“If humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” is a question that reveals the widespread misconception about the evolution process and pattern. The question indicates an interpretation of the evolution process as a progressive event, going from simple to complex. It reflects the interpretation that modern organisms are representatives of the ancestral stages of evolution. Unfortunately, this interpretation is flawed because it assumes that ancestors disappear with the appearance of the descendants. As Meikle and Scott elaborate, it implies that coexistence is not possible and one must transform into the other. Unfortunately, this model of evolution fails to recognize the important role of branching and splitting. To understand properly, we can use the analogy of a human tree where siblings descend from parents and go on to branch to cousins. In this case, to answer the question of why monkeys still exist, Meikle and Scott adopt the briefest possible analogy, which is to emphasize that evolution is based on a common ancestry line. In this case, humans, apes, and monkeys, descended from a common ancestor, which explains their common features.
Meikle, W. E., & Scott, E. C. (2010). Why Are There Still Monkeys?. Evolution: Education & Outreach, 3(4), 573-575.
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