Are we ex-apes? A story of human evolution

Point to Marks: We don’t want to invoke descent without modification. Biological anthropologist John Hawks stresses the value in invoking precise phylogeny when he says, too, that humans aren’t apes.

Yet, seeing ourselves as apes (and mammals, and even as fish, too) invites us to acknowledge the trajectory by which humans evolved to be who we are. We carry — in a very non-deterministic fashion — parts of our ancestral past with us; today we aren’t so far apart from other animals as people sometimes think.

Marks and I agree on the big things. Humans shared a common ancestor with today’s apes. The human lineage evolved over the last 6 or 7 million years in unprecedentedly bio-cultural ways.