generation. This is very important in human evolution. Compared to chimps we have high levels of manual dexterity: we can throw and catch a ball, thread a needle and we can start fires. There are aspects of our brain that are consistent- we have an innate ability, and the use of tools are products of our cultural evolution.
“Apparently bonobos are our nearest relative. For years people thought they were chimps, but they’re not, they’re completely different. Chimps are evil. They murder each other. They kill and sometimes torture each other to find a better position within the social structure. A chimp will find itself on the outside of the group and before they know what is happening, it is being hounded to death by the others, sometimes for months. For years we have thought that chimps were our closest living relative, but now they are saying it’s the bonobos. Bonobos are the complete opposite of chimps. When a stranger bonobo approaches the pack, the other bonobos all go and greet it, and invite them in. If a bonobo damages its hand, unlike a chimp that’ll probably cast it out or bite its hand off, bonobos will come over and look after it, and they’ll all look sad because theres a bonobo feeling pain. Empathy. That’s what bonobos have. Amazing really, they are like chimps, but the tiniest change in their DNA,… A woman was saying that if we’d discovered bonobos before chimps, our understanding of ourselves would be very different.” – DNA, Dennis Kelly.
I find it fascinating that a little change in DNA can change a personality drastically. However similar Bonobos and chimps are, they’re strangers in the way the act. This is also the same in humans, we all have changes in our DNA that not only changes the way we look, but also the way we act, this is just one example of how close we are to apes.