Human Evolution

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Human Evolution

Human evolution is the biological and cultural development of humans. A human is any member of the species Homo sapiens, meaning "wise man." Since at least the Upper Paleolithic era, some 40,000 years ago, every human society has devised a creation myth to explain how humans came to be. Creation myths are based on cultural beliefs that have been adopted as a legitimate explanation by a society as to where we came from.

The science of paleoanthropology, which also tries to create a narrative about how humans came to be, is deeply technical. Paleoantropology is the science of the evolution of humans, and it is the base of all research in that field. Humans have undergone many different changes during the last hundred million years, and it is the paleoanthropologist's job to identify and explain these changes. In this research paper I will examine: human physical traits that define their species, human origins from pre-humans to modern humans, major discoveries and the history of human evolution, and what the future may hold as far as evolution for the human species.

Homo sapiens are the only living representative of the family Hominidae. The Hominidae, or hominids are a group of upright walking primates with relatively large brains. So all humans are hominids, but not all hominids could be called human. Next all humans are primates. The mammalian order of primates includes about 180 species of prosimians (lemur like animals), monkeys, apes, and ourselves. Primates are unusual mammals for they have evolved such distinctive traits as highly developed binocular vision, mobile fingers and toes with flat nails instead of claws, a shortened snout with a reduced sense of smell, and large brains relative to body siz...

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...hat the species is "going somewhere" under natural selection and then describe how most successful species are stable through their geological lifetimes. Furthermore, given the relative pace of cultural change and lack of isolation of human populations, there is little chance for a new different human species. Modern understanding of human evolution rests on known fossils, but the picture is far from complete. Only future fossil discoveries will enable scientists to fill many of the blanks in the present picture of human evolution. Employing sophisticated technological devices as well as the accumulated knowledge of the patterns of geological deposition, anthropologists are now able to pinpoint the most promising locations for fossil hunting more accurately. In the years ahead this will result in an enormous increase in the understanding of human biological history.

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