The classic illustration of human evolution turned out to be fundamentally wrong

The well-known illustration, which in one row depicts a primate, australopithecus and other human ancestors, including himself, in fact, is fundamentally wrong. And the point is not who exactly is depicted on it, but how - creatures follow each other, from less developed to more complex. This creates the illusion that human evolution proceeded according to a strict plan and in a clearly defined direction. A recent publication from Oxford scholars refutes this postulate.

In the course of recent studies of the genes of hundreds of long-formed living creatures, for which quite large groups of ancestors are known, an interesting fact has emerged. Most of the living animals, with rare exceptions, in the course of evolution have lost almost more genes than they acquired. And this process does not have any clearly expressed order, everything happened quite chaotically - as the conditions of existence changed.

The essence of the hypothesis is that nature has no such thing as directed or stable evolution, when a species receives new and certainly useful abilities. In the classic illustration, we see how a monkey, step by step, gets developed limbs, upright posture, a large brain - and eventually becomes a man. But this is a utopia, a deliberately simplified diagram that does not show the numerous side branches and mutations that have become dead ends.

The main mistake of this image, according to scientists from Oxford, is that it does not demonstrate evolution itself, but only its result, and even then only the most successful parts. We see that at some stage one of the new species defeated the others, but we do not know what became its competitive advantage, how this process took place. Perhaps upright walking turned out to be not a blessing at all, but the least of evils - for example, other subspecies mutated even more unsuccessfully, so they quickly became extinct, but this one remained and continued to develop. But the classical illustration creates a completely different idea and therefore is fundamentally wrong.