What can we say about human origins?

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The closest living evolutionary relatives to humans are the two species of chimpanzee Pan troglodytes (“common chimp”) and Pan paniscus(“pygmy chimp” or “Bonobo”), and to a lesser degree other hominoids such as orangutans and gorillas. It is important to note however, that humans only share a common ancestor with these and are not descended directly from them. Biologists have compared a sequence of DNAbase pairs between humans and chimpanzees, and estimated an overall genetic difference of 5% [1] . It has been estimated that the human lineage diverged from that of chimpanzees about 5 million years ago, and from gorillas about 8 million years ago. However, recent news reports of a hominid skull approximately 7 million years old already showing a divergence from the ape lineage strongly suggests an earlier divergence. Some scientists argue that bonobos, chimpanzees and, possibly, gorillas should be lumped into the genus Homo, but this is currently a minority opinion.