There is rarely any hands-on evidence out there that actually helps evolution come alive. Most people first encounter the topic in biology textbooks, where pictures of ancient hominid and chimpanzee skeletons are shown—usually contrasted against one another to point out the similarities. This is obviously helpful, and should be good enough evidence for most people. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case. There’s a massive chunk of people in our nation that, A: Don’t read, and B: Don’t believe what they read. So, how do you ingrain one of mankind’s most important scientific discoveries into someone’s head? Videos.
Scientists at Georgia State University have created a video that shows a chimpanzee communicating, via hand-signals, to one of the researchers. At first, hand-signals don’t sound like much. But the chimp, named Panzee, makes human-like gestures and points to food that has been buried at a spot far from his cage. In the video, he even seems to get frustrated with the person—he jumps up and down while looking pissed, probably because he understands how poor his chimp-to-human communication skills are. This is how the video makes you start to understand the bigger picture….if chimps have the capacity to learn simple sign language….and theories suggest that early hominid ancestors only used hand gestures….what was next?