Human origins

Journal title PARADIGMI
Author/s Bernard A. Wood
Publishing Year 2017 Issue 2017/2 Language English
Pages 14 P. 75-88 File size 343 KB
DOI 10.3280/PARA2017-002006
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This contribution discusses three interpretations of the origin of humanity. If the question addresses the origin of the features that distinguish us from our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, then we need to look at least eight million years ago. If it is the origin of our own genus, then we are still thinking about several millions of years ago. If it is the origin of modern human morphology, the fossil evidence suggests it is at least two hundred thousand years ago. If it is the origin of complex tool manufacture, then that came relatively late, but not as late as many had assumed. But if the question refers to the acquisition of apparently unique aspects of modern human behavior, such as our complex human language, the questioner will be disappointed for there is no obvious proxy in the fossil or archaeological records for language ability.

Keywords: Artefacts, Methodology of interpretation, Origin of differences, Origin of gender, Origin of language, Origin of morphology.

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Bernard A. Wood, Human origins in "PARADIGMI" 2/2017, pp 75-88, DOI: 10.3280/PARA2017-002006