Of course you remember well ‘Cheeta’, Tarzan’s Chimpanzee. He amused millions of Tarzan’s fans, and remained as the closest companion of the ‘Jungle Lord’.
Now Scientist’s know why Cheeta and his brethren can’t speak, but we humans can.
The secret lies in the history of molecular evolution of a gene called FOXP2 (forkhead
Both chimps and humans have this gene whose DNA code is similar in the two, but the amino-acid composition in the human variant of FOXP2 changed rapidly when human lineage diverged from the chimps about 4.6 to 6.2 million years ago. Around that time language emerged in modern humans.
And ‘language is a uniquely human trait likely to have been a prerequisite for the development of human culture’, says Wolfgang Enard and his team.
But this is not only the gene that offers the ability to talk, it also relies on the control of larynx and mouth. Altogether it made this spectacular distinction between humans and other creations.
Now, let’s come back to the reality. The speed at which science and technology are advancing that one day can make chimps able to talk just by changing the specific gene composition. What will happen then?
The first thing, it will bring huge benefits to humanity. The chimps will tell us all the secrets of nature they learnt till that moment of time, and the humans will gain on this ‘extraordinary valuable library of knowledge’ that will resolve many mysteries we are dealing with now. That’s something we can count on seriously.
Furthermore, like Tarzan, humans will have companions who can make enough entertainment to ‘lighten’ day’s or week’s heavy workload.
Third, Hollywood will make more movies showing ‘excellence’ of chimps stunts and creativity.
However, this on the other hand can be very bad for chimps themselves. They will learn all the tricks that humans make to gain worldly affairs. They will adapt many bad habits. And if by chance they become fond of some of the bad stuffs they learnt from humans and would like to cling to them, then it will be a different scenario. Chimps will just go spoiled and cause unnecessary troubles to humans.
So for the betterment of humanity, science should learn nature by keeping her in her natural state. That will be greatly wise.
Bottom line: ‘All humans are (or were) chimps, but not all chimps are human’. 🙂