[Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Stephen Thorpe s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Wed Jan 13 21:06:06 CST 2010


Ken wrote:
> 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

I just want to point out that it is easy to criticise others with different views, but in this case if, as you say, monkeys are paraphyletic w.r.t. apes, then a person who "lumps apes in with monkeys" has actually got a good point, cladistically speaking! And spiders do tend to be studied in entomology departments, and often in entomology journals, so one could be charitable and interpret "insects" in the wide sense of insects and allies, rather than in the strict sense of Hexapoda (and what about Parainsecta, are they insects? It gets complicated ...)
________________________________________
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kenneth Kinman [kennethkinman at webtv.net]
Sent: Thursday, 14 January 2010 3:41 p.m.
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

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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