Genetics have helped lots of scientists to explain humans’ evolution through the time and the space and why there are many different races today. Thus, from the beginning in Africa to now in the different continents, biologists try to explain the human origins using studies of genes, blood, and DNA. They are trying to find out the origin of human beings, how they evolved in terms of brute force and intellectual knowledge, and why they differ among them in matter of body characteristics.
To begin with, scientists have different explanation of the origins of human beings. On the one hand geographical origin, and on the other hand biological origin. For geoscientists, all the different types of humans that exist today come from a single block of land called “Pangea” thousands of years ago. It is only after the movements of plate tectonics that this block was gradually divided to give the different continents that we know today: Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. It is only after the discovery of many skeletons including that of Lucy, one of the oldest bones originating from the species of Australopithecus, that geoscientists have traced the course of the human species. according to their research, the studies of the different bones found suggest that all the different races that we distinguish today are native to Africa. So, at the very beginning, all the first human beings lived together on the same territory that is Africa. Due to their nomadism, often in search of better living conditions, they spread off and found themselves in different regions. From the favorable living conditions found, they began to settle. Thus, was born sedentarization. As a result, notions of cultures, villages, cities, countries, and continents were born. From then on, we distinguished several races.
Biologists support the same argument that all humans have the same origin. Based on research using the relationships that exist between the different genes and DNAs of the different races, they have been able to find explanations for the different human characteristics such as the color of skin and eyes, the shape and texture of hair, the shape of noses, etc. Biologists, geographers, and historians alike claim that Africa is the cradle of humanity and all the different humans were the same at the beginning.
Talking about their physical evolution, humans, since the beginning to now, have always been the weakest animals. They have had enough strength and techniques to practice hunting, fishing, and gathering for their survival. Moreover, compared to the other animals, they are not really fast. Others can run three to four times faster than them. However, in matter of endurance, human beings are the most endurance runners during the whole evolution of the human race. Their body characters get adapted with the time according to their living conditions.
The way humans’ body is nowadays, is different from the way it was thousands of years ago. On the one hand, the only part of the body that still the same between Australopithecus and the hominins is the lower body. The size of their arms, legs, stomach, etc. still the same. On the other hand, from the neck to the head has hugely changed. Humans’ head, to get adapted to their brains’ size, had become bigger. Consequently, their necks had become larger and stronger to be able to support their heads. Also, their faces have become proportionately broad to their heads. All these changes have been made to get adapted to the increasing size of the brains.
Human beings for millennia have been recognized as the most intelligent beings. At their beginning, they used to live off hunting, fishing, and gathering and ate raw food. The awaking of their intelligence only began when they discovered the fire and began cooking. From that time, they started thinking more. After discovering agriculture, they started to settle down. Thus, the systems of communication and cooperation were established. The introduction of technology into the lives of humans was a very important phase to which their metacognitive skills have reached their peak. Accordingly, the size of their brains has become larger and larger with the time. One more thing that helped their brains to become bigger is the fact that they ate more healthier food as they started cooking.
Unfortunately, humans have reached a certain degree of technological development as their daily lives have become mechanized. They live in a certain comfort that they no longer conduct any physical activity themselves. They get all done by the machines. As a consequence, they do not live as long as they did centuries ago. Also, they got new diseases such as cancers, diabetes, and obesity.
All in all, humans from the beginning to now have evolved in many aspects. They evolved geographically from Africa to the five continents we have today, historically from Australopithecus to hominins, physically, and intellectually. All these changes have been made so that humans can get adapted to their conditions. In my opinion, based on all these changes that have been made though the time, I think we, human beings, are going to continue evolving with the time. Maybe the future generations are going to be more intelligent than we are and will have other skills that permit them to survive to these new diseases we discovered.
Written by: Tarbari Rafik
“The Genographic Project,” National Geographic, genographic.nationalgeographic.com/about/
Wells, Spencer. “The Journey of man (part 1 of 13)- Genetic Odyssey,” YouTube, 21 December,2009. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBJDGzzrMyQ.