Harvard-trained evolutionary biologist Aaron Filler, MD, PhD, has posted a 25 minute video titled, "Hominiform Progression", which he says is a revolutionary direct video view into the evolution of movement among the hominiforms: the apes and humans.
Most remarkable, he says, is video evidence that siamang ape babies naturally learn to walk bipedally as their fundamental and innate means of movement. Filler says this provides new evidence that the infants of a shared common ancestor of humans and apes also learned to walk bipedally as their normal means of movement.
In October(1), Dr. Filler hinted we were on the path to finding a specific genetic change that generated the upright human body and says that this new information from the fossil record and from genetics is powerful evidence that the upright bipedal body form of humans evolved before the knuckle-walkers. It promises to push back the date of the first human to 21 million years ago, says Filler, a medical director at the Institute for Spinal Disorders at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and author of The Upright Ape: A New Origin of the Species.
In the video, Filler shows the details of knuckle walking in chimpanzees and gorillas, the graceful 'quadrumanual' climbing of orangutans and the dramatic bipedalism of the siamang apes. These are contrasted with footage of human arm swinging and movement technology. The video also captures the various ways in which hominiform mothers carry their infants and children.
The definition of humanity can be found either in the upright bipedal hominiforms of the early Miocene, or in the dynamically inventive modern species we are now. The conflict between the biological and intellectual definition of humanity is a critical modern challenge for biology and philosophy, Filler says.
An evolution revolution? We'll have to see. But it's an interesting idea.