The fact that LATER specimens of H. erectus have thicker skulls and much larger browridges than EARLIER specimens is one of the great mysteries of this species of hominid. We don’t know why this is because we would expect to find just the opposite! Earlier H. erectus should have a thicker skull and larger browridge than the later ones but in the case of H. erectus it’s just the opposite. In short, later H. erectus has more archaic features than earlier H. erectus and that points NOT to evolution but to DE-EVOLUTION! Further, prior to H. erectus was H. habilis the famous “Handyman” or “Tool Man” who had every small browridge if at all. So if H. erectus was our next step in human evolution and since early H. erectus had little to no browridge then how did later H. erectus end up with a heavy browridge and thick skull? In fact in the later specimens their skull is so thick that it appears they may have engaged frequently in head butting like bighorn rams engage in during their fights for females!
If you think this is the only “mystery” in anthropology consider this fact. Mayan art and architecture were static meaning that it stayed the same with no change, no refinement with the passage of time! I was astounded to learn in one of my first college classes in archaeology that later Maya did not build new temples or pyramids. They simply maintained the old ones sometimes building on top of them so that you had a pyramid within a pyramid. Why didn’t the later Maya build new pyramids? BTW the Maya never claimed they build the pyramids we find in Mesoamerica! Mayan stories simply say that the Maya found them abandoned and MOVED IN! So who built them and why and what happened to the builders?
Here’s another “mystery.” Stone tool development remained crude and unchanged from the time of Australopithecus to Peking Man (Homo erectus). These archaic stone tools are known as “Oldowan Tools” (2.5 mya). It wasn’t until later H. erectus developed Acheulean Stone Tools (developed 1.76 mya and used until around 100 kya) that we see any refinement or change (evolution) in the stone tool making of our ancient human ancestors. Question is why were the archaic Oldowan stone tools used for so long without any progression? And what brought about the rather sudden change we see in the more refined Acheulean stone tools?
If this isn’t enough for you consider that the oldest civilizations seem to be the MOST advanced (evolved) while the later civilizations seem to be the LEAST advanced! This is found to be the case over and over again in India, Mayan culture, Easter Island culture, and just about everywhere else. One would think it would be just the opposite with the later civilizations being the most advanced but such is NOT the case. In case after case the OLDEST artifacts and remains are the grandest and most evolved and the artifacts are the most perfectly made. What followed appears to be nothing more than crude IMITATIONS! Continue Reading
Apes have 24 pairs of chromosomes but humans only have 23 pairs. Normally humans have two copies of chromosome 2 and it is the second largest chromosome. It has more than 242 base pairs which are the building materials for our DNA.
All hominids have 24 pairs of chromosomes EXCEPT modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans and that’s where things get interesting! Humans only have 23 pairs and chromosome 2 is believed to be the result of an end to end fusion of two ancestral chromosomes. That fusion occurred in our common ancestor that we share with the apes.
Our closest relative is the chimpanzee and their DNA is nearly identical to ours. That is, their DNA sequences are nearly identical to human chromosome 2. The same is true of orangutans and gorillas!
Normally, a chromosome has one center (called a Centromere) but human chromosome has two! And normally a chromosome has two ends (known as Telomeres) with one being at each end. But, chromosome 2 has FOUR!
Left: normal chromosome. Right: Human Chromosome 2
Human chromosome 2 is obviously fused and there is no denying that. Humans share a common ancestor with the apes and it’s believed this fusion took place during the time of that unknown ancient common ancestor. So for those who don’t believe humans and apes don’t have anything in common, sorry, but the genetic evidence says WE DO and without any doubt!
Watch the video below for a simple and understandable explanation of human chromosome 2.
Video: Where is the Genetic Evidence for Evolution?
Recently I’ve been researching Homo erectus which was an ancient human ancestor who lived throughout most of the Pleistocene geological epoch from about 1.9 mya to 70 kya. I came across a video (see below) featuring Paleoanthropologist Dr John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in that video he notes three important things.
First, Homo habilis (aka: Handyman, Tool Man) which existed before Erectus didn’t have much of a browridge and secondly when the early H erectus appeared it didn’t have much of a browridge either. However, thirdly when later H. erectus appeared it had a very distinct browridge!
Now wouldn’t you think it would be the opposite? Shouldn’t H. habilis have had a distinct browridge and early H. erectus? And wouldn’t you expect later H. erectus to have little to no browridge at all? But it’s just the opposite an that makes for some interesting debate.
That led me back to Dr Susan Martinez a Paleoanthropologist and author of several books including “The Mysterious Origins of Hybrid Man.” In that book she postulates that H habilis did not evolve from anything! Nor did H. erectus! Nor did modern humans, H. sapiens! Her theory is that there were many different species of “humans” which coexisted for various lengths of time and they interbred with one another. Thus, humans became the hybrids we are today in her opinion. Continue Reading