Evolution

.. the two organisms from head to toe, and from anatomy to embryo development. Similarities between the two organisms would provide some facts helpful in proving the humans and apes to be related. In comparing anatomy, a multitude of similarities is present. Both human and ape have diversified teeth, meaning a variety of tooth types such as molars, incisors, and canines.

This also confirms that humans and apes are omnivorous, eating both meat and vegetables. Both lack an external tail and both are capable of reaching an upright posture as well as bipedal locomotion, walking on two legs. Humans and apes both have an appendix, which is an appendage that it believed to be used for the digestion of rocks, sticks, and tree bark. Humans do not have a need to digest rocks; therefore their appendix is fairly small and useless. The theory of evolution would lead us to believe that human ancestors did have to digest stones and needed a strong appendix, but as a result of disuse, the appendix in modern humans has shrunken and weakened and is not needed.

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Other similarities in anatomy between man and ape include, stereoptic vision, which is the ability to see in three dimensions, and similarities in cranial structure. In comparative embryology, a similarity in the length of the gestation period is observed. Fetal development in both humans and apes is between 250 and 280 days. In biochemistry, the two species reach sexual maturity between the ages of 8 and 15 years due to the secreting of hormones. They also have similar blood types.

The most intriguing similarities are those that have to do with behavior and psychology. Both man and ape have similar personality ranges. They interact in small social units, families of two to six members, and they have the ability to invent their own culture, for example, tool making (Moore 185). Even with all of the information about similarities between man and ape, there is still more evidence proving the theory of evolution. Determined and curious scientists, archeologists, and anthropologists began to study the geologic and fossil records in order to obtain actual remains of human ancestors. The fossil evidence for immediate ancestors of modern humans is divided into the genera Australopithecus and Homo, and begins almost 5 million years ago. Australopithecus originated in Africa, which was believed to be the place of origin of mans ancestors, and were most primitive. The Genus Homo pertained to the more modern and complex ancestors who began to spread through and eventually out of Africa (Human Evolution).

Scientists discoveries are hard evidence supporting the evolution theory as well as helping to date the beginnings and stages of mankind. One such discovery was the finding of Australopithecus Ramidus. Ramidus, meaning root, is thought to be the missing link between man and ape. It was given that name because it is the beginning of man, mans roots. Dated to be 4.4 million years old, it is the oldest hominid, human ancestor, ever unearthed. Tim White, from the University of California, discovered Australopithecus Ramidus in 1992, near Aramis, Ethiopia. This hominid was more apelike than manlike, but not completely ape (Thomas 136). An amazing discovery that had a large impact on the scientific world of evolution was the discovery of Lucy.

Lucy was Australopithecus Afzrensis that dated back 3.5 million years. Found by paleoanthropologist, Donald Johanson, in Hadar, Ethiopia, on November 30, 1974. The reason why it was such a huge find was because the 3 foot tall female hominid skeleton was the most complete, best preserved skeleton of any erect-walking human ancestor that has ever been found. The completeness allowed for an accurate idea of how she should have been pieced together, what she looked like, and how old she was (Johanson 86). Until the discovery of Lucy and Australopithecus Ramidus, the oldest known human ancestor was Australopithecus Africanus, known as the Southern Ape from South Africa (Thomas 136). It was a little more than 3 million years old and was thought to be the missing link until the later discoveries (Lemonick 82).

Raymond Dart discovered Australopithecus Africanus near Tuang, South Africa, in 1925 (Thomas 69). Another important finding was of ER-1470. ER-1470 was the oldest known Homo, Homo Habilis. Named after its discovery sight, ER-1470 was the oldest most complete representative of Homo Habilis. Richard E.

Leakey located the skeleton near Lake Turkana in Kenya. It was named Homo Habilis because that meant skillful person. The 1.8 million old skeleton featured a large cranial capacity, meaning it was more intelligent than the older ancestors, a compact face, and small teeth. This species had grown a foot and a half since Lucy, reaching 4 1/2 to 5 feet tall. Its cranial capacity was 50 cubic inches, which was also a great amount larger than the older ancestors.

Homo Habilis was the first to use tools, which were found, at the site. Thats just another reason for its title of skillful person (Thomas 140). Before Homo Sapiens, modern day humans, there was the Neanderthal Man. Its discovery was also extremely important discovery because of its young, 1 million-year-old age. Discovered in a small cave in the Neander Valley near Dusseldorf, Germany, Homo Neanderthalensis was 5 feet tall with an even larger cranial capacity than Homo Habilis. Neanderthals made tools and controlled fire, two major achievements for primitive man (Thomas 44). These discoveries make up the strong evidence proving the theory of evolution.

As more and more discoveries of primitive skulls and bones of human ancestors were made, an evolution scale could be created. The scale is a timeline of human ancestors beginning at the most apelike and moving to the most humanlike until the modern day human is finally reached. Starting 4.4 million years ago was Australopithecus Ramidus and ending with Homo Sapiens Sapiens, the anatomically modern human being. As the scale moves from oldest hominid to youngest, the species become taller, more erect in their posture, and their cranial capacity increases, indicating a increase in intelligence (Lemonick 82). These facts are just more evidence supporting the evolution theory.

As scientists attempted to prove their ideas of adaptation and development, others still believed in the idea of creation. On May 7, 1925, in Tennessee, a popular schoolteacher by the name of John Scopes was arrested. He was charged with teaching the theory of evolution to his class on April 24. In court, Scopes strong defense penetrated the prosecutions case when they stated that the Bible could not always be taken literally and that there was no way the world could have been created in six days. Even though Scopes was found guilty of contradicting creationism and the Bibles teachings, the persuasion of the defenses case brought up the major question of evolution versus creation. In 1996, the issue was revisited and now teachers have the right to teach both theories. The Attorney General said the constitutional separation of church and state would be violated if both theories were not acceptable.

This trial was a major step for those who believed in evolution. The outcome eventually allowed for people to open their eyes and accept new ideas. The theory of evolution proved to be true (Monkey). The controversy over whether evolution or creation is the correct answer to human origins is a major topic of discussion and argument in todays society. People are entitled to their beliefs, but a great deal of evidence and supporting information has confirmed the theory of evolution to be factual and accurate. By combining all of this information along with comparisons between man and ape and the discoveries of humanlike fossils, the truth is apparent.

The theory of evolution is correct.