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Humanity’s Place in Evolution and Evolution’s Place in Humanity By: Merritt Goodman, JoAnna Piscitello, Richard Robinson, Aaron McKinney, Elizabeth Jasperse The Gossiping Ape By: Richard Robinson Humans are a very social creatures. As a society we form everything from nations to tribes to clubs/organization The History of the African Guess In the 1860s Darwin began comparing humans to great apes. From this comparison, Darwin noticed a close resemblance between the two anatomies. This led Darwin to his “African Guess” in 1871. Evolution Stages (cont.) Stage 1: pushed the ancestors out of the forest and onto the African savannas (5 million years ago) Stage 2: Invention of the first stone tools (2.5 million years ago) Stage 3: Massive hand axes were being constructed (1.5 million years ago) Stage 4: Mastery of fire and formation of spears and other tools (.5 million years ago) Stage 5: Cave paintings, jewelry, more cultural activities (50,000 years ago) Wandering Evolution As our ancestors moved through these transitions, they began to change habitats. As the habitats changed, the way we moved adapted as did our diets. These changes also affected the anatomy of the hominids. Wandering (cont.) About 2.5 million years ago, the first known homo appeared. these homos were the first to have features like opposable thumbs and big brains the first homo had a 50% larger brain than the hominids, relative to their body size At this point all traces of tree climbing were gone. This homo is known as Homo ergaster and is the first warrant the title: human being Evolving a Theory of Mind Studies show that chimps have an understanding of some basic facts. These studies also show that the common ancestor of humans and chimps could not understand that they all had brains. As the habitat changed, bigger social groups began forming. Passions Some scientists suggest that the most basic behavior of hominids is the ability to find a mate Even a more select group believes that we are still ruled by the same behaviors today Not So Happily Ever After A male– many offspring; a female is limited As a result certain qualities are sought According to David Buss, UT psychologist, women prefer older men and men prefer younger women (Zimmer 278) Ian Penton Voak of St Andrews Univ. did a face test to find which type is more attractive to women Are You Cheating On Me? No obvious signal that lets people know that their mate is cheating The thought of sexual betrayal makes a man’s heart beat 5 extra times a minutes (equivalent to 3 cups of coffee) Toward Language As hominid bands expanded, their complexity grew as well Grooming Language is not a product of evolution Simply another way to express our alliances with one another The Dawn of Us In the Beginning… • • • • 4.5 billion years ago 3.85 billion years ago 250 million years ago 600,000 years ago common ancestor of human species evolved • Between 200,000-100,000-biologically modern humans evolved in Africa • 50,000 years ago-left Africa and replaced all other human species. Old Theory of Evolution • Claims that modern human evolution began a million years ago. • A single human species, homo erectus, lived in Africa and spread throughout the world. • Different regions continued to mate with one another so that no one group fragmented into another species. • They evolved distinguished characteristics in relation to climate and eventually become modern humans within their particular region. New Theory of Evolution VS. Homo Erectus Neanderthals -Two distinct species neither was the ancestor of the Homo Sapiens. -After a proposal that modern humans actually evolved out of African immigrants and that the three groups were actually distinct species, Allan Wilson analyzed mitochondrial DNA to determine different lineages. -Wilson discovers Africa is the source of the common ancestor of living humans. -“Mitochondrial Eve”-common African ancestor estimated somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 years old. -Scientists began formulating theory called “Out of Africa” “Out of Africa” • As Homo spread out of Africa, it evolved into many distinct species that didn’t breed with one another. • Homo erectus-Asia Homo neanderthalensis- Europe and Near East • While these species spread, Homo sapiens begin to evolve from older hominids back in Africa. • Homo sapiens then began to spread to Asia and Europe. • All other human species become extinct and homo sapiens survive. Cultural Evolution • Something occurs, possibly population boom, that causes homo sapiens to invent modern tools and art, more advanced than that of the other homo species. (Brain Change) • When Homo sapiens spread to the Homo erectus, the resident hominids may have pulled back into the inland jungles to find refuge. • Culture continues to evolve. For example: language, airplanes, music, mathematics, cooking, technology. • Because people are spreading and mixing, it may be very hard for natural selection to produce much change. Evolution in modern humans has slowed drastically. • Zimmer discusses the possibility of computers evolving an intelligence like our own and perhaps even a consciousness.