Will Chimpanzees and other great apes eventually evolve into humans?

If evolution is still happening then the great apes have to turn into something else.

24 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is an interesting question and I have wondered about it myself. Of course, no species will ever become human in the strictest sense but other species may well become "humanoid". I read about a paleontologist who published a speculation about how the velociraptors (dinosaurs) were evolving in a definite human direction, with greater and greater brain size and intelligence and better and better hands with more and more upright stature. Had they not gone extinct at the great K/T extinction event, they may well have become "humanoid" and developed space travel and digital computers and radio telescopes and the whole nine yards, many, many millions of years ago. But generally, once a species specializes into a particular environmental niche, no other species can get a foothold, unless something like an asteroid impact intervenes, as with the dinosaurs. Your question could also be asked in many other ways, such as why don't modern day fish evolve into amphibians? The answer is that there are already a plethora of land adapted vertebrates that would view any such attempt as "lunch" to put it mildly.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    First of all we didn't evolve from monkeys. Humans and monkeys are thought to have shared a common ancestor and then each evolved into our respective species. We evolved from a sort of primitive human monkey hybrid.

    And yes I believe that Great Apes and chimpanzees, along with humans, will eventually evolve into a new species. The trouble is it happens so extremely slowly that over the generations we might not even realize it. No one generation will see any type of significant change. The comparison should be drawn from many generations back. Did you know that adult men and women are roughly an inch taller than they were in 1960. You may say that the height increase is a result of better nutrition, but isn't that evolution? Evolution is defined as any process of formation or growth.

    Source(s): Dictionary.com and my head
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No, that is not how evolution works. Evolution works through incremental improvements for individuals based on their enviroment.

    You are assuming that humans are some sort of inevitable conclusion of evolution. This is not the case. We are no 'more evolved' than chimpanzees or bonnobos.

    Read up on evolution there are some great books out there. Maybe 'The Ancestors Tale' by Richard Dawkins.

  • 1 decade ago

    Apes never did evolve into humans. Human beings are not the ultimate end product of evolution. Evolution is about change and adaptation.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No. It's effectively impossible that two separate species could both evolve into humans - That would require exactly the *same* genetic changes to occur independently in both species, and there is no conceivable way this could happen. If each change in the genome has a probability of, say, 1 in a million (which is probably a huge under-estimate), then the probability of ONLY TEN genetic changes occurring the same in both species would be 1 in 1,000,000, 000,000, 000,000, 000,000, 000,000, 000,000, 000,000, 000,000, 000,000, 000,000... and there are something like 200,000 differences between us and chimpanzees, so you can see why it's not a possibility worth considering.

  • 1 decade ago

    Under Darwin's notion of natural selection, no... unless their environment forces such a change on them.

    One interesting notion is that we humans were almost wiped out about 80,000 years ago, from the detonation of a volcano in what is now Indonesia. (1.)

    The folks cited at the link below estimate that the entire human race was comprised of, at one point, between 5,000 and 10,000 individuals, likely struggling to survive in a "nuclear winter" climate.

    We'd been quite happy to live in Africa (tropical Kenya, specifically, I think) until this happened. But suddenly, in order to survive, wouldn't it make sense that we were forced to start thinking ahead?

    It is interesting that the world-wide dispersal of mankind seems to have taken place over the last 60 to 80 thousand years... maybe the trauma of that supervolcano got us to thinking more along the lines of, "I wonder what's over that mountain range there?"

    Back to natural selection. Species birth individuals that have greater or lesser qualities in them all the time - of endurance, strength, intelligence etc. Natural selection says that changes in the environment will make some of these changes of greater or lesser survival value... over time, the species changes to make more individuals with values that promote greater survival.

    Evolution, as you say, happens all the time - but only becomes really important when conditions change, and a threat emerges to the survival of a species.

    Which is a little disturbing. Right now, the greatest threat to the survival of the great apes - is man.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No to your question, and you're sort of not correct on your statement.

    It's possible that someday other primates will have a descendant that basically performs the same function in the world that we do today. But they STILL wouldn't be HUMAN because they wouldn't have the same genetic heritage. In other words, it could be as advanced as Homo sapiens but it still wouldn't be a Homo sapiens because its genetic lineage would still be significantly different. It would be a different species, although it could look a lot like us and perform as a species much like us. That's unlikely, though. There are (and have been) lots of species of primates. Many are extinct, and my educated guess is that primates are pretty much on the way out. Most are in trouble now because we're pretty much screwing up the planet.

    ALL species are continuing to slowly change over time in response to the natural selection processes that slowly work over VAST quantities of time. EVENTUALLY the great apes will slowly change, if we don't drive them to extinction first. As far as the great apes in particular goes, it is much more likely that we drive them to extinction due to habitat loss we are inducing in their environments. They're very stressed already. So.......probably they will NOT exist TO change over time into a different species.

  • Andrea
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Well, you never know what else is out there. If you look at humans we are still evolving. We are not all the same and we change all of the time. Our genes, everything. Look at all of the different species in the world. None of them are the same.

  • 1 decade ago

    Possible but by the time they do humans will have already evolved into something superior.

    Take a look at www.hedweb.com

  • 1 decade ago

    It's an interesting question and the answer is that it may happen. But we have no way of knowing except to hang out for a couple million more years and see.

    OTOH the cockroaches have been **very** happy staying cockroaches for several hundred million years ☺


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