A. The Dry Bones Speak
I. Human Origins in Myth and History
- Paleoanthropology - A student of the earliest humans and the setting in which they lived.
- Humans all over the world made stories to explain origin (Before diggers came with interpretations and cussing). o They tell how and why humans came to Earth.
a. Early Myths
- Myth – An interpretive story of the past that cannot be verified historically but has a deep moral message.
- Caste – Social, economic, and ritual positions inherited at birth.
b. The Evolutionary Explanation
- Darwin went to Galapagos Islands and found various kinds of finches (birds). He argued they must’ve had a common ancestor.
- He came up with the idea of “natural selection” or “survival of the fittest.” (When environment favors one trait on animal so animal can live)
1) The New Challenges
- Teleology – The study of final causes or purposes. Refers to any system that interprets nature/ universe having design or purpose. Supports existence of God.
- Evolutionary theory proposed no teleology.
- Archeology flourished because humans wanted to find out where we came from and if there were any link between humans and apes.
II. Fossils and Fossil Hunters
- Hominids – Creatures that exhibited some characteristics of Homo sapiens but others of earlier primates.
- There was a variety of evolutionary paths that led to the emergence of humans.
a. The Puzzling Neanderthals
- A German man found head similar to humans and named it Homo neanderthalensis. o Considered brutish and lacking in intelligence.
- Homo sapiens – Humans that are most similar to us.
b. Homo Erectus: A Worldwide Wanderer
- Homo erectus - The most widespread of all prehistoric hominids, and the most similar to humans. Evolved about 2 million years ago and became extinct 100,000 years ago.
What evidence leads scholars to believe that Homo erectus migrated across continents?
c. The Search Shifts to