Monday, January 14, 2008

Climate caused evolution

For years it's been known that one of the triggers for evolution is an environmental change. Here is a link to an article on how that may have happened between man and our ancestors. And we might be able to blame Mother Nature and weather for it.

Think about it. Our distant ancestors were perfectly happy in a jungle setting. There was plenty to eat, we could probably spend years without actually touching the ground and suddenly, well geologically suddenly, tectonics pressures created a mountain range that changed the weather pattern. The jungle on one side of the mountains gave way to savanna. Fewer trees, grasslands, potentially less food and possible more predators. Our ancestors couldn't rely on swinging up into a tree for protection and actually had to go down to the ground and forage for food. Standing straighter made spotting both food and potential predators easier. Walking was required and it became important to think to not only gather food, but evade predators. The human race may have come out of those distant ancestors who had a significant change in their environment.

While some folks I know disagree with evolution and hate the idea we are related to apes. My own Mother-In-Law said "I don't believe in Evolution, it that were so why are there still apes?" This study answers that question. Once the mountain range was in place, the two groups were geographically isolated. One group had to change in order to survive, the other continued on. Fascinating reading.

You don't believe me, well even today look at any mountain range and look at the weather on each side. You can see the impact the mountain range has on weather patterns. Deserts are frequently formed by mountains stopping weather patterns from sending moisture to one side. Look at the animal life on each side and you will see significant differences. Would it be so far fetched to think of how a group of apes could adapt over time to survive in such place. The characteristics that would help survival, walking, upright stance, and smarter would certainly propagate through the population. Such a simple idea, one change causing many others, amazing!

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