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What Caused Early Primates to Evolve into Modern Humans?

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  • Written By: Michael Anissimov
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2016
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Around 7 million years ago, the African ape Sahelanthropus tchadensis, the common ancestor of chimps and humans, came into being, diverging from the rest of the "Great Apes" which also included orangutans and gorillas. The Great Apes all exhibit forms of culture and communication beyond just their own bands or tribe, and can engage in behaviors such as empathic social deception, suggesting a theory of mind. Sahelanthropus tchadensis is considered the oldest hominin ancestor related to modern humans. Hominins include both chimps and humans while the genus Homo refers to human ancestors after the divergence from chimps.

Around five to three million years ago, human ancestors diverged from chimps with the species Australopithecus afarensis, of which the famous Lucy fossil is an example. We are sketchy on the exact dates because there is little fossil evidence of chimps, as they lived in a rainforest environment where bones are not preserved well. Sometime around 3 million years ago, our ancestors left the rainforest and started to colonize the plains, kickstarting many adapatations such as bipedalism. Australopithecus was the first group of human ancestors to walk upright.

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Homo habilis, the first member of the genus Homo, lived 2.4 to about 1.5 million years ago, and was the first tool-user. The use of simple, one-faced stone tools decreased the load on the teeth, and the molars shrunk accordingly. Social organization became more complex, with larger bands on average, permitting mutual cooperation but also intense intra-species cooperation for mates and dominance. Spear throwing developed, and as game became more scarce, members of Homo were forced to migrate around, even leaving Africa around 2 million years ago when the Sahara became even drier and larger than usual.

One of the biggest drivers of human evolution was sexual selection and violence - if one band of early humans could assault another band, kill all the males, and mate with all the females, their genes would be passed on to the next generation. It is important not to have an overly rosy or idealistic view of human evolution, as this is not the way things actually work. Our diets also became less specialized, as we adapted to make full use of both hunting and gathering in getting our nutrients.

Around 250,000 years ago, Homo sapiens finally appeared, capable of making more advanced hand-axes and "reworked" stone tools, allowing it to survive in a wide variety of environments and spread across the globe.

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anon305159
Post 6

Evolution is hard to prove because if it did, it happened too slowly and too long ago.

But we know for sure that humans used to paint animal figures on cave walls and then made animal, human and hybrid sculptures, which seems to be the beginning of religion. Like with everything else, humans made the religion better and better, from multiple gods like the Greeks to finally Monotheism.

Monotheism is most widely accepted because it's the most believable, but is still man made. You can argue that creation is a theory just like evolution, but you can't deny that all religions are man made. Most people don't know that that Noah's Ark story, which is told in all Abrahamic religions

, was actually first told in polytheistic religions before Abrahamic religions in nearby territories. And the flood story is an exaggerated version of a big but an ordinary flood.

A religious person's logic will simply deny the facts because religion tells you that you can't question it and you should accept what it tells you.

anon275232
Post 4

Do you know what a valgus knee is? It is a condition where the knees angle in and touch one another when the legs are straightened! This is a strong indication that she "normally" moved by walking upright, in a bi-pedal fashion.

Just because one doctor (one who is cited routinely by creationists) decides something is not correct does not make them correct. Multiple tests have been carried out on Lucy, and multiple tests have proven that she was bi-pedal. She also has characteristics of a gorilla, which of course disproves your tree-swinger theory, especially given her size and body frame.

j7e7f7f
Post 1

When was the Evolutionary Theory proven? So, why are you assuming it's true?

Lucy was *not* even close to bipedalism, she was proven to be a tree-swinger by Dr. Charles Oxnard, after conducting his multivariate analysis.

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