|The Theory of Evolution Part 2 Home
The "down-side" of Evolution
Reconstructions of our presumed ancestors rely more on artistic license than facts. Complete skeletons of hominids
are rarer than fossils themselves. The famous Lucy, an example of Australopithecus, bequeathed to us only 40% of
her skeleton. The skeletons generally turn up in shattered bits spread out over a wide swathe of ground.
Cradle of Humankind
S.E. Asia, The Cradle of Humankind ?
Strong evidence that it lay in S.E. Asia is supplied by the human remains ( a skull, femur and two molars) found in
1892 by Dr. E. Dubois in certain Pliocene beds in E. Java. The skull of Pithecanthropus erectus, shows a cranial capacity
of over 900 cubic centimetres - i.e. about midway between the highest living ape ( gorilla. nearly 500 c.c) and the highest
living man ( Caucasian. 1,500 c.c). The distinctly human femur shows that this Pliocene ancestor could walk erect.
Africa, The Cradle of Humankind ?
Before the ancient civilizations like Inka, Mesopotamia, Egyptian etc. even came into existence, the early hominids
led a nomadic life. According to the "Out of Africa Hypothesis", all the modern humans "Homo Sapiens" originated from
Africa originally was a much larger continent known as "Gondwanaland." About 130 million years ago, parts of it broke
off and became South America, Australia, and India in a geological phenomenon known as "continental drift," a
phenomenon that relies on an understanding of the theory of "plate tectonics." The earth's surface is broken up into
"plates." These plates pull apart or smash together, creating such geological processes as earthquakes or, in this
case, continental drift.
When Charles Darwin first published his theory that Africa was the "cradle of humankind," it provoked outrage.
Part of this was simply religious opposition to the idea of evolution.
The knowledge that relationships existed between Early Stone Age cultures in Europe and those of Northern Africa
became strong presumptive evidence for a connection between the races of Europe and Africa. This, of course, was
more and more strengthened as discoveries in Africa proved that not only were the relations of European culture with
Northern African demonstrable, but also with those of Kenya, Rhodesia and even South Africa.
"PROFESSOR Sir ARTHUR KEITH states, 'the evidence to my mind is now conclusive that Europe was colonized by
Caucasians at a comparatively late date when reckoned according to the calendar used by geologists.' This statement is
the more welcome since there has been a very strong tendency in recent years to overthrow the Asiatic for an African or
African- cum-European hypothesis.
The outcome of these discoveries developed a great school of thought which looked upon Africa as the primitive
homeland, not only of the great apes, but also of early man. From little known Africa, men streamed northwards to
settle in Europe at the close of the glacial period. Some of these peoples fixed their homes on the shores of the northern
seas and underwent a process of bleaching which gave rise to the fair-skinned, light-eyed and yellow-haired peoples of
Britain, Scandinavia and Germany. Such is the viewpoint which we may term the African hypothesis and one accepted
in parte, or in toto, by many leading anthropologists and archaeologists. The theory of the independence of Europe from
Asia, however, has in the past received strong support from well-known philologists. In fact, it is perhaps to the philologist
that this outlook is very largely due...."
In Kenya, the earliest remains of human bones were discovered by Dr Richard Leakey. Evidence of the earliest, man
were discovered at Koobi Fora on the shores of L. Turkana, formerly L. Rudolf.
In South Africa about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg in the Gauteng province, one finds a site containing a
complex of limestone caves, including the Sterkfontein Caves, where the 2.3-million year-old fossil Australopithecus
africanus (nicknamed "Mrs. Ples") was found in 1947 by Dr Robert Broom and John Robinson, as well as the Wonder
Cave. The find helped corroborate the 1924 discovery of the juvenile Australopithecus africanus skull, "Taung Child",
by Raymond Dart, at Taung in the North West Province of South Africa, where excavations still continue.
Races of men
The several divisions ( Caucasic, Mongolic,...) of mankind are not distinct species but only marked varieties of a single
species of genus homo. In other words, these varieties with their numerous diverging and converging sub-forms - their
origin,antiquity and early migrations, their distinctive physical and mental characters and cultural developments are not viewed as separate units, but as interrelated groups and sub-groups of the human family.
Hence scarcely any pure races are now to be found. The characteristic racial qualities tabulated are seldom possessed
exclusively by the members of the several divisions, and are therefore to be taken merely as general averages.
Classification of man is based upon certain characteristics:
Decree of pigmentation of skin.
Colour and texture of the hair.
Shape of the jaw, cheekbone, nose and eyes.
The shape of the skull and the form of the bones.
Apart from physical characteristics there are social and cultural characteristics.