A look at major theories explaining the human evolutionary history

Before Darwin[ edit ] The word homo, the name of the biological genus to which humans belong, is Latin for "human". It was chosen originally by Carl Linnaeus in his classification system.

A look at major theories explaining the human evolutionary history

In the Islamic Golden Age of the 8th to the 13th centuries, philosophers explored ideas about natural history. These ideas included transmutation from non-living to living: Conway Zirklewriting about the history of natural selection insaid that an excerpt from this work was the only relevant passage he had found from an Arabian scholar.

He provided a quotation describing the struggle for existence, citing a Spanish translation of this work: Strong animals cannot escape being devoured by other animals stronger than they. And in this respect, men do not differ from animals, some with respect to others, although they do not arrive at the same extremes.

In short, God has disposed some human beings as a cause of life for others, and likewise, he has disposed the latter as a cause of the death of the former.

It shows nexuses between causes and things caused, combinations of some parts of creation with others, and transformations of some existent things into others, in a pattern that is both remarkable and endless.

The essences at the end of each particular stage of the worlds are by nature prepared to be transformed into the essence adjacent to them, either above or below them.

1 Applying evolutionary theory to human behaviour The application of evolutionary theory to the study of human behaviour has a long and contentious history (Boakes ; Laland and Brown ). The crucial turning point in human evolution, according to a theory published in by C. Owen Lovejoy, was the emergence of monogamy six million years ago. Until then, brutish alpha males who. 1 Applying evolutionary theory to human behaviour The application of evolutionary theory to the study of human behaviour has a long and contentious history (Boakes ; Laland and Brown ).

This is the case with the simple material elements; it is the case with palms and vines, which constitute the last stage of plants, in their relation to snails and shellfish, which constitute the lowest stage of animals.

It is also the case with monkeys, creatures combining in themselves cleverness and perception, in their relation to man, the being who has the ability to think and to reflect.

The preparedness for transformation that exists on either side, at each stage of the worlds, is meant when we speak about their connection. Great chain of being and Natural theology Drawing of the great chain of being from Rhetorica Christiana English: However, contact with the Islamic worldwhere Greek manuscripts were preserved and expanded, soon led to a massive spate of Latin translations in the 12th century.

Europeans were re-introduced to the works of Plato and Aristotle, as well as to Islamic thought. As the universe was ultimately perfect, the great chain of being was also perfect. There were no empty links in the chain, and no link was represented by more than one species.

A look at major theories explaining the human evolutionary history

Therefore, no species could ever move from one position to another. For humans to forget their position was seen as sinful, whether they behaved like lower animals or aspired to a higher station than was given them by their Creator.

It formed a part of the argument from design presented by natural theology. As a classification system, it became the major organizing principle and foundation of the emerging science of biology in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Thomas Aquinas While Christian theologians held that the natural world was part of an unchanging designed hierarchy, some theologians speculated that the world might have developed through natural processes. Thomas Aquinas went even farther than Augustine of Hippo in arguing that scriptural texts like Genesis should not be interpreted in a literal way that conflicted with or constrained what natural philosophers learned about the workings of the natural world.

Aquinas rather held that: It is as if the shipbuilder were able to give to timbers that by which they would move themselves to take the form of a ship. He wrote of natural modifications occurring during reproduction and accumulating over the course of many generations, producing races and even new species, a description that anticipated in general terms the concept of natural selection.

In the late 17th century, Ray had given the first formal definition of a biological species, which he described as being characterized by essential unchanging features, and stated the seed of one species could never give rise to another.

The term gradually gained a more general meaning of growth or progressive development. For example, he believed that lions, tigers, leopards and house cats might all have a common ancestor.

He further speculated that the or so species of mammals then known might have descended from as few as 38 original animal forms.

A look at major theories explaining the human evolutionary history

History of paleontology InGeorges Cuvier published his findings on the differences between living elephants and those found in the fossil record.

His analysis identified mammoths and mastodons as distinct species, different from any living animal, and effectively ended a long-running debate over whether a species could become extinct.

Independently, inCuvier and Alexandre Brongniart published an influential study of the geologic history of the region around Paris, based on the stratigraphic succession of rock layers. These works helped establish the antiquity of the Earth.

Knowledge of the fossil record continued to advance rapidly during the first few decades of the 19th century. By the s, the outlines of the geologic timescale were becoming clear, and in John Phillips named three major eras, based on the predominant fauna of each: This progressive picture of the history of life was accepted even by conservative English geologists like Adam Sedgwick and William Buckland ; however, like Cuvier, they attributed the progression to repeated catastrophic episodes of extinction followed by new episodes of creation.

Lyell claimed that, rather than being the products of cataclysmic and possibly supernatural events, the geologic features of the Earth are better explained as the result of the same gradual geologic forces observable in the present day—but acting over immensely long periods of time.

Although Lyell opposed evolutionary ideas even questioning the consensus that the fossil record demonstrates a true progressionhis concept that the Earth was shaped by forces working gradually over an extended period, and the immense age of the Earth assumed by his theories, would strongly influence future evolutionary thinkers such as Charles Darwin.

Lamarck did not believe that all living things shared a common ancestor but rather that simple forms of life were created continuously by spontaneous generation. He also believed that an innate life force drove species to become more complex over time, advancing up a linear ladder of complexity that was related to the great chain of being.

Lamarck recognized that species adapted to their environment. He explained this by saying that the same innate force driving increasing complexity caused the organs of an animal or a plant to change based on the use or disuse of those organs, just as exercise affects muscles.

He argued that these changes would be inherited by the next generation and produce slow adaptation to the environment.Paleoanthropology is the scientific study of human evolution. Paleoanthropology is a subfield of anthropology, the study of human culture, society, and biology.

The field involves an understanding of the similarities and differences between humans and other species in . Learn more about some of the major theories of motivation.

History of evolutionary thought - Wikipedia

instinct theories were pushed aside in favor of other motivational theories, but contemporary evolutionary psychologists still study the influence of genetics and heredity on human behavior. While no single theory can adequately explain all human motivation, looking at the.

It is possible to look through the history of biology from the ancient Greeks onwards and discover anticipations of almost all of Charles Darwin's key ideas.

This view of human history was more compatible with an evolutionary origin for humanity than was the older view. allowing the testing and refining of evolutionary theories using.

In , E. O. Wilson published the influential and highly controversial book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis which claimed evolutionary theory could help explain many aspects of animal, including human, behavior.

Human evolution is the lengthy process of change by which people originated from apelike ancestors. Scientific evidence shows that the physical and behavioral traits shared by all people originated from apelike ancestors and evolved over a period of approximately six million years.

You are here Scientific evidence shows that the physical and behavioral traits shared by all people originated from apelike ancestors and evolved over a period of approximately six million years. One of the earliest defining human traits, bipedalism -- the ability to walk on two legs -- evolved over 4 million years ago.
Striding through the Pliocene He introduces the convention to distinguish a particular research tradition Laudan from other approaches to the biology of human behavior. Evolutionary psychology rests upon specific theoretical principles presented in section 2 below not all of which are shared by others working in the biology of human behavior Laland and Brown ; Brown et al.
5 Major Perspectives in Psychology - Mr. McNabb Abstract Since the last common ancestor shared by modern humans, chimpanzees and bonobos, the lineage leading to Homo sapiens has undergone a substantial change in brain size and organization. As a result, modern humans display striking differences from the living apes in the realm of cognition and linguistic expression.
Human evolution - Wikipedia In the Islamic Golden Age of the 8th to the 13th centuries, philosophers explored ideas about natural history. These ideas included transmutation from non-living to living:

One of the. Human evolution, the process by which human beings developed on Earth from now-extinct primates. Viewed zoologically, we humans are Homo sapiens, a culture-bearing, upright-walking species that lives on the ground and very likely first evolved in Africa about , years ago.

A natural history of the human mind: tracing evolutionary changes in brain and cognition