Four Billion Years Of Evolution In Six Minutes

We are not the end of evolution. Not even close.


Did we evolve from monkeys or from fish? Well, the first animals to develop a backbone were fishes. So technically, we all evolved from fish, and not from monkeys.

Watch this TED Talk as ichthyologist Prosanta Chakrabarty dispels some hardwired myths about evolution, encouraging us to remember that we’re a small part of a complex, four-billion-year process — and not the end of the line.

“We’re not the goal of evolution,” Chakrabarty says. “Think of us all as young leaves on this ancient and gigantic tree of life — connected by invisible branches not just to each other, but to our extinct relatives and our evolutionary ancestors.”


Video via – TED Talks

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Categories: Paths

10 replies

  1. Well, following the logic of the first paragraph to it’s logical conclusion we are not descended from Fish but from the first creature to have what could be described as a brain who in turn evolved from the first creatures to develop a mouth and anus (protostomes) who in turn evolved from plants who in turn were evolved from simple bacteria, so we are not ( in this vein ) Fish but mere germs.

    Of course we then ask what are germs are descended from?? Where is the exact point at which a bunch of free-floating chemical molecules became what we so smugly (from our exalted and elevated position in it’s Great Family Tree) call ‘life’. We might then be tempted to ask: Has the path of our evolution been always pre-ordained in some logical stepwise fashion? Or are we the end result of completely random happenstances? Or perhaps a very subtle combination of both? Or some other combination of things?

    There can be very little doubt either way however, that our closest evolutionary relatives/descendants are those, now passed, that we share with the monkey and ape. 😉


    • I have often asked these identical questions and I have no answers, but lots of questions. I think that evolution is not nearly as straightforward as most people seem to assume and who is to say that we are not still evolving into something else? Better? Worse? Maybe we are devolving.

      As far as the world is concerned, I think “germ” is a fine word for us. Plague might not be too far off, either.

      Liked by 1 person

      • From what i have been observing my personal feeling is our race is in a few ways presently devolving and germ/virus/plague can certainly be seen as ‘appropriate’ terminology.

        From what i have been philosophising of late i’m coming to realise that everything can be seen from two complementary yet contradictory points of view the personal and the general (reflective) viewpoints.

        What is seen in the external is one reflection (also inverse/mirror image) of what is within the internal/personal.

        As you said – it’s not exactly ‘straightforward’. 🙂

        I believe and am finding however, that there is a very simple basic underlying structure and idea behind it all and it is ‘us’ who make it unnecessarily complex.

        Finding that structure/flow and ‘going with it’ is key – for me. 😉

        I’m narrowing it down currently to a key of D… or G, depending! 🙂

        I’ve been investigating the music scales recently!


        • I just think we should start by making less of a mess. Forget about key and structure. Just less trash.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Personally, i’d say it’s because we have largely forgotten about the Key and the Structure that we now have so much trash/consequences of our actions. wants, desires. Want less garbage? – think better first, not after.

            Don’t HAVE to solve the problem, start by not causing it in the first place… of course we are already behind in that ‘race’ and catching up will take some doing. 😦


    • Funny you should describe it that way. I’ve often explained “mankind” as being an elaborate infection, a germ or virus, if you will, on the face of the earth.., maybe even a cancer? We ARE the disease.


  2. My mom always said, “I don’t care what Darwin says, I’m no descendant of monkeys. Then again, maybe you guys are? (referring to me, my sisters AND my dad)” There were burning questions I was dying to ask, but I was only about 8 or 9 and wisely chose to swallow my curiosity. Plus I knew something was amiss when my dad started to giggle while watching the agony in my facial expression. Ultimately I believe he was quietly proud of me because my restraint probably avoided a tussle. He knew there was always the risk of him having to jump between me and mom to save my ass. Certain things you just didn’t argue with mom about, and for a long, long time we never doubted that, somehow, mom had skipped around the stigma of evolution and managed to raise three of the smartest monkeys ever. I Never did figure out what my dad was giggling about or what role he played in our existence. So were we just exotic pets?


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