The Missing Link That Wasn’t

It’s 1912, and an amateur archaeologist named Charles Dawson came forward with a discovery that almost changed our understanding of human evolution. Almost. Dawson’s find was some unusual human-like skull fragments, and he showed them to the Keeper of Geology at the British Museum, Sir Arthur Smith Woodward. He explained that the fragments were given […]

Proof of evolution that you can find on your body

Your body is a temple, but it’s also a museum of natural history. Look closely and you’ll see parts that aren’t there because you need them but because your animal ancestors did. No longer serving their previous function but not costly enough to have disappeared, these remnants of our deep history only make sense within […]

Practical Importance of Human Evolution – Controversial Practical Applications – Ancestry Testing

>>Questions about ancestry testing frequently come up in my classes. The idea of ancestry testing is to use genetic data and evolutionary concepts to determine your genetic heritage. For example, how much of your genetic material is Irish? Or are you related to a famous person? Things like that. Does ancestry testing have a practical […]

The Evolution and Ancestry Rap by LW Hasten

Have you heard about the great Big Bang that created the planets and led to everything? How the earth was a ball of fire that cooled to a planet with oxygen, water that pooled into oceans of life, which was born in the sea and evolved over time into you, into me, into us, into […]

Practical Importance of Human Evolution – Speciation – Introduction to Genealogy

>>Let’s talk for a minute about family and genetics. Imagine you’re studying how genetic mutations can occur in family lines. For this class we’ll still keep this simple by examining a type of genetic material that is only inherited from mother to child. I have put the mother (Rosalind) at the top of this family […]

There Was No First Human

[MUSIC] This is me. I’m a human. These are my parents, they’re clearly humans too. My grandfather, human. My great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather? Humans without a doubt. But my grandfather 185 million generations removed? Not a human. He was a fish. [MUSIC] Imagine you could take a picture of every ancestor down the line and put […]

The Humans That Lived Before Us

For about a million years in the early Pleistocene Epoch — from about 2.4 million to 1.4 million years ago — it was a really exciting time to be a hominin. Hominins, you’ll recall, are the group of human ancestors that are more closely related to us than to chimps and bonobos. During this million-year […]