Who then was the first human, and how did it survive and procreate seeing how humans and apes cannot do so? Also, was incest involved in the process?
"The Knicks are back" - Amare
I'm interested to know when it was the first human existed. I have heard some interesting answers... Be interested to see what LJ has to say on this one...
To answer your question though, Homo sapiens (i.e. humans) first existed approximately 35,000 years ago.
Again, if you understood speciation over immense periods of time, instead of thinking that one day there were no humans and suddenly the next day there were humans, the question of incest and mating with apes wouldn't have even been asked. It is a silly question.
Evolution is fact and happens all the time and can be observed at a rapid rate in viruses or bacteria. How does a mutated virus procreate!? Simple...a single mutation does not create a new species and certainly does not create a new life form unable to procreate with it's non-mutated brethren.
As to the simplistic 3rd grade question posed by the OP...mutations occurred that did not effect the ability of our ape ancestors from procreating so over time favorable mutations like standing up on two feet able to see over the tall grass in Africa made those apes with the mutations have an advantage over those that didn't. They could see predators and prey better than their non-mutated competition.This advantage lead to more food, more women and a greater spreading of that mutation. Over time more and more mutations occurred and those that created an advantage were further promoted by natural selection. There came a point where so many mutations had been passed along over many generations that there was a divergence in the species. The old original species dies out leaving sets of mutated species who then vied for the same resources leading to another round of natural selection to the point you have an even more evolved new species ready to vie for resources. So on and so.
All you need to do is look how the flu virus mutates each year to have confirmation of evolution.
So at some point in time there was say one ape who was special amongst the rest, then others became just as special, gradually, outta nowhere and then the rest caught up, those who didn't died off.
So the crutch we have here is that even though special ape a) we'll call him Julious, grew two feet to stand over tall African grass, but he didn't mutate enough to not be able to procreate.
So was there ever a first human? Or did a bunch of special apes mutate at the same rate?
Hypothetically speaking, if all land on earth became uninhabitable, and humans were forced to take to the seas, at what point would we mutate to survive?
These "special" apes did not come out of nowhere and the rest did not just "catch up". A favorable mutation such as being able to walk on two legs to see over tall grass gave those with the mutation a distinct advantage over those that didn't. This advantage lead to those with the mutated gene to have more sex, eat more food, live longer and therefor spread that mutation at a quicker rate than those without the mutation. For instance another mutation is the opposable thumb that gave an ever evolving species the ability to use complex tools. This allowed them to gather food at an increased rate and allowed them to make crude weapons to dominate their competition. Over millions of years each new favorable mutation added to the advantage further diverging the species from the original ape. Over time the species with the advantage crowded out the now inferior species by dominating the resources and through direct conflict leading to the inferior species extinction.
There were many human like apes that had varying degrees of favorable mutated genes that coexisted and mated. Slowly their genes mixed creating a better adapted species for their environment while unfavorable genes were weeded out due to natural selection. Over millions of years this process continued till about 35,000 years ago when our last major mutation lead to Homo Sapien Sapien...modern man.
The story does not end there, 35,000 years is a blink of the eye when you understand that evolution has been taking place for 66 million years since the dinosaurs went extinct and long before that with the small mammals that survived whatever killed off the dinosaurs. Further, man is still evolving today but we do not see dramatic changes in our species because of how slow the process is and how well we are adapted to our environment. Competition and challenge is what breeds evolution and determines it's speed. Since we are masters of our domain the rate of change has slowed and the need for mutation has been mitigated. Make no mistake about it, if having webbed toes or eleven fingers like many babies being born today gave them an advantage in modern society over those without you would see more and more webbed feet and eleven fingered babies! Not because of magic but because they passed that favorable gene faster than those without it because of that advantage and because biologically women are designed to seek out the most favorable traits in their mate.
Take a rabbit, any female rabbit (arbitrarily stick to females, for convenience: it makes no difference to the argument). Place her mother next to her. Now place the grandmother next to the mother and so on back in time. Back, back, back, back, back, back through the megayears, a seemingly endless line of female rabbits, each one sandwiched between her daughter and her mother. We walk along the line of rabbits, backwards in time, examining them carefully like an inspecting general. As we pace the line, we'll eventually notice that the ancient rabbits we are passing are just a little bit different from the modern rabbits we are used to. But the rate of change will be so slow that we shan't notice the trend from generation to generation, just as we can't see the motion of the hour hand on our watches - and just as we can't see a child growing, we can only see later that she has become a teenager, and later still an adult. An additional reason why we don't notice the change in rabbits from one generation to another is that, in any one century, the variation within the current population will normally be greater than the variation between mothers and daughters. So if we try to discern the movement of the 'hour hand' by comparing mothers with daughters, or indeed grandmothers with granddaughters, such slight differences as we may see will be swamped by the differences among the rabbits' friends and relations gambolling in the meadows round about. Nevertheless, steadily and imperceptibly, as we retreat through time, we shall reach ancestors that look less and less like a rabbit and more and more like a shrew (and not very like either).
Richard Dawkins: The Greatest Show on Earth
Fossil record of Gomphos elkema
This example can be applied to humans, chimpanzees, walruses, etc. Every singe living thing on the planet earth. A gradual change over an immense period of time. This is fully supported by the fossil record, and now genetically as well. This is why we don't see rabbits in the fossil record 55 million years ago. This is why we don't see humans in the fossil record 4 million years ago. All that is needed to prove evolution false is to find a fossil in the incorrect period. Find a rabbit fossil in the Precambrian Period (see Precambrian rabbit) and every scientist will agree evolution is false.
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Similar subject and just too funny! Science vs....
Devolution, clearly, is at work and is firing on all systems in America. Sorry, I don't mean to insult any of you as Americans by saying that, but seriously, there are some very special breeds of moron in your country.
That is just amazing.