Human evolution A long way from Darwin and Wallace – or is it? Colin Groves School of Archaeology & Anthropology Australian National University 1858 Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history. - Darwin, 1859. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Darwin’s insights about human relationships and evolution • • • • • • infectious diseases embryology anatomical changes biogeography adaptive radiation technological advances Man is liable to receive from the lower animals, and to communicate to them, certain diseases, as hydrophobia, variola, the glanders, syphilis, cholera, herpes, &c. - Darwin, 1871. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. (p.8) Examples of infectious diseases shared between humans and many nonhuman primates: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Amoebiasis (Entamoeba spp.) Non-tuberculous Mycobacterium spp. Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Viral Hepatitis Herpes Simplex Virus Herpesvirus B Measles (Morbillivirus) Sarcoptes scabiei Shigella spp. Monkeypox (Orthopoxvirus) Tularemia (Francisella tularensis) Dengue (Flavivirus) Campylobacter spp. Yellow Fever (Flavivirus) The [human] embryo itself at a very early period can hardly be distinguished from that of other members of the vertebrate kingdom. - Darwin, 1871. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. (p.12) Human embryo Cat embryo As the progenitors of man became more and more erect, with their hands and arms more and more modified for prehension and other purposes, with their feet and legs at the same time transformed for firm support and progression, endless other changes of structure would become necessary. The pelvis would have to be broadened, the spine peculiarly curved, and the head fixed in an altered position, all which changes have been attained by man. Darwin, 1871. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. (p.79) chimpanzee human valgus knee the spine peculiarly curved, and the head fixed in an altered position the pelvis broadened, the legs transformed for firm support Darwin, 1871. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex : We are naturally led to enquire, where was the birthplace of man at that stage of descent when our progenitors diverged from the Catarrhine stock? The fact that they belonged to this stock clearly shews that they inhabitated the Old World; but not Australia nor any oceanic island, as we may infer from the laws of geographical distribution. In each great region of the world the living mammals are closely related to the extinct species of the same region. It is therefore probable that Africa was formerly inhabited by extinct apes closely allied to the gorilla and chimpanzee; and as these two species are now man's nearest allies, it is somewhat more probable that our early progenitors lived on the African continent than elsewhere. Phylogeny of catarrhine primates, with molecular clock dating Old World Monkeys Gibbons Asia Pongo pygmaeus Pongo abelii 12-14 Ma Africa 8-10 Ma 6-7 Ma Gorilla gorilla G. g. gorilla G. g. diehli Gorilla beringei G. b. beringei G. b. graueri Pan troglodytes P. t. verus P. t. vellerosus P. t. troglodytes P. t. schweinfurthii P. t. marungensis Pan paniscus Homo sapiens According to Darwin’s argument, this area should (parsimoniously) also be yellow P. p. pygmaeus P. p. wurmbii P. p. morio The fossil record: between the time of the separation of the gorilla line and the separation of the chimpanzee and human lines, almost all relevant fossils*are African Except this one: Graecopithecus Nakalipithecus closely related to Graecopithecus Sahelanthropus Samburupithecus *although there are not many! • Remember, if you will, that there is no existing link between Man and the Gorilla, but do not forget that there is a no less sharp line of demarcation, a no less complete absence of any transitional form, between the Gorilla and the Orang, or the Orang and the Gibbon. • - Huxley, T. H. 1863. On the relations of man to the lower animals. Man's Place in Nature. Reprinted in Man's Place in Nature and other Anthropological Essays, 1890 (p. 145). Hugh Falconer in 1864 popularises this “Missing Link” • An unusual human skull had been discovered in Forbes’ Quarry, Gibraltar, in 1848. • The palaeontologist Falconer, a friend of Darwin, examined it in 1864, and found it to be similar to the skull discovered in the Neanderthal, Germany, in 1856. • In a letter to a relative (published posthumously in 1868), he wrote: • If you hear any remarks made, you may say from me, that I do not regard this priscan pithecoid man as the "missing link" so to speak. It is a case of a very low type of humanity -- very low and savage, and of extreme antiquity -- but still man, and not a halfway step between man and monkey. Now there are links: the “pre-australopithecines”: early members of the human lineage Ardipithecus kadabba – 5.8-5.2 Ma Relative canine length chimpanzees – long thin canines Ardipithecus and australopithecines-short fat canines Reduction of canines over time Orrorin tugenensis – 5.9-6.0 Ma Ardipithecus ramidus – 4.4 Ma Another principle, which may be called the principle of divergence, plays, I believe, an important part in the origin of species. The same spot will support more life if occupied by very diverse forms. - Darwin, 1858. Abstract of a Letter from C. Darwin, Esq, to Prof.Asa Gray, Boston, US, dated Down, September 5th, 1857. Proceedings of the Linnean Society 3:52. Homo habilis From 4 Ma until about 1 Ma, there were always at least two hominin species sympatric in East Africa: 4-3: Australopithecus afarensis – Kenyanthropus platyops 3-2.5: Australopithecus garhi – Paranthropus walkeri 2.5-2.0: Paranthropus walkeri – Homo rudolfensis –Homo cf.habilis 2.0-1.5: Paranthropus boisei – Homo habilis – Homo ergaster 1.5-1.0: Paranthropus boisei –Homo cf.ergaster Homo ergaster Paranthropus boisei The human fossil record: cranial capacity Australopithecus Paranthropus "habilines" "erectines" "sapients“ ecv (CC) (proxy for brain size) • From at least 4 until nearly 2 million years ago, the members of the human 2000 lineage, known informally as australopithecines, had small (ape-sized) cranial 1500 capacities (ECV) • From then until nearly the present day, cranial 1000 capacities increased continuously (via “habilines” and “erectines” to “sapients”500 -- the genus Homo) • Only the so-called “robust 3 2 1 australopithecines” (the Million years genus Paranthropus) continued with small cranial capacities 0 The human fossil record: jaws and teeth • The australopithecines had large molars and premolars, prominent jaws and receding mandibular symphysis, but reduced canines • From about 2 million years ago, successive species of the genus Homo reduced the size of their jaws and teeth, and the mandibular symphysis became more vertical, eventually protruding as a Chin The human fossil record: locomotion • Australopithecines had Scurved vertebral column, valgus knee, and low wide pelvis, but funnel-shaped (ape-like) thorax and short legs • Homo ergaster had barrelshaped thorax and elongated legs Psychology will be based on new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. - Darwin, 1859. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. “Mental powers and capacities” now known to be exhibited by chimpanzees, hence inferred for the common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans, 6-7 Ma First documented for habilines, 2 Ma simple stone toolmaking, activity bases, meat scavenging First documented for erectines, 1.5-2 Ma simple toolmaking, use of stone tools, self-recognition, symbolic communication, fission-fusion social organisation, community territory, food sharing, social learning first dispersal out of Africa (or was it? – Georgia, Pakistan, Java), fire (controversial), “mental template” technology (not until 1.4 Ma), big game hunting (probably late in the record) First documented for early sapients, 100 Ka? composite toolmaking, standing structures, water transport (settlement of Australia, 50 Ka), language (presumed), burial, art The first appearance of the human clade outside Africa, ± 1.7 million Homo georgicus X Dmanisi, Georgia X Homo erectus Sangiran and Mojokerto, Java The second appearance of the human clade outside Africa, >1.2 million X Atapuerca, Spain and Ceprano, Italy Homo antecessor X Lantien and Zhoukoudian, China Homo pekinensis The third appearance of the human clade outside Africa, ± 600,000 Mauer, Germany Arago, France Atapuerca, Spain Dali and Jinniushan, China Hathnora, India The origin of Homo sapiens • Florisbad, South Africa 260ka • Omo/Kibish, Ethiopia 195ka • Jebel Irhoud, Morocco 160ka • Herto, Ethiopia 160ka • Skhul , Israel 100-120ka • Qafzeh, Israel 100-120ka The recency of the spread of Homo sapiens out of Africa and the Levant China: Liujiang, 67,000 (controversial) Australia: Malakunanja and Nawalibila, 50,000 (controversial) archaeological deposits only Europe: Pestera cu Oase, 34-36,000 The human world at about 50,000 BP Homo neanderthalensis descended from Homo heidelbergensis Homo sapiens Descended from Homo heidelbergensis Homo erectus Still there! Homo floresiensis Descended from Homo habilis ? The recency of modern human spread implies that all modern humans are very much alike 19th-century Europeans were taught that other races were inferior Darwin and Wallace reported, admittedly with some surprise, that they are not [Savages] possess a mental organ beyond their needs. Natural Selection could only have endowed savage man with a brain a little superior to that of an ape, whereas he actually possesses one very little inferior to that of a philosopher. Wallace, 1870. Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection: A Series of Essays. He thought that this meant that the human mind could not have evolved by natural selection. The American aborigines, Negroes and Europeans are as different from each other in mind as any three races that can be named; yet I was incessantly struck, whilst living with the Fuegians on board the "Beagle", with the many little traits of character, shewing how similar their minds were to ours; and so it was with a full-blooded negro with whom I happened once to be intimate. Darwin, 1871. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. He wrote The Descent of Man in some haste, as he feared that Wallace had done some damage to their joint “child”. • Wallace drew his famous “Division of Indo-Malayan and Austro-Malayan Regions” as a result of his work in island Southeast Asia • He noted that the “Division between Malayan and Polynesian [sic] Races” lies further to the east • “The maritime enterprise and higher civilisation of the Malay races have enabled them to overrun a portion of the adjacent region, in which they have entirely supplanted the indigenous inhabitants” Wallace, 1869. The Malay Archipelago. Every major discovery in human evolution has been stoutly resisted Every major new fossil has been disparaged Neandertal discovered by Johannes Fuhlrott in 1856 All these characters are compatible with the Neanderthal skeleton having belonged to some poor idiot or hermit… This flexure [of the thighbone] is not normal, and is observable, like the inward flexure of the tuberosities of the ischial bones, in those who have been riders from their youth up. [It was a Mongolian Cossack of Chernichev’s army chasing the retreating French in 1814] A. F. Mayer, 1864 The individual in question had in his childhood suffered from a mild degree of rickets, and then returned to health and activity, interrupted by considerable damage to the skull, from which he fortunately recovered but which resulted in later Arthritis deformans along with the changes due to old age. C. Carter Blake, 1861 Rudolph Virchow, 1872 Huxley’s response: It could be and it was suggested that the Neanderthal skeleton was that of a strayed idiot; that the characters of the skull were the result of early synostosis or of late gout; and, in fact, any stick was good enough to beat the dog withal. Huxley, T. H. 1890. The Aryan question and prehistoric man. The Nineteenth Century, November, 1890. Reprinted in Man's Place in Nature and other Anthropological Essays, Pithecanthropus discovered by Eugene Dubois in 1891 (the first Homo erectus from Java) The fossil cranium described by Dubois is unquestionably to be regarded as human. Daniel Cunningham, 1895 A giant gibbon… According to all the rules of classification, this creature was an animal, to wit, an ape. Rudolph Virchow, 1895 Australopithecus africanus discovered by Raymond Dart in 1924 … on the evidence now produced one is inclined to place Australopithecus in the same group or subfamily as the chimpanzee and gorilla. Sir Arthur Keith, 1925 I see nothing… definitely nearer to the human condition than the corresponding parts of the skull of a modern chimpanzee. Sir Arthur Smith Woodward, 1925 Australopithecus… appears to be only a dwarfed gorilla. Ernst Schwarz, 1934 … and, by then, the religious fringe had become aware of palaeoanthropology… • Dart is • sitting on the brink of the eternal abyss of flame • Dart will • roast in the general fires of Hell • Dart’s punishment will be • being unblessed with a family which looks like this hideous monster with the hideous name Homo floresiensis Discovered by Thomas Sutikna, Mike Morwood and their colleagues in 2004 LB1 is drawn from an earlier pygmy Homo sapiens population but individually shows signs of a developmental abnormality, including microcephaly – Teuku Jacob et al., 2006 LB1 could well be a microcephalic Homo sapiens – Robert D. Martin et al, 2006 The remains represent a variant of H. sapiens possessing a combined growth hormone – insulin-like growth factor I axis modification and mutation of the MCPH gene family – Gary D. Richards, 2006 We hypothesize that these individuals are myxoedematous endemic (ME) cretins, part of an inland population of (mostly unaffected) Homo sapiens – Peter Obendorf et al., 2008 And of course the Creationists • It seems much simpler and more consistent to accept that these were descendants of Adam, part of the post-Babel dispersion. Carl Wieland, Soggy dwarf bones http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2004/1028dwarf.asp • …creationists understand that there are some differences between modern man and the ancient skeleton, and that this is just another example of God's creativity in designing people. Ken Ham (interviewed by Mary Rettig), Creationism May Explain Skeletal Remains Better Than Darwinism http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/11/52004d.asp • This should cause Christians to assert without embarrassment that the little people of Flores were human beings, descendants of Adam, bearing the image of God. They were smaller than us, but we have encountered pygmy groups before. We can also argue on the basis of biblical revelation that they probably lived much more recently than the archeologists tell us. FIRST-PERSON: Dragon-slaying Hobbits and biblical truth (Russell D. Moore, Baptist Press, Nov 11, 2004) http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=19528 • This is just another example of the hurriedness of evolutionists to accept a fossil that would prove evolution without checking out the facts completely. You see this in the already debunked Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, Lucy, and others. Pro Rege Papers: A Journal Exploring Biblical Thought Concerning Various Subjects http://www.prorege.org/papers01/category/creation-vs-evolution/ Tom Huxley, where are you now that we need you?