Amidst the millions of creatures on earth, Humans are unique in all their ways. First of all, why did we experience such a fruitful evolution? Did some of the human ancestor evolve in other directors? And now what is the way forward; in the future will humans become immortals, cyborgs or has our evolution reached maturity?
Why Do Humans Have Big Brains?
The main reason why human are ahead of other earthling creatures is because of our large brain. The size of the human brain gives us a significant advantage. It is considered as one of the most important organs and representing 2 % of the human’s body mass. Despite it’s rather light weight it consumes 20 percent of the body’s energy. The interesting part is that, 2 million years ago; none of our so-called forefathers had a brain even bigger than the size of an ape’s brain (using same body comparison size). Thus, what motivated the growth of the brain? A potential answer is the development of better tools, which further required skills and memory. The second reason might have been communication; the need to interact. The third motivator could have been the change of environment determinants forcing our forefathers to change geographical location, giving them a push to evolve.
How did human evolve from four to two legs?
The early humans changed their way of moving around well before their brain evolved. So why did humans changed and walk on two legs when the ape still continued to move around on four limbs? The answer might lie in energy consumption, as moving on four legs takes more energy than two. In addition, having the arms free helped our ancestors in the quest for food. The upright position even enabled our ancestors to control body temperature and direct exposure to the sun.
But where did all our Hair Go?
In contrast to our hairy ape cousins, humans are naked. This state of nakedness must have evolved based on natural and induced processes. For instance, reducing hair helped our ancestors to maintain a cooler temperature, especially while going through the steaming savannahs in Africa. The second reason, is that hair attracts parasite infestations as well as diseases, so our ancestors decided to get rid of it. A rather radical different viewpoint suggests our ancestors started to enjoy water, and this induced an evolution, which led to the human nakedness.
What about Our Relatives?
Approximately, 24,000 years ago our closest relative got extinct. In the past, the Homo sapiens had relatives known as Neanderthals or homo neanderthalensis. There is also a known ‘hobbit’ which was spotted in Indonesia Isle of Flores in year 2003, and it is likely another member of the genus’ homo family. The hobbit got extinct 12,000 years ago.
There are two hypotheses, explaining how our cousines got extinct; either infections or the environment killed of the species, or it is our specie that got rid of the relatives.
Accelerating Change in Evolution!
Remarkably, recent research suggests that human evolution is speeding up. There is a dozen of scientists supporting this argument with strong evidence. However, it is hard to truly evaluate if our genes are evolving, and if they are, what motivated the change is it: treatment for diseases, diets, or new lifestyles.
Modern Humanity – Evolved outside Africa but why?
It is believed that some 50,000 years ago, homo sapiens moved out from Africa to conquer the world. They reached almost all continents, excluding Antarctica. Scientists suggest that this mobilization is associated with the mutation mechanism that upgraded our brain capacity to understand language and to learn how to craft complex tools, art pieces and to live in society. Yet, other researches says that population growth was the main reason for moving out of Africa as there is evidence that modern human exists even before the scientific scenario of the grand mobilization from Africa.
Modern Humans and Our Origin?
It is hard to come up with a single best hypothesis of the evolution of modern humans. The current finest scenario is the out-of-Africa hypothesis. However, it is also believed that different Homo species crossed each other and mated to form the smarter modern human species.