We as humans are all living, working hard, and enjoying our life to the fullest. But have we ever thought about how the evolution in our body, in this human life took place? From being a mere form of ape who could not even stand still and walk properly, who used to hunt for survival to a fine human being who is now on the path of discovering a car that could fly in the coming decades or centuries, there has been a substantial change.
We sure find history as a boring topic to talk about, but if we go to the depth we might realize how interesting it actually is, telling us about things we were never aware of.
What we mostly know about the origin of humans is that it comes from the research of paleoanthropologists, scientists who study human fossils. They determine the age of fossils and describe the features of the bones and teeth discovered from particular sites. During the Prehistoric Period, events were not reported in writing. Most information on prehistory is obtained through studying fossils, which is why fossils have been considered as the major source of knowing about our ancestral self.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the theory that human beings are the product of an evolutionary process was first advanced.
Evolution is the process by which living organisms evolve from earlier, more simple organisms. According to the English scientist Charles Darwin (1809–1882), evolution depends on a process called natural selection. Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype (the milieu). It is considered as a key mechanism of evolution.
Humans belong to the order of ‘Primate’. Primates began evolving around 70 million years ago. The ancestral primate lineage split through speciation from one common ancestor into two major groups.
Members of the group (Hominids) were the ones to which the earliest forms of apes belonged. They became terrestrial, meaning they live on land and not on trees. From being quadrupeds they evolved to bipeds, that is they move around on their two back legs. Many fossils found in Africa are from the genus name Australopithecus meaning southern ape.
Another important genus to which we belong is called Homo. Human beings and their immediate ancestors are placed in the genus Homo. The genus Homo is distinguished from the Australopithecus by its large brain size telling the latter came into being before the genus homo.
The oldest fossil of genus homo is that of ‘homo habilis’ found in Lake Turkana in Kenya. They lived 2 million years ago having a brain of about 800 c.c. were known as the tool maker. Then the ‘homo erectus’ came into being about 1.75 million years ago having a brain of about 1000 c.c. which is nearly 70% brain of the homo sapiens to which we humans belong.
With the emergence of homo sapiens things started to change. They were considered as the wise man having a brain of 1350 c.c. who were better equipped for social interaction and cooperation than others. And as we all are very well aware of the fact that social skills are a major part of human beings’ lives.
With the homo sapiens, language too came into being as they were the ones who possessed the feature of resonating sound from their throat says scientist Philip Lieberman.
Language is now seen by a large number of scholars as the key to understanding the specificity of homo sapiens. Apart from its other function, language allowed them to transmit knowledge and information to the next generations in a manner that is not possible for other animals.
This basically meant that each generation does not have to start from the scratch rather can build upon the accumulated experience of the previous generation. Which is what has made us today so wise, modern and developed as a being. But this does not mean that we are not evolving now. We are evolving everyday, changes happen everyday, we are becoming better by each passing day, Gradually becoming better everyday