This reminds me of one of my favorite points that Dawkins makes, in The Greatest Show on Earth. If you show a bunch of Creationists the thousands of fossils we have of early humans/human-like ancestors, they'll divide up the skulls into two piles: 'Fully Human' and 'Fully Ape', denying any evolution between the two, along the progression from more ape-like to more human-like.
But each Creationist will mark it at a different dividing-line.
apologies PaleoAnthroEvo, i should have read ur post first. u conveyed the same sentiment i had but did a much better job.
i'm sorry to say that i think the question is meaningless. here's why: u first have to define human. natural selection, at least in the state of the art understanding, i *think*, is supposed to be a gradual process. so, when exactly the first homo sapiens sapiens appeared is fuzzy. speciation is a tricky thing and it is generally the speciation point that most people cling to. so, do u mean when was the first fully speciated homo sapien sapien organism born? well, it further depends on whether we will accept the somewhat arbitrary definition of "homo sapien sapien". what exactly is that? u see, its all arbitrary when put in the context of the traits u are specifying.
And about those traits. i hear this a lot. but, biologists correct me, i think this is also meaningless. even if we can say that we're talking about the same species when comparing "us" to "them" "back then" u are still talking about vastly different creatures. things like complexion, hair color, etc. are meaningless because these traits could have had values that no longer exist today, or that exist in a different form. there was no "white" or "black" human being 1 million years ago; not in the sense that those "races" or "ethnicities" are understood today. back then it was a different set of "races" in play; some that might not - and likely don't - even exist now.
hope that made sense, but its kind of like that "eve" discussion. it doesn't mean anything.
for further confusion:
one further point is that i was once told to keep in mind that natural selection is all about genes propagating themselves and the organisms being their tool for doing so. these genes are always in flux. many, many genes may determine complexion, for example, and each of those genes may change at different times. the organism is just the container that bears out the genetic code; that is, it is the genotype presenting a phenotype. so, this transition is vague.
Thanks so much
May I call you Robert? Correct me if I am wrong.
You have encountered this question from theists. This is actually a mischievous question. According to the Christian theists, the universe came in to existance 6400 years before. Can they convincingly prove the exact moment when man entered this univrse? They just probably want an answer that 'no, science can not tell the exact moment.'
Please tell all the theists you meet that they should make their own sccientific efforts to find answers to their questions. Science is working on its own initiative and not for them.
Thanks Madhukar, i actually theists have no evidence to justify their claims. Lots of lies has been pedaled by the same people because of their ignorance that the world is flat, that the vital organ on a human being is the heart not until scientists refute their claims and comes out with viable info about reality that is justified by experimentation and evidence. So all in all scientists are very reliable!