• Question: Will monkeys look like humans in the future?

    Asked by artlover to James, Anthony on 30 Jan 2019.
    • Photo: Anthony Redmond

      Anthony Redmond answered on 30 Jan 2019:

      Actually humans and monkeys look a lot alike now. Some of the things that make us look most different are simple, like our loss of hair!
      In fact, monkeys, and more closely related apes, and all other species are becoming less like us, and us like them (and them like each other), as time goes on. This is because more time has passed since we shared a common ancestor, and we are each, as a species, going further down our own evolutionary paths.
      There is no strong reason for us to think that monkeys will evolve to look more like us in future though, and this is because evolution doesn’t have a direction or goal. So, while we have evolved from ape ancestors, who evolved from monkey ancestors, currently existing apes and monkeys are not evolving into humans, but actually are just as ‘evolved’ as we are!

    • Photo: James Cole

      James Cole answered on 31 Jan 2019:

      Hi there, the simple answer is no. Monkeys and apes have their own evolutionary journey that is separate to ours. And evolution is not a linear process from simple to complex where humans are a ‘desired’ end point so there really is no reason why monkeys or apes would ever evolve into something like humans, they are great as they are.