Monday, July 06, 2009

Correction, we didn't evolve from monkeys...

We are monkeys.

Well, we're still of the taxonomic parvorder Catarrhini. I suppose it's still more "accurate" to say we're apes, being of the superfamily Hominoidea, but the point remains.

This isn't about opinion or feelings. We're primates, plain and simple. This proves to be a very difficult FACT for some people to accept, and this is mainly due to a certain arrogance: people find it "dehumanizing" and somehow degrading to think of themselves as animals. This, of course, is ridiculous. These are technical terms. If you're a living, locomotive organism that digests other living organisms to survive, well, guess what? You're an animal. Lose the self-righteous indignation.

Okay, perhaps I simplified things with motile and heterotrophic. As AronRa puts it in his excellent video on cladistic phylogenetics, you ARE a primate as long as you are a:
"gill-less, organic RNA/DNA protein-based, metabolic, metazoic, nucleic, diploid, bilaterally-symmetrical, endothermic, digestive, tryploblast, opisthokont, deuterostome coelemate with a spinal chord and 12 cranial nerves connecting to a limbic system in an enlarged cerebrial cortex with a reduced olfactory region inside a jawed-skull with specialized teeth including canines and premolars, forward-oriented fully-enclosed optical orbits, and a single temporal fenestra, -attached to a vertebrate hind-leg dominant tetrapoidal skeleton with a sacral pelvis, clavical, and wrist & ankle bones; and having lungs, tear ducts, body-wide hair follicles, lactal mammaries, opposable thumbs, and keratinized dermis with chitinous nails on all five digits on all four extremities, in addition to an embryonic development in amniotic fluid, leading to a placental birth and highly social lifestyle."

If for any reason you feel the above passage doesn't describe you...

...well, I don't know what to say to that. Just watch out for those government agents, and good luck phoning home.

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