first_imgSome chimpanzees have been found in Senegal using caves for shelter from the heat.  Jill Pruetz (Iowa State) took note of this and is publishing a paper about it in Primates.  National Geographic speculated that this sheds light on human origins:The adaptations of savanna chimpanzees are particularly interesting to researchers because early humans are thought to have occupied similar environments.    “The finding would be notable in itself, but the implications for reconstructing the evolutionary origins of shelter in our ancestors make it even more so,” said Cambridge’s McGrew.    Some monkeys use caves to stay warm at night, he noted.  What is intriguing about the new study is that it shows “not the nocturnal use of caves for overnight sleeping but rather [daytime use] for siestas, socializing, and picnicking.  No one expected this”….    “By building up our understanding of how such environments shape [modern human relatives], we can better model our early ancestors,” Moore added.Live Science also focused on the human connection.  Charles Q. Choi announced his article, “Chimps Spotted Using Caves, Like Early Humans” and said, “Savannah chimpanzees, which can make weapons to hunt other primates for meat, can also seek refuge in caves, much like our earliest human ancestors…. These dwell in environs much like those from which humanity’s ancestors are believed to have emerged.”    He quoted Adrienne Zihlman (UC Santa Cruz) who added, “They are giving a little window to some of the problems that have to be solved if you want to survive in the savannah, and are confronting the kinds of problems that our early human ancestors had to face.”  The Live Science article was echoed elsewhere, such as Fox News.To make a valid scientific inference from this observation, the evolutionists need to consider all the other creatures that inhabit caves.  A scientist must not discriminate and show species bias.  Chimp chauvinism is not politically correct.  Looking at the data without preconceptions, it could be that humans are evolved from cave crickets.  It might be that observing cave biota in toto can shed light on how humans emerged from bats, or fish, or birds or snakes.  They could even test various ideas.  They could place a house cat near the cave, for instance, to see if it shows human-like behavior.  After all, cats are curious, like chimpanzees, and presumably would want to keep their cool, too.  That would demonstrate the possibility we have cat in our ancestry.  It would explain why the Broadway show Cats strikes a chord in humans.  Caves are also the home for salamanders and beetles.  Since Beetle Bailey was human, the connection is obvious.  Need we even mention Batman?    So let’s reword this story-fest in a bias-free manner, and substitute crickets for chimpanzees.  “Crickets spotted using caves, like early humans: Savannah crickets, which can hunt other insects for meat, can also seek refuge in caves, much like our earliest human ancestors.  These dwell in environs much like those from which humanity’s ancestors are believed to have emerged.  The adaptations of savanna crickets are particularly interesting to researchers because early humans are thought to have occupied similar environments.  This finding is notable in itself, but the implications for reconstructing the evolutionary origins of shelter in our ancestors make it even more so.  By building our understanding of how such environments shape modern human relatives, we can better model our early cricket ancestors.”    By Jiminy, they’re right.  Evolutionary theory is useful.  It helps us build up our blunderstanding of how the world works.  It sheds dark in a light place, and helps us see things we couldn’t possibly have imagined any other way (01/17/2006 commentary).  Someday this age may be called The Endarkenment.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img