I cannot tell you why I started thinking about evolution and sex this morning while I was doing my morning meditation. I don’t recall reading any news stories about evolution lately, and I don’t often think about science subjects on my own. My interests lie more along the personal growth, creativity, and spiritual lines.
I don’t know if anyone else uses this method of learning, but sometimes I accept that something will work a certain way so so that I can understand a larger concept. In this case, I accepted the mechanism of how genetic variations interplay with an environment to determine which species survive to pass along their genes.
I accepted that we humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor. But the differences now between us and chimpanzees are great, even though we share 99% or so of genetic material. That last 1% is the crucial difference that set us apart and set us on a different path millions of years ago.
So how does that happen? I began thinking about sex and reproduction as the mechanism by which mammals continue their family lines. The process had to be excruciatingly slow for things to diverge so widely in this present day. A quick change makes no sense to my mind.
I’m guessing that, over millions and millions of years, we began to be selected for traits that we had. These traits some of our chimpanzees did not have. Somehow, some proto-people began not having sex with some of their similar, but not the same, cohorts.
The lines that eventually became modern-day chimpanzees and humans cohabited some of the same land, but went their own ways sexually and genetically. Were they separated for a time and then, when they shared the same space again, were so different from each other that there was no chance of the two mixing?
I don’t know. I doubt if scientists know, but I don’t keep up with what scientists do or do not know. I get my evolution education in drips and drabs, and I’m just fine with that. I’m waiting for the day when we have the links – if that’s even possible – so that scientists can weave an actual story of how humans and chimpanzees, once part of the same genetic line, somehow went their own separate ways.