We’ve all seen the depictions of the “Tree of Life” with humans at the top (older versions had some races closer to the top than others), but as leading evolutionists have pointed out, that’s a misleading view of evolution. Indeed, it was held by a number of leading evolutionists in the past, who saw evolution as just such a progression of increasingly superior or “fitter” organisms leading up to us (and someday to descendants of ours so advanced we would look little different from chimps in comparison).
The more popular view these days is to emphasize that humans are nothing special in evolutionary terms. After all, look at the microbes that today leave traces (stromatolites) that appear identical to fossils dated billions of years old. How’s that for surviving? Humans are just the latest fad in this view, our tiny twig on the tree of life not being any more special or favored than any of the others. The perch we may eat for supper is seen as just as evolved in its own way as we are, and from the same fishy ancestor. For that matter, I might just as easily have titled this post, “Are we just colonies of specialized microbes?” However, it was inspired by a recent report a lot closer to home in evolutionary terms. Continue reading Are we just cousins of gibbons?