If for some reason, say a self-inflicted catastrophe, humans were to be wiped out from the surface of the Earth, would any of the remaining "Great Apes" eventually evolve to be close to what we consider now to be human?

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I'm not an evolutionary biologist,  just a science enthusiast. From my readings, it may not necessarily be the case that the remaining Great Apes will evolve exactly into Homo Sapiens. Keep in mind there were other types of Homo species that evolved and are now extinct. 

The new species may evolve similar to humans if natural selection pressures in the future are similar to what our ancestors have gone through before. What are the chances of that happening? I don't know. Maybe unlikely. 

There is already one difference between our initial evolution to this new world we are trying to imagine. From my understanding, even though we are all Great Apes, we did not exactly evolve from the Great Apes alive today. They are merely our cousins. The ancestors we shared with the Great Apes alive today are extinct. Therefore, this new world has a different evolutionary starting point. 

Having said that, it may still be reasonable to believe that there are evolutionary advantages to being able to walk upright and free up the hands to take on other tasks. And from there use more of the hands, potentially enlarging the brain,  make tools and so on. I presume there will still be fruits and plants which need to be distinguished from each other so there remains advantages to evolving full colour vision. So even if the new species may not exactly be like us, they might share many similar traits.

Do you have a different answer that might help the questioner? How would you answer this question?


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