Carl Zimmer (one of the best general audience science writers) has a post on his blog on how the human immune system differs from that of other primates and even other apes. It’s a good example of why biomedical researchers need to understand evolutionary biology (and why dumb shits like this should not be trusted with the lives of their patients). That said, I’ve got a little nit to pick with Carl. He wrote:
The scientists decided to compare human T cells directly to those of apes. It turns out that unlike humans apes produce a lot of Siglecs on their T cells.
C’mon, Carl, you know better than that. What am I bothered by? Well, as I’ve written before, humans are apes. What Zimmer wrote is akin to saying that Europeans are different from humans because Europeans have white skin. Sounds kinda stupid doesn’t it? Europeans are humans. What can I say? I’m a stickler for monophyly.
And while we’re at it, let’s stop using the paraphyletic taxon monkeys. There are old world monkeys and new world monkeys. We apes are just one type of old world monkey. Oh, and we’re all fish as well. Don’t mess with the cladist.