|How were humans created?|
|Question Date: 2014-08-19|
This is a big question, and there are entire
books on what we have found about the answer. The
simplest explanation is evolution/natural
selection. This is the idea that the more "fit" an
animal is, the more likely they are to reproduce.
This concept, over millions of years, causes the
changes that ended up with us being humans.
simple example: suppose there is a species of
white moths that live on trees. Birds eat these
moths. Randomly, one moth is born brown. This moth
will be less visible to birds since it blends in.
It has a mutation that makes it more likely to
get older and not get eaten. It's also more likely
to reproduce. Thus, it will make more and more
brown moths until the white ones are all picked
out by birds. This is a simple example, but over
many millions and billions of years, these changes
led to humans. We are very well-adapted! It would
take a long time to explain each individual
pressure that led to us becoming human over
billions of years, but this video
from the 1980s TV series Cosmos does an
incredible job of explaining it with cartoons.
It's really incredible.
There are a lot of facts about how humans came
to be that we don't know yet. From what we do
know, humans evolved from now-extinct apes living
in Africa several million years ago. The exact age
is difficult to define, because there are a number
of other human-like animals that are also extinct,
and we can't say where humans begin.
Our species itself appears to be about 100,000
years old, based on the fossil bones looking like
the bones of humans living today. However, many
questions are still left. For example, humans
display a level of intelligence that other animals
do not seem to have, and we don't know how that
came to be yet. One idea was that it was made
possible by our walking upright and having two
hands to use tools with, but this idea has been
proven false because we stood upright long before
we learned how to make advanced tools.
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