Why Are There Still Monkeys?
If humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes? is the most frequently asked Creationist question. You’d think they all would have been exposed to the answer 100 times by now. I think they just like to jerk scientists around.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- In the taxonomic system, people are both monkeys and apes. You belong to the monkey clade/group.
- Humans did not evolve from monkeys; they both evolved from a common ancestor. That common ancestor is now extinct.
- Why are there still Britons when Americans came from Britain? What would cause Britons to go extinct?
- A genetic variant shows up first in a very small population. If it is good, it persists. The original stock carries on as usual. Sometimes you get a split, one group is better adapted to one environment and one to another. Both groups persist. e.g. the ancestor of humans did better on the ground and the ancestor of bonobos did better in trees. If either group is not sufficiently fit, it will eventually go extinct. Extinction depends on fitness, not on the number of variants spawned.