Introduction to Physical Anthropology
Quiz 2 :
The Development of Evolutionary Theory
The notion that humans evolved from monkeys is not entirely correct. On the contrary, both species evolved along parallel timelines from a common ancestor. Both humans and monkeys probably evolved around 25 million years ago, as was interpreted from fossil records. The closest genetically related and living species of humans are the chimpanzees, which share around 99% DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) sequence with humans. The common fallacy that is assumed in these cases is that the early prototype anthropoid primates (from which the new age hominids and apes evolved) are referred to as 'monkeys'. This fallacious perception leads to the thought 'if humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys'. Because only a small specific population of the early prototype primate gave rise to the lineage that is called as humans, some seem inclined to all monkeys as 'human ancestors'.
A paradigm shift is defined as the change from one way of thought to another. It is an irreversible change towards a different model of perception and behavior. A paradigm shift marks a fundamental change in an individual's or the society's view. With the advent of science and technology, a new invention or discovery is being made almost every day. Paradigm shifts have happened frequently in the past. The discovery of microbes as infectious agents of diseases by Pasteur, discovery of the earth as being part of the solar system all are examples of the paradigm shifts. The biggest contributor towards the paradigm shifts is perhaps the advent of technology and industrialization in the past 30 years. Technology has touched every aspect of life, with information technology being one of the best inventions ever. It has given us tools that we use to perform calculations, to store and manipulate text, and to communicate. Information technology has also been instrumental in shaping the news and media organizations and the education sector.
Both science and religion tend to polarize audiences when it comes to explaining natural phenomenon since both have contrasting views on the subject. To put in simple terms, science encompasses research and religion relies on belief. Scientific research and scientific methodology were created just for this purpose. However, the natural phenomenon has not been fully understood even with modern advancements. That being said, there is never a direct method to analyze and understand the natural phenomenon. Scientific research is aimed at providing an explanation for the natural phenomena in a slow and gradual manner, and to reach a veritable conclusion takes time. Most of the things we know and understand about nature and natural processes have come through this tedious method of scientific research. Religion, as mentioned previously, relies on its members to have faith and belief in a deity, which is responsible for the acts of performing all the natural processes and phenomenon. However, there is no one book in either science or religion that can explain the entire natural phenomenon. In terms of evolution, there are definitely contrasting ideologies from both science and religion. Neither books on evolution (on the origin of species), nor religious texts have been completely successful in explaining the diversities in life forms, the origin of common ancestors and the presence of common characters in all organisms.