Interesting social sciences/Anthropology

Human origin.

English subtitles exist in this video. Homo sapiens and Neanderthal. Why did Neanderthals become extinct? Three points of view on the origin of man are divine, cosmic and biological. What are the differences and what similarities exist between a monkey and a human?

The origin of man as the result of invention by the ancestors of man of hunting and war.  

If Friedrich Engels considered that the labor had created a man from the ape [1]), then, in my opinion, not labor, but such kinds of conflict, as hunting and war, had created man from the ape, when the representatives of more progressive developed human beings destroyed physically and also forced out in hard-to-reach spots with severe living conditions of human beings from the backward tribes. Otherwise it is difficult to explain this rapid evolution from the ape to the man and the absence of intermediate steps from the ape to the man today, for example, It is difficult to explain today disappearance of Neanderthal men.

The war between the Homo sapiens and Neanderthal men.             

The frontispiece to Huxley's Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature (1863): the image compares the skeletons of apes to humans

Scientists did not recognize the fact of war between the species of family of hominids a long time. Scientists considered that the evolution of man was more or less linear: one species differed from another species, and each new species was more progressive, each new species was nearer to the contemporary man than previous species. It is clear today that everything was much more complexly. The evolutionary tree of hominids has appeared very branched. Several different species of hominids (which located on the different “levels” of proximity to the man) coexisted in the same place in some time sometimes, and these species of hominids was at war with each other.        Primates had appeared 65 millions years ago. Primates were distinguished from the general mass of the living beings thanks to own intellect. Primates have the greatest volume of the brain with respect to the dimensions of body. Primates had begun to develop along two different lines about 12 millions years ago, thus, people were separated from the great apes (chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans) which is our nearest relatives.

But the generality of origin is obvious on the features which which are common for Homo sapiens, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans:  

• extraordinary sociability,  

• the prolonged care about the babies and capability for collective protection,  

• bipedalism,   

• the hands, capable of manipulating by objects.   

By the way, according to the observations of contemporary scientists, already chimpanzees (in contrast to gorillas and orangutans) are capable to hunting on the representatives of the smaller species of monkeys periodically on purpose to eat of the meat of victims. The chimpanzee is considered by trainers as one of the most dangerous kinds of predators thank to the mind and the activity of chimpanzee. Our ancestors go down from the trees into the high grasses of Central Africa about 3 millions years ago. Our ancestors moved on two legs there and our ancestors had used by advantages of collective hunting and our ancestors had begun to use the fire, instruments and weapon.  Our ancestors built primitive shelters and our ancestors sewed primitive clothing. Our own species (Homo  sapiens from Lat. “wise man”) had appeared about 250 thousand years ago. People walked along the Earth about 40 thousand years ago, this people were not different outwardly from contemporary people. The first civilizations  had arisen in Egypt and Mesopotamia about 12 thousand years ago.

Homo neanderthalensis.                 

Neanderthals inhabited Europe and West Asia (from Spain to Uzbekistan) 200000 –  28 000 years ago. Сlimate was colder in that time and the glacial periods began several times during the time existences of Neanderthals also. Neanderthals, apparently, are not the straight ancestors of contemporary people. Neanderthals differ from contemporary people by sloping forehead, protruding back of head brow ridge. The brain volume of Neanderthal was more even than brain volume of Homo sapiens. Neanderthal could to extract fire already.  Neanderthal fed by meat almost exclusively with help of hunting, cannibalism was widespread among Neanderthals. The weapon of Neanderthals was stone chopper. Neanderthals had wooden spears with a stone tip for the close battle also.  

Homo sapiens as wise man.              

The great expansion of Homo sapiens had begun about 50‐55 thousand years ago. At first, Homo sapiens moved to South and Southeastern Asia, apparently, where Neanderthals didn't live. The representatives of this “wave” of settling of Homo sapience had penetrated to Australia (about 50 thousand years ago), where this “wave”, apparently, had led to mass extinction of large animals. Intrusion of Homo sapience had occurred to Europe somewhat later (40‐35 thousand years ago), but Europe was possession by Neanderthals. This moment can be considered the date of invention of war as one of the kinds of conflict, humanity did not know war and humanity knew only hunting before that moment. If the purpose of hunting is destruction of animals with aim of obtaining for meat for human consumption, then the purpose of war is destruction and supplanting of human beings, seizure of territory and various resources. Until that moment, people had no enemies armed by weapons. Homo sapience and Neanderthal lived on one territory and war between them lasted long very much (40‐28 thousand years ago). Homo sapience had appeared only once in some small region (in Africa). Homo sapience had settled from there to entire Old World and Homo sapience had destroyed all archaic people (for example Neanderthals). All contemporary people differ very little from each other genetically (genetic differences between the races of people in general is less than genetic differences between the different beings of chimpanzee in one herd).

The differences of man from an ape, which had appeared in the process of evolution. 


        In my opinion,  new functions of thinking  (capability to tool activity, spoken language and abstract thinking) had appeared only at man in contrast with the ape, but highest mammals (dogs, monkeys and so on) and man have a capability to intuition, but this intuition, in contrast to the man, exists in the nonverbal form at highest mammals.     The appearance of new functions of thinking had led to the appearance of physiological differences of a man from the ape:  

• Man had acquired the capability to bipedalism with purpose to free hands for the tool activity. It had led to a change in hand structure and to development of thumb at man. It had led to the decrease of the length of hands. It had led to a change in the foot, which had lost grasping function under climbing along the trees. It had led to a change of the vertebral column (It had led to S‐image form of the vertebral column instead of the form of arc of the vertebral column).  

• The appearance of speech and thinking had led to the change in the structure of skull and brain. The brain volume of man is in 2‐2,5 times more than the brain volume of great apes.

• The well-developed chin testifies about a good development of articulate speech at man.

Citations and references

  1. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Selected works in two volumes. Volume 2. Frederick Engels The part played by labour in the transition from ape to man. Page 74.