For years and years, many of the inhabitants of this planet had thought that the issue of human evolution, at least from Darwin to here, was a simple matter. In other words, they said, do not make balls … the man (and the woman, of course) descend from the monkey. In such a way that little by little and supposedly over millions of years due to changes and mutations, we were turning from hairy apes (from which only 1% of our common DNA differentiates us) into sapiens cults and that’s it. As simple and complex as this.
But, life and the now so weakened science, has been giving us surprises and it turns out that everything is infinitely more complicated (as it usually happens) than it seems.
There they go. The issue still generates controversies, but thanks to fossil evidence, genetics, especially the study of mitochondrial DNA and social anthropology, among other disciplines, we can conclude that we homos do not have a single common ancestor, but many. Ouch dammit!
Genetic research has shown us that archaic homos periodically mated with Neanderthals and even Denisovans themselves. They are not speculations, there are tests that have been published among others in the most relevant scientific journals in the world, such as Nature.
From more than a million years ago to much more recently, some 40 thousand years, these diverse species apparently migrated, existed simultaneously and, as is often the case, liked each other, “fell in love” and mated.
And as the great Spanish paleoanthropologist Juan Luis Arzuaga says, we are not the latest and perfected product of a single evolutionary line. We are more closely related to chimpanzees than gorillas, but we are certainly of the same family. That is, we are not descended from monkeys, to be exact with them we are sapiens, one more of the members of the group of hominids. And that’s it.
Of course, gorillas are gorillas and they will not evolve to become human. Not the other way around (although many are succeeding). That has already been proven. And the happy homos, we are delighted with the Neanderthals, and with those who will be left to reproduce. And of this orgy between species because nothing else we survive and the others (we still do not know clearly why) became extinct more than 40 thousand years ago.
Those of us who are here are a bit of all of them, of our ancestors, although what they bequeathed to us is a very small part of ourselves.
We are a reservoir that contains a little of the evolutionary processes that occurred throughout the planet thanks to sex and love between species. I think it’s wonderful.
Perhaps because of all this that seems to me to be amazing, it is that racism, discrimination, nationalism and the confrontation promoted between countries inhabited all of them bother me so much because of what we are: human.
As part of the sapiens, I feel very proud of all my DNA and I do not deny or make distinctions between one and another part of my being. I am sure that is why, when we are polarized and divided, my colon becomes irritable.
Psychologist, host, writer, commentator for Grupo Fórmula.