Digging To The Past For Human Evolution Research

With the full development in both physical and mental, human has become the most evolved species in the ecosystem. However, to reach the peak of evolution, it requires thousands of years to grow and adapt to the environment. Thanks to paleoanthropologists, now we have the chance to look back to the long lasting history of human history.

The history of humanity

Before finding out who first appeared on Earth, we need to understand the word “human”. This word refers to the species belonging to the genus “Homo” (which means “man” in Latin).

The history of humanity
The history of humanity

The first human recorded is Homo Habilis or “handy man” who lived about 2.4 million to 1.4 million years ago in Eastern and Southern Africa. Others include Homo Rudolfensis, who lived in Eastern Africa about 1.9 million to 1.8 million years ago (its name comes from its discovery in East Rudolph, Kenya); and Homo Erectus, the “upright man” who ranged from Southern Africa all the way to modern-day China and Indonesia from about 1.89 million to 110,000 years ago. And we humans are Homo sapiens, a culture-bearing upright-walking species that lives on the ground and first evolved in Africa about 315,000 years ago and then dominated all continents.

How does evolution happen?

When there is change in genetic materials, evolution will happen. And the process of evolution requires a series of natural changes that make the species have to arise, adapt to the environment or become extinct. This can be called natural selection.

How does evolution happen
How does evolution happen

A change in a single individual is not evolution. Instead, it changes the inherited means of growth and development that typify a population (a group of individuals of the same species living in a particular habitat). Parents pass adaptive genetic changes to their offspring, and ultimately these changes become common throughout a population. As a result, the offspring inherit those genetic characteristics that enhance their chances of survival and ability to give birth, which may work well until the environment changes.

Research the evolution

To research human evolution is the duty of paleoanthropology. Unlike paleontologists who study every organism’s fossils, paleoanthropologists focus on searching for the roots of and  behaviors that can affect our modern humans today.

Research the evolution
Research the evolution

The most important evidence concerning this ancient history comes from early human fossils and archeological remnants. These remnants include bones, tools, and any other evidence left by previous humans (such as footprints, traces of hearths, or butchery markings on animal bones). Typically, the corpses were buried and let to decay naturally. They are then found either on the surface (exposed to rain, rivers, and wind eros) or digging below ground.

By studying fossilized bones, scientists learn about the physical appearance of earlier humans and how it changed. Also working with an archeologist who studies ruins, artifacts can help these scientists understand how early humans made and used tools and lived in their environments.

Paleoanthropology is an intriguing scientific topic since it explores the origins of our species’ universal and defining features across millions of years. However, some people are troubled by the notion of human evolution because it appears to contradict religious and other traditional beliefs about how humans, other living things, and the planet came to be.