What can we say about human origins?

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.