Monkeys: "New" Color Vision


ScienceNOW: “Red Hot Monkey Love

Did the bright colors seen on some monkeys evolve after their ability to see such colors evolved, or before? The traditional belief is that the coloration “arose only after primates evolved the ability to see it,” but Ohio University graduate student André Fernandez sees things differently. Elizabeth Pennisi of ScienceNOW explains:

But while studying howler monkeys in Costa Rica, [Fernandez] noticed that these [...] creatures didn’t always go for the ripe fruit. Puzzled, he began to wonder whether color vision had instead evolved for other reasons, perhaps—as some have suggested—to aid mate choice.

The revealing aspect of this research, however, is the method Fernandez and adviser Molly Morris used to ascertain “which came first.” The ScienceNOW article describes the process:

Increasingly, the hypothesized dates evolutionists use are upheld as concrete.

Fernandez and [...] Morris first reconstructed the evolutionary history of tricolor vision and skin color. [... Fernandez] then charted when these various traits appeared by looking at them in the context of each species’ place on the primate family tree.
Fernandez and Morris discovered that three-color vision dates back to relatively early in primate evolution. The first primates able to pick out all colors of the rainbow appeared an estimated 77 million years ago. [...] Social systems with multiple members and partners and red coloration didn't show up until 59 million years later.

Increasingly, the hypothesized dates evolutionists use are upheld as concrete—as though scientists have actually been using a stopwatch to monitor the time elapsed since each “milestone” of supposed evolutionary history. Not only are evolutionary dates based on unscientific presuppositions [see Fossils and Radiometric Dating], but the dates themselves are prone to frequent revision and upheaval. That significant research could be conducted taking such dates as beyond question (as the ScienceNOW article presents) is, at the least, troubling.

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