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Stefanus Raditya Purba / 1006804823 Introduction to biomed module essay The Concept of Human Evolution The evolution theory

might be one of the most controversial and interesting theory in biology. The scope of evolution theory is still analyzed and reviewed until nowadays by researchers, scientists, or even students. Peoples response to this theory is not the same. There are people who support this theory, but there are also people who deny and reject this theory. There are two definition of evolution. The first is small-scale evolution. The small-scale evolution scope just involves the modification and mutation of genetics in a population. This process occurs from one generation to the descent generation. The second is the large-scale evolution, which involves the descent of various species came from the same or related ancestor over generations. i The most popular and widely accepted evolution theory is Charles Darwins theory. His theory emphasizes on the natural selection. The natural selection theory can be found in his most famous book, The Origin of Species. The fundamental idea of natural selection is a population can modify themselves over generations if the members of population which own certain inheritance traits leave more descent than others. Natural selection leads to evolutionary adaptation, accumulation of inherited genetics which leads into characteristics that support the species ability to survive and breed in certain kind of environment. Darwins theory also influenced from the previous theory of evolution. So, Darwin was not the first scientist or not the one who studied about the evolution theory. The scientists and his theory which provided ideas for Darwins evolution theory were many, such as Linnaeus and his classification theory, Hutton and his gradualism theory, Lamarck and his theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics, Robert Malthus and his population limits theory, Lyell and his modern geology, Mendels inheritance theory and Alfred Russel Wallaces evolution theory.

Darwin also develop concept of descent with modification which explained why some related organism in different species might have similarity in body structures although their functions is not the same. The similarity phenomenon from related ancestors is called homology. The example of homology is the similarity in structures of forelimbs in mammals. Arms in humans which have function to lift something, forelegs in dogs which have function to walk, flippers in whales which have function to swim, and wings in bats which have function to fly.ii Like other species, humans (Homo sapiens) also experience evolution. The evolution process in Homo sapiens is from hominids, great apes, and mammals. The studies on human evolution involve many disciplines like anthropology, archaeology, biology, genetics, etc. Actually, many people, usually religion extremists, reject this human evolution theory because their religions have different conception of creation. Human evolution theory shows that human developed long time ago from apes to our form nowadays. The earliest hominids are Sahelanthropus tchadensis and Kenyanthropus platyops. These two species were followed by Ardipithecus ramidus, which lived from 5.5 to 4.4 Ma, during the Pliocene age. The following hominids are Gracile Australopithecines. The species of this hominid were Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus anamnsis, and Australopithecus garhi. They lived from 4 to 1.8 Ma. The following creature is Paranthropus, which lived from 3 to 1.2 million years ago. The species are Paranthropus aethiopicus, Paranthropus boisei, and Paranthropus robustus. The following creatures are genus Homo. We are humans are considered in this genus. The earliest was Homo habilis which was not clear whether it considered as Australopithecus or Homo. The others are Homo rudolfensis, Homo ergaster, Homo neaderthalensis, and Homo erectus. Homo erectus was first found in Indonesia and lived from 1.8 to 1.3 Ma. There were also Homo neaderthalensis which lived 600,000350,000 years ago.iii The conlusion is the invention of hominid and early human fossils surely gives evidence that we are the descendents of apes. This also goes in the same way with the evolution theory. Therefore, until nowadays, the evolution theory is still the best theory to study about history of human being.


An Introduction to Evolution Theory [online]. [cited 2010 Dec 21]. Available from: URL: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_02 ii Campbell N, Reece J. Campbell Biology. 7th ed. San Francisco: Pearson; 2005. p. 439-448 iii Human Ancestry: Species [online]. [cited 2010 Dec 21]. Available from: URL: http://www.archaeologyinfo.com/species.htm