Main Points in Threashold #6: What kind of creature are we? How are humans distinctive? Humans are threshold 6 because during the four billion years of life humans are the only creatures that have been able to pass down information to one another. Which has made us the most powerful species of all, we can learn and pass on. Instead of learning something and the next generation learning that same thing again by trial and error, we share that knowledge, so the next time it comes along we know exactly what to do and what not to do. Also, what makes us such a unique and powerful species is the ability to use symbolic language. We can write things down to pass on, but even before that we used art to tell stories, give warnings, and to portait important things that people in later generations need to see or remember. Then over the year we add thing to it and create something better and more correct with new information, but we wouldn’t be able to do this without the old information. All of the gives us the ability to manipulate our environment to exactly what we want it to be. We can take the information we have and take control over everything in outreach, whether it’s our environment, the other creatures in it, or other humans. Humans are closest related to chimpanzees, over 98% of our DNA are the same as chimps. We are more closely related to them than any other apes.
Hominine Evolution: Our species started to evolve when the temperature declined. The temperature was also more erratic. Our world has swung from ice age and back again perhaps seventeen times. Most of hominine fossils have been found in Africa. From clear evidence it is now believed that humans originated in Africa. We came from apes, and long ago it is believed that apes were forced from trees and rainforests by climate changes and thinning forests. These lands now turned to grasslands and woodlands so the apes had to adapt. Forced to walk upright in these new terrains, was the first sign of them evolving. This is called “bipedalism”, bones of the earliest known fossils are evidence of this. ‘Ardi’; a female dated at about 4.4 million years ago. The most well known fossils are those of Lucy, dated about 3.2 million years ago. Called “Australopithecus”, or “Southern Apes”. Next these apes learned and improved coordination; they learned to dance and to move in unison. Then these hominines learned to use tools. By about 1.8 million years ago a new species appeared Homo erectus. The size of their brains had been increasing, and in this species it reached about 70% of the size of modern human brains.