Review: Why Evolution Is True

8. What About Us?

  • Lots of fossil evidence, but no slam-dunks
  • Around five to seven million years ago, then, we expect to find fossil ancestors having traits shared by chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas (these traits are shared because they were present in the common ancestor), but with some human features too. As the fossils become more and more recent, we should see brains getting relatively larger, canine teeth becoming smaller, the tooth row becoming less rectangular and more curved, and the posture becoming more erect. And this is exactly what we see. Although far from complete, the record of human evolution is one of the best confirmations we have of an evolutionary prediction, and is especially gratifying because the prediction was Darwin’s.”
  • Several close evolutionary cousin species that died out
  • Diverged from ancestors of chimps in East/Central Africa about 7 MYA
  • Lucy—Australopithecus afarensis—is a transitional form
  • We have “Clear and indisputable evidence for human evolution from ape-like ancestors.”
  • Creationists maintain that humans are special
    • ‘But the whole folly is exposed by the fact that creationists can’t agree on exactly which fossils are “human” and which are “ape”.’
  • No real understanding of why we got big brains and bipedalism
    • But no doubt we did evolve
  • Genetic heritage
    • Human and chimp DNA is 98.5% the same
      • But genome shows differences in 20k from 25k protein-making sequences
    • 6% of human genes not found in chimps
    • Differences in numbers of copies of genes
    • We don’t know what genes make us “human”
  • Race
    • H Sapiens does have subspecies/ecotypes
    • More support that we did evolve
    • 10–15% of genetic variation is between races
    • 85–90% of genetic variations is among individuals
    • Racial differences arise from
      • Natural selection
      • Sexual selection
    • Continued evolution?
      • Science can now compensate for “bad genes”
        • Too, our tendency to lay on fat from rich food may also have been adaptive during times when variation in local food abundance produced a feast-or-famine situation, giving a selective advantage to those who were able to store up calories for lean times.”
          See, it’s not my fault.
      • Evolution happens through reproduction
        • Shit that happens when we’re old still happens

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  1. […] The variety of life is explained by the Theory of Evolution; the evidence for which is overwhelming. […]

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