DON’T YOU JUST LOVE FACEBOOK? It has enabled anyone and everyone to speak their mind – regardless of how ill informed, mistaken, or just plain dim they may be.
These are my people.
This morning I saw a posting that read, “If we are descended from monkeys why are there still monkeys?”
That’s a fair question even though it is a lot like, “If my grandfather was an only child and my father didn’t like to eat chicken, why do I still wear a wristwatch?” There’s a lot going on there.
When I first read that question about being descended from monkeys I just assumed that the person who posted it was referring to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Boy, was I wrong. It took me a few minutes, but I finally figured out that he was really talking about members of his immediate family. Don’t we all?
My guess is that this fellow’s query was launched onto Facebook because he saw a News story about the cloning of two monkeys in China. Perhaps those little monkeys bear a disturbing resemblance to someone he is paying child support for or someone he once dated?
Thoughts like his question about being “Descended from monkeys…” just don’t spring forth without some sort of push. The pictures of the cloned monkeys could have been what lit the fuse in his brain. Either that or he got the bill from the university where his rather simian looking offspring is ostensibly getting an education.
Are we…Are you…Am I descended from monkeys? There are really two questions in there.
Do we share a common biological ancestor with monkeys?
How should we define “Descended?” – especially on Monday Mornings.
As far as sharing a common biological ancestor as monkeys is concerned – all I have to say is – sit down and take a look at the pictures you took at your last Family Reunion. Scan those faces and then tell me that we and the Chimps don’t share a crazy uncle somewhere back in that DNA soup bowl. If you don’t have any such pictures then I suggest that you spend a day or two in Las Vegas. A couple of hours a day people watching at the Caesar’s Palace buffet will remove any lingering doubt.
Rereading that guy’s initial question made the linguistic and biological assumption that we, you, me, and the barista at St. Arbucks are “Descended” from the monkeys. I think we need to have an operative definition of “Descended.” I look at the behavior of the monkeys at the Zoo and then I look at human behavior and I think that the question of “Descent” is more like “Which came first – the monkey or the TV News Anchor?”
We might be descended from the monkeys or they might be descended from us. I’d say it’s a toss-up. If you need further proof you just watch a few episodes of that reality TV show “Jersey Shore” and then tell me what you think.
The guy who posted that whole Man/Monkey question ended up by asking, “Why are there still monkeys?” Somewhere in the wilds of Borneo I am pretty sure that there is an Orangutan sipping his morning coffee and asking himself, “Why are there still humans.”