Origins of the species – On human evolution

News: The understanding of the Human evolution has evolved much more compared to early 20th century due to contributions of Leaky family. 

The article highlights the contributions made by British-Kenyan Leaky family to the understanding of origins of Homo sapiens. 

Until about the middle of the 20th century, it was a common belief that Homo sapiens evolved around 50,000-60,000 years ago in Eurasia. However, due to the work of Leakey family and a few others from 1940s onwards it was revealed that Homo sapiens evolved in Africa somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago. They evolved from one of the various branches of pre-sapiens hominids and hominids branched out from chimpanzee line between 5 and 7 million years ago.  

What are the other major findings regarding human evolution from Leaky family? 

From the post-1940 work of Leaky family in this area, several conclusions can be drawn:  

First, the origins of man (including various species of hominids) stretch back six million years or more. 

Second, our understanding of man’s origin is still work in progress, due to the quite fragmentary nature of fossil records.  

Third, the Homo sapiens 300,000-year long history is a short time span compared to the longevity of various other species, including several lines of hominids.  

Fourth, the explosive growth of Homo sapiens in recent centuries has come at the expense of thousands of other species. 

Lastly, Homo sapiens is the deadliest species, even for itself. Its actions are resulting into the way towards the Sixth Extinction 

Source: This post is created based on the article ”Origins of the species” published in Business Standard on 13th January 2022.  

Print Friendly and PDF