Of all the different types of life found on planet Earth, humans are unique. Despite research explaining human evolution, much of how we have evolved over the ages remains a mystery today. Some of the most enduring mysteries of human evolution continuing to fire our imagination include:
Why Did Humans Grow Such Large Brains?
The cleverness and ingenuity of human beings have given them a remarkable advantage. While there is no doubt that their brains are responsible for the edge over animals, it seems remarkable that contemporary brains are much larger than what they were some two million years ago. Some of the theories kicked around for humans for growing larger brains include making better tools and interacting with each other. One theory says that the need for our ancestors to deal with radical environmental changes is also the reason for brains becoming larger and more complex.
Why Do Humans Have an Upright Posture?
It often puzzles scientists why humans stand and walk on their legs when apes move around and function using four limbs. According to a leading MyBioSource scientist, one of the theories of evolution suggests moving on all fours requires more energy than walking on two legs and human beings could carry more food with the freeing up of their arms. Some scientists also suggest that standing upright may have been a tactic to help humans control their temperature better by reducing their exposure to the sun.
Why Did Modern Humans Step Out of Africa?
Research reveals that modern human beings stepped out of Africa for the first time some 50,000 years ago and spread rapidly to all continents except for Antarctica. According to some scientists, the mutation of the human brain made it possible for them to use complex languages, practice art, devise sophisticated tools, and form societies. The evolution of the human brain prompted them to migrate out of Africa in search of newer lands. Another scientific stance is that migration happened because the population reached a threshold size that made the revolution possible.
Is the Pace of Human Evolution Quickening?
Analyses of the partial remains of an early female human suggest a height of just less than four feet and a small brain, comparable to chimpanzees now living. Scientists say that human evolution has not stopped and is actually quickening. According to this view, the pace of evolution has speeded up by over 100 times since the spread of agriculture. While many scientists say the acceleration of human evolution may be due to the change in diet and the impact of diseases, many others refute the theory of the speeding up of evolution. According to Forbes, many diseases result from the impact of environmental toxins.
Despite the vast amount of research already conducted on human evolution over the years and around the world, it is clear that we know only so much about how we have evolved. One of the most contentious issues is regarding where modern humans came from. Many people contend that the widely-accepted “out-of-Africa hypothesis” is incorrect and humans evolved over multiple regions.