Evolution of Human

3142 Words Jul 30th, 2005 13 Pages
Human evolution is the biological and cultural development of humans. A human is any member of the species Homo sapiens, meaning "wise man." Since at least the Upper Paleolithic era, some 40,000 years ago, every human society has devised a creation myth to explain how humans came to be. Creation myths are based on cultural beliefs that have been adopted as a legitimate explanation by a society as to where we came from. The science of paleoanthropology, which also tries to create a narrative about how humans came to be, is deeply technical. Paleoantropology is the science of the evolution of humans, and it is the base of all research in that field. Humans have undergone many different changes during the last hundred million years, and it is …show more content…
Associated with these changes is a gradual reduction in the size of the face and jaws. In early hominines, the face was large and positioned in front of the braincase. As the teeth became smaller and the brain expanded, the face became smaller and its position changed. Thus, the relatively small face of modern humans is located below, rather than in front of, the large, expanded braincase. Evidence of immediate relatives of the human species begins about five million years ago with the Australopithecus genus and leads in to the primitive Homo genus to modern humans. The nature of the human 's evolution before that is uncertain, but scientists have hypothesized some ideas. What they do know is that between 7 and 20 million years ago, primitive apelike animals were widely distributed on the African and later on the Eurasian continents. Although many fossil bones and teeth have been found, the way of life of these creatures, and their evolutionary relationships to the living apes and humans, remain matters of strong disagreement among scientists. One of these fossil apes, known as Sivapithecus, appears to share many features with the living Asian great ape and the orangutan, whose direct ancestor it may well be. None of these fossils, however, offers convincing evidence of being on the evolutionary line leading to the hominid family generally. But they do help paint a picture of what early human relatives could have been like. The convincing
Open Document