I have always encountered this question from theist groups. Any one out there who exactly knows when the first human being inhabited planet earth?, what was his colour complexion?,White, black, coloured or ......, i understand that the first human lived a wild life, in what ages did man start to live a domestic life.

Tags: evolution, man, of, origin

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It's not a real question, Robert.

 

The trouble is how to define something which is on a continuum - it's the difference between a 1+1 = 2 arithmetic (as per the bible definition of human life) and the infinitely complex definitions provided by Calculus.

Modern humans started farming about 10,000 years ago and we got language about 4,000 ago which is when the Bible appeared. Our skin would have been pigmented - but we can only guess what "colour" it might have been. We lived in tribes long before that - at least as far back as the stone age and that's 2.5 million years ago!

The bible provides exact (wrong) answers - but they are simple so people like them. This is human nature. The real answers are infinitely more complex and in some cases, unanswerable. This does not make them wrong, just more difficult to understand.

Big answers are difficult to comprehend - like large numbers. Most of us can imagine four or five people. But imagine (exactly) five hundred, or five thousand. Your brain just can't do it with any accuracy.

So, does this mean that it's impossible for five thousand people to be in one place? No.

Can we see them all in that place? Absolutely.

 

Just because we can't see something does not necessarily make it any less a fact.

I'm gonna say we did not "get" language about 4,000 years ago, but rather we have had complex language abilities for tens of thousands of years, but did not invent writing until 6 or 7 thousand years ago. 4,000 years for language? How do you explain the existence of the written language going far beyond that, e.g. the Torah which has existed for 6,000 years give or take a millenia?

 

 

e.g. the Torah which has existed for 6,000 years give or take a millenia?

Not even close.  The Torah was "written" in the 7th Century BCE.  That's why the boy-king, Josiah, is the hero of it - he was an 8-yr-old king, at the time, that the writers of the bible "predicted" would be a totally awesome dude, like a ... Messiah, really.  Josiah made mistake of believing his own PR, challenged the Egyptians at Meggido, and was promptly removed.  Then the bible-writers had to invent another Messiah, and they did.  Unfortunately for them, the wrong guys stepped in to fill that role and ... our society has suffered from that garbage ever since.

The whole sordid story is in "The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts" by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman.  Their utterly thorough research, in several different disciplines over decades, reveals the Torah for the utter bullshit that it is.  There is no evidence for the existence of Abraham, or any of the Patriarchs; ditto for Moses and the Exodus; and the same goes for the whole period of Judges and the united monarchy of David and Solomon and their fictional temples.

Silberman & Finklestein write: "the narrative of the Bible was uniquely suited to further the religious reform and territorial ambitions of Judah." And that's all it is.  A political document, designed for a land-grab and propping up a phony king for a mythical "country", Israel, that never existed.

What do you mean when you say it's not a "real" question?

You can't pinpoint the exact time when one species turns into another.  It's like the idiot Creationist demand for transitional fossils.  EVERY fossil is a transitional fossil.  We are all transitional forms.

 

If you take a 'human' (our ancestor) from 2 million years ago and compare it to a human today, you'll notice distinct differences.  They'll be labeled as different species.

It you take a 'human' from 2 million years ago and compare it to a 'human' 1.999 million years ago, you won't see any real difference.  Then, compare that 'human' from 1.999 million years ago to a 'human' from 1.998 million years ago, and you won't see much difference there either.  Do the same in 1,000 year increments, finally comparing humans from 1,000 years ago to present-day humans.

Along the entire path, you won't see any changes worthy of defining the two examples as belonging to different species.

 

If you go back a sufficient amount of time, you'll accumulate enough changes to declare the two creatures as two distinct species, but where it's marked is almost completely arbitrary.  Speciation is defined as when two populations have diverged sufficiently that they can no longer interbreed.

You run into complications here as well.  We might be able to successfully interbreed with a human from 100,000 years ago, and that human might be able to interbreed with a human from 200,000 years ago.  But we might not be able to interbreed with the human from 200,000 years ago.

 

It's all fuzzy as hell, due to the nature of Evolution.

"Speciation is defined as when two populations have diverged sufficiently that they can no longer interbreed."

 

I think this definition may be on the verge of being updated.  Various species of dolphins and whales have been documented as interbreeding... and producing fertile offspring.

Would be interesting to see what they come up with.
I'm chiming in mainly because I want to hear what the better-educated on this subject have to say, but I'll tell you the loose bits I am aware of. There have been many hominid species coming into and going out of existence beginning a few hundred thousand years ago. The last ones besides us died out around 60,000 years ago (?). Definitely looking fwd to hearing the exact dates from people who know this stuff far better than I. Our species came on the scene about 90 - 100,000 years ago. We most likely originated in Africa, meaning that we were probably dark in complexion. Actually this is another good tidbit - ask your theists if they know why white people are white. At lower altitudes (closer to the equator), darker complexion helps protect our skin from the rays of the sun. Meanwhile something else is going on. We also use the suns rays to help us convert calcium in our bodies. At lower altitudes receiving enough sun for this process is not a problem, so we can stand darker skin shielding us from the sun's rays (and slowing down this process). At higher altitudes (closer to the poles), we don't get as much sun, so lighter skin allows more of the sun's rays to penetrate our skin, and thus enables the calcium-conversion process. It's classic evolution. As for when we started living a domestic life, one might question whether we ever really did (the behavior of many/most people is still very much wild and even violent), but that would probably be around the advent of agriculture, which was about 10,000 years ago (I think!), a blink of an eye in evolutionary terms.

At lower altitudes (closer to the equator)

 

You meant latitudes.  Might clear up some confusion.

Hahahaha! Sorry! You are correct. Thanks for the clarification. Oops! (Channeling my best Rick Perry)

This is from Wikipedia, and it's a good account of the evidence so far, but as new evidence comes in the years change. 

 

Anatomically modern humans evolved from archaic Homo sapiens in Africa in the Middle Paleolithic, about 200,000 years ago. By the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic period (50,000 BP [Before Present]), full behavioral modernity, including languagemusic and other cultural universals had developed.

The out of Africa migration is estimated to have occurred about 70,000 years BP. Modern humans subsequently spread to all continents, replacing earlier hominids: they inhabited Eurasia and Oceania by 40,000 years BP, and the Americas at least 14,500 years BP.[35] A popular theory is that they displaced Homo neanderthalensis and other species descended from Homo erectus[36] (which had inhabited Eurasia as early as 2 million years ago) through more successful reproduction and competition for resources.[37] The exact manner or extent of the coexistence and interaction of these species is unknown and continues to be a controversial subject.[citation needed]

Evidence from archaeogenetics accumulating since the 1990s has lent strong support to the "out-of-Africa" scenario, and has marginalized the competing multiregional hypothesis, which proposed that modern humans evolved, at least in part, from independent hominid populations.[38]

Geneticists Lynn Jorde and Henry Harpending of the University of Utah propose that the variation in human DNA is minute compared to that of other species. They also propose that during the Late Pleistocene, the human population was reduced to a small number of breeding pairs – no more than 10,000, and possibly as few as 1,000 – resulting in a very small residual gene pool. Various reasons for this hypothetical bottleneck have been postulated, one being the Toba catastrophe theory.[39]

 

See the full article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens

 

And this is an interesting recent article on the movement of Homo sapiens movements into Europe:

 

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5h0eGclK65rCI...

 

 

Marc is correct. Its not a valid question, as you can follow the lines of homo sapien back and back until it becomes questionable to whether its homo sapien or not. This is how evolution works. It’s on a gradual step by step process, involving miniscule mutations that once sufficiently different, separate 2 populations into 2 different species. The oldest fossil known is called Omo I, and he is found in Ethiopia, and is around 200,000 years old. This is considered an archaic form but it is a general consensus that this specimen does represent Homo sapien. If you look at the fossil record it is extremely difficult to tell the difference between Homo heidelbergensis, Homo antecessor, Homo sapien idaltu, and Homo sapien...and that’s because its all gradual change. 

 

I always thought of it as a rainbow. Think of the color red.  Red is different than orange...but when does red become orange in the rainbow? When is it red orange? Orange red? Whose opinion is correct? The lines will always be foggy. As of today, Omo I is considered the oldest sapien, but no doubt the beings alive during his time had variation, and eventually as you move backwards, you will have issues saying what is sapien, and what is heidelbergensis 

 

Here is Mr Omo I - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050223122209.htm

 

If you need more information or have questions, human origins and evolution are my passion. Just ask!

 

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