The only other sentient upright-walking humanoid species are characters from science fiction. Why?
Sci-fi re-enactors looking like distorted characters from Star Trek introduce an article on The Conversation by Darren Curnoe. He asks, “Why are there so many species of bugs, but so few species of human?” That question is enveloped in a larger question, “Looking around at the natural world, have you ever wondered why some groups of organisms contain huge numbers of species while others are seemingly barren?” To both of these, Curnoe offers speculations, but no firm answers from an evolutionary viewpoint.
Just why some groups contain large numbers of species while others don’t has long puzzled biologists. One of the main explanations has been geological age — older groups of organisms are more diverse because they have simply had more time to accumulate greater numbers of species.
Yet, the fact remains that some comparatively young groups of species are remarkably diverse; and conversely, some like the Methanopyri [a lone species of Archaea he says evolved 4 billion years ago] are very ancient but species poor.
Curnoe also addresses the question of why sex evolved. Again, he can offer no firm evolutionary answer. Notice the guesswork without evidence of a law of nature, raising the perhapsimaybecouldness index outside the bounds of science:
Sex seems to have been a major catalyst for increasing the rate at which new species formed, perhaps explaining its success as an evolutionary strategy.
“Evolutionary strategy” is a sophoxymoronic phrase devoid of meaning. But for each of his proffered explanations, Curnoe is well aware of exceptions. Human singularity is a case in point.
It’s striking that we find ourselves alone, especially when we contrast this with the remarkable diversity of hominins seen in the past. Might this tell us something about humans today, and perhaps even where we might be headed as a species?
He discusses numbers of species among Old World monkeys and New World monkeys, seeking some law of nature that governs their biodiversity. Here’s how helpful Darwinian theory is to explain the data:
It’s no exaggeration to say this is the greatest mystery of human origins, and one of the most important conundrums of science today.
The whole article is a list of speculations with no rhyme or reason, where exceptions outnumber the rules.
Emperor Darwin needs to be ousted from his throne for indecent exposure.