DR ADAM RUTHERFORD Says The Ape Turning Into A Man Scheme Is ‘So Wrong’ – .

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DR ADAM RUTHERFORD Says The Ape Turning Into A Man Scheme Is ‘So Wrong’ – .


It is one of the most famous images in the history of scientific endeavor. The Road To Homo Sapiens, by American artist Rudolph Zallinger, is a handy shortcut to show the gradual evolution from primitive crawling apes to mankind walking upright.

The image was created for a children’s book in the mid-1960s and has since appeared everywhere in humorously twisted versions, from T-shirts to The Simpsons. But the last few days have seen a new discovery that perfectly illustrates what scientists like me have known for a long time: the picture is completely wrong.

A week ago, a huge prehistoric skull that had been hidden in a Chinese well for 85 years resurfaced. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fit easily into the famous picture, which shows us bigger and bigger brains as we evolve.

The head was first discovered in 1933 by workers constructing a bridge over the Songhua River in Harbin, northern China. The workers wrapped it in cloth and hid it in an old well to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Japanese soldiers occupying the province.

“So it turns out that the more we watch, the messier our story gets – and the more interesting. It’s still the greatest story ever told, but the evolution of mankind looks less like a progression or a tree and more like a huge, sprawling, gloriously entangled bush, ”said Dr Rutherford.

He remained there until 2018, when one of the workers revealed the secret to his grandson. The grandson recovered the skull from its hiding place and gave it to researchers at Hebei Geo University, who said it was at least 146,000 years old.

They believe it comes from an unknown hominid – an early human species. Once again, our species sees that we are going to have to rethink the history of humanity to adapt to new scientific discoveries.

Evolution by natural selection was Charles Darwin’s grand idea and this year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of his great book, The Descent Of Man, in which he applies his theory to humans.

Much evidence has been accumulated since Darwin’s time, from fossil bones to, more recently, DNA analysis. This gives us a larger picture of our evolution, which we often imagine as a tree with different species branching out at different times from the start of life on Earth.

Dr. Adam Rutherford said: “The Road to Homo Sapiens, by American artist Rudolph Zallinger, is a practical shortcut to show the gradual evolution of primitive crawling monkeys to standing humanity.”

This new information means that the classic picture of human development distorts our evolution in two important ways. First, it implies that there is a definite direction towards evolution, towards two legs, big brains and tools.

Evolution doesn’t work like that. Hundreds of creatures use tools, from crows and otters to octopuses – so it’s not that special.

Walking on two legs is important to us, but it is not necessarily more advanced than the form of locomotion of any other creature.

Evolution has no foresight and does not point in any particular direction. Natural selection promotes gradual change, which allows organisms to be successful in their changing environment.

The second flaw is the implication of a linear progression.

We continue to find more and more hominid remains that have died for thousands of years. By extracting and analyzing their DNA, we realized that we don’t really know the direct path between early humans and us. We have dotted lines and working theories, but for the most part we no longer know who our ancestors were.

This does not mean that we have retreated in our understanding. It’s just that the picture is much more complicated.

For example, we have discovered perhaps a dozen different human species that have lived over the past millions of years. We are Homo (for human) sapiens. But there were also Homo habilis, literally “handyman” because they used tools; and Homo erectus, which stood and stretched from Africa to Indonesia about two million years ago until 100,000 years ago when they became extinct.

A week ago, a huge prehistoric skull that had been hidden in a Chinese well for 85 years resurfaced.  Unfortunately, that doesn't fit easily into the famous picture, which shows us bigger and bigger brains as we evolve.

A week ago, a huge prehistoric skull that had been hidden in a Chinese well for 85 years resurfaced. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fit easily into the famous picture, which shows us bigger and bigger brains as we evolve.

In 2005, we discovered Homo floresiensis, which was small – around 5 feet tall – and with large feet, which is why they were nicknamed “Hobbits”. We believe they descended from Homo erectus and became small due to their isolation on Flores and a few other neighboring islands in Indonesia. The best known of other humans is Homo neanderthalensis, or Neanderthals. They were the first new type of human discovered in the early 19th century. They lived mainly in Europe and Central Asia, and the last one died out around 40,000 years ago, possibly in what is now Gibraltar.

Neanderthals were generally bigger than us, with thicker eyebrows, wider noses, and big barrel chests. We’re not sure what their skin color is, but it was probably a pretty diverse range, and it was even suggested that some had red hair (although I don’t believe so).

Their reputation as rogue cavemen comes from their powerful physique. Recent research has shown, however, that they were makers of cultured and sophisticated tools that made art, carved patterns on woods, and buried their dead with intricate rituals.

Most people thought the Neanderthals were our evolutionary cousins ​​until DNA analysis in 2009 showed something radically different: They were also our ancestors. Most Europeans have about one to two percent of Neanderthal DNA. Regardless of what Neanderthals looked like, our Homo sapiens ancestors liked them enough to have children with them.

Researchers who have studied him believe it to be a new human species which they named Homo longi - the dragon man, because it was found in China.

Researchers who have studied it believe it to be a new human species which they named Homo longi – the dragon man, because it was found in China.

The Chinese skull is a new part of this fascinating puzzle.

Researchers who have studied it believe it to be a new human species which they named Homo longi – the dragon man, because it was found in China. Some scientists – myself included – suspect that we may have encountered this type of human before.

In Siberia in 2009, scientists found teeth and a finger bone in a teenage girl – not enough to classify a new species, but DNA analysis revealed that it was different from us and Neanderthals, and that the ‘Homo sapiens had successfully mated with his ancestors.

Today we are the last human species in existence.

The oldest remains of Homo sapiens, discovered in Morocco, are 315,000 years old, but with a haircut and nice clothes, I don’t think they would be out of place on the streets today.

We continue to find more and more hominid remains that have died for thousands of years.  By extracting and analyzing their DNA, we realized that we don't really know the direct path from the first humans to us.

We continue to find more and more hominid remains that have died for thousands of years. By extracting and analyzing their DNA, we realized that we don’t really know the direct path from the first humans to us.

Similar remains have been found in places such as Ethiopia and the Rift Valley in East Africa.

It now seems that there has never been a linear progression.

Instead, Homo sapiens evolved from a mixture of different early humans from the African continent who slowly migrated all over the world around 100,000 years ago. Some headed to Europe and met the Neanderthals. Others went east and encountered the Denisovans.

So it turns out that the more we watch, the messier and more interesting our story becomes. It’s still the greatest story ever told, but the evolution of mankind looks less like a progression or a tree and more like a huge, sprawling, gloriously entangled bush.

It’s definitely not an image that would look so good on a T-shirt.

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