[Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Wed Jan 13 20:41:13 CST 2010

Dear All,
      Actually, it seems to me that we did have monkey ancestors.  The
most recent common ancestor of New World monkeys and the clade of Old
World monkeys and apes would have been a monkey.  And any members of the
stem lineage between that common ancestor and the most recent common
ancestor of Old World monkeys and apes would also be monkeys.  In
effect, monkeys are a paraphyletic grouping which gave rise to the ape
clade.  Apes (including us) thus had monkey ancestors.
      As for creationists, my impression is that many of them are
bothered more about us having more recent great ape ancestors than about
us having more remote monkey ancestors.  The teacher who made the
threatening remark probably simplistically lumps apes in with monkeys
(perhaps even equating monkey with primate), which probably indicates a
very limited education in things biological (and probably also thinks
spiders are insects).
         ---------Ken Kinman
Stephen wrote:
As always, it all depends on the spin you put on it! Sure, we don't have
monkey ancestors, but we have ancestors who looked like monkeys
(plesiomorphic resemblance), and in fact were more primitive than the
relatively apomorphic/derived/evolved monkeys of today!

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