Brandy Gayle Ardon, Majoring in, Human Services, Social Work
Bluegrass Community and Technical College
Table of Contents
Darwin and his theory p.4-6
Broken Skull p.6
Homo heildelbergnis p.6-7
“Where did we come from?”, “How long have we been here?”, “How did we evolve to what we are today?” Charles Darwin asked the same questions that inspired him to write his book “Origin of Species”. Darwin hypothesized that humans came from one common ancestor and that all living things evolved through natural selection”. For many hundreds of years many have explored to find the answers to the creation of all. Some seek answers from the biblical text. Paleoanthropologist are seeking to find all the answers to these similar questions through searching and uncovering fossil remains of our ancestors. The science of paleoanthropology is to find how and when we became human and how did we evolve from nothing to the world we live in today. It is fascinating to know we once lived in a world where there was no cars, no houses, no phones etc. Could you imagine being the first human? The beginning of the time of Darwin to the modern day excavations we as humans will eventually find the truth through the fossils of the past.
Keywords: Paleoanthropology, Fossils, evolution, Charles Darwin
Paleoanthropology: is the study of ancient humans as found in fossil hominid evidence such as petrified bones and footprints.
Paleoanthropological research began in the 19th century when important discoveries occurred that led to the study of human evolution. The discovery of the fossil remains of the first Neanderthal found in Germany, Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man, and English biologist, Thomas Huxley's Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature.
One of the most controversial quest is finding the evidence that suggest that we humans were created from a “Creationist” point of view or, did we simply become human by Charles Darwin’s hypothesis , by means of natural selection. Darwin went on a five year survey voyage on the HMS Beagle. During his voyage Darwin collected and documented various specimens. The different types of species had Darwin questioning on why there were so many different kinds of life: and, why there appeared to be some similarities among the organisms. Darwin’s journey gave him inspiration to write his book The Origins of Species. Although, Darwin’s credit was giving when he wrote the controversial book, “Decent of man”. In the book Darwin writes about how man was descended from a single common ancestor. If what Darwin had proposed, that man came from a single common ancestor it makes sense that they should have common characteristics, giving the different types of a same species. Darwin observed many species with the same likeness and theorized how some small similarities work as mechanisms for eventually a change, or, mutation in the species. Darwin’s theory speculates that a species will change to the environment in which the species needs to adapt. Darwin called these processes, “Natural Selection”.
The image below Courtesy of “Field Studies Council” is an example of what this process looks like.
Natural Selection is considered to be the biggest factor resulting in the diversity of species and there genomes. One of the prime motives for all species is to reproduce and survive, passing on the genetic information of the species from generation to generation. When species do this they tend to produce more offspring then the environment can support. The lack of resources to nourish these individuals places pressure on the size of the species population, and the lack of resources means increased competition and as a consequence, some organisms will not survive. The organism that die as a consequence of this competition were not totally random;