If We Evolved from Monkeys, Why are there still Monkeys?

My latest piece for Elucidations on Atheism. I’ll admit it is a relatively easy question, but it is a surprisingly common misconception.

Enquiries on Atheism

This is an oft-repeated creationist question. Usually, it is meant to be rhetorical. Anyway, here goes.

Humans did not evolve from monkeys—not in the near past; however, more on this soon. Besides, the term monkey is, unintentionally or otherwise in this case, misleading. Monkey is a generic term typically used to refer to a primate with a tail; specifically, they comprise the new world (Platyrrhini) and old world (Cercopithecoidea) primate suborders. Humans, part of the genus Homo, belong to the ‘great apes’ family along with chimps, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans (scientific name: Hominidae). We evolved from a common ancestor from the ‘great ape’ family, not from the old/new world monkeys.

This, I admit, is being a bit pedantic, so I’ll answer the meaning behind the question, instead of taking it literally, which it clearly is not. The closest animal relative to us, the chimpanzee with whom we share 98.4%…

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