The idea of human evolution is the one thing that is going to concern us the most, after all, we are humans and it would be nice to know where we came from, and how we got there. Thankfully, science has gone some way towards explaining the human evolution theory, so let’s take a little look at five of the most popular discoveries.
DNA is one of the things which has really helped us wrap our heads around the idea of human evolutionary theory. It has enabled us to see that we do have common links with other animals and sort of goes some way towards explaining our origins. For example, did you know that we share 98% of our DNA with a Chimp? This shows that humans are a separate evolutionary process from Chimp, although we have not directly evolved from each other. In fact, think as chimps as our distant cousins. It seems that they began to separate from us around 8 million years ago, but we don’t actually know where this ‘split’ started to happen.
Fossil Evidence has shown over time that Apes and Ape like creatures were heading towards the point of being humans. In fact, any lay man can simply look at the bone structure of an Ape and a human and notice the resemblance between the two of them. The only way that this can be explained is by the human evolution theory. I think to understand this though, we need to take a little look at some of the specific fossils that have been discovered that help us understand how the evolutionary theory with regards to human beings has been
Discovery of Homo Erectus
This is perhaps one of the most important finds in evolutionary science with regards to human beings. The oldest humanoid-like fossils have been discovered in the continent of Africa, but this was the first one discovered outside of Africa, and it came in 1891. It is estimated that it lived anywhere from 1.89 million years ago to 70,000 years ago. This is a key to proving the theory of human evolution exists. The Homo Erectus had started to have a few human-like traits, for example, nostrils pointing down as opposed to outwards, having long legs and short arms. There was also a less pronounced different in terms of size between males and females. It has also been established that they had similar ‘behaviours’ to humans, for example, using fire.
Discovery of Lucy
This discovery has perhaps provided us with more information than anything about the evolution of human beings. The first fossil, dubbed Lucy was discovered in 1974, but over 300 of these fossils have been discovered since. This fossil is the first establishment of walking on two legs, although she still held ‘ape-like qualities’. This particular species would have existed 3.85 million years ago and is perhaps one of the biggest pieces of evidence that we hold about our evolution from apes.
Discovery of the Use of Stone Tools
Not a fossil discovery here, however in 2010 the oldest stone tools ever discovered may have been found. The use of tools goes some way towards establishing ‘intelligence’ within animals. Fossils of animals have shown that some butchering took place and thus tools were used to eat. This is a fascinating find as no other species have used tools in order to ‘function’.