If Humans Evolved from Monkeys and Apes, why do Apes and Monkeys still exist today?

The question of evolution and why apes and moneys still exist today is most commonly asked by creationists, mostly well-meaning Christians who wish to hold up their Bibles as absolute and literal truth in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Still, it’s an intriguing question, because on the face of it, it sounds like it would sort of make sense.

You have apes long ago that slowly get smarter and less hairy, eventually becoming humans with all of the benefits thereof, fast food, fast cars, fast Internet connections, etc.

If they evolved from a lower form (apes) to a higher and better form (humans), then you’d think the laws of evolution would ensure that all the members of the species would also change, right?

Well, in reality the question is a little like asking, “If I evolved from my great-grandfather Fred, how could it be that my cousin Bertha also evolved from him?”

The scientific evidence points to the conclusion that all primates evolved from some no-longer-existing common ancestor. What’s interesting is that not all the primates split off at the same time into different groupings.

Scientists believe that almost 7 million years ago, some early forms of gorilla split off from the chimps-and-humans line, and that a little over 6 million years ago, early human ancestors went a different direction from the early chimps. Since that time, scores of different species branched off from each of the lines.

All of these species were like tree branches, the theory goes, splitting off in different directions, many of them living concurrently, some thriving, and some dying out.

For example, in the same time as early modern humans, Homo sapiens, lived, at least three other people-like cousins also lived: Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, and Homo neandertalensis. Also living, of course, were all of the other various cousins, the gorillas, the chimps, etc.

The different primates evolved in different ways to best adapt to the environmental conditions of the place and time in which they lived. Gorillas, chimps, and humans evolved with characteristics that made each best suited to their particular environment, whether plains, forest, or the urban jungle.

No one species is necessarily higher or more advanced than another, just differently adapted. So that’s why there are still apes living alongside us.

Wave hello to your cousins.

They may have limited intelligence and lousy table manners, but that’s often true of cousins in general, wouldn’t you say?

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

6 thoughts on “If Humans Evolved from Monkeys and Apes, why do Apes and Monkeys still exist today?”

  1. I beg to disagree with the writer of this article. Mind you the evolution theory is still what it is-a theory not yet proven and not yet a fact. and when you say that there is “overwhelming evidence to the contrary” against the bible, thats really weard because i fu really pause to think rationally, how can a random event like ‘evolution’ produce such complex life forms we see on earth.

  2. Evolution is a very slow process. It takes millions of years to manifest or appreciate. For humans with say 100 years to live and die, The short period of life span is grossly inadequate to make any meaningful observation for such a gradual change. Only fossils records accumulated over millions of years can show the observed differences or change.
    Evolution is a universal, biological fact, and not a fairy tale from some illogical books or based on some moonlight children stories.

  3. Evolution is a theory. It is not fact anymore than the theory of relativity. Really it is less fact due to the insurmountable problems that arise. The law of entropy, note “law” not theory, states that things go from order to disorder. How can one who is rational say that there is less order in a multicelled organism than there is in a single celled organism? Evolutionists who want to rally around darwin should recognize that his book was based on that of dog breeding. The idea of one breed of dog becoming a new breed through selective breeding. Yet dog breeding has intelligence behind it. Its the humans who choose what traits they want carried from one generation to the next. If you notice in nature the canine does not maintain that many breeds, left to there own devices they have very little diversity, they become mutts. And even with selective breeding a dog is still a dog, it doesn’t magically become a cat. There may be “evidence” that contradicts the bible, but the actual evidence, things that I can present as evidence instead of making some random claim to its existence, contradicts the theory of evolution. There is evidence such as the laws of motion that contradicts the big bang theory. The 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts the idea of an eternally existing universe. The fact is the universe exists, it can’t have always existed which means it must have had a beginning, and ir couldn’t have created itself, i.e. the big bang, because the law of the conservation of energy and matter. The only option that remains is that of a Being outside of the universe having directly caused the existence of the universe. Any other option is not simply irrational, it would be a contradiction to the very science that most atheists use to attempt to find their answers.

  4. It’s such a pity we argue over a bone and fail to see the meal set before us. If GOD is the entity many profess, and does exist, we may need many mlllenia before understanding his reason for giving us life. If not, the human establishment will likely fade into oblivion long before understanding why we are here.

  5. oh please. The law of entropy does not negate evolution, because there were outside sources of energy (i.e. the sun) powering the process, it didn’t take place in a vacuum.

    These “scientific” arguments which some christians use to negate evolution are so obviously flawed that even I, a non-scientist, can see the flaws immediately.

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