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Human Origins

Uploaded by frollypoo on Mar 02, 2002

Many people have different views regarding the same topic. Over the years, countless theories have been brought forward to answer the question of human origins. Scientists, archaeologists, anthropologists and religious groups have spent lots of time arguing in support of their own respected theories. With the use of technology such as carbon dating and improvements in scientific methods; new fossil evidence has traced humanities bipedalism back to five million years, shedding some light on humanities past. Conversely, these new fossil finds have only led to more controversy. The church also has a set view on human origins and it differs very much from that of scientists. The theories of Johanson, Leakey and the church can tell us a lot about human origins.

While working Hadar near the Afar region in Ethiopia in 1974, Donald Johanson made one very controversial archaeological find. This was 40% of an Australopithecus skeleton that he decided to name Lucy. At this time Lucy was known as the oldest hominid. Her teeth structure indicated that she was in her mid twenties and her knee joint and pelvis indicated that she was an upright walker, similar to those of a modern woman. Contrary to other species of the time, Lucy had a very small brain, practically the size of a small chimpanzee, the smallest out of any other hominids discovered at that time. A few years after, in 1975, Johanson and his colleague Tim White returned to that same region and uncovered ‘the First Family’, this was four children and nine adult males and females. For more than two years White and Johanson and White studied the fossils they brought back from the site. Previously, White had worked with Mary Leakey who had found 3 sets of fossilized hominids in Laetoli; White found that the Johanson fossils and the Leaky fossils were similar in date and nature. White convinced Johanson that the two were from the same species and a new species; Australopithecus afarensis was named in 1979. Johanson believed that all homos evolved from Australopithecus afarensis; he concluded that they were the only hominids living before three million years. Johanson assumed that between three and two million years ago, Afarensis lived all over Africa, then evolved into different species such as the africanus, robustus and boisei. After a while all those species went extinct, except for the afarensis in the east, which evolved into Homo habilis...

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Uploaded by:   frollypoo

Date:   03/02/2002

Category:   Science And Technology

Length:   6 pages (1,324 words)

Views:   1758

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