April 18, 2021

Fear of Snakes Drove Primate Evolution

SnakeThis story amuses me, though not for the reasons you would expect (or maybe you would by now).  Scientists are now claiming that fear of snakes drove primate evolution in terms of brain capacity and improved vision.

Now, I could take off on this one and ask how they could possibly know this.  I mean, it sounds like a great theory, but seeing as there was no one there to witness it, how do they know.  I especially love this statement: “Humans are descended from those same primates.”  Hello?!   I mean, the jury is at least out on this subject.  Maybe if they had clarified it as “humans are believed to have evolved from these same primates” or “Evolution posits that humans evolved from these primates” then we’d have something accurate to work with.

The thing I find amusing is that there’s an allusion here to the Biblical record.  If you remember your Genesis story, it was the Serpent that tempted Eve to eat the fruit (not an apple) and it was the Serpent that was cursed to be on its belly and eat dust.  Almost as long as there has been a world, snakes and humans have been at odds.

So, I find it fascinating that scientists are seeing the same link, even if they are trying to twist it to serve their evolutionary goals.

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One thought on “Fear of Snakes Drove Primate Evolution

  1. That “better eye for color” doesn’t work on quite a few snakes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been bumped in the face by a copperhead or stepped right on a coiled up cottonmouth. Those buggers are nearly invisible until you’re right on them. Rattlesnakes would be very hard to detect as well if it weren’t for their, well, rattles.

    I’d hate to see the poor ape who had less ability to detect snakes than we have.

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