Tuesday, August 26, 2008
"Bonobos. They're like Chimps, but cooler. Like Chimps in a porno movie."
While my professor explained the lineage of man, apes and their common ancestors, I found myself so frustrated with how people still think we evolved from chimps. NOVA did a cute job explaining how our ape family tree works. It should be very clear that no one ever stated that man evolved from apes. This would insinuate that we are more evolved than our gorilla and chimpanzee cousins. In fact, the chimpanzee's lineage is newer to biology than the human lineage, so if one were to argue that the later the species branches, the more evolved, then chimps would be the more evolved ape.
But regardless, that's not the case. Problem is, most people who haven't learned biology past a high school level still think this way. No wonder 40% of Americans reject evolution! They have no idea what it is! Why isn't the scientific community more frustrated by this misinterpretation of a fact? Is it that those who hold the opinion are too old to be educated further? Maybe we're just trying to start with the fresh slates- today's school children.
Still, kids are being taught that all dinosaurs went extinct with the Cretaceous Asteroid and are not taught that some raptors evolved into birds before hand. Kids should be taught this. Kids LOVE dinosaurs! This is such a good opportunity to introduce evolution to children: through the evolution of raptors. Though I suppose they'll be upset to find out that those wicked cool Velocaraptors they loved in Jurassic Park were actually the size of small dogs and covered with fuzzy little down-feathers.
I think I'll wear my Parasaurolophus shirt tomorrow.