Development Of Man


Development Of Man Essay, Research Paper

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 didn?t 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 wasn?t 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. Today?s

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 English?s? 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 man?s

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

Earth?s 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 we?re 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.

Simak, Clifford D. Prehistoric Man. New York, 1971-72. St. Martin?s 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.

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