Human Origins Essay

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—— Tim White is a world renowned paleoanthropologist and professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California at Berkeley.

His work frequently takes him to study sites in Afar, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania (at Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli) and Turkey.

His primary research involves human evolution in all its dimensions and he and his colleagues are credited with the discovery in Ethiopia in 1995 of perhaps the oldest known human ancestor, , dated to 4.4 million years ago.

The National Science Foundation supports his work on a Middle Awash research project in Ethiopia.

Darwin got it mostly right By Tim White The 1859 book “On the Origin of Species” is notorious for Darwin's evasion of the subject of human evolution.

In it, he wrote only: "much light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history." However, Darwin more directly discussed the subject of human evolution in his 1871 treatise, “The Descent of Man” In that book, he clearly laid out a prediction that human ancestors would be found in Africa.—— Please see the Resources section for the Bibliography/Additional Reading list for this essay.Aeon email newsletters are issued by the not-for-profit, registered charity Aeon Media Group Ltd (Australian Business Number 80 612 076 614).Her bones eventually eroded out of ancient channel deposits and her discoverers nicknamed her "Lucy." The completeness and quality of her skeleton has provided considerable insight into early hominids.On the family tree, Lucy's species is one of many now bridging the gap between modern people and the last common ancestor that we shared with the living African apes. Darwin, as a historical scientist, employed what he knew about the modern world to predict what might have been found in the world of the past.Darwin's core insight lets us understand how evolution works and is now the bedrock of biology.It is also the very basis for understanding how we got here.It seems likely that Darwin would have been delighted to witness the arrival and interpretation of that new evidence.The approach that he brought us—how to be curious, critical and creative scientists—has indeed seen evolutionary biology through the last 150 years very nicely. The average Neanderthal brain was slightly larger than that of modern humans, but this is probably correlated with larger body size in general. Indeed, Neanderthals lived mostly in cold climates. neanderthalensis had a protruding jaw, receding forehead, and weak chin.


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