Human Evolution

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Human Evolution

When people take a look at African history in general many topics and ideas come to mind. How the people of Africa lived, how they developed civilizations and cultures, and how their oral traditions came about are just a few examples. When I am trying to learn about different groups of people and different areas of the world I most likely start at the very beginning of their existence. Africa being the origin of man and the home for the majority of developments of early humans suggests that human evolution is an extremely import topic in African history today. Keeping this in mind it is obvious that if any elements from our African Civilizations class should be required taught in U.S. high schools, the origin of man and human evolution should be considered important enough. Along with the historical controversy it created, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is relevant to everything on this planet. This lesson is important for students in a number of ways. Requiring this teaching will help the world progress and gain more knowledge about evolution in the future. High school students need to learn this because it helps them to understand themselves more as well as the continent of Africa. By learning this it also gives students a chance to better develop their own ideas and opinions about how humans came to be. How the hominids and primates advanced technologically, adapted, and developed into modern day Homo sapiens are important topics in African history and everyday life.

The theory of evolution, proposed by Charles Darwin in 1859, suggested that humans evolved from chimpanzees and gorillas many millions of years ago. The discovery of the earliest hominid (Australopithecus) by anthropologist Raymond Dart, in 1925, was made in South Africa. From the time of the Australopithecus, archeological evidence has provided quite an amount of information on other branches of early humanlike creatures. I as well as many others would be skeptical about the thought of humans evolving from apes if there wasn’t a decent amount of archaeological proof to support this idea. Students should learn about stone- tool, fossil, and artifact evidence because it will provide them with knowledge of how hominids lived, adapted and evolved over time. It is important to learn what happened from the very beginning and this information provides the basis of ...

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...person’s religious background or their lack of knowledge in this area. Kids and young adults may sometimes feel obligated to believe an idea because older people like their parents or priests believe that, or they have told them what to believe. Learning true facts that support the African origin of man may not necessarily change the beliefs of strict fundamentalists, but it could certainly help to shape his or her views. In concluding my thoughts above, I think it would be helpful to provide students solid evidence and facts so they could learn and develop an idea of how humans came about.

“ Peopling implies the existence of distinctive peoples and hence highlights the issue of identity. All humanity shares a common Africa-forged genetic identity, and to see how and why this has happened, we will have to examine the course of primate and hominid evolution” (Newman 3). This statement made by James L. Newman basically sums up the reason why human evolution and the origin of man should be the elements of African history required taught in all U.S. high schools. We are humans and it is important that we know where we came from as well as how we developed into what we are today.
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