Development Of Man In the dictionary a human being is defined as a person showing qualities of people. But what exactly is a person or people? Do dictionaries go into detail about that? Where do we come from or why do we have ears? Scientists have been trying to answer questions like these for years, but everyone has a different opinion. Some say people originated from the very human like animal known as the Gorilla, others say we all came from an African American woman. But does anybody know for sure what we really came from or who we really are? The story of man first told to people and still told today is the story of Adam and Eve, God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. We have found many artifacts to contradict this story although most of us still believe that God had something to do with the creation of man as said in the bible. Prometheus story of man is not very different from the bibles.
Prometheus and Epimetheus were spared imprisonment for not fighting with the Titans during the war between the Titans and the Olympians.So they were given the task of creating man. Prometheus supposedly shaped man out of mud, and Athena breathed life into his clay figure. At first Prometheus is said to have made man on his hands and knees and Epimetheus had given the creatures of the Earth all of the other qualities so Prometheus gave man the ability to walk upright, and gave him fire. When Zeus discovered that man had fire he became enraged and took fire away from man, so we were left to only stand upright and supplied us with the feeling of hope. This story, not unlike the bibles, was also questioned whenever scientists started finding fossils of prehistoric man. Although we do not know very much about the mythology point of views on where humans came from, we do know the scientific explanation.For millions of years primates, chimpanzees, and orangutans roamed the forests and lands all around them.
They ate nuts, fruit, insects and occasionally the eggs or young birds out of the nests. Just about anything they could find that didnt look poisonous or dangerous, they would eat and make up different meals with each new item of different food that they found. They got their water from rivers and rain and just about anything else they could get water out of. When they slept, it wasnt on the ground or in a tent, it was up in a tree. As the centuries passed by, we have evidence that things began to change.
Spines straightened out and they began to walk straighter and faster, in an upright position. Fingers began to get longer, which made it easier to grasp objects. Today human newborns have only twenty-five percent of adult brain capacity, resulting in an extended period of helplessness.
Unlike humans, chimpanzees are born with sixty-five percent of their adult brain capacity and an Australopithecine, an erect, tool-using near human of three million years ago, was born with about fifty percent brain capacity. Scientists have done research on the human brain trying to determine why we do not use as much of our brain as primates, but so far all they have found is that the development of the modern brain remains incomplete, therefore we do not use it as much as we should.Today on Earth there are many languages, varying from the place you are living. Prehistoric man are also said to have had their own language, although we cannot prove this and only have little evidence of it, scientists believe that they talked to each other in screams or grunts, similar to gorillas and chimps. A large number of fossil bones and teeth have been found in various places throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia. Tools of stone, bone, and wood, as well as fire hearths, campsites, and burials, also have been discovered and examined. With all of the discoveries we have made we are able to come up with a picture of what we believe early man looked like. One group particularly talked about around the world is the Neanderthals.
The Neanderthals occupied Europe and the Middle East from 100,000 years ago until about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago, when they disappeared from the fossil record. Scientists dispute over the Neanderthals also involves the question of the origins of modern population, or race. By some scientists, it is believed that the color of our skins vary because of the places where our ancestors adapted.
But other scientists believe that the color of our skin has changed just recently. In their opinion, the features of the Neanderthals-a low, sloping forehead, large brow ridge, and a large face without a chin- were to early to be considered the ancestors of the modern humans. About 10,000 years ago, one of the most important events in human history took place-plants were domesticated, and soon after that, animals as well.This revolutional change set the stage of events in human history that eventually led to civilization. Todays understanding of the creation of humans is based on what we learn from fossils and artifacts that are found around other fossils. When Columbus arrived in the New World he found a Stone Age culture. He found the Indians, their way of life left them vulnerable to the Englishs attacks. Nearly every anthropologist believes that the predecessors of North American and South American Indians came to the two continents by way of Asia, across the Bering Strait and down through Alaska and Canada.
The Indians had very dark skin, unlike Africans or the English, so scientists believe that the Indians were from mild climate areas and that is how they determine where man came from. The colors of your skin tell a great deal about you, also, DNA tells us just about everything genetically that anybody wants to know about you. Human beings and other primates share the same general reproductive habits. With very few exceptions, primates bear only one baby at the time, and the female nurses the child for a long time.The rate of growth to maturity in young primates is slower than that in any other animal. There is a lot of dependence of the young on the adult in its first few stages of life. The first few years of a child that was born when man was first developing might have depended on their parents for about three or four years, unlike those today who depend on their parents for eighteen years or more. To escape comparing man to other animals, early biologists went so far as to develop systems of animal classification setting man on a plane by himself, free from comparison with other animals.
Anthropology has become so complex that it is difficult to explain exactly how many things are considered in attempting to evaluate man properly. To help this problem, anthropology has been divided into two major divisions.Part of it was concerned with mans appearance, his internal organs, and his general structure. These are all called physical anthropology. The tools men use, the things man does as an individual and in groups, the dwellings he uses, and other things that sort are called cultural anthropology.
Man is the only known animal capable of forming and maintaining a culture, but the growth of any culture rests upon a foundation of biology. The backbone and arms were the first parts to become “modern”. Anatomists say that mans ribs, arms, hands, and the larger bones that make up the main part of the spine, including the shoulder blades, were the first parts of the human skeletal framework to evolve to their present condition.This conclusion was made by comparing sections of the skeletal structure with that of any other similar mammal, mostly the apes and monkeys. The second largest area of our body to evolve into present form was the pelvis, our legs, and feet. We have made that conclusion by the fossils of apelike animals.
Many doctors believe that the human body is still evolving, and the proof of this is the trouble we all have with our joints, the bones of the legs, feet, and lower back. The final body unit to form was the head and its contents, and the first bone of the spinal column, the atlas.The face, brain and teeth apparently assumed their modern form only recently, although there have been no noticeable changes in these areas since the time of the Cro-Magnon cave dwellers. Many scientists believe that even today our teeth and face are taking shape in many other ways and making changes slowly but they predict over time that these changes will be noticeable. So far mans shape has changed tremendously over the years, just as the story has, but even so, we still may be changing right now while we sit or walk. In many more years we could be much shorter or maybe even taller, if the Earths gravity changes any we could be either, if it gets larger our bodies could grow as short as three feet, and we would be walking midgets. That may not seem probable now but whose to predict the future without knowing whats happening in the present tense.
Of course scientists think that we are changing but who really knows, and the only way we are ever going to know is to wait it out and see what happens.Maybe we all did come from Apes, or maybe we originated from Adam and Eve, atleast that would explain why men are missing a rib. But what real proof do we have? Fossils, paintings on walls, stories passed down from generation to generation, and the Bible. We may never know where we exactly originated from or what we were actually put on this Earth to accomplish, but maybe were succeeding in whatever it is. Maybe one day in the future we will have all the facts of what human beings really are, but until then we have our predictions. Bibliography Simak, Clifford D.Prehistoric Man. New York, 1971-72.
St. Martins Press. Scheele, William E. Prehistoric Man and The Primates.Ohio, 1957. The World Publishing Company.
Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia. Volume 13. 1867.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company.