Hi, everyone. I have spent several days studying human evolution from Homo habilis
all the way to Homo sapien
. The purpose of this
extensive studying was to try and pinpoint what our next evolutionary stage may hold, and when it may occur.
The five species in which we will be discussing are:
first appeared around 2.3 million years ago, and are the first and oldest species under the genus Homo
. They thrived on
Earth for approximately 1 million years. They were possibly the first species to begin to use tools. In appearance, H. habilis
were very much
like chimpanzees, although they were bipedal hominids.
is the longest surviving species under the genus Homo
, thriving for about 1.675 million years. They appeared approximately
1.3 million years ago and disappeared around 325,000 years ago. They differ from H. habilis
in that they were much more human looking, and they
lived in small Hunter-Gatherer societies. It is believed that they could not formulate spoken language, though their communication was more
sophisticated than chimpanzees'. H. erectus
were the first species to hunt in coordinated groups, and also the first to care for their
wounded and sick. Findings in Indonesia indicate that H. erectus
may have had seafaring capability.
This is what most people imagine when someone says the word "caveman". Even the cavemen portrayed in the popular television commercials are
reconstructions of H. heidelbergensis
. They were one evolutionary generation away from Homo neanderthalensis
and Homo sapiens
was separated into two populations by what most people refer to as the "Ice Age", which was actually the last glacial
. One population was separated into Europe, while the other was in Africa. The European population became Homo neanderthalensis
while the African population became Homo sapiens
As already mentioned, Neanderthals were the species that evolved in Europe. Neanderthals were closer to humans in appearance and skills than any other
species. Their language is speculated, but some believe that they used a "musical" language. It is confirmed that they contained the FOXP2 gene,
which plays an important part in the ability to communicate with verbal language. Neanderthals coexisted with humans for over 200,000 years. It is
believed that humans killed them off. Big surprise there.
Ah, yes. Modern human beings. We use spoken language and complex tools. H. sapien
stands out from all other species due to the exponentially
rapid advance of technology. After H. neanderthalensis
went extinct, we seemed to have flourished. Over 90% of our entire existence thus far
was prehistoric. Within only 10% of our existence, we have achieved technological advances that are incomparable with former advances. Whereas former
advances were evolutionarily significant (use of tools, language, social structure), our advances in the last 30,000 years have only been
technologically significant. The evolution of our species has shifted from genetic alterations to technological advances. We solve everything with
technology. This is the crucial stage at which our species hangs between life and death. Our technology will either destroy us or preserve us. Humans
will not evolve until we are past this stage. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will progress into what Michio Kaku calls a Type 1
. That will be our next evolutionary step. Following the pattern of former evolutionary advances between our ancestors, we will
advance our language to a new level, as well as our social structure. This may possibly mean telepathic communication and a much more empathic
society. By emapthic society I mean a natural understanding of one another, complete destruction of racism and social classes, and universal
acceptance of any differences. Genetic evolution may also play a part, causing us to become invulnerable to many diseases and have prolonged life,
though this would probably come about through external means (scientific advances).
In conclusion, I do not believe we as humans are on the threshold of some inevitable "awakening" where everyone is going to become extra-dimensional
beings. That would be cool, but it doesn't follow logical thinking. Evolution doesn't just happen. Natural selection takes it course, as well as
genetic changes. We are indeed living in exciting times. I think we may be as close as 100 years away from a Type 1 Civilization. After that,
evolution may be stimulated to occur due to a new environment: other planets. It depends on what the powers that be allow to happen...
Added source for Neanderthal "musical" language.
Revised a few things.
[edit on 4/22/2010 by OrphenFire]
[edit on 4/22/2010 by OrphenFire]