Cladistic representation of all species known to exist. This is what a “family tree” looks like when examining derived characteristics that species share with one another. It allows us to know what came from where and when!
This is definitely cool but am I the only one who sees a great Kiwi of Life when I look at this?
Chimps yes, though their diet is primarily vegetarian I am aware they will hunt. Gorillas on the other hand, as far as I’m aware, do not. This is why it is gorillas-not chimps and not apes-that people point to.
ok but humans are more closely related to chimps and bonobos so…?
maybe people should just avoid trying to use evolutionary lineages to justify human diet choices since it really has no bearing on the ethics of modern agriculture anyway (and it tends to make people look foolish regardless of what they’re trying to argue).
In 30 years observations, Jane Goodall never saw one rape among the chimpanzees, our closest primate cousins. Though it’s not possible to draw firm conclusions about human behaviour from animals, Goodall’s findings, and many other recent studies, get us questioning the old myths we have about rape. One of the most persistent myths about rape is that male biology and primitive male sex urges drive men to rape. But current information indicates that rape is more a learned act of sexual violence that comes out of social beliefs that men have a right to dominate and control women. The fact that rape is learned means that we can work to change the underlying beliefs and eliminate rape from our communities.
I was hoping not to have to do this rant but i’ve seen this damned quote going around too many times.
This is just flat out wrong. It’s inaccurate and a misrepresentation of what is known about evolution and behavior in the animal world.
Rape happens in nature, okay? It is part of human evolutionary past, it is present in other great apes, as well as lots of other species. A quick google scholar search brings up a ton of research on rape in other primates, so yes it happens, and Goodall’s research is a significant portion of our understanding of it.
This doesn’t change anything.
It doesn’t matter if rape is “male biology” or “primitive male sex urges” or any of that other evolutionary psychology bullshit that gets thrown around. It really doesn’t. Because chimps also go to war, rip apart their enemies, and you, know, eat raw meat and live naked in the jungle.
And somehow as humans we’ve more or less established that these things are frowned upon, to be avoided, and/or punishable.
Because we have cultures, and society, and and norms, all of which keep us from killing each other willy nilly BUT ALSO lend to things like religion and weirdo values that set in place things like puritanical restrictions on sex which then lead to things like victim-blaming, slut-shaming, all the other things that lead to rape culture.
We did that all by our fucking selves, alright?
Chimps rape but it’s because they are animals, not because they live in a society with “gray rape” and playboy and a social license to operate, or a societal gendered power complex that makes him feel entitled to all the lady chimps.
Humans have that. We need to own it and stop trying to compare our primal past. We know most rapists aren’t all “I wanna pass on all my genes with all the females and increase my biological fitness”
No, they’re like “she’s wearing a shirt skirt, she must want it right? she’s not saying no, she’s just lying there so it’s fine right? so already kissed me, she’s gonna get what’s coming to her.”
so FUCK THAT.
all this quote needs is the last sentence. It doesn’t need to compare us to chimps (inaccurately). It just needs to say that humans have a fucked up system that allows rape to happen despite our mostly-otherwise civilized behavior.
Because that disgusting exception is what matters and what is powerful and needs changing. Please stop muddling it with chimp comparisons.
so… 1st Behavioral Ecology lecture (in which I get sciencey and then rant)
(TW for discussion of rape, under the cut.)
So today my Behavioral ecology class had the first real lecture and to be honest after seeing the title slide “The Evolution of Sexism” I was nervous. I’ve seen and heard way too many accounts of “men and women are just designed/evolved differently! blah blah biology and genetics and men/women just naturally do certain things.” So from the start I was apprehensive. To preface, I also work with this professor fairly extensively doing research and have always thought rather fondly of him so….I really didn’t want to end up hearing him justify sexism (or allude to doing so) in the name of evolution and “science.”
I don’t think this happened. It was a very interesting and heavy lecture but I didn’t feel like lines were crossed (by the professor at least, we’ll get into inane classmate comments later). The lecture basically explained the evolutionary roots of sexism, the natural selection that ended up contributing to current unsavory sexist norms.
I’ll try to summarize, since a lot of it I didn’t know, and I think it’s important to include because it is still really hard to acknowledge the role that biology plays/played in contributing to social issues (for me at least), without feeling like one is excusing behavior with biology.
Essentially, a lot of change occurred after the shift to bipedalism in hominids (standing upright vs all fours). Due to the physical requirements of walking upright, a smaller pelvis evolved. Around this time, hominid brain/skull size was greatly increasing (for other reasons, probably due to increases in tool use, language, etc). This brought about a predicament of how to birth offspring with large heads despite having a constrained pelvis. The solution? Give birth before the infant’s head is full-size. However, this resulted in more helpless infants that required more care, and females were not as able to feed themselves/fend off predators. Enter biparental care (humans are the only primate that does this). Fathers that stayed around to help care for the mother and infant had healthier offspring.
This ended up leading to a whole slew of other events, evolutionarily, that selected for males better suited for protecting/defending mates. It also led to females evolving concealed ovulation/fertility, due to the advantage gained from having an advantage from being able to keep a mate around- by concealing ovulation it incentives a male to stick around because it’s impossible to tell when a female might be fertile and able to mate. The female is ensured protection and resources.
This is the basic evolutionary basis for things like male dominance/protection, primarily female infant care, social rules promoting/enforcing the control of female sexuality, and a whole host of other issues. I am a science nerd so I think it’s really cool, but I am also apprehensive because it is such a fine line to separate “explaining” and “excusing.” My prof did emphasize several times that the evolutionary basis was not excusing sexist behavior, but I am still hesitant, simply because SO many people do just that. However, he also made a point of saying how because sociologists are often so turned-off by attributing social issues to biologically rooted causes, the evolutionary information is not really used or acknowledged in approaching solutions to these issues.