What Animal is Our Closest Relative?



The study of evolution is a fascinating look into the past. It’s also enlightening, as it teaches us that we’re all connected, all related. People have, both in the past and recent times, had issues accepting some conclusions of the theory of evolution, such as our close relation to “monkeys” (which is an incorrect term, but the idea is pervasive). Genetics research has confirmed it, though: our closest relatives exist out in the animal kingdom, and looking at their lives can tell us more about our own.



1. Not monkeys, but chimpanzees.
Monkeys and chimpanzees are not the same. Our closest relative in the animal world is the chimpanzee. We share around 99% of our DNA, which is clearly quite the percentage. It might make you wonder why we look and act so differently from chimps, but the answer is in the numbers. That 1% or so unrelated amount of DNA translates to 35 million differences.

2. Bonobos have been a recent addition to the family tree.
Chimps took center stage in their place as our relatives for a long time, but recent research has placed bonobos up there as well. They also share 99% of our DNA, but again they are so different from both us and chimpanzees in appearance and behavior.



3. Most people don’t understand this aspect of evolution.
Now, where most people get the process of evolution wrong is when they believe that we descended directly from chimpanzees and we are a “more evolved” version of them. The truth is that humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos all split off from a common ancestor somewhere around 6 million or so years ago. Our small genetic differences resulted in what you see today: three different species with their own gene expressions, still related thanks to a 6 million year old ancestor.
 
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Mar 19, 2020
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It's also important to note that we are animals, so our closest animal relitives are us! But I think there is a big creationist saying that "I didn't come form a monkey (or ape)" but we are apes, by phylogenetic definition, and in turn closely related to a subset of old world monkeys. Monkeys aren't a specific species either. They are a taxonomic group divided into the evolutionary groups of old world monkeys and apes, which lost tails, and new world monkeys, which did not.
 
Nov 27, 2019
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The study of evolution is a fascinating look into the past. It’s also enlightening, as it teaches us that we’re all connected, all related. People have, both in the past and recent times, had issues accepting some conclusions of the theory of evolution, such as our close relation to “monkeys” (which is an incorrect term, but the idea is pervasive). Genetics research has confirmed it, though: our closest relatives exist out in the animal kingdom, and looking at their lives can tell us more about our own.



1. Not monkeys, but chimpanzees.
Monkeys and chimpanzees are not the same. Our closest relative in the animal world is the chimpanzee. We share around 99% of our DNA, which is clearly quite the percentage. It might make you wonder why we look and act so differently from chimps, but the answer is in the numbers. That 1% or so unrelated amount of DNA translates to 35 million differences.

2. Bonobos have been a recent addition to the family tree.
Chimps took center stage in their place as our relatives for a long time, but recent research has placed bonobos up there as well. They also share 99% of our DNA, but again they are so different from both us and chimpanzees in appearance and behavior.



3. Most people don’t understand this aspect of evolution.
Now, where most people get the process of evolution wrong is when they believe that we descended directly from chimpanzees and we are a “more evolved” version of them. The truth is that humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos all split off from a common ancestor somewhere around 6 million or so years ago. Our small genetic differences resulted in what you see today: three different species with their own gene expressions, still related thanks to a 6 million year old ancestor.
I like Uncle Chad myself, Sahelenthropis Tchadensis.
 
Sep 30, 2020
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It's additionally imperative to take note of that we are creatures, so our nearest creature relitives are us! Yet, I think there is a major creationist saying that "I didn't come structure a monkey (or gorilla)" yet we are primates, by phylogenetic definition, and thus firmly identified with a subset of old world monkeys. Monkeys are definitely not a particular animal groups either. They are a scientific categorization separated into the transformative gatherings of old world monkeys and gorillas, which lost tails, and new world monkeys, which didn't.
 
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Finch

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Nov 22, 2020
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The study of evolution is a fascinating look into the past. It’s also enlightening, as it teaches us that we’re all connected, all related. People have, both in the past and recent times, had issues accepting some conclusions of the theory of evolution, such as our close relation to “monkeys” (which is an incorrect term, but the idea is pervasive). Genetics research has confirmed it, though: our closest relatives exist out in the animal kingdom, and looking at their lives can tell us more about our own.



1. Not monkeys, but chimpanzees.
Monkeys and chimpanzees are not the same. Our closest relative in the animal world is the chimpanzee. We share around 99% of our DNA, which is clearly quite the percentage. It might make you wonder why we look and act so differently from chimps, but the answer is in the numbers. That 1% or so unrelated amount of DNA translates to 35 million differences.

2. Bonobos have been a recent addition to the family tree.
Chimps took center stage in their place as our relatives for a long time, but recent research has placed bonobos up there as well. They also share 99% of our DNA, but again they are so different from both us and chimpanzees in appearance and behavior.



3. Most people don’t understand this aspect of evolution.
Now, where most people get the process of evolution wrong is when they believe that we descended directly from chimpanzees and we are a “more evolved” version of them. The truth is that humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos all split off from a common ancestor somewhere around 6 million or so years ago. Our small genetic differences resulted in what you see today: three different species with their own gene expressions, still related thanks to a 6 million year old ancestor.
If humans evolved from chimps, why are there chimps
 

Finch

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Nov 22, 2020
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Humans did not evolve from chimps.

Each of us evolved from a common ancestor.

We split apart probably about 8 million years ago.
Tell me more about how absolutely nothing decided to write DNA because absolutely nothing had nothing better to do
 
Jul 27, 2020
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Many are compelled to believe that absolutely nothing can do only one thing : absolutely nothing.

No other interpretation is rational.

However, some people are compelled to believe other things. It is their right to do so.
 
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Finch

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Nothing did decide. It kind of just happened with some reactions we do know about.
There are no reactions known that can write even one percent of one line of DNA code much less write the thousands of lines of DNA code in a simple organism. So scientifically it never happened no matter how much you want to believe that it did
 
Jul 27, 2020
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Nothing did decide. It kind of just happened with some reactions we do know about.
There are two primary schools of thought on this whole story:

1. Nature did everything by random chance, and we can see and analyze the results throughout the universe.

2. A magic wand was used, and we can see those results, but have no way to deduce how it all happened, because it was "magic".

Since we have deduced a great deal of how things happen, including self-assembly of biopolymers, No.1 is the proven answer.

The magic wand has therefore been debunked by default.
 
Mar 4, 2020
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There is another possibility. And that is a single physical solution. No matter what direction we look, or how far back in time we look......the spectrum of matter and the interaction of it, does not change. The interaction is super limited. If probability and randomness were in control, we would have to explain a hell of a lot more than we experience and observe now.
 
Jul 27, 2020
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If probability and randomness were in control, we would have to explain a hell of a lot more than we experience and observe now.
But how could one know what we are missing in all our observations? We cannot.

New discoveries everyday. There is likely a lot more out there than we experience and observe now.

Clearly we cannot know what we do not know.

hellopunyhumans, perhaps you need to adjust your score to reflect recent events. Finch just went down in flames.......
 
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I don't believe that observation and measurement is the problem. We are real good at that and getting better at a healthy rate. Our problem is interpretation of those results. The interpretation is what changes. I believe we have been fooled by ourselves. With a fundamental, light.

Orbits were mis-interpreted as ellipses and light is mis-interpreted as waves.
 
Jul 27, 2020
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I believe we have been fooled by ourselves.
Since we cannot know what we do not know, it is presumptuous to believe we understand most of what the universe is all about. In that regard, yes, we may have fooled ourselves into believing that we are very clever and know so much.

Humans have a lot of talent, by comparison to what we know from other life forms. But also have a lot of arrogance about our abilities to understand natural things.

We could be like an ant contemplating that bright disc in the sky. It knows about how to get food, dig dirt, work with the collective to successfully expand the colony, etc. But it does not have a chance of figuring out what that bright disc in the sky is. It doesn't even know what the "sky" is, how could it even consider the sun? We too could have such limitations, and never realize it.
 
Mar 19, 2020
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But how could one know what we are missing in all our observations? We cannot.

New discoveries everyday. There is likely a lot more out there than we experience and observe now.

Clearly we cannot know what we do not know.

hellopunyhumans, perhaps you need to adjust your score to reflect recent events. Finch just went down in flames.......
will do
 
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Nov 26, 2020
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Wrong because I am not evolved from my parents, I am born from them.

You really do not see the difference?
This is such a small minded nit pick with heels dug in on semantics. Any critical thinker can see that it's an example of how the appearance of something new doesn't mean that its ancestors must disappear. (Nonindigenous) Americans are descendants of Europeans, but we still have Europeans! The electric guitar was preceded by the acoustic guitar, but we still have acoustics!

You really do not see the similarity? Take a minute to step back and consider some different perspectives (outside the box), and don't just reflexively shoot back with that generic dog-eared paint-by-numbers road map you keep holstered.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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There are no reactions known that can write even one percent of one line of DNA code much less write the thousands of lines of DNA code in a simple organism. So scientifically it never happened no matter how much you want to believe that it did
You have no business using the word "scientifically". Do not sully it. Keep your distance, no matter how much you want to abuse it.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Tell me more about how absolutely nothing decided to write DNA because absolutely nothing had nothing better to do
The burden of proof does not rest on the back of someone to educate you. This behemoth of discovery has been cemented into the pillars knowledge upon which our civilization is built. You are free to consume as much as you like, but you are responsible for your own platter. Your contemporaries may direct you to the feast, but you must cut your own meat.
 
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Ever since researchers sequenced the chimp genome in 2005, they have known that humans share about 99% of our DNA with chimpanzees, making them our closest living relatives but they are not said that we are from the chimp. Surely we are different from each other but connected somehow at our anchestor.
 

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