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The evolution of man

Humans and monkeys have evolved from a common ancestor. That is not news. But now a Korean Research group has proposed a radical new idea that is dividing the scientific world into two opposing sides. Those that are endeared by the marvously elegant new theory, and those that remain skeptic and can utter no other defense than to label the new study as pseudoscience.

Here at the University of Life we let you decide for yourself.

To find the ancestor of all monkeys, apes and man the Korean researchers focussed on traits found in primitive relatives To do this they took a field trip to Madagascar. Madagascar is not only an animated feature film, it is also an island where time seems to have stood still. It's filled with primitive primates called lemurs, and one particular one is truly primitive. Or so the Korean scientists claim.

The Aye-aye has a catchy name and a catchy appearance. It's a nocturnal animal, a creature of the night. It has an elongated middle finger with which it grabs for grubs inside wood. It has a bushy tail like a squirrel. It has continuously growing incisors like a rodent with which it gnaws at the wood. From a distance it looks like a raccoon. It's one of those messed up animals like the platypus.

Most interesting are its rodent-like features, or so the prominent Korean scientists claim. They represent the primitive state of the ancestral primate. Our forefather and foremother. With this evidence our true ancestry becomes clear. We have evolved from rodents, probably a squirel-like animal.

Skeptics point out the lack of fossil evidence for this extraordinary claim. The korean group is now strengtening their position by studying rodent-like features in the subsets of the human population that have retained primitive characteristics. They intend to start by mapping the homologies between politicians and rats. Preliminary reports show that both groups have many things in common.


Professor at the UOL

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