Despite the fact that the similarities are both obvious and proven by science, many people are still uncomfortable with the idea of humans being closely related to apes. When the idea was first proposed by Charles Darwin some two centuries ago, people mocked him and his theories were ridiculed. Now however the balance has swung the other way, with most educated people believing the idea of evolution and accepting that apes and humans are linked.
The first main group of people who seem to be opposed to any association with apes are the emergent radical Christians which have been growing in number over the last few years. Young earth creationists and the like who interpret the bible as a literal text which is all true refuse to believe in evolution and as such see no link between apes and people. Instead they believe that god created everything only 5000 years ago, which is simply not true as the Earth is billions of years old. Similarly they have no response to the fact that apes are very similar to us, even to the extent of being as intelligent as a young child and having organs that humans can receive and use.
The second group of people who don’t seem to like the idea of apes being related to humans are those who simply don’t like apes, and find them either dirty or primitive. People who like to think of themselves as particularly civilized or refined will often find the idea that they are only a few thousand years away (evolutionarily) from living in a cave and skinning their prey difficult also. This group of people, although often crossing over with the first group, don’t always refuse to believe this fact, they just don’t like the idea of it.
Despite the fact that many people don’t like the idea though, it remains a proven fact, and as any scientist will tell you, there are far too many similarities between apes and humans to assume that we are very far away from them. One of the main differences between humans and apes is the fact that they have retained their fur where humans have lose nearly all of theirs. However the fact that humans do have some hair is surely proof that we are going through the process of losing an older trait that we used to have. After all humans are losing their hair due to the fact that we no longer need it as we are capable of warming ourselves.
Other people point to the fact that there are apes and humans still on the earth together at the same time, ignoring the fact that there are several species in any larger group. These people seem to think that if humans were linked to apes that there would either be one or the other, and that we wouldn’t still have any other species today. This is a misnomer or course and is similar to saying that we shouldn’t have cats as well as tigers since they share a common ancestor.
The fact is that although there are still apes around, they were simply offshoots from a common ancestor of all primates the same as we are. The reason we look so different to them is simply the process of evolution and adaptation at work. This is in much the same vein as the fact that a monkey can swing from tree to tree and a gorilla can’t, but that a gorilla could flip over a car but a monkey couldn’t. Each species has evolved their own traits and abilities based on their surroundings and the easiest path for their continued existence and survival.
Mainly people find it unacceptable that they are closely related to apes because they themselves are narrow minded, and generally unintelligent if they refuse to accept a theory accepted and proven for hundreds of years. Some peoples egos perhaps don’t allow them to see themselves as primitive, hairy creatures, and some people may take their religious beliefs to the exact letter of the bible (that mankind appeared on the 6th day fully evolved). However, since archeology has proven the link between humans and apes, and has shown that humans evolved from apes to primitive man, and eventually into modern man, there is no longer any excuse that can be argued for not accepting that people are closely related to apes.