Encyclopedia Britannica Illustrated Science Library 2009 05 – Evolution and Genetics

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Encyclopedia Britannica Illustrated
Science Library 2009 05 – Evolution and Genetics
Edition 2009
pages 56

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Encyclopedia Britannica Illustrated
Science Library 2009 05 – Evolution and Genetics

?When did humans appear
What is it that makes us different from the rest of the animals? In what way did language
develop? Why is it so important to have deciphered the sequence of the human
genome? This book offers answers to these and many other questions about the
mysteries and marvels of human evolution. Scientists maintain that modern humans
.originated in Africa because that is where they have found the oldest bones
In addition, genetics has just arrived at the same conclusion, since the DNA
studies have confirmed that all humans are related to the African hunter-gatherers who
lived some 150 million years ago. Studying the fossils, the experts also found that
human skulls from two million years ago already show the development of two
specific protuberances that in the present-day brain control speech, the capability
that perhaps was as important for early humans as the ability to sharpen a rock or
throw a spear. Today thanks to science it is possible to affirm that the brain has
changed drastically in the evolutionary course of the species, reaching a greater
complexity in humans. This has facilitated, among other things, the capacity to
store information and the flexibility in behavior that makes a human an incredibly
complex individual. The purpose of this book is to tell you and show you in
marvelous images many of the answers that people have found throughout
history, through their successes, failures, and new questions. These new questions
,have served to shape the world in which we live, a world whose scientific
technological, artistic, and industrial development surprises and at times
frightens us. History is full of leaps. For thousands of years nothing may
happen, until all of a sudden some new turn or discovery gives an impulse
to humankind. For example, with the domestication of animals and the
cultivation of plants, a profound societal revolution occurred. This period
of prehistory, called the Neolithic, which dates to 10 million years ago, opened
the way for the development of civilization. With the possibility of obtaining
.food without moving from place to place, the first villages were established and produced great demographic growth