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difference between monkeys nad human beings? isnt it nature or nurture that is creating the difference? Answered

good evening!!!! i am facing much difficulty in finding the differences between monkeys and human beings?isnt it nature or nurture that is creating difference? i-e vocalization of speed etc.... plz help me out in this work assigned to me by my instructor in university... regards!!! Lubna


Every time somebody decides what makes humans different from the animal kingdom, somebody else then finds an example of it in the animal kingdom.

Tools, teaching others, language, being kind to strangers, warfare, emotions, politics, even prostitution.

My personal opinion is that there are two key things that separate humans and the other Great Apes:

  • We have the ability to deliberately alter the planet we live on, for good or ill.
  • Religion. Other animals have been shown to be able to solve problems systematically ( = science), but only humans have bothered to invent mythological beings to explain observed facts.

How do you manage that fancy little bullet-point list there, Kiteman? I figure that we humans are human because we ask ourselves what it is that separates a man from an animal. I worded that weirdly, hang on.. It's like, what's the difference between a man and a boy? A man is just a boy that is old enough to ask that question. I doubt that I made any sense at all. Nevertheless, ::posts::

The bullets are done like this:

*But with a space after the star.

  • See?

I think you might have a point about the asking...

well other that physical differences, what exactly are you lookign for? are you looking for proof and support for one vs. the other? or are you just writing a persuasive paper where you are allowed to use your own opinion. if you need references look at articles from biology or zoology section in your library catalog. You can just uses Google to get you started but your university library will be your best source to find articles.

thnks every one who had put their opinion here....

and srikar 06glad to see ur help,actually what ever i m opening i hav to pay through credit card of that articles and i m nt having facility of credit card as a m still a student n i am from Pakistan,our university is nt that much well equiptted to open articles,n you know wht i m having little time 4 this assignmnt submission tht y i thought to put a question so that i ll have sum info abt it,

m grateful to all of u 4 ur precious time n comments n helping me....


u are write i hav to consult articles n hav eto justify what ever i ll quote from article by providing evidences of researches done on monkeys and human beings,



My hubby says the main difference is the thumb. That is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. We are the only animal that can make our thumb and small finger touch.

Mine come close, but I have never been ever to do that (caused all kinds of problems in boy scouts...the 3 finger salute and all, and in ASL, the letter 'w' is signed that way and I have troubles with it. To me, the most obvious difference is chromosome count.

Nah - touching your thumb to your pinky is no big deal, since you pinky is functionally speaking the least important finger of your hand.

Having an opposable thumb is a big deal, but there's plenty of other animals that have that.

As for chromosome count - turns out that's a quite variable trait of genomes in general. 23 is no magical number, and there are plenty of other animals that have 23 chromosomes.

To me, the crucial difference is humans' ability to pass on information from generation to generation. Sure, there are plenty of examples where chimps are known to pass along food gathering tricks from mother to child. And pods of whales seem to have their own "culturally" transmitted repertoires of songs. But this is one thing where humans really do excel, whether it's to amazingly extended oral histories, or to the invention of writing. This what has enabled the human race to slowly pull itself out of the dirt and "stand on the shoulders of giants".

(Language is a prerequisite for this - you need some way to encode knowledge and pass it on. But language without retention of knowledge is little better than vocalization...)

Nah - touching your thumb to your pinky is no big deal, since you pinky is functionally speaking the least important finger of your hand.

It is to me, since I cannot do it LOL

My mention of the chromosomal imbalance is mainly to demonstrate that this is the key to designating a "different" species.

Only if you are willing to call someone with Down's Syndrome "not human". :-/

Down's Syndrome is caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. People with Down's Syndrome have reduced fertility, but are still able to have children with a non-Down's partner, so they do not constitute a separate species.

Changes in chromosome number are often associated with speciation, but it's not a necessary requirement for speciation, and sometimes not even a sufficient one...

Part of the definition of specification is: ...a species is all the individual organisms of a natural population that generally interbreed at maturity in the wild and whose interbreeding produces fertile offspring.

When a true difference occurs in the number of chromosomes (donkey, horse for instance) they may produce offspring, but the offspring will not be fertile (i.e. the mule).

Generally speaking , yes. But there are exceptions - see homoploid hybrid speciation for example, where the new species has the same chromosome number as the parents. And a difference in chromosome number doesn't always prevent (fertile) interbreeding 100%.

Anyway - the question was what makes humans and monkeys different, not what keeps them apart. ;-)

the question was what makes humans and monkeys different, not what keeps them apart.

Oh sorry, I thought what kept them apart was what was different about them ;-)

Now, if we talk visually, in most cases it is obvious (but not in all) and if we talk "ability", well then yes I agree, out enhanced ability to communicate, and record communication (i.e. history) is what makes us different from all species.

well it depends on the monkey your looking at, and the way your looking at it. if your considering all monkeys, the way they grow up and the intelligance they obtain as a wild monkey. then you could consider them in the exact same way as you do humans. Which would suggest that the same as humans the level of status and intelligence is predetermined by genetics. If you look at the "Socioecinomic" status of the parental monkeys you could probably accuratly suggest the "intellectual ability" of the child monkey. that being said if you have two identically intelligent monkeys and one is never exposed to new things or taught anything, basically if you lock it in a room with nothing it will not obtain the same intelligance that say a monkey that lived with human scientists and taught button pushing and number sequences. so, I think you could say that the "intllectual ability" of a monkey would be pre-determined by nature. but what they are able to learn and the knowledge actually obtained would be nurture. if your looking for a difference between the learning patterns of the 2 spiecies, I couldn't suggest that there is one. only that humans are smarter.

P.S. I just made all that up, it sounds right to me. but I have no way of backing it up


10 years ago

Oh - and it's definitely nature, and not so much nurture that makes the difference between chimps and humans. People have tried raise baby chimps as baby humans, and they just don't get beyond a certain level of intelligence...

Also, the anatomy of a chimp's face and throat doesn't allow it to make the same range of sounds a human does. Which is why most research on learning and language in chimps focuses on sign language. Chimps are physically incapable of human-like speech, no matter how well you try to teach them. Again - nature, rather than nurture.

The difference that allows human speech also allows humans to choke to death on food, when it falls into the back of the throat and holds the epiglottis closed.

Just one of the many things we've had to give up to become the shivering pink little masters of the universe we are...

A quote from the Lawgiver should shed light on the subject. "Beware the beast man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, for he is the harbinger of death"

Ha, I prefer the original film (although the new one is fun). Shame that, since it was made, they have found chimps killing monkeys for fun and other chimps through anger.

Dammit, I knew someone would mention that ;-) I've got the Original saved on my DVR, it's one of those ones I save for the occasional sick in bed, need amusement days.