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RobertC
Mr.T
ChristianStudies86
18January2016
AFamily68MillionYearsintheMaking
"Science is not a body of facts...Science is a method for deciding whether what we
choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not.- Marcia McNutt. Thisshedslighton
someissuesregardingscience.Itisclearthatscienceisnotsubjective,butstrictlyobjectiveand
canchangebasedonnewtheories,paradigms,andcompellingevidenceandattemptsto
accuratelyscrutinizeallpointsofatheorybasedonitsaccuracyandbasisinthebasiclawsof
nature.Sciencehasinthetheoryofevolutionbecauseofitsflexibilityondisputablenature.
EvolutionhasbeenconsideredbyChristianevangelistsintermsoftheGenesiscreationinthe
ChristianBible.However,whatthereligiousdonotfullycomprehendistheplethoraofscientific
evidencethatsupersedesanydoctrine.Thereissignificantscientific,empiricalevidencethat
supportsanevolutionisticmodelforalloflivingthings.Intheseterms,thescientificbasisfor
evolutioncanbebrokendownintoafewcomponents:Humansasprimatesandcloserelativesto
otherprimates,intermediatesbetweenearlyhumansandmodernHomosapiens,andthechanges
ofthehumandueforadaptioninchangingclimates.
Biologistsclassifyhumansasprimates.Commoncharacteristicsbetweenhumansand
nonhumanorganisms,likechimpanzeesandapes,includingvocallanguageandsymbolusage
forcommunication,asocialtraitthatallowsprimatestokeeptogetherinsocialgroupsand
parentalinstinct,toolmakingforefficiencyinworking,andupright,bipedalwalking.Among
otherthings,humanhavethebehavioraltraitsofotherprimates(Evolutionary).Havingonlya
mere1.2%geneticdifferencewithanonhumanprimate,achimpanzee,itisclearthathumans

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areverycloselyrelatedtootherprimates.Therefore,humansandchimpanzeesmostlikely
divergedfromacommonancestor,around68millionyearsago.(Meet)Humans,
chimpanzees,andotherprimatesdivergedfromadifferentancestrybecausetheDNAevidence
ingeneticcodesequencinghasshownthismajorsimilarity.Thesequencingistooprecisely
similartohavedifferingancestries.However,chimpanzeesandhumansaredifferentinmany
ways.Evolutionbyadaptionandnaturalselectionseemviableinthiscase,andhumansandother
primateshaveevolvedbasedondifferentfactors.Somespeciestendtoliveon,whileothers
becomeextinctbecauseofdistinctfactorsinnaturalselection.
WithexamplesstemmingfromstrikingDNAevidence,evolutionalsoseemstobetruein
theaspectoffossilevidence.Scientistshavefoundfossilsofearlyhumansandprimatesthat
evidencechangingandevolvinghumanorganismsovermanyyears.Thereareafewexamples
suchasAustralopitehusafricanuswithuprightandbipedalwalkingdespitetheirapelike
features;Homoheidelbergensis,amoderntypeofhumanwithalargebrainandhearthmaking
abilities;Sahelanthropustchandensi,belongingtotheearlygroupofhumans,incitingthefirst
stepstouprightwalkinginevolutionarytraits;andPatanthopusrobustuswithuprightwalking
anddevelopedteeth(Orientation).AccordingtotheMuseumofNaturalHistoryin
Washington,D.C.,thesemalefossilsofsupposedearlyhumanshavedistinguishingfeaturesakin
totheHomosapiens:suchasuprightwalkingandsmallcanineteethcomparedtoothertypesof
primates,likeapes.(Orientation).Thesefossilsandmanyothersemphasizethepointthat
humanshaveevolvedfromearlierversionorspeciesofearlyhumansadaptingtonew
environments.Thesefourgeniiofearlyhumansmapthewaytowardmodernhumans,Homo
sapiens.Onecanobservehowthesevariousfossilsofearlyhumansprovidebackgroundfor
adaptionsduetodifferingclimatesandenvironments.

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Asidefromevidencetoexplainhowhumansevolved,thereisalsoprobablecauseasto
whyhumansevolved.Onepieceofevidenceisthatfactthattheworldhasunderwentchangesin
climate,fluctuatingbetweenmoist,warmandcool.Scientistshavefoundclimateshavechanged
throughmeasuringtinyorganismscalledforaminiferadwellingontheoceanbottom.The
fluctuationsinoxygenlevelsuggestclimatefluctuation.Theseerasofchangesinclimate
sharpenedskillsofhumanevolution,buildingontraitssuchasseekingforresources,foodand
shelter.(Changing).Scientistssuggestthatthesenewacquiredtraitscorrespondingfrom
climatechangesareuprightwaking,toolmaking,hearthgathering,communicationwith
symbols,andplantandanimaldomestication.(SmithsonianNaturalMuseumofNaturalHistory,
HallofHumanOrigins).NeanderthalsadaptedtocoldclimatesinEurope,astheyevolvedtoa
short,broadbodyretainingheatandshortlegs,reducingheatloss.Theseevolvedchangesin
earlyhumanbeings,suchasNeanderthalswereinstrumentalforfurthercontinuationofthe
speciesandDarwinssurvivalofthefittest(Meet).ThecommonthemeofDarwinstheoriesis
survivalofspecies,humansappearingtocorrespondtochangesbasedonclimateandchanging
environments.ThisremainstrueforHomosapiensandourevolvingtraits;mostlybetteronesput
somespeciesatanadvantageforreproductioninordertofurtherathrivingspecies.
Evolutionfallsintotherealmofempiricism.Blindbeliefincreationismwithoutquestion
isfallibleinthismodernera,asmostscientificevidencemanifeststhatevolutionarydesignis
viable.However,thetheoryofevolutionhasnobasistoeitherprovenordisproveanygod,asthe
studyofgodiscompletelymetaphysical;thestudyofevolutionisempirical.Eventhoughthere
isadisconnectbetweengodandscienceinthatrespect,thereappearstobeanongoingdispute
betweenevolutionandreligion.Despitethis,thetheoryofevolutionpromotesscientific
reasoningandisaviableconjecturetohowmodernspecieshavecomeabouttoday.

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WorksCited
ChangingtheWorld.NationalMuseumofNaturalHistory.10thSt.&ConstitutionAve.NW,
Washington,DC20560.27September2015.
EvolutionaryMilestones.NationalMuseumofNaturalHistory.10thSt.&ConstitutionAve.
NW,Washington,DC20560.27September2015.
MeetYourAncestors.NationalMuseumofNaturalHistory.10thSt.&ConstitutionAve.NW,
Washington,DC20560.27September2015.
Orientation(andMammalsHall).NationalMuseumofNaturalHistory.10thSt.&
ConstitutionAve.NW,Washington,DC20560.27September2015.