Michael Brown, In The Search For Eve (Harper & Row, Publishers: New York), 1990, Asked The Following Questions With Regard To Evolution And What Issues Are Involved In A Theory Of The Origin Of The Universe, The Planet Earth, Life On Earth, And Human Life In Particular:
Was Mankind Only 6,000 Years Old?
Was Modern (Sic) Mankind Only 6,000 Years Old As The Religious Fundamentalists Believed, Or A Million Years Old, As Old-Time Anthropologists Preferred?
Did Our Particular Subspecies Originate In Europe Where The Modern-Looking, Cave-Painting Cro-Magnon Man Began Around 30,000 B.C. Or In Africa
Or Perhaps Even In North America Or Australia, As Some Dared To Speculate?
Or Did Round-Skulled, Big-Brained, Small-Browed Humans – The Very First Anatomically Modern Humans, Like The Ones Characterized In The First Chapter, With No Pronounced Apelike Features Evolve In Several Regions Independent Of Each Other?
Was Erectus As Best Personified By Java And Peking Man The True Founding Stock?
Was Erectus As Best Personified By Java And Peking Man The True Founding Stock, As So Many Scholars Had Come To Accept? (About 1 Million Years Ago?
Was Neandertal An Ancestor Of Modern Humans Or An Extinct Offshoot?
Again, Where And How Did The First Modern Humans Arise To Take Over The Globe. Causing The Less Human Hominids To Head For The Dustbin Of Extinction?
What Were The Biological And Cultural Processes That Gave Rise To The Earliest Human Communities?
With Regard To Geneticists And The Dramatic Claims Of The Late 1980s Upon Discovering What Was Considered The Very First Point Of True Modern Origin, And The Specific Time Of Origin, Michael Brown Indicated:
It Was On New Year=S Day That The Geneticists Staked Their Claim. On Page 31 In The January 1, 1987, Issue Of Nature, Two Scientists From The University Of California At Berkeley And Another From The University Of Hawaii Presented A Highly Technical Paper Entitled: AMitochondrial Dna And Human Evolution.@
Under The Heading Was A Summary (Known As The >Abstract=) That Made All Of Paleoanthropology Take Note. It Was Even Startling:
Mitochondrial Dnas From 147 People, Drawn From Five Geographic Populations, Have Been Analyzed By Restriction Mapping. All These Mitochondrial Dna Stem From One Woman Who Is Postulated To Have Lived About 200,000 Years Ago. … A
Christopher Stringer And Robin Mckie, In African Exodus: The Origin Of Modern Humanity (A John Macrae Book: Henry Holt And Company: New York), 1996, 1997, Chapter 5: AThe Mother Of All Humans?@ Began With A Quote:
Fossil Bones And Footsteps And Ruined Homes Are The Solid Facts Of History. But The Surest Hints, The Most Enduring Signs, Lie In Those Minuscule Genes. For A Moment We Protect Them With Our Lives, Then Like Relay Runners With A Baton, We Pass Them On To Be Carried By Our Descendants.- and:
There Is A Poetry In Genetics Which Is More Difficult To Discern In Broken Bones, And Genes Are The Only Unbroken Living Thread That Weaves Back And Forth Through All Those Boneyards.
— B Jonathan Kingdon, Self-Made Man And His Undoing
Origin – The Geographical Location Of The First Human Population:
The Origin Of Races, Racial Differentiation Or Human Variation
Human Populations and Population Genetics – Human Variation And Adaptation – and
Origins Of Intelligence In Africa
THE AGE OF THE EARTH AND THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF HUMANS:
OUR PLANET UP TO THE PRESENT MOMENT –
IT IS UNIVERSAL IN ITS BREADTH COVERING ALL THE NATIONS AND PEOPLES OF THE EARTH;
AND IT IS UNIVERSAL IN ITS DEPTH, INCLUDING EVERY FORM OF HUMAN ACTIVITY.
ALL THESE HUMAN ACTIVITIES WOVEN TOGETHER, MAKE UP ONE GIGANTIC STORY – THE HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION.
Prehistory – Earth History:
Professor Swain in The History of Civilization, indicated:
“All civilizations are the creations of men, and they cannot be understood apart from their creators. Our introductory sketch of the earliest civilizations must therefore be preceded by a brief account of the earliest history of man,” or prehistory and this in turn presupposes a knowledge of the history of the earth upon which he lived. AWe must begin with a sketch of earth history.
That is why I chose to begin this interpretation of “the story of civilization,” The African Heritage in Human Biological and Cultural History, with the history of the earth, its origin, the evolution of the universe.
Professor Swain indicated:
Scientists tell us that the earth came into existence as much as four billion years ago. it developed a solid crust; parts of it were covered with seas and oceans of water; it was surrounded by air, and its temperature gradually moderated.
In an article in The New York Times, National, AScientists Date Parts Of Bedrock At 4.28 Billion Years, on Friday, September 26, 2008, Kenneth Change indicated:
A swath of bedrock in northern Quebec may be the oldest known piece of the earth=s crust. In an article appearing in Friday=s issue of the journal Science, scientists report that portions of that bedrock are 4.28 billion years old, formed when the earth was less than 300 million years old. >These rocks paint this picture of an early earth that looked pretty much like the modern earth.= said Richard W. Carlson of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and one of the authors of the paper. Other scientists are intrigued, but not yet entirely convinced that the rocks are quite that old. >There is a certain amount of healthy skepticism that needs to play a role here,= said Stephen J. Mojzsis, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado. Dr. Mojzsis said the new research was well done, but that he thought these were younger sedimentary rocks, pressed together out of the remnants of earlier rocks that were indeed 4.28 billion years old. >I hope that I=m wrong,= Dr. Mojzsis said, >If that happens, I believe there will be a land rush by geologists to northern Quebec.=
At present, the oldest dated rocks are in the Canadian Northwest, at 4.03 billion years old. Geologists have also found older bits of the earth: tiny, zircon crystals as old as 4.36 billion years old, embedded within younger rocks in Western Australia. The age of the earth is more than 4.5 billion years. Radioactive elements trapped within zircons provide precise ages, but Dr. Carlson and his collaborators at McGill University and the University of Quebec have not found any zircons in the Quebec bedrock. Instead, they determined the age of the rocks from the amounts of neodymium and samarium, two rare earth element
Dr. Carlson said the skeptics might be correct that the bedrock could be younger rocks formed out of older material. >The age is pretty certain,= he said. >The interpretation of the age is less certain.= AIf the rocks are as old as claimed, the significance would be that ‘they’re not dramatically different from rocks you would find today in Japan or places like that,’ Dr. Carlson said.
In fact, their chemical signature looks most similar to ocean floor that has been pulled under continents, Dr. Carlson said. That suggests that the process of plate tectonics, reshaping and moving continents, could have already started on the very early earth. At the very least, the existence of solid rock 4.28 billion years ago would run counter to the traditional image of the young earth as a rolling cauldron of magma oceans, a view that is falling by the wayside among researchers as more geological data is unearthed.@
Professor Joseph Swain Indicated:
Scientists tell us that the earth came into existence as much as four billion years ago. It developed a solid crust; parts of it were covered with seas and oceans of water; it was surrounded by air, and its temperature gradually moderated. It has since gone through an elaborate history. great chains of mountains have been thrown up, often reaching altitudes as high as 25,000 feet (almost the height of Mount Everest which, at 29,000 feet, is the loftiest mountain on earth today), and then been washed away by the erosion of rivers until only low flat plains remained.
The earth has gone through this cycle many times. The oldest mountains existing on earth today are the Urals and the Appalachians, whose age is only about 200 million years (or about one-twentieth that of the earth itself), yet they are already eroded to about one-quarter of their original height. The Cascades and the Himalayas, on the other hand, are only a few million years old, and perhaps the latter are still rising.
The Earth has also seen great changes in climate. Coal deposits in Spitzbergen (80E north latitude) and others within three hundred miles of the south pole, and coral reefs off Greenland show that these regions once enjoyed a subtropical climate. There is also evidence to indicate that at other times glaciers similar to those now covering much of Greenland and Antarctica, reached almost to the Tropics. as might be expected, the cold periods followed those of active mountain building, when high mountain ranges formed convenient centers for the formation of glaciers.
The most recent of these glacial epochs known to geologists as the Pleistocene, began less than a million years ago.
… This Pleistocene Or Glacial Epoch Is Of Great Importance To Us Since It Witnessed The First Appearance Of Humans.
Origin of the Universe:
Microsoft Encarta Interactive World Atlas, Contributing Editors: Harold Morowitz, George Mason University and Paul Ceruzzi, Smithsonian Institution (Routledge: New York, London), 2001, indicated:
World: Origins: Scientists believe that about 4.7 billion years ago, a swirling interstellar cloud of gas and dust began to fragment and form clusters that eventually coalesced into the Sun, Earth,aAnd the other Planets. On Earth, gravity, collisions with other bodies, and the radioactivity of some of the heavier elements caused the Planet to begin melting. lighter compounds floated outward to form the Earth=s mantle and crust, while the heavier elements, mainly iron and nickel, sank inward toward the center to form the core. The resulting world was not quite a perfect sphere, and it remains slightly flattened today, thicker at the equator than at the poles.
Once the Planet was formed, volcanic eruptions caused light, volatile gases and vapors to escape from the mantle and crust. Some of these, primarily carbon dioxide and nitrogen, were captured by the Earth=s gravity and formed a primitive atmosphere, While water vapor condensed to form the world=s first oceans. Today water covers nearly 71 percent of the world=s surface, and most of that water forms the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. The remaining 29 percent of the earth=s surface is covered by land, most of it concentrated on seven continents – Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.
About 3.5 billion years ago, conditions developed in which it was possible for life to emerge. The world=s oceans and atmosphere, affected by the proliferation and evolution of early life-forms, underwent major transformations, many of which would later enable the evolution of higher life-forms. Since then, life has evolved from simple single-celled organisms into the microorganisms, insects, plants, and animals we know today. The world=s atmosphere has evolved as well, both influencing and influenced by the life-forms living within it. Anthropologists estimate that the first modern members of our species, homo sapiens appeared 100,000 years ago in southeastern Africa.
Bronowski, in The Ascent Of Man (Little, Brown And Company (Boston, Toronto), 1973, With Regard To The Origins Of Man In The Valley Of The River Omo, In Ethiopia Near Lake Rudolf, In Africa, Professor Bronowski, asked the question: From an evolutionary science point of view where should one begin? Professor Bronowski answered: AWith the creation – with the creation of an himself.@
Professor Bronowski stated:
ACharles Darwin pointed the way with The Origin Of Species In 1859, and then in his book of 1871, The Descent Of Man. It is almost certain now that man first evolved in Africa near the equator. Typical of the places where his evolution may have begun is the savannah country that stretches out across northern Kenya and southwest Ethiopia near Lake Rudolf. The lake lies in a long ribbon north and south along the Great Rift Valley, hemmed in by over four million years of thick sediments that settled in the basin of what was formerly a much more extensive lake. Much of its water comes by way of the winding, sluggish Omo. For the origins of man, this is a possible area: the valley of the river Omo in Ethiopia near Lake Rudolf.
The African Rift Valley
The Encyclopedia Of Science And Technology, General Editor James Trefil, a Noted Physicist and author and professor of physics At George Mason University And co-Author of The Dictionary Of Cultural Literacy and the author of 101 Things You Don=T Know About Science and No One Else Does Either; and contributing editors Harold Morowitz, a biophysicist and professor of biology at George Mason University who has published widely on popular topics in science; and Paul Ceruzzi, Curator of Aerospace Electronics and Computing at the Smithsonian=s National Air and Space Museum, and the author of two books on computing, including The History Of Modern Computing, and has served as a consultant for two BBC Television Series on computing and science (Routledge: New York, London), 2001, indicated:
Oceans, Origin And Evolution Of@:
The origin of the oceans, which cover more than three-quarters of earth=s surface, dates back to earth=s formation 4.6 billion years ago.
In the past, three possible theories have been suggested as to the sources of the water in the oceans, representing over 99 percent of the earth=s surface.
Water: The first is that the water arrived as part of the icy coating of comets; the second that the water arrived as part of meteorites that struck the earth, and the third that it separated out from the rocks of the earth itself. [Trefil 2001: 359]ATo determine the correct theory, the composition of the atmosphere and seawater is studied. Using These Methods, It Has Been Determined That Comets Could Not Be The Source For All Of The Ocean Water.
The Ice In Comets Studied So Far, Namely Halley’s And Hyakutake, Contain Twice As Much Deuterium, An Isotope Of Hydrogen, Than Does Seawater. Meteorites Are Also Unlikely As A Source For All The Water On Earth. Meteorites Carry A Lot Of Excess Xenon, An Inert Gas That Is Relatively Rare On Earth. If Meteorites Were The Source Of Ocean Water, Earth=S Atmosphere Would Contain Nearly Ten Times As Much Xenon As It Does. Comets Do Not Contain High Concentrations Of Xenon. However, A Theory Combining Water From Both Sources – Meteorites And Comets – Also Presents Difficulties, As There Would Still Have To Be More Deuterium Than Is Found In The Oceans.
The Best Model Is A Combination Of Cometary Water And Water That Was Trapped In The Earth=S Rocks As The Planet Was Formed. If Some Of The Water Vapor Came From The Local Region Of The Solar Nebula (A Cloud Of Gas And Dust Surrounding The Sun), It Would Be Low Enough In Deuterium To >Balance= The Cometary Amount.
Acretin. Earth, Its Oceans, And Its Atmosphere All Evolved Together. Water And Other Volatile Compounds Were Probably Released From Earth=S Rocks As The Planet Solidified. During The Earth=S Accretion Phase (Its Accumulation And Solidifying From Smaller Objects Called Planetesimals), Kinetic Energy Was Converted Into Thermal Energy, Causing The Planet To Grow Extremely Hot.
Most Of The Water Was Probably Present As Liquid Water Trapped In Clay Or As Separate Hydrogen And Oxygen Atoms (From Hydrocarbons And Iron Oxides), Rather Than As Ice Crystals.
Like The Rest Of The Planet, The Oceans Are Still Evolving. For The Last 4 Billion Years, There Has Been A Continual Exchange Of Volatile Material Such As Water Between Earth=S Surface (Crust) And Interior (Mantle). Plate Tectonics Have Caused Oceanic Water To Mix With Material From The Planet=S Interior. Volcanoes Also Release Water And Carbon Dioxide To The Atmosphere And To The Ocean.
Subduction Of Sediments Rich In Volatiles Takes Place In Deep Ocean Trenches. The Ocean Crust Sinks At These Subduction Zones And Carries Water And Carbon Dioxide Back Into The Mantle.@
[See AOcean Basins; Ocean Current; Oceanography; Planetary Atmosphere; Underwater Exploration; Winds And Clouds And Hydrologic Cycle, Water; And Waves.@] [Trefil 2001: 359]
It (The Earth) Has Since Gone Through An Elaborate History. Great Chains Of Mountains Have Been Thrown Up, Often Reaching Altitudes As High As 25,000 Feet (Almost The Height Of Mount Everest Which, At 29,000 Feet, Is The Loftiest Mountain On Earth Today), And Then Been Washed Away By The Erosion Of Rivers Until Only Low Flat Plains Remained.
The Earth Has Gone Through This Cycle Many Times. The Oldest Mountains Existing On Earth Today Are The Urals And The Appalachians, Whose Age Is Only About 200 Million Years (Or About One-Twentieth That Of The Earth Itself), Yet They Are Already Eroded To About One-Quarter Of Their Original Height.
The Cascades And The Himalayas, On The Other Hand, Are Only A Few Million Years Old, And Perhaps The Latter Are Still Rising.
The Earth Has Also Seen Great Changes In Climate. Coal Deposits In Spitzbergen (80E North Latitude) And Others Within Three Hundred Miles Of The South Pole, And Coral Reefs Off Greenland Show That These Regions Once Enjoyed A Subtropical Climate. There Is Also Evidence To Indicate That At Other Times Glaciers Similar To Those Now Covering Much Of Greenland And Antarctica, Reached Almost To The Tropics.
As Might Be Expected, The Cold Periods Followed Those Of Active Mountain Building, When High Mountain Ranges Formed Convenient Centers For The Formation Of Glaciers.
The Pleistocene Epoch: Encyclopedia Of Science And Technology,
The Most Recent Of These Glacial Epochs Known To Geologists As The Pleistocene, Began Less Than A Million Years Ago.
In This Country (North America – America) The Ice Advanced From Canada South As Far As The Ohio And Missouri Rivers;
Glaciers Covered Scandinavia, Russia, Germany, Northern France, And The British Isles:
In Europe It Spread Out From Scandinavia To Cover Russia West Of Moscow, The Greater Part Of Germany, Northern France, And The British Isles.
These Pleistocene Ice Sheets Advanced And Retreated Four Times With Long >Interglacial Periods= Between Each Advance.
[Note: Fourth And Last Glacier – 150,000 Years Ago: The Last Retreat – 25,000 Years Ago: The Time Of The Last Migration Of ATropically-Influenced@ Black African People To Europe Was 50,00 – 25,000 Years Ago]:
The Fourth And Last Glacial Advance Began About 150,000 Years Ago. The Last Retreat Began About 25,000 Years Ago
And The Glaciers Had Withdrawn To Approximately Their Present Position In Scandinavia By 5000 B.C.
However, The Encyclopedia Of Science And Technology, General Editor James Trefil, Contributing Editors Harold Morowitz, A Biophysicist And Professor Of Biology At George Mason University And Paul Ceruzzi, Curator Of Aerospace Electronics And Computing At The Smithsonian=S National Air And Space Museum, (Routledtge: New York, London), In 2001, Corrected The Period Of These Pleistocene Glacial Epochs To Have Been As Follows:
The Earliest Known Ice Age Occurred 2.3 Billion Years Ago.
The Most Recent Ice Age Occurred During The Pleistocene Epoch.
It Began 2 Million Years Ago And Ended 11,500 Years Ago.@
[Note: The First Appearance Of Humans: The First Appearance Of Plio- Pleistocene Hominids 4.4 – 3.2 Million Years Ago]:
… This Pleistocene Or Glacial Epoch Is Of Great Importance To Us Since It Witnessed The First Appearance Of Man.
[Source: Harold L Carter, The Human Odyssey: The African Odyssey: The African Heritage in World History and Human Biological and Cultural History: From Prehistoric Times: 4.6 Billion Years Ago and the World’s Earliest Civilizations: 4000 – 3000 Years Ago to the 21st Century (2014)