Presentation on theme: "The Beginning an introduction to ancient and medieval history."— Presentation transcript:
The Beginning an introduction to ancient and medieval history
THE ORIGINS OF THE UNIVERSE Three major theories Three major theories 1. The Genesis Account 2. Creationism with Evolution 3. Evolutionary Theory
The Genesis Account Belief that life on Earth began about 6000 years ago. Account from the book of Genesis from the Christian Bible or the Jewish Pentateuch (Old Testament). Describes the creation of the Earth in six days by God. Some religious scholars believe the account to be a metaphor, while others believe it to be a literal account.
CREATIONISM WITH EVOLUTION God started life on Earth and since then life has evolved and refined into the various plants and animals we see today. God started life on Earth and since then life has evolved and refined into the various plants and animals we see today. With this theory, humans became the rulers of the Earth as chosen by God. With this theory, humans became the rulers of the Earth as chosen by God. This theory draws on the ideas of Darwin. This theory draws on the ideas of Darwin.
Evolutionary Theory “The Big Bang” – 5 billion years ago A great explosion in the universe caused a spin-off of gases and particles that came together to form planets like Earth. At first Earth was molten hot, but then cooled and was able to support one simple life cell in the sea. From this form of life began a long process of evolution (that the plants and animals developed gradually through natural processes
Charles Darwin Darwin popularized the theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in Darwin popularized the theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in While serving as an unpaid naturalist aboard the ship Beagle, Darwin examined, observed and collected data that led him to doubt the traditional Genesis account. While serving as an unpaid naturalist aboard the ship Beagle, Darwin examined, observed and collected data that led him to doubt the traditional Genesis account. Darwin came to believe that species adapted to their environment in order to survive. Darwin came to believe that species adapted to their environment in order to survive. Those that did not adapt did not survive (survival of the fittest). He called this process natural selection. Those that did not adapt did not survive (survival of the fittest). He called this process natural selection.
Vocabulary to know Archaeologist: specialist in the study of early humans and early civilizations Anthropologists: scientists who study the origin, development, distribution, social habits and culture of humans Paleontologists: scientist who study the fossil remains of animals and plant life to understand past geological periods Fossils: recognizable remains or impressions left by a plant or animal preserved in the Earth’s crust
Dinosaurs Fossils tell us that they were among the Earth’s earliest inhabitants 200 million years ago Theories of their extinction 1. They starved after changes in the Earth disrupted their food supplies 2. Climate Change – as warm blooded reptiles they were killed by the cold 3. An asteroid hit the Earth causing dust clouds that blocked out the sun 4. They evolved.
THE PHYSICAL EVOLUTION OF HUMANS Evidence shows that human developed through several stages from hominids (humanlike creatures) to modern human beings. Hominids first appeared over four million years ago. It is still not certain when the split occurred between the evolution of humans and apes and who is the common ancestor.
What’s the difference??? A hominid is distinguished from apes in many ways. Two key differences 1. Bi-pedalism (ability to walk on two feet) 2. Larger brain size
Australopithecus One of the earliest ancestors of man is about 4 million years old. He probably spent most of his time in the grasslands looking for roots and seeds to eat.
AUSTRALOPITHECINES Molar teeth, no incisors 1974 – Hadar, Ethiopia, Donald Johanssen found an 3.18 million year old fossil of an Australopithecus afarensis. Nicknamed her “Lucy” Jutting jaw, heavy brow, flaring cheeks 1/3 of modern brain Powerful forearms, curved fingers and toes Completely bipedal
HOMO HABILIS 2.5 million years ago Known as the “handy man” Bridge between Australopithecus and Homo Erectus
HOMO ERECTUS Probably man’s first upright relative Sharp focused eyes Free moving arms and hands High-functioning brain Power of speech 2 million years ago Fire was his main tool 1. Heat, warmth, health 2. Protection, able to scare off animals 3. Cooking 4. Eating faster, preserve longer, less disease 5. Better weapons
Early Homo sapiens They are about 250,000 years old. They hunted and gathered food.
EARLY HOMO SAPIENS Homo sapiens mean “man who thinks” 1 st to formulate spoken language More sophisticated tools years ago Stone Age (period when articles were made of stone) As they spread throughout the world, their brains developed to improve hunting and gathering techniques Neanderthals are another type of Homo Sapiens
Modern Homo sapiens They are about 20,000 years old. They started out as hunter gathers. Eventually they became farmers and animal herders.
MODERN HOMO SAPIENS Appeared years ago in Europe Skills = making clothing, better shelters, more efficient hearths Called Cro-Magnons by 19th century scientists Ability to endure colder climates Spread from Africa to Europe to Asia then across the Bering Strait into the Americas