human evolution


Human evolution is such a huge topic! I didn’t think it would be so interesting but wow I’m caught up in it! It’s amazing ☺️

Charles Darwin from The Descent of Man (1871)

Man may be excused for feeling some pride at having risen, though not through his own exertions, to the very summit of the organic scale; and the fact of his having thus risen, instead of having been aboriginally placed there, may give him hopes for a still higher destiny in the distant future. But we are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with the truth as far as our reason allows us to discover it. 

I have given the evidence to the best of my ability; and we must acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system—with all these exalted powers—Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.

Lately I haven’t been able to stop drawing great apes & fossil hominids. I draw them as one method of learning about them.

Here’s a little bit of me visually exploring probably the most culturally famous individual fossil hominid, an individual who lived about 3.2 million years ago on the land that is present-day Ethiopia, called “Lucy”, presumed female based on comparative pelvis physiology.

As part of the species afarensis in the group Australopithecus of the hominid family, “Lucy” was a close cousin of the family lines that all living humans descend from. Some earlier members of the group Australopithecus are ancestors of both “Lucy” and all humans. Lucy’s species, afarensis, is the closest relative of those common ancestors that we know of so far.

Lucy, the individual, was about 3 ft 7 in (1.1 m) tall, which seems very small to us but was not unusually short for members of the afarensis species. Generally speaking, members of the Australopithecus group had all the necessary hardware to walk upright, and probably did regularly.

More reading:

Today’s Google Doodle is honoring the 41st anniversary of the discovery of the 3.2 million year old remains of AL 288-1 - better known as Lucy the Australopithecus afarensis near Hadar, Ethiopia where her skeleton is also know as Dinkinesh (Amharic for “You are wonderful”).

On November 24th, 1974, as dusk settled upon the southern edge of the Afar Triangle near a village called Hadar, a team of scientists organized by Yves Coppens, Maurice Taieb and Donald Johanson toasted a tremendous discovery. They had been scouring this region for weeks–an area Taieb had brought to the forefront of anthropological research years earlier–and that morning their search paid enormous dividends with the find of Dr. Johanson and his student Tom Gray. The skeletal fragments unearthed in the Ethiopian landscape made up the most complete example of Australopithecus afarensis ever found.

While they celebrated, a small tape recorder blared ”Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”, again and again. And then it struck someone–what finer name than Lucy for the incredible specimen pulled from the sand that day?

In the coming months and years, this find would upend our understanding of bipedalism, and rewrite a significant chapter in the story of human evolution. To recognize the 41st anniversary of this historic moment, Kevin Laughlin has brought Lucy and her upright gait to life on our homepage.


“Due to the necessities of living in space, Newtypes could acquire the ability to transcend the vastness of space and achieve empathy with their fellow humans. The means they used might be something like telepathy.

In other words, even if people were separated by the obstacles of space and time, it was said that these people could overcome them and empathetically connect through their shared love.

In order to attain these abilities, people would have to better understand their situation. In that case, they could infer the situation from what they saw before their eyes, and predict how it might change and what new situation might result. However, we presently describe abilities of this kind as precognition.”

- from Zeta Gundam Novel Vol. 4; by Yoshiyuki Tomino

Solar Attunement Key Code; Harmonic induction of the hypothalamus

I am made whole through the heartportal; I am purified and aligned am connected beyond physical lines to all that is. In this time I engage the greater galactic light & I invite the cosmic heart to reset my bodies breath and pulse. I am now the formless peace and resplendent awareness of the universe. From this state I set forth the original template & intent for the present to be upon the brightest arc of evolution, the most heroic expression of human-star consciousness individually and collectively. May I serve as a gateway for all energies that are aligned to infinite kindness, awareness, and balance this day and night. Connect me to my highest mind, unify me to those who share this winged intent. May the celestial blessings rain down upon those who sing this soul song. So be it and so it is.
Why are we the only human species still alive?
Once Earth was home to a host of human species, from Neanderthals to hobbits. But today only we survive
By Melissa Hogenboom

Interesting overview of why we’re alone. (So, so alone…)

Two million years ago in Africa, several species of human-like creatures roamed the landscape. Some looked surprisingly similar to each other, while others had distinct, defining features.

In September 2015, another species was added to the list. Hundreds of bones discovered in a South African cave are now believed to belong to a new species, known as Homo naledi. There may well be many more extinct hominin species waiting to be uncovered.

Our own species appeared around 200,000 years ago, at a time when several others existed. Yet today, only we remain. Why did we manage to survive when all of our closest relatives have died out?

I did an entire week of Neanderthal Extinction (search #neanderthalweek on my blog)- be sure to check out the tag for articles with more details on the Denisovians, homo Florensiensis, and early art, among other cool things. 

This is my favorite diagram ever! I stumbled across it on wikipedia, tracked it to an article on how bugs have been studied to understand human evolution (Genetic Analysis of Lice Supports Direct Contact between Modern and Archaic Humans by David L Reed, Vincent S Smith, Shaless L Hammond, Alan R Rogers, Dale H Clayton) where I understood it originated from an article in Nature 2003 (Out of Ethiopia by Chris Stinger).

So why is this awesome? The elegance! Look at how it sums up 2 million years of human evolution, what hominids there have been, how they are related and where they have lived! I wonder if it even show estimated population size? (the two colored lines are lice-related)

Worth to note is that this is one of the interpretations of how human evolution developed based on fossil finds. The names of hominids and the contact between them is debated.

Do you have a favorite diagram? Tell me!


Darwin on Physchodelics — The Stoned Ape Hypothesis

Terence McKenna is one of those people who make life truly interesting.  A world traveler, writer, philosopher, speaker, mystic, and self proclaimed scientist, McKenna was best known for his expertise in growing and consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms.  Called by many admirers the “Timothy Leary of his age”, many others consider him to be a kook and crackpot (peashooter holds Timothy Leary in the same esteem as well).  After a particularly interesting trip on the hallucinogen DMT, he wrote a book called Alien Dreamtime where he details his personal contact with “self transforming machine elves”.  After consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms in the Amazon, he apparently discovered a pattern in the King Wen sequence of the I Ching, which led him to create a mathematical formula with which he could predict the future.  According to his calculations, the end of the world will occur and mankind will transcend its humanity of December 21st, 2012, coinciding with the Mayan Calendar.

Among his many unusual theories was a take on the theory of evolution explaining how Homo erectus evolved into modern day humans.  According to McKenna, around 100,000BC the tropical paradise in Northern Africa began to give way to desertification due to changing climates occurring at the end of the ice age.  As the Sahara Rainforest transformed into the Sahara Desert, our ancestors were forced to move from their traditional grounds in search of food.  Naturally, they would have followed herds of roaming cattle, where eventually they would have started consuming the mushroom Psilocybe cubensis, a hallucinogenic mushroom that naturally grows on cow dung.  The consumption of the hallucinogenic mushrooms “expanded” the mind of Homo erectus, leading to increased sexuality, increased thinking power, better focus, increased energy,  and a projective imagination.  As a result, human culture blossomed, soon leading to the development of art, science, philosophy, music, language, and advanced culture.  Thus, over several thousands of years of hallucinogenic mushroom consumption, Homo erectus evolved into modern day humans, with increased creativity and thinking power.  Groovy man!

McKenna’s theory was later named the “Stoned Ape Hypothesis” by the theory’s detractors, which was pretty much every mainstream scientist in academia.  He published his theory with the book “Food of the Gods, and obvious play on Erich von Danikan's Chariots of the Gods. Today, citing that there is little proof to backup the Stoned Ape Theory, most scientists and academics consider it to be a piece of nonsensical pseuodoscience.