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This led one scientific journalist to refer to humans as "the third chimpanzee." Despite all that is held in common, however, the differences are crucial and allow humans to be allotted their own genus and species, Homo sapiens.
Human feet have lost their grasping capabilities and clearly reflect the fact that humans are characteristically bipedal while chimpanzees and all of their other relatives are characteristically quadrupedal as well as being more clearly adapted to tree-climbing as part of their normal way of life.
In the 4th century BC, the Greek philosopher Plato somewhat flippantly defined "man" as an erect and featherless biped.
Subsequently Diogenes the Cynic, in an equally flippant fashion, displayed a plucked chicken and declared, "Here is Plato's man." Plato's student, Aristotle, also was concerned with verbal definitions and distinctions, but he went on to describe the natural world in a matter-of-fact fashion that has earned him recognition as the founder of the biological sciences.
From long before the time of the ancient Greeks, human beings were generally recognized as members of the animal world.The soft tissues of the body do not generally survive the process of decomposition.Although the archaeological and anatomical record does provide us with some indirect clues by which the answers to such questions can be suggested, those answers are only tentative.Much later, in the middle of the 19th century, Charles Darwin, in his brilliant book 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection' (1859), forced the world to face the fact that all the living creatures of the world had almost certainly descended from a common ancestor.He further developed that view in his work 'The Descent of Man' (1871), in which he specifically stated that humankind ultimately shared a common origin with the rest of animate nature.