Chimpanzee birthing offers new insights into our common ancestor and gives creationists something new to think about.

Similarities between chimpanzees and humans have been used as evidence of evolution since Darwin. And rightly so. With the discovery that human chromosome 2 is in fact a fusion of two ancestral chromosomes, still separate in our close relatives (chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans), the comparison between humans and chimpanzees has perhaps never been more cited in arguments for human evolution.

Well an article in Nature News this week has added further credence to this argument with the confirmation that chimpanzees give birth to young that face away from their mothers (occiput anterior orientation), like humans and unlike other primates. This suggests, in accordance with the molecular data, that chimpanzees and humans share a more recent common ancestor not shared by other great apes who branched off the ancestral tree earlier. Frankly I’m a little surprised it took so long to establish this fact, but apparently female chimpanzees are quite unwilling to be observed when giving birth (understandable).

The original article from Biology letters cited by the news item is below.

Hirata, S. , Fuwa, K. , Sugama, K. , Kusunoki, K. & Takeshita, H.Biol. Lett. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2011.0214 (2011).

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~ by confusedious on April 21, 2011.

4 Responses to “Chimpanzee birthing offers new insights into our common ancestor and gives creationists something new to think about.”

  1. Following searching Google I found your site. I think both are great and I is going to be coming back again to you and them in the long term. Thanks rather a lot for this info.

  2. Curious indeed. But one could infer much from superficial similarilies as this. Genetic research could prove more. http://creation.mobi/chimp-y-chromosome

    • There is very little real science in that page, nor real genetics. Your underwear (agenda) is really showing.

      Creationist spin isn’t science, I’m very sorry to drop this. As for Y-chromosome differences, well yes, it is under strong sexual selection it is bound to change rather quickly. I happen to spend quite a lot of time around some of the best primatologists in the world and they haven’t denied that for a moment. The fact that the page even mentions ancestral ‘Adam’ in terms of a Y-ancestor proves it is pseudo-scientific nonsense as no serious geneticist gives any kind of literal credence to this idea. There may be a most common set of characters or genes that appear more ancient than others on the Y-chromosome, but this does not in any kind of way indicate a single individual as an ancestor, merely that these are the parts that have survived from an ancestral POPULATION. It may be worth mentioning here also, that the human X-chromosome, quite unlike the Y, is surprisingly SIMILAR to that of the chimpanzee, more so than any other chromosome. If you look up ‘complex speciation’ you may come across papers on this.

      Much as I would with any other door-knocking deity-botherer, I would ask that you check your facts a little more closely before trolling my home.

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