What does it mean to be a human being? Are we the product of a divine creator, made in His image? Or are we walking miracles, being the result of years of evolution?
While creationists believe a supreme being is responsible for our presence, scientific evidence categorically confirms that we are without question, a product of evolution.
Throughout the decades, many religions back their arguments with statements like: ” There have only been 1 or 2 types of human species ever found” to statements like, ” There is no proof of us evolving”. Well…..
Not only is there a ton of solid proof, there are so many species of humans discovered, it practically documents our evolution over the past few million years in all its glory.
Being able to know who we are and how we came to be, is something all people should appreciate, as it is our story. How many species do you think there are? 3? maybe 10?…..?
In fact, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History claims a total of 21 human species have been discovered thus far. They are:
- Sahelanthropus Tchadensis
- Orrorin Tugenensis
- Ardipothecus Kadabba
- Ardipithecus Ramidus
- Australopithecus Anamensis
- Australopithecus afarensis
- Kenyanthropus Platyops
- Australopithecus Africanus
- Paranthropus Aethiopicus
- Australopithecus Garhi
- Homo Habilis
- Paranthropus Boisei
- Australopithecus Sediba
- Homo Rudolfensis
- Homo Erectus
- Paranthropus Robustus
- Homo Floresiensis
- Homo Heidelbergensis
- Homo Neanderthalensis
- Homo Naledi
- Homo Sapiens
With mankind existing through the millennia, fighting for their right to not only live but to excel, it seems we are species which is constantly changing according to our environment in the pursuit of survival. We now look at three of our ancestors who walked the earth before us.
Living between 7 and 6 million years ago in West-Central Africa (Chad), this species is one of the oldest branches on the human family tree. Studies show this species had a combination of human and ape features.
The ape-like features include a rather small brain, a sloping face, very prominent brow ridges, and an elongated skull.
While more like an ape, with small canine teeth, a short middle part of the face, and a spinal cord opening underneath the skull instead of towards the back are human-like. The ability to walk straight, setting it apart from its primate cousins.
Australopithecus afarensis is one of the best-known early human species. Living between 3.85 million and 2.95 million years ago, the Australopithecus afarensis stems from Eastern Africa.
Estimates show this rather fascinating species endured for 900 000 years. To date, there are 300 individual remains which have been found.
This species has both human and ape-like characteristics. An ape-like face and braincase, with long, strong arms, curved fingers for climbing trees showcases its primal stage as a species. With small canine teeth like early humans and a body which stood on two legs and could walk upright, it seems we cannot ignore our ancestor as it survived for thousands of years.
Living 700 000 to 200 000 years ago, Homo Heidelbergensis stems from Europe and both Eastern and Southern Africa.
Prior to Homo Heidelbergensis, humans enjoyed the warmer climates. This rather tough species is the first of our kind to live in a colder environment. They are also one of the first humans to use fire and wooden spears as tools, ensuring they were a formidable force on the food chain. Evidence shows they are also the first to build their own homes, using wood and stones to keep them and their families safe.
With a new species of human evolving from the previous generations, what comes next? What lays in store for the human species? Will another human species evolve from us? Or will we fade into the sands of time?
Do you believe in evolution? If not, where do you feel the other human species fit into the order of the world?
If you believe in evolution, why do you think we as Homo Sapiens prevailed over our ancestors? And what do you think the future holds for us as a species?
Be sure to share your views and thoughts with us in the comments section below.